Legion Feral Druid Talent Review

The long awaited Legion talent guide is finally ready, for your enjoyment. While most of the post contains my personal views, there are some clear winners in terms of throughput, calculated by members of the community. I’ve put those as my recommendations. There are also some good guides discussing the changes as a whole in greater detail at:

On with the show!

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Legion t1 talents

  • Predator is a passive ability that resets the cooldown of Tiger’s Fury when a target dies with a bleed effect on it.
  • Blood Scent is a passive ability that grants 10% crit strike against bleeding targets.
  • Lunar Inspiration allows Moonfire to be used in Cat Form, costing 30 energy and generating 1 combo point.

Predator strikes me primarily as a PVP or leveling talent. Those are the times where a target is going to be dying the most frequently.
Blood Scent is likely to be the “go to” talent for PVE. A bleed effect should always be active on your target, so the talent becomes as passive 10% crit buff.
Lunar Inspiration is the same as it’s current iteration, likely to pull a head on encounters with 2-3 long lived targets.

The addition of more throughput talents is welcomed, but I find this tier lack luster. The Predator talent belongs in the PVP talents and Blood Scent will is a “set and forget” talent. The only upside from a design standpoint, is that the choice between simplicity and complexity. Blood Scent is the set and forget talent and Lunar Inspiration offers another dot to manage.

Recommendation: Blood Scent for single target / less complex rotation OR Lunar Inspiration for sustained cleave on long-lived targets.

Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Legion t2 talents

  • Renewal is a self heal for 30% of your hp on a 2 minute cool down.
  • Displacer Beast is an active ability that teleports your 20 yards forward, activating Cat Form, and granting a 50% increase in movement speed for 4 seconds.
  • Wild Charge is an active with different affect based on your shape-shift form. In Cat Form you leap behind the target dazing them for 3 seconds.

Renewal remains unchanged going into its third expansion. Which is surprising as I thought it wasn’t selected often. It’s appears to be the odd talent out on this tier. Granted that healing and movement are not direct primary throughput (dps), it hardly seems comparable. Also Feral’s have other healing options so it’s not worth sacrificing a movement option for healing.
Between Displacer Beast and Wild Charge I prefer Wild Charge. It’s the closest to the old Feral Charge which was great for moving between targets, has a shorter cool-down, and does not break stealth. That said, Displacer Beast is used by a lot of players as a ‘get out of danger’ card and has the advantage of not needing a target.

Recommendation: Player’s choice. However DB or WC is a better use of utility.

Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

legion t3 talents

  • Balance Affinity increases the range of all of your abilities by 5 yards and grants you Moonkin Form, Starsurge, Lunar Strike, Solar Wrath, and Sunfire.
  • Guardian Affinity reduces all damage taken by 10% and grants you Mangle, Ironfur, and Frenzied Regeneration.
  • Restoration Affinity heals you for 3% of your maximum health every 5 seconds. If you are at full health, a random nearby injured ally will be healed instead (basically the current Ysera’s Gift talent). You are also granted Rejuvenation, Regrowth, and Swiftmend.

At first glance it looks like Guardian Affinity will be the way to go. It basically grants off-tanking capacity in a pinch. Similar to what Feral was like before it was split into Feral / Guardian. However Balance Affinity might see some niche usage in encounters where the target is out of melee range. It also affects your melee attacks making it easier to hit targets moving around and/or target switching. I don’t see Restoration Affinity seeing much use in PVE as the game values on-role throughput over utility in 99% of situations.

Recommendation: Player’s choice. Moonkin or Guardian will serve you the best.

Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Legion t4 talents

  • Mighty Bash is an active ability that stuns the target for 5 seconds with a 50 second cooldown.
  • Mass Entanglement is an active ability that roots the target in place for 20 seconds and spreading to nearby targets, with a 30 second cooldown.
  • Typhoon is an active ability that knocks back all targets 15 yards in a cone in front of you, dazing them for 6 seconds, with a 30 second cooldown.

This tier is purely personal choice. I’ve enjoyed having both Mighty Bash and Typhoon. Having to chose between the two is a tough choice. So I might end up alternating frequently.

