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Festergut is a one phase DPS race fight which has often been compared to Patchwerk in Naxxramas. This comparison is valid inasmuch as the fight is a DPS race; Festergut has a hard enrage at five minutes that will cause a nearly instantaneous raid wipe. He is also remarkably hard on tanks during certain portions of the fight (between the third inhale and the exhale) and can easily kill a tank with two melee hits if the healing team is insufficiently vigilant.
That said, the strategy for Festergut is very different and the fight mechanics significantly more complex. Raid damage is a serious concern in the Festergut encounter, and the strategy a raid uses to deal with the spores during the fight will win or lose the encounter.
This strategy overview will focus mostly on the Festergut 25 man regular mode encounter, though can easily be utilized for the 10 man encounter as well. Differences in the strategy between the two raid sizes will be noted. The focus here will be strategy; for more detailed information such as damage done by Festergut's various spells, please refer to WoWwiki.
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Raid Setup and Positioning
Tanks: Two tanks are required for both the 25 and 10 man encounter.
Healers: The bare minimum number of healers for this fight is five; depending upon the abilities of the healers, or if there is enough ranged dps available to allow all healers to stand in melee, this number can go up to seven. For the 10 man encounter, two or three healers will be needed.
DPS: There is not a set, necessary mix of dps classes or types for this fight. However, I would recommend having at least eight ranged dps. This guarantees that the ranged requirement for this fight can be completely filled by DPS and all healers can stand in melee.
The mechanic that dictates positioning for this fight is Vile Gas. This is a debuff that Festergut casts at regular intervals, which is a stun and causes a significant amount of damage to the target and to anyone standing within eight yards. If there are a minimum of seven people standing at range (at least 8 yards away from the melee group, in this case) Festergut will only cast the debuff on those at range. It is imperative that Vile Gas is never cast on melee, since it will hit everyone in the group and will be an almost guaranteed wipe.
I recommend having eight people at range rather than the minimum of seven. This allows for some error, such as if one of the ranged has to carry a spore to the melee group and doesn't return to their original position fast enough. Also, while the AoE damage from Vile Gas only has an eight yard range, while affected the target will “wander" slightly and may hit other players in the ranged group if spacing is kept at a tight eight yards.
It's best to keep ranged spaced at 10 yards for this reason, in a staggered formation that still allows them all to reach the boss and reach a central collapse point for spores. Spores will be covered in the next section.
For the 10 man encounter: There must be a minimum of three people at range, and Vile Gas is only cast on one at a time.
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Special Mechanics for This Fight: Spore Basics
Other than positioning for Vile Gas, the mechanic that makes or breaks the Festergut encounter is the spores. The spore strategy you plan to utilize must be clear and understood by every member of the raid.
About every two minutes (so twice before enrage is reached), Festergut will cast Pungeant Blight, which is also referred to as the “exhale." Pungeant Blight does enough damage to instantly kill anyone with the possible exception of a tank who is at 100% health. The spores that appear prior to the exhale provide a buff called “inoculation" that reduces the damage from the Exhale by 25% per stack – but only to raid members that are within 8 yards of the spore when it pops. There is also a small dot applied to everyone at that time, which falls off quickly.
The key to everyone surviving the two exhales that come before Festergut enrages is making certain that everyone has three stacks of the inoculation buff prior to each exhale. Certain classes can survive not having full stacks of inoculation, though it is best to be safe. Shadow Priests can disperse through the exhale; mages can ice block; paladins can bubble and rogues can cloak. It is also sometimes possible to heal someone through the exhale if they are only missing one stack of inoculation, though that requires quick and focused healing.
After being cast, the spores only last 12 seconds before they pop. Unless your raid members are extremely quick on their mental feet or there is little delay in communication, it is best to have set “stations" where spores are taken. In the 25 man encounter, three spores at a time are cast.
For the 10 man encounter: Only two spores are cast.
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Spore Strategy: Designated Locations
Using an addon like Deadly Boss Mods (which I very much recommend), the players targeted by spores will automatically have raid markings put on them. DBM uses Skull, X, and Box (or no mark, for some releases of DBM). The simplest spore strategy is to have each symbol go to a designated place, regardless of original position.
Skull: Goes to melee
X: Goes to the ranged collapse point
Box/Blank: Stands 8 yards away from everyone else to prevent double dotting others
Ultimately, the best way for dealing with the spores is to establish the strategy clearly and make certain that everyone knows where the spores need to end up when they are cast. There are problems that can still occur with a strategy of set spore locations (such as a spore being cast on the tank, who can't move) but those problems tend to be rare and can be dealt with as they happen.
