Dragons of Nightmare Strategy/Tactics for Normal/Heroic

Last updated on Sep 18, 2016 at 01:47 by Damien 1 comment

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find a working strategy to defeat Dragons of Nightmare in The Emerald Nightmare for both Normal and Heroic modes, which usually only differ by the tuning of the boss.

Here, we assume that you have read our descriptions of the abilities for this encounter.

The other pages of our Dragons of Nightmare guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Pottm from Serenity.



The strategy of the fight is very easy to present, but the execution might be more difficult, depending on difficulty and your raid's ability.

The reason why the strategy is easy is because there is almost no need for raid coordination. Raid members do not have to move in specific ways at specific times or do specific tasks together with other raid members. Everyone is mostly minding their own business, staying in the same area, and dealing with a few mechanics, so the TL;DR section from our Overview page is more than enough for most players. That said, if you really want to understand everything about the fight, simply keep reading.


Splitting the Raid

Because of the Mark mechanics that the dragons have, the raid needs to be split in two (with one tank in each group). Ysondre and the other active dragon should be tanked about 90 yards apart. This is an arbitrary value that is meant to prevent the dragon's mark radius to overlap, but it can be less, because in practice raid members will not be at maximum range from the dragon they are assigned to, so the risk for a raid member to be within range of both marks is quite low.

Every 70 seconds or so, when the Mark reaches 7 stacks, we advise the two tanks to meet in the middle and exchange dragons, while the rest of raid remains with their own group, waiting for the new dragon to be brought to them.


Tanking Concerns

The main concern for tanks (aside from exchanging dragons in a timely fashion) is to make sure their dragon does not cast Corrupted Breath Icon Corrupted Breath towards raid members. This is not a problem most of the time, but this is something to watch out for during the dragon swap (as during this time, both dragons will be facing towards the raid (or half of it, more precisely), heading for the spot where they will be tanked).

Other than that, adds spawned by Emeriss (Essences of Corruption) and Taerar (Shades of Taerar Icon Shades of Taerar) need to be picked up and tanked.

The Dread Horrors do not really need to be picked up. There will rarely be more than a couple of them spawning from a single Nightmare Blood. These adds die really fast, especially in Normal mode. In Heroic mode, they decrease the damage that players around them do, making it harder for whoever aggroes them to DPS them down. If there are several such Dread Horrors that have aggroed on players and they have trouble getting rid of them, then the nearby tank can try taunting them. The tank just needs to be mindful of when the next cast of Corrupted Breath Icon Corrupted Breath will happen.


Healing Concerns

There is no damage ramp up during this fight and most of the damage can be avoided, so your job will mostly consist of healing unavoidable damage (ticks from the Marks, tank damage, Volatile Infection Icon Volatile Infection from Emeriss, etc.).

Your main task lies elsewhere though. There are many effects that can be dispelled in this encounter and it is your job to stay on top of that.

  • Call Defiled Spirit Icon Call Defiled Spirit from Ysondre creates a void zone at the location of a random raid member. As soon as this void zone appears, players in it are rooted. This cannot be avoided, so it is important that you dispel the root effect from them (called Defiled Vines Icon Defiled Vines) quickly, so that they can move out of the void zone before it denotates with Defiled Eruption Icon Defiled Eruption.
  • Occasionally, players will get hit by a Seeping Fog Icon Seeping Fog cloud, putting them to sleep for 6 seconds. This can be dispelled as well, but dispelling on Defiled Spirit has a much higher priority. So only dispel Seeping Fog if your dispel will not be on cooldown for Defiled Spirit.
  • In Heroic mode, players will get a DoT/slowing debuff on them from Lethon's Shadow Burst Icon Shadow Burst when he is in the air. This can be dispelled as well.

DPS Concerns

Your main concern as a DPS is to DPS the bosses and the adds they spawn. The top priority adds are the spirits created by Lethon's Siphon Spirit Icon Siphon Spirit ability. These spirits must be killed before they reach him.

When Emeriss is on the ground, she summons Essences of Corruption adds (two at a time). These adds keep casting Corruption Icon Corruption at random raid members. This must be interrupted.

When Ysondre casts Nightmare Blast Icon Nightmare Blast, it is important that a DPS players stand on top of the resulting flower. Otherwise, it will spawn a Dread Horror every 3 seconds. If a Seeping Fog Icon Seeping Fog cloud is going to pass on the location of a flower, then a class with immunities (like a Mage with Ice Block Icon Ice Block) can stand on top of the flower while the cloud passes. In any case, it is better to get hit by the cloud and put to sleep than moving away and letting a Dread Horror spawn.

Each Nightmare Blast Icon Nightmare Blast spawns at least one Dread Horror (this cannot be avoided). In Heroic mode, DPS players need to be assigned to killing these adds quickly, as otherwise they risk debuffing someone with Unrelenting Icon Unrelenting, causing significant DPS loss.


Concerns for Everyone

The only common concern for everyone is to get out of ground effects:

  • Call Defiled Spirit Icon Call Defiled Spirit from Ysondre:
    • Ysondre's group should spread out for this ability, to reduce the number of players it can hit and root;
    • after the roo has been dispelled, people need to quickly get out of it (many classes can break free from the root, such as Mages with Blink Icon Blink);
  • Gloom Icon Gloom from Lethon (the ground effect is large, but there are a couple of seconds to get away);
  • Seeping Fog Icon Seeping Fog from Taerar (avoiding Seeping Fog sounds easy, but it can just creep up on you);
  • Corruption of the Dream Icon Corruption of the Dream from Emeriss in Heroic mode;
  • Nightmare Blast Icon Nightmare Blast from Ysondre (it is very hard to avoid, because the targeted location is only marked for a very short duration before the damage happens);

Note that you get feared every 40 seconds when Taerar is in the air in Heroic mode. Before this happens, you need to be careful about your position and make sure that a Seeping Fog Icon Seeping Fog cloud is not going to come in contact with you while you are feared.

Another thing of note is Volatile Infection Icon Volatile Infection from Emeriss. When it is cast on you, simply ensure that you stay 10 yards away from other raid members, which should not pose any problem, because there is so much room available.


When to Use Cooldowns

We advise you to use all DPS cooldowns at the beginning of the fight, when all DPS players are alive. Healing cooldowns should be saved for emergency situations (for example for whatever reason, numerous Dread Horrors spawn from a flower).



  • 18 Sep. 2016: Added more details following pottm's review.
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