Tank Fight of the Week: Maexxna

This week I’m going to talk about techniques for tanking the Naxxramas boss Maexxna.  Maexxna is the final boss in the Arachnid Quarter, and she is something of a beast.

Let me clarify this by saying that the Arachnid Quarter is the first quarter of Naxx my 10-man group cleared.  Maexxna was the third Naxx boss we downed on our first night in Naxx.  You would think she’d be easy-mode, right?  Not so much.

We’ve now cleared Naxxramas, taken Kel’Thuzad down three or four times and Maex can still be a big giant 8-legged pain when our group composition isn’t just right.


  • Web Wrap – Cast 20 seconds after engaging, and every 40 seconds after that. Sends 1 player straight to the western web wall, encasing them in a cocoon and incapacitating them. When encased, the player takes 2,475 to 3,025 damage every 2 seconds. The cocoon can be destroyed from the outside.
  • Web Spray – Cast every 40 seconds, incapacitating everyone for 6 seconds, and dealing 1,750 to 2,250 Nature damage. This ability cannot be resisted.
  • Poison Shock – Does 3500 to 4500  Nature damage in a 15 yard frontal cone.  Everyone but the tank should stay behind Maexxna.
  • Necrotic Poison- Poison effect that reduces healing taken by 90% for 30 seconds.  Having someone that can remove poisons helps immensely with this poison.
  • Frenzy – At 30% health, Maexxna will Frenzy, increasing attack speed and damage done by 50%.  Tanks & Healers should be ready for this.
  • Spider Spawn – Cast 30 seconds after engaging, and every 40 seconds after that. 8-10 Maexxna Spiderlings are spawned.  They spawn underneath Maexxna.  These need to be aoe’d down.

As a Warrior, when pulling Maexxna I charge in, and then do a 180 and back her to the wall opposite the raid.  This allows me to be the only person getting hit by the Poison Shock.

Here is your list of priorities for tanking Maexxna.

  1. Live through the web wrap.
  2. Hold threat.
  3. Keep Maexxna faced away from the raid.

That’s it folks.  I’ve already explained how to position her.  Holding threat is the same as any other tanked encounter.  So now, the rest of this article will be about living through that horrible web wrap.

I’m going to be honest here, DBM is necessary for this fight.  Sure, you could count it off or use a timer to know when she’s going to web-wrap, but to make it easier on yourself, someone needs to have DBM.

I don’t normally talk about how to heal on this blog, because it’s not my thing.  However, if you are the one calling out Web Wraps you need to know what is going to happen.  Using DBM,  I see when a web wrap is coming.  I call out in Ventrilo at 10 seconds and 5 seconds.  The 10 second call out is basically a heads up for the healers.  The 5 second call out is a call to action.

When I make that 5 second call, my healers are springing into action.  I get shielded by my disc priest and hotted by anyone who can.  This helps to live through the Web Wrap, when they can’t heal me.

As the tank, at this point I do something that I honestly have no clue whether it helps or not.  I live more when I do it.  So that’s a pro.  I’ve heard that it doesn’t help, so that’s a conn.

Bottom line, it doesn’t HURT to do it, and it might help.  What do I do?  At 2-3 seconds before the Web Spray I hit Shield Wall.  Can I block while incapacitated?  I honestly don’t know.  It seems to keep me alive though, so I would suggest you do it too.

Maybe I’m blocking while incapacitated.  Maybe I’m blocking the first hit when I come out of incapacitation.  Whatever it is I’m doing, I’ve found that I live through this fight doing this.  When I don’t do it, I don’t.

The only other thing you need to remember is Maexxna’s Frenzy.  This happens at 30% health.  At this point the dps should be going all out and right before the first Web Spray during the Frenzy, hit your Oh Crap! button.  Shield Wall, Trinkets, Last Stand, whatever it takes.  Frenzy, plus no heals = OUCH.

That’s it, that’s Maexxna.  Hopefully next week I’ll be able to talk about a newer boss, such as Razorscale.


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