Tanking Ragnaros Part 1

At long last, we come to the final boss of the normal Firelands raid instance, Ragnaors.

For those of you familiar with his original Molten Core incarnation, this reunion will either be a fun one or something that sends you away screaming, all depending on what type of guild you were in back in vanilla WoW.

As this fight is split into a number of phases and is arguably the most complex of the boss fights in this raid instance, we’ll be splitting this fight up into two articles to help deal with some of the complexities in a bit more depth.

For starters, a tank specific portion of the fight is the stacking debuff that he’ll put onto his current target. It behaves in a similar manner to other stacking tank debuffs that you’ve seen in the past. It ramps up as it stacks and will require a tank switch at regular intervals to help the tanks keep their stacks low enough to keep themselves alive. To this end, you’ll likely want to switch off with your offtank around 3-4 stacks of the debuff, depending on your hardiness and the strength of your healers, though as the healers will be very busy this first phase, it might be better to just play it a little safer and switch off a tad more frequently than you think you need to.

Ragnaros also uses his smash attack where a random raid member will be targetted and three waves of lava will move away from their location. They’re not too hard to see coming so it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid them provided that there isn’t a huge amount of craziness going on so keep an eye out for it, just on the off chance it comes close enough to hit.

There will be a periodic knockback that shouldn’t be too hard to deal with as well as the flame traps that he’ll set around the raid. The traps have to be set off to keep them from getting too numerous and every trap that’s set off will deal a decent chunk of damage to the entire raid. Keep a good line of communication open with your raid and don’t let that spike damage take you unaware. Keep a close eye on your health and if you think there’s a chance that the spike of damage could be dangerous, pop those cooldowns preemptively and you should ride through it.

Once the boss hits 70%, the intermission phase will begin. During this phase, Ragnaros will submerge under the lava and summon a number of fire elementals that will run from the edge of the platform in towards Ragnaros and if any of them reach him, they’ll basically explode and hit the raid for a huge chunk of damage.

While you won’t really be able to do too much damage to them as a tank, you can help as much as possible. Use any stuns you have smartly and apply your debuffs to whatever targets you can reach easily to assist your DPS when it comes to burning them down in time.

Next week, we’ll be covering the remaining phases of this fight and hopefully, the end of your trip through the normal Firelands raid.


  1. “summon a number of fire elementals that will run from the edge of the platform in towards Ragnaros” they run towards his hammer. And as a tank it is no problem to kill at least one. In the second Add-phase i tank the two big adds and kill one little without much struggle.