Hunting Heroic Dragon Soul
The expansion is rapidly coming to a close and Tier 13 is ending. With the 20% nerf coming out, even more people will be progressing through Dragon Soul. Hunters were all over the place this tier. We started out okay then quickly got nerfed into the ground. They finally fixed us a couple patches in to 4.3 and with good gear and great knowledge of the fights, we are able to go head to head with some of the classes who spend a bit too much time sitting at the top of the meters.
This guide assumes you already have previous knowledge of the fights and focuses mainly on hunter-specific mechanics and tricks you need to know to maximize your effectiveness in the encounters. I have also included videos of the fights from a hunter POV so you can get an idea of what your role in the fight will look like. (Language in videos may be considered NSFW, you have been warned!)
Not a whole lot to cover on this fight, as it’s fairly straightforward. Basically exactly the same as normal except the raid splits in half and fights two identical bosses.
- You will most likely be assigned to do crystals. If you’re taking a lot of damage from this, you’ll want to have Raptor Strike glyphed to help reduce some of the damage you take from Stomp. The bosses have an annoying hit box, so there will be minimum range issues on this fight. You’ll need to perfect your routine of running in at the last second, Raptor Striking, and disengaging to the crystal.
- Keep an eye on your timers so you don’t blow any good cooldowns right before the black goop phase. You can still DPS from behind the spike things, but you are more likely to lose some uptime on those cooldowns while trying to properly LOS the goop, so it’s better to save them for right when the goop ends.
Yor’sahj the Unsleeping
The difference on heroic is you get four oozes instead of three. I love this fight because you can do awesome DPS because of all the AOE. There’s movement, but not enough to make consistent DPS a problem. But mostly I love this fight because you can do so much DPS.
- You will spend most of this fight stacked up underneath the boss. PRO TIP: I like to stand next to the tank to make sure my AOE hits all the adds. Since you’re going to be stacked up, get ready to stare at a boss crotch and drop Explosive Traps at your feet on cooldown to save your focus. Most phases will include adds, so you’re likely to be constantly getting Lock and Load procs. Keep the boss targeted while you spam Multi Shot and use your free Explosives on him.
- This fight is one you’ll want to keep your pet on passive for. In our raid, hunters are in charge of managing DPS on the Mana Void and we use our pets to slowly whittle the health down in phases where we do not need to actively DPS and kill the void. If you’re also doing this, park your pet on the boss until the first void comes out and then command your pet to attack the void. If there’s no void out, put him back on the boss. If you’re not on voids, keep your pet on the boss. Even before the fight was nerfed, the DPS requirement on the oozes was never so high that a hunter pet would make or break killing it. Besides, even with Dash, you’re going to be losing a lot of DPS with your pet running back and forth between the boss and the ooze.
- When the oozes come out, continue DPSing the boss until you range him, then switch to the assigned ooze. You want to keep Black Arrow up at all times on the boss, so if it’s about to come off cooldown, wait to cast that before continuing on to the ooze. This is a good time to utilize Disengage and Aspect of the Fox to maximize DPS on the move.
This fight is almost completely different on heroic. Everyone stacks on the boss in melee, but of course our old friend, minimum range makes this a challenge. You let the ball hit twice and do two normal black phases and then stack for the third black phase and nuke him down. When the ball is being bounced, we have the hunters stand out of the group and slightly to the side so we’re still close enough for the ball but far enough away to DPS.
- I like to Rapid Fire right at the beginning of the fight, but you can also save it for the third black phase because this is when a big burn is needed. If your kills are cutting it really close, definitely save your burst cooldowns for the end instead of the beginning.
- We don’t dispel Disrupting Shadow so make sure you know where your nearest Lightwell is when you get this debuff.
- Try to make sure there’s a Black Arrow up on the boss going in to black phase so you get those LnL procs when trying to kill the eyes.
- This is another fight where you want to use Disengage to maximize DPS on the move.
Hagara the Stormbinder
Pretty straightforward fight again. Hunters tend to be pretty good on this fight because we have a lot of mobility and can spend a lot of time DPSing while other classes have to run around a lot.
