Since the first six bosses in Firelands are rather silly and easy post nerf, I figured I might write up how we do Ragnaros as guilds might still be stuck on him. The way we do the Intermissions in particular are a bit different than most guides so maybe it'll be helpful for someone.
Also, it took me a while to do this because I wanted to experiment with making animated GIFs and see how that goes, so this is an experiment! :-) I don't know. Hopefully it's helpful! If you think I'm doing something wrong, please let me know.
There are also some Paladin Tank specific tips at the bottom.
RAGNAROS (10) NORMAL
2 tanks, 2 healers, 6 DPS
Unless your DPS is very high (which is to say, if you can push phase 2 with 5 DPS taking only 2 seeds and if you can handle Intermissions with 5 DPS), you want to do this with 2 healers.
6 DPS will also trivialize Phase 3 as you can get through it well before a 3rd meteor forms. If you have more than 3 melee DPS, you might have a bit of trouble but it should be okay with a bit of practice.
You want to set up your groups so you have 1 tank, 1 healer and 3 DPS in each group for ease of positioning in phase 3.
Main things to handle: Smash, Knock-back and Traps
This is a very simple phase - positioning almost doesn't matter. Melee should be tight up against the boss on the lip of his hot-tub to his side to mitigate Parry and they will never have to worry about Smash. The ranged and healers can position themselves at a angle to the Smash as it falls. The only way you might take damage here is if Ragnaros lines up a knock-back and a Smash so that you get knocked into a wave - just strafe towards or away from the Smash to mitigate this as necessary. Also, if a trap lands behind you, move away so you don't get knocked into it.
Dedicate a Mage to handle the traps - they will have no trouble with every single one, but failing that you can rotate paladins (bubble), Shadow Priests, Rogues, Hunters, Warlocks.... this shouldn't be much of an issue, just make sure you have the person call out before detonating it and making sure the raid health is high enough to sustain the damage. Doing it after a knock-back once the raid is topped off is probably best.
Tanks should swap off after 3 stacks of Burning Wound, and we found that taunts were actually messy if the debuffed tank kept DPSing due to very high Vengeance stacks. We found it better to just pull off for a few seconds to ensure safe swaps to avoid gaining a 4th stack of Burning Wound. With tight taunting, you can make sure neither tank ever has more than a 3-stack.
This phase should go very quickly and you will get used to the mechanics after a couple of pulls.
We have a very strict positioning, that we use for both transitions. I'll illustrate using our composition:
Balance Druid - Rogue - Feral - Mage - Priest - Arcane Mage
At the very least, the 2 people at either ends should be ranged, but if you can get four ranged and have 2 each on either side, it would be even better.
This is not a strict formation - the DPS will have to adjust left or right and decide who takes 2 based on the position of the hammer. There will be 2 DPS assigned 4 adds and 4 DPS with one each. No matter where the hammer falls the DPS with single adds need to clean up their add first before shifting over to help with the spares. This is an animated image that will show all 3 positions of hammer.
We trained on the first set of adds with no help from the Tanks until we got it right. That way our DPS was used to handling it on their own and the tanks could cleanly pickup the extra adds in the 2nd intermission without having to worry about splitting attention between the sets of adds.
Now that we have it down, the tanks do help with the adds, but we've drilled it into the DPS that it's their jobs to get the adds down and the positioning is super-simple, as people just need to remember who they're standing next to and they will know where to go. The shifts aren't that complicated either. Just make sure your DPS at either end is careful of the last add on their side as it will go through the lava to get to the Hammer if it's on the left or right, and you do not want melee running into that. Healers can regen mana here for the most part. Also, don't run into the hammer. Hammer.
Main things to handle: Smash, Engulfing Flames and Seeds
Here is all of Phase 2. I spelled it out in detail below, but I think this illustrates it in an easy way.
Pick a side, doesn't matter which one, but you need to gather up while staying 6-yards apart. Staying within Melee is preferable unless Engulfing Flames is on the inner ring. Dodge the first Smash as it comes, wait for Seeds to land, watch out for Engulfing Flames and then as soon as Seeds land on YOU (the timers are slightly off for this, so you need to watch your own feet and move when you see the spinny thing under your feet)! Now, book it to the opposite side using any (safe) speed boost you have, and gather up on the other end as fast as you can.
The positioning is tricky here but every time you move you need to gather up on the boundary between the two nearest Engulfing Flames zones. That way as soon as it hits you can move in or back and not take damage from that. You can drop a raid marker on both sides to identify where you want to gather up.
Shortly thereafter, Seeds will explode and rush you - group up, use ONE raid cool-down here (Aura Mastery, Barrier, Divine Sacrifice, etc.) and AoE the adds down. Now, quickly, either step into Melee or spread out a bit because you're going to get another Smash shortly afterward. This is a not as tight a moment, as soon as the adds die, your raid needs to position itself for the Smash. You have a short amount of time to call it out and adjust. But it's very easy to get focused on one thing and miss the Smash here, especially as you'll have a lot of ground effects going on - know what's going to happen and be prepared.
Right after Smash is the ideal time for DPS cool-downs as you'll have a few long seconds of burn here with only Engulfing Flames to worry about.
