5.4 Siege of Orgrimmar - The Underhold (Might Normal 25)

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This third post is The Underhold and will include write ups and video's for Malkorok, Spoils of Pandaria and Thok the Bloodthirsty.

I haven't kept up appropriately with Might's Siege of Orgrimmar progress like I did for Throne of Thunder, and at the time of my posting these we are currently 13/14H. This means that in order to catch this blog up a bit, I'll be posting the normal mode videos and summaries in bulk as per their LFR/Flex wing names. 

I was playing BEAST MASTERY
(kill date stamp: September 11th)

The first boss of the Underhold is Malkorok, located in a circular plateau above the foyer that General Nazgrim's elevator brings you to. The trash consists of large packs, but you only need to pull a few of them in order to sneak by to the stairs. Don't stand in melee of this trash as there is a deadly cleave you can avoid by standing at range. There are also several casts you can interrupt if your group is having trouble or happens to pull too many.

Malkorok is a repeating cycle fight consisting of him smashing pies of the circle with Arcing Smash and spawning void zones with Imploding Energy. These void zones will explode for massive AoE damage to the entire raid if they are not soaked. For the most part, in order to handle this, you will want ranged to spread around the room with Malkorok tanked in the center. This will allow ranged to soak the void zones as they spawn within their designated pie, while also reducing the amount of movement each ranged needs to do in order to avoid being in a smashed pie. As a hunter, you can avoid the damage from both these abilities with Deterrence. The Arcing Smash is easy to avoid, though, so priority should be to simply move out of an Arcing Smash rather than wasting Deterrence.

Every three casts of Arcing Smash, Malkorok will cast Breath of Y'sharrj which will reactivate every pie that was hit with his Arc. Anyone standing within those areas will take massive damage and generally lead to a death, so it's important to remember which pies were hit and to move back out once the Breath of Y'sharrj is coming. If you find yourself stuck, once again, Deterrence will soak this damage for you. After two Breaths (or once Malkorok reaches 100 Rage) he will enter a Blood Rage, causing every melee swing to deal AoE damage split between players taking the hits. To contend with this it is usually best to group up and soak each hit - however, this is complicated by a third mechanic. During Blood Rage two (10m) or three (25m) players will be debuffed with Displaced Energy. Players with Displaced Energy should move out of the group, wait for the debuff to fade or be dispelled, then move back in. Displaced Energy does not have a large explosion range, so strafing out is perfectly acceptable and will leave your Disengage available for something else.

Such as Seismic Slam, which Malkorok will be periodically casting on any ranged player during the Smash/Breath phase. Seismic Slam will knock you into the air and deal damage to anyone near you, so it's best to avoid standing in melee if you don't have to. Be warned if using Disengage to avoid falling damage: if you use it too high, you will simply take more damage and be out of position. However, you can use this to quickly get to an Imploding Energy that others cannot reach.

Throughout the entire fight you will have Ancient Miasma. Any healing done to you will apply a shield up to 100% of your health: if it is red, your shield is weak. If it is orange, your shield is at 50% capacity. If it is green, your shield is strong. Attempting to soak Imploding Energy with a weak shield will cause damage to your health. Any damage that is soaked by Deterrence will prevent damage to your health, but it will still affect your Miasma shield. Therefore, if you have a green shield, you are probably safe not to use Deterrence.

Any of the three specializations will perform well on Malkorok, but because the fight is so short most favour Beast Mastery. Strong procs of Lock n' Load are also effective for the same reason. Of the three, Marksmanship benefits the least due to the short period of Careful Aim. 

I was playing BEAST MASTERY
(kill date stamp: September 12th)

Spoils of Pandaria is an Event boss. For this event, your raid must split into two groups and clear four rooms of stored boxes. Within each box there is an enemy, changing based on the theme of the room you are currently clearing and the size of the box. You must clear each room within a set amount of time (270s) or an explosion will go off and kill the raid: but you must do so without over whelming your group with too many boxes. Clearing a room is successful when you have killed enough enemies to empower the lever to the next room. Each lever requires 50 energy to empower, and each box provides different levels of energy. How you handle this will depend on your raid. Small boxes provide 1 energy; medium boxes provide 3; large boxes provide 14.

In normal mode you will most likely be sticking to your side of the Event room, meaning you will handle two rooms: one of each type. This means you need to know the specifics of both the Mogu and the Mantid boxes. To decipher which room is what, remember that Mogu boxes are imprinted with the blue Mogu symbol and the Mantid boxes are imprinted with the yellow Klaxxi symbol. There is a third type of box imprinted with a green Pandaren paw: there are two in each room, and inside of these are one of three types of Pandaren ghosts. When you kill them they will drop an orb that provides your group with a particular buff. The one you are interested in drops from the Windwalker, so make sure these orbs are being  clicked once the Pandaren are dead.

The fight is fairly straight forward and only involves a few gimmicks on the hunters part beyond KILL ON SIGHT.

Small crates will reveal small adds that aren't a large threat. You will generally open multiple at once, giving you a field day of AoE. When there is an Urn inside of a small crate, you should stop AoE and focus it down first.

