Naxxramas Strategy: Grand Widow Faerlina

9 01 2009

editor’s note: to date, I have not been able to run any of Naxx on 25-man (heroic) difficulty, so the boss mechanics may change slightly in that format. This post is addressed from the 10-man setting.

  Many, if not all of you are taking your first steps into Naxx by now. On most servers, a large number of guilds have successfully cleared it in its entirety at this point as well. I’m writing more for those who are new here, in order for you to better help understand the mechanics of the fights and what to expect so that you can successfully collect your epics! Regardless of what role you have in the fights – tank, DPS or healing – I’d recommend that you read over the roles that each group will be performing in order to have a clear understanding of how the whole fight will go.

Grand Widow Faerlina

  Grand Widow Faerlina (GWF, for short) is the second boss of the Arachnid Quarter. After you’ve downed Anub’Rekhan, return to the room nearest the Naxxramas hub and proceed to the door directly across from the ramp down from the hub. Trash pulls will be exactly the same as the ones which you encountered on the way to Anub’Rekhan. Beyond the first room, there is a second antechamber with similar mobs; you may elect to either kill them all in the hope of a random Naxx epic drop, or clear only one side and work around the perimeter of that wall. Beyond that room, you’ll want to veer to the left as the instance opens into a rocky passageway. Do be aware of the single spider patrol in this region; ideally, they should be engaged and destroyed so as to prevent any mishaps whereby they might come upon your Raid at an inopportune time. At the bottom of the slope, the passage opens into a room full of cultists, with Grand Widow Faerlina standing on a raised dais at the back end of the room, and flanked by 4 of her consorts. Pull each group of cultists and burn them down; they will not cause her to add. When you are done, you should have only Faerlina and the 4 Worshippers left.

Tanking– The fight will require 2 tanks. Your Main Tank will occupy Faerlina. She hits fairly hard, and the tank will need to have high health and mitigation to survive the brief periods when she enrages. Your Offtank will also need to have a decent health pool, though it will become progressively less strained as the fight moves on and the Worshippers are killed.

 Begin by marking the four Worshippers with raid icons to designate a kill order, and clearly communicate this burn order to the Raid – I.E., Skull – Cross – Triangle – Diamond, or something. It is absolutely imperative that the raid know which Worshipper will be the target when called upon to burn one, and equally important that the wrong one is not killed. The reason for this is, killing a Worshipper will dispel Faerlina’s enrages as long as she is within a short distance, approximately 15 yards or less. By managing these adds, you can control the most dangerous threat that she can present to the Main Tank.

  On the pull, the Main Tank will grab Faerlina, and likely tank her close by to her starting location. The Offtank will be responsible for picking up all four Worshippers. This is actually the trickiest part of the encounter; if your Offtank can successfully round them up and control aggro on them, then you have the entire fight in hand from the beginning. The Worshippers should be tanked in close proximity to Faerlina, but far enough away that they don’t receive any splash damage (via something like Killing Spree, Whirlwind, a glyphed Maul, etc.)

  From a Main Tank perspective, it’s a simple tank-and-spank. Save your defensive cooldowns for the enrages; though you’ll only need them for a few seconds, she can put a hurt on a tank in that window with a 200% damage buff. Don’t move her around, unless you happen to be in on of her Rain of Fire spells, as you want to stay close to the adds or you will outrange the dispel effect.

  The Offtank is crucial in this fight. While you should be deploying your AOE tanking abilities to hold the adds (Swipe, Consecrate, Thunderclap, or whatever it is that Death Knights do), you need to understand that they are very fragile – only a bit over 80,000 health. You can likely lay into the Worshipper marked as the first kill target with abandon, as you aren’t likely to kill him before the raid is instructed to do so. Monitor the health of the others, though, and cease all damaging abilities on them – including passive ones like Thorns or Retribution Aura – when they get around 20% health. Once they hit that point, you can assist the melee DPS if you want, or stand off to the side with your Followers and contribute whatever you can – shouts for Warriors, renew Faerie Fire and Demoralizing Roar on Farelina for Druids, off-heal or cleanse if you’re a Paladin, or do whatever it is that Death Knights do (besides stand around looking cool) if you’re a DK. As long as you have threat on the Worshippers, you’re good.

