Firelands Boss Guides: Shannox – Melee DPS tactics

The first Firelands boss most raids will tackle is Shannox. Melee DPS, frankly, have it easy for this fight, so there’s no excuse not to be on top form. Take a look at our general guide to Shannox tactics, then come back here for specific melee DPS tactics.

Initial positioning

As melee DPS you’ll be focusing all your attention on Shannox himself. Ignore the two dogs unless your raid leader specifically tells you otherwise. Your job in this fight is to avoid Shannox’s Cleave attack, avoid the traps he regularly drops, and hit him with your big weapon of choice – in that order.

Yes, Shannox does have a nasty cleave attack which will hit any target in a 120° arc, so your first priority should be to make sure you’re standing behind him. Your tank shouldn’t need to turn Shannox once the fight starts, so get yourself entrenched right behind his fiery rear end and prepare to do some damage.

Avoid the traps

Your primary task during this fight is to avoid the traps that Shannox regularly drops. This takes priority over everything, even DPS. The traps in this fight look like standard Hunter traps, and are easy to spot.

There are two types of trap. The first is an Immolation Trap, which will burn your lovely shoes right off if you stand in it. It’s not an instant kill, but it throws out some nasty damage, and you’ll have a ‘fire hurts more’ debuff at various points during the fight, so be nice to your healers and don’t stand on the fire traps.

The second type of trap is called a Crystal Prison Trap, and is basically an iceblock. Stand on this nasty little device and it’ll encase you in crystal. You won’t be able to do anything at all until the crystal is shattered. That means that the rest of the raid will have to stop what they’re doing and DPS your prison to free you. The crystals have lots of health, so this is a distraction you don’t need.

There’s another fight mechanic which effectively counts as a third type of trap. When Shannox throws his spear he’ll do colossal damage to anybody standing in the way. If you’re standing in the circle of fire once the spear comes down you’re virtually guaranteed to die. It’s easy to avoid – just look out for the big pillar of fire and make sure you step away from it as soon as it appears.


The secondary effect of Shannox’s spear throw is lots of little fires that appear on the ground after the spear throw triggers. There’ll be a lot of them, which can be quite panic-inducing the first time you see it, but – like the spear throw itself – they’re easy to avoid. They appear in a spiral pattern, moving outwards from the spear’s point of impact. Just make sure you’re not standing directly on one of them.

Remember – none of these do any AoE damage, so they’ll only ever affect one person. It’s also worth noting that the _Immolation Trap_s and the _Crystal Prison Trap_s can be disarmed by Rogues. Rageface and Riplimb can be affected by the traps, so you normally want to keep them all in place, but occasionally it might be worth disarming a trap which is in an awkward place, or which is in danger of hitting a tank.

The moment you’ve been waiting for

Your aim in this fight is to kill both the dogs when Shannox is at about 35% health. When that happens, he’ll enrage and start to give your tanks a very bad day. That’s your time to shine. Turn the DPS dial up to 11 and pop every cooldown in your arsenal. Burn, burn, burn – you need to kill Shannox before he kills your tanks (and shortly thereafter, you).

This fight is all about awareness. Watch out for the traps and you should be fine.

Read more →

Everything you need to know about Fire, and the Lands therof

Whilst I was trying to figure out how to scoop the blacksmithing market by unlocking the new Blacksmithing and Engineering recipes earlier, I happened across one of the best guides I’ve ever seen for an event like this.

Icy Veins, who appear to be going from strength to strength right now, have written a really stonking, incredibly complete guide to absolutely everything you need to know about the Firelands. They’ve got detailed quest instructions with illustrations, an overview of the entire quest chain, details on all the available patterns, the works –

After 9 days, you will have gathered enough Marks of the World Tree to recruit either the Shadow Wardens or the Druids of the Talon. Whichever of these groups you decide to unlock first, you will receive additional daily quests from the Molten Front, which enable you to recruit the other group in 5 days.

The daily quests from the Druids of the Talon send you questing at the Furnace, the Molten Flow (an uncharted area below the Furnace and the Magma Springs), and the Fireplume Peak. The daily quests from the Shadow Wardens send you questing at the Forlorn Spire, the Widow’s Clutch, and the Igneous Depths. The last daily quest from each group is the same and will send you to Ragnaros’ Reach.

It’s one of the best guides I’ve ever seen to a large questing area – I wish we’d had something similarly awesome back in the day of the Isle of Quel’Danas. So, if you’re wondering pretty much anything about your dailies, from what patterns are available to where exactly to find the damn turtles, check it out!

_Quote taken directly from Icy Veins’ post.

Find Icy Veins’ homepage at http://www.icy-veins.com_

Read more →

Patch 4.2 – aargh, where to start?

Short and sweet, this one. Patch 4.2 has dropped, and there’s lots to do – quite a bit of it rather confusing.

