Today I’m going to be going over how to optimize your DPS for heroic and normal encounters for Hellfire Citadel. I did one of these for HFC already when it first came out, but so much has changed since then that I could not leave my now-defunct article as my guide to HFC. So this is my new edition to cheesin’ to the top as a DPS warrior in HFC though I will warn you that Warriors are not as strong as they were in BRF, so prepare to adjust your expectations.
Before we begin, I will go over some brief stuff I always do in these kinds of articles. 1) This is not a guide to an entire encounter, this is a guide to min/maxing DPS. The only time I will mention mechanics are when you must manipulate or ignore them to maximize your DPS. 2) I’m going to assume you have access to your 4pc bonus and class trinket, legendary ring, discordant chorus, and empty drinking horn. It is now three months into HFC, you should have most of these by now. 3) Do your best to have a full rage bar, Recklessness, Avatar/Bloodbath, and 2nd pot ready for when you hit Execute phase. This requirement is not so strict on fights where you go Fury with Bladestorm, as you will want to maximize your cooldowns with Bladestorm. 4) Always use your own judgment as the final authority regarding how much you want to scumbag by ignoring mechanics. Being a scumbag is a spectrum, you can ignore some mechanics at the right time to deal more damage, or ignore all of them to deal as much as you can. However, doing these kinds of things can get you yelled at by your guild, or kicked out of pugs. Don’t be dumb. Alright, let’s start.
Hellfire Assault: Go Fury with Dragon Roar, Bladestorm, and Anger Management, equipping Discordant Chorus and Empty Drinking Horn. I’ll state this now so I don’t have to later; Fury spec should always take Sudden Death, no real reason to ever go anything else. You also want to use Glyph of Rude Interruption and maintain it as much as you can. Your general strategy here is to abuse Bladestorm. Pop all your stuff at the start of the fight, including ring, and Bladestorm the initial boss and her mobs. Then, try to have Recklessness up for every Bladestorm, and Bladestorm as often as you can. However, there are some caveats; you only Bladestorm when you can hit at least four things, and you save it for the ring. If some jerk is going to pop ring when you can’t Bladestorm at least four things, then just save it and hate life.
Iron Reaver: You can go either spec; this fight is kind of awkward for you regardless because of the air phase. If you believe RNGesus is on your side and that Ring will be up for Execute phase, then Arms would be great. In that case, go Sudden Death, Storm Bolt, Bloodbath, and either Anger Management (AM) or Siegebreaker. Whether you go AM or not depends on how long the fight is going to last. If it’s quick, just go Siegebreaker and make sure Recklessness is up for execute phase. Fel Reaver moves too much IMO for Ravager to always work 100%. If you are not comfortable with RNGesus taking the wheel, then go Fury with class trinket and Empty Drinking Horn, taking Avatar and Anger Management.
Kormrok: Go Fury with Bladestorm and Ravager while wearing class trinket and horn. Your main goal here is to get your retarded raid to stack up for hands (as they should be doing anyway), then place Ravager as Kormrok starts casting hands, then start Bladestorm a second after the cast finishes so it’s just starting when the hands spawn. If your raid is low on AoE, then you can probably pop your 2nd potion with it as well, but you are probably not going to have the ring for it since everyone is a “ring hog” about it. What you do after that will depend on your raid DPS since you likely won’t have a 2nd hands phase if your raid’s DPS is really good. In that case, just cast Ravager on cd, or delay it briefly if you can line it up with your Execute phase cooldowns. Not much else to say here, this fight entirely relies on how much damage you can pump into hands.
Hellfire High Council: Go Arms with Taste for Blood, Bloodbath, and Anger Management while wearing your class trinket and Unending Hunger (you never wear anything else as Arms). Your primary goal is going to be to set up your best Execute phase for Gurtogg because you will be able to cleave your executes onto Blademaster, increasing your damage by 50%, which is absolutely massive. So you know the deal; have max rage, 2nd pot, Bloodbath, and Colossus Smash (CS) ready for when Gurtogg hits 20%. Then, Sweeping Strikes, CS, cooldowns, and go to town. Also pray you have a ring back up for that, and also pray you get Fel Rage. If you didn’t get Fel Rage it is not the end of the world since you can still top your meters, but you won’t place high. After your Execute fest on Gurtogg, try to snap Executes on Blademaster’s clones when he disappears, and make sure you have your cooldowns up for Blademaster’s and Dia’s Execute phases.
Kilrogg: Are you going down? Yes -> Either spec. No -> Whine until you can. If you are going down, you want to be going down for either the 2nd or 3rd vision; whichever will give you the most exposure time to Execute phase. You can either go Fury to bank on fat Bladestorm into execute phase combo, or Arms to just get massive 2 million execute crits, both are viable. If you go Arms, you want your other DPS partner to have strong AoE to make up for your terrible aoe. For arms, go Sudden Death, Bloodbath, and Ravager, or Anger Management if you need it to have Recklessness/Bloodbath up for Execute. If you are Fury, go Bladestorm and Anger Management with class trinket and Drinking Horn. Bladestorm any time you have two or more things to hit, and make sure it is up when you go into visions. Save Bladestorm while in visions for the 3rd or 4th demon wave, preferably starting when the entire 3rd wave is present and 4th wave is coming. Regardless of spec, once you come out, you do your Execute thing, hopefully with ring up if your raid isn’t a bunch of derps.
Gorefiend: Either spec here. If you think your group will have feast active during most of execute phase and you will have a ring for it, go Arms. Regardless, the name of the game is maximizing your cooldowns for feasts. If you go, Fury, use Avatar and Anger Management, equipping class trinket, and horn. If you go Arms, use Sudden Death, Bloodbath, and Anger Management. I’ll also note that you can sometimes have an add up going into feast, so if that happens as Arms then just Rend it and cleave onto it with Sweeping Strikes until it hits 20%, then cleave Executes onto Gorefiend with it.
Iskar: Definitely go Fury with Bladestorm and Ravager. Iskar is wrapped up nice and tightly with a bow just for warriors. The spawning of adds happens spaced out enough that you will have Ravager and Bladestorm ready for it every time. If your DPS is low enough, you can even squeeze in a good ole’ single-target Ravager as well. If the adds live long enough to get some Meat Cleaves off, then go class trinket + horn. If not, chorus + horn. Unending Hunger and Drinking Horn are also very viable here. Obviously you want to ring up for any packs if possible, but you want to prioritize the first pack in particular for ring and 2nd pot because it spawns the most adds. Straightforward fight otherwise, and don’t mess up the ball.
Zakuun: Either spec here. Kind of a patchwork fight, but getting a seed will make your DPS go down by a decent chunk. For Fury, go Avatar and Anger Management while equipping class trinket and horn. For Arms go Sudden Death, Storm Bolt, Bloodbath, and Anger Management. Ravager or Siegebreaker can be viable if you find you cannot squeeze in an extra Bloodbath. Normally, I’d tell you to just ignore seed and keep DPSing, but you simply cannot do that in this case. The seed will literally wipe your raid in an instant, and your raid will know it was you. If you get Befouled though just walk off a bit to the side away from as many people as possible and just wait for it to get cleared while still DPSing.
Xhul: Either spec here. If you think the adds will live long enough for full Bladestorms, then go Fury with Dragon Roar, Bladestorm, and Anger Management while equipping class and horn. If not, Arms with Taste for Blood, Storm Bolt, Bloodbath, and Anger Management. Regardless of whichever spec you choose, run the Rude Interruption glyph and interrupt imps to maintain your buff. If you are Fury, you want to use your second potion with Bladestorm on the last Imp pack that spawns going into Execute phase, that way you can benefit from pot + Bladestorm and pot + Executes as much as possible. Regarding 2nd pot for Arms, if you can get the stars to align with all of your cooldowns + ring on some sweet Execute + Sweeping Strikes cleave from the add onto Xhul, then aim for that. Depending on your group, you might be able to not have to run out with Fel Surge if you have people clearing fire frequently. Play it by ear as far as whether or not to run out.
Socrethar: You are going to want Arms for this, although Fury can be viable. Take Taste for Blood, Dragon Roar, Bloodbath, and Anger Management. The reason Arms is good here is because you have frequent adds spawning that no one really focuses, and you can interrupt their casts for constant Rude Interruption buff. The most important part of the fight is Execute, where you want to scream at a Death Knight to Death Grip an add into melee range. Once that is there, then blow everything to get some dank Execute cleave onto the add with Sweeping Strikes. If done correctly, this will get you high on the charts. Fury is viable, but there are just too many instances for Arms to shine to really pass it up in my opinion.
Tyrant: Definitely Arms, no question. Pick Taste for Blood, Dragon Roar, Bloodbath, and Anger Management. There is another add up for almost the entire fight that has a lot of health, so multi-Rending and Sweeping Strikes are going to put in work for you. Try to have Bloodbath up for as many add Executes as possible, as Sweeping Strikes + Execute is going to give you a fat lead in the early and mid-game. For phase three, keep Rend up on Tyrant while focusing the sovereign, since you still get delicious Mortal Strike resets and rage from the Rend ticks despite her taking 90% less damage from them. Once the add is dead in phase three, go absolute ham. You want everything up for this, as she takes a boat load more damage during that time. You will be getting insane Execute crits, which should clinch you an easy top three spot on the meters, if not number one.
Mannoroth: Either. For Arms, go Sudden Death, Dragon Roar, Bloodbath, and you can go either Ravager or Siegebreaker (personal choice). If you go Arms, do your best to use Sweeping Strikes cleave onto the infernals and imps as often as possible. If you go, Fury, pick up Dragon Roar, Bladestorm or Avatar, and Anger Management while wearing class trinket and horn. For the Bladestorm style, you always save Bladestorm until an imp pack spawns, then try to Bladestorm on top of as many imps and infernals as you can while still hitting Mannoroth. If you go Avatar, then just try to position yourself so you can Meat Cleave onto imps and infernals.
Archimonde: You can go either spec, but I prefer Fury because the Doomguard add dies quickly for my raid since we have a lot of hunters and rogues. If you go, Fury, take Dragon Roar, Avatar, and Anger Management while equipping horn and class trinket. Do not switch off of Archi, not even for Doomfire, because doing so means dropped haste stacks, which is a big loss in DPS. Just Meat Cleave onto the adds, let other classes do hard switches since they are better suited for it. If you go Arms, take Dragon Roar, Bloodbath, and Anger Management. Your main goal as arms is going to be to Rend Archi and the Doomguard add, then go to town with Sweeping Strikes and resetting Mortal Strikes. When the Doomguard add is about to die, make a quick switch and get some big 40 rage Executes off. You can even game it a little bit by using Colossus Smash on the Doomguard and before you know it, it will hit 20%. During the final phase, just Rend as many infernals as you can and try to put Sweeping Strikes onto them. Yes, yes, I know they need to die as quick as possible, but we are cheesing DPS here not being good raiders. That massive influx of rage will fuel 40 rage Executes, and if you are cleaving them onto infernals with Sweeping Strikes, you will see a big DPS gain.
There you go, my advice for HFC. Just a side note, I do not recommend doing this stuff for Mythic, and I do recommend looking up guides or seeking advice from more progressed players if you are doing Mythic. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!