A Simple Guide to WoW Classic’s Blackwing Lair Raid
Simple doesn’t mean short, though
WoW Classic’s The Blackwing Lair has eight bosses your group will have to defeat. Each of them has mechanics and attacks to keep track of and have coinciding measures against. There’s also the ‘Suppression Room’ which was the first raid gauntlet in the history of World of Warcraft. Everything you need to do in the raid is a delicate balance requiring teamwork, coordination, and communication to get through.
The rewards are numerous, from awesome pieces of gear to some amount of WoW Classic gold. There’s also the resulting camaraderie and undeniable feeling of accomplishment in completing such a difficult raid. Without further ado, here are the bosses, and how you can deal with them.
Razorgore the Untamed
The first hurdle of the raid isn’t too hard to defeat, as long as you know what you’re doing. What your group needs to do in order is:
- Take control of the orb on the left side of the room
- Use mind-controlled Razorgore to destroy eggs
- Then defeat him
Of course, it isn’t that simple in practice. Rush to the Orb of Domination and nuke its guardian, making it available to use. Minions appear as you try to destroy eggs, requiring the rest of the group to split into four to cover more ground. Each group must have a good distribution of off-tanks, DPS, and healers. Then, when it’s time to defeat him, ranged attackers should run and hide behind a pillar near the mind-controlled orb. That way, they get to avoid the damage from his Fireball Volley, while still staying in range.
Melee attackers and tanks need a Free Action Potion, as Razorgore will stomp and disorient players in range. If you want to keep the damage up, the potion is necessary to continue the onslaught.
It is necessary to have your main tank take control of Razorgore, as once he breaks free of the mind control, he will target whoever controlled him last. Also, have at least two tanks with the most threats on him, since he is immune to taunts. Have them build up aggro, so he won’t go out of control once a Conflagration happens.
Vaelastrasz the Corrupt
You’ll want to defeat him as fast as you possibly can. The group will not survive a war of attrition against him. It’s a good thing a buff called ‘Essence of the Red’ applies to everybody in the room once the fight starts. The benefit it gives is unlimited resources. Spam all of your max level spell and abilities to defeat him as fast as possible.
The reason for that is the other buff that will apply to only one character, Burning Adrenaline. While it doubles the damage dealt and negates cast time, it reduces health every second until death. Upon death, they explode, dealing massive damage to whoever’s nearby. Anyone who gets it should still deal as much damage (or healing) as they can while moving away from the others. If you take too long, your main tank will get it, and they will die no matter what.
Since the boss is also immune to taunts, you need an off-tank to keep control of him. Fury Warriors‘ Heroic Strike is good for this if they’re the off-tank. Others with the same class should use Cleave instead to keep their threat down. At any rate, if the whole group has high enough DPS, Vaelastrasz should go down pretty quickly.
Broodlord Lashlayer waits at the end of the Suppression Room, which you’ll have to get through to fight him. Getting through the room is a dance of kiting and defeating Hatchers and Taskmasters, disabling pylons, and running to the next safe spot. It’s more complicated than that, but it’ll take too long to describe here.
Fighting the boss, everybody should be positioned with their backs against the wall, even the boss. That way, when he uses Blast Wave, nobody gets flying back into the Suppression Room. The other mechanic to watch out for is Knock Away, which targets your tank and reduces their threat by half. Again, off-tanks should have the second or third most threat. Keep the tanks alive and threatening, sustain the DPS, and you should have no trouble defeating him.
Firemaw, Ebonroc, and Flamegor
These three drakes have similar mechanics, though they have a different third mechanic. All three of them can cast Shadowflame, so an Onyxia Scale Cloak is required for these bosses. They also have the Wing Buffet ability, which reduces threat on your tanks.
Firemaw has the Flame Buffet ability, which casts a stacking debuff on whoever gets hit. Ebonroc gets the Shadow of Ebonroc ability that casts a rather un-dispellable debuff on your tank. The debuff heals him for 25,000 points for every melee hit. Flamegor has the Fire Nova ability, which can be interrupted by a hunter’s Tranquilizing Shot.
So, the scale cloak counters Shadowflame and having tanks time their taunts counters Wing Buffet. For Flame Buffet, have two cycling groups for everybody. As one group hides to wait out the debuff, the other goes in range to fight or heal. The drakes are taunt-able, so you can have your main tank hide to wait out the debuff while an off-tank taunts him.
The strategy for Ebonroc’s unique ability is to have an off-tank taunt him if the debuff lands on the main tank. The main can then taunt him back if the off gets it. The tactic for Flamegor is to have hunters interrupt his Fire Novas.
There is a position that lets healers be in the line of sight of the tanks yet hidden to avoid getting Flame Buffet stacks. If your group finds it, healers don’t have to move to do their job.
As befitting the second to the last boss of the raid, Chromaggus has many mechanics your group has to manage and counter. First are his breath attacks. He has five, though he can only use two breaths for every instance of the raid.
