I was writing some Naxx-10 summary notes for Resto Druids for our guild website to help a new Resto Druid in our guild take my place in our farming runs. We took a break from raiding for 4th July week, which resulted in another guild poaching her, but this guide was nearly finished so I decided to publish it here in installments for the benefit of the Tree community at large – one Naxx wing at a time.
(You know how poaching works: a poaching guild runs regular PuGs to look out for good raiders; when they find someone, they lavish them with praise, invite them to several raids in quick succession, talk up how good their guild is, etc., etc. Smaller raiding guilds who only do 10-man content regularly lose raiders in this way).
I’m trying to write this for the benefit of someone who isn’t overgeared. I’ve been overgeared for Naxx for a long time now, so I may miss some important pointers because of that – it also means I don’t have to care about conserving mana in Naxx any more. Please comment on any tricks I missed. (I’m also doing this from memory, so I may have forgotten about the odd debuff here and there).
And this isn’t a full Naxx-10 strategy guide. Its just specific things Resto Druids can do to make their lives a little easier. Go read the boss fight strats on WoWWiki or elsewhere to understand the fights before you read through these Tree specific tips.
Sorry 25-man raiders – I’m not commenting on 25-man strats because I generally don’t run them. Maybe I’ve been unlucky, but I find 25-man raiding very unsatisfying. Its too chaotic (and too impersonal) for my liking. I also don’t feel as if my individual contribution is as important in 25-mans as it is in 10-mans: If I screw up in a 10-man, then the raid will likely wipe; if I screw up in a 25-man, then there’s usually enough redundancy to recover.
I’m writing notes under the following categories for each boss:
- Damage – Take it as read that the bosses will hit for physical damage on the tank. I list the other types of damage, so you know who in your raid to ask for resistance buffs (e.g. pally auras for frost and fire, shammy totem or hunter aspect of the wild for nature, etc).
- Main Tank – Things you need to know about Main Tank healing for that boss.
- Off-Tank – Things you need to know about Off-Tank healing for that boss.
- Raid – Things you need to know about Raid healing for that boss.
- Special – Anything else a Resto Druid can add to the fight.
Part I – Arachnid Quarter
Arachnid Quarter isn’t the best place for a Druid to brag about their special talents (i.e. hots), but its where most raids normally start so that’s where we’ll start. Once you’re confident in your raid’s gear, you’ll probably prefer to start with the Plague Quarter to warm up your raid. Although the first two Arachnid bosses are very straightforward, Maexxna is still the boss most likely to wipe our raid if we’re not concentrating – especially when running with two healers. Maexxna is a great showcase for your hots, and Anub’Rekhan (depending on your strategy) can be a good place to show off your ability to heal on the move.
In the old days, we used to have lots of fun kiting Anub’Rekhan during his Locust Swarm phase, but turning Aspect of the Pack into a raid buff killed that idea. Now we just let the tank stand and take his punishment. Some tanks may still prefer to kite (e.g. some Warrior tanks use their Intervene skill to put some distance between them and the boss), but note that the WoWWiki strategy still recommends using Aspect of the Pack – that’s a really bad idea for a raid-wide buff that stuns anyone who gets hit.
- Mostly physical
- Nature from Locust Swarm
As a main tank healer in this fight, you need to be more than 30 yards from the tank so you don’t get silenced by Insect Swarm. I set Grid to change the health bar color when someone in the raid is >30 yards away from me (and again when >40 yards away) so I can see when I’ve gotten too close (or too far away). If you don’t have this set up, then away until you’re just out of range of the tank and then take a couple of steps forward. If the tank is tanking Anub’Rekhan where he was initially standing, then the green circle in the middle of the room roughly marks the range that is a safe range from Locust Swarm.
(If you do adopt a running strategy, then you can run slightly ahead of the tank within the green circle keeping Lifeblooms stacked and Rejuvenate up, and stopping if you need to refresh Regrowth or cast a quick Nourish).
Make sure the tank is fully hotted up when you get the Locust Swarm countdown. If you’re not overgeared for the instance, then ask at least one other healer to help you keep the tank alive during that phase (e.g. a priest can shield the tank and add a Renew, and then go back to healing his target). Keeping tank aggro isn’t an issue in this phase, as the DPS will be burning down the Crypt Lord during Locust Swarm.
