I thought I would write a short series of posts highlighting some of the hunters abilities and how to use them. Hopefully, this will be useful to those beginning to get the most out of their hunter, and to people playing with hunters. We start with Misdirection.
Hunters learn the spell Misdirection from their trainer at level 70. Every hunter (level 70+) has access to it, and there is only one rank to learn.
The tooltip reads:
1. To reduce your aggro and increase the tanks aggro: In a group, instance or raid, when playing with a tank, I always try to cast misdirection on the tank before he starts a pull. This means that the threat from my first three shots on the target(s) will count for the tanks aggro and not mine, helping him build up aggro, and allowing me to start shooting straight away, without worrying about pulling aggro off him.
I also often use misdirection on the tank during a long boss fight, if I, or others, to seem to be creeping up the threat meter. This gives the tank a little more threat relative to me or to other high threat members of the party, helping him to maintain aggro. Although, I use feign death as well, if I can get away with a misdirection instead of the total aggro dump of feign death, I do so, as it is less of a break in the damage I am laying down.
Using Misdirection is particularly helpful in AOE fights. A lot of fights in raids and instances nowadays involve the tank(s) running in and gathering the mobs together, and the group AOEing them down. Sometimes it is hard for the tanks to maintain aggro on all the mobs, so Misdirect your Volley as often as you can. It doesn’t matter how many adds the Misdirected volley hits simultaneously, I believe all the first tick’s threat will be transferred to the tank, but once it has hit 3 adds it will fade, so it will usually be consumed on the first tick.
2. The hunter pull shot: Sometimes you will be asked to pull for your tank. You can use misdirection to pull the mobs onto your tank, even though it is you that fires the shot, the mobs will run for the tank. A good example of this is when a line-of-sight pull is needed for a caster. The tank can hide behind a handy wall, you misdirect onto the tank and then shoot at the caster. The caster will move towards the tank to get line of sight. This saves the tank having to run behind the wall while taking damage from the caster, having made the pull himself.
3. Misdirecting adds onto the tank: If you have a loose add, or adds spawning mid fight and running at the healers/squishes, use misdirection to help the tanks pick them up. In fights like Noth the Plaguebringer and Globbulus we often have a hunter assisting the off tank with the adds. The hunter can misdirect adds as they spawn onto the off-tank, and then help burn them down.
4. Maintaining pet aggro when soloing: I use Misdirection on my pet when I am soloing to help my pet maintain aggro. This is particularly important if I am AOE grinding, soloing in Surv or MM specs, or leveling a lower level pet.
How I Misdirection:
In a raid/group I set my focus target as my tank, or the person I will be misdirecting onto. A player can only be affected by one Misdirection at once, so if there is more than one hunter in the party, agree who will MD onto the main tank and who will MD onto the off-tank, if there is one.
A Focus Target is a second stored target. You can set a player or hostile target as your focus. As I said, I find this most useful to set it as my main MD target. To do this either right click on the players portait and choose focus, or make a simple focus macro, that you can press once the player is selected to set your focus:
I then have another macro that Misdirects onto my Focus:
/cast [target=focus,help][help][target=pet,exists,nodead] Misdirection
I stole this from someone else, after experimenting with MD macros to find one that would work in WOTLK. It is messy and I don’t understand it all, but it works.
The one below, does the same thing, looks neater and should work too:
/cast [target=focus,exists,nodead] Misdirection; [target=pet,exists,nodead] Misdirection
Scenario 1: So let us say my main tank is Entrigan. I select Entrigan and press my focus macro. He is now stored as my focus. I see his char icon halfway down the left half of my screen, as my focus target. Entrigan needs to be No. 1 on the aggro list for the Patchwerk fight. So, I target Patchwerk and hit my Misdirect Focus macro. Entrigan starts attacking and a second or two later so do I, knowing my first three shots threat will be transferrred to Ent, helping him build up the aggro.
Scenario 2: I am assigned to assist the off-tank, Soulsworn, on the adds in the Noth the Plaguebringer fight. Soul stands in the middle of the room, adds spawn from the bone piles at the back, and run towards the group in the far corner working on the boss. Soul and I have to grab the adds and make them beat on him instead of the healers. I set Soul as my focus. I MD onto Soul and then grab some adds and stick them on to him. As MD comes off cooldown, I can MD again once new adds spawn, MDing either single adds or using it to help me DPS down all the adds with volley, without being in danger of pulling them off Soul.
Scenario 3: The main tank dies near the end of the Maexxna fight. The off-tank, Haqq, who has been dealing with the spider adds, has to pick up the boss. Err, currently this is where I panic. I frantically look down my raid list trying to find Haqq’s name to click on it, set him as my focus and MD to him. The two hot keyed buttons are quick, it’s finding him or his name to click on that slows me down. As I was researching this post, I came across someone who made this suggestion. If you often have to change MD targets – hot key 2-3 macros like this:
/cast [target=Entrigan] Misdirection
/cast [target=Soulsworn] Misdirection
/cast [target=Haqq] Misdirection
I like this approach – it would allow me to switch MDs within a fight to help out the tank and off-tank gain aggro. I shall try this this week. See writing a blog, makes me a better hunter too :) Thanks to Resstealth and Drakier on the tkasomething forums for this one.
A little trick with MD: I didn’t tell my tank about this one :) (Nowadays on the Four Horseman fight in Naxx, Anelf and I are usually the two people who go around back and keep Lady Blaumeaux and Sir Zeliek amused, while the rest of the group deal with the other two), but before that I used to use MD to help out my tank when he failed to manage the switch between the Thane and the Baron. If you are familiar with the fight, the horsemen run to the 4 corners of the room. Two groups with tank, healer and dps work on the Thane and the Baron, switching between them when they have stacked 3-4 debuffs. To do this the tanks have to switch targets, running with their group to the new corner and taunting the target off the other tank and dragging the horseman back to his corner. When we were learning this fight, one of our tanks kept missing his target, meaning that the other tank ended up with both bosses on top of his group, too many debuffs and consequently a wipe. I tried MDing onto the tank to help him grab his target, but found that that wasn’t enough if he completely missed his taunt as well, given how much threat the other tank still had. But I found a neat trick with MD. I waited first to see if the tank successful grabbed his target, but if he didn’t I shot a Distracting Shot, which is the hunter taunt, onto the horseman (Distracting Shot no longer works with MD so I couldn’t do this onto the tank). The horseman then charged at me. I ran to the corner we needed to take him, away from the other tank, and then hit feign death. This gave my tank another change to pick him up and it worked like a dream. I felt smug – hunter saves the day :)