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Posted at the Request of the officers (Onyxia Aid)

 
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Kerriel



Joined: 07 Jan 2006
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:13 pm    Post subject: Posted at the Request of the officers (Onyxia Aid) Reply with quote

Onyxia's Abilities

Onyxia has many abilities that she uses throughout any fight with her. They vary depending on the phase of the fight that you are in. The abilities are as follows:
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Overall Abilities

Taunt Immunity :
Onyxia is immune to all abilities which cause a monster to instantly target the caster. So, abilities such as Taunt, Challenging Shout, and Mocking Blow don't work as usual on her.

Abilities that generate a large amount of monster hate (aggro) such as Sunder Armor do work as usual. Tank characters must use these abilities to generate enough hate that Onyxia keeps attacking them.

Whelp Eggs :
At the East and West sides of Onyxia's Lair are the entrances to side chambers full of eggs. When a character gets too close to the eggs, about 20 whelps will hatch, fly to the center of Onyxia's Lair, and attack.

Warder Respawn :
As soon as Onyxia attacks, all the Onyxian Warders in her tunnel respawn. An additional Warder spawns near the entrance of the instance while she is in combat. These warders prevent players from running back to her after death and they also prevent players from hiding from her in the tunnel.

Summon :
As with many 20-man and 40-man raid bosses, Onyxia will summon (teleport) characters to her that she thinks she can't reach. This usually happens to characters in the tunnel, but can randomly happen to characters at any position in her lair.

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Phase 1 Abilities

Flame Breath :
This is a breath of fire that hits everyone in front of Onyxia, including to a considerable distance to the sides. This damage is fire based and hits for upwards of 4000 damage

Knock Away :
This attack hits targets in front on Onyxia, knocks them back a distance, and reduces her hate of the target. If this reduces hate enough, she will switch targets.

Tail Swipe :
Onyxia can attack everyone behind her with her mighty tail. This hits for very little damage (about 300) but sends the target flying sideways. This attack can cause a wipe if the victim gets knocked into a whelp cave.

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Phase 2 Abilities

Flight :
In the second stage of the Onyxia fight, she takes flight and can only be hit by ranged attacks and special attacks. Normal melee auto-attacks cannot reach her.

Engulfing Flames (Fireball) :
While in flight Onyxia will breathe fireballs down on random players. This hits as a main hit and a splash damage hit. It does up to 3000 damage to the player it hits and can do up to 1500 to anyone nearby.

Whelp Spawns :
Small groups of whelps periodically hatch from the eggs and attack, regardless of whether any characters are near them.

Deep Breath :
The game warns, "Onyxia takes a deep breath". A few seconds later, she breathes a huge gout of fire that rolls straight across the room from her current position to the opposite wall. Character in the middle of this attack get hit five or six times and are likely to die. Characters on the sides of the attack get missed entirely or get hit only once.

There are many theories about what causes Onyxia to perform her Deep Breath attack. These include being not spread out enough, not damaging her quickly enough, and not having enough debuffs on her. However, none of these theories is confirmed at this time. It appears she periodically simply has a random chance of performing the attack. Regardless of the cause, it is important to learn how to respond to this attack when she does perform it (see below). Attempting to prevent Deep Breath attacks is of secondary importance.

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Phase 3 Abilities

Phase 1 Abilities :
All of Onyxia's phase one abilities come back into play in phase 3 of the fight.

AOE Fear / Lava Cracks :
Onyxia does an AOE fear at random interval. Sometimes you will have up to 30 seconds between fears and sometimes as little as 10 seconds. Just before she does the screen shakes and then the AOE fear occurs and this also triggers the lava cracks to spew forth lava. When this happens it hits characters for a good amount of fire damage (roughly 500) and causes them to be feared, which makes them run through other lava jets, causing cumulative damage.

Whelp Spawns :
Small groups of whelps occasionally spawn from the eggs and attack, regardless of whether any characters are near them. These spawns are rare, unlike the common spawns in Phase 2. These spawns are comprised of five or so whelps, unlike the huge spawns of 20+ whelps that result when characters are feared or knocked into the eggs. These spawns usually appear early in Phase 3, and may be delayed effects of the normal whelp generation in Phase 2.

