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Onyxia: Lessons Learned
I just want to start by saying how proud I am of our first attempts at Onyxia. 44% is quite an accomplishment, and the things I saw last night tell me that we can definitely do this with more practice. It is not a matter of gear, it is a matter of execution.

Phase 1) I think we have this part down. Everyone was well positioned, and we fixed any aggro issues by the third attempt. The only odd behavior is on the initial charge, and I'm looking into why that might be.

Phase 2) We can handle the whelps at this point, that wasnt our problem. The primary problems were damage on her, and deep breath. Both of these problems can be solved by the same thing. It's entirely about moving every time she does.

On the 2nd and 3rd attempts, I did not get caught in the deep breath at all, and was the last man standing both times. And this was while picking up whelps as well. That's a credit to the healers, but it's also a credit to knowing where to be.

For deep breath, think of the direction she is facing as irrelevant. She turns to one side or the other to shoot fireballs. It's her position in the cavern that matters. Look at the guide Tae linked again, at the diagrams for it.


In each of those drawings for deep breath in phase two, there is room to live against each wall. Her breath hits a wide area from directly beneath her to the opposite wall of the cavern, through the center. The sides are where you'll live.

This means two things. One, no one should be in the center of the room, ever. Always stay near the walls (aside from the whelp pens), do not wait until she is about to use deep breath. Two, this means continually moving, even to the southern half of the cave (something very few people did), every time she moves.

The whelp groups need to do this as well unfortunately. After the first wave it isnt quite so bad, but you should move first, and kill whelps second... just keep an eye on your alcove and pick them up when they appear.

A good bit of "virtual spatial awareness" will help with this. I know that it's a thing that varies wildly from one person to another, but essentially, you want to draw a line from her to the opposite side of the cave, and be as far from that line as possible. A little wall climbing helps.

Phase 3) We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Smile
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
For my part, I know I have a very difficult time determining her actual position when she's flying about. I'm not sure if it's because of the angles involved, the fact that I'm trying to focus on keeping whelps off the healers or just that my spatial sense doesn't work so well with a flat image, but that's what killed me every single time (Ok, except that bizarre start when she decided to bite my head off for no reason...).

Also, the other groups I've gone to her with have always given the tank a 10-20 second head start when they charge in. I'm not sure how this works with the respawning guards as it was my first ever attempt and I wasn't paying attention to that, but we never had aggro problems with her at the start.

I agree with Kosath's analysis...on that last attempt, as far as the whelp group goes NE section, it seemed to be fireballs that got Umu dead..could be wrong but I remeber seeing him getting hit with them...then the whelps got me after that.

So is that a postioning problem to..on the fireballs? The whelps themselves we can deal with I think. Special thanks to Galvan for helping us understand how to do them as a group to...very knowledgable player and darn fine priest.
<< OOC >>

I am also proud of the way we improved each time we engaged Onyxia. Even when our second attempt went a bit sour at the very beginning, we still hung in there and were able to improve from our first attempt.

And Kosath, thank you for mentioning about the Deep Breath. I must admit I was very confused about the direction the fire flew. Perhaps I just didn't pick it up from the guides, but I did not know that the direction she was facing was irrelevant. Which is why I was having trouble understanding the "pinging" her location on the map. I didnt know if we were signaling where she was, or where the fire was heading. So that will definately help me.

One of my biggest questions is Phase 2....

As a Hunter, I am a ranged fighter. But when she is flying about the cave, I often lose range on her, and was unsure what to do about that. I knew that constant DPS during this phase was important, so I started following her around a bit. This seemed to work out ok, but I'm not sure if I should have been doing this.

If I remember correctly, I never got killed by the actual Deep Breath....just by her fireballs. The last 2 battles with her I was able to stay alive through the majority of the battle. Bandage, Healing Potion, Healthstone....rinse and repeat.

All in all, I was very proud of the effort that Ironsong put forth. I am proud to wear the Guild Tabard.

Orc Hunter
It says in the guide to give the main tank 10 seconds to get agro before going in (I'm pretty sure but will read again). On the first attempt we waited and Kosath got her turned around perfectly. ((I wonder if we had buffed with potions how we might have done on that first attempt...my guess is even better than the second two times.))

