Other than the new zones that everyone rolls an alt to explore, The Burning Crusade is all about the new end game content for your main, and everything else is gravy. In the days before Heroic dungeons existed that meant raids. These were the 20 and 40 players dungeons that were of a higher difficulty level and dropped the best loot.
In response to overwhelming demand Blizzard added nine new raids with The Burning Crusade. That’s impressive considering that there were only seven in the whole of the original game. The raids in TBC require attunement like their Classic counterparts, and that includes a long process to follow that lasts for ten levels. Players take on a lengthy quest chain that takes them through several raids, although not all TBC raids are included in the questline, and as they progress so does the difficulty. The following list generally follows the same ranking as the TBC raid progression quests.
9 Karazhan, Level 68
Ever wonder why Deadwind Pass and the adjacent zone, Duskwood, are so messed up? It’s time to find out, and we’re not just farming runecloth from ogres this time. Karazhan is one of the easiest of the new raids and only requires 10 players. There’s a lot of lore and powerful magical items to be found in Medivh’s former home. It’s also the first step in The Burning Crusade’s long and complex raid attunement chain. You can start this questline in Shattrath with a former apprentice who sends you to the location or just head straight to Deadwind Pass and find the quest on your own.
8 Zul-Aman, Level 68-70
The new Blood Elf zones are usually associated with starting levels, but the enemies of the Sin’Dorei are still in the Ghostlands, and they aren’t done yet. That refers to Trolls along with the Scourge, which explains Zul’Aman. Low-level players will also have some Troll encounters while they grind through the zone.
Players will learn about one of Azeroth’s oldest and most bitter rivalries while they explore Zul’Aman, a city and temple populated by the Amani Tribe. This is slightly tougher than Karazhan and has better loot but it’s one of the few raids not required for the attunement process.
7 Gruul’s Lair, Level 70
One of the new raids that’s more like Onyxia’s Lair, in the sense that the design is only a small cave with some trash and two bosses. This is also part of a long quest chain that leads through the Bladefist Mountains as well as being connected to the raid attunement questline. You also don’t need to be on the quests to join a raid to kill Gruul.
Regarding difficulty level, overall this is one of the easiest raids and players get here as soon as possible for the armor tokens. The tough part is finding specific classes for certain tasks and progressing enough to get your character to this part of Outland.
6 Serpentshrine Cavern, Level 70
Serpentshrine Cavern is the fourth and last instance in Coilfang Reservoir in Zangarmarsh, and by the time most players reach this raid, they will already be familiar with how to access the entrance. It’s not just the gear and the attunement chain that brings players here. There are also plenty of high-level patterns and recipes that drop from the trash in this instance, so it’s worth the trip even if you’re not doing the attunement chain. After players visit Karazhan and Gruul’s lair, they’ll receive the Mark of Vashj and are able to enter the cavern.
5 Magtheridon’s Lair, Level 70
This is the raid wing of Hellfire Citadel, a prominent landmark on the ashen landscape only steps from the Dark Portal. Players that are looking for Tier 4 armor tokens will visit this raid, which falls in the middle of the list regarding difficulty level and doesn’t require attunement.
It’s a quick visit, similar to Gruul’s Lair and Onxyia, a raid that consists of only a few rooms and only one or two bosses. Unlike Gruul’s Lair, however, Magtheridon’s Lair isn’t part of the overall raid attunement chain. There are separate quests connected to the raid if you need an extra incentive to visit.
4 The Eye, Level 70
Players visit the pinnacle of Tempest Keep close to the end of the TBC raid attunement process. After completing Serpentshrine Cavern, killing Lady Vashj, and finishing “The Hand of Gul’dan” quest, players are tasked with defeating the final boss of this raid, Kael’thas Sunstrider. They now have the materials to complete the attunement for Mount Hyjal, but even if you’re not on the attunement quest the Tier 5 armor tokens drop here, along with the rare and beautiful Ashes of Al’ar mount.
3 The Battle for Mount Hyjal, Level 70
This is where the Tier 6 armor tokens drop, which is the real meaning behind that crazy quest chain that started way back in Karazhan and continues here. Mount Hyjal is located in the Caverns of Time, a location that includes two other instances that are also part of the attunement process. This one is the only raid at the same location, but like the other two, it recounts the story of another famous historic event. Players who are familiar with the Night Elf campaign from Warcraft 3 will recognize the fight against Archimonde and the Burning Legion at Nordrassil, the first World Tree.
2 Black Temple, Level 70
Naturally, the icon of the expansion would have his own raid, and it would have to be close to the top of the ranking for the most difficult. Illidan Stormrage is one of the most powerful characters in Azerothian lore, so he’s not exactly a pushover.
It’s not just the Tier 6 pieces that drop here, it’s also those crazy fist weapons, The Twin Blades of Azzinoth. This is the pinnacle of the attunement process, requiring aspiring players to have completed the questline up to Mount Hyjal before they’re able to enter the sanctuary of the Lord of Outland.
1 Sunwell Plateau, Level 70
The Sunwell Plateau is intended to be the most difficult raid in the game, designed for characters with Tier 5 and 6 sets that would have come from the Black Temple and Mount Hyjal. Despite those details, this raid doesn’t require attunement. It’s also the only one that uses the Blood Elf aesthetic. At the end of this raid, players will face Kil’jaeden, one of the most powerful villains in the expansion, and possibly one of the most notoriously evil figures in WoW history.