Endgame huntering often requires repeated MDing to different tanks over the course of a single fight. Tanks trading hit for mitigation and ICC’s threat mechanics both push hunters into this role of MDing often and to changing targets. We should wonder about the ways we can make this job easier. What we want to avoid are methods of MDing that cost us any more dps than what is unavoidably lost by spending a global cooldown on MD. Misdirect techniques that require us to stop targeting the boss, search for a player or use several sequential keystrokes or clicks should not be used. The options provided below all allow a hunter to MD a desired tank without stopping autoshots or wasting time. Some methods, though, are better than others, as is discussed at the end of the post. This piece assumes a basic familiarity with macros, addons and standard MD techniques.
In a hard coding MD macro you write the tank’s actual name into the macro before the fighting starts. To accommodate multiple tanks, you need either one macro per tank or a macro with conditions that distinguish different tanks:
/cast [@Jimmy] Misdirection
/cast [@Timmy] Misdirection
/cast [mod:shift, @Jimmy] Misdirection; [mod:ctrl, @Timmy] Misdirection
Note that you don’t need a modifier for both tanks in this last macro. Having a modifier only for the first one and having the second be the unmodified default target works fine too.
The advantage of this kind of setup is that your MDs always go to a tank and it needs no addons to work at its best. The disadvantages include a relatively lengthy setup time (typing in the names) and significant potential for user error (the more times you have to change a macro, the more opportunities there are for typos or forgetting updates).
Target of target
If you are always Misdirecting to your current target’s target (assumedly a tank), an
@targettarget conditional can work well.
/cast [@targettarget] Misdirection
This way of targeting MDs is nice because it is simple, very low maintenance and generally effective. Consider, though, how little control it affords you over target selection. This macro will be of no help when you want to MD an add off a non-tank, or when you need emergency threat sent to a particular tank when the boss is targeting a someone else. I also worry about those seconds during a fight when bosses retarget for special abilities. I’ve been targeted by a ToT (not always a bad thing) by mistake before because the rogue was using an
@targettarget macro and the boss was targeting me for some ability. This makes me question the reliability of this kind of conditional. While it’ll work fine most of the time, it does have the potential to screw things up badly by sending threat to an Omen-topping mage instead of the tank who needs it. This lack of reliability and control causes me to avoid this method of targeting.
You can maintain the standard
@focus MD macro if you are instead able to switch foci over the course of the fight. Yet, focus switching is accomplished in a lot of the same ways that you can switch MD targets: mouseovers, click casting, target+/focus+/targetlasttarget, etc. It therefore can seem like adding an unnecessary middle man. You change the focus and MD, rather than just MDing. Yet, this extra step has the same advantage it has always had in that it makes repeated MDs to the same target quick and easy. Once the focus is set on a tank, no more manual targeting for MDs is necessary so long as you still want to MD to that tank. If it is a fight like Festergut where tanks trade off only a few times, focus switching instead of manual-targeting all your MDs can save you a good chunk of concentration.
Mouseover macros allow you to cast on whatever unit your mouse cursor is currently hovering over. If you display tank unit frames (typically health bars of those identified as tanks in the raid window), this sort of macro can provide for both excellent flexibility and speedy reaction times.
/cast [@mouseover] Misdirection
Mouseovers really only work if you use keybinds. You cannot both click on a macro and be hovering over a unit frame at the same time. Also, if you mouseover to MD every cast, it means you have to find the correct tank frame before every cast. The great flexibility of mouseover macros has the cost of requiring more attention on the hunter’s part.
Some unit frames addons (like VuhDo) and addons designed to work with unit frames (like Clique) allow you to cast spells or abilities at a target merely by clicking on that target’s unit frame. Healers often use this method of play but even consumate facerollers like ret paladins find click casting useful for abilities like Hand of Salvation. It works for MD (and Master’s Call) too. I think it helps to assign a scroll click or a mod+click activation for MD click casting so that you don’t MD to someone when you merely want to target or inspect them. You can also have click cast MDs only apply to certain raid frames (like only the tank frames), making left or right clicking fine.
A critique of mouseover macros also applies here: you have to find the tank frame you want to MD to every time with click casting, which can be a substantial source of distraction if you have to MD a lot over the course of the fight.
The alternatives above are the most elemental means that I could think of for easing MDs on changing targets. These techniques can, of course, be combined. You can click cast macros with some addons. You can also combine macros:
/cast [mod:shift, @mouseover] Misdirection; [@focus] Misdirection
The above macro sends a Misdirect to whomever you are mousing over if you hold down shift and to a default location (your focus) if you are not holding shift. This combines the flexibility of a mouseover macro with the dependability of having a default tank target.
Though all of the methods presented in this post will allow for MDing to different tanks in a single fight, some methods are better than others, at least judging by the following criteria: low maintenance, reliability, speed and control. When used with tank frames, mouseover macros and click casting meet these standards. Target of target macros and hard coding (as discussed in the post) do not.
Unfortunately, click casting and mouseovers move us away from the easy “set and forget” quality of single focus or target of target methods. There’s something to be said for not having to manually select an MD target every single cast. My recommendation for MDing to more than one target, then, is this: have more than one way to MD. I use click casting and a focus default. It lets me use a focus MD without thought on non-taunt fights like Marrowgar and gives me great flexibility for fights with tank cycling and threat mechanics like heroic Deathwhisper. I think that having both a flexible and a “set and forget” way to MD is helpful in the current endgame.
If you have any additional tips for making Misdirects on multiple tanks easier, please leave them in a comment below.