Recommendation: Player’s choice.

Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

legion t5 talents

  • Soul of the Forest is a passive ability that causes your finishing moves to grant 12 energy per combo point spent.
  • Incarnation: King of the Jungle is an active ability that replaces Berserk, and in addition to Berserk’s other bonuses, allows the use of Prowl in combat, and causes Shred and Rake to deal damage as though you were in stealth. Lasts 30 seconds, up from Berserk’s 15 seconds.
  • Savage Roar is a finishing move, costing 40 energy, that grants you 25% increased damage for its duration. Duration is dependant on the number of combo points spent as follows:
    • 1 point = 8 seconds
    • 2 points = 12 seconds
    • 3 points = 16 seconds
    • 4 points = 20 seconds
    • 5 points = 24 seconds

Soul of the Forest grants 60 energy every time you use a 5 combo point finishing move. That’s the same amount of energy as Tiger’s Fury. Fantastic for smoothing out the rotation, but you have to be careful not to energy cap.
The best thing about Incarnation is that because it replaces Berserk, you have one less spell to keybind, and it’s now off the global cooldown (GCD). Otherwise it operates basically the same as it has done.
Edit Note – Incarnation is NOT off the GCD. Even though it replaces Berserk which is off the GCD, Incarnation is still on the GCD.
Savage Roar is now a talent. It’s duration is shorter and it costs more energy making it the talent requiring the most management. It’s important to note that the the energy cost is always the same regardless of how many combo points were spent to cast it. That’s why you should aim to only cast it with 5 combo points to maximise energy usage.

Recommendation: From what I’ve read Savage Roar is the best throughput talent currently and will be in Legion. However, if you have the class trinket from Archimonde then Incarnation is currently the best pick. If you have trouble managing Savage Roar, either of the other two are fine.

Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

legion t6 talents

  • Sabertooth is a passive ability that causes Ferocious Bite to always refresh the duration of Rip.
  • Jagged Wounds is a passive ability that causes Rip, Rake, and Thrash to deal their damage 33% faster (same damage, over a shorter duration).
  • Elune’s Guidance is an active ability that instantly grants you 5 combo points, as well as 1 combo point every second for 5 seconds. 45 second cooldown.

Sabertooth is much like the tier 13 2pc bonus from Dragon Soul. Get a super powerful Rip up, and keep it up for the whole fight. Basically removing Rip from the rotation. And you don’t have to cast a 5cp, 50 energy Feroicous Bite either, a 1 combo point Ferocious Bite will refresh it, which is great for keeping bleeds up on multiple targets.
The shorter bleed durations with Jagged Wounds increases the effort required to maintain them. This can leave you resource starved and really favours proper energy management (read energy pooling), which is a play-style some players are not fans of. When combined with the Savage Roar talent, the rotation can become very punishing, if a Rip or Savage Roar drops off.
Elune’s Guidance is meant to be an answer to Feral’s problems with target switching; long ramp-up time. This will allow you to use several finishing moves in quick success either for Rip’s on multiple targets, or Ferocious Bite’s in quick succession of priority adds. However, when not in these situations it’s throughput is diminished.

Recommendation: Jagged Wounds provides the best dps throughput currently.

Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

legion t7 talents

  • Brutal Slash is an active ability that replaces Swipe. It has 3 charges with an 18 second recharge time. Costs 20 energy and generates 1 combo point.
  • Blood Talons is an active ability that causes your next Heal Touch casts to make the next two melee abilities deal 40% increased damage for their full duration. Lasts 30 seconds.
  • Moment of Clarity is a passive ability that causes Omen of Clarify to affect the next 3 Cat Form abilities (up from 1), and also permanently increases your maximum energy by 30.

Brutal Slash is only going to be good when there are lots of adds, like Tectus.
Blood Talons is the same as it is currently. It’s stood the test of time, going into its third expansion.
I really like the extra maximum energy from Moment of Clarity. I used to look at Rogues who got extra maximum energy from PVP gear and wanted Feral’s to have something similar and now we do. Also because Moment of Clarity is passive, it gives players a choice to how complex they want their gameplay to be.

