Legacy Raid Overview is a series where we go back and visit the old raids of World of Warcraft, talk about the lore of the raids and cover the reasons why they’re still relevant today. In this week’s article, we’re going to cover the Black Temple, the penultimate raid of the Burning Crusade expansion.
The Black Temple is a massive stone structure located at the far eastern corner of Shadowmoon Valley. Like many raids, it’s a bit out of the way, so unless you’ve got people there waiting to summon you, you’re going to have to take the long way.
If you’re at maximum level, the best way to get to the Black Temple is by heading down to the Chamber of the Guardian (which lies beneath the surface of New Dalaran) and take the Portal to Shattrath that is located there. Once you arrive in Shattrath, just fly south-east and the Black Temple will come into view after a few minutes.
To enter the instance itself, fly down the central road up to the main structure, avoiding the demons locked in combat with the forces of the Aldor and Scryers. Near the gate at the end of the road, there’s a small crack in the wall on the right. Go through that crack, and you’ll find the Black Temple instance portal, which lets you enter the raid.
The Black Temple is the headquarters of the powerful demon hunter Illidan Stormrage. However, it was not always a bastion of darkness. In fact, long ago, it used to be a sanctuary of the Light. Called the Temple of Karabor, the structure was a sacred site to the draenei and a home to Prophet Velen.
During the orcish assault on the draenei, Gul’dan attempted to harness the power of the Dark Star (a corrupted naaru once known as K’ara). Gul’dan’s control over the Dark Star was incomplete, but he still managed to unleash its power on the defenders of Karabor, killing many of the defenders outright and driving most of the others insane.
Only Velen and a few others escaped the explosion of Void energy, fleeing the temple via the harbor. Shortly afterward, the orcs took control of the now-corrupted structure and changed its name to the Black Temple.
Since then, the Black Temple has changed ownership several times: first, when Ner’zhul used it as the staging grounds for a plot to reopen a portal to another world, and then when the pit lord Magtheridon used it to bring the Burning Legion to Outland in force.
Now, it is the domain of Illidan Stormrage, the leader of the demon hunters. He has conquered nearly all of Outland from this stronghold, which is home to his best troops and his most powerful lieutenants.
There are a total of 9 bosses in the Black Temple, located all throughout the raid’s many rooms. Each boss has a very distinctive appearance, and fights in a different way. For a fully geared player at level 110, these bosses can mostly be killed in a few seconds, but there are a few (Shade of Akama, Reliquary of Souls and Illidan) which will take a bit. In addition, the Illidan fight has a lot of unskippable roleplay, which makes it take a bit longer.
High Warlord Naj’entus—A mighty Naga Lord, Naj’entus was tasked at defending the Black Temple’s waterways against intruders. Possessing strength and endurance far beyond the normal naga, Naj’entus was able to survive horrific wounds, while dealing out plenty of damage himself.
Supremus—A gigantic Abyssal, Supremus was bound to Illidan’s will during a battle long ago. Now, this monstrosity watches over the Illidari Training Grounds, ensuring that no one interferes with the preparation of Illidan’s army. Once Supremus is defeated, the next four bosses can be killed in any order.
Shade of Akama—In order to keep Akama (the leader of the broken draenei) in line, Illidan took the darkest and most twisted aspects of Akama’s soul and used them to create the villainous Shade of Akama. Abusing the spiritual links that bind all the broken draenei together, Illidan used the Shade to keep the draenei firmly under his control.
Teron Gorefiend—Once a powerful warlock under the command of Gul’dan, Teron’gor (his orcish name) was killed by Orgrim Doomhammer along with the rest of the Shadow Council. Shortly afterward, Teron’gor was resurrected into the body of a fallen Stormwind Knight, thus becoming the first death knight every created. In this new form, Teron Gorefiend terrorized the people of the Alliance, up until the time he was slain by the human paladin Turalyon. Death couldn’t keep the orc down, however, as many years later, he was resurrected with the help of a foolish adventurer. Now, Teron Gorefiend resides within the Black Temple, rebuilding his power.
Gurtogg Bloodboil—A powerful fel-infused orc, Gurtogg commands the dire orcs in Illidan’s army. A fearsome combatant, Gurtogg will do anything to destroy his enemies.
Reliquary of Souls—No one quite knows how this monstrous creature came into being, but it is speculated that it is comprised of the souls of the draenei killed by the power of the Dark Star in the orcish assault on Karabor. It is unknown what plans Illidan has for the Reliquary, but it cannot be good.
Mother Shahraz—Once the first six bosses of the raid have been defeated, the door to Illidan’s inner sanctum will open. You aren’t going to be able to just walk in, however, because Mother Shahraz (a powerful Shivarra) watches over the entrance to Illidan’s inner sanctum. It is unknown how she came into Illidan’s service, but she is among the most fearsome of his lieutenants.
Illidari Council—When Kael’thas Sunstrider left for Tempest Keep, he left four of his most powerful servants at the Black Temple to advise Illidan in his absence. Masters of the arcane, shadows, diplomacy and war, the members of the Illidari Council will defend Illidan to their final breath.
Illidan Stormrage—The first of Azeroth’s demon hunters, Illidan used the power of the Burning Legion to save his people. His intentions were misunderstood, however, and he was imprisoned for 10,000 years. Released during the Burning Legion’s second invasion of Azeroth, Illidan once again proved himself a hero—and was banished for his trouble. Traveling to Outland, Illidan plots revenge, both on those who cast him out and the Burning Legion whose power he took.
Why it is Still Relevant:
One of the most popular old raids, Black Temple is commonly run for several reasons. The first is the lore. In the Black Temple, players were given the chance to battle Illidan Stormrage—one of the most popular characters in World of Warcraft—so the raid is often revisited by players seeking to down the iconic boss once again.
The second reason is the Warglaives of Azzinoth. Illidan’s legendary weapons, the Warglaives of Azzinoth are some of the most iconic weapons in the game, and are sought after by many players. This has become especially true in the past few months, when it was announced that any player who acquired the Warglaives from Illidan would automatically get the transmog appearance upon defeating Illidan during a Black Temple Timewalking run.
Finally, many players go to Black Temple to collect all the pieces of their Tier 6 armor, which is widely considered one of the best tier sets to date.
Overall, Black Temple is one of the coolest raids in World of Warcraft, so I’d highly recommend running it again if you find yourself looking for something to do.