Grand Widow Faerlina is the second boss in the Arachnid Quarters of the plague citadel Naxxramas. She is a single phase fight, and is rather unique in that the normal and heroic versions of her are quite different. In both versions she is a DPS race, however.
Raid Setup (25 man)
The raid should consist of 3 tanks, 6-8 healers and the rest should be DPS. An even spread between melee and ranged DPS is best. Poison dispellers are a good idea (3-4 of them). The raid must include at least one priest.
Raid Setup (10 man)
The raid should consist of 2 tanks, 2-3 healers and the rest should be DPS, with an even spread between ranged and melee. Poison dispellers are a good idea (1-2 of them).
Grand Widow Faerlina will, at times, put your main tank’s gear to the test; however it is nothing a tank capable of handling Anub’Rekhan cannot handle. A high amount of health is beneficial though: roughly 25k+ buffed for 10 man, and 32k+ for 25 man; this is a stamina friendly fight. If executed properly, a raid that can defeat Anub’Rekhan can also defeat Faerlina.
All standard consumables to improve healing, DPS and tanking alike will help a lot on this encounter, and the first time a raid force tries this encounter, high DPS is a necessity.
Her melee hits for 7-8k (heroic) / 5-6k (normal) on plate.
She has approximately 6 760 000 HP (heroic) / 2 230 000 HP (normal).
Poison Bolt Volley:
Heroic: This hits the 10 players closest to Grand Widow Faerlina for 3375-4125 nature damage, and leaves a Damage over Time debuff (DoT) on all players it hits for an additional 1900-2100 nature damage every 2 seconds, for 8 seconds. The DoT is dispellable. Poison Bolt Volley can be cast on anyone in line of sight of the boss, regardless of range. It is used every 15 seconds.
Normal: This hits the 5 players closest to Grand Widow Faerlina for 2625-3375 nature damage, and leaves a a Damage over Time debuff (DoT) on all players it hits for an additional 1480-1720 nature damage every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. The DoT is dispelable. Poison Bolt Volley can be cast on anyone in line of sight of the boss, regardless of range. It is used every 15 seconds.
Rain of Fire: These will spawn around the raid randomly through the encounter. They are easy to spot and avoid, and should be avoided to take some pressure off the healers. The fire deals 3700-4200 (heroic) / 2775-3225 (normal) fire damage every 2 seconds, and lasts 6 seconds. The radius of the AoE is approximately 8 yards.
Frenzy: Grand Widow Faerlina’s physical damage is increased by 150%, melee haste by 50% and size by 50%. During this enrage, she will hit the tank for large amounts of damage, and will kill him before long. This is countered using the ability Widow’s Embrace (see below for details). This ability is used roughly every 60-80 seconds. Note: Frenzy lasts 30 minutes. If you do not counter it using Widows Embrace, the raid will wipe in short order.
Grand Widow Faerlina is accompanied by 4 Naxxramas Worshippers when the fight starts. They have approximately 210 000 HP (heroic) / 80,000 HP (normal). These mobs are very important to the fight and must not be killed initially.
They will cast Fireball on their primary aggro target and are thus rather difficult to move into position. It is easiest if the off tank picks up aggro on all 4 of them, and then simply keeps them where they stand. The Fireball hits for 2-2,5k on normal and 2,5-3k on heroic.
Heroic: When Grand Widow Faerlina goes into Frenzy, a priest must be ready with a Mind Controlled Naxxramas Worshipper. The Naxxramas Worshipper will have an ability called “Widow’s Embrace”, and, if used approximately within 10 yards of Grand Widow Faerlina, it will dispel Frenzy, prevent Frenzy for 30 seconds, and silence her nature school for 30 seconds (you do not need to target her to use this ability). This will also kill the Naxxramas Worshipper. The faster this is done, the greater the chance of your main tank surviving the Frenzy hits. Note: when a Naxxramas Worshipper is sacrificed, the remaining Naxxramas Worshippers will get a debuff called “Mind Exhaustion”, making them immune to Mind Control for 30 seconds. This is not of huge significance, but worth noting. It is helpful if you assign the Mind Control duty to one priest before you pull, to avoid chaos. A shadow priest is the best choice, as they often have superior spell hit.
Normal: When Grand Widow Faerlina goes into Frenzy, the raid must kill a Naxxramas Worshipper within approximately 10 yards of her, which will dispel the Frenzy, prevent Frenzy for 30 seconds, and silence her nature school for 30 seconds. The Naxxramas Worshippers are immune to Mind Control on normal mode!
Due to only being able to dispel Frenzy 4 times, the fight has a hidden enrage timer of around 5 minutes; once you are unable to dispel the Frenzy, your main tank is going to die at the next Frenzy.
On heroic mode only, Grand Widow Faerlina is also accompanied by two Naxxramas Followers. They have 520 000 HP each, cast AoE silence on nearby enemies (with approximately a 10 yard range) and periodically charge random raid members for 5-7k damage before returning to their tank.
There are two ways to deal with these mobs:
1) Off tank them for the entire fight, since they only hit for ~ 2k on the tank.
2) Kill them when the fight begins.
Killing them both is highly recommended: if they Charge the main tank during Frenzy, or the priest Mind Controlling a Naxxramas Worshipper, it can have quite dire consequences. Besides, there are fewer tanks to heal if the Naxxramas Followers are killed.
Ultimate Guide Guarantee: "...within seconds of accepting a quest you will
know WHERE to go, HOW to complete it, and WHEN to do it." Click Here For Proof!
