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 (Karazhan) Netherspite Strategy Guide

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Deveians
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PostSubject: (Karazhan) Netherspite Strategy Guide   Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:36 am

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBMcaL_t-Ig

Introduction
Netherspite is one of the medium difficulty encounters in Karazhan. Technically accessible after killing The Curator, it is recommended that raids kill the Shade of Aran before attempting Netherspite or face the prospect of re-clearing the trash packs leading to Aran in case of repeated wipes on Netherspite. For a raid that has cleared Aran for the first time and facing the choice of attempting Netherspite or the Chess Event, always complete the Chess Event first, especially if the raid timer is about to reset: it is significantly easier and results in better loot.

Netherspite
Overview & Preparation
Netherspite is a 2 stage encounter, where stages 1 and 2 alternate based on a timer. The 2 phases alternate until Netherspite dies, or reaches his "Enrage" timer and wipes the raid. Stage 1 (also called the "Portal" stage) lasts between 60 and 70 seconds, stage 2 (or "Breath" stage) can last anything from 30 to 40 seconds. Netherspite Enrages close to 9 minutes after he is engaged.

Unlike most other encounters in Karazhan, Netherspite requires an exact plan before he is engaged, a plan that must be followed with accuracy if the raid is going to succeed. Planning and execution are paramount, while the use of consumables is not necessary and only brings slight benefits to the raid.

Group Composition
Most "standard" group compositions can easily succeed at this encounter, however, the group make-up, especially the number of healers can influence the strategy, as will be explained below. 2 tanks are recommended, as are 3 or 4 healers, with the rest of the raid on DPS duties. All DPS classes can perform well on this encounter, however, shadow priests are particularly desirable, due not only to their DPS but also due to the extra healing and mana they provide for their group.


Netherspite's portals initial spawn positions, marked on the mini map
The 3 Portals

In stage 1, three portals open in a triangular pattern, in the S, E, and NW corners of the room. The portals have distinct colours: red, green and blue. Beams come out of the portals and towards Netherspite. If the beams hit Netherspite, he receives stacking buffs for each second he is hit by the beam. However, players can intercept the beams by positioning themselves between the portals and Netherspite. Players hit by the beams receive a set of 3 stacking buffs or debuffs, all depending on the colour of the beam they are intercepting. Below is a listing of the buffs and debuffs applied by the beams:

"Nether Beam - Perseverence" (RED)
While standing in the red beam, every tick will reduce damage taken by 1%, the defense rating is increased by 5, and the player's health is also modified. The first tick will add 31,000 HP to a player's maximum health, while subsequent ticks will reduce it by 1000. Additionally, the player standing in the red beam has permanent aggro. No amount of healing or damage done by other players can divert Netherspite's attention from attacking the target standing in the red beam. When the red beam hits Netherspite, it reduces his damage taken by 1% per stack.

"Nether Beam - Serenity" (GREEN)
While standing in the green beam, every second spent under its effect increases healing done by by 5%, the cost of healing spells is reduced by 1%, and maximum mana is reduced by 200. On hitting Netherspite, the green beam heals him for increasing amounts every second.

"Nether Beam - Dominance" (BLUE)
While standing in the blue beam, every stack of the spell increases damage dealt by 5%. However, damage taken from spells is also increased, by 8% per stack, while healing received is reduced by 1% per stack. The blue beam hitting Netherspite causes him to inflict 1% more damage per application.

The stacking buffs and debuffs on players can persist up to another 20 seconds on a player moving out of the beam.


Other Abilities

"Nether Exhaustion"
Once a player has left a beam, he will be afflicted by Nether Exhaustion, making him unable to absorb the effects of that particular beam for the next 90 seconds.

"Nether Burn"
Inflicts 1200 shadow damage to players every 5 seconds. This affects every player in his room, is active in both phases, and can be partially resisted.

"Void Zone"
During the encounter, Netherspite will target players and open Void Zones at their feet, inflicting around 2000 shadow damage to the players standing in them.

"Netherbreath"
Netherbreath is only performed during stage 2. It inflicts 3700 to 4300 arcane damage to enemies in a cone in front of Netherspite, and knocks them back.


