Raid Preparation

As we’re all either getting ready to start raiding, or are already progressing through the current content, I’d like to discuss how we prepare for raids. I’m not talking about having the right spec, or bringing your health and mana potions – but rather preparing for the encounter itself.

Each boss have a different set of abilities, and as such a different tactic for us to be able to defeat them.

We, as players, have to know the boss’ abilities and know how to counteract them (as well as of course get enough output on our dps and healing). How we learn about these things is something that interests me (and how we learn things in general).

The Usual Suspects

In a raid guild you can usually find a few different people when it comes to knowing the boss tactics;

The Raid Leader – by distinction he has to know everything the boss does and what the raid needs to do to defeat him. Step by step.

The Slacker – if you’re lucky he’s at least raid specced and brought his own stack of consumables, but you know he’s not read up about the boss and expects the Raid Leader to tell him all about it.

The Prepared – most likely this raider has read through all of the tactics and have a general idea of the boss fight already before the Raid Leader explains it.

The Overly Prepared – this is someone who probably studied the fights as much as the Raid Leader (or at least thinks that they did) and will interrupt them as they have their own input on what the best tactics should be.

Obviously there are grey areas in between these as well. For example, I’m usually overly prepared; I’ll have read up on the encounter and I’ll know tactics – but! – I don’t interrupt our Raid Leader and give my own ideas for tactics (unless we’re wiping repeatedly and I know he got something wrong! *grins*)

Expectations on Raiders

This probably varies between raid leaders, but for me – if I’m leading the raid – I expect my raiders to at least have a rudimentary idea of the fight before we go in.

I have no interest in spending 15 minutes laying out every spell and ability only to then finally get to explain the tactics. If people have a general idea of the boss abilities when you enter the instance – you can go pretty much straight to the tactics that your guild will employ, with only briefly mentioning abilities (as they pertain in the tactics).


There are so many places where you can find out what abilities a boss has that no one really can have any excuse for not having looked it up.

Something to note though; the tactics that you as a guild employ may not be what you read on your site of choice. In the end, the choice of tactics is up to the Raid Leader and he/she will decide what they think is best for your raid.

Wowhead – The go-to place for all things WoW. If you search on a boss you will find all of the abilities they do as well as possibly a tactic. There can also be useful comments from other people who have done the fight.

Wowpedia – Another great website where you can see every boss for every instance with their abilities listed. You can almost always find good tactics as well.

TankSpot – Great website that has a lot of information for raid tactics, not to mention very useful movies with commentary.

YouTube – You can always search for the boss in question and view movies to get a visual idea of what the raid looks like.


Everyone learns in different ways. Some learns by trial and error, some by visual aids and some by simply reading the information. You probably know yourself best and therefore should have an idea about what you need to do for yourself to know the fight as well as you can before you go into the raid instance.

For me personally, I like to read the tactics and abilities on one or two sites and sometimes (if I feel unclear about some ability) I might go watch a TankSpot video.

That being said though, I am something of a visual person and usually need one attempt at a boss to see the abilities/tactics “in action”. Once this is done I generally feel like I know what I’m doing and am confident in my abilities and knowing what to do when.

So, what about everyone else, how do you prepare for a raid when it comes to tactics? Which sites are your favourites? What kind of “learner” are you; do you need to be in the fight yourself once or a few times before you know it, or is it enough to watch videos and read tactics?


Raid Preparation — 4 Comments

  1. Just a note on your resource links: WoWWiki is no longer actively maintained. Everyone moved to which is actually updated quickly and doesn’t have the eye-gouging formatting of the old Wiki.

    • Thanks, I wasn’t sure about WoWWiki – I had a quick look and it seemed to have updated information, but since it’s not actively maintained I changed the link to Wowpedia. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  2. I know when I was very new to raiding I didn’t look up anything, and I was absoluelt clueless when it came to consumables I should bring etc. I was the person asking for fish feasts (though I was always polite about it, I was still an obvious noobcake). As I got more “into” raiding though I started realizing that I could contribute more, and perform better if I researched the fights I didn’t know, and I even levelled fishing (which I hate o.O) in order to supply fish feasts myself.

    It’s funny because I don’t ever recall anyone telling me I was crap and that I should L2Play, and all of this kind of came naturally as I observed other peoples playstyles. The only exception was when one of the other restodruids (back when we were running ToC10) asked why I wasn’t using Rejuvenation, to which I responded that it healed for absolutely nothing… to which he gently told me that I might want to just the right rank (was using 7 instead of 16 ._.).

    Nowadays I’m kind of obsessive when it comes to being prepared; I’ll watch raid videos (Tankspot = my hero), read blogs (in particular healing/druid blogs, with a few others because I like perspective and because I love their writing *hint, hint* 😉 ), use elitist jerks to figure out how to spec, gem and play. In game I’ll spend all my money on insanely expensive flasks (even when I know we’ve got a wipe night ahead of us, and that using the best flasks is basically tossing money in the sea) etc. etc. I think you get the picture ^.-

    What I wanted to add though was that I kind of went from being a clueless slacker to a pretty prepared raider by watching and learning other raiders. I know from time to time I’ve had discussions with people about new-ish raiders who just don’t realize how much there is to raiding, who are basically just along for the ride. My response tends to be along the lines of as long as their cluelessness isn’t hurting the game (this assumes non-progression content) then let them take their time. I’m not great at taking critique (especially not if it’s very blunt, I tend to take that personally… silly I know) and if someone had told me to stop sucking then I’m pretty sure I would’ve just stopped raiding when I was still a noobcake. A few nudges along the way are great, but I think a lot of people learn best by experiencing, and being allowed to experience – not by being told off/told what to do.

    And I realize this comment got freakishly long and slightly off topic ^^’ but what can I say, it got me thinking back. When it comes down to learning new encounters, I think I learn best by both preparation and experiencing the fight. If I just skipped the first step (ex: tankspot) and dove into the fight, I’d be lost (even with DBM yelling at me). When I’m mentally prepared for the mechanics I’m pretty sure I react faster to them.

    The End x)

    • I’m similar to you, I kind of need both the reading up on the encounter and seeing it in person. Like you I suspect I’d feel a bit lost in an encounter if I’d not read anything about what abilities they do. Like.. hmm should I stand IN that or OUT of it? *steps into the well* OUCH OUT OUT OUT! Or something 😛 (Well okay, I generally like to stay out of things – just in case – which is now getting a bit difficult after we’ve got effloresence and all those other lovely healing things down on the ground!)

      I definitely agree that people should be allowed to learn and get where they need to be themselves (to a certain extent of course). I know I stepped into my first Molten Core raid back in the day not having much of a clue at all.

      For guild progression raids I usually put something in the calendar along the lines of, “please read up on the encounter if you don’t know it” – that way no one is pointed out and everyone can decide for themselves how much they prepare before the fight. I admittedly prefer not having to go through every second of a fight with the raid beforehand though. I remember running a part-PUG Naxxramas in Wrath and had all the guys in stitches cause when I was explaining Thaddius and switching sides everytime I said they had to switch sides I was showing it on my character on screen running – going “wheeeee” everytime I moved. But that’s besides the point I guess 😛

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