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
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.
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.
|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.
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:
- 2x Penetrating Cold Targets
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!