Strategy

Buffs
Apart from the obvious Fortitude/Mark Of The Wild/Arcane Intellect, a raid is usually forced to make some choices when it comes to paladin buffs, since a 10 man raid will usually not contain 3 paladins. With 2 Paladins, Kings/Might the tanks and melee DPS, and use Kings/Wisdom for the casters. Due to the unique mechanics of this encounter (Netherspite always hitting the player in the red beam), threat, and therefore Salvation, is irrelevant.

Casting Shadow Protection helps mitigate the "Nether Burn" aura, as does a mage's "Dampen Magic" ability. It can be applied to everyone in the raid, since every player will take frequent magic based damage, the reduction of which will offset the reduction in healing effects. As far as shamans are concerned, they should be placed together with the tanks and melee DPS to increase the group damage via Windfury Totem. Mana regeneration is of secondary importance since the encounter allows for a lot of downtime during which the casters can regenerate.

The Pull
The MT can run in and proximity aggro Netherspite, while the rest of the raid runs in behind. As with most encounters in the game, a hunter using Misdirection is recommended and will save the raid from rare wipes caused by the MT missing his first attacks, or very early healer or DPS aggro. Players must position themselves between the portals and Netherspite to intercept the beams, as will be described below. The beams trigger about 10 seconds after the encounter is engaged. Once the red beam has hit the MT, DPS can start doing the most possible damage, since they cannot pull aggro off him.

Positioning
Netherspite Raid Positions


Positioning and planning are the key to this encounter, since players must intercept the portal beams before they hit Netherspite, while taking into account the effects of Nether Exhaustion. After the pull, the position of the 3 portals will always be the same. The red portal will be in the East corner of the room, to the right of the entrance, the green portal will always be in the South corner of the room, to the left of the entrance, while the Blue portal will spawn in the NW corner of the room, directly opposite the entrance.

Fight Progression
Due to the combinations of buffs and debuffs caused by the beams, different classes are recommended to intercept the different beams. Since Netherspite will always hit the target in the red beam, tanks and offtanks are the obvious choice. Since the green beam increases healing done while decreasing the cost of healing spells, it is a natural choice for healers, while the increased damage caused by standing in the blue beam, make it a favourite for the DPS classes.

However, due to the negative effects of standing in the beams, players are unable to absorb its effect for the full 1 minute duration. Standing in the red beam for more than 31 seconds will start reducing a player's maximum health from its initial value, by 1000 every second. Standing in the blue beam for 30 seconds causes players to take 240% extra damage, which means the Nether Burn aura will start hitting for around 3000 damage per tick. At the same time, healing effects on the same player will be reduced by 30%, making it hard to keep them up for much longer. With a player's maximum mana being reduced by 200 per tick while standing in the green beam, the moment the maximum mana reaches 0, the green beam will ignore the player and hit Netherspite, healing him. The solution to these issues is to leave the beams before the negative effects become too dangerous, (this will afflict players with Nether Exhaustion for 90 seconds) and have other players step into the beam. Once Nether Exhaustion has expired, the initial players can take the beams again, therefore creating a rotation that can be repeated until the end of the encounter. Many strategies are possible, however, a very simple and safe rotation is given as an example here:

Assuming a standard raid composition with 2 tanks, 4 healers and 4 DPS, the rotation can look like the one illustrated in this table.



At the beginning of the first portal stage, the MT takes the first red beam, and holds it for about 35 seconds. A healer can step in for him, and absorb the beam for the rest of the stage (about 25 seconds). Obviously, a paladin or druid is recommended for this, over a priest, due to higher base HP. If one is not available, a DPS class, such as a hunter can also be used. A breath stage will follow, but by the beginning of the next portal stage, both players that have absorbed the red beam will still be affected by Nether Exhaustion, and therefore unable to take over it. Therefore, the group's second tank will step in first, hold it for around 35 seconds, until he is replaced by another available healer. After the next breath stage, Nether Exhaustion on the MT and first healer that took the red beam will have expired, so the rotation can be repeated from the beginning.

