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WoW ClassicFeb 9, 2022 10:00 am CT

WoW Classic Season of Mastery changes up Nefarian in Blackwing Lair

You may have heard that Blackwing Lair is getting seriously buffed in WoW Classic‘s Season of Mastery, with significant changes to almost every single fight — perhaps every fight, but we don’t know what’s up with Broodlord Lashlayer yet — but while some of these fights are pretty radically altered, none is as complicated as the upcoming Nefarian changes. Nefarian, the son of Deathwing and along with his sister Onyxia the leader of the Black Dragonflight in the original game, is of course the end boss of BWL, so it is to be expected that if the other encounters in the raid are getting adjustments and additions he would too.

But what’s really deserving of an overview is just how many changes the fight will have. To put it mildly, Nefarian in Season of Mastery’s version of BWL will retain all the complexity of the classic class call mechanic, but add a whole new layer on top of that, with various secondary effects that will make the encounter more challenging to survive. The Nefarian fight was already very complex for the time, and these additions make it potentially the most complex one yet seen in WoW Classic, rivaling Naxxramas encounters. At least, before the rest get their Season of Mastery glow up.

So how is Nefarian changing? What’s being added? How’s the fight look from the outside?

Changes to class calls add complexity to an already hectic battle

The fight still opens the same way it always did — after you get past Chromaggus, you run down the hall and into the huge throne chamber out on BWL’s balcony. From there, there are a host of pillars, some broken, two big side entrances (the same ones that lead into Blackwing Descent in Cataclysm) and a large throne with what appears to be a dark haired Human male holding a scepter. That’s Nefarian in his human guise. Speak to him, he’ll start a dialog and the fight starts after that.

The first major difference noted is that the adds that come into the room spawn more quickly, which can lead to a raid being overwhelmed if it’s not prepared for the added waves. While this is a definite obstacle to overcome, it’s barely a footnote compared to the changes to the class calls. While all of the original calls are still present — Priests still cause the Corrupted Healing debuff when they heal during their class call, Paladins still cast Improved Blessing of Protection on Nefarian, Hunter bows still break — there are a host of new effects during each class call that make the fight a lot more complex. Also, while the class calls still happen on their old schedule, the new effects last longer — it’s possible to have two or even three class call effects active during your raid at once.

  • Druids are of course still forced into Cat Form, making life difficult for any tanking or healing Druids in the raid. But now, in addition, during the Druid class call areas on the floor will gain Nightmare Brambles. This can be dispelled with Cleanse, but in the meantime it roots an affected player and deals Nature damage over time while they’re rooted.
  • Hunters still have their bow or crossbow or gun broken during the call. But now, they also spawn copies of their ranged weapon to cast Corrupted Shot, which drops a targeting spot on the ground and then a few seconds later fires a red laser from that spot. This is avoidable — you can run out of the area — but clearly being, say, rooted during it would make that challenging. Corrupted Shot’s big red laser deals a lot of damage if it hits you.
  • Mages, you can relax, you still cast Wild Polymorph and turn various raid members into giraffes or what have you. But Nefarian also wants a more club atmosphere, so he summons several floating wands to cast Arcane Explosion over and over again like a series of pulsating lights that also deal damage and do knockback, interrupting spells like heals and also putting you in the path of things like the aforementioned roots or lasers.
  • Paladins still cast Improved Blessing of Protection, but they also summon floating swords that drop Consecrate on the ground to deal damage over time to swaths of the raid. I think you’re seeing the pattern here.
  • Priests, don’t fret — you can still kill the tank or a player that annoys you with Corrupted Healing. But also, you’ll be summoning huge shadowy orbs that will cast Mind Flay on players, dealing damage and slowing them while they’re trying to run out of, you know, everything else mentioned so far.
  • Rogues will still get teleported in front of the boss and potentially ruined by his cleave damage and breath weapon if the tank doesn’t move fast enough. But in addition to that, Corrupted Weapons will spawn and nuke targets with Shadow damage.
  • Shaman still buff Nefarian or damage the raid with Corrupted Totems. But they also get Bouncing Bolt, which will target areas on the ground and drop on anyone standing in range of that spot, giving them the Pulse Lightning debuff. Not only will you damage nearby players with Pulse Lightning, you’ll also spread the debuff, so now they also damage nearby players in a horrid contagious lightning frenzy that can quickly get out of hand. Do not stand where the Bouncing Bolt comes down or you’ll give your whole raid lightning cooties.
  • Warlock players are still going to drop Corrupted Infernals on the raid. While that’s fun on its own, they’re also going to drop Shadow orbs — like Priests — except their orbs will cast Corrupted Coil, forcing the raid to move around and play deadly Dance Dance Revolution to avoid the coil blasts.
  • Warrior players are going to be forced into Berserker Stance, which is going to be a nightmare for tanks, but in addition to that they’ll also cast Corrupted Weapons just like Rogues. But while Rogues dealt shadow damage, Warriors will instead spawn weapons that can charge players and then cast Corrupted Slam, a 3 second cast that causes a 2 second stun if it hits. Don’t stand there and get Slam cast on you. Unless you’re rooted or Mind Flayed or what have you, I guess.

So all you have to do to defeat this fight during the Season of Mastery is simply kill the adds faster than ever, then in phase 2 deal with these new special class call effects and try not to stand in anything, or let anything hit you, then kill Nefarian and take his stuff. Good luck!

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