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WoW: Solo raid BfA for transmogs! This is what you have to watch out for

It is winter in Azeroth, and a glimmer of frost lies over the forest of Elwynn. Outside the inn of Goldhain, a night elf rogue plays a guitar and relaxes with a warm cup of tea - the inside of the inn is clearly too hot for her, for one reason or another. Just as she finishes her jazzy song and takes another sip of herbal tea, a dwarf stumbles out of the inn's entrance, emitting a clearly visible, powdery-white snort in the wintry air. The rogue's gaze wanders from the thick armor to the dwarf's warhammers, which resemble two medium sized armored taverns in weight. Around the warrior's waist dangle two dozen potions, and around his beard sparkle the last drops of ale and meat juice in the winter sun.

Table of Contents

  1. 1Solo into the raids of BfA - for fashion!
  2. 2The winter sale is on
  3. 3New territory: No raid finder, no raid skill
  4. 4Three Class Society
    1. 4.1The mighty trinity: Death Knight, Paladin and Demon Hunter
  5. 5The best offense is a good defense
  6. 6Choose your friends wisely
  7. 7Prepared adventurers live longer

Solo into the raids of BfA - for fashion!

"Well, off to Castle Nathria?" Before the dwarf can even answer, the rogue rises with a Nightsaber-like elegance and saunters to his side, guitar held loosely in her fist. "I'm not sure you've got enough metal on you, but there's a couple of anvils over there in the forge. Maybe strap those to your shoulders, too." Under two hundred kilos of armor, another shout sounds, steaming in the cold air. "Nathria - Pah! On my way to Uldir. New Year's shopping." One of the hammers clangs softly as it falls into his open hand. "Shopping by brawling! Best kind of shopping!" The elf frowns. "Uh...okay. But why the arsenal? Are you still living in the Chromie days? I mean, you should be able to handle the old raids no problem by now, right?" Instead of a snort, a giggle erupts from under the dwarf's helmet. A short time later, his small yet broad frame bends with laughter. Paladins have it pretty easy as hardcore soloists, possessing abilities that can be used to play quite the trick. Just ask Rextroy! Source: buffed

"Kid, have you ever tried shopping for the gear from the previous raids right after a new expansion launches? From the look on your face, no. Well, let me give you a hot tip right now: War and Winter Sale are the same thing, except in the latter you don't have comrades by your side." The dwarf leans forward and stares under bushy eyebrows at the night elf, who by now is holding her teacup in front of her like a shield. "Sale means loneliness, noise, and violence. The gates of the bargain table have opened and from them throng death, destruction, and the desire for a pair of new shoes. And when you limp home afterwards, bloody and scratched, the shopping bags under your arms, you wonder if it was all worth it. All that, just for a new shirt. And you know what, girl?"

Silence. "What?" squeaks the rogue, slightly distraught. The dwarf breaks into a beaming smile from one moment to the next and shoulders his warhammer. "Of course it's worth it! The joy of a full wardrobe always makes me sappy. Have fun making music, girl. I'll be off shopping." As the dwarf departs with a loud rattle and clang, the elf sits back down on her bench and looks after him, shaking her head. However, as she brings her guitar to her chest once more and plays, she mutters a phrase that has been written over and over in countless guild chats for the past ten years, "Typical Transmog fans. All batshit crazy."

The winter sale is on

Dear Transmog lovers, solo players, and masochists: it is with great pleasure that we announce the opening of this year's Ironman shopping spree with guaranteed frustration. Blow your gold, shatter your nerve, and get some super-duper fancy pants! That's right, it's that time of year again to go solo in raids to bring home some fine duds. To make sure you're prepared, this article will give you everything you need for your wardrobe rampage in BfA raids. To that end, we'll start with some basic facts, cover the best classes and pacts, and then move on to the much-needed preparation you bargain-basket warriors should check off before every expedition. So pack your now well-used bite wood, because the ride is going to be long, hard, and very painful. But hey, you wouldn't be a true transmog fanatic if you weren't into pain. Let's go! Taloc serves as the perfect litmus test for aspiring wardrobe warriors. If you fail the easy fight, you'll come back in ten item levels. Source: Blizzard

Uncharted territory: No raid finder, no raid skill

First things first - and it is indeed important that we repeat ourselves at this point: Going through the raids from the previous expansion soloed right after the launch of the current expansion is very, very hard. The debuff, which used to provide more damage dealt to you and less damage dealt to the enemy in older raids with BfA, has been eliminated with Shadowlands. So you'll literally have to solo a raid; your only real advantages are your higher character level, the new abilities, and a (hopefully) robust item level. There are also two basic facts to keep in mind.

