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For other uses, see Molten Core (disambiguation).
Molten Core
Molten Core loading screen
Molten Core loading graphic
Location Inside Blackrock Depths, Blackrock Mountain

IconSmall CoreHound Corehounds
IconSmall Lava Lava elementals
IconSmall Fire Fire elementals
IconSmall Flamewaker Flamewakers

IconSmall MoltenGiant Giants
End boss IconSmall FireLord Ragnaros
Instance info
Type Raid
Advised level 60
Player limit 40
Key N [30D] Attunement to the Core
Lockout timer 1 week
Associated faction Hydraxian Waterlords
Blackrock Mountain

The Molten Core is a level 60 raid dungeon located within Blackrock Mountain, home and seat of power[1] to Ragnaros the Firelord. It was one of two forty (40) player raid dungeons available upon release of World of Warcraft, the other being Onyxia's Lair. Considered the pinnacle of raiding achievement at the time, the Molten Core enticed adventurers to enter the instance in the search of realm glory.

The sulfuric Molten Core is a gateway from the Firelands to Azeroth.[1]



War of the Three Hammers.

The Molten Core was created during the War of the Three Hammers more than 300 years ago. Near the end of the war, Thaurissan, the leader of the Dark Iron dwarves, sought to summon a powerful fire elemental to defeat the combined forces of the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans. He was more successful than he could have imagined, as he released Ragnaros the Firelord from millennia of captivity under the Redridge Mountains.

Ragnaros destroyed the city of Thaurissan and created the volcano of Blackrock Mountain. He dwells there to this day with his elemental servants and the enslaved remnants of the Dark Iron dwarf clan. The burning lake where Ragnaros lies sleeping acts as a rift connecting to the plane of fire, allowing the malicious elementals to pass through.

At some point, Archmage Antonidas was studying the entrance of the Molten Core.[2]

From the Raid Areas page on the official World of Warcraft Community Site:

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 firelord 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.

After Dagran Thaurissan's death, Moira Thaurissan, hoping to free the Dark Iron dwarves from the fire elementals' rule, made sure the people of Azeroth knew about the threat of the elementals and about riches hidden deep below Blackrock Mountain. When Azeroth's heroes, recruited by the Hydraxian Waterlords, carefully moved through the Molten Core, killing the greatest of the fire elementals,[3] vicious flamewakers, corehounds and their monstrous father, Magmadar, and even Majordomo Executus,[1] and ultimately Ragnaros. The Firelord and his defeated elemental minions were banished back into the Firelands.[4]

The Cenarion Raiment was liberated from the Molten Core and bestowed upon a worthy druid.[5]

During the Fourth War, the area was entered by Thaelin Darkanvil and an Alliance adventurer, seeking a Fragment of the Molten Core for the Black Anvil. Despite previous efforts, several fire elementals and beasts still lingered in the cavern. The pair proceeded through the Core on The Tank and found Gezzrok the Keeper in Ragnaros' Lair. Gezzrok provided them with the fragment after proving their worth in a duel.[6]



The Molten Core in the TCG.

The Molten Core consists of rock and lava, with the lava forming rivers, small lakes and "lavafalls". Other features are small volcano-like smoke vents, molten cracks in the walls and roof, occasional dark iron deposits, and the runes of warding. Most locations do not have specific names, causing the majority of the Molten Core to be called simply "The Molten Core".

There are three possible ways to enter Molten Core:

Named subregions[]

VZ-Molten Core

Instance map



Molten Core bosses

Bosses Monsters


Main article: Molten Core loot

Upon successful completion of the encounters, all bosses drop tier 1 set items - excluding Ragnaros, who drops tier 2 leg items. In addition, trash mobs may drop Fiery Cores, Lava Cores, and Inv ammo firetar [Core Leather], which can be used to craft armor and weapons available with Thorium Brotherhood reputation.

