TankSpot's Guide to Nefarian
TankSpot has posted their guide to
Just like before, you can find the video guide on Nefarian's NPC page, and the transcript is after the break!
Hello and welcome to the Blackwing Descent Raid Guide! My name is Aliena, and in this video I'll show you all you have to know about Nefarian, the last encounter in this new raid instance. We completed this fight with 3 tanks, 6 healers and 16 DPS - or 2 tanks, 3 healers and 5 DPS in the 10 man version - but similar raid configurations may work just as well.
Nef is a 3-phase encounter and probably the most challenging fight you'll find in this tier. In the first phase, you fight both Onyxia (yep, again!) and Nefarian at the same time while skeletons try to eat you, in the second phase, you're up against three Chromatic Prototypes while Nef annoys you from the air with his fireballs, and in the third phase you only fight Nef, but he kept his Bone Warriors from phase 1 around.
The goal in phase 1 and 2 is to do as much damage to Nef as you possibly can while keeping your raid stable and without jeopardizing a wipe, while phase 3 is all about add control. You want to aim to have Nef at about 75% health when phase 2 starts, at about 65-55% health when phase 3 starts. Let's go over the different phases and abilities you'll have to deal with.
When you first jump down into the arena, you'll only encounter Onyxia, who's been turned into a bit of a living bomb. As soon as you pull her, a little electro-meter will pop up on your UI, illustrating her electric charge level. If this bar ever fills up, it's an instant wipe for your raid. The bar will fill up quicker if no one is DPSing Onyxia, so make sure not to neglect the poor girl. Your Onyxia tank should pull her to a far side of the room and have her face and tail away from the raid as she has a cleave, a breath and a tail lash. Your ranged raid members and healers should be positioned in the middle of the room.
When Onyxia's sides start sparkling, your tank must adjust her position so her tail faces the raid. This is because Onyxia is about to use Electric Discharge, which deals a ton of damage per second to anyone located to either side of her. Your raid might get tail lashed during this, but it's a lot better than standing in Electric Discharge.
Once pulled, a bunch of Animated Bone Warriors will spawn around the room. These come with a twist - they each have 100 energy and will lose 2 energy per second. WHen their energy bar is completely drained, the skeletons will enter an inanimate state and will only revive if touched by any of Nef's Shadowflame abilities. In the 25-man version, you want to designate a tank to gather up all skeletons and kite them, but the kiter needs to avoid Nef's and Onyxia's breath abilities.
Make sure to assist him by using abilities such as frost trap, frost nova and other AoE slow and stun abilities. This is incredibly important! Whenever a skeleton lands a hit on a raid member, they gain a buff called Empower, which increases their damage and movement speed by 10% a stack. This buff can grow infinitely, so it's crucial that the skeletons land as little hits as possible on your raid. It's very easy to see when skeletons stack this buff up high, as they grow enormously large.
If you're doing this in the 10-man version, it'll be 6 skeletons and you can set up a crowd control chain for them in phase 1. Fear, Shackle, Repentance and most other crowd control effects work just fine. Try to have all skeletons "die" in about the same area, this is important for phase 3.
Approximately 30 seconds after engaging Onyxia, Nefarian will land and your second tank must pick him up and pull him to the opposite side of the room, away from Onyxia. If Nef and Onyxia are within 60 yards of each other, they gain a 100% attack speed buff - obviously, you want to avoid that. Nef too has a Cleave, a Breath and a Tail Lash but no Electric Discharge, so there's no need to move him. Just make sure neither his face or tail is facing your raid.
Once Nef is stabilized, you want to designate a DPS team to switch from Onyxia to Nef. Figuring the DPS split out is trial and error - you want to leave enough DPS on Onyxia so that she's close to death when Nef is at about 75% health, give or take a few. However, don't forget about Ony's Lightning Charge level - kill her before this fills up, even if Nef's not quite as far down as you'd like.
Nef's trademark ability throughout the whole fight is Crackle. When he reaches 90% and every 10% of his health thereafter until he dies, Nef will emote "The air crackles with Electricity!" and shortly afterwards, every single raid member will take about 100k nature damage. Since it happens every 10%, Crackle is predictable, and your raid needs to be completely stable before you push Nef's health past a threshhold. Ideally, you want two Crackles to happen in phase 1, another 2 in phase 2, and the rest of his health can be burned down in phase 3.