60 seconds later, the second set of seeds land - same as before. Run to the opposite side on the boundary of the two Flames zones.
Now, this is the tricky part. 3 things will come at the same time right after the Seeds explode - the adds are rushing you, the Smash is about to come down, and Engulfing Flames is about to go off. This is the make it or break it moment. You WANT Flames to be in the middle or far back so your entire raid just moves onto the lip and avoids everything. That's ideal. But it won't happen like that every time. Chances are you will have Flames in melee range and you will have to do a lot of dodging to avoid the Smash in addition to moving back out of range.
The most tricky thing in both these situations is making sure you tank stays in melee range or Ragnaros will swing and murder anyone else who is in range - usually a rogue (sorry Vesti).
By now, Ragnaros should be sub-50% and you should make a call depending on your DPS and the time remaining before the next cast of Seeds if you want to push him or take a 3rd set of seeds. With 6 DPS this is not a problem, and you can easily push it with 2, as a 3rd will strain your mana and you might not have a 3rd raid-wide cool-down to deal with a 3rd set of adds.
The less time you spend in this phase, the better.
Just handle it exactly as you did Phase 1 - the only difference is that you want to keep at least one Son alive for a little while and kill it as close to the end of the phase as possible. Tanks should pick up one Scion each and bring them to the center, mark one for focus and DPS can swap to it as their adds are cleaned up. Ideally you want to get at least one add down before transition into Phase 3 but it isn't too terrible if you don't. Your raid will have to watch out for Blazing Heat and not give a fire boost to the Sons but it is generally not an issue with a bit of awareness.
If you can handle the Sons in phase 1, you can handle the Sons here. The only trick is to get one of the adds below 50% to slow it, use knock-backs, stuns, Death Grip, etc. to delay its journey as much as possible and really burst on one of the Scions. Cleaves and such will get the other one low - they each have 1.5 million health, so you'll need to hit a few short-cool-down DPS boosts to get one down before transition.
Main things to handle: Smash, Engulfing Flames and Meteor
Group up loosely in the middle, dodge any Smashes or Flames that come your way, get any remainingScions down quickly, hit Heroism and all your really big damage cool-downs, trinkets, take that potion and go nuts. You have a good, long period to really burst him here with very little, very predictable movement, and you can get him through as much as half his remaining health very quickly if you transition with no Scions.
About 60 seconds into the phase, the first Meteor will spawn. Ragnaros should have 30% - 25% health left. Immediately, your raid should split - remember how you split your raid into 2 5-man parties? Group 1 goes left, Group 2 goes right, and whoever is being chased by the meteor knocked it back into the center once they've kited it to their side. The raid just keeps on DPSing and dodging Smash and Flames.
Here it becomes a game of kickball - every time it's knocked back, the meteor will pick a different target and move towards them. It's also immune for a few seconds after each knock-back, so you want it as far into the middle as possible. Make sure there is one person on each side who's responsible for jugging it so everyone isn't just focused on Ragnaros assuming someone else will handle it.
Ideally, you want the meteor picking people on the opposite side so it has to travel to them before getting knocked into the center again and so forth. Chances are it will target people in the same group repeatedly and if it's very close, have the person run out and kite it to the opposite group. But if RNG isn't being really terrible, you should still be able to burn the boss with only one meteor up. More meteors will spawn every 30 seconds (or so it seems) after the first one, but I think the pace might increase after 3 meteors. On our training runs, we saw as many as 5 at a time. That was kind of. Crazy.
At this point, if you're able to deal with the meteor okay, you should be able to kill him. Knock back or kite, either way, you're very close, and all you need is one clean pull at this point. If Rag is at 15% or so, and the meteors are getting too close for comfort - maybe try and have a tank with high stacks or DPS run out with one all the way towards the back while the rest of the raid pushes Rag over.
I do believe that if executed correctly, you can easily get this phase down. The only trouble is that most people will not get a lot of time to practice this as the focus you need to get through Phase 2 and the second transition has drained you (and the healers) and you just kind of tunnel-vision into getting him down to 10% and meteors hit people and you wipe.
The other strategy is to simply have the person who's targetted kite it away from the raid and have the raid move away from the meteor but it requires a great deal of personal responsibility and if a healer gets targetted you need to hit it right away to get it switch targets. We were able to kill him with both strategies but splitting up and playing kickball made it seem more organized for us.
Also, with this other strategy phase 3 can wind up looking like this.
Please note that while I did make the other GIFs, I didn't make this (very awesome) one, I found it while doing random searches for information. Whoever made it is, obviously, awesome.
Paladin Tank specific stuff:
- Use WoG to heal your co-tank after swaps
- If you go into Phase Transition with a Trap up, you should take it, use a bubble after reaching the apex of your parabolic journey, and you should land okay.
- Use Divine Sanctuary for one of the two Seeds (co-ordinate with other raid-wide cool-downs so you don't use them all at once)
- Holy Radiance after Seeds while you still can (still grumbling about the added cast time to that spell in 4.3)
- You can take 1 meteor hit if you're Bubbled, or LoH someone who just got hit by Meteor to save their life