The situation is identical for the other beams. Two people must absorb a beam for every portal stage, and after two portal stages the rotation can be repeated from the beginning.

In terms of positioning, it is ideal that the second person assigned to each beam positions themselves in front of the person absorbing that beam first (between the first person and Netherspite) With this positioning, when the first person has to move out of the beam, it will immediately hit the second person, thereby never hitting Netherspite.

Breath Stage
During the breath stage, the portals close, and the beams disappear. He continues to use his Nether Burn ability, but also starts using Netherbreath. Netherbreath is a very powerful attack, often inflicting over 4000 damage to multiple players while also knocking them back, sometimes outside of the range of their healers.

Netherbreath damage can be minimized if players stand close to Netherspite's model and then rotate away from the direction the dragon is pointing in when he starts casting Netherbreath. The casting time is about 2.5 seconds, which allows most players to move out from the cone area affected by the breath.

At the end of a breath stage, all aggro is reset, so DPS classes must wait for the tank to gain aggro and then position himself to absorb the red beam.

Further Portal Stages
After every breath stage, a new portal stage begins. While the mechanics and duration are the same, the portals can switch places between them. For example, while the 3 positions remain the same, the red portal can spawn where the green portal was during the first portal stage, etc. The players have about 10 seconds to adjust, as the portals open immediately at the beginning of a portal stage, but the beams are only launched about 10 seconds later, giving players time to position themselves.


Class Comments

Tank Comments
Do not worry about building threat while you are standing in the red beam. Netherspite is guaranteed to only hit you. Use your rage on Shield Block to diminish damage, and use Sunder Armor for the benefit of the physical DPS classes in the raid. As you build stacks of the red beam buff, you will dodge, parry and block increasingly often, and be hit for less and less damage. However, after 30 seconds your maximum HP will also start decreasing below your normal level. Move out when you feel the next attack can kill you in 1 hit; this is usually after 35 stacks. Also pay attention to Void Zone spawns and move out of them as soon as possible. If you are absorbing a beam, do not move sideways, as that will cause the beam to hit Netherspite. Instead, when a Void Zone spawns on top of you, move either backwards or forwards.

Remember that the first red portal is always to the right of the entrance, in the East corner of the room. Always try to position Netherspite close to the entrance, if your raid decides to use the strategy where they run away during stage 2.

Netherspite Roaring
Healer Comments
Take turns absorbing the green beam, switching between 25-30 stacks. You must heal through the continuous damage caused by Nether Burn, but you must pay particular attention to the 2 people who will always be taking more damage than the rest. These are the player standing in the red beam and thus tanking Netherspite, and the person standing in the Blue beam and taking increased damage from Nether Burn. Also pay attention to Void Zone spawns and move out of them as soon as possible. If you are absorbing a beam, do not move sideways, as that will cause the beam to hit Netherspite. Instead, when a Void Zone spawns on top of you, move either backwards or forwards.

DPS Comments
At the beginning of each "Portal" Stage, position yourself in a spot that will allow you to do damage, be in range of your healers and close to the beam you are assigned to take. Once the tank has been hit by the red beam, you can go "all out" on damage, using every cooldown available to you. It is impossible to pull aggro while someone is being hit by the red beam. Pay attention to Void Zone spawns and move out of them as soon as possible, especially if you are also affected by the blue beam and taking increased damage. If you are absorbing a beam, do not move sideways, as that will cause the beam to hit Netherspite. Instead, when a Void Zone spawns on top of you, move either backwards or forwards.

Warlocks are particularly well equipped to absorb the blue beam, since they can drain life to replenish the health lost to Nether Burn. They also have a higher HP pool to begin with. It is not unusual for a warlock to be able to absorb 50 or even 60 stacks of a blue beam, effectively causing triple damage with all their abilities towards the end of a portal stage.

Remember to stop DPS as the breath stage is about to end. Aggro will reset at the start of a new portal stage, and it will take 10 seconds for the red beam to spawn, which gives your tank permanent aggro.
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(Karazhan) Netherspite Strategy Guide
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