For lore and every other appearance, see Vaelastrasz.
BossVaelastrasz the Corrupt
Image of Vaelastrasz the Corrupt
Gender Male
Race Red dragon (Dragonkin)
Level ?? Boss
Reaction Alliance Horde
Alliance Horde
Location Shadow Wing Lair, Blackwing Lair [34.5, 27.8]
Status Killable

Vaelastrasz the Corrupt is the second boss of Blackwing Lair. He was corrupted by Nefarian and now serves him unwillingly.


  • Spell fire lavaspawn.png  Essence of the Red — The blessing of Alexstrasza is applied to all allies nearby. Restores 500 Mana per second. Restores 50 Energy per second. Generates 20 Rage per second. Generates 20 Runic Power per second. Instant, cast at start of encounter. 3 minute duration
  • Spell fire sealoffire.png  Fire Nova — Inflicts Fire damage to nearby enemies. Instant. Hits for 555-645 Fire in a 100-yd radius.
  • Spell fire fire.png  Flame Breath 45 yd range — Inflicts 3500 to 4500 Fire damage to enemies in a cone in front of the caster. 2 sec cast. Debuff ticks for 938 to 1062 damage every 3 sec for 15 sec.
  • Inv gauntlets 03.png  Burning Adrenaline — Damage done increased by 100%. Spells cast are all instant. Reduces max health by 5% every second. Deals 4376 to 5624 damage to surrounding allies on death. Instant. Cast every 15 seconds on a mana-user. Every third cast on the current tank instead.
  • Ability warrior cleave.png  Cleave Melee range — Inflicts normal damage plus 50 to an enemy and its nearest allies, affecting up to 10 targets. Will chain to targets within 10 yards.
  • Inv misc monsterscales 05.png  Tail Sweep 30 yd range — Inflicts 925 to 1075 damage on enemies in a cone behind the caster, knocking them back. Instant. 150-yard knockback.

Seasons of Mastery

During the Season of Mastery, Vaelastrasz starts with a much higher percentage of health. In addition, Essence of the Red is now a stacking buff that increases your haste and damage while also dealing damage over time.


WoW Icon update.png The subject of this section was removed from World of Warcraft in patch 4.0.3a but is present in Classic.


Vaelastrasz is considered one of the most intense fights WoW has yet to release. While the fight can be unbelievably frustrating taking some guilds months to get their first kill once he finally goes down it becomes a favorite of most people who experience it.

Vaelastrasz is an intense, time-critical encounter. It must be completed while Essence of the Red is active. Essence of the Red gives casters 500 mana per second, rogues 50 energy per second, and warriors 20 rage per second. While it is active, mana, energy and rage conservation are non-issues, but it will wear off three minutes after the fight begins, and then healers will no longer be able to keep up with the damage being constantly dished out to the raid. Encounters with Vaelastrasz are often described as "won at 2:45" or "wiped at 3:15".

Given the short time window, Vaelastrasz is most easily killed when the raid has tremendous DPS and adequate healing power. The encounter is a balancing act between threat control and DPS. It will test the raid's abilities on both counts.

For the first attempt, Vaelastrasz will be lying on the floor, flagged as friendly. The encounter will begin when the puller (the first main tank) talks to Vael. Should the raid wipe, Vaelastrasz will be positioned in the middle of the room and the raid must stick to the walls when getting repositioned. In this case, the main tank should approach Vaelastrasz head-on to begin the encounter safely.

Positioning for Vaelastrasz is critical because he has powerful raid-wiping attacks in both the front (cleave) and the rear (tail swipe). These are some suggestions:

1) Casters (warlocks, mages, and their healers) should be positioned on one side of Vaelastrasz, against the wall, clumped together. Hunters and the tanking line up should be positioned opposite the casters. Rogues will be meleeing Vaelastrasz broadside, staying between front and hind legs to avoid the rear tail swipe knockback and the front cleave attack. Offtanks should be hacking away closer to Vael's front, around his shoulders, ready to move to the main tank's spot. To reduce healing strain, only the next warrior should move toward this position at a time, due to chaining cleaves. The rest should be in a similar position as the rogues.

2) Ranged DPS and healers should stand against the wall to Vael's right. Melee DPS should be positioned at or just behind Vael's right shoulder (don't get too close to his front). Tanks should stand on the opposite side (Vael's left) near the rear leg. The off-tank should be positioned somewhere near Vael's left foreleg. The purpose of this positioning is to limit the damage that chain cleaves can do. The inevitable spreading-out that melee classes will do if they aren't careful can leave a lot of players vulnerable to chain cleaves, which will propagate from the main tank through the off-tank through the rogues. Every such chain cleave can kill several melee DPS players, and you simply can't afford those losses. If DPS players stay by the right foreleg, they will not be hit by a tail swipe when Vaelastrasz rotates to his left to attack the OT.

