Strategy: Ragnaros

Morynne —  September 30, 2011 — 7 Comments

Ragnaros in FirelandsYet another boss that needs help out of the tub.  Please note that this is written post-nerf.  You can expect some hard-mode strategies coming very soon.

  • Name: Ragnaros
  • Raid: Firelands
  • Tanks Needed: 2
  • Phases: 3, with 2 transition phases
  • Catch: Fire is bad, right?
  • This strategy is for the normal encounter.

This fight is reasonably chaotic, and positioning is important.  If you’re standing in the wrong place, you can and will wipe the raid.

Phase 1: Hammer Smash and Lava Waves

Your raid should be spread out around the room about 6 yards apart.  The left side will have mostly melee, as they too will have to spread out 6 yards apart. The right side will have some of your range — this is where your Hunters should hang out.  Misdirects aren’t possible from the left side of the platform.

Here’s what Rag does in phase 1:
  • Sulfuras Smash – Ragnaros faces the location of a random player and prepares to smash Sulfuras on the platform. The impact of Sulfuras inflicts 536250 to 563750 Fire damage to any player within 5 yards of the impact, and creates several Lava Waves which move out from the point of impact.
    • Lava Wave – If a player touches a moving Lava Wave, the lava inflicts 97500 to 102500 Fire damage, 29250 to 30750 Fire damage every 1 sec. for 5 sec., and knocks the player back.
  • Wrath of Ragnaros – Ragnaros blasts the location of a random player, inflicting 58500 to 61500 Fire damage to all players within 6 yards and knocking them back. In 25 player raids, Ragnaros blasts three locations.
  • Hand of Ragnaros – Ragnaros inflicts 29250 to 30750 Fire damage to all enemies within 55 yards, knocking them back.
  • Magma Trap Ragnaros launches a Magma Trap at a random player’s location. When the Magma Trap reaches the platform, it inflicts 58500 to 61500 Fire damage and knocks back players within 8 yards. The active Magma Trap persists for the duration of the encounter and triggers when stepped on, causing a Magma Trap Eruption.
    • Magma Trap Eruption – A triggered Magma Trap erupts for 78000 to 82000 Fire damage to all players, and violently knocks the triggering player into the air.The Magma Trap causes the triggering player to take 50% more damage from other Magma Traps. This effect lasts for 45 sec and stacks.
  • Magma Blast – Ragnaros blasts magma at his current target if he cannot reach and melee them, inflicting 73125 to 76875 Fire damage and increasing Fire damage taken by 50% for 6 sec.

Here’s what has to happen… your raid needs to pew pew the fire lord and be very spatially aware.  Magma traps will need to be popped when the raid is over 90%.  Typically there’s a designated person for this.  When the hammer smash comes down, make sure you’re standing off to an angle of the hammer because the waves go out in 3 directions: left, right, and away from Ragnaros.  They’re reasonably slow moving, and should be easily avoidable.  This phase lasts until 70%.

Transition 1: RNG Hates Your Raid

At 70%, Ragnaros will cast Splitting Blow, which sends fire adds around the platform. Ragnaros submerges for 45 seconds, or until all the adds are dead, whichever is first.

Here’s what the transition abilities look like:
  • Splitting Blow – Ragnaros buries Sulfuras within the platform, inflicting 68250 to 71750 Fire damage every 1 second to players within 6 yards and creating eight Sons of Flame that attempt to reach the mighty hammer.
  • Son of Flame – Sons of Flame cross the platform and attempt to reform with Sulfuras. A Son of Flame that reaches Sulfuras causes a Supernova.
    • Burning Speed – For every 5% of their remaining health above 50%, Sons of Flame move 75% faster. When players reduce a Son of Flame to below 50% remaining health, the Son of Flame loses the Burning Speed effect.
    • Supernova – When a Son of Flame reaches Sulfuras it explodes in a Supernova, inflicting 121875 to 128125 Fire damage to all players.
  • Lava Bolt – While Ragnaros lies submerged underneath the lava, bolts of hot magma fall on four random players every 4 seconds. A Lava Bolt inflicts 43875 to 46125 Fire Damage.In 25 player raids, bolts of hot magma fall on ten players.

The reason RNG hates your raid in this transition is that the splitting blow can be put in one of 3 places.  The Sons of Flame are rarely evenly distributed across the platform, creating a bit of a logistical nightmare for who DPSes what add.  It is absolutely critical that your more bursty DPSers work on the Sons closest to the hammer, if they do reach the hammer, it will likely wipe your raid.  It’s worth noting that the Sons can be stunned, and frankly should be in order to prevent them from getting to the hammer.  Once their health reaches 50%, your DPS should move to the closest Son, and kill it until they are all dead.

