Might Heroic-Mode Entries, Jin'Rokh + Horridon [ToT Raid]

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So I had the brilliant idea that I'd wait until we'd downed a few heroic modes before writing them. Needless to say, I immediately regretted this decision as heroic progression is always much slower than normal mode first clears. That said, heroics have a completely different, smaller niche from the majority of raiders so I think it's fair if they're a little delayed. Two weeks ago Might killed Jin'rokh; this week we killed Horridon. Below I'll go over both similarly to how I have been, and also include kill videos from my perspective. Usually I do multiple perspective heroic videos, but for the interest of a hunter crowd it seemed irrelevant to merge them. Multiple perspectives/different classes will be on WoWProgress for those curious on that front.

Casually mentioning that Might is recruiting hunters. Preferably someone with heroic or past heroic experience, but if you can talk about your class appropriately then by all means. I'd rather have a hunter I can discuss with and I know plays well than a hunter who can boast about good heroic experience they only played to a mediocre par. Might's site is on my front page. Or read about Might in the MMO-Champ recruitment thread.

First Heroic was JIN'ROKH
I was playing as MARKSMANSHIP

So here's the interesting thing about Jin'rokh. I've expressed before that I think survival is the best choice for Jin'rokh for similar reasons that it was for Protectors of the Endless (damage buffs). Now, I do believe that I play marksmanship at a slightly better level than I play survival, and definitely acknowledge I have room for improvement as both: but I saw better results in this first kill of Jin'rokh with a much lower ilevel as marksmanship than I did on our latest Jin'rokh as survival. I'm skeptical now and will be doing some tests regarding that, but this isn't the place. You may see another post from me specifically about Jin'rokh and the specs in the future, however. For those interested, or those who want to tell me how to play SV, here's a comparebot from this first kill as MM and my latest with a higher gear as SV.

There are very few differences for hunters in the heroic version of this fight. The first and most prominent is Ionization. By now you've probably read enough to understand Ionization if you're doing heroic fights, but let me talk about it two weeks late anyway: As a hunter, you can fully reflect this cast. Prior to ionization going out you can use deterrence, which will completely prevent the debuff from being applied to you. If you miss this, you can still get out of the pool and use deterrence to reduce the 450k damage. Don't miss reflecting the debuff, though. There's no reason not to. This means you will need the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera talent. 

The second most prominent difference is in the intermission Lightning Storm. Instead of simply dealing AoE damage, you now have to dodge a series of lightning balls (four, to be exact) that spawn radially from Lightning Strikes. We decided not to hang out in the middle of the room to continue damaging Jin'rokh, favouring the grate for dodging lightning balls because we figured it would reduce the amount we had to deal with. Your group might not do this. Here's a video showing the process of a lightning strike in slow motion. 

Some less noticeable points that are useful: 
  • When people are kiting an orb (Focused Lightning), you can be killed if you're in the path for too long. Take a few side steps to be out of the way.  
  • Tend to the side of the pool you need to kite away from. If you're kiting to the left grate, be on the left side of the pool. Be ready to move to the opposite side if someone else is kiting or the storm is coming. 
  • If you have the last focused lightning orb of a phase before the storm, take it to the same side the rest of the raid is going for the storm. You don't want to get caught on the other side of an electrified pool, even if disengage is up. Negate if your guild is going to the middle. 
  • It is far easier to see the lightning balls during the Lightning Storm from strikes if your camera is pointed directly down. You can then foresight what places will not be safe by judging the directions balls are flying from their strikes. This is very professionally NOT shown in the following video, as I was exceptionally unprofessional at dodging these on our first kill. They are, however, very easy to work around once you know how they work. 
  • Do not be where the tank is going to land. It hurts. A lot. You can also wipe the raid if you get a Focused Lightning orb while you are stunned. 
I recommend a Deterrence macro for this fight. This macro will stop whatever cast you are currently doing (particularly cobra/steady shot), check if deterrence is up and if so cancel it, then use deterrence if it's off cooldown. What this means is this macro lets you use Deterrence exactly when you need to use it and cancel it exactly when it is no longer needed. This will increase your damage uptime by removing the need to wait the full 5 second duration and ensure you don't accidentally miss the cast by clipping Ionization too late. One warning though: Do NOT spam this. If you spam it, you will put deterrence up and immediately cancel it. This is not useful, since it's basically the same as not having deterrence. Basically, be tranquil as a forest, but on fire within; once you find your centre, etc etc, sure to win, etc.

/cancelaura Deterrence
/cast Deterrence

Second Heroic was HORRIDON
I was playing as SURVIVAL

Believe it or not, I considered going Marksman for this fight. I didn't because I feel this fight very heavily relies on DoTs to be successful. I said DoTs, not AoE - though AoE DoTs are nice too. Before you declare me as crazy, let me explain.