- Another fight you’ll want to keep your pet on passive for. Your pet will chain lightning, so you want to keep him parked on the boss during lightning phase. Pets are immune to the ice spikes, so when Hagara goes immune to damage, immediately target a crystal, and command your pet to attack while you disengage out of the center. Generally, the same one crystal is always the last one to die, so try to park your pet on that one. Don’t forget to send him back in when Hagara is attackable again!
- During frost phase, we have ranged and healers stack in the middle on top of Hagara. When frost phase begins, disengage out to attack the first crystal. When the ice walls come out, Disengage and Master’s Call yourself to get back to the middle quickly.
- Use Aspect of the Wild during lightning phase, even if there are Shamans in the raid. You’re so spread out during the link, having guaranteed protection is worth it. Also, you’re not really DPSing anything, so who cares if you’re not in Hawk?
- We have a set spot to stack ice tombs, so I like to stand there and drop an Explosive Trap at my feet when the targets get marked. Watch your timers and make sure you don’t use Black Arrow right before tombs go out. Be sure to have full focus when the tombs go down so you can maximize your AOE right away. Keep Hagara targeted and use your free Explosives on her. If you use your trap right as she comes out of the phase, it should be up in time for tombs.
Probably the most boring fight for us. Almost identical to normal except Fading Light cast times vary and you’ll need to stay out for every third Hour of Twilight.
- If your fight lasts longer than 6 minutes, you’ll need to overlap Rapid Fire with Heroism to have it up again at the end. If your DPS is high enough for the fight to be quicker than the RF cooldown, use RF after heroism.
- Pet twisting works very well here as you’ve got lots of time to prepare before the pull. DBM gives you a countdown so you have plenty of time to pop Call of the Wild, dismiss, and call a second pet out before the pull even happens. Be sure to pre-pot as well.
- Make sure you have a cancel Deterrence macro (I have mine bound to Kill Shot to make sure I’m not blocked from executing in PvP). Pop Deterrence 1 second before the Hour of Twilight cast finishes, wait for the flame animation to go out (approximately half a second or so), cancel Deterrence, and resume DPS. I also like to hop right as I cast Deterrence to make sure I’m not casting Cobra Shot and prevented from hitting Deterrence. This is an old habit and probably unnecessary, but better safe than sorry I say! My macro:
#show kill shot /stopcasting /cast !Aspect of the Hawk /cancelaura Hand of Protection /cancelaura Deterrence /cast Kill Shot
- If you don’t feel comfortable clicking your Heroic Will button or prefer using keybinds, use this macro:
This macro also works for Dream on Madness, so it’s a good macro to have!
- Watch your omen when the raid is shifting in and out of the Twilight realm. If a tank misses a taunt, you don’t want to pull aggro and die. Keep Misdirection ready. You don’t have to move at all during this fight, so you have no reason to not be tunneling cast bars and addons during this fight.
This fight is stupid, plain and simple. There’s a ton going on, you’re moving constantly to soak purple bombs and DPS various targets. You’re constantly target switching. The boat is on fire. There’s too much going on and not in a fun and exciting sort of way, but in an “ugh” sort of way. I just don’t like any aspect of this fight.
- We have the ranged go up top to get some preliminary DPS on the drakes. You SHOULD get a LnL proc from your first Black Arrow, so you’ll be able to get some free Explosives off on the drakes as you’re jumping down to the deck.
- Use deterrence to soak purple bombs. Never, ever solo soak. This fight reeks of misplaced trust, as you will find after suiciding bombs. MISPLACED TRUST AND RUINED FRIENDSHIPS. Watch your debuffs and timers. Never soak a little bomb before the big one comes out, the debuff will kill you.
- A targeting macro for slowing the sappers is useful here, since there’s so much shit going on during the fight:
/tar Twilight Sapper /cast Concussive Shot
Spine of Deathwing
Spec: Beast Mastery
This fight is incredibly hectic, but unlike Blackhorn, this fight is FUN. As BM, your Bestial Wrath will be up for every single tendon, and this burst combined with the VP trinket Kiroptyric Sigil will have you doing insane DPS on the tendons.
- Definitely a fight where you want to have your pet on passive. Especially if you’re tasked with helping break Fiery Grip. Park your pet on the Amalgamation and leave him there until the tendon comes up. Keep your pet’s Charge and Dash abilities off auto-cast and macro it in to your pet attack command:
/petattack /cast [pet:Spirit Beast] Dash /cast [pet:Cat] Dash
- I like to drop Explosive Traps on the spot where we’re killing Bloods. Extra DPS on the adds helps.
