With Warlords of Draenor upon us in a little under a month; the solo’ing section of WHU will be updated to provide you with the best and latest up-to-date information on solo’ing. This overview will contain basic information covering optimal solo’ing talent choices; glyphs; basic strategy; and advanced strategies; as well as individual boss strategies in the future.
For more WHU Warlords of Draenor guides, visit the guide page.
The Basics: Glyphs, Pets, Talents
Talents and glyphs will vary from fight to fight depending on the boss you are attempting to solo and the mechanics behind it; but when it comes to essential talent choices and glyphs a lot of general hunter solo’ing strategy is similar if not identical.
Essential Talents; Spirit Bond, Adaptation
Overview on Talents; Beast Mastery remains the go-to spec for solo’ing for several reasons. The Level 100 talent Adaptation gives your pet essentially all 3 pet specialization’s abilities (Ferocity/Tenacity/Cunning) wrapped into 1 spec. Beast Mastery also allows the control of exotic pets; more importantly the control of spirit beasts which provide a little extra healing should the encounter call for it via Spirit Mend.
Essential Glyphs; Glyph of Mending, Glyph of Misdirection, Glyph of Animal Bond.
Overview on Glyphs; Glyph setup remains nearly identical to how it was in Mists of Pandaria; your top 3 choices for general hunter solo’ing consist of Glyph of Mending Glyph of Misdirection and Glyph of Animal Bond. Glyph of Mending allows you to keep your pet alive significantly easier; Glyph of Misdirection allows your pet to maintain threat throughout the encounter; and Glyph of Animal Bond will aid you in increasing your Spirit Bond tick heals for you and your pet; as well as further increasing your mend pet‘s healing output even further.
Essential Solo’ing Pets; Shale Spider, Spirit Beast
Overview on Pets; The shale spider is the top choice as a hunter solo’ists pet in Warlords of Draenor due to it not only providing Stats/Crit but also having a powerful defensive CD Solid Shell In the past the turtle was a more optimal choice; however the turtle does not provide any buffs in Warlords of Draenor; and only has the same defensive CD as the Shale Spider; therefore; A pet that provides 2 buffs and has 1 defensive > Pet that provides no buffs and has 1 defensive. The Spirit Beast remains a powerful alternative choice for bosses that may not hit your pet as hard; but may require extra healing towards the hunter by utilizing Spirit Mend.
Now that we’ve discussed the basic hunter solo’ing concepts a bit; let’s move on to important changes in Warlords of Draenor to hunter solo’ing;
Changes to Hunter Solo’ing in Warlords
To truly get a grasp of what our solo’ing capabilities are like in Warlords of Draenor; examining what we’ve lost and what we’ve gained and making a comparison will allow us to examine hunter solo’ing a bit more in depth.
What We’ve Lost
- Cower is no longer in the game.
- “Stable Stacking” is longer in the game. Pets no longer have separate CDs on abilities such as Last Stand/Spirit Mend./Solid Shell. In Mists of Pandaria you were able to cast any of these pet spells; dismiss that pet and call a separate pet of the same type and chain spells like these; an advanced solo’ing tactic commonly referred to as “Stable Stacking”
What We’ve Gained
- Kill Shot now heals the hunter for 15% if the target is killed by this ability. This may not sound like a lot; but when attempting to solo fights containing lots of low health targets that die quickly this can be extremely potent when used correctly; though it is certainly situational.
- Adaptation as mentioned before is a fantastic new talent for solo’ing. Not only does your pet do its full damage potential; it retains tenacity pet abilities; specifically the powerful Last Stand
- Glyph of Quick Revival; An interesting glyph that has some situational solo’ing uses.
Overall losing stable stacking definitely hurts our solo’ing capabilities tremendously; and though the compensation for losing this tactic may not necessarily be equal; extreme hunter solo’ing is still very much alive and with it comes more advanced tactics and gameplay.
