Anelf did an excellent job on his resto druid Naxx guide. I thought it might be useful to those of you who are raiding with a hunter for the first time, to see the hunter perspective. I will stick to the same format, so you can compare the two. Some of the hunter information will also be relevant to other ranged DPS classes, although hunters bring some special tricks that are all their own – notably Misdirection and Aspect of the Wild.
A quick note about pet control. I have pet attack and pet follow hot keyed. On the trash in Naxx, I usually have my pet on defensive (except in the military quarter). Most of the trash pulls are aoe fights, putting him on defensive lessens his downtime, meaning he will move to the next mob when his target is dead when I am volleying, rather than returning to my side and having to be sent in again. I have him on passive for fights when I need to pull him back to heal or keep him out of aoe damage for portions of the fight.
Part 1 – Arachnid Quarter
This quarter probably has some of the least interesting fights for a hunter, but is is where most raids start, and the final boss, Maexxna drops the lovely Wraith Spear.
I used to love this fight, before, that is, they changed Aspect of the Pack to make it a raid wide buff. In those good old days, Anelf and I would be in the same group as the tank, with 2 other raiders who could handle being dazed while under Aspect of the Pack, if hit by a scarab (i.e. not the off-tank). During Locust Swarm I would hit Aspect of the Pack and the three of us would kite the bug around the side of the room. Now that Aspect of the Pack dazes the entire raid if they are damaged, we no longer do that, and my job is that of the rest of the ranged DPS – DPS the boss until the Crypt Lord add appears, kill the add (which the off tank is tanking), then return to the boss. For this fight, I have the off tank as my focus, and use my mis-direction macro to misdirect the Crypt-Lord add to the off tank as soon as it appears, to help him establish aggro. I may also use misdirect and a volley to throw any lose scarabs onto the off-tank if we have too many of them beating on the healers and DPS. Because I am not using Misdirect onto the main tank, I have to watch my aggro more than normal, and throw in a couple more feign deaths than I might otherwise.
Because of the nature damage during locust swarm, it is useful (although not essential in a well geared group) for a hunter to use Aspect of the Wild during this portion of the fight, if no shaman totem is used. If more than one hunter is in the raid, discuss who this will be. It should either be the hunter with the lowest DPS or the hunter who does not have talents/glyph in improved Aspect of the Hawk/Dragonhawk.
Throughout this fight I have my pet on passive. When Locust Swarm hits, I call him to heel or set him on the Crypt Lord adds. He should not be attacking the boss during locust swarm – the aoe damage could kill him, and his body spawn scarabs.
Grand Widow Faerlina
For the standard fight, focus your DPS and your pet’s DPS on the boss, until she goes into a frenzy, and you are told which of the adds to switch to. Kill the named add (the raid leader should have marked the adds, and should tell the raid preferably just before frenzy hits, or just as, “kill green triangle”, etc.) The adds die so quickly its probably not worth switching your pet, leave it on the boss, just switch yourself. Then return to DPSing down the boss, until the next frenzy and you are told to kill the next add. Do not do any damage on the adds at any other time, they need to stay alive and they have little health, so don’t think you are helping by aoeing near them or dotting them or setting your pet on them. The boss hits really hard during her frenzy; in 10-man, killing the add dispels the frenzy.
Don’t stand in the firestorm (or Anelf will yell at you). I know you have sniper training and want to stand still, but you can take a couple of secs to strafe out of the fire without damaging your DPS too much.
Aspect of the Wild is useful as she uses poison, although you can get away without if you are a well geared group and someone is dispelling the poison.
Usually on Maexxna I am assigned the role of freeing people from the Web Wraps. Throughout the fight, Maexxna periodically wraps a player in webbing and throws them against the wall. To free them you must target the wrapping and attack it. It makes sense to have a ranged DPS on web wrap duty as they don’t have to run so far to get to the wrap (although a DPS warrior with a charge could work well too). I would think a mage is best suited to this role, with blink to get in range of the wraps quickly, and some quick burst damage to free people quickly. Boomkins are also good because of their high ranged burst damage. Hunter’s are probably third choice, but more important is someone who has good situational awareness, reactions, and target switching abilities. Deadly Boss Mods will help telling you when the web wrap is coming and who is wrapped, but you need to note where the person is thrown, along the wall, and get to them quickly (they take damage while they are wrapped; if you leave them in the wrap they will die). You also need a back-up, in case the person dealing with the web wraps is wrapped themselves.
When you are not dealing with the web wraps concentrate on the boss. Have your pet on passive and a way of stopping your own attacks (I have a macro that targets myself /target Tinvuiel) hot-keyed in case I need to stop DPSing and auto-shooting quickly. At 34% we stop all DPS (this includes stopping auto-shooting and recalling your pet to your side – so much easier for a mage to stop DPSing). Try to ignore the little spiderlings, and hope the off-tank and the person assigned to help the off-tank (which will sometimes be the person also dealing with the web wraps) are doing their jobs and wiping them up. Be ready to take a health potion, or whatever you have towards the end of the fight, when the healers are concentrating on keeping the tank up. If you are very quick with a misdirection onto the off-tank you may help save a wipe during the frenzy phase if the tank dies. Using Aspect of the Wild is very useful to help the tank, who is being sprayed with poison.
Hopefully, you now have bug all over your boots and a Wrath Spear on your back. Next stop the Plague Quarter – can you dance?