Naxxramas Strategy: Maexxna

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.


  The final boss of the Arachnid Quarter is much what you’d expect – a big, angry spider. After downing Grand Widow Faerlina,  turn around and head up the tunnel that you came down. Just past the point where you came into the tunnel initially, it will break to the left and you’ll encounter a few more trash pulls. Nothing particularly threatening again, simply AOE them down while a tank holds them in place. At the end of the corridor is a closed door (with a tooltip that labels it as “doodad”). Through this door and to the left, you will work through several more pulls’ worth of spiders, both semi-substantial elites and the nuisance packs of Skitterers. If you have a Warlock in the party, it’s wise to place “Detect Invisibility” on all of the party members – or at least the tanks – before you clear this run, as the area will sometimes contain Shades, a more dangerous mob that should not be allowed to take the group by surprise. Be aware as well, some of the groups follow patrol routes. They should not pose a problem as long as the tanks remain aware of their surroundings, as handling 1-3 packs worth of pulls is not terribly strenuous. Eventually, you will see a spiderweb ramp on your right which leads up to a hole through the wall. This is Maexxna’s chamber. Enter and move slightly off to the left, sticking close to the wall while you rebuff for the fight.

Tanks – Maexxna only requires a single tank. Due to the very real possibility that even a well-geared tank can catch a series of bad breaks during her enrages, it’s not entirely a bad idea for your second tank to remain in their mitigation gear and DPS as best they can.

  The Main Tank should engage Maexxna by simply running towards the middle of the room. Throw something at her if you have time and can do it on the run (Avenger’s Shield, Feral Faerie Fire, etc), but you’ll have a few seconds to actually establish threat on her while your raid runs into position. Once engaged, move her near the center of the room, with your back towards the opening that you entered her chamber through. Once you’re set up, you’ll pretty much be tanking her in place this whole time.

  While she has several mechanics to the fight, only two are truly dangerous to the Main Tank – Web Wrap and Enrage. During the Web Wrap, she will stun the entire raid for a few seconds. It is not an avoidable attack and you will still be meleed by her while stunned. While not a huge concern for most of the fight – so long as your healers can keep you more or less topped off, and hopefully have some HoTs or reactive heals ticking – the Web Wrap becomes a major concern when she Enrages at 30% health. Save all of your cooldowns for this time if you can – avoidance trinkets and potions, Health Potions, Shield Wall, Barkskin, Last Stand, etc. Having them available should keep you standing through the burn phase, likely 30-45 seconds. They’ll be especially important immediately after the stuns, as your Healers are all stunned too.

  It is at this burn stage (health < 30%) that the Offtank needs to be on their toes. If you’re already in full mitigation gear, be ready to pick up Maexxna should something happen to the MT. You should be entirely geared and ready to go but for one last thing (defensive stance, shift to bear, righteous fury, shift presence) as a backup, unless your group has enough familiarity with the fight to know for certain that they won’t need you – your DPS is secondary to the vital role of safety valve should your main tank fall, as just a few seconds’ time can mean the difference between downing her and a 2% wipe.

DPS – Fairly straightforward here. When the Main Tank engages, DPS will run in to the rear of Maexxna. Try to minimize the amount of pot-shots you might take at her on the run-in so that the Main Tank can establish solid aggro. Once in position behind her, cut loose.

  Melee will not be moving much for the entire fight, simply sticking to her backside and going all-out. While she may cocoon a Melee DPS person from time to time, simply run back in to engage her as soon as you are freed. Note that there will be some minor adds that spawn repeatedly throughout the fight. Their damage output is nothing more than a nuisance, but if you have some kind of AOE ability (Consecrate, for instance, or Whirlwind, Fan of Knives, etc) you can help the raid by using it when the Spiderlings appear.

  Ranged DPS has a bit more of an important role. Your job will be the same as Melee initially, run behind her and DPS. However, Maexxna will frequently cocoon a player and stick them to the back wall (roughly every 45 seconds, though I’m not sure of the exact timer). This person will be immobile and have a hefty DoT applied to them that will cause death in about 10 seconds without healing. However, the DoT stops when they are broken free of the cocoon. All Ranged DPS should be on their toes for these cocoons, and immediately shift DPS to the cocoon to free the trapped raider. The window of time before the trapped player dies is very short, and the cocoons do not take much damage to break, so it is absolutely essential that you respond quickly. Though the trapped  person will never be the Main Tank, attrition will cause the raid to fail if these get missed.

  As soon as the Enrage hits – 30% health – then the Raid will enter a burn phase where the objective is to get her down as fast as possible. Do not ignore cocoons in this stage, but use any available cooldowns – notably Bloodlust, if available – to get her down fast as she is very dangerous during this time. Also, be aware that Healers will likely all be focused on the tank at this time. If you require healing, use potions and/or healthstones if possible; if your group has only two dedicated Healers, it may be necessary for one member with healing spells to cease DPS and assist on healing the Main Tank.

Healers – On the initial pull, follow all of the DPS to position behind Maexxna. You will ideally want to find a spot (if possible) that allows you to heal both the Main Tank and any cocooned players that get thrown to the back wall. Ideally, the Raid has three Healers for this fight, though the third may be an offspec who gets pulled in to heal during the Enrage. It is paramount that the Main Tank remain as close to topped off as possible during the entire fight, as the raid-wide Web Wrap will cause some periods where healing is not available for a few seconds. Try to keep Hots and reactive heals active at all times if possible. Once she enrages, at least 2 Healers should be on the Main Tank to the exclusion of all others, as her damage output is largely unhealable by a single healer. Much like Gruul on later growth stages, this is a time when Healers should not be cancelling casts for fear of overhealing.

  At several points during the fight, she will cocoon a player and throw a player against the back wall. While cocooned, the player will lose health at a rapid rate and be unable to do anything. Ranged DPS should be breaking them out quickly and preventing the bulk of the damage, but if a healer is in range and can throw out a quick heal on them, it helps to do so. Be aware that they’ll likely need attention on returning to the raid, though AOE healing (Wild Growth, Chain Heal, Circle of Healing) should pick them up fairly quickly.

  Finally, there is a large volume of poison debuffing going on. While a Poison Cleansing Totem will assist with the majority of it, there will be occasions where the DoT stacks faster than the Totem cleanses, and it may be necessary to supplement it. This is particularly the case with the Main Tank, who will accrue poison debuffs from melee as well.

  A last side note about the Spiderling adds: while they are not very dangerous and die quickly, I personally noticed (as a Shaman Healer) that actually letting one of them continue attacking me was beneficial. While the damage is minimal and largely mitigated by armor and shield, the constant triggering of my Water Shield orbs was very beneficial for mana regeneration. So, should you find yourself in this rather unique situation, you may want to let the lil guy hang around for a while, unless he’s problematic, or brings friends!

  Maexxna concludes the Arachnid Wing of Naxxramas. Unlike the other final bosses in the Wings, she does not drop any tier tokens. However, be aware that a teleporter will spawn on the wall after her death that will take you back to the center of the instance if you click on it.




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