WotLK Raids – The Complete Guide
Wrath of the Lich King was revolutionary in how it handled its raids. It was the first expansion that allowed guilds to pick the team-size for their raid activities. Now they could gather for a run as 10 or 25 players – it depended on how they wanted it, not on how the raid was designed. Needless to say, it added lots of flexibility to raids and made them more accessible. Of course, it was still a long way till raiding really became everyone's thing – that happened only at the end of Cataclysm with "flexes" and later with LFR – but it was where it all started.
Another important addition was difficulties. Hard to imagine these days when we have 4 of them that at the beginning of the WoW era there was only one with occasional hard modes. WotLK introduced Heroic raids. The experiment that took place in TBC with dungeons was deemed successful and raids got a similar mode. But it wasn't that straightforward at first: prior to the Trial of Crusader 10-people mode was Normal and 25-people mode was Heroic. Team-size and difficulty were intertwined but it changed after patch 3.2.0.
Now that we're finally getting an official Classic version of the Wrath of the Lich King, let's take a walk down memory lane and recall all the raids that were a part of the original WotLK. Undoubtedly, they will all reappear in the Classic version as well, hence consider this list a collection of raids that both were and will be.
1. Vault of Archavon
Vault of Archavon is really a weird place. Everything about it is unlike most other raids in the game. First of all, it was located in Wintergrasp, the dedicated PvP zone in Northrend that caused insane lagging in Dalaran whenever an active phase (i.e. fighting) there started. You could only enter the raid if your faction won the previous game in Wintergrasp. And yes, it was realm-bound, so good luck ever seeing VoA if your faction is less numerous and loses most games.
Bosses there are an odd company as well. At first, there was just the eponymous boss of the den, Archavon. He chilled there alone till patch 3.1 (the Ulduar update) when he all of a sudden got a neighbour, Emalon. Koralon and Toravon, 2 more titan-like giants, were introduced with later patches. It's safe to say that we will get them in a similar manner with WotLK Classic. Each of them dropped some random gear from the respective tier:
- Archavon – tier 7
- Emalon – tier 8
- Koralon – tier 9
- Toravon – tier 10
Surprisingly, you also got honorable kills for defeating these bosses. You couldn't fight them when the active phase started in Wintergrasp – the bosses turned into literal stone and you had to go fight the opposing faction to, well, de-stone them.
Another notable feature was the mount Grand Black War Mammoth that any of the bosses could drop. That was not the only mammoth you could obtain, yet it was, perhaps, the rarest.
Although not an extremely difficult raid, you will likely face certain obstacles if you decide to clear it: first you need the right timing (in between 2 battles in Wintergrasp after your side's victory), you'll need an able team, and some loot guarantees. We could help you with that!
2. The Eye of Eternity
Location: Nexus, Western Borean Tundra
The easiest "regular" raid in WotLK, EoE (aka just the Eye) was many players' first raiding experience. It's very short (just 1 boss) and is not really demanding in terms of both skill and gear. However, don't expect the loot to be any better than that: there you'll find non-tier epics that are slightly better than most Heroic dungeons items.
Yet there was a reason why well-geared players kept clearing that raid weekly. It was thanks to 2 mounts that you could obtain there. 10-people mode had Blue Drake and 25-people mode had Azure Drake. The mounts weren't all that difficult but collectors wanted to catch 'em all.
Although the Eye doesn't seem like much of a challenge, it's still a raid and it means that it's not merely a pleasure cruise. Hence, if you need any help with it or its mounts, you can always request it from us!
3. Obsidian Sanctum
Location: below Wyrmrest Temple, Centre of Dragonblight
Obsidian Sanctum was a logical continuation of the Eye. For those of you who don't remember, before Warlords of Draenor it was a normal practice to have several raids at the beginning of the expansion, not just one. Some of those raids were easier, some were harder. The Sanctum was in between of the easier Eye and the harder Naxxramas.
It was the first raid to have some set pieces. You could hardly fully gear up there since there was basically just one boss, but it was a good additional source of items. Also, it was a good introduction to hard modes, since that raid offered one: you could add several additional enemies to your boss fight and thus get better rewards. Speaking of rewards, there was 2 more mounts there – Black and Twilight Dragons. The former could be dropped in 10-people raid, and the latter – in 25-people one. Much like it was in the Eye, in fact.
As with other raids, if you need any assistance with beating this raid or looting the mounts there, feel free to ask us for help!
Location: above Carrion Fields, Eastern Dragonblight
Naxxramas is unique in the regard that it is one of only 2 raids that got released twice (the other was Onyxia's Lair). The first time was in Classic when it was an insane challenge-fest for 40 raiders, the second time was at the beginning of WotLK where Naxx was a way more casual-friendly place, although still challenging. A huge roster of 19 bosses was not something newcomers' sanity was ready to bear, but for some time it was the best source of high-end gear for most players. So they had to learn to bear it.
