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Ragnaros Detailed Strategy Guide (Heroic Mode included)

Last updated on Oct 08, 2012 at 12:19 by Vlad

Table of Contents

Other Ragnaros guides on Icy Veins:


This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive description of the encounter with Ragnaros in Firelands. It is targeted at anyone who desires to understand the fight mechanics.

This guide is updated for World of Warcraft WoD 6.1.2.

Ragnaros is the 7th and final boss encounter in the Firelands raid instance. He is, by far, the most complex encounter, and arguably the most difficult one.

This encounter, which acts as a sort of "recap" for your raid, will test every aspect of your fighting ability: teamwork, individual awareness and sheer numbers.

1. General Information

1.1. Health Pool

Ragnaros has the following health pool:

  • in 10-man normal difficulty: 50M;
  • in 10-man heroic difficulty: 74M;
  • in 25-man normal difficulty: 151M;
  • in 25-man heroic difficulty: 246MM.

On normal difficulty, the encounter finishes when Ragnaros reaches 10% health.

On heroic difficulty, Ragnaros despawns when he reaches 10% health, after which he reappears with 50% health, and then dies at 0%. This means that, in effect, on heroic difficulty, your raid will have to damage Ragnaros for 140% of the health pools listed above.

Adds called Sons of Flame, Lava Scion, Molten Elementals and Living Meteors spawn at regular intervals during the fight. They have the following health pools.

On normal difficulty:

  • Sons of Flame have 125k health in 10-man difficulty and 705k health in 25-man difficulty.
  • Lava Scions have 1.5M health in 10-man difficulty and 4.6M health in 25-man difficulty.
  • Molten Elementals have 149k health in 10-man difficulty and 187k in 25-man difficulty.
  • Living Meteors have 93.3M health in both 10 and 25-man difficulty.

On heroic difficulty:

  • Sons of Flame have 212k health in 10-man difficulty and 1.1M health in 25-man difficulty.
  • Lava Scions have 2.5M health in 10-man difficulty and 7.4M health in 25-man difficulty.
  • Molten Elementals have 297k in both 10 and 25-man difficulty.
  • Living Meteors have 711k health in 10-man difficulty and 2.8M health in 25-man difficulty.

1.2. Enrage Timer

Ragnaros has an 18 minute enrage timer in both normal and heroic difficulties. Phase Three contains a soft enrage mechanic which will wipe your raid prior to the 18 minute mark, as does the heroic-only Phase Four.

1.3. Raid Composition

The following raid compositions are advised:

  • in 10-man normal difficulty: 2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 DPS.
  • in 10-man heroic difficulty: 2 tanks, 2 healers, 6 DPS.
  • in 25-man normal difficulty: 2 tanks, 6/7 healers, 16/17 DPS.
  • in 25-man heroic difficulty: 2 tanks, 3-5 healers, 18-20 DPS.

1.4. Loot

2. Overview of the Fight

The Ragnaros encounter is a complex fight, split into three phases, separated by two transitional phases. For ease of understanding, we will list all of the phases, their triggering and concluding factors, and the names we are going to use for them.

  1. Phase One lasts from 100% to 70% of Ragnaros' health.
  2. The First Transition Phase lasts until all the adds spawned during it (Sons of Flame) are dead, but no longer than 45 seconds.
  3. Phase Two lasts from the end of the First Transition Phase until Ragnaros has 40% health.
  4. The Second Transition Phase lasts until all Sons of Flame are dead, but no longer than 45 seconds.
  5. Phase Three lasts from the end of the Second Transition Phase until the boss reaches 10% health, at which point he is defeated.

Ragnaros is stationary for the entire duration of the encounter, and there is a mechanic in place which punishes your raid gravely if Ragnaros' main aggro target is not in his melee range.

Ragnaros is located in a lava pool in the center of a rather spacious platform. Your raid will be positioned in a sort of semi-circle around him for the entire duration of the fight.

3. Phase One

3.1. Abilities

During Phase One, Ragnaros will make use of the following abilities:

