Case Study: Anub 10H vs Holy Paladin


This is a guest post by a Ophelie, a new Holy Paladin who has recently joined Conquest. Check out her blog: The Bossy Pally.

So Monday night, I was formally introduced to Anub 10 man on hard mode and was lucky enough to get his number. Matticus suggested I write about my impressions so that others may be amused, and by amused I mean informed, about how one heals this fight for the first time as a holy paladin. I prefer writing stories to strategies, but for all you practical people, I’ll have a list of things learned the hard way at the end.

Now, had I been clever that night, I would have taken advantage of the pre-fight confusion of “we have to cut down one healer and bring in a dps” to do some last minute reading on differences between the regular and hard mode Anub. Of course, I didn’t think of that until after the fight and I had full confidence in my ability to follow instructions: something about a first ice patch, then running south, then more about ice patches and about not playing hero… Yep, watch what everyone else is doing and copy them, got it.

(Read: Save yourself some confusion and always do your raid homework before trying a new fight.)

Once we were set up, we buffed, I put up frost resistance aura and we pulled.

First phase?

Cake. Beacon on the pulling tank in case he gets out of range during positioning? Check
Nestle myself happily under Anub’s rear end? Check.

I try not to think too much about Anub’s rear end because, you know, not pleasant. Flash of Light (little heal), Holy Light (big heal) heal to taste. Adds spawn, but not my problem. With beacon on my side, I wasn’t worried. It did seem like the adds were zoning in on me though. Hmm. Maybe I should remove Righteous Fury (damage reduction, but threat boost)?.

Second phase?

I breathe a bit while Anub goes underground and plays tag with the raid. Pop Divine Plea? Sure, why not. There’s not much to heal so I might as well regen some mana. I judge some of the many little adds that spawn. Hey, I gotta do my share like everyone else! Suddenly, DBM flashes on my screen, “Anub’Arak is chasing YOU!”

Ooooooo kiting time! …Wait. Why can’t I run? I look down at my feet. I’m on an ice patch. I can barely move. Uh oh.

Tag, I’m it. I was dead before I saw what hit me.

Raid leader: It’s a wipe.
Person X: What went wrong?
Me: My bad, I was standing on an ice patch.
Person Y: Don’t stand on ice patches.
Me thinking: You must be one of those who wait until people fall down to say “it’s slippery”. (Matt’s edit: So true)
Person Z: You should be able to use Hand of Freedom to get off of ice patches.
Me: Good to know.

We run back and try again.

First phase?


Second phase?

Same as above until Anub is after me again. This time, I was ready! I run north, he gets stuck, I don’t wipe us. I’m a pro now! I feel rather proud of myself and take a few seconds to secretly gloat.

Third phase hit before I knew it.

Things got real fun, real fast. As one tank dealt with giant bugs and the other with the boss, Anub smacked his lips and started leaching our health. Quick! Bubble, Divine Sacrifice! Let’s slow down the damage as much as possible. I had beacon on the adds tank and was healing the main tank.

Flash of Light, Flash of Li- no! Holy Light, Holy Light, Holy Light, OMG!

Oh, look the rogue is going to die. Holy Shock the rogue.

There’s nothing like a swift instant heal saving you when things get scary. Oh no, the tank! Holy Light! Oh man that was close. Holy Light, Holy Light, Holy Light.

Oh, look, I’m going to die.

Holy Shock myself.

Eeek, the tank! Holy Light! That was close! Holy Light, Holy Light, Holy Light.

I’m going to die again but I can’t risk losing the tank. Holy Light, Holy Light, Holy L- interrupted, I die.

Luckily, I’m not the only one who died: Anub’s lifeless carapace slumped next to me as I hit the ground. Ha! I was overcome by satisfaction, knowing I could get a rez and Anub would have to wait until Tuesday’s reset to run back from the boss graveyard.

So little paladin, what did you learn?

