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A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Preparation

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

All right Ky, I’ve got my gear and grown a thick skin. Where’s the raid? /RAWR

Hold on tiger! Are you prepared?

Yeah I’ve got my gear, come on already!

Checklist time!

  • Food
  • Buff Food
  • Runic Mana/Healing Potions
  • Elixirs
  • Flasks
  • Scrolls
  • Gems
  • Enchants
  • Reagents



Mmmm! Fooooood!!!

Mmmm! Fooooood!!!

There are two types of food you should always carry: buff food and regular food.

But there’s a mage, I don’t need regular food.

Come on, lazy! Yes there probably is a mage, but there isn’t always so be prepared. I always carry a 20 stack of food and drink for soloing anyway, but I always double check to make sure I’ve got enough just in case I show up late for the table, there’s no mage, or I get pulled in to help out after someone leaves.

I’m melee, have no mana, and the healer will top me off between pulls.

Yeah, most of the ones I seem to run with do that and it frustrates me somewhat. What makes you so special that you should rely on others to do the small things for you? It isn’t a question of if it’s easy enough to do, or even whether the healer’s willing to do it. Each time the healer does that is precious seconds he could be drinking to mana up. Do this after every couple of trash pulls and you’re adding several minutes to an hour at the end of a night. Now if your healer tells you s/he’ll do it, then don’t waste the food, but still bring it. Remember this is about being prepared.

Someone always has a feast so I don’t need buff food.

Through the grapevine I actually heard there’s a member of my guild that told an officer this. 😦 First, never rely on someone bringing a feast. Second, the feast buff probably isn’t 100% ideal for what your role is anyway. Third, what are you going to do when you die, but it’s not a wipe? Don’t think someone’s ready to throw a feast for one person. Bring your own buff food. I usually bring two different types for different boss fights.  Up to you to know what you need.


Everyone should have Runic Healing Potions, I don’t care what class you are. I usually carry two stacks. For casters you need Runic Mana Potions. It’s up to you, but I usually carry 4 stacks. If you happen to know someone that can make you injectors, can make them yourself, or are willing to buy them, then it’ll save some space.

Flasks & Elixirs

You have the choice of being able to choose two elixirs or one flask for buffs. You have to choose because you cannot have both.

There are two types of elixirs: guardian and battle. The advantage of elixirs is they’re cheaper overall and you have more freedom to mix and match if you choose, though I think most people pick 2 of them and stick with it. The disadvantage is that they wear off after death. If you’re going to wipe a lot avoid the elixirs, you’re probably better off with a flask.

Unlike elixirs, flasks count for both guardian and battle and therefore you can only have one active. The advantage is that they last for 2 hours and persist through death. They can be quite expensive when compared to elixirs, but if you’re wiping a lot it’s definitely cheaper. If you’re an Alchemist and can make the flask, you’re in the money because you’ve just doubled the effective time!


This is one that often gets forgotten, but one you should carry a supply of. The reason most people ignore them or forget about them is there is almost always a priest to give the stam buff so no stam scroll. No reason for intellect because there’s a mage tonight, so on and so forth. But it isn’t a bad idea to make sure to have a few of the ones you might need just in case that class isn’t around tonight.

Gems & Enchants

With a few exceptions I don’t think most raiding guilds will absolutely require you to have the absolute best enchant possible on your greens and blues. You need to work with what you have. You should however enchant and gem according to the gear you have. If you have purples, put the best stuff on because who knows when the next upgrade will be. If you have blues, you should be putting on at least mid-grade gems and enchants, unless it appears you’re not getting an upgrade for a while. Do the math and if all else fails ask your guild what they expect.


As a pally nothing is quite as embarassing as finding out that another pally is giving 10 minute blessings to everyone. (Well there was that one time where I finally hit 80, respec’d from ret back to holy, redid all my key bindings, was still learning a new rotation, and accidentally judged a mob as people were buffing up which nearly led to a wipe. Man did the tank ever laugh at me! :))

If you’re a class that is expected to buff others or just require reagents in general, make sure you have a plentiful supply. In the past I used to carry 3 stacks of 100. Usually it’s been more like 2 stacks lately. Now I only really worry about one stack because I finally got 16,000 gold and purchased me a brand-new…

Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth (I’ll insert a pic later. Forgot to take one.)

…and I don’t have to worry about having a steady supply of reagents. The sad thing is I purchased this mount because we were getting tired of people not knowing where the repair guy was, running out of reagents, etc. and hearthing all the way back to Dalaran or Ironforge and needing another summons. This stuff eats away at valuable raid time, so I bit the bullet to save my own sanity.

So Why All This Stuff?

Raid Leaders may not compliment you on always being ready, but they do notice it. They especially notice it when someone else isn’t prepared. You’ll get no visible credit, but if you want to shine as a great player, then being prepared is the first step.

As you get better and the raids get easier you may find that you start slacking off on buffs as they are no longer as necessary as before. I highly suggest you avoid this trap because this is one reason why highly successful raiding guilds fail. They get complacent and then start making mistakes which lead to wipes on farmed content which leads to frustration and eventual collapse.

I’m no math whiz for when it comes to figuring out how much benefit you get from each buff, but it’s still significant. Now take what you’ve gained and multiply that by 10 people or 25 people! How much more has the raid gained when everyone pulls their weight!

Always be prepared! You’ll thank yourself for it.

4 Responses

  1. This is great! I’m going to share it with my little brother tonight, since I promised to stop by and help him set up his add-ons for raiding.

    I invited him to an offnight Naxx-10 last week and he was lucky enough to win gear from every single boss in the two quarters we cleared before calling it a night. I think he caught the raiding bug from that run, because he’s been fishing for a Naxx-25 invite ever since. I *almost* invited him along this weekend — but then I realized he hadn’t gemmed or enchanted any of his new gear. After probing a bit, he admitted that he didn’t have gold to repair, or to buy consumables, either.

    It honestly didn’t occur to him that he would need any of these things, and think he’s a little upset that I sent him to do dailies instead of extending him that raid invite (especially when he did a /who [Guild] and realized we were 22-manning it). But I’m betting this helps him understand why … so thanks! 🙂

  2. “I’m melee, have no mana, and the healer will top me off between pulls.”

    This is a pet peeve of mine, too. If I have to drink between pulls, you have to eat!

    Sorry about the comment spam, btw. I’m reading through older entries — as you can see. 🙂

  3. All bloggers love comments so don’t worry about so-called spam. I’m glad you can share this with your brother as that was the point of this post. 🙂

  4. […] already talked about this, but remember to have all your necessary raid items purchased and in your bags before the invites […]

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