Tag Archives: instances

Choosing Your Attributes

Hey folks, sorry it’s been so quiet around here lately — between family health woes and recovering from being sick myself, I haven’t had two brain cells to rub together! Things should be back to normal now, though.

There are plenty of guides around – my own, and other people’s – that tell you what gear goals you should set, how you should gem, what consumables you should use. The big problem with most of these guides is that they don’t tell you why. They don’t make the relationships between healer stats clear, so people wind up following a set of rules they don’t understand.

If comments on my posts are anything to go by, there are a lot of other-spec paladins learning the ins and outs of Holy, trying to make sense of all the advice. Knowledge is power, so let’s take a step back and look at first principles: your attributes.

1. Spellpower

This is your single most important stat, in the sense that if you don’t have enough of it, all the other stats in the world won’t help. There’s no point having a mana pool that will last for ten minutes of chain-casting if your heals aren’t big enough to keep your tank up.

Spellpower, obviously, increases the size of a number of your spells: Holy Light, Flash of Light, Holy Shock, Sacred Shield, Consecrate, Judgement of Light, and Exorcism. Healing spells have the following Spellpower coefficients:

  • Holy Light: 166%
  • Flash of Light: 100%
  • Holy Shock: 81%
  • Sacred Shield: 75%

What this means is if you have 1500 Spellpower, your Holy Lights will heal for an extra 2490 (1500 * 1.66), your Flashes of Light will heal for an extra 1500, and so on.

2. Intellect (and mana)

Intellect is the new black, as far as holy paladins are concerned. I’ve written about this before in detail, but to reiterate: all the important sources of mana regeneration are either based directly off the size of your mana pool (Divine Plea, Replenishment, Mana Tide Totem) or are affected by the amount of Intellect you have (Illumination-based mana return from heals that crit).

So Intellect has three main benefits:

  • It increases the size of your mana pool, thereby increasing your mana regen
  • It increases your crit chance, thereby increasing both your mana return and your throughput
  • It increases your spellpower (via Holy Guidance), thereby increasing your throughput

Great synergy; there’s nothing about Intellect that’s useless, and that’s why you’ll see holy paladins running around with a 30K mana pool in raids.

3. Crit rating

Crit rating increases your chance to crit, and that has three flow-on effects:

  • It increases your throughput; a crit heal does 50% more healing than a non-crit.
  • It returns 60% of the mana cost of the spell, from the Illumination Holy talent.
  • If it’s a Holy Shock that just crit, it will trigger the Infusion of Light effect, making your next Flash of Light instant or your next Holy Light very fast indeed. This is fantastic for healing-intensive moments and mobile fights. (Note that in 3.1, Infusion will still make FoL instant, but it will increase crit chance on HL instead of cutting 1 sec off its cast time.)

Obviously, crit is very popular with most paladins; including talents, you can get over 40% unbuffed Holy crit chance in Naxx-25 gear.

At level 80, 45.9 Crit Rating gives you 1% chance to crit.

4. Haste rating

Haste is something of the ‘new kid on the block’; it’s something that most paladins haven’t seen on their gear before (unless they were raiding Black Temple and Sunwell Plateau). It decreases the time required to cast a spell, but the way the mechanics work make a lot of people go crosseyed.

I read a fantastic guide to spell haste the other day, but stupidly I forgot to bookmark it, so I can’t link you all to it. So, I shall roll up my sleeves and attempt to explain it myself.

The way to make sense of Haste is in terms of how many spells it will allow you to cast in a given time period. 10% spell haste doesn’t knock 10% off the cast time of a spell, it means that in a given amount of time you can cast 10% more spells. In fifteen seconds, you could normally cast 10 Flashes of Light. 10% spell haste makes each FoL faster, so that you can fit 11 of them into those fifteen seconds.

The formula for calculating your cast time when you have Haste gear is:
[New Cast Time] = [Base Cast Time] / [1 + Spell Haste]

So the base cast time of Flash of Light is 1.5 seconds; if you have 10% Haste, it reduces the cast time to (1.5 / 1.1), or 1.36 seconds. If you have 20% Haste, FoL’s cast time is (1.5 / 1.2), or 1.25 seconds. And so on.

There are a few things to know about Haste:

  • It reduces the Global Cooldown as well, down to a minimum of 1 second.
  • It does nothing to affect your mana efficiency on a per-spell basis, so if you don’t have enough Intellect/mana, Haste just means “I can go out of mana even quicker!”
  • As your Haste rating increases, more Haste has less effect on the cast time of any one spell, but it still increases how many spells you can cast over a given time by the same amount.
  • Haste is multiplicative, so if you have 10% haste from gear and another 5% from buffs, you actually have 15.5% Haste, not 15%.
  • If you incorporate all the haste effects you might get in a raid (Wrath of Air Totem, a Ret paladin’s Retribution Aura, your own Judgements of the Pure talent, et cetera) 20.6% Haste from gear and consumables will get you to the ‘cap’ of 1.0 second Flashes of Light (and a 1.0 second GCD).

