Sunday, 21 August 2011

Firelands Update: Shannox

Hello again. Today I’m going to start the first of several posts, detailing the various bosses in Firelands, and particularly, how to approach them from a mage’s standpoint. To start with, I’m dealing with Shannox. My groups had this guy on farm for a couple of weeks now, and so far I've found it to be an incredibly fun fight. This guy calls himself the ‘ultimate hunter’, but seeing as mages are better than hunters, that shouldn’t be a problem. I usually play arcane for this fight; although with 3 targets fire might not be amiss here if you can multi-dot, however with the dogs constantly running around, there won’t be many chances to spread them around through impact. Without further ado, let’s get straight into the tactics of the fight. If you’re already familiar, feel free to skip to the next section.

This is likely to be the first boss you tackle going into Firelands. Unusually, he doesn’t spawn immediately; instead, you first have to kill a crap-ton of trash. Once he spawns, he will begin to patrol in a circle around the road leading through the raid.

There are 3 mobs to deal with in this encounter: Shannox, Rageface, and Riplimb. Riplimb and Shannox both have an aggro table, and will have to be tanked (but cannot be taunted), whereas Rageface runs around randomly targeting players. Shannox has several abilities:

·         Immolation Trap: Metal circle with a flame in it. It will appear, and then become armed after two seconds. Don’t stand in it, it hurts. If you can drag Rageface over them, do, but not at risk of getting hit yourself. Riplimb should be kept away from them

·         Crystal Prison Trap: Metal circle with a purple crystal in it. It will appear, and then become armed after two seconds. These should DEFINATELY not be stood in. If you do, you will become encased in a block, which stops line of sight, and has to be DPS’d down by the raid.

·         Hurl Spear: Shannox throws his spear; big red circle appears on the ground. Don’t stand in the circle (that probably goes without saying). The spear will land there, and blow up the circle, and kill you, which is bad. A spiral line of fire will spread out from the location. Stand between the lines, and you won’t get hurt when they explode shortly afterward.

·         Magma Rupture: Shannox rams his spear into the ground at his feet instead of throwing it once Riplimb is dead. Same as before with the line of fire, but also applies a stacking de-buff increasing fire damage taken by 40%. This constitutes the soft enrage of the fight.

·         Riplimb and Shannox apply a stacking bleed de-buff to the tanks, Shannox with his spear, and Riplimb with his attacks.

·         Rageface casts Face Rage on a random target, and tries to chew their face off. This is broken when you hit him for 30/45k (10/25 man), but he has an additional 50% chance to get critted while casting this, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

·         When a dog dies, Shannox gains a 30% enrage, when Shannox drops below 30% health, any remaining dogs massively enrage, and will wipe the raid fairly shortly afterwards.

The tactic is fairly simple. There are several variations, but the one we used is as follows: Burn down Rageface, Nuke Shannox to 35% health, burn down Riplimb, then kill Shannox. When Shannox hurls his spear, the Riplimb tank traps him, allowing time for the bleed to drop off on both tanks. Time Warp is used after both dogs have died.

For a mage, the fight is fairly simple. Pick a spot between where Riplimb is being tanked, and where Shannox is being tanked. Stand there, and nuke your dps target. Move out of the various types of poop. This is easier if you have your camera fairly close in, and even tipped slightly towards the floor. There isn’t a huge amount of significant movement in this fight, only slight sidesteps off traps and away from the lines of fire on the floor. If you are the current target of Riplimb, pop Frost Armour for the 15% damage reduction (very nice, your healers will hug you). It might even be worth glyphing for the mana regen on frost armour for this fight, if you can afford that (and remember to reset your normal glyphs afterwards) for those periods when you are being attacked.  The BurningSoul talent is a huge boon here. Depending on how your raids DPS is, you will have time for several burn phases, but it is important that you have all your cooldowns ready for when the last dog drops. I normally also drop a burn phase at the start, when we nuke down Riplimb, however if your raid uses different DPS orders, you might want to save it for some other point. Blink is very useful for getting away from traps, but take care you don’t end up blinking out of one trap and into another. Since traps spawn on players, it is a good idea to keep a bit of distance from anyone nearby, to avoid getting too many traps near you. If called upon, you might be required to slow riplimb when re runs back to Shannox, to help out the tanks. This will always be after Shannox hurls his spear. If you're arcane, this is a walk in the park, especially if you have slow talented to be applied by arcane blast. If not, cast it manually, and remember to offer this service if your raid leader overlooks it. That’s basically it from a mage’s point of view; most of the complexity in this fight is for the tank on Riplimb, who is responsible for dragging the dog through traps. Don’t stand in fire (or traps), DPS the right target, take care with aggro (if you’re starting on Riplimb, it’s usually worth it to pop Mirror image at the start, to make sure you don’t overaggro the tank, and if you see yourself creeping up the threat table don’t hesitate to pop invisibility, because they are all immune to taunts (if you draw aggro you are knee deep in s***).

A quick look at loot before we go (because we all love loot, it’s what helps us to be not-a-splat-on-the-floor, and do more of that sweet sweet damage. For a mage, Shannox drops several sexy pieces:

·         Crystal Prison Band: DPS ring with crit and mastery. Very nice for an arcane mage, you can reforge off a bit of crit to hit if need be, or leave it as is. For a fire mage, the mastery will have to come off, for haste or hit, and if you’re raiding frost (good on you), same as for arcane, the crit can be taken off for hit, or haste if you’re above the 33.3% soft crit cap.

·         Coalwalker Sandals: DPS feet with a yellow socket (+ 10 crit bonus, you probably just want to pass that up for a 40 intellect gem) crit and haste. Excellent for fire mages and frost mages, for arcane you’re going to want to get that haste off for mastery. Since they are BOE, you will probably be required to equip them immediately.

·         Goblet of Anger: This is the spirit off hand, unless you’re upgrading from a 346 piece you probably shouldn’t be taking this. Anyway, there’s a much better 356 drop from the Firelands dailies if you’re that desperate. Only nab it if you’re the only one who could possibly want it, and take the spirit off for mastery (arcane) or crit (fire and frost if below the 33% soft cap), or hit if below the 17% cap. This is a truly terrible item for arcane by the way (haste and spirit, our two most useless stats).
Thats all for today folks, don't stand in poop, and remember: dead mages do crap DPS.

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