Naxxramas Strategy: Patchwerk

14 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.

Patchwerk

  Patchwerk, the first boss of the Construct Wing, is a DPS monster. More than any fight that you’ve seen in Naxxramas, this is a gear check for all parties. Tanks must have very high health and good mitigation; Healers must be able to pump out high-yield casts, and DPS needs to have the firepower to get him down before either a) he enrages, or b) he OOMs the Healers.

  Trash pulls leading up to him are not overly challenging. You will face Slimes and Abominations initially; the Slimes are easily tanked and AOE’d, while the Abominations will each require their own tank. All in all, they should present little difficulty to clear. Soon after entering the Construct Wing, you will encounter a stream of green slime. While possible to jump across (with a lot of difficulty, mostly, but easily with Sprint or Blink), running right through it won’t kill you. It *will* lower your stats by 90%, though, so that the moment you exit on the other side, you’ll me needing some food and drink to restore your health and mana back to where they belong.

  Trash pulls at this point are a little bit more serious. Patrolling mobs may frequently join in if you aren’t careful, and the Mad Scientists can make life miserable. They should be your priority kill targets if they are present in a pull. Be careful as you pull that Patchwerk is not present in a spot that he could be accidentally aggroed. He will patrol up and down the hallway (to your right, as you cross the stream), so it’s wise to get the pulls which are at the near end of his patrol route when he is at the far end of the hallway. Clear the entire area to be safe; you can’t afford to have anything add during this fight.

Tanks – Patchwerk requires two tanks. Due to the mechanics of the fight, it is very important that the Offtank have a significant health pool. Feral Druids are ideal for this role, if available. When assigning his tanks, bear in mind that the Offtank will actually be taking more damage than the Main Tank will. Because of this, the Raid may want to consider moving their typical Main Tank to the Offtank role as damage soaker, dependant of gear and makeup. The Offtank should also do everything that they can to exaggerate their health pool. If the player has gear which causes a slight loss in avoidance, but a significant gain in Stamina, then it would be prudent to consider the swap for this fight. All other available Stamina buffs (food, potions / flasks, etc) should also be activated, and a Scroll of Agility is helpful avoidance as well. If you have a Mage available to place Amplify Magic on the tanks, do so. You’re going to preparing for this fight much the same way that two tanks would prepare for Gruul.

  The Main Tank will start the fight by waiting for Patchwerk to patrol to the end of his patrol route, nearest to the Raid. When he reaches that spot, simply tag him with a ranged weapon, and he will cross the stream of goo (to bad he doesn’t get the debuff!) to engage. Pull him back a little bit if you need to, but you should be ok fighting him where you stand. Both tanks should immediately begin generating aggro on him, as it is essential that the top two people on his threat list are the tanks. If you are the Offtank, take care that you do not surpass the Main Tank’s threat, or your roles will reverse in Pathwerk’s damage mechanics and your Healers will likely not be prepared to deal with the shift for more than a few seconds. The Main Tank should stay alert for this occurrence throughout the fight and Taunt accordingly should the need arise.

  Once engaged, Patchwerk deals powerful melee damage. While he will hit the Main Tank fairly hard, mitigation counts for a lot here, and the damage should be sustainable by most Naxxramas tanks. The Offtank will be subjected to a Hurtful Strike mechanic that Patchwerk will use every second. Hurtful Strike can be mitigated, dodged, blocked and parried; when it lands, it will hit for about 7000-8000 damage (it cannot crit). The nice thing about it is, every usage of it adds threat to his two highest threat targets, further cementing the lead that the tanks have over the DPS. Still, the amount of damage is considerable. Use any damage mitigating ability at your disposal, and try to space your cooldowns out as much as possible so that some degree of bonus mitigation is always up.

  At 5% health, he will have a soft enrage, increasing his damage output even more. However, this is a fairly short timeframe from a health standpoint, so it should be no trouble at all to burn through it.

DPS– Much like Loatheb, this is a pure DPS race. Your tanks and healers are going to be under tremendous stress during this fight as they deal with Patchwerk’s considerable damage output. Additionally, he has a short enrage timer to contend with. Fortunately, this is a fight where DPS gets a chance to shine.

  On the initial pull, Ranged DPS need not move from their current location. Melee DPS should move quickly to station behind Patchwerk. If a Hunter is available, it is advisable that a Misdirect be used on the Main Tank; if more than one Hunter is present, they should also place their Misdirect(s) on the Main Tank.

  Two things about this fight make it a comfortable place for DPS: #1, his damage output is confined to the two people who are highest on his threat list, and #2, Patchwerk’s own attacks add threat to those two people. Thus, it is almost impossible for DPS to pull aggro from the tanks once he is engaged. Simply settle in to your spot and go through your optimal damage rotation. Do your best to keep bleeds, DoTs, player buffs and Patchwerk debuffs up while making maximum usage of cooldowns and trinkets. No need to be panicky and faceroll this one, you can be very methodical about watching your attacks and procs to optimize your DPS, because you aren’t going to get hit, and don’t have to move!

Healers– As much as this is a test for the tanks, it will also be a test for you. Unless you are overgearing the instance by a wide margin, your Raid will need three healers. In this case, Place your best single-target healer (optimally, a well-geared Paladin) as the healer for the Offtank as they will have to provide the bulk of the healing for the fight. If you have a Druid or a Shaman available, assign them to assist on the Offtank, and place the third healer on the Main Tank. Ideally, that second healer is a Shaman and can spam Chain Heal on the Offtank through the entire fight, with the dual effect of healing both tanks and providing the 25% armor buff. Druids work similarly well, just HoT up the Offtank and let your Wild Growth casts carry over to the Main Tank. Priests would be advised to use Power Word: Shield on the Offtank as well, and Earth Shields should be directed there too. If it sounds like the Main Tank is getting left out of the mix, it’s because they are – but one Healer plus some splash carryover should be plenty to keep them up.

  Patchwerk is going to push your mana reserves, as you’ll likely not be spending any time outside the 5 second rule. If there is a Boomkin or a Kitty Druid in your Melee group, don’t be afraid to ask for an Innervate. Resto Shamans will likely be laying Mana Tide Totem at some point during the fight (don’t forget to replace it with Mana Spring when it expires) and you may well have to drink a mana potion on top of that. In short, do everything you can to ensure that you don’t go OOM on this fight. Once it gets rolling, you should quickly develop a solid feel for the incoming damage and how to act in order to handle it. Patchwerk is very intense, but also (thankfully) brief.

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