Thursday, July 30, 2009

Celebrandil's Tips on Solo-ing Zul'Gurub

Celebrandil is one of my regular readers and he's given some excellent tips under my Solo-ing Blood Furnace article about how to solo the bosses in Zul'Gurub. With his permission, I'm posting all his comments here in the hope that they will be seen by those who are interested in solo-ing this nice raid dungeon.

First though, I would like to start with a few of my own comments. Back in Classic WoW (before Burning Crusade), when I was actually a raider, Zul'Gurub was my favorite raid instance. That was perhaps because it's a very airy and open instance, or because it's very green, or because the trash was easy, or because the boss rewards were pretty good, or simply because our guild was running it very often. At any rate, we never managed to finish it, sadly. Hakkar remained undefeated on our watch.

Fast forward a few years later and I found myself getting into a PUG for Zul'Gurub on my 80 Hunter and I returned there with all the nostalgia of those past raids with the same character. There were about 3 80's, 2 70's and a level 59 in our group. We killed a couple of the weaker bosses easily but then we got stuck on Thekal. Unfortunately our group couldn't get synchronized enough to bring him and his 2 adds low enough so they could be dropped quickly afterward. I'm ashamed to say that in the end we called it quits and a couple of the others died while retreating. My Hunter, of course, feigned.

To me, this was a lesson in humility. Some of these older raid instances are even now almost impossible to solo, especially by certain classes and in many cases, an unprepared group will get its collective ass kicked. So keep that in mind and plan accordingly.

What follows are Celebrandil's comments. Bold/italic text was enhanced by me.
Zul Gurub solo is possible for a hunter on all bosses except Jin'do, although I'm not 100% sure about Hakkar, because he mind-controls a lot and I do not know if he still does it when he can only target you or your pet. However for the entire instance it is a must to bring a gorilla, since this is the only pet that can interrupt spellcasting, and quite a few bosses have healing abilities that must be countered. The "Pummel" ability of the gorilla is the only way for a hunter to do that.
I couldn't kill Thekal solo, because it's very hard to kill him and his two adds at the same time, and taking care of (i.e. interrupting) his priest's heals. But once you get through phase 1, phase 2 is plain easy, just tank and spank.

If you take a warrior or a rogue with you who are in melee range of the priest, it becomes a walk in the park.

I'm only doing Zul Gurub until I finally reach Exalted, and I'm still hoping that Mandokir drops that damn raptor. I've never seen it, even though we killed him on a weekly basis back in vanilla. Would love to get the tiger, too, but somehow tauren on tigers look ... strange.
Bat boss Jeklik: very easy, but gorilla pet is a must. Tank and spank, feign death once the pack of bats come to you, and pummel (gorilla-only ability) her heal. Move out of bombs from the bat riders.

Snake boss Venoxis: very easy, kill the snake adds first, then the boss. Make sure pet doesn't die. That's all.

Spider boss Marli: hard. Spawns spider adds (easy to kill but annoying), switches to spider form every now and then and drops aggro 2x everytime she's a spider. Hits quite hard, can be a problem if FD is on cooldown. Uses Life Drain once she switches back to human form, must be pummeled immediately.

Raptor boss Mandokir: easy. Have your pet tank him down at the stairs, pull aggro on the raptor and run to the top of the pyramid and jump down to the ledge. This way the raptor can't reach you and Mandokir's stare can be ignored because he cannot charge you anymore. Make sure the raptor aggros you the whole fight (he can't reach you anyway), because when both the raptor and Mandokir are on your pet, healing will become very hard. DPS him down slowly (never pull aggro or he will evade and reset the fight) and then the raptor. Cross your fingers for the raptor mount (0.5% drop chance).

Ghazranka the fishing boss: easy, tank and spank. Sometimes drops aggro, then just feign death.

Madness bosses: have only tried Renataki and he is a real pain in the ass, dozens of aggro wipes and you eat lots of damage because of that. Couldn't kill him, pet survives easily but I don't.

Tiger boss Thekal: could not kill him solo. Though I've seen a video of a hunter kill him solo, it's still VERY difficult to make sure all three die together and at the same time interrupt the priest's heals (gorilla pummel).

Panther boss Arlokk: very easy. Basically 80% of the damage comes from the pet and you lie on the floor, feign death. Every once in a while get up, heal your pet and do some dps. The panther adds can kill you if they become too many (and they will after some time), but they are not a problem for your pet, especially if it has a swipe ability.

