“Behold, Patchwerk. When word of his existence first reached the ears of the Brotherhood, none believed the tales of an abomination with such immense speed and strength. Fewer still believed it when he fell the first time…” – Commander Eligor Dawnbringer
“Patchwerk, abomination. A creature hardly alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first raid boss abomination. Patchwerk will be that abomination. Better than he was before. Better, stronger… dumber.” – Wowhead commenter
Patchwerk requires raiders to do their job. Healers must heal, DPS must go full out, and tanks must try to get as much threat as possible. The Main tank has the hardest job as he or she must keep the DPS from becoming threat-capped (which will make every aspect of this fight harder for the healers and the DPS, as the tank will take more damage than necessary and the DPS will have to slow down).
This boss uses a lovely mechanic based on highest current HP called “Hateful Strike”. This attack (which he will do every second) will hit for 53.6k to 56.7k damage (mitigated by armor and can be dodged) and it will rotate around to those who have higher current HP totals and who are on the top 3 of the aggro table, which should be your tanks (who should have more HP than your DPS by a substantial margin during this fight). Your melee DPS should watch their threat as there is a chance they could just pull right off of the Hateful tanks. This attack will also increase the threat on the top 3 on his aggro table. Melee DPS can jump into the slime that runs in this area to lower their stats for a brief moment, which also lowers your current HP down, and can avoid some issues getting hit by Hateful Strike.
(Kitts’ Update: There is a chance this HP mechanic regarding melee DPS and tanks may not actually exist. But there is information regarding both of these situations… in our raids, sometimes a rogue or DK will actually pull threat even though their TPS and overall threat is lower than the three tanks. Just watch for that.)
The key part of this fight is that your healers keep all of the tanks alive as quickly as possible. If a tank gets hit by a Hateful Strike and doesn’t get fully healed quick, another tank could take two Hatefuls, which will inevitably lead to tank death. There is an Enrage timer at 6 minutes. This means your raid must do at least 36,111 sustained DPS in the 25-man version, which given 3 tanks and 6 healers, means 1881 sustained DPS for 16 DPSers. For the 10-man raid, raiders should look to doing at least 1500-1600 sustained DPS for a comfortable fight.
Also, let’s not forget (as I kind of did, heh) at 5%, Patchwerk will Frenzy, meaning he will hit harder and faster! Healers will need to be a little more on top of healing here (almost spamming heals, but that depends on your healing and your tanks).
Let me use the Lowered Expectations setup in regard to this fight for tanks and healers.
- 1 Protection paladin (best geared)
- 1 Protection warrior
- 1 Feral druid
Our paladin is our best geared, while our protection warrior is second, followed by our feral druid. We’ll usually have our Protection warrior main tank Patchwerk, while the Protection paladin sits at the 1st offtank position and the druid at the second offtank position. Why? Avoidance is a crucial stat if you use less healers as Patchwerk will keep trying to Hateful Strike the tank he misses and will keep trying to hit until one lands. So this means your second offtank should hopefully take less Hatefuls.
Healers in Lowered Expectation’s raid roster (recommending 5 to 7 in a 25 man raid):
- 3 holy priests
- 2 resto druids
- 2 resto shaman
- 1 discipline priest
- 1 holy paladin
Our current roster allows some flexibility for who is on what tank. We generally place our less-geared or weaker heals on our main tank. We will put strong healers on the first off tank and on the second off tank. Generally we will carry 7 healers, 3 will be on the first off tank and 2 will be on the main tank and second off tank.
In our Naxx 25s, we usually will have 1 resto druid, 1 resto shaman, 1 holy priest, and 1 discipline priest there off the bat, and then we have flexibility with the others. Obviously your numbers may be different. By no means is this a guidelines of what you have to have, but it’s what has been working for us.
Every healer archetype does bring something lovely to the healer component of this battle. Here’s a general breakdown:
- Priests: Both holy and discipline priests carry Inspiration (25% armor increase buff on heal crit’d target), which is good to have in general as crit is very important for both specs. Holy priests have ridiculous Greater Heal numbers which can get a tank up quickly through smart stopcasting. They also have Guardian Spirit which can save a wipe (if the tank then gets healed quickly). Discipline priests have a multitude of absorption procs that can reduce the damage dealt by those Hatefuls, not to mention the Grace buff that reduces damage dealt and increases healing done by that priest. Discipline priests might also have Pain Suppression which can help mitigate some damage being taken (but be wary that the threat levels between tanks and DPS aren’t too close, that 5% could do something ridiculous… although I’ve never seen such a thing happen). Holy priests are solid on main tanks or off tanks.
- Shaman: Restoration shaman have Ancestral Healing (see Inspiration description), but these two armor increasing buffs do not stack. It’s still great coverage for tanks. Chain Heal and Earth Shield can both also save the day here, as CH can easily link over to another tank who may need some healing up before the next Hateful. Be forewarned, it can also hit a melee DPSer, and if they start cruising past tanks, they will take a hit that will most likely one shot them. Very good main tank and off tank healers.
- Druids: Druids are helpful in throwing HoTs here, but can lack sometimes in the direct heal category. Living Seed is beyond useful. For the most part, Druids are more preventive healers in this fight (maybe even more so than Discipline priests) because spamming one spell may not be too efficient if they’re on an off tank. Use druids to cover the first off tank and to heal up the main tank, but try not to stack them on an off tank if you can help it.
- Paladin: The best healers arguably for this fight are paladin. Their Beacon of Light talent when put onto the two off tanks can very well cover most of the healing even needed in this fight, not to mention the mana efficiency of all of their spells due to Illumination.
You do not need 2 holy paladin to survive this fight. It, however, would be much easier. You could also get away with 6 healers (as long as two are holy paladins) as Beacon of Light will do a good amount of healing to those tanks. The big thing that will kill a tank in this fight are the healers. If a healer group doesn’t heal their tank fully when there is a health deficit, expect a tank death quickly. This means healers should be prepared to pre-heal to the max and to possibly spam big heals if your tanks or healers aren’t geared perfectly. This fight is not forgiving to those who don’t react well or know their healing at least somewhat well. I apologize in advance to those healing. There are many times when raid leaders incorrectly blame healers for a mistake that happens in positioning or DPSing or tanking overall. But this is one of those fights where it mainly lies with the healers to do their job.
We cannot, however, forget the DPS! There is indeed a 5 minute timer on this fight. Your DPS must be able to sustain those numbers (36,111 raid DPS for 25-man; 12,000 raid DPS for 10-man)! Even a mediocre player with mediocre skill and decent gear can fudge through this. However, as a raid leader, watch for extremes of your DPSers… look at your highest DPSers and lowest. One thing that always catches my eye is when our top DPS will compensate for our bottom, and that can’t happen. Everyone should be close in range to succeed in the future content. Carrying raiders is easy in Naxxramas. But it’s very unforgiving for 3-drake Sartharion and sometimes for heroic Malygos.
Tanks should use Indestructable Potions before the fight starts, and then use one in the middle of the fight when it wears off for some more armor.
Patchwerk is pretty much a gear and focus check for all raiders involved. This fight is not difficult. But don’t make it that way for yourself. Know your composition. Know your healers and your tanks. And rock out hard, because there should be no holding back on this fight!