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Raid Composition and Karazhan

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#1 GSpot


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:02 PM


I've been looking around on the boards for answers to a couple of questions that I have regarding Karazhan, here and a bunch of other places, but I can't seem to find the answers or specifics I've been looking for. Hence, I'm posting here as the readership (postership?) here tends to be the most experienced and informed.

We started our guild's second Karazhan group last night with the following setup:

Group 1:
Paladin - Tank
Priest - DPS (Shadow)
Paladin - Healer
Warlock - DPS
Mage - DPS

Group 2:
Druid - Tank
Paladin - Healer
Priest - Healer
Hunter - DPS
Rogue - DPS

We one-shot Huntsman and Moroes without a problem. We wiped a couple times on trash after that before realizing we needed to take the elite undead were deadly SoBs. Wiped on Maiden due mis-aggroing while setting up, lost a healer, re-jiggered the group with a pug or two. Wiped a bunch of times on Maiden before realizing we needed to take her Holy Fire seriously (dropping out of Shadow to renew, shield, dispell and dps-heal really helped - threw the rogue and pug warrior in my group to get VE) and downed her finally.

Longish intro - sorry, but basically the group is exceeding what we thought we'd be able to do in the first 3-4 hours in there, with three off-specs to boot (I can't say enough about the awesome synergy of Group 1 with a pally tank, shadow priest, warlock and mage by the way). Next up on the platter is Opera and we have Romulo and Julianne. Here are my questions.

1. Are we totally cooked with R & J since we don't have someone to disarm and we are using pally+druid tanks? Has anyone done Romulo without the ability to disarm or is this a total necessity??
- I read through the Paladin and Druid tanking thread on here and saw claims that a) Warrior were totally necessary as tanks b) Druids were the best due to their high mitigation and dodge and c) that the encounter was designed for a Pally tank. I don't have the ability to evaluate any of those claims accurately, myself.

2. Do we have too little melee DPS for Curator or will a little practice be enough for the ranged to learn to avoid the spell casts? (Also can you mana drain the Curator in his regen phase to prolong it and cause 250% damage as well?)

3. Are there any major roadblocks besides these that we are going to run into with the above raid set-up?

We have the ability to add in several others, I'm hoping, to mix up classes and setups (another hunter, rogue or warlock are possible) but we are currently experiencing a dearth of protection spec warriors.

Ok, thanks for the help! Sorry for not being succinct - it's not in my nature :)

#2 tbone47


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:16 PM

im pretty sure you can't mana drain the curator. can't do so regularly, don't see why you would be able to during weaken.

#3 fuzzy


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:23 PM

Put the shadow priest with all healers and your 1 caster dps on curator and have the priest stick on Curator full time. For this to work, all your other dps must focus on the flares and assist fast.

Shadow priest: Have VE/VT/SWP on Curator right before evocation, Shadowfiend at 2nd evocation, to fully fill up mana, and keep VE/VT up (especially VT) and your healers and cast dps will never run out of mana. Your paladin will end the fight at full mana. This also has the added benefit of you knowing hateful bolts will be hitting your shadow priest. Oh and SWD just on the no evocation phase.

Shadow priests break the rules of the world of warcraft in the Curator fight.

#4 mek


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:31 PM

Let's generic-ize this thread to prevent it from being nuked. How many of you are actually running Karazhan with 9+1 (one of every class) raid compositions? If you're not, who gets benched?

The trend in my guild so far seems to be 2x warrior and 2x priest, with a dps class like mage, rogue, hunter or enh shaman getting benched. Frequently we bring 3 tanks, the third being a feral druid who mostly DPS'es. Warlocks absolutely always have a slot, due to their insane utility on a number of boss fights, combined with soulwell, blood pact, soulstone, banish, etc. Sometimes 2x warlock happens as well, if they're around they generally won't be benched. This is with the intent of clearing through Prince as fast as possible, to wipe to Nightbane repeatedly. :D

How many of you are bringing less than 3 pure healers, and how many hybrids do you fill the gap with? Holy paladin and a heal-specced priest both are taken for granted in all the KZ raids I've seen in-guild.

#5 Orestus


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:44 PM

Your specific questions:

1) You don't need disarm for R&J, its nice enough but in no way is it at all necessary. If your druid is geared as a feral tank he can easily tank Romulo. (Would not advise the pally to tank Romulo) Pally should be able to tank Julianne fine, Ardent Defender would probably be a nice talent on her since her main damge spell is a quick duration DoT, and is likely to drop the pally below 20% gradually instead of just killing them instantly.

