- Author: Furious
- Date: November 15, 2021
- Expansion: WoW Classic
Welcome to this comprehensive Molten Core Raid Guide! All raiding guilds will spend several months in the fiery depths of Molten Core, so you’ll surely want to know about each boss encounter and the trash mobs found throughout. Like any other raid, you’ll need to utilize the full toolkit of your entire raid team to effectively clear the Core. Studying mechanics beforehand is the best way to help your guild swiftly complete these encounters. There’s a lot to cover in this guide, so let’s get started!
What is Molten Core?
Molten Core is a 40-player raid dungeon, which serves as the seat of the Fire Lord Ragnaros. This is a difficult scenario and will pay out accordingly, but it’s important to focus on appropriate preparations and foreknowledge to make sure everything goes smoothly. Molten Core is interlaced with lava rivers and lakes which can cause significant damage. Interspersed throughout are eight Runes of Warding, which must each be put out in order to summon the final two bosses. This scenario relies on good communication and attention to each player’s role within the group.
This guide will address the components of a successful Molten Core raid, starting with some basics like group composition and necessary preparations. We’ll also take a look at the various Trash Mobs in the instance and their mechanics. Finally, we’ll chronologically break down each boss fight within Molten Core up to and including Ragnaros!
For a full list of items that can be acquired please see our WoW Classic Molten Core Loot List!
It’s important to make sure each player is clear on their function within the raid. Having the right blend of each type is essential to success, so try to have about 4-5 of each available class to make up the total 40. It’s advised that any raid party is including (but not limited to) the following:
- Main Tanks (MT): You’ll need to designate a main tank, whose function is to bear the brunt of the main target’s attacks (ie Warrior). Sometimes, like with Molten Giants, you’ll have a second target, so you should also designate an:
- Off Tank (OT): to back up the MT when facing multiple targets. This guide indicates when an OT is appropriate.
- Healers: You’ll want at least three healers assigned to heal each tank, and at least one per group. Each healer must be perfectly clear about who they’re in charge of healing (ie tank or raid group).
- Cleansers: any unit type capable of removing curses should be prepared for this. Cleansing is instrumental in a few of the Boss fights. (i.e. mage)
- Pullers: It’s typically best to use Hunters for this. Pullers play several key roles in Molten Core, which will be detailed in the Action section. Their key responsibility is to draw the intended target into a more ideal position for the rest of the raid to combat. Designate a main Puller and a secondary one, for instances involving more than one target, and make sure they know which is which.
Each player should have 300+ buffed fire resistance. That means varying amounts of necessity for fire resistant gear, but everybody really should have at least 100 unbuffed (even hunters), knowing that paladins can’t include aura. Unbuffed means your base fire resistance stat including benefits from gear. Melee units planning to approach anywhere near Ragnaros need to be more like 200+ unbuffed.
Note that you will receive a fire resist ring as part of the series of quests for the Hydraxian Waterlords detailed in the following section. Try to accumulate as much fire resist gear as possible leading up to the raid. Because the healers will be occupied with the MT/OT each player will need at least a stack of bandages and Major Healing, plus Major Mana if appropriate. You will also wish to bring plenty of food, any helpful buffs, and Fire Protection Potion, especially if you’re not quite to 300FR.
Attunement to the Core is a quest which creates a shortcut via portal into the instance, bypassing Blackrock Depths (BRD). You’ll need to speak to Lothos Riftwaker the blood elf, who is just outside BRD. He’ll ask for a core fragment that’s located near the entrance to the MC, inside BRD. 6600 XP for completion.
Hydraxians and Aqual Quintessence
At least eight raid members will need to have completed a set of six quests for Duke Hydraxis who is on a small island near the Azshara coast. After the fourth of these quests, you’ll have reached honored with the Hydraxian Waterlords, and everything in MC should give reputation. The final quest, Hands of the Enemy, will involve spoils from the Molten Core raid. Each player who completes this set of side quests will receive an Aqual Quintessence they will need later to douse one of eight runes being guarded by the bosses leading up to Majordomo Executus.
In order to acquire the Aqual Quintessence needed to douse a rune of the Firelords in Molten Core, you’ll need to complete a series of quests offered by Duke Hydraxis in Azshara. This will require you to make your way through Upper Blackrock Spire, and also make significant progress through Molten Core itself.
