BFA LFR Soloing Tips
Now that Battle for Azeroth instances are on the Legacy Loot system, it’s time to farm ALL THE TRANSMOG, right? Well, maybe. BFA raid bosses are still pretty tough, and without the hidden legacy player buffs present in Legion and earlier, you might not get very far. My advice is to start farming LFR raids for relative ease of execution, the fact that you can queue for them directly without having to travel very far, and the ability to potentially skip problematic bosses via queueing. Here are a few general tips:
- You can queue for the desired LFR wing via an NPC in your faction’s BFA hub city (Kiku in Boralus for Alliance players, Eppu in The Great Seal for Horde).
- Your Heart of Azeroth abilities are usable while in BFA LFR, so go ahead and experiment with them if you’re feeling frisky.
- If you can survive an encounter for at least two minutes before dying, you’ll get a stack of Determination (5% increased damage done/healing taken and 5% less damage taken per stack, stacking up to ten times). Take advantage of this mechanic if you find yourself in need of some extra DPS or survivability.
- If you play a pet class (Hunter, Warlock) or have a way to self-dispel, many of these fights become MUCH easier.
- Most solo raid bosses have fairly consistent mechanics, regardless of the player’s spec. HOWEVER, there may be cases where a boss uses an ability on DPS/tanks/healers only, which I haven’t been able to test here.
Let’s take a look at the bosses I’ve successfully soloed since patch 9.1.5 hit (all were done with an ilvl of 248 in Protection spec, except for the last two fights in Ny’alotha which were 243 in Fury spec due to the need to wear the old legendary cloak):
Not much to worry about here: stay out of Blood Storm pools (clear them with Cudgel of Gore if needed), and don’t get knocked off the elevator by a Volatile Droplet’s Combustible Fuel ability. Don’t bother attacking Taloc while on the elevator, as he takes almost no damage until you’re all back on the ground.
Side-step Sanitizing Strike (and subsequent Purifying Flames), run against Wind Tunnels so you don’t get pushed into the furnaces, switch rooms before their energy hits 100 (lest you be insta-killed by Cleansing Purge), and move through the gaps in the Uldir Defense Beams in the second and third rooms. MOTHER takes fifty percent more damage in the final room, so feel free to use all your offensive cooldowns in there if you’re worried about time; MOTHER becomes friendly once she hits ten percent health.
Malodorous Miasma is your main enemy, as it will eventually ramp up to lethal levels unless you have a way to drop the stacks. Focus the boss (don’t stand in Rotting Regurgitation!), kill the Corruption Corpuscles to prevent the boss from healing, and pop offensive cooldowns when it hits 50% health (it takes extra damage due to Fetid Frenzy).
There are no adds in LFR (unless you stand in a big ol’ Ominous Cloud after your Roiling Deceit debuff falls off, spawning a Guardian of Yogg-Saron), which makes things a bit easier. In Phase One, you’ll be dodging infrequent Surging Darkness rings and taking damage from the Void Lash/Shatter combo; Void Lash isn’t too bad, but Shatter stacks and can get pretty painful if the phase drags on for too long. Once Zek’voz hits 65%, it’ll transition to Phase Two, in which very little happens (no Void Lash/Shatter combo) and you focus on burning the boss. At 30% health, you enter Phase Three, where Zek’voz will spawn an Orb of Corruption and the Void Lash/Shatter combo returns. You’re supposed to soak the Orb and bounce it to another player, but since you’re solo, doing so will cause you to gain Corruptor’s Pact and an eventual reset caused by Will of the Corruptor. If you don’t soak the Orb, it deals increasing AoE damage. My advice is to ignore the Orb and focus on killing the boss before you die from orb/boss damage. If you’re feeling frisky, go ahead and run over the Orb when the boss is around 10% health and you can burst it down with the help of the damage buff.
Phase One: You can’t avoid contracting Omega Vector so you’ll be taking a LOT of ramping damage from a combination of Lingering Infection stacks (which never fall off), Evolving Affliction, Contagion, and Gestate (which also stuns you and spawns a Plague Amalgam add). Plague Amalgams will periodically reduce your self-healing by casting Immunosuppression. After ninety seconds, Vectis will Liquefy and Transition to Phase Two.
Phase Two: Plague Amalgam adds will spawn from unsoaked Plague Bombs (you don’t WANT to soak them, as that just adds more damage to the pile), while Vectis constantly shoots Blood Geysers at you (these hurt AND apply more stacks of Lingering Infection). After thirty-five seconds, Vectis will re-emerge and start Phase One again.
This is both a DPS race and a survivability check. I suggest ignoring the Plague Amalgams until the intermission phase, since you can’t damage Vectis anyway until the phase is over. In case you were wondering, owl juice (the Kyrian Phial of Serenity) doesn’t remove any of the nasty DoTs and debuffs in the fight, even though they’re all disease-themed.
