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Ready Check: Sartharion plus 3 Drakes


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we take on a dragon and his mates. Yeah.

Last week we provided an outline of the Sartharion encounter, promising to deliver more detail this week on how to beat the boss with all three of his drake companions alive at the pull. This is commonly called 'hard mode' and, although it's not for the faint hearted, it's by no means impossible either. However, excellent co-ordination and DPS are required in order to keep the fight under control and things can quickly degenerate into chaos.

When to attempt 3 drakes

Is your guild or raid group ready to even try 3 drakes? There's no hard-and-fast rule that says 'you need to be this awesome to leave three drakes alive'. If you're thinking about trying it, we'd hope that you've already killed Sartharion, probably with one or two adds already alive. You've cleared Naxx and are decked out in gear, you have a diverse pool of people to draw from, and you can communicate with each other. That's all you need, really, although a couple of things can help, including a well geared tank and complementary DPS.

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Filed under: Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Sartharion



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we try to avoid dying in a fire. Again.


In keeping with this weekend's theme, we all know there's nothing that shows your love for another pixellated avatar as sincerely as slaying a dragon for them. Throughout history, knights in shining armour have triumphed victorious in the face of fire-breathing monsters, and this week's Ready Check is no exception. (We'll deal with Sartharion's frost-breathing compatriot in an upcoming week, don't fret!)

Sartharion the Onyx Guardian is a 'standalone' boss located in the Obsidian Sanctum below Wyrmrest Temple. Accompanied by a trio of lesser drakes, this encounter can be approached a number of ways, making it challenging to a wide audience. Although clearing the trash is necessary, killing the drakes before engaging Sartharion is optional; any drakes left alive before beginning the fight will join in during the encounter, adding extra challenge (and loot) to those who desire it.

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Filed under: Tips, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Preparing for Ulduar


Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look to the future...

In amongst detailed tactical explanations of the various bosses currently residing in the available level 80 raid instances, let's take a break to look at the bigger picture. Many guilds are in a situation several of you can relate to: having cleared Naxxramas, the Eye of Eternity and the Obsidian Sanctum (let's not pretend Vault of Archavon's a proper raid instance), there's nothing left to do but clear them again. And again. And again...

Welcome to farm status. Whether you struggled to defeat the final denizens of these dungeons or facerolled it all in the first week, eventually raiders reach a common plateau with everything killed and these kills more or less easily repeatable. When at this point, there are several different directions you can go, and I'm sure we've all seen other people do one or more of the following: get bored and simply stop showing up; get greedy and focus entirely on loot, playing sloppily and angsting over drops; level an alt and suddenly have the world revolve around that character, trying to get it into raids because your main doesn't need loot; or hunker down and start preparing for the future.

This week's column deals with the latter, but if you're seeing people exhibit less-than-savoury behaviour now you clear everything in one night a week, it can be very telling -- especially if they're a recent recruit. With the leisure of a farm period, you have time to deal with these people as your guild sees fit, although boredom is a real problem when farm periods are long (such as the gap between Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau). With nothing to interest hardcore raiders in the game any more, real life starts rearing its head, and many guilds lose important players at this time, replacing them with untried raiders who might seem great on farm content but whose skill on progress raids is an unknown. There's no real solution to this, it happens, and it's up to your guild how you deal with it.

So how does a guild prepare for a raid instance nobody knows much about?

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Filed under: Tips, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Military Quarter)



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we visit some Death Knights in their natural habitat.

Are you a fan of our new death knight brethren? If so, you're in for a treat: there are plenty of them in store for you in this quarter of Naxxramas, as we continue our journey towards Kel'Thuzad's throne. Our whistlestop tour will pop in and visit Instructor Razuvious, Gothik the Harvester and finally the Four Horsemen, whose charismatic yells punctuate the wing as a whole.

Remember, if you want everything to be a surprise, don't read beyond the cut!

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Filed under: Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Plague Quarter)



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we continue exploring Naxxramas by venturing into the territory of plague beasties.

Continuing our journey through the halls of Naxxramas, which began last week with the Arachnid Quarter, this week's Ready Check takes a close-up view of the Plague Quarter. As with last week's guide, don't read any further if you want everything to be a surprise when you venture in.

We'll be looking at Noth the Plaguebringer, Heigan the Unclean and Loatheb. But first, let's talk about trash...

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Filed under: How-tos, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Arachnid Quarter)



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at the first few bosses in Naxxramas.

Today we'll be looking at a blast from the past, revisiting Naxxramas and providing details on the boss encounters that await those brave enough to enter the dread citadel. For those of you who haven't had a chance to look inside the all-new Naxx, here's your spoiler warning: look away now if you don't want to hear about what's in store.

This week's article examines the Arachnid Quarter, and we'll be visiting the other quarters in upcoming articles. We'll look at each boss on both normal and heroic modes, pointing out the differences (beyond HP increases). Generally, if you've defeated the boss on normal mode, there are only minor changes to adapt to on heroic mode (and vice versa).

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Everything's dead, Dave



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we look at the sort of people who've already killed everything, and ask "Why?"...

There's been a lot of discussion over the last week concerning hardcore raiders -- specifically those among the raiding corps who've raced to 80 as fast as possible and cleared every instance in game already. To people outside this group, it's quite easy to get a bit carried away when discussing raiders: these people don't have jobs, they ruin the game for themselves, they can't be actually enjoying a moment of it...

None of the above is true, of course. This week's Ready Check looks at the current raiding game from the perspective of one who's cleared it all, and attempts to inject a little myth-busting and reality into the hyperbole.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Preparing for Wrath raiding



Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we venture into new (well, sort of) territory...

While many people are taking a leisurely stroll towards 80, seeing the sights and exploring all the new content, there's a sizeable contingent of players racing to get to the level cap as soon as possible so the real fun can begin. Many of these are aiming to raid immediately, but there's a lot of catching up to do before our WotLK endgame knowledge matches the depth of its TBC counterpart.

So if you are planning to raid early on, and are wondering about gear, preparation and whether you should buy that mammoth or not, we're here to help.

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Filed under: Tips, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Ready Check (Raiding)

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