Solo Artist

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was a necklace I wanted called Worgen Claw Necklace. It dropped off of Attumen, the first boss in Karazhan, and I wanted it because I was wearing one from Steamvaults or something.

Now I went to Karazhan a lot. Pretty much every week for several months. I loved that place, I never tired of it, not even long after I was Exalted with the Violet Eye. Still do love it, which I’m sure most of you know. But Worgen Claw Necklace never dropped. Not once.

Pretty soon, I didn’t need it anymore. I had a necklace from Heroic Slave Pens and eventually I had a badge necklace. (Never got the Shattered Sun necklace because I was Scryer and the Scryer version sucked.) Still, it became the principle of the thing. I saw Attumen drop everything else. I even saw the mount once. But never Worgen Claw Necklace.

I got my tree druid to 70 and started doing Kara when I could. You may be thinking, “Ha! It probably dropped when you were on your druid!” But you would be wrong. My druid never saw it either. She’s half way through Revered. I have never seen this thing drop.

And so a dream began to formulate in my head. Several months and an expansion later, Kill Bill-like, I knew what I had to do.

I must solo Attumen

I must get my necklace.

After several weeks of putting it off because I was attached to all my pets, I finally let my wolf go so I could obtain a tenacity pet. Because I was impatient, I got a worm, because there are some that are level 80 by default.

I got myself a pet-tanky spec, spec’d my pet a pet-tanky spec, and bought a shiny Glyph of Mending. Pretty soon my Mend Pet was healing for 2200 health a tick. Then I got into a raid group and headed off– just my worm and I– to Medivh’s tower.

The trash to Attumen is tricky. Pulls of two or three horses at a time, often with stable hands who heal and do fun things like that. So long as you know how to trap, pull and properly time your Feign Deaths, it’s not difficult, but it is time consuming and there were a couple of close calls.

Finally I was standing in front of Midnight. I braced myself and sent in my pet.

For about ten seconds, all was going well; Mend Pet was keeping Nachi the worm up. Then Attumen came out. Thunderstomp picked up aggro on him and I soon discovered that poor Nachi couldn’t dream of staving off both off with Mend Pet alone; Last Stand gave him a couple extra seconds but inevitably down he went.

I tried again and had a similar experience, and then trash began to respawn. See, let me tell you what the most frustrating thing about solo’ing Attumen is. It’s that it takes about twenty minutes to clear the trash, but thirty minutes to respawn. So you essentially have a ten minute window to make attempts on Attumen before they start respawning mid-boss-fight and coming to pwn you. Yeah, it sucks.

Anyways, feeling a bit miffed, I went and tried a few other solo’y things. I gave Onyxia a shot and managed to get her down to 40% three different times, but each time it wound up being not my pet who died, but me. Between whelps, random fireballs, and crap like that, and being limited to your one token potion, bandages, and Lifeblood, I couldn’t self-heal enough.

Then I went completely nuts and headed off to Molten Core. I quickly discovered that you can sneak past a good deal of the trash, and that which you can’t sneak past you can dispose of fairly easily. As such I made attempts on a few different bosses, and again, each time I was faced with the issue of the boss having some gimmick that would destroy me long before my pet was in any danger. (Why hello, Living Bomb, yes, I hate you too.)

Finally I went off to give Attumen one last shot, having tweaked my pet’s spec a little and having discovered some trick on YouTube where you could supposedly pull Midnight without pulling Attumen. Cleared the trash, made four unsuccessful attempts (maybe they hotfixed this?), and was more than willing to make more attempts but, you guessed it… trash respawns.

So I ended that little experiment and found myself wondering if it’s even possible for a hunter to solo Attumen without exploits or two pieces of T5.

Then I had another crazy thought. Turtles have a special move called Shell Shield. I found myself wondering if maybe, with a very well timed Shell Shield and Last Stand, and a “burn ’em down quick so they merge” technique… it might be possible.

And so, after bidding farewell to my worm… this is my new turtle (or as my inner pet store geek insists on calling him, tortoise). His name is Bourne which is short for Bourne Again Shell because I am a nerd.


Now I’ve just got to begin the process of leveling him up to 80 from 75.

I’ll be back, Attumen… you can’t sit on that necklace forever!

29 thoughts on “Solo Artist”

  1. My NELF hunter also uses a turtle pet for tanking, has had shelldon since his mid 30’s around southshore.

    Pretty solid pet, thunderstomp + shell shield = teh awesome.

  2. Good luck! I love goals like this within the game – it’s part of the reason I rolled a solo hunter alt. And keep us updated – it’s fascinating to read about the ins and outs of these experiments. The necklace will be yours!

  3. And after a heated debate about Bourne and BASH and SH here at work, it turns out that Bourne wrote the original SH and BASH is just a play on his name.

    Anyway, I was always a big fan of zsh, but that’s just me. 😀

  4. If I was still playing, this is exactly the kind of thing I’d be doing too.

    I don’t run Instances or do PUGs not because I don’t like Instances or PUGs, because I do like Instances (PUGs, I can take ’em or leave ’em). I don’t do Instances (or rarely did) because I hated feeling obligated to 4 (or 9) other people when at any moment, for any reason, I might need to go AFK (for any amount of time) and leave my group in the lurch.

    I still have bad memories of my first Heroic, with Guildies no less, which I needed to leave partway through. But with my Hearthstone on cooldown and no Mage for a Port, and with me needing to leave now! Not in the 5 minutes or even 60 seconds it might take me to run to the Exit but NOW! I bid adieu, dropped Group, and went AFK, safe in the knowledge that the game would kick me out of the Instance after 20 seconds.. But it didn’t. Because it was a Heroic it was flagged as a Raid, so I didn’t get kicked but stayed in the Instance. My Guildies were able to invite a new 5th member to the ‘Raid’ but with me still in the Instance their new 5th couldn’t enter, and when they left and tried to reset the Instance they couldn’t, because I was still inside. They all dropped group and reformed, even tried making the my replacement the Group Leader, but nothing worked. I was still in “their” Raid Instance and their 5th member couldn’t get in.

    I inadvertently but quite royally screwed over my own Guildies because I needed to AFK right NOW! That’s why I rarely did Instances, but why I would Solo them if I could.

  5. You know… if you roll a mage, you never have to have dreams like this. You just accept that fact that you can’t solo anything. 🙂

  6. Good luck and totally random comment but I’ve never actually bothered to look at a screenshot of your lil elf. She is dang cute-certainly better than staring at dwarf rump 80 levels 😀

  7. I’ve never tried attumen solo style, but I have soloed ony pretty easily with a turtle. Use all your tricks to get out of the hunter damage. Primarily this means gathering up the whelps with your turtle and using feign death to avoid her big fire move…thingy.

    Im pretty optimistic that attumen can be soloed sans T5.

  8. T5 definitely does make a big difference… but if you’re clever about aggro management, you can still kill stuff. I would recommend you try soloing something easier (like Onyxia) before Attumen – Attumen + Midnight actually do hit fairly hard, so the fight is not as easy as some others.

  9. I hate to be breaking this news to you… but I have that necklace. And to make things worse, it was awarded to me by the RL since the other Hunter in the raid have something better and don’t want it… and even though I, too, had a better necklace at that time. So I stashed it into my bank, and to my understanding is still there.

    I’m sorry, please forgive me. *runs away*

  10. That’s an awesome name. Sadly most of my keybinds are in tcsh. I named mine after my kids’ toy turtle, Flash.

    I’ve gone off the deep-end in pet-tanking preparations. Tanking gear objectives, talents, pet talents, etc. I wrote them all up. I hope they help you.

  11. Hey Pike, have you checked out Warcraft Hunter’s Union? They have a bunch of “Extreme Soloing Guides” that cover how to do exactly what you are attempting. Maybe check them out:

    And I’m bizarrely jealous. I wish I had time to attempt all this stuff. For the longest time I had nothing (or rather thought I didn’t) to do so I just futzed around with dailies.
    Now I’m raiding 3-5 nights a week and I can barely squeeze in fishing for food, hunting for pet snacks and doing dailies to keep me in flasks and repair costs.

