Originally Posted by AlienaHello 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 heroic Nefarian, the final encounter in this raid instance. I'll assume that you're familiar with the normal version of this encounter and will only go over what changes for the heroic version. We defeat this encounter with 3 tanks, 6 healers and 16 DPS, but similar raid configurations may work just as well.
As usual, the encounter has three phases. In the first phase, you'll encounter Onyxia who has received a health upgrade and now sports 35 million. Nefarian himself got bumped to about 180 million and the Bone Warrior health is still irrelevant as you still kite them and don't kill them.
Your goal in phase 1 is to deal as much damage to Nefarian as you can while still minding Onyxia's Lightning Machine Timer - should it reach max, Onyxia still explodes and your raid wipes. Personally, we aim for two Electrocutes in phase 1 - so Nef is at about 75% health when phase 2 starts.
A new mechanic is introduced in phase 1 - Dominion, which mind controls about 5 random people in your raid (but does not target tanks). As soon as your raid members become mind controlled, they will start walking towards a portal that spawns. Should they reach the portal, they die. However, Dominion is a key ability to this fight. As soon as you get mind controlled, your action bar will change and you will only have two abilities. The ability on the "1" key will break the mind control immediately whereas the ability on the "2" key will give you a stacking damage buff.
Any healer that gets mind controlled should break their Dominion immediately, whereas every DPS that gets mind controlled should spam the "2"-key until they're close to their portal and then break the MC. Make sure to never touch the portal, though - it's just a plain instant death. After the mind control breaks, the players in question will get a speed buff, so make sure not to accidentally run in front of any dragon face.
Our strategy for phase 1 is to divide up our healers - 3 stay with the Onyxia tank (we usually use a druid, disc priest and holy paladin with the Onyxia tank), we send one disc priest with the add tank & the remaining two healers (typically a shaman and holy paladin) move to Nefarian's flank to heal his tank. Nef and Onyxia still need to remain 60 yards apart and the adds should still all die in the same spot (we usually hold ours close to Nef's tail). The add tank should cycle his cooldowns if necessary while tanking the adds in phase 1.
our DPS will focus Onyxia down to about 3% health and then move over to Nefarian. As mentioned, we aim for two Electrocutes in phase 1. It is extremely important to use a raid cooldown for Electrocutes as often as possible. Tanks should also use personal cooldowns such as Shield Wall for every Electrocute that they can. If all their cooldowns are on cooldown, they should ask for a Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit or bubblesac.
In phase 1, the disc priest remaining with the Onyxia tank should make sure to put a power word: shield on everyone in his little group before an Electrocute to avoid unfortunate deaths.
To recap phase 1: Aim for two Electrocutes, and use raid cooldowns for them. Kill Onyxia before her Lightning Machine explodes. Have DPS stack up Dominion while healers should break it immediately. Divide your tanks and healers smartly.
As soon as phase 2 hits, you will want your team divided for all three pillars as per usual. Make sure each platform has plenty of interrupters and that they have a good system worked out. Phase 2 - of course - comes with a twist. Nefarian will occasionally cast a debuff on 3 random raid members called Explosive Cinders. This debuff lasts 8 seconds, and once it expires, the person in question will explode everyone in roughly an 8-yard range. If this hits any group members, they will get blasted off the platform and it'll likely result in a wipe.
To counter Explosive Cinders, everyone should be stacked in the middle of a platform. If someone on your platform or even multiple people on your platform receive the debuff, they should then move to the outside of the pillar and wait until they have 3 seconds left on Cinders. As soon as they hit 3 seconds, they should jump into the lava and swim a ways away until Cinders wears off. Then, immediately strafe back and jump back onto the platform.
Healers will need to keep an eye out on people with Cinders as they will take additional Magma damage. Interrupters will have to cover for anyone that has to deal with Cinders, so make sure to communicate. Even just one Blast Nova tick going off can easily result in a raid wipe. We do not trigger any Electrocutes in phase 2, as there's too much raid damage going out to cover the Electrocute damage at the same time. Instead, we focus down the Prototypes & make sure they die at roughly the same time.
When phase 3 triggers, we have our add tank move over to where the skeletons died. The Oynxia tank from phase 1 joins him there, just in case any adds get loose or to emergency taunt should the primary add tank die. At the start, 2 healers join them there, but we typically end up moving another 1-2 healers over to the add tank once damage starts spiking.
Our Nefarian tank pulls the dragon to the middle of the room and most of the raid will stack up on his side while the add tank kites the skeletons around the outside of the room. The Nefarian tank will rotate his dragon at the speed of the add tank so Nef never faces the add tank nor the adds and no Breath ever hits them. The rest of the raid rotates with Nef but makes sure to stay at his flank to avoid both breath and tail lash.
The add tank as per usual will want to avoid the adds getting hit by Shadowflame so they die in a timely manner and their damage buff doesn't stack up too high. Again, we aim to have a raid cooldown for every Electrocute. If you bring 2 disc priests and 1 Prot Pally, it should cover all 9 Electrocutes unless you feel you want to double up cooldowns on a certain Electrocute.
Tanks surviving Electrocutes is the absolute priority in this phase. Raid damage can be patched later, so your healers should concentrate on keeping tanks up through every Crackle. Again, if as a tank you do not have a personal cooldown available for an Electrocute, request one from another raid member. Tank deaths are about the only thing that can wipe you in phase 3. Dominion still happens in phase 3 so deal with it as you did in phase 1. Those are about all the tips I have for the heroic Nefarian encounter. I've attached full footage of one of our kills so you can see how we dealt with the various mechanics in detail!