Might Heroic-Mode Entries, Primordius + Iron Qon [ToT Raid]

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Seventh Heroic was PRIMORDIUS
I was playing as MARKSMANSHIP

Primordius is a strange and terrible mix of several hunter options. On one hand, we have the capability of doing the highest damage to the boss over nearly every other class. On the other hand, we are capable of providing decent AoE to blow up adds, especially including barrage being a cone that will hit all targets in front of us. Yet, on a third hand (mutant powers, stay with me here), we're also still fantastic utility capable of target swapping to where ever we're needed most with the highest form of DPS mobility.

That said, I feel all three specs on heroic Primordius have valid capacities. To what degree, I'm unsure. In my case I was filling more of a utility role and my performance is full of smoke and mirrors to the true potential of a hunters single target on Primordius. However, my suggestion is that if it's between Beast Mastery or Survival, go Survival.  Not because you can AoE pad for higher numbers, but because Survival will be the least affected by the random generator that Primordius' oozees provide you with the buffs of and simply because Survival is the most forgiving.

In my case, I was given the sad, dismal bitch job of aiding with Viscous Horrors. But don't get me wrong: Since I was playing Marksman, this was actually a very intelligent move. Each time a new Horror spawned, a marksman hunter is placed back into Careful Aim. Of all the class choices to help "burst" down the first half of a Viscous Horrors health, a Marksman hunter is one of the best.

Therefore, don't expect any magic performance tips from this video on how to make your damage through the roof on Primordius. Also don't expect magic tips on how to get yourself a fresh buff by killing an ooze. In this video, I am fed the first 4 stacks of buffs so that I can get on the oozes faster. Note that I said 4 stacks - if this is what you are doing, then it is better to save that 5th stack for when you are done helping with the first 3 Horror's and are preparing to switch your focus more towards Primordius (until you're needed again). The nice part about this is that you will not have your buffs falling off at the same time as the tanks. If you get 5 stacks right away, the next time the tank calls for your help because his buffs are falling off is the same time you're not going to be very useful since your buffs are falling off too. Delay this by getting 4 at the start instead and you are golden. You'll get more uptime from your 2 minute buff on Primordius.

It is an absolute dismal sin not to have your range finder on. This is the fight where you absolutely have to watch where you are going. It is more unforgivable to walk over people on Primordius than it is to fail clearing out a Ji-Kun nest or AoE padding when your burst is needed. Be very aware of the space around you, the people around you, where they are moving and how much attention they are paying.

Spacing issues seemed to be alleviated once we kept the boss on one side of the room with the horrors in the other, rotating around the same general location. This also made life easy for the add killing team who needed only to turret on the three lanes opposite.

Chances are you are capable of soaking Caustic Gas, and therefore I suggest doing so as often as possible.

I tried to do a brief analysis to gauge how I did on Primordius as Marksman despite having been on Viscous Horrors. Therefore, I went looking for the Survival and BM hunters with the best performances and the most similar timestamps. Here are the two I chose:
Beast Mastery, Bowflxx - http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/6njg0s0kj76c4j4b/analyze/dd/source/?s=1636&e=2104&target=1
Survival, Milky - http://www.worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-jsbaa9ocmhp1lcrt/analyze/dd/source/?s=4619&e=5083&target=34

First off, props to the first one for that fantastic performance on the boss target as Beast Mastery. If you're looking for a log to analyze to improve single target on Primordius as a hunter, do a cross comparison with Bowflxx's. Fantastic job and really highlights the potential of all three specs on this fight.

This is what I wanted to know: Their DPSe on the boss and their DPSe on the Horrors in comparison to mine. The BM hunters DPSe on the boss was 150k and 0k on horrors; the SV did 120k to Primordius and 23k to horrors; I, as marksman, did 77k to Primordius and 59k to horrors. That means for pure throughput the BM did the best with 150k focus on Primordius, while the SV's throughput was 143k split between two focuses with a higher prioritization on Primordius and my throughput was 136k split fairly evenly between the two. Since it's not the case that we benefit from target swapping and that part of "damage discrepancy" will result on Primordius from raid environment and buff selection, I'm actually okay with these results. I think, given the opportunity, that a Marksman full time single target could give the single target focus of 150k a good run for its money. In all cases there is room for improvement, and there are definitely things I would do better, but the main thing to take away from this is that there is no clear cut correct path. I don't feel I would play SV and BM as well as I do MM without a least a weeks worth of practice first, so such a small discrepancy between the higher ranking players on a fight between a class spec that is highly undervalued and considered inferior while also being given a disadvantageous job is fine by me. Pick what is the best for you and the best for your raids role.
Raiding is about the raid.
Also: Make fun of Jade for raiding Marksman. Don't worry, I fear for Marksman in the face of 5.3 Blink Strikes. 

