With the launch of 6.2 and the release of Hellfire Citadel, people are most likely going to be pugging normal and even heroic HFC groups for some awesome loot. Many of those people will probably be Warriors expecting greatness since the sims said Warriors are OP. But, many probably do not know how to achieve it. A lot of information is up in the air, and those aforementioned Warrior pugs are more than likely scratching their heads, wondering how they can live up to the sims’ view of being OP. Have no fear, Jaybee is here, and I have fully cleared the raid so I can tell you what to do to get to the promised land of being OP. Come along as I teach you how to “get good” and “cheese” to #1 DPS on each HFC fight: Hint, it’s mostly by pressing Bladestorm at a certain time or rolling your face on the keyboard!
OK first off, if you are a good little overachiever, you’re probably wondering what spec to rock for each fight because you’ve mastered them both in order to be the best … right? But, I am going to tell you right off the bat that it’s a bit complicated, and that you should just go Fury. The “long and skinny” of it is that you can go Fury for almost every single fight and do very well for yourself. Arms? Not so much. With the nerf of the Tier 17 4pc bonus, combined with just general scaling problems, the spec is on hard times until you get the Tier 18 4pc. At that point Arms becomes God’s gift to Warriors… until Fury gets gear, at which point (pt 2. electric boogaloo) Fury puts Arms in the dirt in almost every fight but Cleave. If you are reading this article, you probably don’t have access to the kind of HFC gear that makes Arms worth using. So, for the sake of reaching as many people as possible, I am going to cover Fury almost exclusively, and assume that you have Tier 17 4pc and an on-use trinket (preferably the Vial).
Disclaimer to save my skin and keep me guilt-free: This is not a guide on how to be the ‘boy scout’ raider; this is a guide on how to deal the most DPS you can. If you want to read and understand each mechanic within a fight, I recommend looking elsewhere. I will only mention mechanics where they need to be manipulated, ignored, or adhered to in order to deal maximum DPS. Do not get mad at me if your raid leader booted you because you did the stuff I am about to mention. The Cheeser Spectrum ranges from slightly cheesy to dangerously cheesy. To be a “Scum-lord Cheeser” you need to be smart enough to recognize when to back off and when to go hard.
With that in mind, let’s get cheesy.
Hellfire Assault: Run Dragon Roar, Bladestorm, and Anger Management. The trick to winning here is to make sure your Bladestorm hits as many targets with each spin as you can, and to constantly spend rage so Anger Management gets Bladestorm back faster. You do not want to use Bladestorm just to use it. You are wanting at least four or more targets up when you use it (but three can be acceptable if you have been holding onto it a while). Start the fight with pre-pot, Recklessness, and your on-use trinket popped; Bladestorm the mini-boss and her adds. After that, you are mostly just looking for any opportunity to Bladestorm a group of four or more adds at once. Do not recklessly save your on-use trinket for that perfect 8+ mob Bladestorm, it is not going to happen often. Be realistic, and do not be afraid to use your trinket with your Bladestorm without Recklessness if you get a sweet 4+ add pack. Since this is a guide to being deliciously cheesy, you are going to ignore the Fel-Infused Siege Weapons and just constantly AoE the adds. Let the ranged run the ammo since they are suited for that stuff, and you doing it would take you away from your precious adds. Prioritize the Felcasters though, since that is the least you can do while ignoring mechanics like a jerk.
Iron Reaver: Run Storm Bolt, Avatar, and Anger Management. Your experience may vary here, but if you have any really good ranged DPS, they will most likely put you in the dirt since you don’t have the awesome HFC loot that Fury needs in order to be good on single target. If you aren’t top 3 (or even top 5, you slacker) then whine in raid/Vent about how the tanks weren’t swapping aggro properly, and you lost a lot of up-time when the Reaver was running to a tank that ran out for artillery. Also, tell them you got no BT crits or Bloodsurge procs.
Kormrok: Here we go my child, this is where you get to shine. Run Dragon Roar, Bladestorm, and Ravager (yes I said Ravager). Your path to glory is to Bladestorm one side of the hands, and Ravager the other. The key is to put Ravager down about two seconds before the hands spawn, and position yourself on the other side of it so your Bladestorm + Ravager covers the entire area. This is where Fire Mages and other AoE classes will hate you because your AoE is going to span the entire hands while theirs is restricted. This is because the raid has to do a ‘soft stack’ of clumping up, but staying four yards away from one another. Obviously, save your cool-downs for the hands, and pop your potion on whatever pack of hands you are going to have both Recklessness and trinket for. Do not mess with the runes, those are for the ranged. Brag to your guildies/pugs about how awesome your DPS is, and if they call you out for padding, ask them why they are mad at you for using the tools Blizzard gave you.
Hellfire High Council: This is the only fight I’m going to tell you to specifically go Arms for, since I am assuming you do not have Tier 18 4pc; so pick up Taste for Blood, Dragon Roar, Bloodbath, and Ravager. Your strategy is most likely going to be to tank Jubeithos and Gurtogg together and Dia out by herself. Your big money shot is going to be using Execute on Gurtogg with Colossus Smash and with all of your cool-downs active. So, maintain Rend on Jubei and Gurt the entire fight, keep Sweeping Strikes active, and do your usual Arms rotation. Wait for Execute phase, and pray that you get targeted by Gurtogg for Fel Rage (for that dank damage increase). When Gurtogg reaches 20%, make sure you have 120 Rage saved, along with your Colossus Smash, on-use trinket, Recklessness, and 2nd Potion ready. Pop all of that and go to town with Sweeping Strikes active (this is very important). This massive influx of Execute damage should put you in the top 3, if not at #1. The rest of the fight kind of sucks for Arms since you still cannot tank Dia close to Jubei. So, when Jubei goes into clones, just get off some fat 40 rage Executes to make sure your DPS doesn’t become poop. Repeat the same steps for Dia and Jubei. If you lose, whine about how your DPS would’ve been better if Gurtogg had given you the buff and not someone else.
Kilrogg Deadeye: For this boss, you can run Arms or Fury. But, the decision is going to depend on your raid’s overall DPS. Run Dragon Roar, Avatar, Anger Management for Fury; Dragon Roar, Bloodbath, and Ravager for Arms. To cheese this fight (as either spec) your goal is going to be to go into the first and third Vision of Death (tell your raid lead you are going in, then go in regardless even if he tells you no) and take advantage of the damage increasing buff. If you are Arms, for your first vision just do fat 40 rage Executes on the adds with Sweeping Strikes up. Where your raid’s overall DPS comes in is what percentage health Kilrogg will be at when you come out of the third vision; you want to come out of the third vision with Kilrogg at or below 30% health, because you are going to use Execute combined with Visions buff to cheese. If you are Fury, then your damage is less reliant on Execute, and you just pop cool-downs for both visions and go to town (using second pot on execute-phase vision). If Kilrogg won’t be around for the execute phase after the third vision go Fury; and if he will, go Arms and dare any of your peasant guildies/pugs to keep up with your 1.5m execute crits.
Gorefiend: Run Storm Bolt, Avatar, and Anger Management. Start the fight off with pre-pot, Recklessness, and Avatar, and keep an eye on Gorefiend’s Energy. When Gorefiend reaches zero energy, he starts doing Feast of Souls, which makes him take 100% more damage. I just said, “Take 100% increase damage” and your Scum-Lord brain already knows what to do, and I love it. Obviously, you are going to want your cool-downs up for every feast. With Anger Management, and the natural flow of the fight, you will have Avatar and Recklessness for each feast; although sometimes they will be on cool-down for 20 more seconds or so when the feast starts. Don’t panic! The feast lasts one minute. If you are truly fortunate, you will get a feast for an Execute phase, in which case you will put your friends in the dirt. If you aren’t top 5, complain about how you had to switch a lot for adds and got sent into the stomach more times than you’d like.
Shadow-Lord Iskar: Run Dragon Roar, Bladestorm, and Ravager (yes I said Ravager, damn it, I’m serious). Like the hands in Kormrok, you are going to be cheesing the add-spawn parts of the fight. Pre-pot for the pull, but do not waste your cool-downs because Iskar is going to ‘hide’ for about 30 or 45 seconds into the fight. When he ‘hides’, he spawns a ton of adds, and this is when you strike. Pop all of your cool-downs (and your second pot for the first pack because it has the most adds), throw Ravager out, and Bladestorm. To be extra cheesy ‘cook’ your Tier 17 4pc buff a bit by activating Recklessness once Iskar disappears so that your Crit/Atk Speed buff stacks up some while your tank is wrangling the adds. Depending on your raid’s DPS, you should have enough time to throw out a Ravager for single target damage between add packs, so do it if you can. If you are not top 5, complain in raid/Vent about how Bladestorm scales terribly and that everyone else’s AoE actually scales.
Socrethar the Eternal: I’m gonna tell you straight up that this fight is horrible for DPS; you should just watch Netflix on your other monitor while doing the fight. This is because someone is going to go into the construct, most likely a tank, and the construct is then going to carry your DPS on Socrethar. This leaves you squabbling with the other plebs for whose DPS is the best of the worst. If you still insist on min/maxing such a terrible fight, take Dragon Roar, Avatar, Anger Management, and make sure you have a cool-down up for each Dominator that spawns. Add priority is Dominator > Shadowcaller > Socrethar. Let the ranged kill the dumb ghosts. Run Glyph of Rude Interruption because you can interrupt the Shadowcallers.
Fel Lord Zakuun: Run Storm Bolt, Avatar, and Anger Management. It’s a single target fight so the only way you are going to cheese is by praying to RNGesus for Bloodsurge procs and Bloodthirst crits, and he is not going to answer you anyway. Save second pot for execute phase, and make sure you have Recklessness/Avatar for it as well. Don’t do swirls, since you might have to get off the boss for that. If you get beaten by some pleb DPS like ranged or DK, just whine in raid/Vent about how RNG screwed you over and favored them.
Xhul’horac: Run Dragon Roar, Bladestorm, Anger Management, and the Glyph of Rude Interruption. Your main goal here is to Bladestorm the boss, Imp pack, and mini-boss together. But, that might be hard sometimes if your tank sucks at picking up threat and tanking them together (so whine at him). Start the fight with pre-pot, but not cool-downs, and wait until Xhul phases into flame and see if he casts Fel Surge on you. If he does, throw yourself off the side of the platform and curse RNGesus because he won’t let you be. If he doesn’t, then turn on all of your cool-downs and Bladestorm the boss plus the first Imp pack (plus mini-boss if RNGesus favored you and spawned it near the boss). It’s OK to use your on-use trinket for Bladestorm even if Recklessness is still on CD. During the void phase, try to also Bladestorm any Unstable Voidfiends that come near melee range to increase your cheesiness. Always interrupt the Imps as well for your dank damage increase. If you are not top 3 DPS at the end of the fight, whine in raid/Vent about how you got Fel Surge 5 times and that your friends got lucky.
Tyrant Velhari: You are probably thinking this is a good fight for Arms, but you’d be mistaken (unless you have Tier 18 4pc, then go for it). This is because there is a lot of time between adds being up, so you cannot take advantage of multi-rending and cleaving (once again this doesn’t matter if you have Tier 18 4pc). So go Fury, with Dragon Roar, Avatar, and Anger Management. This is your typical single target fight, except it is interrupted by adds that have to be focused down and killed. It’s a boring fight to be honest and kind of hard to cheese without your Tier 18 4pc for Arms. Don’t feel bad if you don’t win this one.
Mannoroth: This is a pretty good fight for you. Run Dragon Roar, Avatar, Anger Management, and the Glyph of Rude Interruption. The Imps on this fight die really fast, so you are going to want to watch animations and ‘pre-load’ your Meat Cleaver stacks so you can instantly get off a fat 4+ target Raging Blow. You are also running Rude Interruption so you can interrupt the imps’ cast, and the imps constantly spawn until the last phase. If you can, try to pre-load a two stack Meat Cleaver and walk near Infernals for a two-target Raging Blow; as doing this a few times over the fight is decent. Other than that, this is a pretty simple fight, just a long one with many mechanics (that you are going to ignore). You can double charge and heroic leap each Shadowforce by the way, so do so.
Archimonde: Very similar to Mannoroth in that you have sporadic add packs spawning that you can’t really take advantage of with Bladestorm. Run Dragon Roar, Avatar, Anger Management, and the Glyph of Rude Interruption. Try to pre-load a four stack Meat Cleaver so that you can get a sick 4+ target Raging Blow off on the hounds when they spawn in Phase three, since other classes who don’t have to spec a talent to do good AoE are gonna kill them quickly. If you pay proper attention to fight timers and prepare for add packs with pre-loaded Meat Cleavers, you can do very well here. You can also do it the old-fashioned way by cleaving with Fury if your ranged aren’t going ham, but I recommend pre-loading so you take advantage of them regardless. Get as many Executes off on the Doomguard and Chaos Spirit as you can, and try to pool a bit of a rage a few seconds before they hit 20%. Other than little things like that, this is an imperator fight, wherein you are simply tested on your ability to adhere to mechanics (booooo) over a long period of time without messing up. So if you can make it through this fight without rage-quitting from boredom, pray that RNGesus loves you enough to give you a Worldbreaker!
All in all, HFC is pretty decent for Warriors, and it will only get better for us as we get gear (we are OP after all, Simcraft said so). While I did write this guide to legitimately help people who may struggle with finding optimal ways to DPS within brand new content they haven’t seen, proper research into the entire fight is just as. Smart players who master their class are able to look at a fight, its phases, and its mechanics, and see where they can manipulate or take advantage of specific things to tweak out every bit of DPS they can. Being a Mythic-raiding all-star is about gaining a series of small increases over the course of the entire fight, so that at the end of the fight it amounts to an extra 4-6k extra DPS. This guide sought to help you take advantage of some of those without having the requirement of understanding the entire fight. What I’m laboring, painfully and terribly, to say is that this guide is a decent place to start, but not the best place to finish. Use this as a rough skeleton, and build upon it with proper understanding and knowledge of both your class and the encounters, so you can have a fully fleshed out idea of how to succeed. Being the best is an ongoing process, so stay hungry and keep learning. But also… stay cheesy.