A Rogue in Naxxramas – Kel’thuzad

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.


Finally, to Kel’thuzad.  This is a pretty complex fight.  It helps to have a well-organized UI.  You will need to keep an eye on your character, your cooldowns, and Kel’s cast bar all at once.  If you can use a UI mod to get all of those in your field of view, it will be helpful

Phase one of the fight is easy.  The raid will run into the center of the room and fight off trash mobs that come from the perimeter.  The skeletons are easy – often a Fan of Knives or a single melee atack will kill them.  THe abominations get tanked and melee’d down.  The banshees need to get burned down at range.  A rogue’s job is to kill the abominations.  You can go dps on the banshees also, but if you get too close to the walls you can pull more trash.  Its best to stay near the center.  Make sure the skeletons and banshees are dead before they get into the raid.  They blow up.

Kel’thuzad will become active before the trash is dead.  Let the main tank pick him up while ranged and AoE finish off the trash, and move onto KT.

Here’s where it is interesting.  Ideally, everyone in the raid will keep 10 yards away from anyone else.  That’s not possible if you have a bunch of melee dps, though.

Why do you need to separate?  Kel’thuzad will throw out a Frost Blast.  It hits a player and Ice Blocks him.  Worse – it will chain to any other player within 10 yards.  So you could conceivably get a whole lot of the raid ice blocked if you are bunched up, and that’s a wipe.

If you are near a few other melee, its not the end of the world.  Stay ten yards away from the main tank at all times.  If the tank gets ice blocked, its probably a wipe.

Players in an ice block will take 4 ticks of damage, each for 26% of their maximum health.  That is 104% of your total health total.  Your healers need to be fast and hit you with something quickly just to keep you alive.  Instant casts or Flash heals preferred.  It just has to be enough to keep you up through the fourth tick.

The best way to arrange melee is in a triangle or a square around Kel’thuzad.  The main tank is at one point, and melee is at the other points.  Each group is several yards away from each other group.  That way, at worst one melee group gets ice blocked.

So you’re in your geometric arrangement dpsing away.  Watch for void zones.  You will see the red swirlies form, and you have a couple of seconds to get out before it blows up doing a ton of shadow damage and one-shotting you.  Run or strafe quickly away from the tank and out of the zone.  Don’t jump… run.  If you jump you will still get blown up if you are in the air when the void zone detonates.

While you are maintaining your 10 yard distance AND avoiding void zones, you also want to interrupt KT’s frostbolts.  They do a lot of single-target damage, so interrupting them will really help your healers keep the tank up.

On the 25-man version, Kel’thuzad will periodically mind control players in the raid.  They need to be CC’ed until the mind control wears off, or else they will attack people, heal KT, and use their spells to cause havoc.  It easiest to let your mage sheep them or your shaman hex them or your druid root them.  You can possibly use Blind, or Vanish and Cheap Shot, but its better to leave it to someone who can do it from range.  The MC is an aggro wipe as well, so use your TotT to help your tank re-establish aggro.

If watching void zones, maintaining distance, and interrupting frostbolts wasn’t enough… at 45% he will summon adds (2 adds on 10-man, 4 adds on heroic).  They need to be picked up by off-tanks.  At this point it becomes a dps race.  Eventually the adds will kill the off-tanks and start running around taking out healers.  So you need to down KT before that happens.  Go all-out, pop your cooldowns, and burn him.  Be prepared to use evasion if one of the untanked adds comes at you.

As I said at the top of the post, its useful to have your UI arranged for this fight.  You need to see your cooldown timers to do your attack rotation properly.  But you also need to look at your character on the screen to see the void zones.  Finally, you need to see Kel’thuzad’s cast bar to interrupt his frostbolts.

When you get him down, you have access to some of the top gear in the game.  The 10-man KT drops the T7 helm, the slow dagger Anarchy, and the Gem of Imprisoned Vassals (neck).  There is Kel’thuzad’s Reach for fist spec rogues and the Nerubian Conqueror if there are no hunters grabbing it.

The heroic KT has the T7.5 helm, the Drape of the Deadly Foe, Calamity’s Grasp (fist), and Sinster Revenge (another slow dagger).

Back to main Rogue in Naxxramas page —–>


7 Responses to “A Rogue in Naxxramas – Kel’thuzad”

  1. April 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    On void zones – just strafe AWAY FROM THE TANK, and then back. Simply going back can be too slow. That will probably get you in range of some of the other melees, but it does not matter – the tank is more important than you.

    On melee positioning, it depends on how many melees you have – either use a triangle if you only have no more than three, but our guild sometimes runs with six melees, and healing 3 people at once can be cranky.

    So we stand in a square around the boss – main tank at one corner and the dps in pairs in the other corners. That leaves basically pixels for you to maneuver, but it’s doable and not really that hard. Of course having a proximity meter (both Big Wigs and DBM have one) is crucial to that.

    Also for the Combats out there – this is the fight where you unfortunately need to forget that you got that nifty ninja skills and don’t use Killing Spree at the boss. Sure, you can probably time it so that you do it just after one Frost Blast, since Kel won’t chain cast them – but it’s better not to, unless you really want to scare all your healers, other melees and the raid leader on top of that. ;]

    Also Kel doesn’t Mind Control people in the 10-man version, and the MC is an aggro wipe. If your tank immediately grabs him, then it’s all fine, but the problem begins when he runs away. In that case, stop your dps and let the main tank position him back, while being sure that you stay away from him all the time.

    Oh, and for something a bit offtopic – Dinaer, maybe you could show us your raid UI? I think that could be interesting. 🙂

  2. April 3, 2009 at 7:13 am

    While having a 3 ranged / 2 Melee DPS is the optimal mix, 3 melee works fairly well too. Becuase of his large hit box, it’s possible to arrange yourself in a diamond pattern and have everyone 10 yards away from each other. The only thing that you have to be carful with is moving backward instead of strafing to get out of void zones. It can be annoying when he does this to the tank, but we had no issue downing him last night (and many other times) this way.

    Anarchy dropped, but unfortunately I was tanking on my Paladin. Sad face.

    – Sam

  3. 3 Alondor
    April 3, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Great Posts – Is there a way you could put a page together with links to all the “A Rogue in Naxxramas” posts? These are going to help my wife’s rogue immensely.

  4. April 3, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Sam, i tend to strafe out of void zones anyway, mostly because it is faster than walking backwards – so you can be too late if you don’t react immediately. 🙂 It is fine as long as you don’t scare your tank by moving into him. 🙂

    And yeah, square pattern, diamond pattern, same thing. 🙂

  5. 5 Cat
    April 26, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    According to WoWWiki, the MC is no longer an aggro wipe.

    Good guide – having at him the first time tonight, will see how I go.


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