On attempts two and three everyone charged at once and she went berserk. She stuck her big ol' snoot up into the cave tunnel and burned me to a cinder. Yes I can say, since I was bringing up the rear...that we should probably count to 10 before charging in after Kosath goes. I'd suggest next time that Kosath run in and then Sreng can yell "CHARGE" when the rest are supposed to go. I think when Kosath yells "Charge" everyone takes it as a signal to move.

just the .02 of a french fried magey

Sing True Ironsong!
The Deep Breaths were also a concern of mine, and things became very, very confusing trying to keep track of her in the air and keep track of whelps. I can now understand why the guide said they always had a hunter keeping an eye open and calling out positions.

My question (just for ultimate clarification) is...when she takes a Deep Breath, the corners on either side of her are the safe spots, yes? If you're under her, in front of her, in the middle in any way, or in the corner directly opposite of her, you'll burn, yes? Or do I have that mixed up?

Aside from that, giving Kosath more time to grab and hold her, making sure we're well spread out during Phase 2, keeping debuffs on her while she's in the air, and making sure we know where to be when she takes a Deep Breath seem to be the most important things we need to concentrate on. As long as we focus on that, we'll get her to Phase 3 no problem. But then, that's when all heck is going to break loose. ^^
[Image: 85443.png][Image: 85444.png]
You give Kosath time to get aggro running in, you can't wait in the cave prior as the Dragonkin can respawn once she is engaged. He needs to be 20-30 feet (yards?) ahead and no one attacking or casting (or healing for as long as reasonable) until he has aggro locked and the attack is called.

On the third attempt when she came into the hall she reset; this is like when we pull a Priest in Zul'Gurub out of their area and they run back to their start point. With Onyxia if people are still out in the hallway when she attacks she will go into the hall and do a special fire attack then return to her start spot, which is exactly what she did. It is, like with the ZG priests, something meant to prevent the creature from being pulled into an area where they are not meant to be fought.

I am sorry, but it seems that it may be that having people in the hall too long could be what dragged her into it. It seemed a trifle buggy on that attempt.

We have some spotty information about Deep Breaths, but we believe we can reduce them to happening very little or not at all next time if we can research it a bit more. Some of us went with Rotten Luck tonight and they were able to get 0 Deep Breaths, but there is question as to what exactly stops them.

Kosath will post more soon.
Another thing I realized that was rather useful is that she will usually Flame Wave ((its what I'm calling the deep breath...cus the graphic is pretty much the same :p )) when there are more then a a group of 5 clustered. Thus, I think it's important to glance around you every few seconds and seeing how far you are in relation to everyone else around you. Like it said/showed in the diagram, she won't use the flame wave if people are quite spread out. ( I.E. In Warhammer terms, use the full 2-inches unit coherency to minimize the effects of ordinance and blast. :p )).

There are times when she would double/tripple fireball people (on the first attempt she hit me 3 times in less then 2 seconds ) but I dont know how that can be avoided as distancing yourself doesnt really matter with that attack.
"MT rushes in a good 20-30 feet ahead of everyone to make sure he gets initial agro. No one is to attack Onyxia until the MT is in position and has been in position building agro for at least 60 seconds." -Onyxia Guide

"You give Kosath time to get aggro running in, you can't wait in the cave prior as the Dragonkin can respawn once she is engaged. He needs to be 20-30 feet (yards?) ahead and no one attacking or casting (or healing for as long as reasonable) until he has aggro locked and the attack is called. " -Tae

Aye Tae...we need to clarify EXACTLY what to do here. On #3 I was standing in the back and it looked to me like everyone charged at once...except for Dispaya who hesitated only long enough to throw her shield up before running in. This wasn't a long delay and I didn't see any Dragonkin respawn. It looked to me like Onyxia walked past Kosath, took a swipe at the raiders going to the left, and next came direct for me...which would explain what you said about that triggering a breath attack in the hall...I will not make that mistake again ((though it is making for some fun RP this week for me...ha))

I interpret the main tank needing 20-30 feet of space as everyone waiting a few seconds at least before charging in after the MT...so we need to clarify exactly how to do this. It looked to me like when everyone charged at once that she began attacking players at random since Kosath did not have agro yet.

On attempt #2 there was no delay as well. I ran directly into the cave with everyone else and she swiped and killed me also immediately. (It just wasn't my night...sigh)

It seems to me that on attempt #1 Kosath was a bit further in before everyone ran. It may have been a difference of only 2-3 seconds but perhaps it makes a difference.

"Agro management and MT positioning are the most important parts of this phase (1). This phase is remarkably easy compared to the next two due to its straightforward "MT tank with a heal rotation, everyone else kill slow and steady" strategy. There should be 0 deaths and no whelps alive when phase 2 starts. There shouldn't be any need to drink any potions (except maybe a fire prot.) or use anything with a noticeable cool down during this." -Guide

Also..if even 1 person dies in phase 1 then perhaps we should advise the players to just treat it as a practice run and not to use additional potions and supplies since several of the guides state that if even one dies in phase one that is is almost impossible to beat her. If we save some resources we may be able to swing an additional attempt the next time if things go badly. What do you think?

Dispaya of the french fried crispy critters

Sing True Ironsong!
The way aggro works is that as long as no one does /anything/ but move, whoever nears her first should gain "proximity aggro". This will always be Kosath. We can give him more of a lead or what have you, but regardless of what we do differently what we saw on attempts 2 and 3 should not happen. He was advised not to begin actual attacks to generate more threat until he was in position to avoid being knocked around too soon, but he may use a shout to lightly lock her on more as he runs through her legs.

The 60 seconds or so to let him lock aggro is once we are in position; the guide doesn't mean to imply we should wait any significant time before running in. We really did have something odd happen to us; I went for 4 more attempts last night with Rotten Luck and they ran in the same way we did with 0 aggro problems (well one from healing over aggro on the MT but that's not odd). I am very sorry for it, and didn't mean to suggest that you were at fault. I believe Onyxia bugged somewhat on the third attempt, actually, as she reset without her scripted /yell that normally accompanies resetting.

::hugs:: Not using consumables if folks die in Phase I isn't a bad idea, though it is hard to get 0 casualties honestly and we need to get into Phase III to get practice on the hardest parts of the fight. Heh. I agree that they should not be used lightly though. I used some food/drink buffs and one major mana potion in 4 attempts on her last night with the Rottens, for example.

Also, if anyone with a self-res ability goes down in Phase I and can wait until the start of Phase II to use it, while she is moving and taking off there is a window where a newly ressed person would be out of combat and can res others. Just to help us recover and make a solid attempt.

Just some more thoughts. We'll see how they play out.
We really did have something odd happen to us; I went for 4 more attempts last night with Rotten Luck and they ran in the same way we did with 0 aggro problems (well one from healing over aggro on the MT but that's not odd). I am very sorry for it, and didn't mean to suggest that you were at fault.

Oh no worries at all Priestess...I like to discuss strategy. This Dragon battle has me fascinated. It was the one battle I have always wanted to do since I first joined. I was making the comments to create some chit chat on the subject. As it was my first time ever there, I didn't know what to expect.

Very interesting that something odd was happening. My intuition tells me we were doing something wrong..or perhaps someone in the raid was...I do not know what though...or perhaps it truly was a bug of some kind...in time we shall see. (personally I think she just REALLY had it in for me that night...thus the RP that is happening now...ha) And oh boy was I at fault! I will never stand in that hallway again. Some lessons are best learned the hard way...huh?

On the resources...I was just wondering out loud...

We had a discussion in GC about strategy one night and were debating the effects of planning attacks vs. adapting to the attack at it happened. Some felt one way or the other. I have always believed in a sound battle plan...but we also must be able to adapt as the situation may change at any time. It is true that it may be optimistic that no one dies in phase 1...but it is something to strive for. Iwould definitely feel better if people were not dying just running into the cavern...(ha)

I see Dispaya as acting as an advisor to officers in terms of battle plans...but will always bow to the leaders and their orders. It is good to discuss things so all options are approached I think. Thanks for your comments...I shall continue to study and will offer more feedback as I can... ;-)


Sing True Ironsong!
Keep this stuff coming crew. It's really very good.

Just to let you know, we are reading it. Learning it.

Yes we are paying attention.

On the initial agro thing, one question:

Will it make a difference if Kosath is in Defensive mode?

There are two schools of thought on what causes onyxia to deep breath. The first is clumping. If people are not spaced out enough and all start to converge to heavily, onyxia will use her deep breath attack. Warriors can shield wall to survive this, everyone else must run to the sides of her straight line breath attack depending on her orientation.

The second thought and one I find more probable is that Onyxia deep breaths when DPS is not high enough on her. She must be filled to the brim with dots and slammed with everything you have in phase two. Priests should throw shadow word pain but otherwise try to conserve mana for the very hectic phase three of the encounter. DPS is key here folks. Please be mindful of this as you gear up for this encounter in the future.