Burning Adrenaline and MT Transitions

Every 15 seconds, Vaelastrasz inflicts a member of the raid with Burning Adrenaline. This debuff effectively turns its target into ticking AoE time bomb, who must move away from their group to avoid a wipe. Every third Burning Adrenaline will be targeted toward whoever is at the top of Vael's hate list (the main tank). All other BA's will be targeted toward random mana users in the raid. Rogues and Druids in feral cat form should not be affected by BA unless they gain aggro, in which case it is generally a guaranteed wipe.

When the main tank is afflicted with BA, the next tank on his hate list must move into his position and take over as the main tank with healing shifting over to the new tank after about 10 seconds, giving the BA-afflicted MT time to deal out some high-damage moves before dropping dead. If the next tank does not pick up aggro after the main tank dies, Vaelastrasz will likely turn toward the side groups and wipe them out with his flame breath. When mana users are afflicted, they must move away from the raid. A good spot for casters is in the very back of the room, behind Vael's tail where they can unload a series of instant cast nukes before they die, helping to mitigate the loss of DPS.


During tank transitions, it is important for rogues to [Vanish] and for hunters to [Feign Death]. This helps ensure that they aren't above the tanking lineup on Vael's threat list. Mages, Warlocks and Priests generally do not have to worry about their DPS out-threatening the tanks; DPS warriors who gain too much threat can more readily move in to main tank, as can feral druids in bear form. When BA hits the main tank, the next tank in line should move to the tanking spot, spamming threat-generating moves to ensure that Vaelastrasz focuses on him when the MT drops dead.

Throughout the fight, mages (hopefully with [Arcane Subtlety]) should chain-cast Arcane Missiles, rogues should continuously Backstab and Feint, and other classes should keep as many DoT's on Vaelastrasz as possible (Serpent Sting, Corruption, Shadow Word:Pain, etc.). Warlocks should have Curse of Shadows, Curse of Elements, and Curse of Recklessness on Vaelastrasz at all times to bolster DPS. Priests must make sure to renew their Shadow Word: Pain between heals.

The main challenges in mastering Vaelastrasz are having smooth tank transitions, having enough well-geared warriors to constitute the tanking lineup (4-5 is good), careful threat management from the rogues and hunters, having sufficient healing and having sufficient fire resistance on everyone. Mages and Warlocks aren't generally challenged in this fight since their mana is constantly replenished by Essence of the Red. Priests are likewise under no pressure to conserve mana, though they have to watch their timing as usual.

Rogues can do tremendous damage in this fight, especially those that are dagger-specced. Rogues are essentially set free by Essence of the Red. They can repeatedly backstab with little or no thought to their energy level. It is critical to use [Feint] as much as possible throughout the battle, however, and to use [Vanish] on the first transition or when the first MT gets BA. This will keep the rogue's threat relatively low so the second Warrior can hold aggro.

One technique that can prove useful is having a suitably geared druid in bear form as the first tank. As long as they are specced and equipped appropriately, they will have no aggro problems, and this keeps one more warrior alive to [Execute] when Vael's health drops below twenty percent.

Keys to the fight

  1. Keeping the MT up until Burning Adrenaline hits.
  2. Keeping the OT topped off so they can survive the sudden burst of damage that will occur when Vaelastrasz switches after the MT dies.
  3. Keeping the tank order clear. It is critical that the healers know who is next so they can prepare heals, and the tanks need to know who is next so they can move into position.
  4. Watch positioning, avoid chaining cleaves into the DPS.

Fire Resistance

Having high fire resistance for everyone in the raid is critical in this fight. Main tanks in particular should max out on fire resistance so they take as little damage as possible from Vael's fire nova and flame breath. Healers should also make fire resistance a top priority; the Essence of the Red buff provides essentially unlimited mana, so spirit and mana regeneration gear is unnecessary, while intellect gear is only useful for its increased spell critical bonus.

Hint: Take your raid (10 players at time) to UBRS and Mind Control one or more Scarshield Spellbinder (you can find them just at the entrance under the bridge). These mobs can provide all players with a +81-83 Fire resistance buff. This buff stacks with all other buffs that provide fire resistance. This takes a lot of time, so it is preferable to do it once your strategy is very well understood by your raid. A Blizzard representative (Caydiem) has confirmed that this is not an exploit.

You may also find it handy to bring along a batch of Magic Resistance Potions. They are cheap to make and last exactly three minutes. For raids with players that aren't especially well-equipped, this buff can make a difference, enabling tanks and DPS classes to replace inferior fire resistance equipment with something that provides better endurance and damage output (helping to end the fight within the crucial three minute window). Keep in mind, however, that magic resistance potions do not stack with Fire Resist auras or totems; these potions are therefore most useful for members of those groups that do not have a shaman or paladin, or players that are too far away to receive those FR buffs.

Another option for extra fire resistance is the  [Juju Ember], which adds +15 fire resist for 10 minutes.

Mages should Hotkey their Fire Ward and use those few precious seconds to fire off some Frostbolts. If timed right, you can get off two. In the long run, anyone with the following talent build will do much more damage with those two frostbolts every 30secs than all the Arcane Missiles being spammed. ( [1] is a good talent build for this instance for any mage as it gives mages the bonuses for their Fire Ward, as well as all the bonuses to damage for any and all Fire/Frost spells, cause yes... some mobs in there -will- take a lot of damage from Fire. It's only the majority of the bosses that Fire-Mages will have to fall to frost.)

