Raid Juggling

In hockey, there is a term called line juggling. Typically, when a team has difficulty scoring and getting momentum going the coach will start juggling his forwards together in the chance that they will click, find chemistry, and score.

On Sunday, Carnage has been able to consistently transition from Phase 3 to phase 4 while losing no more than 1 player. We were able to get Kael down to approximately 70%. Earlier in the night, one of our Paladins had to leave due to personal problems. Instead of 4 Paladins, we ran 3 Paladins and replaced him with a Resto Druid.

Tonight we’re diving back into Kael. The confidence is there. In fact, all of our future signup raids have changed from SSC/TK to Mount Hyjal/Black Temple.

But here’s what puzzles me.

Apparently, we’re dropping our Resto Druid and bringing our 4th Paladin back into the lineup. Both of these players are trial members so there’s no issue of seniority here. Now I also know it’s not my place to question the wisdom of the raid leaders. My job is to make sure our players in the raid have the health required to do the job they need to do. I’m not the one deciding who gets benched for the rest of the period or who gets coupled with who out there.

But Sunday was the furthest we’ve ever gotten on Kael. Why change what has arguably had the most success? Not only that, but our last two attempts that night were so spot on that we got him down to that 70% range (+/- 10%) consecutively.

How does that old adage go again? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it?

I’m not going to openly question the decision of the GM’s in this one. It’s out of my hands anyway. They have more to handle on their plate without me asking why we’re changing the lineup. I just found it surprising. I don’t know enough about Paladins in a 25 man situation. I don’t know what kind of advantage we would capitalize by bringing a 4th Paladin (Kings, Salv, Might/Wis, Light?).

But for all you young GM’s out there, if you have a set group of players that have been able to deliver success then I say stick with that group. Ride their momentum. Players are on a hot streak for only so long.

On the other side of the spectrum, if your raid continues to have troubles on a raid boss that you should not be having problems on, then start raid juggling. Get your prot pally to respec Holy and your Warrior to respec prot. Start changing things up. Move your healers around, put your tank healers on the raid, your raid healers on the tank. Something is not working and you’ve given it 9 tries. It’s unlikely it’s going to work on the 10th. Bite the bullet, start juggling.

The Chain of Progression in Raids

Raid members ready to go and do something

In case you’ve ever wondered what raid bosses and instances to do in what order, I’ve compiled a list here from Karazhan onwards. This list is aimed mostly at Guilds who have started raiding and aren’t sure what’s best for them or their Guild. Obviously you can do them in any order that your Guild likes, but there are some bosses which should be done first before going into other instances.

Edit: Rankings are based largely on difficulty level and convenience for Guilds.


Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Opera, Curator, Shade, Chess, Prince.

Once you’ve taken down Prince a few times and you think your 10 man team is up to snuff, you can go proceed to go after Nightbane, Illhoof and Netherspite.

You’re also ready to start tackling the first 4 or so bosses in Zul’Aman.

Mallet with a wolf

At this point, your Guild is now officially ready for the 25 mans. Your first 25 man test?

Gruul’s Lair and Magtheridon

Take down High King Maulgar then follow up with Gruul. Once you’ve gotten them down easily, consider going after Magtheridon.

Magtheridon himself

There’s quite a few Guilds that I know of that have completely skipped Mag in favour of launching right into TK and SSC thinking that Mag is too much of an effort required. To them, I say Mag is a piece of cake compared to boss fights at the Tier 5 level.

The reason you go after High King, Gruul and Mag is that these 3 bosses are idiot checks for your Guild.

Can the people in your raid handle being in the spotlight with important jobs?
Can your warlocks enslave and kill simultaneously?
Is your mage quick enough on the spellsteal?
Do your healers trust each other enough to not overlap each other and just do their jobs?

For Gruul, the question you want to ask is if your raid members are able to work together and cope with shatters. Are the tanks geared enough to do their job? Do players know how to run away from each other?

As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of Guilds skip Mag initially. Don’t be one of them. I highly advise giving Mag a few shots. Here, you’re testing the discipline of your raid and the endurance of your healers. You also want to discover how quick and effective your DPS is in a 25 man unit. Mag also sets your guild up to have 4-5 skilled and geared tanks. Once you get past the initial phase 1 hurdle, it’s up to the healers and your 10 volunteers to click cubes. If 10 people can’t click cubes properly and time it, you’ve no business being in SSC or TK.

Tier 5 Instances (SSC and TK)

There’s essentially 2 ways you can go about it. You can go into SSC and clear straight to Lurker. The alternative is to crash TK and bring down Lootreaver Voidreaver followed by Solarian.

Hydross in SSC

While your working on those 3 bosses (in any order), your tanks should be gearing up for Hydross.

Now at this stage, I suggest working through the T5 raid’s in an order like this:

  • Voidreaver/Solarian/Lurker
  • Hydross
  • Tidewalker
  • Fathom-Lord
  • Leotheras
  • Al’ar

At this point, you’ll be at the coveted 5/6 SSC and 3/4 TK mark. Take your pick between Vashj or Kael.

I’d say give Vashj a couple of shots but that’s because I find her a little little easier as compared to Kael who I think is a whackjob.

T6 Raids (Hyjal and BT)

I don’t have a clue here. I heard it’s Rage Winterchill and then straight into BT for the first 3-4 bosses.

Does anyone have an idea of what should come next?