Battle pets[]

The item drops themselves are bind on pickup, but the learned pets can be crated and traded.


Raid history[]


Ragnaros and Executus, with player character shown for scale.

On release, Molten Core and Onyxia's Lair were the only 40-player instances in the game, thus Ragnaros was the first "game end boss." With the advent of Blackwing Lair, Ahn'Qiraj, the original level-60 version of Naxxramas, and the raising of the level cap with the game's expansions, defeating Ragnaros has long since ceased to be the pinnacle of raiding success. However, prior to the Burning Crusade, slaying him was still considered a very important step in raid progression before engaging in more challenging content. It was the first raid encounter which required a concerted effort in acquiring massive amounts of a particular statistic (in this case, fire resistance). Moreover, the encounter was the first one to demand the extensive use of consumables, at least in the learning process and in the first few kills. As such, it was once a very important stage in the evolution of a raiding guild.

Molten Core is now typically only run for the Achievement boss ragnaros [Molten Core] achievement, or by players seeking to craft Inv hammer unique sulfuras [Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros] or Inv sword 39 [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]. Additionally, three battle pets were added in Patch 5.1 as part of the Achievement boss ragnaros [Raiding with Leashes] achievement, giving players another reason to run the instance.

Players were able to start soloing Molten Core in Wrath of the Lich King, and more easily in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria. Now that pre-current-expansion raids do not require a raid group to enter, soloing the raid for transmogrification purposes or other loot is easier than ever.



Some of Ragnaros' minor minions waiting to welcome you into the Molten Core.

While technically there are no prerequisites to enter Molten Core through its entrance at the bottom of Blackrock Depths, every Core raider will want to complete the Attunement to the Core quest to enable the shortcut at the bottom of Blackrock Mountain. This quest is given at level 55 by Lothos Riftwaker who is located just outside the Grinding Quarry, on the way to Blackrock Depths. Once attuned you can access Molten Core by talking to Lothos again. When dead (as ghost) you also have the possibility to jump into the lava near Lothos. This can also be done by living players if they have a way to slow fall, or by jumping first onto the small ledge in the pillar on the right as you enter the main chamber of Blackrock Mountain, healing, then jumping down, back toward the wall of the lava pit, to cover the remaining distance to the platform below.

Before Ragnaros can be summoned, the raid must defeat Majordomo Executus. Majordomo Executus will only appear if the raid douses the seven runes that are located near certain bosses in the Molten Core.

Each of the bosses in Molten Core has a very specific loot table, which includes the Tier 1 armor pieces as well as a number of other epic-quality items.

As stated, the Molten Core includes several mechanics which forces players to fight the bosses in a specific order. These mechanics are:

  • Inv misc book 11 [Tome of Tranquilizing Shot] - this tome (now obsolete) was once necessary for defeating Magmadar. As such, Lucifron (who dropped the tome) had to be killed before Magmadar. Part of the reason was also that Lucifron is located before Magmadar.
  • The runes of warding - most bosses in Molten Core guard runes which must be deactivated in order to summon Majordomo Executus. This means that these bosses must be defeated before Executus becomes available.
  • It's possible to fight Baron Geddon without getting too close to Shazzrah, but it's tricky to fight Shazzrah without getting too close to Baron Geddon.
  • While it's possible to jump down to Golemagg the Incinerator's location from the ridge behind him, the fiery cracks on it and the fall damage will often kill players before they get to defeat him. When walking around, players often defeat Sulfuron Harbinger on the way.
  • Ragnaros is summoned by Majordomo Executus, who will only agree to do so when he is defeated. As such, Majordomo Executus must be defeated before Ragnaros.
  • The trash mobs in Molten Core provide Fiery Cores, Lava Cores, and Core Leather, which can be used with recipes earned at high levels of Thorium Brotherhood reputation to craft epic armor and weapons. It is generally the case that a raid progressing through Molten Core will use these Cores to craft Fire Resistance armor, which will allow the melee DPS of the raid to survive the final encounters with Majordomo Executus and Ragnaros.
  • These factors, in addition to the layout of Molten Core, usually causes players to kill the bosses in this order: Lucifron → Magmadar → Gehennas → Garr → Baron Geddon → Shazzrah → Sulfuron Harbinger → Golemagg the Incinerator → Majordomo Executus → Ragnaros.

