Persistence! Determination! Sheer, bloody luck.
I’m of course talking about soloing old raids for mounts. Over the course of yesterday evening and this morning, I have soloed Ulduar 6 times across 3 characters, hoping for Mimiron’s Head to drop (and Fragments of Valanyr on the monk too).
I have Ashes of Al’ar. I have Invincible. I have the mammoth from Wintergrasp and the horse from Karazhan. The ones I am focusing on now are the above-mentioned Mimiron’s Head, and the mounts from Ragnaros, Ultraxion and Madness of Deathwing.
I don’t do every boss every week, that’d drive me insane. Sure, my way of “focus on a few at a time” may take longer, but that’s just the way I roll!
I really, really want Mimiron’s Head though. I love the model, I love the noise it makes when it flies. I love the fact I’d be the only one in my guild with it!
Yet here I am, doomed to wait another week for another failed attempt, ever hopeful that THIS TIME, this time it WILL drop.
At least it’s easy to do now. On my warrior and warlock, the fights are easily nuked on 10 man, and when you defeat Vezax, you just switch to 25 man and face down Yogg Saron.
For the monk, I’m doing it on 25, primarily because the bosses also drop Fragments of Val’anyr, a legendary weapon I’d quite like to acquire. Feat of Strength, and I think it’s one of the weapons nobody in the guild has yet, so guild FoS too!
Look at me, being all considerate. Ish.
Ulduar. One of the raids that people hail as being the best, or one of the best, that WoW has to offer. It has a massive amount of achievements associated with it, a bonus boss, the voice acting of Jamieson Price (Yogg-Saron, also LORD JARAXXUS, Lu Bu, Algol, Seraph Lamington, and many other things I idolise the man for), new and interesting ways of activating hard modes, and a boss that can’t be soloed normally!
This is gonna be a fun one.
THE SIEGE OF ULDUAR
This covers the first four bosses, which are naturally rather easy. Getting the achievements for them however? Not so much. The first time I tried to solo this place, I didn’t hop in a vehicle for the gauntlet of trash. Don’t be like me, it makes life difficult.
Flame Leviathan: Big-ass vehicle made by Mimiron. To activate his hard mode, talk to Lore Keeper of Norgannon at the entrance and tell him to start up the defense systems before you start clearing the trash. Don’t kill off the big towers on the way up, just go forward and kill whatever gets in your way, including the mob-spawning towers.
For the boss himself, if you’ve NOT activated his hard mode, it’s a simple case of being in a demolisher, and using the Pyrite Barrel ability on him. It puts on a stacking (to 10, duration 10 seconds) DoT that will kill him, but you can only use the ability 10 times. This is enough. Move backwards as you fire at him so he doesn’t catch you.
For the hard mode, you’ll need to use more than 1 demolisher. What I do, you’ll see in the video below, but there’s some prep you need to do before you pull. First, take a demolisher to the south-eastern corner of the fight area, then make a slight wall around it of the other vehicles. This is because though he focuses on you, he also sends missiles at the other vehicles in the area, and we’re hoping the other vehicles divert fire from the second demolisher. You hop in your demolisher, approach from the south-western area, and throw a pyrite barrel. You want to space them out, so fire a couple normal shots in-between. As you do this, move towards the south-east corner, keep the DoT up. When you start running low on health in Demolisher#1, spam the pyrite! If you get him below 50%, you did good. When the vehicle is destroyed, hop in #2.
Repeat the process, this time heading northwards, space the pyrite out slightly, then spam it if you’re getting low on health like I did. Demolisher#2 gets destroyed, so run! Use Burning Rush, take a hit from his ram (it knocks you back pretty far), and wait for the DoT to finish him off. If it drops, and it’s still alive, you’ll have to kill it yourself, so I hope you took Kil’jaeden’s Cunning! Keep the speed boosts up, pop your cooldowns, and let’s hope that beast don’t ram you to death.
I promise the rest of the bosses won’t warrant such a wall of text. Well, maybe Thorim. And Yogg-Saron. And Algalon…
- Three Car Garage: This one requires three visits. You need to defeat the boss in each of the three vehicles.
- Dwarfageddon: Kill 100 Steelforged Defenders in 10 seconds. They spawn infinitely from the towers, so it’s easy enough to get.
