The WHU all-hunter raid team hit our first 25-man raid on Saturday. Arth was leading the raid and the first target he picked out was the Omnotron Defense System, and by the end of the night we had the first 25-man all hunter Cataclysm raid kill! You can see a tank-perspective video of this fight here.
The All-Hunter Strategy
In the absence of healer and tank support classes, we had to make use of the whole hunter toolbox. The composition for the raid was:
- 3 BM tank hunters, with stam gear and turtle pets as tanks to tank the two active Omnotrons
- 2 Survival hunters to bring the haste buff for the raid. These guys could take Spirit Bond but have the weakest self-healing.
- 11 Marksmanship hunters with Spirit Bond and Chimera Shot for self-heals.
- 9 BM dps hunters with Spirit Beasts for additional self-healing.
The hardest part of all hunter raiding is the unavoidable damage. To mitigate this as much as possible every hunter needed to have the Spirit Bond talent for some amount of passive self-healing. We had MM hunters with Chimera Shot and BM hunters with Spirit Beasts in addition to Spirit Bond. The MM and SV hunters had a variety of pets to bring all of the raid buffs we needed, and one BM hunter had a Corehound that was pulled out just for Ancient Hysteria (and then switched back to a spirit beast).
The MM hunters were crucial for Silencing Shot which was needed to interrupt Arcanotron. We had the MM hunters split into two groups with an interrupt rotation much larger than the typical raid, since Silencing Shot has a long 20 second cooldown. We had two MM hunters to interrupt each time, to give us some redundancy in case someone missed their 1.5-second interrupt window.
We had all hunters with Misdirection assignments to give an incredible threat boost to the tanking pets to enable them to hold aggro (just check out those Misdirections going off on the pull!) and the turtles’ Shell Shield added to Cower and Last Stand gave them substantial damage mitigation to allow their healing talents and Mend Pet to keep up with the incoming damage.
We started out by resetting the encounter until Arcanotron was the first one active. This way we could start the fight off fast with the dps buff to burn Archatron down as much as possible. The strategy for each Omnotron was as follows:
- Arcanotron: whenever Arcanotron dropped his dps buff circle, the tank hunter had to move his pet away, to lower Arcanotron’s damage and give the rest of us a chance to camp on it for the boost. The MM hunters had to use Silencing Shot to interrupt the Arcane Annihilator ability. Sadly with so many BM hunters we couldn’t maximize the dps pool, since Kill Command doesn’t take advantage of it when the pet is not in the dps boost pool.
- Electron: we just spread out to mitigate the damage taken, and had a couple hunters throw up Aspect of the Wild. In our kill Electron was the second boss, which meant that we couldn’t stand in Arcanotron’s pool of dps boosting once Electron was active.
- Magmatron: hunters can Feign Death to cancel the flamethrower ability, which we did. The Incineration Security Measures aoe we were able to Deterrence once, and after that we just had to rely on our self-healing (and potions, and bandaging). Happily with Deterrence the self-healing we had available was usually enough to get us through.
- Toxitron: Simple enough, we just dpsed the adds down, mostly letting the SV and MM hunters handle them.
Happily Arth’s strategy of starting with Arcanotron let us get a huge dps start, especially when you consider that we were bringing basically 25 dpsers without any healers to lower our numbers (though the tank hunters have much lower dps). On our second attempt we got the Omnotrons down below 10% and knew it was going to be doable. Nevertheless, it took us a couple hours of wiping before everything fell into place and on our kill we polished the defense system off with 24 hunters still standing.
10-man Follow Up
After the Omnotron Defense System finally went down we had Baradin hold. Unfortunately this is when we learned that we could not bring any cross-realm people into Baradin hold. This lost us around five raiders, and we decided not to push on with a short raid. Instead we dropped down to a 10-man raid to try out Occu’thar. It took only two attempts to bring him down! So that’s a tier 12 boss to add to our tier 11 kill (though certainly the Omnotron Defense System was a far more involved fight, especially for the tanks who had to pick up snap aggro on the new trons).
We figure these are the easiest two bosses for all hunter raiding, and life is going to start getting more difficult as we progress, but the WHU all hunter raid team is going to keep raiding and plans to make use of some cool strategies. Our next raid is scheduled for the 23rd.
Many thanks to all of the hunter raiders who showed up and participated: all of them can now proudly say that they’ve taken part in a World First — the world first all-hunter raid on current-expansion bosses!