Champion of the Light
For this encounter, you’ll fight a fire mage and a monk; their names and races change based on your faction, but the mechanics are the same. Normally, you’d want to DPS them evenly due to the Harmonious Spirits aura on the monk, but it’s not really necessary and it’s simpler to focus on one of them. Here are the key abilities to deal with for each of them:
- Mage: DPS to break shield and interrupt Pyroblast, stand in melee range of Living Bombs and kill them (unless you’re OK with taking Explosion damage throughout the fight). You’ll be taking some damage from increasing Rising Flames stacks, so keep some mitigation abilities handy if needed.
- Monk: interrupt Whirling Jade Storm with a melee attack, play the Multi-Sided Strike mini-game and face the spirit monks to gain a short-lived buff.
At the midpoint of the fight, both bosses will teleport behind a barrier and place a maze on the ground (well, it’s less a maze and more a winding path); make your way through it and destroy one of the barrier orbs to re-engage the bosses. The orbs have a LOT of health, so expect this part to take a while. Once the bosses are back in action the fight continues as before, with an added twist: when they hit 100 energy, they’ll transform into a dragon or phoenix and start doing more damage. It’s not much of an issue, but I have noticed that the monk will start spamming Multi-Sided Strike, severely limiting your DPS time on them.
Grong the Revenant/Jungle Lord
This fight is mechanically the same for Horde and Alliance players, though the abilities and adds have different names and appearances depending on your faction (death-themed for Alliance, nature-themed for Horde). Here’s a rough breakdown:
- When Grong hits 100 energy (or when you use a Necrotic/Apetagonizer Core after killing an add), he’ll cast Death Knell/Tantrum.
- Grong will periodically cast Deathly/Reverberating Slam, leaving a damaging pool on the ground that explodes after a short time.
- Using a Core will damage Grong for five percent of his maximum health.
- Inactive adds will periodically launch projectiles at you, dealing damage and leaving large pools on the ground.
The basic strategy is as follows: DPS Grong, dodge pools on the ground, kill adds, use Cores as soon as available.
High Tinker Mekkatorque
This is a weird fight. You’ll spend the entire time kiting Mekkatorque and an army of little Spark Bots around the area (if you don’t, they’ll chain-stun you with Spark Pulse until you’re dead) while taking rapidly increasing damage from Electroshock Amplification. You’ll also get Shrunk periodically, during which time you do virtually no damage but take a LOT. All you can do while Shrunk is run away and enter one of the Spark Bots, which will reset the fight. The Shrunk cycle wastes a lot of valuable DPS time, so I try to get some stacks of Determination to help (resetting via entering a bot during or after the second Shrunk will end the fight quickly without ruining your gear’s durability).
Sivara is a simple boss, with few mechanics to worry about. You’ll be assigned a debuff (Frost Mark or Toxic Brand) at the start of the fight that will be your constant friend until you or Sivara emerge victorious. Depending on which debuff you have, Sivara will constantly apply damaging stacks of either Rimefrost or Septic Taint (luckily the stacks cap at 20); you can drop the stacks by putting some distance between you and the boss during Overwhelming Barrage, but be aware that doing so will drop a puddle of ice/poison at your feet. You’ll frequently get hit by a minor knockback from Crushing Reverberation, but the damage and knockback are quite minor.
Make sure to interact with the Oxygen-Rich Membrane before you enter the water-filled tunnel leading to the boss, or you’ll drown. The boss fight itself is quite simple: DPS for 90 seconds, swim through the jellyfish to the next platform when it retreats, interrupt Cavitation, and repeat. Once the big fish is parked on the third platform, it won’t leave for the remainder of the fight. You’ll be unable to heal due to the Darkest Depths debuff, which last the entire fight; if you REALLY need the ability to self-heal, killing a Shimmerskin Pufferfish then swimming through the resulting cloud will temporarily grant you Bioluminescence.
Radiance of Azshara
This fight alternates between a boss phase and an add phase. For the boss phase, avoid the Arcanadoes that will spawn underneath you and get back to the boss quickly after each Tide Fist knockback. During the transition to the add phase, the boss will create several walls of orbs (Squall Traps): break through them to reach the large Stormwraith add and interrupt Focus Power. Stay in the safe zone and kill the Stormwraith while cleaving down the small Stormling adds; the phase will end when the Stormwraith is dead (though any small adds will remain until you finish them off).
Za’qul is a very complex fight, made less complex since you won’t be doing a lot of realm-hopping. here’s a breakdown of the phases:
- Phase One (100-85%): kill Horrific Summoners and cleave down the adds they spawn.
- Phase Two (85-70%): Kite Za’qul into Maddening Eruption zones, and he’ll take increased damage for a while after it explodes via Punctured Darkness.