Eighth Heroic was IRON QON
I was playing as MARKSMANSHIP

Iron Qon. This was the big one to me because it was the one I was being made fun of the most for still sticking with Marksmanship. My hunter honour was put on the line. To others, it is without any shadow of a doubt the correct method to pull Beast Mastery. Popular opinion, however, should never dictate action. Beast Mastery, for me, is barely a 200 DPS difference in simulation. Indeed, that is a difference: but one I can negate by playing Marksman better and taking advantage of its perks. Iron Qon is another fantastic example of the equality of hunter specs, and also of the dangers of damage padding.

In the first fire phase, there's not much to do as ranged. You spread out and DPS the dog. Every once in a while you might have to break someone out of a cloud, which you should definitely be prepared for. As a  result you will be spread out as ranged to avoid arcing lightning damage. There will also be a tornado being blown around, but it's incredibly difficult to miss and likely won't be aimed at you anyway. For the most part, though, this lets you focus entirely on doing your opening precisely. This is the benefit Marksmen and Beast Masters always hope for at the start of an encounter. Always push damage onto Qon when he hops off a dog: I'm not entirely convinced DoTs stay on him, but it's cheap for a survival to do and he otherwise retains the damage dealt to him when he's on foot.

The second phase provides slightly more differentiation. You can, and should, strafe away from where you were standing when an Frost Spike goes out. There is an animation below your character if it's on you or not. It is also possible to deterrence the ice bolt that goes out, but chances are you'll miss the timing. There are more effective places for deterrence. Windstorm: The only time it will kill you is if you are hit by a tornado. Never, ever play chicken with a tornado. For each lane, wait for the passing tornado to go through. It is far easier to clip a tornado trying to walk in front of it than it is walking behind.  If you watch the video, you'll also see that I dispel the myth that you are considered in the same spot you started disengage until you land. We don't work that way. I have no issue using disengage to get past the final two lanes of tornadoes with my last ticks of health to spare. If this is too risky for you, then play it safe with deterrence instead.

Watch your range finder. There's no reason to walk into someone without/with arcing lightning when you have it/don't simply because you weren't paying attention or weren't being conscientious of available space.  You can avoid doing this most of the time even if you have a spear being thrown on you. Soon after the third dog will show up, and there's really nothing special about this beyond having to sit on your hands if your area of the map gets handed a dead zone.  Jump over Frozen Blood.

Finally, when all three dogs come to play, there's only slight leeway for AoE padding. You must still burst these dogs down so that Roshak does not cause any problems. For sure, take advantage of what AoE you have, but not at the expense of having the raid die when you could have pushed the phase faster by focus targeting. Healing is rough. This is the one bane and criticism I have with most people comparing SV performances. My damage throughput for the encounter was 148k with 6 multishot hits, the best beast master I could find who out paced me did 159k with 7 multishot hits, and the best survival was 165k with 34 multishot hits. It paints a picture when the difference in casts is that high. So, again, my closest comparison was this 159k fella, and combined with a 5 ilevel difference of a few key items worth several thousand DPS and a few mistakes I can polish up, I'm still pretty confident with that result. Going through the several pages of parses for all three specs makes it very clear their potential is all incredibly similar. Always compare to someone who seemed to do better, though. The difference between BM and MM might (will) change in 5.3, but until that data is available: Play what you do best, then play its performance to help the raid.

Deterrence is very good for the final burn. I also suggest saving cooldowns for a bit in order to use them when they're most needed, but ultimately you will have to make that call for the specific timing of your encounter. 


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