Recommendation: Bloodtalons. You know it, you love it. Current best throughput talent in the row.

Final Thoughts – Pros
Some interesting talents here. Even though there are some clear choices in terms of throughput, I would really like to see the other options balanced so that we can chose a talent to fit out play-style and not be penalised.
I feel that the talent tree offers a good mix of complexity. Players can choose how complex they want their game-play to be. This is good design.
There are also some really tough choices in the utility tiers; Mighty Bash vs Typhoon and Wild Charge vs Displacer Beast. This is again good design. You want player’s to recogonise the advantages and disadvantages of each talent and think about their choice, rather than following a cookie-cutter build.
I also like the direction taken with the affinity talent tier. Heart of the Wild and Nature’s Vigil attempted to give the class some hybrid utility through various means, resulting in weird usage and the longest tooltip in the game of a period of time.

Cons
After playing for a while, I really miss Faerie Fire. It was great at pulling mobs from ranged, and in Bear Form it did damage. The damage from FF was really useful for soloing some old content. There is also some weird things happening with the pandemic mechanic and Jagged Wounds. Stay tuned for updates on this.
I also feel weaker. I feel like I’m not doing as much damage as before. This isn’t unexpected though. It’s common during the expansion pre-patch for damage not to be balance, because it’s balanced around being max level. And in the case of Legion, it will also be balanced around having our artifact weapon.

What do you think of the talents? Do you like the choices in complex vs passive talents? Do you prefer the old talents? What would you change if you could? Let me know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or like and comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

Legion Pre-expansion Patch Survival Guide

The Legion pre-expansion patch has been announced for July 19, this Wednesday. As with all pre-expansion patches, we will have access to most of the features of the expansion except for being able to level past level 100, artifact weapons, and the new zones. For the Legion pre-patch this means you will get:

  • New wardrobe transmog system
  • New UI changes
  • Class changes – spells, talents and glyphs
  • Stat changes
  • Pre-expansion event – Demon invasions.

In this post I’m only going to cover changes relevant to Feral Druids. WoW Head has a full guide to the pre-patch and the latest PTR patch notes at battle.net.

General Changes

  • The mulit-strike, spirit and bonus armour stats are removed. Gear with multi-strike on it will be converted into another secondary stat.
    • With the removal of multi-strike our stat priority is going to change. Any changes for the duration of the pre-expansion patch may not be the same at max level in Legion. We will have to wait for someone to do the simulations to confirm the new stat priority. There is some preliminary discussion over at the Fluid Druid.
  • Glyphs are removed – some minor glyphs that made cosmetic changes have been converted into spells in the spell book. This means that Stampeding Roar’s range is back to 10 yards, and we lose access to a 5 combo point Savage Roar when opening from stealth.
  • Draenor Perks are removed, which means:
    • no Rejuvenation in Cat Form and the maximum energy increase during Berserk is now baseline.
    • Improved Rake is now part of baseline Rake. You should still open with Rake.
  • Mark of the Wild has been removed.
  • Soothe has been removed.
  • Faerie Fire has been removed.
  • Cyclone is now a PVP talent.
  • Rejuvenation is Restoration + Restoration Affinity.

Feral Changes

  • Savage Roar is now a talent.
  • Incarnation now replaces Berserk.
  • Swipe no longer generates combo points.
  • The Feline Swiftness talent is now baseline. One of the core themes of Legion is the focus on class flavour. This change keeps with the theme of speed and high maneuverability.
  • Tigers Fury tool tip update to explain snap-shotting. The new tooltip says:
    Instantly restores 60 Energy, and increases the damage of all your attacks by 15% for their full duration. Lasts 8 sec.“.
  • Shred no longer applies Infected Wounds, only Rake does.

There was a sneaky 11th hour tuning hotfix to the launch beta build with numerous Feral Changes.The first list is general balance changes. Nothing to get worked up over, this is basically a balance pass.

