This is my first hard mode guide. Last night, I was invited to raid Ulduar 10 with the clique after we had to cancel the 25 due to an unfortunate coincidence of real life stun-locked healers. We can raid if we have to sub in DPS or tanks, but offspec healers won’t cut it. The instance ID had only General, Yogg, and Algalon left. We elected to do General and Algalon, however we didn’t finish Algalon off before he decided to end the universe. His guide will have to come some other day :)
First off, please refer to my original guide to General Vezax for the basics. I’m going to assume you’ve done this fight on normal mode. Some of what I put in there is out of date and heavily edited after the fact, but the abilities and general flow of the fight are still valid.
One of the things we did differently for hard mode was how we managed the shadow crashes. Normally, mana using DPS is low overall because of the lack of regen. Our strategy to counteract this was to have the ranged DPS group up into one group on 10 man, and probably two groups on 25. This ensures that just about all the ranged DPS will have the damage boost and mana saving of a crash for most of the fight. The problem is that you need to be able to count on all the DPS seeing the shadow crash warning, and being alert enough to strafe out of the blast radius before strafing back in. If you can do this, however, your overall sustained DPS will be higher.
The problem is that this will mean the mark of the faceless debuff will heal the boss more, as the first tick will hit more people. The solution is to have a healing debuff on the boss, and make sure nobody ever takes more than one tick of the mark’s damage. As soon as someone gets it, everyone who doesn’t have it has to strafe out (like they’re already doing for crashes), and the person who does have it has to turn right around and run backwards until they’re out of range.
Now, what makes this a hard mode is that you can’t break the floating saronite vapors to replenish your healers, and they form an add once 6 of them spawn. This add makes the general stop casting his searing flames, and starts debuffing the whole raid with profound darkness. Hopefully by this time you’ve figured out how to not ever get hit by the shadow crash, because by the time you take down the animagus, you will have so many stacks of the debuff that you will get one shot by one.
As a hunter, you need to maximize the time you spend in a crash puddle because it saves you mana, and because all magic damage done by shots fired while you’re in it is amplified. If you’re survival and explosive shot comes up while you’re strafed out of a puddle, it’s probably best to wait until you’re back in before firing it. The mana saving alone might be worth it, but the increased damage combined make this an easy decision. I would fire one off if I knew I wouldn’t be back into one for the length of the cooldown, however. I would also fire serpent sting only when you’re in the puddles- firstly, they do more damage being magic in nature, and secondly, they cost a lot of mana outside the puddle.
If you’re Marks, you’re in for a treat- sure, your build might be less mana efficient than others, however if you can keep a sting refreshed that you applied while in a crash, you get the larger sting DoT ticks as well as larger chimera shot sting components, even if you’re out of a crash. This is one of those fights where a +% magic damage can inflate a sting throughout the fight as long as it’s manually applied during the first buff and doesn’t fall off.
So, that’s it! Knock out the add, go back to the boss, and then finish him off.