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Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

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Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby aggixx » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:34 pm

Please use this thread to discuss the Xhul'horac encounter in Hellfire Citadel. As always, please specify raid difficulty when discussing strats - a Heroic tactic may be completely unfeasible in Mythic.
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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Tumpor » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:19 am

Killed him on heroic yesterday. Fairly good fight for ferals, it just gets a bit chaotic so you have to keep a calm mind and execute the mechanics properly. Displacer Beast is great for carrying out the debuffs but be careful, you can jump off the platform. Boss uptime can be almost 100%. Once per phase when the big add spawns the fight turns into 2 target cleave. Depending on how fast the smaller adds die in your raid Thrash them and if everything is stacked it's probably even worth it to swipe (1 boss + 1 big add + 3 small adds).

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Tinderhoof » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:39 pm

Add count varies based on raid size. With 24 people in heroic Las night we had 4 imps per spawn.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby minuï » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:30 pm

just kill him with 3 imps...i ve not thrash and swipe and prefer focus mono with rake and shred....i ve been last cac on damage on them. maybe swipe was better. incapaciting roar doesn't work but typhoon works perfectly :)

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby CowPond » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:52 pm

Heroic last night I pretty much just kept rip+rake on Xhul and miniboss with thrash on adds. I learned to pool some energy for an immediate thrash when the imps spawned. I felt if I didn't thrash as soon as they popped it wasn't worth. I also tried raking some imps but not worth it for me but I def think throwing a rake on a straggling imp as you run by is worth it. Especially in last phase if you have to move boss and imps are getting spread out, rake all 3-4 and run back to boss. I had time to use 3 sets of 3min cds, 1.pull 2.2nd mini boss 3. sub 20%. This is a great fight for feral and I really enjoy the hectic energy and dot management.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Zarzul » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:17 am

Any good tips/info here for mythic mode ?

my plan is to keep rake/rip up, on big adds and boss, and stay out of shit on ground :)

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Karyy » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:21 am

Soul cap makes seeing where the voidfiends are going pretty hard, might be worth investigating disabling the effect. Interrupt whenever possible, and don't be the guy that blinks off the edge (because there's always one!). You might be able to soak black holes w/ bear form and SI (for empowered?) but I haven't had the opportunity to try it.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Zarzul » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:26 am

Karyy wrote: don't be the guy that blinks off the edge (because there's always one!)


bah two time i did that :/

but thx for sharing

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Ehrenfailed » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:20 pm

anyone got some trinket suggestions for mythic? I thought about going blademaster/soul capacitor

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby claircy » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:14 pm

Ehrenfailed wrote:anyone got some trinket suggestions for mythic? I thought about going blademaster/soul capacitor


I think anything is good, I used seed + soul cap on my kill and ended up doing 5.5 mill dmg to the imps which is decent for a feral imo. If I had mirror of the blademaster I'd most likely use it instead of soul cap just because it annoys me to get procs right when im running with fel surge.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby zedinsky » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:27 pm

seed+capa is very nice for the last sub 20% push, mirror+capa for the most overall damage and even seed+mirror could work, if you find yourself having to cancel multiple capa procs when targeted by a fel surge

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Ehrenfailed » Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:25 pm

Well thx guys, I guess I will have to see how the encounter works for our setup to decide which trinkets I should equip.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Bluewulf » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:15 am

I don't think mirror is necessarily going to bring you the most damage. I've managed to do really well with soul cap and seed. Seed is really nice since you can get bleeds on pretty much everything.
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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Amitty » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:30 pm

Both Seed and Mirror are pretty decent, but not getting Fel Surge (or 8) is pretty much the biggest DPS gain on this fight. :P

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Tinderhoof » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:16 pm

While Soul Cap may provide highest DPS I believe taking it for progression is a really bad idea. The emphasis on this fight is execution of mechanics, and timely killing of priority targets. When Imps need to die, they need to die right away. Having a Soul Cap proc during imps may boost your damage on Xhul, but it hurts the rest of the raid. Same thing if you have to run out for Fel Surge. Sure you can trigger the proc early, but you still lost it's potential. Mirror says in place even when you have to run out. I wouldn't recommend using Soul Cap until you have the fight on farm. Mirror is far better for dealing with the adds and you have a choice when it procs.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Kojiyama » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:43 pm

Honestly, I don't think Feral is really not good enough of an option on the imps for it to be a major concern. Most of your potential Imp damage will be from Mirror, which is not affected by Soul Capacitor.

Although I agree with you that Xhul is an execution fight, there is a large concern on progression of running out of time/soaks/platform space toward the end of a fight.

