Once we had the right start worked out Shannox was much easier to kill on Thursday than our attempts on Tuesday led us to believe. The key to the entire encounter was keeping Shannox and Riplimb a good distance apart from each other.
- 2 Tanks (Bear, Prot Paladin)
- 3 Healers (Resto Shaman, Holy Paldain, Tree)
- 3 Melee (Rogue, DK, Enhance Shaman)
- 2 Ranged (Warlock, Mage)
Shannox & Riplimb
- We had one tank on Shannox and one on Riplimb for the entire fight; they stood about 80 or so yards apart.
- We had two healers on the Shannox tank with one of them helping on the melee, and one healer on the Riplimb tank & ranged.
- Both Shannox and Riplimb apply a stacking DoT to their tanks called Jagged Tear.
To give some idea of the distance, I was healing the Riplimb tank and though I could move more towards the center and usually be in range of both tanks, that wasn’t always the case.
To make the encounter more complicated, if Shannox is taken too far away from either of his hounds, he gains a buff that increases the damage he does (I believe it was called “Separation Anxiety”). If the Shannox tank notices this buff, he must move Shannox back in towards the group (closer to the hounds) and it will fall off again.
Shannox also throws two different types of traps at raid members. They become armed 2 seconds after landing, and if you are still standing on it at that time, or walk over them later on, it will spring.
- The Immolation Trap applies a fire DoT to its victim.
- The Crystal Poison Trap will encase it’s victim in a block of crystal.
- Both traps can affect the hounds!
Raid members should all do their very best to avoid both types of traps! Those trapped in crystal can be DPS’d out, but the blocks have a decent amount of hit points, so it will take some time to free them. Be sure to communicate if you are trapped, because DPS should not waste time accidentally freeing trapped hounds. Hounds trapped in crystal will break themselves out after several seconds.
Note: Raiders trapped in crystal CAN take damage from Rageface, Hurl Spear AoE, Immolation Trap, etc, but they CANNOT be healed. The crystal block also acts as a line of sight blocker.
Next, Shannox will occasionally use Hurl Spear to throw his spear in the direction of Riplimb. When it strikes the ground, it deals a good amount of AoE damage, with those closer to the spear taking a larger hit. Then, Riplimb will fetch the spear and run it back to his master. This mechanic is the reason we had the tanks stay about 80 yards apart.
- When Shannox does NOT have his spear (after he Hurls it at Riplimb), he does not apply Jagged Tear.
- When Riplimb is FETCHING the spear, he does not apply Jagged Tear.
The Jagged Tear debuff should have enough time to fall off both tanks during the time that Riplimb is returning the spear to his master. If the Shannox tank’s debuff doesn’t appear to be falling off in time, the Shannox tank can kite Shannox away, making it take longer for Riplimb to return the spear to him. If the Shannox tank does this, they must then bring Shannox back, closer to the raid, as Riplimb runs to his tank, otherwise Shannox will be too far away from Riplimb, and he will get the Separation debuff.
The Riplimb tank should try to kite Riplimb into nearby Crystal Poison Traps whenever possible. This will freeze Riplimb in place and again give the tank some time to loose the Jagged Tear debuff. Given the position of the raid, you can expect Riplimb to run into both kinds of traps on his own as he runs back and forth.
- If either of the hounds die, Shannox Frenzies and gains a 30% damage and attack speed buff. When both dogs die, it increases to a 60% buff.
- If Shannox gets to 30% health or lower, both hounds will gain 400% damage increase, 200% attack speed increase, and 100% movement speed increase.
Suffice it to say, you want to avoid pushing Shannox below 30% while the dogs are alive all costs. Additionally, you want to hold off on killing the dogs until Shannox is fairly low to decrees the duration of his Frenzy.
Between Spear Hurl’s I watched for ranged raid members getting Face Raged by Rageface [Really, Blizzard? These are the names you went with?], and generally spot healed as needed. As mentioned already, the support tank healer also spot healed the melee with special attention on melee being Face Raged.
- In 10s, Rageface will continue to Face Rage a target until he receives a single attack of at least 30,000 damage.
- At that point, he breaks off the Face Rage and looks for another target to attack normally.
- After a bit, he’ll start to Face Rage at someone again, and must receive another 30,000 damage hit to be stopped.
- Rageface cannot tanked, so just expect him to run around at everyone.
Healers should assist the target of Face Rage by sending them quick big, heals (Regrowth) until the hound has moved on. You cannot heal someone through a Face Rage entirely, but you can buy your dpsers extra time to get a 30k hit on Rageface.
You cannot use most abilities (including heals and attacks) when you are being Face Raged, however:
- Mages can Ice Block out of Face Rage.
- Druids can use Barkskin during a Face Rage.
- Paladins can bubble out of Face Rage.
- Other similar abilities may be usable.
To start the encounter, our melee group focused their attacks on Shannox and our ranged focused on Rageface. Shannox was brought down to about 40%, and then all melee dps switched over to Riplimb. The ranged brought Rageface to about 30% and then also switched to Riplimb.
Ranged remained ready at all times to switch to Rage Face and quickly deal a 30k hit. We left Rageface’s health at 30% before switching to allow enough wiggle room for these big hits without fear of killing him early. Depending on your group, you may need to play with the optimal Rageface health (perhaps burn him down to 20% asap if you have to rely upon execution abilities, such as Hammer of Wrath, to make a 30k hit).
Once Riplimb was at around 20-15%, we had both hounds brought down evenly and then killed at about the same time. All DPS then switched to Shannox for the “burn phase” and finished off the encounter.
Over all, raid damage (outside of the Face Rages) was pretty minimal. I kept Wild Growth up on the ranged group, used Regrowth on the Face Rage target, and used Nourish to spot heal those being hit by Rageface’s normal attacks.
Despite Riplimb’s Jagged Tear ability, the damage on his tank was also generally minimal; a three stack of Lifebloom and some spot heals were all I needed to keep him stable. The only exception to this would be when Shannox used his Hurl Spear ability, throwing the weapon towards Riplimb and causing a burst of AoE damage. With the ranged positioned slightly nearer to Shannox, usually only the Riplimb tank and myself took much damage from Hurl Spear, and a couple of Nourishes was all it took to heal us back up.
The Shannox tank, on the other hand, took substantially more damage, requiring a full time healer and a support healer.
As we killed both hounds, I switched my lifebloom stack and healing focus to the Shannox tank, who was taking more damage because of Shannox’s Frenzy.
During our first several attempts, I was sucking on fumes, but as we got used to the fight, solidified our strat, and figured out where healing was most needed, I found mana to be not as much of an issue. The biggest contributor to this was, I’m sure, DPS learning how to move out of Immolation Traps. However, I did make liberal use of Innervate and I popped a Concentration Potion between Hurl Spears at some point.