  • A melee attack, which hits for around 33,000 damage, in both 10 and 25-man difficulty. Ragnaros performs this attack roughly every 2 seconds, and retains it throughout phases Two and Three.
  • Sulfuras Smash: Ragnaros smashes his hammer, Sulfuras, on the platform at a location indicated by a fiery ground effect. Anyone who is in the area when the hammer lands will be killed. Following the smash, three Lava Waves spawn and travel in different directions from their original location. Anyone who is touched by a Lava Wave will take massive damage and most likely die. In addition to the initial damage, Lava Wave also places a DoT effect on the affected player, dealing additional damage each second. This DoT can be dispelled. Ragnaros casts this ability roughly every 40 seconds.
  • Wrath of Ragnaros: Ragnaros targets one player in 10-man difficulty and 3 players in 25-man difficulty, damages them for a moderate amount of damage and knocks them and any allies within 6 yards up.
  • Hand of Ragnaros: Ragnaros knocks back all players within 55 yards of him and deals a moderate amount of damage to them. Ragnaros casts this ability roughly every 25 seconds, though this can sometimes vary by a fair amount.
  • Magma Trap: Ragnaros launches a Magma Trap at a random player's location. The trap travels through the air and then reaches its location, dealing a large amount of damage and knocking back any players within 8 yards of it. The trap then persists on the ground for the entire duration of the encounter, or until it is detonated. Ragnaros casts this ability roughly every 25 seconds.
  • Magma Trap Eruption: this effect is caused by a player stepping on an active Magma Trap. It will deal a large amount of Fire damage to the entire raid, as well as throw the player who triggered the trap up into the air. The player will then take fall damage. This will cause the trap to disappear.
  • Magma Blast: Ragnaros inflicts a large amount of Fire damage to his main aggro target if he is not in range to melee them, and also increases their Fire damage taken (effectively killing them).
  • Burning Wound: a stacking debuff placed by Ragnaros on his main aggro target. It deals around 4,500 Fire damage every 2 seconds, its duration is 20 seconds and it stacks roughly every 5 seconds. Simply use two tanks to swap the boss between them when stacks get too high. Players affected by Burning Wound also deal extra damage through Burning Blast.
  • Burning Blast: causes targets affected by Burning Wound (so, tanks) to deal extra Fire damage for each stack of Burning Wound that they have.
  • Splitting Blow: at the end of the phase (70% health), Ragnaros will smash his hammer on the platform. This not only marks the end of the phase, but also plays an important role during the First Transition Phase (detailed in the appropriate section below). The location where the hammer will strike is indicated by a clearly visible ground effect. This ability has an 8 second cast time, so there is ample time to avoid the hammer.

3.2. Strategy

3.2.1. Positioning

There are two things to keep in mind when choosing player positions for Phase One:

  • Keep casters and healers outside of a 55 yard range of Ragnaros, in order to avoid the knockback from Hand of Ragnaros interrupting them. Casters can continue to perform attacks, while healers can still heal melee players and tanks, because the massive hit box of the boss enables them to attack Ragnaros from some distance away.
  • Keep everyone spread out at least 6 yards apart to avoid Wrath of Ragnaros causing any collateral damage.

Melee DPS as well as the tanks should stay as far away from Ragnaros as possible (while, obviously, remaining in melee range). This way, the healers will be able to stand 55 yards or more away from Ragnaros and still heal them.

In addition to this, you will of course want to have your tanks in melee range, and spread your healers out evenly so as to cover the entire area of the platform (especially in 25-man difficulty).

3.2.2. Execution

As a preliminary mention, because of Burning Wound, your two tanks will have to taunt the boss off of each other in order to allow for the stacks to drop off. Tanks should be taunted off of when they reach around 4-5 stacks.

There are two main concerns for your raid during this phase: Sulfuras Smash and Magma Traps. Dealing with these two abilities properly will make for an easy first phase.

Sulfuras Smash, will cause Ragnaros to face a random raid member and after a few seconds, smash the platform with his hammer. The targeted area is indicated by fire on the ground. Anyone caught in the impact zone will be instantly killed, so naturally, players will need to avoid it. In addition to this, the impact zone will continue to deal fatal damage to anyone who moves there, for around 10 seconds after the Smash occurs.

The three subsequent Lava Waves, which travel outwards from the impact zone, left, right and back, must be avoided. All raid members, including the tank, will need to position themselves in the gaps that form between them. Failing to do so will likely result in massive damage taken, as well as an uncomfortable knockback. The resulting DoT should be dispelled immediately by the healers.

The image bellow illustrates the directions of Lava Waves. As you can see, there are areas in between the waves where you will be safe.

Ragnaros Sulfuras Smash

Remember that Sulfuras Smash can have varying locations on the platform. The above image is merely an example.

Magma Traps will have to be manually detonated by designated raid members, as otherwise they persist indefinitely and would severely limit your raid's movement space.

Specific players should be assigned to detonate Magma Traps, and they should do so only when the raid has sufficient health to survive the damage (around 80,000 Fire damage). The following classes are ideal for the task, due to their ability to avoid taking fall damage:

Balance or Restoration Druids can also detonate traps, and save themselves from fall damage by shifting into Cat Form, though this is less than ideal. Melee classes should not be asked to perform this task as the traps can be very far away from Ragnaros.

Make sure that no one detonates Magma Traps unintentionally by being knocked back into them by Hand of Ragnaros.

