Quick-read Blackwing Descent tactics – everything you need to defeat Nefarian and his minions

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Whether you want to quickly refresh your memory, or you’re looking for complete Blackwing Descent tactics, here’s a quick guide to the essential strategy for BWD, in skimmable or copy-paste to raid (able) form.


Magmaw strategy

  • ALL DPS and healers should stack up on the left of Magmaw, within melee range. Main tank tanks Magmaw, standing on his right. Off-tank (or an assigned kiter) stands in the center of the room to attract Pillar of Flame.
  • Move out of the steam to the other side of Magmaw.
  • Pillar of Flame spawns Lava Parasites. These should be kited or tanked by the off-tank/kite. They can be slowed. Nobody except the off-tank/kiter should DPS the adds.
  • When Magmaw slumps forward (and grabs the tank with Mangle), two players should jump onto his head (which will now be ‘usable’ as a vehicle). Those players should then immediately use the new Constricting Chains ability on their toolbar. Target the spike on the ground. Healers – heal the tank heavily in this phase.
  • Once chained, Magmaw crashes to the ground. Target the Exposed Head of Magmaw and DPS like crazy. Pop cooldowns.
  • Magmaw will break free of the chains after a few seconds – tank should taunt Magmaw immediately.

Magmaw heroic mode strategy

Dodge the Blazing Infernos and the trails of fire it leaves behind. Blazing Bone Constructs must be tanked and DPSed down. All DPS and the main tank should swap between Magmaw and the Constructs. Adds must die before they finish casting Armageddon (the cast starts when they hit 20% health and lasts 8 seconds). Pop defensive/mitigation cooldowns when Magmaw hits 30%.


Omnotron Defense System strategy

Four bosses, with a shared health pool. Only two will be active at once. Each has an energy bar which slowly depletes. Stop DPS when the energy bar hits 50%, or bad things will happen.

  • Arcanotron – stand in the blue circle to get a damage buff. Tanks should drag the boss out of the circle. Interrupt Arcane Annihilator.
  • Electron – Spread out. Move away from the raid if you get Lightning Conductor.
  • Magmatron – stack up. Stand still if you get Acquiring Target – everybody else should move out of the way.
  • Toxitron – move out of the poison cloud. Run from Poison Protocol. Ranged DPS should take down the adds.

Omnotron Defense System heroic mode strategy

One golem at a time will be buffed, giving extra abilities as follows:

  • The blue circles from Arcanotron will eventually explode. Move out when they start to grow in size.
  • Lightning Conductor from Electron will change to Shadow Conductor after a few seconds. If you get Shadow Conductor, run back in to the rest of the raid ASAP.
  • Magmatron’s Flamethrower will immobilize its target.
  • The entire raid will be pulled into a Chemical Bomb when Toxitron is buffed. It deals damage and increases damage taken.

Maloriak strategy

Maloriak has three phases: red, blue and green. The order will be randomly chosen from Red-Blue-Green or Blue-Red-Green. Tank Maloriak in front of his cauldron, with the off-tank handling the adds by the entrance.

  • Release Aberrations – ignore on Normal Mode. Interrupt Arcane Storm.
  • Red phase: stack up in front of the boss. Run away from the boss if you get Consuming Flames.
  • Blue phase: spread out. DPS the iceblocks to free trapped players. Be prepared for (unavoidable) damage when the block is broken.
  • Green phase: AoE the adds.

Make sure all adds are down before 30%.

Phase 2

Phase 2 starts at 25%. The off-tank should pick up the two Prime Subject adds as soon as they spawn. Move away from the exploding orbs. Main tank should point Maloriak away from the raid during Magma Jets.

Maloriak heroic mode strategy

In Heroic, the adds do more damage. Release Aberrations should be interrupted when he casts it on Green phase, but only once in total over the Blue and Red phases.

Heroic mode adds an extra phase – the Dark phase. Adds will spawn, which should be picked up by the off-tank. Kite them around the edge of the room. Everybody else should avoid the puddles and AoE the adds. Main tank will take extra damage.

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h2(#atramedes). Atramedes strategy

A big, blind dragon. You’ll have a special Sound bar for this fight. If it ever reaches 100, you’re dead. Don’t use the gongs, unless you’ve been specifically assigned to do so.

Ground phase

  • Dodge the discs that spin out from the boss. Atramedes has a huge hit box, so there’s no need to stand too close.
  • If you get Sonic Breath, kite it in a clockwise direction. Everybody else should move anti-clockwise to avoid it.

Air phase

  • Don’t stand in the fire.
  • Don’t stand in the discs on the ground.
  • If you get Roaring Flame Breath, run away. You’ll be spawning fire behind you, so watch your path.

Atramedes heroic mode strategy

You only have 7 gongs available in heroic mode (as opposed to 10 in normal mode). Adds will spawn during the ground phase, and should be immediately DPSed down. Roaring Flame Breath moves faster during the air phase.


Chimaeron strategy

This is a healer challenge.

  • Spread out.
  • Healers should keep players topped off above 10,000 HP, but not much beyond.
  • Tanks should tank swap when Chimaeron casts Double Attack.
  • Chimaeron will frequently knock you down to exactly 1 HP. Don’t panic.
  • When the Bile-o-Tron goes offline, stack up on the tanks until Feud finishes. Pop mitigation cooldowns. Spread out again as soon as the Bile-o-Tron is back online.
  • Nuke at 20%.

Chimaeron heroic mode strategy

You’ll probably need three tanks for heroic Chimaeron. Double Attack will still sometimes be cast during Feud, which is pretty nasty. Healers need to make sure raid health is topped off going into Phase 3 (the nuke phase), due to lots of extra shadow damage.


Nefarian strategy

Phase 1

  • Onyxia and Nefarian should be tanked on opposite sides of the room. Standard dragon positioning applies. Face them away from the middle.
  • Avoid Onyxia’s Electric Discharge to her sides.
  • Every 10% of Nefarian’s health that’s lost will trigger Electrocute, doing massive raid-wide nature damage. This must be mitigated and healed through.
  • Move away from the adds when they spawn. They will be kited by a designated kiter or tank. Don’t DPS them, but do use slows/snares if you have them.
  • DPS Onyxia until she is on low health, then switch to Nefarian. Switch back to Onyxia when Nefarian reaches 80%.

Phase 2

  • Swim out of the magma and onto your assigned platform.
  • Kill the Chromatic Prototype while interrupting Blast Nova. Watch your DPS – they need to die at roughly the same time.
  • The raid will need constant healing during this phase.

Phase 3

  • Jump off the platforms and go hit Nefarian.
  • The adds will return, and need to be kited as in Phase 1.
  • Don’t stand in the purple fire.
  • Electrocute will still be cast every 10%.

Nefarian heroic mode strategy

Overall damage is increased in heroic mode, particularly from Electrocute. Nefarian will mind-control random players in phases 1 and 3. Mind-controlled players should spam Stolen Power, then hit Free Your Mind just before they reach the portal. Use slows on mind-controlled players. If you get Explosive Cinders in phase 2, jump off the platform into the magma.


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