We split up the raid evenly between the two sides, assigning certain players to the closest two Sons on either side of the Hammer — regardless of where the split fell.  We also assigned “zones” to the remaining DPS on either side.  Let’s say that the split was favoring the left (having fewer on the right) the middle “zone” players on the right would move to help out on the left, leaving the “far” zone players on the right to handle the Sons that remained there.  This is something that is very raid composition dependent, and your strategy will likely be different.

Once the Sons are dead, Ragnaros comes back, and you move into Phase 2.

Phase 2: Second Verse, Same as the First (Not Really)

Ragnaros is back to his old tricks smashing the hammer around.  This time, your raid positioning is a little bit more important.  My advice: keep your entire raid off of the lighter part of the platform (the center).

Phase 2 Abilities
  • Sulfuras Smash – Ragnaros faces the location of a random player and prepares to smash Sulfuras on the platform. The impact of Sulfuras inflicts 536250 to 563750 Fire damage to any player within 5 yards of the impact, and creates several Lava Waves which move out from the point of impact.
    • Lava Wave – If a player touches a moving Lava Wave, the lava inflicts 97500 to 102500 Fire damage, 29250 to 30750 Fire damage every 1 sec. for 5 sec., and knocks the player back.
  • Engulfing Flame – Ragnaros periodically engulfs a random third of the platform in flames, immediately inflicting 68250 to 71750 Fire damage to players caught in the conflagration then again inflicting 68250 to 71750 Fire damage one second later.
  • Molten Seed – Ragnaros creates Molten Seed at the location of 10 random players from the nearby lava, inflicting 53625 to 56375 Fire damage to all players within 6 yards of a seed. After 10 sec the Molten Seed bursts into a Molten Inferno.In 25 player raids, Ragnaros targets 20 players.
    • Molten Inferno – When Molten Seeds burst they create a Molten Inferno, inflicting 135000 Fire damage to all players and creating a Molten Elemental. The damage inflicted decreases the farther away the player stands from the seed.
    • Molten Elemental – A Molten Inferno creates a Molten Elemental, which attacks and fixates on a random player.
  • Magma Blast – Ragnaros blasts magma at his current target if he cannot reach and melee them, inflicting 73125 to 76875 Fire damage and increasing Fire damage taken by 50% for 6 sec.

So what’s different? Periodically, Ragnaros will create Molten seeds at the location of players, and the further away you are from these seeds when they burst, the less damage you end up taking.  This is a very healing intensive phase.  During the seed phase, your raid will need to stack up in the center of the platform and utilize as much AOE healing as possible.  Elementals will spawn and try to kill your raid, so AOE them down.  Clearly here, healers AOE heal, DPS AOE pew pews.  Once the elementals are dead, spread back out, stay out of the center of the platform.

Ragnaros will engulf a third of the platform in flames, which can be problematic especially for the second seed collapse. (best seen in video, see the link at the bottom of this article)  Make sure you don’t get too far out, otherwise, inevitably, the third that will be engulfed will separate you from where you’ll need to stack.  It’s also worth noting that the second collapse will likely time with a smash, which means you MUST change your positioning.  Instead of being back a little bit from the boss, you’ll want to position yourselves on the yellow band just in front of Ragnaros — it allows your raid to entirely avoid the waves. This phase continues until 40%.

Transition 2: Moar Adds!

This phase is largely like the first transition, just this time you have 2 additional big adds, which are off-tanked until the transition is over.

Transition 2 Abilities
  • Splitting Blow – Ragnaros buries Sulfuras within the platform, inflicting 68250 to 71750 Fire damage every 1 second to players within 6 yards and creating eight Sons of Flame that attempt to reach the mighty hammer.
  • Son of Flame – Sons of Flame cross the platform and attempt to reform with Sulfuras. A Son of Flame that reaches Sulfuras causes a Supernova.

    • Burning Speed – For every 5% of their remaining health above 50%, Sons of Flame move 75% faster. When players reduce a Son of Flame to below 50% remaining health, the Son of Flame loses the Burning Speed effect.
    • Supernova – When a Son of Flame reaches Sulfuras it explodes in a Supernova, inflicting 121875 to 128125 Fire damage to all players.
  • Lava Scion – One Lava Scion forms on each side of the platform.

    • Blazing Heat – A Lava Scion inflicts a random player with Blazing Heat, causing the player to create a trail of Blazing Heat in their wake. Blazing Heat inflicts 48750 to 51250 Fire damage every 1 sec on players standing within the trail, and heals Sons of Flame and Lava Scions within the trail for 10% every 1 sec.

