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Ready Check: Anub'arak


Here he is. The big cheese. The final countdown. The last boss (currently) available in raiding progression. Anub'arak is the final encounter in the Trial of the Crusader. If you feel a sense of deja-vu while getting ready to throw down with the big bug, don't worry -- you're not insane. (At least, you're not insane because you think you recognize the boss.)

Anub'arak was the final boss in Azjol'Nerub. And while the Trial of the Crusader version is certainly much higher octane, this raid version does share some basic similarities with the previous fight. They both have adds, some kind of burrowing action, and bugs. Lots of bugs.

Let's jump behind the cut and see how to get this done.

We're going to dive straight into how the fight works, and explain the pertinent abilities as we talk about each phase. This is because many of Anub'arak's abilities are background effects and extra mobs. It could be somewhat confusing to start talking about powers and spells without context for how they operate.

The Setup

When you've defeated the Twin Val'kyrs, there's going to be a short scripted event. (I'll try not to spoil the story, but it ends with you fighting Anub'arak.) After a bit of yelling back and forth, some argument, and a little taunting, the entire floor of the Coliseum drops out from beneath you. You and your raid will fall down to a subterannean lake. As your wet and bedraggled selves look up from the water, there's your new adversary: Anub'arak. Azjol'Nerub was just a setback.

Phase One

The first thing you'll notice are these blue, floating orbs up at the ceiling. These are called Frost Spheres. When your ranged DPS shoots them down, they'll place an area of Permafrost on the ground. The permafrost slows down your enemies, when your tank kites the enemies across the patches of frozen ground. But, additionally, Permafrost will keep things from burrowing up front under you -- or from burrowing down into the ground from above. That gets important here in a second.

You have two varieties of bugs rolling around the cave during phase one. One is basically called a Scarab, while the other is called a Burrower. The scarabs will start out neutral, and only get kvetchy if you stab them. The scarabs disappear as soon as you engage Anub'arak. Burrowers, however, will want a piece of you.

The OT will want to drag the burrowers on top of the permafrosted ground. This is so that you don't let him burrow under the ground.

Your main tank will keep Anub'arak parked in the front. Anub'arak doesn't do anything spectacular during phase one, so just keep ample heals flowing.

Phase Two

This is where Anub'arak starts doing stuff. About every minute and a half, Anub'arak will burrow beneath the ground. He will then pursue and chase down a random player (who is marked with a debuff called Pursued by Anub'arak.) Anub'arak is attempting to hit them with Impale, as well as having his Pursuing Spikes hit everyone for damage along the way. The chase will stop when Anub'arak's target kites the spikes through the permafrost.

But wait, that's not all.

Swarm Scarabs will start spawning. These guys don't individually hit for any noticeable amount, nor are they particularly difficult to kill. However, they also hit with Acid-Drenched Mandibles, which will keep stacking. If the recipient of the debuff gets too many stacks, they'll be virtually unhealable. The scarabs occasionally get stubborn and gain Determination, which makes them run faster. Kite them, and burn them down as soon as they appear.

But wait, there's one more thing!

The Burrowers will still be coming back this phase if you didn't kill them, and will still need to be controlled by your off-tanks. They're not nearly as much the focus during phase two, however. Make sure your ranged are keeping the Swarm Scarabs under control.

Phase Three

You enter phase three when Anub'arak's health hits 30%. This is when things get intense, so it's probably best to have all the other adds down from phase two first.

Anub'arak will continue to do the same kind of general attacks he has the whole time. He'll pound the main tank with Freezing Slash and Penetrating Cold. The real trick of the fight, however, is Leeching Swarm.

Leeching Swarm will take 10% of each person's health, and use it to heal Anub'arak. So, you want to keep everyone in your raid at a minimum health. Don't heal them to full, or Anub'arak will simply get that much bigger a heal. This is probably one of the most difficult fights for healers, because it asks them to go against their natural tendencies. Healers tend to heal, and now this fight is asking them to not heal at full bore. Still, once you get a hang of it, it's not so bad.

Once you've got this fight down, you've done it. You've mastered Trial of the Crusader. Now, we just have to look forward to Icecrown. Or Trial of the Grand Crusader, if you're into that sort of thing.


Ready Check is here to provide you all the information and discussion you need to bring your raiding to the next level. Check us out weekly to learn the strategies, bosses, and encounters that make end-game raiding so much fun.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ready Check (Raiding)

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