Challenge modes 101: Finding a group before it's too late

This is the first in a series on getting challenge modes done before the Warlords of Draenor content patch. You will find all the articles in the series here.

Because challenge modes for Mists of Pandaria dungeons are set to disappear in the Warlords of Draenor content patch, I thought it might be helpful to run a series on how to get your golds squared away before that happens.

I would advise everyone to read Adam Koebel's article from January on getting started with challenge modes. I won't repeat the excellent advice given there, but will try to expand on it for the benefit of players who are trying to get all 9 golds done quickly. Take heart: My character is living proof that no one is too dumb or incompetent to do these things.

Fortunately or unfortunately, putting a group together is often the most difficult step. If you're having problems getting a group on your own server, there are other options available.

OpenRaid's forums have always been a good place to get groups, and there's been renewed interest in challenge modes with the deadline approaching. You'll find posts looking for groups and additional players here:

The official forums also have dedicated challenge mode threads for players looking to form a group or join an existing one. The threads linked below will get locked once full, and someone will create a new thread. It'll always be in the Raid & Dungeon forum for your region.

Reddit's /r/wow community Not as useful as OpenRaid or the forums, but you'll see occasional CM threads and good advice here.

Be advised: One of the persistent problems with finding a group is that many want players who already have challenge mode experience. This is usually for groups where the organizer already has gold on a main toon and wants easy runs on an alt. While it sucks for players who are just starting out, not all groups do this.

Does group composition matter? Not really. If you're going for record times, the standard composition for a competitive CM group is a brewmaster monk, discipline priest, hunter, mage, and elemental shaman. If you don't care about competing for the best times, group composition won't matter too much. The specific classes/specs you have in your group are less important than making sure everyone's got their interrupts, silences, stuns, and cooldowns hotkeyed somewhere convenient.

Note: The one time that group composition might be relevant is if you've got a group full of melee. Melee are at a disadvantage in many of the dungeons due to mob and boss AOEs. (I assume this is shocking news to absolutely no one.) That doesn't mean don't take them -- it just means that the healing requirements for an all-melee group will be higher than for an all-ranged group.