2) Melee DPS isn't great on curator because they have to run around alot to catch the spawns. Our kill last night had only 1 feral druid melee DPS'ing along with 2 mages, a hunter, and a shadow priest on spawns. 1 Warlock stayed on Curator the whole time to tank the Hateful bolts. 3 Healers. As far as I know you can't mana drain him. Ranged don't really avoid the spell casts. Dampen magic them and heal through it, damage isn't very much at all if your DPS is fast enough.

In more general raiding terms:

We aim for 3 main healers, 2 Tanks (usually Prot warrior and a feral druid), and 5 DPS. DPS often includes a shadow priest, and has included a moonkin druid and a feral druid, no enhancement shaman yet. We try for the 9+1 style set up, with the second usually being a priest (shadow priest), but we do swap out some for specific bosses if we need certain skill sets more than others.

#6 Surion


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 06:39 PM

Let's generic-ize this thread to prevent it from being nuked. How many of you are actually running Karazhan with 9+1 (one of every class) raid compositions? If you're not, who gets benched?

The trend in my guild so far seems to be 2x warrior and 2x priest, with a dps class like mage, rogue, hunter or enh shaman getting benched. Frequently we bring 3 tanks, the third being a feral druid who mostly DPS'es. Warlocks absolutely always have a slot, due to their insane utility on a number of boss fights, combined with soulwell, blood pact, soulstone, banish, etc. Sometimes 2x warlock happens as well, if they're around they generally won't be benched. This is with the intent of clearing through Prince as fast as possible, to wipe to Nightbane repeatedly. :D

How many of you are bringing less than 3 pure healers, and how many hybrids do you fill the gap with? Holy paladin and a heal-specced priest both are taken for granted in all the KZ raids I've seen in-guild.

My guild runs two groups. Group one which I lead always runs with a 8+2 (wtb Alliance Shamans pst!!!), the extra two being extra warrior and extra dps; usually a ShadowPriest or Hunter, though I would gladly trade it for a shammy if only our server had more than two. =(

Our #2 group runs with a Feral MT, Prot War OT (though he is most likely going back MS/Prot). 2x Holy Priests, 1x Feral/Resto druid healing, 1x HolyPally, and then one of every dps class.

#7 Dinadass


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 06:56 PM

The first time we got R&J, we killed them without disarming Romulo. As mentioned above, a feral druid can tank him fine as long as he's geared for it.

Melee DPS isn't necessary for Curator; in fact our usual Karazhan makeup has no rogue or DPS warrior and does just fine. Ranged classes that don't have good burst (Affliction warlock, shadow priest mainly) should devote most of their time to the Curator, and only help out on adds if they are staying alive too long.

Having a rogue would be nice for Aran, but again it isn't required. It would also be good to have a warrior tank for Prince and Nightbane if you do them; Feral druids might have the same HP/AC, but don't have as many abilities that come in handy for those fights.

Generally, we've been running 1 of every class, with 2 priests. Our druid is usually feral, and some times we sit a rogue for a shadow priest. We'll start running 2 groups next week, both of which should have a pretty balanced composition.

#8 Tempestra


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 07:38 PM

While we switch our group around every night so that all our raiders get a chance to get their feet wet on all the Karazhan fights, we typically bring a fairly balanced group that looks like:

Prot warrior
DPS warrior
Feral druid
Fire mage
Demonology lock
Resto shaman
Holy paladin
Holy priest
Resto duid

We typically rotate the DPS and healers. DPS warrior and feral druid are swapped with other DPS warriors, rogues and our ret paladin. The shadowpriest, mage and lock are swapped with other mages and our hunters. We sometimes bring two holy priests and sit our resto druid. I can't begin to explain how amazing shaman are. I can't bring myself to sit him on any encounter, and the shaman+paladin combination is great.

The only fight where I found it completely beneficial to "stack" our raid was the Prince, where we roll with the same 4 healers, our prot warrior, 4 ranged dps (mage lock hunter shadowpriest) and a "token melee." I don't like stacking but we've found it much easier to keep our DPS high with that team. All other fights are best with a balanced group - maybe for Shade we only have 2 DPS casters and bring an extra melee so we can have 3-4 interrupts, but that's more of an execution fight than raid stacking, outside of the warlock being awesome.

#9 Fendryl


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 08:23 PM

I've been filling my group generally with 9+1, but usually it's just 2-3 tanks, 2-3 healers, and the rest dps. I'll swap in some specifics for learning fights, and drops but the 2-3/2-3/Rest grouping seems to work pretty well.

#10 Grymm


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 08:31 PM

We usually run with:
1 pure tank
1 OT
1 melee DPS
3 pure healers
1 offspec healer
3 pure ranged DPS
What classes this breaks down to changes. For MTs, we generally use warriors. For OTs, Hybrid warriors or Feral Druids. For Pure healers, Pallies, Druids, and Priests. Melee DPS is usually a rogue but could be the feral druid. Offspec healers are shaman or shadow priest. Ranged DPS are mages, hunters, and warlocks. We usually have 2 warriors. We have had, at times, 2 mages, 2 pallies, or 2 druids. If you have enough tanking, healing, and ranged DPS, you are generally set regardless of classes. On some bosses, more melee and less ranged is fine.

