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For strategy on the Blackwing Lair encounter, see Nefarian (tactics). For strategy on the Blackwing Descent encounter, see Nefarian's End.
Image of Nefarian
Title Lord of Blackrock Spire
Gender Male
Race Black dragon (Dragonkin)
Affiliation(s) Black dragonflight
Occupation Secondary Ruler of the Black dragonflight and Creator of Chromatic dragonflight, Lord of Blackrock (as Lord Victor Nefarius)
Location Various
Status Deceased (lore);[1] Killable (WoW)
Relative(s) Deathwing (father), Sintharia (mother), Onyxia and Nyxondra[2] (sisters), Sabellian (half-brother),[3] Wrathion (nephew, in conflict)
"In this world where time is your enemy, it is my greatest ally. This grand game of life that you think you play in fact plays you. To that I say...
Let the games begin!"

Nefarian, also known as Blackwing, was the eldest son of Deathwing[4] and his Prime Consort Sintharia. Like his father and his sister Onyxia, he had a human guise, appearing as Victor Nefarius, Lord of Blackrock. Holding the Blackrock clan and various clans of ogres under his control, Nefarian ruled from his lair at the top of Blackrock Spire until he was defeated by champions of Azeroth. Upon the return of his father and the Shattering that resulted, Nefarian was brought back to life as a rotted abomination, and descended further into Blackrock Mountain, where he set up a laboratory full of new (and mostly failed) experiments - including reanimating his sister Onyxia. Ultimately, he was destroyed once again by Azeroth's champions.


Lord Victor Nefarius in Hearthstone.

Aftermath of the Second War

Since Deathwing's departure to Draenor during the aftermath of the Second War, his eldest children have arisen to lead their brethren and recoup their failing numbers. Deathwing's eldest son, the malicious and cunning Nefarian, has claimed the burning fortress of Blackrock Spire — and Blackwing Lair as his aerie as Deathwing commanded.[5]

Nefarian has been experimenting with the blood of all of the various dragonflights to create a chromatic dragonflight of unstoppable warriors. In this task he has succeeded his father, and aided by his sister, he plans to use them to rally the Black Dragonflight to his command.

In Blackrock, aided by his loyal dragonspawn, he fights a constant battle with Ragnaros and his forces for control of the mountain, and ultimately control of the entire region. To this end, he made efforts to bolster his forces like his father Deathwing in ages past. Nefarian delights in capturing Ragnaros' elemental minions and using them for his own insidious purposes.

He has struck up an alliance with Rend Blackhand, though he only uses him and his Dark Horde to further his own goals. Nefarian's mad bid for dominance has even attracted the ire of the red dragonflight — in the form of the red dragon Vaelastrasz — which has always been the Black flight's greatest foe. Though Nefarian's intentions are known, the methods he is using to achieve them remain a mystery.

With the black dragonflight once again under solid leadership, and with the support of these new chromatic dragons, he plans to strike back against the other dragonflights, as well as the mortal nations of the world.

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
Nefarian in World of Warcraft.
Nefarian's head hanging from the gates of Stormwind.

Nefarian appeared in World of Warcraft as the final encounter in Blackwing Lair, implemented in patch 1.6.

The  [Head of Nefarian] begins the quest The Lord of Blackrock for the Horde and the Alliance. It drops from Nefarian in Blackwing Lair. Like the  [Head of Onyxia], Nefarian's head may be delivered either to King Varian Wrynn in Stormwind for the Alliance or Garrosh Hellscream in Orgrimmar for the Horde. Wrynn will send you to Field Marshal Afrasiabi in the Valley of Heroes, while Garrosh will send you to Overlord Runthak near the gates of Orgrimmar.

Turning in the head grants everyone in the city the Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer.

Burning Crusade

The Burning Crusade This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

With the coming of Patch 2.1.0, it seems that Nefarian had died in-universe. Lady Sinestra, added in the patch, says during an event involving her and a Dragonmaw fel orc named Overlord Mor'ghor:

You have no doubt heard about Nefarian's failures on Azeroth...While he has fallen, the experiment continues. My master...He continues the work that his progeny began.

This seems to imply that Nefarian is dead, or at least presumed dead by the black dragonflight.

Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

It is also implied that the adventurers defeated Nefarian, as Varok Saurfang mentions that he put the  [Head of Nefarian] on a pike. (if the player has turned in the  [Head of Nefarian])[6]

Night of the Dragon

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

During the book Night of the Dragon, Kalecgos and Krasus reveal that Nefarian, the eldest and most powerful of Deathwing's children, had been slain by brave fighters. Kalec later mentions to Dargonax that Nefarian's mother, Sintharia, abandoned him to his enemies after he failed her (though considering the circumstances, it's possible that Kalec twisted the truth to try and turn Dargonax against Sintharia).[7]

Sintharia, Nefarian's Mother and creator of Dargonax and the Twilight Dragonflight, referred to Dargonax as Nefarian on a few different occasions.[8] While never really explained a few different opinions could be speculated. One that Nefarian's body or essence was used to create Dargonax or that Dargonax is Nefarian resurrected. More likely it is simply that Sinestra is mentally imbalanced[citation needed]. Sinestra shows spite towards both Onyxia and Nefarian throughout the novel and so one could infer that she is not referring to Dargonax with motherly love of Nefarian. At the end of the book it is assumed that Dargonax and Sinestra are both killed, however the Twilight Dragonflight continues to exist either through Deathwing's doing or through Sintharia's false demise as well as both Sinestra and Nefarian being present in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.


Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Nefarian in Cataclysm

After his death in Blackwing Lair, Nefarian was reanimated and charged by Deathwing to continue his insidious endeavours within Blackwing Descent.[9] Nefarian, the eldest son of Deathwing the Destroyer, has been bested by the heroes of Azeroth in the past, most recently in Blackwing Lair. Hubris and arrogance have ever been the great dragon's weak points - but returning from beyond the veil of death has made him cautious. Where another wyrm might strike back with brutish anger against the tiny insects who disrupted his plans, Nefarian has retreated.

Dwelling on the lessons learned from his defeat in Blackwing Lair, he has burrowed deeper into the heart of Blackrock Mountain, and rebuilt his sanctuary. The Vault of the Shadowflame, a deep pit of cascading magma, is the heart of Blackwing Descent, and the location of horrific new experiments in undeath and magical augmentation, including a triumph dear to even Nefarian's cold, wrathful heart.[10] He had continued his experiments along with his minion Maloriak, which yielded results such as Chimaeron, Atramedes, and the reanimation of his sister, Onyxia, until he was slain yet again by adventurers in Blackwing Descent.


Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Blackwing Lair  ?? 732,320
Nefarian (tactics)  ?? 2,069,600
Blackwing Descent  ?? 9,877,580
Nefarian's End  ??

In the RPG

Nefarian in Monster Guide
The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Nefarian usually enters combat in human form at first, summoning his many minions and allies while he wears down his enemies with powerful spells. If seriously threatened, he takes on his true form, using his shadow flame breath to incinerate anyone who is not properly protected. He uses his corrupted power ability to incapacitate whatever characters he feels are the greatest threat. If badly wounded, Nefarian uses his powerful magic to retreat. If prevented from retreating, he uses his most powerful spells and abilities to turn his enemies against each other, and to drain their health and spells while restoring his own. Nefarian’s breath, known as shadow flame, is among the deadliest of any dragon’s attacks. Any living target affected by Nefarian’s breath is set afire with shadow flame, taking terrible damage. The only protection from this attack is the scales of another powerful black dragon.[11]


Over the years, Nefarian has been given a few names, including:


Dialogue with Rend Blackhand

Main article: Rend Blackhand (tactics)

Quotes within Blackwing Lair

Main article: Vaelastrasz

Stealing the Red Scepter Shard:

Lord Victor Nefarius: Looking for this: Red Scepter Shard? Come and get it...
Lord Victor Nefarius: I wonder, heroes, what will you do when I manage to destroy this shard? Will the world be beyond Salvation?
Lord Victor Nefarius's laughter echoes through the halls of Blackwing.
Lord Victor Nefarius: What's this? A chip in the shard? Finally, a weakness exposed... It won't be long now.

Quotes within Blackwing Descent

Intro upon entering the raid

Main article: Magmaw#Quotes
Main article: Omnotron Defense System#Quotes
Main article: Chimaeron#Quotes
Main article: Atramedes#Quotes
Main article: Maloriak#Quotes
Main article: Nefarian's End#Quotes


A card back themed after Nefarian in Hearthstone.
  • Nefarian is the creator of Chromatus but could not complete his resurrection as he was killed by the adventurers. When Deathwing arose, Nefarian was reanimated but was not present in Northrend alongside Chromatus as Deathwing had other plans for him. Thus, Twilight of the Aspects implies that he was ultimately killed after the events of the book.[14]
  • A 2007 commercial with Toyota advertised their Tacoma pickup truck. In the commercial Nefarian swallows the Tacoma whole. Moments later the Tacoma bursts out of his stomach, accompanied by a giant explosion, and he crumples to the ground.[15]
  • In Blackwing Descent, Nefarian provides comedy for raiders, since he is one of many bosses with a sense of humor.
    • Nefarian's healthy sense of humor is very much opposite to the more stern nature of his father.
      • Know that his jokes and puns can only be heard on Heroic difficulty.
  • Look close and you can see that there's a large ring on Nefarian's right facial fin, just between the middle and lower spines.
  • Nefarian is voiced by Chris Metzen in World of Warcraft[16] and by Matthew Mercer in Hearthstone.
  • While Wrathion is listed as Nefarian's half-brother in the Ultimate Visual Guide and claims that he is Deathwing's son, it is hinted that the Black Aspect isn't Wrathion's father.
  • He is the narrator, primary antagonist and final boss of the Blackrock Mountain adventure in Hearthstone. He serves as the last boss of both of the last two wings: Blackwing Lair and the Hidden Laboratory (Blackwing Descent). Defeating every boss in the adventure, including both of Nefarian's appearances, rewards him as a legendary card. His flavor text reads: "They call him "Blackwing" because he's a black dragon...... and he's got wings."
    • The Nefarian card back is awarded for completing Blackrock Mountain on Heroic mode. The flavor text reads: "You didn’t actually believe someone named “Lord Victor Nefarious” wasn’t up to anything nefarious, did you?"



WoW and Toyota commercial

Patch changes


External links

Blackwing Lair Blackwing Descent
Preceded by:
Ruler of the black dragonflight (with Onyxia)
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Patriarch of the black dragonflight
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Orgrim Doomhammer
Ruler of the Blackrock Spire
Succeeded by: