Naxxramas Strategy: 25 Man Updates

24 03 2009

  Most of the strategy stuff that I wrote – ok, all of it -was before I’d ventured into Naxx-25. Now that I’ve been able to spend several weeks grinding it out, here are some of the notable changes to the specific fights that vary from the 10-man versions.

Plague Wing

Noth the Plaguebringer

  Noth doesn’t do too much differently, he just does more of it. When he summons Skeletal adds, you’ll be getting enough that 2 tanks are going to be needed to pick them all up and hold them comfortably. One of the easier ways to make a tank’s life less complex is to position the majority of your raid on the side near his balcony. Thus, adds have a longer ways to run and more time for the tanks to acquire their targets.

  Noth will also blink occasionally while on the ground; in the old 40-man, this would wipe his aggro (and conceivably does so in 25 man as well). However, I haven’t noticed any real problems with him slipping off the Main Tank and onto another target after he does this, so I can’t confirm that the aggro dump is still there.

  What really becomes an issue with him in 25 man is decursing. Noth will now populate the debuff on up to 10 people at a time, and with only Druids and Shamans among the healing classes that can decurse, it’s difficult to catch them all without help. Be sure to notify all Mages and Moonkins that they will NEED to assist with decursing when it is up, and it should be smooth sailing. He’s really not any tougher than 10-man.

Heigan the Unclean

  There’s nothing different about him, aside from that fact that he takes positively FOREVER to down if you have more than half of your raid who doesn’t get the dancing aspect.


  Again, not much changes. Loatheb is still Loatheb. With 20 million health, though, you need to really lay into him in order to get him down before the Dooms start to overwhelm healers.

Arachnid Wing


  Fairly minor difference for him, in that the fight begins with 2 Crypt Guards already spawned. Simply pick them up with 2 tanks and DPS them into the dirt before turning your attention to the big fella. Other than that, the mechanics of the fight are unchanged. He spawns only one Crypt Guard at a time when they do appear in the fight, so no need to prepare for a pair of the nasties.

Grand Widow Faerlina

  This is one of two fights in Naxx-25 where you need a Priest, unless you want to just brute force it. Despite Blizzard’s oft-quoted policy shift to not require specific classes, they fail here. The reason is this difference in the mechanic used to dispel frenzy; where the adds would simply be killed in 10-man to accomplish this, in 25 man they must be mind controlled and made to kill themselves (via a special ability; I don’t have a Priest, so I don’t know the name but it’s apparently quite obvious in their pet bar). Note that there are 6 adds as well. 4 are of the MC / dispel frenzy variety, and the other 2 are just nuisance adds. Offtank those two and kill them first, or just have the tank hold them if that’s more convenient. Another offtank should hold the 4 (one type is a Worshipper, one a Follower. I honestly can’t recall which is which, but the number of each present is a giveaway). When she is about to frenzy, have a Priest Mind Control the add, then pop off its dispel / sacrifice ability the moment that she does. You should only have to do this 2 or 3 times for most raids before she’s dead.

  The other option is to simply offtank the adds and heal through her frenzy. Once it starts hitting, it will hit very hard and frequently, and she won’t have the ability expire through any means other than her death – so get a lot of healers spamming on the tank if you want this method – which will also get you the “Mamma said knock you out” achievement.


  Nothing much changes, though timing your Bloodlust / burn phase is far more crucial here as she will very frequently kill a tank during web spray while she is enraged. Get her to 31-33% or so, stop DPS until after a web spray, and then go bananas with every cooldown that you’ve got. Hopefully, you will only have to ride out one more web spray before she folds. Be prepared with every HoT, Earth Shield, Guardian Spirit, etc on your tank for that enraged web wrap and your odds of living through it go up exponentially. It may also help to have someone spamming cleanse poison as you emerge from that web wrap; if this can be done by a Moonkin or Ret Paladin, allowing the healers to queue up heals instead of the cleanse, it will help immensely as the Necrotic Poison debuff is substantial to deal with in this phase. Poison Cleansing Totem does not seem to remove it.

Construct Wing


  I hate him in 25. While this is doable with 5 healers, 6 or more is recommended. He will need 3 tanks, one taking melee and 2 eating the Hateful Strikes. Hatefuls hit a TON in 25 man, somewhere around 20-25k a piece. Supposedly he’s bugged and hitting harder than he’s supposed to. Whatever the case, he’s a menace.

  There is some kind of an issue with Tauren tanks on him whereby the hitbox is too large and he can deal consecutive Hatefuls; this can be fixed with by consuming a Deviate Delight beforehand and you should do so if it is available.

