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For strategy on the Blackwing Lair encounter, see Nefarian (tactics). For strategy on the Blackwing Descent encounter, see Nefarian's End.
(Victor Nefarius)
Title Lord of Blackrock Spire
Gender Male
Race Black dragon (Dragonkin)
Affiliation(s) Twilight's Hammer,[1] Black dragonflight (Old Gods' forces), Chromatic dragonflight, Dark Horde
Occupation Secondary ruler of the Black dragonflight, creator of Chromatic dragonflight, Lord of Blackrock (as Lord Victor Nefarius)
Location Various
Status Deceased (lore)[2]
Killable (WoW)
Relative(s) Deathwing (father), Sintharia (mother), Onyxia (younger[3] twin sister),[4] Nyxondra (sister),[5] Sabellian (half-brother),[6] Wrathion (nephew, in conflict)

“In this world where time is your enemy, it is my greatest ally. This grand game of life that you think you play in fact plays you. To that I say... Let the games begin!”

— Victor Nefarius

Nefarian was the eldest son of Deathwing[3][7] and his Prime Consort Sintharia. Like his father and his younger[3] twin[4] sister Onyxia, he had a human guise, appearing as Victor Nefarius, Lord of Blackrock. Holding the Blackrock clan and various clans of ogres under his control, Nefarian ruled from his lair at the top of Blackrock Spire until he was defeated by champions of Azeroth. Upon the return of his father and the Cataclysm that resulted, Nefarian was brought back to life as a rotted abomination, and descended further into Blackrock Mountain, where he set up a laboratory full of new (and mostly failed) experiments - including reanimating his sister Onyxia. Ultimately, he was destroyed once again by Azeroth's champions.

Nefarian serves as one of the two secondary antagonists (alongside his sister Onyxia) in classic World of Warcraft and returns as one of the supporting antagonists in Cataclysm.


Lord Victor Nefarius HS

Lord Victor Nefarius in Hearthstone.

Aftermath of the Second War[]

Shortly before his departure for Draenor with the Horde of Draenor, Deathwing commanded Onyxia and Nefarian to secure the Blackrock orcs of Blackrock Spire as their new force. His children agreed to do so.[8]

After Draenor's destruction, Deathwing returned as Daval Prestor to Lordaeron, sowing chaos. He secretly called on Nefarian to accompany him, also disguised as a human noble. Together, they spread distrust among Alliance's nations.[9] After the Battle of Grim Batol, Nefarian chose to work from shadows and contacted the Dark Horde in Blackrock Mountain, manipulating the orcs into allowing the black dragonflight to use the location as their new base. The son of Deathwing established a hidden laboratory there, hoping to achieve his father's dream of rebuilding the black dragonflight. To that end, he conducted grotesque experiments with the blood of different dragonflights, much of which he harvested from living dragons.[10]

With the aid of his sister Onyxia—who served as one of his mightiest supporters and was seen traveling to and from Blackrock on occasion[3]—and the orchestrations of their human personas, Nefarian worked toward replenishing the black dragonflight. Nefarian was obsessed with following in his father's footsteps by achieving what his father could not. He has been experimenting with the blood of all of the various dragonflights to create a chromatic dragonflight[11] of unstoppable warriors and unspeakable hybrids of both red and black dragons.[12]

Nefarian and his draconic minions took control of the upper Spire and made war on the dwarves' holdings in the mountain's volcanic depths. Realizing that the dwarves were led by the mighty fire elemental, Ragnaros - Nefarian vowed to crush his enemies and claim the whole of Blackrock Mountain for himself.[13] To this end, he made efforts to bolster his forces like his father Deathwing in ages past.[14]

Intent on seizing the entire region for his own, he has struck up an alliance with Dal'rend Blackhand, though he only used him and his Dark Horde to battle against his enemies for control of the mountain.[15] Nefarian's mad bid for dominance has even attracted the ire of the red dragonflight — in the form of the red dragon Vaelastrasz — which has always been the Black flight's greatest foe. Though Nefarian's intentions are known, the methods he is using to achieve them remain a mystery.[14] The Blackwing Cabal served directly under him in his lair.

World of Warcraft[]

WoW Icon update This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.
Nefarian TCG

Nefarian in the TCG.

Nefarian (tactics)

Nefarian in World of Warcraft.

Head of Nefarian

Nefarian's head hanging from the gates of Stormwind.

