The lore of the Ny'alotha Raid in WoW is convoluted but it goes a little something like this: long ago, the Old Ones ruled over Azeroth. They raised the Black Empire, a city of innumerable atrocities and darkness. Temples were built for these dark gods, and the biggest was for Y’Shaarj, the most vicious and powerful of them. Sacrifices were commonplace, as was the void energy that permeated the empire.
This did not go unnoticed by the Elemental Lords, who thought they were the only inhabitants of Azeroth. Yet, they did not succeed in driving the Old Ones out. It took the titan-forged armies of the Pantheon of Order to finally break their hold on Azeroth and destroy the empire. The dark gods were sealed deep in the earth, and Azeroth was finally in peace.
Despite being sealed under the earth (and for one of them, the sea), they could still exert some control over some people and events. N’Zoth, the weakest of the four, was the one who turned Queen Azshara and her Highborne into naga. The naga became his arms and feet in the fight to bring back the Black Empire.
He’s the one responsible for Ny’alotha, an alternate future where the Black Empire took over Azeroth. For now, it still remains an alternate future, but with N’Zoth’s interference, it can take over the current world.
Thanks to the sacrifice of the Keeper Ra, Ny’alotha (also called the Dreaming City, Waking City, or Sunken City) is temporarily banished from reality. However, its threat isn’t completely gone yet, leaving the Champions of Azeroth to drive it back from reality. It won’t be easy, but leaving it alone can be dangerous.
Inspirations for Ny’alotha
The plane’s lore and origins suggest inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft’s Nyarlathotep. The description of the city and design takes many hints and cues from Lovecraft’s works. It’s not a surprise that the Pantheon couldn’t completely eradicate the Old Ones and that the latter could still have an influence on the surface.
They were the ones behind the Cataclysm that threatened to destroy the world and the creation of the nagas. Only time will tell if they still have plans in their (metaphorical) sleeves.
Starting the Raid
Unlike past raids with a fixed entrance, Ny’alotha’s changes every week. It all depends on where N’Zoth’s armies are located. The raid’s entrance is located where the Black Obelisk is. Check the in-game map to see the army’s and possibly the Obelisk’s position.
Upon entering the city, Wrathion provides you a cloak essential to keeping your sanity in the city. Your group’s main task is to calibrate a weapon that can destroy N’Zoth. You’ll need to activate beacons at specific locations in the area. Of course, the path you have to go through will be blocked by various bosses.
If all goes well, the blast from the weapon should keep Ny’alotha at bay.
Ny’alotha hosts twelve bosses. Some boss groups can have a variable order, so you can’t expect every run to be the same as before. Here are the bosses you’ll encounter:
Wrathion, the Black Emperor
Despite being able to provide you with mind-preserving cloaks, he gets corrupted by N’Zoth soon after entering the city. You’ll have to fight and defeat him to continue. As the first boss, fighting him has pretty simple mechanics. Attack him directly in the first phase, then focus your fire onto the Crackling Shards in the next. The shards must be destroyed as fast as possible to avoid resetting the stages.
Instead of lowering his hitpoints, focus on reducing his mana. The group must work together to mitigate and stop his regenerative abilities and destroy or prevent his mana shield from activating. In the second phase, the party can keep Mana Orbs from supplying Maut with mana.
One who wields powerful illusions, the group has to communicate with each other to find the real boss within the illusions. Once Skitra uses [Illusionary Projection], the party effectively splits into two. One set sees something different from the other. Fortunately, it’s still possible to find the real boss despite the altered visuals.
Dark Inquisitor Xanesh
Fancy playing soccer? That’s similar to what you’ll do in this battle. When the [Void Ritual] starts, three players will be marked as [Voidwoken]. These three are the ones who can interact with the Void Orbs they have to guide to a specific area. The party has to coordinate to clear obstacles in the way and avoid Torment Zones that can deal damage.
The battle against this dragon becomes a race against time once you’ve reduced her health to 40%. By then, she uses her full power and starts spreading Void Corruption. Stacks of the debuff accumulate over time, and taking too long can wipe the party out. Give it all you’ve got when you’ve reached that point.
You’ll fight against a pair of bosses who do not share the same health pool. You’ll need to strategize to defeat both of them simultaneously. At the same time, the bosses are fighting each other for control over the aqir, and the group has to manage the minions as they behave erratically.
Ra-den the Despoiled
He draws energy from other realms, empowering him with different properties depending on where it came from. When the second phase starts, he starts drawing from both domains, gaining all properties and the ability to cast all his spells. Attack and defeat him as soon as you can to keep from wiping.
