The first boss you’re likely to encounter in the new Firelands raid is Shannox. Tanking Shannox and his pets can be very challenging, but our tanking guide will help you along.
If you haven’t already done so, check out our guide to Shannox tactics, which will give you a good grounding in the basics of this encounter. Like the rest of the raid, you too should avoid the traps that Shannox throws down.
Of the three mobs in the encounter – Shannox, Riplimb and Rageface – only Shannox and Riplimb can be tanked. Rageface has no aggro table and will attack random raid members throughout the fight.
Shannox and Riplimb will both repeatedly apply a debuff, called Jagged Tear. This is a standard bleed effect, and it stacks. Managing Jagged Tear is the main challenge for tanks in this fight.
Both Shannox and Riplimb are immune to taunts, so you’ll have to build up threat the old-fashioned way.
The main tank role – getting all up in Shannox’s face
The main tank will be tanking Shannox himself. Position in standard raid boss style: in the center, towards the back, facing away from the raid. Maintaining a predictable facing for this boss is particularly important, as he cleaves in a 120° cone in front of him. Don’t let him hit the squishies.
Shannox will regularly throw his spear to somewhere near Riplimb. When this happens, he will be unable to reapply Jagged Tear until Riplimb runs back to him with the spear. This is the only opportunity you’ll have to allow your stacks of Jagged Tear to fall off.
He’s probably more scared of you than you are of him – off-tanking Riplimb
The off-tank task in this fight is to keep control of Riplimb. Riplimb should be tanked some distance away from Shannox, but be careful not to get too far. Further than 60 yards will cause both Riplimb and Shannox to enrage – something which can be firmly classed as a Bad Thing. Ideally, you want to position Riplimb just next to – but not on – a Crystal Prison Trap.
The trick to this fight is to balance the stacks of Jagged Tear. Riplimb will continue to apply this debuff to you at all times, except for when he returns Shannox’s spear. You need to slow him down as much as possible at that point, so that you and your fellow tank get the maximum amount of ‘downtime’, allowing your stacks of Jagged Tear to fall off.
The first, and most important, way to slow Riplimb is to trap him in one of Shannox’s _Crystal Prison Trap_s. As soon as you see the red circle appear, indicating the target area for Shannox’s Hurl Spear ability, kite Riplimb into a Crystal Prison Trap (being very careful not to trigger it yourself). If you’ve positioned Riplimb correctly, there should be a suitable trap very near to you.
Riplimb will find his own way out of the trap after 10 seconds, at which point he will head back to Shannox. Slows can help here – Chains of Ice from a Death Knight, for instance.
When Riplimb has returned the stick – sorry, spear – he’ll go back to attacking the raid. Hopefully, you’ll still be at the top of his aggro table so he’ll run towards you. At this point, abilities which put distance between you and Riplimb (Heroic Leap, for example) are useful. Just be careful to keep him within the 60 yard range.
Alternative Tank-swap strategy
An alternative strategy is to have one tank take on both Shannox and Riplimb at the same time. Once Jagged Tear reaches about 8 stacks, swap to the other tank. Since both mobs are immune to taunt, this strategy requires some serious tanking skill, but it can make things easier for your healers.
The horrible bit at the end during which you’ll probably die
The DPS will be aiming to kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health. Each canine fatality enrages Shannox, to the tune of an extra 30% damage and an extra 30% speed. Once that kicks in, he will hit like a truck that has won the Which Truck? Best Truck To Hit Like award three years running. There’s no getting away from it: this is gonna hurt.
You should try to save your mitigation cooldowns for this final phase, and coordinate cooldowns with your healers. You won’t have to worry about Hurl Spear any more, but Shannox will more than make up for that by repeatedly slamming the spear into the ground instead, doing large amounts of AoE fire damage and applying a debuff that increases fire damage taken.
Grit your teeth and take the pain, and it’ll soon be over.