Case Study: Anub’arak 10 Heroic Featuring a Priest and Druid


This was a post I’ve been debating myself repeatedly on whether or not to trash because I wasn’t sure if it was worth it. Comments from the recent survey asked for more case studies and as a result, I’ve decided to revisit and polish this up some more.

Note: This post was written several weeks ago so the time context may be off.

Quite frankly, Anub’arak 10 scares the crap out of me.

Tonight, we were planning to zip through ToGC 10 and get it down in order to acquire additional gear and tokens. Up to this point, we had been running with 3 healers: 2 Resto Druids and myself on my Priest.

Heading into the fight, we knew we’d have to drop down to 2 healers for the extra DPS on the boss. We drew straws. Syd and I lost (actually, of the 3 healers, our DPS alternates weren’t as good compared to his). This was the first time either of us would be healing this encounter.

First attempts

The first several attempts were designed to get our feet wet with managing surface phases and burrow phases. I decided to give this fight a crack with me opening as Discipline. I would cover the tanks and Syd would take the rest of the raid. We both cover Penetrating Cold between my shields and her HoTs.

Both of the tanks I kept alive through a combination of Shields and Improved Renews. Yes, a Discipline Priest who uses Renew is a rarity, but I wasn’t going to debate on right or wrong ways. I had a job that involved keeping up 2 tanks alive at all costs. When that happens, you use every spell in the book regardless of your spec. Penetrating Cold seemed to hit me more often than not. I was reminded why Binding Heal was in the game.

Syd and I stood on the tail end of Anub for most of the night. Made the job easier for our tank if the Burrowers locked onto us before he could get to them. If I had the opportunity (which was rare), I’d sneak in a Shadow Word: Pain or Death once in a while.

The basic game plan was to overpower the initial 70%. If we hit two burrow phases, it would be game over.


At 5 seconds to burrow, we’d yank Anub from his ice patch and drag him off to the side. This way, if melee players get focused while beating on ads, they’d have enough clearance to jet to point 1 (actually, any player that gets focused goes to point 1). The next person that gets it shoots up to way point 2. The last person heads down to way point 3.

If the timer isn’t up by then, we play it by ear and bring down another orb.

Meanwhile, our players were kiting Anub to his designated spot. Players being pursued by scarabs were shielded and renew’d immediately. In the event I had nothing to do, I’d chip on scarabs with a Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death nuke (just like Arena).

I remember one time watching Anub getting perilously close to Syd and she managed to break into Cat form and sprint, which brought us a few precious seconds before he resurfaced.

The second surface phase was a basic repeat of the first. Once we tipped him over, everything changed and this is where it got really interesting.

Note: This is where you want to start reading

My mana was at the point where it was time to break out the Shadowfiend. How convenient Heroism was used after he had spawned! I made sure the tanks were properly shielded and HoTTed at all times. Penance, Greater Heal and Flash Heal were cycled among the two tanks. I heard the distinctive cue of Tranquility firing off. I did my best to balance shields on Penetrating Cold targets as well.

Try as I might, I couldn’t do it. Our Anub tank died while the beetle was at 17% or so.

The next attempts were more of the same.

Main tank dead at 12%.
Main tank dead at 15%.

This was true triage.

Whatever I was doing, it wasn’t enough. Frustration, anger, you name it, I felt it. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the Disc Priest class.

There was something wrong with me.

Syd, with her uncanny knack of detecting my mood (must be a girl thing) suggested the brilliant idea of me going Holy and her looking after tanks instead.

Structured cooldowns

Before I forget, I wanted to mention that we became more disciplined in our cooldown use. We decided to script our cooldowns in advance. We had a Prot Paladin, 2 Druids (Boomkin and Resto) and a Priest. In other words, we had 3 outs. The Druids were placed in separate groups for Tranquility.

We had no troubles adjusting to surface or submerged phases. We hit the 30% mark again and it was do or die time.

For group healing, I kept a hasted Prayer of Healing ready for the second group while a glyphed Holy Nova was reserved for mine.

The players were lowered to 50-60% ranges before firing off heals. Empowered Renews were placed on Penetrating Cold targets at all times and the tanks if they were getting too low.  We were all within close proximity of each other. Surge of Light activations were held for sudden Penetrating Cold victims (like if they were at medium health and gained the debuff).

Once I felt we were about to get overwhelmed, I called out for a Tranquility. Syd lit hers while our Boomkin shifted out and casted his well.

I started to run low on mana. I brought everyone back up before a Divine Sacrifice was called and gambled Hymn of Hope. In hindsight, I should have Hymned during the Tranquilities (again, learn from my mistakes).

It must have felt like an eternity. I wasn’t sure how much further we could go. I shot off an Inner Focused Divine Hymn in desperation on the final stretch. We had nothing else left. Heal after heal was cycled while I was inwardly praying for him to fall over. Last ditch Desperate Prayer saved me after another nasty Penetrating Cold.

Our Mage died. It looked like the raid was about to buckle, but Anub managed to fall over first before we did.

In recent weeks, we’ve used two groups to successfully bring down Anub that featured Holy Paladin/Resto Shaman and Disc Priest/Resto Shaman healers. I hope you’ve taken something away from the post and I’ll see if I can do more case studies in the future.

Shadow Priests Are Allowed to Divine Hymn

Yesterday’s post on hybrids spawned a great discussion on when it becomes useful for DPS players to switch out to different roles. Today, I wanted to expand it further and delve into the topic of Priests.

Now according to the Rules of Raiding #77:

DPS and tanking players should not have to heal.