If you decide to offtank them for the entire fight rather than killing them, keep them more than 40 yards away from the raid since this will out-range the Charge. The pull diagram below shows two Naxxramas Follower positions: one position for killing them (this is the blue spot), and one position if you decide to off tank them (a purple arrow points in the direction; the Naxxramas Follower tank and his healer should run far away from the raid to avoid Charges on the main tank. Near the room entrance works fine for this).
The fight starts with the tanks running in and picking their mobs up.
There should be one main tank for Grand Widow Faerlina, one tank for all 4 Naxxramas Worshippers, and (on heroic mode) one tank for the two Naxxramas Followers. All mobs in this encounter are Taunt-able.
The Naxxramas Worshippers are hard to move around due to their caster nature, so just tank them where they stand, on the platform (the green dots). Their tank will have to move around between them in turn to get aggro; due to this, Death Knights or Paladins are particularly handy for this task with their AoE tanking spells.
Naxxramas Followers (blue dots) are pulled to a side and killed (casters must mind not to get too close: their silence has a 10 yard range around them). Alternatively, they can be pulled far away from the raid (purple arrow), close to the room entrance.
Grand Widow Faerlina is pulled to the middle of the room with the raid spread out around her to avoid the Rain Of Fire. It is a good idea to start the pull by Misdirecting Grand Widow Faerlina to an already waiting tank, and have the other tanks run in to pick up the adds with an AoE aggro ability without the risk of aggroing the boss.
If on heroic mode, it is highly recommended to kill the Naxxramas Followers first, and fast: focus your entire DPS division on them and kill them. If you assign a feral tank to them (with their Berserk Mangle + Maul Cleaves), rogues and warriors will be able to deal a large amount of damage to both mobs with Blade Flurry and Whirlwinds. The Naxxramas Followers have to die fast, since the fight is a DPS race. The ranged DPS should still be spread out whilst doing this, or the Rain Of Fire will put an unnecessary strain on your healers.
Once the Naxxramas Followers are dead, or if you off tank them for the entire fight, all DPS shifts focus to Grand Widow Faerlina. The tank should be miles ahead on threat, so keep the DPS high.
On normal mode, it is helpful to assign the DPS to bring the Naxxramas Worshippers to ~ 30% at the start of the fight. This makes managing the Frenzy a lot easier on the raid, since on normal mode you dispel the Frenzy by killing a Naxxramas Worshipper close to the boss.
Heroic Mode: Approximately 50 seconds after the pull, the preassigned priest should Mind Control the first Naxxramas Worshipper and move him to melee Grand Widow Faerlina. As soon as the Frenzy hits, you must immediately hit Widow’s Embrace (but not before the frenzy hits: it will still kill the Naxxramas Worshipper). This will dispel the Frenzy, and prevent Poison Bolt Volley for 30 seconds. Another 50 seconds after the Frenzy, the priest should again Mind Control the next Naxxramas Worshipper, move him into melee range of the boss and be ready with the sacrifice when she goes into Frenzy.
Normal Mode: When Grand Widow Faerlina goes into Frenzy, the main tank needs to move her on top of a Naxxramas Worshipper, and the DPS all focus fire that Naxxramas Worshipper down. Raid target marks are helpful to predetermine the kill order of Naxxramas Worshippers. Once the Naxxramas Worshipper dies, Frenzy is dispelled and her poison school is silenced for 30 seconds. Repeat this procedure every time she Frenzies.
Main Tank: Move Grand Widow Faerlina out of the Rain Of Fire. On normal mode, be ready to drag her to a Naxxramas Worshipper as soon as the Frenzy hits; and move her away again once the Frenzy is dispelled. On both modes, keep defensive cooldowns ready for the Frenzies.
Off Tank(s): Make moderate amounts of threat on the Naxxramas Worshippers. You only really have to compete with healers for aggro on them. Do not get overzealous and accidentally kill one! On heroic mode, tank the Naxxramas Followers away from your casters, or they will get silenced, costing valueable DPS and healing.
DPS: On normal mode, take Naxxramas Worshippers to 30%, but take caution not to kill them by mistake with AoE abilities (Divine Storm, Whirlwind etc.). Be prepared to kill a Naxxramas Worshipper quickly when the Frenzy hits. On heroic mode, deal the highest DPS possible to Grand Widow Faerlina. Move out of the Rain Of Fire.
Healers: Keep the tanks alive. During Frenzy, big and fast casts are needed on the main tank to prevent his death. Those capable of dispelling poisons should do so when the Poison Bolt Volley hits. Move out of the Rain Of Fire, and keep the raid alive.
On heroic, assign 1 healer dedicated to the Naxxramas Worshipper tank, 1-2 healers to the Naxxramas Worshipper tank and the raid, one healer to the Naxxramas Follower tank (this healer can help with the MT once Naxxramas Followers are dead) and the rest on MT healing. During Frenzy all healers except the dedicated Naxxramas Worshipper healer have to chain cast their biggest heals on the main tank.
On normal mode, assign one healer to the Naxxramas Worshipper tank, and the rest to raid and MT healing.
Put a shaman in the group with your melee DPS. The Poison Bolt Volley will hit the players closest to Grand Widow Faerlina; this will, in most cases, include all melee DPS. A Poison Cleansing Totem will make the dispellers’ lives a lot easier.
All DPS has to watch out with multi-target abilities whenever the boss is close to Naxxramas Worshippers on normal mode. When Grand Widow Faerlina is kited past Naxxramas Worshippers, it is very easy to accidentally fire a Divine Storm, Whirlwind, Multishot, Pet Cleave etc. If you accidentally kill a Naxxramas Worshipper, the hidden enrage time is shortened by 20%!