This is a much longer fight than any of the previous encounters this tier, and the phases are quite different so I am going to separate each phase into its own section to avoid confusion as much as possible. A large change from Heroic is that while each player still has access to their Heart of Azeroth via an extra-action Boss Button, each player can only use their neck once in the fight and it will instead restore 25 sanity to everyone in a small area around you. More on neck usage in each of the phase breakdowns below.
Phase 1 - Psychus
This phase consists of roughly the first half of the fight, ending around 6:00 into the fight, and is likely where you’re to spend most of your time during progression. There are 2 different Psychus groups in this phase separated by a ‘burn’ phase on N’zoth, and each of these ‘phases’ are mirrored to each other – Group 1 will enter their Mindgate on the West side of the room while Group 2 will later enter their Mindgate on the East side of the room. Basher Tentacle spawn locations are fixed in this phase, but some of the tentacles such as the Spike and Corruptor tentacles can spawn in various locations around their respective Basher Tentacles. Tanks should always be tanking the Basher Tentacles and rotate through cooldowns as they do significant tank damage, while everyone else will be focused on killing off the Corruptor and Spike tentacles and dealing with mechanics like Paranoia. To give a TLDR of the order of events, you will begin killing 2 different Basher Tentacle groups, Paranoia will occur, and you will travel to the opposite side of the room to deal with 2 additional Basher Tentacle groups. After this is when the first Psychus group will enter their Mindgate. The groups of players who do not enter the Psychus phase will instead deal with 2 additional Basher Tentacle groups on their own, separated by another Paranoia followed by a Mindgrasp. It is worth noting that before the Mindgrasp there will be many Corrupted Neurons – you can use hard CC like Banish, Stuns, and Blinds to avoid having to kill every single one of these, allowing you to have much more room.
Psychus 1 – 8 players should go into the first Psychus phase and kill up to 8 of the Exposed Synapses to defeat Psychus. The group should consist of 1 healer, 1 tank, and 6 DPS, and you will likely need to assign cooldowns to successfully defeat Psychus before you run out of room. About halfway through this phase this group will use Bloodlust / Heroism as you will get a 2nd use at the end of the fight. Psychophage adds will periodically cast Devour Thoughts which will deal damage and drain sanity – you must avoid these as well as the Cataclysmic Flames swirls on the floor to avoid losing all of your sanity in this phase. Once Psychus is defeated, you can click on your body to Restore Consciousness and begin the first N’zoth burn phase. At the end of this burn phase you should use 2 of your Heart of Azeroth‘s to ‘reset’ everyone’s sanity back to 100 before the next set of tentacles spawn.
After the first burn phase has completed, the fight will then repeat itself but you will begin on the opposite side of the room. To give a TLDR of the order of events, you will begin killing 2 different Basher Tentacle groups, Paranoia will occur, and you will travel to the opposite side of the room to deal with 2 additional Basher Tentacle groups. After this is when the second Psychus group will enter their Mindgate.
Psychus 2 – 9 players should go into the second Psychus phase and kill up to 8 of the Exposed Synapses to defeat Psychus. The group should consist of 2 healers, 1 tank, and 6 DPS, and you will likely need to assign cooldowns to successfully defeat Psychus before you run out of room. The movement of Psychus is different from the first group, but the majority of the mechanics are still the same – you need to dodge the Psychophage adds, kill the Exposed Synapses, and kill Psychus before the 4th Black Volley. Also, this group will have Tread Lightly, which will cause you to take Contempt damage every time you move. To avoid this, this group should consist mostly of ranged players and at least 1 warlock as you need to use a warlock gateway as a group as soon as you enter the Mindgate. Once Psychus is defeated, you can click on your body to Restore Consciousness and begin the second N’zoth burn phase and start Phase 2. At the end of this burn phase you should use 2 – 3 of your Heart of Azeroth‘s to ‘reset’ everyone’s sanity back to 100 before Phase 2.
Phase 2 - Thought Harvesters
When the first set of Thought Harvesters have spawned, Phase 2 has officially begun. Each set of Thought Harvesters will cast one Harvest Thoughts each, and should die before the 2nd cast finishes. The first cast of Harvest Thoughts should be soaked as a group on top of the boss, paired with a stacked healing CD like Power Word: Barrier or Spirit Link Totem as the first Evoke Anguish will follow shortly after. To make this phase easier to follow, I’m instead going to give a TLDR of what will be happening around each Evoke Anguish cast. It is worth noting that Evoke Anguish 1 + 2 are the best times to use stacked raid CD’s such as Darkness, Spirit Link Totem, Power Word: Barrier as the other casts require you to be spread out.
Evoke Anguish 1 – Stacked on top of the boss for the initial application before sprinting to the edge of the room where you should drop your first set of Anguish pools. This is followed by the first Stupifying Glare that will travel to the left, so you should aim to beat these beams to the right if possible to minimize movement.
Evoke Anguish 2 – Shortly after the first Stupifying Glare, you should drop these pools as close to your previous Anguish pools as you can (note: previous Anguish pools will grow slightly during this time, so make sure you aren’t too close). After you have dropped your 2nd Anguish pools you there will be a Paranoia Cast followed by a Mindgrasp. Sanity is not as important in this phase, so you should instead aim to meet up with your partner as quickly as possible, even if it means you have to run through a player or two to get there.
