This post describes rogue tactics for a boss fight in the Firelands raid. The focus is on the 10-man version of the fights, since that’s what most people will be running. If you have suggestions for alternate strategies, or if I say something that you disagree with, please put it in the comments.
This is not meant to be a full raid strategy guide. It are written to describe the role of rogues (or other melee dps) during the encounters. For full strategy guides refer to Raid Boss Strategies or WoWpedia.
This is the first boss in the Firelands raid. You’ll need to clear a lot of trash to get him to spawn. As you clear trash, you’ll get alerts that his horn is sounding. When he actually spawns, he yells an emote letting you know that he is near. He will path around the road in the central trash area, and he moves pretty quickly.
There is a bit of target-switching in this fight, which is inconvenient for rogues when trying to keep our various abilities up. You get enough single-target- focus time that its not too terribly frustrating. And there are traps! (but you probably won’t disarm them)
Shannox is a hunter and he has two hellhounds with him, imaginatively named Riplimb and Rageface (probably named by Shannox’ 5-year old demonic kid). There are various strategies for the dps order, so pay close attention to your raid leader’s instructions.
Rageface repeatedly wipes his aggro table and cannot be tanked. He will jump around the raid, alternately attacking various people. He doesn’t hit terribly hard. If he attacks you (his regular attack, not his special attack) then you can use Evasion to avoid much of the damage.
Periodically he uses his special attack, called Face Rage. When he does that, he leaps and pins someone down and does a flurry of attacks on that person. If its you, then you are stunned and can’t do anything, so Vanish and Evasion won’t help you unless you can somehow pop one of them preemptively (not sure if that can be done).
If he is going all Rage-Face on someone else, they only way to make him stop is to hit him with a single attack of over 30k damage. For any rogue spec at this gear level, a 5-point Eviscerate or Envenom crit should do the trick. Mutilate rogues can pop their Cold Blood to assure a crit, especially if he’s raging on a healer.
Tip: You’ll want to check your Recount/Skada logs after the fight. Look to make sure that your finisher crits are exceeding 30k. If not, then you could use some more gear or enchants or something.
My raid burned down Rageface first because he is a nuisance. When he dies, Shannox gets a damage buff, but its not unhealable.
Shannox, Traps, and Flaming Spears
While this is going on, Shannox is throwing traps around (stupid hunters). Some are immolation traps, which do fire damage and put a fire DoT and increase fire damage. The DoT and damage increase debuff can be Cloaked if you happen to step on one. The best course, obviously, is to maneuver around the traps and avoid them. Its not too hard.
He also places Crystal Prison trap. These encase you in a prison that has to be dps’ed down to break a player out. And they have a lot of health, so its no small task to break one. Make extra sure that you don’t step on these, and prioritize breaking a healer out if they get trapped.
Now, any good rogue is currently saying to himself, “Traps? Can I disarm them?” The answer is yes. However, that’s time that you are not doing any damage, or maintaining any of your buffs/debuffs on your target. I don’t think there is a good reason to spend time disarming traps rather than attacking.
The dogs can step on the traps, too. This is a useful strategy if you can maneuver them.
In addition, Shannox throws his spear frequently during the fight. Where it lands, it makes a spirally pattern of fire around itself. You should step out of the fire eruptions, or Cloak if you cannot get out. They won’t kill you, but they will do enough damage that you’re susceptible to quick death from a trap or Face Rage.
The other dog is Riplimb. He gets off-tanked. He will run and fetch Shannox’s spear whenever it is thrown. This time is crucial, because both tanks can drop their debuffs while Riplimb is playing fetch. Its important that Riplimb take as long as possible to run back and forth. You can help with that by putting Crippling Poison on your thrown weapon and hitting Riplimb with a FoK as he goes by (or use DP with Deadly Brew).
If your raid has enough ranged dps, then you might not get assigned to dps Riplimb. If you do have to attack him, its a hassle because he runs back and forth a lot playing fetch with Shannox’s spear. During that time its hard to keep on target. Also, while you are chasing him you have to avoid the traps which are littering the ground. Other than that, he’s simple to dps.
Both dogs need to die before Shannox reaches 30% health. Typically, strategies call for one dog to be killed (usually Rageface) and the health of the other dog and Shannox balanced so that the second dog (usually Riplimb) dies when Shannox is very close to 30%.
When the second dog dies, its all-out dps on Shannox for his final 30%. There will be traps thrown everywhere and the tank will be kiting the boss around to avoid them. If you’re following behind the boss its hard to see the traps, so I like to stand off to his side as he is moved around the area. Note that Shannox is untauntable, so if you pull aggro you’re in trouble. I’ve heard that Vanish is not dropping threat like its supposed to, so be careful.
If you manage to take him down, assassination rogues are looking for Feeding Frenzy as their new main hand dagger. Others are hoping for the Gloves of Dissolving Smoke (with a load of mastery, so also preferred by assassination rogues).