ICC Plagueworks: How Not To Die A Poisonous Death

So you’re standing in the heart of the citadel. You’ve just walked through fire to get here – quite literally. Before that you ran the gauntlet of the lower spire and left the Lich King’s doormen smattered over the walls. That place feels like home to you now.

But now you’re on the upper levels you’re choking on the Citadel’s hostility, which is no surprise given the fat ochre clouds seeping out of the Plagueworks nearby. You must conquer it – but how?

I’ve been there too, alongside nine others. Here are my tips for your group regarding the trash guarding the entrance, a strategy for Precious, and some healing advice for the Rotface encounter.


Getting your foot in the door – trash tips:

1. Bitesize the trash pull as it’s more dangerous the more you pull here. It’s very easy to get mobbed by everything lurking in the entrance to the Plagueworks. It’s also very easy not to do so.

From our experiments we believe that everything will pull if you set foot on the platform in front of the door to the Plagueworks, upon which the Blighted Abominations are standing. Have your group gather a bit back – at the blue brazier on the left-side platform perhaps – and have your tanks pull the abominations back to the group.

2. Healers! Be on the ball. When you engage the large trash group just inside the door in combat, be aware that it will be a hectic fight. Plague Scientists will be turning random group members into slimes, and those players will take the opportunity to bounce around playfully. Because it’s fun. Meanwhile (shackle-able) geists will be jumping on people and eating them alive. Not to mention the fact that the rest of the mobs will be inflicting various nature-based attacks on chunks of your group.

3. Be on your toes. That applies to everyone. The abominations will emit plague clouds. Yuck. Move whatever’s standing in it out, be that you as a healer or the mob needing a tank to kite him out.

Also, the Pustulating Horrors will start the 5 second cast of Blight Bomb when they’re nearly dead: a kamikaze move. Everyone should watch out and move away before it’s cast; it does a lot of AoE damage and DPS or healers may explode alongside the Pustulating Horror.

Precious tactic: Making the Dog Play Dead. Er.

When my group first met Precious we wiped. We’d stand and nuke him; sometimes we AoE’ed the zombies, sometimes we didn’t because our 10 man didn’t have many AoE options. Either way we died horrible deaths. So, we did a bit of research and brainstorming. This is the tactic we have adopted since.

1. Have your healers and ranged DPS stand halfway down the circular staircase. Pull Precious to the stairs. Kite him round past them (decide clockwise or anti clockwise beforehand). Have healers and ranged run ahead of you so they don’t become zombie chow later.

2. When Precious summons zombies, speed up the kiting a bit to get ahead of them. If you have any shamans or hunters – or both – then earthbind and frost trap really help to put some distance between you and the braaaaaain munchers. I’m sure other slowing effects work. Be creative. Don’t speed up so much that you lap the zombies.

3. Rinse repeat with kiting and earthbind/traps until the dog is dead. Turn round and deal with the zombies. AoEs you can run in, drop, then out – like consecrate – work well. Pre-positionable AoEs like shamans putting up earthbinds and fire totem/fire nova repeatedly while still running away also work. While we were perfecting this my guild had an attempt whereby the group’s several shamans finished off the zombies while everyone else ran in – er, I mean, recovered from temporary inability to help.


Rotface tricks for healers:

1. Surround him. Rather than clumping together in one huge mass, have your group stand in smaller clumps round Rotface’s…. well, I guess they’re feet. At least one healer to each clump. This has two benefits for healers. Firstly it reduces the number of people who may get hit by slime spray. Secondly it means that at least one healer should always be in range of the tank who is kiting the big ooze, wherever they are in the room, in case of problems.

2. GO team Heal! If another healer gets mutated infection and so has to run, heal him until it’s gone and he’s safe. This may sound silly but sometimes when the elephant hits the jet fan, healers assume that other healers can look after themselves. Yep, usually. But you should always remember you’re a team and work like one. Particularly here, where the infection ticks for a fair chunk and a lot of healers can’t heal and keep running at the same time.

3. Assume the worst. We all make mistakes: we’re human. But this is an encounter in which one person making a mistake can make things three times more hectic and it’s us healers who have to try to get the group through it. The retri paladin thinks he’s delivered his ooze to the big ooze but has actually dragged it into the melee and is standing there? Someone’s got two infections in a row and not realised?

Watch as much as you can. Watch for people making mistakes so you can go into overdrive. Watch your and other healers’ mana and pop things like mana tide or hymn of hope either early or at (an early) crunch time. Importantly, watch *your* positioning. You might think that concentrating on your own situational awareness might make it a bit harder to focus on healing when there’s a lot of damage. Instead, consider how doing so will make your job easier rather than if you get caught up in healing and, say, forget to move during an Unstable Ooze Explosion.


The Plagueworks is not a friendly place and only the bold set foot on its flagstones. Although, looking at Rotface I think Professor Putricide has other ideas about what feet should do. I hope your bravery is rewarded by victory, and that something here has helped if you were bouncing off those flagstones!

What about you? Have you got any tips, either general or class/healer specific, to add for any of these three encounters? Are you having trouble on any of them, or have been and are slowly getting better at dealing with them? Do you actively like or dislike these fights, given that they go in a different direction to the fights in the first wing?

13 thoughts on “ICC Plagueworks: How Not To Die A Poisonous Death”

  1. erm- you’re supposed to kill pustulating horrors before they finish their 5s cast. like the gargoyles in Naxx, but more deadly if you fail 😉

    if you have the DPS to do festergut, your group can accomplish this and not risk any deaths from the explosion.

  2. For Holy Paladins, it can be helpful to put Holy Wrath back on your bars. During the large AoE pulls and again on Precious, you can hit Holy Wrath. It’ll hit all the undead around you and stun them. That will give you a couple of seconds to catch up on any healing.

  3. The trash around the Aboms is not directly linked, but the scientists pat from around the aboms to further back. Poor timing on the pull can cause a scientist to aggro (they are paired) and depending on their positions you might end up with even more. Pulling from the front of the abominations lets you watch the scientists’ paths and time correctly.

    An interesting thing about Precious is that it isn’t leashed (bad pun). I mean that it doesn’t reset if you pull past the circular staircase and out to the scaffolding around the hub of the upper level. That gives you a much larger kiting area, which may be useful depending on your group comp.

  4. For Precious, some things I’ve noted:
    1) As mentioned above, you can kite him out off the stairs, onto the big circular path in the center of the spire. You’ve got as much room as you need.
    (My 10-man group has also kited Precious towards/into Festergut’s room, after downing Festergut of course.)

    2) Putting down frost traps and other slowing effects is a good way to aggro the zombies onto your hunters (or whomever is putting down the slow effects). Just keep kiting, the zombies are plenty slow as is.

  5. Thanks for the comments and tips! The more the merrier, share wisdoms 🙂

    And yes Mike, thanks, and ofc you’re meant to kill them. But if something goes wrong, not getting caught in that explosion is a Good Thing.

  6. Frankly, Plaguewing trash is much harder than bloodwing trash. Our guild wiped a few times on Stinky. Then I learned about surrounding Precious before trying it.

    Couple of good shamans can really do wonders here. They can time their CH right after decimate.

  7. I’m surprised you didn’t go into a little more detail about cleansing, as handling cleanses efficiently and effectively can directly influence your success on Rotface.

    It’s best to have one person in charge of cleansing the Mutated Infection (our only exception is if you can cleanse your own, you are welcome to do so, just not anyone else’s). If everyone is doing it, timing can vary significantly and cause problems. Here are my “preferred people” to put in charge of this responsibility (of course I’m assuming the player is competent enought to be capable of cleansing):

    1) Pally Tank kiting the big ooze
    2) DPSer you trust (2 healers)
    3) Healer you trust (3 healers)

    The reasoning behind the choices should be pretty obvious… the Pally OT kiting the ooze should be in a wonderful position to cleanse people at the right time and they also should have the free time. If you are running two healers, you are already putting some stress on them and DPS really should not be an issue, so sacrificing a GCD from a DPSer is far less risky than having your Holy Pally attempting to heal and cleanse everyone at the same time (trust me, I’ve two healed it as a Holy Pally when I had to cleanse… it’s not fun). With three healers, there should be no issue with handling the cleanses and healing.

    We usually just cleanse people after 2-3 seconds. If they aren’t in position or close at that point, WTH were they doing? 🙂

  8. @Phaythe – thanks for the comment, I’m sure some folks will find it helpful! The reason I didn’t go into that myself is because cleansing timing and strategy is quite subjective based on a number of factors, predominantly your group’s composition. The cleansing options here are almost worthy of a whole post all of their own – which is why I chose to focus on other things I could give more immediate tips on 🙂

    Keep the thoughts and tips coming! Plagueworks is quite a dangerous place for those who dare to tread!
    .-= Mimetir´s last blog ..Juddr: ‘Good’ or ‘bad’ is all I need but reasons are great too! Thanks guys 🙂 Keep the poll results coming. Result will feature in a post soon. =-.

  9. I run as Disc on Rotface and I’m always the one on cleansing duty, both in 25s and 10s. I also heal the infected and the OT. I can do this without help until about 50% and need more and more help as the fight continues. I have done this with a Druid OT, Warrior OT and a Pally OT. Pally OT = win. Sure, I can cleanse but the OT typically has a better view of the slimes and most of all, I have trouble sparing the extra GCD for an Abilish Disease at the end of the fight. Why my raid leader likes to put a Druid as OT while we have a very capable Pally that ends up going dps is beyond me.

  10. WTB Pally tank. =(

    I’m glad to see the advice on the cleansing duties. We almost always double heal and Rotface is currently our wall. Everything seems to fall apart around 30% or so. We double heal most of the time and I keep telling my guildmates that we should probably have someone else (even a dps) on abolish/cleanse detail, but they keep saying we should share it. Between regular healing detail, being aware of where you are, where two other people are, and timing your dispel properly, it’s a LOT to manage. It felt like I was splitting my brain at least four different ways. You’re basically actively doing 5 things at once.

    I’ll have to bring this up with my guild. Thanks.

  11. @Petrin My 10 mans have recently had me healing as Disc or Holy and we also have a Holy Paladin. We have a fairly easy time 2 healing the first 4 bosses. Fester is a little tougher and we wipe occasionally but we still are ok with just the 2 heals. On Rotface we go to 3 healers by making an Ele Sham go Resto. I know others have been able to do 2 heals on Rot but that hasn’t gone well for us when we have tried it.

  12. Rotface is relatively simple. Just get one cleanser and make sure everyone spreads out. Provided people are watching their debuffs and running from “angry poo poos” at the right time.

    Festergut requires a solid mix of all 3 roles. Generally its best to have your strongest tank take festergut first so he takes it during the enrage.
    Provided people handle spores correctly and spread out and the healers handle the raid damage and the tanks taunt at the correct time its a fairly simple fight.

    We tend to blow heroism/bloodlust at the start of both fights.

    Professor Putridus is also a fairly easy fight once you get the rhythm. I’d post more but I don’t want to ruin the fun 🙂 Its a nice fight to learn though
    .-= Echo´s last blog ..The new LFG system =-.

  13. As a holy priest I’m still spec’d into Body and Soul from heroic Anub attempts.

    A holy priest shield – giving the speed boost is very nice to both the infected person and kiting tank.

    Also – we require Tuskarr’s boot enchant – since WotLK has become very move intensive, anything that speeds that up is very useful.


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