Hello, and welcome to Spiritus' guide to the Anub'arak encounter. If you would like more information, or would like to download this written speculative strategy in HD, feel free to visit the... oh wait. =)
BIG NOTE: As always, this is all speculative, but well researched. If I feel dodgy on something, I say so. Below is the cleanest strat/capture I could find on video.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSW37mmTZI0&feature=related"]YouTube - Vicarious vs Anub PTR (unedit)[/ame]
Environment, Positioning, and Basics:
(1) After the Lich King shows up, he will break the arena floor, dropping you down into Anub'arak's lair. The boss will be on the far side of the room, and will not aggro until you run up to him.
(2) Start with your raid grouped up. Tank runs in to grab aggro, ranged groups up and moves into the center of the room to start shooting down...
(3) Frost Spheres. There will be Frost Spheres floating above you around the room. They have 10kHP a piece. *UPDATE* Frost Spheres can be Death Gripped. Shooting down a Frost Sphere will result in...
(4) Permafrost. Permafrost slows anyone(boss/adds included) standing in it for 70/80% in a 20yard radius. It also prevents "most creatures" from burrowing through it. It does NOT appear to despawn on its own, but it can be removed by Impale and *Anub'Arak's Submerge*. More on that later.
Anub'arak has 19.77m HP.
Anub'arak Melee Hits
Anub'arak hits quite hard. On the video, a very well geared tank is hit for over 20k in one hit. Tank healers need to be aware of these spikes and have their spike healing spells ready at all times (ie-shock,swiftmend, penance, etc).
Anub'arak Frontal Cone [Spell Name Unkown]
Anub'arak also seems to have a frontal cone ability that is cast on the MT. Obviously, do not stand in front of him. In addition to doing damage, this ability will freeze the MT. It either lasts only for a few seconds, or can be dispelled.
Penetrating cold sinks into several enemy targets, inflicting 3500 Frost damage every 3 sec. Lasts 18 sec.
Unknown Range, Instant Cast
I only saw this ability cast while Anub'arak was up, so I assume its cast by him. It is placed on random raid members throughout the fight, while he is up. Easy enough DoT to heal through.
Nerubian Burrower [Add]
These adds are spawned 2 at a time. Each add will place a stacking 50% physical damage debuff on their target. I am suggesting that these adds are off-tanked near the boss and burned by the melee, allowing incidental damage to hit the boss as well. Elemental shaman also make good add burners due to CL. These mobs can be stunned, and its suggested to do so frequently.
Alternately, you can choose to ignore these adds and let incidental AoE bring them down, and burn them during the start of phase 2.
*UPDATE* If these adds are not tanked on Permafrost they will burrow and resurface with full health. Must be tanked on Permafrost.
Increases attack and casting speeds by 50% for each Nerubian Burrower within 12 yds.
I did not see any visible sign of this being cast. May be a heroic ability, or a scrapped ability. Don't know who casts this either. I also did not see the Nerubian Burrowers "cast" anything, so this is suspect.
*UPDATE* This is a buff similar to the feral protectors in the Cat Lady encounter. They will buff each other, stacking, if they are within 12yards.
Anub'arak attempts to burrow into the ground. Cannot be performed successfully on ground frozen by Permafrost.
2.5 sec cast
*CONFIRMED* This ability is cast on a timer. As stated this cannot be cast while standing on Permafrost. However, his entire hit box must be covered by Permafrost. The two times the boss successfully cast this on the video, there were slivers of ground not covered.
To ensure this is never cast, have a group of ranged DPS drop Frost Spheres to create a VERY large patch of Permafrost without any gaps. It will require precision timing and some luck to make this possible. I am not certain if Orbs can be DGed, but if so, this would make filling in the gaps much easier.
Once there is a sufficient patch, move Anub'arak so the center of his hit box is on the center of the patch made. Continue to have the designated ranged DPS positioned to shoot down Frost Spheres to fill the outer edges. If properly executed, phase 2 should never occur.
*UPDATE* YOU CANNOT STOP ANUB'ARAK FROM BURROWING. THIS WILL HAPPEN ON A TIMER.
When he burrows get ready for...
<---PHASE 2--->Phase 2 occurs when Anub'arak burrows into the ground. Make sure to burn any remaining Burrowers. This phase will spawn and multiple...
