“We can go when we want to, the night is young and so am I.
And we can dress real neat from our hats to our feet,
And surprise ’em with the victory cry.
Say, we can act if want to, if we don’t nobody will
And you can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile.”

– Men Without Hats, “Safety Dance”.

The Plague wing, just like the Arachnid wing, are the easier wings to complete in Naxxramas right now.  There are certain checks that will inform you, as a raid leader, about your raider’s competency as a whole.  In a way, this will help your raid learn how to do very simple non-combat tasks.  Just be prepared to bash your head against a brick wall when even your best raiders fail at something.

What can I say about the Plague wing other than the fights?  Nothing much.  Unfortunately, there isn’t anything super memorable about each fight other than the main object that each one holds.  But that’s important to go over, so here it is!

Noth, the Plaguebringer:  “Responsible for the creation of the process that distills the souls of the living and places them within the cold cage of undeath, Noth was observed to be refining this process even now.” – Commander Eligor Dawnbringer.

  • What you learn – Your tanks learn how to pick up adds and to quickly build threat after a complete loss of aggro; your raid learns how to decurse quickly; your healers learn how to react quickly to raid-wide damage; your DPS learns how to prioritize targets.
  • Condensed strategy –  During the first phase, have your tank grab Noth and keep him there.  Have any plate wearing DPS or off-tanks pick up the Plagued Warriors that spawn every 30 seconds and watch their facing because they are able to Cleave.  Your decursers (druid, resto shaman, mage) must remove Curse of the Plaguebringer as soon as possible when Noth uses this (specific reasons in the Gimmick section).  In Heroic mode, this Curse hits 10 raiders.  When Noth Blinks to another part of the room, have a priest drop a Mass Dispel on top of the Crippled people (he uses this on those within melee range).  Note when he Blinks, he will also drop all aggro, so your MT will need to be quick to pick up the boss as soon as possible.  During the second phase, spread your tanks out in cardinal directions where the piles of bones are.  Two types of mobs will spawn: Plagued Champions and Plagued Guardians.  The first wave will only have Plagued Champions, which have a Mortal Strike and hit somewhat lightly on plate (3500 dmg).  They also use a Shadow Shock, so ranged DPS and healers should stand maximum range to avoid a lot of un-necessary raid damage.  In the following waves, Plagued Guardians will spawn.  They have an Arcane Explosion which can be dangerous if they are in a raid, so tanks should be wary of any skeleton mobs with a mana bar— these need to be kept away from the raid and preferably killed first.  After 70 seconds of skeletons, Noth will teleport back down to the battle and most will use Curse of the Plaguebringer, so be prepared to decurseNoth will enrage and do 1000% more damage if he is not killed by three phases.
  • The gimmickCurse of the Plaguebringer is the essential ability he uses.  It’s a curse with 10 seconds on the timer, and when it runs out it inflicts Wrath of the Plaguebringer on the afflicted person.  For every missed curse everyone within 30 yards will suffer 5550 to 6450 immediate shadow damage and 3150 to 3850 shadow damage every two seconds for ten seconds.  This application of 23,000+ damage to the entire raid will generally cause a wipe.  This is easily avoided if you have competent people decursing!!!
  • What will wipe you – If your off-tanks don’t pick up Plagued Warriors during 1st phase; if curses go un-decursed; if during 2nd phase the skeleton adds run amok in your raid and kill your healers.
  • 10 man specificCurse of the Plaguebringer only hits 3 people in the raid.  It’s possible to heal through the damage it deals, but the afflicted people need to move far away into the corners in the room, if there are no decursers in your raid.

Heigan the Unclean“The mastermind behind the plague cauldrons that turned the wilderness of Azeroth into the Plaguelands. It is said that Heigan has rigged the very walls and floors of Naxxramas itself with a vast array of traps, which he can trigger at will.” – Commander Eligor Dawnbringer.