Once your raid can avoid Sulfuras Smash and trigger Magma Traps accordingly, the rest of the phase simply requires that your healers can keep up with the various sources of unavoidable damage (Magma Trap Eruption damage, Wrath of Ragnaros, Hand of Ragnaros as well as tank damage).

Once Ragnaros reaches 70% health, he will cast Splitting Blow, planting Sulfuras on the platform and submerging. This marks the end of Phase One, and the start of the First Transition Phase.

4. First Transition Phase

As the First Transition Phase begins, you will notice a few things happening. Firstly, Ragnaros will disappear as he submerges in the lava, where he will remain until the end of the phase. Secondly, fiery effects on the ground indicate the locations where adds are about to spawn.

These adds (8 of them spawn in both 10 and 25 man difficulty), called Sons of Flame (125k health in 10-man and 705k health in 25-man) will spawn at varying locations from Sulfuras (Ragnaros' hammer) and will ignore all aggro while trying to make their way to it. Your raid must kill them before they reach the hammer, as this will deal a massive amount of raid damage.

Before we delve deeper into the phase, we need to take a look at its mechanics.

4.1. Abilities

  • Splitting Blow: Ragnaros' hammer is planted into the platform. Anyone coming within 6 yards of it will take massive amounts of Fire damage per second. Additionally, Splitting Blow summons 8 adds called Sons of Flame.
  • Sons of Flame: these are adds with relatively low health. They do not have aggro tables and their only action will be to walk towards Sulfuras. Their only mechanic is Burning Speed, a buff which increases their movement speed drastically in relation to the amount of health that they have. The more health the Sons have, the faster they travel. This is relevant because of the next ability.
  • Supernova: this is a massive raid-wide damaging ability which is triggered whenever a Son of Flame reaches Sulfuras.
  • Lava Bolt: is the only source of unavoidable damage. Ragnaros will simply deal fire damage to random raid members.

4.2. Strategy

The entire point of this phase is to kill the Sons of Flame before they reach Sulfuras. If your raid fails to stop any Son of Flame, healers will need to use any available cooldowns at their disposal to prevent raid members from dying, though this will be very difficult. Abilities like Devotion Aura Icon Devotion Aura or Rallying Cry are best for this.

The tricky part is that the Sons travel very quickly when they have full health, and their speed decreases as they are damaged. Therefore, your DPS needs to be split wisely among them so that no Son remains at full or high health for long.

To make matters slightly more complicated, Sons will spawn at varying distances from Sulfuras, meaning that the Sons which spawn closest will need to be damaged (and killed) first, but others should not be ignored either.

Sons of Flame are susceptible to knockbacks, stuns and some slows (although most slows do not work), so do not hesitate to make use of such abilities.

In addition to dealing with the Sons of Flame, your raid members will want to avoid getting too close to Sulfuras, and of course, your healers will want to heal the random raid damage from Lava Bolt.

It is optimal, at least in 25-man difficulty, to have particular raid assignments for both DPS and stuns/knockbacks, to ensure that no Son of Flame is unattended to.

When all the 8 Sons of Flame are dead, the phase will end and Ragnaros will re-emerge, starting Phase Two. Note that if 45 seconds from the start of the phase have passed, Ragnaros will re-emerge and trigger Phase Two even if there are Sons of Flame still alive.

5. Phase Two

Once the First Transition Phase ends, Ragnaros will re-emerge and pick Sulfuras back up. This phase is more complicated than Phase One, and will put a greater strain on everyone to perform properly. We will first detail the mechanics of the phase, after which we will explain the strategy.

5.1. Abilities

Ragnaros retains the following abilities from Phase One: Sulfuras Smash, Magma Blast, Splitting Blow as well as Burning Wound.

In addition to these, he will make use of the following abilities:

  • Engulfing Flame: Ragnaros will choose a third of his platform to engulf in fire. For this purpose, the platform is divided in three slices, from Ragnaros' position towards the exterior. Players in the affected part of the platform must move away immediately to avoid taking massive amounts of damage. Ragnaros will cast this ability roughly every 60 seconds, though this can vary mildly.
  • Molten Seed: Ragnaros places a Molten Seed at the feet of 10 players in 10-man difficulty and 20 players in 25-man difficulty. This causes 41,000 Fire damage to all allies within 6 yards. Ragnaros will cast this ability exactly every 60 seconds.
  • Molten Inferno: the locations where the Molten Seeds were placed will explode, dealing 100,000 Fire damage to all raid members. This damage decreases the farther away from the Molten Inferno the player is. In addition to this, each explosion will spawn a Molten Elemental.
  • Molten Elementals: Molten Elementals are adds spawned by the explosions resulting from Molten Seeds. These adds do not have normal aggro tables, and instead fixate on random raid members. They have low health and they do not melee hard.

