I like my guild, but there is no consistent raiding by its members. I'm to the point where I really can't keep gearing up without going into Ice Crown Citadel.

Is there any trick to getting into a pick up group which has a reasonable chance of progressing through?

Perhaps the real question is... How do I find PUGs for ICC? Trade chat for instance?

  • And did I take about 10 seconds on google to find out what the hell PUG (PickUp Group) meant!
    – cregox
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 16:36

7 Answers 7


OK, PUGing can be a pain. There are several things you can do to help yourself get into a PUG Group, although it depends on server to server. So the following details are for my server:

Download yourself the GearScore Addon, everyone is interested in it nowadays. It's a right pain, but you just have to live with it. Secondly, achievements, achievements are important and most people now won't give you a chance unless you have the achievement. If your struggling to get this achievement, because you can't go, (it's a vicious cycle, I have been in it) then there are several things you can do to try and get around it.

  • Get a friend that has the achievement to get you in.
  • Have a high gear score (this can be done without raiding, just doing HC's)
  • Try and "blag" your way in.

In regards to getting a good group. Mostly it's down to luck, but you can check your group to see roughly if you will do well or not. To check your group do the following:

  • Check other people's gear. if it's good chances are they are going to be OK, unless they have been boosted. The way to tell if they've been boosted is to see how many good items they have, if they have a lot but by talking to them, not a lot of experience, chances are they've been boosted.
  • Check people's guilds. Learn the good guild's on your server, and when you join a group, check to see if the guys are from these guilds.
  • Ask them questions. Learn yourself the IN's and OUT's of ICC, and when you join a group, ask them some questions about it, like what do they think work's best on this boss, that tactic or this tactic. This will give you an indication of what they are like.

This is going to be very hard if you haven't been to ICC once, as no one will let you in because as you've said yourself they want a good group and to do it quickly, not someone they have to teach. If you can, go with a friend who has previous experience. If not, when you get into a raid group, try and befriend some people and impress, and just say, "Hey, next time you get a group, whisper me and ill join :)"

This should help you get in.

  • I have Gear Score, I'm 5583. I have a few achievements from previous PUGs. But how do I find the PUG in the first place?
    – dacracot
    Commented Aug 12, 2010 at 22:54
  • 2
    Sit in a main city, if your Horde normally Org or Dala, and for Alliance I would imagine it's either still Dala or Stormwind. Everyone advertises in trade chat '/2'. Keep and eye on this, people will be advertising like 'ICC 10 FAST RUN Need 2DPS, 1 Tank, 1 Healer' Just whisper this person linking GS, Ach and Role. They may ask for more information or just invite you!
    – Vibralux
    Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 8:32

Definitely trade/general chats in major cities. All of this boils down to the server you are on and your luck. If the server is big, there should always be PUGs being formed to ICC. From my experience a good time to do that is Saturday and Sunday in the morning/afternoon because this is the time when the guild are not doing their 'normal' raids so they go with their alts but because most of the people know the tactics it goes smoothly.

But the easiest way would be to find the raiding guild tbh.

  • Yep, I see guilds constantly filling empty spots in their raids with PUGs in trade chat. Since you said you have over 5.5k gs, you should have absolutely no problem getting a spot. Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 17:23

You may also look into GDKP runs, if you've got these happening on your server (basically a gold for drops run with some twists).

The Saturday / Sunday / Monday nights towards the end of the raid lockouts are the best time to get into raids, since you'll have a lot of people either not wanting to waste the lockout, or partially complete raids that may need to finish off the second half of ICC and need another body or two to round out the raid.

Another possibility: http://pugplug.com/ - website where you can sign up for or schedule pug raids.


Use the raid browser (the last tab in the social pane), pick the raids you are interested in, and list your role and gear score. The closer you are to the end game, the more patient you need to be. It's also good to be flexible. I'll usually list myself for ICC and several other raids at the same time.

It's good to be aware of the calendar. Lots of guilds will raid on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Lots of pick up groups will happen on Sunday and Monday, just before the weekly locks expire. That's because these people hoped to raid with their guild or something but since the locks are about to expire they don't mind "wasting" them on a pick up group.

  • Looked and there was no one there. And I don't mean only a few, I mean no one. <sigh>
    – dacracot
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 4:35
  • The reason that there was no one listed could be that people get picked up from the raid browser so quickly.
    – Craig
    Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 13:47

I was on Kalecgos-A and had the worst time getting into ICC pugs, and our guild tried to do 10m raids but when we were pugging in 2-4 spots it wasnt smooth enough to keep the pugs running past Sauerfang. A few of us split for another server (Kargath-A) where the pugs were more plentiful.

As for shopping around for servers: check to see how many people have their kingslayer titles, in all likelihood theyre farming gear or on heroic modes at this point and can afford to pug people in. also, check their Wintergrasp control, if the faction youre transferring to is in ready control they are probably pretty conscientious of getting things done; ie finding groups and doing weeklies and killing in ICC.

As for PUGging tips: always note master looter (never complain if you lose a roll with /w) & tanks (and yeah, kiss some and ask if you can throw 25g at their repair bill) and add them. they are your contacts, add a note when you ran with them. Also, on my server, before the tuesday raid reset, Monday is the hoppingest day for people who need to get some Ashen Verdict rep etc (1.3k till exalted for me woot). Also, most people wont care what guild youre in, but if youre down with a tank and/or a healer you can always pst back in trade your info + tank/healer.

Paladins make for good contacts as typically they are in high demand for their hybrid status. Shaman are nice too because we are all loving those Bloodlusts/Heroisms in ICC. A druid is good stuff as well because you gotta have the raid heals, and a pocket tank in a pinch works miracles in plaguewing.

  • **i should note: this is supplementary to the good answer from @Vibralux ; if you dont not know the fights and do things correctly, none of these tips will help you
    – mfg
    Commented Aug 13, 2010 at 17:42

But also check the server/battlegroup forums, a few guilds will post up information if they are short of players and need to pug a player or two - but some PUG groups are also fully organised on the forum!

Also check trade on a server reset night (as has already been mentioned)


PUGing 10 man or more is tricky business.

Because a pure PUG can end up being a mess and never get past the first mob if the players are not geared, nor understand the fights. You can register for PUGs in the raiding console or you can watch trade chat and ask to join. If you are well geared, try and get into a PUG that has a fussy raid leader who judges you on your gear-score.

But you can also get into a PUG that has a mix of guildies, this is probably the best type of PUG because (hopefully) the guild will have a couple of highly experienced/geared players and can help pull lower experienced/geared players through ICC. You may even get an offer to join, if you play well with them to.

Also, hang around WG after a battle or loiter in ICC and you should also find a good pug in the chat. Good luck..

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