Thoughts on 10 Man Hard Mode Anub’Arak with Healing Tips!   3 comments

I am going to start out these thoughts with something that it pains me to say because I am a huge proponent of finding a way to do an encounter without “stacking” your raid.  Monolith has always had an odd mish mash of players, and we’ve done all kinds of things that people have said “can’t be done” with those players because we have found a way to alter our strategy to work with what we had available to us. 

What I am about to say, I do not say lightly.  However, it is a fact that having the following two classes in your raid for this encounter will make the ease of learning this encounter increase significantly.  That is right, not just a little easier, but they make a large enough difference that I feel the need to be upfront and comment on it.  Those two classes are: a Holy Paladin and a Shaman of any flavor.  Sadly Beacon of Light and Bloodlust do make that much of a difference.

Can it be done without them?  Yes.  Is it significantly more difficult to do so?  Yes.

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down do the fight shall we?

We used a one kite phase, phase 3 burn strategy for this encounter.  We tried a number of different strategies, and this is the one that worked best for us, with the raid make up that we had.  I do know that you can do this encounter with a two kite phase and 3 healer strategy that may work better for others.  I do believe that Tank Spot has a write up for this encounter based on that strategy, as well as some feed back from others who have done it differently, so I would strongly recommend exploring other options if you do not feel that the strategy that worked for us will work for you.

Raid Composition:
2 Tanks –  We used a Frost DK on Anub and a Prot warrior for the adds.  Any two tanks can do the fight, however, I have read that prot paladins do exceptionally well on the adds because of their high block abilities and their AE stuns (which a prot warrior also has).

2 Healers – We used a Holy Priest and a Resto druid.  Please note that this is far from the optimal healing classes for this encounter (but clearly doable).  If you have it available, I would strongly encourage the use of a Holy Paladin for the tanks, as this will negate a lot of the healing stress of phase 3.

6 DPS – You must have at least one ranged DPS to handle the spheres.  You can mix and match the remaining DPS.  We used: 1 Destro Lock, 1 Fire Mage, 1 Enhance Shaman, 1 Muti Rogue, 1 Arms Warrior, 1 Feral Druid.  I would again stronglyencourage having one shaman of some flavor available.  I am sure that it can be done without the bloodlust, however, having it will make a huge difference in learning the encounter.  While we could meet the DPS threshold in phase 1/2 without the shaman, we struggled pushing through the end of phase 3 without the Bloodlust and we are a 25 man geared guild.

Differences Between Normal and Hard Mode:

  • You only get 6 frozen orbs.  This means that you must either get Anub to 30% in one kite phase, or you can only use 5 orbs between two kite phases.
  • Two Burrowers will spawn instead of one.
  • The Burrowers gain a new ability, Shadowstrike.  This ability has an 8 second cast, and must be interrupted.  If they get a shadowstrike off, they will target a member of your raid and hit them for ~40k+ damage, likely leading to a death.
  • The Burrowers will continue to spawn in Phase 3.
  • The Permafrost (ice patches from the orbs) greatly reduce your movement speed (I believe it’s 60% up from the 20% in normal).
  • Like all hard modes, the mobs have more health and hit harder.
  • Leeching swarm will take more of your life and will heal him for more.

Phase 1 - Anub above ground.

Please note that we used a “one kite phase” strategy, so everything below will be making the assumption that you are also going to use one kite phase.

Tanking

  • We tanked Anub in the northwest area of the room.
    • Note that your tank will be frozen into ice blocks while tanking, limiting the amount of threat he will be able to build early on.  It is important that your DPS are aware of this, and are vigilant about watching their threat meters.
  • Once the first ice patch is dropped, which should be very near Anub, Anub is repositioned so that his hind legs/rear are at the top edge of the ice.
    • This is done so that all AE affects on either Anub or the Burrowers will hit all mobs.
    • It is important that you do not place all of Anub’s model on the ice as it will impede the ability to see the cast bars of the burrowers, because they will be inside of Anub’s model.
  • The Burrower tank will bring both sets of the burrowers to the ice patch next to Anub.
    • It is important that anyone that might draw threat on the burrowers (healers, shadow priest, etc) are next to the ice patch where they are being tanked.  remember the tank can barely move once he is on the patch of ice, so he cannot easily chase down any loose mobs.  They need to be close to him.
  • The burrower tank needs to make sure that he can see the cast bars of both adds that are up.  He will largely be responsible of interrupting their shadowstrike casts.  It is helpful to make a focus macro and set it to the add that you are not actively working threat on, so that you can see it’s cast easier.
    • We do ask everyone to make focus macros and help with the interrupts as they can, but the onus does fall largely on the tank.
  • 10 seconds before the submerge, Anub’s tank wants to move him away from the frost patch where the burrowers are being tanked.  We moved him in a bit of a southwest direction.
    • This is extremely important.  The only person that you want near the patch of ice the burrowers are on is the tank tanking them.
    • If everyone is near the patch of ice where the burrowers are tanks, you risk having someone on that ice targeted and the ice shattered, risking them burrowing.

