Previously I have written about soloing old instances for fun and profit. Today I thought I'd write about a Burning Crusade era raid that, with patience, can be soloed quite easily by a level 85 character. I'm talking about Magtheridon's Lair. If you can into the game post Burning Crusade then you may not have set foot into Magtheridon's Lair. If you're looking for some relatively quick and easy gold however, it's well worth a look.
First some caveats. To this point I've only soloed Magtheridon's Lair on my Blood Death Knight and Protection Paladin. I have been doing this for the past month or so on every reset. That said, I'd suggest that soloing Magtheridon on a Hunter would be possible so long as you took along a Tenacity pet and kept mend pet up.
First things first, why would you want to solo Magtheridon? Simple answer - the gold. On average Magtheridon drops 500 gold. Split one way, that's 500 gold. Assuming that you get 12 gold per daily quest, that's the equivalent of completing almost 42 daily quests. Successfully soloing Magtheridon takes 20 minutes at most. How long would it take to complete 42 daily quests? Then there are also the random items that he drops including the 20 slot Pit Lord's Satchel, Black Sack of Gems, assorted Tier Armor Tokens and miscellaneousepics. By the time you vendor all that stuff you can be looking at another 100 gold.
The raid itself shares a lot in common with Onyxia's Lair, in that there is only one boss, with a handful of trash pulls leading up to him. Sadly the trash doesn't drop a thing, however I'd still recommend clearing the trash from both sides before engaging the boss. If you leave them up they will aggro when you engage the boss and come and join in on the fight. It doesn't make it impossible, just makes things a little harder than necessary.
Once you've cleared the trash you are set to engage Magtheridon. He has is sitting in the centre of a room, banished, with five Hellfire Channelers channelling magic around him. Magtheridon is a three phase fight.
The first phase begins when you enter the room. For the first two minutes of the fight Magtheridon remains banished. You should use this time to attempt to kill as many of the five Hellfire Channelers as possible. The Channelers can cast dark mending, which will heal one of their allies with the lowest HP. This is the part that I find most annoying. It's easier enough to interrupt one target, but if you have five all casting around the same time you are in trouble. In both my tank specs I really don't put out enough DPS in order to burn down the adds quick enough. This is the section I may actually find easier on my Hunter. In tank spec I usually just give up on trying to burn the adds in the first two minutes and just concentrate on keeping self heals up (eg. through Death Strike on my Death Knight).
The second phase begins when your 2 minutes are up. At this point Magtheridon will be free and start attacking you. Magtheridon has a frustrating ability to despawn when soloing him. In my experience it is most likely to occur whenever he uses one of his core abilities, Quake. Quake has a knock back effect. From what I've seen, he tends to despawn whenever he has knocked me back a significant distance from him, so there may be a bug that causes him to despawn whenever there is no aggro target within a certain radius of him. The way I deal with this is to position myself with my back to the wall just prior to his release. This minimises knock back when it does happen. His second ability is Blast Nova. To be honest, in tank gear at 85, the damage from Blast Nova is so insignificant that you may not even notice it being channelled.
At 30% Magtheridon moves into phase three. He retains quake and blast nova but also causes the roof to cave in. Move out of any rumbling ground effects and that's about it.
When Magtheridon is dead the adds should despawn and you are free to loot.
The strategy for soloing Magtheridon in tank spec is really quite basic, run in, wait for Magtheridon to be attackable, stick to the wall to reduce the chances of him despawning and then focus on him until he dies. Magtheridon himself doesn't really hit all that hard. I'd suspect that a majority of the damage I take while soloing him comes from the adds. If you are trying to solo this in a DPS spec it may be a better strategy to attempt to burn a few down before Magtheridon is free. When I do get around to attempting this on my Hunter I think I'll try misdirecting four of the channelers on to my pet while I try peeling one away and burning them one at a time. Marksmanship spec may be the best option due to the self heals of Chimera Shot. I may update this post once I've had a chance to give it a go.
All up Magtheridon is definitely an achievable raid to solo at level 85. It also has the best gold to time ratio of any of the raids/dungeons I've soloed so far. If you can run it on a couple of alts you can potentially make 1.2K gold per week. Definitely worthwhile in my opinion.
Edit (10 March 2011): In the current PTR Patch Notes for 4.1, Blizzard have indicated that the amount of gold dropped by Magtheridon will be reduced:
The gold amounts on the following encounters have been substantially reduced: Flame Leviathan, Magtheridon, Gruul the Dragonkiller, Doom Lord Kazzak, and all encounters in Karazhan.
So if you want to farm Magtheridon for the gold I'd suggest getting in there now because the time to gold ratio may not be as attractive come 4.1.