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The Light and How to Swing It: Mastering the Troves of the Thunder King as a paladin

Matt Walsh

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Protection specialist Matt Walsh spends most of his time receiving concussions for the benefit of 9 other people, obsessing over his hair, and maintaining the tankadin-focused blog Righteous Defense.

Fortune and glory, kid. Nothing animates like the prospect of a massive pile of treasure, especially when you're racing against the clock and greedily snatching up as much as you can. The trick, in the end, is to be prepared for any obstacles thrown at you -- that is what separates the Indiana Joneses of this world from the Satipos. And if you prefer to be the former and exit the scenario with more gold than you can carry, you'll need to do your homework before you plunge into this exciting new feature from patch 5.2.

Thankfully, paladins tend to have a lot of tricks up their sleeves and with the new talent system that is doubly true. With the right preparation, we can make the most of our toolset and claw our way to the end of the loot run with a minimum of muss or fuss.

What's the goal here?

There are several goals that you can pursue while working through the scenario. The most obvious one is just to grab as much loot as you can carry: gold, Tattered Historical Parchments, Elder Charms, Ritual Stones, and more. There's even a chance at a raid finder-quality epic item. In addition to all that, there are the meta goals outlined in the achievement In the Hall of the Thunder King, if achievements are your thing.

Ultimately, the goal in your loot run is going to be to open the most chests that you possibly can before the timer elapses. There are two types of chests, plain ones and the shinier Golden Chests. The more Golden Chests you open the better your chances will be at exiting with a really excellent haul, so you'll want to focus on seeking those out.

There are multiple paths you can take to fulfill that goal, and some people find more luck with clearing out the entirety of the first room, or maybe the entirety of the second, while others strive to beat feet all the way to the end of the scenario where three Golden Chests await and extract manually with Tenwu. Ahead I'm going to outline how to make all the way it to the end of the zone and meet up with Tenwu, though you may decide that's not the best path for you.


Like I previously alluded, as a paladin we have a whole array of tools and abilities that can make our loot runs a little easier. Here's what you're going want to do to give you the upper hand:

  • Most obviously, spec as retribution. With speed being as key as it is, every ounce of dps matters when you find yourself wrangling with one of the many enemies in the scenario.
  • Pick up the Pursuit of Justice talent for the always-on run-speed bonus.
  • Get Repentance, which will be helpful for avoiding the patrolling troll add in the second room.
  • Speccing Clemency will give you access to two Hands of Freedom every 25 seconds, which won't be unhelpful. Even with having access to Emancipate as retribution, every spell that removes a slow or snare is welcome for a worst-case scenario.
  • Grab the Holy Avenger talent. There won't be many opportunities to get in combat, and what you do end up tumbling with you want to burst down as soon as humanly possibly.
  • If you are exalted with Kirin Tor Offensive or the Sunreaver Onslaught, you will want to consider grabbing a Polymorphic Key for the price of three Elder Charms. For those intending to reach the last room, you'll find that key will shave an invaluable amount of time off your run.
  • Lastly, if you're following the path in this video to grab the secret chests in the first room, you'll want to glyph Falling Avenger for the slowfall to grab the second golden chest at the end of the video (unless you're an engineer with a glider). But that's a niche option -- if your goal is to make it to the end you'll want to save your Avenging Wrath cooldown for combat.
How to reach Tenwu with time to spare

First things first, make sure you watch this video from Icy-Veins, which will give you an idea of everything that the scenario will throw at you. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of loot.

As soon as the doors open, veer right and grab the green rune on the floor. These give you a brief speed boost and (more importantly, in my opinion) heal a chunk of your health. You won't have much time to heal if you accidentally set off a trap, so any free, casting-free healing will be helpful.

Barrel forward towards the lighting traps just ahead. If it looks like you are going to get zapped, use Hand of Freedom to coast right through the electricity without being snared. With Pursuit of Justice you should be able to easily outrun the smash of the many Mogu statues, so just keep moving forward, don't try to veer sideways out of their slam. Hit the green rune and keep moving towards the left side of the stairs.

There's a small spider there who you can easily one-shot as you approach with a Judgment. Click the lever to open the door and continue into the hallway. Move towards the tiles and diagonally jump to the safe strip on their left and continue forward.

Continue past the second set of trap tiles that doesn't give you an easy way through. I found it easier just to use Divine Shield and plow right through, since jumping the double row is tricky without a speed boost.

Entering the second courtyard, continue forward towards the green rune just ahead. Patrolling beyond that is a troll, who you'll want to slap with Repentance as soon as he's in range. Snag the green rune and follow the circle counter-clockwise to then jump the broken fence just ahead where another troll awaits.

Burn down that troll and kill the spider nearby and hit the lever. Hit the green rune and beat feet down back to the broken fence, then hairpin turn up the path to the next door.

This next hallway up ahead is easily traversed. Stick to the safe spots on the left and grab the green rune as you pass through.

In the next room, there are two large stone enemies, one on each side. If you have a Polymorphic Key, this room is cake -- just use it on the door on the right and continue on your merry way. If you don't have one, though, you'll need to hit the lever on the left door to open the right door, which necessitates fighting both guardians rather than just the one.

Keep in mind you do not want to fight the guardians next to the quilen, as doing so will activate them. Use Judgment to range pull them to a safe spot, out of the lighting. You'll probably find it best to pull both (maybe grab the second with Reckoning) to speed up burning them down.

Regardless, this is the room where most to-the-end runs tend to get bogged down, so be careful you don't spend too much time here and don't take on more than you can handle.

Once you exit through the right door, start making a straight line for the green rune on the way to the troll boss. Don't cross into any of the circular perimeter sensors, as you really don't want to wake up a quilen and slow yourself down. As you get within range of the boss, use Judgment to pull him over to a "safe" spot behind one of the massive mogu statues (not in front!). Don't engage him in front of the chests, this will wake up the quilen.

When fighting the boss, you want to explode on him with all your fury -- pop everything! Guardian of Ancient Kings, then Avenging Wrath and Holy Avengers. Be extra careful of his knockbacks and don't accidentally get punted into a circle alarm or in front of a statue smash. Just pour all your dps into him and quickly he will keel over dead.

Loot the Golden Chest he carried on his back, and then pick up the chests he was standing in front of, which includes two more golden chests. At this point depending on how much time you have left you want to loot each and every chest you can find in the room while leaving enough time to talk to Tenwu and port out. Manually extracting will guarantee you an extra Burial Trove Key for the safe room.

Once in said safe room, crack open any of the burial trove chests you can and take stock of all your well-earned loot. Hopefully RNG will be kind and shower you with more gold than you can handle!

With all that said, I now turn to you: what path do you like to take for the scenario? How have you fared on your runs? Have you found any really helpful shortcuts or particularly valuable nooks with Golden Chests?

The Light and How to Swing It shows paladin tanks how to combat the Sha in the strange new land of Pandaria. Try out the new control gearing strategy, learn how to make the most of the new active mitigation system on your tankadin, and check out how to deck out your fresh 90 tank to get ready for any raids!

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