5.2. Strategy

Tanks will still have to perform their swapping, because of Burning Wound.

The strategy for Phase Two is more complicated than that for Phase One, and will require very good awareness and reaction from your raid. There are three important things to watch out for here: Sulfuras Smash, Molten Seed and Engulfing Flame.

Sulfuras Smash should be handled in the same way as during Phase One: move out of the ground effect indicating where the hammer will fall, and stay out of the path of the subsequent Lava Waves.

Dealing with Molten Seeds, however, requires some more explaining. Your aims, in dealing with Molten Seeds and the subsequent Molten Inferno are the following:

  • Make sure no one is standing within 6 yards of a player who is about to be affected by Molten Seeds (so, essentially, spread out).
  • After the Molten Seeds have been cast, have the raid stack up as far away as possible from the locations of all the Molten Seeds.

There are multiple reasons why you want to stack up after Molten Seeds have been cast (and do so far from their locations). Firstly, the farther away you are from a Molten Seed, the less damage you will take when Molten Inferno happens. Secondly, stacking up will increase the efficiency of AoE healing. Thirdly, stacking up will enable your raid to AoE DPS the Molten Elementals which subsequently spawn (remember that they cannot be tanked, and will instead be fixated on random raid members).

In other words, you want your raid to spread out at least 6 yards apart, in as small an area as possible. Once the Seeds have been cast, everyone needs to stack together in a position as far away (and ideally equally far away) from all the Molten Seeds locations.

Your tank needs to remain in melee range of Ragnaros, so your stacking position should be, if possible (so, if not impeded by Engulfing Flame), in melee range. As you do not want your tank's Molten Seed too close to the stacking location (since it would deal almost the full amount of damage), your tank should move to the side of the boss, wait for Molten Seeds, and then move to a central location.

We've prepared an image detailing positioning in both 10 and 25-man difficulty:

Ragnaros Molten Seeds

In 10-man difficulty, the simplest way of doing things is to have your raid group up on a part of the platform (either the right or the left) and spread out at least 6 yards within that space. Here, your raid will await Molten Seeds.

In 25-man difficulty, you can have your raid split into two such groups, one to the left and one to the right of the platform, and have the stacking location in a central position.

After the seeds have been cast, your raid should move to the designated stacking location. Once the Molten Infernos explode, your raid should remain stacked, so that all the resulting Molten Elementals will come together and be easily killed by AoE damage.

The trickiest part of this phase is when Molten Seeds are followed shortly by Sulfuras Smash. This appears to happen every other Molten Seed cast, and if your DPS is within normal values, it should only happen once. When this happens, your raid should stack up especially close to Ragnaros. This will ensure that no one is hit by Sulfuras Smash, and that the resulting Lava Waves (remember, they do not travel towards Ragnaros) do not damage anyone.

Another mention is relevant, regarding the above mentioned situation, which involves Engulfing Flame (which we detail below). Suffice it to say that, when Engulfing Flame covers the sector closest to Ragnaros right before this particularly delicate Molten Seeds, your raid should be just outside of the Engulfing Flame and be prepared to move in, close to Ragnaros, the moment that it disappears.

Finally, your raid will have to contend with Engulfing Flame. As described above, this will cover a third of the room in flames, and anyone standing in the flames will take severe damage. The below image illustrates the possible locations for Engulfing Flames.

Ragnaros Engulfing Flame

There is no great strategy for handling the succession of these abilities. Your raid members should simply be quick to move away from the path of Lava Waves or from Engulfing Flames. In the situation where Engulfing Flame affects the part of the platform nearest to Ragnaros, the tank and any melee DPS should simply step back to avoid the damage. The tank will only be out of Ragnaros' range for a few seconds, so Magma Blast should not cause any problems.

The interaction between Engulfing Flame and Molten Seeds is not too problematic, and your raid should simply keep an eye out for when Engulfing Flame happens while the raid is stacked. In this case, your raid should simply move slight back, if the Flames are close to Ragnaros, or forward (towards Ragnaros) if they are covering the center.

Once Ragnaros reaches 40% health, he will cast Splitting Blow, planting Sulfuras on the platform and submerging. This marks the end of Phase Two, and the start of the Second Transition Phase.

6. Second Transition Phase

The Second Transition Phase is identical to the First Transition Phase, with a single exception: a new type of adds, called Lava Scions will spawn.

6.1. Abilities

In addition to all the First Transition Phase abilities and mechanics, your raid will have to deal with two Lava Scions. They have relatively high health, and melee for a moderate amount. Their only mechanic is Blazing Heat.

