Things are getting quiet in the World of Warcraft. Guild chat is quieter, forum conversations are rarer. Bloggers, Lathere and I included, are posting less frequently.
This is the perfect time, at the end of one expansion, to reflect upon that expansion and perhaps even start thinking about the next. One of the questions I found myself considering was:
If you had a fresh group of level 80s ready to raid now, what path of progression would you take them on in order to clear every single Wrath of the Lich King boss?
Someone new to raiding in World of Warcraft might assume that the answer is straightforward: clear all the Tier 7 bosses, then clear all the Tier 8 bosses and so forth. But how many guilds remained in Ulduar when Trial of the Crusader was released trying to finish off those last few bosses? They couldn’t know that the new bosses would be easier.
So this is my list. The easiest to the most difficult bosses to kill.
I’m not comparing purely the encounter difficulty because I’m not disregarding gear requirements. I would consider that a super easy boss to kill in Icecrown Citadel is more difficult than completing a more complicated fight in Naxxramas because you need good enough gear to make it easy.
I am ignoring instance sequence: imagine that all the bosses are accessible just by zoning in. I’m also ignoring hard mode options just to try and keep the list short. Maybe that’s a list for another day.
Coloured by loot rewards so you can see which bosses are significantly easier/harder than their contemporaries:
- Tier 7 (Naxxramas and equivalent): Poison slime green
- Tier 8 (Ulduar and equivalent): Titan gold
- Tier 9 (Trial of the Crusader and equivalent): This place has never been cleaned orange-brown
- Tier 10 (Icecrown Citadel and equivalent): Frosty blue
The 52 Bosses of Wrath of the Lich King
Starting with the easiest…
1 Noth the Plaguebringer Naxxramas Plague Quarter
Want to make life more interesting for DPS? Give us multiple targets and make us think about what we should be attacking. Noth just disappears when it’s time to switch targets. No thinking required.
2 Grand Widow Faerlina Naxxramas Arachnid Quarter
3 Archavon the Stone Watcher Vault of Archavon
Assuming your entire raid doesn’t stand in his dirt cloud Archavon is super easy to defeat. And you’re not even expected to have decent PVE gear when you kill him either.
4 Anub’Rekhan Naxxramas Arachnid Quarter
The Spider wing is usually the first one approached by new guilds and PuGs but Anub’Rekhan requires more knowledge and planning to defeat than the bosses above.
5 Maexxna Naxxramas Arachnid Quarter
The last boss in the Spider wing had only one difficult bit: that 5 second gap when all the healers are wrapped up tight and can’t heal, while the tank took a beating during the final enrage. Turns out that tanks make good sacrifices.
6 Lotheb Naxxramas Plague Quarter
The last boss in the Plague wing was defeated by two players on 25 man mode not long after Wrath of the Lich King was released. This fight was all about when to heal and when to wait. Oh yeah. And stealing spores!
7 Sartharion Obsidian Sanctum
Remember, I’m not factoring in hard modes in this list. Sartharion + 0 Drakes was really, really, really easy. Especially on 25 man setting.
8 Gluth Naxxramas Construct Quarter
My least favourite boss of all time. Listening to Hunters argue about how they shouldn’t be expected to kite gets old really fast.
9 Patchwerk Naxxramas Construct Quarter
Surprised that I didn’t put Patchwerk up as the #1 easiest boss? That’s because I healed this wearing blues on a Restoration Shaman before they doubled the Mp5 quota on gear. It was hard.
10 Heigan the Unclean Naxxramas Plague Quarter
The safety dance man himself! Easy once you have the timing down and practice, difficult for first timers.
11 Flame Leviathan Ulduar
I know that vehicles scale with gear but I’m pretty sure driving in the near vicinity of Flame Leviathan is enough to kill him. Facerolled by PuGs every week since the day Ulduar was released. I think this boss/golf caddy deserves to be considered easier than Instructor Raz (a raid weekly that PuGs sometimes fail).
12 Grobbulous Naxxramas Construct Quarter
I really like the flower shapes you can make when you drop Mutating Injection in just the right spot. Like a daisy chain. Very pretty.
13 Instructor Razuvious Naxxramas Military Quarter
If I had compiled this list before the advent of the Raid Weekly Quest I would have placed Instructor Razuvious higher up the list as a much easier fight. Unfortunately PuGs really mangle this encounter which makes me think it’s difficult without experience.
14 Gothik the Harvester Naxxramas Military Quarter
One of my personal pet peeves: bosses that are un-attackable for 15 or more seconds. Just enough time for me to start up my DPS rotation; just enough time for all my DoTs and stacks of Shadow Weaving to expire. I did enjoy watching the Warlocks drain all Gothik’s mana while he stood there on his balcony and did nothing. Very amusing.
15 Thaddius Naxxramas Construct Quarter
Did you earn the achievement Shocking!? Yeah, me neither. Friendly fire FTL.
16 Sapphiron Naxxramas Frost Wing
Cool – a dragon!
17 The Four Horsemen Naxxramas Military Quarter
A complicated scenario requiring a hell of a lot of raid coordination to defeat it. I loved this fight, even when I was confused. One of the best in the entire expansion, if anything in New Naxxramas (flown in from EPL) can qualify for that title.
