Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boss Spotlight: Thaddius

That's right, folks, Boss Spotlight is back on the air!

In a continuing effort to educate the community on how Retribution Paladins should approach fights that pose specific difficulties to the class, E4AE proudly presents another "Boss Spotlight!" In today's crosshairs: Thaddius.

Thaddius is a flesh giant, and the last boss of the Construct Quarter in Naxxramas. Sewn together of women and children and powered by tesla coils, Thaddius is a fearsome foe. However, you must topple him to gain access to the upper level of the citadel, where Sapphiron and Kel'Thuzad lie in wait. When you enter Thaddius's chamber, he is on the far side of the room and un-attackable. You must engage and kill two mobs, Feugen and Stalagg, before you can take some swings at the big undead man on campus. The boss's abilities are limited - regular melee on the tank, Chain Lightning, and a Polarity Shift that will debuff everyone in the raid, much like Mechano-Lord Capacitus in Mechanar from The Burning Crusade.

Why are we talking about this boss?
At first, Thaddius doesn't seem very dangerous. His melee isn't especially strong, his Chain Lightning hits for about a quarter of a DPS's health bar, and the Polarity Shift debuff doesn't seem like it should pose a threat.

Your enemies here are time, latency, and other people.

Thaddius has a 6-minute hard enrage, which isn't hard to beat if everyone stays alive and executes correctly. However, if the Polarity Shift isn't handled correctly, many will perish in shocking fashion as electrical charges fry the offending parties. Allow me to explain how Polarity Shift works, for those who are unaware:
Not long after activating, Thaddius will stop attacking and channel his Polarity Shift ability. When the cast is complete, everyone in the raid will either have a positive or negative charge debuff. About 4 seconds after the debuff is acquired, anyone with a positive charge standing next to a negatively-charged person will deal damage to that oppositely-charged person, and vice versa. A negatively-charged person standing in the middle of a pack of postively-charged people will experience near instant-death once the charges are set after 4 seconds.

Paraphrasing the immortal Dr. Egon Spengler, crossing the charges is bad.

Conversely, anyone standing near a like-charged person will gain a stackable buff that increases damage done. The same-charge buff-stacking is necessary to do enough damage to burn through Thaddius's large health pool.

What to do when facing Thaddius
First and foremost, don't miss the jump. If you don't make it onto Thaddius's platform immediately after killing the tesla twins, you will cause major problems re-entering the fight after the Polarity Shift. Move to the edge of the platform, onto the lip, and take a running jump. If you're especially worried about it and you're an engineer, use either a pair of Nitro-boosted boots to long-jump the gap or a cape with a Flexweave Underlay to safely float to the lower platform. The jump isn't especially difficult, however, and these are just extreme measures for the under-confident.

Once the Polarity Shift happens, make sure you know a) what your charge is, b) which direction is your safe zone, and c) which direction traffic is flowing. As soon as you recognize your charge, move to your safe zone in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion around Thaddius, depending on what your raid designates as proper etiquette. Make wide turns. After re-positioning, stand at maximum melee range. If you and another melee'er with opposite charges stand close in to Thaddius, you'll fry each other. Don't worry about Thaddius parrying your attacks - it's lost DPS, but it's unavoidable for this fight. The good news is Thaddius doesn't parry-haste his melee, so there's no consequence to your tank.

Once you and your 9-24 friends master the time-lost art of not electrocuting each other, it's a simple tank and spank. Pop your cooldowns early and often, keep your rotation flowing (he's undead, remember to throw Exorcism and Holy Wrath in when you can!), and collect your loots.

Until next time, this has been another edition of E4AE Boss Spotlight, with your host, Josh!


uke said...

I'm not sure how Naxx 25 works, but in Naxx 10, we just run *through* Thadius instead of this rotational stuff (similar to how you run through a dragon to get to the other side to avoid tail swipes and cleaves). When the charge changes, we quickly go to our assigned side in our 4 second window, and resume dps'ing. Haven't had a charge related death yet.

Josh said...

Have you acquired the "Shocking" achievement though? Rotating around Thaddius instead of running through him ensures that everyone keeps their distance and safeguards against *any* crossed charges.

uke said...

Haven't gotten the achievement. Honestly don't expect to get it though, as it's a method that's been 100% successful in downing Thaddius for my guild, and I don't see them changing it (shrug).

(as a side note, I really care little for achievements, but that's just me)

Stoico aka Impadin said...

It can be done both ways. We also started out with going around him clockwise. But after some time we switched to the running straight into him and to the other side. I think you can make both as effective, atleast for melee. As we can actually swing when going around him. Guess ranged, can use some instants as well. So one way or another, both is good. As long as he gets down in the end. People may have to be a bit more switched on with the running through him way. As if someone slacks, he will be killed by the switched on players... ;) (did anyone say slack tjeck ?!)

Orgauth said...

/agree uke - Running straight through is one less instruction for someone to screw up, and 1-second lapses in DPS output are inconsequential if the players are stacking on each other at max melee range as they should. AND - Got the achievement with that method, to boot. It is merely dependent upon EVERYONE moving IMMEDIATELY.

To me, it is one of the easiest fights in the instance - so long as no one fails at Super Mario Bros (the "jump").

Anonymous said...

I was in a Naxx25 PUG last Friday that tried the "run through" method. We got him on the 3rd try. Seemed better to me than the running in circles version.

We then 2-shotted Sapphiron with no Frost Resist gear and 1-shotted KT. :)


Anonymous said...

"We then 2-shotted Sapphiron with no Frost Resist gear and 1-shotted KT. :)"

thank you proving your worth - its amazing in a post about thaddius - you down saph and kt as well - u must be god :)