Blazing Heat is a debuff that the Lava Scions place on random raid members. Around 5 seconds later, the debuff causes the affected player to leave a trail of fire under their feet, which deals a rather large amount of Fire damage each second to anyone standing in it. Furthermore, if either the Lava Scions or the Sons of Flame are touched by the trail of fire, they will be healed for 10% of their health each second.

6.2. Strategy

The strategy for the Second Transition Phase is identical to that of the First Transition Phase, with the following mentions:

  • Your tanks will pick up and tank the Lava Scions for the duration of the phase.
  • Players affected by Blazing Heat will move to the edge of the platform, out of the path of any Sons of Flame, where they will continue moving so as not to take damage from the trail of fire under their feet.

Keep in mind that only the Sons of Flame must be dead for Phase Three to start. Any Lava Scions alive will not affect this.

Your DPS should, as during the First Transition Phase, focus down the Sons of Flame, while ignoring the Lava Scions. Your raid will kill the Scions during Phase Three, though any cleaving or DoT damage your raid can do to them during the Second Transition Phase is welcome.

If your raid's DPS is high enough (to the point where you will have killed off all Sons of Flame before the 45 seconds are up), you can opt to leave 1 or 2 Sons at low health (and stunned/slowed) and use the remaining time to deal damage to the Lava Scions.

In any case, when all Sons of Flame are dead or 45 seconds have gone by, Ragnaros will re-emerge and you will enter Phase Three.

7. Phase Three

Once the Second Transition Phase ends, Ragnaros will re-emerge and pick Sulfuras back up. We will first detail the relevant mechanics of the phase before discussing the strategy.

7.1. Abilities

Ragnaros retains the following abilities from Phases One and Two: Sulfuras Smash, Engulfing Flame, Magma Blast as well as Burning Wound.

In addition to these mechanics, Phase Three presents an entirely new mechanic, called Summon Living Meteor.

Roughly every 50 seconds, throughout Phase Three, Ragnaros summons adds called Living Meteors. The location where a Living Meteor is about to spawn is indicated by flames on the ground and anyone within 5 yards of the location will take a large amount of Fire damage. Living Meteors do not have aggro tables, fixate on random raid members and cannot be effectively killed (due to their high health). They must be kited by whoever they fixate on, as contact with the Meteor deals fatal damage. More precisely, if a player comes within 4 yards of a Living Meteor, everyone within 8 yards of the meteor takes 500,000 fire damage (instant death). The effect is called Meteor Impact. Note that the Meteors cannot be kited indefinitely, and they will eventually catch up to their target.

Fortunately, Meteors have a buff, called Combustible. While this buff is active, an attack made on the Meteor will cause it to be knocked back several yards in the direction which the attacking player is facing. Knocking a Meteor back causes it to lose its Combustible buff for 5 seconds, and also causes it to pick a different target to fixate on.

7.2. Strategy

Tanks will still have to perform their swapping, because of Burning Wound.

Additionally, it must be mentioned that the absolute top priority at the start of Phase Three is to kill any remaining Lava Scions, as Blazing Heat would cause a lot of problems for your raid, otherwise.

The strategy for Phase Three revolves around avoiding Lava Waves and Engulfing Flame in the same way as during phases One and Two respectively, while carefully handling Living Meteors.

Whenever a Living Meteor is about to spawn, all players should move away from the designated location. The player being chased by the Meteor should then kite it, while making sure that it is not guided close to any other raid members.

Once the Meteor is close, the player should attack it, in order to knock it back and reset its fixate target. It is imperative to make sure that the Meteor does not get knocked back into other raid members, and that everyone is prepared to possibly become fixated upon.

The continous spawning of Living Meteors during Phase Three will result in a soft enrage mechanic. Because of this soft enrage, Phase Three is the ideal time to use Heroism Icon Heroism, Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust or Time Warp Icon Time Warp.

8. Achievement: Ragnar-O's

The Ragnar-O's achievement is not part of the Glory of the Firelands Raider meta-achievement, but we shall briefly describe it nonetheless.

The achievement requires your raid to defeat Ragnaros (bring him to 10% health) while three Living Meteors are under the effects of Lavalogged. The achievement, as you can probably tell, only involves the third and final phase of the encounter. Living Meteors spawn regularly (and with increasing frequency) during this phase. Additionally, the boss continues to use his trademark ability, Sulfuras Smash, the subsequent Lava Waves of which play a pivotal role in the achievement.

Your raid's aim is to kite (and knock-back, if needed) the meteors in such a way that they are hit by a Lava Wave. Doing so will not affect the meteor in any way, nor will it benefit your raid, but it will apply the Lavalogged debuff on the meteor. Your raid must do this to at least three separate meteors before Ragnaros is killed.

