Monday, December 7, 2009

ToC10: Anub'arak

Anubarak is the last boss in the ToC instance. On hardmode, he hits harder, has more HP, spawns two burrowers at a time rather than 1, and has only 6 total frost orbs available.

Raid Makeup:
Vortex prefers to run with:
  • 2x tanks (at least 1 who has an aoe interrupt)
  • 2x healers
  • 1x "frost-killer"
  • 1+ dps interrupt as a backup (shaman usually)
  • mix of ranged and melee dps

Phase 1:

When pulling, we prefer to pull Anub to the back of the room, with the tank against the wall. We drop our first frost patch immediately near the raid, and the offtank pulls the Burrower adds (as they spawn) onto the ice patch. We have 2 dedicated dps on Anub (usually melee), and the rest work on killing the adds.

We arrange ourselves like this, so that the healers will get initial aggro on the Burrowers and pull them towards the OT (who is sitting on the frost patch). Anub himself does not need to be on an ice patch, though if you'd like to tank him on one, that's fine. Some groups like to put Anub on the same ice patch, so that aoe can impact both burrowers and Anub at the same time.

All players on the Burrowers MUST be ready to interrupt Shadow Strike before it is cast, since the attack will one-shot any non-tank it happens to target. The Burrowers will all cast it at the same time, so your OT (and any extra interrupters) will need to coordinate who will interrupt which target (marking them will help).

If you have a warrior or paladin, they can interrupt both by themselves with shockwave, warstomp, or arcane torrent, though may need assistance from the dps if they are on cooldown: your raid will need to figure out what will work best with your makeup. There should never be any Shadow Strike that is not interrupted. This is very important. The Burrowers must also stay on the frozen ice patches, or they will disappear underground (hence "burrower") and re-emerge back up when the next wave of burrowers spawn, possibly overwhelming your interrupt crew or just eating your OT alive.

Anub will cast Penetrating Cold on two raid members at a time, an over-time DoT. In phase 1, this isn't too big a deal, your healers just need to be alert for it and not ignore the raid.

The player assigned to drop frost patches will go around the room and drop 3 frozen spheres. They are in the air, so this should be a player who is able to attack a ranged target (or death grip it down). We like to drop our first three frozen spheres into ice patches as above, in preparation for phase 2.

Phase 2:

At set, timed intervals, Anub will burrow under the ground and target someone to chase. He cannot be tanked or damaged during this phase: this phase is all about surviving until he re-emerges.

As he burrows underground, the whole raid except for the OT (who is still tanking the burrowers) needs to start running down to the south end of the room. Once he selects the target he's going to chase, everyone should clear out of the way and go back to the OT to kill the burrowers (in the north end of the room). Do NOT cross over the spikes: they hurt. Meanwhile, the chased target needs to run down to the south end of the room and put one of the frozen patches between herself and Anub'arak's tunneling spikes.

When the tunneling-Anub hits a frozen ice patch, he will be momentarily ice-blocked and slowed back down. Every moment he is chasing someone, he gets faster and faster, so the two keys to this phase are such:
  • Slow him down by having him run into a frost patch
  • Don't run out of frost patches.
Your raid needs to try to kite him as much as possible BEFORE having him hit an ice patch. This is especially important in hardmode, where you have a limited number of frost patches available. You should be able to handle each P2 phase with only 2-3 frost patches consumed.

IMPORTANT: Anub will switch targets every time he hits an ice patch OR someone (anyone) uses a threat-reduction ability such as fade (even if he's not targeting or chasing them!). The threat-reduction switch is a bug that will wipe the entire raid's threat table, causing Anub to aggro on the top world-threat--usually your healers. Avoid using any threat-reduction abilities in the burrow phase, even if he's not targeting you!

It is recommended to avoid using fade to force him to swap targets over using an ice patch, as it will not slow him down and does crazy things with threat. Doing so is more of a last-ditch effort in what would otherwise be a wipe, as the sped-up spikes will likely kill your aggroed healers.

Once the burrowers are dead, the whole raid needs to continue moving together, putting themselves on the far end of the room from where the current targeted player is going, thus maximizing how far the next targeted player is from Anub when he switches. Meanwhile, they need to all be killing the little white bugs. These are not tanked: they spawn with about 20k threat on a random player, and simply need to be dpsed down while the targeted player kites the bug. Avoid being in melee range of a little white bug that is aggroed on you! They stack an acid DoT on you that does considerable damage.