When all is said and done, if you made it through the first transition unscathed, you can make it through the second.  Phase 3 is where it really gets tricky, and you have to work on handling the Scions at the same time.

Phase 3: Too Soon, Executus!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist bringing the old MC RP time speech in here.

Phase 3 is all about survival.  Survive the Scions, and DPS the boss.  There’s some rolling balls that chase people around the platform, survive those, and you win.

  • Sulfuras Smash – Ragnaros faces the location of a random player and prepares to smash Sulfuras on the platform. The impact of Sulfuras inflicts 536250 to 563750 Fire damage to any player within 5 yards of the impact, and creates several Lava Waves which move out from the point of impact.
    • Lava Wave – If a player touches a moving Lava Wave, the lava inflicts 97500 to 102500 Fire damage, 29250 to 30750 Fire damage every 1 sec. for 5 sec., and knocks the player back.
  • Engulfing Flame – Ragnaros periodically engulfs a random third of the platform in flames, immediately inflicting 68250 to 71750 Fire damage to players caught in the conflagration then again inflicting 68250 to 71750 Fire damage one second later.
  • Summon Living Meteor – Ragnaros calls down an increasing number of Living Meteors. The Living Meteor’s impact inflicts 63375 to 66625 Fire damage to players within 5 yards of the location.
    • Living Meteor – The Living Meteor fixates on a random player and chases them.
      • Meteor Impact – Any player within 4 yards of a Living Meteor triggers a Meteor Impact, inflicting 487500 to 512500 Fire damage to players within 8 yards.
      • Combustible – Attacking a Living Meteor causes Combustion, knocking it back several yards from the attacking player. Triggering Combustion removes the Combustible effect for 5 seconds.
        • Combustion – Attacking a Living Meteor causes Combustion, knocking it back several yards from the attacking player.
      • Lavalogged – If a Living Meteor touches a Lava Wave, the meteor gains the Lavalogged effect for 1 min.
  • Magma Blast – Ragnaros blasts magma at his current target if he cannot reach and melee them, inflicting 73125 to 76875 Fire damage and increasing Fire damage taken by 50% for 6 sec.

Ragnaros is still doing his smashy thing, so avoid those lava waves.  The tough part to this is being able to bring down the remaining Scions among the chaos.  The cool thing about the rocks that roll around the platform is when they’re hit, they get knocked back and pick a new target to follow.  They can also be knocked back off the platform, which is the ideal situation.

Ragnaros is still doing the fiery bands across the platform as well, so make sure you’re watching your feet, and planning out where you’re running if you’re being chased by a meteor.  Ragnaros falls over at 10%, and you win.

 What does a Hunter need to know?

First of all, this is a perfect fight to pre-pot. Blow your cooldowns early, because this fight is easiest when it’s kept as short as possible.

During phase 1, hunters should be on the right side of the platform for MD’s to the tank.  Blow your rapid fires, and pew pew the boss.  This is an “avoid damge” phase of the fight.  Stay out of the lava waves, and don’t pop traps unless you’re assigned to do that.

During the first transition, at least in my raids, the hunters are assigned all over the place.  Some to the ones in distance, some close range, others in the middle for the adds.  The key here is to make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.  Coordination is key to succeed on this part of the fight.  You can use a Wasp pet to help stun some of these adds.

In the second phase, it’s worth noting that you can Deterrence to avoid some of the damage for the seed explosions.  Do it.  Your healers will thank you.  To DPS the adds that spawn, once they’re grouped up, Feign Death, and back out of the group if you can to Multi-Shot.  If it’s not possible, drop traps and do the best you can.  Positioning is especially important for the second seed phase, make sure you’re with the group.

During transition 2, do the same thing you did in the first one.   Once the little adds are down, get your damage on the Scions.

In phase 3, finish off the Scions, and then turn to Ragnaros and dps your heart out.  The longer this phase goes on, the more difficult it becomes just because of the balls rolling around.  If you see a ball getting close to someone it’s chasing, shoot it real fast and get back on Rag.  If you happen to get lucky enough to be targeted by a ball, Feign death when it gets close and it will pick a new target. Blow your DPS cooldowns on this phase, and profit.

Hunter Loot from Ragnaros

Need a visual, or need additional help? Check out Learn2Raid’s video.

Good luck!

Morynne

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Morynne is an avid hunter, and prefers Marksmanship. She has co-hosted the Hunting Party Podcast, and appeared on the Twisted Nether Blogcast. For more information, click here.

7 responses to Strategy: Ragnaros

  1. "Stay out of the lava waves, and don’t pop traps unless you’re assigned to do that."

    I know most hunters know this (and that it was inferred), but you can negate all of the fall damage if you time a disengage correctly as you are falling.