As for her regular flame attacks, these are centered on people who do clump up to much together, this includes having pets around or nearby totems. The more spread out you are the less she can hit with a single volley of this flame attack...Ideally you should get no more than 2 of these during the phase 2 portion of the encounter...bandage as you get hit to help the healers concentrait more on whelp groups.

Remember, Dots must all be off her by the time she lands. So at a certain point (refer to guides as the number eludes me at presant) dots must cease to be cast but dps must still be high to prevent her deep breath attack.

I'd have to agree with Damo (much as it pains me) about the idea of damage on her. I've been talking to some people at work who unfortunately play on different servers and the wrong faction (filthy alliance). I've been told of their speculations and suspicians concerning the Onyxia fight.

1. Clumping up is definitely a way to get her to do her Deep Breath.

2. It seems to them that the more damage you're doing to her (pure DPS) she won't use it even if you get clumped together.

Her rear end is in no way proof against her Deep Breath. On try 2 and 3 I was following her around and staying to her side as she flapped around. This served 2 purposes in my mind mainly I could keep casting on her freely when my DoT's fell off, and the Deep Breath might miss. Wrong .... it hammered me just like everyone else. Her normal breath attacks are a real pain, literally they were hitting me for 1400-2000 points every time she picked me to shoot.

3. I've been told that when she gets to 43-45% of her heath to lighten up a bit on damage, lighten up not stop. And have the MT get close to her underside, supposedly his taunts can be used as she's "coming to ground" to start building up initial agro.

Keeping a visual of her location in relation to the rest of the room is a pain. I had to turn my camera angle up to a 80degree angle just to keep her in sight (while following her). Unfortunately, as a byproduct of this, my abilty to judge range is greatly reduced since I can see very little of the room. So, knowing which way to run when she does a Deep Breath attack is going to be a big problem for me personally, I don't know if this is an issue for anyone else.
I went on a raid with the Rottens last night that wiped at 1%...(sad but true) and I learned a few interesting things...

Phase 1
Running into the cavern as soon as the charge was called was no problem 4 out of 4 times. She did not random attack any raiders. The main tank got agro and turned her around as soon as she ran in.

In phase 1 it seems best not to use special attacks or attacks that cause alot of crits or large DPS. The rottens advised "If you get a Crit then stop attacking for a bit!" Just wear her down slow and steady...as Sreng always says.

The rottens were rotating (or so it appeared) at about 30 second intervals they would call for everyone to Stop attacking so the main tank (Camilla) could keep agro.

Phase 2
The whelp groups ONLY focussed on whelps. The groups had 2 warrior types, 2 mages and 1 healer (Druid - *corrected from Zemas post). The warriors took up a position in front of the whelp area and when they appeared they rounded them up while the mages used AOE to wipe them out. This worked WELL. If the whelp groups lose sight of the whelp area, and the whelps get past they start to spread and attack randomly. If you catch them in the mouth of the area you can round them up, pull them together and AOE them. Most times it was easy to dispatch them. There were 2 waves of whelps in 4 out of 4 attacks. After the second wave I was able (usually) to get back to the walls and be waiting even before she landed.

Phase 3
Fear is the killer.
Phase 3 really really upsets me.

It is (probably) a good idea to save fire prot potions for phase 3 and drink them right as the phase starts. If you die before phase 3 it will save potions.

Get AWAY from the whelp caves so you do not get feared into them. A healthy distance without bunching up is a good idea.

I am becoming tempted to disagree that fire resist gear is not important except for a tank. I died in phase 3 each time due to fear/fire from running through the lava. A deep breath will kill me instantly (as a mage) and a single melee attack will kill me either way as well. The Rottens suggested that Forsaken do NOT use WoTF to break fear as it can cause Onyxia to Agro on you...they advised to just run until fear is over. So you must either resist fear or resist fire...resisting the fire is probably best as fear will not kill you. Any suggestions/thoughts on this?

Healers must stay alive. In all attacks as soon as 1 priest died, that was when raiders started dropping. We should put extra resources into getting healers fire resist gear and potions.

These were my observations. I hope they may be of some use...


PS: The most important lesson...it IS possible to kill her with our current groups. We can do it!
Sing True Ironsong!

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