Emerald Nightmare Nythendra: Quick guide for Death Knights

Nythendra Raid Guide

This guide covers the normal and heroic versions of the Nythendra encounter, the first boss in the Emerald Nighmare raid. As you’d expect for the first boss of an expansion Nythendra is relatively easy mechanics wise, however, with low gear levels mistakes can be very unforgiving in Heroic mode.

While the TL;DR version can be summarised as, DPS boss, don’t drop your debuff on your raid group, move out of bad stuff on the ground, I’ll quickly cover the two phases below.

Phase One

In this phase Nythendra is a very angry dragon. From a DPS perspective, the most important mechanic you need to understand here is Rot. Every 15-20 seconds Nythendra debuffs a number of players (the number varies depending on the raid size) with Rot. Rot deals periodic damage to the target player as well as AoE damage to anyone else within 8 yards. This periodic damage occurs every 3 seconds and lasts a total of 9 seconds. When the debuff drops off a player it leaves a pool of Infested Ground at their current location. So, to deal with Rot, as soon as Rot is cast on you, move out of the group and go drop your Infested Ground in a safe place.

From a tank point of view, the mechanic to look out for is Volatile Rot. Different to standard Rot, Volatile Rot is the taunt swap mechanic, that blows up on the target after 8 seconds dealing damage to everyone in the raid. The amount of damage it does depends on how close the tank is to the rest of the raid when Volatile Rot explodes. In other words, if you have Volatile Rot on you, have the other tank taunt, then run as far away from the group as possible, using a cool down if required to keep yourself alive.

In Heroic difficulty, any avoidable damage you take results in you gaining a stack of Infest which has the potential to be a nasty stacking DoT.

The final mechanic everyone needs to be aware of is Infested Breath. Nythendra is a dragon, so does Dragon things. Instead of breathing fire, Nythendra has a bad case of halitosis. As with any dragon, don’t be standing in front of it when this happens. This breath also spawns patches of infested ground. Once Nythendra casts Infested Breath a second time, she collapses to the ground, moving the fight in to phase two.

Phase Two

In order to recharge her energy, during Phase 2, Nythendra slowly drags the pools of Infested Ground in toward her, before absorbing them. As with Phase 1, avoid standing in any Infested Ground. The other key mechanic in Phase 2 is Heart of the Swarm. While in Phases 2, little bugs spawn all over the ground. Some of these bugs grow and become Corrupted Vermin. Corrupted Vermin pulse AoE damage (Bursting Corruption) three time before exploding. If you are hit by Bursting Corruption you are hit with a debuff that increases the damage you take from the next Bursting Corruption. From what I’ve seen, with low gear levels, taking one hit is survivable, but taking a second hit soon after while you have the debuff can be fatal. This mechanic can prove to be an absolute nightmare for melee as the bugs can grow underneath the boss, be obscured by other players or any other effects. If you survive phase 2 it’s simply a case of rinse and repeat, going back to Phase 1.


The room is basically a large oval/circle. Picture the circle split in half. For phase one attempt to drop all Infested Pools in one half of the room, leaving the other half free. Rinse and repeat between phases.

Spec and Talents

If you’re not tanking, you’ll want to play Unholy for this fight, with the talents I’d recommend being:

  • All Will Serve
  • Pestilent Pustules
  • Castigator
  • Sludge Belcher
  • Spell Eater
  • Shadow Infusion
  • Soul Reaper

Tier 5 you can probably choose between Spell Eater or Corpse Shield, as there’s not a huge amount of movement in the fight which means you can live without Lingering Apparition. I’m inclined to recommend Spell Eater as the boost to Anti Magic Shell can potentially make life easier during the second phase of this fight.

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