    • The only reason disengaging to avoid fall damage wasn't mentioned is that I'm terrified of someone disengaging off the edge of the platform accidentally. If you're good with timing though, this is an excellent tip!

    • Flame Trap popping is the new hotness (puns ftw!)

      1. Due to lag, you're actually lower than where you see yourself on the screen. Hit Disengage a bit earlier than you think you should; some fall damage is better than going splat.

      2. You can still get hit by Wrath of Ragnaros while falling. It's a bit disorienting–makes you bounce in mid-air–but nothing to be concerned about.

      3. Dps while going up, focus on Disengage timing while falling.

    • In my own raidgroup, I've been assigned to take the traps during the entire fight. This was because we did not have a mage or shadow priest to do it. I found out that even though (due to lag) taking traps as a hunter will always have a small chance of failure, with good practise and clever strategies, hunters can be very good and I think even one of the most efficient trap takers.

      What I'd suggest though, is to use Deterrence on the first and second trap. This will negate all of the trap's damage onto you and it will prevent you from ever flying up, resulting in more dps time.

      As you'll have popped Rapid Fire at the start, I suggest waiting until after taking the first trap to Readiness+Rapid Fire again, because then you will have Deterrence up for the second trap aswell and you'll have more benefit out of your rapid fires, since you will not have to move during it.

      All traps after this could be taken with Disengage, if you're assigned to taking traps. I agree with Lyraat saying that you better take a little bit of fall damage when disengaging, because of lag. If you try to time your disengages near the ground, you might end up splattered.

      An alternative I've experimented with in the beginning was disengaging right after the traps went off, before or directly after you've been sent flying off. This means you'll fall much less and have more dps uptime. Do be careful though! I've failed on this in various ways: Disengage did not go off and I had to resort to my engineering cloak to prevent fall damage; An early Disengage will fly you off of the trap before it has triggered, thus having your Disengage on cooldown; A wrongly timed Disengage has sent me flying off of the stage entirely, with me ending up in the lava. All risks aside, I still think that with practise/testing this could become a reliable and efficient way of taking traps, but I just don't want to burden my entire raidgroup with the learning process :P

  2. Suggest tracking your Ready, Set Aimed, buff and spam steady shots before phase transitions to have an Aimed Shot! Proc ready for your add. Wasp pets are also great here for the 2 second stun.

    In p2 remember adds are fixated on people so you can aoe before they get to the center. Try to save healing and avoid seed damage by disengaging/moving towards the center as seeds are landing.

    In phase 3, I suggest Feigning the meteor off when you are done kiting if people are near where they meteor will be knocked back. Please still kite though hunters, we can loose very little dps while running the meteor around compared to most classes.

  3. During phase 2, you can take advantage of Multi-Shot's mechanics to AoE in melee range. If you Multi-Shot an add that's not in your melee range, then you will still hit every other add that's within 8 yards, even if they're inside your melee range. (You'll also hit Ragnaros, depending on where you're stacked.) You can do it all while still standing inside the healing circles. That's how I manage it without Feigning Death and making someone double-up on tanking the little elemental adds, which still hit pretty hard.

    As far as spreading out in that phase, we hunters are actually one of the fastest classes, if you factor in Disengage (and Posthaste if you're MM), so we can afford to stand a bit farther away from the stack point while we're spread before the seeds to let one of the slowpoke classes not have as far to run. Then, when it comes time to stack, we just disengage past them and get to the stack point within 2-3 seconds.

    For the 2nd transition, we have a DK Death Grip one of the first Sons to spawn, and mark it with a raid marker. Everyone knows that the marked add is the one we're going to leave alive until the end of the phase, so we let that DK take care of getting it slowed while we focus on all the others. If you wait to kill the last Son until just before the 45-second transition is over, then you can use that time to DPS the big guys before going into phase 3.

    Another thing to keep in mind during the 2nd transition and for however long the Lava Scions are alive: Blazing Heat is the debuff where you'll drop little patches of fire at your feet (basically like Legion Flames from Jaraxxus in ToC). Letting a Son of Flame walk over one of those patches will heal it up (and speed it up), so make sure to be running around outside of their paths if you have that debuff.

    During phase 3, we are definitely the strongest kiters of those meteors. we can take one from one end of the platform to the other, then time disengage well to get around it and kite it back again, all while doing excellent DPS. Obviously, hit the meteor if you're cornered, but consider it an RNG blessing if you're targeted by one.

    The whole fight will take about 8 or 9 minutes, so you can get a full minute and a half of Rapid Fires, although you may need to save them for critical points in the fight that raid group is struggling with. The first phase is definitely the simplest, so it's not a huge deal if you need to hold off on RF until the transition.

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