Bosses in Five Seconds: A quick guide to killing every boss in Ny’alotha wing 4
The final wing of Ny’alotha opens this week for LFR! If you’ve gotten tired of killing an Old God’s minions, now you get to kill the Old God himself, and he’ll make it worth your time. Not only are these the final raid fights of the expansion, but they drop loot with higher item levels than the rest of Ny’alotha. Unfortunately, if you’re still dragging Kevin the Raid Menace along with you, he can do a lot to make your life miserable here.
One very important note for both encounters: You must have Ashjra’kamas, Shroud of Resolve equipped. If you don’t, you will be immediately mind-controlled on both Carapace and N’Zoth. Even a level one cloak is enough to prevent this, so don’t be lazy. The cloak is an upgrade for everyone, so get it if you haven’t!
As with our previous articles on Wing 1 (Wrathion, Maut, and Skitra), Wing 2 (Xanesh, Vexiona, Hivemind, and Ra-den), and Wing 3 (Shad’har, Drest’agath, and Il’gynoth), this guide assumes you are doing the LFR or Normal versions of the encounters. Where appropriate, I’ve included notes for tanks and healers.
How to kill Carapace of N’Zoth in LFR
Five-second version for DPS: Stay out of stuff on the ground, run away from other people when you get a light purple circle around you, and click your extra action button (or collect a shiny orb on the ground) if you run low on sanity.
If you actually want to know what’s going on: Carapace has three phases. The most important element you’ll see on both this fight and N’Zoth is the return of the sanity mechanic you’ve already seen in Visions and Lesser Visions. What happens when you run out of sanity? N’Zoth mind controls you and the raid has to kill you.
Should that happen? No.
Will it happen to Kevin? Probably.
But there is a way to deal with it. When the encounter starts, you’ll see an extra action button on your screen that, when clicked in phase one or two, will return you to Wrathion and restore your sanity. If your raid’s DPS is good, even on Heroic you’ll probably only have to click this once or twice, and that’s mostly for your own convenience during phase two. If your raid’s DPS is poor, you’ll have to be more careful. It does have a two-minute cooldown, so you can’t just use it whenever you run into trouble. Your sanity resets automatically with each phase change, but your extra action button is gone in phase three, so be particularly careful there.
Stay away from shadows on the ground; these always precede a giant tentacle which will slam down and kill you instantly. DPS the Fury of N’Zoth (the big add), kill the Horrific Hemorrhage (adds on the sides of the big tentacles when they slam down), and kill the little adds that spawn. If you get Madness Bomb (a light purple circle around you), run away from other players, and don’t stand in other players’ circles when they get it. If your sanity gets low, run over a shiny orb on the ground or use your extra action button.
Follow the raid up one side of the room (nearly all raids go up the right side first) and kill the Synthesis Growths. When they’re all dead, click your extra action button to return to Wrathion and restore your sanity, then go up the other side and kill the Growths there. Once they’re dead, jump down to the center and keep killing the Fury. Avoid his frontal cone (it’s randomly targeted). Pick up an orb if your sanity is getting low, or go back to Wrathion.
Follow the Fury up the tunnel. At the top, avoid the shadows again (more giant tentacles!) and spread out when Insanity Bomb goes out (another purple circle around you that will drain sanity from anyone else it hits). Once Insanity Bomb goes off, adds spawn: run to the tanks so they can keep them grouped for AOE. On heroic, stay out of dark stuff on the ground. The fight’s over when the Fury is dead, so make sure your big cooldowns and potions are up for phase three.
Tanks on Carapace
Your main responsibilities are to keep the big Fury of N’Zoth add busy and to pick up the little adds when they spawn after a giant tentacle slams down. For the Fury, taunt after two stacks of Black Scar on the present tank, and then whenever your debuff drops afterwards. This can be a little messy as the taunt windows overlap with periods in which you’ll be picking up tentacle adds, so if you’re the Fury tank, be prepared to use a cooldown/external/trinket if your co-tank is occupied for a few seconds.
When you see the telltale giant shadow go out and a tentacle’s about to slam down, try to position one tank on each side of it. The little adds that come out after each giant tentacle need to be tanked. Their attacks will slow you, so don’t get caught too far away from your co-tank when you need to taunt.
If you’re actively tanking anything and need to refill your sanity, use the little golden orbs that spawn rather than your extra action button. Using it returns you to Wrathion, which will send whatever you’re tanking (along with the rest of the raid) to the other side of the room. Ask me how I know this.
