Naxxramas Strategy: Grobbulus

15 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.

Grobbulus

Grobbulus is the second boss of the Construct Wing. To begin with, there is a short gauntlet of slimes that move slowly across the hallway in three rows (we have adopted “Frogger Boss” for this as our unofficial name). If you come into contact with one of the moving Slimes, you will die. They are not targetable and thus not killable, though one will dissipate if it kills someone – like a moving landmine. Move through them carefully, and they should not be a problem. I personally try to divide the empty space between them into thirds, and run 2/3 to the right of an advancing slime. It’s not a bad idea to have a rezzer wait on the far side to recover anyone who gets hit by one. Mages may blink through the last row if they choose, and Paladins may bubble and run straight through. Once past these slimes, you will again have to cross the debuffing slime canal; once across, recover your health and mana in preparation for clearing the room out.

  Grobbulus’ room contains several giants. They pull as pairs, simply place a tank on each one and DPS them down. Care should be exercised on the ones located at the far end of the room that they be pulled (and drawn back nearer the door, if possible) so that Grobbulus himself does not patrol down during combat. Once the adds are cleared, it’s time to begin preparations for Grobbulus.

Tanks– The fight will require two tanks – a Main Tank for Grobbulus himself, and one for the Fallout Slimes that spawn. The Fallout Slimes are not overly dangerous; your best-geared tank should be on Grobbulus himself.

  Begin the fight by waiting for Grobbulus to move to the ramp (coming down, or going up) in the back left corner of the room. The Main Tank should simply tag him with a ranged weapon (or a Hunter Misdirect) to bring him to the base of the ramp. The Main Tank should, at this time, be facing so that you are looking directly up the ramp. Once engaged, begin slowly moving backwards and pulling him with you.

  Grobbulus will periodically spawn poison clouds on his location. By moving him in a clockwise direction around the perimeter of the room, you will ensure that the cloud always remain behind the tank / melee group. Some Raids will move him quickly enough as to allow small gaps between the clouds, and some will instead keep the edges nearly on top of each other. Which method you prefer is at the discretion of the Raid; the only requirement is that he be kited slowly enough that, by the time a full revolution is made, the clouds previously located in a region where the tank is going have dissipated.

  As he is being kited, the Offtank should remain positioned to the inside of the kiting path (just off Grobbulus’ Right (injector) arm, if moving clockwise) and DPS him. Be sure that you stay behind his shoulder though – at no time should you move to the front side of him unless the Main Tank falls (and you’ll likely be wiping then anyhow). Periodically, he will spew slime onto anyone in front of him – theoretically, only the Main Tank. For each person in front of him at the time of the discharge, one Fallout Slime will spawn. They have reasonably high health and emit an AOE nature damage aura. When spawned, it is the Offtank’s job to immediately taunt the Slime and drag it back behind the melee group, so that its aura does not damage them. Do not move it into the poison clouds, but just to the inner edge, so as not to incur additional damage. Once safely clear of the Melee DPS, hold it there while Ranged DPS burns it down, then return to DPS on Grobbulus until another Fallout Slime spawns. In the event that you are hit with a Mutating Injection and need to clear the area, bring the Fallout Slime with you (as it’s Ranged DPS on it, this should not impact the DPS). If you are hit with the Mutating Injection and a Fallout Slime spawns before you can return, pick it up as soon as possible once you get in range to taunt it. Mutating Injection protocols will be detailed later in this text.

DPS– Grobbulus is a DPS race. The longer he is alive, the faster the frequency at which he will use his Mutating Injection. Thus, it is incumbent on the DPS that he be downed before the chaos overwhelms everyone.

  At the outset of the pull, if the Raid has a Hunter available, then a Misdirect should be used to help establish aggro on the Main Tank and facilitate easy kiting. Ranged DPS should be setup well away from the kiting path towards the middle of the room. Some movement will be necessary for the Ranged group during the portion of the fight where he is moved along the long segment of wall (after the first turn). Otherwise, the Ranged DPS may continue to deal damage to Grobbulus unabated throughout the fight, with two exceptions. One will be if you are hit with a Mutating Injection (see later section), and the other will be during the period when a Fallout Slime is spawned. Immediately on spawning the Fallout Slime, all Ranged DPS should *immediately* shift focus to it in order to get it down as quickly as possible and reduce the chances that two of them are active at one time. However, if Grobbulus is significantly low on health (10% or less), remain focused on him and simply allow the Offtank to hold the add as it is more important to get Grobbulus down at that point.