Thanks to the effort of Moira Thaurissan, word was spread about Nefarian and the Dark Horde, and the Horde in Orgrimmar was in an uproar. As such, Horde heroes traveled to Blackrock Mountain to deal with their enemies.[16]

Within the mountains of Blackrock, Nefarian worked tirelessly to keep his kin alive and create a new flight. Rend Blackhand was the first to use a Chromatic being known as Gyth. Upon the arrival of the adventurers in the arena of Upper Blackrock, Nefarian implored his new experiments alongside Rend's orcs to kill them. When that plan fails, he orders Rend to deal with the heroes personally with Gyth at his side. After Rend and Gyth fell before the might of the Horde adventurers, Nefarian promised that the next time they meet would be the last.[17]

In the Blackwing Lair, Nefarian enslaved the red dragon Vaelastrasz[18] and corrupted him, commanding him to kill the heroes of Azeroth.[19] Vaelastrasz once held the red scepter shard, as part of the the Scepter of the Shifting Sands, but Nefarian has stolen it and will destroy it if he is not defeated soon enough.[20]

Horde champions continued to fight against Nefarian's twisted creations before confronting Nefarian in his lair, ultimately defeating him. The Horde champions then took his head as proof of their victory and returned to Orgrimmar.[16] The head was put on a pike by Varok Saurfang himself.[21]

Bc icon This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

A year later after his death, Lady Sinestra met with Overlord Mor'ghor in Shadowmoon Valley and mentioned that although Nefarian had been killed, his experiment continues.[22]

Night of the Dragon[]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62 This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

During the events in Grim Batol prior to the war against the Lich King, Kalecgos and Krasus confirm that Nefarian, the eldest and most powerful of Deathwing's children, had been slain by brave fighters. Kalec later suggests to Dargonax that Nefarian's mother, Sintharia, abandoned him to his enemies after he failed her.[23]

Sintharia, also the creator of Dargonax and the twilight dragonflight, was mentally unstable and referred to Dargonax as Nefarian on a few different occasions.[24] Despite being their mother, Sinathria showed spite towards both Onyxia and Nefarian.


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.
Undead nefarian

Nefarian in Cataclysm.

After his death in Blackwing Lair, the Twilight Hammer cultists recovered Nefarian's corpse and reanimated it with Void magics. The dragon retained a sliver of his former personality, but he was now an obedient servant of the Twilight's Hammer. It was his knowledge of how to craft monsters that the cult wanted from him. Thus, Nefarian returned to his own experiments and forged a new generation of chromatic dragons.[1]

He was then charged by Deathwing to continue his insidious endeavors within Blackwing Descent.[25] Dwelling on the lessons learned from his defeat in Blackwing Lair, he has burrowed deeper into the heart of Blackrock Mountain and rebuilt his sanctuary. The Vault of the Shadowflame, a deep pit of cascading magma, is the heart of Blackwing Descent, and the location of horrific new experiments in undeath and magical augmentation, including a triumph dear to even Nefarian's cold, wrathful heart.[26] He had continued his experiments along with his minion Maloriak, a human named Malory who he had captured, which yielded results such as Chimaeron and Atramedes. When Nefarian arrived in Blackwing Descent, he repurposed the Omnotron Defense System to annihilate anyone intruding on his laboratories. Nefarian largely considered Magmaw a worrisome pest, but has grown fond of feeding the beast his failed experiments and servants.

Nefarian also succeeded in the reanimation of his sister, Onyxia, but ultimately he was slain yet again by adventurers of the Alliance and Horde in Blackwing Descent.[27][11]

Battle for Azeroth[]

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.
Nefarian and Onyxia

The remains of Onyxia and her brother before being destroyed.

The remains of Nefarian and Onyxia remained untouched in Blackwing Descent for several years. When N'Zoth awoke at the conclusion of the Fourth War, his servants attempted to raise Nefarian and Onyxia into the Old Gods' service once again. Dark Inquisitor Xanesh and Vexiona lured Wrathion to Blackwing Descent and intended to use his essence to revive the draconic siblings, but their efforts were thwarted. At Wrathion's command, their remains were completely destroyed, and the last remaining scales used to craft a cloak to protect against N'Zoth's corruption.[28]


Location Level range Reaction Notes
Blackwing Lair ?? Boss Alliance Horde / Alliance Horde As Lord Victor Nefarius and the boss encounter.
Blackwing Descent ?? Boss Alliance Horde

In the RPG[]

Nefarian Monster Guide

Nefarian in Monster Guide

Icon-RPG This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Nefarian usually enters combat in human form at first, summoning his many minions and allies while he wears down his enemies with powerful spells. If seriously threatened, he takes on his true form, using his shadow flame breath to incinerate anyone who is not properly protected. He uses his corrupted power ability to incapacitate whatever characters he feels are the greatest threat. If badly wounded, Nefarian uses his powerful magic to retreat. If prevented from retreating, he uses his most powerful spells and abilities to turn his enemies against each other, and to drain their health and spells while restoring his own. Nefarian's breath, known as shadow flame, is among the deadliest of any dragon's attacks. Any living target affected by Nefarian's breath is set afire with shadowflame, taking terrible damage. The only protection from this attack is the scales of another powerful black dragon.[29] He has been referred to as Blackwing[30] and Nefarion.[31] (the spelling "Nefarion" was also used in the description of Wrath of the Lich King raid areas.)


