Edit: This guide is somewhat out of date, find the new one here.
One of the things I do to kill time before a raid is solo normal Stonecore. This dungeon has a well-earned reputation for being a pug-killer on Heroic mode, but on normal it is actually soloable by hunters. I go there for two reasons: it’s darn good practice when it comes to CCing and other hunter skills, and the second boss has a chance to drop a mount. This post offers advice for the mount run and assumes that you’ve been through the instance before in a group.
You may want to get a few things ready before zoning in. You don’t need special gear for this place, but it does help to have an 85 tenacity pet with an extreme soloing talent build, drum kings, flasks, bandages and plenty of food. Glyphs of Mend Pet and Misdirection are essential. BM and MM soloing specs aren’t crucial for this place, and so I prefer a standard SV build for its excellent crowd control. You might also consider giving yourself an extra edge if you’re an archaeologist by turning in the in-zone daily for a 5% reduction to physical damage.
To get to Slabhide, we have to open the way by having Corborus burst through a wall and attack Millhouse Manastorm. Prior to this, we have to push Millhouse into position by attacking him and driving him from trash pack to trash pack (packs 1, 2, and 3 as indicated in the picture below). Millhouse hangs out with these trash packs in sequence until he loses enough health (50%) to want to run away to the next living pack.
Unfortunately, patch 4.0.6 introduced some complexities to Millhouse’s behavior. If you try to clear pack two before pack one, Millhouse and all of pack one will attack you. If you force Millhouse to run away from pack one and then attack pack two, any remaining members of pack one will come and help Millhouse. There is an exception to all this comradery, though. As Vormav notes in a comment below, you can take out pack three without packs two or one joining in. As such, by Camoing past the first two groups, clearing out all the roaming elementals, and eliminating group three, you can save yourself from having to defeat Millhouse a third time (because he’ll have no third pack to join up with).
That still leaves us with having to deal with the first two trash packs. There are two strategies that have worked for me once pack three is cleared out.
Strategy 1: Burn Millhouse at pack 1, leave combat, rez pet, burn Millhouse at pack 2, leave combat. This should have the result of quickly pushing Millhouse down to the Corborus spawn point. There are some caveats, though. One is that your pet will die each pull. It’s just going to happen. A second is that it requires very high dps. Because no CC is involved, you have to do enough damage to Millhouse that he flees before your pet dies. High dps is absolutely essential for the second pack because you have to burn Millhouse down before the first pack reaches you. My strategy is typically this: HM Millhouse, send in pet, Mend and Shell Shield it before it takes agro, MD a multishot on the pack, then proceed to burn Millhouse. It doesn’t hurt to lay a Freezing Trap at your feet to catch a Berserker charge or pop Cower once Shell Shield runs out.
Strategy 2: CC pack 1, burn Millhouse, leave combat, CC pack 1, kill pack 1, CC pack 2, burn Millhouse, leave combat. This strategy is far safer than strategy 1 and requires less dps, but it also takes more time. Once Millhouse is at pack two and you’ve wiped agro, dealing with pack one is as easy as dealing with pack three. And when you drive Millhouse away from pack two, he’ll run right to the Corborus spawn point, meaning you don’t even have to finish group two.
These strategies aren’t set in stone, nor are they the only possible combinations of tactics. However, they have worked for me. Regardless of which stategy you use, you’ll end up using some crowd control. The packs (aside from Millhouse) are composed of four mobs in some combination of Stonecore Earthshapers, Stonecore Berserkers and Stonecore Warbringers. The Earthshapers transform into elementals that do massive nature AoE damage. Berserkers charge and do a whirlwind. Warbringers enrage and have a cleave. I typically trap an Earthshaper and Wyvern Sting a Berserker/Earthshaper at the pull, and then have my pet tank the two remaining melee. An alternative to this is to lay a trap in front of a melee, wait for the trap cooldown to reset, pull with a Wyvern Sting, wait for a melee to get caught in the trap, and then trap launch an Earthshaper. These approaches work for packs without Millhouse or for pacifying groups around Millhouse as part of strategy 2. You can save yourself some additional damage by tranq’ing the Warbringer’s enrages, standing at min range so the Berserkers can’t charge you, and using Aspect of the Wild when dealing with the elementals that the Earthshapers transform into.
Fighting Slabhide solo is fairly easy, it just takes time and repetition. Slabhide begins the fight on the ground, and I think this is the best time to blow cooldowns because you have the fewest fight mechanics to navigate. A few seconds in, Slabhide will walk to the center of the room and lift off. During this air phase you can continue dps, but you’ll also have to dodge the falling rocks. When he lands, make sure that you’re still in line of sight of your pet because the fallen rocks can block your Mend Pet even if you’re still in a position to dps the boss. You’ll also have to reposition to avoid the magma pools that spawn below your feet. Dodging them is easy considering the dust eruption cue that precedes them, but the key is dodging them in a such a way that you aren’t taken out of line of sight of your pet. If you can manage this, keep mend pet rolling and also not stand in Slabhide’s breath attack, you’re set. It’s possible for you to actually take zero damage on this fight, and that can serve as an extra challenge if you get bored. Overall, the fight shouldn’t take more than five minutes. If the mount drops, congratulations.