Evoke Anguish 3 – As soon as the Mindgrasp has finished Evoke 3 will be cast. You should again drop these pools as close to the previous pools as you can to avoid taking up too much room. After you have dropped your 3rd Anguish pools there will be the 2nd Harvest Thoughts cast – this will need to be soaked by 5 players with immunities, otherwise you will lose all of your sanity and go insane.
Evoke Anguish 4 – After the first immunities have been used there will be the last Evoke Anguish of the phase followed by another set of Stupifying Glare beams that will travel right this time. Again, drop your pools as close to the previous Anguish pools as you can, and dodge the beams.
After all of the Evoke Anguish casts have completed, there will be one more Immunity soak on the 3rd set of Thought Harvesters that spawn, as well as another Paranoia followed by the last set of Stupifying Glare beams that will travel left again. After you have dealt with the last beam you should kill off any remaining Thought Harvesters and use 2 more Heart of Azeroth‘s before you enter the Secret Phase.
Mythic-Only Secret Phase
This phase is the easiest phase of the fight and shouldn’t take too many attempts to master it. You will kill a Voidspawn Annihilator while disarming various bombs that will spawn in the room. This phase will require you to disable 11 disable 11 bombs in total, and each bomb removes your ability to use your Heart of Azeroth. There are 4 sets of bombs that will spawn, and you should disarm them as follows: Set 1 – disarm the closest 2 bombs, let the 3rd expire. Set 2: disarm all 3 bombs. Set 3: disarm 3 of the 4 bombs, allow one of the far bombs to expire. Set 4: Same as set 3. Once you have killed the Voidspawn Annihilator you should toggle autowalk and click on the gateway to travel back to N’zoth to begin the final phase.
Phase 3 - Thought Harvesters
This phase is very similar to Phase 2, so I will instead only talk about the differences between the two phases. Healing CD’s should roughly mimic what you did in Phase 2.
Evoke Anguish 1 – Drop these pools to the back left and follow the beams all the way to the right.
Evoke Anguish 3 – Drop these pools at the back of the room, followed by the final Harvest Thoughts immunity soak of the fight.
Evoke Anguish 4 – Again, drop these pools at the back of the room and dodge the Stupifying Glare beams that will travel to the left.
Once all the Evoke Anguish casts have completed, you should stack up in melee and force yourselves to go insane by stacking during the next Paranoia, where you will have 20 seconds to burn down N’zoth to 2.5%. There is one final Stupifying Glare beam during this time that will travel to the right – because of the limited room, you should aim to dodge the beam to the left, but you should always drop a Tremor Totem on this beam in case people get feared.
A standard healing build is great for this fight. Wind Rush Totem can be great on this fight as there is a ton of movement that will be happening, and sometimes your raid needs a burst of movement. If your group feels they don’t need Wind Rush Totem you should take Graceful Spirit as there are many times during this fight where you can be healing on the move. All 3 talents on the level 60 row are viable on this fight, and each has their own use. If your group does not have 10 total immunities, you can use Ancestral Protection Totem to sacrifice one of your soakers without using a combat res.
Notable Azerite Traits and Essences
Popular choices on this fight are Spouting Spirits, Overflowing Shores, and Heart of Darkness. Spouting Spirits can be extremely helpful during the Harvest Thoughts or Evoke Anguish damage events when the entire raid is stacked up. For essences you should play Vision of Perfection major as it will very rarely overheal on this fight. You should also begin with Lucid Dreams and the Ever-Rising Tide minors, especially if you do not have the Forbidden Obsidian Claw trinket from Maut or access to other external mana.
- In Phase 1 make sure to interrupt the Corrupted Mind casts or dispel players who get the debuff.
- Shamans offer many tools like Capacitor Totem, Earthbind Totem, and Earth Elemental to help your group deal with the Psychophage adds – use these as often as you can.
- As a healer you should try to let your partner come to you during every Paranoia as there is usually some damage going out during these times. Avoid moving too much so you don’t accidentally drain sanity.
- During progress, especially before you begin seeing the secret phase, you should use your Heart of Azeroth for you or other players that accidentally drain more sanity than expected – you won’t need to use all of your necks early on, so instead you should prevent yourself from going insane.
- Evoke Anguish casts 1, 2, 5, and 6 are the best times to use stacked raid cooldowns like Spirit Link Totem, Darkness, and Power Word: Barrier.
- Tremor Totem can remove the fear if someone gets hit by the Stupifying Glare – it does a large amount of damage, but it can sometimes save people who would have otherwise ran into an old Anguish pool.
- If you are struggling on mana, the beginning of the Secret phase is a great time to use a mana potion as there is not a lot of deadly damage and very little movement.
- Assign healing CD’s for every one of the Evoke Anguish casts. Evoke Anguish 6 will likely be the hardest to heal through as you will be moving with the Stupifying Glare beams, so try to save things like Spiritwalker’s Grace for moments where there is high damage and lots of movement.