As I outlined in my first post, the lore-master is a pretty strong soloing class and I find soloing old group content to be a fun end game activity. It certainly requires you to use a much bigger part of your skill toolbox than any other end game activity – facerolling sticky gourd and ents through raid skirmishes over and over again is getting pretty old imo! I go into general strategy and preparation in that post, but the general idea is to trait 5 blue and use your bog guardian pet as a tank, using improved flanking and beacon of hope to heal it and inner flame to transfer threat when needed. The only update I’d add to that is that I really recommend a buffing book with signs of the wild rage and protection on it, to get your pet +10% threat generation and +5% morale. With the master of beasts trait, the signs of wild last for 20min so you don’t need to swap over very often to get the full effect of these buffs.

Urugath (final bosses, through Lhugrien)

Time: Appx 1hr

Rewards: This is a pretty efficient way to collect a lot of class quest items. You avoid most of the time consuming trash and end up with Badge of Command, Emblem of Ritual, Flawless Scale of Lhugrien, Sigil of War and Teeth of the Gorthrog.

Difficulty: Most are easy, but Lagmas is a bit of a challenge.

Strategy: If you’re looking to do a fun run through Urugath, I highly recommend this route. It involves going across the wooden bridge instead of into the troll den (you can take a quick detour left to kill Sorkrank and Burzfil if you want an Insignia of Battle), heading over to Akrur then over the bridge to the north to Lhugrien’s den. The drakes leading up to Lhugrien won’t pose much challenge if you make sure to only spawn one at a time. Lhugrien itself isn’t a particularly tough fight, I tanked it myself quite easily and just burned it down quickly – make sure to have a hope token handy though. After that, head through the underground passage (need to have the steel key from Gruglok) and make your way through the trash there. On the ohter side, you’ll end up pulling three bosses at once at the entrance to the castle – Morthrang and his two trolls, Brizrip and Thordragh. I was a little bit worried about this fight but it was actually fairly easy. First of all, the trolls aren’t immune to CC so if you could be bothered, you can cc one. I didn’t bother – I just had the bog guardian tank both of them at once (cycling hits between them to keep threat over my healing) and then I tanked and spanked Morthrang. The incoming damage was easily able to be offset by flank heals. After that, head out of the castle to kill Gruglok, which is a pretty easy fight all up – adds come out two or three at a time. CC one, let your pet pick up the other and burn. Again, make sure to have a hope token handy for the dread though.

Finally Lagmas, which was a genuine challenge on my first time in. He’s only got 44k morale, but the challenging part of the fight is that he periodically summons 9k morale crebain in groups of 2. On my first couple of attempts, I tried just burning him down and ignoring the birds, but that wasn’t possible because they quickly stack up and overwhelm what cc I would throw at them, and then start pecking away and interrupting inductions. So the strategy I settled on was to let my pet tank while I dealt with the birds. I found it difficult to burn two down without using cc on them, and I would sometimes face a second wave of birds spawning while still dealing with the first, so it became a pretty intense mix of cc and DPS on the birds, healing on my pet and the occasional bit of damage to Lagmas himself. I found the storm lore/cracked earth/kite for 10s cc combo effective quite a few times, it’s a great way of rooting groups of adds when herb lore is on cooldown.

Carn Dum (Azgoth for the Iron gate key, then up the center passage to Mordirith’s keep)

Time: Appx 1.5-2hrs

Rewards:This route nets you a lot of class quest items – Medallion of Passage, Rune of Evil Presence, Cruel Talon of Azgoth, Rune of Winged Dominance and Ashen Gorthorog Horn. You can also do a quick detour to kill Helcham to get 6/7 of the items from the instance.

Difficulty:Generally easy, although one or two fights get a little interesting.

Strategy: This ends up being quite a rewarding run if you’re looking to pick up class quest items. It takes a significant amount of time though, and quite frankly, none of the boss fights really involve much more than tank and spank, maybe with an add or two to deal with, and really isn’t that challenging overall so I wouldn’t recommend it for the fun factor. The only really fun pull is the angmarin spawns before Tarlakh who guards the entrance to Mordirith’s castle, that involves three waves of 6 angmarin each and many of the angmarin will summon ghosts. It’s a good challenge to see if you can survive that pull without dying – unfortunately if you do fail, the mobs don’t reset and you can just easily mop up whatever’s left when you respawn. I still hadn’t managed to get myself the Iron Gate key, so I went through the Ornate gate through the sewers, killed Helcham, went up the tower to Salkvah and then over to Azgoth to get the key. Then I went back to the start and straight up the middle to the castle and cleared up to Gurthul. I would be interested to see if Mordirith herself is soloable but I ran out of time and missed the next reset – my memory of the fight is that it inovles a lot of ramping up dread (so much that you keep getting stunned), and also a bunch of adds. My guess is that it isn’t doable for a lore-master, but I’d be interested to find out otherwise

