Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shamantics in Naxx10

Between the guild's weekly runs and my zany heroic-mode PUG adventures, I've started to compile notes for the various encounters for the infamous Naxxramas. Below are all the boss fights in Naxx1o from a Shaman's point of view. (In the future I hope to write a followup post to describe some of the differences in 25-man heroic mode, stay tuned!).

Arachnid Quarter

Elementals and Restos, stand in the green circle in the middle of the room and do your thing at max range to avoid the boss's silence, but also spread out from the other ranged. Enhancement, alternate melee between the boss and the major spider add - and if your raid leader (RL) calls for it, run out during Locust Swarm and sling lolbolts with the ranged group. Try to time Heroism/Bloodlust for when all DPS is on the boss - and not during a Locust Swarm.

Elemental and Resto, DSITF (don't stand in the fire) somewhere in the middle. Poison totem can be useful here, but isn't necessary if your healers are on the ball. The RL will likely assign a DPS to take down each add to ~30%, so if that's you, just be very careful not to overshoot. Restos: be prepared to spam heals on the tank during Faerlina's enrage. Hero after the adds are softened up and all DPS is back on the boss.

After the tank runs in and turns the boss around, Enhancers should attack from behind (as usual). Ranged/healers should bunch up a few steps behind to make AoE'ing the adds a little easier (Thunderstorm, Chain Lightning and/or Magma Totem can help). Important for all specs: cleansing poison on the tank is priority, as it reduces healing by some insane amount. Save Heroism for the enrage at ~30%.

Plague Quarter

Tank/spank Noth in the center of the room until he teleports away, when DPS focuses on the adds. Elementals can also soften-up the adds if the offtank starts to get too many while Noth is still on the ground. There are times during this encounter when healing is not very intensive, so Restos could consider wearing a DPS set (high hit rating) for a little extra pew pew on the boss/adds. Watch out for the Plagued Guardians which do a massive AoE, so always focus-fire them down and Chain Heal to patch up the raid. I usually pop Hero a few seconds after Noth teleports down the 2nd time.

Enhancement, stick to your tank as he kites Heigan around the room - don't worry about attacking from the back too much on this one - you don't want to get caught in the goo. If you can, plop a totem down in each safe zone to help give others a reference point. Elementals and Restos will remain up on the platform until the dance phase - let your tank know if he's too close (increased casting times) or too far out (out of range!). Disease Cleansing totem should be down at all times, as well as priority-casting Purge or Cleanse Disease for those who are out-of-totem-range.

The dance phase takes practice, so don't get discouraged, watch a few videos and look for recognizable patterns in the ground where the goo comes up. Restos use Riptide whenever its up/available during the dance, and everyone else concentrate on staying alive. (For dance experts only: it is possible to get off a LHW in between waves of goo, but don't sacrifice yourself doing so!)

20 second cycles, out of which only 3 seconds where healing works. Essentially a DPS race, Restos can consider a DPS set here as well, as long as they're on the ball with heals during the three second healing window. DPS Shaman should be prepared to help out during the 3 seconds also by casting two Chain Heals (pre-cast the first at two seconds out). Restos can Riptide at 12 seconds out, then again on someone else at 6 seconds out, then pre-cast Chain Heal back on your first Riptide target and then another CH wherever needed... and (if you can squeeze it) another Riptide somewhere. Hero after the first two spores have been killed, early on in the fight when everyone's still alive.

Military Quarter

Enhancement can do their usual thing, attacking from behind and watching aggro. Elementals and Restos stand at range and do their thing, keeping an eye on those who get knife-attacked and need extra heals. Restos can Earth Shield whichever understudy is tanking the boss, and otherwise keep them healthy (but not too healthy). If you use Grid, the understudies will show up as pets, with a red dot in the corner to show who has current aggro. Pop hero as soon as the tanks have settled into a good trade-off rhythm, might as well get Raz down ASAP!

The RL will split the raid into a living side and undead side, so keep behind your side's tank to give them a clear view of the incoming mobs and then DPS/heal as needed. Restos need to watch their Chain Heals, as it's a sure-fire aggro pull if the tank hasn't gotten a hold of incoming adds. Save Hero for when the gates open and all your DPS is actively engaging Gothik.

Four Horsemen
The quintessential Naxxaramas fight! In-10 man, DPS shaman are ideal candidates for being a rear tank, so bring a healing set. Be prepared to spam LHW on yourself and communicate with your counterpart on the other side when you have 3 stacks of the debuff. ("back switch!") Since it's proximity-based aggro and only spell damage, you can turn yourself around and face the direction you will be running from the get-go.

