Firelands 10M Frost DK guide: Shannox

Shannox is one of the first bosses in the Firelands raid instance. Actually, the first boss of Firelands is really the seemingly endless waves of trash packs and patrols that fear you, knock you off the edge, are mostly immune to damage, and are generally just annoying. But I digress.

Anyway, Shannox is sort of a Hunter - he tosses out Immolation and Crystal Prison traps and has two pet Hell Hounds, Rageface and Riplimb. However, Shannox is also a Huntard, because he spends most of the fight in melee and only periodically unleashes any ranged attacks - with a THROWN weapon.

Oh Shannox. Robe of Shame for you.

For tanks and healers, this fight can be a tricky dance. Tanks have to keep Shannox away from Riplimb so that when Riplimb fetches Shannox's hurled spear, it has to run a long distance back to its master, allowing more time for Shannox's Jagged Tear bleed DoT to wear off. They also have to be aware of the traps strewn about, and try to maneuver so that Riplimb triggers Crystal Prison traps as it retrieves its master's weapon.

Meanwhile, healers have to deal with the Jagged Tear damage, some moderate AoE damage to the entire raid when Shannox hurls his spear, but most importantly, Rageface's Face Rage damage. Every now and then Rageface will pounce on a random target, mauling them for absurd damage, so healers have to be really on their game to keep these victims alive.

Face Rage can only be stopped by delivering a large hit to Rageface, in the form of a single attack dealing 30,000 damage or more. This is our job! It's pretty straightforward, but it is vitally important. If the DPS are too slow knocking Rageface off, the poor person being savaged WILL die, so we need to crush Rageface FAST once it starts Face Raging.

Shannox will get pissed off when one Hound dies, and will get even MORE angry when the second dies. We don't really care about this, except that we need to be careful not to kill the second Hound before the tanks and healers are prepared. Conversely, if you bring Shannox below 30% health, his Hounds freak out and enrage, so they have to both be dead before finishing off Shannox himself.

Shannox also has a frontal cleave attack, so DON'T STAND IN FRONT. This can be tough, because the Shannox tank will often have to kite and rotate him as they pick their way through a sea of traps, so be ready to adjust and swivel behind Shannox immediately - the cleave HURTS.

All three bosses are also immune to taunting, so if one of your tanks goes down, don't bother trying to taunt to emergency tank them.

There's a few different ways to do this boss, so rather than focus on specific step-by-step instructions I'm just going to go over some general universal guidelines.

Your special class/spec responsibilities:
• Smash Rageface when he Face Rages someone
• Break out players trapped in Crystal Prisons ASAP
• Do not push Shannox below 30% / kill 2nd Hound too early

Dual Wield or 2-Hand?

Typically, the differences between Dual Wield and 2-Hand Frost are minimal at best, assuming the DK's weapons are of equivalent item level. They play exactly the same, their stat priorities are the same, etc. According to Elitist Jerks, Dual Wield is slightly ahead of 2-Hand right now.

However, in this fight it is MUCH more beneficial to go 2-Hand because of the Face Rage mechanic. Since a 30k hit is required to disrupt Face Rage, you want bigger, meatier hits rather than faster, smaller ones. Usually a DW Obliterate that deals two 15k hits is exactly the same as a 2H Obliterate that deals one 30k hit, since in both cases the boss takes 30k damage. But with Face Rage, it's significantly different - the 2H DK successfully disrupts Face Rage, while the Dual Wield DK does not.

So if you have a decent 2H weapon and can reforge your gear appropriately, you may want to respec 2H while you're working on Shannox. It's annoying, yeah, but at least we HAVE an option to get around this annoying disadvantage - other dual wielders, such as Rogues or Shamans, don't have this luxury.

Shannox's Traps

During the entire fight, Shannox will toss traps all over the place. They look like normal (but oversized) Hunter traps, orange for Immolation, red for Crystal Prison. As the fight goes on, the ground can get pretty crowded, but it's extremely important to avoid these hazards, even if you have to cut wide detours and put yourself out of melee range for a few seconds.

The DoT effect of an Immolation Trap hits like a truck, and is 100% avoidable damage that your healers should not have to deal with. And getting trapped in a Crystal Prison Trap is a terrible waste - you're useless while trapped, and it pulls valuable DPS away from their actual duties to break you out.

Additionally, hitting a trap has an indirect negative effect - doing so means one less trap available for Rageface or Riplimb to trigger. Rageface takes nice damage if it happens to run into an Immolation Trap (or is steered into one), and if the Riplimb tank is able to lure Riplimb into a Crystal Prison trap before it can fetch Shannox's spear, Shannox is left weaponless for a nice length of time, making it easier for the Shannox tank to drop their Jagged Tear stacks.

(Rageface should generally NOT be led into a Crystal Prison trap if possible, since those should be left available for the Riplimb tank to utilize, and there's no reason for DPS to stop DPSing Rageface until it dies. And though we won't have to worry about this, Riplimb ideally should not hit Immolation Traps, because it will get a buff granting temporary trap immunity, which means no Crystal Prison trapping when Shannox chucks his spear.)

Stopping FACE RAGE (and what to do after)

There's not a lot of strategy here - when Rageface starts Face Raging someone, hit it as hard as you can. Prioritize Obliterate here, since it's our hardest-hitting ability. If we have a Killing Machine proc, a 2H Obliterate is almost guaranteed to interrupt Face Rage.

Whoever interrupts Face Rage should be prepared to "tank" Rageface briefly, for it will fixate on whoever dealt the interrupting blow. The damage isn't anything special, so don't use defensive cooldowns or run away or anything. Just sit there, take the hits and keep DPSing until Rageface loses interest and goes after someone else.

If Rageface is fixated on you, you can also attempt to lead him over a nearby Immolation Trap. This is a very nice damage boost, but be VERY CAREFUL not to trigger the trap yourself! If you're not sure if you can do it, don't take the risk - the Immolation DoT plus Rageface's attacks PLUS a possible spear throw is a ridiculous healing burden.

Army of the Dead

On pull is fine, or right before/as you kill the 2nd Hound and push Shannox into the burn phase. We usually have a slight lull as we coordinate boss health and Jagged Tear stacks, so this is when I like to pop my ghouls.

Defensive Cooldowns

The only predictable, unavoidable damage we'll take in this fight is the AoE when Shannox throws his spear, and the damage is light. I would actually save my defensive cooldowns just in case you accidentally trigger an Immolation Trap. The fight gets crazy cluttered and hectic, and it's easy to mistep - reducing the immense trap damage can be the difference between life and death.

Shannox drops a very nice 2-hand axe (with Haste!), the Skullstealer Greataxe, as well as Necklace of Fetishes. He can also surrender the Uncrushable Belt of Fury, but this is actually a tanking belt, and we should avoid it. For example, it actually has less Strength than the ilvl 359 Belt of the Ferocious Wolf reputation purchase.

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  1. gravatar

    Nice guide. While I never plan to melee it, tank, heal or ranged only for me, it is nice to read a guide from a melee perspective. Helps when some of the raiders have questions.

    July 11, 2011 at 8:21 AM