Shad’har the Insatiable
As you can infer from the name, this boss will eat at specific points during the battle. He then takes on the properties and characteristics of the material he ate, so mechanics change often. You can also feed him some tasty morsels to avoid getting his Uncontrollably Ravenous state, which increases his damage by 250%.
The boss continually regenerates, so you’ll have to stack the [Void Infused Ichor] debuff to circumvent it. Because of that, players will have to fight tentacles for the debuff and their continued survival. You’ll have to alternate targets or have a small team on tentacle duty.
Il’gynoth, Corruption Reborn
Lowering his health to zero only makes him retreat and show his organs. You’ll have to defeat all his organs (it doesn’t have to be all at once), interrupting them from [Pumping Blood]. Simultaneously, the party has to manage the Blood of Ny’alotha that spawns. The minions unleash the ability [Hemorrhage] when they die, which can kill the party if they don’t have enough health.
Carapace of N’Zoth
Here, the showdown with the god begins. He’ll try to drain your sanity and convert you into his servant, so keep it intact throughout the fight. First, you’ll focus on the tentacles and then on the boss. You’ll lose Wrathion’s aid in the last phase, so make sure you have enough sanity to chase him all over the map.
N’Zoth the Corruptor
You’re facing off with the god itself in the last battle. The fight has three phases:
- You’ll fight Psychus in the Mind Realm.
- You’ll have to survive multiple waves of tentacles.
- You can unleash your frustration and anger on the god to defeat him before your sanity breaks.
You can experience segments of the raid with the Looking for Group feature, though you never know what kind of teammates you’ll get. It’s simpler to raid with people you interact with more regularly than a group of randos, especially for one that’s this long.
Tips and Tricks
Ashjra’kamas Shroud of Resolve
This item is essential for keeping your sanity, especially in the last two battles of the raid. Make sure you equip it before you get to the fourth wing because recent fixes keep players from doing so after.
Watch Youtube Videos
Learn from other groups that have run the raid. Observe their mistakes and successes, so you can avoid the former and replicate the latter. You’ll also avoid running the raid blind since, at the very least, you know what to expect.
Patience is Key
Your group will inevitably contain relative beginners, whether to the game or the raid itself. In addition to that, it’s also impossible to keep from wiping out the first few times. Patience is critical in these situations, so you can lead, evaluate where things go wrong, and eventually succeed.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
How to unlock Ny’alotha in Shadowlands?
First, you need to get your Heart of Azeroth. Find the quest “A Dying World” from the Earthen Guardian NPC. It’s in the Boralus Inn for the Alliance and near the Zuldazar Harbor flight path for Horde.
Next, you need to unlock World Quests by completing “United [location]” (Kul Tiras for Alliance, Zandalar for Horde). Complete 3 foothold quests and open boat travel to the 3 zones for the other faction so you can take it.
Afterward, Naz’jatar should be available. It should be available once World Quests are unlocked. It should be “The Wolf’s Offensive” for Alliance and “The Warchief’s Order” for Horde. Complete the chain until “Harnessing the Power.”
Enter Boralus or Zuldazar for the quest “An Unwelcome Advisor” for Alliance or “Return of the Black Prince” for Horde. (Relogging in can do the trick if the visit didn’t work.)
Where is the raid’s location?
Depending on the current activated attack on the map, it changes between Uldum or the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
Is it indispensable to unlock the Ashjra’kamas Shroud of Resolve before going for the raid?
Yes, you’ll unlock the Legendary Cloak in the Introductory questline from patch 8.3, which will allow you to withstand the Madness mechanic a little longer. In other words, you’ll need this to kill the last bosses of the raid.
Can you experience the entire raid without a Guild?
Yes, the raid is currently available across four different wings where you can queue and experience it almost to its totality. Remember to equip the Ashjra’kamas Shroud of Resolve, the Legendary Cloak, before queuing for a new group in the Ny’alotha Wing 4.
What is the order of the Bosses?
Wrathion comes first.
Maut and Prophet Skitra become available in the second part.
The Dark Inquisitor unlocks Vexiona, the Hivemind makes Ra-den available, and both Shad’har and Drest’agath open the way to Il’gynoth.
You can enter the last part after defeating Vexiona, Ra-den, and Il’gynoth in the raid.
What type of loot is available in the raid?
Besides the usual currencies from the Battle of Azeroth. You also have the potential to unlock different types of Transmogs (from each armor type), three Mounts, and five Battle Pets.