Dialogue with Rend Blackhand[]

Main article: Rend Blackhand (tactics)#Quotes

Quotes within Blackwing Lair[]

Main article: Vaelastrasz the Corrupt#Quotes
Main article: Nefarian (tactics)#Quotes

Stealing the Red Scepter Shard:

Lord Victor Nefarius: Looking for this: Red Scepter Shard? Come and get it...
Lord Victor Nefarius: I wonder, heroes, what will you do when I manage to destroy this shard? Will the world be beyond Salvation?
Lord Victor Nefarius's laughter echoes through the halls of Blackwing.
Lord Victor Nefarius: What's this? A chip in the shard? Finally, a weakness exposed... It won't be long now.

Quotes within Blackwing Descent[]

Intro upon entering the raid

Main article: Magmaw#Quotes
Main article: Omnotron Defense System#Quotes
Main article: Chimaeron#Quotes
Main article: Atramedes#Quotes
Main article: Maloriak#Quotes
Main article: Nefarian's End#Quotes

Notes and trivia[]

Nefarian card back

A card back themed after Nefarian in Hearthstone.

  • As Lord Victor Nefarius, he wore a Inv crown 02 [Crown of Destruction].
  • As was the case of his sister Onyxia, Nefarian's visage had features similar to those Deathwing sported in his own human guise.[32]
  • Before World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, it was said that Nefarian was reanimated and raised into undeath by Deathwing.[25][33]
  • Nefarian is the creator of Chromatus but could not complete his resurrection as he was killed by the adventurers. When Deathwing arose, Nefarian was reanimated but was not present in Northrend alongside Chromatus as Deathwing had other plans for him. Thus, Twilight of the Aspects implies that he was ultimately killed after the events of the book.[34]
  • Emberstrife served him as a gatekeeper.[35]
  • While Wrathion is listed as Nefarian's half-brother in the Ultimate Visual Guide and claims that he is Deathwing's son, it is hinted that the Black Aspect isn't Wrathion's father.
  • A 2007 commercial with Toyota advertised their Tacoma pickup truck. In the commercial Nefarian swallows the Tacoma whole. Moments later the Tacoma bursts out of his stomach, accompanied by a giant explosion, and he crumples to the ground.[36]
  • In Blackwing Descent, Nefarian provides comedy for raiders, since he is one of many bosses with a sense of humor.
    • Nefarian's healthy sense of humor is very much opposite to the more stern nature of his father.
      • Know that his jokes and puns can only be heard on Heroic difficulty.
  • Look close and you can see that there's a large ring on Nefarian's right facial fin, just between the middle and lower spines.
    • His whiskers also have bracelets at the center.
  • Nefarian is voiced by Chris Metzen in World of Warcraft[37] and by Matthew Mercer in Hearthstone.
  • He is the narrator, primary antagonist, and final boss of the Blackrock Mountain adventure in Hearthstone. He serves as the last boss of both of the last two wings: Blackwing Lair and the Hidden Laboratory (Blackwing Descent). Defeating every boss in the adventure, including both of Nefarian's appearances, rewards him as a legendary card. His flavor text reads: "They call him "Blackwing" because he's a black dragon...... and he's got wings."
    • The Nefarian card back is awarded for completing Blackrock Mountain on Heroic mode. The flavor text reads: "You didn’t actually believe someone named “Lord Victor Nefarious” wasn’t up to anything nefarious, did you?"




WoW and Toyota commercial

Patch changes[]

See also[]

External links[]


  1. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 199
  2. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 44 - 45
  3. ^ a b c d Onyxia the Black Dragon
  4. ^ a b A [60R] The Great Masquerade
  5. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2013-11-07).​ “It's kinda kooky, but Wrathion's mother Nyxondra was Onyxia's sister... so... Yeah black dragons are freaky.”
  6. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 173
  7. ^ Official WoW Gameplay Trailer: Blackwing Lair
  8. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 8
  9. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 22
  10. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 25
  11. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 44
  12. ^ World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Game Manual, pg. 6
  13. ^ Game Guide/World Dungeons#Blackrock Spire
  14. ^ a b Underdev/Blackwing Lair
  15. ^ The Story of Warcraft#Assault on Blackwing Lair
  16. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 121
  17. ^ Rend Blackhand (tactics)#Quotes
  18. ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume I Issue II, pg. 24
  19. ^ Vaelastrasz the Corrupt#Quotes
  20. ^ N [60R] Nefarius's Corruption
  21. ^ H [10-30] The Defense of Warsong Hold
  22. ^ Sintharia#Meeting with Overlord Mor'ghor
  23. ^ Night of the Dragon, pg. 143, 207
  24. ^ Night of the Dragon, pg. 206
  25. ^ a b Nefarian's End#Adventure Guide
  26. ^
  27. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 210
  28. ^ N [50] Beginning the Descent
  29. ^ Monster Guide, pg. 170-171}}
  30. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 167
  31. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 51
  32. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 8
  33. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, Updated and Expanded, pg. 197
  34. ^ Twilight of the Aspects, chapter 4
  35. ^ H [60R] Emberstrife
  36. ^ WoW and Toyota commercial
  37. ^
Preceded by:
Ruler of the black dragonflight (with Onyxia)
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Patriarch of the black dragonflight
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Orgrim Doomhammer
Ruler of the Blackrock Spire
Succeeded by: