Welcome to the Hunter guide of Dragon Soul
Since hunters were quite bad during Dragon Soul, and only with the recent changes, they became somewhat decent, I will be focusing on tips that will make you compensate the poor tuning of the hunter class dps. I have always loved to play my hunter and I don't think that you should give up on the class because of this instance! Together we will reach the top of the damage meter... well lets say top 5 to be more realistic. :)
I believe a lot in having proper UI and keybinds that help you on specific encounters so I will be mentioning (but not going in depth) these matters in this guide. The spec that is generally the best to play on most encounters is Survival, MM and BM are quite decent but usually should be avoided if the buffs that they provide are not necessary.
If you have any questions after reading my guide, feel free to either post it below so more people can see them, or PM me on the forums.
I will tell you how we do this fight which is just a straight up split of the raid in half (there are more ways to kill this boss, I know), which is a pretty easy tactic that doesn't involve a lot of strategy. Hunters aren't particularly good or bad for this encounter, although there are some obvious problems of minimum range involved that make your life a bit harder and can be quite frustrating.
Spec Recommended: Survival
- If you are assigned to dps the fake/twin/wannabe real, Kohcrom, then you should try to keep refreshing your initial serpent sting on the real Morchok with a few cobra shots until the first black phase starts. If the bosses are dragged too far away don't bother with it. You can easily do cobra shots on 2 targets with no hassle without clicking on them. And this is a nice tip for future bosses too, for example it was very good at Valiona+Theralion, and it will be needed in the future for sure so pay attention!
-A focus target macro (put the real Morchok on focus)
-A mouseover macro (mouseover Morchok)
-Or my personal favorite for these fights, either switching it on the keybind list, or if you cba, just make a macro with this:/targetlasttarget, and switch your normal tab keybind with this. Since there are only 2 enemies to target this will make your life SO much easier. Only thing you need to do is target the real Morchok and then target the fake one, then just switch between them with this macro (again it is also in the keybind list if you don't mind searching for it).
- If you are assigned to take the crystal explosions (most likely you are), then you will want to use raptor strike (glyphed) before each stomp that is followed by a crystal (you can skip it the first stomp if your are on Morchok, and skip it for the first 2 times if you are on Kohcrom), and below 25% use deterrence at a crystal explosion for the 30% reduced damage taken that they added to this ability recently.
- When running towards a crystal, try to have enough focus saved up to use only instants instead of having to switch to aspect of fox and do cobras.
- Always check the Black Phase timer and try to squeeze as much dps as possible before it happens, especially if you have BA ready, use it asap, same for LnL procs. After you are sucked in use disengage and while midair switch to aspect of fox and find a spot where you can shoot from with not issue. Obviously don't use any dps cds right before a black phase.
This fight has quite a lot of tactics that are different but again I will give tips depending on what we use, which is everyone gathering in melee and only people with immunities soak the orb on range (cauterize, dispersion etc). That means that you are stuck close to melee, and when the ball hits the raid splits in 4 range groups + 1 melee group on the big tentacle. Kill tentacle twice, then on 3rd orb hitting the boss you gather on top of him and nuke. This means the fight will be <5min fight with proper dps.
Recommended Spec: Survival
- Keep your rapid fire+call of the wild for the last part of the fight, after the 3rd ball hits, to have maximum dmg output (with heroism)
- During the black phase, let your pet stay on boss (no assist stance).
- At the start of the black phase, if you are on the side where the boss is being dragged on top of the big tentacle, throw an explosive trap on the big tentacle which will tick on both the tentacle itself and the boss, thus giving you guaranteed LnL procs to burst down the flails/eyes.
- When standing melee range you should be standing a bit on the sides, to avoid getting hit from the orb's range when its being soaked at the ranged spot. Also helps with being already in a nice position to be dispelled should you get the debuff.
- Always put up serpent sting on the tentacles/eyes, but only use hunter's mark on the eyes (not the flail).
Track: The debuff that zon'ozz applies, called 'Disrupting Shadows'. If your tactic involves dispelling this debuff, then just call for an instant dispel, since you shouldn't be standing together with the rest of the raid due to the deadzone issue. If not, then just search for a lightwell and click it twice while the debuff is on you.
I quite like this fight as a Hunter, it is one of the few where we can actually do really good dps and you can make use of aspect of the fox in a smart way, seperating the bad hunters from the good ones. The thing you need to keep in mind is that while aoe is nice, you should not try to whore dps, but rather keep a decent dps output on the boss as well, since enrage is sort of an issue for some guilds.
Recommended Spec: Survival
- Make a proper macro for switching between aspect of the fox and of the hawk. This is obviously something good for all fights, but this one in particular needs it for sure. I personally use my Caps Lock as my keybind to rotate between these 2 aspects (easy to press).
- When you are about to switch to a blob, keep shooting the boss while running out until you are max range, and if you have Black Arrow almost coming out of cooldown, stay and shoot it before switching to the blob. It will give you a LnL proc which will help you a lot on the blob.
- When going towards the blob that you will kill, use disengage always to reach it faster, after leaving max range of the boss, effectively reducing the deadtime of nothing in range to dps to zero.
- While moving together with the blob, try to be ahead of it and then stand still for 6 seconds to get sniper training back up, then keep moving and go at the base of the boss.
- When there are small adds involved in a normal phase of the fight, always use explosive trap, and spam your multi shots. BUT use your LnL procs on the boss, since as I mentioned above, you shouldn't be ignoring the enrage timer of the boss.
- If shit hits the fan during a phase, and healing is way behind or you have deaths, remember that you can use the combo of raptor strike (glyphed) + deterrence to get ~50% reduced dmg taken.
- You only get to use your 5min cooldowns twice in this fight, and it should be once at the very start of the fight, and once during heroism towards the end, or if raid is falling apart, use them to kill the small black adds asap.
Again another fight where tactics vary (frost phase at least), but generally a pretty straight forward fight, not much that you can do. Generally hunters are mediocre here. Remember to have minor speed on your boots enchanted.
Recommended Spec: Survival
- If you are the only hunter in the raid, sacrifice some of your dps during the frost phase and use aspect of the pack, it will save a lot of lives trust me.
- Since this fight has an 8 minute berzerk time, you should use your dps cds after the first phase (either frost or lightning) is over, so that you will have them back up for the end. Ask for heroism the first time you use cds.
- Save up focus and also an explosive trap for when the tombs spawn, you can do A LOT of damage to them if you are full focus.
- If you are one of the people linking during lightning phase, remember to use aspect of the wild (if no shaman is close to your group - they can't cover all the raid), and also when the lightning is about to hit you, use deterrence for the 30% dmg reduction.
- During the frost phase, if you get the Frostflake debuff (the slow debuff), move inside hagara's bubble and get dispelled in there, since it won't leave a frost patch if you are inside. If you are almost getting reached from the wave, use master's call, or disengage (keep in mind that disengage sometimes can screw you over bigtime, since your position isn't updated in the game until you have landed, and thus you can die midair even though you are not close to the wave, because it reached your initial position when you disengaged).
Track: The debuff that slows you, called 'Frostflake', since sometimes you are not going to notice it instantly due to the other slows in that phase, and tracking it will make you react at least 1-2seconds faster.
A really easy fight for hunters, not much you can fuckup at. The only thing that is for certain is that you need to maximize dps, and that you are definitely going to be used as a soaker of the hour of twilight with deterrence.
Recommended Spec: Survival
- Before the pull: Ask for a 10second countdown before the pull. During that you should use Misdirection, Hunter's Mark, ~7seconds use Call of the Wild while dismissing your pet, summon a new one, you should be ~3seconds then, prepot, and precast a cobra shot at 1.5seconds. This will give you Call of the Wild buff for 'free' the first 15seconds of the fight, and then you use it again right after. So you will have it for the full duration of Heroism.
- Use Rapid Fire on top of heroism since the fight is 6minutes long, and in order to use it twice you need to pop it at the start. If the fight lasts between 5minutes 10seconds and 6minutes, use Rapid Fire at the start of the fight. If the fight lasts less than that, use Rapid Fire after Heroism is down, preferably when your trinkets are up again, and use your 2nd potion on top of that, always trying to do it with the minimum chances of getting fading light, so cast it right after a wave of fading lights get applied, and you should only have the risk of 1 wave hitting you.
- If you still have the Ragnaros trinket, track its inner cooldown with an addon (for example needtoknow), and you will see that around the 5minute mark, it lines up perfectly so you can use Call of the Wild + Rapid fire with the proc, which results in a nice dps boost.
- Make a macro that will remove your deterrence buff when you use it. Since you only need Deterrence to be up for approximately 1second total, there is no reason to have it for the full 5 seconds. Simply use Deterrence 0.5seconds before Hour of Twilight is cast, and after its done, use the cancelaura macro.
- Make another macro if you don't want to bother changing it on the keybind list everytime (i cba), which will teleport you outside when you press it.
- Remember to your pet's dash to autocastoff, since it will waste focus for no reason, and also to put your pet's ability: Rabid on your arcane/cobra shot macro to make sure its being cast on cd.
Track: The debuff that kills you if you don't go outside, called 'Fading Light', and try to go outside at 1second left on the debuff, 0.5second if you have very good ms.
A very interesting fight for sure, although hunters are quite honestly, one of the worst classes for this fight, its actually stressing you out quite a lot to maximize what you need to do. Both survivability, and dps wise, the fight certainly has a lot of movement involved so it is VERY ESSENTIAL that you use a proper macro to swap between aspect of the fox and hawk. Moving into the 'big ones' as we call them, to soak and not bothering to switch to aspect of the fox thus wasting 2-3globals is a big waste. Due to the constant switching involved in this encounter, Marksmanship is the best option for a guild that is still progressing on this boss. Even though Survival will result in overall more dps, in my opinion, phase 2 dps is quite irrelevant. The only hard phase in 25man is phase 1. And as Marksman you will do more damage on the drakes, sappers, and pretty much the same damage on the melee adds.
Recommended Spec: Marksmanship
- Always maximize damage done on the drakes, using your first rapid fire on the 1st wave of drakes, readiness right after it, then use your 2nd rapid fire on the 2nd wave of adds.
- Then use readiness and your 3rd rapid fire on Gariona before she lands, to make sure that she only does 1 black circle, and not 2 (which can be deadly).
- Make use of deterrence when soaking the big ones, and also for the roars in phase 2, when the boss is below 40%.
- If healing is a problem, use raptor strike glyph for the roars, even all of them if you don't mind the dps loss.
- Everytime you soak a 'small one' (barrage), check the ground to see if any charges are incoming at your spot, and be ready to strafe.
- Do NOT disengage to avoid shockwaves. Like I mentioned on Hagara, the disengage mechanic works in a way that your position remains to be your initial one, until you have actually landed. That means that even if you are outside of the shockwave, you will get hit from it unless you have landed. So either be lightning fast with it, or better just move normally out of it, perhaps use aspect of the cheetah if you want.
- Make a macro to easily target the closest twilight assault drake. This will make your life MUCH easier when trying to dps the drakes when they fly above you to drop the melee adds.
/target Twilight Assault Drake
- If your guild wants you to be the one slowing the sappers (or if everyone else is just terrible that you need to do everything youself), this macro will make your life much easier in targeting them.
/tar Twilight Sapper
/cast Concussive Shot
Track: The debuff that increases your shadow damage taken, called 'Twilight Barrage', which you get when you soak a small barrage. In 25man it only lasts 6 seconds, which means its quite irrelevant, but if you have the debuff and go in to soak a big one, you better ask for some shield or use deterrence + raptor strike.
PS: I will post a video of this boss soon!
This fight actually is really easy now after the nerfs. And as a hunter, there isn't anything special to do. I personally prefer playing Beastmaster at this boss. Survival is a good spec for overall dps, but BM does just as much dmg on the tendons, which is whats important in this encounter.
Recommended Spec: Beast Mastery
- If your raid doesn't have enough arcane mages, and you are needed to help break the fiery grips, make sure that you have your pet at the passive stance, because it shouldn't switch away from the amalgamation/tendon to run all the way to the tentacle. Also make sure to put the tentacles on focus target, and track their cast bar. When the last cast is about to finish, precast a cobra shot on it, and do another 2-3arcane shots.
- When the tendon spawns, make sure to use Bestial Wrath before sending in your pet, because if it goes behind the tendon, it goes out of sight and you can't use it (was really annoying).
- Use deterrence when the amalgamations explode, especially save one for the very last amalgamation, because usually at that point everything is so chaotic that there is a high risk you won't get any heals.
- Make sure to renew your stacks of your spine of deathwing trinket even if you are deterrencing the explosions, by hitting something right before or after.
- Make a macro that includes every cooldown you have, which will be really useful to not waste any time when the tendon comes up. Here is an example:
/cast Bestial Wrath
/cast Rapid Fire
/cast Call of the Wild
/use Kiroptyric Sigil
You can include engineering gloves, horde racials, and any other on use trinkets you might have.
- Everytime a tendon phase starts, cast a hunter's mark on the tendon (if you are the hunter's mark bitch), then use the macro which I said above (I named is 'rape macro'), and then cast a kill command, then serpent sting, then spam arcane shots. If you need to hunter's mark you can use this macro too:
/cast Hunter's Mark
- During the tendon phase, make sure that u use kill command twice during bestial wrath, and then when you are about to run out of focus, use fervor. You shouldn't need to cast cobra shot at all, maybe once at the very end.
- Make sure that your pet has the talent Charge, it helps to make it go instantly on the tendon.
Track: The debuff that the tentacles cast and absorbs healing done on you, called 'Searing Plasma'. That will allow you to use the lightwell effectively and also will make you aware to use deterrence if needed to not die during explosions, since having the debuff will mean that you won't get any heals.
Track: The debuff that you get when standing in the holes to not get thrown off deathwing, called 'Grasping Tendrils'. That will make you certain that you are inside and you don't get the random fly offs saying 'but I was inside!!!!'
The last boss. Really easy boss.
Recommended Spec: Survival
- The fight lasts long, but if your concern is killing the boss and not whoring dps, you will use your cds properly. That means using them once at the 2nd platform (Alexstrasza), on the corrupted tentacle. Then use them again on the parasites at the 4th platform (Kalecgos). Call of the Wild on the first (since you will be getting heroism at that point most likely and rapid fire will be an overkill), and rapid fire on the second one to pump those multi shots faster and kill everything.
- When a parasite is about to spawn, don't use black arrow, and instead throw an explosive trap at the spot where the parasite is supposed to spawn, then ask the person who gets the debuff to move on that spot and trigger your trap. This will cause an almost guaranteed LnL proc during the parasites, since the explosive trap should be hitting both the parasites and the corrupted tentacles or deathwing's arms/wings.
- When the blistering tentacles are about to spawn which is at 70% and 40%, save your LnL procs for that to instant kill them.
- Save up focus for when the 2nd parasite is about to spawn, and spam multi shots on the bloods as much as possible.
- The parasite spawning explosion can 1shot your pet if its standing close, so make a macro to use your pet's ability which I am sure most of you don't even know exists, cower. Use it ~3seconds before the explosion when you are watching the big wigs timer of it.
- Use deterrence when you get the parasite debuff on you, when the timer is at ~4seconds left. This will drastically reduce the damage you take from it and healers will be much grateful for what you did for them. Also save your deterrence on the 4th platform and use it to negate the damage from the meteor explosion.
- Make a macro to target the meteors. This can be especially helpful on the 4th platform if you want to squeeze in an explosive shot before deterrencing the explosion.
/target Elementium Bolt
- In the last phase of the fight, when the boss is at ~17%, 12%, 7% use your trap launcher ability and be ready to throw your slow trap ASAP, don't wait for the animation on the ground to start the process, be 100% ready for it. The bloods not being slowed is the no1 cause of wipes in that phase.
- If you are skipping killing the elementium fragments towards the end of the fight, make sure to use both dream and deterrence on the shrapnels.
Track: The debuff that spawns the parasites, called 'Corrupting Parasite', which will help you both react fast enough, and time properly your deterrence.
Thanks for reading this guide of Dragon Soul. If you have any ideas about the guide feel free to post them below, and I am sorry if I made any typos. :)