For the Horde!
- For the quest, see . For the Feat of Strength, see .
With the jump to Cataclysm level difficulty, the racial leaders of the Horde and Alliance have become a more formidable force to be reckoned with. While in Wrath of the Lich King most if not all of the leaders could be two or three-manned (in some cases even one-manned), this is no longer a viable option. Indeed, with Mists of Pandaria now here, the racial leaders now last a lot longer than their previous incarnations with an average of 523M health each and hit far harder.
Forming the raid
First, the raid's composition must be understood. A standard comp of 2-3 tanks and 5-6 healers are recommended with the remainder being DPS. For Stormwind City, depending on server population, at least a 25 man raid group with 2+ and 6+ healers (possibly more) is required; ideally a 40 man group for higher-population servers. Unlike the NPC's in the other cities, the primary difficulty for Stormwind is Alliance player input, and they are very likely to focus fire your tanks and healers.
Though still a puggable achievement, with luck, it is highly recommended that it is attempted by at least a fair few reliable players - chances of success will naturally increase largely if attempted by a guild group.
While not set in stone, there are two generally employed kill orders.
The second is the opposite, killing the most well-defended leaders first and then moving on. This kill order is Varian in Stormwind City, the Council of Three Hammers in Ironforge, Tyrande in Darnassus, and Velen in the Exodar.
Each tactic has its advantages, though it is generally considered a good plan to hit Stormwind first. If Varian can be swiftly killed, then even if the raid disbands later in the attack, the hardest achievement will still be done.
There are several methods to reach the Alliance cities. With the removal of the guild ability in Mists of Pandaria, the raid should fly to each city on mounts, and select a designated meeting point near the city to be attacked. Warlock summoning stones can be used to summon in the stragglers.
After the raid has assembled, they should fly into the city together. Make sure to mark a leader who knows their way around!
Each leader has their own abilities and a standard tactic for dealing with them.
The encounter with Velen is generally considered the easiest of the faction leaders, and the virtually non-existent player traffic within the Exodar leaves room for pre planning. It is often the first city to be attacked during a "For the Horde!" raid, due to its simplicity.
The raid should group up at the stairs, and to play it safe, pull Velen's two battlemasters before him. With them down, the raid can freely focus on Velen.
Velen pulls with his battlemasters, though if disposed of beforehand will only be protected by his Shield of Velen elite guards. One tank is enough to hold him in such a case. However, the Battlemaster's run on a 5-10 minute respawn timer, so quick dps is required to avoid facing them again.
Velen's abilities are not particularly potent, even after the step up to Cataclysm level difficulty. His shield is easily broken, and his infrequent use of [Holy Nova] can be easily healed through. His Holy Smite ability will be randomly cast on a raid member. For the most part, the encounter is a good example of tank and spank, and the extremely low chance of an Alliance defense raid allows breathing space.
Darnassus has several entrances, and can be entered through the usual portal or by ascending Teldrassil via flying mount. Rush straight for the temple, and deal with the large guard spawns before approaching Tyrande's balcony. With the raid in place, it is a good idea to look out for any Alliance players who may interrupt the battle.
At first glance, the battle with Tyrande can seem intimidating, due the presence of Malfurion Stormrage by her side. However, Malfurion does not engage Horde players, and will therefore not interfere with the fight against Tyrande. There are no elite guards or battlemasters, so only one tank is needed. However, she does pull with her companion Dori'thur who will constantly cast a moonfire AOE type of ability on the raid. Hold Tyrande with the tank's back against the wall opposite the balcony.
Tyrande's major ability is her channelled . It is a powerful technique, and the small amount of space allocated for the fight leaves many members of the raid susceptible to it, most notably melee. However, the ability costs mana, and Tyrande can be drained of it relatively quickly via abilities. Tyrande will use a searing arrow on a random party member, and a , though again, only with mana. If drained completely, she will rely on her far weaker melee abilities, and the fight's difficulty will drop considerably.
