This is a guide written to introduce new players to the instance called Razorfen Downs. To be egligible for going into RFD, be sure you fulfill the following requirements (or others will kick you out of parties for being too low in level or will hate you for going offline).
1- you have at least two hours of spare time for the instance
2a- you are level 36 with good items (average of about level 30 green), OR
2b- you are level 38 or higher
3- You fit in with the group’s class requirements.
4- You know the basics of instancing. RFD is not a very good place to start to learn how it works. You should have gone to RFK to learn things like pulling, cc, etc. Never to late to learn, as SM is still an easy instance in which you can hone your skills for the harsh ones ahead, like ZF or this one.
5- You know that RFD is predominantly filled with Undead mobs, and you know what doesn’t work against undead (fear, etc.), and what does work against them (sheep, shackle), and use this to your advantage. (For example: As a warlock, I can safely Death Coil many mobs in this instance without running add-risk).
RFD is harder than the scarlet monastery instance. It requires some careful planning on some of the mobs, especially if you are new to it. Your hard work will be rewarded with some nice non-world drop twink loot, and some items which are good in general, not only for twinking but will also make future instances a lot easier.
In RFD, you will find some rare herbs (such as purple lotus). If there are multiple herbalists, make an agreement on harvesting these.Also devise a system to loot chests (rolling for chest is commonly accepted).
Okay, some information on the instance location itself first.
RFD is located in the southern tip to the barrens. To get there, go to southern barrens (hordes take a flight path to thousand needles or the barrens, alliance walks through dustwallow, or STV–>ratchet).
Step 1: getting the quests
There are also several quests involving in subjects related to the instance. These quests are:
[35D][A Host of Evil]
Kill 8 Razorfen Battleguard, 8 Razorfen Thornweavers, and 8 Death’s Head Cultists and return to Myriam Moonsinger near the entrance to Razorfen Downs.
Myriam Moonsinger tends to be quite hard to find. She is located outside of the cave to the entrance, hidden on the top of a steep hill. It requires some skill to get on top of this hill.
The quest itself is not that hard, and the Battleguards and Thornweavers can be soloed by anyone meeting the requirements for the dungeon. You should be able to solo one of these mobs. Having a friend help on this quest is always a good choice though, especially with the cultists, because they almost always come with adds attached.
This quest awards a nice chunk of XP (up to 3,000), and nets 75 silver as well. If your group is doing RFD anyway, it will probably have to hack’n’slash its way through a lot of these mobs in order to get in. These cannot be found in the instance itself, however.
[37D][An Unholy Alliance – Part II]
This quest is only available to horde characters, and can be gotten at Varimathras in the Undercity. It is a follow-up for a quest in RFK, the longest low-level instance (can take upwards of 3 hours to complete, and it is very fun to do with a good group. And you get to learn the more complicated instance techniques there (pulling etc.)). It features killing Ambassador Malkin. I soloed him at level 42, but i’m a warlock ( 😉 ), so I’d suggest having two people aid you at levels 36-39, or one person at level 40+. He comes with three adds. Ambassador Malkin is located near the instance entrance, in one of the huts of the large razorfen encampment.
The reward allows you to choose from various items, and it nets you some XP.
[42D][Bring the end] Or [42D][Bring the light]: Get it from Andrew Brownell in Undercity (horde) or Archbishop benedictus in Stormwind (alliance). This quest focuses on killing the last boss in the instance. It nets you an appropriately large amount of XP (4,000), and offers you the choice between two Rare-quality items, a sword which increases attack power by 28 and has 30 DPS, and a necklace with 1 AGI, 10 SPI, 7 STA. This quest is also interesting for people who can’t use these items (well), because they can be disenchanted for a shard, or the sword can be sold for 1gold and about 78 silver.
There is also one quest in Razorfen Downs itself. This quest will be explained as soon as we get there.
Step 2: An RFD group
An RFD group is different from your average SM group. RFD is a harder instance, place it in difficulty between SM and Uldaman. Fewer people do it. The rewards are nice though. Many level 39 twink items drop here.
1: A priest.
It is definately advised to have a priest in your group. He/she needn’t be the healer, it could also be a DPS shadow priest. Just for the Stamina bonus and Crowd-Control (shackle) alone, a priest is important.