Be ready to Swiftmend and Nourish as well, and have your Nature’s Swiftness+Healing Touch macro ready just in case. If you have extra heals available, then help out the OT healer too – the Crypt Lords can also cause significant damage to a low-geared tank.
If you’re healing the off-tank or the raid, be ready to hot up the Main Tank just before Locust Swarm is cast. Don’t let this cause you to let your hots drop off the off-tank.
If you find you’re being hit by scarabs, swear at the Off-Tank and cast Barkskin.
Expect to be thrown in the air a couple of times when Anub’Rekhan Impales you or someone who’s standing behind you.
Grand Widow Faerlina
- Nature/poison – regular poison bolt volley on 3 closest players.
- Fire – rain of fire. Tell the DPSers you expect them to move out of the fire storms during the fight. (They’ll probably just stand there anyway, but at least then you can yell at them after the fight🙂 ).
As tank healer, have the tank fully hotted when Faerlina goes into a frenzy. And be ready to add in Swiftmend and Nourish – she hits hard. The other healers should be helping you during a frenzy until the raid activates Widow’s Embrace.
If you’re not the Main Tank healer, then load the Main Tank with HoTs just before the frenzy to help.
Off-Tank healing is very easy except when the rain of fire hits the Off-Tank. Don’t expect the OT to move out of the way of the fire– it can confuse the fight. Even the fire doesn’t hurt that much, but it is a sudden increase in damage that could trip you up if you’re not paying attention.
Raid healing is dispelling poison (if you have no shammy totem) and healing damage for people caught in the rain of fire. Use mostly Wild Growths and Rejuvenates as usual for your raid healing.
If you’re going for the achievement, you’ll need help from at least one other healer for the whole frenzy phase. The damage to the Off-Tank is low, so the Off-Tank healer should find this easy. Even when you do activate Widow’s Embrace, there will be a couple of seconds of frenzy on the Main Tank, so throw some hots across to help out.
As I said earlier, this fight is the most likely to catch you out if you’re not paying attention.
- Nature/Poison – Poison is only sprayed in front of her, so only affects the tank if he tanks Maexxna facing away from the raid (which he should). Web Spray and Web Wrap both inflict Nature damage.
- Physical – Spiderlings
This fight can be tricky because of Web Spray. Watch for the DBM countdown for Web Spray and make sure you get the MT fully hotted before it procs. Tell the Off-Tank healer you expect their help with this as well (e.g. at least a Renew from a Priest – like for the the Anub’Rhekan Locust Swarm). Be ready to Swiftmend as soon as you’re unfrozen if the tank if getting low on health, but try not to lose your Lifebloom stack (you’re only paralyzed for 6 seconds, so you shouldn’t). This is one fight where three healers are helpful even for very overgeared groups. If you have two healers, and your MT healer gets Web Wrapped just before Web Spray, then you’re in trouble.
If you don’t have a shammy poison cleansing totem, then keep up Abolish Poison to dispel the Necrotic Poison from the tank ASAP. The poison reduces healing by 90%. And definitely make sure you apply it just before web spray (and have all your hots up then too).
A good off-tank won’t have much trouble tanking the Spiderlings, just keep him hotted up and throw a few helpful heals around as needed. When Web Spray is coming, make sure he has at least a Regrowth on him before you help with hotting up the Main Tank.
The raid should be standing together to help the Off-Tank gather the Spiderlings, so they’re nicely positioned for you to use Wild Growth. Watch for Web Wraps, which may require you to run to get into range of the cocooned player.
Some groups like to stop DPS when Maexxna reaches about 34%, wait for a Web Spray, and then burn her down. This is to try to avoid Web Spray during her frenzy phase (<30% health). If you have slightly low DPS, you’ll get another Web Spray during Frenzy. Web Spray and Frenzy without full hots on the tank are the normal way we’ve wiped on this fight. All the healers should be helping during Frenzy, and they should be adding whatever hots or mitigation over time they have just before Web Spray hits.
Whatever your healing assignment, make sure you let the other healers know if you’re Web Wrapped so they can quickly step into your healing role. The healers should agree who takes over which role when one of you is cocooned.
Someone has to dispel the Nectoric Poison from the raid. That may have to be you.
Congratulations on completing the Arachnid Quarter. I hope you got some nice drops. Now run over to the portal at the far end of the room to go back to the central area ready for the Plague Quarter.
Next time: Part II – The Plague Quarter.