Wednesday, October 28, 2009

25 (Heroic) Trial of the Grand Crusader: Anub'arak

The subject of Anub'arak hard mode is coming up more and more - spec, gear, rotation, etc.  I've killed it four times now which doesn't make me an expert, but this post will cover my experience and thoughts about the fight.

If you're not 100% familiar with Anub'arak, it has three phases:
P1 - 80 seconds long, with two add packs spawning.  You will see P1 three times.
P2 - 60 seconds long (I think - I'm actually not 100% sure).  Little adds spawn and you will have to manage frost according to your guild's strategy.  After this, back to P1.
P3 - Rest of the fight.  Phase 3 occurs when you get Anub'arak to 30%, which you need to do by the third P1.  This is Phase1 with no time limit (except the enrage), and Leeching Swarm.

The key to dps here is maximizing it in P1 and P3 by using AOE intelligently.

This is pretty standard - there are only two things I want to mention:
  1. Pre-potting : This is a very good fight to pre-pot on.  Talk to your MT if you need to, but you should get a countdown - our MT does 5-4-3-2-1-go, and I generally hit a Wild Magic Potion just after she says, "1".  This will be hard on your bank during progression, but the dps increase is very much worth it.  This will let you save your in-combat potion for p3.
  2. It's Halloween, and that means Candy Buckets.  And Candy Buckets mean Soothing Spearmint Candy.  This is 11 spell power and can stack up to four times for 44 total.  This is a very large dps increase, equivalent to 1-2 upgrades, so you should use it for as long as you can.
Anub'arak is a fight with a large AOE component, and you should spec accordingly.  I use this:

  1. I spec for Typhoon for reasons that I talk about here - it is a very large dps boost on AOE fights.  On most Anub'arak parses it accounts for 3-4% of my dps, and it also serves as an automatic Nature's Grace proc.
  2. Gale Winds should be pretty obvious.  A large increase to Hurricane and Typhoon damage.
  3. I ignore mana regeneration talents because I have found I don't need them - Innervate is sufficient regen and I can usually hit it during p2 when I need to be moving anyway.  If you do not have access to your own Innervate, I would definitely drop the rest of Imp IS and move those points into Intensity - otherwise you will have severe mana issues.
  4. Improved Insect Swarm - I drop a talent point from this because Imp IS offers the least dps increase for one talent point compared to the other options.
  5. Balance of Power - I considered increasing my hit on this fight and dropping one point of BoP in order to max out Imp IS.  What stopped me was Phase 3 - raid healing for this is really, really intense, and anything you can do to decrease incoming damage is a good thing.  6% reduction doesn't sound like much but when you're hovering at <500 life, it can be important.
After some experimentation, I ended up back with the standard glyphs for this fight: Starfire, Moonfire, and Insect Swarm.  There are two other Glyphs (Starfall and Focus) but I eventually decided against them.

Glyph of Starfall - Reduces the cooldown of Starfall by 30 sec.
The problem I had with this glyph is that it just didn't fit into the timing of the fight.  You want to use Starfall on the add packs - with 5 targets it does quite a bit of damage.  The problem is that add packs spawn every 45 seconds and take approximately 15-20 seconds to die.  With a 60 second cooldown, this means that your Starfall CD generally comes up right as the second set of adds dies - which means most of the benefit is wasted.  A 90-second CD fits in perfectly - you can use it right at the start of every other add pack.

Glyph of Focus - Increases the damage done by Starfall by 20%, but decreases its radius by 50%.
The problem with this Glyph is that the damage increase is just too small.   Even with the Starfall Glyph I never saw more then 8% dps from this spell, which means that a 20% increase would be 1.6% dps.  Both the Moonfire and Starfire glyphs are worth more damage then that.

I also want to mention two Minor Glyphs I would recommend for this fight:
Glyph of Typhoon - Reduces the cost of your Typhoon spell by 8% and increases its radius by 10 yards, but it no longer knocks enemies back.
Glyph of the Wild - Mana cost of your Mark of the Wild and Gift of the Wild spells reduced by 50%

Glyph of Typhoon should be obvious - if you are using Typhoon as a dps increase then you can't be knocking the enemies around and messing up everyone else.  The mana reduction is of minimal benefit, but it also doesn't hurt.
Glyph of the Wild is less obvious.  The reason I recommend this glyph is because if you find yourself nearly OOM and you need to AOE, then this glyph becomes a mana regeneration talent.   The key is that Gift of the Wild - when cast on 25 targets - will very nearly always proc Omen of Clarity.  This means that you only need roughly 1100 mana to cast a 2800 mana hurricane, which is a pretty significant savings.  You probably won't use this option a lot, but it's nice to have it if you need it.