Healing

  • With only two healers, we assigned one to primarily focus the tanks and one the raid.  However, the reality of it is that both healers heal whoever they can without loosing a tank.
  • Our priest focused on the Anub tank, and I focused on the Burrower tank and the raid.  That being said, I did my fair share of healing on the Anub tank as well.
  • It is extremely important that the healers place themselves next to, but not on, the permafrost.  The spawning adds will naturally gravitate towards the healers, and being too far away from the tank may mean your death.
  • In this phase Penetrating Cold needs minimal heals.
    • Resto Druid Tip!  I found that just tossing up a rejuv on those with the debuff in this phase of the fight was often more than sufficient for covering the damage.  I would also WG on raid to help supplement my rejuvs.
    • Resto Druid Tip!  Do not shy away from keeping both tanks covered in HoTs and noursihing liberally.  The damage on the tanks is a bit bursty at time.  I used enough nourish in this fight to consider respecing and picking up the nourish talents.
  • We set one  healer to move with the Anub tank and one to stay with the add tank when the Anub tank moves.
    • After the second set of adds have spawned, the healers are free to position themselves away from the permafrost. 
      • The healer that moved with the Anub tank made sure that she was in position where she didn’t have to move much while he was moving.
      • I stayed and healed the OT, and I made sure that I moved north west of the ice patch, so that I could continue to heal while being in a position to move if I was the kite target.

DPS

  • You need to assign one person to bring down the frozen orbs ASAP at the start of the fight, with the very first one being on the tank.
    • In most of our learning attempts, we used a hunter for this, and he got damn good at dropping the first orb in such a fashion that the tank barely had to adjust to it.  Our kill last night, he was sick, and we used a warlock to do this.  He was also able to get that first orb placed very well.
    • Because you want everyone’s DPS on Anub as fast as possible, our orb droppers would sometimes only drop 4 or 5 of the orbs at the start, and then drop the last orb or two during the transition to phase 2.
    • It is important to try to avoid dropping orbs in the middle of the room, as it will make it easier if everyone has a large path they can run without inadvertently hitting a permafrost.
  • It is important that you do as much damage to Anub himself during this phase.  The more you can take care of here, the better your Phase 3 transition will be.  You should aim to knock off at least 40% of his health in this phase.
  • We assigned two DPS to take care of the adds.  We opted to use an Arms warrior (with glyphed cleave so that it hit 3 tartgets) and a feral druid, who could help with interrupts.
    • As you may recall your Anub tank may have threat issues at early in the fight.  We told all of our DPS that if they became threat capped to switch to the adds briefly to let the tank work more threat.
    • Anyone that can work an AE ability into their rotation, should do such.
      • Some examples of this are: Multishot, Living Bomb, Chain Lightening, Cleave.
  • We only killed the first set of adds that spawned during phase 1, then everyone DPS’d Anub and we OT’d the second group of adds until phase 2, where we killed them.
    • This will be true for the second Phase 1 as well.  Only kill the first two adds that spawn and OT the other two until the phase 3 transition.  I will go over when you kill these adds below in the Phase 3 discussion.
    • Everyone should be watching the adds for shadowstrikes and assisting with interrupts as they are able.
  • When the tank moves Anub to prepare for the phase 2 transition, all melee will move with Anub, and off of the permafrost with the adds.  All ranged will adjust their positioning so that they not in line with the tanks Permafrost, should they be chosen for kiting.

