This trio of drakes haunt the halls on the way to Blackwing Lair's peak. Firemaw likes to patrol around the lower level, just beyond the suppression room. Ebonroc patrols the upper level -- and Flamegor, well, he flies in a circle just beyond Ebonroc's patrol path.
The next few rooms are absolutely loaded with trash. You don't really have to kill the wandering Goblins and Elves unless you haven't found any Hourglass Sand. Instead, clear the big Death Talon patrols at the end of the first room and fight Firemaw there -- he'll patrol right to you. You'll have to kill one more pack of these just before you fight Ebonroc and just after you fight Flamegor.
Fun times with dragonkin If you click on the Death Talon mobs, you'll notice they have a debuff making them weak to one particular school of magic over another. Use this to your advantage, and see how big a crit you can produce.
All three drakes are listed under the same section because despite their various special abilities, at level 85 you can simply mow them over without being too concerned with mechanics. I was easily able to duo all three without even being concerned with any of the drake's quirks.
Tier drops All three drakes drop tier 2 gloves. If you don't see your gloves on the first drake, you've got two more chances to get them!
Other items of interest Each dragon also has an additional loot table of potentially fun items.
Firemaw Firemaw has a chance to drop the Black Ash Robe, a cloth robe with a pretty unique model. He also has a chance of dropping the Claw of the Black Drake, a fist weapon that looks like a black dragon's talons.
Ebonroc The only really amazing item unique to Ebonroc is the Dragonbreath Hand Cannon. Ever want to shoot bullets out of a dragon's mouth? This gun is for you, and it is amazing.
Flamegor Flamegor has a chance to drop the Herald of Woe, a hefty two-handed mace, and Dragon's Touch, a kind of pretty, dragon-themed wand.
Remember that Hourglass Sand I mentioned? You'll need it here. Chromaggus is a puppy with a very bad temper and an even worse habit of putting random effects called Brood Afflictions on players who cross him. One of these afflictions is Brood Affliction: Bronze. It lasts 10 minutes, and it'll stun you for 4 seconds at random intervals. Hourglass Sand removes the effect; get rid of it as soon as possible.
To start the fight, pull the lever in the room to release Chromaggus from his cage. Chromaggus is a pretty straightforward kill, except for those pesky Brood Afflictions. Each affliction is a different type of debuff, and there is an affliction for each color of dragonflight. Red does minimal fire damage; Blue slows your movement and casting speed, as well as draining mana; Green reduces any healing done to you and causes minimal nature damage every 5 seconds; Black increases the fire damage you take by 100%; and of course, Bronze gives you that pesky stun. It's not the individual afflictions you need to be worrying about.
If you manage to get all five afflictions, you will undergo a Chromatic Mutation and turn into a Chromatic Drakonid. Turning into a Drakonid means that you play for Team Chromaggus and will promptly begin murdering your partners. If you are not a class with a dispel of some sort, the Hourglass Sand is essential to guaranteeing you don't get all five debuffs.
Fortunately, Chromaggus goes down quickly. A team of three level 85 players should have no problem killing him before he manages to cast more than a couple of afflictions.
Tier drops Chromaggus drops tier 2 shoulders for all nine classes listed above.
And now we come at last to Nefarian himself. As with Vaelastrasz, you need to speak with Nefarian to start the encounter. But first, check to see if you still have any afflictions left over from the Chromaggus fight. You don't have to wait until they wear off, but leaving them on may make the Nefarian fight a little trickier than usual. After you talk to Nefarian, he will turn into a shadowy version of himself, untargetable, and pick a person to randomly spam shadowbolts at. Ignore him.
The two doors on Nefarian's balcony will begin to spawn different colors of drakonids. The colors don't really matter; what matters is the placement of their bodies. Group up in front of Nefarian's throne and recklessly murder the adds as they come to you. You'll notice they are making a nice pile of skeletons on the floor. You want all those skeletons in a nice pile.
After killing exactly 42 drakonids, Nefarian is impressed enough with your skills to take dragon form and land on the balcony. Nefarian breathes fire, cleaves, fears, and has a unique ability in which he will call out a class and somehow affect it in a negative way.
Druids are forced into Cat Form. I know, life is so hard.
Hunters have their ranged weapon instantly broken. Enjoy your repair bill.
Mages are polymorphed into giraffes, cows and worms. Fun!
Priests will find that their heals now harm their target -- unless they are shadow, in which case they will continue to melt face.
Paladins bubble Nefarian. Sit back and /dance until the bubble is gone.
Rogues will get teleported and rooted directly in front of Nefarian, subject to his cleaves. It might tickle.
Shaman will start spontaneously setting down corrupted totems that buff Nefarian and damage the group.
Warlocks will spontaneously summon two infernals per warlock, and they will rampage throughout the raid.
Death Knights -- oh, you thought you were safe? Nah, Blizzard added a class call for you, too! If Nefarian calls for death knights, he'll Death Grip the entire raid to himself.
None of these calls are really important at all, and you can ignore them. However, there is the matter of that pile of skeletons. When Nefarian hits 20% health, he will resurrect all those skeletons, and they will rush your group. This is another opportunity to go nuts with AOE and watch the yellow numbers fly. Nefarian isn't that difficult for level 85 players; his damage is laughable, and the tricks he played in vanilla aren't worth worrying about these days.
Tier drops Nefarian drops tier 2 chestpieces for all nine classes listed above. In addition, Nefarian also drops all level 60 tier 2 helms. These helms used to be obtained by killing his sister Onyxia; however, when she received her anniversary update, they were removed. So it's two types of tier in one fairly easy boss. Convenient, isn't it?
What about the trash? The trash in Blackwing Lair also has a chance to drop various purple items of note.
Draconic Avenger, a two-handed, dragon-topped axe from the Death Talon Wyrmguards.
Ringo's Blizzard Boots, boots that literally look like socks and sandals, also found on the Death Talon Wyrmguards.
Doom's Edge, a one-handed axe that drops from Death Talon Overseers, Blackwing Warlocks, or Blackwing Spellbinders.
Draconic Maul, a two-handed mace with a chance to drop from Death Talon Captains, Flamescales, Wyrmkin and Seethers.
Blackwing Lair was a comprehensive, wonderful raid that introduced all kinds of new mechanics. Where Molten Core was simply a training ground, Blackwing Lair required precision on the part of all 40 raiders back in vanilla. On top of that, it was chock-full of some of the most unique weapon models players had ever seen, which makes it a treasure trove for transmogrification material.
Next week, we'll be looking at the odd, bug-filled world of Ahn'Qiraj and the first appearance of tier tokens with the ... decidedly unique looks of tier 2.5.