At level 80, 1% spell haste requires approximately 32.79 Haste Rating.

Bear in mind that haste has two effects on your healing: a) it increases your overall throughput, by allowing you to cast more spells in the same amount of time, and b) it increases your responsiveness by reducing your cast time, allowing you to get that emergency lifesaving heal off that much faster. As your Haste increases, the effect of more haste on the latter decreases – it still reduces your cast time, just not by as much.

5. Mana Per 5, aka mp5

mp5 does exactly what it says on the tin: you regain the listed amount of mana every five seconds, regardless of whether you’re in combat or not, casting or not, moving or not – the only requirement is for you to be alive. :)

mp5 used to be beloved of holy paladins, back when we were all Flash of Light spammers. Because Flash of Light is much more mana-efficient than Holy Light, crit-based mana return didn’t matter as much, whereas well-stacked mp5 let you cast Flash of Light til the cows came home.

That’s changed in WotLK however; for starters, we need to use Holy Light heavily to keep up with incoming damage, and the mp5 needed to keep up with that would be prohibitively high. Secondly, gearing for Int gives better mana regen and throughput than gearing for mp5.

mp5 is not a bad stat, and there’s no need to ignore an item just because it has mp5. However, taking mp5 at the expense of superior mana return stats – that is, Intellect and Crit – is generally a mistake.

There are a couple of limited situations where mp5 may beat Int and Crit: if you’re silenced a lot, and can’t cast (to cast Divine Plea or regen mana from spell crits), if you have to move a lot, or if you never have a Replenishment buffer in the raid, no access Mana Tide Totem, and are bearing a lot of the healing load so you can’t afford to Divine Plea often.

mp5 may also become more valuable in Ulduar, if the tanks are taking Ridiculous Amounts of Damage™ and we have to heal so hard that we can’t afford to Divine Plea on a regular basis. However, there’s still a dichotomy in that gearing for mp5 probably won’t provide enough regen to compensate for such heavy healing; at that stage, stacking crit is likely to be more valuable (although I haven’t done the maths yet to model that;

So, What Do You Pick?

Most paladin guides you read say “stack Intellect!” with no exceptions or explanations. However, I tend to believe that that’s overly simplistic and not terribly helpful advice without context – these are generally guides aimed at raiding paladins, and stat advice for a geared healer in a 25-man raid group is quite different from guidelines appropriate for a starting healer in 5-mans.

Assuming you’re starting from scratch as a fresh 80, you’ll be running 5-mans and heroics while you’re gearing up for raids. (If you’re swapping from ret or prot as a raider and you’ve picked up a fair bit of offspec healing gear already, you can probably jump to the last stages of this process.)

As a fresh 80, in 5-mans and heroics, people aren’t going to die because you ran out of mana after a ten-minute fight; if the fight’s long enough for you to OOM, your DPSers are probably underperforming. No, in my experience, people generally died in 5-mans and heroics because I couldn’t keep up with incoming damage, or I couldn’t get a heal onto them fast enough after a spike.

As such, you should be gearing for spellpower first; extra mana’s no good if your heals aren’t big or fast enough to keep the tank up. So focus on spellpower until you have a reasonable level of it – as a rule of thumb, I’d say you should stack spellpower until 1650 or so. (Within reason, of course; don’t equip green “of spellpower” gear that has no other stats on it.) You’ll get Crit and Haste as part of this process, as just about every piece of appropriate gear has one or the other on it – sometimes, if you’re lucky, both.

Once you have a reasonable level of spellpower, start diversifying. Make sure your crit and haste levels are up to scratch – 30% holy crit, unbuffed, is a reasonable target for crit, and somewhere around 250 haste rating (8% Haste). This is the point at which you can start stacking Intellect in your gem and enchant selection.

TL/DR! What’s the bottom line?

You need to gear for spellpower first, to make sure you can keep up with incoming damage, before you start stacking Intellect like all the other guides say.

Increasing Your Camera Zoom

A quick handy tip for you all that’s made my life easier in countless raids and instances: Zoom Out! On any fight with environmental factors, it can make a huge difference. Want to not be the nub who can’t dodge a lava wall on Sartharion? Zoom out!

But, of course, the camera doesn’t zoom out very far – even when you scroll out as far as you can go, even when you go into your interface settings and set the maximum zoom to the end of the slider.

Fear not: you can go beyond the values that slider offers you; you just have to enter a console command to do so.

