A Rogue in Naxxramas – The Four Horsemen

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.


fourhorsemen1This is a fight about raid coordination.  You need the raid split up into separate groups, and everyone has a job and has to be aware of their debuffs.  Its a fun fight.  Maybe a little easier on ranged dps than melee, but still an interesting mechanic.

When the fight starts, the Four Horsemen will go to four separate corners of the room.  Its not random – Korth’azz to front left, Rivendare to front right, Blaumeux to back left, Zeliek to back right.  Every boss needs to have someone in range of them at all times, or they auto-wipe the raid.

Here’s the catch to this fight – each boss periodically places a Mark on everyone within range of them.  The Mark is unique to each boss – there is a Mark of Rivendare, a Mark of Korth’azz, etc…  The Mark stacks infinitely.  Each application does damage, and the higher the stack, the more damage it does.  If it stacks too high, the damage becomes unhealable.  It cannot be dispelled, Cloaked, or otherwise removed.  The only way to get rid of it is to move out of range of the boss and let it fall off with time.

Simplified, that means that a character can only stay near a particular Horseman for a brief time before having to move somewhere else.  This mechanic requires a fair amount of position juggling to make sure that no one lets any mark stack too high.

The two in the front (Korth’azz and Rivendare) need to be tanked and dpsed.  Rogues and other melee dps will be up here on one side or the other.

The two in the back don’t actually need to be tanked, so you just need people to go stand in range of them.  Since those players will take consistent damage, it should be someone who can do some ranged dps, has high health and/or someone who can heal himself.  At least one of them should be a healer.  Almost anyone can do this, but it usually is not melee dps since they are more effective on the bosses in front.  In the past, we have used resto and balance druids, mages, paladins, warriors, and shamans successfully.  They need to switch positions back and forth between the two bosses to keep their Marks from stacking.

Front of the room

There are a number of strategies for doing this, so listen to your raid leader.  In my guild, we have done it two different ways.

Method 1:  In our first few runs, when our dps was a little on the low side, we would have a tank and healer at Rivendare and a tank and several dps at Korth’azz (and the players in the back on Blaumeux and Zeliek, of course).  Fight begins, everyone does their thing, dps focuses on Korth’azz.  When the Marks stack to two or three, the Rivendare and Korth’azz tanks run to the middle, taunt each other’s targets, and then run back to their starting spots.  Everyone else holds their position.  This means that everyone will start getting a NEW stacking mark, and the old mark will fall off.

Once one target dies (typically Korth’azz) dps goes and cleans up the other one, then goes to the back of the room.

Method 2:  Now that our dps is higher (in the 25 man version, at least), we can stack all of the dps on Korth’azz and put minimal players everywhere else.  When the fight begins, we pop a Heroism and we can take down Korth’azz before there is any need for the tanks to switch.  Then that group goes and cleans up Rivendare, while the ones who have built up a stack of Marks of Rivendare can go hang out while the buff wears off.  Tricks of the Trade is very useful here, because the dps needs to go all-out right at the get-go, and the tanks will appreciate the extra threat.

When fighting the two up front there is one thing to pay attention for – Korth’azz’s Meteor Strike.  Korth’azz drops a Meteor every 15 seconds or so.  Its damage is divided among everyone it hits.  If the tank eats the whole Meteor it will one-shot him.  So when fighting Korth’azz, everyone stacks up on the tank to split the Meteor damage.  Yes, that means you’ll be in front of your target.  Sorry, rogues.  Fortunately, none of the other bosses have anything like this, so you can safely stand behind them and avoid those pesky parries.

Back of the room

Now that the two Horsemen up front are dead, the raid runs to the back of the room.  Blaumeux and Zeliek don’t need to be tanked, and they will stand in position.  So everyone is free to move around and dps on either boss.  You’ll want to switch back and forth.  If you are on Blaumeux, and you see the Mark stack to two, run over to Zeliek.

Blaumeux fires off shadow bolts.  If you are at half health or lower, they can take you out.  Bandage whenever available.  She also drops void zones.  They can cluster pretty thick around her.  When you’re on her, run in and get your shots quickly, do as much burst as you can, then put a Rupture on her and run out before the mark stacks to three.

Zeliek is an annoyance for rogues.  He casts a holy bolt that can knock off more than half your health from range.  More deadly for us is his Holy Wrath, which hits one player then jumps to the next, increasing damage by 50% each jump.    Because of this, when you are on Zeliek you need to keep at least 10 yards away from anyone else.  So only one player should be in melee range at a time.  You might have to stand back and shoot/throw at him if someone else is meleeing him.  You’ll still gain marks, and be ineffective on dps  😦

At this time, the raid is running back and forth between Zeliek and Blaumeux, managing their own Marks.  There is no enrage timer, so they will die eventually if the healers can keep everyone alive and most people keep their Marks from stacking.

It sounds complicated.  It is definitely a fight you have to experience to get a feel for it.  The most important thing is, as always, that a dead rogue does zero dps.  When you see a Mark stack to two or three, start looking to get away.

The 10-man Four Horsemen do not drop much rogue stuff.  They drop the tier 7 chest piece (T7.5 on heroic).  On 10-man, that’s all for rogues.  In heroic, they also have Final Voyage, but presumably you’ll let hunters have that crossbow.

Back to main Rogue in Naxxramas page —–>


4 Responses to “A Rogue in Naxxramas – The Four Horsemen”

  1. March 19, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    “When you see a Mark stack to two or three, start looking to get away, even if it means standing back and shooting or waiting for the debuff to drop.”

    Unfortunately, the Marks have a greater range than our throws or shots, so I just go away to help on some other boss.

    Also, when killing stuff at the back of the room, you have to remember that both Blameux and Zeliek aggro to the closest person in range. So if a caster is tanking it and you run in, you will have aggro. It gets easier when the tanks switch from the front bosses, but I still have to remind them sometimes to stand directly in the boss, and closer than I am.

    And it is technically possible for a melee and a healer to do the back bosses (and for melee to dps). The healer would have to stand at a longer range, but the room isn’t that big. 🙂

    Oh, and seeing half of the 25-man raid dying to the Holy Wrath = priceless. [;

  2. 2 Barak
    March 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I know this isn’t a rogue comment, but I did the 4 horseman last weekend, and we had a Holy Pally (me), and a Warlock in the back, which worked out great, the Warlock could heal himself and had a spell to blunt Blaumeux’s shadow damage.

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