113.4kHP, 4sec interval
Low HP... do not hit very hard. However, they do apply an unknown short duration, stacking debuff. They also appear to have an enrage that can be removed by Tranq Shot or Anesthetic Poison.
I recommend everyone group up for this. It allows for AoE on the Swarm Scarabs and FoK Anesthetic Poison to dispel the swarm scarab enrage.
Pursued by Anub'arak
While submerged. Anub'arak will choose players at random to pursue. While pursuing a player, he will leave a trail of...
Fires a spike through the floor, impaling all targets within 4 yards, dealing 2828 to 3172 damage and knocking them up in the air. This attack ignores armor.
Basically, if you employ the strat below, no one should ever be hit by this. *UPDATE* The Pursuing Spikes increase in speed with every spike. When Anub'arak reaches the pursued player, *or a Permafrost patch in his path*, he will cast...
Fires spikes up through the floor above Anub'arak, inflicting 11310 to 12690 Physical damage to anyone in their path. This attack ignores armor, but cannot penetrate Permafrost.
As mentioned, if the player Anub'arak is pursuing is standing in the permafrost, he will attempt to impale them, but be unsuccessful. The Permafrost area that he impales, however, will despawn.
*UPDATE* If you can swing it... the person who is being pursued can kite the spikes away from the main body of the raid... lessening the number of Permafrost patches removed.
I am assuming this phase is also timed. They key to this phase is to keep dropping down Frost Spheres to create more Permafrost for Anub'arak to run into, while DPSing down the adds. Have one or two ranged DPS shoot down Spheres whenever they get into range of the group. This will not only ensure that no one gets impaled, but will also create a new areas for the Burrowers to be tanked, hopefully avoiding another phase2. When this phase is over, phase1 will start again until he reaches 30%HP. At this time you will begin...
Phase3 begins when Anub'arak reaches 30%. At this time he will cast...
Releases a swarm of insects that attack the caster's enemies, leeching 10% or 20% of each target's current health every 1 sec. A minimum of 250 health will be leeched.
50000 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
This spell will be on each raid member until Anub'arak dies. *UPDATE* Note that its 10%(or 20%) of your CURRENT health, meaning you can get very low without dying. That means the only folks who need to be focused are the MT/OT and whoever has Penetrating Cold. As Darksend pointed out, you can keep others around 30/40% health to minimize the healing Anub'arak receives from his leach. If a raid member dies and uses ankh, SSrez, or Brez, it will be immediately reapplied.
This will take top notch raid heals to keep everyone alive, low enough to min/max the leach, but high enough so they are not one shot when Penetrating Cold is cast on them. SAVE HEROISM/CDs FOR THIS PHASE. At this point no new adds will spawn. This is why it is important to keep the number of burrowers down. If the add tank dies and the burrowers get loose, it will be a wipe. It is possible to OT the burrowers till the end, but not recommended. It may even be smart to stop DPS on the boss to focus fire the adds down before 30% hits.
You are basically racing against the healers' mana at this point, as they will be blowing through it to keep everyone at the optimal health. Use all survival raid cooldowns at this point. Divine Hymn, Bubble+Div.Sac., Tranquility, Healthstones, Lightwell, etc. Chain them together as much as possible. Priests, Druids, and Shaman make sure to have your shadowfiends, innervates, and MTTs available at this time so you can throw what ever you need to keep the raid at the magic number w/o worry of going OOM.
(1) Have assigned ranged DPS to down Frost Spheres. Keep building the permafrost circle out further and further till you are certain that Anub'arak will never submerge. This is important if the permafrost does have a duration, so you can move the boss to a fresh section when one disappears beneath him.
(2) Avoid Phase2. If Anub'arak never submerges, you can have max DPS on him the entire time.
(2) If Phase2 happens, everyone must be standing on Permafrost, and it is advisable to be somewhat grouped in order to AoE the Scarabs.
(3) BLOW ALL CDs at 30%. After this, no more adds will spawn and your racing against the healers' mana. It even might be a good idea to assign groups for your healers.
(4) If you are having trouble with enrage, pop heroism early to ensure getting to phase3.
This fight seems to be about proper placement of Permafrost and a crazy DPS burn, tactical heal phase after 30%. The rest of the fight is rudimentary.
As always, feel free to add info to this post that will further everyone's understanding of the fight.
Pre-grats on clearing normal mode, and see you in heroic!