It is possible to put damage-reduction or immunity effects on the current target, such as a pally bubble, as long as they do not alter threat. This will allow a player to "tank" Anub's spikes for a few seconds while waiting for him to emerge or to reach an ice patch.

Phase 1 (Revisited!)

After a minute and a half, Anub will re-emerge and enter P1 again. Any little bugs that have spawned will still need to be killed, and a fresh set of ice patches need to be dropped. Due to the locations of the floating orbs, our second P1 phase is arranged much like this when he emerges.

The healers will need to be more careful of their positioning in relation to the OT to ensure the adds are picked up in time (ie before they get hit). Depending on taunt cooldowns, the MT or a dps with a taunt (such as a cat going bear briefly) may need to assist in temporarily tanking a loose add.

If you are forced to run another P2 burrow phase before you reach 30%, avoid using all 3 of the frost patches if you are on hardmode, as you will need an ice patch to tank the adds on for P3. Use paladin shields to draw out your kite phase as long as possible to avoid using the last ice patch.

Phase 3:

Avoid pushing Anub's health past 30% before the raid is ready for it, especially if there are lots of people with high stacks of the adds' acid debuff. If we do expect to push him to 30% before he burrows again, though (number of burrow phases will vary depending on your raid's dps), we try to kite him back up to the north side, positioning the adds on the northmost frost patch, and squeeze the healers and dps in the corner above the ice patch. This allows for healing stream totem to reach most of the raid in P3, and gives the OT more time to pick up the adds as they spawn.

Once Anub reaches 30% health, he will enrage and no longer burrow, though burrower adds will continue to spawn. Phase 3 is the point in time where all dps will focus on downing Anub as quickly as possible, blowing bloodlust and cooldowns to do it. Your OT will still need to keep an eye on the adds to make sure shadow strikes are interrupted. If you have a second interrupter, they can use a focus target macro to cast their interrupt without loosing target on the boss, like so:

/cast [target=focus] Wind Shock

Anub will cast Leeching Swarm, which sucks the health from the raid to heal Anub in return. About 250 health per second (hps) will negate this effect on the raid as a whole, enabling the use of passive healing (healing stream totem, judgement of light, etc) to keep most of the raid alive, though overall the raid health will drop when he initially casts the swarm (to around 25-30%). With two healers in 10-man gear, it can still be extremely difficult keeping the
4 primary healing targets alive
  • MT
  • OT
  • 2x Penetrating Cold Targets the healers NEED to focus on healing only these four targets. I recommend assigning each healer to one tank and one Penetrating Cold target: arrange who will get which Pen Cold target by group (and if the targets end up in the same group, arrange by alphabetical first and last). Each healer will thus have two people to focus healing on.

Those that get Penetrating Cold during P3 can also use major frost protection potions to absorb the damage, allowing more heals to be poured on the tanks instead. Shaman NR totems or hunter NR aura can help decrease the damage done by leeching swarm, as well.

Druids should try to keep hots rolling on both tanks (though focusing of course on their assigned tank target), and holy paladins should beacon one tank while healing the other (and pen cold target). Make use of healing stream totem, judgement of light, etc to help keep the raid afloat while burning through Anub's health.

Have fun, and good luck!


Jen said...

This was very helpful and extremely well-timed - I had my first attempts at 10-man Anub heroic last night. We had no idea that *anyone* dropping aggro might mess up the encounter, that explains so much...

I'd have a small request for help too: how the hell do I heal phase 3? We managed to get the first 2 phases fairly under control, but people kept dying in the end. The healers were me (resto druid) and a shaman, without any assignments, just whack-a-mole. My Rejuv wasn't enough to keep people up, my Nourish wasn't enough to heal the tanks, I couldn't go all-out healing on the raid because of the sucked. It's officially my least favorite fight, but if you or anyone else has useful advice, I'd love to read it.

Kae said...

Our Insanity was done with a resto shaman + myself (tree druid). I healed MT + first Penetrating Cold, shaman did OT + 2nd Penetrating Cold (added the debuff to our grid frames). I believe he used healing stream totem, and we've discussed (after the kill) using a nature-resist totem as well.

I keep as much of a full set of hots on both tanks as possible, and toss occasional wild growths around the raid to supplement what the totem and JoL are healing. For the Pen-cold target, I like to hit up a rejuv+swiftmend if avail, or a rejuv+nourish. For the tank... well, I generally am freaking out, the tank's popping every cooldown and pot/stone she can, and we manage to slip through it with some scary moments. Rejuv, Regrowth, LBs (letting them bloom often), and nourish-spam... NS+HT when I need to. I try to keep rejuv and a LB or two on the offtank as well, but only the instant-casts.

