Anub’arak Strategy Guide – ToC (25)


The ancient evil that lurks beneath the tournament grounds, Anub’arak, awaits the would-be heroes. Once the proud king of the Nerubian empire, this Crypt Lord has been consumed by the madness of the Lich King. Driven only by the whims of his captor, the Traitor King slaughtered his own people in the name of the Scourge. Outwit and outlast the Nerubian king and his swarm in an unexpected final encounter.

Role Summaries

  • Be aware of your raids anticipated Phase 2 kite path.
  • Create a cancelaura macro for Phase 3.
  • Use a defensive cooldown such as Healthstone when effected by Penetrating Cold.
  • Do not attack Frost Spheres unless explicitly told to.
  • Be extremely cognizant of healing aggro on freshly spawned Nerubian Burrowers. Consider standing on the main tank if this is a consistent issue.
  • Do not be afraid to move in order to stay in range of tanks running to pickup Nerubian Burrowers.
  • Use a defensive cooldown on each Freezing Slash.
  • Adjust Anub’arak so that he is perfectly in-between two frost patches.
  • Ensure that all defensive cooldowns are available in Phase 3 as your damage taken in Phase 3 is significantly higher.
  • Do not be afraid to walk right up to Nerubian Burrowers as they spawn. Inform your healers if you are wandering outside of heal range.
  • Bring Nerubian Burrowers to your designated frost patch. Ensure that all adds are safely inside the frost patch to avoid submerge.
  • Call for a Hand of Freedom if you need to leave a frost patch quickly.
  • Use AoE stuns such as Shockwave or Holy Wrath to interrupt Shadow Strike. If you are not a Warrior or Protection Paladin, you will need to call for external interrupts or stuns.
  • Be sure to enter the fight with a clearly defined plan for kiting in Phase 2.
  • Assess the health pool of Nerubian Burrowers and call for more/less AoE on them. The idea is to maximize damage on the boss while killing Nerubian Burrowers just before the next set spawn.
  • If Anub’arak is low enough, call for your raid to ignore Nerubian Burrowers and focus entirely on the boss.
  • Remind your non-tank raiders to press their cancelaura macro when entering Phase 3.
  • In Phase 3, announce when the next set of Penetrating Cold is coming.
  • Assign an Aura Mastery rotation for each round of Penetrating Cold.
  • Mages, Boomkins and healers should be placed in a group with a Shaman or a Shadow Priest during Phase 3. These classes have no passive healing and do not benefit from Judgement of Light, so without passive healing from Healing Stream Totem or Vampiric Embrace, they will die.


Used against Anub’arak‘s primary target. Does large single target damage and freezes them in a block of ice for 3 seconds.

Cast on 5 random raid members. Does moderate damage to the effected players over 18 seconds.

After 105 seconds of combat, Anub’arak will burrow underground, triggering Phase 2.

Focuses a random player and pursues them with spikes. If the spikes reach the player they will be knocked up, killed, and a new pursue target will be selected. The spikes increase in speed the longer they persist. Their speed resets when coming into contact with a Frost Patch.

An AoE aura that effects all raid members leeching a percentage of their current hit points every second. Activates in Phase 3, when Anub’arak reaches 30% health.

Cast by Nerubian Burrowers. Will teleport and 1-shot a random raid member. Use an AoE stun such as Shockwave or Holy Wrath to interrupt the cast.

Cast by Nerubian Burrowers. A stacking debuff that will increase the off-tanks damage taken.

Raid Composition & Preparation

It is recommended to bring 3-5 healers for this encounter. Holy Paladins and Restoration Shamans are ideal to combat the massive tank damage. A combination of 2 Discipline Priests, Resto Druids and Holy Priests are necessary to handle Penetrating Cold debuffs in Phase 3.

Unholy Death Knights and Affliction Warlocks are particularly strong here. Both classes can sustain themselves in Phase 3 without assistance. Both classes are excellent at cleaving down the adds. Affliction Warlocks help end Phase 3 very quickly with their massive execute damage.

