Divine Illumination – Healing Your Way Through The Military Quarter
Posted August 27, 2009on:
Here we are again: another Divine Illumination, and a few more bosses dead! Please bear through the verbosity of these last few posts; once we’re finished in Naxx, we’ll be putting out posts with only one boss fight per entry. Onto the third section of Naxx, the Military Quarter.
Looking through the archway into the Military quarter, you gasp at the sight of legions of undead warriors honing their deadly craft. Death knight pupils and their masters train continuously, preparing themselves for the Lich King’s dreadful war. A chill runs down your spine as you realize the only thing stopping these deadly foes is your small group of ragtag heroes, any of whom can easily be swayed into the Lich King’s service with one blow of a runed blade.
The most feared death knight trainer, Instructor Razuvius was appointed by Kel’Thuzad personally to oversee the instruction of all the Lich King’s death knights. He’s rumored to have a move so devastating only one of his own pupils can withstand it.
Disrupting Shout – Hits the entire raid for moderate unavoidable damage once every 15 seconds.
Jagged Knife – Targets a raid member once every 10 seconds. On top of the immediate damage, the move also applies a bleed, causing 2,000 damage every two seconds for the next 10 seconds
Unbalancing Strike – Strikes the tank for 350% weapon damage as well as reducing their defense by 100 for the next 6 seconds. As this move hits for well over 100,000 damage on plate, the only people exposed to this should be his Death Knight Understudies.
Healing assignments are usually pretty easy for this fight. In 10 man, thanks to the mind control orbs, healers can focus their heals on the Understudies while one healer can take care of the residual raid damage. In 25 man, the composition changes a little in case you require healing priests to mind control the Understudies. If you use a tank to corral the remaining, hostile understudies, they should be given their own healer. 2 healers is ideal for raid healing as the disrupting shout hits a lot harder on 25 man difficulty. The rest should be used to keep the Understudies alive so that Razuvious never is allowed to freely roam through the raid.
The most important thing to heal through, especially on 25 man, is the bleed Razuvious casts on random raid members. It does a lot of damage, and if the bleed is on a person who is mind controlling the adds, it will shorten their channeling duration; this can lead to early releases which allow Razuvious or his Understudies free on the raid. Paying special attention to the Understudies is critical. While they may have a lot of health, the understudies cannot survive the entire duration of the fight if you do not heal them. Letting Razuvious kill all the understudies is not productive as he cannot be tanked in any other way.
A few tips for those mind controlling through the fight:
- Mark the understudies so everyone knows which will be tanked off to the side for backup and which will be mind controlled by which player.
- Always have at least 2 mind controls on 25 man, though 3 is preferable for beginning groups.
- Create a line of communication between the mind controls. In a perfect situation, the first mind control should go in with bone shield and taunt, and 10 seconds later the next understudy should put on their bone shield and taunt. Following the bone shield cool down after this first swap will help keep things paced out (i.e. after the first switch, every time your bone shield cool down is up you should be taunting Razuvious).
- As soon as Razuvious has been taunted off your underling, drop the mind control and recast to ensure you have the optimal channeling duration when it’s your turn to tank.
Heroism/Bloodlust should be used early on this fight. The quicker the fight goes, the less problems you’ll have with mind controls dying. Also, for new groups, having the 2 extra underlings on 25 tanked to the side away from the group is a good contingency plan in case one of the mind controls are slain. And a reminder to the mind controls — when your mind control is over or released, you will have highest aggro. A bubble will help absorb damage and prevent casting set back while you try to regain control over the mob.
Gothik the Harvester
Another instructor of the Lich King’s Death Knights, Gothik is a master necromancer who can willing summon undead minions at a moment’s notice. Apparently, he and Heigan share a sense of fashion and a love of death charger skulls…
The general rule of thumb for this fight is that the dead side should receive about twice as many healers as the live side since the dead side is more likely to be overrun and the adds hit harder. Otherwise, it’s in everyone’s best interest to split the raid evenly, with those receiving extra damage to undead targets (*cough pallies*) to be positioned on the dead side of the middle gate, near the exit.
During phase 1, Gothik will be immune to any damage. Instead he will summon 19 waves of adds over the course of 3 1/2 minutes. The adds get progressively harder as the waves come, starting with easily killed Trainees, then the death knights, and finally a few Death Knight Riders. These adds will be spawned on the living side. Once the living side kills them, their souls will attack players on the dead side of the gate. As more and more adds start coming, it is up to the healers to keep players alive through the aoe damage. The trainees on either side do not pose much of a threat, but the death knights do whirlwind for heavy damage on both sides. The riders have an annoying shadow bolt volley while alive, and an potentially nasty drain life as undead; their spectral horses also have an AOE stomp on the dead side that will slow movement speed. The trick really is to have good communication between both sides so that the dead side team does not get overrun with souls. Healing is more difficult on the dead side due to the abundance of aoe damage and lack of control in deciding when the mobs are arriving.
After 4 minutes, Gothik will hop down from his balcony and start attacking the live side group. He’s quite a squishy mage; his damage primarily comes from his shadow bolts that hit lightly on the tanks. The real thing to watch out for is his Soul Harvest debuff, which will reduce everyone’s stats by 10% each time he adds a stack (which is once every 15 seconds). Essentially, this will wipe the raid at 10 stacks, or 2 1/2 minutes after he joins the encounter. Every 10 seconds, Gothik will teleport from one side to the other. At 30% health, the center gate will open and both sides can slaughter the Harvester at will.
