“How does this lackadaisical cadre of misfits and rotting corpses intend to conquer all of Azeroth? Their self-defeating disingenuity falls short of any reasonable appearance of effort at self-preservation! I can make no effort to effect change with the detestable nerubian hounding my footsteps and blackening my dreams!”

– “On Naxxramas”, written by some now-undead guy whose probably been killed many, many times.

When I first started raiding in World of Warcraft, this instance was one I’ve never seen before.  I have friends who’ve been to that place and declared it one of the coolest raid instances in the game.  Of course, soon after its release, Burning Crusade was knocking at our doors and everyone who didn’t get to see it would have to wait.

I have to always remember what my best friend Muji kept saying as we cleared the 10 man versions (and then the 25 man versions): “You guys have it so easy, I remember when…”

And I believe him!  I believe that this zone went from one of the more ridiculously long clears to something you can almost do in one evening.  I also think this has some of the more unique encounters and does provide multiple checks to make sure your raid is on top of their game.  I will be honest, there were many times where things didn’t go as well as we wanted.  We did end up spending a night trying to work on Four Horsemen with our “unique” raid (I mean it in the nicest way, I swear).  I do like this place, and I am happy to finally see it for myself.

Note, this is more for raid leaders, but any raider will hopefully glean some information from this miniature guide.

To start, I will cover the first three bosses your raid may tackle.  I will note what your raiders should learn from each fight and what can possibly wipe your raid.  Most fights will have a “gimmick” and the encounter will revolve around it.

Anub’Rekhan: A creepy big nerubian that sits in a room with two of his best buddies (Crypt Guards).

  • What you learn – Your tank/offtanks will learn how to position and kite a mob around a room; your healers will learn how to adjust to an unfriendly (and wipe causing) AoE aura and maintain healing while on the move; your DPS will learn how to prioritize killing elite adds and to react quickly to AoEing groups of small Crypt Scarabs.
  • Condensed strategy – Your main tank should grab Anub’Rekhan and you should have two off-tanks (plate wearers with decent amount of HP, does not require defense capped but does require healing, possibly intensive) pick up the Crypt Guards.  Your DPS should eliminate each Guard then focus on the boss.  During the fight, any corpses (friendly players or unfriendly Crypt Guards) will eventually turned into many Crypt Scarabs.  Your mages should dispense of them with AoE as soon as possible.  People during this fight will get tossed around by impale.  Try to spread out a little to reduce the amount of healers being unable to heal during this time.  During the Locust Swarm, a Crypt Guard will spawn, so have an off-tank of some sort pick it up (or even someone wearing mail who can take hits).
  • The gimmick – This fight is about the Locust Swarm, which will happen every 70 to 120 seconds.  During this time, he will move at 60% speed.  The tank must kite him around the room (around the outer circle, but not in the slime) and try not to take too many stacks.  This AoE will cause damage over time and silence all who are affected.
  • What will wipe you – If your tank does not kite Anub’Rekhan properly, two things may happen: he may take too much damage from the aura stacks or the healers may get silenced for too long.  Either way, the tank will drop.  The Crypt Guards can also be an issue if a cleave gets into the ranged/healers.  If too many people die, too many Corpse Scarabs may spawn and will cause an issue.  It’s also possible your tank may die if all of your healers get impaled, but this boss (to my knowledge) will not cause that much damage to your MT, but this is rare and your healers should be prepared just in case this happens,
  • 10 man specific – There are no Crypt Guards at the start, but they will spawn during the Locust Swarm per usual.
  • Other notes – This fight is not difficult unless your group is coordination-impaired.  There are some issues with being able to target Crypt Guards that spawn in the fight, but other than that, happy hunting.

Grand Widow Faerlina – A female human who was a botanist in life, and a poison maker and spider caretaker in death.

