How To Become a Raider in Less Than 20 Minutes:
Being a Better Player and Notes on Raiding

To everyone old and new: Welcome! This is Tiraffe, Mythic Raid Lead and person-with-WoD-flying. It’s also Quetzie, Mythic Raid Lead Raid Mom who “is not mad, just disappointed”.

This is a revamp of Tiraffe’s mythic guide from 8.2. Given the new expansion looming on the horizon, we have rewritten and refreshed it to be a general raiding guide. This is for those who are looking to get their feet wet in Shadowlands, or for those who dove into Ny’alotha mid-tier and want to get a better foundation of understanding and best practices.

For those looking for a mythic-specific guide, check out the Mythic Expectations post.

(Links to mentioned websites/addons and sources listed at the bottom)

DISCLAIMER: This article is based both on personal experience as well as talking to other raiders and raid leads.

There is a tl;dr at the bottom for the Being a Better Player portion via a video. For now, here are some general tips before we get into the meat and potatoes of this.

Pre-Raid Preparation:

  1. Get some sleep
  2. Eat food, get some water, take your meds, grab some coffee
  3. Put on some lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to
  4. Put away the intoxicants

These steps might seem a bit out of place on a guide for WoW, but it’s important. Raiding can be a high stress environment. Come to raid as relaxed and refreshed as possible. The calmer you are, the better you will perform. The calmer you are, the more you will be a calming presence to those around you!

In all seriousness, doing the above is just good in general for well-being and it helps relieve some tension. It isn’t required, but it’s highly recommended.

General Raiding Info and Expectations:

Preparation and practice is important for all levels of raiding. Not everything has to be perfect. If you aren’t sure what to do, feel free to ask questions. You can also reference this and other posts in the Shadowlands Prepatch Directory post.

  1. Do your research.
  2. Show up early.
    1. Avoid making yourself busy whenever the raids start grouping. (No Keys, Worldquests, Torghast, etc. unless you aren’t planning on coming in the first place).
  3. Be honest.
  4. Pay attention to mechanics while avoiding tunnel vision.
  5. Be willing to make changes in order to benefit the raid group.
  6. Be willing to listen to suggestions.
  7. Don’t take it personally if you get sat from a boss.
  8. Have a combination of the Weak Aura pack for the raid and either DBM or BigWigs. Links to these addons can be found at the bottom of this guide.
  9. It’s ok to make mistakes, so long as you make an effort to correct it.
  10. Expect this, and other guides or website posts, to be referenced from time to time.
  11. Make sure you’re still having fun at the end of the day.

Strategy

Some of you may have already done bosses from the raid on LFR. Note that as the difficulty of the raid increases going from LFR to Normal to Heroic to Mythic, so too does the number of mechanics, so be sure to read up on the bosses in the Adventure Guide! (hotkey: Shift+J in-game).

If it’s your first time on a boss on a particular difficulty, you may want to watch additional videos or more thorough walkthroughs. Strats for bosses can usually be found in the pins in the raiding channel of discord, or can be found on wowhead.

Attitude and Callouts:

Be ready to listen to callouts from the raid leads. Don’t be nervous! Chances are there’s someone that’s as new to the group as you are. Feel free to type in instance chat or speak up in-between pulls if you want a rule, mechanic, or other situation clarified. Please don’t whisper the raid leads directly – they often have a lot of other things to keep track of. Plus it’s highly likely others have the same question you do. Either the raid leads can clarify a question, or another member may explain it in a way you may understand better.

Make sure to enable to push-to-talk in Discord even if you don’t have a lot of background noise. This will make it easier to communicate during boss fights.

That said, do keep in mind that everyone that has raided with MoD has agreed to rules such as these. Don’t be upset if you get called out for breaking the rules that everyone has agreed to, or worse, claim that you haven’t read the rules after confirming. If you say, ‘where does it say that?’, you should fully expect at least one person to bring up the section where it does, in fact, say ‘that’. The rules help things run smoothly and it’s important to respect everyone’s time that they have set aside for raiding.

Lockouts and Loot:

Note: Please refer back to the Raiding Rules and Regulations page for loot rules.

Just like LFR, Normal and Heroic lockouts are personal rather than group lockouts. This means that if you miss out on a boss during the guild run for the week, you can join another group and kill any bosses that you’ve missed.

