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Thread: Nefarian

  1. #1
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    Nefarian



    Quote Originally Posted by Aliena
    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.

  2. #2
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    Wow, that's insanity like none other. Even on normal this fight looks like it will give Lich King a run for his money. Congrats on the kill and thanks for the video as always


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  3. #3
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    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.
    We actually found this to be wrong. The stacks increase over time, not per hit. By not realizing this sooner we wasted so much time on him it's just sad.

    What you want to do in P1 is have the add tank pick all of them up and then position them at your assigned position (it can be anywhere, depends if you want to keep Nefarian in the middle of the room in P3 or at the side; both positions work but you need to adjust to them). They are easily tanked with the help of a cooldown or two. Once they are in position stuns such as Shadowfury and Shockwave are very good ways to decrease the damage taken by the tank. It is quite important to have all of them at the same spot so that they all ress up at the same time during P3. If they split up the fire might get quickly out of control and cover the position of your raid. It will also make "resetting" the add's energy a lot harder.

    For P3 we found out that watching the Shadowblaze was quite hard because of the boss position. We kept him in the middle of the room which meant that by the time you could see it, it was already too late to move. However, there is a trick. Shadowblaze has a set timer. You can't see it. I believe there's no combat log event for it either. We established that the cooldown of Shadowblaze decreases the longer the fight lasts until it reaches 10 secs. The blazes will not spawn more often than those 10 secs. It goes like this:

    0:00 - First Shadowblaze resurrects all of the adds
    0:30 - Second Shadowblaze (30 secs after the previous one)
    0:55 - Third Shadowblaze (25 secs after the previous one)
    1:15 - Fourth Shadowblaze (20 secs after the previous one)
    1:30 - Fifth Shadowblaze (15 secs after the previous one)
    1:40 - Sixth Shadowblaze (10 secs after the previous one)
    1:50 - Seventh Shadowblaze (10 secs after the previous one)

    And so on until you kill him. With our dps we needed only two successful resets to down him. If you can't achieve the second reset, it is very likely that your tank will die.

    Something very important for P3 kiting is to not slow or stun those adds. They are perfectly tankable. Any slow or stun at the wrong time means that they are more likely to get hit by the flame. If that happens it's more or less game over. However, this does not mean that you must never stun them. As you can see from the times shown above there is a small window between the Shadowblazes that you can use. Once they are out of the fire, you can stun them (especially good for the last few secs before they reset as they will have a lot of stacks up by that point) and then keep moving.

    Also, move as little as possible. Only move enough to keep the adds out of the fire. The rest of the time sit still and eat the damage. If you move around too fast you will spread the fire too quickly and eventually you will run out of kiting space.
    Last edited by Ghos7Face; 01-04-2011 at 12:46 AM.

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  5. #5
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    The encounter is bugged in a way so mages cant use ring of frost.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sky View Post
    The encounter is bugged in a way so mages cant use ring of frost.
    Why would you want to?

    Using Ring of Frost to me just seems to be ensuring that the adds will get hit by Shadowflame and have their energy reset to 100.

    This is bad.

    Sure, they should -allow- you to do it, but it's one of those instances where it'll do you more harm then good.

  7. #7
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    With consistent slows would it be possible to kite the adds indefinitely even if they keep touching fire? A frost death knight with chillblains can maintain a 50% slow permanently on the entire pack as long as he doesn't miss (are the adds boss-level enemies?), and slowly kite them around without getting hit, similar to the old lady deathwhisper strategy.

    Does the fire behave in a way that would make this unreliable? The only thing I can think of is if they don't die you might have some difficulty turning around to get to the other side of the room without getting dangerously close to the raid, but since you're not worried about the adds standing in the fire you could get help from a frost mage's water elemental or something to give yourself time to change direction. You could also stack the raid on the opposite side of nef in the video (basically right up against the wall) to give the kiter as much room as possible.

    This also could free up at least one healer. I suspect you'll still want one back with the kiter in order to heal him up between the lightning crackles, and maybe help direct the fire away from the raid. If you had a holy priest do it, body and soul would also make kiting around easier.
    Last edited by Teppic; 01-05-2011 at 12:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    I haven't done the fight quite yet (this week prob) but according to Wowhead the adds are level 85 and have the ability http://www.wowhead.com/spell=81586.

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    Interesting, I haven't seen anyone mention that before. Probably because it's not all that noticeable unless you try to do exactly what I'm talking about. Assuming that stacks with the buff they build (odd that wowhead doesn't list that ability) at some point it'll just be unhealable. Too clever for me this time it seems blizzard.

  10. #10
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    You cannot kite them indefinitely. They gain stacking damage and movement speed buff. Ghos7Face described exactly how the adds should be treated in both phases.

    Hurl Bone is never used under any normal circumstances.

  11. #11
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    Any tips on how to kite them in 10men mode?
    I'm thinking the ranged dps kiter gathers them all and just move around until they go down. Is that correct?

