Naxxramas Strategy: Noth the Plaguebringer

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.

Noth the Plaguebringer

  Noth is the first boss of the Plague Wing, and a frequent “first target” of raids. Trash pulls leading up to him are relatively easy, but must be executed properly or they have the potential to wipe the Raid. They will come in two varieties: mixed packs of Ghouls / Slimes, and Gargoyles (either single or in pairs).

  The Ghoul / Slime pulls are fairly easy. Tanks should pick up the Ghouls, and nearly all DPS will focus them as the first kill targets. Each Slime needs a Ranged DPS assigned to it for the purpose of keeping it occupied via kiting until the Ghouls are dealt with. Hunters work best for this, though Mages are a good option as well. While the Ghouls don’t do anything extraordinary, the Slimes have some abilities that must be reckoned with. Notably, they melee for VERY high damage on non-tanks (and even tanks), and will shift colors frequently, making them immune to either Fire, Frost or Nature damage. For this reason, Mages would be advised to kite them via Frostfire. Fortunately, they move at a ridiculously slow pace – reminiscent of a similar mob in Mauradon. Kite them around the entry area circle where you zoned in until the cavalry arrives.

  Gargoyles are a different matter. Care should be taken on the pull so that the single patrollers are not aggroed along with the stationary pairs, as three is almost a guaranteed wipe unless your Raid DPS is incredible. The reason for this is twofold: first, they have a stacking debuff that they will apply to the entire Raid. After awhile, the damage reaches the point of unhealability so the mobs must be downed before this happens. The second ability, which works against timely deaths of the mobs, is called Stoneskin. They will begin a slow cast of this ability at 30% health. If not killed before completion, the Gargoyle will become immune to damage and heal itself to full health. For this reason, when facing a pair of them, all DPS (with the exception of the Offtank) *must* concentrate their efforts on the same target. Also note – if the Gargoyle is kited past the entrance to the Plague Wing, it will reset (though the aforementioned Slimes and Ghouls do not adhere to this rule). After a few pulls, the Raid will descend the stairway into Noth’s room.

Tanks – The fight will require a Main Tank and an Offtank, and the mitigation requirement will be reasonably high for both. The Offtank will need to be very skilled at picking up adds, in addition to soaking damage. If the two tanks are similar, it may be in the Raid’s best interests to have a Tank with slightly inferior gear on Noth himself if the other one far supersedes him or her in the ability to gather adds.

  Noth is generally tanked in the center of the room. To start the fight, make sure that everyone is just inside the doorway to the room and either charge him or body pull. Once engaged, he does not require the Main Tank to do anything special with regards to movement after he has been acquired.

  The Offtank will be in charge of picking up the summoned skeletal adds. Periodically, Noth will say “Rise, my soldiers! Rise and fight once more!”. When he does this, two melee skeletons will spawn from the bone piles in the room. These generally seem to come from the right side (front and rear), and will usually aggro onto Healers fairly quickly. The Offtank should gather them and hold them until the time comes to DPS them all down. Noth will summon the adds multiple times in each of his ground phases, and the Offtank will typically have about eight of them by the time that the kill order comes. When tanking them, be sure that they face away from any other Raid members, as they cleave.

  After being on the ground for a bit, Noth will teleport himself up to the balcony of the room. He cannot be damaged at this point in the encounter. Instead, in addition to the Offtank’s collected adds, he will continue to summon in more skeletons. Both tanks should work to pick them up as soon as possible, and concentrate them as tightly as you can for efficient AOE. they are not very difficult to manage at this point in terms of mitigation; the real challenge lies in the actual acquisition of the targets and maintaining aggro. After the Raid has dealt with the adds for awhile, Noth will teleport back down into the field of combat. The Main Tank must then reacquire him (easily done), and the battle resumes as it had upon initial engagement. This cycle will repeat itself several times; by the fourth time that Noth teleports down, he will enrage and wipe the Raid. However, it should not be a problem to down him before that time.

DPS– The DPS role is simple for this fight. When Noth is on the ground and targetable, all DPS should focus on him. Use your trinkets and cooldowns on him, as abilities and items with a 2-minute timer should be ready for use in each ground phase if they are popped at the outset. Due to his enrage timer, it is imperative that the DPS maximize their output on him when they can.

  When he teleports to the balcony, DPS shifts to taking down the adds that have accumulated and continue to spawn. Especially at the outset, AOE abilities are very useful in getting the situation in hand, and should be used liberally. Note that some of the adds which spawn while he is on the balcony (Guardians, I believe… I’m doing this from memory and may be wrong) have a strong AOE Arcane Blast and should be a priority kill target for single-target DPS like Melee characters. With a little bit of effort, the DPS should have no problem bringing the number of adds under control so that everything is easy to manage when Noth arrives for his next ground phase.

Healers– Each tank will require a Healer for the ground phase. When Noth is on the balcony, healing can shift more towards the Raid. If the Raid has three Healers, one can be designated for each tank, and one on the Raid. Healing should not be too strenuous for the entirety of the encounter, though the Offtank may require some extra attention near the end of the ground phase, and AOE / group healing will need some fast action during the balcony phase when the AOE skeletons are active.

  The major mechanic for Healers in this fight is decurse. Without a Druid Healer (or a properly specced Shaman Healer), then the Raid must rely on a Mage to perform the role. If no decurser is available, then this encounter is likely not doable.

  Noth will cast his curse on 3 members of the Raid about every 30-45 seconds (I never ran a timer, but it seems about there, roughly 2x per ground phase). If not cleansed within 10 seconds, it will spread to others and cause extreme (think raid-wiping) amounts of damage. Be aware that he can and will curse Hunter Pets and Warlock Summons, though an alert BM Hunter may get his or her pet decursed on his own if specced correctly. Again, if your Raid is running a 3-Healer setup, consider who may decurse when assigning Healers. If only one decurser is among them, priority should definitely be to make that person the Raid Healer for the fight so as to give them more room (and GCDs) to look for and cure the curses.




One response

23 04 2009

Amazing guide man. Thanks

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