February 9, 2007

World of Warcraft TCG Molten Core Raid Preview Pt 2

World of Warcraft TCG: Molten Core

The WoW TCG Molten Core Raid Deck has been released, and is now available from Shopzilla and Funagain Games.

Last week we presented the trash monsters of the Molten Core in our first installmenet of World of Warcraft TCG Molten Core Raid Deck preview. But don't let the 'trash' term fool you: each of these guys is literally 40 times toughter than any one whelp from Onxyai's Lair, and eventhough most Core Hounds, Molten Giants and Lava Annihlators would chew-up any normal character in seconds, the real challenge of a Molten Core raid run still slithers deeper in the shadows.

We're speaking of the raid bosses of course. These guys form the first true challenge of a 40-man raid in the World of Warcraft MMORPG. They can take-in and dish-out mammoths amounts of damage, and they require discipline and teamwork on a massive scale in order to defeat.

None of these bosses can be taken-on with the straightforward "tank and spank" tactic (that is, warrior protects while everyone else pumps the boss full of lead). Blizzard designed each of these Guys to have special abilities that will throw a monkey wrench in any standard tactic up until now, and we assume the Molten Core Raid deck from Upper Deck will have the same sort of quirks to keep you on your toes.

It's always been Molten Core's place in the World of Warcraft universe to mix things up. So before your teammate turns into a bomb and blows up your entire raid, or before you're feared into a flaming pile of dog poo and say that we didn't warn yah, be sure to read on.

LucifronLucifron: Right away we hope the upcoming Dark Portal expansion set includes resistance cards, specifically shadow resistance. This guy looks like a giant fire salamander but don't be fooled: he's a master of shadow magic. And aside from spiking you through the head with a giant trident, he also has three pretty sick indirect ways of casting crap that can seriously mess with your day.

First up is a shadow shock that pulses every few seconds hitting anyone standing nearby with some pretty painful stuff. In the raid deck this might be a passive ability of Lucifron, inflicting shadow damage on anyone who engages him in hand to hand combat. Next up is a curse ability that he places on nearby players that increases the cost of spells and abilities by 100% Make sure to get this off your healers and mages fast, or your entire party will flounder, gasping for resources. Finally Lucifron has a damaging curse that lasts 30 seconds (a few turns) at which point it slams the target with 2000 hp of shadow damage. In the MMORPG that's about 1/3 a warrior's health and nearly half the health of any other class.

And if that's not bad, then we should mention that Lucifron is flanked by two guards who can mind control any player in the party. Usually these guys are brought-down first, as they can wreek havoc on your group behind the lines, turning warriors and rogues on clothies, or by pulling healers away from their bandaging duties.

Magmadar.jpgMagmadar: The dog-like pet of the boss Ragnaros (who is the final boss of the raid). Magamadar has behavioral issues, probably due to neglect.

Not only does he spit fire from not just one, but two mouths, he also poos fire, too. We're not talking about jets of hot plasma, but boulders of flaming flatulence that stick to surfaces until they burn themselves out. Anyone running into one of these things becomes burnt toast, and fast.

Oh, and every thirty seconds or so Magmadar throws a fit on a massive scale - tearing into the garbage can, chewing on the couch, etc. This tantrum instills terror into the hearts of even the bravest adventurers, sending them running scared in random directions. And probably, you guessed it, into a flaming pile of doggy poo.

We think this could playout like Onyxia's Lava Cracks ability, which assigns a six-sided die's roll of damage to every hero. This one is a bit more humiliating, however.

GehennasGehennas: You might have noticed the Gehennas looks a lot like Lucifron, but more.. red. Well the similarities aren't merely cosmetic. These guys are brothers in just about every aspect.

But instead of casting a curse that deals massive amounts of damage to palyer, Gehannas sees the glass half full. He curses people with a healing buffer, removing 75% effectiveness of heals on that target. Meanwhile he's bashing heads, and shadow bolting in waves. He's not a nice guy, and definitely tougher than his slithering friend you fought a few battles ago.

We should also note that his henchmen don't have the jedi mind trick. Instead they stun everyone around them and then go for the next target - usually a healer. If these guys make it into the raid deck then they'll probably be able to ignore protectors, or at least tap 'em to make the ineffective. Oh right, and these guys have the sunder armor ability, again mitigating the defensibility of your party.

Giant Salamanders, weak Heals, stunned protectors, and warriors with broken armor. Sounds like a party!

GarrGarr: This is actually a relatively straight forward battle. Garr isnt' too creative and doesn't try to do any hokus pokus, or trickery to make your life a living hell. After all, he's a rock. This battle is about sheer numbers instead. See Gar is flanked my eight hard hitting henchmen, and each explodes on death, stunning the surround party while also sending them flying through the air.

Garr himself is also a bit of a beast. Other than rocks for fists he has an annoying ability of removing the beneficial abilities cast on players. Say goodbye to any buff you've cast on yourself, or your party. It ain't gonna last.

Barron Geddon
Barron Geddon: Ah, the Baron, an Lieutenant of Ragnaros, and the flame responsible for the death of The God of Air. He's also one of the first non tradiatoinal fights in World of Warcraft, and probably a surefire bet he'll be in the Motlen Core Raid Deck if Upper Deck selects only a few bosses.

Usually a 40-man raid sends only one man to hit the Baron with a stick. The brave soul also must wear a metric crap-tonne of flame resistance gear because the Baron has a nasty habit of going nuclear every once 30 seconds, shooting out waves of flame in a 30 yard radius. The rest huddle up in a group and stand back to lob damage in from afar. Even warriors are expected brush the cobwebs off their bows and start shooting.

The reason why everyone is huddled in a group is this: The Barron loves to turn people into walking bombs. Yes, every once in a while the Baron turns to someone and gives them a wink . That person has seconds to reach a minimum safe distance or risk blowing up the entire raid. Everyone is huddled-up in a group so that the chosen player can run ANYWHERE (hopefully within range of the healers) before he goes off like a bottle rocket.

We're not quite sure how this gameplay dynamic might play out in the Molten Core Raid Deck, but it seems to us that the Baron should be able to any ally in a party into a bomb. Then the players would have to scramble to kill off that ally, or at least keep him tapped to ensure he/she/it doesn't go boom and blow half of the raid to kingdom come. Things could get very, very interesting.

Join us next week for our third and final installment as we preview the final five bosses of the Molten Core, including the Fire God himself: Ragnaros. Have a good weekend!

Read More in: Collectable Card Games | Gaming Culture | World of Warcraft TCG

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at February 9, 2007 1:48 PM

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