Tales of patch 3.2.2, Onyxia and many failed pugs.

Onyxia has been back in our lives since the servers came up on Tuesday. That’s about 30 or so hours ago.

In the last 30 hours, I have:

– Killed Onyxia on 10m in a semi-pug with my hunter (and gotten the Dragonstalker Helmet after dying early on while pulling whelps off a priest)

– Killed Onyxia on 10m in a full pug with my shammy healing (and been one of four people left standing — me, the MT and two DPS — because people don’t understand the concept of whelps, aggro and deep breaths)

– Killed Onyxia on 25m in a raid with my paladin healing with the guild I’m applying to (with nothing bad to report)

– Killed Onyxia on 10m in a pug raid with my paladin healing (whereupon I died and the druid in the raid apparently didn’t know what “BR” or “brez” meant)

– Wiped several times on 25m Onyxia on my hunter (I think it’s three different raids?) including one where one of the “tanks” had 30k health unbuffed and was wearing PVP gear

I know I need to write a post about guild drama and why I’ve ended up on Proudmoore, but honestly, that can wait.


It kind of astounds me that I feel I even have to think about writing this, but apparently, there are a ton of people out there who never killed Onyxia the first time around. I used to lead Onyxia raids. Granted, they weren’t altogether successful (due primarily because we would go in with 30 instead of 40 people) but I DID down her pre-BC and I have my Rhok’delar to prove it.

Step 1: Trash

If you’re new to the Onyxia encounter, you don’t know about her trash. Which is okay. But as with all new encounters, there are two ways of learning about them — researching and experiencing.

Onyxia’s trash consists of four mobs, called Onyxian Warders, and they are pretty easy to dispatch. Key points to bear in mind:

– They have a Cleave. Do not stand in front of them unless you are a tank.

– They have an AOE fire nova ability. Do stand at range if you can.

– Do attempt to pull one at a time. (Hot tip! If you’re a tank, do not stand over that hump in the tunnel, because your healers do NOT have line of sight on you! You’ll know the hump in the tunnel when you see it.)

Once the trash is taken care of, it does not seem to respawn within 20 minutes or whatever the old timer was. For this, we should all be grateful.

That brings us to…

Step 2: Lady Katrana Prestor, I Presume?

So there she is. Lying there on the ground in her lair. The environment hasn’t changed at all and most of Onyxia’s abilities haven’t changed. In fact, the fight is remarkably similar to how it used to be. Old-school raiders shouldn’t have any problems.

Phase 1

Your tank, presuming he or she is not a complete moron, will run in and turn Onyxia around, so the tank’s back is to the north wall and Onyxia’s back (and tail!) is facing the south tunnel where you came in from. If your tank is not doing this, your tank is likely an idiot and I urge you to hearth the hell out of there ASAP. :P

Once positioned, Onyxia in Phase 1 is pretty simple. Phase 1 lasts from 100% ’till 65%. Things for everyone to bear in mind:

– Standing in front of her is only for the tank. By “in front” I mean anywhere in front of her front legs. She has a 180 degree CLEAVE, breathes fire and has a wing buffet that bounces you quite some distance — which is why your tank should position themselves to bounce off the north wall to land, more or less, exactly where he or she was pre-wing buffet.

– Standing in back of her is for NO ONE. You hear me? NO ONE get anywhere near that damn tail! You get hit by her tail and it’s not some stun like on Sartharion, ohhhhh no. You get hit by her tail and you get shot over into the whelp eggs. Upon doing so, you will break the eggs. And in so doing, you will likely wipe your raid. So do not stand behind her.

– Melee (and OTs) should stand at her midsection, preferably closer to her hind legs than her front legs. OTs should watch for whelps to pick up.

– Ranged should be, you know, at range, and keep an eye out for whelps to DPS down when the OTs have aggro on them.

Phase 2

Phase 2 begins when Onyxia has hit 65% health and ends when she lands at 40%. She’ll be all “screw YOU guys, I’m gonna fly around and ruin you!” I think the phrase is actually “I’ll incinerate you from above!”. Don’t say she didn’t warn you.