A druid can be a poor-man’s priest, but that will inflict harm on the capabilities of a party, certainly in the second part of the dungeon, where you can’t then shackle painful undead mobs.
In RFD, you will frequently pull big pulls of lots of elites. The elites aren’t necessarily tougher than those in, for example, SM, but they come in greater numbers. One tank may not be enough to hold all of them. Warlocks and Hunters should use tank pets to each offtank a meelee-mob (leave the most painful mob to the MT, which has the most armor).
The MT is a warrior in the ideal situation, but it could also be a paladin (abilties against undead and healing), or a feral druid in Bear Form. However, the paladin has one big disadvantage: no strong AOE-taunting ability. The third boss requires AOE-taunt, and thus you will need a pet which can do that, such as the voidwalker (which isn’t as good a tank as a player).
You will need an AOE-er. Period. There are several occasions where 5+ mobs need to be fought, and AOE is essential to the success of the party. Mordresh, for example, can be soloed by a single Hellfire and some DOTs, but a party without AOE will surely die. A mage or warlock is most recommended.
The filler can be filled accordingly to the classes chosen in 1,2,3. Generally, a balanced mix of characters is advised, to be able to use more forms of crowd-control. If the priest was shadow, add another healer to your party. Most classes have a helpful buff. Having more classes means having more buffs.
Step 3: Buffs
At this level, pots like the intelligence and agility pot (elixir of greater agility / of intelligence) become available. Having such pots and other buffs (+sta of priests, +all of druids, +int of mages), food bonuses, cries of the dragonslayer, etc., on everyone can, and most probably will make the difference between a wipe and success.
Step 4: The instance
For those people who have stuck around reading, congratulations ;). We are now starting in RFD.
1: Have your group walk into the portal
2: you will see a dark hallway. It will have a T-split section in it. Straight ahead leads to the instance in the proper order. To the right are the hardest pulls in the whole instance (harder than the last boss!). It is not recommended to go that way. Most groups skip that hallway altogether, as it only consists of large volumes of trash.
3: follow the hallway. In this hallway, there are several groups of Razormanes. Each of them has it’s own specialities. Most pulls feature two or three Razormanes. I shall l not go into details with those pulls. But first, the mobs:
–> Death’s head Geomancer (fire mage)
These blokes are quite dangerous. They should never be on a caster, and either CC’ed or tanked by the main tank. The group has then two options, either kill it first, or kill it last. Killing it last is easiest to do in most situations, but sometimes, CC (sap/polymorph) could trigger either adds, or not be possible. Geomancers have fire spells that can hit for 200-300 damage, depending on their level. They will also run away, but won’t last long due to their low hp.
–> Withered Reaver/ Withered Warrior (tanks)
These mobs have low priority. They are undead, and won’t flee and are immune to crowd control. They do low damage (about 80 on someone with reasonable gear), and have lots of hitpoints. Nuke any mobs that go into a rage, because they will hit twice as fast.
–> Withered Quillguard/ Withered Spearhide (hunters)
In the instance, a lone Quillguard will come with some non-elite boars (five at most), which can either be AOE’ed or killed separately while CC’ing the hunter.
–> Battle Boar horror
These patrols will spawn every few minutes if you are in the first part of the instance. They will pull others if you attack them before they go through mobs, so be careful with that. The boars themselves are no more than a nuisance because they are level 37 and non-elite. They can interrupt casters who are DPS’ing a difficult pull, so be careful as they can come from behind when clearing a room. Have your casters create a ‘boars’ macro to notify tanks and let them get a bit of aggro on the boars. The boars themselves to almost no damage, so they can safely be ignored until the rest is dead (or AoE them, it’s your choice).
Now there are some notable pulls in here. As you finish the first hallway, you will come into a small room. It contains a hard pull. This pull can be skipped, but you must then pull back the other pulls to prevent them from adding up, and miss out on a chest. In the second room: To the left is a large oven. This room has to be cleared to be able to do the quest in the instance, and there is one 4-pull in there. It’s important that you cc the caster, tank one, offtank another, and leave the fourth (a meelee) to bash on a tank and not harm it.