Healers on Carapace
How to kill N’Zoth in LFR
Five-second version for DPS: Stay out of stuff on the ground and run to whoever you’re linked to if a little purple line goes from your character to them. Avoid other players when this happens: If you’re not affected, avoid the players who are. On phase one and your “downstairs” phase, kill little tentacles to debuff Psychus until he reaches at least five stacks, then kill Psychus. When you’re “upstairs,” kill and interrupt tentacle adds. Go wherever the rest of your raid is going for Mindgrasp. Make sure your big cooldowns and potions are up for the beginning of phase three. On phase three, stack and move with your raid to keep Evoke Anguish pools controlled. Get inside the big dark circle cast by the adds to help soak, and stay away from eye beams.
If you actually want to know what’s going on: Sorry, folks: There are enough mechanics on this fight that it’s not going to be a freebie, especially if you’re pugging. The five-second version above will keep you from getting anyone else killed, but that’s about it. This fight is… just a lot. Buckle up before you hit the wall of text!
As with Carapace, N’Zoth is a three-phase encounter with the sanity mechanic present. Once again, you’ll have an extra action button to restore your sanity, but this time it’s got a three-minute cooldown.
Everyone in the raid will be “downstairs” battling Psychus and little tentacles. Keep Psychus next to the tentacles; when they die, Psychus gets a debuff increasing his damage taken. Don’t bother multi-dotting or AOEing the tentacles because each one heals to full whenever one of them is killed. Kill tentacles until Psychus reaches at least five stacks, and then kill Psychus. Avoid dark stuff on the ground and be aware that it grows (fairly rapidly) over time. It will also drain your sanity so make sure you don’t touch it. Once Psychus is dead, you can click your character model (which will be floating back where you zoned into the “downstairs” realm) to return.
A note here with respect to sanity: If you handled phase one and Paranoia well, your sanity is probably somewhere around 30-50 by the time the first Mindgate spawns in phase two Whether you’re staying “upstairs” or going “downstairs,” it’s generally useful to pop your extra action button for the first time shortly after Paranoia’s gone out and been handled. The downstairs people will need to be at full sanity before descending, and the extra action button should be up again before the other half of the raid gets its own downstairs phase.
After you’re back from handling the first Psychus, you get a period of free DPS on the boss, so save your initial cooldowns for this.
When N’Zoth goes active again, he’ll spawn little tentacles all over. Kill the ones between your raid and the wall to reduce the dark circles around them (it’s the same stuff that you saw with Psychus that will drain your sanity if you hit it). Shortly after, N’Zoth will cast Mindgrasp; you’ll see dark lines either moving towards the wall or towards N’Zoth, which indicate which direction N’Zoth will drag you:
- If they’re moving towards the wall, get close to N’Zoth
- If they’re moving towards N’Zoth, get close to the wall
Position your character so it’s not going to cross any little tentacles while being Grasped.
After this, N’Zoth will spawn tentacle packs. These are your kill priorities:
- Tank and kill the Basher tentacles (the biggest ones)
- Interrupt and kill the Corruptors
- Kill the the little Spike tentacles once you’ve dealt with the other two
Avoid the red stuff on the ground when the tentacles die. If you get Paranoia (a purple line between yourself and another player), run to them immediately and stay near them as long as the debuff is active. If you don’t get Paranoia, stay away from the players who do.
Phase two: Downstairs
45 seconds after N’Zoth spawns the tentacle packs, he’ll spawn Mindgate — a dark blue/black/red pool on the ground close to where the initial tentacle pack spawned. Standing in this will send you “downstairs” again to another Psychus phase. The raid has to split in two: Group one will handle the first downstairs phase while group two handles the tentacle packs upstairs, and then you’ll switch. This version of Psychus has the exact same mechanics as the previous version, but the downstairs phase will take longer as you’ll now only have half the raid. Kill tentacles, get 5-6 stacks on Psychus, kill him, stay out of bad stuff, and get out as quickly as possible.
After the first downstairs group kills Psychus, N’Zoth is again stunned for 30 seconds, and will then repeat the cycle of Mindgrasp/spawning tentacles/spawning Mindgate. The second group will then go in, kill Psychus, and N’Zoth will be stunned again for another 30 seconds. At this point, he transitions to phase three. So yes, you have to kill Psychus three times this fight, and yes, this is just as annoying as it sounds.
Be aware that the downstairs phase is slightly different for each group in phase two; the first group has to avoid a lot of fire on the ground, and the second needs to keep movement to a minimum to avoid extra damage.
