By the way, we killed the damn lizard one week after we expected it. We had a DK tank, a bear, paladin, shaman and druid as healers, and mage, warlock, shadow priest, enhancement shaman and hunter. I counted 10 to 11 hours of wiping on that fight, which is quite all right. We begin officially raiding on the 6th of January, and completed the normal tier the 25th, that’s 3 weeks of raiding 4 times a week with 15 raiders. That puts us 8th guild on the server, but the other guilds began to raid earlier and raid more days or with bigger rosters, so we think we can grab a few more ranks while progressing through hardmodes.
Nefarian is clearly the hardest boss of this normal tier. You need solid healers, and one thing is very important : don’t panic. There are some moments in the fight when something will get wrong, and like it was for Lich King typically : it could and will certainly wipe your raid if you panic. There are basically 4 times in the fight when things can go wild on the raid : add managing in phase one, jumping on the platforms, crackles during phase 2 if you choose to do some, and when flames block the way of the off-tank during phase 3 add kitting.
Lets review the fight. Here is a guide (for ten-man).
Once all the other bosses are dead in Black Wing Descent, you have access to Nefarian : the lava in the pit kind of disappear (I’ll leave you discover exactly what happens by yourself) and Onyxia is waiting for you there. Nefarian is not far away. I’m not going to call him ‘Nef’, this is my name for Elune sake ! We had some confusion in the guild during the fight : ‘bring Nef around there‘, me : ‘ugh what ? where do I go ?‘… Now we call him Robert. And she’s Roberta of course…
The fight is divided in 3 phases.
Phase 1 : First, you fight the brother and sister, Nefarian and Onyxia. Onyxia is waiting for you down there, while Nefarian is flying around. When you enter combat, he will summon adds around the room (5 in ten-man normal), once he’s done with the summoning, he’ll come an chew your face. One thing to remember, don’t keep the both of them near to each other, 60m at least, or they will eat your tanks. Killing Onyxia pushes to phase 2.
Phase 2 : Lava will flood the room, jump on the pillars, have one healer per pillar (this is important) and one kicker too (very important) for you will have to interrupt the minions on the pillars or they’ll kill your raid. Nefarian sends bolts on people randomly, generally several time in a go on the same person. This is the hardest part for your healers. Once the three minions are dead, or after 3 minutes, you enter phase 3.
Phase 3 : The lava is gone again. Nefarian will revive the first adds with fire, this fire spread toward the nearest person or add, like Mimiron’s. Kite it away from the raid. We tanked Nefarian on one side of the room and moved if flames came around. Some guilds tank him in the middle, do like you feel is better. The hardest part there is keeping your offtank alive, more on that latter.
During the whole fight : when Nefarian is 90%, 80%, 70%, etc, he does a crackle (Release the KRAKEN ! Sorry my guildies don’t speak English well and say ‘kraken’ instead of ‘crackle’, me and our tank, who is half-French, half-American, found this hilarious and imagined it was a giant squid hitting our raid…). It does around 100k nature damage on everyone. It can be mitigated via resist totem or aspect, and individual protections. The raid needs to be top-ed off before those, you can control it via your dps. Have someone call it in advance. Here is an emote from the boss seconds before it actually hits. Crackles in phase 2 is very hard on healers, ask them if it’s possible. We had 2 crackles in phase 1, 1 in phase 2, and the rest in phase 3. Don’t move the raid too much after a crackle so they can stay in green/blue/white puddles.
Phase one : Onyxia and Nefarian
When you jump from the passageway, your tank take Onyxia and place her along one side of the room, near one of the pillars, the one he’ll be on during next phase preferably. The raid stay gathered in the middle of the room so the adds won’t be running wild around the room chasing your healers
It’s a dragon : it cleaves, breathes, and gives tail lash. Except sometimes, as she’s some Frankenstein freak, she will electrocute the raid at 40m around her sides. When her sides begin to sparkle, the tank needs to turn her back to the raid. That means the raid will get hit by tail lashes, but it’s better than being electrocuted : healers can’t hold the raid when a tail lash is all right, keep in mind it can interrupt casts though.
Once you pulled Onyxia, Nefarian will summon 5 adds. Those adds have an energy bar : they lose energy constantly and die by themselves when the energy bar is empty, they can be revived by Nefarian breath. They are undead, can be shackled, frost-trapped, feared, rooted, stunned,… You can either have a frost mage or DK or whatever you want kite them, or you can control them. We choose to control : I would trap the first and fifth, the warlock feared one, the priest shackled one, and the druid rooted one. We packed them on one spot and let them die there. Don’t use a tank for that job : your 2nd tank needs to tank Nefarian.
When all the adds are released, Nefarian lands in the middle of the room, the second tank take him and bring him to the other side of the room away from Onyxia. Have your tanks use cooldowns while they are still close to each other, they hit hard. It’s a dragon : it cleaves, breathes, and gives tail lash.