There are various commands that will give you the desired effect; the one I use is:

/console cameraDistanceMax 50

That will let you scroll out much, much further than the interface settings will give you. How much further? My zoom, let me show you it:

How to Increase Your Camera Zoom

Click the image to see a larger version, making it clear just how much you can zoom out. Hope this helps?

Poll: What Kind of PvE Do You Prefer?

Whenever I read people talking about their progress in 10-man raiding, my immediate response is to hope they can get into 25-mans soon for their sakes. I know that’s completely irrational of me; a number of 10-man encounters are more challenging than their 25-man counterparts, and plenty of people are happier in the smaller raid sizes, fo various reasons. I sincerely believe 10-man raids are just as real and valid as 25s.

But! I prefer 25s, and it’s so hard not to project this when I’m thinking about what other people want out of the game.

So please educate me, gentle readers – everything else being equal, what kind of PvE content do you prefer?


Pre-Raid Holy Paladin Gear List, v.1

Okay, gear lists are always useful, and as more and more people are starting to hit the 78-80 range, it’s time to think about what you’re going to wear to your first Naxxramas raid. Remember, no-one likes being underdressed!

The following are some suggestions for each item slot; I’ll suggest the best items from various sources, so no matter your playstyle you can take a shot at gearing up. Note that this covers gear that does not involve raiding, arenas or battlegrounds.

As a general rule, I list the best item or items under “best option”, the next-best under “alternatives”, and then the other options below those. I haven’t even looked at lower-armor alternatives; if a decent piece of ‘lesser’ armor pops up, you might want to think long and hard about whether it’s worth wearing. (Even though I disdain the trend towards ‘clothadins’, even I’m wearing epic leather pants at the moment while I wait for a plate drop of comparable quality.)

This is, of course, a work in progress; I’ll update it if new gear appears or the theorycrafting thinktanks come up with new recommendations for gearing strategies. Or, of course, if I make a mistake. (Heaven forfend.)

I’ve tried to make this a comprehensive list, but I may well have missed something in all my staring at Wowhead and LootRank and MaxDPS. Feel free to ping me in the comments if so. (Note that I’ve generally restricted gear to the best few items in each slot; this is a gearing-up post, not a list of all available holy paladin gear.)

A Note On Badges
The level 70 Badges of Justice have been replaced by two types of Level 80 tokens. Emblems of Heroism drop in Heroic 5-mans, and 10-man raids, and can be used to buy iLvl 200 epics (the equivalent of 10-man Naxxramas drops). Emblems of Valor drop in 25-man raids, and can be used to buy iLvl 213 items. In this guide I’ve only referenced items purchasable with Emblems of Heroism, as Emblems of Valor aren’t accessible outside of 25-man raids.

A Note On Regen
This list is aimed at holy-spec paladins; therefore, Crit is valued highly because it’s our primary regen stat (along with Intellect, now). If you’re a protection or retribution paladin building an offspec set, you’ll want to avoid the crit-heavy items because they do nothing to help your mana, and look for mp5 (and, more importantly, Intellect) as a regen stat.

Edit: A Note On Spirit, and Balancing Stats
Yes, I know there are a number of pieces in here with +Spirit on them – usually necks, rings and cloaks. Yes, I know paladins get nothing out of Spirit. In general, those items with +spirit that are listed here are flat-out better than other alternatives, even if you completely ignore the +Spirit (which pallies generally should). That said, stat selection is a personal thing, and if you calculate that other items are more of a benefit for you because you’re stacking a certain stat, or it suits your playstyle, more power to you. (Just be aware that if that certain stat is Spirit, the other holy pallies will laugh you out of the clubhouse.)

Edit 2: Updates
There are a few item changes in Patch 3.0.8 that will affect some of these items (specifically, a helm, a weapon and a trinket). Check out this post for more details.



  • Best option: Ferocious Pauldrons of the Rhino from the second boss (Gortok Palehoof) in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle.
  • Alternatives: Pauldrons of Destiny from the last boss (Mal’ganis) in Heroic CoT:Stratholme, or Discarded Silver Hand Spaulders from the same boss in Normal mode.
  • Failing any of the above, which are either hard to get (the Ferocious Pauldrons) or inferior (the mp5-laden CoT drops), Pauldrons of Morbidus are a really good slot-filler, with a good balance of stats. They’re from The Flesh Giant Champion, the conclusion of a quest chain in Icecrown. WoWhead is not entirely helpful on that quest chain, so your best bet is just to go to Darkrider Arly and do all the quests she and her paladin companion offer; the chain will lead you to this quest.