The Council of Three Hammers
Now the main ruling body of the Dwarves, the Council of Three Hammers serve as the faction leaders for Ironforge. The battle with Muradin, Moira and Falstad is somewhat comparable to the battle with Lor'themar Theron, Grand Magister Rommath and Halduron Brightwing in Silvermoon City, in terms of the triple boss fight mechanics. Two tanks are recommended, one to hold Muradin and one to hold Moira and Falstad. All three should be tanked within their throne room. It should also be noted that there are NOT any "Royal Guards" within the High Seat.
The two major threats to the raid are Muradin, who boasts the highest amount of health of the three, and whether or not there is relatively high player traffic in Ironforge. Without player interference, the quickest strategy is to first focus on Moira. She will use priest abilities, though their potency can be easily ignored if she is given the raid's full attention. Once she is down, the raid should focus on Falstad. Falstad will make use of various Wildhammer shaman abilities, and hits far harder than Moira. Without Moira's healing he should go down fairly quickly.
Finally, Muradin should be dealt with. Like Magni before him, Muradin has both the Avatar and AoE pushback abilities, in addition to a storm bolt. With the other two dead and with low enemy player input, Muradin will follow suit and the raid will have done its job.
Despite being three leaders, their 523 million HP is split between them.
King Varian is perhaps the hardest city leader to kill. The relocation of Stormwind Keep and the change of Stormwind's geography make getting to Varian undetected nearly impossible. Additionally, Varian’s elite guard are spread all the way along the path to the king, ranging as far as the steps of the keep itself. A fast kill is vital as Stormwind is highly populated during most hours and Alliance players may come to the aid of their King.
In addition, Genn Greymane accompanies Varian, further complicating the battle. Genn won’t attack for the first two to three seconds after aggro as he changes into worgen form. Genn should be tanked separately from Varian and kept away from the rest of the raid due to his Intimidating Roar. For his other abilities refer to Genn’s main article.
Varian retains his previous abilities of Heroic Leap and Whirlwind as well as continuously spawning guards. In total King Varian and Genn Greymane have the largest total health of all the racial leaders (almost 800 million), however the biggest threat in this fight is definitely the Alliance playerbase, success can rely almost entirely on how many respond to your raid's attack.
After each leader bites the dust, a quick mage portal is advisable.
With that, regardless of who went down first and last, the Alliance should now have each of their leaders on a two hour respawn timer and with the last victim's corpse fresh on the floor. Perhaps hurl an into it and relish in the taste of victory. Warchief Garrosh Hellscream will be most pleased with the puny Alliance leaders licking their wounds, and will send you a present along with words of congratulations.
Lok'tar! For the Horde!
The Letter From Garrosh
The bear is attached to a letter from Garrosh Hellscream, entitled "For The Horde!":
In this time of great turmoil, true heroes rise from the misery. You are one such great hero.
War is upon us. Your efforts will further our cause on Azeroth. Your great feats shall go rewarded. Take this prize of Orgrimmar and ride to glory.
For the Horde!
Warchief Garrosh Hellscream
Notes and trivia
- A common occurrence after a successful raid is a "counter raid" perpetrated by embittered Alliance members. To add insult to injury, wiping these usually reckless raids at Silvermoon, the Undercity, Thunder Bluff or Orgrimmar is possible.
- It is perhaps in good taste for a blood elf player to apologize to Prophet Velen after killing him, as a show of respect for his role in revitalizing the Sunwell.
- Even after the step up to Cataclysm level difficulty, it is still possible to duo Velen and Tyrande due to their somewhat weak abilities and probable lack of player-input, albeit a large timesink and not particularly recommended. Be aware that griefing may be possible; lurking Alliance players may wait for you to burn their health to low, before dispatching you, and allowing the leaders' 523M health pool to reset.
- Patch 9.0.2 (TBD): removed from requirements.
- Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): removed from requirements.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Requirements changed from Death to the King! to Overthrow the Council.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Added.