Phase 2 – Kite Phase

Kiting

  • It is important for everyone in the raid to understand how the kiting and permafrost works.  You never have to stand on a perma frost and should not.
  • The mechanic of the encounter is that Anub will target one person in the raid and chase them, gaining speed until he hits a perma frost patch.  When he meets that patch, or hits the person, he will spike them.  If he hits the permafrost before the person, this will slow his speed back down.
    • On this destructive path, Anub will also spike the area that he is moving through.  Be sure that you stay out of these spikes!  The hurt!
    • Any immunity effect (Ice Block, BoP, Bubble) will cause Anub to choose a new target.  However, we found this to be detrimental at times, as Anub gets to moving so quickly that if the next target isn’t quite far away, they can’t get to a safe spot before Anub reaches them.  As such, we discouraged using this, unless it was an absolute emergency.
    • Speed Potions and Nitro Enchants (for engineers) work very well to kite creatively here.  I would also strongly encourage people the consider a run speed enchant for their boots (if you haven’t already for the Twins).
      • Resto Druid Tip!  Keep in mind that in a bind, you can shift to cat and sprint to safety, if needed.
  • If Anub crosses a permafrost patch, he will spike it, and target a new person.  Let me repeat that.  If Anub crosses a permafrost patch he will spike it and target a new person.  That means that you don’t have to be on the permafrost patch, you just need to put the permafrost between yourself and Anub.
    • This is why it is imperative that in those 10 seconds before Anub submerges your raid position themselves in such a fashion that should they be targeted by Anub the do not,under any circumstances, kite anub through the permafrost where the burrowers are being OT’d.
    • The positioning for the transition between Phase 1 and 2 is crucial.  If you break the OT’s permafrost prematurely, it will likely lead to a wipe.
  • Because you only get 5 ice patches (we usually use 4), you want to make sure that you use them wisely.  If your orb dropper did his job well, you will have 3 patches of ice north and 3 south in varying areas.
  • If the person targeted is north, everyone else in the raid wants to get as far south as they can while still doing their job.  Once the south person is targeted, everyone else get north ASAP, etc.  The goal is to make Anub move as far as you can before hitting a permafrost.
    • It is extremely helpful for people to call out where they are at in the room when they get targeted, as it lets everyone else quickly adjust their positioning within the room without having to guess where you are.
  • The kiting may seem complicated at first, but once you figure it out, it becomes easy to kite smartly 99% of the time.
    • So that you don’t waste attempts, I would strongly encourage practice of this in normal mode.  Have someone drop only 6 ice patches, and force yourself to learn how to use no more than 5 of them.
      • 80% of our early wipes in learning this encounter were from poor kiting in phase 2.  I cannot encourage you enough to learn how to kite Anub in normals where it doesn’t matter if you botch it up.  It’s tricky at first, but a little practice will make you pros at it.

The Adds

  • Once Anub has picked his first target, we sent all of our melee to Burrowers that we left up from phase 1, which was 4 DPS.
    • I know it should probably go without saying…but if you are targeted do not go to the adds!  Kite anub as far away from the adds as you can to buy those on the adds as much time as possible before someone new is targeted.
  • We had our two ranged start cleaning up the little bugs as they spawn.  At first we had everyone on the Burrowers, but found that we became overwhelmed with the white bugs by the end of the phase.  Moving a few people on them early helped immensely.
    • The white bugs will spawn with 20k agro already set on one person in the raid.  Your goal is to kill these bugs before they get to that person and start beating on them stacking their debuff up.
  • It is important that nobody “tank” the white bugs.  Any more than 2 or 3 stacks of their debuffs going into phase 3 will likely lead to you being dead.
    • This is especially important for the tanks, who should try to avoid getting any stacks on them if possible.
  • If you find you have a bug beating on you for a period of time, call it out quickly, and get away from it if at all possible.
  • As long as your DPS is on top of the white bugs as they spawn, you should not have any trouble with this part of the encounter.  However, if you let the white bugs stack up, they will wreak havoc on your raid, and likely lead to a wipe.  There should be no white bugs up when Anub emerges.

Transitioning Back to Phase 1

  • When you are ~5-10 seconds from Anub emerging, your raid wants to group up next to the permafrost that is the furthest away from Anub.
    • This forces Anub to move to the direction you want him tanked, and gets your tanks set up without having to drag him halfway across the room to a permafrost patch, being frozen in an ice patch the whole way.

Phase 3

  • You will go back and repeat how you handled everything in phase 1.  Killing the first set of adds, and ignoring the second.

Tanking

  • Whan Anub is at ~31% health both tanks should pop a cooldown in anticipation for hitting phase 3, and getting nailed with leeching swarm.
    • Do NOTuse a health gain cooldown, such as last stand, as your first cooldown.  This will cause Anub to drain more of your life than may be preferred.  You will need to use your last stand-esqe abilities, but save them for later in the fight.  Start with something like Unbreakable Armor or Shield Wall.
  • Use every trick in your book.  You will need to use every trinket, cooldown, potion, healthstone available to you while you DPS gets Anub down.
    • This is no exaggeration.  You healers will be doing absolutely everything that they can to keep not only you, but the raid alive as well.  Every little bit that you can help them will be needed to stay alive until the end of the encounter.
  • Stun the adds as often as you can.  Any amount of damage that you can mitigate while tanking adds will help.
    • Creatively Kite the adds.  Stun, intervene, stun, run.  The more time you can buy your healers from you taking damage, the better you will be.
    • Once you hit phase 3, feel free to take the second set of adds off of the permafrost.  If they burrow, it’s less damage that you are taking.
  • Pray.