Medium crates have slightly larger and more dangerous adds. These will usually be opened with small crates, and therefore any target in a medium crate will be your main target while you AoE and cleave the smalls. When a medium crate reveals an Anima Golem, you should stop and kill this immediately. Anima Golems will cast Matter Swap, spawning multiple red void zones on the ground increasing in number as the golem gets more casts off. If there is not a player standing inside of each void zone when the matter swap goes off, the raid will take massive AoE damage. Hunter mobility makes us a perfect candidate to ensure a body inside of a void zone, so get inside one.

Large crates contain the mini bosses for the rooms. Each room contains two. Mogu bosses will spawn statues which run out in a random direction and smash the floor: avoid these smashes as they'll deal damage and stun you. Each statue still alive will provide the Mogu boss with a stacking buff, causing him to deal more AoE damage to your group. Focus down the Mogu boss and suppress any statues if you have more than 3-4. These  can be easily handled by cleave damage off the main target.

Small crates are similar to the mogu small crates. Your "Urn" target on this side is an Amber-Encased Kunchong, as ignoring these will eat up space in your room with amber void zones.

Medium crates are slightly less annoying than Mogu, but this means it can be easy to open too many and become overwhelmed. Initially the Medium crates seem a none issue: and you can help keep them this way by using Tranquilizing Shot on Wind Wielders to remove their Enrage as well as on Amber Priests to remove their healing buff.

Large crates contain Mantid mini bosses. The Mantid mini boss will cast Set to Blow on players, sabotaging them with a package of bombs. Any player that has bombs strapped to them will explode after 15 seconds for massive amounts of damage PER BOMB still strapped to that player. This will likely kill them and anyone standing nearby. As a hunter, you can soak every stack of bomb strapped to you after the 15 second expiration with Deterrence. Watch your timer, move away from everybody, then soak it to avoid dropping bombs on the ground.

The most effective spec is the one that compliments the trouble your group is having the most: if your single target is fine, you are free to AoE suppress. If your AoE is fine, you should focus on sniping single target trouble spots. This makes both Survival and Beast Mastery good options. Survivals suppression AoE is particularly useful, as is Beast Mastery's Beast Cleave (granting you can get your targets clumped and your pet control is good). Marksman won't pull out the same DPS numbers as the other two, but can be just as - if not more - useful in a single target burst situation. Target swapping for Careful Aim can help whittle down tough targets to a point where they can be easily dispatched. If you are worried about Dire Beast not being able to get melee swings off, both Fervor and Thrill of the Hunt are excellent choices for burst control and AoE suppression.
Be warned that pets can get caught inside of boxes. This happening can be a disaster for Beast Mastery, so most will favour Survival. 

I was playing BEAST MASTERY
(kill date stamp: September 12th)

The final boss in the Underhold is Thok the Bloodthirsty, a large Devilsaur who escapes his confinement. You will go through two repeating phases: one where you fight Thok directly, and one where Thok chases you mercilessly.

In phase One Thok has a frontal cone and a tail swipe, so you will be grouped up along his sides similar to the original Onyxia. Whenever five (10m) or fifteen (25m) players drop below 50% health, Thok will stop phase one and begin Phase Two. Fearsome Roar will not hamper you, so Thok is a fantastic fight for hunters. Unlike casters, Phase One Roar will not deter you: and, unlike melee, the Phase Two chase will not deter you.

After Thok has begun phase two by entering Blood Frenzy, he will fixate a random target and move to devour them. Any player caught in the path of Thok will die similarly to the slugs in Throne of Thunder. To handle this, move slightly away from Thok before he casts the first Fixate, so that you have room to move if you are his first target. From then on, Fixate targets are random - but they favour ranged further away. Thus, you will likely never be chosen for another fixate, so long as you remain within firing distance of Thok and others are further out. If this is the case, simply kite Thok away and avoid other players. If another player is devoured while you are fixated, it is their fault, not yours, but it's always good to give them extra space. Disengage makes this easy. Jump shot to ensure your damage continues.

A jailer will spawn at the beginning of Phase Two, and Phase Two ends when the jailer has been killed, his key looted, and one of the three doors unlocked.

Each door contains a friendly NPC specializing in one of the three: Water, Poison or Fire. Whichever door you open determines what new ability Thok gains, as he will fixate on the friendly NPC and devour them (Kirby style).  As a hunter, none of these new abilities are particularly important for you and will be handled by the healers instead. If your poison stack is high, however, you should avoid leaving your healing circle to chase Thok until your stacks have been dispelled. If you leave your healers with a high poison stack to continue DPSing the dinosaur, you might die in the middle of nowhere.

You will continue these two phases until you either run out of cages to unlock or the boss dies.

As a single target encounter, all three specializations will do well. Despite the chase phase you can still manipulate your pet well enough to stay in range for most of the encounter, meaning Beast Mastery can do just as well as Survival or Marksmanship. Dire Beasts may miss a few swings if used during the butt end of Phase Two when Thok is fast, but this can be avoided with good timing. If the Beast Mastery pet and Dire Beast proves too much an issue for you, though, Survival or Marksmanship are a good second bet. The Marksman will still likely favour Dire Beast, however, so Survival would be the first logical step. Play whichever you play best.


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