Once all the adds are controlled, we hit Onyxia, and put her around 25%. Onyxia has an ‘electric bar’ that fills up, and fills up quicker if less people are attacking her (she feels neglected, poor girl…). If this bar comes to full, it wipes your raid. You have to kill her before that. When she’s around 25%, we hit Nefarian, bring 2 crackles, and finish Onyxia off quickly. Having our shadow priest rolling dots on both dragons helped control Onyxia’s bar (we think). When attacking Nefarian, the raid stayed away from Onyxia’s tail lash (except the healer tanking care of her tank of course).
Phase two : the pillars of doom
Once the sister is dead, Nefarian takes off and flood the room with lava. Lava hurts and leaves a dot stacking on players, don’t stay in too long or your healer won’t keep up. 5-6 stack is good (on normal), more means you ask your healer to make up for your failure. Split your raid in 3 groups and jump on the platforms. On the platform, there is a minion, it’s not supposed to hit on anyone, but it incants some spell : kick it !!! It’s about every 12-13 seconds, it’s 1.5 sec incant. Kick the thing. It hurts the whole raid and the kind and fragile hearts of your healers and raid leader.
During the whole phase, Nefarian throws shadow bolts, it’s tough to heal, especially if players still have the lava dot. Protect yourself. When the raid is stable, you can do one or two crackles. If the healers struggle too much, do them latter and hope your offtank will be good. We could sometimes make 2 crackles, we did only one on the kill, our healers were becoming short on mana. If you want to do crackles, keep one minion alive until you want to change phase, if not, shorten the phase the most you can. It’s the hardest part.
To know about the platforms :
- Jumping on those damn platforms is awful, you will wipe a lot on those. Don’t stand too close during the transition or you could stay stuck under the ledge, wait until the lava is middle way to the top, and swim and jump out onto the platform in one move. Practice it. Be careful if you’ve some movement speed increase (like shamans or unholy DK) : you might jump too far…
- They create a line of sight. You can’t heal someone on the other side. But you should be able to kick the minion even if still in the lava, even as a melee. But it’s hard. Yeah I know. Have some chocolate, don’t pull your few remaining hair…
- Minions are level 85 : you need 5% hit on those, that means even your tanks can get this level of hit and kick.
- Hunters can dps the minions. If you’re a hunter remember that you are, with those minions AND Nefarian, both at range and melee. That means you can use melee abilities as well as ranged. I glyphed my Raptor strike for this fight : 20% less damage taken is a lot. Use it. No seriously do it. You can’t bypass some reducing damage ability during this fight so heavy on the healers. I know it’s a melee ability, I was quite sceptical too, but you will see the difference after the first crackle you will be able to mitigate. Remember a dead hunter is more useless than a hunter who lost his/her pride by attacking melee…
- Still for hunters : use your Deterrence during the flooding : you won’t avoid lava damage, but it deflects Nefarian’s bolts. It might save your life. If you bring crackles during phase 2, use it if it’s up too : it doesn’t prevent damages from crackle but the bolts could kill you if your healer is in trouble. For the other classes, if you have some damage reducing tool, use them during phase 2 too. Health stones, bandages, use them. Help your healer, he’s sweating his mana by all his pores.
- Last thing for hunters : your pet is stupid and stays in the lava. Place him manually or he’ll die.
- The floor is moving down in the lava during phase 2. That means that if you battle rez someone on the platform and he waits until the lava is gone, he will respawn under the platform, in the lava. Be careful with that.
Phase three : or kill him quickly please
Get down from the platform as soon as you can. Not sure but I think there is a nasty thing happening to those who stay up there. Your tank pick up Nefarian and position him presenting his flank to the raid. The raid packs on the flank, and the group moves if flames come around. Try not to move after a crackle to be able to stay in green puddles longer. Hit heroism during this phase, we do it around 20% but if your healers need to top off people earlier, hit it earlier. Better to hit it when everyone is alive and got mana and there is no flames around yet…
The offtank, and his healer, stay away and pick up the adds from the first phase. Nefarian revive them with flames. He cast those regularly, aiming for the adds. Those flames revive the dead adds and bring their energy bar to full if they are still alive. This should not happen : you have to kite them around and not let them into the flames : they stack a buff over time, and hit harder and harder until they die. You have to kite them around until they die, and when the boss revive them with a flame, the buff is reset and they won’t kill your offtank.
In our first attempts, the offtank couldn’t seem to be able to reset their buff and died, or asked people to help control them, but it wasn’t working. Don’t try to control them except if it’s for the 5 last seconds of the fight and you’re desperate. Don’t slow them either, or they could get caught up by the flames.
I hope you loved the guide. Enjoy, it’s a fun fight.