Soloing Onyxia before she’s gone

September 18, 2009 at 5:51 pm (Achievements)

Okay not gone, but this is your last chance to solo her for a long time. In 3.2.2 Onyxia is being revamped for level 80 players, with relevant loot, new mounts and pets and achievements. The Old level 60 Onyxia we know will be gone for good.

I had bemoaned the fact that as a Priest I really wasn’t able to solo a lot of content. I could run LBRS, or even UBRS, but when it got to raid content, or level 80 elites like Chillmaw, it seemed Paladins and Death Knights left me in the dust. So Onyxia was something I never really thought to try, I just assumed I couldn’t.

Looming Onyxia

When I did try, I was blown away by how easy she is. She can be solo’d as all three specs, but in particular as Shadow she’s very simple. I’ll be assuming a Shadow Spec, but if you want to do it as Disc or Holy you can, just be prepared to take much longer because you’ll take more damage and have to watch your mana more carefully.

Onyxia’s Lair is in Dustwallow Marsh just east of Mudsprocket. She used to require a long (and very enjoyable) attunement quest to be able to raid. However long ago that requirement was removed. The quest is still in the game, and available. If you have some time it’s a lot of fun to do. Alliance run Black Rock Depths and do the Jail Break quest, Upper Black Rock Spire and kill a few dragons. Horde run Lower and Upper Black Rock Spire and use subterfuge to gain the help of the Black Dragon Flight. Just getting to Upper Blackrock Spire requires a key which itself is quite a fun solo challenge to get. The whole Blackrock Mountain area is full of nostaliga and a lot of fun. Black Rock Depths in particular is such an ambitious, story filled instance. I have a lot of respect for the designers on that one.

You don’t have to do that those quests any more but it’s a laugh if you feel like it. Nowadays you just walk through the maw to Onyxia’s layer. You will need to be in a raid to do it which means finding somebody who can sit in a raid with you. They don’t need to be online, so if you can get a guildy to log an alt, start a raid with you, then exit the game they will be able to log back to their main leaving you in a raid with their offline alt. Make sure they don’t just log out, that will remove them from the group, they need to exit.

In your (now 1 man) raid you head through the Instance portal and down a winding path. There are three or four single mob trash pulls to get to Onyxia, easy easily soloable although things can get a little dicey if you pull more than one at a time. They key, as for much of this raid, is Vampiric Embrace, apply it, shield yourself, and DPS.

Once you’ve cleared the trash you’ll come around the corner into a surprisingly small room. I say surprisingly small because my memories of this room are of forty people running around in it and it looked much bigger at the time. Onyxia will be lying on the floor towards the back of the room. You just apply dots, apply Vampiric Embrace and go mad.

There are two things not to do in this fight:

  1. Don’t leave the room, if you try and run back out of the room Onyxia will “prevent” this by one shotting you.

  2. Keep your back to the far wall. If you don’t you’ll get knocked into the infamous “whelp pits”.

Phase 1 is just straight DPS. She will try and knock you back but you’re against a wall so it’s no big deal. Eventually she will get down to 65ish% and go to phase 2. In Phase 2 she will fly around the room and summon a few small waves of Whelps from the Whelp Pits. DPS the Whelps with Mind Sear and keep dots up on Onyxia to help heal yourself and bring her health down.


She will periodically do a Deep Breath which emotes “Onyxia takes a deep breath” when she will fly across the room and breath fire. You can suck it up if you like. To avoid it however, run directly underneath her as soon as she emotes. If you’re too far away you can sometimes avoid the fire by running to one side of the room or the other.

Once she’s down to about 40% health she will land and return to meleeing you. This means get back to the far wall and start DPS. The difference in this phase is she will periodically do a Bellowing Roar which is a short fear so make sure your health doesn’t drop low. You can always use Dispersion or Fear Ward. Fire will also start coming out of the floor, but it’s nothing to worry about.

That’s really pretty much it to the fight. She’ll die, you’ll loot your Tier pieces, a few level 45-50 BoE blues. Yes, this is back in the day when Raid bosses dropped blues… and a couple of 16 slot bags. Oh and 60g. If you’re lucky you can also get a bag of Gems which can include Golden Pearls which sell well nowadays for people getting the +30 spell power enchant on their heirloom weapons.

Get your achievement – soon to be Feat of Strength – for killing her and bask in your, (admittedly sort of easy,) accomplishment.

Finally, she drops her head (makes sense really). This quest will start a quest to either visit Thrall or Varian Wrynn and turn the head in. This will result in the head being strung up in front of Stormwind, or on a poll in Orgrimmar for all to see. Nice bit of acknowledgement.

All is well again in Orgimmar

All is well again in Orgimmar

Whilst the fight wasn’t hard it was very nostalgic for me. Onyxia is being revamped for the 5th anniversary of WoW because of the connection she has to the culture of the game. I don’t mean the lore of the game, I mean the attachment to the players from back in Vanilla WoW. Onyxia has Viral connections like the “50DKP Minus” guy. The all druid Onyxia Run. The Level 60 four man raid. The runs through BRD, UBRS, LBRS, and the epic quest chains. Her periodic attacks in Stormwind Palace when she’s unveiled as Miss Prestor and kills a boat load of confused level 12 players. She’s so intimately connected to a certain part of the history of this game that it was really fantastic to see her again. If you’ve never fought her go see her. If you’ve killed her before go back and visit.


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