Ragnaros is the final boss in Firelands, and he's no pushover. There's fire to dodge, a bunch of adds, some different fire to dodge, MORE ADDS, EVEN MORE FIRE, and then GIANT FIRE BOULDERS THAT ROLL AROUND AND FLATTEN PEOPLE.
The fight is a series of phases, each with similar but slightly different mechanics. It's a fairly complex combination of dodging avoidable fire and methodical killing of dangerous adds. There is also a Heigan-ish "dance" of loosely clumping up on one side of Ragnaros' platform but also staying slightly spread out, waiting for Rags to throw some fires at you, and then running to the other side of the platform to kill adds that pop out of said fires. And then doing this 3-4 times in a row.
Frost DKs are nicely suited for this fight, as we bring great burst damage (as melee often do) along with the unique benefit of strong ranged AoE. Additionally, Death Grip sees unique utility in this fight when dealing with some of the adds, who can only be impeded by stuns, knockbacks and Death Grip.
Your special class/spec responsibilities:
• Use AMS to reduce predictable fire damage
• Dark Simulacrum Hand of Ragnaros
• Burn down your designated Son(s) of Flame
• Death Grip any Sons of Flame that get out of control
• AoE down Molten Elementals immediately
• Don't get hit by Living Meteors
Phase 1: By Fire Be Purged!
For us Frost DKs, Phase 1 is very easy. We just stand there and DPS Ragnaros, though we have to be spread out at least 6 yards (which isn't much). Be careful though - there's no "wall" to keep us from running too far forward and taking a lava bath, so watch your footing!
Occasionally, Ragnaros will smash Sulfuras (his hammer) down, sending three Lava Waves out directly left, right, and forward from where the hammer is facing. Players can safely stand "diagonally" between where the waves travel to avoid damage. For example, if the waves as traveling West, South and East, a player could stand South-West of Sulfuras and avoid the waves.
Now, we melee don't have to actually worry about these hammer shenanigans in this phase. As long as we're up close, Sulfuras will land behind us, and the waves won't hit us. That being said, it's important to recognize this mechanic and where the safe spots are, as we'll have to deal with it later on.
Sulfuras also leaves a burning patch where it lands that persists for a few seconds. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that every now and then Ragnaros will knock us back with a move called Hand of Ragnaros. The knockback itself is unremarkable - simply run back up and keep attacking - but if there happens to be a Sulfuras fire patch right behind you, you'll land in it and take heavy damage. To avoid this, move over to the side if Sulfuras lands right behind you, so that even if you do get knocked back you won't land in the fire.
Also! Surprisingly, we can actually Dark Simulacrum Hand of Ragnaros! It's worth doing, as it will hit for around 30-35k damage. It does, however, have an alarming animation - your character EXPLODES in fire! It's only a visual effect, but you might still want to warn your teammates in advance - my guildies were freaked out the first few times I stole the move and used it.
Your ranged members will also be dealing with a move called Magma Trap, which places a burning circle under a random non-melee player. If anyone steps into the circle, they are blown skyward and the entire raid takes a bunch of fire damage. However, the trap will also disappear. Your ranged members WILL be triggering traps intentionally, because the raid will need to be able to run around freely later on without having to avoid traps. Try to Anti-Magic Shell just before a trap is triggered - it's the biggest unavoidable, AMS-able hit we'll be taking in this phase, and your healers will be frantically trying to patch everyone up afterward, so help them out.
This phase will last until Ragnaros reaches 70% health.
Phase 1.5: Minions of Fire!
This phase starts when Ragnaros starts casting Splitting Blow, which will place a swirly fiery mark down on the left, center or right of his platform. Eight fiery light beams will also appear at specific locations on the platform. After he finishes the cast, he will slam Sulfuras down on the mark and then recede back into the lava. A Son of Flame will appear at each of the fiery light beams and try to make their way to Sulfuras. If any of them make it to the hammer, they explode and essentially wipe the raid.
Fortunately, the Sons of Flame slow down as they take damage, reaching their slowest speed at 50% health. Therefore it is essential to immediately DPS down the Sons closest to Sulfuras so that they do not reach it, while the Sons farther away can be DPSed a little slower since they have to travel farther. The Sons can't be slowed or snared (so don't bother with Chains of Ice) but they can be stunned, knocked back and Death Gripped.
Frost DKs SHINE in this phase! Because of our great burst damage, our strong ranged abilities, and Death Grip, we are very well equipped to deal with everything Rags throws at us here.