Melee Spore: The person with the spore that goes to melee needs to stand directly under the boss (look up and you get a lovely view) so that their spore will reach both the melee and the tank. Anyone in the melee group needs to make sure to crowd in to be close enough to the spore. If melee gets too spread out, those at the edges can actually be too far to receive the inoculation – Festergut has a fairly large hit box.
Ranged Spore: There should be a set point that all people can reach in twelve seconds, normally right in the middle of the arc. If there is a shaman available to be put at range, they should be the collapse point since the totems make the point simpler to find. If a shaman is not available, putting a warlock teleport there would also work. You can also try marking the person that will act as the collapse point, but that's not recommended because the marking will sometimes be removed by Vile Gas or a Spore and then must be reapplied quickly.
Also, the ranged group should not collapse to their designated location until the spores have been cast. Anticipating the cast and moving in too soon can mean that a Vile Gas cast will hit multiple targets and spread around a lot of damage. Because of Vile Gas, it's also important for the ranged to return to their original immediately after the spore pops.
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With positioning dealt with and a clear strategy for the spores established, fighting Festergut is very simple. One of the tanks should pull Festergut and position him in the center of the room. Anyone who isn't one of the lucky eight that get to stand at range (the non-active tank, melee, healers, any extra ranged) stand in a group behind the boss.
A few seconds after the initial pull, orange-brown gas will flood the room. The entire raid will begin to take significant damage from it and heavy raid healing will be necessary. Each time Festergut inhales some of the gas (up to three times, after which he exhales it back out as the Pungeant Blight) the raid takes less damage and the active tank takes significantly more. So there should be a natural flow of healing with progressively more being focused on the tank until the third inhale, when all healing is on the tank except for the very minor raid healing necessary for those hit by Vile Gas or the small dot from a spore popping.
Festergut also puts a buff/debuff on the tank called Gastric Bloat. Each time its cast, the tank will take a spike of damage. Gastric Bloat also makes the tank do 10% more damage with each stack. After the ninth stack is cast the tanks have to swap; a tenth stack of Gastric Bloat instantly kills the tank and does a significant AoE. By the time the second tank is up to nine stacks, the first tank's stacks will have fallen off and he or she will be able to taunt back.
Note: The tank with nine stacks of Gastric Bloat will have to be very careful about threat since their damage output has almost doubled. Paladin tanks, for example, should turn off Righteous Fury and apply Hand of Salvation to themselves.
Three times before each exhale, Festergut will cast three spores on random members of the raid. The strategy for spores has already been covered; follow it, make certain that all raid members get their inoculation buff, and everyone should survive.
As each exhale is coming, healers should anticipate an immediate spike of raid-wide damage and heal accordingly.
There are only ever two exhales in the fight; Festergut enrages before he could possibly do a third. However, after the second exhale, spores are still produced. At that point, they can be safely ignored since the buff they apply is useless. The only consideration is that if there are two spores in melee, one should move out temporarily to prevent the dot from being applied twice. After the second exhale, ranged does not have to move again.
Bloodlust/Heroism can really be used at any point in the fight, at the discretion of the raid leader. The most efficient time to use it is after the second exhale, since the spores can then be ignored and the ranged group will be able to benefit from it more at that point.
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What Raid Leaders Need to Know About Festergut
Since Festergut has a hard enrage timer, there is a minimum amount of dps necessary to accomplish the fight. With the minimum number of healers (five) in 25 man and two tanks, the dps need to average 7200 damage per second in order to beat the five minute enrage timer. This is not an unreasonable number for what amounts to a standing fight, particularly not with the 30% buff in the instance now. However, anyone who is seriously under performing may need to be traded out in favor of someone that can deliver more damage if the raid is unable to beat the enrage timer.
For 10 man: With only two healers, the dps will need to have 4700 damage per second. With three healers they will need to average 5600.
Also be aware that the people at range will not be able to do quite as much dps as they should in a purely standing fight, because they will often be stunned for six seconds at a time by Vile Gas, or will have to be moving in and out for spores. Take that necessary dps loss into account when assessing their performance.
WoW Ice Crown Citadel Guides
- Icecrown Citadel - Beating the Blood Council
- Besting the Blood Queen - Taking on Lana'thel in Icecrown Citadel
- Ice Crown Citadel – Lady DeathWhisper – 25 Man Strategy
- Ice Crown Citadel – Lord Marrowgar – 25 Man Strategy
- Raiding Icecrown Citadel: Rotface 25 and 10 Man Regular Mode
- Raiding Icecrown Citadel: Festergut in 25 and 10 Man Regular Mode