- Unbroken: Kill ol’ Flamey on your first attempt, without repairing your vehicle. Easy to do if you’re not doing hard mode.
- Orbital Bombardment/Orbital Devastation/Nuked From Orbit/Orbit-uary: Defeat the Flame Leviathan with 1/2/3/4 orbital defense systems active respectively. Fulfilling one achievement awards the ones below it as well, so if you get Nuked From Orbit, you also get Orbital Devastation and Orbital Bombardment.
- Shutout: Kill Flame Leviathan without causing a system shutdown. Honestly, I’ve never SEEN a system shutdown, so there you go.
- Take Out Those Turrets: Can’t be done solo. Requires you to be a passenger in a demolisher, get catapulted onto the boss, and then destroy a defense turret.
Ignis the Furnace Master: TANK AND SPANK. There is nothing of note here. Doesn’t even have a hard mode, pfft.
- Stokin’ the Furnace: Kill him in under 4 minutes. Not hard.
- Hot Pocket: Survive being thrown into his slag pot. I think it’d be harder to NOT survive it.
- Shattered: Wait for him to summon 2 Iron Constructs. Kite them into fire left by Ignis until they reach 10 stacks of Heat, which causes them to get a new debuff called Molten. It lasts 20 seconds. Now kite them into the water on the side of the fight area. This causes a new debuff called Brittle. Kill them both within 5 seconds of each-other.
Razorscale: Another simple fight. First phase, you can’t attack the boss. Adds will periodically enter the fight for you to slaughter, while some NPCs repair the harpoons. Once they’re fixed, use them to bring the boss down. Nuke her. Once she gets to 50%, she won’t fly back up again. Talk to the Expedition Commander to begin the fight. Hint: He’s not a dwarf.
- A Quick Shave: Kill her having let her land once, and only once. Easy!
- Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare: Kill 25 Dark Rune Guardian Dwarves with the boss’s Flame Breath. Self explanatory, really. Guess what? You don’t have to do it all in one run if you don’t want to. If you kill 10 one week, 10 another, then 5 in a third week, you get the achievement. Happy day! Kill the Sentinels (no cloak, it’ll cleave and kill everything else too), wait for the harpoons, get the boss to below half health, then wait for her to kill the guardians. Be wary of Fuse Armor, it’s annoying. Most likely easier to do this one with others.
XT-002 Deconstructor: Another glorious tank & spank here. When he gets to 75%, his heart is exposed. Kill it to enter his hard mode! He gets restored to full health, and hits harder, but your voidlord’ll be fine. Watch out for Tympanic Tantrum, it hits HARD.
- Must Deconstruct Faster: Kill him in the oddly specific time of under 205 seconds.
- Heartbreaker: Kill his heart, then kill him. Meanie.
- Nerf Gravity Bombs: Don’t let a gravity bomb kill you.
- Nerf Engineering: Don’t let any scrapbots heal XT.
- Nerf Scrapbots: Kill 20 scrapbots using a boombot in 12 seconds. At 75%, 50% and 25% health, XT exposes his heart and adds summon. Get the heart low but DON’T KILL IT. Push him into the next heart phase quickly, then a third time quickly. This achievement is very RNG focused, hopefully you will have enough scrapbots near enough boombots. Kill a boombot, it’ll kill the nearby scrapbots. I’d recommend having your voidy tank XT in a corner.
THE ANTECHAMBER OF ULDUAR
This area houses my favourite boss in the instance, but let’s do the other 3 first.
Assembly of Iron: Honestly, it’s a pretty simple tank & spank, but keep an eye on your health levels. The hardmode of this fight is all in what order you kill them in; killing Steelbreaker last awards the achievement for the meta.
- I Choose You, Runemaster Molgeim: Kill Molgeim last.
- I Choose You, Stormcaller Brundir: Kill Brundir last.
- I Choose You, Steelbreaker: Guess.
- But I’m On Your Side: Kill the last member of the assembly while under the effects of the Iron Boot Flask, which is a consumable you purchase from Olug Alegut or Rork Sharpchin for 10 Relics of Ulduar.
- Can’t Do That While Stunned: Another of those “much easier as a group” achievements, this requires you to prevent Brundir damaging anyone with Chain Lightning or Lightning Whirl. Interrupts are the order of the day here, along with nuking him first. Your pet counts as something that you can’t let be damaged.