  • Best option: Wispcloak: BoE craftable by tailors. This is leagues ahead of the next alternative, and if you only have one epic crafted this should be it.
  • Alternatives: Deathchill Cloak: BoE craftable by tailors, Reanimator’s Cloak: BoE zone drop from Heroic Drak’Tharon Keep, Shroud of Moorabi from the second boss (Moorabi) in Heroic Gundrak, Shroud of Resurrection from the second boss (Gortok) in Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle, Ancient Dragon Spirit Cape from the last boss (Ley-Guardian Eregos) in Heroic Oculus, or Shroud of Dedicated Research from Honored with Kirin Tor. (The epic is significantly better than the blues, but any of them are fine if you can’t afford a Wispcloak. If you have the choice between them, pick one that bolsters stats where you’re weaker.)

Note for the really keen: you can buy the 10-man Tier 7 chest with 80 Emblems of Heroism. However, that’s still raid gear, and you’ll need something to wear while you’re racking up those 80 badges, so I’m not counting it in the list for now.

  • Best option: Patina-Coated Breastplate, BoE zone drop from Halls of Stone or Eregos’ Ornamented Chestguard from the last boss (Ley-Guardian Eregos) in The Oculus. (Although it’s a lower iLevel item, the Chestguard is a stronger item than the BoE Breastplate. However, the BoE is still pretty good, and unless you get lucky on an Oculus run I’d recommend just picking up the BoE on the AH and spending your playtime working towards an item without a BoE alternative.)
  • Alternatives: Brilliant Saronite Breastplate: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths, or Besieging Breastplate from the Aces High! quest in Coldarra. (Honestly, the only reason to take either of these is if Patina-Coated Breastplates cost more than you can afford on your realm. They’re both fairly uninspiring; the BoP is probably a better choice than the BoE, despite its reliance on mp5.)


  • Best option: Bone-Framed Bracers: BoE from Naxxramas, or Bands of Fading Light: BoE from Utgarde Pinnacle. (The epic is, of course, better than the blue – however, it may be hard to acquire for a few months, as most guilds who see them drop will generally keep them for their own healadins.)
  • Alternatives: Catalytic Bands from the third boss (Mage-Lord Urom) in Heroic Oculus, or Bracers of Accorded Courtesy from Revered with the Wyrmrest Accord.

Like the chest, you can buy the 10-man Tier 7 gloves with 60 Emblems of Heroism.




  • Best option: Poignant Sabatons: BoE drop from Noth the Plaguebringer in 25-man Naxxramas, or Sabatons of Erekem from Erekem in Heroic Violet Hold. (The epic boots are incredibly awesome, but they’re probably also going to cost an arm and a leg on most realms, at least for a few months. The blue boots are an excellent replacement; although they have mp5, there’s so much of it it’s hard to hate them for it.)
  • Alternatives: Mojo Frenzy Greaves from the second boss (Moorabi) in Heroic Gundrak, or Brilliant Titansteel Treads: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths. (The epic boots have great stats, but are again let down by the total lack of +int on them; the blue boots are very solid all-rounders and are a fine replacement for either of the recommended boots in ‘Best Options’ above.)
  • Other decent choices include Harpooner’s Striders from the third boss (Skadi) in Utgarde Pinnacle, Skywall Striders from the third boss (Ionar) in Heroic Halls of Lightning); in the meantime, Slippers of the Mojo Dojo are a good starting point.

Lots of choices here, because you need two rings and they’re all Unique-Equipped.

Trinkets are very situational items; rather than relying on ‘best’ and ‘alternatives’, here are some of the choices. I’ll theorycraft out the numbers at some point in the future:

