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This article is about the in-game boss. For character biography, see Onyxia. For the original encounter at level 60, see Onyxia (original).

Onyxia is a level ?? black dragon boss in Onyxia's Lair.

Onyxia's 10-man abilities

Onyxia has approximately 4,900,000 HP.

Phase One

Onyxia melees for about 12,000-15,000 on plate. Onyxia is tauntable.

  • Spell fire fire.png  [Flame Breath]ω ϖ—Two second cast, 45 yard frontal cone. About 20,000 damage unresisted.
  • Ability warrior cleave.png  [Cleave]ω ϖ—100% Weapon damage cleave in her frontal arc. Cast often.
  • Inv misc monsterscales 14.png  [Wing Buffet]ω ϖ—~15,000 physical damage in a 20 yard frontal cone. Ignores armor.
  • Inv misc monsterscales 05.png  [Tail Sweep]ω ϖ—~5,000 physical damage to targets near her tail. Ignores armor. Large knock-back, often into the whelp caves.

Phase Two

Deep Breath IS random!

Onyxia takes off at 65% and has no threat table.

  • Spell fire flamebolt.png  [Fireball]ω ϖ—Two second cast, random target in the raid. 10 yard AoE. About 5,000 damage unresisted.
  • Spell fire fire.png  [Breath]ω ϖ—Onyxia emotes "Onyxia takes in a deep breath..." and about six seconds later all targets in a direct line in front of her will take repeated 4,000-5,000 Fire damage hits. The number of times hit depends on how close to the middle of the line the target is. Being in the middle of the breath is generally fatal.
  • Spawn Onyxian Whelps - At the beginning of phase two and about every 90 seconds after Onyxia will spawn 40 Onyxian whelps with 60,000 HP who melee for 500 or so on plate. 20 will come from each side of the whelp cave.
  • Spawn Onyxian Lair Guard - Every 30 seconds or so in phase 2 Onyxia will spawn an Onyxian Lair Guard with 190,000 HP. This will cast Ignite Weapon which adds 25,000 fire damage to its melee attacks, and Blast Nova which does 25,000 fire damage to targets within 10 yards. Note that these guards can be disarmed, which prevents them from being able to damage anyone with Ignite Weapon.

Phase Three

Onyxia lands at 40% HP. She retains all her phase one abilities and gains some additional abilities.

  • Spell fire fire.png  [Bellowing Roar]ω ϖ—1.5 second cast, 100 yard AoE fear. Three second duration.
  • Spell fire fire.png  [Eruption]ω ϖ—During the duration of bellowing roar lava will erupt from the cracks in the floor. Being touched deals about 5,000 Fire damage.
  • Spawn Onyxian Whelps - Small numbers of Whelps will continue to spawn in phase 3.


Map of Onyxia's lair, showing raid positioning for Phases 1 & 3

This is (still) a very simple encounter overall. For strategy videos of both the 10-man and 25-man encounter, look below the loot table on this page.

You ideally want 2 tanks, 2 healers, 3 melee DPS, and 3 ranged DPS for 10 man, and 2 tanks, 5 healers, 8 melee DPS, and 10 ranged DPS for 25 man.

Phase One

The tank should run slightly ahead of the rest of the raid and grab Onyxia, quickly turning her away from the raid and then backing off to the Northern wall, where the tank will position themselves with their back to the wall to minimise the effect of the knockback from Wing Buffet. Only the tank should be in front of Onyxia, to minimize damage from fire breath and cleaving. During phase one, the only damage to the raid should be upon the tank. Ranged DPS and healers need to stay to either side of her, fairly far back. Melee DPS need to stay to either side of her, just within range (which is wider than it looks). If melee DPS is too close to her head, they will be killed by Cleave; if they're too close to her tail, they will be tail swiped, possibly into the whelps, usually resulting in a wipe.

Phase one ends when Onyxia is reduced to 65% health.