Kologarn: A weird one, this. I prefer to do this petless, as he has an ability called Stone Grip which he uses to grab you. If you’re alone (ie your pet then dies), this’ll reset the fight. If your demon survives for 8 seconds, then YOU die. He won’t use this if you’re the only target, however. He also won’t grab you if he’s using his eye beams. Simply nuke the main body, unless you’re achievement hunting. Stick in melee range, unless you’re a fast nuker. He uses Petrifying Breath on targets he can’t reach, which puts a stacking debuff that increases damage taken.
- Disarmed: Kill both arms and the main body within 12 seconds of each-other. Relatively simple for a warlock with Havoc. Get the head down to about 20%, get the arms to a Chaos Bolt-able level, Havoc one arm, target the other and fire. Finish off the head.
- Rubble and Roll: When you kill an arm, it spawns 5 rubbles. The arms respawn after a short while. Kill 25 rubbles.
- With Open Arms: Kill Kologarn WITHOUT killing his arms.
- If Looks Could Kill: Don’t get hit by those eye lasers of his. This includes pets, so another reason to go petless here.
Auriaya: Tank and spank of the easiest kind. Has a horrifying death screech. I’m honestly shocked my neighbours haven’t called the police.
- Crazy Cat Lady:Kill Auriaya without killing Sanctum Sentries.
- Nine Lives: About a minute into the fight, she spawns a Feral Defender. Kill it. Wait for it to revive, kill it again. Do this until it has died NINE TIMES. Ugh.
Algalon the Observer: My favourite! You definitely need your voidlord to tank this one, at lower gear levels he hits like a truck. Don’t think that this is your cue to sit back and nuke, you have some moving around to do! Big Bang hits for about 100k on 25man, but hopefully your soul leech shield will absorb all that. When you see that he’s casting Cosmic Smash, move from where you are. He’ll send a fireball at that location which will knock you up VERY high, taking off over half your health when you land again. Adds can be a nuisance, if they start to bother you, kill ’em, otherwise run around to prevent them hitting you. Don’t go into black holes.
Phase Punch stacks to 5, then fades the target out of existence. This’ll be on your pet, so don’t worry too much about it. Flames of Xoroth and Soulshatter if needed.
(VIDEO WILL GO HERE AT SOME POINT)
- Supermassive: Close 3 black holes in 10 seconds, then defeat Algalon. May be another of those “easier in a group” dealies. You kill a Collapsing Star, it spawns a black hole. To close it, you kite a Living Constellation into it. Requires good positioning and a bit of luck.
- Observed: Kill Algalon. Rewards a title! Starcaller on 10 man, Astral Walker in 25 man.
THE KEEPERS OF ULDUAR
These are the watchers that protect Ulduar on behalf of the titans, only Yogg-Saron has made them go mad. Let’s go beat the crazy out of them, beginning with…
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never done this one solo. It IS doable, but requires glitching the encounter slightly. Keep your voidlord on passive. You basically kill everything in the arena, hit the switch and run through to the first big mob. Pop any speed boosts you can, tag the big enemy then run run run back into the arena before the instakill spark gets you. The encounter will reset, but the gate won’t close for a while, and the colossus will still be chasing you. Move your voidlord to the centre of the arena, get back through the gate before it closes, and wait. When the arena mobs respawn, have your voidlord hit one of them, then dismiss him. This makes them aggro onto YOU.
They’ll run through the gate, Kill the giant, and all but 1 of the arena mobs (I generally save the Dark Rune Acolyte as I can one-shot him). Run up, killing everything on the way, go up the stairs, kill the colossus to open the door, then go hug the wall (running through the centre to Thorim will make you fall afoul of traps) to Thorim.
This part is where good timing is critical. You need to kill the mob you saved from the arena, wait for Sif to spawn, hit Thorim, jump off and land in the arena before he does. From here, you kill him as normal.
What appears to be a recent change to Ulduar is the fact that in order to unlock the way to Vezax and Yogg-Saron, you don’t have to beat Thorim! Happy days. Further joy comes in 6.0:
.@HenkeLennartsso Changed in 6.0: Thorim won’t trigger the deathball/reset when his arena is empty.
- Lose Your Illusion: Get to Thorim in under 3 minutes. Speedy.
- Siffed: Beat up Thorim while Sif is there.
- Don’t Stand in the Lightning: When Thorim is engaged, don’t get hit by his lightning.