If your guild is failing to kill waves of Nerubian Burrowers before the next ones spawn, Demonology Warlocks, Shadow Priests and Fire Mages are your best bet.

You will want 2 tanks for this encounter on Normal mode and 3 on Heroic mode. Ideal add tanks are Protection Paladins and Warriors as they will not need external help interrupting Shadow Strike. Additionally, their mobility and multiple taunts make picking up the adds without a Misdirection simple.

Any tank class is capable of tanking Anub’arak. Death Knights Anti-Magic Shell is particularly strong here, as it can be used to avoid being frozen by Freezing Slash. Protection Paladins bring another Divine Sacrifice and have unparalleled survivability.

Heroic Mode

Like every Trial of The Crusader boss, Anub’arak‘s health has been increased by 30% in the Heroic version. Aside from this, the Heroic version of the encounter has many key differences:

The Pull

Anub’arak has a small aggro radius and is pre-castable. All ranged should assume their Phase 1 positions and plant for the remainder of the phase. Two Frost Spheres should be shot down immediately; one on Anub’arak‘s left and one on his right.


Phase 1 and Phase 3 Positioning:

plan 1

The Fight

Phase 1

The goal of Phase 1 and the general theme of the encounter is add management. Your raid should aim to maximize damage to the boss, while killing the Nerubian Burrowers as efficiently as possible. Nerubian Burrowers must die before the following wave spawns while simultaneously meeting a DPS check on Anub’arak.

Phase 2

After 105 seconds of combat, Anub’arak will Submerge underground and fixate a random player, chasing them with Pursuing Spikes.

The spikes will increase in speed until they make contact with a frost patch on the ground. You’ll want to come into the encounter with a precise plan of action for how your team will be handling this mechanic.

There are many strategies that work, but we recommend this kite path:

Step 1) 15 seconds before Submerge the boss is dragged away from the center.

Step 2) After Submerge, the entire raid moves to the back right corner of the room in preparation for the first Pursuing Spikes.

Step 3) The player targeted with Pursuing Spikes will run across the back wall, using Nitro Boosts just before the spikes reach them.

Step 4) That player will turn sharply south, and approach the Southwest frost patch. If possible, this player should receive a Hand of Protection from a pre-assigned Paladin, and sit outside the frost patch until there is 2-3 seconds remaining on the Hand of Protection.

Meanwhile, the raid will return to the center of the room.

anub p2 r1 processed2

Step 5) The second player to be fixated will run to the middle-right frost patch, and once again stand just outside of it while under the effects of Hand of Protection. At 2-3 seconds remaining on the Hand of Protection, he should move into the frost patch.

anub p2 r2 processed2

Step 6) The final step is to position the entire raid precisely where you’d like to Anub’arak to emerge. Once Anub’arak pursues a player, everyone should move except that player. The fixated player will simply stand still, receive a Hand of Protection, and wait until Anub’arak emerges.

anub p2 r3 processed2

Phase 3

Phase 3 begins when Anub’arak reaches 30% health. It is identical to Phase 1 with one new challenging mechanic added, Leeching Swarm.

Leeching Swarm leeches a percentage of every players health each second (10% in Normal, 30% in Heroic).

How to handle Leeching Swarm:

  • The goal is to keep the raid as low as humanly possible. The less health players have, the less health leeched from Leeching Swarm.
  • Melee classes, Hunters and Affliction Warlocks should not need any healing whatsoever against Leeching Swarm. They will get very low health, but so long as they are consistently attacking, their passive healing should out heal the minimum tick of Leeching Swarm.
  • Classes that do not benefit from Judgement of Light and have no self healing (such as Mages & Boomkins) should be placed in a party with a Shadow Priest or a Shaman to benefit from Vampiric Embrace or Healing Stream Totem.
  • Because the raid will be intentionally kept at low health, players effected by Penetrating Cold will need to be healed very quickly. 1-3 healers should be assigned solely to dealing with this mechanic.


About the Author


World of Warcraft veteran of 18 years. Ex world first raider and rank 1 healer. Slayer of dragons. Lover of cats.
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