Crackles can be mitigated by Divine Guardian, Feint and other abilities. If you have a Divine Guardian available, you can use it to mitigate up to 3 crackles throughout the fight.
Again, aim to have Nef around 75% health before killing Onyxia. As soon as she dies, phase 2 starts and the entire area will fill up with lava. This is where the three pillars around the room come into play. Split your raid up into three groups - tanks are not necessary for this phase, the Prototypes do not melee. We assign 2 healers to each platform in the 25-man, 1 healer each in the 10-man. Furthermore, each platform needs reliable interrupters. In the 25-man, you want to aim for at least 2, but preferably even more interrupters per platform, in the 10-man 1 interrupter is the bare minimum. Obviously, the DPS spread should be even.
As soon as Onyxia dies, everyone needs to run to their assigned pillar and wait for the lava to come up.
A chromatic prototype will spawn on each pillar, and as soon as the lava reaches its maximum fill level, each raid member needs to hop onto their assigned pillar. Be quick with this, the lava deals increasing damage the longer you're in it. Also, as soon as the lava reaches its max level, each Prototype will start casting Blast Nova, which is a relatively quick cast. Blast Nova needs to be interrupted at all costs, every single time it is cast. Letting even just one tick of it go off will easily cause a raid wipe. In the 10-man, Prototypes will cast this roughly every 12 seconds, in the 25-man it's roughly every 6. All interrupts will work, even the blood elf racial Arcane Torrent.
While you're fighting the Prototypes, Nef will fly around above you and spam your raid with Shadowflame Barrage. This deals a LOT of single target damage. Phase 2 is easily the most healing intense phase of the whole fight, and healers need to closely monitor their mana. Lightwells proved to be a big help for us. You should designate ranged DPS to concentrate on Nef in this phase, to bring his health down another 10-20%. It's tough, but you want at least one, better yet two Crackles to happen to make phase 3 easier. In the 10-man, DPSing Nef in phase 2 is not absolutely required, but it does help.
Co-ordinate cooldowns for phase 2 crackles, and make sure each platform is stable before pushing Nef past a threshhold. Phase 2 lasts for 3 minutes or until every Prototype is dead, whichever happens first. Remember, keeping the raid stable is of utmost priority. If you cannot afford another Crackle to go off without having people die, just push Phase 3.
Once it starts, Nef will land and your tank has to pick him up once more. Drag him to the very edge of the room, and have your raid stack up to the side of him. Again, tail swipe breath cleave, you know the drill. Hopefully all the adds from phase 1 went inanimate in roughly the same spot, as Nef will shoot a Shadowblaze missile at them right after phase 3 starts, and adds touched by this will revive with full energy and need to be picked up and kited by your tank.
Shadowblaze will also spawn pink fire that'll follow the nearest person, and if the adds are touched by this, they'll also reset their energy bar. The best way to deal with this is to have your add-tank watch Nefarian while kiting, and everytime he shoots a Shadowblaze missile at the skeletons, have him move them out of the way so they don't get hit by the initial missile or the fire that'll start following your tank once the missile hits.
The kiting should happen well away from Nefarian himself, and your add-tank should have 2-3 healers accompanying him. Ideally, the adds will not get hit by any shadowblaze and go inanimate after 50 seconds. Going inanimate will reset their buff, so they'll be a lot more managable when Nef re-animates them. As the phase goes on, more and more fire will cover the room and it will get tougher to keep the adds out of it. If they do touch it, their energy bar is reset to 100 and you have to deal with another 50 seconds of very angry large adds beating you up.
This is why it's preferable to get Nef low before phase 3. If your add-tank dies, it's basically game over, and the shorter the phase, the less chance of that happening. Of course, Crackle still happens during phase 3, and it's important to call out impending Crackles so cooldowns can be applied to your add-tank. As mentioned, it is imperative to keep your add tank up. If add control is executed correctly, phase 3 is a tank and spank with predictable damage spikes.
That covers the Nefarian encounter. Good luck and have fun, as always! Ive attached footage of the whole encounter in case you would like to see how we dealt with the various mechanics in detail.
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