This is the fifth and final post in a series on how to arrange your healers in Naxxramas 25.
I’d highly suggest reading up on Herding Cats in general, especially if you’re filling in for heal lead and aren’t usually the one with the job.
Otherwise, this is just a quick guide to how and why I arrange our healers the way I have been – which isn’t to say that it’s the end-all, be-all of healing assignments for Naxx! Just how things have worked for us. Most fights I’m going to assume six healers, though some I’ll recommend an off-spec/hybrid healer to help out (or possibly picking up a seventh healer), and you can almost always safely substitute classes. Since Frostwyrm Lair is quite a bit more complicated than the previous four wings, these layouts will be a little more complex as well.
Yes, Naxx25 has been done with only two healers, but I’d venture to guess that those raids are experienced and not just starting out, and those new ones are the raids that this guide is primarily written for (’cause if you’ve got the place on farm, you don’t need my piddly advice on how to set up your healers!).
Sapphiron – Giant Undead Frost Dargon with Epic Summoning Animation
- Main Tank Healers: 2-3 healers, Pally/Disc Priest/Druid preferred
- Raid Healers: 3-4 healers, Holy Priest/Druid/Shaman preferred
Sapphiron has two phases, and a metric ton of environmental effects. During his “on the ground” phase, he’ll constantly be hitting the raid for frost damage from a giant, unescapable aura. (Some raids use frost resist to help with this, others don’t). You’ll also be dodging blizzards - if you turned your spell effects way down for Thaddius, make sure you turn them at least part of the way back up, otherwise you’ll not be able to SEE the blizzard. Similar to the blizzard cast by Shade of Aran, this one moves around – but it chases people rather than following a set path. It’s particularly nasty to melee (who have to avoid both dragon tail and dragon cleave and are thus bunched up), and anyone that gets too focused on one job. There’s also periodic curses that MUST BE REMOVED. Anyone that has a “remove curse” button will get a lot of use out of it on Phase 1 Sapphiron.
In Phase 2, he takes off and turns three people in the raid into ice blocks. These ice blocks will do splash damage, so it’s important to spread out – but not too far! Once he’s blocked three people, the raid has about 10 seconds to get behind those blocks. Really behind them, not just near them, or kinda behind them, put the block between YOU and the DRAGON. Because he’s then going to Frost Breath and kill anyone that’s not behind the blocks. At this point, Sapphiron lands, and Phase 1 starts over again. The periodic aura damage continues during this phase, and the ice blocked people are going to need a good bit of healing once the blocks fade.
Obviously raid healing is absolutely CRUCIAL on this fight – and there are a few ways to manage it. I suggest (at least at first) putting raid target icons on your healers, to help them avoid clumping and range issues. Also, have clearly defined areas that the raid can be in (or not be in) – we use half of Sapphiron’s room, some raids use less. You might even try assigning raid healers to “areas” (Tail zone, Middle Zone, Dragon Head Zone, etc) rather than specific people, to help with spreading out and avoiding having all the melee get oneshot.
Kel’Thuzad – How well can you Juggle?
- Main Tank Healers: 2 healers – Pally/Disc Priest/Druid preferred
- Off Tank Healers: 2 healers – These can really be any healers that are geared enough to keep an eye on the offtanks in the last phase of KT. It’s not an easy job, as the lower KT’s health goes, the harder these offtanks get hit. Your raid healers can step in for ONE of these spots, but having one dedicated offtank healer is a good idea.
- Raid Healers: 2-3 healers – Holy Priest/Druid/Shaman preferred
Ok – so Kel’Thuzad’s fight starts with 3 minutes of juggling adds that come attack you in the middle of his room. Skellies, Abominations, and Banshees. Healers will be pretty bored during this phase unless you’re trying for the 18 Abominations achievement – so feel free to add your DPS to nuking skellies and banshees in particular. After 3 minutes, KT will spawn.
Phase 2 of this fight is where the fun begins. Kel’Thuzad has a few abilities that make healing this fight rather adrenaline filled. First – he can target any raid member with a mana bar and detonate half of it away. This doesn’t do damage to YOU, but does do damage to anyone standing NEAR you, so make sure you spread out. Second, void zones – don’t stand in them. Third, iceblocks, much like those from Rage Winterchill, they MUST be healed through QUICKLY. Also, they chain, so again – dont’ stand too close to anyone, especially the tank, or your getting frostblocked can result in quick catastrophe. Chained ice blocks are a particular problem for the melee – Wild Growth, Chain Heal, and Circle of Healing shine in these situations. Fourth? AOE Frost Bolts – they cause about 4K damage to everyone in the raid, and are generally a pain in the rear. Fifth (good grief already!) he randomly mind controls 3 members of the raid, who will need to be crowd controlled in order to prevent havoc wreaking. And yes, if you are a healer, you CAN heal KT – and as a priest, if you Guardian Spirit him it WILL proc. Aaaand Sixth (holy monkeys!) Single Target Frost Bolts – cause around 30K damage to the tank, and MUST be interrupted. This is normally the job of the melee group, but occasionally one may get through and cause all the tank healers to have a few minutes of panic.
There is no “boring” job healing on the KT fight, obviously.
Anyway – at 45%, Phase 3 begins, and Kel’Thuzad is joined by four Nerubian Crypt Lords that must be tanked. We usually put them up in one of the cubbies in the NW/NE corners – they hit HARD, and continue to hit harder until KT dies. Everything from Phase 2 continues as well, so tanks and tank healers on the crypt lords CAN get frost blocked or mind controlled. Be prepared for chaos, and have extra tanks and healers ready to pick up the pieces if things go wonky shaped.
That takes us to the end of Naxxramas – with any luck, you’ve gotten some nice loot as a raid, and won’t have the luck that we’ve had on Kel’Thuzad (we’ve been killing him since January – no healing shield drops, no Betrayer drops, ONE Turning Tide… and a metric ton of tanking shields and fist-weapon main hands). I’ll be adding up similar strategies for Sartharion and Malygos next week, and that will take us to the end of patch 3.0 content! Hooray! Just in time to tackle Ulduar.
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