Phase Two

During this phase, Onyxia takes to the air and moves randomly around the room, casting Fireball on raid members. There are three main things to watch out for:

  • Onyxian Whelps. At the beginning of this phase, and subsequently about every 90 seconds, 2 packs of whelps will spawn, one from the egg chambers on each side of the room). These whelps should not be underestimated, as they can do considerable damage with all 40 attacking the same target. They should be gathered by the off tank and then killed with AoE attacks.
  • Onyxian Lair Guards. After about 15 seconds and subsequently about every 30 seconds, an Onyxian Lair Guard will spawn at the entrance to the room. These need to be tanked with a dedicated healer for the tank. Melee DPS should focus their attention on killing these as fast as possible, as having more than one up at a time can overwhelm a tank. If you aren't able to kill one before the next one spawns, some ranged DPS may need to assist. Be aware that the guards hit very hard, and have a periodic AoE (Blast Nova 10 yard range) that can easily kill the melee DPS around it if not careful, leaving not enough DPS to kill the Guards quickly enough, and allowing them to overwhelm the raid. This AoE has a cast time, and is easy to run out of if you don't underestimate its range. Onyxia must be brought down as quickly as possible by ranged DPS, as the Guards will stop coming once phase two ends.
  • Deep Breath. At random periods during phase two, Onyxia will emote that she is taking a deep breath. When this happens, note her position, direction and get out of her path. A few seconds after the emote, she'll fly straight in the direction she's pointing and leave a trail of massive, fiery damage about 10 yards wide. If in doubt, run all the way to the nearest side of the room or against the wall behind her.

During this phase of the encounter ranged DPS should be focused on bringing Onyxia down to 40% to start phase 3, although they must interrupt this to AoE the packs of whelps. Melee dps should focus on killing the Onyxian Lair Guards.

Phase 3

Onyxia will land on the Southern side of the room and immediately cast Bellowing Roar, causing the raid to run in fear for the next 3 seconds. Finish off whatever adds remain while the tank positions Onyxia. Note that, unlike the level 60 encounter, the tank will have retained aggro on Onyxia from phase 1. It's advisable to ensure that the tank is unaffected by the initial fear, so that Onyxia can be positioned correctly (fear ward, berserker rage, tremor totem).

Phase 3 is essentially the same as phase one aside from periodic fears, some raid damage from eruption and occasional whelp spawns which are not too dangerous.

Differences from level 60

Onyxia no longer drops threat between phases 1 and 3, and she is no longer immune to fire effects and abilities.Wing buffet no longer lowers aggro. Deep Breath is cast more often, and the cast time has been increased. Onyxian Lair Guards now spawn in phase 2, and melee can no longer hit Onyxia in phase 2. Lava eruptions happen during the Bellowing Roar fear, not just after it.

In a Nutshell

  • Do not stand behind or in front of her (except tank);
  • tank her facing the wall;
  • when whelps spawn, quickly gather and nuke them;
  • quickly kill any Lair Guards that spawn;
  • dots, dots, dots;
  • and for the love of God, when she breathes RUN!!!


