The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts in raids

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we return to flogging the guts out of bosses that might puke up a horse.

Today we're going to look at mounts that drop in (or, in one case, as part of a quest within) raids. I'd initially expected to include mounts like the Ulduar proto-drakes and Icecrown frostwyrms, but they're really more the result of a series of achievements rather than encounters themselves. Otherwise, there are more than enough pure drops to keep us occupied today; Blizzard's always been fond of making unique mounts the potential reward of difficult raid encounters, and you'll get a few extra feats of strength if you nab some of these beauties.

Also read:

Qiraji Battle Tanks

There are six Qiraji Battle Tanks in the game, but only four drop in a raid. The Black Qiraji Battle Tank was the highly coveted mount given to each server's Scarab Lord(s), and the Ultramarine Qiraji Battle Tank is a maddeningly elusive archaeology reward. Thankfully, the other four are a bit easier to get.

Where you'll find it The four bugs with which you're concerned -- the red, blue, yellow, and green -- all drop randomly from trash mobs in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (better known as AQ40).

Drop rate The blue, green, and yellow bugs are all very common drops, to the point that you'll be thoroughly sick of seeing them over the course of a single run. The red ... not so much so; players estimate that the drop rate off any given trash mob is 1% at best. The red is sufficiently rare that it's the subject of its own achievement (technically a feat of strength), Why? Because It's Red.

I once had two of the damn things drop in back-to-back trash packs in AQ40 while working on Brood of Nozdormu rep, and I gave them to two guildies who were nuts about collecting mounts, because I am a nice person. They left the guild not long after. Apparently, I am also a dumbass.

Also the subject of Why? Because It's Red if you nab the red one.

Ashes of Al'ar

Al'ar is a very special mount; the first one in the game went to the player Ezra "Ephoenix" Chatterton, a boy suffering from a brain tumor who visited Blizzard's headquarters as part of the Make-A-Wish program. Ezra's character is still in the game as Wheathoof the Elder in Thunder Bluff during the Lunar Festival. Look closely and you'll see him accompanied by a little phoenix pet.

Where you'll find it Dropped by Kael'thas Sunstrider in Tempest Keep. This was one of the most legendarily difficult fights of its time, and while raiders were almost universal in their praise for the overall design of the encounter, very few people wanted to run it for kicks after everyone in the guild had gotten keyed for the Mount Hyjal raid. Obviously, "farming" the mount (to the extent that you can with such a low drop rate) is the hell of a lot easier these days.

Drop rate 1%

Also the subject of Ashes of Al'ar, a feat of strength.

Fiery Warhorse

The Fiery Warhorse birthed one of the all-time greatest Wowhead comments ever:

This mount has fangs. You are riding a vampire horse that is on fire. Let me repeat that. You are riding a vampire horse that is on fire. I don't even have to say anything else.

"My mount is the Black Qiraji Battle Tank, a rare mount belonging only to the select few people who were selected as champions by the mortal races of Azeroth and the Bronze Dragonflight."

"My mount is a vampire horse on fire."

"You win."

Where you'll find it This is dropped by the first boss of Karazhan, Attumen the Huntsman. If you play a toon comfortably able to solo the first few pulls of Kara, it's a simple enough matter to clear to the encounter each week and drop Medivh's huntsman. Unfortunately for all those of us long accustomed to stomping Karazhan in retaliation for all the wipes suffered there at level 70, Blizzard recently decreased the amount of gold rewarded for mob and boss kills there.

Also the subject of Fiery Warhorse's Reins, a feat of strength.

Grand Black War Mammoth

The Grand Black War Mammoth -- no joke -- was the bane of our inbox during Wrath (well, that and Blind). Not a week went by without a series of complaints from players about the army of ninjas whose sticky fingers relieved many a VoA run of the three-seater pachyderms.

Where you'll find it Each boss in the Vault of Archavon, the raid won by the faction holding Wintergrasp, has a chance to drop it. Rumor has it that Argaloth in Baradin Hold (and, I would assume, future BH bosses) also has a chance to drop it, but I'm having the devil of a time getting official confirmation of this. Anyone out there seen it?

Drop rate The drop rate's generally agreed to be around 1%. Bear in mind that all four VoA bosses have a chance to drop it, so assuming you steamroll the place, you'll get four shots per run.

Black Drake and Twilight Drake

Where you'll find them The Black Drake is a guaranteed drop off a 10-man Sartharion with all three drakes up; the Twilight Drake is the 25-man version. The 10-man version was considered the most murderous fight of early Wrath of the Lich King, to the point that players said it couldn't be done without 25-man gear. Then this happened.

Drop rate N/A -- both drakes still drop 100% of the time even now, which surprises me. Both versions of the Sarth 3D fight are now so zergable that I'd thought Blizzard would reduce the drop rate to reflect this, but it turns out it didn't. My best guess as to why is that neither is a 310% mount, so they're just cool bonuses rather than being a convenient ticket to a super-fast flyer. The Twilight Drake in particular has very eye-catching coloration.

Drop rate 100%, but only one drops per run.

Part 2 >>