  • Rip damage increased by 14%
  • Rake damage increased by 14%
  • Shred damage reduced by 35%
  • Ferocious Bite damage reduced by 35%
    • The shift in damage to dots from direct damage means that Ferals will likely be favouring a mastery build (again).
  • Moonfire (Lunar Inspiration talent) damage reduced by 25%
  • Brutal Slash (talent) damage reduced by 25%
  • Thrash (Cat) damage reduced by 33%
    • Small nerf to our AoE. Without a comparison we don’t know if our AoE will be competitive. I’m not hopeful with these changes.
  • Shadow Thrash (artifact weapon) damage reduced by 66%
  • Jagged Wounds now causes affected bleeds to tick and expire 33% faster (was 40%)
  • Ferals now gain 50% bonus haste from gear
    • This is interesting. Every expansion there is discussion in the Feral community about how to make haste more appealing. Haste only affects our attack speed and energy regeneration. These factors have not been a large part of the Feral playstyle, which is managing buffs and debuffs and haste is frequently our lowest priority secondary stat.
  • Omen of Clarity (Feral) proc rate increased by 50% (from 3.5ppm to 5.25ppm)
    • Most likely a balancing tweak to make the Moment of Clarity talent more competitive.
  • Savage Roar now costs 40 energy (was 25)
    • This is going to be one of the most micro-managey talents created. It’s cost increased to 40 energy and its duration reduced to almost half of what it is on live.
      The thing with Savage Roar is that if you don’t take the talent, the combo points that would be spent on it would be spent on Ferocious Bite. The damage from the extra Ferocious Bite’s would need to be roughly equal to the damage from Savage Roar for the talent to be balanced.
  • Soul of the Forest now restores 12 energy per combo point
    • This talent has been buffed several times, from 6 to 8 to 12 energy per combo point. I was a really big fan of this talent back in Mists of Pandaria, especially at the start of the expansion. It really helped the rotation when the low levels of crit and haste on gear make the rotation feel slow.
  • Powerful Bite now increases Ferocious Bite critical strike damage by 7/14/21% (was 5/10/15%)
  • Razor Fangs now increases Rip damage by 7/14/21% (was 5/10/15%)
  • Sharpened Claws now increases Swipe damage by 7/14/21% (was 5/10/15%)
  • Tear the Flesh now increases Rake damage by 7/14/21% (was 5/10/15%)
  • Shredder Fangs now increases Shred damage by 15% (was 10%)
    • The previous 5 changes are all on the artifact weapon. Looks like our damage was re-balanced from baseline to the artifact weapon.
  • Bloodtalons now increases damage by 50% (was 40%)

New Talents

I’ve written a post on my thoughts on the new talents (finally) which you can see here.

And that about covers it for the pre-expansion patch. Are you excited for the pre-patch? What are you thoughts on the changes coming? Let me know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or like and comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

Commentary on BellularGaming Legion Alpha Feral Druid Spec Overview

While I was browsing for some Legion Feral videos on YouTube I came across a video by user BellularGaming. It was a good video but I want to offer some commentary on it. Similar to what I did with Preach’s video for Warloads of Draenor. Head over to BellularGaming’s YouTube channel and check out their content. The Feral Druid video is below. Watch that and let’s get into it.

Spells and Abilities
The first 9.5 minutes of the video is spent going over basic Feral gameplay which is basically unchanged at this point. Rake, Rip, Shred, Ferocious Bite, Thrash, Swipe, Tiger’s Fury, and Berserk haven’t left.

Bellular starts discussing Maim, which they refer to as a PVP talent. While this is mostly true, it does have some PVE use, such as a backup interrupt (on targets that can be stunned) and some minor crowd control function. I have it key bound and have used it albeit rarely. Don’t write it off as a just a PVP spell.

They also point out that Skull Bash can be used as a mini charge due to its 13 yard range. Something I am personally a huge fan of and use all the time. The Wild Charge talent’s maximum range is only 25 yards.

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A gif of Belluar showing the range of Skull Bash.

Talents
Discussion of the talent’s follows next. I will cover the talents in greater detail in a future blog post, come soon (TM) honestly. Overall it is a superb video, offering a good introduction to the spec mechanics and spells. However, Belluar makes some comments on some of the talents that I disagree with, which are discussed below.

Note – I am writing this several months after the video was released and as a result the talent has been changed.

The old Sabretooth talent used to say “Ferocious Bite extends the during of Rip by 2 seconds for each combo point spent”. I disagree with the talent being boring because it actually quite drastically changes your gameplay. if you took the Savage Roar talent, you would be weaving extra FB’s into your rotation to extend Rip. Which appears to be reminiscent of the old Wrath of the Lich King JOHN F*CKING MADDEN days, especially with Savage Roar’s reduced duration. The power of this talent is in its ability to extend a really powerful Rip, such as one applied during your pre-pot or a Rip buffed by Bloodtalons, Tiger’s Fury or another damage multiplier.
In its current iteration the talent states that “Ferocious Bite always refreshes the duration of Rip”. I think this is much better than its previous version because it has the advantages I mentioned above (keeping a buffed Rip up longer) and streamlining gameplay. Basically you would play like you’re in execute phase from the word go. This talent is very similar to the 2pc tier 13 set bonus from Dragonsoul. Using Ferocious Bite more often may have some synergy with the Ashmane’s Bite artefact trait. This may lead to doubling down on Ferocious Bite, but we will have to wait for the numbers pass to see how it compares.

Sabertooth talent compare

Tool tips for the Sabertooth talent as it changed between Bullular did their video and when I did my commentary. Old talent on the left, new talent on the right.

Regarding the Jagged Wounds talent, Bellular completed misses the purpose of the talent, which is help address the long-starting target switching issues Feral has. The talent would allow (in theory) to have the same output of damage over a shorter during. Increasing our damage on short-lived adds and reducing our ramp up time. You would be more likely to get the damage from full-duration Rip than otherwise. To neglect this point is to neglect one of the flaws of the spec.

Artifact Weapon
Moving onto the artifact weapon (which I will also write a post on), I agree with Bulluar’s comments about Shadow Thrash – that it’s a passive ability, you have no control over it. Which is basically a summary of most of the artifact weapon choices. Without going into too much detail, choices that offer gains like 5% crit of 15% damage increase are barely noticeable, boring, and ultimately take the place of something more interesting. I’m a big fan of quality over quantity. I’ll take less choices if they are more meaningful. Now, not everyone agrees with that, and that’s ok.

General Comments
I disagree with the statement at the end of the video “you can play this the had way and do more damage, or you the easy way and do less damage”. That may have been how it ended up in Warlords, but I don’t think it was the design intent of the developers. What I think they are trying to do, is give people the option of complexity if they chose. This is why Savage Roar is a talent instead of baseline, why some talents are passive and why some talents are on short timers and add extra spells to the game-play. They experimented making Savage Roar a talent previously, for the same reasons.
Some people feel that reducing baseline complexity leads to “dumbing down of the class”, which I also disagree with, for pretty much the same reasons I just mentioned.

JOHN FUCKING MADDEN

Some players want complexity. Others don’t. Making the baseline less complex doesn’t discriminate against new players and allows experienced players to get the depth they want.

Final Thoughts
Similar to Preach I feel like Bellular suffers a bit from a hybrid tax. Being the type of content creator they are,  almost requires them to be somewhat knowledgeable across all specs and aspects of the game. This means that they wont be able to capture some of the nuance or finer points of a spec. Which is fine and I definitely don’t hold it against them. This is some constructive feedback and discussion about the class I have chosen to focus on.
I would like to see Bellular do another video just before Legion releases with the (close to) final build and see if their thoughts change or remain the same.

What are your thoughts on the video? Do you agree with Bellular on any of their comments? Do you agree with any of my comments? Would you like to see more post like this one? Let me know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or like and comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari

Final Boss Feral Druid – Second Pass

Final Boss earlier this week posted a video on Feral Druids in the current Legion beta build. The quick and dirty summary:

  • New spell animations
  • No major game mechanic changes
    • Still Rake, Rip, Ferocious Bite
    • Snap-shotting still exists with Tiger’s Fury, Blood Talons and Savage Roar
  • Savage Roar is now a talent, not baseline
  • Thrash and Swipe now hit 360 degrees instead of a frontal cone

Link to video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-jb5-YsbT0

I plan on doing separate posts for talents and the artifact weapon in the future. Stay tuned.