Several things happen in Phase 2.

a) 20 whelps spawn from each side every 90 seconds. This can be poor. Give the OTs a chance to grab aggro before you AOE things. Healers should watch your healing at the spawn so you’re not ruined by 40 whelps right off the bat.

b) Lair Guards are a new twist to the fight. They’re a lot like Onyxian Warders. They ALSO cleave. They ALSO have a blast nova. And they also have this thing called “Ignite Weapon“. So that’s 25k damage to targets in a 5 yard radius on 25m and 17.5k damage to targets in a 5 yard radius on 10m. The trick is that Ignite Weapon can easily be dealt with by… that’s right, disarming them. The blast nova still sucks, but since melee have to be directly underneath Onyxia to beat on her, you can put melee on these Lair Guards to help disarm them and have them run out during the 5 second cast on Blast Nova. Basically, you want to burn these suckers down ASAP.

c) Onyxia needs to be taken down to 40% health primarily by the ranged DPS in your group. Due to the fact that she moves around a LOT, dots are here to save the day. That means every single dot you can think of. Whatever does the most damage the fastest wins. Ranged should primarily down the whelps whenever they spawn (after giving tanks a chance to get aggro) and then return to focusing on Onyxia. It’s best to refresh your dots right when the whelps spawn to ensure maximum damage done on Onyxia while you AOE.

d) Onyxia will be flying around the room, as I mentioned. She’ll also be casting two spells. One is Fireball and it hits people for 5-8k damage (10m/25m) and has a 10yd splash radius, so do /range 10 and stay away from people.

The other spell is, of course, Deep Breath.

When you see the emote that Onyxia is taking a deep breath, you have exactly 8 seconds to not be fried by it. What you need to do is this:

a) Look up.

b) Find Onyxia.

c) Run behind her or to her sides.

d) If it’s not possible to run behind her or to HER sides, run to your closest side of the cavern, without spawning whelps, please. Or, if you’re REALLY in trouble, you can iceblock or bubble through it. It’s a cone-shaped breath that doesn’t last too long, but if you take the full brunt of it, you’re literally toast.

Assuming your raid can handle the whelps and the Lair Guards and doesn’t get fried…

Phase 3

Give your tank Fear Ward or, at the very least, Tremor Totem. Strength of Earth or Stoneskin totems are fail in Phase 3. Shammies should be split up so one is in each group, assuming you have that many shammies. Tanks, then healers, then DPS should have priority on Tremor Totem. Why? She does a Bellowing Roar that fears you like a moron for three seconds. You’ll know it’s coming because the screen will shake just beforehand.

In conjunction with that, lava now spews out of the cracks in the floor. So don’t stand on cracks in the floor. Oh, and she still does EVERYTHING she did in phase 1. So watch where you’re standing!

Unlike classic Onyxia, 3.2.2 Onyxia no longer resets aggro between phases. She should come right back down to your main tank. MTs, you should be in position when Onyxia hits about 43-45% health so that she comes to you and positioning isn’t so much of a pain in the ass.

Then you burn her and collect your phat lootz.


In addition to the helms (there are 3 different Judgement, Stormrage Ten Storms helms, 2 different Frostruned helms, 2 difference Transcendence helms and 2 different Wrath helms — all for different specs) and other gear she drops, she will drop an Enlarged Onyxia Backpack (Unique, 22 slots), an Ashen Sack of Gems (similar to Magtheridon’s gem bag, containing 1-3 epic gems) and, of course, her own head. Her head leads to a quest, which leads to some nice loot, which you can check out here.

But what about the Mature Black Dragon Sinew? Does Onyxia still drop it?

Way back in the day, hunters had a class quest for an epic bow, staff and quiver. To start the quest, you had to get the Ancient Petrified Leaf from Majordomo’s chest in Molten Core. He would always drop EITHER the leaf or the priest item for their quest, the Eye of Divinity.

But even without being on the quest, you could acquire the Mature Black Dragon Sinew (needed for the bow and the staff) from Onyxia. That’s what happened to me. I was in a pug Onyxia run and was the only (nub) hunter who hadn’t already gotten her bow. So I got the Mature Black Dragon Sinew and eventually got the Leaf and then got my bow.

Bornakk, a blue poster, has said that the Mature Black Dragon Sinew would still be available in-game, though probably not off Onyxia herself. WoWHead comments attest to this, claiming a drop off a non-elite dragon somewhere outside of BRD (possibly the Burning Steppes? That would make sense, as there are dragons from level 50-60 in the zone, and it’s a levle 60 quest.).

What this means is that hunters can still get their bows, if they so desire, which means my brother should start farming dragons for his sinew. :)


Good to know that with 36,389 mana (raid buffed), I FINALLY have enough mana to not need saronite vapours on Vezax, normal mode.

And, for the first time ever, a raid group I was part of one-shotted Yogg. With 21 people. 5 healers. Regular mode, of course. But Phase 3 was upon on faster than I thought possible. Portal DPS must be sick.


Okay, guild drama aside for a moment… the guild I’m apping to on Proudmoore got 25-man heroic Northrend Beasts on Monday (and again on Tuesday) and we got Jaraxxus tonight (after doing some Ulduar due to poor attendence — which got me a mace and a new chestpiece!) and then worked on 25-man heroic Faction Champions.

Two words: Epic. Fail.

Hilarious, though. It’s nice to always be one of the last ones to be alive. It’s like, hey look! I’m NOT a noob! :)

Bed now. These hours are killing me.