I have yet to see one of these babies flying around my own server, so I've borrowed a picture from Wowhead. The Onyxian drake is a very rare drop off the updated version of Onyxia that went live with patch 3.2.2, and it puts me in mind of what Onyxia might have looked like if you'd caught her in Dragon High School.
Back when the fifth anniversary patch went live, the mount was ninja'd so frequently that we couldn't go a day without having a complaint about it land in our inbox. That resulted in a remarkably forthright Breakfast Topic -- Would you ninja the Onyxia mount? -- and it turns out that, yes, lots of players will steal a drop if it's cool, rare and they don't think they'll ever get a shot at it again.
That said, it's been a while since I last heard any complaints about this -- I can only assume because Onyxia is pugged less frequently these days compared to Icecrown Citadel and Halion -- and it does make you wonder whether the would-be ninjas would have the same opinion today. Today's must-have, cool drop is tomorrow's outdated content.
As much as I like the frostwyrms and their art is really neat, they reuse the same tired drake animations that have been in the game since day one, so it's hard to get as excited about them as the proto-drakes. There's a grisly story attached to the ICC frostwyrms, as this is the letter you'll receive upon completing the requisite achievement:
As the Lich King's influence wanes, some of his more powerful minions have wrested free from his grasp.
This frost wyrm drake my men captured is a prime example. She has a will of her own and then some.
One of my men lost an arm breaking her in, but now she takes to riders fairly well -- provided they themselves are skilled and strong willed.
Please accept this magnificent beast as a gift from the Knights of the Ebon Blade. It was an honor to fight along your side in the greatest of batles.
Not quite as pleasant as the letter we got from Brann Bronzebeard. I've always hoped that the unfortunate guy in question was someone among the Ebon Blade or Forsaken who could have an already-dead arm reattached without too much fuss. The alternative is somewhat freaksome, but the Ebon Blade isn't the sort of faction likely to dwell on the particulars.
From a distance, you can't tell the difference between this and the 10-man version, but up close you'll see it's much lighter-colored -- almost as if someone had decided to wash the dragon's bones before assembling the skeleton for reanimation. At least, that's the only plausible explanation I can offer, which makes me wonder which poor soul among the Scourge was that obsessive-compulsive.
Lore-wise, there's something slightly tone-deaf about riding around Azeroth on a giant dead dragon salvaged from the bowels of Icecrown, which is something that occurred to me on the beta while running around Tirisfal and the former Plaguelands. We just spent an entire expansion ridding the world of the undead threat, and now we're riding their pet necromantic horrors because ... uh ... they're cool. Talk to a few Forsaken NPCs while perched atop this living embodiment of their unnatural hell, and you'll think: Is there any form of transportation in the game more ironic and insulting than this? We're probably safe on that count until Blizzard programs a reputation vendor offering flying wood-choppers outside the port to Darnassus.
The heroic Lich King encounter is a thoroughly murderous fight from start to end, and I honestly don't know that it's going to be all that much easier in Cataclysm. However, Invincible's going the way of Mimiron's Head in the next expansion -- expect to see it as a rare drop rather than the 100 percent drop it is now, which should keep the poor horse about as infrequent a sight as it is now.
I adore Invincible's design. I'll grant that the floppy hooves animation while it's idling in midair or flying around are a little on the comical side, but if I recall correctly, the horse was put down by Arthas after its legs were broken, so that's not a real surprise. As with Mimiron's Head and the Ashes of Al'ar, be prepared to roll against everyone in the raid if you're ever around to see it drop.
Wrathful Gladiator's Frostwyrm
No player actually has this mount yet, as it'll be rewarded for reaching the Gladiator rank in 3v3 or 5v5 arena at the end of season eight. If you're on track for this, your 310 percent mount needs should be met, but obviously it's not the sort of thing you should bank on at this point.
Damn right this thing's a 310 percent mount; no one would put more than a year's worth of blood, sweat and tears into it if it weren't. It's actually for that reason that I've always felt the Red Proto-Drake (the reward for Glory of the Hero) should have been a 310 percent mount as well, because the meta requires so much work even today. But the purple version's an acceptable substitute.
Any player can get a violet proto-drake if they put the time and effort into the game's eight major holidays over the course of a year. It's not fast and it's often not pretty (e.g., School of Hard Knocks, Sinister Calling), but as one of our commenters here once observed, there are only two ways to get the really good stuff in WoW: fast and difficult, or slow and relatively easy.
OverAchiever's covered each of Azeroth's holidays, so if you ever find yourself hurting for information on a specific achievement or meta, here are the 2009/2010 guides:
- Lunar Festival
- Fool For Love
- Children's Week
- Midsummer Fire Festival
- Hallow's End
- Winter Veil
Working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! We cover everything from Glory of the Hero and Insane in the Membrane to Master of Alterac Valley and Lil' Game Hunter, and you can count on us to guide you through Azeroth's holidays and special events.