The biggest part of Naxxramas' appeal is tier-7 tokens that you can get there. Most people collected their first full set in this very raid.
WotLK's Naxx also went down in history as one of the easiest starter raids. It was finished by most top-tier guilds within first days of it going live. Truly a downgrade in comparison to its original version that was, perhaps, the hardest raid in the game ever. But don't let that fool you: it's still a serious trial for casual and new players and its last bosses – Sapphiron & Kel'thuzad – are a real threat. So if you need any help with them, we're always ready to get you a pro team!
Location: Northern Storm Peaks
Ulduar is a fabled raid that many people love dearly. Everything about it was so inspired and inventive that many players still visit it from time to time merely out of nostalgia. Just to have some fun there with all its bosses and rooms. But the difficulty was pretty at the time: a casual guild could beat perhaps first 5 bosses, if they were lucky. If.
As for its loot, you can find tier-8 tokens in it. Moreover, it's also possible to collect a legendary hammer Val'anyr that was perfect for healers. Getting it though, wasn't easy. So if you want it either find a good guild and earn their respect, or ask us for help!
6. Trial of the Crusader
Location: Argent Tournament Grounds, Northern Icecrown
The trial wasn't really everyone's favourite raid back in the day and now it's not talked about much. It had some unusual ideas and is definitely worth a look at. Its final boss was a huge surprise: you just fell down straight into a pit with none other than Anub'Arak, the daddy bug of the Scourge. Other encounters of the raid were rather out of the ordinary as well and not everyone was a fan of them. Another point of dislike was tier 9 that you could get in the raid: it wasn't much to look at, to be honest. Perhaps, the first raid tier that didn't have anything to recall or transmog-hunt for.
Nevertheless, it was a somewhat easy raid that got sandwiched between Ulduar and Icecrown Citadel, 2 behemoths of apex PvE challenge. A break, so to speak. Hence, casual players had more fun with it than they usually did with current raids, which was also a rare thing at the time. If you decide to venture into the Trial of the Crusader, take some of our pros with you for faster completion and better rewards!
7. Onyxia's Lair
Location: Southern Dustwallow Marsh, Kalimdor
Another comeback of the raid was Onyxia's Lair. Surprisingly, the fan-favourite dragon boss returned and let newcomers have some Classic experience. See, it didn't take a separate game version back in the day? Just a new-old raid could do the trick and people were quite happy about it! We'd wish more old raids/zones/dungeons got attention and upgrades.
Onyxia's loot wasn't much of revelation. There were no tier pieces there, but weapons and helmets that you could loot were of quality similar to tier 9. Other than that, there also was a baby Onyxia mount you could get, if you were lucky! If you want to test your luck, have a fast run to Onyxia's lair with our team!
8. Icecrown Citadel
Location: Southern Icecrown
The grand finale of the Lich King story. A gang of epic hunters came to bring Arthas to his downfall. And everything about it was mostly satisfying. The raid itself was great and challenging. Several completely different sections with unique bosses and their memorable lines. Awesome tier 10, the Shadowmourne legendary, the Invincible mount, and so much more! It was something to experience for sure! Unfortunately, the gap between its release and next significant content patch (that was Cataclysm, by the way) was way too big.
It's almost impossible to get into the ICC without a good guild. So if you don't have time for finding one and proving them your worth, you can just order a boost from us! We'll take you through all the bosses of the Citadel in no time!
9. Ruby Sanctum
Location: below Wyrmrest Temple, Dragonblight
Ruby Sanctum was an attempt to make everyone's wait of Cataclysm somewhat more bearable. And it wasn't a bad thing! The raid was small but still had some awesome items to pick up and boss fights to test your skill at. Hopefully, this time we won't have to wait for too long – by the moment Ruby Sanctum will have released, we will already know what's going to happen next. Are we getting Cataclysm Classic? Are we getting WotLK seasons? Are we getting something absolutely new? (God, please!) Time will tell!
If you need a quick run through the Ruby Sanctum raid, you know who to turn to! Check out our Ruby Sanctum boost!
9 raids – insane isn't it? These days we're lucky to have 4 raids within an expansion (BFA). Sometimes we get even fewer than that: both Warlords of Draenor and Shadowlands had just 3. They were fine raids, but perhaps it would be good to have some smaller and enjoyable raids as well? Blizzard don't think so: starting with Cataclysm, WotLK's successor, the number of raids decreased and we now only got huge raids once in 6 months or so. There were exceptions, of course (Throne of 4 winds? Terrace of endless spring? They were pretty short), but they were few.
If you ever need any help with WotLK raiding, feel free to get in touch with us! We've got lots of services for you to choose from: browse our catalog or just hit us on your favourite messenger!