- I’ll Take You All On: Be one of the people who goes through the tunnel. You’re doing this solo? Guess that’s you then.
- Who Needs Bloodlust?: Kill Thorim when under the effects of Aura of Celerity. To get this, you need to mind control a Dark Rune Warbringer. You can’t mind control things, so you can’t do this solo. Hope you have a priest for a friend.
EDIT: I finally managed to do it! Watch me here.
Hodir: Tank and spank! The “hard mode” is a timed event; kill him in under 3 minutes. The only thing you need to watch out for is his ability Flash Freeze. To avoid it, you need to stand atop a pile of snow that forms shortly before he casts it, indicated by a large circle on the ground. Avoid falling stuff in general. Free the NPC’s if you like.
- I Could Say That This Cache Was Rare: Speed kill! Beat Hodir before he smashes the rare cache. You have around 3 minutes to do this.
- Cheese the Freeze: Don’t get hit by Flash Freeze!
- Getting Cold In Here: Don’t get more than 2 stacks of Biting Cold. Keep moving around, or stand by the little campfires.
- I Have the Coolest Friends: Don’t let the NPC’s die! You have no way of healing them (which will bite us in the ass further on down the line), so a speed kill is the order of the day here too.
- Staying Buffed All Winter: Be under the effects of Toasty Fire, Starlight and Storm Power simultaneously. NPC’s cast the third one, the campfires give the first buff, and beams of light give the second. You need a second player for this, however; Storm Power is the result of a player with storm clouds around them moving to another player.
Freya: Two ways of doing this. You’re overgeared? Focus Freya, burn her down HARD. Stand under mushrooms to avoid silencing. Undergeared? You can’t outdamage her healing, but the multiplicative effect diminshes for each add wave she summons and you subsequently kill. Get her down to a point you CAN outdamage the healing, then do so.
Clear the trash beforehand. There are three Elders you can kill; leaving them alive triggers Freya’s hardmode when you engage her. It’s an easy tank & spank when they’re all dead. It’s moderately difficult when they’re not.
- Knock on Wood/Knock, Knock on Wood/Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood: Kill Freya with 1/2/3 elders alive respectively.
- Deforestation: Kill 2 Water Spirits, 2 Storm Lashers and 2 Snaplashers within 10 seconds.
- Lumberjacked: Kill all three elders within 15 seconds. Clear trash, then kite one to the second, then kite them to the third.
- Con-speed-atory: Kill Freya within 20 minutes of killing the first enemy in the conservatory.
- Getting Back To Nature: Kill Freya when she has 25 stacks of Attuned to Nature. She starts with 150, and she loses stacks for each add you kill. Get her to 25 then nuke.
Mimiron: So much fun! Four phase fight. First is a tank and spank; have your Voidlord tank the boss while you blast it to oblivion. Second phase, watch out for Rocket Strike. It’s a 1-hit KO. I recommend keeping on the move. Third phase, Nuke the flying thing. Kill adds if they bother you.
Fourth phase sees all the parts come together like some sorta nightmarish Megazord. They need to be destroyed within 10 seconds of each-other, so spread out your damage evenly. Again, watch out for those Rocket Strikes. Get the parts down to Shadowburn range, then finish them off.
Hard mode adds more health, more damage, and FIRE. LOTS OF FIRE! How to activate it? Hit the switch at the back of the room.
- Firefighter: Activate the self-destruct switch (that big red button on the back wall) before engaging Mimiron. Beat him.
- Not-So-Friendly Fire: Have Mimiron kill one of the little robot adds from phase 3 with Rocket Strike in phase 4. Aww.
- Set Up Us The Bomb: Don’t get hit by the mines in phase 1, Rocket Strike in phase 2, or bomb bots in phase 3.
THE DESCENT INTO MADNESS
General Vezax: Tank and spank! Only with a twist. I prefer to do this fight as Affliction, as your three DoTs don’t really cost much mana, and haunt only costs a soul shard. There’s a special annoyance with this fight, you see; no passive mana regen! The only way to actually regenerate mana is to kill a Saronite Vapor, and sit in the puddle it creates. This consumes health but returns mana at a steadily increasing rate. Be careful not to kill yourself!
As affliction, you shouldn’t need to do this, just DoT him, have your voidlord tank him, and wait. Refresh DoTs when necessary. To do this as Destro, try to have a little restraint, and definitely use those mana regenerating puddles.