- Incinerate: deals high fire damage in a cone in front of him
- Corrosive acid: inflicts a damage over time debuff and reduces armor for its duration
- Frost Burn: deals low frost damage and reduces attack speed for a short time
- Ignite Flesh: similar to Incinerate, but has lower damage that can stack
- Time Lapse: Stuns targets for 6 seconds, leaving half their health and reducing threat permanently
They’re also color-coded as red, green, blue, black, and bronze in the same order. He’ll let out a breath every 30 seconds, so with about 5 to 10 seconds left of the cast, everyone should run and hide. The main tank should backpedal to keep aggro yet avoid the breath, and healers should keep healing them.
When you read through these breaths, you’ll notice that the last one is something you don’t want to get as a mechanic in your raid. Have potentially four back-up tanks to keep the aggro off of the squishier characters if you ever get it. Switch up the tanks and carefully manage threat so everyone can do their jobs.
The second mechanic to look out for is his debuffs. There are also five and they’re color-coded as well.
- Brood Affliction Red deals fire damage every 3 seconds and heals Chromaggus if the character dies from it
- Brood Affliction Green reduces healing by half and deals nature damage every 5 seconds
- Brood Affliction Blue slows movement and casting speed, and drains health and mana
- Brood Affliction Black doubles fire damage received
- Brood Affliction Bronze stuns the afflicted every 4 seconds and can only be removed by using Hourglass Sand
Dispel the afflictions constantly. Since the debuffs are all different types, any class with a dispelling ability should use whatever they have. Anyone who gets all five gets morphed into a hostile Drakonid that can wipe the whole party. The morphed character can be killed, but the act will also heal the boss.
The next mechanic is frenzy. Emotes alert you of when he’ll start it, which is when hunters should use Tranquilizing Shot to stop. Have 3 or 4 hunters on that duty, as the bronze affliction’s stun might take effect at that moment.
The last is Chromaggus’ magic vulnerability. Throughout the fight, he’ll shimmer, and the chat would say “Chromaggus flinches as its skin shimmers”. After the emote, he’ll become intensely vulnerable to a certain school of magic. Magic classes should find out what it is, and use that school of magic for their next spells. Because of the vulnerability, even weaker spells deal good enough damage. In a situation where they don’t have that kind of spell, a wand that deals that kind of damage will do.
Keep all of these in mind while dealing damage, and defeat Chromaggus!
Nefarian, the Lord of Blackwing Lair
Now, you’re up against the final boss of the raid. Before you’re able to, you’ll have to defeat his minions first. They’ll come from two sides, and you can split your group to deal with them both. Mages can make up one group, as one side will have frost resistant dragon and worm kin. Have the rest of the DPS handle those, and have the mages handle the other side.
At some point, Nefarian will come down in his human form and cast Shadow Volleys. Drink a Shadow Protection Potion to counter those, and continue defeating the minions.
Soon, he’ll turn into his dragon form and the real fight begins. Wearing the Onyxia Scale Cloak will take care of the brunt of his version of Shadow Flame. Again, tanks have to keep aggro and keep to his sides. Position him facing the far end of the balcony. He inflicts a debuff on whoever’s closest which reduces healing. Dispel it immediately if on the tank. He can also cast fear in a circle around him, so Fearwards, Tremor Totems, or changing stances are important in the fight.
His most annoying ability is the Class Call. It has different effects depending on which class is called, and everybody must be prepared to deal with them when they come.
Here are the actions classes should do when their call arrives:
- Druids should stay back
- Hunters should switch or unequip their weapons
- Mages can cast Ice Block, or Priests and Paladins have to be on the ball to dispel polymorphed allies
- For Paladins’ call, everybody should stop attacks, as no threat will be generated at the time. If it is well established, cast Judgement of Wisdom on him and magic users can attack him with wands
- Priests must stop healing with direct spells. They may use Renew and Power Word: Shield.
- As for Rogues’ call, tanks should carefully reposition the boss to avoid the annihilation of the group’s Rogues
- When Shamans’ call comes, have all DPS be on totem killing duty. Shamans should wait until the call ends to regenerate mana
- Kill the Corrupted Infernals that will appear during Warlocks’ call
- Everybody should watch their threat and healers intensify their healing on the tanks for the Warrior Call. When it’s over Warriors can go back to the stance they want
At 20% health, Nefarian will raise the minions you defeated at the beginning as Bone Constructs. Defeat them while managing the calls and debuffs. Alliance groups will have a bit of advantage as the constructs are considered undead. They’ll go down easily with enough preparation. When they’re done, everybody can go back for one final push to defeating Nefarian!
With that, your group has finished the raid. Enjoy the sweet loot and WoW Classic gold as rewards. Preparation is key, so make sure you know what you’re supposed to be doing. Don’t forget to have fun while doing the raid!