Warmaster Blackhorn: Strategy for Hunters

Warmaster Blackhorn is the sixth encounter in the Dragon Soul raid and the second in the Fall of Deathwing wing. Here’s what a hunter needs to know:

This fight has two phases:

Phase One – During phase one you’ll need to kill adds and soak damage from drakes to protect your ship.

  • Adds: Your priority as a hunter is sappers > drakes > melee.
    • Twilight Sappers – In normal (but not LFR) mode, Twilight Sappers will be dropped off on the bow of the ship. When they land they’ll drop a smoke bomb then vanish and run towards the stern, reappearing about halfway down the ship’s deck. If they reach the cabin they’ll cast Detonate which will cost 20% of your ship’s health and damage nearby players.
      • Have enemy nameplates turned on (by default keybound to “v”) to quickly locate the Sappers.
      • Use a Concussive Shot to slow the Sapper as soon as it is targetable, then DPS it.
      • Casting Flare does not seem to be very helpful and the GCD is probably better spent on DPS.
      • An Ice Trap will slow the Sapper but the frost can obscure the visual effects of Twilight Onslaught and Twilight Barrage. Check with your raid leader.
    • Twilight Assault Drakes – In addition to the Sappers, there are three waves of adds and each wave comes with two drakes and two melee. The Twilight Assault Drakes are harpooned by NPCS and reeled into range on both sides of the ship. If they are not killed quickly enough they will escape the tether and fly off, returning later. Their health does not reset when this happens. Phase One ends when all six drakes have been killed.
      • When a Sapper is not up, your priority as a ranged DPS is to kill Twilight Assault Drakes.
      • Your pet can attack the drakes from the edge of the ship once they are reeled in.
    • Twilight Elite Dreadblades and Twilight Elite Slayers – These are the two melee adds that come with each wave.
      • When no Sappers or drakes are up, DPS the melee adds.
      • Take care not to be in front of these adds because they do damage in a frontal cone.
      • The melee adds will occasionally target a random player and perform Blade Rush. A visual warning is given just before the Blade Rush and you should move away from the path. The Blade Rush path is indicated by glowing target circles with crosshairs on the ship’s deck:
  • Soaking Damage to Protect the Ship
    • Twilight Onslaught – Blackhorn’s mount, Goriona, fires a Twilight Onslaught at the ship’s deck about every 35 seconds.
      • Stand in the large pink swirl with your entire raid to soak and split the Twilight Onslaught damage.
    • Twilight Barrage – The Twilight Assault Drakes will also fire attacks at the ship. Twilight Barrage looks identical to Twilight Onslaught except that it is smaller.
      • Stand in the small pink swirls with at least one other raid member to soak and split the Twilight Barrage damage.
      • It is helpful to have two or more people assigned to each quarter of the ship to handle the Twilight Barrages. Hunters will usually take position on the opposite side of where the melee adds are being tanked.

 Phase Two – During phase two you’ll be killing Goriona the drake and then Warmaster Blackhorn.

  • Goriona – Blackhorn’s mount will be flying over the ship.
    • Put your pet on passive and have it attack Blackhorn
    • DPS Goriona to 25% health at which point she will fly off.
    • Quickly get out of the blue flames/void zones Goriona creates.
  • Warmaster Blackhorn
    • Shockwave – this ability is the most dangerous one in the encounter for hunters. Shockwave targets a random player with a conal area of effect ground attack. Sadly, I could not find a normal mode hunter PoV video for this fight where the hunter did not die to Shockwave.
      • Stay spread out around Blackhorn so that less people are in the area targeted for each Shockwave.
      • You’ll have the best chance to escape Shockwave if you stay relatively close to Blackhorn. The conal shape of the Shockwave effect creates a scenario where the further you are from Blackhorn, the farther you will have to run to escape damage. By staying closer to Blackhorn you will decrease the distance you’ll need to run to escape.
      • The area of effect looks like piles of dirt on the ship’s deck:
      •  Deterrence should now mitigate 30% of the damage from Shockwave.
      • Disengage might be helpful for moving quickly but if a Shockwave hits the area you disengaged from before you land, you will still be hit.

Here’s a video from Spaceraiders of Voice of Reason on EU – The Maelstrom, Marks hunter:

For more hunter strategy guides see Dragon Soul: Boss Strategies and Videos for Hunters

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