This article is about the in-game boss. For character biography, see Onyxia. For the original encounter at level 60, see Onyxia (Classic).
Image of Onyxia
Gender Female
Race Black wyrm (Dragonkin)
Level ?? Boss
Reaction Alliance Horde
Location Onyxia's Lair, Dustwallow Marsh
Status Killable

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


Phase One

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

  • Spell fire fire.png  Flame Breath 45 yd range — Inflicts 18,850 to 21,150 (25: 28,275 to 31,725) Fire damage to enemies in a cone in front of the caster. 2 sec cast
  • Ability warrior cleave.png  Cleave Melee range — Inflicts normal damage to an enemy and its nearest allies, affecting up to 10 targets. Next melee. Hits for 120% of normal swings.
  • Inv misc monsterscales 14.png  Wing Buffet — Inflicts 21,678 to 24,322 (25: 28,275 to 31,725) damage to enemies in a cone in front of the caster, knocking them back. This effect ignores armor. 0.5 sec cast
  • Inv misc monsterscales 05.png  Tail Sweep 30 yd range — Inflicts 8,325 to 9,675 (25: 12,025 to 13,975) damage on enemies in a cone behind the caster, knocking them back. Instant. 30 yard knockback.

Phase Two

Deep Breath IS random!

Onyxia takes off at 65%, has no threat table, cannot be attacked from melee, and uses the following abilities:

  • Spell fire flamebolt.png  Fireball — Inflicts 4,713 to 5,287 (25: 7,069 to 7,931) Fire damage to all enemies in a selected area. 3 sec cast. 8 yard radius area of effect
  • Spell fire fire.png  Breath — Onyxia's flaming breath hits all enemies on the ground for 6,375 to 8,625 Fire damage. 8 sec cast. 18-yard-wide line area of effect
  • Trade engineering.png  Summon Onyxia Whelp — 2 sec cast. Summons two sets of 20 Onyxian Whelps every 90 seconds at start of phase 2.
  • Trade engineering.png  Summon Lair Guard — Instant. Summons one (25: two) Onyxian Lair Guard. First cast after 15 seconds, repeat casts every 30 seconds thereafter. Abilities:
    • Spell fire selfdestruct.png  Blast Nova — Inflicts 21875 to 28125 Fire damage to enemies within 15 yards. 5 sec cast (2 sec cooldown)
    • Spell fire flameblades.png  Ignite Weapon — Melee attacks cause an additional 17500 Fire damage to all enemies within 5 yards of the target. 2 sec cast (8 sec cooldown)

Phase Three

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

  • Spell fire fire.png  Bellowing Roar — Releases a bellowing roar, which fears all enemies for 3 sec. 2.5 sec cast
  • Spell fire fire.png  Eruption — Lava errupts from the cracks in the floor, dealing 5,184 to 5,816 (25: 7,069 to 7,931) Fire damage. Instant.
  • 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 1

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 2

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.

For raids looking to complete the  [Many Whelps! Handle It! (10 player)] /  [Many Whelps! Handle It! (25 player)] achievements, the instant her feet leave the ground, send one player down each entrance of the egg cave. Each player should look to spawn about 25 eggs, then turn around and exit the cave without doing anything that causes aggro. Note that the 40 whelps she normally spawns will still spawn, so it will take some high-level coordination to AoE down roughly 90 whelps. There is no indication that players have spawned enough whelps until Onyxia dies, so don't be afraid to pop more than 50 eggs.

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!!!

Solo strategy

Onyxia is easily soloable in 10-player mode. Just nuke her in phase one (to 65%), dragging her to the northern end of the room. Once she hits 65% health, keep nuking her, as she'll run to the south end of the room to take off. Ideally, get her beneath 40% health so she'll land automatically, which requires taking off 1.2M/5.6M health in 10/25-player mode. If she's not beneath 40% health before she takes off, DoT her up and use whatever ranged abilities are available.

The Onyxian Whelps will spawn no matter what, so gather them up and AoE them down. They have 63K/189K health each. If Onyxia is in phase 2 for longer than 15 seconds, she'll summon an Onyxian Lair Guard with 189K/630K health that will need to be killed as well. Repeat guards are summoned every 30 seconds thereafter, and if she's up for longer than 90 seconds, she'll summon another wave of whelps.

