This article is a copy of "Raid Areas," an official article from the World of Warcraft Community Site. It overviewed the raids present in World of Warcraft. The original article is no longer available, but it can still be viewed through online archives (see below).

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Raid Dungeons

One of the most compelling features of massively-multiplayer games is the near infinity of things to do in them - content to suit many different playing styles. 'Raids' are assaults by larger groups of players on powerful monsters or dungeons and in World of Warcraft can include everything from a group of lower level characters tackling a quest well above their level to the epic end-game, high-level attacks against god-like foes. We previously spoke with designer Jeffrey Kaplan, who has been heading up the world and raid design, to hear his thoughts on where raids are heading in World of Warcraft and how they'll be implemented. Click here to read more.

Blackwing Lair

Blackwing Lair - Official Site.jpg

Blackrock Spire
Level 60+

Blackwing Lair can be found at the very height of Blackrock Spire. It is there in the dark recesses of the mountain's peak that Nefarian has begun to unfold the final stages of his plan to destroy Ragnaros once and for all and lead his army to undisputed supremacy over all the races of Azeroth.

Click here to find out more about Blackwing Lair.

  • 40 player limit

Molten Core

Molten Core - Official Site.jpg

Blackrock Depths
Level 60+

The Molten Core lies at the very bottom of Blackrock Depths. It is the heart of Blackrock Mountain and the exact spot where, long ago in a desperate bid to turn the tide of the dwarven civil war, Emperor Thaurissan summoned the elemental Firelord, Ragnaros, into the world. Though the fire lord is incapable of straying far from the blazing Core, it is believed that his elemental minions command the Dark Iron dwarves, who are in the midst of creating armies out of living stone. The burning lake where Ragnaros lies sleeping acts as a rift connecting to the plane of fire, allowing the malicious elementals to pass through. Chief among Ragnaros' agents is Majordomo Executus - for this cunning elemental is the only one capable of calling the Firelord from his slumber.

  • 40 player limit


Naxxramas - Official Site.jpg

Eastern Plaguelands
Level 60+

Floating above the Plaguelands, the necropolis known as Naxxramas serves as the seat of one of the Lich King's most powerful officers, the dreaded lich Kel'Thuzad. Horrors of the past and new terrors yet to be unleashed are gathering inside the necropolis as the Lich King's servants prepare their assault. Soon the Scourge will march again...

Learn more about the events that darkened the fate of Kel'Thuzad, and ultimately of all Azeroth, in Road to Damnation.

Watch the Naxxramas trailer here.

  • 40 player limit

Onyxia's Lair

Onyxia's Lair - Official Site.jpg

Dustwallow Marsh
Level 60+

Onyxia is the daughter of the mighty dragon Deathwing, and sister of the scheming Nefarion Lord of Blackrock Spire. It is said that Onyxia delights in corrupting the mortal races by meddling in their political affairs. To this end it is believed that she takes on various humanoid forms and uses her charm and power to influence delicate matters between the different races. Some believe that Onyxia has even assumed an alias once used by her father - the title of the royal House Prestor. When not meddling in mortal concerns, Onyxia resides in a fiery cave below the Dragonmurk, a dismal swamp located within Dustwallow Marsh. There she is guarded by her kin, the remaining members of the insidious Black Dragon Flight.

  • 40 player limit

Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj

Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj - Official Site.jpg

Level 60+

During the final hours of the War of the Shifting Sands, the combined forces of the night elves and the four dragonflights drove the battle to the very heart of the qiraji empire, to the fortress city of Ahn'Qiraj. Yet at the city gates, the armies of Kalimdor encountered a concentration of silithid war drones more massive than any they had encountered before. Ultimately the silithid and their qiraji masters were not defeated, but merely imprisoned inside a magical barrier, and the war left the cursed city in ruins. A thousand years have passed since that day, but the qiraji forces have not been idle. A new and terrible army has been spawned from the hives, and the ruins of Ahn'Qiraj are teeming once again with swarming masses of silithid and qiraji. This threat must be eliminated, or else all of Azeroth may fall before the terrifying might of the new qiraji army.