Obviously, this may be slightly different if your group struggles with Imp damage but any group with a grips and a decent combo of 2-3 Warlocks/Rogues/Warriors/Elemental, they will wreck the imps before you can get more than a few Swipes off anyway.

I would also argue that if Imps are dying fast enough that Soul Capacitor isn't hitting them, it doesn't really matter anyway.

I think Mirror is good enough on the Imps that it is worth having, but I would not drop Soul Capacitor on this fight just because of Imp damage. Feral's sustained boss damage--as well as virtual invincibility in the final burn phase--is the largest thing they bring to the fight, especially since the multi-target cleave early on is very strong post-hotfix and having cooldowns for the final phase burn is one of the most important parts of the fight.

In regard to the Seed vs. Mirror: in our kill this week, Mirror was 7.4% of my damage, even holding my Mirror for the second Imp spawn wave. It is very unlikely that Seed is going to be able to compete with that. It also effectively doubles/triples damage on the boss due to the shared health pool in the first part of the fight. Unlike our normal Swipe/Thrash damage, Mirror can actually contribute on Imp waves pretty reasonably, so I think it is the right choice here for both execution and overall DPS.

You typically want to use your first Mirror about 10 seconds before the Imp spawn timer to help with the alignment on the next spawn waves. The spawn timer on Imps is faster than 1 minute, so it will eventually desync... however, using it early will give you a number that can be used on time. You can then hold the Mirror for the next timer when they get too far out of sync.

(Also, regarding the Fel Surge comment above...to be honest, Feral probably loses the least of most classes. Unlike a lot of similar mechanics, Fel Surge duration is very short and with Displacer Beast you can easily get back to the boss within the 3 second window. This is a pretty minimal DPS loss for us unless it happens during Incarnation...which really blows!)
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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Tinderhoof » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:31 pm

All of the situations you are bringing up tend to fall under repeat kills and not progression:
- Imps dying super fast
- Having all of your AoE classes still alive later in the fight when empowered chains become a factor
- Having enough space to drop fire and return to boss damage with in 3 seconds (this I got to see to believe)

First kills and progression rarely have the above things going for them. You lose people and Imps die slower. Sure Feral is really bad at killing imps using AoE. But we can swap directly on to them and do damage along with several interrupting options. Typhoon + UV is a poor mans grip which also will delay casting. All of these things should be taken into account if you are going to be helping your raid and focusing on doing mechanics properly. I still feel that Soul Cap is not worth using on progression because consistency is much better than max possible dps.

I like the flexibility of Seed and Mirror to be able to keep the multi target bleeds going on both of the big adds (hate their tiny ass hit boxes though) and the ability to do damage even when having to run out. It also ensures that you will have the energy required during the full duration of Incarnation to spot stun imps when you start getting closer to 30%. Don't ever make assumptions that DK's or your big AoE's will still be alive in sufficient force for your first kill. Things never end that smoothly.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Nayni » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:01 am

If you're purely talking progression, you shouldn't take a Feral in the first place.

Other then that Mirror is the best option by far. Even as rogue mirror does about 10-15% of my damage, to put this in perspective, blade flurry does about 20-25%.

Also what Kojiyama said about timing it is true, Mirror stays up for 20 seconds while the first Imps come about 10-15 seconds into the fight. Use Mirror when the boss is in position so you can use it on the second and third wave without timing issues.
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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Nephera » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:04 am

Tinderhoof wrote:All of the situations you are bringing up tend to fall under repeat kills and not progression:
- Imps dying super fast
- Having all of your AoE classes still alive later in the fight when empowered chains become a factor
- Having enough space to drop fire and return to boss damage with in 3 seconds (this I got to see to believe)


Going into progression you should have at least a few classes that can dps down those imps fast (maybe the first few tries they'll be still learning how to do this the best way). If you have your grips and stuns arranged then those imps won't cast a single thing while they're alive. Even if someone dies (and on this fight usually when someone screws up then not just one person but a few people die) you should always have someone that can emergency stun or even mages with supernova (or you can vortex + typhoon them, which I didn't have to do the whole progression, cause it's also unreliable and you can shove farther imps even more outside the boss). The only way you should really lose people (if it doesn't shadowfel-y explode) is if you're sacrificing them on black holes and i suppose you wouldn't sacrifice someone that is very useful.