Jindo the Hexxer: impossible to solo IMO. By far the hardest boss in all ZG, back in vanilla he was a gear check. Guilds had Hakkar on farm status but still wiped frequently on Jindo. Have not tried him, he has too many very annoying abilities.

Hakkar: have not tried him because I could not get Thekal down, and I don't really want to deal with the end boss if he still has an additional ability from one of his priests. But I could be wrong and he's a walk in the park?

Hope that helps. Some bosses need a bit of practice and luck, but it's a good feeling when they go down, and the loots frequently cause nice deja-vu's. ^^ Besides they give about 23g per kill. Not too bad.
Forgot to add that I use a special Beastmaster build for Zul Gurub and BC heroics, and pet healing glyphs. Makes life so much easier, but dps drops significantly of course.

No problem, go ahead! Although I must add that I can't take full credit for that guide, since I checked other hunters and their videos/guides before I went into ZG and tried it for myself.

By the way bosses give 100 rep, Mandokir and Jindo give 200, and Hakkar 500. If you want to farm reputation, it's easier to farm all those coins and bijous that the trash drops. If you turn in the coins (3 of a type per turn in), you get 25 rep plus a badge that gives another 50, and bijous give you 75+50 reputation.
Once again, thanks Celebrandil for your insightful tips on solo-ing Zul'Gurub! I will certainly be using some of them when I next try to solo some of these bosses.


Aaron Delp said...

Hey Darth - I was wondering how you get into a raid instance to solo it. I tried to get in to beat up Onxyia on my DK once upon a time but you need at least 2 people in a raid group to enter. What's the trick?


Celebrandil said...

The trick is to ask a friend to log onto one of his chars that he won't play that night, then invite him (you must do the invite!), convert to a raid group, and tell him to log off again. His character will stay in the group for as long as you don't disband, and you can even log off, at least for a short time.

Your friend can even choose a level 1 bank alt. This way you won't keep him from levelling/questing, which doesn't work when you are in a raid.

However, sometimes I've been waiting for 15 minutes to get into Zul Gurub or any other vanilla raid instance. Seems too many people are solo farming raids. ^^

By the way I tried AQ20 a few days ago and failed miserably. The wasp trash before the first boss is unbearable. They constantly charge you, knock you down and hit you for 1k+. And then each wasp has between 30k-50k life. You can't dps because you're occupied with getting back on your feet every couple of seconds.

Nepenthe said...

I used to duo Mandokir and Thekal with my hunter. With Thekal i just mana drained Zealot Lor'khan(the healer) while my friend kept healing my pet, so that worked out pretty well.

But yeah, it's probably pretty hard to solo as a hunter.

After a couple of months we actually both got the raptor mount, although the tiger never dropped.

I've also been soloing ZG with my druid, but getting really sick of the place lately, hehe.
Been a while since i reached exalted and still no mounts in sight.

Darth Solo said...

I just wish Blizzard would let single characters form a raid group. I mean what would be the harm in that.

One of my big problems as an entirely solo player is that I don't have any friends either. I do have a large friends list but it's usually with crafters or nice people that I met once. I'm a bit ashamed to ask random people to help me form a raid instance.

As for AQ20... I guess I'll have to wait until level 90/100 before I can attempt solo-ing it :)

Nepenthe said...

I totally understand where you’re coming from. It’s not so easy to just approach a random player and ask them for a raid group, because they would have to stop what they were doing, relog and it would depend on them not playing that character while you were in the instance. I really enjoy playing alone, but if I didn’t have my boyfriend to help me out with the whole raid group thing, I think I would feel forced to join a guild just to keep doing what I’m doing.

Another annoying thing is that while in a raid group, you can’t do quests. If for example you wanted to take a short break and do a few dailies, you’re basically screwed.
I think the whole thing is just bad game design, and I really really hope they change it.

AQ20 was pretty challenging (as druid), but I what I really feared was a flesh hunter sneaking up on me. They would literally eat me up alive if I got to close.

Darth Solo said...

Since I haven't raided in a very long time I had no idea (or least it was at the back of my head) that you can't quest while in a raid group. Like you said, it's bad design and I don't see the point of it. What's it to Blizzard if a single player wants to go inside a raid instance and get his ass kicked? I think this "mechanic" is part of the legacy content that doesn't make much sense nowadays and I'm very hopeful they will change it soon.