Brawler’s Guild Rank 7 – Battletron

Unlike the previous fights at Rank 7, I consider Battletron to be an almost pure gearcheck/target dummy. You do need to avoid unnecessary damage and move constantly, but the real challenge of this fight is to kill Battletron before the unavoidable damage kills you.

Because of it’s high dps requirement, Battletron has been described as the true brick wall of Rank 7. I did not have much trouble with it, since I waited until I’d gained some gear from hard modes before making any serious attempts. Those looking to do this fight with LFR gear will likely face a long struggle and may even end up having to wait until patch 5.2 with it’s upgrades.

Looking at pure execution of this fight, it is exceedingly simple for a mobile class like ours. Battletron stands at the center of the floor, spawns a rotating circle of mines around himself and then keeps zapping at you with his laser. The mines explode on contact – or from contact with your special attacks – and deal significant damage. You must make a hole in this circle and then keep pace with it by strafing around Battletron to dps him through it.

Originally I attempted to explode only one mine, but soon realised this was too perfectionist. Sometimes mines seemed to trigger from stampede pets and Dire Beast; to make sure I keep the explosions to an absolute minimum I changed to Thrill of the Hunt instead. Each explosion deals approximately 90k damage. Two of them was sustainable but if I accidentally triggered a third, I suicided on them to try again. This might have been too perfectionist as well – your mileage may vary.

Battletron sports a health pool of 9.1 Million. I had my DBM disabled as I dislike using it in Brawler’s Guild so can’t tell for sure how close I was to the enrage but I suspect it was only a few seconds away. Looking at pure numbers, Skada reported my dps to be 87 382.8 with my Damage Taken at a whopping 1.45 Million. Of the damage taken, 190k were the two exploding mines and 1.26 Million the unavoidable [Zot!].

Most of my tactics here revolved around staying alive long enough to kill Battletron. I used a glyphed Stampede with a Spirit Beast, with Spirit Mend controlled manually to make sure it’s off cooldown when I use Stampede. I assumed that like with Worm’s Burrow, manually used abilities will get replicated by the glyphed stampede pets when you use it on the original pet. The first use of stampede proved me right – and showed me that it’s better to save Stampede until later in the fight, so as to not waste Spirit Mends on overhealing.

Spirit Mend accounted for 694k of my healing; the rest came from Spirit Bond and the [Glyph of Animal Bond]. A turning point in the tries I had before kill was when a friend saw I was brawling and came over to give me Power Word: Fortitude. I later made a few calculations, concluding that the buff likely made my Spirit Bond tick for 10k (up from 9k), with the total gain during a 2-minute fight being over 50k in heals compared to going in without Fortitude. With the incoming damage measuring in millions this may seem like a small thing, but there were attempts during my two-hour practice phase when Spirit Mend had only a few seconds left on it’s cooldown, a 40-45k hit from Zot! was coming and I had some 50k health left.

To make the dps requirement, I entered the arena with a corehound. I macroed Ancient Hysteria together with an agility potion, used it before Battletron spawned, dismissed the corehound and took out a spirit beast for the rest of the fight. The first Spirit Mend was used to counteract mine damage as soon as they exploded. I used stampede as soon as Mend was off cooldown again, as my health had dropped very low during the first 45 seconds of the fight.

I made the decision to use another agility potion as soon as the cooldown was up at the very end of the fight. I believe it’s better than a health pot – so close to the enrage increased damage will be hugely important and a health pot will not help if you only have under five seconds to live anyway.

If you can’t get a good complement of buffs from onlookers, make sure to scour your local AH for [Runescrolls of Fortitude]. Out of all possible buffs, I believe that to make the biggest difference in countering the high selfhealing requirement of this fight.

