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Ready Check: Guide to Naxxramas (Construct Quarter, part 1)

Allison Robert

Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. This week, we unwisely decide to give the column to Allison "Oops, I forgot my frost resist" Robert. Not that you actually need frost resist gear for the Construct Quarter...but that's about the time she generally remembers she left hers in the bank.

Greetings, folks. Jennie's off for January, so I'll be writing Ready Check this month. Today's installment got a little long, mostly because Patchwerk tends to be a stumbling block to guilds still gearing up in Naxxramas, and Grobbulus is a little complicated to describe. So tonight I'll post on the first two bosses in the Construct Quarter, and tomorrow I'll finish with Gluth and Thaddius. Next week we'll take a look at Sapphiron and Kel'thuzad in order to finish off Naxx.

The Construct, or Abomination, Quarter of Naxxramas contains two of the raid's most storied fights in the form of Patchwerk and Thaddius. It additionally contains some of the raid's most storied trash in the form of the Frogger Hallway directly after Patchwerk. As Jennie says, if you want to experience the encounters unspoiled, don't read any further!

Trash in the beginning part of the quarter is pretty straightforward, although I should stress for the sake of limiting your repair costs that it's necessary to clear all of the trash (minus the Frogger hallway; more on this in a bit) in Patchwerk's room before aggroing him. Additionally, the slow-moving slimes in the circular room directly before Patchwerk don't have to be tanked, and can typically be AoE'd down in the chokepoint that their door creates. Once you've gotten all of the various disgusting things out of the way, it's time to sit at one end of the hallway and face --


An undisputed gear check, Patchwerk is a fight built on three elements: a). Tank mitigation, b). Competent DPS, and c). Hair-trigger healing. He's a tank-and-spank. There's no strategy, trick, or grand mystery to Patchwerk; you park yourself in the hallway and blast the living hell out of him until he's dead or you are. It's a short fight, the raid doesn't have to move at all, and if the fight is done correctly there is also no raid damage of any kind. It's for this reason that Patchwerk is typically cited as the ideal encounter for evaluating a DPS spec's maximum damage.

Boss abilities: Basic melee and Hateful Strike -- that's it. Hateful Strike is a nasty melee attack that Patchwerk attempts to use every second, targeting the highest-health player in melee range who is not the tank and within the top three (or, in Naxx-10, top two) of Patchwerk's threat list. Hateful Strike also increases the amount of threat held by the top three (or two) players on the threat list, so you don't want your melee to start DPSing Patchwerk before Hateful Strike is firmly on both offtanks.

Tanks: A main tank and at least one offtank are required, preferably two on heroic. Tank damage on the MT is high but steady. The offtank is there to absorb Hateful Strikes. Tanks' emergency buttons like Shield Wall, Barkskin, Icebound Fortitude, etc. should be saved for the last 5%, as Patchwerk gains an undispellable buff called Frenzy, and his damage and attack speed both increase substantially.

DPS: Your job is simple; unload. Try to time your cooldowns and trinkets to have them up as much as possible. If you have a Shaman, Heroism/Bloodlust timing is key. If your raid is still gearing up and not likely to kill him with much time to spare before Patchwerk's 6-minute enrage, use it as soon as the tanks have adequate threat, and then use it again as soon as it comes off cooldown. Hunters and moonkin will want Scorpid Sting and Insect Swarm respectively up at all times.

Healers: You should have at most three targets to heal on this. All damage done by Patchwerk is melee, so ask your mages to cast Amplify Magic on the tanks. More than anything else, the offtanks absolutely must be kept topped off as much as possible, or Hateful Strike will start to find targets among the melee DPS. Pre-healing is key. Hateful Strike can be parried and dodged, and it's not unusual to see tanks have both good and bad avoidance streaks. Don't let a good avoidance streak lull you into a false selse of security. In Naxx-25, a bad avoidance streak on the first offtank will usually lead to the second offtank soaking more Hatefuls, so be prepared to see that.

Patchwerk is fairly simple, but a number of guilds struggle on him at first due to high tank damage and the DPS requirement. He's a pretty good diagnostic tool for what portions of your raid need help. If you find yourself constantly losing melee DPS to Hateful Strike, that's a sign that your healers can't keep your offtanks reliably topped. Either they're undergeared, or your offtanks are. If you're hitting the enrage timer, your DPS needs to step up. Tank gear is obviously a huge part of this too. If your offtanks in particular are taking too much damage to be realistically healed through, you're better off avoiding Patchwerk for a while.

10-MAN vs. 25-MAN

No real difference barring increased damage and the recommendation for a second offtank on heroic. The achievement Make Quick Werk of Him is usually tougher on 10-man due to the inability to stack raids buffs on the level of a 25-man raid. 36,111 raid-wide DPS is required to kill him on heroic; on normal, you'll need 12,000.

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