  I’ve also used a strategy lately, as a Shaman healer, of requesting all three tanks remove and re-equip a piece of gear right before the pull to drop their health slightly. As he is pulled, I dump my instant cast Chain Heal macro, using Tidal Force for a near-guaranteed critical. That procs Ancestral Healing on all three tanks, +25% armor value. I feel like this helps significantly for the start of the fight, because the first 10 seconds are often the most critical. Healers are still spooling up their first cast in a lot of cases, and if he kills off a tank during this time, your fortunes just took a turn for the worse.

  Other than that, as a healer you should be gearing for longevity. Use the totem / libram / idol that “reduces cost of X by Y mana” over a higher throughput one, unless your mana is good enough to chain cast for 3 1/2 – 5 minutes. As a tank, just like 10 man, try to rotate through all of your available mitigation abilities so that something is always up.

  Despite all of this, there will be hiccups and issues where he gets a tank or two, and it’s invariably downhill from there. Just recover your wipe and try again if that’s the case, ol’ Patches is a real pain.


  If anything, he’s easier on 25 because he goes down so fast. No new abilities, but be sure to save your Bloodlust for 30-35% as that’s when he will step up the frequency of his mutating injections, and that’s really the only potential issue with him – unless your raid still fails at dropping the clouds in a good spot. Most of the time, though, he isn’t even alive long enough to make a full revolution around the room.


  While Gluth himself doesn’t do anything new, his Zombie Chow is a certifiable pain in the butt now. Instead of one grate spawning them, it’s three. You’ll likely need 3-5 people kiting to be safe, in case one is killed. Two healers should be able to keep the kiters up ok, though they may draw healing aggro frequently. As a healer, the easiest way to sort through the chaos and find who you should heal (the kiters) is just to look for the debuff icon in raid frames.

  Once your raid gets used to handling the legions of Chow in the room, it’s a fairly easy fight.

  Do take note as well, Gluth can be buggy about the drop-down. If a healer places some kind of a HoT on one of the tanks before you drop out of the pipe, he will frequently aggro to that healer as soon as they land and one-shot them (even if they drop a few seconds after the tanks). While it doesn’t happen all of the time, better to not risk it and just wait to start with direct healing when you land.


  Once again, no new abilities on this fight. The real challenge lies in choreography, as losing more than 5 people from the raid will reduce the stacking damage buff significantly enough that the enrage timer is very difficult to beat. 25 man Thaddius has over 30 million health, and 6 minutes to get him down. Make sure that people understand the movements between phases, execute them well,  DPS effectively and he should go down without too much trouble.

Military Wing

Instructor Razuvious

  Razuvious is a very different fight in 25 man. The mind control orbs are absent in this fight, and he now has four Understudies. The fight more or less requires that you have 2 Priests, minimum, to execute successfully. If your raid has only one Shadow Priest, it is beneficial for the non-Shadow Priest to equip some +hit gear for better Mind Controls. Additionally, all forms of Shadow Resistance – Paladin auras or Priest buffs – should be clicked off. This is because the MC’d Understudies can gain the protection debuff and it will increase the failure rate for the Mind Control “heartbeat” checks.

  Priests will Mind Control one add at a time, who will then tank the Instructor using the same strategies with the Bone Shield as in 10-man. He will more than likely kill 2-3 of the adds during the fight, so be prepared. Adds not currently being Mind Controlled should be held by the tanks a short distance away from Razuvious. It is important that the tanks pick up the adds as Mind Control breaks, because they will otherwise charge off into the raid and start killing healers, Mind Controllers, or anyone else. Be sure to allow enough distance between Razuvious’ tanked spot and the body of the raid in order to make sure that they can be picked up.

  Raid healing is intensive due to his shouts and Jagged Knives; if you have Shamans present, they are wonderful for handling this. Simply pick the targets for the Jagged Knife debuff as the start point for your Chain Heal and spam away. Anyone healing the Understudies may find it easiest to make a targeting macro, something like:

  • /tar Instructor
  • /assist

  This should cause you to change your healing focus to whomever he is beating on at the moment, as picking the correct Understudy from a crowd can be difficult, especially if large pets (like Devilsaurs) or Tauren are present near him.

  I’ve actually done this fight with 3 healers, myself as a Resto Shaman healing raid, and a Priest + Druid on Understudies. It was taxing, yes – but doable. Just be sure that you’re getting heals into the right places at the right times, keep the Understudies viable, and don’t let your Priests die to the DoT.

  Should you have no Priests, or if you like a challenge – this fight is supposedly doable with a quartet of Hunters spaced around the four corners and using Distracting Shot. Given the possibilities for one misstep and failure, I don’t really recommend this avenue. If you want to try it, there’s a video of the execution out there somewhere online – but I’m not responsible for your repair bills!

