With the right followers, it's possible to get yourself a piece of genuine Highmaul raid loot without ever setting foot inside the raid. Before you endeavor to do this, you should know that the Dwarven Bunker/War Mill and Salvage Yard are basically required to do this in any sane amount of time. You need both buildings to get enough follower armor and weapon upgrades, as these missions require a roster of ilvl 645+ followers to complete.
Raid mission basics
- Your first raid mission will unlock when you have 3 followers at 645 or higher item level.
- The mission should stick around for at least a couple days if you want to spend some time getting other followers ready.
- After completing a raid mission, your next one will unlock 2 weeks later.
- Any piece of loot from the raid appropriate to your loot specialization can drop, with the exception of weapons. Just like normal drops, these can be warforged, socketed, or have tertiary stats.
- The quality of loot is based on your current progression in the raid itself:
- Normal caches (ilvl 655 loot) are rewarded if you've killed 0-14 bosses in normal mode.
- Heroic caches (ilvl 670 loot) are rewarded if you've killed 15+ bosses in normal mode.
- Mythic caches (ilvl 685 loot) are rewarded if you've killed 15+ bosses in heroic mode.
- Mythic caches plus a bonus of 1000 gold are rewarded if you've killed 15+ bosses in mythic mode.
Assembling a raid of followers
Raid missions have 6 abilities that need to be countered from 3 followers, meaning epic followers will be required to get 100% success chance. When you get a Highmaul mission, it will be one of 4 random missions with a different set of required counters. It can be difficult to perfectly counter every mission, but it's definitely possible.
- Highmaul Raid 1: Wild Aggression, Powerful Spell, Massive Strike, Deadly Minions, Timed Battle, Danger Zones
- Highmaul Raid 2: 2x Group Damage, Minion Swarms, Magic Debuff, Danger Zones, Wild Aggression,
- Highmaul Raid 3: 2x Timed Battle, Minion Swarms, Magic Debuff, Deadly Minions, Massive Strike
- Ogreslayer, Gronnslayer, Marshwalker, or Plainsrunner (each of the 4 missions has one of these)
- Racial traits (e.g. Ally of Argus, Child of Draenor)
- High Stamina (or Burst of Power combined with Epic Mount)
- Blook with his Combat Experience trait. This trait is unique to Blook.
- Increasing follower item levels up to the current cap of 655.
We've talked about this addon before at WoW Insider, but it needs repeating. Master Plan will change your life if you run a lot of follower missions. It makes follower mission management a whole lot simpler. Recently, the author has also added a new tab to the mission interface called "Missions of Interest." Here you can see all of the Highmaul missions and how well you currently counter them. Abilities you can't counter will be highlighted in red, and it will show you what your current best team is for the mission. I'm hoping this feature is expanded in the future to show projected success chance as well.
Blackrock Foundry missions are still an unknown at this point. If they do happen come February, it's a good bet they will require higher item levels for your followers, so keep on saving those upgrade tokens.