Another question courtesy of Vanyl:
We’re doing the Hodir fight and it has caused a lot of disquiet between melee and casters (particularly warlocks/mages and the rogues/death knights). It got really intense and has had both sides seeing red.
Is it fair to say that along with say XT, that Hodir is another example of a non-caster friendly fight or is the caster group really just not doing what they need to do yet?
My first few attempts on Hodir were DISASTROUS. Repeat: DISASTROUS. As in, finishing 12th or 13th in damage done. Keep in mind that I’m someone who led the charts in about 95% of our guild’s boss fights in Naxx, and who had been in the top-5 in just about every Ulduar fight, so my first thought was that this fight just sucked for casters.
But eventually you figure it out, and it actually turns out to be a pretty sweet deal for mages. Check out this screenshot from our Wow Web Stats damage report for the kill shot:
I’m not a tech wizard so hopefully you can see the numbers, especially the 58k arcane blast crit. I finished #1 in total damage on the fight, and a few other casters put up strong numbers (even though melee did occupy 4 of the top 6 spots), so it’s definitely possible for casters to excel in this fight.
So with that said, here are my tips for mages on dealing with Hodir:
Important Note: Everything written here applies to the 25-man, non-hard mode fight. In hard mode, you don’t have the NPC’s helping you, so that changes everything.
- Arcane is your friend. This fight is about movement, survivability, and RIDICULOUS, OUT-OF CONTROL BURST DPS. You do not have time to get into any kind of frostfire rotation, because you’re going to be moving very often. Arcane mages have always been (and still are) the absolute kings of controlled burst DPS, and this fight seems specifically tailored to them, for reasons outlined below.
- The NPC’s are the key to the fight, and you’ll want to take advantage of all three different kinds as much as possible. Let’s go through them:–The Mages: They drop toasty campfires near them, which prevent you from getting the nasty stacking frost debuff. These little guys are key because standing near a campfire allows you to stay stationary while casting, and which tacks on a debuff to all your spell casts that gradually increases Hodir’s spell damage taken. The campfires also break the other NPC’s out of ice, and thus freeing the NPC mages should be your guild’s first priority after every flash freeze. It should also be YOUR first priority to make sure you’re within range of a toasty campfire.–The Druids: They create little starlight beams that, if you stand in them, will dramatically increase your haste. Your top priority is still to stand near a campfire, but if one of these starlight beams is close enough, you definitely want to get into it.
–The Shaman: When freed, they cast a buff on someone that increases their critical strike damage 150%, and will spread itself to the six nearest players (within 5 yards). This is where it gets interesting: This buff is huge for mages, but it’s also huge for every other class, and since people tend to get spread out on this fight it’s sometimes tough to get. Our guild gave priority on this buff to melee, since they are naturally bunched together – but I was still able to wrangle a couple charges for myself in the kill shot attempt.
- So here’s the situation: For most of this fight, you will be running from icicles, running to toasty fires, running into starlights, and trying to get close to someone with the shaman’s buff. That is a heck of a lot of movement, and as we all know, movement is very bad for mages’ DPS. So, in order to perform on this fight, you need to make your stationary time count. Once you get near a toasty fire, get into your rotation as best as possible – but save your cooldowns for when you get the serious buffs. Remember, there might literally be a 15 second window for an arcane mage where you have:
-Arcane Power (20% damage increase)
-Icy Veins (20% casting speed increase)
-Toasty Fire (all spells doing extra damage and stacking the Singed debuff)
-Starlight (100% increased haste)
-Storm Power (150% increased critical strike damage)
You know what that equals? That’s right, 58K crits! Over and over and over again. I mean, if that doesn’t get you excited, then what will? Even without the cooldowns, I was still critting for a solid 40k when I got the Shaman’s Storm Power buff.
So basically, your goal on this fight is to maximize the burst damage you do while keeping yourself alive and keeping your mana pool high enough to support a crazy 15-second burst of damage. That’s not to say that you should stop DPS’ing when you don’t have the shaman buff – you absolutely should continue with your regular rotation – but you’ve got to make the most of those rare opportunities when all three buffs are available. Some of this is definitely luck, but proper positioning and sharp reactions are just as (or even more) important to success for a mage on Hodir.
Update 5/20: I know a lot of people argue that fire/arcane is the best spec for this fight, and maybe it is, but just to prove that arcane can perform perfectly fine:
Click the picture to see a full sized version. That’s 10K dps and 1 mil more damage than the next person!