However, this also means that if you killed a boss earlier in the week, you are “locked out” of loot for that boss, which is a problem in a guild run. Having people who are “locked” to a boss affects the loot drops in a boss kill. Loot drops are based on the number of players in a raid, not the number of loot eligible players in a raid, and it’s possible that a loot-locked player will wind up “eating” a piece of loot, so it doesn’t drop.

A clarification example: If there are 20 raiders, we expect 4-5 pieces of loot to drop. If one person is loot-locked, there is a 5% chance that an item drop goes to that person. However, since that person is not eligible to get loot from that boss anymore, that is a 5% chance that the loot vanishes, and nobody gets it. This chance increases for every person in the raid that is loot-locked. It may not matter 6 months into a tier, but when the group is progressing, every piece of loot counts! Early on, we ask that if folks plan on pugging, they do so on a character that they are not bringing to guild raids. TLDR: Don’t run the raid during the week before running it with the guild.

If you’re low on gear, getting high ilvl gear from the Great Vault or farming raids should be your main path to gearing up in Shadowlands. As such, you’ll want to at least get to the 2nd option for each row at a minimum, but getting the first option from each row should be a good start. You should be picking gear that will stay an upgrade for a while or just going for the currency. Go for weapons first, then rings/trinkets, then chest/leg pieces, as those pieces usually have the biggest impact early on.

Farm Bosses vs. Progression Bosses:

A boss is considered a farm boss when we’ve downed them at least three times comfortably, and can either one-shot them or kill them within two wipes. Bringing alts is usually fine at this point, but make sure to check with the raid leads if the character is geared enough to switch in. Some wipes can be expected on farm bosses if the comp changes significantly enough. Once normal is cleared (or mostly cleared, depending on the last boss), MoD usually starts progression on Heroic in order to get better gear. Please note that the “end of tier” normal may be just as difficult as starter heroic bosses, and the same goes for heroic bosses at the end of their tier being of similar difficulty to some mythic bosses. We may ask folks to step out or switch characters in order to ensure the boss dies.

Most importantly:

Performance

Gear Requirements

Check the raiding rules and regulations for information regarding gear requirements for the current raiding tier. There usually aren’t dps requirements set for the entire tier, but do expect later bosses and higher difficulty bosses to require more dps.

Dodging Mechanics

Staying alive is very important; mechanics are the cause of death and wipes in a raid. If you’re new, the best course of action to start is to just focus on moving out of the way. Once you feel comfortable bobbing and weaving, you’ll want to try casting spells or attacking while doing mechanics as well. Certain mechanics also require standing in certain safe spots, clicking on objects, or interrupting a cast. Try not to panic, for you might overreact and end up getting hit anyway.

Interrupts and Crowd Control

Use them, but make sure to call out before you’re doing so. Best practice: “I/Quetzie will interrupt next cast on star!”. This alerts everyone to save their own interrupts, so the raid doesn’t have 4 people try to interrupt one mob, and then the next cast goes off since everyone’s is on cooldown. Bosses that require an interrupt order will usually have an interrupt order set up by the raid leads.

If you’re not sure what your interrupt spell is, look in your spellbook and mouse-over the icons until you find the one that says something along the lines of “Interrupting spellcasting” and “Preventing any spell from that school from being cast”. The following classes also have blanket silences: Spriests have Silence, Boomkins have Solar Beam, Veng DH has Sigil of Silence, Prot Paladin has Avenger’s Shield, Assassination Rogues have Garrote. For Boomkins and Spriests, this silence doubles as their interrupt.

Furthermore, certain fights may require certain abilities to handle mechanics, but for the most part, most classes can help in some way. For example, Warlocks can banish elementals and demons, removing them from the fight; both Paladins and Priests have spells (Repentance talent and Shackle Undead respectively) to CC undead. Having Earthgrab/Earthbind Totem or Tar Trap for slows are handy, though a Frost Mage works just as well for slows.

Tank and Heal Stuff

Tanks and healers have different roles compared to the usual damage dealers in raid. They may be targeted with different mechanics, or the raid leads may determine that tanks or healers are better off handling generic mechanics so that DPS have better boss uptime.

