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As most World of Warcraft players know, Ulduar is the recently released 10 and 25-man raid instance located in the northern Storm Peaks. How much do you know about it, beyond that? Have you been inside, or fought any of the bosses? Do you know the rich lore behind it? This guide is designed to be a full introduction of the Ulduar raid instance, complete with maps, a walkthrough with points of interest, as well as boss fights and strategies for emerging victorious. We also look at some of special item drops that are found inside of Ulduar.
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The Storm Peaks, where Ulduar rests, are full of Titan temples and ruins. The Titans are the god-like creators of Azeroth. In a sense, you could say they did more teraforming than creating, because the world existed but not much of its beauty, or creatures. The Titans, as they had done with many worlds before, left Azeroth after their work was done leaving behind Watchers to safeguard the world. These watchers are: Archaedas, Creteas, Freya, Hodir, Ironaya, Jotun, Mimir, Thorim, Hodir, Lokem, and Tyr. Most of them would normally be found in northrend, guarding over important artifacts. As players questing in the Storm Peaks discover, however, most are nowhere to be found. There is some indication in the quest lines that the watchers are either gone, or dead.
When Ulduar released on the PTR we discovered that many of these Watchers had actually been captured and corrupted and are now bosses in the new raid instance. Included are Freya, Hodir, Mimir, Thorim, and Hodir. Lokem is a boss in the Halls of Lightening 5-man instance that players can defeat, as he is the betrayer of his fellows.
Now, lets look at the other side of the Ulduar Lore: The Old Gods. The Old Gods are horrific creatures that held dominion over Azeroth before the Titans arrived. Although the Titans were content to do their creative thing and leave the Old Gods well enough alone, the Old Gods instead inflicted the Curse of Flesh upon the Titans' earthen creations. The Titans realized that if they were to destroy the Old Gods, that any Cursed beings would be destroyed as well. Instead, the Old Gods were imprisoned below Azeroth, and structures raised to keep them penned in.
As it turns out, Brann Bronzebeard discovered Ulduar to be a part of the prison of Yogg-Saron, the Old God of Death. Inside players encounter an Iron Army, and several bosses including the fallen Watchers who are all under the sway of Yogg-Saron, who has burst free of his shackles. Their mission is to destroy anyone who tries to enter.
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An Ulduar Walkthrough - Outdoor Bosses
When you first enter Ulduar, it will be through a massive archway which leads into something of a city. You are still outdoors, only inside of an instance. When you proceed down the steps you will see that Brann Bronzebeard is there with an entire team of expeditioners and other adventurers. There are vehicles parked in various areas throughout the protected staging ground. There is also an ogre from K3 who can do repairs. When your raid is ready you will speak with Brann and start the attack on Ulduar using the salvaged vehicles. After battling through a massive Iron Army your raid will encounter the Flame Leviathan - the first boss. You will also battle the boss from your vehicles.
After defeating Flame Leviathan you will lose your vehicles and proceed on foot. As you move towards The Scrapyard you will encounter two fiery colossi guarding the area leading to the great forge. This is where Ignis the Furnace Master is. He is an optional boss with many excellent drops, though is considered rather difficult. After battling trash, you can engage the second boss of the instance. Ignis has a fun gimmick component which is modeled after the blacksmithing process.
Directly across the walkway from Ignis is Razorscale's Aerie, where the great proto-drake Razorscale circles. She is believed to be the result of Lokem's "plans" for Thorim's proto-drake Veranus. Razorscale is also an optional boss, but most consider it a fairly easy fight and therefore "free" loot. You engage her with harpoons and begin battling the third boss of the instance.
Once you've defeated (or skipped) the optional bosses you continue on to the scrapyard where you will encounter two groups of challenging robot trash mobs, and the XT-002 Deconstructor. XT is one of the creations of Mimir, thinks everything is a toy, and ends up destroying it while he is "playing". It is an interesting battle with even more interesting sound bits.
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After XT, you can teleport into the Antechamber. You are finally actually inside Ulduar proper. There is a little bit of trash between you and the next boss. When you reach the split staircase, and see a hall going off to both the left and the right, you've reached the junction of three possible bosses. If you go left, it will take you to the battle with the Assembly of Iron (Iron Council). In this optional fight you will engage three different bosses - a Giant, a Vry'kul, and a Dwarf. Killing them in various orders grants achievements and "hard modes".
If you go to the right, that is the path to Algalon the Observer. He is an unlocked boss that requires you to defeat various hard mode encounters and is considered to be extremely difficult.
Proceeding up the staircase you will immediately encounter Kologarn. This half a boss has three targetable areas and shoots lasers from his eyes. He also eludes to Monty Python and the Holy Grail's Black Knight. After you defeat him, he actually becomes the walkway.
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Circling the ring is the watcher Auriaya - the Crazy Cat Lady. She is circling with a few of her favorite pets. Engaging her is one of the toughest things in Ulduar, since the cats will pounce dealing outrageous amounts of damage. Throughout the fight she summons swarms of small cats as well as a large defender with nine lives.
If you move counter - clockwise around the ring, going down the offshoots, you will encounter the other watchers in this order: Hodir, Thorim, Mimiron, and Freya. Each encounter with one of the Watchers includes a lot of components relating to their associated element, ie: Hodir = frost; Thorim = lightening; Freya = nature; Mimiron = .....robots. Remember, the watchers were once good guys that were slowly twisted and corrupted by the jailbreaker Yogg-Saron. After defeating them they are freed from Yogg's influence and come back to assist you in the battle with him.
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The Descent into Madness.
After all the watchers have been defeated, you can gain entrance to the Hall of Memories, which leads your raid on their Descent into Madness. The next boss you will encounter is General Vezax, who is standing guard at the Prison of Yogg Saron. After defeating him you will face the final horror - Yogg himself. You may speak to the Watchers for assistance in the battle. Refusing their help leads to hard modes and achievements.
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Ulduar Loot and Items
Ulduar items are a step up from loot received from Naxxramas, Obsidian Sanctum, and the Eye of Eternity. The entire tier 8/8.5 armor set is found inside of Ulduar. On 10-man mode, bosses drop Emblems of Valor in addition to the normal great epic drops. In 25-man mode, bosses drop the new Emblem of Conquest. An extremely rare Legendary mace is laying in thirty fragments throughout Ulduar. If a Priest, Paladin, Shaman, or Druid in your raid collects all thirty, he can piece the mace, Val'anyr, the Gavel of Ancient Kings, back together. In addition to Val'anyr there are several very special named Ulduar weapon drops found on both 10 and 25-man modes.