Naxxramas Strategy: Thaddius

16 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.

Thaddius

  Thaddius is the final boss in the Construct Wing. Though it requires downing three prior bosses to even get to him (versus the usual two), the reward is substantial as he drops a Tier 7 Leg Token. Thaddius is a fun fight which requires a lot of alertness and mobility, but should not prove to be too taxing on anyone if executed properly. Meter watchers will really enjoy this one, as players will frequently see their damage buffed by as much as 200% for the duration of the fight.

  Though the amount of trash between Gluth and Thaddius is low in terms of number of mobs, some of them hit very hard and need to be dealt with cautiously. Specifically, the giants are very dangerous. They should be dealt with solo if at all possible, as they can inflict substantial raid damage with their Stomp ability and fatalities are not rare when fighting them. Be aware that one of the invisible Shades may be included in the room immediately behind Gluth as well, and there is also a roaming (marauding?) pack of Marauding Geists that runs rapidly across the horizontal axis. By themselves, the Geists and the Shade are trivial, but they will destroy a Raid if they add in conjunction with a giant. Pull carefully, and do your best to draw the pull away from anything that might add, and you should advance fine.

Tanks– The fight will require two tanks, though Thaddius himself will only require one. This is because there are two mobs, Stalagg and Feugen, who must be engaged and defeated before the battle is joined with Thaddius himself.

 On entering the room, you will notice that Thaddius is on a platform at the far end of the room. To the left and right of the entry doorway are two ramps; Stalagg is at the top of the left one, and Feugen at the top of the right. Both must be defeated to move on to the Thaddius stage. Prior to the start of combat, the Raid will split into two groups. Each group will require a single Tank and a single Healer. If a third Healer is present, they will be acting in a DPS role. The Raid Leader should try to balance the DPS of the two groups as evenly as possible, as Stalagg and Feugen must die within a few seconds of each other, if not simultaneously. Move the two groupings to the base of their appropriate ramps (nothing will aggro at this point) and you are ready to begin the fight.

  Tanks will initiate the event by running up their ramps and body pulling the minibosses. Engage immediately and frontload as much aggro onto them as possible, as they will soon begin using their one difficult ability – they will, in tandem, toss their tank across the room to the other platform. From a tank perspective, it’s not such a big deal – simply acquire the new target and load some more aggro into it. As long as Healers are aware and switching targets, this phase should go smoothly. Call out the health remaining on each miniboss as they get down to lower levels (one DPS group may need to back off a bit to allow the other to catch up), and when they are both between 80-100k health, both groups should go into a full burn phase. Once the minibosses are down, run immediately to the end of the platform opposite the ramp and jump down. Note that timing must be precise on this, as jumping too soon will cause you to miss the platform and land below, necessitating the need to run back up the ramp and try again. If you have a Druid tank, consider shifting into Cat and using Dash to make clearing the gap a cinch.

  Assuming that both Tanks make the jump, one will engage Thaddius and the other will switch to DPS gear and melee. If you are the Offtank, do not switch over to DPS gear before you are certain that the Main Tank has successfully jumped down to Thaddius’ platform as you will be tanking him should the Main Tank miss the jump.

  Once engaged in melee, both tanks will not need to move too much other than to strafe around the edge of his hitbox, described later in “polarity”.

DPS– Thaddius tends to be somewhat kinder to Ranged DPS than he does to Melee, but should prove eminently doable by any Raid composition.

  To begin with, your Raid Leader will disperse the entire Raid into two, 5-man groups. Overall DPS output between these groups should be as close to even as possible due to the mechanics of the miniboss event in the fight. It makes no difference whether one side or the other has more Melee, Ranged or Spellcaster DPS (though shorter-range buffs like Inspiration / Totems should be considered insofar as the effect on groups). Each group will move to the base of either the left (Stalagg) or right (Feugen) ramps with their respective Tanks and Healers and wait for the Tank to initiate combat, which will be done via body pull. Simply run up the ramp a short distance after your Tank.

  At the top of the ramps is a miniboss; each one has just under 900,000 health in 10-man Naxx. DPS is free to let loose on them and burn them both down. Do not use any long cooldown abilities at this stage – better to save them for Thaddius. If you want to burn a shorter cooldown (such as Blade Fury, Icy Veins, or Berserk – or Trinkets), do so at the beginning of the fight so that the cooldown will be up shortly after Thaddius is engaged.

  There is one responsibility that is incumbent on the DPS during the miniboss event – they must die as close to simultaneously as possible. Monitor the remaining health on each, and slow DPS on one if it gets too far ahead of the other. When they are both at approximately 80-100,000 health, DPS should be on a full burn of both.

  Immediately after killing the pair, Thaddius becomes active. DPS should immediately run to the end of the platform furthest from the ramp up, and jump down onto Thaddius’ platform. If you have some kind of ability that slows falling speed (Slowfall, Levitate, Engineering gimmicks) or an ability like Sprint, activate it before you jump to make sure that you land it, as the timing on the jump must be precise or you will short it and land in the goo below (necessitating that you run all the way back to the ramp and try it again).