Heroism/Bloodlust really isn’t necessary in this fight, especially not against Gothik himself since only half the raid will receive the benefits of the buff. Healing doesn’t really get very tricky until the last section of the first phase when numerous adds are piling up, so conserving mana can be helpful to burn through the last waves of adds. If the raid happens to be strong on dps and especially AoE, an alternative strategy is to keep everyone on the living side and allow the souls to pile up on the dead side. Around the 11th or 12th wave, the center gate will open, and the undead adds will be able to be aoe’d down.
The Four Horsemen
The pinnacle of Kel’Thuzad’s Death Knight Guards, the four horsemen taunt players into their quarters. They are made of the formidable Thane Korth’azz, the fearsome Lady Blameaux, the former paladin Sir Zeliek, and the infamous Baron Rivendare.
Marks – Each horseman casts their mark on nearby players, causing increasing damage with each stack of the debuff and decreasing the threat on the target by 50%. By the fourth or fifth stack, the marks become too damaging to live through, forcing players to switch to a different target. Thane and Baron will cast their marks in unison; Blameaux and Zeliek will cast theirs in unison as well. If no one is in range to receive a horseman’s mark, that mark will be cast as a much higher damage rate upon the entire raid. After they have cast 100 marks, the remaining horsemen will enrage, wiping the raid.
Meteor (Thane Korth’azz) – Summons a meteor on top of a nearby raid member. Like the meteors in the final trash of BC’s Arcatraz, the damage is spread out amongst nearby raid members, encouraging stacking of the team killing Korth’azz.
Unholy Shadow (Baron Rivendare) – Cast upon tank every 15 seconds, doing moderate shadow damage and leaving a shadow damage dot for 8 seconds.
Shadow Bolt (Lady Blameaux) – Unlike the front horsemen, Blameaux does not melee. Instead, she will shadow bolt the player closest to her for around 8.5k
Void Zone (Lady Blameaux) – Will cast a void zone on a target within 45 yards of her. The zone does over 4k damage every second, and lasts 75 seconds.
Holy Bolt (Lord Zeliek) – Also does not melee. He will continually cast holy bolt on the nearest player.
Holy Wraith (Lord Zeliek) – A holy bolt that will chain to nearby players, increasing the damage each jump by 50%.
In 10 man Naxx, the easiest way to heal this is to have one healer on each tank for the front two bosses, and 1 healer straddling the two “tanks” in the back of the room, or having the healer soak the magic damage for one of the rear bosses and healing both themselves and the other soaker. In 25 man Naxx, the spread can change a bit depending on your preferred way of killing them. Either way, there should be one healer on each soaking tank in the back (by tank, I mean a player agreeing to go in the back of the room where the two rear bosses run to soak the damage). If you choose to dps down Baron and Thane simultaneously, there should be one raid healer and one tank healer in each group. If you choose to down Thane first, and then move to Baron (i.e. not switching) there should be 2 group healers and a tank healer in Thane’s group and only a tank healer in Baron’s group.
While there can be a lot of juggling due to the Marks the horsemen cast, the fight is fairly straight forward. At the beginning, the biggest threat is Thane’s meteor — if people are separated from the rest of the group, it can easily kill them. Stacking up is really the only way of preventing player death. 3 marks should be when the bosses are switched if you are using that strategy, allowing people plenty of time to move before the damage becomes overwhelming and a burden on the healers. As the front fights on, the tanks in the back will have to pay close attention to their own marks and the healers will have to be sure to heal themselves as much as their comrades. Any time of multi-player heal (especially binding heal) works well while waiting for the front to finish and alleviate some of the stress in the back. So long as the front stays group together, the only real possibility of a raid wipe comes from the rear bosses killing a player and casting their mark over the entire raid. Therefore, having strong healers in the back is a good idea to ensure the raid survives to take on Blameaux and Zeliek. Once the raid is in the back of the room with Blameaux and Zeliek, everyone must look after their own marks and the space around them. On Blameaux’s side, the void zones are powerful enough to kill players who stand in them long enough to finish their casts (it’s not worth getting off a heal at the expense of dying). On Zeliek’s side, everyone needs to stay spread out, as only a few jumps of Holy Wraith will be enough to kill the next unlucky player to be hit. If your raid has made it to the rear, however, you’re all but guaranteed a kill =D
Heroism/Bloodlust is best used on Thane to knock him down quick and keep the Meteor strikes to a minimum. Otherwise, it’s just on the healers to be attentive to their own marks and mana pools while keeping others alive. Don’t try to be the hero who saves the person standing in the void zone/has 6 marks on him; not only will he need to learn to move out of the icky patches, but it’s probably not worth sacrificing yourself over someone not paying attention to his surroundings.
Congratulations! After taking out a sizeable chunk of the Lich King’s army, you’ve won an all expense paid trip to the lovely Cape of Stranglethorn. Enjoy the lush greenery, beautiful beaches, and the great fishing. Take a visit to the ancient ruins dotting the coastline, complete with scalp-happy trolls and flesh eating zombies, or join Hemet Jr. on a wild hunting extravaganza. All of this, plus 4 nights food and lodging at the luxurious Booty Bay Inn. For more information, contact Zipper Travelsocket at 1-800-Go-Booty.