Karazhan: the most beloved of retro raids. Players may put on the rose-colored glasses when they talk of how limited raiding was back in the Vanilla days, but Karazhan is often talked of with fondness. Going back is a pleasure, not a painful memory. It's with good reason -- the place is built like a castle tower, going up and up forever, and it's full of memorable mobs and scenery.
Karazhan also has some of the tier 4 Voidheart Raiment for warlocks, as well as a mount and now pets for everyone, so it's a weekly favorite of mine to visit.
Best spec to solo
Raids from The Burning Crusade expansion are still pretty easy to solo, whether you're in raid gear or greens. Any of the warlock specs can walk into Karazhan to solo, but I've found demonology to be the most useful. Dark Apotheosis might help you if your gear or skill is lacking and you find yourself dying. Demonic Leap is more fun than flat running -- especially in Karazhan's Opera and Guardian Library areas -- and the Falling Meteor glyph will save you from stupid leaps off ramps.
BC was also an expansion of spell resistance and spell immunities by various creatures, and some of those mechanics still linger in old instances despite their disappearance from modern raiding. While every warlock spec can get fire or shadow with Fel Flame, demonology also offers both physical damage with the felguard and spell damage by the player, which is useful if you butt-pull a wyrm in the Guardian's Library. Finally, Hellfire/Immolation Aura is an easy, run-around AoE toggle rather than trying to set up mana-sucking Seeds or Rains of Fire.
So, in the end, play how you want, but my fastest Karazhan times have been done as a purple demon. Pull as much trash as you want to; I personally like to pull entire rooms at once. I would recommend big bags, because even though Karazhan has a couple of vendors in the instance and a place to stop outside for a vendor mount, there's still a lot of ghosts and creatures with loot inside. Finally, don't forget to turn up your game sound and music -- it's worth it!
Karazhan certainly has trivia as most of us know the word, both in the expansion itself and before. Greek Hecate's equivalent, Trivia was the Roman goddess of witchcraft, the harvest moon, and three-way roads. The atmosphere already has the witchcraft vibe down pat with creepy organ music alternating with a whistling wind, ghostly servants still wandering about, and the eerie bell tolls if you stick around past the hour.
But if you talk to Berthold the doorman, he'll tell you there's it a literal three-way dungeon route in the beginning of the raid. To start, you can go any one of three ways:
- left to Attumen the Huntsman,
- up the center behind Berthold the doorman to Moroes, or
- through the Servant's Quarters to the right.
The random rare elite in the Servant's Quarters spawns with an emote after you kill all of the trash in each of the three rooms. The elite resembles one of the trash species and sits in an appropriate room: Rokad the Ravager is a darkhound; Hyakiss the Lurker is a stealthy spider; Shadikith the Glider is the bat boss. Once you finish looting, taking the west ramp from the bat room will lead you up to Maiden's quarters.
If you turn right, instead of continuing down Maiden's hallway after the servant's access ramp, you'll be in the top area of the Grand Ballroom. To your right again would be the Opera Hall, but you have to kill Moroes first before the stage manager will let you in. If you continue around the balcony, you'll find a ghostly nobleman at one of the balcony seats overlooking the Banquet Hall. He's actually related to the Ebonlockes of Darkshire, though who knows if our own Kanrethad was, too.
Stroke of Midnight
But many more a player has visited Karazhan in the past not for two optional bosses but to slaughter Attumen the Huntsman for his fiery mount. You can pull his trash on your way around to his stable, or you dance around the trash to pull him and thus all of the trash leading up to him through the walls. Just beyond him is Koren the blacksmith who will act as a vendor if you're Honored or higher with the raid's reputation Violet Eye.
The broken wooden staircase in the Stables leads up to the the Guardhouse, where once there was a boss behind the Blood-Drenched Door who dropped a bat pet -- but now nevermore, since he was part of the Wrath of the Lich King launch event. So instead, just skip through the Scullery (because careful of the occasional stun) and on to Moroes in the Banquet Hall. When you're done with Moroes and have picked up the old Mongoose enchant off his cold, twice-dead body, if you brought friends, you can have a game of musical chairs on your favorite voice chat program.
Leave the Banquet Hall to find yourself in the Grand Ballroom, which is where you'd end up if you came up the stairs behind Berthold. Going up the stairs to the north brings us back to the balconies where Maiden's hallway connects.
It's random whether you'll actually get Red Riding Hood which might drop the Lil' Bad Wolf battle pet. The other two plays are Romulo and Julianne or the Wizard of Oz event. Hunters cannot tame Tito, Dorothee's summoned dog in the Oz event, but now with the Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition, you can finally bring Tito home. Finally, if you do get the Big Bad Wolf, you'll find the original source of the Deadly Boss Mods "Run away, little girl! Run away!" warning sound.
Heading off-stage from Opera leads around and up, around and up, until finally you come to the Broken Stair, which is the broken part of the tower. The Side Entrance door once required a key, but now opens to anyone for the side door; you can mount up outside on the bridge. Continuing down, the doorway opposite the broken stone ramp leads both to Nightbane and to the Servant's access to the Grand Ballroom. If you wish to summon Nightbane, you won't need the urn anymore, but you still have to do the questline to unlock the dragon.
Instead of killing Nightbane, we'll wind our way around ghosts up and around until we get to the Menagerie, where we'll find the Curator. Hopefully we'll also find some tier gloves and a battle pet, but sometimes the old robot is stubborn.
The next landing has two ramps leading off and up. Going left goes to the Shade of Aran, where I like to gleefully move out of Flame Wreath on purpose. After the landing with Ethereal trash, there'll be another set of two ramps leading off. The ramp going up leads to the Ghostbusters dragon, though I often kill him before the beams appear. Going down brings us to an Ethereal vendor and the much-awaited Gamesman's Hall.
I'd actually been using Tikari's strat before Kristin Marshall wrote on it, and it has worked very well for me. Of course, everybody who does Chess knows to move pawns out in front of the king to move in the case of fire. The strength of Tikari's strat lies in bringing the rooks out, for their damage will help protect your other pieces. The thing most people forget is how to get out of a piece: the piece becomes your pet, so just right-click on your pet frame and dismiss it. When you beat Chess, you can come back later with a friend and play as either side.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DOTs, demons and all the dastardly deeds done by warlocks. We'll coach you in the fine art of staying alive, help pick the best target for Dark Intent, and steer you through tier 13 set bonuses.