Advanced Hunter Solo’ing Concepts
I’ll start off by discussing some older but still extremely useful tactics that even other classes can utilize to their advantage when solo’ing; these are situational tactics; but in many cases (often by accident) are discovered and allow us to solo what was otherwise thought “impossible” I’ll then move onto some more hands on tactics that specifically apply to the hunter class and are new concepts implemented in Warlords of Draenor via spell changes or gameplay changes.
Often times a boss will cast an ability that either causes loss of control of your character which can reset an encounter; or does something that will inevitably kill your character (debuffs/certain spells etc) A lot of fights are programmed in such a way that the main threat target (the tank) will usually not receive said mind control/debuff/etc. By being the boss’s main threat target instead of your pet when certain specific abilities go out; these abilities are altogether negated entirely; allowing you to overcome a fight. A few examples of this concept are Cho’gall’s Mind Control Mechanic; and Sinestra’s Wrack mechanic. By being the primary threat target at the time either of these example abilities go out; you do not receive said mind control/wrack debuff. Be creative with this; you never know what ability you can entirely negate by making yourself the main threat target over your pet.
This is a fairly simple concept but it is important to experiment and play around with. Simply put; a lot of times if you are a very large range (i.e. 60+ yards) outside the boss you are attempting to solo (room size/encounter depending) some bosses will altogether not cast abilities that would otherwise kill you. This same concept can be used in tandem with feign death to avoid various boss abilities altogether. This is fairly situational; but again experiment with this when trying to solo different bosses; you never know when you might just accidentally find an ability that can be ranged or feigned and negated altogether.
Another older but still useful concept; think of any fight where a boss hits hard and applies for example a stacking debuff. This debuff may not kill your pet immediately; but as the fight progresses your pet is eventually going to die even if you keep mend pet up optimally. Revive pet is an extremely fast cast; so by putting yourself fairly far away from the boss you are trying to solo and gauging when your pet is close to near death; as long as you can get Revive pet off after your pet dies; then quickly Feign Death/Misdirection before the boss reaches you; this can be extremely useful. This tactic depends heavily on the room size of the boss you are attempting to solo and works better on slower moving bosses.
Sometimes when you are solo’ing a boss your pet is near death; but you have for example your pet’s Solid Shell CD up in 2 or 3 seconds and that will hold your pet over if it can just live that much longer.
The following macro can be used to rapidly get your pet to come towards you; sometimes so rapidly that it will in fact dodge one or multiple boss swings altogether; buying you that extra 2 or 3 seconds your pet needed to gain Solid Shell again and not die. This macro is also especially useful for rapidly positioning a boss in a specific position you need it to be in. Just put yourself where you want the boss to be and use this macro to take your pet there:
/cast Master’s Call
“Quick Rez/Space Utilization 2”
Sometimes for whatever reason that 3 seconds of space to cast Revive pet you need between yourself and the boss you are trying to solo just isn’t quite cutting it. This is a new concept introduced with the new glyph; Glyph of Quick Revival. This glyph essentially serves no purpose in PvE raiding; but in solo’ing it definitely has some situational uses. If you keep yourself hovered at 80 focus on harder hitting bosses with rooms that don’t give you enough space to get that Revive pet cast off; this is the ticket to living forever. Often times you won’t even have to Feign Death after getting this off if you can dump enough threat quickly into the freshly rezzed pet; thus saving yourself a valuable Feign Death you might need in the next 30 seconds of the fight.
Now that Kill Shot provides a 15% heal each time you kill a target with it; it’s opened some interesting doors on solo’ing various encounters. Think about any fight where there are lots of low HP adds that aren’t of great priority to you or your pet living. Often times you can hold onto adds like these; get them into Kill Shot range; Kill Shot 1 to heal yourself for 15%; wait for Kill Shot to come off CD in 8 seconds; then Kill Shot another to keep yourself healed up. This concept is incredibly useful in any fight with a lot of adds and has endless possibilities for hunter solo’ing in the future.
That concludes the general basics of hunter solo’ing in Warlords of Draenor; some thoughts on how we are now as solo’ists as opposed to in MoP, as well as some solo’ing tactics that are somewhat lesser known; but still essential to add to your solo’ing toolkit.