Transition from phase two to phase three
When both halves of the raid have killed Psychus, pop Heroism/Bloodlust and potions while N’Zoth is stunned. Do as much damage to him as possible before he starts his crap, because phase three is all about killing him before he kills you. Clean up any leftover tentacles if necessary.
Keep the raid stacked as much as possible during this phase. These are the big mechanics to be aware of:
- When Evoke Anguish goes out, move as a group in the direction the raid leader calls to keep the dark pools spawned by the ability under control. (If you aren’t that organized, at least try to keep the pools together and away from the raid.)
- Stay out from in front of Stupefying Glare (the eye beam cast that can rotate in either direction; you will take damage and get feared if it hits you).
- When the Thought Harvester add spawns, it needs to be picked up and tanked. You should kill the first one or two adds that come out, but after that, N’Zoth should be low enough that you should just focus him.
- When the add casts Harvest Thoughts, stand in the big circle to split the damage/sanity loss. Be aware that Harvest Thoughts can go out shortly before/after Evoke Anguish, so watch your feet!
The fight is over when you get N’Zoth to 2%.
Yes, this is all a lot of trouble, but N’Zoth drops some good loot… and also he’s kind of an existential threat to the world and you should really be doing this out of the goodness of your heart anyway.
But it’s mostly about the loot.
Tanks on N’Zoth
There’s a lot of responsibility riding on the tanks in this fight, particularly with respect to positioning on Psychus phases. Ideally, you’ll keep Psychus planted firmly on top of/next to whatever tentacle your raid is killing (he needs to be within 8 yards of a tentacle that dies to gain a stack of Synaptic Shock), and then move him promptly to the next one so he doesn’t lose stacks. It helps to mark the focus target with a skull so DPS know which tentacle to kill. Placement of the Creeping Anguish ground effect is also mostly on you, so make sure Psychus is in a good spot (in other words, not in the middle of the raid) when that goes out.
If you want to simplify Psychus phases as much as possible in a pick-up group, keep dragging him around the outside edge of the room and killing each tentacle you reach. This should keep Creeping Anguish to the outer half, which affords ranged/healers a safe place to stand on the inner half. Melee just need to make sure they’re not running through bad stuff when it goes out, but that’s on them and not you. This isn’t the most efficient route (most coordinated raids will U-turn him so they reach their bodies and zone out more quickly), but it’s pretty idiot-proof.
On phase two, the Basher tentacles need to be tanked. Make sure whichever tank is heading “downstairs” isn’t immediately occupied with one. Void Lash does heavy damage and you may want to cooldown or trinket through the casts. The damage done by the Bashers increases over time, so holler at your DPS if they’re farting around with other stuff.
Tanking Psychus on phase two is the same deal, though avoiding fire (for the first downstairs group) can be a bit of a headache because you need to keep Psychus near the focus target. If the entire area around the target is covered in fire, you’re going to have to dance around a little. Make sure that you do not get hit by this at any point, because you’ll become incapacitated and drop aggro. If you’re in the second group, just move as little as possible.
On phase three, N’Zoth himself does not need to be tanked, but the Thought Harvesters do. You can taunt swap after Mindwrack if you want, but frankly it’s not a big deal. If the add lives long enough for the debuff to be an issue, your DPS are not doing their job. With good DPS, N’Zoth will die before you start getting two adds at a time: With bad or mediocre DPS (or just on first kills where everybody’s still getting used to the mechanics), you probably will reach that point. Either way, keep your cooldowns/trinkets up as N’Zoth starts getting low, because it’s more efficient to just kill the boss at that point than worry about the adds.
Healers on N’Zoth
As befits the final raid boss of the expansion, N’Zoth does heavy tank and raid damage. Of particular note are Void Lash casts on the tanks (by Basher tentacles when they’re up), N’Zoth’s Eternal Torment AOE (raid-wide damage “upstairs”), and Harvest Thought soaks in phase three.
Contribute as much DPS as you can during the periods in which N’Zoth is stunned. It’s easy to heal the raid up in the period afterwards while the raid is handling little tentacles for Mindgrasp (in phase two) or stacking for Evoke Anguish (in phase three).
Shaman can use Tremor Totem to handle the fear from Stupefying Glare in phase three. If you see someone about to get hit, you’ll still have to heal through the damage, but at least they won’t get feared into an Anguish puddle.
And that’s all for now
Ny’alotha is the last raid of Battle for Azeroth, so we’ll be waiting a while for our next new boss battle. Until then, happy raiding, everyone.
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