Yogg-Saron is the final boss encounter of the Ulduar raid dungeon. It is mainly a DPS race, but also requires high situational awareness. Yogg-Saron with no keepers was the hardest boss to defeat in the game before Algalon.
The fight is lighter on healing than Mimiron, one healer per five raid members is enough. Extra DPS reduces raid damage taken.
Entering Yogg-Saron's room immediately starts the encounter. The fight has three phases, engaging Sara and her guardians first, then defeating the Brain of Yogg-Saron and finally his body. 15 minutes after the first raid member enters Sara's room, Yogg-Saron casts Extinguish All Life, which one-shots the raid.
The four Keepers of Ulduar can be activated individually by talking to each prior to the fight. Normal mode means using all four, every lower number of keeper yields an achievement. Three keepers also allows the forging of Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings. Extra loot drops when using at most one Keeper (usually Thorim).
Each Keeper present increases character size and damage done by 10%. On top of that, the Keeper's individual abilities are:
|Keeper||Ability 1||Ability 2|
|Mimiron||ω ϖ—Increases movement speed by 20%.||ω ϖ—Reduces attack speed by 100% and casting speed by 300% for all tentacles.|
|Freya||ω ϖ—Increases healing received from all sources by 20%.||ω ϖ—Freya conjures Sanity Wells (green pillars of light) at the sides of the room, which regenerate Sanity for players standing in them (this is the only method to regain sanity).|
|Thorim||ω ϖ—Increases total health by 20%.||ω ϖ—Periodically kills weakened immortal creatures (this is the only method to kill Immortal Guardians in Phase 3).|
|Hodir||ω ϖ—Reduces damage taken from all sources by 20%.||ω ϖ—Instead of dying, characters get a chance to get encased in ice by Hodir (a 10 second buff which can be clicked away).|
Throughout the encounter, players have a buff stack called "Sanity", which starts at 100.
- ω ϖ—Indicates overall level of Sanity. If Sanity reaches zero, the player becomes Insane. The sanity score persists through death (except when releasing).
- ω ϖ—60 second debuff. Kills its target upon removal or expiration. Yogg-Saron takes control of the target's mind. Increases damage by 100% and health by 300%.
Players with 0 sanity must be killed quickly, and cannot be rezzed.
Phase One: Sara
Sara cannot be attacked directly, and casts the following spells randomly on the raid and the Guardians:
- ω ϖ—Increases a friendly target's damage by 20%, but also increases damage taken by the target by 100%. Lasts 15 sec.
- ω ϖ—Heals a friendly target for 27000 to 33000, but also causes 60000 Shadow damage over 20 sec.
- ω ϖ—Inflicts 12500 Shadow damage every 3 sec, but increases physical damage done by 12000. Lasts 12 sec.
Sara is stationary in the center of the room. The only way to damage her is the AoE damage from dying Guardians (see below). Green-yellow clouds move in a circular pattern through the room (always the same path at the same speed), but they are faster than it seems. When players (not pets or totems) touch a cloud, a Guardian of Yogg-Saron spawns. This must be avoided at all cost. The golden rule of this phase is to immediately stop everything if a cloud comes close, and move away to a safe spot. 5 seconds DPS / Healing lost doesn't matter at all, while an extra Guardian means a substantial increase in difficulty. As with many such rules, it sounds simple, but actually doing it requires high situational awareness from everybody, and leads to many failures.
Guardians also spawn automatically at an increasing rate, starting at about one per 40 seconds, increasing up to one per 10 seconds. Since 8 Guardians have to be killed close to Sara in order to end the phase, it may be practical to cause one (or even two) voluntary extra spawns early in the phase - this reduces the number of Guardians left over at the start of phase 2. It is ok to have 2 Guardians up after the transition, 3 is still possible, 4 is a likely wipe.
Guardians of Yogg-Saron
- 950,000/220,000 HP.
- ω ϖ—When a Guardian dies, it inflicts 25,000 shadow damage to all targets (including Sara and other Guardians) within 15 yards.
- ω ϖ—Inflicts 8500 to 11000 shadow damage to the entire raid. Reduces healing effects by 25%. Lasts 10 seconds. Interruptible.
