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Ready Check: WoW Insider guide to Ragnaros, page 2

Tyler Caraway

Phase 2
  • Sulfuras Smash
  • Lava Wave
  • Magma Blast
  • Burning Wound
  • Engulfing Flame Ragnaros covers one-third of the room in an explosion of fire. Players hit take massive initial fire damage and additional fire damage over time while remaining in the area.
  • Molten Seeds Ragnaros creates a Molten Seed at the location of random players. Inflicts moderate fire damage to any player within 6 yards. After 10 seconds, the Seeds erupt into Molten Infernos.
  • Molten Inferno A massive explosion of fire that inflicts massive levels of damage. Damage is reduced by range from the seeds. Spawns Molten Elementals.
  • Molten Elemental Fixates and attacks a random player.

From phase 1, Sulfuras Smash and Burning Wound are all carried over, as is the deal that your tank has to remain in melee range of Ragnaros, but the rest of Ragnaros' previous abilities are gone. Instead, he now has two new abilities that you will have to contend with.

What you do for phase 2 largely depends on how your group wants to handle Molten Seeds. There are two tactics you can use; one is safer for mistakes, while the other is better for overall DPS. The first is the safe route, which is to have all of your players spread out on the sides of the platform. For this, no player can be in the middle at all -- none. Everyone has to go to one side or another, without exception. Once Seeds come, everyone will collapse into the middle. This avoids having multiple players hit by the initial Seed damage while also giving your group the range it needs to not have Molten Inferno kill you outright.

The other strategy is to have every player group up in the middle. Once Ragnaros finishes the cast of Molten Seeds, everyone must move to one side. There can be no delay in your movement; you absolutely have to move the moment that the Seeds start to fly in the air. Any staggering on your part will mean that you have all of the Seeds dropping on your head, and you're going to splat instantly. Overall, this method is best for dealing with adds, but it carries a high amount of risk, since any mistake means instant death. Your choice.

The great thing about phase 2 is that everything occurs in a highly specific order. Ragnaros will always start out with a Smash, then a Seed, followed by an Engulfing Flame. From there, it will always rotate the exact same way. It will always be Smash, Flame, Seed, Smash, Flame, Smash, Seed, Flame, and repeating on. Further, the ability that comes after Seeds will always occur right after the Seeds explode.

No matter how you choose to deal with Seeds, you will need to have two different cluster locations. Horizontally, they should be the same; the difference is in the vertical. When Flame is the ability that comes after Seeds, you want to have all of your players grouped up just at the edge of melee range. This way, there is no mistakes for getting hit by the Flame. If the Flames are close, then taking two steps back gets you out of them; if middle, then two steps forward and you're safe. The second location is the same as the first, but instead of being at the edge of melee range, you want to be up in Ragnaros' face. You will use this anytime Smash will be the ability after Seeds. Smash always hits just at the outer edge of melee; by being close, you totally avoid it.

This rotation of abilities will continue until you manage to push Ragnaros to 40% health.

Second transition
  • Splitting Blow
  • Sons of Flame
  • Lava Bolt
  • Lava Scion One Lava Scion spawns on each edge of the platform. They have high-ish health and need to be tanked. They will not interact with the hammer.
  • Blazing Heat The Lava Scion targets a random player and debuffs them. Debuffed players will leave a trail of magma that inflicts moderate levels of fire damage to anyone standing in it. The pools also heal any Lava Scion or Son of Flame by 10% every 1 second.

The second phase transition is much the same as the first in terms of the Sons; however, there is one added twist. This time around, there will be two Lava Scions that need to be picked up by the tanks. These Scions will also debuff players to leave a trial of lava that will heal any of the adds that cross over them. Further, there's another small hiccup. Ragnaros will return to the surface once all of the Sons of Flame are dead or in 45 seconds; however, the Lava Scions will remain there until killed, and Ragnaros doesn't care if they are alive or dead. You want to put as much damage on the Lava Scions before Ragnaros reappears as you possibly can.

This is the RNG portion of the encounter that utterly sucks. Getting a Splitting Blow on either side is awesome; getting it down the middle sucks. You want this transition to play out exactly the same as the previous did, with one minor change. The farthest Son of Flame should be totally controlled, not killed, for as long as possible. Utilizing stuns, knockbacks, and Death Grip, you want the fathest Son from the hammer to stay alive yet away from the hammer for as long as possible. This allows you the maximum amount of time to DPS down the Scions as possible.

Traditionally, due to the high DPS requirement on the Sons and the Scions, this is when a majority of guilds will use Bloodlust. If this is where you struggle most, then I would suggest the same; however, holding off on Bloodlust for as long as you can eases the remainder of the fight. The choice is yours.

Finally, players with Blazing Heat absolutely must not drop them through the path of an elemental. The Sons of Flame run in a straight line; if you cannot get to an outer edge before you start dropping pools of lava, then run in between where the Sons path. This is another stupid RNG aspect of this transition, because getting Blazing Heat on a key player who needs to stun can totally mess up everything.

Once more, after all of the Sons are dead or 45 seconds, Ragnaros will return and begin phase 3.

Phase 3
  • Sulfuras Smash
  • Engulfing Flame
  • Magma Blast
  • Burning Wound
  • Living Meteor Summons a Living Meteor that fixates on a random player and chases them.
  • Meteor Impact Any player within 4 yards of a Meteor triggers an impact that deals massive fire damage to all players within 8 yards.
  • Combustible Knocks a Living Meteor back and causes it to target a new player. Cannot occur again for 5 seconds after being triggered.
  • Lavalogged The Living Meteor is now soaked by a Lava Wave. Only purpose is for an achievement; has no real effect.

Aside from the transitions, phase 3 is the only truly difficult portion of the encounter. This entire phase is one massive DPS race against the clock -- that clock being the amount of Living Meteors you have. Ragnaros will retain Smash and Engulfing Flame from the previous phases but loses his other abilities. While burning Ragnaros himself isn't too challenging at first, the largest factor for this phase is going to be the Lava Scions from the earlier transition. You want to have the Scions as close to death as you can before hitting this phase, and you need to take them down as quickly as you can.

After around 20 seconds and every so often after, Ragnaros will spawn a Living Meteor. The Living Meteors will lock onto and follow a random player until it crashes into them or they attack it in order to knock it back. Should the Meteor hit the player or any other player, it will explode and virtually one-shot that player and anyone around them. Each Meteor needs to be kited for as long as possible by the player it is targeting, which in and of itself isn't that bad.

Try to kite the meteors as much to the outside edge as you possibly can; this avoids their rolling into large clusters of players and the melee group. However, an issue comes in the form of Engulfing Flame, which can totally ruin your kiting path. Further, once the Meteor is struck, it will pick an entirely new, random player, which can also cause a horrid kiting path that draws it right through tons of players. Everyone needs to focus on what is going on around them at all times; you cannot get hit by a Meteor.

Avoiding things at the start should prove pretty easy, but as this phase drags on, it gets harder and harder. Five Meteors is around what you want to shoot for getting; beyond that point, it gets ridiculous to try and avoid everything, and players are going to start hitting things and dying. This soft enrage comes relatively soon, so you don't have a lot of time. You must put as much DPS on Ragnaros as you possibly can -- it is absolutely essential.

Bringing the Fire Lord down to 10% wins the day, as he retreats back into his lava pool at that point. Manage to make it that far, and congrats -- you've cleared Firelands!

Ready Check shares all the strategies and inside information you need to take your raiding to the next level. Be sure to look up our strategy guides to Cataclysm's 5-man instances, and for more healer-centric advice, visit Raid Rx.

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