You want the epics, the new recipes, the new quests? Then what you’re probably really looking for – I know it’s what I was looking for this morning – is a guide. And Tree Bark Jacket’s come through with the goods:

Get started on your daily quests to get level 365 gear NPCs opened ASAP.If you haven’t already, you need to do all of the Hyjal quests up to Aessina’s Miracle. This kick-starts the phasing that you need to start your Firelands dailies.

The rewards for completing these dailies are Marks of the World Tree, but are not used to buy the rewards themselves. Instead, they are used to open up more quests, NPC fortifications, landscape changes, and eventually the reward NPCs who will sell you epics for gold. For more info on how this works, visit the official WoW blog or Wowhead’s 4.2 guide. Get these dailies done and dusted for today, so you are moving towards opening the reward NPCs as soon as you can.

It’s complete and covered everything I wanted to know – so go, read, learn, and 4.2.

_Quote taken from Tree Bark Jacket’s original post.

Find Tree Bark Jacket’s homepage at

Read more →

Patch 4.3 Shadow Priest Quick Start Guide – stats, gems, glyphs, reforging and DPS Rotation / Priorities

It’s time to melt some faces! I’m not entirely sure why shadow priests are so associated with faces and the melting therof, but it seems to be a Thing, so hey. In any case, if there are faces in your future which you wish to melt, here’s a guide to the shadow priest glyphs, gems, stat weightings, and rotation you’ll need, plus advice on enchants, reforging, and more, for World of Warcraft Patch 4.3.

Updated March 6th 2012 for Patch 4.3

Shadow Priest Changes in Patch 4.3

Short version: None.

Long version: absolutely, totally, utterly nil, nothing, nada, nuts-all.

Our Tier 13 bonuses are fun, but they don’t change our rotation, gearing, or anything else.

DPS Rotation / Priority

Shadow Priests don’t have a strict DPS rotation – instead, they operate on a priority system.

Absolute first priority is to keep all your Damage Over Time spells ticking on the target: Vampiric Touch, Devouring Plague, and *Shadow Word: Pain *. Use an addon like DOTimer to track these.

Next, cast Mind Blast whenever it’s off cooldown, unless your Empowered Shadow buff is about to drop off or has dropped. If it is or has, carry on with your priorities but wait for a Shadow Orb to proc before casting Mind Blast.

If the target is below 25%, also cast Shadow Word: Death whenever it’s off cooldown.

Finally, if everything else is on cooldown and your DOTs are still ticking, cast Mind Flay. This will also refresh your Shadow Word: Pain.

DO NOT worry about Shadow Orbs (one of the Shadow specialisations) unless Empowered Shadows is about to drop or has dropped. Mind Blast does so much damage that you should cast it whenever it’s off rotation, regardless of how many Orbs you have. DO NOT cast Shadow Word: Death when a target is above 25% health.

Cooldowns: Use Dark Archangel and Shadowfiend as soon as you need the mana, unless you are sure you won’t run out of mana in the current combat, in which case use them on cooldown. Whilst it’s not a cooldown spell, you can also use Shadow Word Death (provided you’re specced into Masochism, as our standard spec is) to regenerate mana reasonably quickly.

Shadow Priest Talent Spec

The theorycrafting experts consider this talent spec to be overall the best option for Shadow Priesting in 4.3.

That spec leaves 2 spare points. Good options for those two points are:

  • 1 point for 33 in Mental Agility, bottom tier of Discipline. Reduces your mana cost for instant cast spells, potentially increasing DPS in longer fights.
  • 1 or 2 points in Inner Sanctum, 2nd tier of Discipline. The bit we care about here is that it boosts your movement speed by an additional 2% or 4% whilst you have Inner Will up, and movement speed is likely to boost DPS in many situations.
  • 1 point in Psychic Horror, 2nd from top tier of Shadow. A short CC/disarm. No DPS benefit, but VERY useful against bosses like the 2nd in Grim Batol which are affected by disarm. Your tank will love you.
  • 1 or 2 points in Phantasm, 3rd Tier in Shadow. Gives you a 50% or 100% chance for Fade to remove movement impairing effects. Primarily PvP oriented, but useful in some circumstances.

For raiding, Mental Agility and Inner Sanctum are probably the way to go.


Stats, Reforging and Gems

Intellect and Spellpower are FAR more important than any other stat. Gem and enchant for them whenever possible unless a single gem will enable you to reach haste cap (see below).

Reforge Hit, Spirit, Crit and Mastery to Haste if you can. If not, reforge Crit (by preference) and Mastery to Spirit (not Hit) until you hit 17% hit cap (Spirit also boosts Hit for shadow priests). Finally, reforge anything left to Mastery.

What, you’re saying don’t go for Hit Cap? Yes. There’s a fair amount of debate about this in the Shadow Priest community, but it appears that both Intellect and Haste are more valuable than Hit.

Shadow Priest enchants

It’s worth checking to make sure your own professions can’t provide better buffs than these, by the way!

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect


At last, a simple choice!

Prime Glyphs: Glyph of Mind Flay, Glyph of Shadow Word: Death, Glyph of Shadow Word: Pain

Major Glyphs: Glyph of Fade, Glyph of Psychic Scream, Glyph of Spirit Tap

Minor Glyphs: Glyph of Fading, Glyph of Levitate, Glyph of Shadowfiend

Yes, Shadow Priests actually have useful minor glyphs!

You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we scour the blogosphere daily looking for the most interesting discussions and posts about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you, all in one place, right here. See what’s on the Pot today!

Did you find this post useful? If so, please consider sharing it! You can find Twitter, Facebook and Google+ buttons below.


Read more →

Some Quests are Pure Torch-ure

We don’t often feature guides on the Pot, particularly guides for one quest. But in this case, there are three reasons why we’re breaking that general principle.

One, of course, was that awesome pun up there. See it? Awesome.

Another is that the Fire Festival torch-catching quest is a bit infamous. Left a bit! Right a bit! AAARGH!

And the third is that Orcish Army Knife’s guide to the Torch Catching quests is, frankly, one of the best-written and most extensively explained guides, particularly for a single quest, ever.

One of the biggest mistakes people make with these quests is waiting until they see where a torch is going before moving. By this I mean catching a torch, and sitting there until you see your character throw it away. This is bad. By the time you spot the torch’s movement, quite often you are too far away from where it will land and/or facing the wrong direction, and won’t be able to reach it in time.

I have found that the best way to catch torches is to actually be moving back towards them. For example, if the torch is headed North, I want to be moving South when it hits me. This means that I have to run ahead of where the torch will land, turn around, and then run back into the torch as it falls down.

It’s extensive. It comes with annotated pictures AND video. It covers keyboard-turning, too many players, and more. If the WoW community produced more guides at this sort of level, we’d all be a lot better educated, at least in WoW terms.

Nice work, guys. And everyone else, go catch some torches.

Quote taken directly from the post at

Find Orcish Army Knife’s homepage at

Read more →

Everything You Need To Know About Gearing for PvP in Cata

Evening all! Rebecca’s taking a couple of days off from the Pot to recover from the Cata-binge, and so for the next few days I’m at the helm. Bwaahahahaaha. Etc.

First up this evening, we’ve got a fantastically useful post from Cynwise. He’s basically gone through every source of PvP gear for all levels, for everyone from the hardcore Arena guy to, well, me, the man who’s only ever played 7 Arena fights and lost 6 of them. (I think the 7th group were all AFK).

One of the biggest shifts in the new gear model is that most PvP gear does not require PvP ratings to purchase. There is no longer a massive gear discrepancy between low and high rated players, as long as you can get the Conquest Points to purchase it, the top-tier gear is yours.

It sounds like, with the new expansion, now’s an excellent time for anyone, even the PvP newbie, to get a bit of pee vs pee combat in. And Cynwise’s guide makes the entire shenaigan sound accessible and understandable, rather than the frightening morass of arena ratings and hardcore requirements that I’d always assumed Wrath PvP was, from what I saw of it.

If you’ve got any thoughts of getting into arenas or battlegrounds, give the guide a look!

Are you planning to delve into PvP this expansion? Or staying clear and sticking to PvE?

_Quote taken directly from Cynwise’s post.

You can find_ Cynwise’s Battlefield Manual here.__

Read more →

Oh My, Kurenai: How To Fix Your Smaller UI Size After Patch 4.0.3

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So you’ve just downloaded the patch – like me. And you’ve loaded up WoW and found that your UI is miniscule – like me. Then, if you’re like me, you might have looked hopelessly at your UI and grumbled into your coffee. Or you might not. Either way, if your WoW UI is smaller than it was before the patch today, don’t panic.

There is a fix.

And Rhii is coming to our rescue with an excellent guide on how to achieve it.

The fix is quite quick to do but Rhii’s gone above and beyond with her post. Her explanation’s very clear, has screenshots at every step, and is a fun read as well. She’s not out to belittle or make fun of anyone with this problem, she’s just giving a lighthearted hand to help you be able to, you know, see your buttons before something eats your face.

So if you don’t like the idea of your UI being smaller than it was yesterday (anyone with eyesight problems is surely going to have problems, I really don’t get why Blizzard did this – feel free to let me know folks?) just head over to Rhii’s. She’ll help you out.

Feel free to spread the word – your guildies, workmates or family WoW players might also be having the same problem. What do you think – is this a useful fix, or really annoying?

_No quote taken this time because much of Rhii’s post is in helpful pictures

You can find Oh My Kurenai’s homepage here_

Read more →