The Lavalogged debuff does not run out, and meteors never despawn, so, provided that the final phase lasts long enough for at least 3 to spawn (which is to be expected), this achievement should not prove difficult.

The actual techniques used to ensure that the meteors are hit by Lava Waves is up to your own raiders' choice, but it is a fairly straightforward task.

9. Heroic Mode

The heroic mode of the Ragnaros encounter is arguably the most difficult fight in all of Firelands, and quite possibly in the history of World of Warcraft as a whole.

9.1. Differences From Normal Mode

The fight follows the same format as on normal mode, until the boss reaches 10% health. At this point, after a short intermission, a heroic-only Phase Four begins. Below, we list all the changes to the encounter, phase by phase.

9.1.1. Phase One

  • Each time a Magma Trap is detonated, the entire raid is debuffed with Magma Trap Vulnerability. This debuff lasts 45 seconds and it increases the damage taken from Magma Trap Eruption by 50%.
  • All abilities in this phase deal considerably more damage, resulting in an extremely high chance of players dying to a quick succession of Magma Trap and Hand/Wrath of Ragnaros, if not topped off.

9.1.2. First Transition Phase

  • Son of Flame spawn locations are no longer fixed. Instead, the Sons can spawn in any random formation, and your raid must adapt to this on the fly.
  • Sons of Flame have increased health, and all abilities do increased damage.

9.1.3. Phase Two

  • Engulfing Flame is replaced by a new ability, called World in Flames. This ability essentially chains 4 Engulfing Flame eruptions together, over the course of around 12 seconds. The eruptions follow the exact same positions as Engulfing Flame, and the order in which these come is completely random.
  • Molten Elementals gain a buff called Molten Power, which increases their damage done by 25% for each Molten Elemental in their proximity, and also grants them immunity to snares.
  • All abilities in this phase deal considerably more damage, as do the adds. The adds also have increased health.

9.1.4. Second Transition Phase

As with the first transition phase, the spawn locations of Sons of Flame are random. Other than this, and increased health and damage done, there are no changes.

9.1.5. Phase Three

Phase Three is unchanged, with the exception of the fact that World in Flames is present here as well, in place of Engulfing Flame.

This phase is a DPS check, and your raid must bring Ragnaros to 10% health before the 3rd set of Living Meteors.

9.1.6. Phase Four

Phase Four is an entirely new phase, present only in heroic mode. Ragnaros submerges at 10% health, as in normal mode. However, he is shortly afterwards pulled back out by Cenarius, and you have to fight him once more.

At the start of the phase, Ragnaros is healed to 50% health, and he must be brought down to 0% to be killed. During this phase, your raid will have to deal with any Living Meteors which were spawned in Phase Three.

Ragnaros has the following abilities during this phase:

  • Dreadflame is essentially fire on the ground. Ragnaros regularly casts this ability at random locations on the platform. The fire deals massive damage to anyone standing in it, and spreads, until it covers the entirety of the platform. Dreadflame fire patches can be extinguished by players affected by Deluge (covered below).
  • Empower Sulfuras is an ability Ragnaros uses roughly every 50 seconds, throughout the phase. This ability allows him to imbue his weapon, causing his attacks to deal instant-wipe damage to the entire raid. During this time, he must be kited, which is made easier by Entrapping Roots (covered below).
  • Superheated is a stacking debuff which Ragnaros applies on every raid member, for the entire duration of the phase. Each stack deals 4,000 Fire damage per second and increases Fire damage taken by 10%. This debuff can be reset through means of Breadth of Frost (covered below).
  • Magma Geyser is an ability which Ragnaros uses to target any group of players which are clumped together (at least 4 players in 10-man and 10 players in 25-man). It deals a high amount of Fire damage, knocks players back and destroys any Breadth of Frost within 5 yards.

During this phase, three friendly NPCs come to your raid's aid: Cenarius, Malfurion Stormrage and Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem. They each provide your raid with various abilities which allow you to defeat Ragnaros.

  • Cenarius casts Breadth of Frost about 15 seconds into the phase, and every 45 seconds after that. The first Breadth of Frost will expire as the third is being cast, and so on, such that there will always be, at most, two active at one time. The Breadth of Frost is a patch of ice on the ground. Any Living Meteor that touches the ice becomes stunned and takes 15000% increased damage. This destroys the Breadth of Frost. Breadth of Frost also grants players immunity from Superheated and resets any stacks of Superheated on the players.
  • Malfurion Stormrage casts Cloudburst, only once, at the start of the phase. This places an effect on the ground, which allows 1 player in 10-man and 3 players in 25-man to obtain the Deluge buff by coming in close proximity with it. Deluge provides immunity from Dreadflame as well as Superheated. It also allows players to extinguish Dreadflame patches (by running over them). It lasts until the end of the encounter.
  • Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem casts Entrapping Roots. This places a green effect on the ground. If dragged over it, Ragnaros becomes entangled and is unable to move. This makes it easy to avoid anyone getting hit by him while Sulfuras is empowered.