  • What you learn – Your tanks should learn nothing here, hopefully; your healers will learn how to effectively deal with multiple tanks taking damage, poison cleansing, and moving out of Rain of Fire; your DPS will learn how to control their DPS through quick killings of essential mobs, moving out of Rain of Fire, and following directions properly.  Also, a shadow priest (hit capped) will learn how to mind control and follow directions as well.
  • Condensed strategy – Your main tank will pick up Faerlina and move if in a Rain of Fire.  You may have two other tanks in this fight: one will pick up the Worshippers and one may pick up the Followers.  The Followers, in my experience, should be killed immediately and there should be little problem in doing so. They do a random charge that is annoying and have an AoE silence as well.  Faerlina will do a poison bolt volley and the DoT applied should be abolished with some haste.
  • The gimmick – Faerlina will frenzy periodically in this fight which increases her damage by 150%, her melee haste by 50%, and her size by 50%.  A tank will get hit for at least 20k during this time.  The only way to get rid of this during the heroic raid is to have a priest mind control a Worshipper and have the priest use “Widow’s Embrace” when she frenzies and when near Faerlina. This will kill the Worshipper and stop the frenzy and her poison bolts for a time.  If you use the Embrace before the Frenzy, this only prevents Faerlina from using it for 30 seconds, so it is recommended you wait for the Frenzy.
  • What will wipe you – If your healers do not focus on the main tank during the Frenzy period (which should not last long); if your priest mind controller does not prepare for a mind control (this means being within range and close to Faerlina as well and solving any UI issues with mind control) which will lead to tank death; if your DPS kill any Worshippers, they should not be touching them at all and any early deaths will only mean your DPS need to work faster to drop this boss!
  • 10 man specific – There are no Followers, but instead of Mind Controlling the Worshippers, you must have your DPS destroy one while near Faerlina.  It is suggested your off-tank reduces the health of each Worshipper down to 8k hit points so its easier to get one down fast.  Do not under any circumstances allow your DPS to AoE, as they may accidently kill Worshippers.
  • Other notes –  This is not a hard fight unless something goes terribly, terribly wrong.

Maexxna – A huggably large red and black spider that likes to spawn babies, spin people in cocoons, and poison people… all in one fight!

  • What you learn – Tanks learn nothing new here, hopefully, other than to hold aggro; healers will learn how to keep a poison off of a tank and how to place HoTs at specific and crucial times; DPS will learn how to manage targets (cocoons, tiny spiders, and then the boss).
  • Condensed strategy – When you pull this boss, she always do three things in order: within 20 seconds, she will web wrap two people in your raid— these two people need to be freed by killing the cocoons surrounding them as they will take 2475 to 3025 nature damage every 2 seconds, preferably this is done by your ranged DPS.  Roughly 10 seconds after the wrap, Maexxna will spawn 8 small spiders and they will need to be AoE’d down quickly as 10 seconds after this, she will wrap everyone in the raid and the raid will be stunned for 6 seconds.  This ability does around 2.5k damage to every raider.  This raid-wide stun is not resistable and will hit everyone.  This big spider will also put a poison on your main tank (Necrotic Poison) which reduces healing taken by 90% for 3 seconds (this poison can be applied to people who are in melee range and also in front of her, but your melee should not be there for obvious, parry-gibbing reasons).  Maexxna will frenzy at 30%, dealing 75% more damage and attacking 50% faster, not to mention growing in size; the best way to finish the fight is to wait for her to raid web wrap (around 33% is a good time to stop DPS if you are in the middle of her “rotation” of 2 webbed people -> spiders -> raid web wrap), then pop a Bloodlust and kill her before the next raid web wrap.
  • The gimmick – This fight is predictable, save for who gets the web wraps.  Sometimes you’ll be lucky and pets will get targeted, which will do absolutely nothing.  The key to this fight is to make sure of two things: 1.) AoEing the tiny spiders before the raid web wrap and 2.) HoTing up the tank before the raid web wrap.  There isn’t much else to say, but…
  • What will wipe you – … some things can go wrong here.  Wipes can happen at any time!  If the poison doesn’t get cleansed, your tank will drop dangerously far in health as heals become ineffective.  If the baby spiders aren’t killed before the raid web wrap, they will kill multiple people before the stun wears off.  If the tank doesn’t get HoT’d up before the raid web wrap, he may die.  It’s also possible that you might hit her Frenzy (which is at 30%, just a reminder) as a raid web wrap happens.  This can cause serious problems as she hits pretty hard and without anything kind of direct heal, tank death may occur.
  • 10 man specific – All things are the same, except instead of 2 people getting wrapped at the start of Maexxna’s rotation, it will only be 1.
  • Other notes – This is easily the hardest fight of the Arachnid wing, but it’s not the hardest fight in the instance.  In the 10 man version, this is the same.

Hope you’ve enjoyed.  I will be finishing up this series eventually!