  • Specialisation: Beast Mastery
  • Talents I used: Spirit Bond, Thrill of the Hunt, A Murder of Crows, Glaive Toss. Due to the high focus cost of Crows I only cast it during Bestial Wrath.
  • Glyphs: Marked for Death, Animal Bond, Mending, Stampede
  • Pets: Spirit Beast, Core Hound, any missing buffs / debuffs
  • Consumables: Sea Mist Rice Noodles, Flask of Spring Blossoms, Potion of Brawler’s Deftness, Master Healing Potion or Life Spirit, Healthstone, Runescroll of Fortitude
  • Gear: At the time of killing him my average ilevel was 496. I’ve heard hunters report kills with as low as ilvl491 – lower might well be possible though the selfhealing requirement of this fight will make it tight.

After passing through the meatgrinder of Dark Summoner and Battletron, the last fight of Rank 7 is a joke. The statistics on my server claimed that Meatball has in fact managed to win 12 times; perhaps there is some difficulty for a melee class. All a hunter needs to do is collect the glowing balls from the ground, dps on the run and finish the fight at full health.

Posted in Patch 5.1, Wold of Warcraft | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Rank 8!

I finally got around to actually trying Battletron. The fight was simple enough in theory and needed only a bit of practice to get a good feel for it. I’ll post a guide for the two last rank 7 fights once I’ve collected some thoughts about them; my first impression here is that while Summoner is a total brick wall, Battletron is a gear check and Meatball a joke.

More about these in the next installment of Looking For A Fight!

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As anyone can see, my updates dwindled off during the christmas holidays. Instead of feeling guilty for not having the energy and drive to write this blog right now, I’ll be taking a break until the next patch. I’m sure there’ll be plenty to say about hunters when that goes live.

Until  then, good hunting!

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Enough Slacking!

The start of this year was far busier than I expected, both in game and in that distant realm of Real Life. A few of our raiders were lost – hopefully not permanently – and some new ones were recruited; we may even see a new hunter trialist soon.

With Unity’s progress now extending to three hard mode bosses in MV, I finally lucked out and got rid of my LFR weapon. It’s time to start working on Battletron; I will post reports of my progress here.

Will I jinx the year if I say how good the first month of it has been? I sure hope not!

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What Are Basic Hunter Skills?

What should a new hunter learn?

I’ve realised my views on the matter differ a great deal from those of many of my friends. They ask about rotations and I tell them that at level 30, they don’t have much of a rotation. What they need to learn is not an EJ-approved priority list but something completely different. They need what I consider basic skills of a competent hunter, yet I’ve been repeatedly told that this is the advanced stuff, that they only want the basics. Perhaps to them, basics mean just the rotation, which cooldowns to stack and which not to.

I point to trapping – with and without Scatter Shot; Silencing shot and how to macro it efficiently; jumpshot, kiting and how to use traps on the run; disengage and all it’s creative uses in avoiding fall damage or just getting a head start towards the next mob in line.

Shot priorities will change, sometimes from one patch to the next. The theorycrafters of EJ will crunch the numbers so a beginning hunter can easily check the current prioritity list and secondary stat weights. An experienced WoW player dabbling with a new hunter alt can read those at levelcap and adjust accordingly. The basic hunter skills on the other hand – the utility, the movement, the neat little tricks of our class – those come in from the moment the character is level one and running around with only Arcane Shot on it’s bars.

These kinds of things do change, occasionally. Still, I consider them to be at the core of our class; even when stutter-step has been forgotten and Aspect of Fox removed, good movement and utility skills will continue serving a player in all of the WoW content.

Leave shot priorities and gearing details to level cap. Use your time to learn the enduring skills every hunter should master.

Do you disagree? Leave a note in the comments!

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Happy New Year!


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Brawler’s Guild Rank 7 – Dark Summoner

Welcome to the brick wall of Dark Summoner and his pet-killing, rage-inducing ghosts! At the time of writing, the three servers who share our Brawlpub boast a total of 35 kills – some of them the result of a bug that drops Summoner on the arena when an easy rank 1 fight is going on – while Summoner himself has defeated itinerant brawlers 1302 times.

The dps check on this fight is formidable and favours classes/specs capable of short, heavy burst damage. For hunters this means that the optimal spec would be BM but Summoner’s mechanics make this very tricky.