Gothik the Harvester

  Again, more or less similar to the 10 man version. Gothik himself is very easy, and once you get to him the fight is more or less won. The adds, particularly Dead Side, are far more difficult to contend with. Control of when the Riders are sent over is key, though the Dead Side should be careful not to get overwhelmed by the Trainees and their Arcane Explosion AOE. Stack more people on Dead Side as they will need the DPS help – my raids are usually 14 / 11. Each side should also have 2 tanks, though Live Side can have just about anyone, such as a Death Knight in Frost Presence, for the second tank.

The Four Horsemen

  Due to the increased health, the quick burn strategy is no longer possible. Additionally, Korth’azz and Rivendare will be traded between the front corners, so DPS must be divided between the two to absorb Meteors.

  To start with, appoint two high-health tanks and a healer for each to the back two, Blaumeux and Zeliek. They deal significant damage strikes, often 8-10,000 at a time – so the healers will need to be able to bring some heavy single-target heals. Paladins work very well, but defer to more experienced healers over class.

  In front, tanks #1 and 2 will be split off to their respective sides. Divide up the remaining DPS more or less evenly between the two sides, and healers as well. These two groups will be staying put on their respective sides until Korth’azz and Rivendare are down.

  On the pull, start it off the same as 10-man, and blow Bloodlust and all cooldowns to get as much damage into Korth’azz as possible. If you’re on the Rivendare group, save your cooldowns until Korth’azz arrives. His Meteor is the biggest concern for wipes, and so he is the priority kill target.

  When stacks reach 3, all tanks switch. The rear pairings will simply exchange sides and resume, with their Horsemen targeting the nearest foe (make sure it’s not the healer!). The forward tanks will run towards each other, taunt the opposing Horseman when in range, and return to their corners with him (Korth’azz goes to the Rivendare starting spot, and vice versa). This is the moment of vulnerability with regards to Korth’azz, as poor timing on this exchange can lead to a Meteor landing squarely on a tank during the switch. If that happens, it’s likely going to one-shot that tank and all hell breaks loose. Try to time the exchange right after a Meteor if possible to prevent this, or have 2-3 DPS (melee preferred) from each side run with their tanks to help absorb it, in case it falls.

  Once the mark stacks build to 3 again, repeat the switches. As long as nobody panics and everyone executes their movements precisely, the fight should be fairly easy. As Korth’azz and Rivendare die, people will migrate back to the rear Horsemen and ease the burden there – and they will all be on the ground in good time.

Frost Wyrm Lair


  Most of his mechanics are exactly the same. The major difference, like Noth before him, is that decursers will need to be aware of more debuffs. He will cast Drain Life on up to 5 targets, and prompt removal is essential not only for the sake of keeping raiders alive, but preventing Sapphiron healing himself.


  Surprisingly, he’s remarkably similar to the 10-man version, with 2 notable differences.

  Firstly, he will now spawn 4 Guardians of Icecrown. Because of this, and the amount of damage that they deal, it is optimal that 2 tanks handle these, with each one picking up a pair. Keeping those tanks alive until the adds spawn, and then through that phase, is a crucial part of the fight. They aren’t really that dangerous in terms of burst damage, it’s more that healing tends to get lost in the shuffle with iceblocks, mana detonation and the like.

  The second new wrinkle in this fight is the Chains of Kel’Thuzad. He will periodically mind control two or three players who then gain a significant increase to their healing and damage; these players will also turn against the raid (or heal Kel’Thuzad, depending) and thus need to be CC’d as fast as possible. Have Sheep, Hex, Entangle and Fear all readily available, and Hunters would do well to leave Freezing Traps out regularly as well. Note particularly that Druids – especially Moonkin – are dangerous adds in this phase as they cannot be sheeped or hexxed. After about 10-15 seconds, the Mind Controlled player will regain control of their character and be able to return to the fight.

  Additionally, he will wipe aggro completely when he uses this ability. Be sure that your tank is allowed to re-establish it, should Kel’Thuzad’s position change.

  There are many horror stories about this ability. Personally, I was a part of a wipe when he got a hold of a particularly potent Moonkin. Said Moonkin promptly killed 3 healers (including me!) through Moonfire, Starfire and Hurricane – and that was the end of that attempt. The really scary one (and I don’t have a confirmation on this, but still…) was with a guild which had him at ~3% when he hit a Priest with the Chains – and the Priest put Guardian Spirit on Kel’Thuzad right before he reached zero health. I don’t think that the vent channel would be a place for children if that happened on one of our runs.

The index for the rest of the strats




One response

10 04 2009
Ex Back

Hey, nice tips. I’ll buy a bottle of beer to the man from that chat who told me to visit your site 🙂

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