  Once you have successfully made it onto his platform, close in on his position. Ranged DPS should move to within 10-15 yards of him; Melee should advance directly to the near edge of hit hitbox. Be ready to move once he starts assigning polarities (covered later in “polarity”).

  Thaddius has a very short enrage timer (5 minutes, I believe – though it may be 6). However, it should not be a problem (given his damage buff) for any Raid that makes it this far to pump out enough DPS to get him down comfortably ahead of that, provided attrition does not cut too deeply into the overall output.

  Long cooldowns should be used as soon as he establishes his initial polarity shift and the Raid has moved to their positions, assuming that everyone made the jump down. In that scenario, wait until anyone who missed the jump is able to engage him before using something like Bloodlust, in order to return the maximum benefit.

Healers – The fight will require two Healers. If a third healer is present, they should gear for DPS as best as they can; Druids and Shamans are probably the best candidates for the DPS flex spot. If you are assigned as DPS, refer to that section for your game plan.

  The fight will start off with the miniboss event; during this portion, the Raid will be divided into two equal groups. Each group will be assigned one Tank and one Healer, and the groups will each set up at the base of either the right or left ramps on their respective sides. The minibosses will be engaged via body pull by the Tanks, and Healers should run up the ramps with the DPS group after the Tank.

  Once at the top, the fight is a simple tank and spank with one very important mechanic that the Healers must be ready to cope with. Stalagg and Feugen will (repeatedly) exchange who is tanking them by simultaneously tossing their tanks across the room to the other platform. If a Healer stays locked on to one Tank, then that person will most likely be out of range to heal and the inbound tank will not have a Healer. Thus, Healers must be aware of the toss / exchange and switch their healing focus accordingly. If they do so, then this stage should go very smoothly as it’s a simple tank-and-spank with no other tricks.

  At the conclusion of this phase, run to the portion of the platform furthest from the ramp and jump down onto Thaddius’ platform. Take care in executing this jump as it is very possible to short it and miss the platform, landing in the goo and forcing you to run all the way around again. Priests can Levitate to make this a sure thing, and Druids should shift into Cat and Dash in order to minimize the chances of missing the landing.

  Once on the platform, the Healers should move towards Thaddius and close to a range of about 10-15 yards from him. You will need to be mobile throughout the fight, so do not position yourself too far to the rear. Once in position, one Healers should focus exclusively on Thaddius’ Tank, unless there is a window of time to heal elsewhere (though that Tank is top priority). Whichever healer is more capable of AOE healing should address the needs of the Raid as a whole, who will be taking some damage from polarity charges during the shift. Overall, though, the amount of healing should not be too burdensome provided everyone executes their polarity shifts correctly.

Polarity – This is Thaddius’ major mechanic while you are engaged in combat with him. Initially, nobody in the raid will be assigned a +/- charge. When you jump down, move to Positive or Negative depending on which side you are approaching from.

Raid positioning and movement during Thaddius

Raid positioning and movement during Thaddius

If you are coming from Stalagg’s platform, move to the “Negative” section. If you are coming from Feugen’s side, move into the spot that will house “Positive” eventually. Tanks and Melee should try to stay as far apart from their counterparts on the other side as possible, so don’t venture in much further than the edge of his hitbox. Ranged DPS and Healers can stay comfortably further back, about 10-15 yards from Thaddius, but not too far as you will need to be able to quickly clear the area if you have the wrong charge or risk damaging the Raid.

  A few seconds into the fight, Thaddius will shift polarities on the entire Raid. Initially, this will dub you as either “+” or “-“. Look in the debuff area of the screen, by the minimap to find out which one you have received, and move IMMEDIATELY to the appropriate side, should you find yourself on the side with the opposite charge.

  Note that the movement arrows in the diagram have it setup much like a roundabout, in that they do not run straight from one side to the other, but in a sweeping arc. This is important! If players run straight through Thaddius to change sides, they will cause a lot of damage to each other en route as they will pass to close to opposite charges. By swinging out in a wide arc (about 10 yards off Thaddius or so), they will not damage each other and things will be very orderly.

  If you are stacked among people with similar polarity, then everyone will receive a buff to damage. If you are among oppositely charged players, then everyone takes damage. Simple enough.

  Thaddius will shift polarities regularly throughout the fight. Be aware that sometimes he will cause yours to change and necessitate a move, and sometimes your polarity will remain unchanged. Pay attention and move or stay put accordingly.

  If you can master the polarity choreography, this is a very easy fight. Don’t sweat the enrage timer, just be calm and orderly about movement and he should be vanquished easily. Once it’s over, one lucky Raider will collect their T7 Leg Token, and you may take the teleporter located on his platform to return to the central hub of Naxxramas.

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