Heal :
Onyxia heals herself for 45% over ten seconds. This is extremely rare. It appears to happen in only in very long fights. Even in long fights, though, it does not usually happen. It is reported here because it has been witnessed numerous times (including by the current writer), and it can wipe raids. The healing may be due to a bug, instead of a normal ability. It is not the normal "evade" healing, as Onyxia does not evade and can be attacked normally while she heals. It can happen when there are no characters on the walls of the cave. This heal is so rare that it should not be considered in strategies for beating Onyxia.

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Combat Strategy

The Onyxia fight is made up of three separate phases. The first is when you enter and lasts until she is dropped until roughly 65%. At this point she will walk to the south end of the room and take flight, entering stage 2. This stage lasts until she is dropped to about 40% health, at which point she will land and enter the third and final stage of the fight.
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Phase One Strategies

Phase One starts the Onyxia fight. When you reach her lair you will see her resting on the ground. Take this time to buff everyone and ensure that everyone has full health and mana. When everyone is ready have the Main Tank (MT) charge in with everyone else following about 2-3 seconds behind. The main tank should run straight past Onyxia pulling her to the far north side of the room so that she faces the wall. The best positioning takes a little practice and is a few steps in front of the wall. This is so that the MT's back is to the wall to limit the effectiveness of her Knock Away ability and so that the MT is the only one in front of her when she breathes fire.

Everyone else should split to the sides and go to the north-east and north west corners. There you will form 3 main groups on each side. Closest to Onyxia is the melee group, waiting for the all clear to enter combat. Next is the ranged and healing group, which should be right along the wall. Last is a small group the furthest south on each side to deal with any whelp spawns. This group must have at least one mage for AoE and is best to have another form of AoE as well (either a second mage or a warlock), and requires healers. There should be no whelps in this phase unless someone is accidentally thrown into a whelp pit. This group should keep an eye out but can focus mainly on Onyxia with the rest of the raid, unless or until a whelp shows up.

Once everyone is setup in their groups the MT healers should setup a healing rotation on the MT to ensure he stays at full health, and that they can regenerate mana in between rotations. Other than this healing, no one should do anything to Onyxia other than the MT. The MT is the only one to be fighting Onyxia for at least a minute, or until she drops to 99% health whichever comes first.

At this point everyone can enter combat and start doing damage. One thing to remember though is Onyxia's fire breath ability as it can do up to 4000 damage. I say to remember this because if anyone draws aggro away from the MT and gets her to face sideways to them when she breathes she will kill all cloth wearers (casters and healers) to that side, very likely causing a wipe. Therefore it is VERY important to not overdo the damage . This is not a race; this fight in Phase One is a slow steady fight. Do not try to rush. Everyone should try for about 50-75% of their max DPS output and anyone with a way to dump aggro should (IE: Hunters feign death etc) as often as they can.

If you pull aggro off of the main tank and Onyxia attacks you, attempt to shake her off of you with Feign Death, Vanish, Ice Block, Divine Shield, Divine Protection, Fade, or a Flask of Petrification. If that doesn't work, run to the tanking spot at the northern end of the cave and fight her there. This will keep Onyxia from breathing flame on other players as she kills you.
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Phase Two Strategies

When Onyxia reaches 65% health, she will walk towards the south end of her lair and take flight, starting Phase Two.

There are three basic goals for Phase Two:

* Reduce damage from Deep Breath and fireball attacks.
* Keep whelps under control.
* Damage Onyxia as quickly as possible.

