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?

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. this is really great info… we’ve just downed Gruuls so it’s good to know what we should be aiming for next 🙂 whether the RL will think the same is another question of course… lol

  2. Very informative!

  3. I disagree with a number of things in your ordering:

    – Illhoof is TRIVIAL compared to Aran for a guild getting into raiding. My old guild downed him easily, while Aran took a few weeks of work.

    – Getting loot from Lurker & VR is more important than the Mags “idiot check”. Kill Mags for sure, but do it in the same timeframe as Lurker/VR. (Also, not all guilds have 4 raid-ready warlocks to throw at Mags when they dip their toes in 25-mans…. you need to take that into consideration.)

    – While Al’ar is a nasty, nasty bird – it’s such a mammoth waste of time to ignore him. If you can down Hydross & Mags, I think you have the tools to down Al’ar – kill him and stop his trash from respawning. He’s a coordination & perception fight…. (i.e. kill the adds in an orderly fashion, and don’t stand in the effing flame patch.)

  4. I’m going to have to agree with Karthis on that one. We’ve never had issues with Illhoof ever – yet on the first time I joined the raid for kara we did wipe once on Aran. We don’t really wipe at all these days except on Nightbane on a bad night. But how we got to that point – I think Illhoof was easier. Then again, everyone is required to have their “target chains” macro so that the moment someone is chained, they are dps’d down asap. It works like a dream.


    Overall good info though – nice to see what goals could be aimed for, etc.

  5. Doc Holiday says

    Rage Winterchill while being an “easy” boss is still a difficult encounter but after doing Kael for awhile he does seem easy

    Anetheron is also a simple encounter and its basically a gear and DPS check

    Kaz’rogal is probably the first “tough” encounter in Hyjal but its doable the first week you are in there

    3/5 Hyjal is a fairly decent goal to set for your guild the first week. But its the trash between encounters that will really test you

    Najentus is not an easy encounter because ALOT of things can go wrong very fast and lead to wipes. Its real easy to clear to him which is nice. This will test how good your healers are because its basically a healer fight

    Supremus is a fairly easy fight and its more a run away and dont die kinda fight. People with bad comps will get exposed here very quick

    Shade of Akama is the easiest fight I think in the game. The first time I did it I thought that cant be it but it is.

    3/9 in BT is possible the first week as well

    After that I think getting Azgalor down is a must. Hes the first Tier6 boss you will see and a very difficult encounter to get. Theres lots of frustration here as a wipe is a 30 minute trash clear and you will wipe lots on him but its pretty nice once you get him down.

    Next would be Archimonde. No trash to clear to and while he is a “hard” encounter its alot of fun to be able to do one of the major lore characaters in the game. The fight will later become very frustrating due to its random nature

    You could also skip Achimonde for now and work on Teron Gorefiend. The fight is the first hard fight in BT and it is a major idiot check as well. If people can kill the ghosts you win but its amazing how often people will fail at it.

    Gutgrogg is more annoying then it is difficult. If rogues or warriors get Fel Rage you win. If your clothies get it you lose. I know the first time I did it we had our 3 rouges get Fel Rage and it was very easy the next week I think we wiped on him about 10 times.

    Reliquary of Souls is next and its a real test for your tanks. If they master this fight it becomes real easy. If they dont your probably going to have to find some new ones

    Mother Sharaz gets alot of bad rep for being difficult and she is. Shadow resist your entire raid without gimping your DPS too much and then hope you dont get some random beams of doom. I swear I think we wiped 24 times on night trying to get her down. The next day we one shotted her.

    I have only down the Illdari council once. It seems like a very standard multi boss encounter along the lines of Maulgar or Kael.

    Never did Illdan but he will be the last encounter you do in the game for now

  6. Doc Holiday says

    I also forgot to mention while the boss fights in Hyjal and BT are actually very fun and challenging to do the trash in both places is beyond annoying for different reasons.

    In Hyjal you have to kill 8 waves of trash that come in different forms. They are basically the units from Warcraft 2 and come in timed waves. You will get the help of NPCs for all of the waves as well as Jaina and Thrall.

    The annoying things is the trash is difficult and YOU MUST do it every time you wipe over again. So basically and mistake you make you are punished by having to clear 30 minutes of somewhat difficult trash. Let me tell you something when your learning encounters and you have to do 30 minutes of trash clearing after every wipe it gets very old very fast.

    BT trash is very very easy to kill. Which is kinda odd but any trash group in SSC or TK would annihilate any trash group in BT. The annoying factor is the SHEER AMOUNT of it. Every boss has at least 12-15 packs of trash before it. I once saw a map of BT someone made and it had you at the start and a boss at the end. In the middle was a million trash dots and that is the truth of it.

  7. The reason you clear Shade after Curator is for the portal in the front entrance of Kara. There is just a couple trash mobs between Illhoof’s room and Shade’s. The run back if you do happen to wipe on Illhoof for whatever reason is very long if you don’t have the portal. Granted, I don’t think we’ve ever wiped to Illhoof, but that’s besides the point.

  8. Birkin – I see that now. Makes sense (portal ‘n all). As far as a difficulty lvl though – I don’t think it’s a very hard fight (Illhoof). But the ol’ Better Safe than Sorry comes to mind I suppose.

  9. Why would you put Netherspite after Prince? People put way too much thought into how difficult that fight is.

    Also, in terms of BT+ raiding, shoot for 4/5 Hyjal then 3-4 bosses of BT. Archimonde is so random that it can be a pain to get people to remain committed to it.

    Finally Sasstar on Mother Shaz balancing the dps is important but it’s really just a normal hitting boss that you’re required to completely gimp the entire raid over. If every single person dosen’t have 365 shadow resist it’s not even worth the effort.

    Illidari Council and Illidan himself are a joke after that.

  10. there are somthing discussed about illidan

  11. Dager: Netherspite isn’t a hard fight, it’s an optional fight. Prince loot is much better than Netherspite. If you’re going for a 1 night clear and you have to cut out a boss due to a time restraint, you’re not skipping Prince. If you find that you have time to go back and kill him, it’s only a couple minute run from Prince’s corpse.

  12. Thanks to everyone whose commented. I didn’t expect such a large response, to be honest. Anyways, I wanted to address a few points.

    This ranking was not based only on difficulty. It is also based on convenience.

    While you could go after Illhoof before Shade, I felt that it would make more sense to take down Shade first just so you can access the teleporter before working on Illhoof.

    I ranked Netherspite on a slightly higher tier because it’s easier to clear out the Chess event and then work on Prince. Netherspite requires a certain amount of coordination. Most Guilds that I’ve been a part of work on Prince before Netherspite.

    The reason why I placed Mag before bosses in TK and Lurker is based also on convenience. It’s a lot easier for Guilds to clear out 4 packs of 3 trash. If the 2 hour timer is up in either SSC or TK, it’s generally another 30 – 45 minutes of clearing before they can take more shots on the boss.

  13. I agree on the Mag part. We have worked on him after downing Void Reaver (post 2.3.2) only for one night and we downed him that same night.
    Besides being a nice check of gear and coordination, it was also an enourmous boost in the moral of our members, since he is considered difficult and most guilds keep wiping and wiping on him. We are a casual raiding guild and people lose interest easily. Now we got people more excited and motivated and we are now raiding 25mans almost on a daily basis (VR and Lurker), while farming tank gear for Hydross.
    My guess is Al’ar would be a fairly simple fight too, provided that the tanks can coordinate their effort and people learn to avoid random damage.

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