Continue down the hallway. You will come across another small room, with exits to the north and south. The exit to the south skips a boss and the quest, and is not advised. There are over 8 mobs in this room. If you pull the right group first, you have a very high risk of pulling them all. So walk back, and have your tank shoot the left group, while he’s hugging the left wall! This is very important. Otherwise, the mobs will walk slightly too close to the others, and a wipe ensues. When the left group is defeated (only 2), you can kill the right group. It consists of 1 caster elite, 3 withered, and 1 skeleton pet. The skeleton pet has very little health. Start with frying that with a single nukespell which does at least 350 damage. In the meantime sap or polymorph the caster. If you can’t you must shackle one of the undead mobs, and kill the caster as fast as possible. The second pull can be skipped, but the questgiver (which will walk through here) may aggro the mobs, and the mobs appearing from nowhere & these are kind of a hard fight, even with mr. BeliniStrasz.
Take the path to the left. You will end up in a large chamber with a gong in it. Do not hit the gong!. That will spawn 10 spiderlings and link the pulls in the room together, and then wipe the group as a consecuqence. There are two strategies. Left group first, or right group first. Both mob groups cannot be dealt with at the same time, and both contain a caster. It is important that this caster is somehow prevented from running. A curse of recklesness or a well-timed entangling roots may do the trick. Both groups can possibly be dealt with at the same time or close to each other, but it will be harder.
After dealing with the monster groups in the chamber, be sure that the chamber and 10 yards into the hallways around it are clear, and that everyone is at full health/mana, buffed, and standing close to the gong.
It’s time to activate the first boss. Ring the gong, and some level 35spiderlings should come marching in. They will organise into two groups. The MT must then walk off the platform, gather up the spiders, and use his AOE-taunt, while the main healer heals/shields him/her. Then use AOE to kill the spiders. The groups may also be dealt with separately, but due to the stacking poison these buggers drop on players, I advise to kill them as fast as possible: round up and AoE.
When everyone is ready again, ring the gong for a second time. 4 elite 37 spiders come marching in. Either AoE, or CC one of them (they are undead, so shackle or polymorph is the only option!). These things do hit quite hard, and have area of effect webbing abilities. Casters should stay in the back, unless they are AoEing.
If you survived the last one, then the boss is going to be a cakewalk. If you let your tank put on 2 sunders/taunts/whatever, and the healer pays attention, you can breeze through him. He again has an AoE webbing ability, but it doesn’t really do anything besides being time-consuming. Tuten’Kash (level 40+) drops the following loot:
– Silky spider cape: a rare level 35 cloth cape with 11 sta and 5 spi at 28%. It’s not that good for a level 40 boss.
– Arachnid Gloves of xxx: A rare level 37 leather set of gloves with 10 nature resistance and a random buff (for example “of the eagle” gives sta and int). It drops 29% of the time. These can be very good, but also appalling.
– Carapace of Tuten’Kash: A rare level 40 plate chest piece with 15 sta, 10 strength, 8 agility. This item is highly valued by warriors, and it is quite good up until the high fifties when people start getting the dungeon sets and such. It drops once every four kills (25%).
After Tuten’Kash, there will be a long winding hallway with lots of pulls. These are the same as before him, but the geomancers are now replaced by necromancers. The necromancers have a deadly AoE spell and a skeletal companion which can be killed very easily. The necromancers themselves are -not- undead and will run! Killing order should now be:
1: Skelly pets (they go down so fast it’s most efficient to kill them first)
2: Necromancers (Shadowbolts and AoE are painful)
3: Ranged attackers (quillguards)
4: Boars that come rushing in
5: Anything else.
You should take the road leading up whenever you get a fork in the road. You will eventually find a large room devoid of mobs. Ignore this room at first, and go over a bridge which leads to a large pile of bones. This is the second boss.
The second boss consists of two things:
– Mordresh Fire Eye: a level 37 skeletal fire mage.
– 30+ Skellys (you know, those 350 hit point skeletons =P)
This boss needs a separate strategy. A warlock could solo the skeletons provided he uses a voidwalker to gather, aoe taunt, and then sacrifice/hellfire for enough damage to kill all the skellys. But most of the time the VW will require some healing while the rest of the party takes on Mordresh. Without a warlock, a mage could try to AoE the skeletons after the tank has used an AoE taunt on them and gathered them up. The disadvantage of this approach is that there are only 2,5 characters left on mordresh (half the healer, and the two others). A druid or shaman could also fulfill the mage role, although the druid can’t do the dps as fast as the shaman or mage, and the shaman’s strategy requires a certain talent build.