  • What you learn – Your tank learns how to dance; your healers learn how to dance and remove diseases fast; your DPS learn how to dance.
  • Condensed strategy – Another two phase fight.  In the first phase, your tanks and melee will move along four “quadrants” on the floor.  They arc along the box that Heigan sits on.  Heigan has a Spell Disruption aura that makes casting spells take 200% the time, so make sure you’re away from your ranged and healers sitting on the box.  You start on the first quadrant.  An Eruption will hit the other three quadrants, which does massive damage the longer you stay in it.  As the first Eruption occurs, you move to the second quadrant, which then in a few seconds, another Eruption.  You move along in an order of 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 . . . etc.  Heigan will also use Decrepit Fever (a disease) that 4500 damage every 3 seconds and reduces the maximum hit points of anyone around the afflicted person by 50%.  The second phase, which occurs after 90 seconds, Heigan will teleport to the box that your ranged and healers should be standing on (where Heigan is pre-pull).  Everyone must run down onto the ground and do the “Heigan Dance”, which is the moving from quadrants back and forth.  Instant cast healers can save raiders from dying sometimes, and ranged DPS should use instant casts (but not cast time spells, as the Eruption will kill you fast if you’re standing in dead center of a bad quadrant).  Heigan, during the 2nd phase, has a Plague Cloud aura that deals 7500 damage every second to anyone on his platform.  Rinse and repeat!
  • The gimmickYou can dance if you want to, but if you don’t you’ll wipe the raid. This is really the only important thing for longevity.  To get through the dance for your first time, follow someone experienced if you want… but know that lag could affect how much they move and if you take one step too much, you might just blow up.  There are many materials online you can use to examine the quadrants and learn.
  • What will wipe you – Not curing the diseases could mean tank death; not dancing properly also could be a wipe if healers/tanks/important DPS/even your gimp DPS don’t do it properly; hugging Heigan during the 2nd phase; slow transition from all-dance to melee-dance phases can get diseases on the ranged and healers
  • 10 man specific – Nothing new to note here, still have to do all components of the fight successfully.
  • Other notes – Be prepared to get frustrated when your pro raider start dropping, or when you do it great one week and the following completely blow at it.  It’s possible.  Trust me.  It’s not very friendly.

Loatheb“The hideous result of fusing the living plague of the Plaguelands with the bog beasts of Azeroth, Loatheb is said to control the power of healing itself.” – Commander Eligor Dawnbringer.

  • What you learn – Your tanks learn to move the boss to helpful buff areas; your healers learn how to time heals for best raid coverage; your DPS will learn how to work together in killing a mob at a certain time to benefit all others.
  • Condensed strategy – Your main tank will keep Loatheb in the middle of the room.  Every 20 seconds, Loatheb’s Necrotic Aura prevents all healing done (this includes all health-gaining items as well, like potions or bandages or health stones or abilities) for 17 seconds.  This means there is a 3-second frame for healing.  Every 30 seconds, Loatheb casts Deathbloom, which does 400 damage every second for 5 seconds before a “burst” of damage for 1500.  This is undispellable.  Loatheb also casts Inevitable Doom after 2 minutes of combat which will inflict 5000 damage after 10 seconds.  This will start happening every 30 seconds.  After 5 minutes of combat, it’ll start happening every 15 seconds.  Spores will pop around in the room and when they are killed, 5 raiders within a 10 yard radius will gain a buff that increases their critical strike chance by 50% and all spells and abilities cause no threat.  There should be some sort of rotation on groups to grab the Spore’s buff as soon as possible (it is called Fungal Creep).
  • The gimmick – There are two gimmicks essential to the downing of this boss.  First is obviously the Necrotic Aura.  An easy way to take care of this is to distribute one healer per group, a healer per tank, and healers to watch people who may not get topped off every 3 seconds.  If people are starting to drop during the “no-healing period”, priests may use Power Word: Shield and if specced into it, Pain Suppression to reduce damage taken.  Interestingly enough, Discipline priests are able to stack Grace although heals will not do any healing with their spells.  Priests should also use Prayer of Healing if they are assigned to a group a few seconds before the aura drops to get folks a good 4-5k HP at the start of the 3-second healing period.  Circle of Healing is also benefical to use towards the end of the 3-seconds as it can hit people instantly before the aura is reapplied.  The second gimmick is the DPS must work together to get everyone the Fungal Creep buff.  It lessens the chance of a DPS pulling off of a tank as all damage dealt with that buff will cause no threat.  Not to mention the fact your DPS will shoot straight up, up, and away!
  • What will wipe you – If people don’t get the Spore buff distributed and if healers don’t heal properly in their groups during the three seconds.  If your DPS is low in general, this could also be an issue.
  • 10 man specific – Same fight.
  • Other notes – If you spell his name in a different way, you get “healbot”.  Neat, eh?

This concludes the Plague wing analysis for guilds.  Obviously, I’ll update this…. next, probably the Death Knight wing, but I dread writing up an analysis for 4 Horseman.  Shudder!