    Also, what damages the raid on P1 and P3 besides the crackle, if onyxia's discharge doesn't hit anyone? What about P2, if the adds are properly interrupted, all the damage would be from nefarian's bolts, and nothing more right?
    Last edited by krasagrado; 01-14-2011 at 12:28 AM.

  12. #12
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    This guy must be the poster child for class stacking. Disc priest? wee aoe only hits for 20k after 4.06 without any personal CDs. No disc priest? ouch 75k.

  13. #13
    We are about to go for Nef next week so I'd also like a tip for the kiting. As we will be doing it 10man first before 25man, how do you use the two tanks? I'm assuming your gonna need both tanks on Onyxia and Nef during phase 1 so who does the kiting ? A dps or 1 of the tanks ?

  14. #14
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    We killed him with both kiting ways, last night we tanked nef in the middle so i can easily kite on the outer ring.. well that was the plan. It was a total mess due to taillash on me (kitetankg), they respawned and walk to a healer/tanking dk (aggro vom deathstrike). If next meteor is going to hit them there fire almost everyhwere..

    Next time we'll definitely have Nefarian be tanked again on one position the entire fight (before and after flightphase) and kite the adds in a half-circle and back through the middle to the beginning - fire should be despawned by then. Works best for us.

    About the kite/control in p1: if you have a dps druid or a frost dk let them do the kiting/offtanking, our mage died several times the other night due to unlucky tailswipes from Onyxia until he managed to survive like in the weeks before. Having some shackled/rooted/feared(warlock-glyphed) in place can be off help, too.

  15. #15
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    Phase 3 Add Management and Resetting them

    As the second tank for the encounter you need to give the raid as much time as you can to DPS Nef in phase 3, most guilds are only capable of letting 3 crackles go off before phase 3 (2 in phase 1, and 1 in phase 2). This leaves 5 crackles for phase 3. Which means phase 3 will last approximately 3:00 to 3:30.(assuming a crackle every ~40 seconds.) Using the information above from Ghos7face, and some clever positioning you can have the adds reset only 1 time and still give your raid the 3+ minutes of DPS time they need. Here is the timeline and positioning

    0:00 - First Shadowblaze resurrects all of the adds
    0:30 - Second Shadowblaze (30 secs after the previous one)
    0:55 - Third Shadowblaze (25 secs after the previous one)
    1:15 - Fourth Shadowblaze (20 secs after the previous one)
    1:30 - Fifth Shadowblaze (15 secs after the previous one)
    1:40 - Sixth Shadowblaze (10 secs after the previous one)
    1:50 - Seventh Shadowblaze (10 secs after the previous one)

    Position Nef parallel against the wall (anywhere on the circle will work).

    The adds die at 0 Energy, and it takes ~50 seconds for the adds to go from 100 to 0 energy.

    Shadowblaze is a projectile attack from Nef to the adds, it flies decently slow(like a shadowcrash). It has no cast time and Nef doesn't switch targets, but as mentioned above its on a timer.

    0:00 - 0:30
    It is unlikely that the first shadowblaze will ressurect all 5 adds together, most of the time they are slightly spread out. The fire follows the skeletons, so use the first skeleton up to kite the fire to the remaining skeletons lying dead(you must have all 5, don't CC one). You have 30 seconds to make sure every skeleton is up and running and get yourself into position to "drag" them along the perimeter of the room. Start as close the edge of nefs flame breath as you can, and don't move until the second Shadowblaze. (its not a big deal if the adds get re-energized you want this to happen in a moment anyway).

    0:30 - 0:55
    At the 30 seconds mark Nef will emote something about shadow and dust signifying a shadowblaze it will target the adds that you are still holding in place near his head. Once it hits and all 5 skeleton are at 100 energy, start backpeddling slowly around the perimeter of the room. At the 54-55 second mark, turn and sideways/strafe run for an extra burst of speed so the shadowblaze misses the adds, the longer flight time from his position to yours will help with this. As soon as you see it land, go back to backpedalling slowly.

    0:55 - 1:15
    Keep back pedalling with the adds and wait for the 1:14-1:15 mark to do another sideways/strafe run. Shortly after the fourth shadowblaze lands, the adds will die out. (approx 1:20). Let your healers know the adds died, and they have 10 second of almost no raid/2nd tank damage.

    1:30 to Kill
    Nef will shadowblaze again to res the adds, 3-4 should pop immediately, use the fire again to make sure you get all 5.

    At this point the shadowblaze casts will get to fast to realistically keep the adds out of the fire. Instead, keep yourself out of fire, and use stuns and CD's to last as long as you can.

    A decently geared tank can take hits from the adds up until about 25 stacks, it takes them another 1:40 seconds after dying to reach this amount.