Ppl who do single-target dps should focus on mordresh and ignore the skeletons. They are no match for their sheer numbers. These people should only come marching in as soon as the skeletons are on the MT, and take away Mordresh from the MT. So to sum it up:
1: tank gathers up Skeletons
2: Tank uses AoE taunt
3: Single Target DPS takes mordresh off from the MT, and possibly on an OT. (he doesn’t hit that hard).
4: The mass of skeletons is AoE’ed to death (this determines if you win or lose)
5: as soon as the skellys are dead, the MT should try to take back Mordresh.
6: The group now focuses on getting mordresh down as quickly as possible (chances are he won’t be getting off of whoever did the most damage to him by taunting at this stage).
If done correctly, mordresh is one of the most fun and unique fights. Oh and the music’s nice ;). He drops:
Mordresh’s Lifeless Skull (29%): A rare level 36 offhand item providing 11 spirit and 5 stamina. An alternative to a shield for a tank, also nice on a healer.
Glowing Eye of Mordresh (29%): A necklace giving 11 spirit and 5 intellect. Give this to your healer :).
Deathmage Sash (28%): A cloth belt with 15 INT and 6 STA. It can be put on by any cloth caster class.
Remember the room I told you about? It’s now time to go there. Open the pens. In one of them you should find Henry Stern. He has a cooking and Alchemy recipe.
Then go to Belnistrasz.
Side note: he’s actually a member of the Red Dragonflight, a red dragonwhelp/drake/dragon. All names on strasz almost always are. He’s disguised as a human. This fact is just some background, and has nothing to do with his quest.
He has a quest. Before someone rushes in to get it, ask if everyone has a free slot. Everyone must accept it, or you’ll end up doing it twice. The first part of the quest involves nothing. The second part involves walking with him to the room with the large fire in it I told you about in the beginning, while beating some random spawning trash mob groups (nothing worth noting, because mr. strasz is a really powerful fire dragon, umm, wizard. Sorry ’bout that 🙂 .
As soon as he’s there, he’ll start doing a ritual. Immediately, huge quantities of mobs start pouring in. These will go on for five minutes without pause, so it’s adviseable to use mana potions for this fight, and be as mana-efficient as possible. The MT has a fun time, because of all the rage he’s going to get. Kill casters first, then the ranged guys, and then everything else. This goes as far as to switch targets the moment a caster comes into the room (as these will continually spam shadowbolts/firebolts if you ignore ’em. At the last bit, a boss will spawn, called Plaguemaw the Rotting. He has a lot of health, so kill everything else before him. He drops Swine fists at 58% (an uncommon pair of gloves with +8str, +8 agi), and Plaguerot Sprig at 30% (a twink rare wand with 37dps and +7 shadow resistance).
If you survive the onslaught, congratulations!. If you don’t, just use the raid-wipe prevention and go on further in the instance. This is just optional, and as such it’s harder than most of the other stuff in RFD.Completing the quest awards all members of the party the rare item Dragonclaw ring, a ring with +4spi and +10 stamina, which is very good for any tank, but can also be used by most other classes due to its large bonus amounts. It can also be either sold or disenchanted.
Now you can head on from the room where you defeated Mordresh. Just now keep following the road down, and you should get into a long passageway to the east.
From here on, you’ll not be facing any boar mobs anymore. All mobs from this point on are undead, and I will not be notifying that to readers anymore.
There are several trash pulls in this long hallway. There are also patrols of two Splinterbone Skeletons (oh nooo). Do try to be careful to pull as little as possible, because the mobs can get dangerous. The pulls consist of:
–> Splinterbone Skeleton
These are just level 35 meelee fighters. You can either offtank them while having dots on them and focus on the main mobs, or ignore them altogether. They’ll die from a few basic AoE spells anyway, being nonelite.
–> Skeletal Shadowcaster / Skeletal Frostweaver
These are level 37 elite skeletons which can cast shadow/frost bolts. These bolts are not as painful as those from the necromancers, but can still hurt at 180+ damage apiece.