~Elamari

Legion Expansion Release Date – 30th August

As you can tell from the title, the release date for the next World of Warcraft expansion Legion has been announced. It is scheduled for the 30th August, which is about 4 and a half months away.

Official Blizzard press release – http://blizzard.gamespress.com/THE-LEGION-INVADES-WORLD-OF-WARCRAFT-AUGUST-30

By pre-purchasing the expansion you get 1 boost to level 100. Pre-purchasing Legion will also grant early access to the Demon Hunter prior to the expansion’s release. During the pre-launch early-access period, players will be able to complete the Demon Hunter’s unique starting experience on the shattered, Legion-corrupted world of Mardum and achieve level 100, leaving them fully prepared to join their allies on the Broken Isles the moment the expansion launches.

Stay tuned for more content – coming soon (TM).

~Elamari

Cat Nap #15 – Feral Druid Design Discussion

There was a good summary on MMO Champion of some discussion between the Feral Druid Community and the developers recently. The main talking point was around the lack of value haste currently has and how that interacts with class design, specifically bleeds vs direct damage.

Link to MMO Champion Post – http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/5530-Frost-Mage-Artifact-Intro-Vodka-Done-Raiding-Blue-Posts-Zarhym-Leaves-Blizzard

Link to Official Forums – http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20742735372?page=2#23

Where do I stand?
I tend to agree with the intent of the developers, in that I would like to see better balance between direct damage and bleeds. When we become to focused in one particular area not only does it highlight our strengths, it also highlights our weaknesses e.g. too much bleed focus penalizes us switching targets. However this hasn’t been seen in game much if at all. All through MOP Swipe and Ferocious Bite were hit like a wet noodle. The Rune of Re-origination pushed the spec further down the bleed focused path.

I agree with the design that haste should not affect the speed that bleed tick at. That would just push us further down the bleed path rather than balancing bleeds vs direct damage. This quote sums it up perfectly:

‘Rake currently does ~500k, and Shred does ~130k. Again, no wonder Haste sucks, when all it gives you is more of those ~130k Shreds, not more Rakes.’

I’m hoping in Legion we can see this balance between bleeds and direct damage become a reality.

Feral Druid Tips for Hellfire Citadel Part 3

Time for part 3 of Hellfire Citadel. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t seen them yet. Don’t forget to check out the strategy conversations over at the Fluid Druid.

Mannoroth
Phase 1
Focus Fel Iron Summoners. I’ve been moving to the next one just before the previous one dies, leaving my dots to tick. You should also use use Stampeding Roar to move between the Fel Iron Summoners. We take the summoners out in the following order – Doom Lord, Imps, Infernals.

Doom Lord – Switch to it and burn it down. Displacer Beast talent can be good for moving out if you get Mark of Doom.
Imps – The Imps that spawn are a nuisance as melee because they are so far a part, and worse for Feral because they are are low HP short lived target. If they are close by throw a Rake up or if they are several near by, use Thrash. Their Fel Imp-losion cast can be interrupted.
Infernals – Mostly they are the ranged dps job to take care off, but you can assist with the ones in melee range. There is a second or two after they have landed, but before they pop up where you can dot them not take any damage from their pulsing AOE.

Phase 2
Clean up any left over adds then get straight onto the boss. Imps and Infernals will still spawn. The fight is pretty single target / Patchwerk from here. Watch out for Fel Hellstorm, which you can see by black shadows on the ground of where they will land. Don’t worry too much if you get it, roll some rejuvs on yourself. And move out of Felseeker. For Mannoroths Gaze, our raid will stack up behind him with our backs to a wall. The wall stopped people from falling of the edge and kept everyone close and stacked to absorb the damage. However, there is a bug where you can fall through the wall. Just be mindful of it.

