Satrina's Onyxia - What to wear?


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Onyxia, or what shall I wear to the ball?

Originally posted on the Evil Empire guild website as a part of Satrina’s warrior guides. This was excavated from an archive made by the Wayback Machine. As such, offsite links will likely not work.

Satrina@Stormrage - Last updated 5 June 2005

Many people say, hey, just wear your AC/defense gear for Onyxia - she isn’t that bad. Well, that’s certainly true, but I always wear some fire resist gear against Onyxia, and here’s why it’s my opinion that you should, too.

A date with Onyxia

As the tank standing in front of Onyxia, you’ll be subjected to about 200,000-300,000 points of damage from when you first annoy her to when she dies, depending on how fast you can kill her. Roughly 50% of that damage is physical, and the other 50% is fire. On the one hand, you can pile up your 425 defense and not get critically hit by her, and mitigate about 60% of her physical damage with 8500AC. On the other hand, if you have 300 fire resist, you’ll resist 3/4 of it. Look here:

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This addon, CombatMonitor, can be found here

We’ll first note that Flame Breath appears to be a binary effect. That is, you either resist it fully or not at all. The resisted damage in the above screenshot is from fireballs in phase 2. Flame Breath is cast by Onyxia at level 63, and deals 3063-3937 (average 3500) damage within a 45 yard radius.

The important thing to note is the number of full resists of her fire breath: 18. 18 x 3500 = 63000 fire damage that I did not take in that particular fight. That’s about 30% of her entire damage output. I took two fireballs (about 1500 each total) in phase 2 on this fight, which leaves 7 flame breaths = 24500 damage. Out of a total of 87500 damage from Flame Breath breathed at me, I took about 24500 of it , or 28%. Of about 3000 damage in fireballs, I resisted 1000 of it. You can’t win 'em all I guess =)

You also see there that I took no critical hits from her physical attacks - that’s a bit of a fluke, actually. I usually take 4-5 because my defense is lower in fire gear. In any case, with an average physical hit of 709, and knowing that a crushing blow does 1.5x damage, (9 x 709) 6381 points of of the physical damage was crushing blow damage. The kicker is that if I had been wearing full defense gear, I would have still taken the crushing blows, and I still would not have taken any critical hits. The only difference would have been that I would have taken more fire damage. Finally, I point out that my FR gear has higher AC than my defense gear, mostly due to the dark iron pieces I wear as part of it. The average physical damage per hit in my FR gear is actually lower due to higher mitigation than it would be in my regular defense gear.

Out of all of that, the total potential damage there (counting the already mitigated physical damage because I’m lazy and don’t know what my AC was for this kill anyway) was (112733 + 90500 + 2790 {shield blocked}) 206023 damage. I took a total of (26394 + 112733) 139127 of it, or 67%. Had I been wearing defense gear, I’d have taken a lot more fire damage, and in this case, no less physical damage.

But I don’t have 300 FR

Then get working on it. You need it to tank Ragnaros anyway, so why wait?
But yes, I tanked Onyxia quite a few times with about 50FR, and it isn’t the absolute end of the world if you don’t have massive FR gear. When you’re first learning, it is painful and you’ll die no matter what you wear. Once you get the encounter down, it’s true that it matters less what you are wearing since it’s a pretty short fight. Your healers will have an easier time of it the more FR you can get on, though, and they’ll probably thank you for it. You will require fewer heals and healers if you can pile on some FR.

Revisiting Onyxia - 2 months later

Well, now Onyxia is long on farm status for us. In the past months, I’ve been wearing slightly different gear now than I did when I originally wrote this. I still wear fire resist gear, but I only bring myself to about 200 for the fight (including FR aura), and putting defense/stamina items back into the slots formerly holding FR. The reason for it is rage. I take a bit more spike damage because I resist a few less Flame Breaths, but those breaths also spike my rage up. This lets me keep a faster and more constant stream of threat generating abilites going on her. That means I stay further ahead on the hate list, weather the aggro reductions from knockbacks more easily, and do not have to call for breaks in DPS - ever. I’ve definitely found my sweet spot. Your mileage may vary - after all, I also tank her with my two-hander now, too :slight_smile:

Revisiting Onyxia - BWL Retrospective

I don’t tank Onyxia much anymore. In fact, I usually bring my mage now. When I do tank her, I put on my dark iron helm and dark iron gauntlets (100-ish FR total with the resist on other gear I normally wear.) If I wear more than that, I really gimp my rage generation because the physical damage she puts out just doesn’t give enough rage anymore. And, as mentioned previously, I use my two hander to tank = more threat per hit, less damage mitigated with no shield.