Naxxramas Strategy: Heigan the Unclean

13 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.

Heigan the Unclean

  Dancin’ time! If you don’t know what I mean, then you will soon enough (and then, probably while you’re dead and watching the members of your raid who know how to do it, do it). Heigan is a very easy boss once you understand and execute the mechanics of the fight; as he has no enrage timer, he can effectively be done by as few as two people (Tank and Healer) if they are able to execute their duties correctly, though it will certainly take a long time at that rate.

  To begin with, the trash pulls leading up to Heigan are among the most trivial in the entire instance. They are not dangerous in the slightest and easily chain-pulled and AOE’d down. Just be sure that you clear the majority of them, if not all of them, as the only danger that they present is a random pack aggroing into the rear of your Raid as you move through. Soon enough, you will reach Heigan’s room. have the Raid inch just inside the wall to the right (you won’t aggro him if you stay to the wall), and get ready to start.

Overhead of the zones for Heigan. Start position is the X, and exploding segments marked 1-4

Overhead of the zones for Heigan. Start position is the "X", and exploding segments marked 1-4

Tanks– Heigan requires only one tank. He will melee for decent damage, so mitigation is important. The Offtank would only be needed in the event that the Main Tank dies to some unfortunate circumstance. However, it’s a safe bet that (should that happen), you’ll be wiping anyways, so the Offtank can go full DPS for this fight.

  The Main Tank will begin the fight by simply running at him and tagging Heigan with a ranged weapon, at which point he will charge into the Raid. Pick him up and establish some high-threat abilities as soon as possible, because this first phase is where the biggest threat to pulling aggro is likely to happen. You’ll want to bring him right to the middle area of the segment marked “1” in the diagram above. Shortly after engaging him, you’ll see segments 2-4 erupt in what looks like an explosion of green lava. As soon as this occurs, drag him to the middle of segment “2” and wait for the eruption again. This time, all of the segments but #2 will be affected. Move on to #3 at this point, your next safe zone, and after the third eruption on to #4. Once the eruption occurs with segment #4 as the safe zone, begin moving back the way you came, to #3, then #2, and then #1, pausing at each step for the eruptions. Eventually, Heigan will leave you and run back to his platform. Do not follow him! This is the start of phase #2, so head back to segment #1 and wait for it to begin, as detailed in “Dancing” below. Once he’s done making you dance, Heigan will run back into the melee group and the fight resumes as before. Just make sure that you’re moving him after each eruption, and you’ll be fine.

  Finally, make sure that the kiting is done well away from the platform, approximately the middle of the segments. Heigan has a debuff which slows casting speed considerably (300%, I believe, but it may ‘only’ be 200) and thus allowing him to get within 30 yards of the Ranged DPS and Healers is very bad. The debuff will not be an issue when he is transitioning phases.

DPS – when the Main Tank pulls, DPS will immediately split into 2 groups. All Melee DPS will follow the Main Tank and Heigan around the floor, and all Ranged DPS will run up to his starting position on the platform. Melee may want to hesitate for a second to let the Main Tank get a few aggro-generating shots in, as it is imperative that the Main Tank be able to kite Heigan effectively. Ranged DPS should also do their part to wait a few seconds before they really cut loose; though things like auto-shot are certainly fine, don’t blow all of your trinkets and your PoM Pyroblast, etc right up front. This is the point when you want to use a Bloodlust, if one is available – wait about 10 seconds into the pull and pop it, since you’ll never have more DPS available than this moment. if there is a Hunter in the Raid, Misdirecting the Main Tank at this point would be advisable in order to help cement aggro.

  The reason that the Ranged DPS moves to the platform is because of the casting debuff mentioned in the tanking section. Stay towards the center of the platform if possible to be sure that you don’t get afflicted with it, or your DPS will plummet.

  For Melee DPS, you may want to consider standing more on the side than behind Heigan as he is kited. The rationale being, if a tank is in the center of the segment and dragging Heigan, positioning yourself behind him might mean that you are standing right on top of the next eruption and, while you may survive one of these, 2 will kill you almost without exception.

  By the time your Main Tank has moved Heigan to the second segment, aggro should be firmly established. Blow off everything that you’ve got for DPS and put as much of a hurt as possible on Heigan now. He’ll be kited around for about 90 seconds from the moment of engaging, when he switches to phase 2 and runs back to his starting spot. The moment that you know this is coming, run back to the #1 segment right away. When Heigan arrives on the platform, he will channel an AOE effect which covers the entire platform area and ticks for ~7500 damage – basically, forcing the Raid away from him and to the floor segments. What happens next will be covered in the “Dancing” section.