If you're in the front left group, stack up on the tank and pop Hero right off the bat. Restos make ideal healers for Korth'azz since Chain Heal counters his Meteor nicely. Other than that, stay with your tank, but watch your debuff bar and move to another boss when 3 stacks are up. Don't entirely rely on callouts in Vent. (note that there are alternate strategies here, including having the DPS stay in place with only the tanks moving to swap bosses, so pay attention to how your RL wants to do it!)

Construct Quarter

The penultimate gear-check for the "second half" of Naxxramas. It's a pure DPS race, so pop Hero a few seconds after the tank has established aggro so it becomes available again at the end if needed. Enhancement may take a dip in the river to lose some health to help avoid being struck by Hateful strike. Otherwise, tank/spank.

If you're Resto, be prepared to keep Riptide and Earth Shield up at all times, and pre-cast glyphed LHW and/or Healing Wave if you're specc'ed for it. If not spec'ed for Healing Wave, I might recommend healing the main tank rather than the hateful tank, as it can get a bit hectic. Don't forget to have casters in your group for Mana Spring and Tide totems.

As your tank kites Grob around the room, always have a spot in mind for where you'll be running if you get hit with the mutagen. Enhancers, attack from rear-side so you don't spawn additional adds which can quickly overwhelm a raid. Elementals are ideal for taking down the spawned goo which your offtank should be holding in place for you. Restos will be making use of Riptide a lot during this fight - try to splash it on someone who just came out of dropping their cloud as they'll need about half their health restored. Do NOT cleanse poison off yourself or a raid member until in a safe spot - doing so early will instantly release the poison cloud.

One of the fights where having a Shaman helps tremendously. Elemental and Restos should plop Earthbind totem right on top of the center grate in back to slow the adds and allow your kiter a bit of breathing room. We usually use a Prot Pally who's spec'ed into Pursuit of Justice, and the two of us can handle the adds no problem. This is a little tougher for Enhancement as they'd have a long way to run, but certainly right after decimate plop an Earthbind down to give yourself a few extra seconds to down all the adds. Restos should be prepared to help out with the DPS on the adds by using AoE totems (after the raid's been patched-up, of course).

Very fun fight, involving two mini-bosses which need to be killed simultaneously before engaging Thaddius himself. (The RL will also pre-assign a positive and negative side to Thaddius, more on this later.) Restos are ideal for the right side mini-boss (Feugen) as he does an AoE attack for which Chain Heal is pure win. After the mini-bosses, take a running-jump off the platform to Thaddius.

Let your tank engage, then wait for Polarity to hit. Polarity gives you either a positive or negative charge, and being near others who have the same polarity gives you a substantial buff (does damage otherwise), so everyone should bunch up a few steps behind the boss on their polarity's side. Thaddius has a large hit box so Enhancers can back up a few steps to make sure everyone on their side is getting the stacking buff. When your polarity switches, immediately run straight throughthe boss to the other side. Restos: this can be a healing-intensive fight if your raid doesn't respond quickly enough to polarity shifts, so be on your toes! Pop hero early while everyone's still alive.

Upper Wing

A classic dragon fight! Enhancers and melee should attack from the back/side to avoid frontal cleave and swipe. Elementals and Restos just need to be back far enough to avoid both. When Sapph takes to the air, he will ice block two random members and everyone needs to use the ice block as a shield from the large blast which follows. As soon as you're in position, try casting Lightning Bolt at Sapph. If it says target is out of line of sight, you should be safe. All specs should also immediately cast Chain Heal on yourself to get those around you patched up. Frost resistance gear is helpful for this fight, as is Frost Resistance totem if you don't have any Paladins. This is one of those "stay alive and you will win" fights.

Final boss in Naxxaramas, congrats! After buffing-up at the entrance be sure to recall all your totems, as adds will spawn in that same location and may prematurely aggro causing a wipe (trust me, I've done it).

During first phase, Elementals (and Restos if they can spare the mana/time) should focus on incoming Banshees and skeletons (CL may accidentally pull more mobs, so stick to single-target DPS), and Enhancement can focus on the tanked Abominations. Elementals can use Thunderstorm if too many skeletons make it through to the middle circle.

Second phase KT will appear, and everyone needs to spread out 10 yards, except Enhancement who should stack up on another pre-determined melee DPS'er. Elementals/Restos just need to make sure they're 10 yards apart from each other. (Use DBM's /range window to see who's nearby - only melee DPS should see other names in the box, and make sure it's not the tank's name!)

Important for all Shaman specs: read my How to Win at KT post for how to deal with the ice blocked people, who will surely die if you do not act!

Third phase brings out two large insect types which will be offtanked off to one side. Make sure a healer is in range as the OT will need stronger heals as the fight goes on. Pop hero once the adds have been secured and focus-fire on KT.

1 comment:

John said...

Excellent summary. where was this when we were still learning Naxx? But it is still helpful now that I have switched from Hunter to Resto Shammy.