Raid Review 8: Hound of Xoriat

Raid Review 8: The Hound of Xoriat

Alternate names: Hound, HoX, puppy training

History: Released with module 7 in June 2008, HoX has seen only minor tweaks to add hard and elite only loot.

Level: 18

Quest pack: Vale of Twilight

Flagging: there is no flagging required.  Initially flagging was done on a server basis.  Players would receive tokens for completing the other raids (except Abbott which was nearly unbeatable at the time) and then would turn them in to an npc.  Once enough tokens from each raid (they were raid specific not cumulative) were turned in the entire server became flagged for the Subterrane explorer area and the 2 raids (Hound of Xoriat and Vision of Destruction).

You do however have to run through the Subterrane each time to get to the quest.

Objective: a massive mother thaarak hound, Xy’zzy, has taken up residence under House Jorasco threatening its safety.  Go kill her.

Overview: enter the mother hound’s new den.  Kill her.

What’s really going on: you can’t actually hurt Xy’zzy, but her children can.  To charm them, kill 4 mindflayers in the outer ring of the room, pick up the stones they drop, and use them on her children.  They will become charmed and attack their mother until she is weak enough that you can damage her.  Do that before the spawns of mind flayers and beholders overwhelm you.

Best raid features: this raid features the most abstract method of killing the raid boss.  If you like a challenge, this raid is mostly not dependent on builds and gear making it less scalable for over level parties.

Worst raid features: you aren’t fighting the raid boss, so sometimes finding something to do is challenging.  Also, you are fighting in a single room that is basically a square with a + for connecting passages with a small area at the center.

Prominent builds/Key roles: this raid is mostly about healing and buffing the puppies.  Bards and healers are typically the foundation of a hound group.  Tanks are also useful, but can be replaced by a jumping bean if need be. This person is the chew toy, the person assigned to keep the mother hound (and baby hounds if possible) occupied.

How we used to run it: mostly on normal using what became known as the “collapsing” method.  This entailed having the party (save most if not all of the heals and the chew toy) running the outer circle until all 4 stones were collected at which point everyone would collapse to the center and guard the 4 passage ways.  The spawning trash tends not to come towards the center.  Provided that a stone was not miscast and that no dogs die, this was usually sufficient for completion.  However, if plan A didn’t work (dogs died or buffs were weak or complications with dog charming) then wipe usually happened before plan B.  Some groups would only charm 2 dogs at a time, usually if running elite.

Also, much yelling about not killing dogs, casting errant globes of invulnerability, and other such raid directions.

How we run it now: elite for loot.  Typically groups now employ a hunting party, players who continue circling the outer ring even after most of the party collapses.  By continually killing the spawns the number of trash is kept lower making it more likely that things won’t get out of hand.  With the harder difficulty 4 stones tend not to be enough and so groups must wait for more mindflayers to respawn.  By this time beholders will start popping.

Why we used to run it: the levik’s and lorrik’s sets were some of the best in slot items (particular shields) for healers and melee (healing amp was pretty rare, levik’s bracers had 20%). 

Why we run it now: because we either are a monk or know one who wants the new handwraps.

Notable loot: levik and lorrik’s sets, thaarak wraps

What you need to know: don’t kill the little dogs, you need them.  If you don’t know what a control stone is, don’t pick it up.  You can’t kill the big dog until the little dogs beat her up most of the way.  Effects that dispel magic (globes of invulnerability, beholders) can uncharm the dogs.  A character with augment summoning that charms a dog will grant them the bonuses associated with the feat.

The mother hound has a special attack called “bees of Xoriat” which is not only a DoT effect, but it hinders spell casting, attacking, and intimidating.  Standing in a globe of invulnerability will temporarily negate its effects, but can also de-charm a dog so be careful with placement.

Charmed dogs will attack targets other than Xy’zzy if their aggro deems.  Try not to charm if there are other mobs around to maximize time they attack the mother and don’t  let other mobs attack them.

Best way to fail: kill the little dogs.  Don’t heal the little dogs.  Bring beholders to the center.  Cast a globe of invulnerability on the dogs.

Bonus Tidbits: this raid is not associated with any other quest in the game.

Personal favorite moment: when leading an elite run, had not 1, but 3 people leave group when they learned we would not be using the exploitive method all saying that elite couldn’t be completed.  We completed on the first try in a smooth (and short manned) run.

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