Scattered Shots: Hunting the Plagueworks in ICC

Welcome to Scattered Shots, written by Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the Hunting Party Podcast. Each week Frostheim uses logic and science mixed with a few mugs of Dwarven Stout to look deep into the Hunter class.

It is well known that hideous undead monstrosities concocted by the deranged minions of the Lich King make for excellent target practice. Having rained death throughout the ICC Lower Spire and gathered up all of our rightful hunter loot, our next stop on the way to the Lich King is the Plagueworks. We are given more trash to shower us with Ashen Verdict rep, including the much sought-after Precious's Ribbon (clearly hunter loot) before stepping into the chamber of the grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous undead of yore.

Join me after the cut as we take a look at the hunter tips for defeating the bosses of the Plagueworks. As always, we're going to assume that you're familiar with the boss strategies and will be looking at hunter-specific tips.

Trash Tip

We normally don't talk about trash at all. We don't optimize for trash and we don't strategize for trash. We know that the trash is going to go down no matter what and if your raid is really having problems with trash, then you probably shouldn't be doing that content.

That said, the Plagueworks has a few geist packs, and there are enough geists in the packs that you'll hit the AOE damage cap, meaning your Volley is going to be doing far less damage per target than it could. A fun way to see big numbers on the geist packs is to drop the otherwise inferior Explosive Trap on them and then Volley (with MD up!). Each AOE is capped separately, so you can get your Explosive Trap ticks plus your Volley, giving you impressive AOE numbers. This isn't really helping the raid any -- you'd get the trash down anyway -- but it's always fun to see crazy high DPS.


Our first stop is the closest we're going to get to a Patchwerk fight in the Plagueworks. Festergut is darned near a straight up tank & spank, and while once again the melee have it easy, this is the fight where we can pretty much just sit still and pump out our massive sustained DPS.

In fact, Festergut is a DPS check boss. Your entire raid must be capable of very high sustained DPS to get him down before his five minute enrage timer. In both 10-man and 25-man the DPS requirements are pretty severe. The exact amount of DPS you have to do will vary depending on how many healers your raid is carrying. In 25-man your raid needs a total of 144,100 DPS to down Festergut in the nick of time. With two tanks at 3k DPS each (they get buffed) and only 5 healers, each DPSer would need to do 7,673 DPS. Any more healers and your DPS minimum goes up. Fortunately we are death dealers and are easily capable of handling this, and even carrying some of those sad elemental shamans.

  • This fight is all about performance and skill. It is a test of your knowledge of your rotation, gear selection, and movement abilities.

  • Remember to stay spread out. Make sure you are over 8 yards from anyone else.

  • If you are MM, burn your cooldowns on engage. You should be able to take advantage of four Rapid Fires during this fight.

  • When you have to move to the spores to get inoculated, remember to shoot & scoot or use Disengage to cover the ground. You should not lose a single shot to this movement -- this is where you need to use those movement skills.

  • The only thing that should cause you to lose shots on Festergut is getting hit with Vile Gas. The dirty melee sold their souls to the ICC developers and once again have easy mode and don't get hit with it, so they'll generally own the meters here.

  • There are some reports that Deterrence will protect you from Pungent Blight. I haven't tried this because I don't want to waste any DPS time, but this could be a way to help if you miss an inoculation (which you would never do -- right?).


If Festergut is the Patchwerk of ICC, then Rotface is the Grobbulus. I hate Rotface with a burning rage that is nearly as great as my hatred for elves. This fight is all about ooze management and good burst DPS at the last 20% when the oozes are going crazy.

  • Avoid getting slime sprayed. One way to gauge your performance on this fight is to see how much Slime Spray damage you took. You want that number to be zero.

  • Be aware of where the kiter is at all times. When you get the Mutated Infection you don't want to waste any time trying to figure out where your kiter is.

  • When you get Mutating Infection, Disengage toward the kiter. Your goal here is to get rid of your ooze as quickly as possible and return to the center.

  • Remember to continue shooting Rotface while you're dealing with your infection and ooze.

  • Be ready to MD an ooze to the kiter at a moment's notice. If someone dies with the Mutating Infection the little ooze will still spawn and head straight to the healers. It's our job to get them back to the kiter.

  • During the ooze explosion, continue to DPS while you run away. Remember to pause a half second to let your auto-shots fire while you're running.

  • Aspect of the Wild is not be needed for this fight. Currently MM hunters take a massive hit for using this, and it just isn't necessary.

Now, some groups may actually have their hunter kite the Big Ooze. We are better than any tank at generating threat on our kiting targets, and we can continue to DPS Rotface while we're kiting. Here are some tips if you're going to be kiting the Big Ooze:

  • Do not ever let it get too close to you. The Big Ooze is perfectly capable of one-shotting you.

  • Do not get too far away. Since you're going in circles, the farther you get the more "corners" the Big Ooze can cut, and it can and will cut through the center of the room, hitting the raid with its aura.

  • You will have to kite through the ooze flooded portions of the room at times. Do not try to switch directions. Your healers can deal with it.

  • If you get caught in multiple floods in a row and the big ooze is getting close, jump-Disengage to buy some range.

  • Always keep an eye on the center for loose small oozes. One of our strengths is our ability to pull these out of the center without having to adjust our kiting.

  • Put Serpent Sting on Rotface. Create a macro for your Chimera Shot so that it automatically shoots at Rotface, and lets you keep your ooze targeted. This will allow you to always have Serpent Sting on the boss, and your most damaging shot will always fire at him.

  • Use all other shots on your ooze. Healers can spike a lot of threat on the ooze, and you want to maintain a big, big threat lead. Losing your ooze due to DPSing the boss more is not worth it. Trust me on this one, I did it once.

  • During the ooze explosion and anytime there is no Big Ooze out, you should be DPSing the boss all out, from range.

  • When I was kiting (in 10-man) I was able to do 6k DPS with 74% of my damage done on Rotface. This is a huge DPS gain for the raid versus having a tank do the kiting -- assuming that the tank can switch to offspec and do good DPS.

Professor Putricide

Professor P is not the doddering, endearing, and helpful kind of professor you so often see in movies. He's the other kind. This three phase fight is a test of your situational awareness. It's all about dodging the everything and switching targets without losing too many shots.

  • When possible, try to be at long range. In particular this gives you more time to dodge Malleable Goo in phases 2 and 3.

  • Obviously you should stack on the target of the green ooze in phases 1 and 2.

  • The fight has a lot of movement, but most of it is predictable. Always be planning where you need to be next, and be prepared to shoot & scoot your way over.

  • When switching between the left and right sides of the room, Disengage is your friend. Cover the bulk of the distance swiftly and without losing shots.

  • Remember to switch to DPS down oozes instantly.

  • How fast your raid is capable of downing the oozes will determine your shot cycle on them -- if your raid is killing the oozes fast you won't want to bother with Hunter's Mark, Serpent Sting, or your pet. If your ooze DPS is light, you'll want to include your Serpent Sting and pet, though Hunter's Mark is probably still not worth it.

  • Keep Serpent Sting on Professor P at all times.

  • In phase 3 while the professor is being kited, plan your movement to maximize your DPS. If you're following behind him, scoot up a bit in between every shot, even when you don't need to. That way when you get to the Steady Shot part of your cycle, you can afford to sit there and fire them all off.

Your measure of your performance on this fight is largely the amount of damage you do to the oozes and the amount of avoidable damage you take. You should not take Malleable Goo damage at all and little slime pool damage. The best path to victory here is to make life as easy as possible on your healers, and that means avoiding the avoidable damage and killing the oozes fast.

You want to be a Hunter, eh? Well then you came to the right place. You start with science, then you add some Dwarven Stout, and round it off some elf bashing. The end result is massive dps. Scattered Shots is the column dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a Hunter. Each week Scattered Shots will cover topics to help you Fix Your DPS, Choosing the Right Spec, Gear Selection, Macros and Pet Selection, Pet Specs and Management.