Optimizing for Heroic Spine of Deathwing

In the Hunter Forum on MMO-Champion, timoseewho asked “What’s your recommendation for spec and just gear in general (as well as reforges)? Also, some information about your ‘rotation’ for the Tendons would be nice too, as well as the damage you do each plate phase. Tendons aside, is the rest of the fight not important at all as far as DPS goes?”

Highlights of the resulting discussion are recapped below. You can follow the ongoing thread in its entirety on the MMO-C Hunter Forum.

Carlaena: There are certain tricks you need to pull so that you are doing your fair share.

I lay a trap down about 20s in advance, so that it is triggered by the blood tank when he pulls away from the plate. That way I am guaranteed a L&L proc is ready when the Tendons pop up, and BA is off cooldown. I then lead in with a macro that puts up a sting, RF, Trinket, Roar of Recovery, /petattack, 8% magic debuff, and charges the pet in. Follow it by ES, ES, BA, ES and pray to the Titans that BA gives you a second L&L. The alternative to this is to replace BA with another trap, which would definitely guarantee you a second L&L. I also track the ICD of Chronohunter and save it when it comes off cooldown. This is a bit annoying, as it doesn’t always proc. I also have three of the same pet, so I can dismiss and resummon a fresh cooldown.

I reforge off as much haste as I possibly can, as ideally I want to be casting Cobra very little.

Dvorjak: If you force proc LnL with an Explosive trap on the Amalgamation before the Tendon comes up AND you are lucky enough to get a second proc, you will do more damage than MM. You have to have 3 pets so you can rotate CoTW.

Happy Hippo: I have done about 120 tries on this boss already in its 10-man version and I usually get 1mil – 1.3mil damage per lift. I play as SV and this is what I currently do:

  • Place an Explosive Trap underneath the Amalgamation while it casts Nuclear Blast.
  • Spam CoS to be sure I’m at full focus when it explodes.
  • Run towards the tendons.
  • Petfollow to make sure it isn’t too far away from the tendons when it’s time to dps.
  • Usually I have a LnL proc right for when the tendons are revealed and use an ES-(VP trinket+CotW)-ES-SS-ES-Rapid Fire sequence.
  • Follow rotation as usual, watching an eye for LnL which globules/tendons should proc.

Things I’ve tested:

  • I put up HM when I have Rapid Fire ready (this should be first and fourth lifts). I haven’t noticed any serious difference anyway.
  • I’ve tried BA instead of Explosive Trap and found the latter being a better option for me. It’s a pain getting a LnL proc from BA nowadays and the damage isn’t that much better if at all. Also, hitting several targets will almost secure a LnL proc.
  • Using a 3 pet rotation is needed to have CotW up on every lift.

Thamyor:  First of all go SV. All the specs are close when it comes to burst but SV is the easiest to play so you can keep your mind on all the tricks to get more burst.

  • Get the Valor Trinket [...]
  • Remember to start on the Tendon [with] full focus and with your spine trinket stacked. Always open with Serpent Sting and don’t use Hunter’s Mark.
  • Place a Trap in a spot [where] the amalgamation won’t trigger it when it’s going to die so you can use a trap before he dies and have your BA back on Tendon along with the trap. Also, keep using the trap over the fight if your group allows it (on last Plate you should have more caution with this). If you do it in a way that hits the bloods and the Amalgamation it will raise your dps [...]
  • Get many pets from the same pet you use on this fight and switch them to get the pet CD up every time.
  • If you have the DW Polearm you can do a nice and hard trick to control the proc. If you can reequip it during the fight, it will enter in a 1min CD. If you do that 1min before the tendon you will probably get the proc. For me that one min is five sec. before the second Fiery Grip for the first Amalgamation (the one you need to wait for bloods), and 18 sec before the second Grip for the rest of the fight. That time will probably change for your raid, so just get one try to figure out the time or watch a video of your raid. [...]

timoseewho: Yea I think sigil was made for this fight, especially with the 1.5m CD. I personally think wrath+sigil is the best combo here. Have you been rotating pets for Call of the Wild? Also, are you proc’ing Master Marksman for the tendons too?

eschatological: I have to use a serpent for CoE, which I’m calling off the amalg early so it’ll be up immediately on Tendon for the spriest/mage (don’t really need more than 45 seconds of CoE on the amalg anyways), but yeah, I’m rotating two wind serpents for Roar of Recovery. I’ve been proccing MM anywhere from 1-3 times per tendon, the problems occur when I proc a AiS! too early and it wears off before the tendon pops, but not early enough for me to want to blow it on the amalg.

Jaffi: Why you guys don’t put a hunters mark on the tendon? And do you lay down a trap while tendon is up? I used to procc 2x lnl with a trap I lay down before the tendon was up so I didn’t have to waste a gcd.

Talvirr: Spent about 20 attempts on this now as survival and doing between 900k to 1.2mil a lift, averaging just over 2mil per plate. This is in a 10m raid.