#11 Playered


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 09:09 PM

Following the basic rules: 2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 dps:
Tanks - Prot War + Feral Druid/DPS Warrior
Healers - Priest, Druid, Paladin (Alliance with no shamans yet)
DPS - Warlock, Mage, Rogue, Hunter, + x (shadow priest, shaman, whatever)

Wether its a Feral Druid or a Shadow Priest, Shaman - we try to have one in who can switch into healing gear and help there if needed.

I don't know anything

#12 Snowy


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 09:14 PM

We've been running with:

3 tanks
3 healers specced for healing
4 whatever

The "whatever" has usually broken down as shadowpriest, hunter, rogue, mage. We've had to change that and get a warlock in for Aran of course. For the tanks, only one is specced full Prot, OTs are Fury/some Prot and it's perfectly fine.

#13 probiscus


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Posted 16 February 2007 - 11:22 PM

We've been running:
1 prot warrior
0-1 fury warrior
1-2 feral druids
2-3 warlocks
0-1 rogue
0 shaman (none in guild)
0 mage (only 1 70, not keyed)
2-3 priest (no shadow)
1 paladin

Things progress pretty smoothly, though we do cater our strategies to our strengths, as any raid should.

#14 Alandriel


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Posted 17 February 2007 - 08:42 AM

Feral druid MT
Fury warrior OT

Shadow priest
Demonology Warlock
Marks Hunter
Enh Shaman/ Rogue
Mage (Frost or Fire)

Holy priest
Holy paladin
Resto shaman/ Holy priest

3 priests is cheating for so many pulls - we've actually ended up with spare CC at times (well, until I get stupid with Swipe). Shadow priests are cheating too (Curator, Illhoof, Netherspite). I could see -1 holy priest, +1 resto Shaman for a second Heroism (we're up to 3 level 70 Shamans now).

There are fights where a warrior MT would be preferred, but our warrior OT is happy being dps for boss fights, and the healers don't complain that I take more magic damage, because of the sheer HP advantage I have over the warrior in terms of a safety net.

#15 Renew


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Posted 17 February 2007 - 10:34 AM

enh shaman getting benched.

Doh... ;)

Prot Warrior
Feral Druid

Pala/Priest/Shaman/Druid (in that order)

Shadow Priest/Warlock/Mage/Shaman/Warrior (in that order)


A Prot Warrior is the best tank in the game still. Last Stand, Shield Wall etc are win for those rare moments. Feral Druids are more valuable than any non prot spec Warrior. If they don't need to tank they can compete on the damage meter with the other pure DPS classes.

Priests are still the best healing class in the game, followed closely by the Paladin who can single target heal forever. A second Paladin in the raid is nice for the Blessings, a second Priest would then be my next choice followed by a Shaman for Heroism (buffs win) and last a Healing Druid. Three healers for most fights is all you need as long as your dps is playing smart and not taking excess damage.

Warlocks bring self sufficiency and a ton of dps to the table. Mages bring water, AI and crowd control along with some ok dps. Rogues are great single target dps if played right. They have a chance of getting owned etc by cleaves and all the other anti melee things Blizzard loves to add in, but they still get the job done in almost every encounter so far. Hunters are actually great dps now and misdirect / pulling makes a raid go smooth. For the last dps slot a Shadow Priest is probably top of the list due to how powerful they are. AE Healing/Mana Regeneration, insane dps, shadow priests make me jealous I am healbot spec. A second Warlock or Mages if you cannot get a shadow priest works due to what they bring to the raid (non melee dps <3). Getting a Shaman into the raid to help out the melee as well as do some dps can work, we'll see this next week. I have heard positive things and negative things about this spec of shaman (aggro issues). A DPS Warrior to help when an extra tank can make things alot easier also can work.

Also player skill is greater than class where you can squeeze that in. Just because a Warrior is prot doesn't mean you want to bring him in over a Feral Druid who knows what the heck is going on. A bad Paladin or Priest should be sat over a skilled Druid etc.
Confidence is not Arrogance.

#16 Northerner


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Posted 17 February 2007 - 11:10 AM

We have a variety of class mixes for the runs I attend but they are hardly strange or anything. Prot Warrior and Feral Druid share tanky duties and we typically have one hunter, one mage, one warlock. If possible we'll bring a priest and a spriest, always at least one shaman and sometimes a second (enhance) and a real druid. I don't know, other than ensuring that we have a couple of tanks that like tanking and a few healers that can heal, we sort of cobble it together out of available people that can take on a raidID.