  • Make sure one paladin has frost resistance aura up. The penetrating cold debuff gets nasty towards the end.
  • Your Righteous Fury can help the off tank pick up adds, but check with the tank first.
  • During phase 2, don’t stand on ice patches (ha!) and as much as possible, position yourself so that there’s always an ice patch between you and him.
  • Hand of Freedom should be able help you or someone else in a pinch.
  • Mana shouldn’t be a problem before phase 3, but play it safe and use phase 2 for Divine Plea.
  • If there are other paladins in the raid, coordinate your use of Divine Sacrifice at
  • the beginning of phase 3 so you can stretch out damage reduction as long as possible.
  • On phase 3, you have to trust your raid healer, beacon one tank and spam Holy Light on the other. If your tanks are geared, you can get away with the occasional Holy Shock, but it’s risky.
  • Keep Judgement on Light up on the boss, preferably for the whole fight, but especially on phase 3. Either do it yourself or make sure another paladin in the raid is doing it.
  • If you run out of mana before Anub dies, it’s game over. Don’t run out of mana. Start phase 3 at full, use mana potions, lay on hands, anything, but don’t run out of mana.
  • After the fight, /hug your raid healer because he’s probably sweating buckets.

Oh, and since no epic boss kill tale ends without some sort of cooing over loot, I won Heartcrusher from the Tribute Chest, Crusader’s Glory for my tanking set and a trophy (yeah, I know, I’m spoiled). How I choose gems and enchants for my new gear is epic tale for another day.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Nice report. A paladin healer is really helpful in this fight because he can keep both tanks alive while the other healer keeps an eye on the raid and the people with penetrating cold. Druid/Pala combo is by far the best and easiest to heal through phase 3. Without a Paladin phase 3 is a nightmare with 2 healers, most groups should use 3 and hope their DPS can kill Anub fast.

  2. Righteousman says

    Good post, I really find your writing style entertaining.

    And nice tips too 🙂

  3. cool, nice tips… would definitely share it to my guild as well. =D Thanks matt!
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..To Zaltu /wave =-.

  4. Nice story. Some key points are brought out. I agree that Paladin + Holy Priest/Druid is a very nice 2 healer combination for this.

    Also I would add that I dont use Righteous Fury if possible as you can end up putting out >20k HPS at the start of Ph3 and if you dont cancel it you will risk pulling adds from the OT.

    Bubble Sac: I use this at the start of Ph 3 because its so manic and the first 15-20secs are crucial for stabilizing the raid. This is when Bubble Sac in invaluable.

    Aura Mastery: With Frost Aura up once your Bubble Sac is used I wait until we are under pressure and then when I am casting a HL/FoL or waiting for GCD I use Aura Mastery to double frost res and take the edge off of Penetrating Cold.

    Ph 1 & 2 = JoW and stand under Anub’s butt in melee range. This keeps your mana maxed out more or less. Switch to JoL for Ph3 if needed.

    Holy Wrath: Get ranged to stack up on you and stand near the OT if possible. If adds come and aggro you or ranged, then hit Holy Wrath when they are close. Gives the OT more time to take control of them.

    SS and SS HoT: Its not the biggest dmg mitigation or HOT you will ever see, but it can give you enough time to spend a GCD on something other than HL without dropping the MT. So refresh SS as you enter Ph3 and use spare GCDs (if you have them) to run the HOT on the MT. Not essential but nice if you can manage it.

    Hand of Prot.: If I see someone running from Anub and it looks like they will struggle to make the ice patch then i try and get in range and use a well time HoP on them.

    LoH: Nice to use if you let the MT get low or you want to give the MT some dmg mitigation (assuming you took the talent points) whilst using the next GCD on the raid

  5. I really enjoyed reading this post, and it’s nice to see some Holy Pally action on WoM! I hope Matty can persuade you to write here more often (or just pimps your awesome blog!) I enjoyed the story + bullet point style of your writing–it’s very open and engaging. 🙂
    .-= Cerys´s last blog ..Retraction =-.

  6. A delightful read, I really enjoy the story style. 🙂

    And thanks for the extra tips halthor.

  7. A pally healer on 10 man makes this fight so much easier

  8. It’s totally a healing fight, especially when you’re not so overpowered that you can’t bring in 3 healers in order to get to phase 3 before the second burrow.

    I honestly couldn’t tell you how healing the heroic version is as a Shaman. I recall once where it was pure chaos but that’s what chain heal spam off the main tank is for. I’m almost always on add duty because for whatever reason we sometimes run interrupter light and nothing spells wipe like someone getting instagibbed by a shadow strike.

    I do know that healer positioning is very important in that fight. I try and keep the add tank between me and add spawn points because much of the time they’re stuck in the icky 80% slow ice patches and can’t pick up adds as efficiently as they normally can.

  9. Actually, we run it with 2 healers, plus an elemental chamy that switches to healing in phase 3 and pops Héroism.

    That’s another sad example of “take the class, not the player”, but it helps tremendously both with beating the enrage timer by bringing the boss to p3 fast, and then really rushing in p3 while putting out enough heals.