Phase 3
No Imps will spawn now, but Infernals will continue to. Like in the previous phases, leave them for the ranged, but cleave down any in melee and avoid any unnecessary damage. The only new ability in this phase is Shadow Gaze. It is tempting to use Stampeding Roar to counter this, but you want to save Stampeding Roar for phase 4 when Shadow Gaze becomes empowered.

Phase 4
In this phase, all of Mannoroth’s abilities become empowered, basically dealing more damage and having greater affects. Focusing on survivability over dps is your goal for this phase. Use Suvival Instincts liberally and keep rejuvs rolling on 2-3 people. During these phase Shadow Gaze’s empowerment affects the entire raid instead of just three people. This is what you are saving Stampeding Roar for. Even with a speed boost you can still get knocked back a lot of distance in a short period of time. Using Skull Bash is a good way to stay on the boss as it’s a mini Wild Charge.

I’ve step up an alert in DBM to remind me to use it. However, because the ability is used in phase three the reminder starts in phase three and I have accidentally used it too early which means it wasn’t off cool down for when the raid needed it in phase 4. If you know of a way to set up the alert in DBM to only apply to phase 4, let me know.

DBM custom text alert.

In DBM you can set up custom text alerts. You do this by clicking the red square beside the alert. This opens a text box where you can enter the text you would like. As a raid leader you can also send alerts to specific raid members.

Custome message

A screen shot showing the custom message I created highlighted in the red rectangle.

Achimonde
Phase 1
Start out by focusing on the boss and switching to the Hellfire Deathcaller add when it spawns. Don’t worry about Doomfire Spirit add, ranged dps will take care of it. Use Stamping Roar to help raid when moving from Allure of Flames.

Phase 2
When Archimonde reaches 55% health, he will begin to summon Felborne Overfiends and Dreadstalkers. The Felbourne Overfiends look like Baleroc from Firelands and are the adds that you will need to focus down. Their Flames of Argus spell can (and should) be interrupted. The Dreadstalkers look like Warlock Fel Hounds. They can’t be tanked and run out so just cleave them when you can, they are not a priority for melee.

Phase 3
If you are the in the Nether Banish team, enter the other realm and dps the Shadowed Netherwalker add. You should also interrupt it’s Touch of Shadow spell while avoiding the Void Star add. If you get fixated, pop a speed boost and kite it away from the team.

If you are on the staying on the outside, the Infernal Doombringers from Rain of Chaos will need to be pulled away from the raid and dps’d down. They need to be separated because they will heal each other when they are close together. You can stun, snare, knock back, root, taunt and Death Grip them. Depending on your raid comp, you may be required to go Bear and taunt the adds out. Typhoon is also good for separating them.

Final Thoughts
I think Hellfire Citatdel was a good, if not great raid. The raid in a vacuum, has very well designed encounters, and offers linear and non-linear progression – which is what players have been requesting. I enjoyed most of the encounters which didn’t disadvantage melee characters too much. From a mechanics standpoint I felt that I was doing a lot of interrupting, almost every boss. And they probably could have toned down the fel green a little bit. But a good thing is that I haven’t gotten to the stage where I dread going to raid (except for the first encounter, which is glorified trash) which I think is a combination of:

  • Tertiary bonuses – chance of an upgrade through warforge, socket or tertiary stat.
  • Skip to further in raid
  • Mix up of difficulty – after defeating really dense strategy bosses like Socrethar or Xhul’horac, it’s almost relaxing to have a fairly simple fight like Fel Lord Zahkurm to break up the intensity.

Unfortunately, I think Hellfire Citadels reputation will be tarnished because of the expansion it is in, which has coped considerable flack for lack of content and rehash – Achimonde was a raid boss in Burning Crusade, Mannoroth was defeated in Warcraft III etc…

What are your thoughts on Hellfire Citadel. Did you enjoy it? What would you change about it if you could? Let me know. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at fileunderferal@gmail.com, send me a tweet @Elamari_ or leave a comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.

~Elamari