Last time, we cleared through the game's level 60 content. This week, we'll turn things up a notch and start with material from The Burning Crusade, which is personally my favorite tier.
Getting there All of The Burning Crusade 5-mans are located in Outland, with three exceptions. CoT: Durnholde and CoT: Black Morass are both accessible from the Caverns of Time, which is most easily reached (for most people) by flying east from Uldum. Magister's Terrace is located in the Shattered Sun Offensive area, which is located at the northern tip of Eastern Kingdoms. You can fly there, but it's easiest to go to Shattrath in Outland, which has a portal directly there.
Strategy No strategy needed, really. There are a few bosses that deal damage based on your hit points that remain somewhat challenging, and Magister's Terrace can be a bit tricky at first, but a full clear of every instance should only take a few hours.
Rewards Lots of rep items for various Burning Crusade factions; if I'm counting correctly, you can level nine factions to exalted through BC 5-mans. Second, a small but not insignificant amount of gold, especially for enchanters who can DE and sell the components. Finally, a few rare mounts/companions/novelty items to brighten your day, such as the Reins of the Raven Lord off Anzu in Sethekk Halls or the Swift White Hawkstrider from Kael'thas in MgT.
Ah, Karazhan. This tower, which contains 12 boss encounters spread over 17 floors, is considered by many to be the finest instance ever designed by Blizzard. Even though there's not much in the way of rewards here, every raider needs to check this place out at least once to bask in the glory of what was.
Getting there Karazhan is located in Deadwind Pass. Alliance can fly out southeast from Stormwind, while Horde can head west from Stonard. As of 4.2, a key is no longer required to enter.
Strategy This raid was an excellent challenge at level 80 for the solo player; at level 85, it's a cakewalk. Every boss can simply be burned down. Start by entering the Stables and killing Attumen. You'll want to clear the trash first, as it does aggro when Attumen is pulled. From there, retrace your steps, climb the stairs into the Grand Ballroom, make a left into the Banquet Hall, and kill Moroes. Again, clear the trash in this room first. From there, return to the Grand Ballroom, climb the stairs, and go left into the Opera House. (Optionally, you can go right into the Guest Quarters and kill Maiden.)
Drop down from the balcony, follow the path up to the stage, and start the Opera Event; you'll face one of three encounters. Wizard of Oz is trivial. Romulo and Julianne is mostly simple, but when you face them together, you'll have to kill them roughly simultaneously, as they do rez each other given time. Finally, Big Bad Wolf requires alternating periods of DPS and kiting. No matter which event you get, you'll exit stage left once complete and climb the Broken Stair into the Menagerie. Before climbing the stair, a side entrance leads to the Master's Terrace, where Nightbane may be summoned if desired. Kill the trash in here, then Curator (beware, he has a large aggro radius).
Proceed into the Library. All of this trash is skippable. After getting through the large entry room, you'll have to proceed over several platforms linked by bridges. One platform contains imps and has the optional boss Illhoof hiding behind a bookshelf. A bit further on, the path will split, with the upward path leading up to the room containing Shade of Aran. While Shade is definitely optional, you'll want to kill him, as this allows you to teleport back here if you die.
Proceeding on, the path will split again. The left path leads to the optional dragon boss, Netherspite, while the right path leads to the Chess Event. Netherspite can be most easily soloed by pulling him out of this room, though this isn't strictly necessary.
There's no foolproof strategy for the Chess Event. I find moving a few pieces to open a line for your castle, then charging the enemy king with the castle/queen to work the best. After you complete the event, you'll only have a few trash mobs left between you and Prince Malchezaar. He still hits decently hard, so you'll want to save Berserk to power through his last phase.
Rewards Most every class can solo this raid at level 85; as a consequence, Blizzard drastically nerfed the gold drops in 4.1 for all of the early level 70 content. Most bosses drop only a few gold now. If you clear all bosses and vendor the epics, you'll probably make 150-200 gold -- nice, but not really worth the effort. Still, it goes fast. Once you know your way around, you can clear in 30-40 minutes. There's plenty of fun transmog loot and a chance at a rare mount off Attumen.
Gruul's was the entry-level 25man raid for The Burning Crusade. With only two bosses, there's not much here.
Getting there Take the portal to Outlands and fly to Blade's Edge.
Strategy Soloing the High King Maulgar encounter is possible but extremely difficult and requires a high level of gear and some luck. The encounter features Maulgar, who will beat on you mercilessly, thereby eliminating Cat Form as a reasonable option. There's also a mage who will hit you hard with spell damage, a warlock who hits moderately but periodically fears you, and a priest who will heal all of the above.
You'll have to target the priest in Bear Form, pop an agility potion and a trinket like Ancient Petrified Seed, and Berserk him down. The luck comes in the fear; you have to hope that it's desynced from the heals, so you can interrupt at least one successfully in addition to breaking one with a PVP trinket. If you can successfully burn the priest and the warlock somewhat simultaneously with berserked Mangle, you have a small chance to kill them and then take out the mage before you die as well. If you can get those three down without dying, you've essentially won. Whew. Once you can clear that fight, then Gruul is simple.
Rewards Personal satisfaction, a bit of gold, and some T4. The competition for the Dragonspine Trophy was quite epic back in the day.
Getting there This is the easiest instance in Outland to get to. Go through the portal to Outlands, and it's on the west side of the Hellfire Citadel complex, down at ground level.
Strategy There's even less here than in Gruul's -- a few packs of trash, then Mags. Mags himself has five channelers, who will each summon one add plus toss a large heal on any target who drops below 50% HP. You can't just ignore the channelers, as the combined damage from channelers plus the adds plus Mags will eventually overwhelm your self-healing, even at level 85.
This makes things tricky; however, the large heal from the channelers has a decent cooldown. You'll want to work multiple targets down to 60% HP, push one below 50% slowly, then quickly burst down one to two others while the first target gets spam healed. It takes a little practice and some luck (you need berserked Mangle to hit a channeler, and not an add), but it's very doable. If you don't get at least two channelers down with your first Berserk, reset the fight by kiting everything around for a few seconds. Once you successfully kill three of five channelers, the rest is pretty simple. Heck, with good gear, you can probably just stay in Bear and Thrash/Swipe everything for 10 minutes.
Rewards Similar to Gruul's -- a bit of gold and some epics to sell, though this place is much easier to solo.
That finishes up the easier fights in The Burning Crusade. Next time, we'll take a look at tier 5, which is more difficult but much more profitable. Enjoy!
Looking for the latest and greatest in feral cat druid guides? Shifting Perspectives has the answers! Check out our cat 101 for Cataclysm. Also don't miss gearing your cat for Firelands raiding, addons for cat druids and raiding strats for feral cats, as well as our feral cat Firelands boss strats.