Tanks have at least one other tank they are partnered with and they’ll need to taunt-swap who is holding the boss at the right time in order to not die. They also will need to know what boss abilities need specific defensive casts. In fights with adds, there is usually a “boss tank” and an “add tank”, though they may have to periodically switch roles. That said, even if there is usually a main tank and off-tank, both tanks should know how to handle both roles in case of an absence.

Healers, usually 3-5 of them, play “whack-a-mole” with the healthbars of the raid: if they see people take damage, they heal it back up. Healers have to know how and when to dispel people as well. Some fights will have cyclic damage and will require coordination of cooldowns between healers. If available, a healer will be soulstoned every fight to either facilitate a quick respawn after a wipe, or to quickly res in the heat of battle.

Both roles should try to put extra damage on the boss once they’re comfortable with the fight.

Off-healing and Defensives

Not every class can off-heal, but it is nice to have. Vampiric Embrace from Shadow Priests and Word of Glory from Ret Paladins are historical mainstays for off-healing without sacrificing a lot of damage. Several  other specs such as Ele Shaman are having their off-healing potential increased as well. Ideally, dps shouldn’t have to off-heal to help the healers, but it is nice every once in a while.

Unlike off-heals, defensives are part of every class. Tanks usually have more and healers have defensives that can be used on friendly targets, known as ‘externals’. Defensives are mainly used to mitigate large amounts of damage from deadly boss mechanics.

Class Resources

There a lot of resources for each class and specialization available. These resources cover talents, rotation, legendaries, soulbinds, conduits, and more. You can look into the various class discords for the most up-to-date information. These discords should have a frequently-asked-questions section available as one of their text channels, though some of them may be incomplete.

Some of these discords also have specific websites that can be visited, such as:

Some roles may have specific websites as well:

Note: for some of the ones that aren’t listed, make sure that the information you’re looking at is actually up to date.

You can also check out the class guides available on Wowhead or Icyveins. Many of these guides are spec-dependant – they may be just as good as the discords, or may be a few patches out of date.

We personally do not recommend following the guides from Noxxic or Wowmeta due to them being either out-of-date or incorrect. There are several other sites that are inaccurate as well. If you find one not mentioned on the list, be cautious and vet the information before using it.

BTW, Which Gear/Talents/Legendaries to Use?

This information can usually be found in the class/spec guides as well.

So You Know What to Wear and What Talents to Bring, What’s Left?

The rotation. You may find similar flowcharts across the discords, as memes or otherwise. This is the general Ele Shaman rotation from Legion.

These will also be found in the class/spec guides. Having certain talents or expansion specific features might change your rotation completely. With 36 specs in the game and 4 different covenant abilities for each class, covering each and every one in-depth is outside the scope of this guide. That said, the rotation is one of the most important things to know for your class/spec. But it is just as important as doing mechanics.

Nuances and Resource Management

Try to avoid capping resources. Most specs have a maximum amount of resource they can hold at one time. Be sure to spend it before any more resources you generate are wasted. Ask the raid leads when to use your cooldowns.

And Now For The Mandatory Section About Covenants/Soulbinds/Conduits (and Class/Spec choice too)

It doesn’t really matter what covenant you use for raiding, so long as you are still playing to the best of your ability. We likely won’t ask anyone to switch covenants or soulbinds or conduits for normal or heroic difficulties unless we’re on the last boss of heroic. And that’s a big maybe. Likewise, the raid leads similarly don’t take responsibility for people’s class/spec choices, so long as you try your best with what you picked.

Cool Tricks to Show Your Friends

  1. Always Be Casting
    1. If you get targeted with a mechanic, and damage or healing needs to be pushed, then it’s important to do your ABC’s
    2. ABC’s stands for Always Be Casting
    3. If you need to move for something, toss out an instant cast spell as you’re doing it, even if it’s something like a shield that does no damage
    4. Only when you’re out of range of your target(s) should you stop worrying about this
  2. Don’t Die
    1. Dead dps do no dps
    2. Dead healers do no healing
    3. Dead tanks wipe the raid
  3. Killing the Boss
    1. This is a pretty big one
    2. This is more important than ignoring mechanics, don’t get people killed in the process
    3. Make sure to do the mechanic
  4. More cool tricks to show your friends

Help!

