[Editor's note: please give a big OutDPS welcome to Lemli, our newest writer! Lemli will be writing hard mode strategies, with an eye toward hunter specific advice.]
The last boss in Trial of the Grand Crusader, Anub’Arak, is quite a challenge for most of the raiding guilds out there. Hopefully this guide will help you to kill the boss and enjoy the rewards. This is just one way to do the fight and possibly not the best way, but it’s a way that worked for me and my guild.
Heroic vs. Normal
There’s a few differences between the heroic and normal versions of the encounter
- The number of Frost Spheres is limited to 6, meaning when you destroy one it won’t respawn during the fight like in normal mode.
- Penetrating Cold does 6,000 damage (compared to 3,500 in normal), and hits 5 people at a time.
- Leeching Swarm leeches 30% of your current hp, up from 10% in normal mode, also always does at least 350 damage.
- Everything has more HP and does more damage.
- The adds have to be killed with area of effect damage because there isn’t enough time to single target down all the adds and to do enough damage to the boss in heroic mode.
Just like in normal mode, there are 3 phases in the fight. Above ground, underground, and leeching swarm.
Phase 1, above ground
The raid should move to the middle of the room near the second set of frost spheres. The easiest way to get the boss there is with a misdirect on the tank. Right after the pull, two death knights should both death grip a frost sphere next to the boss, which should be instantly destroyed by ranged DPS so that the permafrost is well placed. After the pull, everyone should DPS Anub until the Nerubian Burrowers spawn, when two add tanks should pick them up and place them so that they get hit by the AOE. They should be able to get them far enough from each other so they only get 1 stack of spider frenzy. There need to be people assigned to interrupt the shadow strike they cast; we had a warrior tank interrupting one side and an enhancement shaman and mage on the other side.
Everyone who can should go full out AOE-dps until the adds die, and then continue single target dps on the boss. This gets repeated until there are 10 seconds left on Anub’s burrow timer, at which point the main tank has to move him to the side, away from the permafrost which will prevent him from breaking one right after the submerge. During the first phase 1 you should get the boss to at least 75%, after the 2nd phase 1 to at least 50%, and this will allow you to get him to 30% before the 3rd phase 2.
Phase 2, first submerge
When the boss is pulled away from the permafrost, all the melee except tanks should run closer to the ranged at south (towards the door) so the pursuing spikes can be kited away from the permafrost patches. When someone gets spikes after them, everyone else can continue to kill adds, but the person who is pursued should run to the door and once the spikes reach him, a paladin should use hand of protection, allowing the player to kite the spikes back to a patch of permafrost. Having a priest with 2/2 body and soul can help quite a bit because of the speed buff you can give to anyone who gets chased.
The kiter should shout out in vent which of the permafrost patches he’ll kite the spikes into so that everyone else in the raid can get to that side after the spikes go by. This prevents Anub from pursuing someone behind the 2nd patch of frost and breaking it immediately. The new kiter should do the same as the first one: run to the door, get hand of protection, run to the other patch of frost. Everyone else should run all the way to north for the 2nd set of Frost Spheres and get ready for second phase 1. During the whole pursuing and dodging spikes fun, everyone has to stay away from the swarm scarabs and nuke them down. You do not want to get hit by them because of the stacking acid-drenched mandibles debuff, and when they get determination which prevents them from being slowed and stunned, a hunter must use tranquilizing shot to remove the effect. Because of the cooldown on tranq shot, if anyone sees an enraged scarab it should be called out and focused down immediately.
Phase 2, second submerge
During the second phase two, the person being pursued should kite the spikes to about the middle of the room, and then back to north with hand of protection to destroy a patch of permafrost. The 2nd kiter should do the same, but while the 2nd person is running for the last patch of permafrost, everyone else should run all the way south while killing scarabs and wait at the last set of frost spheres and get ready for last phase 1 and then phase 3
Phase 3, zomg leeching!
When Anub’Arak hits 30%, he unleashes a leeching swarm, which heals him for 30% of the whole raids current HP. Only the tanks and the 5 people hit with penetrating cold should be healed to full. The adds will continue spawning normally, so you need to have enough AOE to get the adds down, and enough boss DPS that Anub actually loses health rather than gaining it. If you hit 5% and the adds are still up, just blast the boss down and ignore the adds if needed.