Horridon is, undeniably, an AoE fight. It spawns multiple little and medium adds in waves in addition to the boss that have to be killed by a specific time and hamper the raid by being alive. They need to die. On heroic, this is still true but includes several complications. For example, the first medium add that spawns for each door spawns alone and it's usually extremely beneficial to have it dead before the next wave of two come. You want to AoE, cleave, etc, but  you also want to sink a considerable amount of single target focus in some areas. If your AoE detracts from your single target, this is hindering that requirement. However, if your AoE applies a DoT, then it is beneficial to apply that single target damage. This is especially true of Horridon himself, as the increasing damage debuff on him makes keeping DoT uptime significantly important. So how do you sink good single target damage into a medium add while also ensuring your uptime on DoTs is good on the boss? Survival AoE, simple. 

I struggled a lot with write ups I was reading about performing as Survival on this fight. Nearly everyone suggested going full AoE, using talents such as Barrage and Thrill of the Hunt to increase cone sweeping and multishots. While I acknowledged AoE was certainly important, and adds definitely needed to die, preferably ASAP, this blatant full on AoE felt like inefficient padding to me. I want to be the most efficient, not simply have the biggest numbers. Thus, it was hard to do my research via rank log browsing because most ranking hunters on heroic Horridon went for full AoE add clean up. It wasn't until I found a hunter who had zero uptime on explosive trap that I realized how I wanted to approach Survival on this fight. 

Heroic Horridon is a DPS race in more ways than just AoE. It's a very real single target DPS race that a lot of guilds have trouble making. They'll hit the enrage, have to kite the boss around and hope they don't hit the next Dire Calls hard enrage. Not to say that add cleanup and AoE is the wrong way to go, because it's certainly a very real element of the encounter. You'll have to decide how you think the best way to go for your raid situation is.

Here's what I did, though: I had Fervor, Murder of Crows and Glaive Toss. I like Fervor over TotH because it gives me very specific control of my focus regeneration. On the first gate, I prioritized misdirecting and DPSing the Wastewalkers until the Dinomancer dropped. Then I swapped to him, upon which I would get right back onto Horridon when the orb was clicked and the shell debuff up. On the second gate, I would stick to Horridon until the Venom Priests came out - I would then try to sink as much single target into these as possible, while also cleaving any add nearby to keep Serpent Sting buffs ticking on those. Whenever possible, I prioritized getting rid of an effusion over anything else. On the third gate I considered add clean up considerably more than the others and barely touched Horridon at all. Fourth gate, same thing - prioritizing getting war bears > shaman > casters down in that order. Every Murder of Crows I had was supposed to go on Horridon. Every Black arrow also went on Horridon. Unless you know Explosive trap is going to get its full duration (ie, the mobs aren't going to be moved OFF the trap area) it's more efficient to use the debuff to your advantage with Black Arrow as your LnL source. That said, explosive trap will give you more LnL procs, so if your strategy allows you to get proper use from this - or better yet, up time on Horridon with it - then go with that. 

I'm happy with the results I saw. Definitely could have better uptime of some of my DoTs on Horridon, though, and having the Dire Horn on me so early was unfortunate too. One thing I wasn't actively considering during the fight was my Glaive Toss. Preferably, I can improve by making sure my Glaive Tosses PRIMARY target is Horridon, and all the little adds are being hit by it on its way there. Remember, each strike your secondary Glaive Toss does increases the primary's target damage. If you're using Barrage, this is a moot point for you.

In regards to Dire Horn management: Snake Trap. It's awesome. Use it for Dire Horns. Be very aware, though, as your snakes are finicky and will not always go on the Dire Horn. If there are no other targets in range except for the spirit, the snakes will not spawn at all. Preferably you put your trap down where it will be in range of Horridon. This way, snakes will spawn and some of them have a high chance of going onto the Dire Horn spirit. Another option is to put your pet on it, but this is a significantly higher DPS loss and will eventually despawn the pet. I do this at towards the end of the fight simply for convenience sake, but you'll notice I have a lot of down time forgetting about it. Worse, I do this while my Stampede is running and lose all my stampede pets. Woops. My Horridon rank wasn't very impressive (142) and I expect it to be gone by next week, but given all my mistakes and the lack of AoE centricism I'm happy with it. 

Finally, I suggest a disengage macro for this fight. At the very end I move to spread out for enrage kiting, but as I am doing this the boss is moved towards me. I die, because I wasn't able to get out of the double swipe in time. Not to say I didn't try - I pressed my disengage button, but I had forgotten to put this macro in my Survival spec. If I had this macro in, I would not have died. 
/cast disengage

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