18 Kel’Thuzad Naxxramas Frost Wing
As the last boss in Naxxramas, Kel’Thuzad was actually suitably difficult compared to the bosses that came before. Shame that the fight was drawn out so long by a totally pointless adds phase at the start.
19 Malygos The Eye of Eternity
I think the idea was that raiders would be well versed in dragon riding by completing Aces High! every day. Shame, I really love this fight even though it’s impossible to find groups for it. Double stacks of a damage buff? Oh yes please!
20 Kologarn Ulduar
I feel like a fraud putting this boss in so early: I still don’t really understand what happens when you kill each of his arms and when you’re meant to do it. Stay out of his eye beam lasers and win without trying.
21 Razorscale Ulduar
Not much to say about Razorscale except it’s a fairly enjoyable fight – typical fare in Ulduar. Kill some adds, stay out of fire and kill the giant dragon when he lands.
22 The Assembly of Iron Ulduar
Kill the biggest dude and then kill the next biggest dude and then kill the little dude. Obviously the biggest dude in the room is the greatest threat right? Cliched perhaps, but in this case it’s definitely true.
23 XT-002 Deconstructor Ulduar
Before he was a vanity pet, XT-002 was a robot that behaved like a spoiled little boy. This fight was pretty fun – unless you were responsible for running around the room taking out bomb bots. Make sure you check out his remix.
24 Ignis the Furnace Master Ulduar
I think Ignis was intended to be quite a challenge: with tanks assigned to kite adds from flame into water and then a damage dealer chiming in at just the right moment to kill them. However in my guild, and in most PuGs, he felt a lot more like a tank’n’spank with an avoidable spell interrupt. /yawn.
25 Koralon the Flame Watcher Vault of Archavon
Don’t stand in fire. That is all. Oh yeah, don’t take too long either – you could argue this guy is a bit of a DPS check. That said he was created for people wearing PVP gear so I wouldn’t get too concerned. I’d like to say that Koralon is the easiest Tier 9 boss, but he’s up against a real face-roll contender.
26 Emalon the Storm Watcher Vault of Archavon
Remember how I said target switching was difficult for DPS? Now add in a time limit, DPS quota and the possibility of switching to the complete wrong add and you’ll see some raid wipes. I’ve seen PuGs kill Koralon for Tier 9 drops and then wipe on Emalon for Tier 8 gear.
27 Auriaya Ulduar
Crazy, crazy cat lady indeed.
28 Thorim Ulduar
The easiest of the four Keepers in Ulduar – the goal being to beat the crap out of each Keeper to turn them into your friend. All four Keepers (Thorim, Hodir, Freya and Mimiron) are a step up in difficulty from the bosses that precede them in Ulduar. And being part of the Thorim gauntlet team was hell fun.
29 Hodir Ulduar
A friend tried to explain the fight to me from their experience on the PTR “these giant ice storms come in and you have to get the fuck out of the way, because they moment the ice drops and forms a snow pile you have run on top of it. If you stand under the ice, you die. If you are too far away to reach a snow pile, you die. If you don’t get on the snow pile, you die.” Hodir lets DPS really enjoy themselves – bring me that Storm Cloud and no, I’m not leaving this Toasty Fire.
30 Freya Ulduar
I don’t really remember much about Freya. Only that there was at least one or two accidental pulls while a raid member herbed the hell out of her little garden zone instead of helping the rest of the raid.
31 General Vezax Ulduar
You don’t know how much you take mana regeneration for granted until it is taken away from you. This fight also featured the first evil green and black pools of death that really were beneficial to stand in. Just don’t stand in them too long.
32 Lord Jaraxxus Trial of the Crusader
Spread out and enjoy the soundtrack. Easiest boss in Trial of the Crusader for sure. Let the death of Wilfred Fizzlebang be a lesson to all Gnome Warlocks: do as you’re told.
33 Onyxia Onyxia’s Lair
It’s possible to wipe on Onyxia. As long as someone is tanking the whelps and you have a couple Tremor Totems I think you’ll be fine. AoE it up!
34 Northrend Beasts Trial of the Crusader
35 Twin Val’kyr Trial of the Crusader
What can I say about the Twins? Hmmm a fight where individual raid members need to watch their own debuffs and react accordingly. The people who die during Twin Val’kyr are probably the same people who stopped you from earning Shocking! when you fought Thaddius.
36 Faction Champions Trial of the Crusader
The fake PVP encounter. It might be fake, but I think it still exposes those members of your raid group who wouldn’t last 5 minutes in an actual battleground too. No, you can’t tank the Rogue.
37 Anub’arak Trial of the Crusader
Yep, the last boss in Trial of the Crusader was easier to deal with than a couple of Ulduar bosses (below). The burrow phase was kind of scary and exhilarating as those spikes chased you down faster and faster: shink shink shink shi- sh- dead.