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Phase Two Positioning

In this phase you must ensure that everyone maintains spacing from each other. Players need to move around to ensure they have range to Onyxia while she is flying, however they must also ensure they watch around them and never bunch up. This reduces the AoE damage from her fireball attacks.
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Phase Two Whelps

When Onyxia takes off, each whelp pit will spawn a large group of whelps that need to be dealt with quickly. The raid should help the whelp groups clear this initial spawning as fast as possible before moving on to help with Onyxia. Since the first spawn is quite large and can kill clothies quite easly, it is advised to put a tank right at the entrance to the whelps pit, who will cast Challenging Shout to aggro the whelps to him. Then the mages can kill those easly. After the initial group is dead the whelps spawn in regular intervals in smaller numbers that can be dealt with fairly easily once you are used to them.
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Dodging Deep Breath Attacks

Onyxia flies around the room, periodically stopping to attack. Each time she stops, there is a small, random chance that she will perform a Deep Breath attack. When she does, everyone must run to a safe wall location or die. The correct wall areas are those orthogonal to the path of the flame. For example, if she is in the north, run to the east or west wall of her cave. To save time, hunters ping her position on the mini-map and call out her position or the correct wall areas upon a deep breath warning.
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Max out Damage

Get Onyxia down to about 40% health as fast as you can. Ranged damage is the main thing that can hit her while in flight so it is important to have everyone doing as much ranged DPS as possible. Rogues and other melee can hit her by using special attacks. Track all debuffs and DoTs on her and ensure they are kept up to move through this phase as quickly as possible. Onyxia ignores threat generation during Phase Two, so there is no reason to hold back on damage. The more quickly Phase 2 ends, the fewer Deep Breath attacks Onyxia will perform.
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The End of Phase Two

At roughly 40% health Onyxia will land. She will cast a fear spell within seconds of landing, so all players must position themselves away from the whelp caves before she does so. If not, the fear effect may cause some to run into the whelp eggs, spawning a lot of whelps.

Due to Onyxia's in-flight hate wiping, the main tank will have very little hate as she lands. He must build rage on whelps, then use Sunder Armor and other hate-generating attacks on Onyxia shortly before she lands. Casters should stop attacking somewhere between 41% and 44%. Hunters and rogues should keep attacking until she starts to land, at which point they should Feign Death or Vanish. Phase Three of the fight starts as Onyxia lands.
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Phase Three Strategies

Phase Three tactics are very similar to Phase One, except that fear requires special handling and the raid will take damage from lava spurts.
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Positioning

In Phase Three everyone should move back to their Phase One positioning with one minor change. You should make sure you are not standing on the cracks that will erupt lava. While this will not prevent taking damage it will limit it somewhat and if positioned perfectly you will not be feared by it. Make sure everyone is spread out and that the MT is back to the north end of the room.

There is a considerably better spot for ranged DPS. At the exact center of the room is a medium-sized area with fewer lava cracks (prior to Patch 1.11, these did not spew lava at all). Ranged damage-dealers standing here can avoid all damage from Onyxia and the lava, although they may be attacked by whelps. They must stand back far enough to avoid Onyxia's tail.

Melee must stay well forward of her tail! If you are too far back, she may fear you into her tail, which will toss you into a whelp pit, which will spawn 20 whelps, which will wipe the raid. Also, everyone must stay away from the whelp pits to avoid being feared directly into them. If you do end up spawning a bunch of whelps, call it out so that the whelp groups can kill them quickly. AoE damage is required to have any chance of success.
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Aggro Control

At beginning of Phase Three, the main tank may have a difficult time re-establishing aggro. Onyxia may attack and kill a half-dozen members of the raid before the main tank finally gets her attention. Getting her attention is a lot faster if, near the end of Phase 2, the main tank applies Sunder Armor and the casters stop attacking. Usually a full 1% health drop (as in Phase One) will ensure complete aggro control for the rest of the fight if people are careful with their DPS.

As in Phase One, if you draw aggro from the main tank, either shake it or run to the tanking spot to die. This is very likely to happen at the beginning of Phase 3 to all cloth classes, so be ready for it.