At the start of the fight, Dark Summoner (3,93m hp) will be invulnerable. To remove this shield you must kill the periodically summoned ghosts that have 358,4k hp each. To make matters interesting, these ghosts will oneshot you and your pet from approximately ten yards away unless stunned until dead. You will be given an approximately 15-20 yard long “flashlight”, a cone of light emanating from your chest. This light stuns a ghost as long as it is pointed directly at it.

Your spec will determine how you must deal with the ghosts. SV and MM will leave their pet on Summoner regardless of immunity and kill the ghosts from a longer range. A BM hunter needs to get up close and personal because sending your pet to a ghost that is not in the flashlight is a death sentence.

In addition to the deadly ghosts, you must deal with Summoner’s melee (40-50k) and Shadowbolts (70-90k). Trap the floor and use concussive shot to slow him and keep your eyes on the castbar; he will always cast shadowbolt after summoning a new ghost. I found it easiest to set Summoner as focus and use a focus-targeted silencing shot on him.

RNG plays a big part in the fight as the ghosts can (and occasionally will) spawn right on top of you. Looking at the arena from ceiling down may help you to spot a ghost spawn behind your back before you die. Take no risks with the range; if a ghost is not stunned, it will kill you. If you are cornered, Deterrence will give you five seconds to move to a safer spot.

If the ghost spawns happen in a good pattern to give you breathing room, focus on limiting their number. You can’t kill them all but try not to have more than two up until the very end of the fight.

Every buff you can beg off the onlookers will help you beat the enrage. Cover the ones you lack with a complement of stampede pets and stock up with buff food. Prepot with Potion of Brawler’s Deftness – you may need to use a health pot during the fight. Bribe a warlock for healthstones, they are a great help. In other words – do as I say, not like I did. After giving up on a better weapon (the gods of rng were not on my side) I spent valor points to upgrade my LFR bow and went in with only [Sauteed Carrots], Power Word: Fortitude and a completely random stampede.

  • Talents I used: Crouching Tiger, Silencing Shot, Exhilaration, Thrill of the Hunt, A Murder of Crows, Glaive Toss. Due to the high focus cost of Crows I only cast it during Bestial Wrath. A point to remember is to use Exhilaration before Readiness!
  • Glyphs: Marked for Death, Animal Bond, Mending
  • Pets: Spirit Beast, any missing buffs / debuffs
  • Consumables: Sea Mist Rice Noodles, Flask of Spring Blossoms, Potion of Brawler’s Deftness, Master Healing Potion or Life Spirit, Healthstone
  • Gear: At the time of killing him my average ilevel was 489. [Fang Kung, Spark of Titans] and [Relic of Xuen] were the only valor-upgraded items (2/2).

Good luck – you will need it.

Posted in Patch 5.1, Wold of Warcraft | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Brawler’s Guild Rank 7 – GG Engineering

The first fight at this rank comes in the form of a duo of engineers – Bo Bobble and Max Megablast. This fight will test your skills in mobility; the key to whittling their massive, shared healthpool down in time is in turning their damage against them.

The way to do this is to stick to Bo Bobble like glue. His constant Gnomish Death Ray is a nuisance and stunning him on cooldown certainly helps; talent Spirit Bond to deal with the damage. While you sit on the gnome, his goblin partner will stand aside and shoot you with rockets. The landing spot will be marked with a clear red circle; your task is to make sure Bo stands in it while you do not. Moving Bo is difficult so in order to guarantee rockets landing on him you must stand on top of him yourself, then strafe away as soon as the marking circle appears.

Periodically Bo will teleport into a corner, under one of the shield generators. It is possible to simply switch targets at this point but I found that too much trouble to be worth it; I entered the shield along with Bo and used the time to heal up. The shield will absorb a maximum of three hits before powering out – don’t take any risks with rockets as they will make short work of your healthpool.