There are many different ways to handle this phase - some guilds like having each player handle a specific Son of Flame, no matter where Sulfuras lands, while other guilds like having certain players always handle the adds closest to Sulfuras (generally the most bursty DPS) to ensure that those adds are killed quickly. It's also a very good idea to strategically distribute stuns, knockbacks and Death Grips. Additionally, your group may want to number the adds #1-8 for easy identification, since they will always spawn at roughly the same locations (with slight variations depending on where Sulfuras lands).
Here are the three possible hammer locations (yellow circle) and where the 8 Sons of Flame will spawn.
A quick note - obviously, don't be standing where the hammer lands, but also DO NOT RUN INTO THE STATIONARY HAMMER. The mere act of touching Sulfuras when it's sitting on the floor will deal a massive amount of fire damage to you. So don't do it!
If you are assigned to deal with the adds closest to Sulfuras:
|Start conserving your runes as soon as Ragnaros starts casting Splitting Blow! You do NOT want to be rune-starved when your Son of Flame appears, or else it will reach Sulfuras in seconds and wipe the raid. If you can, save a Killing Machine or Rime proc for extra burst damage. |
As long as you're prepared, you should have no problem killing your add within seconds of it appearing, even if it's one of ones closest to the hammer. Don't worry about Blood Plague - Howling Blast it immediately, then unload more Howling Blasts and Obliterates on it. Once your add is dead, immediately go help out with any adds still alive, starting with the nearest ones.
Keep your Death Grip ready, but you probably won't use it since you'll already be standing near Sulfuras - the last thing you want to do is bring a Son of Flame CLOSER to the hammer!
If you are assigned to deal with adds that are farther away:
|You should still conserve runes, but it's less crucial since you will have a lot more time to DPS down your Son of Flame as it travels towards Sulfuras. Instead, you have a more important job - Death Gripping any Sons who are dangerously close to reaching the hammer! A timely Death Grip can absolutely save the day here, especially if you grip it far back away from Sulfuras. This is why we are valuable on both close adds (burst damage) or far adds (Death Grip).|
Additionally, the adds nearest to Sulfuras actually spawn earlier than the ones farther out, so even if you are dealing with "outside" adds, you can Howling Blast the near adds as they appear to help out, even as you make your way to your outside position.
Once all of the Sons of Flame are dead, or after 45 seconds has passed, Ragnaros will resurface and Phase 2 will start.
Phase 2: Sulfuras Will Be Your End!
In this phase, the major hazard is a spell called Molten Seeds. Your raid will want to be grouped up on one side of the platform. Ragnaros will toss these seeds down at players, and after a short time, each seed will explode and deal fire damage to the entire raid. They deal less damage the farther away you are from them, so the idea is to wait for all the seeds to land on one side of the platform, then have everyone run across to the other side so the resulting explosion damage is minimized.
However, when the seeds initially land they deal damage to all players within 6 yards of impact, so everyone must stay slightly spread out (6 yards isn't very far).
This wouldn't be a big deal, except Ragnaros will still be slamming Sulfuras down and making Lava Waves...though this is still no concern to us. In fact, we care about it even less, since there's no knockback in this phase.
There IS a new dangerous mechanic we have to be aware of, though - Engulfing Flames, which will cover 1/3 of the platform in HORRIBLE FIRE. The area affected will be either the front, middle or back regions.
I find it useful to use the "spikes" on the floor to judge Engulfing Flames distance.
For melee, the trick to dealing with this hazard is standing just at the border between the front and middle Engulfing Flames areas. That way, if Engulfing Flames is in the front, we just take a step back and we're safe. And if it's in the middle, we just run forward a few paces to avoid it. Ragnaros' hitbox is quite large, so we can stand safely in the middle area and still DPS him.
(Actually, if Engulfing Flame lands in the back, we should STILL run forward to make room for the ranged players who will be moving up to avoid it.)
Of course, we still have to keep our 6 yards separation from other players to avoid unnecessary Molten Seed damage.
Once your seed lands, make your way over to wherever your raid has designated as a stack point. The seeds land at a slightly staggered rate, so DO NOT MOVE until your seed lands, or else you might run into teammates, get a seed and kill everyone.
After landing, the seeds will explode 10 seconds later. Thus, Anti-Magic Shell after 6-7 seconds, to ensure that you negate most of the damage! This will be the heaviest unavoidable AMS-able damage in this phase. (You could also use it to prevent Engulfing Flame damage, but you could also simply get out of fire and avoid it that way.)
When the seeds explode, they also release Molten Elementals, who will make their way over to the raid. They're nothing special - simply wait for them to get clumped up, then Howling Blast them to bits. Our great AoE will make short work of them.
When the Molten Elementals are dead, get into position for the next Molten Seeds or Engulfing Flame, and repeat this whole process until Ragnaros reaches 40% health.
Phase 2.5: Denizens of Flame!
This phase is exactly like the earlier transition phase, except there will be two big adds, Scions of Flame. We ignore these at first (one of your tanks will grab them) and just focus on killing the Sons of Flame like before. Once the Sons are dead, Ragnaros will move into his last phase.
Your raid will eventually end up killing one of the Scions, so have the tank who is tanking the Scions mark one so that you can work on it when done with Sons.
There only other thing different in this phase will be a randomly-targeted debuff called Blazing Heat, which makes the trail fire. The fire hurts us, and heals Sons of Flame, so do your best to keep moving while also NOT putting this fire in the path of any remaining Sons.
Phase 3: Begone From My Realm!
This phase will most likely start with one of your tanks holding both Scions of Flame, one of which has been marked to kill. That's our first priority in this phase - finishing off that Scion, or else it will be too heavy a burden for your tanks/healers.
Otherwise, this phase is like a combination of Phases 1 and 2, with a few exceptions:
• Ragnaros will still slam Sulfuras down, creating lava waves
• Ragnaros will still use Engulfing Flames
• Any surviving Scions of Flame will still cast Blazing Heat on players
• There will not be knockbacks, Searing Seeds, Sons of Flame or Molten Elementals
• Ragnaros will summon LIVING METEORS
Living Meteors are giant fiery boulders which will slam down (don't be standing where they land) and then fixate on a random, non-tank target. A glowing beam will appear between the boulder and their target, making it easy to see who it's after. They'll roll slowly towards that target, and blow up for terrible damage if they get within 4 yards of any player. Not just their target! ANY player.
A meteor can be stopped by hitting it directly with an attack. This will knock it back a few yards (make sure not to knock it into teammates, or it will explode and kill them!), and then it will fixate on a new target and start rolling towards them. It will also be immune to further knockbacks for 5 seconds, so you can't simply stand there and keep knocking them back indefinitely.
An example of meteor fixate beams, and a doomed Paladin.
Because Living Meteors will explode if they even get near you, all players must be very aware of who is being targeted and where they are kiting the meteors. If you see a beam crossing over you/near you, get away! Even if you have to run out of melee range, do it - throw some Howling Blasts, DPS the surviving Scion of Flame, but just get the heck out of the meteor's path. Of course, you have to do this while ALSO dodging Lava Waves (you WERE learning where the safe spots were, weren't you?) and Engulfing Flames.
When you're targeted by a meteor, immediately run out so that your tanks are not in the meteor's path, since they won't really be able to move. Try to lead the meteor away from everyone else, but there's only so much you can do - they need to be aware and dodge the meteor appropriately. Kite is as long as you can, and then hit it with any ranged attack before it gets too near to reset its target. Then get back at Ragnaros!
When you're not kiting a meteor or dodging out of the way, hit Ragnaros with everything you've got! Use your Golemblood Potion, cast Army if you didn't on the initial pull, etc. If you get him to 10%, he retreats and you've won!
Army of the Dead
You should pre-pot and Army on the pull, since Phase 1 is a pure DPS phase for us.
You will be using Anti-Magic Shell a LOT in this fight. There's no shortage of opportunities.
Phase 1: Magma Traps, Hand of Ragnaros
Phase 1.5: Any time, since there will be random raid damage
Phase 2: When the Molten Seeds are about to explode
Phase 2.5: Any time, or if you get Blazing Heat
Phase 3: Save it for an accidental Lava Wave, Engulfing Flame or Living Meteor explosion
To rank on this fight as a Frost DK (as of 09/30/2011) you will need to do around 26,500 DPS.
Ragnaros drops the token for our Tier 12 Helm, Elementium Deathplate Helmet, and also drops the ilvl-384 Vessel of Acceleration and Sulfuras, The Extinguished Hand. Both laden with +Crit, but still extremely tasty for us! (Look at those sockets on Sulfuras! Drool...)