Onyxia for warlocks

With the return of Onyxia to mainstream end-game WoW, Warlocks are presented with more chances than ever before to show the world (especially mages with their stupid high dps but low damage done) that they are the better caster class.

Seriously, if Warlocks could give out refreshment tables, would anyone bring a mage to a raid ever again?  If you answered yes, go back to your flying pretties in Aion.

So yeah, Onyxia.  You can look up the actual strategies on many other sites, sod off.  This is purely Warlock advice…

As super awesome fire casters, we are presented with three phases in this fight, each of which really represents a novel and imaginative way for us to pull aggro and die.  Let’s go over these phases in a Latusesque manner.

Phase 1:  tank and spank.  Unless your tank overgears you, or you have a very nice Warrior and Paladin helping you lower your aggro, you’re gonna be chasing.  Then you pull because you crit for 18k without knowing how you can crit that high on conflagrate, she turns, knocks the other side of the room into whelps, cleaves your side, and the only people alive are the two afkers in the back, the idiot who stood on the tail, and the tank.

Phase 2: many whelps.  Seriously, here Blizzard is just cruel to Warlocks.  “hereyougohave40addslol!”  Sometimes it’s tempting to just stand close to the tank, turn off Fel Armor and sit there praying they don’t aggro to you based on the secret “if warlock then aggro = 100%” formula built in to most encounters.  Nevermind if you cast some actual aoe.  Might as well just hearth, because when the whelps kill you, and then a nearby healer, and then the whelp tank dies and the guardians start stacking 2-3 or more of their aoes because the dps is dead, and then that tank dies and then only a couple lazy healers who didn’t pull aggro from your original whelp group are left alive… you’ll be kicked anyways.  The group had enough of you after those wipes in phase 1.

Phase 3: tank and spank with some fears thrown in.  Aggro reset from phase 2 (thank jebus because you’re probably sitting at 100% aggro during phase 2).  But hey, you know what, you’re probably casting at least one dot, possibly two, maaaybe three… and you know what dots do when the whole raid group is feared? They tic for damage.  You know what that does?  It increases your threat.  You know what the tank is not doing while he’s feared?  Generating threat.  I’ll let you, the saavy reader, do the math.

Disclaimer: This assumes you’re competent and geared (emphasis on geared, since pressing 3 buttons isn’t really overly technically demanding) enough to be in the top 5 of most raid groups you join in DPS, otherwise you really don’t have to worry about anything but whelp aggro.

I should also point out that I’ve never actually pulled aggro on this fight yet, on 10 or 25, except on some whelps, and those were single ones that I easily took care of or got myself out of trouble quickly.  I do, however, have to be very careful.  Here is how I approach it and have no problems:

Phase 1: your saving grace here is that you are not going to be dpsing right from the start.  If you do, you’re kicked because you pulled aggro.  While the tank is getting in position, the raid gets in position too.  Your job here is to cast your desired Curse (figure it out ahead of time based on the raid comp), and run.  If you have an Illustration of the Dragon Soul, keep lifetapping at the lowest rank to keep the buff stacked at 10.  By the time you’re in position and so is the tank, there will be enough aggro for you to think about starting.  Step 2 is to cast Corruption.  Step 1 was the Curse, noob, L2follow.  The only reason to cast corruption is so you don’t stand there with your thumb up your butt but also you spend another 2 seconds or so NOT dpsing hard.  Then you get into your regular rotation and ignore Corruption once that initial first cast falls off Onyxia.  Unless the group is particularly bad, you will find that you are getting dangerously close on the threat table but won’t actually pull.  If you are about to, suck it up and either cut back the dps (you have plenty of time to regain the upper hand on the aoe phase 2) or waste a soulshatter (which will be your lifesaver in phase 2).  I recommend simply making sure not to steal aggro, even if it cuts into your active dps time.  SOULSHATTER IS A MUST FOR PHASE 2!

Phase 2: First, stack on the tanks while they bring the adds to the middle.  If you cast anything at all on any target BUT Onyxia at this point, qq and cancel your subscription.  I cannot stress this enough: YOU WILL PULL AGGRO ON THE WHELPS IF YOU PREMATURELY EJA…  umm…  CAST YOUR SEED! [of corruption].  So while the tanks are getting the adds to the center, and while you ignore the panic in your head as you notice other people started aoe’ing them and are ballooning on their dps, just keep attacking Onyxia.  From that middle spot, you have a great place to keep on casting your regular rotation.  Once the go ahead is given, or noticed by your perceptive self without any signal being given, cast at Onyxia some more… put up a full complement of dots.  Immolate, Corruption, CoA or CoD and then fire a Conflagrate and a Chaos Bolt if its up.  THEN go to the whelps.  Turn around, and do that fire breathing thing.  Then cast maybe 5-6 seeds of corruption, then Shadowfury, then spam seed of corruption.  Yes, you waited a long time and didn’t get as many casts as you could… but you’re alive, and not a single whelp is on your ass.  From here on in, any time BIG groups of whelps spawn, whatever timeframe the other dps is given to start aoeing, take 3-5 seconds longer than them.  500 DPS IS NOT WORTH YOUR DEATH.  Dead DPS do -0- DPS, ZERO!!!  If you grab aggro from one or two whelps, just run to the whelp group and TANK.  Stop dpsing, TANK.  That means stand there and let it hit you.  It won’t be long before another dps or a tank has it.  If you grab aggro from 3+ whelps, soulshatter immediately.

Phase 3: Well, honestly, help with add clean up, then get on the boss.  I lied that this was a certain place to grab aggro.  By the time the adds are all dead, the MT will have enough aggro on Onyxia to let your evil dps shine.  If you get close to pulling for any reason, just look around for a loose whelp and kill it, then go back to the boss.

Happy burninating.

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2 Responses to “Onyxia for warlocks”


  1. 1 Diz September 27, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Mages bring decurse(but what mage uses that), too. Uhm…

    I’d still bring them to annoy Latus.

    Aion is fun too.

    … I am irrelevant.


  1. 1 Halion for Warlocks « The Undercity Trackback on July 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm

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