It’s a good rule that states that if you’re in a DPS position or in a tanking position, there is no reason for you to have to change your role to heal. For one thing, you don’t have the spec or the bonuses or the gear to pull it off long term in an encounter.

If you’re a Shadow Priest, all you need to do is simply wail on the boss.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. Rule #10 for instance states:

Every possible course of action should be considered by every player no matter what they do in order to beat the encounter.

In a case where rules may clash, rules that are lower on the scale will supercede the ones above it.

Let’s apply it.

Shadow Priests will almost never be called upon to drop their Shadow form to heal. It’s inefficient and often times unnecessary. But a Shadow Priest is still a Priest and they have access to some valuable cooldowns.

There is one in particular called Divine Hymn.

Don’t shy away from using it if you have to. As one of the healing leads, I look and see what cooldowns are available. I won’t hesitate to ask for Shadow Priests to Divine Hymn. I won’t hesitate to ask a Ret Paladin to use their bubble-sacrificing abilitiy. Feral Druids know that my Priest is the Hummer of healers in the guild and that I am one heck of a mana guzzling machine when I hit the accelerator. Yet I’m playing a hybrid class, right? (That’s a joke).

Anub’arak is a stressing fight for healers. This oversized frost beetle ramps it up a notch when he hits the 30% mark and everyone in the raid starts taking damage. A quick glance at the cooldowns available is followed by me barking out names and abilities. They respond with either an affirmative or a negative. This isn’t the time to debate why their cooldown isn’t up. Maybe a Paladin had to bubble earlier in the fight to survive. Stuff like that gets discussed after the fact, not during.

I run a total of four Priests during raids. Two are Shadow and the other two heal. Shadow Priests know they’re not going to be asked to drop form and heal (usually). But four Priests means access to four Divine Hymns which is extremely powerful during a a phase with high incoming damage.

The final point I want to stress is that a Shadow Priest isn’t required to keep the raid alive for long periods of time. That’s not their job. But they can help keep the raid stable enough for everyone else to stay alive and pile on their damage.

If you’re in a top 100 worldwide raiding guild, your Shadow Priests might not have to do it. For the rest of us, every option needs to be considered.

Crusader’s Coliseum: Heroic Hard Mode Details (Updated 10:30 AM)

Updated with more details, 10:30 AM.

These details come as a courtesy of my officer, KimboSlice and is obtained from the TankSpot forums (which is reposted on MMO Champion). Figured I’d share it (summarized) with everyone who is waiting for maintenance to expire (and who don’t actively check MMO Champion or Tankspot).

Northrend Beasts Encounter

Gormok the Impaler

  • Impale does 150% weapon damage instead of 100%.
  • DoT ticks for 80% more damage and lasts 5 seconds longer. Tanks must switch at 2 stacks.
  • Yes, you will need 3 tanks to handle the DoT rotation. All 3 will need heals.
  • Each Snobold that is out there increases his damage by 15%.
  • The direct damage from Impale will hit for ~35000.
  • Stomp on melee from 9k to 12k

Acidmaw and Dreadscale

  • Imperative for players to spread out.
  • Acid hits for 5000 every 2 seconds.
  • Burning bile is 9000 damage every 2 seconds to players within 10 yards.
  • It is expected that if one enrages, it will be a wipe. Therefore, both snakes may have to be taken down together. Not sure of this, but keep it in mind.
  • Whatever happened to that third snake?


  • Arctic breath does 30000 damage over 5 seconds. I suggest assigning healers to the left or right of Icehowl to help reduce increase survivability.
  • Random whirlwind on melee from 10k to 14k

Lord Jaraxxus

  • Touch of Jaraxxus inflicts ~4000 damage over 12 seconds which causes players to be affected by Curse of the Nether (AoE dot). Possible decurse?
  • Mistress’ Kiss: Next spell with a cast time gets that school interrupted for 8 seconds and causes 8000+ damage.
  • Incinerate Flesh needs 85000 healing instead of 60000 to remove it.
  • Burning Inferno (Incinerate Flesh after it’s not removed) ticks for 8000 damage a second for 5 seconds (Yeah, that’s a wipe)
  • Pain Spike from the Mistress does 100% of a target’s health over time
  • Legion Flame now ticks for 12000
  • Fel Lightning from 10k to 12k

Faction Champions

  • Spells and abilities are more potent.
  • Shaman LHW from 20k to 60k
  • Paladin Holy Light from 50k to 80k
  • Warlock Corruptionf rom 18k to 24k
  • Expect the trend to continue with the other class abilities.

Val’kyr Twins

  • Touch of Light (or Dark): Inflicts 4000 damage to players of the opposite essence every second. For example, Touch of Light will do ~4000+ damage to players under the effect of dark Essence every second. Light touched players will not take any damage.
  • Surge of Light (or Dark): Inflicts 1500 damage every 2 seconds to enemies of the opposite essence. For example, Surge of Light deals 1500 damage every 2 seconds to Dark essence
  • Shield health increased from 700k to 1.2 million (Ouch)
  • Power of the Twins: +20% damage and hit, 10% attack speed if Twins are too close.
  • Unleashed Light/Dark orb hits increased from 9000 to 15000.


  • Leeching swarm ticks for 20% health instead of 10%
  • Extra add: Nerubian Ice Darter (No other details)

There might be some more surprises tonight as we head into the Coliseum. If there’s anything else you or your raid group notices, I encourage you to post comments to reflect that. As I experience the encounters myself, I’ll do a follow up post later on with more healing specific tips on getting through them.

Good luck and good hunting!