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Ideal 25 Man Raid - Composition and Setup

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There are some lists of quantity and classes across 7 or 8 different threads, but they're all in context of one specific class or build. I thought I'd give it a go and start a thread specifically to deal with composition and setup of a 25 man raid size. If this has been adequately covered in another thread that I've missed in the last couple months, my apologies.


Well, the new talents and spells are out there in a (relatively) finished form. We have BC Alpha and Beta information available to see how the new builds are working out in a lvl 67 format so far, as well as how they interact with other classes. We are also, by all estimations, about 5-6 weeks away from retail release.

Has the time come to start looking at the ideal 25 man raid for Burning Crusade?

The obvious caveats apply; you must have leveled to 70 in decent time, you must be a skilled player, you must mesh with your raid group's personality, etc. Starting gear will be less of an importance because at 70 we're all going to be wearing T4 or outstanding blues/greens(!) that we pick up from 60-70 via either instances, quest rewards, or possibly even crafting. There will be a time lag for horde in getting paladins to 70, and lag for alliance in getting shamans to 70. But you need to consider their final impact on the raid group and prepare accordingly… or else you're going to be booting 2-3 other people off the raid group once those pallies/shammies do hit 70. Your speed demons who hit 70 in 2 weeks will likely be prodded into helping those new races power level to get your team to 100% when you start the raiding game at level 70.

Some other assumptions: With 25 people, stacking one particular class is likely a non-viable option. 7, 8, or even 9 of any class (warriors or mages for example) will no longer be possible. Inversely, utility and synergy will be premiums in 25 man raids. Everyone will have to do more with less people. Pure "X" classes that do one thing and fairly well but don't help other classes do their job will be scarce, as their individual dps/healing does not outweigh the benefit of having another class/spec in their place that will increase others by 5/10/25% etc. Multipliers will be amazing, with talents like Misery, LotP, Totem auras and Draenei auras. And versatility will be the king of all. You can't stack the raid with the Trinity of 8 tanks, 8 mages, and 9 priests, because on a fight where you need extra healing you're going to be screwed and on a fight where you need extra dps you'll be screwed. One person who can adequately fill 3 roles depending on the encounter are greater than 3 individual people who you have to sub in and sub out at need.

All that being said, as a guild officer and raid co-leader, I've given much thought to what our ideal 25 man raid should look like and I'd like to get some feedback or pick the ideas of the experts here on the EJ boards:

3 Warriors (1 Protection, 1 Arms/Hybrid, 1 Fury)

3 Rogues (2 Combat, 1 Hemo?)

3 Mages (2 Fire, 1 Arcane/Frost for Slow)

3 Warlocks (Primarily shadow based, not fire based)

3 Paladins (2 Holy or Holy/Prot, 1 Retribution)

3 Druids (2 Resto, 1 Feral)

3 Priests (2 Holy or Holy/Disc, 1 Shadow with VT)

2 Hunters (At least 1 with TSA)

2 Shamans (1 Resto, 1 Elemental)

This gives you maximum amount of flexibility:

5 very capable tanks (3 War, 1 Ret Paly, 1 Feral Druid)

14 Dedicated DPS (3 War, 3 Rogues, 2 Hunters, 3 Mages, 3 Warlocks)

7 Dedicated Healers (2 Holy/Disc Priests, 2 Resto Druids, 2 Holy/Prot Pallies, 1 Resto Shammy)

4 Spot "Oh-shit-we-need-extra-healing!" Healers (1 Ret Pally, 1 Ele Shammy, 1 Feral Druid, 1 Shadow Priest [although the shadow priest is already healing some w/ VE]) that are doing DPS unless needed

10 Physical DPS (3 Wars, 3 Rogues, 2 Hunters, 1 Feral Druid, 1 Ret Pally)

8 Magic DPS (3 Mages, 3 Warocks, 1 Shadow Priest, 1 Ele Shammy)

8 Melee-range DPS (3 Wars, 3 Rogues, 1 Ret Pally, 1 Feral Druid)

10 Ranged DPS (3 Mages, 3 Warlocks, 2 Hunters, 1 Shadow Priest, 1 Ele Shammy)

You also have at least 6 decursers for every conceivable curse, magic, poison, or disease.

They would ideally be arranged in the following groups based upon buffs/synergies for most encounters:

Group 1 (Tanking)

1 Prot Warrior, 1 Arms/Hybrid Warrior, 1 Ret Pally, 1 Hemo(?) Rogue, 1 Hunter

This group has the 2 warriors for stacking shouts on the MT, Demo shout for the boss, Ret pally with Devotion Aura for additional armor, Crusader Strike every 6 seconds to refresh judgements, hunter for pulling, and a rogue as an afterthought cause I couldn't fit him in anywhere else. And with tanks pushing 15k health in a raid setting, the extra 800 health from an imps Blood Pact starts to lose meaning.