Maybe you’re a bit lost. Maybe you’re not sure what something means. Maybe some of the above makes sense, but you’re having problems executing it. Maybe you feel uncomfortable with certain aspects of raiding. The Raid Leads (referred to as Warlords from time to time) are here to assist. Sometimes, we may link you back to a guide or page on the website – especially if your question is “How can I do better DPS” or “what gear should I equip.” The more specific your ask, the better we can help you, and the more targeted assistance you will receive.

Depending on what kind of help you need, different raid leads (or Urostek, the Guild Lead) can help.

Zextol is the lead shot-caller for the Mythic team, as well as the raid-lead-lead. While any of the raid leads can answer questions about rules and regulations, Zextol will be your go-to man for Mythic conflict resolution and final say on all things raiding. If something comes from him, you should pay it extra mind.

Lineda (Peepo, DrLime) is the weekend raid team lead. She knows all of the rules and the difference between the Mythic and Heroic raid team, including rules for “alts vs mains” on loot and rolling, and what strategy to use per-boss (as it may differ between difficulties). She tracks who does and doesn’t get invites based on who has read the rules & confirmed them. She is the weekend team’s Zextol – anything she says trumps the rest of us!

Generally speaking, Tiraffe and Quetzie will be your go-to strategists, whether it comes down to playing your class well, positioning within a raid fight, or other mechanical nuances. We are no lifers have more time to discuss raid comp, boss strategy, and talk shop about talents and gear on a per-boss basis than the other raid leads. While all the raid leads are excellent sources of information, Quetzie and Tiraffe tend to be more readily available for these sorts of questions.

Urostek is the end-all be-all in conflict resolution, rules, and managing the teams and the guild. If you believe a rule is being executed unfairly, loot got distributed wrong, or you have a problem with a guild officer, Urostek is your man to go to. He is fair, kind, and impartial. You can trust him to address any of your concerns.

Conclusion

For any hopefuls that are unsure about stepping into raiding, we hope this helps. There’s a lot of information in here – some of it may be old news and some of it will be brand new. Raiding can easily be a lot of fun, but it’s even more fun when everyone in the group has a good idea of what to do. It’s okay to feel nervous when it’s your first time, but don’t be afraid to ask the occasional question.

Remember, reading is one thing, but make sure to practice what you’ve read.

If you want a good way to practice for rotations and mechanics solo, we’d recommend getting access to the Brawler’s Guild when it inevitably releases in Shadowlands or complete the bronze, silver and gold challenges in the Proving Ground, accessible through your class trainer npcs.

TL;DR

There’s quite a bit to read through to get into raiding, but it’s easy once you get your feet wet. Follow through if you plan on showing up. Don’t be afraid to ask questions outside of raid if you’re new and looking to improve.
Most importantly, stay motivated:

Resource Links for Addons:

Details – Details Damage Meter

Skada – Skada Damage Meter

https://www.raidbots.com/simbot  – Website for running sims

Simulationcraft – Addon for grabbing info for sims

WeakAuras2 – Weak Auras, general info addon for buffs, debuffs and timers

https://weakauras.wtf/ – Companion App for Weakauras, useful for keeping various Weak Auras updated

DeadlyBossMods – DBM, addon for raid timers and warnings (i.e. What to do)

BigWigs – Bigwigs, addon for raid timers and warnings (i.e. What is happening)

Sources:

Tiraffe. “Dude, Just Trust Me.” Tiraffe, ? August, 2020, Tiraffe.

Quetzie. “You know what they say: Suck Less” Quetzie, ? August, 2020, Quetzie.

“Matsuoka Shuzo [松岡修造 ] – あきらめかけているあなた (NEVER GIVE UP!!) [English]” Youtube,

uploaded by Ryuujin131 on 25 Jun, 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxGRhd_iWuE

“I believe in all of you” Youtube, uploaded by A. L. G. on 28 Sep, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1Rk2OFddZs

xd, Fokola mage. “Fokola Mythic Raiding Fun Times.” Google Docs, Google, 2 Apr. 2019, 6:43pm, Fokola Mythic Raiding Fun Times

(Fokola offered to help write a few sections, so some sections of the same name are paraphrased/edited from this)