Returning with the WoW Anniversary, the Nightmare Dragon Emeriss fight is still slinging mushrooms and wiping raids, even in 2023.

The nineteenth anniversary of World of Warcraft is here, and with it come memories--though maybe not found ones. For some players, this specifically means memories of raids wiped and not won. What better way for Blizzard to celebrate that fact than with a dragon raid boss that still gives players grief, even to this day? Such is the case with the Green Dragon Emeriss WoW anniversary encounter.

Part of the Dragons of Nightmare, this fight returns once more as part of the World of Warcraft anniversary celebration. However, Emeriss is here to spoil your WoW Anniversary fun by being a shockingly hard encounter in 2023.

Here's everything you need to know before the great, green nightmare goes into hibernation for another year.

Emeriss, WoW Anniversary, and mushrooms

Located in the Twilight Grove of Duskwood on the Eastern Kingdoms continent, the Emeriss WoW Anniversary fight is fascinating. And by that, I mean frustrating. You see, this encounter--along with all the Dragons of Nightmare--was part of the Ahn'Qiraj reveal patch. What this means is that each dragon fight was designed at a time when Blizzard was still figuring out raid encounters.

This is also to say that this fight is hard as heck, even now. The main issue with the Emeriss fight is that melee players come in at a supreme disadvantage thanks to two things: An AOE sleep spell and exploding mushrooms.

  • Seeping Fog — Conjures moving patches of fog on the ground that inflict Lethargy.
    • Lethargy — Inflicts Nature damage every 1 sec while in contact with Seeping Fog.
    • Lethargy — Stuns the target for 5 seconds. Magic debuff.
  • Putrid Mushroom — Whenever a player dies during the encounter, a Putrid Mushroom instantly spawns on their corpse.
    • Putrid Mushroom — Inflicts Nature damage every second to nearby players. Launches a Putrid Bolt at an enemy every 5 sec.
      • Putrid Bolt — Launches a bolt of vile acid at a target location, inflicting Nature damage to enemies within 5 yards upon impact.

The problem with mushrooms

You can see the issue at work. Getting near Emeriss as a melee player means risking being sleep and stun-locked until you die. Which then creates these mushrooms that nuke the other melee players like Ghandi in a late-stage game of Sid Meier's Civilization. Even today, five years after the introduction of this encounter as an anniversary event, it's still killing raids.

"Blizz mostly needs to tone down the number of sleep puddles on the Nightmare dragons. That is the main problem," said one player on the official WoW forums this week. "There are just too many of them so easy to get sleep/stunlocked for 20 seconds straight until dead."

And here's the kicker: If you die to Emeriss you now get to wait 15 minutes thanks to the following ability:

  • [Mark of Nature] - If players are killed by a nightmare dragon, they will be afflicted by a 15 minute debuff called Mark of Nature. If engaging the dragon during this time, they will be slept for 2 minutes rather than 4 seconds as with the Dream Fog.

Thanks, I hate it.

The Dragons of Nightmare

Something is amiss in the Emerald Dream. Immense dragons with the shimmering emerald scales of the Green Dragonflight have been sighted guarding the portals at the Great Trees... but these once-noble creatures crawl with a new, strange menace, not the peace for which Ysera is known. Bring many allies should you dare to confront them; their powers are formidable and they will not hesitate to crush any who draw near.

WoW Patch 1.8.0 notes

If you played World of Warcraft in the early days then at some point you came across these four giant green portals. Guarded by dragonkin elites and lurking menacingly across the landscape, these portals were a portent of things to come. Introduced in patch 1.8.0--the same patch which starts the War of the Shifting Sands preamble--the Dragons of Nightmare encounters all shared a set of abilities.

And, yes, this includes that lockout mark we mentioned.

This is all to say that the Nightmare Dragons truly represent the unique strangeness of World of Warcraft's early days. A supremely difficult encounter that hit meme status, it now returns to harass new generations of players. So, get out there, go get killed by the Emeriss WoW Anniversary fight, and thank the Titans that Blizzard eventually learned how to make good raid encounters.

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