    I rather think I have an acute case of “grass is always greener on the other side” mixed with “not knowing what you have ’til it’s gone”.

  12. Keep up the good work Pike! I have my turtle Clem at 79 pushing for 80 with intentions of soloing every instance until I can’t anymore. After one too many PUG wipes full of frustration, and not having the time to commit to a more serious guild, I decide to amuse myself and take advantage of hunter solo power!

    Bonus points if anyone can figure out where I got my turtle’s name from!

  13. Tortoises (not turtles imho) are cool – one of the hunters has one named Panzer after the German tank.

    Good luck on the solo.

    I’m looking forward to that challenge when geared better!

  14. That hunter would be me. 😀

    BigRedRhino… er, Ihlos… directed people to come here and give some ideas. Now, I haven’t soloed him myself, but I *have* gone through the trash solo, and can confirm that a turtle handles it without as much issue. Shell Shield, when on autocast, activates whenever the pet is at half health or less. It makes a huge difference. Still, you’ll want to either put it on your pet bar or macro it to your bar so you can slap it at will; you want it popping up the moment Attuman jumps into the fray.

    Against Attuman, Shell Shield will damp the damage down, but you might still need more than that. I don’t know how fast the pair of them are bringing the pet down, but one thing you might also need to do, rather than just a spec for soloing/tanking, is a high-stamina gear-up. Pick up the Frost Resistance gear, for example. You’ll be doing a *lot* less damage, but your pet will show the added stamina very solidly. Getting a pet with over 20K health unbuffed isn’t impossible.

    Bring scrolls as well. Level VII scrolls are cheap as chips nowadays, so you can probably get a stack of them for nothing, and potentially even get some VIII scrolls. I would suggest experimenting between Armor, Stamina, and Agility for which is the most help in an attempt like this (probably Stamina for the extra HP, as I don’t know if the Agility would be high enough for extra avoidance/armor).

    Attumen’s curse is dispellable. Mend Pet should take care of that on the pet. I can’t recall if it’s outranged or targeting random people, unfortunately, so I can’t immediately suggest how to keep it off *you*. If someone can remind me (i.e. tell Pike), it’d be vastly appreciated. 😉

    Also, for the record, if you need that turtle’s level up fast, do heroics. Four or five heroics at most, and your pet will be at 80 with all the XP you’ll be getting from those enemies. It’s how I tend to level my pets, when I’m not feeling insane and grinding for six hours in Icecrown’s ‘undead heroes field’. 😉

  15. Once i used to love soloing stuff as a hunter, but then i found the protection paladin. Attumen is very easy to solo as a prot pally. I got the mount off him 3 weeks back.
    Not ret though.
    Thats one boss where you need Defence, armour and lots of Avoidance/Mitigation. Pets are (as far as im aware) rather crittable.
    Good luck with ‘shelly’ the turtle 🙂

    Ellifain @ Khazgoroth

  16. I made a video of Attumen a while back…
    You can see how much damage your pet takes when they are both up, but even with the t5 bonus, t7 level gear, and the best solo buffs available (scrolls on both, 40 stam food, pet food) a few unlucky crits may be enough to take your pet out. Shell shield would help, but may not be enough. However, you should be able to get enough people together to do some “fun runs” of t5 instances, at 80 it shouldn’t take more than 10-15 people, depending on gear and whatnot. As for soloing Ony, fd and spirit bond are your best friends. You can toss up a mend pet, feign, and sit there for a minute or two (out of the way of the deep breath), and continue on your merry way. On Ony you can even use a ferocity pet, stack enough stam and bloodthirsty is more than enough to keep your pet alive. If the fireballs are giving you too much trouble, you can move out of the way if you’re fast enough or wait until she targets you, fd, then hop right back up and start your bandaging (this lets you get off a full bandage without getting interrupted.

  17. Also, I absolutely LOVE the croc (slime) for soloing. Bad attitude works way better than the bear’s swipe for large groups of mobs and does more than enough damage to keep you from pulling any healing aggro.

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