    The other 2 healers can be pretty much anything as long as you don’t have 2 of the same.
    – priest + pally -> pally on tanks (beacon), priest on raid, shamy on emergencies
    – drood + pally -> same, drood on raid
    – priest + drood -> shamy on tanks, drood & priest HOT tanks + heal raid

    Note: pay special attention to
    – healers, since they don’t get healed by judgement on light
    – players who get the boss’s debuff… especially if they are healers :-p. Set whatever healing addon you have to show that debuff.
    – everyone: pop whatever damage mitigation CDs you have. Less healing = less life leeching for the boss.
    – priests: Holy is much better than Disc for this particular fight.

  10. Very nice post, Ophelie. And grats on the loot!
    .-= jeffo´s last blog ..Ups and Downs: 2-1/2 Years of WoW =-.

  11. No shout out to the shaman who FORCED you to take that mace? 😉
    fyi, the name of the debuff is Penetrating Cold, it hits in Phase 1 and Phase 3 but is not a concern until that third phase (and boy, oh boy is it a concern).
    Great post, glad Matticus asked you to 😀

  12. Dealing with Penetrating Cold in Phase 3 for me is as follows:

    1) When Bubble Sac is up = FoL on PC target
    2) When Aura Mastery is up = FoL/HS on the PC target
    3) No dmg mitigation + MT tank is stable = HS followed by a FoL if needed.
    4) No dmg mitigation + MT tank needs big heal = HL on PC target

    Make sure you assign each healer a PC target. I always take the X and my partner the blue square. One each.

    An ideal Phase 3 will last 45-55sec, but I have successfully killed Anub with Phase 3 lasting 1min 30secs… Chaos at the end but very intense.

  13. @ Halthor: You make really good points! Since what I posted was just impressions and reflections after my first time, it is really helpful to get some extra imput from someone who knows the fight well.

    On phase 3, I had my hands full with the tanks and my attempts to help with the PC targets resulted in panic, but I’ll admit that I wasn’t keeping track of whether or not the adds died due to splash. Definitely something I’ll pay more attention to next time. I must add that our awesome resto shammy did a crazy good job and handling the raid and PC on phase 3.

    About Bubble Sac, the reason I talked about coordinating them with other pallies was because both our ret pally and I used our bubble sac at the same time. I thought it was a bit of a waste since we could have potentially stretched out the mitigation longer. Good call on Aura Mastery, I can’t believe I forgot about that!

    @ Bleuchz: Sowwy! 🙁 The mention of loot at the end was really just gently poking fun at the stereotypical boss fights blog posts where more attention is given to loot than to the actual fight. I needed to keep it as short as possible for the effect to work.

    My awesome resto shammy teammate is both a great healer AND gives me weapons! (Is that better? ;D)
    .-= Ophelie´s last blog ..I has a linky to share! =-.

  14. Awesome post, I love your writing style! :3 As someone who has not yet set foot in a raid, I find these kinda posts doubly awesome ^^
    .-= Velestrasz´s last blog ..Basic Tanking Stats =-.

  15. Just joshin’ ya :).
    Posted this and a bunch of links from your blog to my old guild’s forums for the pallies there. You show concern for your writing style, but this type of narrative is PERFECT for new up and coming healers. Keep up the good work!

  16. A very nice report, go Oph go!

    I’ve been a follower of Oph’s blog for a long time now, she is a wonderful blogger, her blog is worthy to follow,

    All the best Oph.
    .-= Almaster´s last blog ..Holy light builds VS Flash light builds. =-.

  17. Just a word of advice from personal experience, I wouldn’t have any other pallys except holy paladins pop Bubble Sac. Prot, for obvious reasons, shouldn’t pop it, and ret will lose way too much dps during their bubble. The focus should be on the burn during this phase.

    I 3-heal all of TOGC10 with a resto shammy, holy priest, and myself (holy pally). For anub we switch to 2-heal (resto goes elem).

    I’ve heard of holy pallys 1-healing this. Anyone else?

  18. I think this was an enjoyable read. Don’t quit writing… You gave me a chuckle several times and help me realize it’s okay to laugh at our imperfections. Cya later. 🙂

  19. great article 🙂 You’ve got a great writing voice!

    I did have to giggle for a few moments at the raid chat recap – been there, done that!

  20. Ophelie should show up more. She rocks. Great write!

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