Onyxia's hate at the start of Phase 3 is still not completely understood, and is a hot topic of debate.
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Dealing with Fear

Onyxia's fear spell causes a considerable amount of chaos. Aside from disrupting healing and damage-dealing, it causes all players to lose their position and to take damage from running through lava spurts. It sometimes causes the main tank to run sideways. When this happens, Onyxia turns to follow him, and may then breathe flame on members of the raid on that side.

If you are Alliance, it helps to have a Dwarf priest be the main healer on the MT during Phase 3. The Dwarf priest racial ability is Fear Ward. When cast on the MT during Phase 3 it can prevent the main tank from being feared.

Horde raids can plant two Tremor Totems next to the tank, three seconds apart. These will usually cause the tank to come out of fear quickly. They need to be renewed during the fight.

Both Alliance and Horde tanks can avoid the fear somewhat via the Stance Dance, as with Magmadar. The shaking screen gives just enough warning to use Berserker Rage. However, the reduced hate generation and extra damage taken from Berserker Stance while the healers are feared can be problematic.

An advanced tactic is to have two tanks, who must both build hate. The Off-Tank hits Berserker Rage to avoid the fear, and becomes the main tank until the fear is over. This requires more skill by the healers and tanks, and more fire resistance gear. However, if done properly, it ensures that Onyxia will never turn due to fear effects. The off-tank may be positioned with the main tank, to avoid repositioning, or at her shoulder, to avoid damage.

If you are not the tank, you must not avoid or break the fear effect. Onyxia will always attack un-feared targets before targets that do have the fear effect. What this means is that if you aren't feared, Onyxia may turn, breathe flame on you and many other players, and wipe the raid. Stay away from tremor totems. Don't use Will of the Forsaken or your PvP trinkets to break fear.

There is a small chance of resisting the fear. If you resist it, Onyxia will attack you. Run to the tanking spot until the main tank recovers from fear and regains aggro.
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Phase Progression

This part of the fight is similar to Phase 1. Keep your DPS under control doing about 50-75% of your max and clearing aggro as often as you can.

When Onyxia is near death (last 5-10% health) she will enter a rage state and her damage output goes up sharply. This is another key point to watch for and your MT will need a lot of healing to stay up. Every healer in the raid should ensure that the MT is staying up before putting heals anywhere else. Second healing priority is the DPS players so that she actually goes down.

Damage-dealing classes can gradually ramp up their damage output as Phase 3 progresses and the main tank builds more hate. Hunters can do this more quickly by using Feign Death. At 10% health, it is usually possible to apply maximum damage. This is a balancing act, as Onyxia must be brought down before attrition from the lava spurts causes the loss of too many players, yet the damage-dealers must not pull aggro from the main tank.
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Hints

Onyxia is more about long term patience than all-out DPS and speed. If you follow the strategies laid out here and have patience and practice a little you should have no issue beating her. Phase One is insanely easy if no one goes crazy on DPS. Phase Two becomes easy once you figure out how to deal with the whelps, dodge deep breaths, and keep up ranged DPS. Phase Three requires some luck the first several times you do it, and a ton of skill on the main tank's part to keep control while being feared and knocked back.

The hardest part of the whole fight though seems to be the main tank regaining aggro at the end of Phase Two / beginning of Phase Three. Once that part is mastered, the fight goes a lot smoother. Once again, the key is for the main tank to apply Sunder Armor to Onyxia while she is still in the air.

This is a scripted fight that will take some practice. No matter how accurate any strategy guide is, nothing can prepare you more than experience. Expect a few wipes and plan for it. Some guilds take 20 - 30 wipes before downing her for the first time, and then continue to have occasional wipes.

Greater Fire Protection Potions are invaluable during this fight, especially while learning it. They are much more useful than healing potions in dealing with damage. Heal with bandages. Healers will be focused on the main tank, so everyone else must be prepared to take care of themselves.

Fire Resistance gear is critical for the main tank, and very useful for everyone else.

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Stinkhorn



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 1441
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks man, I know it will help out alot of people.
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Kerriel



Joined: 07 Jan 2006
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Np stinkhorn i am here for the guild and always have been. be it in game or out.

If there is anything you need from me let me know and it will be done

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