Although fire resistance is a must for this fight, it's important to remember that the fight needs to be over within three minutes, so when preparing for the encounter you should make sure your raid does not sacrifice too much DPS. Mages, rogues, warlocks, hunters, and pure-DPS warriors should all ideally have at least 180 fire resistance, but after that DPS is important too. If you can't bring Vaelastrasz down by the time Essence of the Red expires, the battle will likely be lost no matter how strong your fire resistance is!

Another good idea would be to get a [Blazing Emblem] trinket it adds 15 FR and has a use effect that increases fire resist by 50 more points as well as reducing all fire damage by 25.

Vaelastrasz was the first real guild killer in World of Warcraft. Guilds have broke down over Vaelastrasz. Spending hundreds of gold on repairs singly! He is arguably harder then Nefarian himself. - The World of Warcraft Dungeon companion.

Solo strategy

Vaelastrasz casts Burning Adrenaline on a mana user after 15 seconds, and Burning Adrenaline will kill its target regardless of level in less than 20 seconds. Vaelastrasz has 1 million health, and generously assuming a mana user lasts 30 seconds, they must put out 33,310 DPS to kill Vaelastrasz before the Burning Adrenaline finishes the player off. To beat the Burning Adrenaline cast, players must put out 66,620 DPS as an absolute minimum. Non-mana users will not have Burning Adrenaline cast on them until 45 seconds in, so they require 22,200 DPS.


Boss intro
Blackwing Technician yells: Run! They are coming!
The six technicians run for the Hall of Strife. They can be killed.
Lord Victor Nefarius yells: Ah...the heroes. You are persistent, aren't you? Your ally here attempted to match his power against mine - and paid the price. Now he shall serve slaughtering you.
Lord Victor Nefarius yells: Get up, little red wyrm...and destroy them!
I... I have failed, <name>. The Lord of Bla... The Lord of Blackrock is too powerful. He consumed my energy with... with ease. I turn... I... kill me... you must... you must kill me.

Gossip I cannot, Vaelastrasz! Surely something can be done to heal you!

I perform one final service. I pray it is sufficient...

Gossip Vaelastrasz, no!!!

Too late, friends! Nefarius' corruption has taken hold...I cannot...control myself.
I beg you, mortals - FLEE! Flee before I lose all sense of control! The black fire rages within my heart! I MUST- release it!
FLAME! DEATH! DESTRUCTION! Cower, mortals before the wrath of Lord...NO - I MUST fight this! Alexstrasza help me, I MUST fight it!
Reaching 15%
Nefarius' hate has made me stronger than ever before! You should have fled while you could, mortals! The fury of Blackrock courses through my veins!
Killing a player
Forgive me, (player)! Your death only adds to my failure!


Item Type
 [Belt of Ten Storms] Shaman Shaman Tier 2 waist
 [Belt of Transcendence] Priest Priest Tier 2 waist
 [Bloodfang Belt] Rogue Rogue Tier 2 waist
 [Dragonstalker's Belt] Hunter Hunter Tier 2 waist
 [Judgment Belt] Paladin Paladin Tier 2 waist
 [Nemesis Belt] Warlock Warlock Tier 2 waist
 [Netherwind Belt] Mage Mage Tier 2 waist
 [Stormrage Belt] Druid Druid Tier 2 waist
 [Waistband of Wrath] Warrior Warrior Tier 2 waist
 [Dragonfang Blade] Agility dagger
 [Helm of Endless Rage] Plate strength helm
 [Mind Quickening Gem] Mage Mage trinket
 [Pendant of the Fallen Dragon] Intellect neck
 [Red Dragonscale Protector] Intellect shield
 [Rune of Metamorphosis] Druid Druid trinket


Vaelastrasz from a Hunter's Perspective

Patch changes

  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.3 (2014-10-28): Undocumented: Health reduced to 3,331,000 (was 6,368,000).
  • Cataclysm Hotfix (2011-08-04): Burning Adrenaline is properly removing the focus cost of Arcane Shot.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10):
    • There is no longer a one-hour time restriction on the Vaelastrasz the Corrupt encounter in Blackwing Lair.
    • Fixed a bug that could cause the debuff "Burning Adrenaline" to be removed if enough other debuffs were applied to the target.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.6.1 (2005-08-02): The timer for Vaelastrasz the Corrupt is now more persistent. You can no longer reset the one-hour time limit for beating him by leaving the instance. Also, Vaelastrasz the Corrupt will not respawn for 12 hours if he has not been beaten when the timer expires.
  • WoW Icon update.png Hotfix (2005-07-28):
    • Burning Adrenaline will now ignore line of sight, as intended.
    • A bug that allowed Burning Adrenaline to be dispelled with invulnerability effects (such as [Divine Shield] and [Ice Block]) has been fixed.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Added.

External links