First, you'll have to go through the raid in normal mode. As a newly hatched level 60 character, you don't have much of a chance of completing heroic mode. Mythic mode? If your league blows up, the mythic mode league won't get the bang until a week later, so be sure to stay away from it. Clever raiders are probably wondering why they shouldn't use the raid finder, since the difficulty would drop significantly in that case, right? In theory, yes, but there are two problems with that: First, the scaling of the raid finder likes to go haywire once in a while since BfA. We still remember with horror the attempts to run through Antorus in Raidfinder and being completely surprised by the first boss folding. Secondly, the Raid Finder's solo mode is activated via a special NPC, as you can't select the difficulty level via the drop-down menu. Since this NPC does not currently exist for BfA raids, the choice is easy: normal mode calls. You have lost nothing here. Ny'alotha is currently such a plank, even on normal difficulty, that you're better off sticking to Uldir. Source: buffed Secondly, there are different priorities for a solo run than for raids or mythic dungeons. What passes for an S-class super combo there is generally useless for hardcore soloers. We'll go into more detail below, but for the impatient, persistence is always better than damage, and shield skills are your friend. So, are we done with the confusion? Then it's on to class selection.

Three Class Society

What comes next was to be expected, but will not please some of our readers: Not every class can currently defeat BfA raids single-handedly. While rogues and mages are at the absolute bottom of the ladder despite minor protection cooldowns, priests also run into problems; the damage trickling in is usually so high that you're left with nothing but disaster management. Shamans and Damage or Healing Druids have the same problem. Protection Warriors do relatively well, but sooner or later fall behind due to their lack of self-healing, as do the fairly robust Guardian Druids. Hunters and Warlocks can hold their own for a while due to their companions, but will also run into trouble sooner or later - the house monsters just aren't as strong as they used to be, and can't tank BfA raid bosses in a way that will carry you through the entire fight with ease. Brewmaster Monks, meanwhile, are popular in raids due to their highly controllable damage input, but fall by the wayside due to their lack of self-healing.

We're seeing a pattern: what you need for your shopping spree is strong self-healing, thick armor, and a versatile toolbox that can handle a lot of mechanics. That leads us to the usual suspects: The rock-hard trinity of the Blood Death Knight, the Vengeful Demon Hunter, and the Protective Paladin have been sitting on their solo throne for years for good reason, looking down with a mild eye on the frail, less steadfast rabble below. Read more in our clever extra section:

The Mighty Trinity: Death Knight, Paladin, and Demon Hunter.

Our three eternal solo tanks each have individual strengths that make them particularly well-suited for the shopping bonanza.

  • TheBlood Death Knight: Still possesses the strongest self-heal in WoW (buy now €14.99 ). Even though it lost the first place among raid tanks, the Death Knight still ranks first among soloers. The Deathblast and Bone Shield combo let you heal and build solid defenses on the side, while nearly all of the talents and abilities ensure that a steady stream of health flows into your reservoir. Vampire Blood is extremely powerful on its own, and synergizes particularly well with the Necrolords' Fleshforming: the ability builds a shield that "photographs" a percentage of your Health. If you activate Vampire Blood beforehand, your maximum health increases by 30 percent and all absorption effects (such as Fleshforming) increase by another 35 percent. The result is a thick shield that gives you elbow room in the middle of combat. On the last row, choose Red Thirst instead of Bone Storm. You won't regret it. Bonus: Your ghoul serves as a willing target in some fights to avoid a boss reset!
  • The Vengeful Demon Hunter: Has a slightly weaker self-heal than the Death Knight and a tiny but powerful toolbox. Where the Death Knight has an answer for every situation, the Demon Hunter has most things working automatically. Use your sigils wisely! The Demon Hunter's greatest strength is his tremendous mobility, which allows him to literally "skip" many mechanics.
  • The Protective Paladin: While not possessing any significant automatic self-healing, when he ignites his Word of Glory, the other two classes swallow dust. The main advantage of the Paladin soloist is his incredibly large toolbox, which allows him to simply ignore many boss mechanics. Those who use their Blessing of Protection, Blessing of Spell Protection, and God Shield properly will swallow even attacks that send Death Knights and Demon Hunters to the boards. Combining the Kyrian ability Divine Chime with the First Avenger talent also gives you a very thick absorption shield at the touch of a button.

Paladins have it pretty easy as hardcore soloists, as they have abilities that can be used to play havoc. Just ask Rextroy! Source: buffed

The best offense is a good defense

The choice of pact is a little different for solo enthusiasts than it is for raiders and mythic dungeon conquerors. Of course, if you're a raiding enthusiast and you've already chosen your ideal pact, it's no big deal: your high item level will make it easier for you than lone transmog wolves anyway. Generally speaking, when you're soloing, you don't have to worry much about high damage, the exact duration of buffs, or pinpoint rotations. You're not going to get the boss on the boards fast enough to make DpS optimization worthwhile anyway, so let's focus on what gets us through the fight: defense.