9.2. Strategy

The strategy for the encounter, up until Phase Four, is very similar to the one used in normal mode. As you can see, each phase is changed only slightly, but this does have some implications on execution.

More importantly, however, each phase has a different type of requirement, which adds significant strain to your raid composition:

  • Phase One is healing-intensive, with important emphasis on survival.
  • Phase Two is a rather lenient, although there is rather unpredictable raid damage from Molten Elementals.
  • Phase Three is a massive single target DPS check.
  • The transition phases are heavily reliant on stuns, knock-backs and Death Grip Icon Death Grips.
  • Phase Four combines a lot of these factors: awareness, coordination, survival, DPS and healing requirements are all very high here.

Therefore, you raid will want to use as few healers as possibly manageable to make it through Phase One, so that as much DPS as possible can be brought for Phases Two and (especially) Three.

Also keep in mind that, in all phases except Phase Three, Fire Resistance is sorely needed. It is important, therefore, that those players providing the aura are properly distributed among your raid.

9.2.1. Phase One

Phase One is not greatly changed. All the abilities present in normal mode are still present here, and they should all be dealt with in the same way. The only change comes from how Magma Traps are handled. Here is what you must know in order to properly handle Magma Traps:

It is up to everyone in the raid to do everything in their power to survive this phase. This means that immunities and damage reduction cooldowns should be used, as should Healthstones.

Players will have to pay special attention not to accidentally trigger Magma Traps.

It is likely that, by the time the phase ends, you will have between 1 and 3 active Magma Traps. You will have to simply avoid them, and detonate them at later stages, when raid damage is low. It is also possible to stack up, right as the transition phase begins, use raid cooldowns such as Power Word: Barrier Icon Power Word: Barrier or Anti-Magic Zone and detonate a trap even while under the effects of Magma Trap Vulnerability.

9.2.2. First Transition Phase

The only change to this phase (and the second transition phase) is that the Sons of Flame can spawn in virtually any location around the platform.

This means that they can spawn spread out, or several of them in a group, and that this group could even be located right next to the hammer location.

This phase is one where your raid will have to adapt quickly, as soon as the beams of light indicate the locations of the Sons of Flame.

The more classes you have which can stun, slow, knock-back or Death Grip Icon Death Grip the Sons, the better your chances are to succeed.

9.2.3. Phase Two

The most important change to strategy, during this phase, comes from the fact that Molten Elementals cannot be allowed to melee any players while they (the Elementals) are stacked together. This is due to Molten Power which buffs the Elementals' damage significantly when they are together.

The best way to handle this phase is to follow these steps:

  1. Have your raid stack up, in the center of the platform, close to Ragnaros, and wait for Molten Seed to be cast.
  2. Just as the boss mod timer for Molten Seed is about to expire, have everyone run away from the stacking location. Players should run in any direction that allows them to be spread out (split into two groups, one running to the left and one to the right, or simply free for all) away from the stacking location.
  3. If you have done the previous two steps correctly, the Molten Elementals will all spawn in the same location (in the center, and far away from all of your raid members). For a few short seconds, they will be in the same place. At this point, you should use any AoE abilities which you have available, to damage them somewhat before they spread out to go to their respective targets. Ground-based effects are good for this (Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay, Explosive Trap Icon Explosive Trap), but anything else will do.
  4. After that, have everyone kill their own Elemental, and stay away from other players so that the Elementals do not buff themselves.

Keep in mind that, while together (so, right after spawning), the Elementals cannot be slowed, stunned or knocked back.

In addition to this, players will have to avoid the damage from World in Flames and, of course, Sulfuras Smash.

It should be noted that this phase has long periods of no raid damage, which makes it an ideal time to detonate remaining Magma Traps.

Because Phase Three is a massive DPS check, any damage you can do to Ragnaros below 40% of his health, during Phase Two, is of great benefit to you. As such, you should pool resources such as energy/rage/focus and combo points, and use them while he is casting the Splitting Blow.

9.2.4. Second Transition Phase

The Sons of Flame should be handled, in this phase, in the same way as during the first one. This will be more difficult, as tanks will likely be unable to use their stuns on the Sons. In addition to this, healing will be more intensive because of the added tank damage from Lava Scions.

Your raid should delay the last Son of Flame for as long as possible, and get as much damage done on the Lava Scions as they can.