Warg Pens part 2: Swampy strikes back

Time: Appx 45min (easy mode)

Rewards: Not much to speak of, a few low level IXP runes and tier 2 relic boxes. It is a decent way to do your Mirkwood warg slayer deed though – I dinged my advanced in the final boss fight :)

Difficulty: Pretty high, this is possibly the most challenging and enojoyable run I’ve done so far

Revenge is sweet

Strategy: If you read my last column you would have seen that I wiped on this boss, repeatedly. I probably tried 5 or 6 times the first time before giving up and concluded that it might just not be possible. Well, I’m happy to say that I proved myself wrong :). In fact, I managed to clear the whole instance fairly quickly without dying once this time, and it really is a pretty fun one to clear. I outlined the strategy for the bosses in the last post, and I took the same approach this time it was just a question of better execution. It’s essential to heal the pet at every single opportunity, use signs of the wild wisely to clear poison debuffs when they get too dangerous and take down the warg adds very quickly, without letting them eat meat. It’s a fight that requires alot of multitasking and really pushes you do to a bunch of things at once, so it’s a really good feeling if you can get it down. I still think hard mode might be possible, but you have to spend a lot more time on the trash and there’s definitely a lot of potential for things to go wrong on the boss fight, so I’m not sure whether I’ll have a shot or not.

Grand Stairs

Time: About 1hr for Igash, 45min for Gothghaash

Rewards: Moria medallions (but not many – 2 from Igash, 1 from the other bosses), relic boxes, IXP runes, Supreme crafting mats and occasional flakes from the trash.

Difficulty: Igash himself is fairly easy, but it takes a LONG time to get to him and the trash pull just before him is pretty challenging. Gothghaash is at an excellent level of difficulty, quite tough but definitely doable with good execution.

Strategy: Everyone’s probably familiar with GS by now I would think! Ilzkal is simple to kill, be sure to use a sign of the wild to clear the fear off your pet. I killed him both times before he got a second fear off. I didn’t bother trying to tag Nardur before 10min was up, but I probably should have tried to do a suicide run and do it because I didn’t realise quite how messed up that part of the instance gets if you don’t tag him. Nardur disappears up the gate on his platform after that time and it adds a LOT of extra trash to kill. I’m not exactly sure what happened halfaway up the stair he disappears up, but I ended up killing the devoted but didn’t encounter Nardur – I don’t know if I accidentally reset him and he disappeared or if you just lose the opportunity to kill him. Anyway, some the trash pulls are actually reasonably difficult, you’ll need to use a lot of CC and well targeted DPS, especially on the one before Igash. Unfortunately I didn’t quite target my DPS well enough on the 5-mob pre-Igash pull and wiped after killing one of the melee guys. I think the best strategy is to try to double cc two of the defiles, have your pet aggro the other and one of the melee and then quickly burn down the other melee. I just didn’t quite manage to get it set up properly, so I wiped and was only able to clear it when there were 4 mobs. On the Igash fight itself, the biggest thing you need to realise is that your pet gets hurt by the fire too, so have the follow command on an easily accessible hotkey and make sure you move it out of the fire. As long as you do that, you should have no real problems keeping up with the damage, although do be extra careful with threat because it’s fairly hazardous to use inner flame given the possibility of fire puddles spawning under you.

Gothghaash the Firecaller is a really fun fight. There’s a few moderately challening trash pulls in the lead up to him and the fight itself has lots of elements you need to balance. You need to remove fire wounds, make sure both you and your pet keep out of fire puddles and burn the volcanoes that spawn as quickly as possible. It’s a long fight so you DO NOT want the boss to be healing up or else you’ll have serious power issues, which means you need to burst down the volcanoes pretty quickly (which can be challenging if you’ve also got wounds, or pet healing, or fire puddles to worry about). Definitely recommend this fight though if you’re looking for a fun challenge.

I enjoy doing this so I’ll probably look for a few more soloing challenges to do and update in a future post. I did try to do Ferndur the Virulent raid boss in Angmar, but I wasn’t able to spawn him because I couldn’t kill the 5 groups of adds quickly enough before they respawned. I also had a quick shot at level 50 helegrod but killing 30k trash packs gets pretty boring and I doubt I’d be able to handle the bigger pulls anyway, the induction setbacks would just get too much.