Surprisingly, Necrolords, who are usually viewed with suspicion in the tanking department, come out on top across classes. This has mostly to do with the general pact ability Fleshforming, which gains quite a bit of value in BfA raids: with a health pad that can be ignited every two minutes, it becomes much less likely that the boss will bleed you out through a thousand cuts. Also, big hits from debuff stacks and other mechanics that would otherwise knock you off your feet can often be survived by a hair's breadth with fleshforming. If the boss brings adds, fleshforming turns out to be even more useful, as your shield naturally grows with the corpses surrounding you. Shadow Gate, Soul Shape, and the Kyrian Potion that Provost Call gives you are also useful, but lose much of their momentum without a raid behind them. When facing the boss alone, you want to have an ability that not only saves you from dicey situations every now and then, but can be fired on cooldown and makes the fight a little easier with each use.
Vengeful Demon Hunters rejoice: as some of the few chosen character classes, they can tackle old BfA raids like Crucible of Storms.
Source: buffed If you want to go by pact class ability instead, Vengeful Demon Hunters choose Kyrians - there's no more sensible alternative here. Protection Paladins choose between the Kyrians and the Venthyr, as Ash Consecration not only provides a damage boost, but also gives the solo Paladin a small window to catch their breath due to solid healing over time. Blood Death Knights choose either the usual solid Swarming Mist of the Venthyr or the Monstrous Limb of the Necrolords. The latter is also a weaker choice solo than the Swarming Mist, the main focus here being the Fleshforming shield, which is twice as strong in the case of on-demand Death Knights (see box). Fleshforming gives you elbow room in the Battle for Dazar'alor to survive the constant harriers of the Zandalari paladins. Source: buffed

Choose your friends wisely

Your soulbands will also be switched to full defense mode. Remember, it doesn't matter if you fight for five minutes or ten minutes if you don't survive the first thirty seconds. That's why Kyrians choose Kleia, because not only will you gain an automatic damage shield here, but you'll also regularly heal large amounts of health. A steady stream of small heal-over-time effects takes some pressure off your shoulders, while your potion immunizes you against almost all debuff effects for eight seconds. Necrolords make friends with Marileth, who not only stacks shields on top of more shields, but also heals you a gigantic chunk of hitpoints on demand and immunizes you against control effects. A good alternative is Heirmir, whose Fanged Shift makes the fight go a little faster. Venthyr are on the safe side with General Draven, who gives you more Health, a small damage shield, and low Health damage reduction. Nachtfae choose Korayn and take 15 percent less physical damage practically permanently.

Prepared adventurers live longer

Since you're literally going up against an army alone, it pays to be prepared. Just imagine you're Batman - if you take enough time, you'll be invincible. We'll start with the obvious. Get as many item levels on you as you can cram into your little hero body. We know this article is mostly read by stubborn loners (you few and proud), but sometimes lonely wanderers have to bite the bullet: if you can bring yourself to pay a visit to the raid browser, that would be ideal. The equipment and especially the trinkets from Castle Nathria will make your first solo steps drastically easier. Look for the Shattered Heart of Al'ar, the Consuming Infusion, and the Bloody Vintage. If you don't want to see the inside of a raid, grab all the tanking trinkets you can from world quests. Items like Queen's Guard are absurdly good for completing BfA raids - in this case, functionality trumps item level. Here you can see the small effect of the item "Guard of the Queen's Watch", which you get from world quests in the Ardenwald. Perfect for soloing beginners! Source: buffed
In terms of food, Blood Death Knights eat "Steak à la Mode," while Vengeful Demon Hunters and Protective Paladins eat "Shadowy Crown Roast in Aspic. All three soloists slather "embalming oil" on their weapons and down a "potion of spectral endurance" when things get dicey. A large belt with a few "Spiritual Healing Potion" is part of every solo raider's equipment, as is a casket with some "Gram Leather Armor Set". Vials are usually out of reach of dedicated soloists, but if gold is loose on you, drink a "Spectral Vial of Endurance" after entering the raid.

Wardrobe Commando Soldiers: We salute you

We bow to all the shoe rack snipers and hat rack heroes among you. It takes a fair amount of passion to jump into old raids this early just to keep your wardrobe from going to waste. But knowing our Transmog fanatics, they don't let death and destruction stop them from getting a bargain. So sharpen your blades and loosen your shopping arms, dear solo shoppers, because the winter sales are calling! It's taking its toll on your pockets and the physical and mental toll of brave adventurers - just like in real life. Keep your repair costs low and your head held high. See you at the bargain table.