Part of being successful at a fight is choosing gear that is optimal, whether due to mechanics or other factors.  I gear specifically for Anub'arak 25 simply because it's the only thing approaching progression for my guild right now.
  1. 4t9 - 4t9 is better on this fight then 2t8/2t9.  Not for the 4t9 set bonus, but for the extra stats you get from the upgrade - extra spell power, crit, and haste all benefit your AOE, while set bonuses do not.
  2. Value haste over crit - I already do this, but for Anub'arak you should take it a bit farther.  The reason behind this is that Hurricane doesn't scale very well with crit because it doesn't benefit from Vengeance.  On the other hand, Hurricane scales extremely well with haste.  Since Hurricane will most likely be 30% of your damage or more, you can see significant gains by favoring haste for this fight.  
Moonkins have two general cooldowns - Starfall and Force of Nature.  I use Starfall on every other AOE pack, but Force of Nature is a bit trickier.

Anub'arak has a 9:30 minute enrage.  That means with a 30 second duration and a 3 minute cooldown, you can theoretically fit in four FoNs.  In reality it's going to be better to aim for three - hopefully you won't be that close to the enrage, and using three allows you to time one with Heroism/Bloodlust.

My three FoNs are:
First p1: Just before Heroism.
Third p1: Right at the start.
Late p3: When the cooldown comes up.

As we are killing the boss faster and faster I may have to change to this in order to keep 3 cooldown uses:
First p1: At the start.
Second p1: In the middle with ~30 seconds to submerge.
Middle p3: When the cooldown comes up.

Special Note: Barkskin.  Usually in p1 and p2 you won't have a need for this, but it can be good to use it in P3. Every time it's up, I use it on the last 12 seconds of Penetrating Cold.  The reasoning here is that generally your healers should be able to heal that first tick without any help from you - if they can't then you have bigger issues.  So you want to use Barkskin for the last 12 seconds, where it will both 1) keep you alive as they are trying to reduce healing on you and go to their new targets, and 2) decrease the amount you heal the boss from Leeching Swarm.

The only special thing about Anub'arak is that you will be weaving in AOE at predictable intervals.  This isn't going to make a big change - Eclipse is severely RNG-dependent, so it's hard to tell what spell you would be casting.  Anub'arak is thankfully a stationary fight in p1 and p3, so we don't get hurt by a need to move around.

In general, this is what I do:

  • IFF->IS->MF->SFx3 to start.  I use starfire right off the bat because I want to extend my Moonfire, and I know I'll need to AOE shortly.
  • (First Add Pack) : Starfall -> Hurricane -> Typhoon -> back to single target.  My phase1 AOE is shorter because some healers help out - you may thing that wouldn't be much, but keep in mind that balance doesn't have a lot of talents that benefit Hurricane.  A resto druid can put out some pretty respectable numbers, as can priests and shamans.
  • (Second Add Pack): Ignore and continue single target.  Once Anub'arak submerges, Typhoon -> Hurricane.  At that point they are usually dead and on to p2.
  • Run around, DoT/nuke adds, and do whatever your p2 strategy is.
  • IFF->IS->MF->SFx3 to start, for the same reasons as p1.
  • Odd add packs (1/3/..):  Starfall->Hurricane->Typhoon->Hurricane->Single Target.  Since healers actually have to heal in phase 3, you will get to AOE a bit more.
  • Even add packs (2/4/..):  Typhoon->Hurricane x2 -> Single target.
Keep in mind that all the above are estimates - I always hurricane until the enemies are dead or extremely close (<5%).  If your guild's AOE is weaker then mine, or if some people are dead and there is less AOE, then you may need to Hurricane more then I do.


  1. Good guide. My guild has me 100% on single-target, since regardless of how hard certain classes try, it doesn't seem like I can compete with classes like DKs and warriors on AoE damage.

    Your strat seems a little different than mine, we pop Hero at the beginning of P3, so I usually use Treants only twice during the fight, once at the very beginning, and once when Anub is at 30%.

