October 14, 2007

How to Call the Headless Horseman

A former knight of the Silver Hand, the Headless Horseman is a cursed paladin who lurks within the Scarlet Monastery graveyard during Hallow's End (October 18th-November 1st). He's a fun fight with a small loot table of Heroic-level purples, plus fun things like temporary BOE broom mounts and a noncombat pumpkin pet. Sure, you may still be hungover from Brewfest or punch-drunk off the PTRs, but Halloween is on the way! Here's the Girl Meets WoW guide to summoning and defeating WoW's first five-man holiday boss.

First, find a group of level 70 players and take a field trip to the Scarlet Monastery. The graveyard is the first instance portal on the left, and you'll need to lazily clear through two hallways and a room to get to the horseman. On the right side of the SM GY grounds is a Pumpkin Shrine, which gives the daily quest [70] Call the Headless Horseman. Someone in your party must accept this quest, and then click on the Loosely Turned Soil behind the shrine to place a Dreary Candle.

The Horseman will then aggro on whoever placed the candle, starting the fight. Here's how the fight works:

Phase One
Allow your tank to pick up aggro on the Horseman, and dps him down (watch out for cleaves). At 1% he will toss his head in the air and then wander around disoriented (and immune to your attacks), and the Head of the Horseman will become active. It has ~27k health, and you'll need to take a third of that off to start the next phase.

Phase Two
The Head and the Horseman will recombine at the start of Phase Two. During this phase, the Horseman can Conflagrate, so ranged and healers need to keep their distance. As before, dps him to 1%, he'll separate, and then you need take off another third of the head's health. Note that after he separates, the Horseman will also whirlwind this time, so spread out and drop the head as fast as you can.

Phase Three
Head and Horseman will recombine again, and will toss out four Pulsing Pumpkins, which grow into adds which can crit for about 1k on cloth. They have about 10k health apiece, so while you could AOE them, you might just want to have your tank pick them up and keep dpsing - they'll go away when he dies. Drop the Horseman back down to 1%, and he'll toss his head again - kill it, and you win.

How Many Times a Day Can You Summon the Horseman?
In theory, you could farm him indefinitely within the constraints of the four instances per hour limit, but keep in mind that he's summoned by a daily quest, so once everyone in your party has summoned him, you'll have to either bring someone new in, or wait 24 hours to be able to get the Call the Headless Horseman quest again.

What Does the Horseman Drop?
The Horseman's Helm - A dps plate helm.
The Horseman's Signet Ring - A dps caster ring.
Ring of Ghoulish Delight - A melee dps ring.
Witching Band - A healing ring.
Hallowed Helm - This has no stats; it's a pumpkin you can wear on your head.
Magic Broom - A temporary level 40 ground mount. The most likely to drop.
Swift Magic Broom - A temporary epic ground mount.
Flying Broom - A temporary regular flying mount.
Swift Flying Broom - A temporary epic flying mount. The rarest broom.
Sinister Squashling (BOP noncombat pet) - An evil-looking walking pumpkin pet. When idle, he folds up into himself and "sits down" as a jack-o-lantern.
Tricky Treat - Candy that increases your movement speed for 30 seconds.

Sound complicated? It's really not that bad, but if my walkthrough has you curious or if you just can't wait until the 18th, you can always go watch a video of the fight (warning: very odd music selection).


Ratshag said...

This is a really good summary. Nicely done, GMW. Looking forward to finding out what the drop rates are, but that seems to be a close secret. Actually, I guess I don't care what the rates are so long as I get me helmet before November...

Girl Meets WoW said...

Thanks, Ratshag! The only thing I've heard for sure is that brooms are pretty common, but get increasingly rare on the table as you go from level 40 ground ---> level 70 epic flyer.

I bet there will be a *lot* of people farming him, though.

Samsam said...

For mages, Id suggest during phase 1 to mostly use your wand. Maybe shoot a spell or two off. Phase 2, use your wand just a little bit, but use your dps spells mostly. Then phase 3, all out spell dmg.

Zan said...

just a heads up I noticed during the first phase that the horseman can whirlwind. I got killed by it because the healer thought on the tank could be damaged during phase one. Just a heads up.

Carole said...

Great guide :) except for some incorrect things in the item drops:

Flying Broom - is the 60% flying mount.
Swift Flying Broom - is the 280% flying mount.
Magic Broom - is the 60% ground mount.
Swift Magic Broom - is the 100% ground mount.

Girl Meets WoW said...

@Samsam - Unless everyone you're with is using compatible threat meters, restraint is always good advice. Thanks for the comment!
@Zan - I'm not sure, but I think those might be cleaves. He certainly doesn't spin around whirlwinding in P1 like in the other phases, but since I don't have a melee character, I haven't noticed yet if he has a cone or 360 degree cleave effect.

@Carole - Good point! Looks like I mixed them up back when I was writing the guide. Fixed per your correction, thanks for dropping a note.

Kestrel said...

Now that we've spent a couple nights doing this (see my blog for a more detailed accounting), one thing I saw on WoWHead: This can be done as a raid (10-man), and still get the drops. So we did that last night, and it really helped as far as shortening the time to shuttle people in and out of the group. We had up to 9 people at one point.

Didn't seem to speed up killing him that much: In our 9-man, we had a level 41, who of course couldn't do much, another priest (so I didn't have to worry about the DPSers), and a second tank.

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