  • Je’Tze’s Bell, BoP world drop (mostly off elite mobs). Apparently should be fixed soon to be BoE, but I haven’t seen a confirmed source on that. An excellent trinket if you’re lucky enough to get one. The proc works out as approximately 25 mp5.
  • Darkmoon Card: Illusion, from the Darkmoon Prisms deck. Although the mana regen is on a 5 minute CD, it’s a welcome addition now potions are limited to one per fight. Across a 5 minute cooldown, it’s an equivalent of 20 mp5 (although it’s relatively more valuable in short fights).
  • Darkmoon Card: Greatness, from the Darkmoon Nobles deck. There’s a +Int version of this card (and a +Spi version as well) although Wowhead only shows the +Agi and +Str versions so far. With Divine Intellect, a +Int version would deliver 103 Int, with 345 Int on a proc (which is a 35% proc chance, probably with a 45 second internal cooldown). That’s a pretty huge boost, and if you synchronise the proc with Divine Plea, that’s a phenomenal amount of mana return. I’d go out on a limb and say this has the potential to be the single best trinket for pally mana (and the extra spell crit from the +Int is a nice bonus, too).
  • The Egg of Mortal Essence, purchasable with 40 Emblems of Heroism. A good, solid, easily-accessible trinket which will last you a good long time. A pure throughput trinket, with little support for mana issues.
  • Forge Ember from Sjonnir in Heroic Halls of Stone. An excellent trinket, doing dual-duty for throughput and regen thanks to the crit and the proc effect.
  • Spark of Life from Sjonnir in Heroic Halls of Stone. Less impressive than Sjonnir’s other trinket drop, this is still decent, particularly if you’re low on +haste.
  • Figurine – Sapphire Owl, BoP crafted by Jewelcrafters. While weak on the throughput side, this has the potential – especially socketed with Int gems – to be an excellent regen trinket. Notably, it provides a hit of mana independent of potions, dark runes, Divine Plea or similar regen cooldowns.
  • Mercurial Alchemist Stone, BoP crafted by Alchemists. A solid trinket, particularly with Wrath’s new limitations on potion use. This makes every potion that much more valuable, and has some nice equip bonuses to boot.
  • Tears of Bitter Anguish, a BoE drop from Nascent Valkyr in the Storm Peaks. A good throughput trinket, especially useful for fights with high mobility needs, although you probably only want to equip something like this in place of a +spellpower trinket once the rest of your gear passes muster. – this is being changed to work on melee crits only in 3.0.8.
  • Soul Preserver, from Mal’ganis in CoT:Stratholme. The equip bonus is nice, but the proc is underwhelming; it’s only a 2% proc chance, which comes into its own with multi-target healers. For paladins, it’s probably not the best choice for the slot unless you’re really lacking in trinkets.
  • Tome of Arcane Phenomena, from Eregos in The Oculus. Another starter trinket, better than the stacks of green quest reward trinkets you’re probably drowning in, but to be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Cannoneer’s Fuselighter from an early Icecrown quest. It’s got a good combination of stats, just not enough of them, but it’s the best of the pre-iLevel 200 trinkets.


  • Best option: War Mace of Unrequited Love: drops from the last boss (Keristrasza) in Heroic Nexus, or Titansteel Guardian: BoE craftable by blacksmiths. (Tough choice here; overall I’d pick the War Mace for a better balance of regen vs spellpower, but either one would be fine.)
  • Alternatives: Gavel of the Brewing Storm from Revered reputation with the Wyrmrest Accord, or Gavel of the Fleshcrafter: drops from the second boss (Salramm) in Heroic CoT:Stratholme.
  • There are other options, of course: the Beguiling Scepter from the last boss (Mal’ganis) in CoT:Stratholme, Jeweled Coronation Sword from the last boss (Ymiron) in Utgarde Pinnacle, or Totemic Purification Rod from Revered with the Kalu’ak; these are all good if you’re still waiting on Wyrmrest rep and can’t get the drops you want.
  • In the Meantime: Saronite Spellblade, BoE craftable by Blacksmiths – a great starter weapon while you wait to get one of the better options listed above.


  • Best option: Protective Barricade of the Light: 35 Emblems of Heroism
  • Alternatives: Facade Shield of Glyphs: drops from the first boss (Krik’thir the Gatewatcher) in Heroic Azjol-Nerub, or Tor’s Crest: drops from the last boss (King Ymiron) in non-Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. (Personally, I’d take the Crest as I’m finding I strongly prefer crit over mp5 in WotLK.)
  • Tharon’ja’s Aegis from the last boss (The Prophet Tharon’ja) in Drak’tharon Keep is a reasonable stopgap, although inferior to all of the above.
  • In the Meantime: Saronite Protector: BoE craftable by Blacksmiths – a great starter shield which served me until level 80.

Libram choice is very dependent on your healing style; your typical rotation and spell choices are going to dictate what you find more useful, generally.

If you use Holy Light heavily:

If you rely on Flash of Light:

Unfortunately both of these require PvPing, costing both Honor points and Arena points, but there are no other Flash of Light-centric Librams in WotLK.

Instance Quest Checklist: Azjol-Nerub & Ahn'Kahet

Next in the list of instance quest checklists: Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Kahet, the two five-man wings of the Azjol-Nerub hub near Star’s Rest and Agmar’s Hammer in Dragonblight. I’m putting them all in the one checklist because there are so few of them. Also note that all these quests are available to both Alliance and Horde from the same questgivers.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Kahet are two wings of the Dragonblight instance hub also called Azjol-Nerub. The former is a fast, three-boss run full of gauntlets – the first two bosses have little trash other than several waves of trash mobs which attack as part of the boss encounter (much like Mount Hyjal). The latter is a more traditional dungeon with spectacular scenery and a wide range of enemies. Azjol-Nerub is a 72-74 dungeon and Ahn’Kahet is a 73-75 dungeon, but I successfully cleared both of them when I visited at 71 with a group of 70s and 71s. You can’t get the quests until 72 for AN and 73 or 74 for AK.

