Soloing the Chess Event

Aug 042009

Well, last night didn’t end quite as well, but I was still pretty happy with my progress. I two-shot Curator (huge aggro radius and linked mobs…suckage), but wiped several times on Shade of Aran before moving on. It’s certainly possible, but my normal 60/11 feral build doesn’t have the healing to compensate for the lack of mitigation of magic damage. That said, since it’s all magic damage, moonkin/resto should do much better. When I get a chance, I’ll have to try it as resto and see if I can make the enrage timer.

I skipped Illhoof (probably doable, just didn’t feel like it) and Netherspite (probably not doable) and went straight to Chess. I LOVE this event, and it’s a shame that it’s buried deep enough in Karazhan that most new players will never see it. It took me about 4-5 tries to figure out a viable solo strategy. Luckily, if you lose, the pieces simply despawn and respawn in ~30 secs, making it very easy to try again. I’ll go ahead and write it up here, since I didn’t really find a good strat when I looked around (lots of references/vids of people stealthing to Chess, little about actually how to solo it.)


Each side has the traditional 16 chess pieces, which are essentially “vehicles” that you can control. Each piece has a movement ability, a change facing ability, and two special abilities. Your piece will automatically melee enemies in front of it. Uncontrolled pieces will not move, but will attempt to use their special abilities intelligently. You can change pieces, but you incur a 10 second debuff when you leave a piece that prevents you from controlling another until it expires. Whoever kills the other’s king first wins.

Finally, Medivh (your opponent) will occasionally activate a “cheat.” He will do one of three things- Bloodlust a piece (not a big deal); heal his pieces to full (Can be either meh or really suck, depending) or set several squares currently containing your pieces on fire (deadly).


The key enemy pieces are the king (obviously), the queen (warlock/conjuror) and the two bishops (clerics/necrolytes). Your key pieces are the king, the queen, and the two rooks/castles (elementals on ally side, can’t remember the Horde version). The queen is the one you will be controling the majority of the time, since it has excellent mobility and long range attacks. The rooks will be moved to the center and left there to spam their AOE attacks. You want to kill the enemy queen quickly, then use your queen to either pick off the bishops, the king, or low-HP targets of opportunity. Leave the king alone, unless you need to move him out of a fire square; the bishops will auto-heal him.

So, basically…(here comes a list! I like lists! and ellipses!)

1. Jump in the king to start the encounter. Cast Hero/BL and immediately jump out.

2. Get in the 2nd pawn from the right (Horde, near side, Alliance, far side). Move it up one space. That clears a lane for your castle.

3. Move your castle diagonally three spaces. Medivh should use his first cheat around this point. If your queen gets fire-squared, move it ASAP. Your bishops will auto-heal your king, so you can mostly leave them alone. However, if you get hit by fire squares twice in a row, that

4. Repeat the pawn/castle steps on the far side. You may not get the 2nd castle to three, depending on how fast the AI pushes its pieces…If so, stop at 2.

5. Hopefully, by this point, Medivh has pushed his queen too far forward. Take out his queen with yours. Typically, the queen’s already at half-health from your castle’s AOE.

6. Once the enemy queen goes down, do a quick survey. If your king has sustained a lot of damage from flame squares and has lost a bishop, you’re going to have to go for the enemy king and pray. If your king’s doing okay, try to take out the enemy healers first, then go for the king. The queen has great range and mobility, but not a lot of health, so keep it at 3 squares range.

Took me about 3-4 attempts…good fun. After that, I put in two attempts on Prince, and got him to 10-15% both times. The shadow damage just gets to be too much in P3 (30%), and you get beat down pretty quick. Should be doable…I just need to get lucky with dodge (so that his sunder drops off) and time my SI/FR’s better. I’ll probably switch out the Maul glyph for a Berserk glyph on that fight. I’m also seriously considering dropping Skinning for Alchemy…with epic gems coming in, there’s no real “best” profession for buffing raiding performance, and Mixology provides a much wider range of buffs. With gold not currently an issue, it looks like a good plan. If the patch drops tomorrow, though, I’ll wait, as herb prices will probably spike. (I wish I’d had this idea 2 weeks ago…everybody wants to get Alchemy for transmutes.)