DPS – Fairly straightforward. Once the Main Tank engages, so do you. All DPS, melee and ranged, should focus on Faerlina. There is no need to relegate any of your damage output to the Worshippers at the outset, as the Offtank will do more than enough damage to them and one of the worst things that you can do is kill one before their time.

  About every minute or so, Faerlina will enrage. This is the cue for DPS to burn down one of the Worshippers, as designated by your kill order, in order to dispel the effect. Raid Leaders should call this out over vent to avoid confusion. As long as your Raid has 3 or more ranged DPS characters, melee DPS should be fine if they simply stay put on Faerlina the entire time; better to bleed her health than run all over the room. Once the designated Worshipper has been dealt with, all DPS may resume on Faerlina.

  There should be no reason for DPS classes to use AOE or multiple target abilities; again, killing Worshippers at the wrong time is one of the worst things that you can do. Be especially mindful of the Mages’ Mirror Image ability. The clones will attack whatever they want, and sometimes will sheep a Follower – allowing it to heal to full health, and thus take longer to burn when the time comes. Shaman Earth and Fire Elementals should similarly not be used on this fight unless all of the Worshippers are dead, in which case the Fire Elemental may be permissible.

  Throughout the encounter, Faerlina will periodically cast a Rain of Fire spell, which will cause AOE damage to anyone standing in the targeted area. The effect is different from the Blizzard cast by The Shade of Aran, in that it is completely stationary. Do your Healer a favor and avoid breaking WoW Raiding Commandment #1 by standing in the fire. Simply strafe to one side or the other and pick up where you left off, or you will suffer a few thousand points of damage per second.

  Faerlina is something of a DPS race, in that you will eventually run out of Worshippers to kill and thus have no means to quell her enrages. because of this, it’s imperative that you do your best to use long cooldown abilities and trinkets to their fullest extent and maximize your DPS.

Healers– One Healer should be assigned to each tank. At the outset of the pull, the Offtank will be taking some decent damage and require a fair amount of attention. After the adds start to drop, the requirement for healing does too, and the OT Healer will be able to focus more of their efforts on people who break WoW raiding Commandment #1. The Main Tank Healer will have their hands full, and should not be counted on for any raid healing; anything that they can do in that regard is just icing on the cake.

  Should your Raid have a third Healer, or an off-spec (like an Elemental Shaman, or a Moonkin Druid), that player will probably be able to move to a DPS role around the time that the second Worshipper is killed as Offtank damage inbound will be easily managed at that point. Until that happens, the third Healer should be functioning in a raid healing role as the other two may not have enough time to divert their attention from their respective charges.

  Faerlina also will use a Poison Volley ability on the Raid. Should you have a Shaman along – regardless of spec – this ability can be easily countered with a Poison Cleansing Totem. Also note that the presence of this Totem may alleviate the need for the offspec Healer to be healing, and free them up to DPS, depending on the ability and class of the Offtank Healer. If you do not have this luxury, then it will fall to the third Healer – and possibly, eventually, the Offtank if it happens to be a Paladin – to cure the poison DoT as soon as possible.

  Really, this is a very simple fight and the mechanics should not prove difficult for any player to handle. The Raid will need to put out enough DPS to kill Faerlina before a 5th enrage can occur and not stand in fire to succeed – and that’s about it.




One response

28 05 2009

How my guild does it is that one tank, sometimes the offtank will pick up the adds, then the DPS goes nuts and just aoe’s. If the healers are on top of their game, healing through the enrage is not all that difficult, on 10 and 25 man. I haven’t done it the “real” way since.

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