You can find my guide to ICC’s first wing heroic modes here.
This post addresses playing a hunter in the plague wing’s heroic modes. It assumes that you are already familiar with the fights on normal mode. Fortunately or unfortunately, the plague wing hard modes offer few changes that affect hunters in a unique way and so this post has a lot more to say about new mechanics than hunter tactics.
Boss damage and health are increased across the board in heroic modes. That means that the fights will require more dps and more raid awareness even as fight constraints, like Festergut’s enrage timer, remain the same. The current 30% buff relaxes the requirements for dps and damage avoidance, but the fights still remain quite difficult.
The key change in heroic mode is that Professor Putricide occasionally appears on a balcony and throws Maleable Goo at players (even the melee). Its ultimate landing spot is marked ahead of time with a small green puddle, and so it is fairly easy to avoid. You may run into problems when you are stacked with other people for spores; all the feet can block your view of the puddle. Because of this it can help to watch the other signs for the goo during spore periods, such as the goo’s trajectory and boss mod warnings.
Healing heroic Festergut is difficult, especially if the tank healer has to stand at range to keep vile gasses off the melee (more of an issue in 10man). As such, be cognizant of healer movement (their heals are more important than you topping the meters). Be willing to run into melee with your spore if it means that a healer has to run less. Ask to make the ranged collapse point(s) on healers. Having the healer summon a companion pet can give you a way to mark the healer’s location without the mark being removed by fight mechanics.
The key difference with Rotface is that a weakened form of Vile Gas is used on random raid members. While it does not stop you from dpsing like Fester’s Vile Gas does, it is still annoying and is still sharable. The raid should spread out so that as few people as possible get it per cast. Because you want to stay away from other people, you will probably find yourself changing your position a lot more on heroic mode (avoiding slimes, floods, grid-gazing trees, etc.).
The ooze floods stack a movement speed debuff, which, if stacked high enough, will cement you in place inside the flood. If you find yourself in the middle of one of these lakes, consider Disengaging clear of it as opposed to slogging out by foot.
As if Putricide didn’t have enough abilities already, he gains more in heroic mode. Unbound Plague is a damage-dealing disease cast on random raid members. It lasts for 60 seconds but cannot be healed through for much more than 10 seconds. To accommodate this increasing damage over time effect, a diseased person can transfer the disease to a new person. The 60 second duration of the dot continues unchanged on the new person (the timer does not start over at the transfer), but the disease damage reverts to its lowest level per tic since it is affecting a new carrier. These transfers thereby make healing the disease manageable and should be continued as many times as necessary at 10 second intervals until the disease clears at 60 seconds. Unlike Blood Queen vampirism which requires an ability to share, Unbound Plague merely needs the carrier to stand close to the intended (or unintended) victim. Because proximity is all it takes, you should try to stand out of the way during your ten seconds of infection.
Once a person has finished his or her turn with the disease, they retain a debuff called Plague Sickness which lasts for one minute and increases Unbound Plague damage by 250%. The debuff complicates things because you should try to ensure that the person you are going to share your disease with (1) does not already have the disease and (2) does not have the post-disease debuff. Enabling your raid frames to display target debuffs can help with this, as can simply looking at players because both the disease and the debuff create a normal green disease aura around affected players.
Unbound Plague alters your behavior in some ways. If you have it, you should not stack with other people on the green ooze (though the range for disease sharing is allegedly smaller than an ooze’s damage radius, allowing the smart diseased players to take a share of green ooze damage as normal). Unbound Plague similarly alters any other stacking tactics for Putricide. It also makes things a bit more cramped during phase three as players have to avoid both the unrestrained ooze pools and players with disease (which continues to be used in phase three).
The other major change with Putricide comes during the phase transitions. He no longer uses choking gas, which allows players to move freely, but he also spawns one additional orange ooze and one additional green ooze. Because of this, it is arguably even more important to watch dps on the boss in order to avoid oozes stacking up at transition periods. Be ready as always to feign off an un-slowed orange ooze or an unstacked green. In 25man his phase transitions divide the raid into two parts, those with the Ooze Variable can only attack oozes and those with the Gas Variable can only attack gasses. That means that in 25man you will not have a set tactic for phase transitions and will have to dps according to whatever debuff Putricide decides to give you.
There you have it. There are plenty of new things in the plague wing’s hard modes but few that distinguish hunters.