- Phase Three (70-50%): you can’t enter the Delirium Realm by standing in the eyeballs on the floor, as it takes three people to do so.
- Phase Four (50-0%): you CAN enter the Delirium Realm now, so do so ASAP by standing in a Caustic Delirium circle. You’ll get a MASSIVE haste buff that’ll help you burn down the boss. Za’qul will periodically put up a shield and start casting Dark Pulse; you can try to burn through the barrier and interrupt the cast if you feel like it, but it’s non-lethal if you fail so the choice is yours. You’ll take some stacking damage from Hysteria, but it’s a fair trade for the haste buff.
- All Phases: Avoid getting hit by Crushing Grasp (watch for the ominous shining portal to form on the edge of the platform, and don’t stand in front of it), try to have a way to break Fear available for Dread/Manic Dread, and don’t leave the platform lest you take massive damage from Dark Beyond.
The last wing of LFR Ny’alotha (The Waking Dream) has an interesting quirk in that you MUST have your BFA legendary cloak equipped to queue for it; this is to prevent the instant-insanity mechanic from activating the moment you enter the instance. It’s a big item level drop, but it can’t be helped. However, you do NOT need to have your Heart of Azeroth equipped to use the magic sanity button during the N’Zoth the Corruptor fight, so wear your current neck for that one
Wrathion is an alternating two-phase encounter: Phase One has you dealing with Wrathion himself, while Phase Two is a race to destroy as many burning rock spikes as possible. Here’s what to expect:
- Phase One: you’re going to take a lot of damage from Searing Breath and the stacks of Searing Armor it applies. Incineration is another source of unavoidable fire damage. After blasting you with several Searing Breaths, Wrathion will cast Gale Blast; move out of it to avoid damage and a big knockback, or stay inside to get some extra DPS on the boss. Post-Blast, Wrathion will turn into a wisp of flame and fly to an edge of the room; try to run to the opposite edge and look for a safe spot to stand in during Burning Cataclysm. Once everything explodes, Wrathion will be attackable again and the cycle repeats. After two Burning Cataclysms, Wrathion becomes immune to damage and we enter Phase Two.
- Phase Two: get close to Wrathion and soak one of the falling Scales of Wrathion to gain the Burning Madness debuff, which allows you to destroy five Crackling Shards by simply running through them (tip: you can DPS any Shards within melee range while waiting to soak a Scale). You have one minute to destroy as many Crackling Shards as you can before returning to Phase One; every Shard left standing will create a pool of fire at its location and give you a stack of Rising Heat, which will quickly become your primary source of incoming damage.
After the third Phase Two, Wrathion will enrage and quickly annihilate you, so plan accordingly.
DPS boss. Ignore adds. Step into a Devoured Abyss zone before Maut finishes casting Stygian Annihilation. When Maut moves to the center of the room and gains Obsidian Skin, there’s nothing to do but wait it until the non-lethal Obsidian Shatter finishes casting; any damage you do to the boss during this time is reflected back at you, so you’ll quickly kill yourself if you try to do this part of the fight “properly”. You can intercept the blue orbs if you like, to stave off boredom.
Dark Inquisitor Xanesh
The trash leading up to Xanesh is more of a pain than the boss itself! You can ignore almost all of the mechanics, though you might want to have minor defensives available for when the orbs crash into Azshara (triggering a Dark Collapse) or Abyssal Strike stacks get high.
Vexiona is a three-phase fight, alternating between the first two phases until she hits 40 percent health. You’ll be dealing with stacks of Void Corruption throughout the fight; the only way to clear this DoT is by killing Void Ascendants and using the Gift of the Void orbs that they drop.
- Phase One: Twilight Breath is unavoidable and gives you stacks of Void Corruption. Despair does the same. You’ll also be hit with Encroaching Shadows fairly frequently, which causes you to drop damaging void puddles when it expires. Fun! Also, there are adds, lots of them. I’d wait to deal with them until Phase Two, as you’re going to need as much DPS time on Vexiona as possible.
- Phase Two: Avoid the Twilight Decimator blasts by watching Vexiona as she flies to the ends of the encounter area (she nukes a third of the area at a time, and it’s always the one you were standing in when she starts the attack), and try to kill as many adds as possible. You can pick up and use Gift of the Void orbs if you NEED to drop Corruption stacks, but I prefer to save them for Phase Three.
- Phase Three: Terrifying Presence sucks, no doubt about it. Your abilities take FOREVER to become available, and you can’t avoid getting feared by Heart of Darkness.
Shad’har the Insatiable
Unless you’re a pet class, you’ll always have stacks of both debuffs (Crush and Dissolve), so effective damage mitigation is the key to victory. There are Living Miasma adds that will fixate on you and are SUPPOSED to explode when they touch you, but since you’re a tank they get a bit confused and follow you around throughout the fight like slimy little puppies. Avoid Shad’har’s breath attacks when you can (they’re supposed to target your position from the START of the cast, but every time I’ve tried to get out of the way the boss will pivot at the last second and aim it right back at me anyway).
