This post on four man raiding is about one of my favorite raids ever, Ulduar. At the time it was out and considered end game content I was just getting into raiding. We didn’t spend a lot of time in there since other raids were coming out when our raid group finally got up and running. So being able to go back and visit it with my close friends and get achievements and gear for transmogrification is awesome!
Ulduar is unique when farming with four people, it still can be difficult at points and for some of the harder achievements I would suggest having a good item level for attempting them. As usual we always run with a tank, healer and two damage dealers.
About the Raid:
Ulduar is a raid dungeon in the titan complex of Ulduar which is located in the Storm Peaks. It serves as the prison of the Old God Yogg-Saron as well as the current residence of most of the titanic watchers who have fallen under its influence.
For more information on the history of the raid visit here.
Layout of the Raid:
14 boss encounters. Ten of those have hard modes (different from normal and heroic modes). Algalon the Observer is a hard mode-only but optional encounter. Encounters completed on hard modes reward achievements as well as extra and/or improved item rewards.
Players use a teleportation system to get to different areas of the raid.
There are three mounts available in Ulduar, one from completing certain achievements the 10 man raid and another from completing certain achievements in the 25 man raid. The third is Mimiron’s Head, a very rare drop off of the last boss Yogg-Saron with no watchers up in the 25 man encounter.
The raid does not follow a completely linear progression; Yogg-Saron and Algalon the Observer are regarded as the most difficult encounters, and are accessible independent of each other.
When attempting Yogg-Saron players can choose to have certain watchers help them. Once the players have freed the watchers they can help buff you in your attack on Yogg. The buffs include:
Mimiron – Increases all damage done by the raid group by 10%, and movement speed by 20%. During phase two he also shoots a beam at tentacles that reduces their attack speed by 100% and their casting speed by 300%.
Freya – Increases damage done by 10% and healing received by 20%. Also creates Sanity Wells, which are green beams of light that restore Sanity when players stand in them.
Thorim – Increases all damage done by 10% and total HP by 20%. Also uses an ability during phase three which kills Immortal guardians with 1% health.
Hodir – Increases all damage done by 10% and reduces damage taken by 20%. Will also use Hodir’s Protective Gaze which will sometimes save a player from death by encasing them in a block of ice.
List of Achievements:
Want a Rusted Proto-Drake? Here’s what you need to get one, click here (this is 10 man).
For a full list of the Ulduar achievements please click here (this shows only 10 man).
The roles we fill in the group:
We don’t really change our roles up too much in Ulduar since the current gear item level is so much higher it isn’t too difficult. I will say it’s not as easy as ICC, however it’s nothing you will stress over either. Also, things have gotten easier since the last patch was released with the gear available from the new 5 mans and the Dragon Soul raid.
Currently all of our toons are level 85 and our gear scores vary in range from 364-403, so keep that in mind when attempting Ulduar. I’m confident that you can complete this raid with less of an item level and with less and more than 4 people, however this is just how my friends and I have it set up for us.
Suggestions, Loot, and Things to Keep in Mind:
Make a list of gear and weapons you want before going into the raid and share this with your friends. This makes it much easier to know who gets what when things drop. This is all Tier 8 gear that drops in Ulduar, to check out your set click here. For a complete list of the loot drops in Ulduar click here.
I can’t stress it enough to really know the fights, yes it’s not super hard but if you want certain achievements you need to plan accordingly. It took us a while to get our damage figured out on Razorscale so we could get our Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare achievement! You still need to do your research on the encounters and prepare accordingly.
Remember that 10 man raiding rewards up until Cataclysm were different than 25 man raiding rewards. So if you want something from a 25 man raid that was released in Wrath of the Lich King you need to up your numbers of people and make sure you have the raid set on 25m.
My Impression of 4 manning Ulduar and Where Things Still Can be Tricky
Since coming back to the game and getting some new pieces of gear I have to say healing Ulduar is a lot easier than it was when we started! It’s easier, however I still have to be ready for damage, here are my impressions of the encounters as a healer:
Flame Leviathan, players will use vehicles to down this boss. At this level you can pretty much just run with the demolishers for that encounter. However don’t forget to ride each vehicle at least once for an achievement!
Ignis the Furnance Master, is one of my favorite fights in Ulduar and always has been. It’s not hard to heal or to deal with. Just enjoy sitting in the pot and remember if you need to you can still heal while you are in there.
XT-002 Deconstructor, when he stomps the ground (Tympanic Tantrum) it still hurts the group for a lot. I pop cooldowns on this part of the encounter. We only usually experience one Tantrum but be prepared for it since it still can hurt your group.
The Assembly of Iron will give the tank a magic debuff (Fusion Punch) that you still HAVE to cleanse! It ticks and it needs to be removed from the tank ASAP. You can tell it’s about to happen when Steelbreaker raises his hand in the air, when it comes down he casts the debuff on the tank.
Kologarn is really a tank and dps fight. I usually sit back and toss some heals while they worry about what percentage the arms are at. I just throw some heals and run out of the room if I get his eyes on me.
Auriaya was one fight I hated back in the day but now it’s really nothing big. My only warning is that she patrols the outside of the room that leads to other bosses. When you are pulling the trash in the room please make sure you see where she is, nothing like having a pack of cats and a screaming woman attacking you when you aren’t prepared! The only thing to watch for is if your dps isn’t high enough and she might get a fear off. If you haven’t cleared the trash nearby you could have more visitors.
Mimiron on hard mode will have you juggling fire, heals, missiles (that can still almost one shot) and if you have no range you might have to dps the head during the final encounter. This fight will keep you on your toes!
Freya, I hated her back in the day and now since it’s more of a dps fight and I don’t have to heal I enjoy it. This fight will take coordination with the dps to find the adds and get them down so that you can focus on her.
Thorim, I loved this fight before and I still do, it’s one of my favorites. For this you will need to split your group and have one dps stay in the room to kill the adds and then have your tank and other dps run down the hall to him. I really don’t heal much on this encounter, I’m just there just in case.
Hodir, is another great fight that can be tricky if you don’t know the encounter. As a healer there isn’t much to heal in this one either, unless someone doesn’t run to dispel the Biting Cold or if they don’t get out of the Icicles. For this fight remember to run around, and when Flash Freeze is happening get on the Snowdrifts!
General Vezax is not a hard fight, but you need to remember that he locks your mana regen, so if you do have to heal, which isn’t much at all even on hard mode, don’t go nuts just in case there is a bad mistake. Typically we have the range just run around the outside of the room to keep the Shadow Crashes out of melee. Your melee and/or tank will have to interrupt the Searing Flames as they happen.
Yogg-Saron is an interesting fight that I still don’t care for. As a healer you will have to be paying attention during this one, and even more so if you are going for the achievement One Light in the Darkness. Main thing on this fight is heal when needed, dispel and know where you need to be standing!
Algalon the Observer is a very interesting encounter and the strategy alone really calls for two tanks, however we have our ret pally as the off tank. I have to say that this is the only fight where I had to use my Lay on Hands due to my mistake on where I was standing. This is a fight you will need to research if you haven’t done it before.
I really love going back to Ulduar for the environment, the gear and for the achievements. As I said before we were able to get ourselves the 10 man Proto-Drake and tons of awesome transmogrification items and sets! I hope this post helps encourage some of you to go back and revisit the old content with your friends. It’s not super hard and even if there are just four of you, you’d be surprised at what all you can do!