Group 2 (Physical DPS)

2 Combat Rogues, 1 Feral Druid, 1 Hunter with TSA, 1 Fury Warrior

This group has the warrior's BS, feral druid's LotP, hunter's TSA. Can take advantage of hunters pet wolf howl.

Group 3 (Self Sustaining Magical DPS)

1 Elemental Shaman, 3 Warlocks, 1 Shadow Priest

This group has the SPriest putting up Vampiric Embrace and Vampiric Touch for the mana-inneficient dps caster classes. This makes them self-sustaining at very high DPS levels near indefinitely with minimal consumable usage (Demonic Runes for the most part). The shaman uses Totem of Wrath to increase the warlocks SB crit rate by 3%, proccing Shadow Vulnerability for another 20% shadow Damage for up to 15 seconds or 4 non-DOT charges for a total of 58.4% additional Shadow Damage on mobs, and 5% to other schools of spell damage. Warlocks use CoE, CoR, and CoS. If the shammy is Draenei (for alliance), he gives his 1% spell hit aura to the DD hit-inneficient warlocks as well.

Group 4 (Healing/AOE)

2 Holy or Holy/Prot Paladins, 2 Fire Mages, 1 Arcane/Frost Mage (for Slow)

This group has Arcane/Frost mage applying Slow to mitigate damage on tank, 2 Fire Mages using +30% or higher crit rates to maintain Ignite, and 2 paladins to BoP the mages for AOE or on agro pull.

Group 5 (Pure Healing)

2 Holy or Holy/Disc Priests, 2 Resto Druids, 1 Resto Shaman

This group benefits from the shammy's Mana Tide Totem and has 2 Inervates at hand. Brezzing a healer becomes much easier when they're in your group and you can see where they died on your minimap. It's much easier to establish healing rotations and watch mana of the other healers if they're in your group.

These groups are certainly subject to change. If you absolutely need the extra 800 hp from Blood Pact, throw an imp in with the tanks. Need AOE healing? Spread out your resto druids and priests to each party and have them go for it (the SPriest already effectively heals party-wide with VE). Additionally, if you have an Atiesh in the hands of a Druid, Mage, Priest or Warlock, they are already in the best group for them in this format.

What are your thoughts on this setup as a viable group that doesn't have to subject itself to min/maxing? There are 27 specs across 9 classes, and while some are perfect for raiding, others aren't (Sub Rogue, BM Hunter, Demo Lock) or are too dependent on spefic setups or encounters (Moonkin Druid that needs to shift to heal and may not have the mana vs. a Ele shammy that doesn't). Some specs (Enh Shamans) are just too situational with 25 people and only 6 melee physical DPS and don't bring to the table the same things a Feral Druid does in their place (Brez, Innervate, ability to tank, etc.). I appreciate any and all comments, including the L2P on classes that I haven't had raiding experience with (mainly shamans).

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I don't get it. Every fight has its own ideal make up. You want roughly 4 of each class in your guild or some 36 people, and just mix and match from there.

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I don't get it. Every fight has its own ideal make up. You want roughly 4 of each class in your guild or some 36 people, and just mix and match from there.

Agreed. You can't know what you want to take yet, and I'd bet that blizzard's aim with all the hybridization going on now is to let you take basically any class you want. Basically, I gess what I'm saying is you won't have to raid stack, but you can.

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Each guild has its own play style and preferences.

Each encounter will require different number of classes.

There is no ideal raid setup, just whatever the guild or group is comfortable with.

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I think people will find that the role of offtank can be picked up by almost any spec of paladins. Protection obviously have a talent for greater +threat to establish aggro, Ret should be able to put out more total damage to get aggro but people tend to forget that all of the paladin threat is from holy damage and Holy paladins are able to out quite a lot between Holy Shock (especially if they force the crit), cheaper Consecrates and the talent that adds a percentage of their Int as +dmg.

The Ret pally in the tank group will probably have the Improved Sanctity Aura up over Imp Devo. It ups his damage output and increases the healing on everyone in his group. I do not see where 1K armor on the tank group is equivalent to a percentage increase in healing on them.

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One of the things I thought of that could be fun to expand a rogues role in raids would be to require some stealth assassination objectives, however depending on what types of mobs you're fighting that might require some more heavy sub builds (at least something with MoD - which your typical combat build doesn't have). I'm not sure what talents that type of scenario would require, as the only truly unique ones are hemo and imp sap, both of which can be mitigated via liberal use of blind and other consumables - so MoD really would be the make or break talent, unless there's some unkillable guy you have to sap and let the raid run by or something.

Maybe what rogues need is more definition to each tree - unique, irreplaceable talents.

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Take your 25 best players and sort out specs within classes.