Powerful players (level 70-80+) can fight the eight first bosses in any way they prefer. It's also possible to skip Lucifron.


Anniversary edition[]

For WoW's 10-year anniversary, a special 40-player Raid Finder version of Molten Core was re-released to players as a Looking For Raid instance[7], with the encounters tuned and updated numerically, but "99% of nostalgia preserved".[8] Elemental immunities/resistances were one of the only things "nerfed" in the name of playability;[9] Golemagg's aggro radius was also reduced.[10] According to one developer, watching Blizzard's internal testers do Core Hound packs was glorious.[11]

The anniversary raid appeared as an option in max-level players' Group Finder menus for the duration of the anniversary. The description for the raid read "Celebrate World of Warcraft's Anniversary by running rampant through Ragnaros's hallowed Core, to his very lair", referencing Ragnaros's well-known dialogue just before fighting him. Defeating Ragnaros awarded the achievement Achievement boss ragnaros [Boldly, You Sought the Power of Ragnaros], which came with the mount Inv belt 45 [Core Hound Chain]. Ragnaros himself also had a 100% chance to drop a helm of the appropriate armor type, each sharing the same fiery model as the original Crown of Destruction item and Spell fire fire [Circle of Flame]. He had a very low chance to drop the companion Spell fire ragnaros supernova [Hatespark the Tiny] and the cosmetic enhancer Achievement firelands raid ragnaros [Illusion: Flames of Ragnaros]. Other bosses dropped only gold. All enemies awarded Hydraxian Waterlords reputation just as in the original version.

Notes and trivia[]

  • Killing NPCs within Molten Core still rewards reputation with the now-removed members of the Hydraxian Waterlords.
  • Prior to patch 3.0.8 the Hydraxian Waterlords offered a quest chain, eventually rewarding Inv potion 76 [Aqual Quintessence], which was at one point required to douse the Runes of the Firelord in order to summon Majordomo Executus and consequently, Ragnaros. Presently, defeating bosses will automatically douse their respective runes.
  • There were very few quests that involved the Molten Core. The only significant quest chain was the Hydraxian Waterlords chain, which was started by a visit to Duke Hydraxis off the coast of Azshara. Completing this quest chain required killing one of each of the trash mobs in the Core, and then defeating the four Flamewaker bosses in Molten Core (Lucifron, Gehennas, Shazzrah, and Sulfuron Harbinger). In addition, all the trash mobs and bosses in Molten Core provided Hydraxian Waterlord reputation. The final reward options for this quest chain were Inv jewelry ring 10 [Tidal Loop] or Inv jewelry ring 28 [Ocean's Breeze], both rare rings with high Fire Resistance.
  • As of patch 4.3.0 Molten Core can be accessed without being in a raid group by speaking with Lothos Riftwaker.
Molten Core card back

A card back themed after the Molten Core in Hearthstone.

  • Molten Core was originally planned as a single room in Blackrock Depths containing the boss fight with Ragnaros, before being expanded into an entire separate instance.[12]
    • The geometry for the two dungeons meshes perfectly.
  • Molten Core was nearly cut from World of Warcraft. To ensure it would be in the game at release, developers finished working on the dungeon in a single week. Jeff Kaplan did all of the spawning and creature placement, while Scott Mercer designed all of the boss fights, Bob Fitch worked up loot for the dungeon, and Pat Nagle created the Hydraxis quest line. Alex Afrasiabi was responsible for the attunement quest which would be patched in later.[12]
  • The very first legendary item that dropped in World of Warcraft, the Inv jewelry amulet 04 [Talisman of Binding Shard], was immediately hotfixed out of the game.
  • In Hearthstone, the Molten Core card back was rewarded for pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain adventure. The flavor text reads: "The Molten Core of Azeroth and not a chocolate lava cake, unfortunately."


