This guide is all about how to be an excellent hunter for Northrend Beasts Heroic. This is the first (and arguably one of the harder) encounters in Trial of the Grand Crusader, and is a serious example of front-loading difficulty. Your raid needs to execute very well, and you need to have the gear/skill horsepower to beat the enrage timers. Yes, timers. Plural. Let’s start with the beginning, shall we?
The fight is much harder than the normal mode northrend beasts for several reasons.
- The beasts don’t wait for you to finish the last one before coming out- they come out when they’re good and ready, generally a few seconds before you are.
- They have a lot more health (duh).
- They hit a lot harder.
- They have new abilities.
Gormok and the Fur Hats!
When you start the encounter, Gormok comes out. I’m not going to talk about how to tank him, however you will hear a lot of “# stacks, taunt”. Of course, being hunters, this is not our problem. Unless you’re responsible for disarming him [edit: not on heroic. Oops.]. Here’s the twist to this fight- he randomly throws his snobolds (hereafter referred to as furry hats) at people, and there’s a good chance you’ll be responsible for killing some of these. There will also be fires, of course. Don’t stand in them. They don’t move, and you can.
The best way to handle these on heroic is to set up a small melee group that will be responsible for assigning targets and taking them down. Ideally one of these should have a major armor debuff. When these guys were doing it themselves, my guild would kill Gormok with a few seconds to spare, but have 2 raiders wearing fur hats, which would decrease our effectiveness for the second bosses. In this case, generally assigning a marks hunter to help them out is a good thing. Marks hunters can do more DPS on two targets than they can on one. This is because we can apply a serpent sting to both, and then (assuming you’ve taken the chimera shot glyph) keep both refreshed by alternating chimera shots. This means you’re still contributing a non-trivial amount of DPS on Gormok, but are helping on the add. Alternately, any class that can roll DoTs on two targets would do.
A note on fur hats: they get thrown at random people, but their daze, stun, and pushback effects will be less dangerous to some than others. Our priority looked something like: healer-hat > dps caster-hat > dps melee-hat > hunter-hat. I may or may not have told my raid that hunters “actually do more DPS with fur hats, just ask Davy Crockett”.
Now for cooldowns- you will almost never get a heroism/bloodlust in the first phase. It’s not dangerous enough, and you’ll need it for phase 2. Thus, save any AP/AGI/crit cooldowns, however feel free to use your rapid fire (which you won’t want to be stacking with heroism/bloodlust anyways).
This fight is all about execution- proper tank execution mostly, though. All you need to do, usually, is either DPS the boss, or DPS the adds and the boss.
Ready or not, here comes Two Jormungar Worms!
There are many ways to take these guys down- the mechanics are a bit complex, however, so I’ll go over them quickly. The worms come out, and one of the (always Acidmaw to start) is semi-submerged, the other (always Dreadscale to start) has to be kited around the room like Grobbulus (and drops similar poison clouds). The one that’s submerged does a nasty AoE knockback to anyone in range, and the one that’s being kited cleaves people in front of him.
To make things more interesting, they both apply debuffs:
- The most dangerous is Acidmaw’s paralytic toxin, which gets bitten onto the tank while mobile, and sprayed onto the raid while submerged. This does a fair amount of damage, and will freeze it’s victim in place for a minute unless they take a tick of damage from:
- Burning bile, which is Dreadscale’s debuff, which he bites onto the tank while mobile, and sprays onto the raid while submerged. This does a fair amount of damage to its target, as well as hits people in its vicinity. It can be healed through, doesn’t freeze people in place, and taking a tick of the AOE from this will remove Acidmaw’s paralysis.
Lastly, if you kill one worm before the other, the last one gets a 50% damage increase. Which can be healed through.
The way my guild does this is to burn down Acidmaw first because the debuff he hits people with is such a pain, and then heal through the enrage to take out dreadscale. Other valid tactics include sending melee on the mobile one and ranged on the submerged one, and having everyone get really good at managing debuffs. We elect to brute force the issue, and to be honest, that’s more my style anyways :). The brute force method will really kill your healers’ mana pools if you let leather melee DPS hit Acidmaw while he’s submerged, so you might want to have them always attack the mobile one.
If you get hit with Dreadscale’s fire debuff, either run to the wall and avoid taking down your neighbors, or run to a someone with the Acidmaw paralysis. If they take one tick of damage from your AOE, they’ll be set free. Be smart, and don’t run through a group of healers to get to them.
If you get hit with Acidmaw’s paralysis, you have to get to the Dreadscale tank. Unless there are people standing around the walls waiting out their debuff, the Dreadscale tank will be the only one with burning bile. Here’s the problem- unless you’re close, you won’t make it to him by running alone. In fact, you shouldn’t be close because we have several things we can do to get there fast, and the closest spaces should be reserved for classes that can’t.
- Aspect of the Cheetah (not pack!!) can be used to increase your run speed.
- Disengage absolutely must be used. Learn to jump-disengage for extra distance (and control, once you get used to it). This skill is something I’ll probably write a post on, but google it for examples.
Generally, heroism will be called immediately when Acidmaw is attackable. Blow your cooldowns here (except haste ones, of course). This fight is all about execution. Get used to attacking the right target, and positioning yourself dynamically. You want to type “/range 11” (assuming you have DBM or some other sort of range showing mod) and ensure that there are never more than 1, maybe two people within 11 yards of you. This will prevent half the raid from getting sprayed. You need to balance this requirement with staying in range of Acidmaw (who may be running amok) and staying in range of the Dreadscale tank when he’s the mobile one.
A note on threat- every submerge is a threat reset. DoT’s continue to tick while the boss is underground. You do the math. Make a misdirect macro or two- the tank will certainly taunt the mobile one when it comes up, but having a few MD shots won’t hurt. This will be even more relevant after 3.3 drops and MD will have a duration instead of charges. You’ll only need one macro if your raid is getting Acidmaw first, however if you guys are trying to kill them at the same time (and melee is always on the mobile one), you’ll need two MD macros.
Last and least, Icehowl!
Icehowl is actually about the same complexity on heroic as he is on normal. He is more of a gear check, however. If you lost people during the first two phases, you might well hit the enrage timer. If anyone fails at execution even a little bit, you will lose a tank, and probably someone else.
This fight is not complex- see my normal mode guide for the basics. The most important difference is that you don’t get a speed boost when you’re getting the heck out of his way after his stun. Don’t fail at this. While you can tranq shot his frothing rage, you probably can’t do it fast enough to prevent a tank and then probably a healer from getting mulched.
There you have it, northrend beasts heroic, from a hunter angle! Questions? Comments? Scathing criticisms? That’s what my comments section is for!