    This gives you approximately 3:00 minutes guaranteed DPS time for your raid. When the stacks are getting high wait for a shadowblaze, and move the adds clear of fire and call for any CC avaiable, then pull the remaining adds as far from the boss as you can and wait for nef to go down.

    You'll likely die before that happens.

    This unlikely strat works for two reasons, It eliminates the need of getting a second clear of the adds(as a second clear takes at least 1:40, and at that time Nef is casting shadowblaze in 10 second intervals) and by allowing the adds to stack up more movement speed, you can guarentee they will move quick enough so you can easily keep them out of a shadowblaze. Do not use slows or stuns until the adds have died for the first time.
    Last edited by Rheinhardt; 01-19-2011 at 04:52 PM.

  16. #16
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    This was by far the hardest fight for my team on 10man. Rheinhardt does a pretty good job of explaining phase three ill just add a few tips. We pushed three crackles in phase 1. To do this we burned ony to about 15% and left a frost mage on her then crackled three times. The key is to have ony die within one or two seconds of the third crackle or she will wipe the raid. Every crackle increases her bar so a third will make her explode if you dont time it right. We hit 60% in phase 2 and everyone popped a defensive cooldown. We started phase 3 at about 52% and popped hero because the start of phase 3 is the least hectic time. From there its just follow what Rheinhardtt says and dps your tooshy off. When the adds are about to hit untankable status drag them to the oposite end of the room and die. I cannot find a video or WOL were the wheels don't fall off the last 20%. Just hit your fears and novas and dps hard. If your about to wipe at the end your probably doing it right.

    Hunter tips: I did this one my hunter so I have a few nuggets. Use glyph of raptor strike and aspect of the wild every 10% it really helps your healers and guarantees you don't die. Without those two things crackle hits for 80-90k, with them its 58-67k. At the start of phase 2 deterrence. If your fail like me lava will stack up on you a few times and deflecting a few shadow bolts will protect you. Dps nef the second he comes down. If your specced careful aim your phase 1 nef dmg should be very high and help push three crackles. Thats about all I got. For a reg mode fight this is a pretty stiff challenge at current gear lvls on 10man. My understanding is 25 is much simpler.

  17. #17
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    Our shaman+druid healer 10man cannot handle p2 healing with crackles, our best attempt is about 18-20%(start at 73% p3) that is when the reviving-fireballs get spammed every 10 seconds, so it's the soft enrage.

    Should everyone just use a prismatic elixir and push for 2 electrocutes and start p2 at 52% and just keep retrying if we fail?

    If only we could just start p3 at less than 55% we should beat him every attempt, it's the p2 damage that just seems to be overwhelming for just chain heals I guess.

  18. #18
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    We haven't killed it yet, but I'm a resto druid healing that phase, so a little tip for yours. Use tree form for that phase and you can keep a 3 stack of lifebloom up on everyone along with rejuvs. Toss in a swiftmend for efflo proc and a WG and you have a large amount of steady healing going to get everyone topped off quickly.

    As for your shaman, CH spam doesn't seem like the best strategy for 10 man. I think the best strat would be CH to proc tidal waves, then using 2 Greater HWs to get the burst healing up. Keeping riptides up as often as possible before crackles to buff that first chain heal as well.

    Also if you're struggling still, you can have any hybrid caster DPS help after crackles. Moonkin tranquility, ele healing rain/CH for a bit, and shadow priest Hymn would all help a ton. If you have a lock, make sure people are saving their health stones for that phase. Also make sure people are using whatever kind of help they can in terms of defensive cooldowns. Barkskin, shadow (or nether) ward, Ice Block, Mana Shield, Dispersion, Barrier, Anti-Magic Zone, etc. If you have more than 1 shaman or a hunter as well, have them glyph Healing Stream totem and turn on Aspect of the Wild (and make sure you have shadow prot from a priest) for that phase. Crackles are nature damage and I believe the bolts are shadowflame, so a priest buff + glyphed totem or pally aura will help a lot for that so make sure you're dividing your group to maximize your 3-4 man group effectiveness. If you have a particular healer struggling, give him a few people that can make it easier on him. As a resto druid, I get the 4 man pillar, so one of the people on there is our blood DK who I barely have to touch. A rejuv on him is plenty with his self healing and AMS.

  19. #19
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    Oh also, if you need your hunter to have some sort of damage reduction, get him to look into glyph of raptor strike for the second phase.

  20. #20
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    Gacktt. Phase 2 is really hard for healers on 10 man. No way around it. We had to sub out a druid because he couldn't keep up. Just do everything you can to limit dmg taken. That means shadow protection from priests or paladins and nature protection from shamans or hunters. We spent a night trying to start phase three at 70% we just couldn't do it. There is about a 50/50 chance we lose someone to crackle in phase 2 and have to wipe it even with the strat we use now. As gear improves it will be trivial but I cannot see any raid burning 70% in phase 3 thats just to much.

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