All quests are picked up and turned in with Duke Hydraxis in Azshara. Here’s how you can complete the Duke Hydraxis questline to get your hands on an Aqual Quintessence:
- Accept the first quest: Poisoned Water, and the second quest: Stormers and Rumblers from Duke Hydraxis. You can pick up both these quests at the same time.
- For Poisoned Water, go to Eastern Plaguelands and use the Aspect of Neptulon on poisoned elementals that you find. You’ll need to kill enough to loot 12 Discordant Bracers.
- For Stormers and Rumblers, you’ll want to head to Silithus and make your way to Crystal Vale. Simply kill 15 Dust Stormers and 15 Desert Rumblers to satisfy the requirement for the second quest.
- After turning in both Poisoned Water and Stormers and Rumblers, accept the third quest: Eye of the Emberseer. This requires you to delve deep into Upper Blackrock Spire to kill the Pyroguard Emberseer. You’ll need to loot his Eye of the Emberseer from his corpse.
- After finishing Eye of the Emberseer, accept the fourth quest: The Molten Core. For this bad boy, you’ll actually need to kill some trash mobs within Molten Core. To be exact, you’ll need to kill 1 each of the following: Molten Giant, Firelord, Ancient Core Hound, Lava Surger.
- After handing in The Molten Core, accept the fifth quest: Agent of Hydraxis. This quest is entirely a reputation gate, requiring you to reach honored status with the Hydraxian Waterlords. To earn reputation with them, your best option is from any monster within Molten Core. Alternatively, you can kill elementals in Silithus or Burning Steppes for a slower grind.
- Once you’ve finally reached honored with the Hydraxian Waterlords, accept the sixth and final difficult quest: Hands of the Enemy. This is undoubtedly the hardest quest in the entire series, as it requires you to loot the hand of four bosses in Molten Core. To be specific, you’ll need to kill and loot: Lucifron, Sulfuron, Gehennas, and Shazzrah.
- After slaying Ragnaros’ lieutenants, make your way back to Duke Hydraxis to accept the rewarding seventh quest: A Hero’s Reward. This isn’t really even a quest, but more a prompt to retrieve your reward for all your hard work! Loot Hydraxis’ Coffer to earn the choice between two blue rings with fire resistance, but more importantly, the Aqual Quintessence!
- Each time you use your Aqual Quintessence, you’ll need to return to Duke Hydraxis in Azshara to get another. However, once you become revered with the Hydraxian Waterlords, you’ll receive an Eternal Quintessence, which won’t disappear upon use!
These are various units located throughout the core that will hamper your progress to and through the bosses. Their special abilities are included here.
Fast-moving banishable earth elementals which patrol the Core. It’s impossible to really maintain aggro (a system whereby the target ranks its threats to decide where to focus its attack) because they will typically target the person on their threat list who is physically farthest away, then do a knockback on them and everyone between the two, but will randomly change target. Remember to stick to areas where the knockback ability will cause minimal issue.
- Respawn Time: Every 28 minutes until Garr is defeated
- Charge: 1k damage random attack
- Knockback: can knock everybody back between the Lava Surger and target
These are somewhat weak rock elementals in fixed locations which charge randomly and can hit for about 1k damage. They function much like Lava Surgers, but without the knockback ability, and in one location. If you’re ever caught between two units, it’s best to have a Warlock banish the Annihilator and fight the other unit first. Use the MT to establish aggro, then all join in. Any area which can spawn a Lava Annihilator or a Fire Lord may do either one.
- Respawn Time: 2 hours
- Charge: 1k damage random attack
These are fire elementals that use a combination of fire resist debuff and short range attack. They’re immune to Crowd Control, and they periodically cast a flamestrike-type spell that creates fire spawn. Cleansers need to stay on them, and mages should cast nonstop blizzard in their area, while single-target attackers focus on the spawn, to prevent them dividing. If you’re fighting two Fire Lords, make sure the MT and the OT know which one to focus on. If they spawn, be sure to kill those before going back to the Fire Lord.