Healers – Realistically, Heigan is not a hugely intensive healing fight. One Healer should be able to keep the Main Tank up, and a second Healer should focus on topping off anyone who gets caught in an eruption and isn’t immediately killed by it. If there is a Shaman in the group, you will want to have them lay a Disease Cleansing Totem near the edge of the platform, between segments 2-3 if possible. Though this would preclude the usage of a Mana Spring Totem, there will be ample time to recover mana during the dance phase and thus it isn’t an issue. Keep an eye out for anyone that may be diseased and cleanse it when possible, as it reduces maximum health by 1/2 and applies a DoT. In the event that the Raid is running with 2 Healers that are both Resto Druids, you will want to appoint a disease cleanser due to the powerful nature of the debuff. When the first phase ends and the second starts, don’t tarry on the platform and run immediately with the Ranged DPS to the segment marked “1”.

Dancing– Some people call it “The idiot check”. Most people call it annoying. It’s an unavoidable part of the fight, though – and if you can execute it correctly each time, then you can beat him every time. People seeing Heigan for the first time usually die on this phase; it takes a bit of time to get used to the rhythm of it. Once you do, though, it will feel pretty easy. If you perish on the fight, make the most of the view by watching the pattern and seeing where the floor erupts, and where it doesn’t.

  Also note, the floor segments are shaped roughly like pizza slices in that they are narrower at one end. Running a bit closer to Heigan’s platform (but not too close that you get hit with his AOE) will allow you to move from one segment to the next faster, and thus allows more slack. The disadvantage to running closer, though, is that the safe areas are narrower as well and your margin of error tightens up. Personally, I prefer being about 10 yards off the platform edge.

  When you are dancing, note that you will not have time to cast anything but instant spells. Don’t be tempted to do otherwise, as doing so means that you will fall behind the pattern, and falling behind means certain death. Ranged DPS may be able to cast some instants provided that Heigan is still targeted, but with the exception of Warlock instant-cast DoTs it’s not very advisable. As a Shaman, I like to leave him a Searing Totem for company as I run off, but DPS is not really necessary during the dance phase. Healers should also resist the temptation to cast even Flash Heals during this phase – instants only. One healing item that is strongly advisable is the Disease Cleansing Totem mentioned previously. Ideally, drop this between segments 2 and 3 as you run. This is also a good time to use an Innervate or Divine Plea to restore mana, so that you can end the phase with nearly a full bar.

  At the start of this phase, you will receive a message that he begins channeling a spell. This means that the entire Raid should report immediately to the segment marked #1, if you haven’t already started there. The moment you see segments 2-4 erupt, it’s on – and the eruptions will happen at a much faster pace than they did in the first phase. Immediately move to segment #2 as its eruption subsides. #3 will blow up in front of you almost the instant that you get there, as will #1 behind you. Immediately run to #3 at this point, and so on. The eruption order for this phase will *always* start with #1 as the safe segment, and the raid will run 1-2-3-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-3. Upon reaching #3 at the end of this sequence (your 10th move), you will see the message “Heigan the Unclean rushes to join the fight”, or something along those lines, at which point the Main Tank picks him up, and the Ranged DPS / Healers report back to the platform, and the fight continues as before.

  Lastly, note that the end of the dancing phase will typically see Heigan hit most – if not all – of the Raid with the disease debuff mentioned earlier. If the totem was available and laid down in the right spot (and the Shaman who laid it isn’t dead), then it should resolve most of the issues passively. If anyone is still diseased, though, be sure to cleanse it as soon as possible. Off-specs with healing spells should be aware of the debuff and assist with removal if they can.

  …And that’s all that there is to it! As long as your Raid can dance, Heigan will drop. I’ve personally been in more than one raid where only 4 people lived to the end, and the fight took over 10 minutes in each case – but it’s a doable endurance fight that isn’t too taxing outside of the dancing element.

“The Safe Spot” – Currently (as of this writing), there *is* a spot that is bugged on this boss, where you can stand in all phases and not die. I expect it to be hotfixed at any time, so I’m not making it a part of strategy… but it’s located right off the back edge of the platform, against the wall in a little alcove in the segment marked “4” on the diagram – about 4-5 yards from the platform. Use it (or, more accurately, depend on it) at your own risk. (note: I tried this for grins last weekend. I died. May well be hotfixed, or I may be an idiot.)




One response

22 01 2009

The safe spot was fixed in 3.0.8.

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