Patch changes[]

  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2014-12-02): Trash mobs like Ancient Core Hounds and Lava Surgers no longer respawn.
  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2014-11-21):
    • Players should no longer be incorrectly placed into a Molten Core where Ragnaros has already been defeated.
    • Reduced the aggro radius for most non-boss creatures.
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2012-12-11): Creatures in the Molten Core now deal damage according to their intended pre-Mists of Pandaria melee damage values.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29): Lothos Riftwaker will now allow you to enter Molten Core without being in a raid group.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): Inv potion 76 [Aqual Quintessence] or Inv potion 83 [Eternal Quintessence] is no longer required to douse the runes in Molten Core. Now, when the boss associated with the rune is killed, the rune will automatically extinguish.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.9.3 (2006-02-07): It should now be very difficult to remain out of combat while fighting the bosses in Molten Core.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10): Fixed a missile bug that could cause crashes in large battles such as Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, and Arathi Basin.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-13):
    • Bind on Equip Bracers and Belts in Molten Core now drop more often.
    • Several of the Molten Core Epic Weapons have been updated with new weapon glows.
    • A few Molten Core bosses now drop Fiery or Lava Cores.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12):
    • The loot tables in Molten Core have been revised slightly.
    • Characters that die and release in the Molten Core will now receive a minimap corpse marker and arrow that will lead them to the window next to Lothos Riftwaker in Blackrock Mountain.
  • WoW Icon update Hotfix (2005-06-28): Bosses in Molten Core have had their HP increased to compensate for a bug fix that will result in increased caster DPS.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Additional new raid items have been added to the treasure lists for bosses in Molten Core.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.4.0 (2005-04-19):
    • Molten Core bosses have received some new items on their loot tables.
    • Most of the non-class set items that dropped from Molten Core have had their effective levels increased, resulting in higher DPS weapons, and/or better stats and effects.
    • The loot tables for some of the Molten Core bosses have been improved so they drop an additional epic item per kill.
    • Prior to this patch, Molten Core bosses could drop items from one of two different tiered sets for every character class. The loot tables have been changed so Molten Core bosses will now only drop items from the lower tier class sets. However, some of the items from those sets were not previously dropping in Molten Core. These missing class set items will now drop in Molten Core, allowing players to complete their lower tier class sets.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07):
    • Now has a group size cap of 40 members.
    • Players who have completed the Molten Core discovery quest can now port directly to the zone, bypassing Blackrock Depths.
    • Fixed an issue that was causing the first Firelord to stop moving.
    • Line of Sight checks removed from many creature abilities in Molten Core.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.2.0 (2004-12-18): If you die in Molten Core, you will now be able to retrieve your corpse at the Blackrock Depths instance line.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.1.0 (2004-11-07): Added.

See also[]


  1. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 48
  2. ^ N Mage [45] Burning Within
  3. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 118
  4. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 121
  5. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 102
  6. ^ A [40-70] Molten Core
  7. ^ Gearing Up to Celebrate 10 Years of World of Warcraft (2014-08-06). Retrieved on 2014-08-06.
  8. ^ Ion Hazzikostas on Twitter: "Tuned and updated numerically, but 99% of nostalgia preserved."
  9. ^ Ion Hazzikostas on Twitter: "Elemental immunities/resistances are one of the only things we "nerfed" in the name of playability."
  10. ^ Ion Hazzikostas on Twitter: "Reducing Golemagg's aggro radius is one of the other concessions I had to make."
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b Re-visiting Heroism’s Past – Molten Core (2014-04-26). Archived from the original on 2014-04-26.

External links[]