The fifth and final encounter in the Trial of the Crusader raid is a visit to our old friend from the Azjol’nerub instance, Anub’arak.  The fight is fun and interesting, while maintaining much of the same flavour as the encounter with Anub’arak from the instance. The final encounter starts once you have defeated the Twin Valkyr, at which point the Lich King himself will appear and pass judgment on you, and rend open the floor of the coliseum to the depths below.


10 Person Raid:  4,200,000 health
25 Person Raid: 20,900,000 health

style="margin-top: 20px; border-collapse: collapse; float: right; width: 160px;">

src="" alt=""
style="border: 0px solid ; width: 160px;"


Room Effects

Permafrost – This is a room effect that comes from the frost orbs that float around once you have engaged Anub’arak.  Once a frost orb has been killed it will fall to the ground and create a permafrost area on the ground.  The frost area will prevent anything from burrowing through it to go underground and slows anything on it.  It remains in place until shattered by an Impale.


Anub’arak has several abilities that are used throughout the fight with him.  Some are used only at certain parts of the fight, which is made up of three phases.  Abilities that are limited to a certain phase for use, are described as such in the ability description, otherwise they are available throughout the fight. 

Freezing Slash – This attack hits anyone in Anub’araks front ark for roughly 10,000 frost damage and freezes them in place for 3 seconds in an ice block.  This should only affect the tank.

Penetrating Cold – Throughout the fight Anub’arak will cast this spell on several random players (5 players in 25 player raids and 2 in 10 player raids).  When hit it will apply a debuff that lasts for 18 seconds and deals 3,500 damage every three seconds.  Anub’arak will recast this spell every 20 seconds.

Summon Nerubian Burrowers – (Phase one only) During phase one Anub’arak will summon a Nerubian Burrower roughly every 30 seconds, this means you will get 2 in between each submerge phase.  Burrowers can go underground and attack random players from below if not tanked on permafrost.

Summon Swarm Scarabs – (Phase two only) When Anub’arak goes underground for phase two he summons Swarm Scarabs to attack the players.  These creatures have relatively low health and can be killed fairly easily.  They should not be tanked though, instead they need to be kited due to a hefty stacking poison debuff that they can apply. The debuff can stack indefinitely and does roughly 1,000 damage per tick per stack on the player and lasts 30 seconds.  This can make it very difficult to heal a tank if they get too many stacks of it.  In addition the Swarm Scarabs can enrage so make sure you have a hunter or rogue on standby to remove the enrage.

[protip]If you are lucky enough to have a Paladin or Dwarf tank or off-tank you can use them for tanking the Swarm Scarabs.  Paladins can bubble out of the poison effect, and Dwarves can use their racial Stone Skin to remove it.[/protip]

Pursing Spikes – (Phase two only) While Anub’arak is underground in phase two he will pursue a random player and shoot spikes up through the floor at them.  These spikes hit any player above them and anyone nearby (roughly 5 yards) for about 3,000 damage.

Impale – (Phase two only) When Anub’arak catches up to someone that is being chased he launches a large spike up at them.  It will hit for roughly 20,000 damage to the target and anyone nearby (roughly 5 yards) and throw them into the air.

Leeching Swarm – (Phase three only) Once phase three begins Anub’arak begins channeling this spell.  It unleashes a swarm of insects that leech 10% of all players’ current health back to Anub’arak each second.  It will always leech at least 250 health.


The fight against Anub’arak is split into three different phases.  The first and third phase are mandatory, while the second can be skipped with good strategy.

Before engaging it is best to assign roles and get everyone set for the fight.  You will need a main tank to hold Anub’arak, an off-tank to grab the Burrowers, and at least 1 ranged DPS to focus on the frozen orbs. 

style="margin-top: 20px; border-collapse: collapse; float: right; width: 160px;">

src="" alt=""
style="border: 0px solid ; width: 160px;"

Leeching Swarm

The first phase lasts roughly 90 seconds and starts when you engage Anub’arak.  The main tank can grab threat and just hold Anub’arak in position, while DPS works on him.  Any ranged DPS assigned to frozen orbs should start killing them to force areas of permafrost to drop.  Once 30 seconds have passed a burrower spawns and the off-tank needs to grab it and drag it onto a patch of permafrost so that it can not submerge. Ranged DPS now switches to the burrower to kill it as quickly as possible. Once the burrower is dead all DPS switches back to the boss.

[protip]Ideally just ranged DPS needs to switch to the burrower, however a lot depends on your group makeup.  If you do not have a lot of ranges, especially common in 10 player raids, then you may need melee to move over to the burrowers as well.  If you do, have the off-tank and tank stand as close as possible so that DPS can move between them quickly.[/protip]

As soon as there are several large patch patches of permafrost on the ground the tank should start looking for one large enough to hold Anub’arak on.  If Anub’arak is on permafrost when he tries to submerge he will be blocked from doing so and you essentially skip phase 2.  Anub’arak will attempt to submerge after being on the surface for 90 seconds.

Blocking Anub’arak from submerging is not easy to do as any small crack between the permafrost patches will allow him to submerge.  Also, the area required is slightly larger than his hit box, so it takes several overlapped areas of permafrost to create an area large enough to allow for proper placement.  Do not be surprised if it takes several attempts before you can successfully block him from submerging.

Once Anub’arak submerges phase two begins.  His normal abilities disappear and instead he chooses a random player to chase with his spikes and impale attacks.  Neither can affect you through permafrost, however impale will remove a permafrost area after the attack.  Players that are targeted need to stay away from other players and find a permafrost area just as they are being caught so that they are not damaged by the impale attack.  Also during phase two swarm scarabs will spawn around the edge of the room.  These should be killed by range as fast as possible.  Melee and the tanks can help but need to be careful of not drawing agro so that they are not selected as the target and subjected to the nasty poison debuff that they can apply.

Phase two lasts for roughly one minute, at the end of which Anub’arak will resurface and phase one will begin again.  If there are any scarabs still alive DPS should finish them off before returning to their phase one duties. These two phases rotate back and forth until you have gotten Anub’arak down to 30% health, at which point phase three begins.

Once phase three begins Anub’arak starts channeling leeching swarm which will damage all players and heal himself.  Due to it leeching 10% of current health each second, not max health, the best strategy for healers is to keep everyone other than the tank at 50% or less health.  This minimizes the healing done back to Anub’arak.  Once healers get used to the fight they can lower this down to 30%, but initially a little more is safer.  The only exceptions to this are the tank, anyone that still has a scarab poison debuff, or anyone hit with penetrating cold.

All DPS players, including the one that was assigned to frozen orbs, now focuses on any burrowers still alive, and then onto Anub’arak.  They should burn all cooldowns and trinkets to out DPS the healing he is gaining from the leeching swarm.  The fight is simply a DPS race, mana conservation test from this point until you either kill Anur’arak or he kills you.  If you can reach phase three though, you will likely beat the fight.  Phase three is relatively simple as most of his abilities stop and you just need to worry about defeating him.

Once you have defeated Anub’arak you are rewarded with access to the Heroic mode of the instance.  Also since you are below ground level a mage appears and creates a portal to Dalaran for your group.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.


Related Content

54 professions square
Patch 5.4 Profession Changes