Guide to Challenge Mode GOLD runs

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
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01/10/2013 12:10 AMPosted by Cásper
anyone know how i could mix and match some pvp gear with pve gear like i was thinking i can use all the pvp gear with alot of sockets bc gems does not scale down and what is the best pve trinket / rings to use with my pvp gear for a blood dk thank you

The best trinkets are usually proc trinkets like a darkmoon card.
do you recommend using pvp gear and just gem and reforge to hit/exp cap and gem full mastery would work for a blood dk?
That would work absolutely fine.
Great guide, we followed your vid and got gold on SH tonight. Attempting Gates next.

Our makeup:

Me as resto shaman
Pally tank
SV hunter
Destro warlock/Frost DK

We completed it in Silver/Bronze with our warlock but he had connection issues so we brought in a Frost DK for the gold attempt.
We had a problem with killing 50 enemies first gold attempt (was lacking 2 when we "completed" first gold run" but couldnt figured out where, turns out our tank when throwing the dog food, didnt melee the dude, so it didnt count as an enemy killed) but got it on our second attempt.

Props on this great guide. bumped!
Does anyone know how many members of your group need to be in the same guild for it to count as a guild run for achievement purposes?
Just finished our golds this week, this thread gave a good layout and obviously tweaking was done where needed. Just wanted to say thanks for the very, very solid guide
Got all Golds recently as a Brewmaster, thanks again for the guides Marza :)

I'm planning to do my Blood DK next.

I'm thinking hit to cap and exp to at least trash cap (lv92 mobs) and then full mastery for Blood DK gearing. I've seen a lot of people rocking the Ghost Iron Dragonling trinket for hit/exp/mastery, maybe I'll use that and either Legions of the Darkmaster or strength Relic of Xuen. I love the DK transmog, I must have it.

01/11/2013 08:29 PMPosted by Turranmc
Does anyone know how many members of your group need to be in the same guild for it to count as a guild run for achievement purposes?

Turranmc, it takes 3 guild members. I did a lot of CMs with just one other guild member and we didn't get credit, but the few we did with 3 total guild members we got weekly CM credit and achievement credit.
Putting this back on page 1
Does anyone need a monk tank for this? I would love to do those runs so just let me know in-game or here! Would love some help if someone did it already and want to help other folks to get it done!

IM looking to start chalenge modes myself as a tank so this served as a great aid thank you
This should be stickied.
02/04/2013 02:40 PMPosted by Gruuv
This should be stickied.
Thanks for the great guide Marza, just got my challenge mode gear yesterday. Watching the videos for the first time, it seemed like a daunting task (especially the first pull in Mogushan Palace and Brewery), but once we tried, tried, tried again, we pulled it off. We didn't have a death knight in our group comp either, but I felt this inspired more group coordination with our stuns/slows/etc, and made us work better as a team. Thanks again.


And yes, slap some sticky on this topic.
Just completed our 9/9 Golds last night and used these guides are great starting points/times for each run. Thanks a lot for these guides, they are greatly appreciated by us here at Riot.

Also, I like your UI :) Watching you play a DK tank has made me want to level/play one of my own!
Marza, you might want to update your first post with this nifty fact:
Landsharks are not on the potion CD since I'm not sure when, maybe 5.1. My group used them on every large pull (except when some of us forgot, heh), and they were sometimes up to 10% of each of our damage, if I recall correctly. They get the dmg bonus from metamorphosis, so do frag belt bombs (engineer only, unlike landsharks). (frag bombs are also great as an extra interrupt, since the disorient breaks casting, even if it doesn't last at all).

My group watched your vids before each of our runs, and knocked out about 1 gold per night, one or 2 nights a week. We found it very helpful to see exactly what you decided to skip with your invis pots, and what you chose to kill to get the needed mob count. The one instance where we had problems with mob count was Scarlet Halls, as it turns out the houndmasters don't count unless someone damages them with something before they die from a bucket making their dogs eat them. So make sure you actually tag them with something before bucketing, and you'll be good. Our gold run on that instance involved killing the last boss, then booting it back to the trash we skipped with invis, and dpsing down one or two mobs from that pack, since we hadn't figured out that we weren't always getting credit for bucketing. We still need to go back and get realm best there at some point :P

We ran double ele shaman (one speccing to resto for at most one boss per instance), shadow priest, demo lock (me), and Blood DK. DKs are able to kite while runes recharge, and dip in to death strike, unlike the other tank classes (except maybe monks?) that need to be meleeing continuously to build resources for mitigation. Between Capacitor totems, remorseless winter, and shadowfury, we had a lot of stuns. (I often didn't use sfury to avoid DRing the longer shaman and DK stuns). The main trick to our comp is that ancestral guidance from chain lightning is really strong. VE with a lot of mobs dotted is also pretty strong, but we more often used VE on bosses. Between those CDs, and priest shields, and shamans using their clearcasting to throw cheaper stronger heals, we were able to blow through things faster than most groups. Sometimes we had to be more cautious than a group with a healer would, but only for small sections of any one dungeon. Most end-bosses hit a bit harder or need a dispel that mass dispel wasn't really sufficient to cover (e.g. Sha of Violence), so we had one shaman go resto for those. Shamans keep their mana when they respec, so that saved about 10 secs of drinking. Usually Narlok could respec and catch up to the group while we killed one last trash pack or got into position or something.

