A detailed strategy on defeating the final boss of Firelands: Ragnaros


200px-Ragnaros2Being the seventh and final boss, it’s hard to argue against Ragnaros being the most difficult encounter in the Firelands raid. His encounter in broken in to three phases, with two transition phases in-between those. This fight relies on heavy coordination and raid awareness, and has a very high learning curve for newcomers in to the raiding scene. This guide will help you defeat the Firelord and ease the growing pains in learning each phase’s mechanics. Ragnaros has both a normal and heroic difficulty, and this guide will go over the normal mode version of this encounter.

Before we begin walking through each phase, make sure your raid is prepared. Proper flasks and food buffs should always be a given, and you need to make sure you have a good raid composition to ensure that you maximize your potential against the final boss of Firelands. Generally you want to utilize as many class-related buffs as possible, but there is a general guideline for raid composition via class roles. In 10-man, you want 2 tanks, 2-3 healers and 5-6 DPS.

Understand that the amount of healers and DPS can vary depending on your raid’s strengths and weaknesses. For example: if you only have two single-target dominant healers or two raid healing-focused classes in your 10-man raid, you don’t want to try and only two-heal this encounter because it requires both heavy single target and raid healing. A good example of a 10-man raid that can pull off two-healing this encounter would be a Paladin/Disc Priest and a Shaman/Druid/Holy Priest.

As mentioned previously, Ragnaros has three phases with two transition phases between each phase. The first phase lasts from 100% – 70% HP, the second from 70% – 40% HP, and the last from 40% to 10% HP (with an exception to heroic mode for the last phase – which will be mentioned later on in this guide – whereas Ragnaros reaches 10% and goes in to an additional phase). The transition phases last until 45 seconds have passed or all the adds have been destroyed. On top of this, Ragnaros is stationary the entire duration of the fight. He stays in his pool of lava directly in the front-center of the room and will annihilate your entire raid if he has nobody in melee range to hit. Obviously, this should never happen.

Phase 1 – By Fire Be Purged!

Phase 1 is the easiest of all the phases, and it’s a good introductory to some of the base mechanics of Ragnaros that will be persistent throughout the entire fight. In this phase, both of your tanks should be relatively close to one-another. It’s ideal to have your entire party clustered around one side of the platform that you’re fighting on – as obvious, his platform is gigantic and it’s easy to get out of reach of a healer if you stray too far off to one side. For this reason, it’s recommended that you set a general area that your group revolves around as to prevent people from getting out of reach from the rest of the party. You also want your party to spread out slightly within this designated region about 8 or more yards apart, as Ragnaros will randomly cast an ability called ‘Wrath of Ragnaros’ that will knock a random party member up and do a fair amount of damage to them, as well as any party member within 6 yards of his target. Obviously, you want to mitigate this to only one person getting knocked up and taking damage to make things easier for everyone in your party.

The next ability Ragnaros has at his disposal is ‘Sulfuras Smash’, which is persistent through all three of the main phases. Roughly every 40 seconds or so, Ragnaros will mark a target close to him with three lava pools close together and then smash his hammer on top of it. If you get caught underneath the hammer, you’ll take a massive amount of damage and more than likely die from it. On top of this, the hammer creates three individual lava waves that disperse from it from either side and in front of it in a ‘T’ formation. If someone is caught within these lava waves, they take a moderate amount of damage and are afflicted by a damage over time that can be dispelled. These waves do not move that fast and can be easily avoided and predicted, so nobody should ever be getting hit by them. However, if someone does it’s imperative you cleanse the DoT immediately as it will kill the player if they didn’t already die from the initial damage and knockback from the wave.

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