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How to get started in LFR whether you're a new 90 or a boosted 90

If you've just gotten your first character -- or your second or third -- to level 90, you might be looking to check out the raiding game. Fortunately, the looking for raid (or LFR) tool makes it easier than ever to jump into raid content without a lot of complicated scheduling and planning... but that doesn't mean LFR is easy mode. It's true, LFR has simplified versions of boss fights compared to flex or heroic raids -- but when you're gathering up 25 random players who might not even speak the same language, simplifying things is a must if the group is going to progress.

However, despite their relative ease, there's still some work to be done to do your best in LFR -- and in the process make the raiding experience easier on you and your group mates. We'll walk you through the game's LFRs and what you need to do to get there.
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Gear up and get ready
Whether you've boosted a character to 90 or leveled to 90, there's some preparation to be done before you jump into raiding. The first step is making sure you have an idea of what you're doing before you get started. If you've been leveling this character, you probably have a good idea -- but you probably also have some new abilities to figure out how to work with. If you're a boosted character, though, you might be totally at sea as to how your new class works.

We're not going to jump on the bandwagon of blaming boosted 90s for wipes, but if this is a new class to you, you probably don't know all of the ins and outs just yet, so take the time to learn it. Be sure you've picked talents and glyphs. Check out your abilities and figure out a good rotation -- training dummies, proving grounds, or even just getting into combat while doing daily quests can be good practice for learning your stuff. If you're at more of a loss than that, check out Icy Veins' class guides, which will help you figure out a good level 90 build with talents and glyphs as well as walk you through ideal rotations.

Once you've figured out what you're doing, you should make sure your gear is up to the task. You'll need to meet a certain item level -- and, for multi-part raids, have done previous parts -- before you can enter different raids, but just meeting that level doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to do your best. Take a hard look at your gear and be sure you've got the stats -- like meeting hit and expertise caps -- that you need to perform your best.

Whether you're struggling to meet an item level requirement or just trying to improve your gear, Timeless Isle is one-stop shopping for level 496 epic gear -- and you should definitely make a pass through the isle grabbing chests to improve your gear before you first head into LFR. If you're a PvP fan you can also get some very nice gear with honor -- and if you aren't a PvP fan, you can collect honor at level 90 through quests that don't make you PvP at all.

When you have your gear, you'll want to look into reforging, enchanting, and gemming it to make the most of what you've got. Since you're likely to replace some -- or all -- of it quickly, you probably don't want to dump a lot of gold into this process, but even cheaper enchants and gems can make a big difference in your raid game. It can be an annoying process, but check out these addons which will make it easier.
Your LFR options
Using LFR is simple: just open your Dungeon Finder (click "I" or the green circle in your button bar), click Raid Finder on the left, select the raid you'd like from the drop-down, select a raid role, and click Find Group. You can queue for multiple raids at once by selecting a different raid and clicking Find Group for it as well. When enough players of the right roles have queued, a notification will pop up and you'll be teleported directly to the raid -- or you may also be pulled into a raid in progress that needs additional players.

Queue times will vary, but you can see the average wait time by mousing over the Dungeon Finder icon by your mini map. While you can run these raids as much as you'd like, you can only loot each boss once a week. (However, you can collect loot from both LFR raids and non-LFR raids each week, if you're so inclined.) Here are the Mists of Pandaria raids and their requirements:

Mogu'shan Vaults
  • Broken into two parts for LFR: Guardians of Mogu'shan and The Vault of Mysteries.
  • Requires ilvl 460, which boosted characters already have and other characters can get easily enough by visiting Timeless Isle or running heroics.
  • Drops ilvl 476 gear, so you won't find ilvl upgrades, but you may find gear with better allocated stats than what you're wearing. Also, you can pick up tier gear for looks as well as gold and valor.
  • To get up to speed on the fights, check Ten Ton Hammer's guide, which includes handy macros to get everyone up to speed on the fights.

Terrace of Endless Spring
  • Requires ilvl 470, which boosted characters already have and other characters can get by running Mogu'shan and visiting Timeless Isle.
  • Drops ilvl 483 gear, so again no definitive upgrades -- but likely gear with better allocated stats as well as tier gear, valor, and gold.
  • To get up to speed on the fights, check Ten Ton Hammer's guide, which includes handy macros to get everyone up to speed on the fights.

Heart of Fear
  • Broken into two parts for LFR: The Dread Approach and Nightmares of Shek'zeer.
  • Requires ilvl 470, which boosted characters already have and other characters can get by running Mogu'shan and visiting Timeless Isle.
  • Drops ilvl 483 gear, so again no straight upgrades -- but you may well find side-grades with better allocated stats as well as tier gear, valor, and gold.
  • To get up to speed on the fights, check out Ten Ton Hammer's guide, which includes handy macros to get everyone up to speed on the fights.

Throne of Thunder
Siege of Orgrimmar
  • Broken into four parts for LFR: Vale of Eternal Sorrow, Gates of Retribution, The Underhold, and Downhall.
  • Requires ilvl 496, which is more than what boosted characters start with, but easily obtainable with gear from the Timeless Isle and Throne of Thunder. Non-boosted characters should hit up Timeless Isle and work their way through other raids to get here.
  • Drops ilvl 528 gear, which should be a sizable upgrade over anything else you might get.
  • To get up to speed on the fights, check our Bosses in 5 Seconds feature for Vale of Eternal Sorrow, Gates of Retribution, The Underhold, and Downhall. Also, check out Ten Ton Hammer's guides for Vale of Eternal Sorrow, Gates of Retribution, The Underhold, and Downhall.
And, as always, good luck out there!


Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.

Filed under: WoW Rookie

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