Our no-healer strat took a long time to learn, esp. since we picked Gate as our first instance to work on. Those smoke bombs were a nightmare for healing LoS, esp. trying to guidance chain lightning, and getting LoS errors.

Re: invis pots with pets. I never had a problem with wild imps (guardians), but I did start dismissing my main pet after having problems once or twice. Still not 100% sure that my pet was agroing stuff while I was invisible, and resummoning is either 200 fury or 4 secs of dps time I lose. I may go and test it sometime at the front of an instance.
demo lock: how to destroy trash.

As a demo lock, using your CDs on challenge mode trash is the way to go. I ran with shamans and a priest, and shaman CDs are a much bigger gain single target than aoe. (Lava Burst spam). So I made it my job to blow up trash. I raid as affliction on all but 3 fights, because it's the best spec for that. I play demo on H stone guard (for soul link and burst with high tile stacks), and on Garalon (soul link and leg burst), and Wind Lord (massive sustained AoE, and soul link). I've seen vids of people playing demo in challenge modes because it's more damage on trash even if you don't do it very well, but it's really amazing if you do manage your fury and dots well. Still doomguard bosses, though. Infernal is really crap damage after the initial aoe from dropping it.

Glyph Wild Imps, you're not single-target nuking enough to consume demonic calling as it comes up. It's great for damage and building fury quickly.

Even without Mannoroth's Fury, hand of gul'dan will still splash shadowflame on most of a trash pack fairly easily. KJ's cunning so I can cast and move was pretty helpful, esp. on boss fights where I needed to move to avoid damage. (If you don't start a cast while moving, but instead pause while starting a cast and then move during the cast time, you won't get snared by the talent. As affliction, the snare kicks in on channel ticks, so you can't really exploit this). In Scarlet Monastery, I used Mannoroth's for the first half of the instance to make sure I got shadowflame on all the spread out zombies esp. on the first boss, since it's a huge gain in dmg and fury generation.

About 35% of my damage for a typical challenge run is from shadowflame. The two big tricks to using Hand of Gul'dan are that shadowflame can stack to two, and that if you meta while it's in flight you can get shadowflame ticking with your meta dmg bonus, rather than your weak caster form bonus. It doesn't generate any extra fury at 2 stacks, and fueling your rotation by generating fury is really important. So you never want to double-tap HoG.

Start a pull by casting corruption on a couple mobs, until they're grouped up enough for your first HoG. After HoG, cast corruption on 2 or 3 more mobs, or shadow bolt or soulfire. Somehow fill the 5 to 6 seconds of time before your 2nd HoG. If there are 5 or more targets, I often do my 2nd HoG while shadowflame has 3 seconds left, and risk clipping a tick rather than having it expire if I tried to do another GCD of something else. It has about 1 second time in flight anyway. Anyway, so right after your 2nd HoG, enter metamorphosis and hit dark soul. Your 2-stack of shadowflame will be ticking with your approx 150% damage buff now. I also usually wrathstorm at this point, with my CDs up, rather than earlier in the pull. If any of your corruptions are about to expire, void ray to add duration to all your corruptions. If not, either immo aura or start multi-dotting Doom. Unless you started the pull with high fury, you won't have enough to immo aura and multi-dot doom. Doom is only worth it if it will tick twice (mobs live for 30 secs / haste from the point you could cast doom, unlikely on challenge trash). So generally you will want to just immo aura and void ray as your fury dumps. On 3 or fewer targets, immo aura might not be worth it, and touch of chaos tabbing around to keep your corruptions up will be better than void ray. Spending your first GCD of dark soul casting immo aura is a small waste, but I think it's worth more to get dark soul's buff to your meta for shadowflame than it is to delay dark soul until you already have immo aura running.

So to summarize, get things grouped, HoG, fill 5 to 6 secs with something else, HoG, meta (and optionally pop trinkets / dark soul), felstorm/wrathstorm, go to town dumping fury.