The history of this zone is tied up with the history of Northrend as a continent. 16,000 years ago Azeroth was dominated by two nations of silithids; the Qiraji in the south and the Nerubians in the north. When Arthas came to power as the Lich King, the Nerubians opposed him and were eventually destroyed; many were turned to his service in undeath. Azjol-Nerub, the Upper Kingdom, is controlled by the Scourge; Ahn’Kahet, the Old Kingdom, is largely populated by Nerubian rebels and their various servants, although the Scourge does have some presence there.


Don’t Forget the Eggs!

  • Quest level 74, requires 72 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to destroy Nerubian scourge eggs.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • The eggs are in a pit off the room with the first boss, Krik’thir the Gatewatcher, and can easily be destroyed after Krik’thir’s been killed.

Death to the Traitor King

  • Quest level 74, requires 72 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to kill the last boss of the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • Pro tip for not wiping on the last boss – an impassable wall springs up around the boss platform when the fight starts, so make sure everyone is on the platform within the pillars before you engage. See the image below – you enter down the web ramp on the left, and you can see the purple ‘wall’ that appears when the fight starts. Make sure everyone is inside the outer ring of the platform.

Anub'Arak's platform

Ahn’Kahet: The Old Kingdom

The Faceless Ones

  • Quest level 76, requires 73 to get.
  • Given by Kilix the Unraveller at the Azjol-Nerub meeting stone, to kill some trash and the last boss of the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • The Forgotten Ones are the three final trash mobs of the instance, before the last boss. There are only three, so if someone misses credit for one for any reason (being out of range, disconnecting, whatever) they’ll have to re-run the instance to finish the quest.

Funky Fungi

  • Quest level 76, requires 73 or 74 to get.
  • This is a very easy quest to miss. It starts from an item drop within the zone, from mobs don’t otherwise need to be cleared.
  • To get the quest, kill Prince Taldaram and head down the tunnel to the large open area with lots of patrolling humanoids and elementals. To the right is the web ramp to the area of the final boss (Herald Volazj), in front is the third boss (Jedoga Shadowseeker) and to the left there’s a ramp down to a subzone called the Shimmering Bog, full of Savage Cave Beasts.
  • The Savage Cave Beasts drop Ooze-Covered Fungus, which starts this quest. Although it says it requires level 74, there are reports of being able to get the quest at 73, either by clicking on the drop or by having someone else share the quest with you once you’ve got the quest starter item.
  • The quest requires you to collect 6 pieces of Grotesque Fungus, which drop from the Savage Cave Beasts in the Shimmering Bog.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

Next in the list of instance quest checklists: The Nexus, which is the first dungeon in Borean Tundra.

Instance Quest Checklist: The Nexus

The Nexus is the first wing of the instance hub in Borean Tundra also called the Nexus. It’s a level 71-73 instance, although semi-geared level 70s will have no problems with it. It’s in the centre of Coldarra, the island in the NW of the zone which can be accessed by catching a flight from Borean Tundra (for Alliance; I’m not sure where the Horde flights leave from).

Lore-wise, it’s focused around the Blue Dragonflight storyline; it’s a haven for Malygos’s allies and the final boss is a red dragon who’s been magically controlled into being Malygos’s latest consort. (Malygos seems to have bad luck with consorts – Sindragosa, his first consort, is the unlucky dragon who features in the WotLK cinematic and on the loading screen, and his second consort Saragosa meets an untimely end in Coldarra.)


These are the quests you should have when entering The Nexus:

Have They No Shame?

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Librarian Serrah in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to pick up a book from the ground in the Nexus.
  • No pre-requisites.
  • Finding the book: it’s on the ground in a tunnel before the first boss, Grand Magus Telestra.

Postponing the Inevitable

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Archmage Berinand in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to use an Interdimensional Refabricator inside The Nexus (on the eastern edge of the platform of Anomalus, the third boss).
  • Precursor chain:
    1. Berinand gives you a quest to take geological readings around Coldarra.
    2. The three main readings are taken in the large blue buildings (which can be seen on the minimap as clumps of blue circles). The readings are taken by clicking on the blue spheres on the ground in each building.
    3. The fourth reading is taken just behind the meeting stone outside the Nexus entrance (down at ground level among the crevasses).
    4. Then return to Berinand, and he gives you this quest.


