With Ulduar getting closer every day, I thought this would be a perfectly inappropriate time to write up some helpful hints for all the Warlocks out there who are clad primarily in pre-raiding gear, and would like to start moving forward with their progression. This post is aimed toward helping Warlocks who haven't done much raiding in the past, and would like to try it out now that Blizz has made it so much more accessible. Furthermore, since it's unlikely that such a person has a spot waiting for them in a group which full clears weekly, I also assume in this post that the rest of the people in the raid are similarly geared. By using these tips, new raiders will be doing their part to ensure that their group gets a full clear as soon as possible.
This guide isn't meant as a substitute to an overall Naxx guide. For something like that, be sure to take a look at Ready Check. Rather, this guide is intended to cover the information specific to Warlocks which won't be included in the raid leader's pre-boss explanations. As such, some of this information might be difficult to decipher if you've never participated in the fight before. I would recommend reading Ready Check's Naxx guides first, or even just referencing this page right before the start of a boss fight.
I should also note, before I begin, that I am primarily an Affliction Warlock. Despite my attempts to sample and reflect on other specs, I've never cleared Naxx as anything but Affliction; because Naxx is seriuz buziniz, and I always try to bring my 'A' game. I have attempted to keep this post largely neutral in regards to spec, but the fact of the matter is: I know more about how to play Affliction than I know about how to play anything else. Pointlessly suppressing my strengths in favor of neutrality would only result in a weak article, so, included throughout are several Affliction-specific notes. Sorry, non-Affliction Warlocks.
and 10-man advice.
It's important to be aware that Naxx-10 is not Naxx-25. There are 10 classes in the game, so the odds that all of them will be present in a in a 10-man is relatively low compared to 25-mans. It's probable that at least one or two, if not more, classes will not be represented in a 10-man raid. In my group, for example, we have no Priests or Magi. That means no Arcane Brilliance, no Prayer of Fortitude, and you can forget spec-specific buffs like Prayer of Spirit.
What this means is that not every buff is going to be available in a 10 man group. And while there are those who would disagree, the smaller number of people in a 10 man means that each person is responsible for a larger percentage of the overall group's success or failure. Since my group lacks any class capable of giving spirit or intellect buffs, I keep my felhunter out to provide everyone with Fel Intelligence. And when the group was first starting out. our healers were still in blues or even Tier 5. So I used Dark Pact more often, because despite the recent hatred for this spell, it's better than feeling smugly superior while you're lying on the ground, dead from Life Tapping when there was nobody to heal you.
- When Locust Swarm begins, if your pet is DPSing at melee range, remember to pull them back! If the healers can't be bothered with the Rogues and the Death Knights, where do you think your pet falls on the priority list?
- When Corpse Scarabs pop up, go ahead and take a second to Rain some Fire on them.
- If you're Affliction, you may want to talk to the raid leader about not switching to DPS the Crypt Guards when they spawn. Nobody likes to see their DPS droop by being forced to switch to adds now and again, but Affliction Warlocks are hit particularly hard when forced to switch. If the group is having trouble getting the Crypt Guards down quickly, however, you'll just have to bite the bullet.
- If you do need to switch to the Crypt Guards as Affliction, go ahead and clip your dots on Anub before the CG spawns. That way they'll keep ticking while you're occupied elsewhere.
- [Update] Reader Wolfblitzer (and several others) mentioned something I'm going to be doing myself from now on: Lay down a Demonic Circle in the spot you plan to DPS from. When Anub'Rekhan uses Impale to knock you into the air, just teleport right back down to the ground again! You save yourself the fall damage, as well as give yourself a few extra seconds to DPS.
Grand Widow Faerlina
- When she enrages, and DPS is instructed to kill one of her adds, Searing Pain is the best choice. Unless you're the only DPSer who switched targets like they're supposed to, you probably won't have the time to get anything with a longer casting time off.
- There's a lot of AoE in this fight, and if your healers are still a little under geared, this would be a very good time to make sure everybody has a healthstone.
- If you feel like being an ass, locate a large group of healers, and cast Rain of Fire on them. It's funny to watch them flee before you. And it keeps them on their toes. Everybody wins!
- I'm not going to talk about gear much, but Grieving Spellblade is enough to make me Seed of Corruption in my robes.
- Once this fight is over and the group begins to move on, make sure everybody in the raid has Detect Invisibility on them, and keep it on them until you reach the next boss. Otherwise the group may be slain by an unseen Shade of Naxxramas.
- Warlocks should not be the ones dealing with people who are webbed against the wall. If they make it your job, however, then use Searing Pain.
- Alternatively, if you have the felguard, don't send him against the boss. Just keep him next to you and send him after all the webbed people.
- If you're the one who gets webbed, you can always instruct your pet to free you. (At least I believe so. I have the most amazing luck with avoiding the webs. So I haven't been able to test this -- but it works elsewhere.)
- Different groups deal with the tiny spider adds in different ways, but be warned that Rain of Fire is difficult to target in here, because the targeting reticule doesn't show up on the ground.
- Most groups stop DPS at 35% and wait for the next Web Spray before continuing, so that the tank isn't killed when Maexxna enrages at 30% Remember that if you're an Affliction Warlock, you can't stop your DPS on a dime, so plan ahead. It's unlikely that a few dots will account for 5% of the boss' health, but if some other players simply don't listen, your dots could be the straw which breaks the tank's back.
- There's really nothing to this boss which a Warlock should do any different than any other DPSer. Not that I'm aware of anyway.
Heigan the Unclean
- If your group is as new to the instance as I'm assuming, Heigan will probably pose a few problems. Due to that, make sure everyone has a healthstone before this fight begins! It's possible to survive being clipped by the green lava, and having a healthstone on hand could mean the difference between one of your raiders living or dying.
- During phase 1, assuming your group has the casters on the platform. (The "smart way" as I like to call it.) don't just rely on the tank to keep Heigan at the appropriate distance from you. If you really want to avoid Spell Disruption, then use the width and breadth of the platform to maintain max range.
- When phase 2 is about to begin, clip all your dots. You won't be refreshing them for awhile.
- Summoning a Demonic Circle near the edge of the first 'section' before the start of the fight can help prevent players from running too far into the first section to make it to the second in time.
- It's certainly possible to DPS Heigan during phase 2, but I whole-heatedly recommend against it until you're 100% comfortable with the dance. You'll score higher on the DPS meter if you survive.
- If you feel comfortable with it, and you have the spell, use Dark Pact during phase 2. The healers will probably be too busy trying to stay alive themselves to heal a Life Tap. Additionally, Life Tapping means that getting clipped by the green lava has a higher chance to kill you.
- I cannot stress enough the importance of making sure everybody has a healthstone for this fight. During the scant few seconds the healers can heal, they may not be able to get to everybody. Just make sure everyone in the raid is aware that healthstones are subject to Necrotic Aura, same as everything else.
- If you have Dark Pact, then this is your moment to shine. Since heals are so restricted in this fight, you want to Life Tap as little as possible. So make sure to use Dark Pact as soon as you have enough of a mana deficit to make use of all of the mana you will receive. This way your pet will have the maximum amount of time to regen their mana before you need to Dark Pact again.