38 Mimiron Ulduar
A complicated fight. Lots of fire, rockets and stuff-to-avoid. Mimiron is actually a tiny, crazy little gnome dude. With a small stature inferiority complex. So to “kill” Mimiron you actually have to kill the giant robot body that he has built for himself. First you kill all the pieces, then you kill them all again, at the exact same time. Props to Blizzard for giving us casters another opportunity to range tank!
39 Gunship Battle Icecrown Citadel The Lower Spire
You know a fight is pretty easy when PuGs on your server swap to heroic mode just for this one fight. And it’s still pretty easy.
40 Yogg-Saron Ulduar
The final boss in Ulduar. And man, he was a tough one. I think Kae’s illustrated guide at Dreambound sums it up quite well. A lot of guilds couldn’t quite finish this guy off before Trial of the Crusader was released.
41 Lord Morrowgar Icecrown Citadel The Lower Spire
Turn off your sound for this one, Morrowgar’s jokes are terrible. There’s lots and lots of blue fire to avoid in this fight. Which would be impressive if not for one thing: you can just stand right inside Morrowgar’s hit box and ignore it completely. The trash to Morrowgar is harder to kill than Morrowgar himself.
42 Festergut Icecrown Citadel Plagueworks
Festergut is responsible for the most boring strategy videos released in Wrath of the Lich King. Just combine Patchwerk with Loaethb’s spores and you get a DPS race requiring a small amount of healing skill.
43 Toravon the Ice Watcher Vault of Archavon
A fight that favours melee. As long as you have some casters willing to dedicate their time in service to killing Frozen Orbs you’ll win. If you wipe, those same casters will be blamed. This was actually quite hard when Toravon was first introduced to VoA. But we all know what happens to bosses when they get too hard, don’t we? They get nerfed.
44 Lady Deathwhisper Icecrown Citadel The Lower Spire
Definitely more bark than bite (she does talk a lot). Her friends are much more difficult to get rid of and at any given time damage dealers can only kill half the adds running around: only casters can kill Fanatics and only melee/hunters can kill Adherents.
45 Deathbringer Saurfang Icecrown Citadel The Lower Spire
Saurfang has to be the most misleading fight in Icecrown Citadel: new players would be forgiven for thinking that it’s a fight set to test their healers’ ability, more experienced players would call it a DPS race and the truth is it’s actually both of those things combined with some well coordinated Blood Beast control/killing.
46 Rotface Icecrown Citadel The Plagueworks
Yet another boss that favours melee. Now us casters just pretend that we are melee. In Cataclysm I expect to see my mana bar start out empty and fill with combo points/rage as I DPS. It will always be blue though. It’s the colour of the resource system that counts, don’t you know?
47 Valithria Dreamwalker Icecrown Citadel The Frostwing Halls
Dreamwalker was billed as The Healing Boss of Icecrown Citadel: the boss that’s meant to make healing more fun! It’s true, that first night we all ran around in circles while the healers debated who should take the portals and whether Unending Breath was superior to Crusader Aura and basically called the shots. Now we just force all our Paladins to switch to Holy, all our hybrid casters to dump their mana bar with offspec heals, and zerg it. I still run around in circles doing nothing convinced that – just as long as our Holy Paladins don’t lose their “stacks” – we’d still succeed.
48 Blood Prince Council Icecrown Citadel The Crimson Hall
If you play with Deadly Boss Mods or a similar mod that tells you where to go using a big floating arrow be prepared to get confused. You’ll can be alternatively told to run away from a Shock Vortex and run towards an Conjured Flame orb – and you can bet that the orb is heading right into the vortex. But if you stand in a corner and /dance for several minutes (like I ususally do) nobody yells at you over Vent.
49 Blood Queen Lana’thel Icecrown Citadel The Crimson Hall
At one time in the distant past I thought Blood Queen was all about spreading the vampiric DPS love by biting fellow players. Now I know the real secret to success is learning where the other 24 players in your raid like to stand at any given moment of the fight. And the strategic use of Fear Ward and Every Man for Himself. Go go Human Priests!
50 Professor Putricide Icecrown Citadel The Plagueworks
This is a truly difficult fight and props to players who have defeated it: especially those who did so when you only had 10 attempts per week. Like a pendulum you’ll go from killing a slime on one side of the room to killing a red slime – “gas cloud” whatever – on the other side of the room. If you get a good spot you won’t even have to move til the very end.
51 Sindragosa Icecrown Citadel The Frostwing Halls
Sindragosa says it herself: “Suffer mortals, as your pathetic magic betrays you!”. Unchained Magic is quite likely the single boss ability in Icecrown that will have your healers threatening to rage quit. Healers secretly love the Lich King’s Defile simply because anything is better than getting Unchained Magic 3 to 5 times in a row.
52 The Lich King Icecrown Citadel Frozen Throne
The boss of the expansion and he lives up to his reputation. I believe he is the most difficult boss on the list. His signature moves: Defile, Harvest Soul, Remorseless Winter and Necrotic Plague are pretty horrifying. If you’re struggling to move beyond 11/12 ICC start praying that it’s the players with low latency that are targeted by Defile. Or simply replace all your DPS with Mages and Warlocks and hax your way to victory.
Would you rank them differently? Does your guild have old bosses that were never completed or killed when the new raid instance was released? Which bosses?