As for having enough space I really don't understand. If you have any kind of tactic on this boss you should have the whole room clean except for maybe two spots and even if things go wrong and people can't clean this up later in the fight then you should still have most of the room to fight.
Also about the blinking and coming back in three seconds - you can drop the fire on already existing fire (which I would recommend for everyone since it saves up space too) and it barely hits. We had a mark on the side of the stairs and every dps that got fel surge was urged to go right on the mark, no matter if there's fire on not, so we don't spread it too far and people can clean it without problems.

I didn't use SC for progression, because I didn't want to lose any procs and melee were getting most of the fel surges, but I never really tried it before I forgot to switch my trinkets on the farm once and saw there's absolutelly no problem with that. I would for sure use it now if I had to progress it again.

That's our kill for reference if you'd like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHXjdaVpZRQ (oh, sweet times when I didn't have to tank ;;)

Nayni wrote:If you're purely talking progression, you shouldn't take a Feral in the first place.

Why? We deal really nice damage to the boss with big adds active AND at the end of the fight. I was reluctant about going there at the start too, but my guilds officers actually thought I was important there for the last phase. A lot of things go to shit there and feral self-healing REALLY helps. You can't really help with the imps, true, but I still think we're worth bringing there.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Kojiyama » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:19 am

I just don't quite understand your assessment Tinderhoof. We had our first kill 3 weeks ago and none of these were issues at all. We had an AoE/stun rotation from Warlocks/Rogues/Warrior for Imps and they died within seconds. The Imps are not really a major issue if you have a correct strategy for handling them. Most of our wipes had nothing to do with Imps, as typically the empowered Chains or Blackholes with a sprinkling of Voidsteps were the cause of most wipes during progression.

(This is even without an Elemental Shaman, which totally trivializes the Imps.)

What Ferals can do for Imps effectively is watch out for the rare case where one does not get gripped correctly. Feral interrupts are fast at getting out and you can lock down one that might not get caught up in the AoE-fest.

We have never had an issue with space at all, either. We slowly move across the platform and melee drops to one side. Run out and blink back. Basically the same as what Nephera was describing. This may be different for guilds that did not use Grounding Totem for Void Surge.

Also strongly disagree Nayni in regard to your assessment post-buff. You are probably 100% correct previous to the hotfix, but Feral is exceptional on boss damage for this fight nowadays. I'd say WW is really the only other class that is better than Feral in that regard. Rogue is probably the best all-around melee class on the fight, but I think Feral has a strong role to play nowadays. I think a single Feral makes a lot of sense on this fight. I was pulling over double the boss damage of a decent number of players in the raid on our first kill, which IMO is relevant when you are likely to be on the edge of a wipe at the end of the fight and shaving 10s+ off the fight duration is kinda a big deal. Feral is also exceptionally strong in the earlier phases of the fight and it helps a lot with tank damage/healing to be able to push through the 3-add portion of the fight quickly as get to the 'boring' middle part of the fight as soon as possible.

(Same goes for Mannoroth, because it is pretty easy to reach the saturation point on Imp damage with certain classes present. After that, it's all about getting through the fast quicker--and any further AoE is just going to lower the efficiency of the other AoE classes in the raid.)

Anyway, back to the theory of Soul Cap for a moment, what exactly are you arguing is the downside over Seed? Seed will give hardly any benefit on Imp damage at all. Soul Capacitor can always be manually exploded if you need strict timing and have enough damage built up that it matters--and, even then, it will still be a 35%+ increase to your Imp damage. Best case scenario, you will explode for 2 million on an Imp wave right after it spawns. Worst case, you cash in a partial proc for a decent increase to your AoE damage and translating larger boss damage to the Imps. I don't see the drawback here.

In fact, I looked over the logs of our progression for a while and could not find a single attempt where I lost more Soul Capacitor damage on the Imps than I gained from it. I also found almost zero cases where the amount of damage absorbed by Spirit Shift on the Imps themselves was anything even remotely notable. In most cases it was 200k or less, with potential upside of millions of damage on the Imps.

The Seed or Censer would offer pretty minimal upside on Imp damage, so while I understand the theory that Soul Capacitor might be 'bad' here, I think the reality is that it has a lot more potential upside than any other option here. I'm not sureI would use Soul Capacitor in progression as a Combat Rogue here, for example, but for Feral it is a pretty different situation.
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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Tinderhoof » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:15 pm

Kojiyama wrote:I just don't quite understand your assessment Tinderhoof. We had our first kill 3 weeks ago and none of these were issues at all.

And there may be the disconnect. My first kill was almost 2 months ago while my raid was still fairly under geared. My experiences were all pre buff, and also very early on in the progression. It may be now with more gear those mechanics are more trivial to your guild. Not everyone has the best comp or the best gear. While I'm glad everything went fine for your progression, I still advocate a more consistent DPS output over Maximum possible in this type of fight. I figure if someone is asking here it isn't going as smoothly for them as it went for you.

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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Nayni » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:19 pm

Kojiyama wrote:Also strongly disagree Nayni in regard to your assessment post-buff. You are probably 100% correct previous to the hotfix, but Feral is exceptional on boss damage for this fight nowadays. I'd say WW is really the only other class that is better than Feral in that regard. Rogue is probably the best all-around melee class on the fight, but I think Feral has a strong role to play nowadays. I think a single Feral makes a lot of sense on this fight. I was pulling over double the boss damage of a decent number of players in the raid on our first kill, which IMO is relevant when you are likely to be on the edge of a wipe at the end of the fight and shaving 10s+ off the fight duration is kinda a big deal. Feral is also exceptionally strong in the earlier phases of the fight and it helps a lot with tank damage/healing to be able to push through the 3-add portion of the fight quickly as get to the 'boring' middle part of the fight as soon as possible.


Sure Feral is strong in that regard, but you can also make any other class spec into single target and achieve the same effect. Although cleaving the 2 adds together with the boss is still the highest effective DPS you can achieve on this boss, high cleave specs are actually a lot more valuable then they show in say Skada or logs.
I will say that my "progress" view from this boss is from a while ago when the "DPS check" for Imps in general was a lot harder, still the fight isn't about speed, but about execution, killing imps is a big part of that.
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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Kojiyama » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:00 pm

Tinderhoof wrote:
Kojiyama wrote:I just don't quite understand your assessment Tinderhoof. We had our first kill 3 weeks ago and none of these were issues at all.

And there may be the disconnect. My first kill was almost 2 months ago while my raid was still fairly under geared. My experiences were all pre buff, and also very early on in the progression. It may be now with more gear those mechanics are more trivial to your guild. Not everyone has the best comp or the best gear. While I'm glad everything went fine for your progression, I still advocate a more consistent DPS output over Maximum possible in this type of fight. I figure if someone is asking here it isn't going as smoothly for them as it went for you.


I think gear levels are maybe a bit ahead of what they were for very aggressive progression guild a few months ago, but most guilds killing Xhul now are the same or higher than our ilevel (we are a 2 night guild, so we are not split-farming)--however, the strategies now are probably more widespread, especially in regard to handling of empowered mechanics and the use of grounding totem. Either way, I think my experiences are pretty relevant for anyone working on progression Xhul now. (FWIW, our raid's ilevel was only ~1 higher than your guys' kill in early August.)

I would be curious to hear your response to my later part of the post though. What exactly are you arguing is the negative aspect of Soul Capacitor in regard to the Imps? Obviously, Soul Capacitor has some negative elements on other progression fights (say Council where you effectively split damage when trying to burn Bloodboil, which can push you into another stack of the debuff, or Socrethar where you will lose half of your damage on the immunity shield when high-priority burning the Dominator) but I don't really see it in this situation.

I'm actually having a hard time seeing how the Soul Capacitor can be anything but a positive on the Imps, and it is enough ahead in value on the other portions of the fight that having to pull the trigger on an proc a little early is still not going to make it worse. Seed is not really valuable on Imps at all.
Last edited by Kojiyama on Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Kojiyama » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:06 pm

Nayni wrote:Sure Feral is strong in that regard, but you can also make any other class spec into single target and achieve the same effect. Although cleaving the 2 adds together with the boss is still the highest effective DPS you can achieve on this boss, high cleave specs are actually a lot more valuable then they show in say Skada or logs.


With the current strategies, you will typically have a least a couple pure DPS slots on Xhul that aren't handling mechanics and among the available classes for those slots, it's hard to see any class other than WW being as competitive as Feral for pure boss damage. I think post-hotfix, there is enough upside to make it relevant because the gap on 2-3 target cleave for Feral to the rest of the 'general' case boss-DPSers is actually pretty large right now.

The fight's mechanics--Imps notwithstanding--are actually really favorable for Feral due to the length, cleave, and lower relative loss from the constant movement.
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Re: Hellfire Citadel - Xhul'horac

Postby Bluewulf » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:11 pm

I lean heavily towards Kojiyama's views on this encounter. Although I suppose it is a different experience to have progressed before the buffs on that fight. I think at least now, for me anyway, that my imp damage is largely irrelevant and I'm brought mostly for boss damage. I think at this point if a guild is relying on the feral to do a significant amount of damage to the imps, they may have a few other issues halting progression.
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