Once she lands to start phase 3, clean up any remaining adds, then finish her off.


In addition to the items in the tables below, Onyxia is guaranteed to drop the following each time she is killed:

Very rarely, she may also drop the  [Reins of the Onyxian Drake] in both 10- and 25-player modes.

10-player 25-player Type Spec Namesake
 [Empowered Deathbringer]  [Raging Deathbringer] One-Hand axe  [Deathbringer]
 [Sharpened Fang of the Mystics]  [Honed Fang of the Mystics] Dagger Healing  [Fang of the Mystics]
 [Rusted Gutgore Ripper]  [Tarnished Gutgore Ripper] Dagger Physical dps  [Gutgore Ripper]
 [Snub-Nose Blastershot Launcher]  [Rifled Blastershot Launcher] Ranged Gun  [Blastershot Launcher]
 [Antique Cornerstone Grimoire]  [Antediluvian Cornerstone Grimoire] Off-hand Spellpower  [Ancient Cornerstone Grimoire]
 [Reclaimed Shadowstrike]  [Reinforced Shadowstrike] Polearm Attack power  [Shadowstrike]
 [Reclaimed Thunderstrike]  [Reinforced Thunderstrike] Polearm Attack power  [Thunderstrike]
 [Glinting Azuresong Mageblade]  [Polished Azuresong Mageblade] One-hand sword Spellpower  [Azuresong Mageblade]
 [Singed Vis'kag the Bloodletter]  [Tempered Vis'kag the Bloodletter] One-hand sword Physical dps  [Vis'kag the Bloodletter]
 [Gleaming Quel'Serrar]  [Burnished Quel'Serrar] One-hand sword Tank  [Quel'Serrar]
 [Keen Obsidian Edged Blade]  [Sharpened Obsidian Edged Blade] Two-hand sword  [Obsidian Edged Blade]
"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
 [Judgment Helm]  [Judgment Hood] Paladin retribution
 [Judgment Helmet]  [Judgment Heaume] Paladin protection
 [Judgment Cover]  [Judgment 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 Namesake
 [Fluttering Sapphiron Drape]  [Flowing Sapphiron Drape] Caster cloak  [Sapphiron Drape]
 [Runed Ring of Binding]  [Signified Ring of Binding] Defense ring  [Ring of Binding]
 [Eskhandar's Choker]  [Eskhandar's Links] Defense neck  [Eskhandar's Collar]
 [Purified Shard of the Scale]  [Shiny Shard of the Scale] Spirit trinket  [Shard of the Scale]
 [Purified Shard of the Flame]  [Shiny Shard of the Flame] +hp5 trinket  [Shard of the Flame]

Related achievements

Two of the new achievements are named after famous sentences taken from the Onyxia Wipe Animation. "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.


How fortuitous. Usually, I must leave my lair in order to feed.
Phase 2 (at 65%)
This meaningless exertion bores me. I'll incinerate you all from above!
Phase 3 (at 40%)
It seems you'll need another lesson, mortals!
Killed a player
Learn your place, mortal!
Kite her from her lair
You seek to lure me from my clutch? You shall pay for your insolence!


10-player version
Narrated guide by
Paladin tank perspective
Tankspot guide
Tremor (text guide)
25-player version
Matrix (example fight)

Patch changes

  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22):
    • After years of lurking in her lair battling the many brave adventurers who travelled from afar to challenge her, Onyxia returns to commemorate World of Warcraft's five-year anniversary.
    • Onyxia has been scaled to offer new challenges to level 80 players in 10- and 25-player modes.
    • Adjusted for modern raiding, but with the fundamental experience of fighting the Brood Mother still in effect, including the horrors of her Deep Breaths!
    • Onyxia will now drop level 80 item versions of some classic loot items from the level 60 encounter.
    • Brood of Onyxia, a very rare 310%-speed mount modeled after Onyxia herself will be available for the luckiest of challengers.

External links