  • VP Trinket is essential as it is up for every lift.
  • At least 3 pets to rotate CotW.
  • Place an Explosive trap where the amalgamation is taken to die to proc LnL heading into the burn. This trap should be in range to damage the tendon during the lift and any bloods about, hopefully procing a second LnL.
  • Have full focus before the lift.
  • Have a single macro for targeting the tendon, pet attack and all on use trinkets & cds. Use this as soon as the plate lifts.
  • Burn away. I have been using serpent [sting] and avoiding HM.

timoseewho: I was wondering about HM, does it stay on the tendon for the second peel if you don’t kill it during a prior peel? Talvirr, are you running high crit/mast?

Khez: Unfortunately, nope it doesn’t

Talvirr: timoseewho, I try to run high crit/mastery but with my current gear without reforging I have 2% hit so nearly all my reforging is into hit. Also with oceanic latency of 300-400 ms I like to keep cobra shot at ~1.6s.

Cleaving: I’m now doing between, on average, 1.1 – 1.4m damage per burn phase. [...]

Here’s what I do and I think you’ll enjoy.

 /target boss2
 /Cast Arcane Shot
 /Cast Aimed Shot
 /use 10

(For burn 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6)

/cast Berserking
/cast Call of the Wild
/cast Rapid Fire
/cast Readiness
/use 13
/use 14
/target boss2

(For burn 3)

/cast Berserking
/cast Call of the Wild
/cast Rapid Fire
/use Potion of the Tol'vir
/use 13
/use 14
/target boss2

After Tendon 5, Readiness will come off cooldown before burn 6. Pop that and use the according Macro.

My ‘sequence of events’

Start by timing so I’ll get a Master Marksman proc just as Amalgamation dies. Keep up ISS. Hit according macro as plate pops up, spam my Arcane Shot macro twice (to try and proc t13 4p)

Then lay in with AiS. Refresh ISS and top off focus, dump again, and repeat. When Haste buff falls off, instants only unless T13 4P didn’t proc, in which, try to proc it and get a few more AiS.

Reforged for 1881 haste and 3005 crit. I also rotate pets for CoTW spam, it takes 3 seconds to dismiss and another gcd to pull out a new one. Nice trade off as there probably won’t be much to do just after each burn (with the exception of after a plate lifts, then you want to kill the corruptions first)


eschatological: [...] I imagine you’re popping RF for 1 & 2, but then on 3 I’m about 30 seconds from Readiness being up to proc a new RF and my butt gets kicked. Then, if I proc Readi right after 3, I have RF for 4, and Readi is up again for 5. 6 is lust.
Your reforges are overwhelming – are you putting Kiril and Vishanka in the bags for this fight? I don’t think I could hit 3k crit if I tried without gimping hit with those two pieces equipped. I am also worgen, though, so I get the extra 1% (though give me troll berserking every time for this fight, kthx). What’s the second on-use trinket you’re using?
Cleaving: I do not use Kiril’s or Vishanka’s for any fight. My on-use trinket that I use is obviously the 397. The 2nd trinket I use is the Wrath of Unchaining 403.
On the 3rd burn, you’ll want to use the 2nd macro, the one with the Potion in it. Then depending on the state of health (if it’s sub 45% and you can kill it without rapid firing) you’ll probably want to save rapid fire for plate 3 burn 1 and 2. You’ll then use every other cooldown available including forcing a 4p proc. The only tendon your damage could possibly be below 1m in a burn phase is the 4th burn.. every other one you could probably be about 1.1-1.4m damage.
timoseewho: So after half a night of attempts as survival, here are some things I did [...] and produced decent results (1-1.2m per lift):
  • Be focus capped going into Burning Tendons (via CoS on the amalgamations or corruptions)
  • Drop ET’s 5-10 secs before the amalgamations die and trigger on the dying amalgamations
  • Have the Kiroptyric Sigil trinket (aka. 1650 VP trinket), macro it to CotW and other CD’s
  • Have 3 pets providing CotW, rotating
  • Macro /tar boss2 /petattack
  • Use just CoS/ES throughout the majority the fight to save the 4PT13 proc (~105 sec ICD), which can probably only be used for the first, third, and fifth lifts due to the time between the others
  • Force Kiril, Fury of Beasts proc by having it unequipped and equipped ~1 min or so before the Burning Tendons (the proc lasts for 20 secs so you can afford to equip it a little earlier to get it to max)

I’m still interested to see how BM does with BW up for every Burning Tendon (also pretty much guaranteed quick 4P proc with AS). How would you reforge for BM here? I still need to test a bit more to see if HM is worth the GCD. Is it worth timing the ET so that you also have BA going into the Burning Tendons?

snsdyoona: Imagine that http://www.worldoflogs.com/rankings/…astery_Hunter/

timoseewho: I guess they’re a little useless outside of the tendons

For a collection of Dragon Soul boss strategy guides, hunter tips, and hunter PoV videos see Dragon Soul: Boss Strategies and Videos for Hunters

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