  Melee DPS will be on Grobbulus himself for most of the fight, unless hit with the Mutating Injection. Positioning is crucial, however. Melee will want to line up near the edge of his hitbox, just off his right arm (the injector arm) and slightly to the rear. Do not stray too far towards his backside, as you do not want to be caught in one of the clouds that he lays down. Similarly, be very careful that you do not move to his front half at any point in the fight. This is because his spraying action, the one that spawns a Fallout Slime, is actually designed to spawn one Fallout Slime for every target in front of him. As the Slimes have both high health and a reasonable damage output, it is essential that the Raid not be forced to handle two or more at a time. By staying off his rear quarter, you will ensure that he only spawns single adds. Continue to strafe along with the Main Tank and Grobbulus as he moves throughout the room, and as long as your positioning is true you should not cause undue strain on either the Healers, Offtank or Ranged DPS.

  Bloodlust is best used early in this fight, when Mutating Injections are coming at a longer spacing and the Raid is alive in its entirety. It is also safe to begin blowing longer cooldown abilities at this point, as the encounter will become significantly more chaotic as it wears on, and the cooldowns may well come up for a second usage during a more desperate burn phase. Finally, if there are enough Shamans present that a Nature Resistance Totem can be laid, do so. Due to the DPS requirements, it is not advisable for Hunters to use Aspect of the Wild.

Healers– Grobbulus will require 3 Healers. Healers will set up with the Ranged DPS in more or less the middle of the room, skewed slightly to one end or the other when the Main Tank is moving Grobbulus along the short walls. If a Druid or Shaman is available, assign them to spam heal the Melee DPS. A dedicated Main Tank Healer should be assigned as well, though that should not preclude others from assisting. If you have an AOE Melee Healer as well, the splash healing from that person will usually be enough extra to make the Main Tank healing duties comfortable. The remaining Healer should help to pick up damage sustained by the Raid and top off those who are returning from Mutating Injection, and heal the Offtank when they are occupied by a Fallout Slime. Healers should be aware of who has received the Mutating Injection and be prepared to heal them quickly upon its completion, or simply HoT the injectee in advance.

  Be aware that Mutating Injection will show as a disease; DO NOT CLEANSE IT. If a Shaman is present, under no circumstances should they use a Disease Cleansing Totem in this fight as it will wipe the Raid. This is because Mutating Injection will bloom and disperse its poison cloud if cured, and it must be allowed to do so in a safe spot, not the middle of the Raid. The exception to this is if you, as a player with a Cure Disease ability, are infected by it and have already moved to your ‘safe’ spot, then cleanse yourself immediately to speed your return to the fight, rather than wait for it to run its course.

  Because of the large amount of Raid-wide damage sustained during this fight, it is very challenging to heal, especially when the Mutating Injections start coming with rapid frequency. Do your best to make sure that your healing counts for as many people as possible!

Mutating Injection– This is the key mechanic to the fight, and every member of the Raid but the Main Tank is a potential target. What it is, is a sort of “time bomb” that will be applied to a random player. Shortly after receiving it, that player will “blow up” and leave a cloud of poison – similar to the ones that Grobbulus himself is trailing behind him – on their position. A player will have about 10 seconds’ time from when they receive the debuff to move to a safe location and let it bloom, at which point, the player will take several thousand points worth of damage and be cleared of the debuff.

  The key is where you move to let it bloom. Whether you are a Healer, Offtank, or DPS, you need to be alert for when you receive it. Depending on your position, you may have a few seconds (like, 2-3) to execute some kind of action. If possible, set a DoT or two on Grobbulus before (or as) you move – but only if you have ample time to work with. You should *ALWAYS* be moving to a location where the Main Tank has recently kited Grobbulus, and never to a location where Grobbulus is going to be kited to with the next 2 minutes. If you are the very first person injected, the best place is to simply run up the ramp and drop it. The idea is, leave them behind the Raid where they will not be an issue. Once you’ve dropped off your “bloom”, return as quickly as possible to your station.

  As the fight goes on, he will use the ability with increasing frequency, and it will be chaotic trying to find a place to let it go. This is a major reason why he needs to be burned down fast, as it’s nearly impossible for the Healers to keep up after awhile. Help them out by using a healthstone or a health potion after your injection pops, if you’re in a later stage of the fight.

  Depending on who you ask, this fight is either very, very easy or a major annoyance. If executed properly, with a focused Raid, he should go down easily every time.

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