9.2.5. Phase Three

Phase Three is the least changed phase from normal mode. The only difference in mechanics is that World in Flames is present here, as well, in place of Engulfing Flame.

The challenge of this phase comes from the fact that your raid must bring Ragnaros to 10% health (the end of the phase) within 140 seconds (the time until the third set of Living Meteors spawns). This is so because your raid simply cannot handle the gruelling Phase Four with any more than 2 meteors. Note that the meteor spawns follow the pattern 1, 1, 2, 2, 4, etc., so a third spawn would result in 4 meteors.

To this end, you should save Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp for this phase, as well as any DPS cooldowns, potions and anything else which can allow you to do more DPS.

When Ragnaros reaches 10% health, he submerges, but he is quickly pulled back out of the lava by Cenarius, and Phase Four begins.

9.2.6. Phase Four

In Phase Four, Ragnaros is no longer stationary. He climbs out of the lava and can move anywhere on the platform. He is healed to 50% of his health, all of which must be depleted in order to defeat him.

There are several concerns for your raid during this phase: Living Meteors (which remain from Phase Three), Dreadflame, Superheated and Empower Sulfuras. We will go into detail regarding each of these abilities. Before doing that, however, we will (very briefly) list what your raid must do in this phase, so that it is easier for you to understand.

  • Players must move to Breadth of Frost regularly in order to reset their Superheated debuff. They must do this without being in groups of more than 3 (10-man) or 9 (25-man) players, or else the Breadth of Frost would be destroyed.
  • Roughly 1 minute into the phase, when the second Breadth of Frost spawns (meaning that there will be two active, at this point), one of them should be used to destroy a Living Meteor. This is done by kiting the meteor onto the ice. Note that this does destroy the Breadth of Frost in the process. When the third Breadth of Frost spawns, one of the existing two should be used to handle the last Living Meteor.
  • 1 (10-man) or 3 (25-man) designated player(s) will have to pick up Deluge from the Cloudburst at the start of the phase, and spend the entire fight clearing patches of Dreadflame. As they inevitably become overwhelmed towards the end of the fight, they will need to make wise decisions as to which patches to put out.
  • Ragnaros will have to be kited over an Entrapping Roots area each time he casts Empower Sulfuras, so that he is rooted and does not melee anyone for the duration.

Any Living Meteors which are active when Phase Three ends are temporarily stunned in place by Cenarius (though they can still be knocked back during this time). You should aim to have them close together and near an edge, when Phase Three ends, and you should use the time while they are frozen to knock them back even closer to the edge. This helps in allowing the raid to occupy the entire platform (where ever the Breadth of Frost may spawn) without having to worry about Meteors in that area.

During the first part of Phase Four, your raid members will have to kite these meteors (the same way that they did during Phase Three). Whoever is targeted by the meteors should aim to keep them away from the raid.

The Breadth of Frost which Cenarius creates at the start of the phase will be used to reset your raid members' stacks of Superheated. Because of Magma Geyser and the limitations that it imposes (no more than 3 players stacked together in 10-man or 9 in 25-man), you will have to create groups of players in your raid, and have these groups rotate which group gets to stand on the Breadth of Frost. That group will require no healing, while the group(s) which are exposed will have to be healed through the damage from Superheated.

Whenever Ragnaros begins casting Empower Sulfuras, the tank must position himself behind an Entrapping Roots location (a giant green circle on the ground), so that Ragnaros walks through it and becomes rooted. If he is rooted prematurely, he will need to be kited around with the help of other taunts, until his buff wears off. If he manages to melee anyone at all, he will wipe your raid.

Regarding Dreadflame, players with movement speed increasing abilities or other mobility abilities are ideal for picking up Deluge. These players will then simply run around the platform (while dealing damage to Ragnaros, whenever possible, although this is not a priority), walking over any places where Dreadflame has spawned.

Roughly 1 minute into the phase, Cenarius will spawn the second Breadth of Frost. At this point, your raid will have to use one of the two Breadths of Frost to destroy one of the Living Meteors. Simply kite the meteor over the ice, where it will become stunned and take a large amount of increased damage. It should die quickly.

After this, your raid will have to make use of the remaining Breadth of Frost until the third one spawns. The second Living Meteor should be dealt with in the same way as with the first. After this point, your raid will simply have to focus on keeping their stacks of Superheated low, trapping Ragnaros and putting out Dreadflame.

10. Learning the Fight

Because the encounter against Ragnaros is a multiple phase encounter, learning it is a process in which you have very little choice. You will simply have to perfect the execution of each of the phases as you progress.

11. Final Considerations

This concludes the Ragnaros strategy guide. As you can see, the fight is not only extremely complex, but also very long. Many of its mechanics are very punishing to your raid, and you will find mistakes extremely costly.

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