Carapace of N’Zoth
This is a DPS race, with a bit of a survivability check due to the stacking damage from Mandible Slam/Black Scar. I found it best to ignore the gigantic tentacle in Phase One and just burn the boss; don’t waste time using the cloak unless your sanity gets REALLY low, because it’ll get filled up when you transition to Phase Two. In Phase Two, pick a side and kill all the Synthesis Growths (the Mycelial Cysts will slow you down in a very annoying fashion), use your legendary cloak to refill Sanity and conveniently port to the middle of the room, clear the other side, drop down/use cloak, and burn boss while avoiding Occipital Blast. Phase Three is incredibly simple: stand where you entered N’Zoth’s chamber and burn the boss; the tentacles won’t hit you and the add is inconsequential. If you have enough DPS to beat the enrage timer, it’s no biggie.
N’Zoth the Corruptor
N’Zoth is a tricky fight, with fairly high DPS requirements and a LOT of sanity management. There are six “phases” to the fight: three in which you teleport into the mind realm to fight a giant Faceless known as Psychus, and three where you fight tentacle adds and N’Zoth himself. You have a sanity meter to manage: most attacks you take will reduce this resource, and if it gets to zero you do increased damage for twenty seconds via Gift of N’Zoth before becoming a Servant of N’Zoth, resetting the fight.
- Phase One (Psychus): make a mental note of where you entered the mind realm, as you’ll need to return to this spot and click on your unconscious body to exit once Psychus is dead. Upon entering N’Zoth’s mind, immediately run to engage Psychus: he has a lot of health so you need to debuff him with Synaptic Shock by dragging him around to the tentacle adds (Exposed Synapses) and killing them while he’s standing close by. Avoid the growing Creeping Anguish puddles and interrupt Mindwrack if you can, as this is the major source of incoming damage in this phase. Once Psychus is dead, click on your body to enter Phase Two; if you take too long (because you’re too far from your body or just can’t find it among all the void puddles), you’ll die from Collapsing Mindscape.
- Phase Two (N’Zoth): when you exit the mind realm, N’Zoth will be vulnerable for a short time from Shattered Ego; DPS him as hard as you can, then use your Heart of Azeroth to regain sanity when he puts his barrier up. A bunch of small immobile adds (Corrupted Neurons) will pop up on the floor; damage them to clear a path between N’Zoth and the edge of the room, then watch for the little void “arrows” that indicate which direction you’ll be pulled for the upcoming Mindgrasp. If the arrows point away from the boss, stay close to him; otherwise, hang out at the edge of the room. Mindgrasp will stun you and pull you in the indicated direction, which is why you want to clear a path so you touch as few sanity-draining void zones as possible. Once Mindgrasp is over, you’ll have various tentacle adds to deal with. Ignore the Spike Tentacles, kill Corruptor Tentacles ASAP to limit sanity loss via Corrupted Mind (which can be interrupted), and then kill Crusher Tentacles to prevent major DPS loss from Tumultuous Burst. Oh, and every add spawns a red puddle of Corrupted Viscera when it dies, so don’t linger in one spot! Forty-five seconds after the tentacle adds spawn, N’Zoth will open a Mindgate; you MUST enter it ASAP or it’s a wipe.
- Phase Three (Psychus): same as Phase One, but now Deathwing will be lobbing Cataclysmic Flames and Flames of Insanity at your feet, hurting you and your precious sanity.
- Phase Four (N’Zoth): same as Phase Two.
- Phase Five (Psychus): Same as Phase One, but Queen Azshara has graced you with a debuff (Tread Lightly) that inflicts frost damage when you move.
- Phase Six (N’Zoth): hardest part of the fight! In addition to Mindgrasp and tentacle adds, there’s a rotating beam of death (Stupefying Glare), Thought Harvester adds that will reduce your sanity to almost nothing via Harvest Thoughts if you can’t kill them FAST, and frequent unavoidable damage with bonus sanity reduction and void puddles from Evoke Anguish. The Thought Harvesters are TOP priority; they need to be killed before they cast Harvest Thoughts or it’s all over. Corruptor Tentacles are Priority Two, then Crusher Tentacles (the haste loss from Tumultuous Blast can make efficient Thought Harvester killing impossible), THEN N’Zoth. Use your Heart of Azeroth as needed to keep your sanity up, BUT if the boss is below 10% health and your sanity is low, you can try letting yourself receive the Gift of N’Zoth for the extra DPS if you think you can get him down to two percent health before you become his Servant.
This fight is TOUGH. I had to switch from tank spec to DPS spec to have a chance at killing Thought Harvesters fast enough, and even then I needed NINE stacks of Determination. Good luck!