A Rogue in Naxxramas – Grobbulus

This is part of a series describing rogue tactics for the bosses in Naxxramas. The focus is on the 10-man version of the fights, since that’s what most people will be running. If you have suggestions for alternate strategies, or if I say something that you disagree with, please put it in the comments.

These are not meant to be full raid strategy guides. They are written to describe the role of rogues (or other melee dps) during the encounters. For full strategy guides refer to Bosskillers or WoWWiki.


Grobbulus stinks.

Not just because he leaves big clouds of noxious fumes behind him.  Just because he’s hard on melee.  This is a constantly moving fight.  There is a lot to watch out for.  This is hands-down my least favorite fight in Naxx.

grobbulusGrobbulus has three major abilities that need to be avoided.

First – he frequently drops circular clouds of gas behind him.  These clouds slowly expand and do significant nature damage.  You can’t stand in them for more than a few moments.  For melee combat, when you are trying to stand behind him to attack, this is an annoyance.

To avoid these clouds, the tank is going to drag Grobbulus all around the perimeter of the room.  You have to keep up with the moving boss.  It can help to stand on his sides and strafe so you are never in a cloud.  Try not to let your SnD (and HFB if you are Assassination) drop while moving.  Keep Rupture up all the time so that it ticks even when you are not on the boss.

Second – He hits random players with Mutating Injection.  When someone gets that, they have ten seconds before they will “explode”, causing Nature damage to themselves and everyone around them and creating a new poison cloud.

Watch the raid warnings.  When you get hit with this, run somewhere away from everyone else.  The safest place for this is to run between two existing poison clouds.  No one should be standing there so your explosion should damage no one but yourself.  Don’t forget to move out of the cloud once you explode, otherwise you start taking the cloud DoT.  In my experience, Cloak of Shadows has not canceled the debuff or stopped the damage from the explosion, but it did seem to prevent the ticks of the DoT from the new cloud while I was running out of it.

Third – periodically he sprays slime on anyone standing in a cone in front of him.  Anyone hit with the slime takes damage and spawns a Fallout Slime, which is a little blob that does AoE damage.  These need to be off-tanked.

Obviously, the only one that should be hit by the slime is the tank.  Everyone else should be behind Grobbulus.  However, he has a tendency to turn toward the raid to target someone for Mutating Injection just as he does his Slime Spray.  This often results in a bunch of melee dps getting hit with the spray, lots of Fallout Slimes, and then the raid leader gets mad and blames melee for the wipe.

My approach here is to make sure I stay at Grobbulus’ left shoulder (the side away from the center of the room) when I am behind him.  I know he is going to turn to his right toward the raid to target them, so I shade toward his left and avoid the spray even when he turns.  All melee should do the same.


  • DPS Grobbulus, staying behind him, shading toward his left or outside shoulder.  Keep DoTs up.
  • Follow him as the tank drags him around.
  • Stay out of poison clouds that will be left behind him.
  • When you get Mutating Injection, run away from the raid to a spot between existing clouds.  Cloak to avoid the DoT after the explosion.  Sprint to catch back up to the boss.
  • Don’t forget to refresh your HfB or SnD while running so they don’t drop off.
  • If there are too many Fallout Slimes you’ll have to leave the boss to help kill them before they start taking out healers.  However, if there are too many Fallout Slimes this is a symptom that your raid is doing something wrong.

He is hard on melee.  Remember that a dead rogue does zero dps, so avoiding clouds is a priority over maintaining time on target.  Bandages and potions are very important here.  Good luck!

He drops some nice items.  The Sealing Ring of Grobbulus is one of the best dps rings you can get in 10-man content.  Good luck rolling against all the other dps classes, though.  An item more directly for rogues is the Blistered Belt of Decay, although it does use some of its item budget on the underwhelming armor penetration stat.

In 25-man raids you can get the highly prized Tunic of Indulgence – one of the top chest slot items in the game.  He could also give you Twilight Mist, which is a slow dagger (1.8 speed) for you PvP fans.  Other drops include the Aged Winter Cloak, which drops from several Naxx bosses.  You might also see Grim Toll which is awesome and also on a shared loot table.

Back to main Rogue in Naxxramas page —–>


6 Responses to “A Rogue in Naxxramas – Grobbulus”

  1. February 24, 2009 at 5:04 am

    You won’t see the poison clouds if your spell details are set to the lowest. Bump them up to 2/3, even if that would be only for this fight, as it really helps a lot. 🙂

    This can be a really annoying fight for a melee dps if you get repeatedly infected – I think one of my guildies holds a record of six in a row. :]

  2. February 24, 2009 at 5:30 am

    Speaking of loot, watch out after he dies, because those poison clouds stick around for a while.
    Don’t be that guy that dies after the boss because you were too eager to loot your badges !

    Other than that it’s not that hard of a fight once you get used to always moving.
    Good tip on CloSing the DoT of the injection, though ! I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time.

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