High dps is not the deciding factor in this encounter, as Max’s rockets will take care of that for you. Focus on aiming the rockets on Bo and minimising your own damage intake; Max will soon blast you through this fight.

  • Spec: MM for better selfhealing, BM if you find yourself dying to enrage
  • Talents: Spirit Bond
  • Glyphs: Animal Bond, Chimera Shot (if MM)

It’s been some time I went through this engineering duo and I realise I can’t remember if Gnomish Death Ray could be silenced. Another thing worth trying is to glyph Mirrored Blades and reflect the damage while bandaging yourself.

Good luck!

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Early Impressions of Patch 5.2

Hello people of The Wild Hunt, Ruta here again, with another sporadic post, this time about the new patch.

So in the time it takes me to sleep through the supposed end of the world (Worst. Apocalypse. Ever!) – Blizzard decided to let slip the initial patch notes for Patch 5.2, giving us an insight into what is to come when the Thunder King rises to battle. So, let’s take a look first at what is on the official patch notes, when it comes to Hunters:

  • Bestial Wrath may now be activated when there is no line of sight to the Hunter’s pet.
  • Silencing Shot now has a 24 second cooldown (was 20).
  • Binding Shot no longer has a Focus cost.
  • Wyvern Sting no longer has a Focus cost, and its cooldown is now 45 seconds (was 60 seconds).
  • Glyph of Marked for Death has been removed, and its effects are now baseline.
  • New Glyph: Glyph of Liberation. This glyph now causes Disengage to heal the Hunter for 5% of maximum health when used.

So it seems we haven’t been subjected to many of the major overhauls to things like Mastery and Talents that some classes are getting (Monks and Rogues to name but two) – this means one of two things, either Blizzard think we’re in a good position right now, or we’re being made to wait for a later build to see our damage. But before we reach for our tinfoil hats, let’s stick with what we know.

The change to Bestial Wrath is an interesting one, there have been a few circumstances where I’ve gotten annoyed as BW won’t activate due to a set of stairs, or something silly like that which has counted as being out of line of sight. But what else does it mean? Not being a PvPer or an Arena Junkie, I don’t know the specifics, but I can guess this means our pets can become even more dangerous when it comes to taking on those pesky pillar-humping classes, since we can now send big red pets at them without even looking them in the eye first.

Wyvern Sting and Binding Shot changes make sense, removing the focus costs brings it in line with Silencing Shot, and encouraging slightly more use of our CC abilities, possibly making them more appealing in Challenge Modes? Meanwhile, the nerf to the cooldown on Silencing Shot is a bit of a shame, but I suppose it does reduce the possibility of people using it over the other CC talents.

My only complaint about this talent tier change is that Binding Shot and Wyvern Sting still have a shorter range, if they could up them to 40 yards, they’d probably be even more appealing. That is a change I suspect could happen to Wyvern Sting, but not Binding Shot, but if they upped Binding to be 35 yards, from 30 yards, that would mean that it could still CC people who are 40 yards away, making it essentially the same ranged control as the other talents.

And now Marked for Death becomes baseline, seeing itself integrated into Hunter’s Mark! Well, this wasn’t a change that I expecting, but when I read it, I nodded and went “okay, that makes sense” – MfD was probably the most essential of all the glyphs, when looking in a PvE environment, and when I read the notes, I noticed similar changes (Warlocks got the same with Glyph of Burning Embers and Glyph of Soul Shards) which implies that Blizzard really want to remove the idea of “mandatory glyphs” and encourage use to mix and match. Problem with that is, while MfD may have been seen as a mandatory glyph, I say the same can be said about Glyph of Animal Bond, because who isn’t going to argue that an extra 10% healing received isn’t awesome?

The cynic in me though thinks that at some point during this build, we may see a change to that too, though!