- When the Amalg explodes, you can use Deterrence to mitigate the damage. Your healers will thank you. On the third plate, mitigating damage is incredibly important. Save Deterrence and other damage-reducing cooldowns for the end of the fight. You do zero DPS when you’re dead!
- Also watch your Searing Plasma debuff. When you get this, spam the Lightwell to get the debuff off as quickly as possible. I also have Spirit Heal macroed to my Gift of the Naaru to help heal me. This ability is up every minute, and you’ll want to have autocast turned off so your pet isn’t wasting the heal. Every little bit of healing helps get that debuff off quickly. I bet all you silly Worgens wish you were a Draenei now! ;D
/cast Gift of the Naaru /use Healthstone /target Zanbon /cast [pet:spirit beast] Spirit Mend /targetlasttarget
- When the tendon pops, now is the time to blow cooldowns and go balls to the wall with DPS. Your pet can LOS you behind the tendon, so be sure to pop your burst cooldowns before he gets to the tendon!
/cast Bestial Wrath /cast Call of the Wild /use 10 /use 13
- Pet twisting is ESSENTIAL on this fight! I swap pets after the first tendon is down, right before we start DPS on the new Amalg. When you roll, swap pets after the corruption is killed and before the Amalg spawns. You will have Call of the Wild up for every single tendon with only two pets and it helps reduce the number of debuffs your pet stacks. A pet death as BM is beyond detrimental.
- You shouldn’t have to cast Cobra Shot during the tendon phase. When you get low on focus, pop Fervor.
Madness of Deathwing
This fight is so much easier than Spine. If you can kill Spine, you can kill Madness.
- Watch the timers and don’t use Black Arrow right before a parasite spawns. Instead, place an Explosive Trap where your assigned “drop” spot is for the parasite. You’ll get an almost guaranteed LnL proc for extra burst on the parasite.
- Deterrence is your best friend on this fight, as well is Raptor Strike. When you get the parasite, pop Deterrence with a couple seconds left on the timer. This will mitigate the damage and you can just drop the parasite and Disengage back to the ranged group to dps it. And since you’re the one dropping the parasite, you know for a fact it will be right on top of that Explosive Trap you laid at your feet, right? ;D
- You want to get maximum uptime on your Spellweave damage. This means multi-dotting the crap out of EVERYTHING. When the bloods spawn, don’t waste focus spamming them with Multi-Shot. You only need to have one DOT on the bloods to proc Spellweave. You’ve got 1 point in Serpent Spread, so you only need to AOE every five seconds to keep the DOTs rolling. Spam the hell out of Multi-Shot when the second parasite gets dropped.
- Make a target macro for the bolt so you can immediately start DPSing the second it comes out:
/tar Elementium Bolt
- Use Rapid Fire on platform #2 (red) for the corruption and again on #4 (blue) for the parasite. If you want to pet twist on this fight, you can, but it’s not necessary because it’s so long.
- Your pet is a frigging idiot and doesn’t ever use Cower, so you’ll want to command him to Cower right before parasites explode or your pet will die. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter if you have this on autocast, because like I said, your pet is a frigging idiot and never uses it.
/cast [pet:Cat] Cower
- On the last platform, you are the most important person in the raid. I don’t care what the rest of the raid thinks, your slowing traps are the reason you kill this boss. He spawns Regenerative Bloods every 5%, so be ready with your Trap Launcher at 16%, 11%, and 6%. The bloods spawn in four different places on the platform, so you can generally anticipate where traps need to be placed after seeing the fight a few times. We’ve got three hunters, and each hunter has a section of the platform that is “theirs”. If your raid has multiple hunters, assign sections of the platform to cover. If the bloods spawn in someone else’s section, launch your trap closer to the boss to chain the ice patch the entire path to the boss. We have Rogues assigned to slow using Fan of Knives, but you should know better than to trust anyone else to do your job right!
- When the boss gets low, most raids tend to ignore Fragments and burn the boss. This is when Raptor Strike, Deterrence, and your Dream button become part of your rotation. Pop all of your cooldowns when you get Shrapnel.
Good luck and gratz, you Saviors of Azeroth!