WoW classic Onyxia guide


Onyxia Guide for WoW Classic


Onyxia’s Lair as a raid first appeared in Vanilla and then made a comeback in Wrath of the Lich King in patch 3.2.2. In order to enter the Classic raid, you’ll need to do a lengthy chain of prequests, which ultimately gives you the attunement needed. For full and  detailed guide about the said attunement and some more, visit out Attunements Page

The boss drops primarily Tier 2 head pieces, along with some other items, e.g. rings, trinkets, weapons etc. One of the most noteworthy drops is the Mature Black Dragon Sinew, which is a hunter only item. It is a prerequisite for the hunter only epic weapon quest, which starts after looting Majordomo in Molten core. 

Onyxia’s Lair strategy

Similar to most of the raids in WoW Classic, you’ll need 40 people in your group. Important roles that you’ll need are:

  • Warlocks. Curse of the Elements will boost mages’ damage. Curse of Shadow will boost their own damage and that of any shadow priests present. Curse of Recklessness will boost any physical damage.

  • Mages. They will deal ridiculous amount of damage when the boss takes to the air.

  • Dwarf Priests. If you play Alliance, bring as many as you can due to their Fear Ward.

  • Shamans. If you play Horde, make sure to have a shaman in each group, who can use Tremor Totem.

There isn’t a lot of trash before you reach the boss’ room. However, the Onyxian Warder will cast Fire Nova. We advise the melees to wait until he finishes the cast before going in and starting to DPS.

The boss fight itself id divided into three phases. We’ll take them one by one and explain what to do.

Phase 1

The tank should engage the boss and turn her tail towards the entrance of the room. This is so, because Onyxia, like most of the dragons in the game has Tail Sweep and Cleave. She also has Wing Buffet and Flame Breath. This means that if you stand behind her, she’ll most likely send you flying across the room with her Tail Sweep. 

If you stand in front of her, you’ll get cleaved and will also most probably be hit by her Breath and Wing Buffet. Therefore, the raid should be positioned on the sides of the boss, between her wings and hind legs. The tank, after positioning the boss should move her so the tank’s back is against the wall and is not thrown away by the Wing Buffet. 

If anyone is hit by the boss Tail Sweep, he’ll most likely end up in a nest full of eggs. In such a scenario, the eggs will hatch and whelps will spawn and attack the raid. 

Phase one summary: Tank and spank and stand on the sides of the boss.


Phase 2

When you get Onyxia to 65%, the second phase will begin. She will then start walking towards the center of the room and prepare for flying. This is one of the reasons to position her closer to the wall in phase 1. We strongly advise the DPS to save cooldowns for when she starts walking towards the center and deal as much damage as possible before she takes to the air. When she is airborne, she’ll start breathing fire around the room. This is the most tricky part. 

While in the air, Onyxia will move towards a certain spot in the room and will start breathing fire. The locations she may take correspond to the major compass directions: 

  • north

  • northeast

  • east

  • southeast

  • south, etc. 

When she takes a position, she will breathe in a straight line in front of her. If you don’t move, the damage will likely just kill you. 

The safe zones in Phase 2 are on her sides, away from where she is facing. For example, if she takes the southernmost spot, her breath will go due north, meaning that the safe zones are the westernmost and the easternmost parts of the room. If she takes the northwest position, she will breathe due southeast, meaning that you’ll have to stand in the northeast and southwest parts of the room. And so on, and so on. 

However, while not using her Breath ability, she will target a random raid member with her Fireball ability. It deals heavy amounts of damage and will likely oneshot the undergeared players who stand within 8 yards of the target. To avoid that, everyone should be spread at minimum 8 yards from each other while the boss is not breathing. 

Phase 2 summary: When Onyxia is breathing fire stand on the sides as to avoid the path of her breath. When she is not breathing stand spread at 8 or more yards from each other. 

Phase 3

AT 40% Onyxia will land again and Phase 3 will start. She has the same abilities as in Phase 1 with the addition of Bellowing Roar. The new ability is an AoE fear. To avoid that, shamans should use Tremor Totems, dwarf priests should use Fear Ward and the warriors and druids Berserker Rage. After the fear ends, the cracks on the floor will spill out lava, burning anyone hit for approximately 1500 damage before any resistances apply. Lastly whelps will hatch from the nests and the caverns around the room and will attack the raid. 

The main tank should position the boss in a similar way to Phase 1: head next to the wall and tail pointing to the entrance. When the whelps spawn, the off tank should pick them and raid should AoE them down. The raid should be again positioned between Onyxia’s wings and her back legs, as no not get hit by the Tail Sweep, Wing Buffet, Cleave or Breath of the boss. When the fear is over, you should use any movement spell that you have, e.g. Blink, to avoid being hit by the lava that erupts from the ground. If you see that you won’t be able to avoid the damage, use a cooldown, e.g. Divine Shield, Ice Block, etc. Lastly, drink a Greater Fire Protection Potion, if you see that you are too slow to avoid the lava damage. 

Phase 3 summary: Stand on the side of the boss and kill the whelps after the off tank gathers them. Use cooldowns, if you have any, to break the boss’ fear. Avoid being hit by the lava on the floor. Drink a Greater Fire Protection Potion as a last resort.  


The Onyxia fight is not overly complicated but the encounter can easily become overwhelming if your raid does not follow the tactics or if some members die due to poor positioning or slow reflexes. 

With this said, get 40 attuned people and go kill that dragon. If you wipe though, it might result in a 50DKP minus, like this timeless classic suggests. Many whelps! Handle them!

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