Top 5 fights of Mists as a Hunter

Over at the The Grumpy Elf's blog,  he's got an entry on his favorite fights, as a hunter, from MoP; and it was so much fun reading and thinking about, that I decided to jump on the band wagon and write a post like that of my own.

In case it's unclear, these won't necessarily be the fights that I think were the best over-all, or the most balanced, or the hardest/easiest.  These are the fights that were the most fun as a hunter: whether fun because we got to use a special part of the hunter arsenal, because they were tailored for hunter DPS, or perhaps something else that made them particularly fun or enjoyable for me, that will be the extent of my criteria.

5. Garrosh
Good ol' Garry Hellscream had just enough unique mechanics to push him into my top 5 list.  Early in the fight we were able to show off our bursty AoE abilities, and of course who but a hunter can DPS Garrosh (leaving our pet on him) while taking down the engineer, then switch back to full DPS on Garrosh without losing a beat?

Add to that getting to save our fellow raiders lives repeatedly, by using distracting shot on the adds that spawn in the later phases (assuming your raid, like mine, did the divide and conquor strat).  This is a great ability that we generally only put to use while soloing or in 5 player dungeons, so I really enjoyed getting to play the hero on a raid boss.

Garrosh's varying mechanics, in my opinion, was just enough to give it a fun flavor, without making it feel like a gimmick fight.  Still plenty of just stand there and pew pew, but way too many mechanics to get boring.

4. Garalon
I imagine this is the one I'm choosing that people will disagree with the most.  When Garalon first came out,  there was absolutely no reason to bring a hunter.  If you weren't a cleave class, you were worthless.   Pets didn't get the leg circle buff, and in general the fight was incredibly poorly balanced.  Very obvious, simple mechanics had to be changed with hot-fixes that should have been fixed on the PTR, long before it went live. However, my personal experience with Garalon is what made this fight stand out to me.

When Mists came out, I had decided that I wouldn't be raiding "hard-core", and would instead hold myself to the limitations of a "casual" raider (as you may have guessed, I fell to a boss who has defeated many the hardcore raider: I was dating someone at the time).  For the most part, that simply meant that I didn't want to spend more than 8 hours a week raiding.   It was harder than I would have thought finding a casual team that I fit in with, so I mostly pugged my way through MsV.   Then, when Heart of Fear had been out for several weeks, I pugged with, and ended up joining a very small, close-knit 10 player guild.   They had been raiding together with 6 of the 10 members since Wrath, and that sort of group was not one I'd played with before in WoW, especially on my server, which was steadily dying, going from a very full server with queue times on the weekends, to a ghost of a server (before Blizzard started merging servers).

I  started playing with this guild when they were stuck on Garalon, which I gather was a common sticking point for casual guilds in HoF.   But what happened was, I couldn't just come in and carry the raid, as I sort of was expecting to.  The thing was, these guys didn't put in the hours to really master their classes; they definitely didn't spend the, perhaps obsessive, hours looking over spreadsheets like I liked to.  But they'd been playing together for a long time, and they were good at playing together.   And that's what allowed them to get through content that most similarly skilled teams wouldn't dream of.

So Garalon perhaps wasn't an incredibly fun fight on its own, I learned a lot about working with a team during that fight, which is earning it the number 4 spot on my list.  Unfortunately,  the guild disbanded sometime during early ToT, but this experience still stands out as a great time of learning for me.

3. Dark Shamans 

Were I only interested in fights where hunters could cheese the mechanics, Dark Shamans would be even higher on my list.   In fact, it has several things working against it, that are really holding it back, but it still remains one of my favorites of this Xpac.

The Kor'kron Dark Shamans had some charm on their own, aside from their fun for hunters.  To me, this was the first fight that really felt like we were in Orgrimmar.   Going in and getting things out of the guild bank still remains a novel bit of fun.   And of course, some of the best Hunter Parkour happened here before the pulls.  Still, the real fun happened during the fights.

It was during the first few pulls of Dark Shamans, in normal mode, when I realized how much fun this fight was going to be for hunters.  Being able to Deter through the Ashen Wall was a nice start,  but then realizing I could Disengage right over them with a little help from the terrain was just awesome.   I can't express how much fun it was to watch other classes run all the way around that wall, while I could just pop right over it.

Fairly quickly, my guild, as many others had, switched to a 3 tank strategy for this fight, which took out a lot of the hunter fun, but even then there were some nice parts, like using binding shot to save a healer who'd accidentally pulled some slimes, or at some point I heard about the 4 piece BW + Barrage trick to take down the slimes (this involved building up to full stacks using the BM 4-piece set bonus, then casting barrage on all the slimes for an insane amount of damage).

2. Durumu

I'm not sure how other hunters felt about Dorumu, but for me, this was a great fight.  I'm still not exactly sure how the lore of Durumu (or much of ToT) works;  some  little slimy eye creature just happens to live here?  Or perhaps the Thunder King made him?   Or the titans made him and but he didn't work right?   Anyhow, whatever he is, I had a lot of fun with this fight.

The best part, of course, was the maze.   Part of what made it so fun was hearing about all of the horror stories in LFR.   But even the first few times through in normal mode, a lot of people struggled to get through that maze.   We hunters didn't have any particular advantage in getting through the maze, but we were able to do so while putting out just as much DPS as normal.  Perhaps it was that fact, that we were used to DPSing on the move, that prepared us a bit better for the maze.  Whatever it was, though, I was glad to be a hunter.

1. Thok
I had trouble putting thok in the top position here, because the top 100 parses for this fight don't include any hunters, so it's hard to say this is really a great fight for hunters.  But in the end, I just couldn't resist.   I love to move!

Thok's charm really comes out in the kiting phase on this fight.   Being able to to kite him while doing full DPS is great,  but the real fun is when you get that double fixate,  and have to run straight at this giant dinosaur, then jump-spin-disengage-spin-land and take off, right at the exact right moment to not get ate.   The first time I pulled off disengaging through Thok I almost fell out of my chair I had so much adrenaline going, and was so excited.  Fortunately we wiped to something else on that pull, because my nerves were shot.   With a little practice, though, good hunters could place Thok wherever they want.

Thok also had a very rare case for a raid boss, where using Widow's Venom became a bit of a necessity.   I imagine most strictly PvE hunters didn't even have a keybind for (if you're looking for a good key for it, I use shift-f).   I'm always glad to see a mechanic that leaves the raid relying on a hunter (or whatever support classes also have that debuff... monks?).  Also, depending on how much of a vengeance whore your tanks are, you may have had to add in Tranq'ing the jailor's enrage while kiting thok.  Again, it's just enough uniqueness to make the fight interesting, keeping my mind occupied, without getting into the "gimmick" range.

Even without those parts, the awesomeness of this fight really comes down to one thing.  We're fighting a freaking huge dinosaur!   What else really needs to be said?

1 comment:

  1. I use shift 5 for my utility ability and just move what I need to use to that spot if it is not something I keep bound normally. Oddly enough, I did have widow bound in the very unattractive place of shift + alt + -. Can you tell I did not really use it much? :P

    I forgot about durumu, probably because of the issues I had with me being color blind and having issues finding the path until someone said to turn particle density down which worked like a charm, but you are right. I DPSed the entire time while running through it and never once thought anything about it. It was nothing special, it is what hunters do, and that does make it a hunter fight for sure.

    For top phrases, thok is a hunter fight. Absolutely a hunter fight. And next expansion we will come back and tame that bad boy. ~fingers crossed~