If you start a pull with almost full fury, and it will die pretty fast, don't spend so long ramping up. Maybe corruption one or two mobs, but then HoG, meta, Chaos Wave. The only time I use chaos wave is when I have a ton of fury at the start of a short pull, and I don't have time to wait for my first HoG's shadowflame to tick before I want to meta and start AoEing. Although if the pull is short enough, you could just not use your 2nd Hog charge at all that pull. Chaos wave is a pretty bad tradeoff of fury for damage, you're generally much better spending that fury via void ray and immo aura.

If you get a killing blow on anything while in meta, you generate about 80 fury. Use this whenever you can, e.g. on the trash at the very start of Scarlet Monastery. If you can manage to score some KBs, you can stay in meta for a long time and keep immo aura up to keep killing the little zombies.
Reforging for Demo for challenge modes:

The more ticks of shadowflame the better, so reforge so it has just gained an extra tick, and be about 6.4 secs duration. This make it easier to catch the last or 2nd last tick with your 2nd HoG, and not as large a %age of the possible ticks. So if your group has 5% spell haste, reforge down to as low as 1330 haste if you can. If not, then aim for 3521 haste. Keep in mind you need to do this in a challenge mode, or at least check your results inside a challenge mode with your gear scaled down. Your hit / exp ratings will be preserved, but not your other ratings. I went mostly for mastery, but also some crit.

Challenge trash is 92, challenge bosses are 93, so it's designed to let you use your raid gear and not be wasting a lot of hit rating. I like to run at 12% hit, which is hit cap for challenge trash. Being 3% under is a dps loss on bosses, but with so little stat budget to play with in 463-scaled gear, I didn't want to waste 1020 rating for most of the instance (3 * 340 hit per %).

As far as gear choice, you're just looking for well itemized gear with as many sockets as possible. Sockets cost 80 primary and 80 secondary stats out of the stat budget of an item, but can be filled with 80 primary and 160 secondary stats, and you get a socket bonus. If you have multiple good secondaries or one of the stats is hit, pieces with nearly equal secondaries will have more total stats than a piece with say 500 haste and 200 mastery.

Due to hit rating being preserved, if you have the normal and the raidfinder of the same piece, you might find that swapping one for the other will make your hit work out just where you want it. This applies with reforging to hit, not just pieces with hit natively. Tweaking that last ounce of stats out of your gear isn't nearly as big a deal as playing well, so if you don't have all day or don't like math, then just make your haste and hit caps and try to use as many pieces with lots of sockets as you can.

Sha-touched weapons are usable in challenge modes, but the 500 int gem in the sha-touched socket doesn't work. The prismatic socket you can add with stage 2 of the legendary chain DOES work. There are some non-sha-touched raid weapons that have regular sockets, so one of those is a good option, too. Jade Spirit is still expensive, so you probably want your weapon to be one piece you share between your pve raid set and your challenge set. If you have a racial that gives an exp bonus with a certain kind of weapon, 340 spell hit is nothing to sneeze at. So if not your current raid weapon, maybe a lower ilvl one that you replaced, but that does have jade spirit and is the right type.

Anything that's 463 or higher is fair game for challenge modes. This includes JP-upgraded 458 JP gear (most doesn't have sockets, so only a good option for slots where socketed gear isn't available). Honor-upgraded pvp gear works well too, and gives a choice of itemization for most slots. And the stats are generally even between the two secondaries, so you're getting the most total secondary stats for your stat budget. Some pieces even have int socket bonuses, rather than useless resil or pvp power. 466-JP-upgraded Zen Alchemist Stone is a very nice trinket, although I actually use the darkmoon + elegon trinkets. Elegon has a shorter ICD and 20 sec proc instead of 15, so it can proc at the start of many trash packs, further buffing my 2-stack shadowflame with meta dmg bonus. Obviously proc trinkets are great for challenge modes since you have downtime between packs. With so many caster mobs, it's not effective to walk one group into the next.

Remember that you want to optimize for cleave / AoE with a few seconds downtime between bursts. This is why so much of my damage comes from shadowflame, wrathstorm, and stuff like that, and why I gear for so little haste. Haste is not bad for single-target demo, but it's pretty weak compared to mastery and crit. Esp. when you come out of trash pulls with 10 stacks of molten core. I assume that crit boosts the average damage of soulfire more than it does for shadowbolt, but I don't actually know if the gaining damage from crit rating is a better scale than just the chance for sbolt to crit for 2.06 times the normal damage. (Or is it 2.03, I forget when the meta-gem bonus applies)

Other classes will find similar difference between the same; e.g. a frost DK will want to lean towards mastery not haste, for example. (and obviously dual wield, so you can spend your runes on howling blast and consume KM with frost strikes)
Nice posts :)
OP should amend the post to indicate healers should bring amber from the klaxxi as it's the fastest way to regen.

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