And with the removal of Glyph of Marked for Death, we’ve gotten a new Glyph, which gives us 5% healing when we Disengage, like a lesser version of the original Exhilaration talent when the Mists of Pandaria beta landed. A very nice design, and I get a feeling this makes it more of a PvP design than a PvE one, giving Hunters a little bit of extra wind when escaping from a close combat situation. I mean, I suppose you *could* glyph it and Disengage on cooldown when raiding, if you wanted to nerf your damage done by leaping away every 25 (or 15) seconds, just for a little bit of healing.

But, in conclusion, while remembering that this is just the first set of notes, and we’ve a few months of potential changes ahead of us, as it stands, what few changes we have seen so far aren’t too bad, in fact, most of them are quality of life improvements.

But before I go, there’s time for one last note:

  • Dire Horns have been added as a tameable species for Hunters that have learned the required skill. Aspiring Dire Horn owners should seek out clues regarding these auspicious beasts.

Interesting. If Dire Horns are the name given to the new Triceratops mobs/mounts added in this patch, then I look forward to learning more about this!

That about wraps up my post for this time, I’ll return again some time, perhaps when there are more changes afoot for Hunters. Until then, happy hunting!

Posted in Patch 5.2, Wold of Warcraft | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Looking For a Fight – Part 4

Advancing to rank 6 things are starting to get a bit nasty. Here you will have to push some real dps out to make it past the enrages.

The first fight is the strangely familiar Yikkan Izu. Like his predecessor in Setthekk Halls, he will cast a Screech but it never was a problem for me. The real trick is in controlling his bird adds; a flock of four spawns every 8 seconds. If you let them all live you risk being pecked to death but if you kill 5 within four seconds Yikkan will enrage.

I chose to completely ignore the birds and simply burst Yikkan Izu down before the adds got to be a problem. If you are confident in your kiting abilities, you can kill all the birds as they spawn and simply keep your distance, completely ignoring the enrage. The third option is to make sure to only kill four birds at a time – this is what melee players have to do.

  • Useful glyphs: Animal Bond, anything that helps you kite

The seond fight is against our old friend Akama. The broken is clearly a shaman – he will summon Spirit Wolves and cast Chain Lightning which will quickly get painful. Interrupt as many lightning casts as possible and pay attention to the Shadow Blades buff on him; tranq it off immediately.Not happy with mere lightning, Akama has also picked Thunderstorm from the elemental side of shamanism. The knockback does some damage so keep away from his melee range.

This fight is not easy for a hunter. After a few deaths to figure out his abilities (I may write guides but I didn’t feel like reading any myself!) I chose to kill a few of the wolves and simply kite the rest along with him. The lightning casts happen slightly more quickly than Silencing shot is off cooldown so use anything you can to delay the cast – feign death, shadowmeld, scatter, intimidation, pet interrupts – whatever you have available.

  • Talents: Silencing Shot
  • Useful glyphs: Animal Bond, Mirrored Blades, Scatter Shot, Tranquilizing Shot
  • Utility pets: Spirit Beast, anything with a stun or a silence

Third you will face off against Smash Hoofstomp, a tauren warrior with his two lucky goblins. In order to make it before enrage you must start by killing the lucky goblins. Hoofstomp will periodically channel a shield in front of him. This will deflect every attack but conveniently expose his back – simply move behind him and continue dps. To make sure you’re not tempted to stay in melee range for too long, he will Hoof Stomp every once in a while. This deals moderate damage and should be avoided.I kited Hoofstomp around the arena until he channeled his shield. When he stopped to deflect, I used my Posthaste-talented Disengage to quickly get behind him.

  • Talents: Posthaste, Binding Shot, Blink Strike
  • Useful glyphs: Animal Bond, Ice Trap, Black Ice, Disengage
  • Utility pets: anything with a stun

Unguloxx <The Murderaffe> finishes up this rank, giving us an easy fight before we move on to where the real hurt begins. As highly mobile ranged, all we need to do is to kite the hard-hitting animal around in a circle and hit it like we mean it. The enrage didn’t seem particularly tight but it’s of course highly gear dependent.

  • Talents and glyphs: nything that helps you kite
Posted in Patch 5.1, Wold of Warcraft | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment