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.
Gothik is a very trash heavy fight, emphasizing AoE damage and healing. This is not the strong suit for rogues. We can do some burst AoE, but cannot sustain it. Single targets die pretty quickly in this fight, requiring a lot of target changing.
The raid needs to be divided up into two halves, separated by a wall with a gate. The side where the entrance is is the “live” side and the other half is the “undead” side. The gate will close for most of the fight. Each side needs a tank or two, healers, and dps. The dps should be closely balanced, with perhaps a little more on the undead side. Rogues typically go on the live side, because the dead side might need more AoE dps. However, either side is fine for any dps class.
When the fight starts, Gothink is on a balcony and is unreachable. Waves of adds begin to spawn on the live side. As the adds or killed, their spirits fly over to the other side of the gate and spawn skeletons on the undead side. The basic premise of the fight is this – the live side has too kill the adds fast enough to keep from being overwhelmed. However, if they kill the live adds TOO fast, then the undead side can get overrun with skeleton spawns. So it is a balancing and pacing act.
At the beginning of the fight, its probably wise to stand the whole group in a corner of the room so the mobs all have to come to you from the same direction. That way the tanks can intercept all of the mobs before they reach the healers. Your tanks need to multi-task, picking up new adds while tanking existing ones.
Rogues can perform equally well on either side. Initially, the adds come out slowly, are non-elite and die in a few hits. When killed, they become non-elite skeletons on the undead side. Whichever side you are on, don’t even bother with stealth or Fan of Knives. Just single-target them down. Or just stay in stealth and ignore them and let an AoE classes burn them down. That lets you save your opener for the harder mobs.
Shortly after that there will be elite Death Knight mobs. When killed they become elite Spectral Death Knights on the undead side. They are tougher, so you don’t want to pull aggro on them. Keep Tricks of the Trade up. They have a whirlwind attack, but its not devastating so your healers should be able to keep you up through it. If you see the Shadow Mark debuff that means you’ll take additional Shadow damage later, so you’ll want to Cloak that away. Wait until an Unrelenting Rider spawns to Cloak it, though, or the Death Knight will just reapply it.
Things really start to ramp up when the Unrelenting Riders come out. These are mounted elite mobs. They are even tougher to kill. The catch here is that when they die, they become two mobs on the undead side – a rider and horse separately. They do AoE shadow damage, and the live-side ones fire shadowbolts at anyone who has the Shadow Mark debuff. The undead versions have additional AoE damage. That’s why its nice to Cloak that debuff off.
This can get rough on the healers, as damage is thrown around to everyone. Also, the tanks have to get and hold aggro on all of these mobs at once. Be nice to the tanks – wait until they have aggro before using FoK or doing major damage.
Ideally, you have some good AoE classes in the raid – mages, warlocks, fury warriors etc.., making short work of these mobs. A rogue’s best bet is to single-target dps the elite mobs, keeping TotT up to avoid getting aggro. Priority is on killing the Riders. Combat rogues should use Blade Flurry/Adrenaline Rush/Killing Spree whenever they are up. If it seems like you’re being swarmed, you can also Vanish, wait for a little energy to pool, and then fire off three or four Fan of Knives to help AoE. But remember – if you burst down a whole bunch of mobs at once on the live side, its going to rush the undead side – especially the riders.
If you survive that (four minutes and 34 seconds total) then it gets much easier. Adds stop spawning and Gothik comes down. He starts on the live side and gets tanked and dpsed. After 10-15 seconds he teleports over to the undead side where he gets tanked and dpsed. Then he teleports back. to the live side Repeat. Every 15 seconds he puts a Harvest Soul debuff on everyone that reduces all stats by 10%, and it stacks. As the stacks build up, dps and the tanks health will gradually get lower and lower. When Gothik gets to 30%, the central gate opens and everyone can join together to finish him off.
Aggro is not an issue during this phase, so go to town. There’s nothing funny or tricky in this phase, its just tank n spank. Bandage when he is not on your side of the gate. You won’t be happy with your dps numbers due to the Harvest Soul stat reduction, but go as all-out as you can. If you can get to phase two with most of the raid alive, you’re home free.
Gothik doesn’t drop a lot of rogue gear. The Tunic of Dislocation (10-man drop) is very nice, but not the best chest piece in Naxx. The heroic version has one gem – the Hood of the Exodus. This is one of the top two or three head items in the game for rogues. Also, the Leggings of Fleeting Moments are very nice. He also has a bunch of shared loot table drops, like the Aged Winter Cloak and Grim Toll.