We don't usually run with healing assignments, but for this fight, we found we had to.

Hope this helps!

Jen said...

Thanks, it was really useful. My strategy was panicking, trying to rejuv everyone and failing miserably :P

Here's hoping the bastard dies tonight!

Mark said...

Looks like Kae answered this a bit since I typed up my reply, but I'll put it here anyway to hopefully give you some more help (I included some shaman specific stuff for your healing partner too).


Kae and I (resto shaman) did the healing for the first few kills, so this should be pretty relevant.

First, arrange the groups so that the melee in G1. Fill any extra spots with hunters, shadow priest and tanks (in that order).

Group 2 should be the healers and any ranged.

The main key to this is understanding Leeching Swarm -- people will *not* die so long as they're getting 250 hps. Have a paladin put up JoL on the boss and that should be enough to keep the melee/hunters alive. The ranged will be kept up by the shaman's Healing Stream totem (have him also drop NR totem during that phase too -- it provides a larger DPS increase than either Windfury or Wrath of Air do in that phase since resisted damage doesn't heal Anub, which makes him die faster)

It feels incredibly weird and goes against every natural instinct as a healer, but I assure you that none of those people will die with the passive healing. The only thing that will kill non-tanks in phase 3 is Penetrating Cold. Practice this in normal mode if you want to get the hang of it. It's really weird at first, but then it starts to feel a lot more comfortable when people begin to stabilize around 2k health.

Kae touched on it a bit, but with two healers, you just assign each to keep one of the tanks alive (we put Kae on the MT and myself on the add tank since Earth Shield works better with multiple targets). Then we account for the possible cases of Penetrating Cold and each heal one target (if they're in separate groups, I'll heal the person in G2, if they're in the same group, I'll heal the person alphabetically last since that's how we both have Grid arranged). It also helps to have DPS pop a Frost Protection Potion when they get Penetrating Cold since it gives a bit of a buffer before the first tick goes off.

The key here (especially as a shaman) is to never deviate from your assignment. You absolutely need to just focus on those two targets. Tanks take a ton of damage and it's impossible to ever keep them topped off due to the nature of the Leeching Swarm, so it's mostly just a race against time. Good luck! :)

Note: it's also a good idea to have the shaman pop Mana Tide in the second phase 1 to get both healers topped up on mana before P3.

Kae said...

I know exactly what you mean! And... even with having a plan, I still freak out during P3 :)

The OT asked me last night to explain how healing worked in P3. I laughed and said, "The first rule of healing in P3 is: we don't talk about healing in P3."

It's the first rule of fight club.

Rul and I broke the rule, though.


(I forgot the frost pot note, good one!)

Mark said...

I implied this by saying to only focus on the two targets, but I figured it's worth mentioning explicitly: shamans should never be casting Chain Heal in P3. Ever. It's counterproductive to the functionality of Leeching Swarm since it will always bounce to people who don't need the heals. It's all about the single-target heals.

We also broke the second rule of P3 healing. :(

Ram said...

I see some new faces here tonight.

Rule #3
If it's your first night at Heroic Anub, you HAVE TO PANIC!

/wave I'm the OT for Kae/Rul

I'd like to point out that most of us are probably panicking during P3. I panic cause my HP is low and I'm a tank and that makes my head hurt. I panic cause there's mobs trying to eat people or teleport to them and eat them.

As with most fights it takes practice.

So feel fit, and have fun!

Mark said...

Douglas Adams weeps for all of you.

I just hug my towel and heal :P

Jen said...

Well, I followed that panic rule very well indeed... I'm just comforted by the fact that we won't see the fight on 25-man any time soon :P

Seeing players go red is horrible, it just screams 'healhealHEALNOW', I have to stop myself from thinking that and it's hard. I'll have to tweak the strategy a bit since I use Grid Dynamic Display (I see tanks/healers/ranged/melee, not the raid groups), but I'm sure I can sort something out (my boyfriend suggested raid marks). The shaman tips will be extra-useful in the future, since a friend of mine just joined a guild on a new alt and she's definitely going to need some shammy training.

Thanks again for all the detailed explanations, I feel smarter now :D

Mark said...

Sure, and if you ever want more shaman-related advice, I'd be more than happy to help.

I've been slacking on getting my own blog set up, but I would gladly answer any shaman questions sent to ancestralknowledge at gmail dot com