- Respawn Time: 2 hours
- Incinerate: augments fire damage
- Soul Burn -magic: 4k fire damage during a 16 second period. Physical damage to the Fire Lord reduced by 50%
- Spawn: creates multiplying adds
these come in pairs with Molten Destroyers. The best move is typically to split them up and focus on aggro control and on mana conservation. A warlock might use Curse of Doom on the second target while the rest of the raid goes after the first. Destroyers are stronger and have an Area of Effect (AoE) knockdown when they stomp.
- Respawn Time: Does not respawn
- Attacks hit tank for 600 – 800 damage
- Knockback: Single target knockback dealing ~600 damage
- Stomp: An AoE melee range attack, affects up to 8 players
Come in pairs with Molten Giants. They are definitely the tougher mob and won’t show up until after entering the tunnel toward Gehennas. When faced with them, focus on the Giant before the destroyer. Consider starting with range.
- Respawn Time: Does not respawn
- Attacks: Hit tank for 700 – 800 damage
- Smash Attack: Hit tank for 1000 – 1100 damage
- Knockdown: Knocks down single target
- Trample: An AoE attack dealing 1000 damage
This is a somewhat powerful unit with a forward-facing AoE and several debuffs, including an AoE Fear. The advised course of action is to have the MT pull it to face away from the raid to avoid any other units taking damage while they DPS from behind it. Have the OT ready in case MT loses aggro. Make sure to grab loot, because it can’t be skinned for Core Leather before being looted.
- Respawn Time: Every 18 minutes until Magmadar is killed
- Can detect Stealth use
- AoE Fire Attack: forward-facing fire damage (about 800)
- Stomp: stuns units in AoE (5 seconds)
- Ancient Dread: hinders spells and melee speed by half.
- Ancient Despair: confusion (3 seconds)
- Fire Resist Debuff: 200 FR debuff
- Withering Heat: max hp -15% (15 minutes)
Core Hound Packs
These are a total of five packs of five Core Hounds each, going up to Magmadar. They are immune to Crowd Control, These each need to be killed within ten seconds of each other, or they’ll revive. Like Ancient Core Hounds, they have to be faced away from the raid to neutralize their forward AoE attack. There are different kinds of Core Hounds: they can have an AoE Fear, a Stun, or an attack speed debuff.
- Respawn Time: 2 hours
- Damage over Time (DoT): 50 dps attack (30 seconds) can stack 10x
- Frontal AoE attack for about 400 damage
Groups of about ten of these block the way to the first boss, Lucifron. They respawn extremely quickly, at seven minutes. Speed is of the essence with these, so everybody with AoE be ready to use it.
- Respawn Time: 7 minutes
- Small AoE fire attack
- Hits tanks for about 200.
These are one of the big reasons to really have that fire resist gear. Later in the instance, packs of four or five units appear which are comprised of a Firewalker, a Flameguard, and a lava reaver OR two lava elementals. Make sure you kill them in order: Firewalker, Flameguard, then banish the last two. Fire elementals can hit for 3k, so healers really focus on which unit you’re looking after.
- Firewalker: fire resist debuff and fire attack for 3k
- Flameguard: Frontal AoE and AoE with Armor Debuff
- Lava Elemental: Front-facing Stun AoE plus DoT
- Melee attack
Classic Era Boss Strategies
This additional will help give an idea for how the raid could go. On the way to fight Lucifron, you should encounter a pair of Lava Giants. Position the MTs slightly away and pull the Giants to them. Then either a Lava Annihilator or Fire Lord will appear to the left. Banish it if not a Fire Lord.
Keep an eye out now for a roving Lava Surger and Core Hound in the area at this time. Do not cross over the bridge, you’re now facing, but pull the giants across the way back toward the raid. As you move forward and along the left side, ignore the mobs on the right for now, knowing you’ll return to the passage on the right side later on.
Another bridge lies ahead guarded by a series of mobs. Kill the giants, then the Fire Lord (or Annihilator) and the Core Hound after, then you’ll need to fight a Lava Surger across the next two bridges. Lava Imps appear in groups of ten or so. There may be another surger here so try to separate it from the Imps. Try to stay tight to the right to pull as few imps as necessary, as it’s very difficult. When you do need to pull them try to use a Paladin.