    Another thing we do slightly differently is P3. How many healers do you run with? Since sometimes multiple people under the same healer's assigned groups will get pcold, we are instructed to cover the first tick of the DoT ourselves (HS/Barkskin/Frost pot, etc).

    All I know is that I want the legs you got from Heroic Anub :D I had them drop on regular but I wasn't going to spend DKP on them.


  2. I don't do as much AOE damage, but overall I'm usually 5th - right behind the mages/unholy DK/ret pally. We have everyone AOE who possibly can though.

    For PCold, we don't assign healers by groups but by raid markings - healer X heals Square/Triangle, for example. So generally they always get those first ticks. I think we use 6 but honestly I'm not 100% sure. We don't even use frost potions though because they weren't helping that much, it was the end ticks of PCold that were killing people.

  3. I completely remove the points from improved IS, I also removed the points from IFF since its useless for this fight if you have a Shadow Priest constantly dpsing the boss. That's 8 points in total. I get full genesis (+5% hurricane) and typhoon. This is my basic respec for the fight and its very effective. I can hit 8k dps very consistently. 11 -10k sometimes if I get lucky with NG / OOC procs and 9k on average. Case in point, I stay competitive and win sometimes. For glyphs, WHY DO YOU NEED MF GLYPH, it really doesn't benefit you much in this fight as you are focused on AOEing most of the time: this implies you don't need starfire glyph, you don't need IS either. I changed it all to stuff that are beneficial, glyph of innervate, gyph of starfall, and glyph of focus.

  4. I will have to test it, but why would Genesis benefit Hurricane? It only benefits periodic damage, and Hurricane is empirically not periodic (it procs Reign of the Unliving). Even if it does benefit it:
    1) that sounds like a bug
    2) Hurricane is roughly 30% of my damage, Genesis would increase that by a little less then 4% and would be a ~3% overall dps increase. That's pretty weak for 5 talent points.

    It sounds like you AOE more then I do. In Phase1 I AOE for all of 8 seconds out of 80. In Phase2 I AOE for 7 seconds right at the start. Even in phase3 I AOE at most ~33% of the time, which is enough to warrant Typhoon/Gale Winds but still means I spend a lot of time on single-target dps. I don't like Starfall/Focus - the gain just isn't that big and it messes up the timing, with how fast the adds die Glyph of Starfall just doesn't help me much and focus is ~1% dps at best, still behind IS or MF.

    I guess if you AOE for a significant portion (more then 50% of the time, possibly?) then it should be worthwhile to glyph Starfall/Focus, because you'll be able to use Starfall on 2/3rds of the packs. With my guild's strategy the adds die too fast for that so I can't make good use out of the extra Starfalls.

  5. I drop a point in Nature's Reach and never have a threat problem at all, and the extra range isnt a big deal either. This allows me to keep full IIS. I also have found that you can almost always get an eclipse proc off of wrath and still have time to starfire at least 3 times (usually almost the entire eclipse) before the first pack of adds come out and get into position. Then again we tank the boss where he starts, not in the middle of the room like some guilds.

    I like the idea of pre-potting, and I can't believe I never even thought of that. Something you didnt mention that is helpful though is to click off Fort before phase 3, and to use a dark rune at the start as well (if you don't get penetrating cold). Both of these lower your health so that the boss doesnt heal as much, and it also gives you mana. This is actually a LOT of health saved from the boss.

    Oh, and I hate you for already having a token, the trinket, the ring, and the pants off of heroic Anub. I only have a token and the trinket.

  6. BTW, my toon is Simbian on Dark Iron if anyone wanted to armory me.

  7. great read there random! helped me a ton =)

    i got this boss down today - my old guild never gave me even 1 attempt on him..then kicked me for being a moonkin - now 2 days into my new guild ...BAM server 1st!

    prepotting at the start is very useful as u get every seconds worth out of it and still have the pot cd for use for frost prot pot at the end

    mana management is crutial to be able to sustain hurricane spamming in p3 - innervate early an often

    i have 2 spell stacking trinkets (on cast) so its really important to keep them up by even just a quick wrath+insect swarm on each bug on the burrow phase or rejuving myself then popping back to moon form

    im still using double 2-piece(2T8+2T9) and its working out great even with a ton of aoe dmg going on

    i dunno if hurricane is a periodic spell but i had 1 point in genesis(rather than moonglow) to see what that would about 1 Mil dmg on hurricane alone for the fight

    my recount =)

    Silencerbob (Draka PVE)

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