Prisoner of War

  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • This quest is given by Raelorasz in Transitus Shield, Coldarra, to lay Keristrasza to rest in the Nexus. This one’s the only long chain in this set, and the second-last step is a pain in the neck:
    1. The chain starts from a dropped item, the Scintillating Fragment which drops from Coldarra Spellbinders and Mage Slayers (the human mobs in the area).
    2. Take the pendant to Raelorasz and he asks you to get items from General Cerulean and Warbringer Goredrak. These are two named mobs – a dragonkin and a drakonid respectively – who can be found on the blue ‘summoning circle’ areas near the Nexus. General Cerulean is to the north of the Nexus, Warbringer Goredrak is to the south-west.
    3. Raelorasz then gives you an item which can be used to summon/release Keristrasza, a member of the Red Dragonflight.
    4. Keristrasza wants to deal with Malygos, and asks you to gather Crystallized Mana Shards from around Coldarra – they’re pinky-purple crystals that can be picked up from the ground.
    5. Then she asks you to kill Saragosa.
    6. Once you’ve done that, return to Raelorasz, who gives you a quest to lure Malygos out. Warning: this quest can bug out easily. Here’s how to complete it.
      • First, ride to the north-west entrance of the Nexus (around 25,23), and use the Flare Gun you’re given. This calls Keristrasza down. Make sure you’re dismounted.
      • However, do not use the flare gun if Keristrasza is already on the ground doing the quest event for someone else – make sure you don’t fire it til she has flown away, or you’ll put your flare gun on cooldown and cause the quest to bug for the person who was there first.
      • When Keristrasza lands, she’ll address you, so you know it’s your turn to do the quest. She lies Saragosa’s corpse on the ground, calls to Malygos, sets Saragosa’s corpse on fire, and then flies off (with you on her back – you don’t have to mount up, it’s just an automatic part of the quest event).
      • Keristrasza flies around for a while, then lands – do not move and you should get the quest completion just fine, unless it’s bugged out. (Malygos then turns up, taunts her, freezes her and takes her away, but that’s not your concern until later.) If you fail to get the completion, you’ll have to redo the event from the flare gun step.
    7. Return to Raelorasz, who gives you the final quest to enter the Nexus and lay Keristrasza to rest.

Instance Quest Checklist: Utgarde Keep

With the launch of Wrath of the Lich King (which I am thoroughly enoying, incidentally), there are a whole bunch of unfamiliar instances to play in. Of course, one can dive right in and just go for the sights and the bosses and the loot, but in the drive to hit 80 some quest XP is always nice.

Edit: Galadria has posted a horde-side quest guide on her blog.

Instance Quest Checklist: Utgarde Keep

Utgarde Keep is the first and easiest dungeon in Wrath of the Lich King. It’s inhabited by half-giant vrykul, and is a quick and easy run (until you get to the last boss, who is disproportionately difficult).


These are the quests you should have when entering Utgarde Keep:


  • Quest level 71, requires 70 to get.
  • Given by Defender Mordun in Howling Fjord to loot items from within the dungeon.
  • No pre-requisites.

Into Utgarde!

Quick and easy, just like the instance!

Ahune, take two.

For those of you well-aware that I’m a tabardaholic, here’s the latest to grace my collection!

Tabard of Summer Skies

This means, of course, that we succeeded in getting Ahune down on the first attempt, this time around. Group makeup was: bear druid, holy paladin, prot paladin (the alt of one of the frost mages from last time), fire mage (the other frost mage from last time, post-respec) and a (different) BM hunter. Bear druid tanked the hailstone elite elemental, prot paladin held the swarms of little elementals, holy paladin (moi!) healed, and the mage and hunter DPSed. Zero problems – as it should be, given that everyone other than the prot pally was in T5+ gear.

Given the un-sterling loot off him, I’m not particularly fussed about going back in to farm him, but I’m glad to be able to say the sucker’s dead – and I’d have been mighty upset about missing out on the tabard!

Ahune = Too Hard

Bellwether of 4 Haelz recently posted about her woes with Ahune, the summonable boss who’s around during the Fire Festival. I commented there, agreeing and saying that I think Ahune is tuned too hard, and I want to elaborate on that here.

I’m sure plenty of people can comment and say they PUGged Ahune with no problems, and that clearly I’m “lol doin it rong”. So, let me explain my problem with the issue:

We went in there with a group of T5/6 geared people who’ve been grouping for two years or more; as a group, we can do heroic Magisters wipe-free; we’re not random Donalds. We had a bear tank, a BM hunter, two frost mages and me healing.

First up, of course, everything in the encounter is immune to frost, which limits the mages to arcane damage (or below-par offspec fire spells), which means they OOM in no time flat. So there are swarms of adds around, which the bear finds very hard to control, so there’s lots of stray agro, everyone gets smeared, I can’t heal through splash damage very well as a paladin, I get smeared from heal agro, we wipe. And because the daily quest is to summon Ahune, not to beat him, you only get five tries a day at him.

