Now that we've finished our whirlwind tour of Medivh's home and have two pieces of tier 4 in our pockets to show for it, it's time to head to the main highlight of The Burning Crusade expansion and dig up the rest of it. While Karazhan existed on Azeroth, the rest of tier 4 exists in Outland, scattered between two smaller raids -- the lairs of the pitlord Magtheridon and Gruul the Dragonkiller. Both raids were mercifully short when compared to the length of Karazhan, but both required some precision timing by raids to complete successfully.
Last week, we touched a little on attunement chains for The Burning Crusade. Long, arduous and a complete pain for those trying to get in on raiding late in the game, the attunement chains in Burning Crusade were systematically removed as the expansion went on. For those who jumped into raiding when The Burning Crusade was launched, however, both Gruul and Magtheridon were required kills to get to the next level of raiding content with the next tier of raiding gear.
Moving up through the chains
In order to proceed into Serpentshrine Cavern, home of Lady Vashj and her watery minions, players had to complete an odd chain of events. Heading into the Slave Pens on heroic mode revealed a caged Naga named Skar'this the Heretic who gave players a quest to kill Nightbane in Karazhan and Gruul in Gruul's Lair. After players returned to Skar'this, he cast a spell on them allowing them entrance into the previously sealed Serpentshrine Cavern. These days, most players encounter Skar'this during the Midsummer Fire Festival; he's now called Skar'this the Summoner, and he's the Naga casting on the Ice Stone that you must kill to start the Ahune event. You can still complete the quest to kill Nightbane and Gruul; however, you must be level 70 to get it. Players over level 70 cannot get the quest.
In order to proceed to Tempest Keep and gleefully murder Kael'thas Sunstrider for the first time, players had to complete a long chain of Trials set to them by A'dal in Shattrath City. The last of these Trials was a Magtheridon kill, and after completing this, players were granted the Tempest Key. It was a long process to get attuned for both raids, but in the end, players who completed the attunement chains were rewarded with the title Champion of the Naaru.
In June 2007, a hotfix was implemented that removed both attunement requirements, though the quests remained for players to complete if they wished.
Though the chains were no longer necessary, people still completed them for the fun of the chains themselves and for the title associated with it. When Wrath of the Lich King was released, the title was changed so that it was no longer attainable, and players who managed to get it received the Feat of Strength achievement Champion of the Naaru.
Gruul's Lair and Magtheridon's Lair
Gruul and Magtheridon were the first two 25-man raids available in The Burning Crusade. It was a slightly awkward transition -- players were used to the 40-man behemoths required to run classic content, and trying to adjust raid guilds to accommodate 25 rather than 40 proved to be more difficult than anticipated. Both Magtheridon and Gruul posed a tremendous challenge for raiders, requiring precise, coordinated movement and pulls to complete.
These days, it's a lot easier to complete. Mechanics can be ignored in favor of simply DPSing through the bosses themselves, and damage is fairly minimal. However, unlike the easily soloable Karazhan, at level 85, mobs still can and will kill you. Your chances of survival are exponentially increased with the addition of more players, so I'd highly recommend taking a partner or two along, rather than trying to solo this content. There are still plenty of players out there who need the achievements for completing these zones, as well as people interested in tier 4, so it shouldn't be difficult to find a willing person or two to come along.
Gruul's Lair contains two bosses; before you can get to Gruul himself, you have to get through High King Maulgar and his council of ogres. Both bosses drop tier 4 tokens as well as an assortment of other fun loot suitable for transmogrification.
High King Maulgar A full council -- a shaman, a priest, a warlock and a mage -- are all present along with the Ogre Lord, in order to assist Maulgar in wiping out prospective raiders. In The Burning Crusade, this encounter was all about the pull. If each add was pulled and tanked properly, the fight itself was relatively easy. If the pull went awry, you were absolutely certain to wipe.
For level 85 players, you no longer have to worry about the pull; simply charge in and let the DPS fly. But make sure the DPS is directed at the priest first, as he will heal the other ogres. After that, knock over the warlock to get rid of his irritating fear. You can kill the shaman and mage in whatever order you'd like (I'd recommend shaman first, just because his Greater Polymorph can be annoying), and then concentrate on Maulgar and make him go splat. Other than the sometimes irritating Polymorphs and fears, these ogres are pretty easy to push over.
Tier drops High King Maulgar drops tier 4 shoulder tokens for every class. For more information about tier 4 sets, check out our other two articles in the series.
Other items of interest Priests may want to nab the Belt of Divine Inspiration, as it's a match for the tier 5 priest set. Those looking for a Draenei-themed weapon need look no further than the Hammer of the Naaru, a two-handed purple mace. Leather-wearers should take a look at the Malefic Mask of the Shadows, a dark recolor of the Bloodfang Hood, while mail-wearers should take a look at Maulgar's Warhelm, which is recolored Dragonstalker.