Any spec is viable, which is what makes raiding in BC so different. While synergy is important in respect to spec makeup (and I basically agree with your composition with one or two minor changes), taking the best (hardcore?) of your raid is far more important. If your guild doesnt have any decent feral druids (lolpvpers?), why would you hurt your raid by taking that bear moron instead of the 5th warrior that has busted his ass every raid night for 3 months in naxx?

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While I think it's much to early to do this kind of Theorycraft, I really can't see why you'd have a Hunter in Group 2 over an Enhancement Shaman.

Bloodlust + Unleashed Rage + SoE + GoA/WFT > TSA for buffing a melee group.

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It's kind of interesting to see what an alliance player would do with shaman. Anyways, yeah, you can use your shaman better than that, and I think you're underestimating just how well an enhancement shaman will improve a melee group. I'd probably go up to 3 shaman and down to 2 druids.

I don't think these types of threads serve any real purpose, but it is kind of fun to theorycraft a raid group.

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There is simply not enough information to do any theorycrafting on raid composition or group setup. For Naxx we have different group set ups for almost every fight with few generic starting points. There are multiple fights today where stacking a certain class will make the encounter insanely easy. If the fight calls for resistances, burst healing, area healing, pure DPS groups, etc is different for almost every fight. I would be dissapointed if I could invite 24 people and have them pre-slotted, as group compisition should be an important skill for raid leaders.

On the same note, I can't wait for January or whatever when massive flamewars will erupt on the WoW forums about the ideal 10th raid member for Kharazahn.

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We'll roll with what we have. As a RL for my guild and an officer, I'm not going to go recruiting and kicking people to make the ideal setup. We'll go with what we have. In essence, hybrids should be interchangeable, in some manner. My dream setup would say 3 druids in a raid. Well, we have enough guildies to probably run 2 raids. But we don't have 6 dedicated druids. And I would probably only bring 2 hunters per raid. We have 10ish or so active raiding hunters. (Some are still heavy in MC, others are helping the push into AQ40. A couple have been introduced into BWL.)

But, by theorycraft, this is the raid I think would kick ass.

Tanking Group

Warrior (MT - Protection)

Paladin (Protection)

Paladin (Retribution)

Druid (Restoration)

Warlock (Affliction)

Melee DPS Party 1

Warrior (Fury)


Shaman (Enhancement)

Hunter (Marksmanship)

Druid (Feral)

Utility Party

Warrior (OT - Arms)


Hunter (Survival)

Warlock (Affliction)

Priest (Holy)

Healing Party

Priest (Discipline)

Priest (Shadow)

Paladin (Holy)

Druid (Balance)

Shaman (Restoration)

Magic DPS

Mage (Arcane)

Mage (Fire)

Mage (Frost)

Warlock (Destruction)

Shaman (Elemental)

3 of everything.

2 Rogues

2 Hunters

The Tank party gives you improved auras, constant renewals of judgments, tree of life buffs to the main warrior and paladin tanks, and a warlock's imp buff. That warlock also provides improved CoE or CoS.

The Melee DPS party comes with ALL of the Shaman buffs, Paladin's blessings, TSA, Battle Shout, and Imp. LoTP to make this group really stacked for DPS.

The Utility party has an OT Warrior, and some slight buffage for the Rogue. Nothing amazing, but things can always be switched around. Weakest party in this setup. Still looking to tweak it.

The Healing party is created to support the +crit and Shadow Priest damage. +crit should not only make your heals a bit more effective, but it is also important to Paladin healing. The shaman can provide +healing in the form of +dmg/healing and also Mana Spring. The Shadow Priest's DPS should be increased by having the +dmg and healing and also the +crit from the moonkin. The Shadow Priest's DPS restores mana to your healers while placing debuffs on the mob to help out your locks. Probably my favorite party setup.

The Magic DPS party is just stacked to have the shaman totems augment their DPS capabilities. Mana Spring, +101 Damage and +3% Spell Crit. Not sure if Oomkin will stack. ;)

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On the same note, I can't wait for January or whatever when massive flamewars will erupt on the WoW forums about the ideal 10th raid member for Kharazahn.

Pfft. There's already an answer for that right now: the best guy that you have spare.

Unless KZ requires 10m raid stacking (dear god I hope not ><), it's gonna be really fun to run it with small, skilled groups of friends. I think as long as you have two dedicated healers, two or three tanks, and smart players for the remaining 5 or 6 slots--with at least two hybrid classes in there for weirder fights--you're good to go.

I think we're going to be doing a lot more of targeting raid slots by 'job' and not by class in BC and that's a really good thing in my mind.

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That's a lot of typing that could have been avoided had you checked to see what happened to the same topic not long ago.

For those too lazy to click that, the correct answer is: take who's available and/or needed.

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