Handling Penetrating Cold
The last phase of the fight depends highly on the healers. The tanks take a huge amount of damage, and because the raid has to stay low on health, the healers in charge of handling penetrating cold debuffed players need to be fast enough to throw a heal before the first tick. The debuff can be removed by rogues’ cloak of shadow , mages’ ice block, and paladins’ divine shield. Mages’ frost ward can help with the damage, and divine sacrifice should be used with the shield, if possible. Also, all damage reduction skills work, so should be used when needed. It’s good to have a healthstone ready, which you should use it instantly if you get the debuff, and also frost protection potions can be a rather nice addition to help out the healers.
The best way to assign which healer heals which penetrating cold is to have one person heal the first 2 penetrating colds, the second person took the 3rd one, and the last healer took the 4th and 5th. We also had a 4th healer who helped out where he could and also healed the tanks.
The problem with assigning multiple people to simultaneously do the same action to randomly selected people is that you can not have an overlap. If the first healer and the third healer both try to save the same person, someone will die. To prevent this, we just made sure that all healers had the same settings on their healing framed. The addon doesn’t have to be Grid- you can even use the Blizzard UI’s raid frames, just so long as everyone has their players ordered the same way. You could group them in alphabetical order inside the groups, for example. I would suggest using Grid: there’s a link on the bottom of the post to the video that is from the POV of our penetrating cold healer and it really seems like a good addon for these kind of things.
Handling Leeching Swarm
When the boss hits 35% or so, if you’re using commanding shout, it should be renewed, and right afterward everyone except the tanks should use the following macro:
/cancelaura prayer of fortitude
/cancelaura commanding shout
This will reduce the amount of health the boss can leech from the raid. Leeching swarm always hits for at least 350 damage every second, so everyone in the raid except for tanks should get healed atleast that much.
The way we did it was this:
Group 1 had the three tanks and two death knights, the tanks will get healed to full all the time anyway and the death knights heal themselves with their abilities and judgement of light.
Group 2 had all the healers in it with a Restoration Shaman keeping up a healing stream totem.
Group 3 had casters on it with a Shadow Priest healing them up with vampiric embrace.
Group 4 had a mix of casters and melee with an Elemental Shaman keeping up a healing stream totem, so they relied on the totem and JoL.
Group 5 had melee on it with an enhancement shaman keeping up a healing stream totem, so they also relied on the totem and JoL.
If the healers do their job and keep everyone alive in phase 3 and you have enough DPS, the boss will go down. It won’t be fast so don’t panic if it feels like it’s taking long. Heroism should be used when you have a set of adds placed well next to the boss so you can AOE them down fast and blast full DPS on the boss.
Stuff to make the encounter easier
- Paladins should use hand of freedom on the tanks after they have picked up the adds so they can place them well for the AOE.
- Holy paladins shouldn’t use glyph of holy light, as the extra healing uncontrollable healing will only harm the raid.
- You need at least 2 rogues for tricks of the trade on the add tanks to build up threat fast.
- Find the best way for your healers to heal the penetrating colds, and make sure they are coordinated.
- Focus down the swarm scarabs that enrage if they can’t be tranqued, and do your best to avoid getting hit. All slows and stuns work on them when they aren’t enraged.
- Penetrating cold healers should change their spec so that they get a fast heal they can spam on the targets; druids should go for healing touch and skip the talents that add Heal over time spells.
- Discipline priests are good, but don’t spam shields on anyone else than tanks and penetrating cold victims, as leeching swam takes the shields into account when it does its damage.
- Make sure you have a healthstone for every try, and if you get hit by penetrating cold, use it instantly. If you get a heal before you use your HS, don’t use it at all and save it for the next penetrating cold.
- The add tanks should have good block gear- in fact, if you have a very well block-geared warrior, you can use only one tank to tank the adds, which helps with interrupting and AOE.
- Even though misdirect is a small amount of threat, use it for the add tanks. They need all the help they can get.
- Volley during phase one when the adds are up.
- Keep tranq shot on cooldown during the burrowing phase- if no hunters can tranq an enraged scarab, focus fire it.
- Drop frost traps on the burrow phase to help kite the scarabs.
- Use aspect of the viper while Anub is submerged so you don’t waste mana regen time in phase 1 or 3.
- Avoid feign death when the spikes are following you, as sometimes this will cause them to glitch and target people randomly.
- Never volley in phase three while the leeching swarm is up, as you will not get any JoL heals from it.
- Save as many DPS cooldowns as you can for phase three- use them once in the beginning of the fight, then save them all for phase 3, as well as your potion.
- If your healers are struggling, use a healing or frost protection potion instead of a DPS potion.
- Glyph of kill shot is the best glyph for this fight for any spec, as the raid will spend a long time with the boss under 20%.
- Marksmanship is the strongest spec for this fight because of their increased volley DPS.
If you’re interested in seeing how we did this, here’s the youtube link!