Healing

  • If you have a Holy Paladin in your raid, beacon one tank, and heal the hell out of the other.  Keep judgement of light up on Anub.  This is by far the easiest way to heal this phase of the fight.
  • If, like us, you don’t have a Holy Paladin in your raid you will need to assign heals to the tanks and raid.
  • One healer will need to focus primarily on the Anub tank, helping where they can on the OT.
  • One healer will need to focus primarily on the OT and the raid.
    • Resto Druid Tip!  As much as possible, keep both tanks fully covered in HoTs…and that really is asking a lot.
  • The only people in the raid that should be receiving significant heals during this phase are those with Penetrating Cold.  There are just not enough heals to go around otherwise.
    • Because people in the raid will be almost dead, it will be imperative that you get those with penetrating cold healed fast.  One tick will likely be enough to kill them.
    • Organize with your healing partner who will hit whom when the debuff goes out.  We opted for a “group 1″ is Priest, “group 2″ is Druid, if both in same group priest takes first alpha.
      • We found that just hitting the person with a CoH for the priest was enough healing for them to survive until I could get to them with a rejuv.
    • We asked people to save cooldowns for phase 3 to drop penetrating cold if they had them (i.e. Ice Block, Cloak of Shadows).
    • We asked people to save their healing potions and health stones for when they got the penetrating cold debuff to buy the healers a few extra seconds.
    • Our priest made use of Binding Heal when she was hit with penetrating cold to help keep herself and the tank up.
    • Prayer of Mending should be popped out on the tank everytime it is up, it will bounce about the raid, and every charge will be used.
    • Resto Druid Tip!  If your Penetrating Cold target doesn’t have an existing HoT on them to swiftmend and/or swiftmend is down, toss out a quick nourish to make sure that they get the heal needed before the DoT ticks and kills them.  Then hit them with a rejuv, and move to assist the second target.
    • Resto Druid Tip!  Glyph Rejuv for this fight.  While it may seem counter intuitive, you will need the bigger heals, especially if you are not optimizing your healers for the encounter, effectively making it more difficult.
    • Resto Druid Tip!  Use WG everytime that it is up.  I always targeted mine on a tank, to ensure that the was always a recipient of the heal.
    • Resto Druid Tip!  Save Barkskin for when you have penetrating cold.  Every little bit of mitigation will help!
  • Utilize any tertiary healing that you can.
    • VE and JoL are extremely helpful keeping the raid stable here.
    • We had our enhancment shaman throwing out chain heals everytime that his ability procced giving him a free heal.  A ret paladin with Art of War could effectively do the same.
  • Pray.

DPS

  • As soon as Anub hits 30% bloodlust.  If you don’t have a bloodlust, you will have to make up the DPS otherwise and hope that your healers have what it takes to keep the raid up longer to compensate.
  • One person with Mortal Strike should stay on Anub full time.
  • The remainder of the raid switches to the two adds left up from phase 1 and burns them as fast as then can.
  • Once those two adds are down, everyone switches to Anub for the remainder of the encounter.
    • DPS should use every cooldown they have available to them to get through the tail end of this fight.
  • Your DPS will need to have Anub down before a second set of adds spawn.

We lost two DPS at the very tail end (seconds before Anub’s death) of the encounter, but other than that we were able to keep the raid as stable as can be expected in this fight.  Having used only one kite phase, we were well ahead of the enrage timer for the encounter.

I hope that there was something helpful in here, however you decide to approach the encounter!  As always, if you have any insight on the encounter, or suggestions that may smooth out the strategy laid forth above, please feel free to leave feedback!

Good Luck and Have Fun! :)

3 responses to “Thoughts on 10 Man Hard Mode Anub’Arak with Healing Tips!

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  1. Mighty Nature Resistance pots during phase 3 work wonders as well. Ask your dps and healers to wait until they are ~20% health or below and then pop the potion. If the person is low enough the potion can potentially absorb 4-6 life leech ticks.

    The potion is mighty cheap to create as well. A few crystalized shadow and a vial is all it takes.

  2. @Sunkist – I never thought of that! I would think that frost protection potions would work well too!

    I will have to stock up on some of these for our next kill and see how they work out for us!

  3. I can’t help but wonder how a Discipline Priest’s bubbles would work for the last phase – absorbing damage without actually increasing your health bar much.

    Unfortunately we don’t run with a Discipline Priest in 10 man so I’m not entirely sure.

    I think the trick for us was to only drop 1 patch of white during the first phase then drop nearly all the others upon entering the 2nd phase. But, yeah, we didn’t need to hold them for a second kiting round either.

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