–> Thorn Eater Ghoul (36-39 elite)
These mobs do not hit very hard, being just meelee fighters, but they do have really pesky debuffs which harm the entire party if everyone gets them. I’d place these in priority about equal with the skeletal mages
–> Frost Spectre (level 38-39 elite)
These are meelee, but they hit quite hard, and have a habit of resisting aggro-increasing abilities such as taunt, and have a higher than average shadow resistance. They also come with a silence ability, so casters should be very careful about aggroing them.
A typical pull consists of:
2 different elites
Some pulls will consist of 3 elites (2 spectres & a ghoul, or one of each, etc.)
As soon as you finish the hallway, it changes into a large winding spiral. Everybody except the puller must remain at the spiral entrance. The puller then pulls the mobs to everybody else. This is to prevent pulling the next boss, Glutton. Glutton is a large abomination which wanders around the first circle of the spiral. If the party starts battling groups normally in the spiral, glutton could show up, and someone could get his aggro (or he’s pulled by a mob), and that would cause a wipe.
Once Glutton can be safely pulled, do that. The rules of the above paragraph then cease to exist. Glutton can normally be tanked, with one exception: the healers must have careful attention about the buffs/debuffs on the MT, and try to dispel Glutton’s debuffs, as they slow the taunting down, and could cause our little friend to change targets. Glutton does not hit extremely hard, but he does hit in the 100’s depending on your tank’s gear and level, and he’ll put a 10% debuff on you for 10 minutes, which lasts through his death. The next part of the dungeon will be much harder if you can’t remove that debuff.
If you pull Glutton with adds, he won’t be a pushover like he is alone. On the priority list, he ranks just above a ghoul. This means he has to be dealt with first without disease cures and such, and just after the mages if you do have those nice anti-debuff spells that help out a lot here.
Glutton’s Cleaver: An uncommon-quality level 36 axe, which does 23 DPS, and can wound a target to bleed for 50 damage over 30 seconds. This thing is totally appalling, especially the chance on hit effect which is totally negligible. It’s very bad quality.
Fleshhide shoulders, however, are great. They are a level 37 set of leather shoulderpads providing 5 STR, 15 STA, and 6 AGI. Any feral druid would fall in love with these.
If you are lucky, you could also encounter the very rare Ragglesnout boss. In all my 10+ runs I have personally never seen him. If you do, you can post your suggestions on strategy on him in the comments below 😉
Now you’ll be marching up the spiral. The pulls will get steadily harder, and the Skeletons will be replaced by Warriors, centurions, and the Thorn Eater Ghouls will be replaced by Bone flayer Ghouls.
When you’re in the 2nd-3rd circle some new mobs start to appear. Large groups demand lots of CC and smart tactics.
–> Splinterbone Captain (level 39-40 elite):
This is merely an elite version of the Skelly centurion, with thrice the hp and twice the damage.
–> Skeletal Summoner (level 40 elite)
Now these things are a real pain, and could be a big danger to your group. You cannot CC them very effectively, as they will still use their most painful ability as soon as they get loose. They also seem to have quite some resistances against these spells, among others. As the name would imply, these things will try to summon in more undeads. They’ll simply SPAM this summoning spell, so must be nuked as quickly as possible. If there’s a summoner in a group, simply target that one first with all you got (OT’s, warlock DOT’s and CC is an exception, of course), and then do the other mobs. If done correctly, they shouldn’t pose too much of a threat.
Summoners are usually lone patrollers, except for a few groups just before Amnennar the Coldbringer, and some groups in the hard road. Try to take these patrollers out lonely, as that will make your job easier on the groups (if a summoner comes as an add, you’re in trouble).
To sum it all up: a priority table for the spiral and the hallway before it. Kill the mobs with the lowest number first.
1: Skelly Summoners
2a: Skeletal Frostweavers/ Skeletal Shadowcasters
2b: Ghouls (could also be equal with the casters, depending on classes in your party. Without disease dispel, place these above the skeletal casters, but after the summoners).
3: Frost Spectres
4: Skellys (splinterbone xxx)
5: everything else (skelly patrols, etc.)
The last three pulls of the spiral are exceptionally hard. The last pull consists of:
2 or 3 skellys
1 skeletal elite
and 1 summoner
This pull will essentially be harder than Amnennar himself, speaking of which, you will now encounter. So prepare your group for a short and painful boss fight.