Check out some of the enemies you will encounter in the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj:

  • 20 player limit

Temple of Ahn'Qiraj

Temple of Ahn'Qiraj - Official Site.jpg

Level 60+

At the heart of Ahn'Qiraj lies an ancient temple complex. Built in the time before recorded history, it is both a monument to unspeakable gods and a massive breeding ground for the qiraji army. Since the War of the Shifting Sands ended a thousand years ago, the Twin Emperors of the qiraji empire have been trapped inside their temple, barely contained behind the magical barrier erected by the bronze dragon Anachronos and the night elves. Now that the Scepter of the Shifting Sands has been reassembled and the seal has been broken, the way into the inner sanctum of Ahn'Qiraj is open. Beyond the crawling madness of the hives, beneath the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj, legions of qiraji prepare for invasion. They must be stopped at all costs before they can unleash their voracious insectoid armies on Kalimdor once again, and a second War of the Shifting Sands breaks loose!

  • 40 player limit


Zul'Gurub - Official Site.jpg

Stranglethorn Vale
Level 60+

Over a thousand years ago the powerful Gurubashi Empire was torn apart by a massive civil war. An influential group of troll priests, known as the Atal'ai, called forth the avatar of an ancient and terrible blood god named Hakkar the Soulflayer. Though the priests were defeated and ultimately exiled, the great troll empire collapsed upon itself. The exiled priests fled far to the north, into the Swamp of Sorrows, where they erected a great temple to Hakkar in order to prepare for his arrival into the physical world.

Click here to learn more about Zul'Gurub.

  • 20 player limit

Raid Encounters

Dragons of Nightmare

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Great Trees
All Levels

(US text):

There is a disturbance at the Great Trees. A new threat menaces these secluded areas found in Ashenvale, Duskwood, Feralas, and Hinterlands. Four great guardians of the Green Dragonflight have arrived from the Dream, but these once-proud protectors now seek only destruction and death. Take arms with your fellows and march to these hidden groves -- only you can defend Azeroth from the corruption they bring.

Click here to learn more about the Dragons of Nightmare.

(EU text):

Something is amiss in the Emerald Dream. Immense dragons with the shimmering emerald scales of the Green Dragonflight have been sighted guarding the portals at the Great Trees... but these once-noble creatures crawl with a new, strange menace, not the peace for which Ysera is known. Bring many allies should you dare to confront them; their powers are formidable and they will not hesitate to crush any who draw near.

  • No player limit


Azuregos - Official Site.jpg

All Levels

Before the Great Sundering, the night elf city of Eldarath flourished in the land that is now known as Azshara. It is believed that many ancient and powerful Highborne artifacts may be found among the ruins of the once-mighty stronghold. For countless generations, the Blue Dragon Flight has safeguarded powerful artifacts and magical lore, ensuring that they do not fall into mortal hands. The presence of Azuregos, the blue dragon, seems to suggest that items of extreme significance, perhaps the fabled Vials of Eternity themselves, may be found in the wilderness of Azshara. Whatever Azuregos seeks, one thing is certain: he will fight to the death to defend Azshara's magical treasures.

  • No player limit

Lord Kazzak

Lord Kazzak - Official Site.jpg

Tainted Scar
All Levels

Following the defeat of the Burning Legion at the end of the Third War, the remaining enemy forces, led by the colossal demon Lord Kazzak, pulled back to the Blasted Lands. They continue to dwell there to this day in an area called the Tainted Scar, awaiting the reopening of the Dark Portal. It is rumored that once the Portal is reopened, Kazzak will travel with his remaining forces to Outland. Once the orc homeworld of Draenor, Outland was ripped apart by the simultaneous activation of several portals created by the orc shaman Ner'zhul, and now exists as a shattered world occupied by legions of demonic agents under command of the night elf betrayer, Illidan.

  • No player limit


  • The original article released in April 2005, only had Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Azuregos, and Lord Kazzak. Onyxia's Lair was added in August 2005. Zul'Gurub and The Dragons of Nightmare were added in October 2005. Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj and Temple of Ahn'Qiraj were added in March 2006. Finally, Naxxaramas was added in July 2006.
  • When dungeons or bosses were revamped for expansions, they were removed from this article. Lord Kazzak was removed in June 2007. Onyxia's lair was removed in September 2009. Finally, Naxxramas was removed in mid 2010.


This article can still be viewed through the Wayback Machine: