My guild downed Patchwerk and Grobbulus for the first time this past week, and this week we've spent a couple nights of attempts on Gluth trying to figure him out. We've got an understanding of how the fight works and how it's supposed to play out, but we still seem to be missing a solid strategy for dealing with the kiting of the Zombie Chow. We've tried a number of different approaches, the most successful of which were following:
1.) We started out by having a Shaman assigned to each grate. We had them all lay down their EB totem next to each grate so that the totems formed a line for the Shaman to kite around. We tried kiting in Razorgore-style, and had the Shamans run a circle around the EB totems, and pick up Zombies as they spawned with Earth Shock, but EB totems quickly proved unreliable and the Shaman were having trouble getting every Zombie on them, and they often got hit and died.
2.) We scrapped that idea then tried having a Mage, Warrior, and Shaman assigned to each grate. The Shaman would drop an EB totem in the middle of the grate where the Zombies spawn, and the Mages would pick them up with instants when they popped and kite them in a tight circle around the grate. Warriors would follow the kite and spam Piercing Howl to keep everything snared. We probably had the best success with this first approach, but we always seemed to lose a Mage at some point and couldn't keep it controlled much longer than one Decimate. The kiters will also unable to keep all the Zombies under control, and several would always get loose to the healers. It also seemed like we were giving up a lot of DPS on Gluth by having 3 Mages and 3 Warriors constantly devoted to kiting.
3.) We then tried having the Shaman lay down the same EB line we used in our first strat, but having 3 Mages picking up the Zombies as they spawned and doing a large kite around all 3 grates. Then we had 2 Warriors assigned to picking up any that got loose into the healers and pulling them back into the Mages' kite. However, Zombies still seemed to constantly get lose, EB again proved unreliable, and the Warriors never had time to try and keep Piercing Howl on the kites since they were always chasing after loose Zombies. And when they did pull Zombies off healers and onto them, the Mages had trouble pulling them off the Warriors and adding them to their kite.
4.) We decided it might be a better idea to have 1 Mage do the majority of the kiting. We had 2 other Mages assigned to pick up Zombies with low-rank spells and pull them into the main Mage's big kite. They would also use Rank 1 CoC to apply snare to the pack, and 2 Warriors were assigned to keep Piercing Howl on the pack. While this sounded good and easier to manage in theory, things went haywire fast in practice, and we had less control than the two previous plans.
The two problems we seem to be having no matter what approach we use is that Zombies always get loose to the healers, and after a Decimate, the new Zombies that spawn while the Mages are AoEing get missed and run loose and aren't kited immediatly.
We're sort of at a loss for what approach to take from here, either we're missing some piece of the puzzle, or we're just really bad at kiting (which could be the case). Any input from Horde guilds (or even Alliance guilds who use a strategy that doesn't involved Paladins ;p) that have beaten this encounter on how to deal with kiting/control of the Zombie Chow is highly appreciated.
I don't think you are really missing anything. The knowns are known so to speak.
Mobs will spawn in given locations.
They will initially have no aggro (and hence, soon aggro on healers... wherever you might position them, unless there is another source of aggro)
These mobs are designed to not be killed.
Healing aggro can be overcome by a reasonable amount of damage, although of course talents and buffs that reduce aggro will make this harder and the longer the kite, the more aggro is needed.
There are a lot of them.
They are kiteable, en masse or as a part of a kiting strategy if you like.
Look back at the givens and design a strat that works for your guild. If you need mages to spec back to frost (and yeah, the anger will be real) or if you need to change other elements, then see what comes of that. You already know the encounter well enough to push through, it is either that your strat is unsound or that your key people are incapable of executing it. I can't help you on either front of course but I like to type pretty words.
We use number 4.)
One mage kiting 75% of all the zombies that spawn with 3 PH warriors following him, with the rest of the mages waiting beside the healers until there are 3/4 shackled in there then using the highest rank of CoC/AE/fire blast to pull them out. By the time a decimate comes usually all our mages are following the main kite mage around.
At the decimate we get the PH warriors to pick up the new zombies that spawn and follow the mage kiter once the AoE is done.
It took alot of practice on his part but we're confident that its easily repeatable (if he shows up every week :P )
I can't offer you specific advice on the encounter, having not seen it yet. However, if your kiter does 500 damage to one mob, it'll take a 1000 points of heal to pull it off him. If he does 500 points of damage to 10 mobs, it'll take 10000 points of heal to pull it off him. The basic hate mechanism is that heal threat is divided evenly among the number of mobs aggroed on the target.
The implication basically is it becomes extremely easy to hold aggro on a big train of mobs if you have more than 6ish - and it gets progressively easier the more you have on you.
I'd imagine that if your kiter is losing mobs, it's because either he has too few on him, or he's consistently missing hitting a mob with his damage attack. This could be caused by the mobs not being bunched up enough.
If you're using mages, I guess fairly regular use of arcane explosion, blastwave, cone of cold or whatever - just make sure it consistently hits all the mobs in the kite.
There are so many ways to do the fight that it is pointless to tell you what to do.
I can however give you advice on what NOT to do. Dont keep trying new strats after every couple wipes.
It took us much longer to kill Gluth than it should have because we kept changing our kiting strategy every 4-5 attempts. When we finally killed him we had probably tried 4-5 different methods that all would have worked if we had just put in the time to nail it down.
We tried mages kiting with earthbind help.
We tried warriors kiting with EB and frost trap help.
We tried shaman kiting ala razorgore.
We tried kite group per grate vs 1 main kite group etc.
All of these strats I think can work (not sure about shaman kiting hehe) but you need to iron out the detials on your own.
In the end we settled on 1 kite group with warrior kiting assisted by shaman and eb totems. I feel just about any sane strategy will work fine though.