Amnennar (41++ elite) hits very hard, so he should be on the MT all the time, and the MT must always be healed, just like in any other normal boss fight. However: One other person has to play the OT (or the pets do this role), and the job of the OT(s) is to keep the spirits Amnennar will summon to his aid during the encounter off the casters. He doesn’t have to kill the spirits, just use AoE taunt to keep ’em off the healer. They will eventually stay on the healer, and kill that person, and a wipe will ensue. Anyway, just keep them off as long as possible. The healer himself can help with this by using spells with low aggro (such as shields and HoTs) As soon as Amnennar is dead, those annoying Freezing spririts will immediately disappear. So we have:
1 MT trying to keep Amnennar’s aggro. You can switch tanking duty to someone without AoE taunt here, because Amnennar needs single target taunt only.
1 healer trying to heal the MT while gaining the least possible aggro from the spirits that he will summon to his aid.
1 person and/or the pets on offtank duty: keep the spirits off the healer
2 or 3 others, depending on the setup, killing Amnennar as quickly as possible.
If done correctly, Amnennar will be killed before the healer dies. Sheeping spirits or shackling them can be quite useful in the fight, but don’t spend too much time on CC as a mage or priest. Also: if the offtanking is succesful in keeping all mobs off the Healer, try to keep mobs off from other casters too. Note that the patrols will still go on during the boss fight, and it is possible to encounter such a patrol during the boss fight. These skellys do not need much handling, except when they start to interrupt casts and heals. Just treat them like additional spirits.
Luckily, Amnennar has very low health for an end boss. He’ll probably die before the main healer has gained too much aggro, especially when using the priest’s shielding spells.
Amnennar drops the following items.
Robes of the lich: (29%) A cloth level 39 rare twink robe providing 20 intellect and 10 stamina. Because warlocks already have the quest for the Enchanted Gold Bloodrobe (which is only 3 stat points worse), i’d suggest giving this great item to a mage or priest first.
Icemetal Barbute: (29%) a plate helm with +15 STR, +7 SPI, +10 STA, and +10 frost resistance. It also boosts 383 armor. Your warrior will drool over this. A rare item.
Bonefingers: (24%): Leather gloves with +9 sta and +9 INT. They are of uncommon quality, and not really notable.
Deathchill armor: (24%) is. It’s a level 39 mail item providing 20 spirit (!), 9 INT, and 3 STA. It’s great for any Healadin or Healshaman.
Coldrage Dagger: (only 14%) is a level 39 twink dagger with 29,7 DPS, and a chance of launching a frostbolt which deals a minor 20-30 damage, but which does slow for 50% (!) for 5 seconds.
Because this is the end of the instance, i’ll also list some loot dropped in general in the instance:
Silk cloth / mageweave cloth: drops aren’t as frequent as in SM, but there’s still far more than on normal humanoids.
Ichor of undeath: each of the high-level undead in the instance has a rare 1.5% chance of dropping this item. It is used in professions, for example to make the 20-slot soul bag.
Any items dropped in this instance can ofcourse also be disenchanted. Most blue (rare) items will award shards which can sell at the auction house for 3-5 gold apiece (large radiant shards sell for 8-10 gold). Much better than the vendor price. Green items can award dusts, essences and shards. Consult a mod such as Enchantrix for the amount recieved. If no one wants to wear/ can wear a rare or uncommon item, it is often better to give it to an enchanter in the party, who then disenchants it, and gives the mats to the player who won the roll for it (just type /roll to do so), especially in the case of BoP, which can’t be posted on the Auction house. None-bop items may also have disenchant values higher than their actual price.
Step 5: alternative ways.
Once you have tried the instance, you’ll find out that you only want to kill glutton and Amnennar. Just take the path to the right at the beginning, and you should end up halfway in the first spiral. Be careful, as the pulls in this path are at least as hard as the very last pulls before the lich. They feature AoE, summoners, casters, etc.
Well, repeat if you so desire, or go do something else (read Jame’s Uldaman guide for a guide on the next instance on the ladder to supremacy).
Note: During the Invasion of the Scourge event, there was an additional boss in this dungeon, called Lady Falther’ess. This level 40 elite dropped some very nice rare caster loot. Alas, she’s no longer there. She may return if the event repeats itself, but we can only hope and wait if such a thing happens.
Written by: Aphid
Level 45 Gnome Warlock
P.S. Comments on improving this guide are always welcome. Please show me my mistakes, as this is my first guide :).