You should not have to ask people to respec for a holiday event. Holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing, with some free gifts for everybody. Look at the Headless Horseman – he was, in my opinion, a well-tuned holiday event. Easy enough that you didn’t have to be well-geared to take him on and people could bring alts for a bit of fun; rewarding (gear-wise) for people at the right level to take him on. Compare that with Ahune, who is far more challenging, with a loot table that’s fairly unrewarding for people who can actually beat him.

I understand why Ahune and his adds are immune to frost damage, but I think it makes for a bad seasonal event. The one-two punch of the frost immunity plus there being a score of adds that have to be AoE-killed or AoE-tanked is just too picky for a holiday event.

In other words: Blizzard, if you’re going to put in a holiday event that’s unplayable for a (fairly popular) spec, you need to make it easy enough that the rest of their party can successfully ‘carry’ them through it rather than having to replace them. Who wants to PuG a holiday? That’s like going on a roadtrip with a stranger because he’s got a better car than your friend.

So, I will still be heading for Ahune to smash his face in – I’m not letting that tabard pass me by. But I’m not happy about the design of the encounter, and I think it’s disappointing that Blizzard dropped the ball on this, when the rest of the Fire Festival has been done so well.

Instance Quest Checklist: Sunken Temple

With the accelerated levelling curve introduced in 2.3, it’s quite common to only do an instance once as you’re levelling an alt. So, naturally one wants to knock off all the quests you can – this series aims to provide a quick one-stop guide to getting ready for pre-Outlands instances.

It may be out of order, but let’s start with Sunken Temple, since I’m just about to do it on an alt. Note that this guide is Alliance-centric; I haven’t discussed Horde quests yet, although I hope to expand the guides to include Horde quests later.

Instance Quest Checklist: Sunken Temple

The Temple of Atal’Hakkar, better known as the Sunken Temple, is an instance full of trolls and dragonkin in the Swamp of Sorrows. It’s a level 49-55 instance, although you can get all the quests for it by level 48.

Lore-wise, it fits nicely between Zul’Farrak and Zul’Gurub; the ongoing storylines largely revolve around the struggle between the minions of Hakkar the Soulflayer to bring him back to the world, and those who oppose them.


These are the quests you should have when entering the Sunken Temple:

Jammal’an the Prophet

  • Quest level 53, requires 38 to get.
  • Given by the Atal’ai Exile in the Hinterlands (the friendly troll trapped in Shadra’Alor) to kill Jammal’an and loot his head.
  • No pre-requisites.

Into the Temple of Atal’Hakkar

Haze of Evil

The God Hakkar

  • Quest level 53, requires 40 to get.
  • Given by Yeh’kinya in Tanaris, this quest requires you to fill the egg of Hakkar after defeating his avatar.
  • There is, of course, a chain before this, and it’s tiresome:
    1. First up, Yeh’kinya gives you Screecher Spirits, a quest to go and kill vale screechers (windflayer-type mobs) in Feralas and then use a stick on them and talk to their manifested spirits.
    2. Then Yeh’kinya sends you into Zul’Farrak to get the Mosh’aru Tablets off two bosses in there.
    3. Then he sends you off to the Hinterlands to go steal the Ancient Egg from Jintha’Alor, which is a lot easier since the mobs are no longer elite, but it can still be tough, so take friends
    4. Then finally Yeh’kinya gives you The God Hakkar.

Secret of the Circle and Into the Depths

  • Quests are level 51, require 46 to get.
  • Both are given by Marvon Rivetseeker in Tanaris; one requires you to get the urn out of the idol in the centre of the Temple, and the other is just handed in at the Idol.
  • It’s not technically a quest series, but you do have to do the following quests before Marvon will offer you these two quests:
    1. Go to Feathermoon Stronghold and talk to Angelas Moonbreeze, who gives you a quest called The Sunken Temple to go talk to Marvon. This seems like one of those optional linking quests, but it’s not; Marvon won’t offer you any Sunken Temple quests without doing this.
    2. Marvon will then invite you to get the Stone Circle from his workshop in Ratchet.
    3. Then you’ll finally be offered Secret of the Circle and Into the Depths.

The Essence of Eranikus

  • Quest level 55, requires 48 to get.
  • Acquired and completed inside Sunken Temple by looting a quest starter off the corpse of the final boss (Shade of Eranikus). Use it, accept the quest, and then just hit the brazier in the corner of the room to complete it.

Class Quests
At level 50, everyone is given a quest chain by their class trainer that will eventually send you to the Sunken Temple. These quest chains are often worth doing; for some classes the rewards are very good even at high levels (eg one of the shaman rewards is still unmatched at 70). The class quests generally involve killing one of the green dragons in Sunken Temple, or killing the mini-bosses around the inner ring of statues.

Note that they all have a small chain, often involving annoying zones like Azshara and/or annoying features like low drop rates, that must be completed before you get the Sunken Temple part of the chain.

The class quests can be found at WoWhead here: