[WoD Beta] The Butcher Heroic Highmaul
Hey there, this is your Pal Pallie and welcome back to Git Er Raid. Warlords of Draenor beta testing continues on with some more Heroic mode bosses. How do you like your meat cleaved? The Butcher is here to attend to your cleaving needs. This is an encounter they tried to beta early on but the server stability was horrible. Now we have enough footage to give a proper guide. This fight consists of a bunch of stacking and spreading and really doesn't have too much to it.
So as hinted in the intro, the Butcher does a lot of cleaving. However, this is cleaving that you actually have to soak up or else things start to go badly. This fight is also a dps race as his enrage was a mere 5 minutes on beta. So get your fragging pants on and lets get to it.
So there are quite a few tank mechanics to look at but lets talk about the main mechanic called Cleave. Basically every 5 or 6 seconds, the boss will cast Cleave which swipes at the largest group of players in melee range. This was acting kind of funny on the beta but you can see it working decently well here. As long as we had a group of 3 or 4 people stacked up near the boss, he would cast Cleave on them. Cleave will hit the group for some shared damage and place a stacking dot called Gushing Wounds on them. The tricky part is that if that dot ever gets to 5 stacks on anyone, it will instantly kill them.
This of course means you need to have multiple groups of people getting hit by the Cleave. It also means melee who aren't currently soaking need to be spread out enough to not get hit. Besides sitting there Cleaving the melee groups, the boss will periodically knock everyone back from him and then a few seconds later, jump to a group of raid members at ranged. He'll execute another cleave and then go back to the tank and doing his normal Cleaves.
Really thats all. Its just cleave after cleave after cleave, then a knockback cleave combo and back to cleave cleave cleave. When he hits 30% health, he will frenzy and attack 30% faster. This actually makes his cleaves come even quicker so as we'll talk about in the strategy section, you'll have to rotate more groups through to take the cleave but thats about it for major raid abilities.
We do have to pay attention more to the tanks here. There are a few mechanics that are tank-specific. Heavy-Handed is an ability the Butcher has passively that makes all of his autoattacks hit both the primary target and the next closest target. This usually should be the offtank. If no one is in range, the boss will just hit the main tank twice.
The Tenderizer is another ability the boss uses on the active tank that hits for a decent chunk of physical damage as well as puts a debuff on the tank that makes them take 50% more damage from further tenderizers. It looked like the tanks I was with were swapping at two stacks of this debuff. Finally, there is one more ability he'll use on the tanks called The Cleaver. As you might expect from the other cleave abilities, this one as well puts a dot although this can be avoided through active mitigation apparently or just plain dodging it.
Thats really all for abilities so since we're on the subject of tanks already, lets talk about them first. Basically tanks will need to be stacked close together kind of like Blood Queen from ICC. You need to share the damage of the boss' auto attacks otherwise a melee might eat it and likely die. Tanks should swap for stacks of the Tenderizer and then try to avoid the damage from The Cleaver. Positioning-wise you should also try to make sure the tanks are apart from any other melee as we had some serious problems with the regular Cleave ability hitting tanks too.
As for the rest of the raid, the only big thing to do is setup a rotation of at least 3 to 4 main cleave soak groups. Obviously the amount of people you put in these groups will vary as your raid size can vary here but for the 15 or so people we had here, we ended up with 4 groups of 3 people. And really you only need 2 groups until the boss hits his frenzy stage. With his frenzy he is stacking cleaves faster and faster so you need to be on top of getting in and out for groups. During his normal phase, you can probably have cleave stack to 4 but during frenzy you'll want to be extra careful and just do 3 stacks. Heck, it might even be beneficial to healers to heal a 3 stack across more groups as opposed to healing the heavy damage of a 4 stack. Find out what works.
Beyond the normal cleave, also be ready to collapse on a stack point for the knockback and Bounding Cleave. Just mark some particular place for ranged and healers to stack in. If you were just soaking cleave, also realize that this Bounding Cleave can add another stack so if you already have 4, you'll be instantly killed by Bounding Cleave. Its also not bad to stay away from Bounding Cleave if you are low on health. You probably only need 4 or 5 people to eat this but just pay attention. As I said earlier, this is a dps check so decide if you want to pop lust at the start when trinkets are active or if you want to save it till the end when everyone is running around during his frenzy and healing hard.
Thats about all for this guide on the Butcher. Tanks, swap off for all the nasty debuffs in this encounter and try to mitigate as much of them as possible. Healers, be wary of people with high stacks of the cleave dot and prepare for the hardcoreness of the frenzy phase. Dps, be quick to respond to your cleave group when its time for you to soak and ranged be ready to stack for the bounding cleave. Also make sure you are meeting that dps check. -As always, please comment, like and/or subscribe to the video if you found it helpful and have a good one!