We did start up fairly late but progress has been reasonable. One thing I've definitely noticed is that most strats I've personally read (post-factum wherever possible) have been completely improper for our little mini-raids. It's not that the bosses are all easy, it's just that what works for us is not what will have worked for someone else necessarily. As well, once something dies there is a tendancy to wonder how it ever gave you any trouble to begin with. Moroes and the Curator are probably the easiest examples here in going from wipe-status to less trouble than half the trash pulls. I guess that's not really much different than many places but it does seem to be more pronounced here.

I'm definitely enjoying the zone, although for an initial ten-person it does seem to be tuned just a little tightly. I sure wouldn't want to go at the present Illhoof without a little raid stacking (hello again warlock and spriests... I see you are enjoying your stay!) and I will admit that some of the run-backs are starting to wear thin and the respawn rate is a bit annoying when learning certain fights. We also haven't gotten our Paladins quite ready for prime-time yet and perhaps because of this our healers are already complaining a bit that some encounters are potion-chuggers just like in the bad old days but frankly, I'm a Mage and don't actually care.

Overall I do quite like the zone but I would agree that the raid composition is a little too inflexible. It's not just that some classes have specific abilities that shine in certain fights either at this point, it is that some classes are definitely filling certain raid-roles better than others. I won't clarify that statement because that way leads to madness and class-envy mudslinging and such. I honestly don't care anymore but it's effects on balancing are becoming somewhat obvious I'd say. The raidwide dps or hps or sustained tanking or whatever metric you like to use is wildly varied based on class selections at this point. That's fine in the end but I think it's a little odd that the very first ten-person, filled largely with very minor upgrades, is quite so demanding (or at least encouraging) of specific classes and specs.

#17 Gronx


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Posted 17 February 2007 - 12:30 PM

Let's generic-ize this thread to prevent it from being nuked. How many of you are actually running Karazhan with 9+1 (one of every class) raid compositions? If you're not, who gets benched?

We were a bit slow starting up karazhan, but for us at least, it seems like 9+1 is very very nice, with my group the last few weeks consisting of the following:

1 protection warrior
1 feral druid
1 holy priest
1 holy paladin
1 enhancement shaman
1 rogue
1 hunter
1 affliction warlock
1 fire mage

with the +1 being filled by a shadow priest.

This group composition have worked very well for us up to and including prince, but for nightbane it seems so very tempting to replace the melee dps with ranged, hybrids with pure healers, and the feral druid with a warrior for fear taking. I would normally not do so, and haven't done so before, but if Nightbane is continuing to be so very melee hostile, it seems like an idea for us to change the raid just for that specific encounter.

For the rest of karazhan though, this have seemed pretty nice for us, the shaman changing to healing at Netherspite, and both the druid and shaman healing at prince.

The rest of Karazhan goes down pretty fast, due to the high ammount of dps classes, compared to others with fx 2 protection warriors and/or 3-4 pure healing specced people. An example of this could be Curator, that went enraged before the 2nd evocate for us this week, which made the encounter even more trivial.

I really like the way things are turning out so far for hybrids, with us having great success with having a feral druid, enhancement shaman and shadow priest in the raid, shadow priests really being a nice addition at AoE heavy encounters like maiden, Curator, Aran and such, and a feral druid being a lovely offtank/dps for most of karazhan.

So, in my oppinion, 9+1 works very nicely so far, but for Nightbane, it might just require a bit more pure power + ranged dps for us to do.

#18 Lamaros


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Posted 17 February 2007 - 03:32 PM

Prot Warrior
Feral Druid


Shadow Priest

Has been the group makeup I've been in. Been very good so far.

#19 Thelyna


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Posted 17 February 2007 - 10:30 PM

So far our group composition has been:

Feral Druid (MT on most encounters)
Prot Warrior or Arms warrior
2x Holy Priest
1x Holy Paladin
2x Warlock (one demo, one affliction or destro)
1x Hunter
1x Rogue
1x Mage (before we got one keyed, this spot was basically open)

Works out pretty well, we're still working on the Curator though.

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#20 Gorb


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Posted 18 February 2007 - 02:14 AM

My group (one of 2 guild groups) is running the 9+1 setup. It has worked really well so far.

We have an extra warrior to offtank when necessary. The druid/pally/priest are pure healing spec. I'm an elemental/resto hybrid spec. So far I heal on about 1/2 the fights and dps the others, or some combination of both. We're currently on Nightbane.

I also blow 100g to spec resto once a week for Gruul's lair, though we haven't seriously gone after Gruul it's necessary for farming the Ogre Council I think. I easily make up the 100g by being able to farm/quest tons faster for the rest of the week.

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