- I Love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning: Allow 6 vapors to fuse into a Saronite Animus, kill it, then Vezax. Rather difficult to solo as a mana-based class, I recommend bringing a friend. Maybe a healer. You’ll be waiting around a lot!
- Shadowdodger: Don’t get hit by Shadow Crash. Simples.
Yogg-Saron: Ah, the big one. The really difficult, RNG-heavy one. Before you go into the room, you have the option to speak to the 4 keepers of Ulduar and request their assistance in the fight. Mimiron increases your damage dealt and movement speed, and weakens tentacles. Freya creates sanity wells (they restore sanity when you stand in them), and increases damage done and healing received. Thorim also increases damage done, and increases your total health. He also makes the Immortal Guardians in phase 3 killable. Hodir increases damage yet again, and reduces damage taken. He also protects you from death by encasing you in ice for 10 seconds, but can’t do it constantly. Have your voidlord out.
Phase 1: Go to the middle of the room where Sara is. Clouds will bubble and form guardians. Kill them near Sara to damage her. Do this 8 times and phase 2 will begin. You can force guardians to spawn by walking into clouds. Kill any remaining guardians.
Phase 2: This phase is where your sanity starts getting attacked, if it gets low, go stand in one of the green sanity wells on the outside of the room. Tentacles spawn every so often. Kill them. One of them likes to pick you up and wave you around like a trophy; have your demon kill it. Small ones put an annoying debuff on you that stuns you at random intervals. Kill them before they can cast it! Eventually, Yogg will shout “MADNESS WILL CONSUME YOU!” and create portals into his head; make a beeline for them!
Brain Room: There are several different brain rooms, but the premise in each remains the same. Plonk a Rain of Fire wherever you see an NPC, they turn into tentacles, then die as they have low health. Once all of them are killed, you can attack Yogg’s brain. Kill it then leave via the portals. See the little chattering skulls around the room? DO NOT FACE THEM, they drain your sanity. You have 60 seconds to do this, so I hope you have good DPS, or can risk having to go in again. If 60 seconds elapses, you go insane, which effectively mind controls you, then blows you up when there’s nothing left for you to kill.
Phase 3: You get spat out. Ew. Nuke Yogg-Saron! Ignore adds (unless you have Thorim active) as they can’t die anyway. Try and have your voidlord pick them up. Whenever he uses Lunatic Gaze, TURN AWAY FROM HIM. It reduces sanity by 4% every second, and you’re probably low at this point if you don’t have Freya active.
Yes, you can solo this on 25 man too. No, I haven’t yet. It’s rather difficult, and still heavily RNG-based. Killing Yogg+0 on 25 man nets you the CHANCE to get Mimiron’s Head, the coolest mount ever.
- Three Lights in the Darkness/Two Lights in the Darkness/One Light in the Darkness/Alone in the Darkness: Kill Yogg-Saron with the assistance of three, two, one, and no keepers respectively.
- They’re Coming Out the Walls: During phase 1, kill 9 guardians in 12 seconds. You’ll have to force them to spawn by running into clouds, then nuke them down together.
- He’s Not Getting Any Older: Kill Yogg-Saron in under 7 minutes.
- Drives Me Crazy: Beat Yogg without anyone in your raid going insane. You’re soloing? Well, you get this by default. Unless you do what I did in my demo video below, oops.
- In His House He Waits Dreaming: There are three versions of the brain room. One with Arthas, one with Deathwing, one with Garona. See them all. Doesn’t have to be done in one visit.
- Kiss and Make Up: /kiss Sara during phase 2. She’s on top of Yogg’s head. Pucker up!
And there we have it. All the bosses, all the achievements. Some bosses (Yogg, Thorim, Mimiron) are a lot harder than others (Auriaya, Ignis, Vezax), but there’s some fantastic stuff to see here. Best raid in the game? That’s for you to decide, I guess.
Next solo guide, naturally, will be Icecrown Citadel. I may also do a quick guide to the Timeless Isle and an introduction to Destruction for people who boosted a warlock to 90, seeing as I boosted a horde warlock to 90 t’other day.
Because I haven’t posted a picture of Lillorigga the warrior recently, here she is dodging the attack of a filthy demon! Parry! Riposte! Thrust!