Guaranteed drops
Inv misc bag 22.png
[Enlarged Onyxia Hide Backpack]
Inv misc bag 10 black.png
[Ashen Sack of Gems]
Inv misc head dragon 01.png
[Head of Onyxia]
Spell holy summonchampion.png
[Emblem of Triumph]
10-player 25-player Type Spec
[Empowered Deathbringer] [Raging Deathbringer] One-Hand axe
[Sharpened Fang of the Mystics] [Honed Fang of the Mystics] Dagger Healing
[Rusted Gutgore Ripper] [Tarnished Gutgore Ripper] Dagger Physical dps
[Snub-Nose Blastershot Launcher] [Rifled Blastershot Launcher] Ranged Gun
[Antique Cornerstone Grimoire] [Antediluvian Cornerstone Grimoire] Off-hand Spellpower
[Reclaimed Shadowstrike] [Reinforced Shadowstrike] Polearm Attack power
[Reclaimed Thunderstrike] [Reinforced Thunderstrike] Polearm Attack power
[Glinting Azuresong Mageblade] [Polished Azuresong Mageblade] One-hand sword Spellpower
[Singed Vis'kag the Bloodletter] [Tempered Vis'kag the Bloodletter] One-hand sword Physical dps
[Gleaming Quel'Serrar] [Burnished Quel'Serrar] One-hand sword Tank
[Keen Obsidian Edged Blade] [Sharpened Obsidian Edged Blade] Two-hand sword
"Tier 2" helms
10-player 25-player Class Spec
[Frostforged Helmet] [Frostforged Helm] Death knight DPS
[Frostforged Ringhelm] [Frostforged Greathelm] Death knight tank
[Stormrage Helm] [Stormrage Coverlet] Druid feral
[Stormrage Antlers] [Stormrage Crown] Druid balance
[Stormrage Hood] [Stormrage Cover] Druid restoration
[Dragonstalker's Helmet] [Dragonstalker's Helm] Hunter ranged dps
[Netherwind Hood] [Netherwind Crown] Mage caster dps
[Judgement Helm] [Judgement Hood] Paladin retribution
[Judgement Helmet] [Judgement Heaume] Paladin protection
[Judgement Cover] [Judgement Crown] Paladin holy
[Coronet of Transcendence] [Aurora of Transcendence] Priest shadow
[Circlet of Transcendence] [Halo of Transcendence] Priest healing
[Bloodfang Mask] [Bloodfang Hood] Rogue physical dps
[Coif of Ten Storms] [Helm of Ten Storms] Shaman elemental
[Cowl of Ten Storms] [Crown of Ten Storms] Shaman enhancement
[Gaze of Ten Storms] [Helmet of Ten Storms] Shaman restoration
[Nemesis Skullcover] [Nemesis Skullcap] Warlock caster
[Greathelm of Wrath] [Helmet of Wrath] Warrior dps
[Faceguard of Wrath] [Helm of Wrath] Warrior protection
Miscellaneous gear
10-player 25-player Spec
[Fluttering Sapphiron Drape] [Flowing Sapphiron Drape] Caster cloak
[Runed Ring of Binding] [Signified Ring of Binding] Defense ring
[Eskhandar's Choker] [Eskhandar's Links] Defense neck
[Purified Shard of the Scale] [Shiny Shard of the Scale] +mp5 trinket
[Purified Shard of the Flame] [Shiny Shard of the Flame] +hp5 trinket
Rewards from Head of Onyxia
Inv jewelry necklace 09.png
[Sparkling Onyxia Tooth Pendant]
Inv jewelry ring 27.png
[Polished Dragonslayer's Signet]
Spell shadow lifedrain.png
[Purified Onyxia Blood Talisman]

Rare mount
Achievement boss onyxia.png

Related achievements

Two of the new achievements are named after famous sentences taken from the Onyxia Wipe Animation, later transformed into a Raid Assistant. "She Deep Breaths More" is a nod to the common forum complaint that, after every patch, bugs or intentional changes result in Onyxia deep breathing more often.

10-player mode 25-player mode Objective
Money achievement.png Onyxia's Lair Money achievement.png Onyxia's Lair Defeat Onyxia
Money achievement.png More Dots! Money achievement.png More Dots! Defeat Onyxia in less than 5 minutes
Money achievement.png Many Whelps! Handle It! Money achievement.png Many Whelps! Handle It! Cause 50 Onyxia Whelplings to hatch within 10 seconds of Onyxia's liftoff, and then defeat her
Money achievement.png She Deep Breaths More Money achievement.png She Deep Breaths More Defeat Onyxia without anyone taking damage from a Deep Breath




10-man encounter, narrated guide
Paladin Tanking Onyxia, embedded text guide
tankspot 10m, narrated/art guide
Paladin soloing, narrated/art guide

25-man encounter

Voluminoso vs Onyxia 25 man, example video




External links