Shadow Nova is the only way to damage Sara. Eight Guardians have to be killed close to her to start the next phase.
Dark Volley should be interrupted.
The safest method is to have one tank in the center of the room, a small ranged group (3-4 damage dealers plus one healer) within range of that tank and the majority of the raid at the outer edge, near the door, where it's safe from clouds. The offtanks bring Guardians to the raid where they are nuked down to about 25% (don't use DOTs). Then, the offtanks bring the Guardians to the tank near Sara, who taunts them. When the Guardian is close enough to Sara, the small ranged group kills it. It's possible to have the tanks trade places (and not taunt the Guardians). Taunt can be resisted, but is reduces the distance which the tanks have to move through the clouds.
This method is fairly safe, because only the tanks and the dedicated ranged group must dodge clouds. Unfortunately, DPS output is low. For this reason, it's hardly ever used in 10 player or hard modes, but it's normally used by 25 player groups learning the encounter.
The normally used method is to put tanks and melee on top of Sara (tanking and killing Guardians there), while ranged and healers move around the outside. This method increases effective DPS on the Guardians, but requires everyone in the raid to dodge clouds.
Phase Two: Tentacles and the Brain
Quickly kill any remaining Guardians from phase 1.
There are two areas, outside and inside the Mind's Eye (Yogg-Saron's brain). During this phase, Yogg-Saron regularly opens portals to the Mind's Eye. After four portal phases, the spawn rate of the tentacles outside increases substantially. Phase two ends when the Brain of Yogg-Saron's health inside the Mind's Eye hits 30%. Throughout the phase, all raid members not inside should concentrate close together while killing Crusher Tentacles.
Abilities: Crusher Tentacle:
- 2 million/ 400,000 hit points
- ω ϖ—Weakens enemy units in a large area around the caster (50,000 yards), reducing the damage they do by 20%. Channeled. Stacks up to 4 times. Being hit by a melee ability disrupts this cast.
- ω ϖ—Enrages the caster when hit by attacks and spells, increasing attack speed and damage dealt. Stacks up to 99 times. Damage dealt is increased by 3% and attack speed is increased by 3%. Lasts 1 second. Refreshes upon being hit by melee.
- 600,000/100,000 hit points
- ω ϖ— A debuff which inflicts 20,000 Shadow damage after 12 sec. Curse, dispellable.
- ω ϖ—20 second debuff which reduces attack, casting and movement speed by 60%. Magic, dispellable.
- ω ϖ—24 second debuff which periodically stuns for 2 seconds. Disease, dispellable.
- ω ϖ—18 second debuff which causes 3500 Nature damage and drains 1400 Mana every 3 sec. Poison, dispellable.
The tentacles should all be killed as quickly as possible.
- Ranged focus on the Crusher Tentacles
- Melee focus on the Corruptor Tentacles
- Constrictor Tentacles can be ignored until they grab someone, then they can be nuked quickly by a few damage dealers
Everybody capable of doing so must dispel the debuffs from the Corruptor Tentacles. They do not deal melee damage, and should be interrupted and stunned while being killed by melee.
Melee damage dealers should generally stay away from Crushers. One melee damage dealer should carefully hit the Crushers regularly, to disrupt their damage reduction cast (but not too frequently, so they don't gain the damage increase buff).
Constrictor Tentacles randomly pick up players from the raid. Victims may continue to cast, and are freed by killing the tentacle. They do not cancel or prevent Druid ShapeShifting anymore. ( 3.2.2 )
Sara hovers above Yogg-Saron's main body and casts various spells:
- ω ϖ—5000 Shadow damage and reduce Sanity by 12.
- ω ϖ—Link two random players with a beam. Targets take 3000 Shadow damage and lose 2 Sanity per second while they are more than 20 yards apart.
- ω ϖ—4 second debuff. Target takes 5000 Shadow damage, loses 3 Sanity and gets feared. The debuff jumps to another target within 10 yards upon expiration.
- ω ϖ—Slowly moving green beams which deal 20k Nature damage every 0 sec. Malady of the Mind renders players immune to this effect.
She spams Psychosis without pause on random raid members unless she casts something else. The other three abilities each have a 30 second cooldown, and are used randomly when available.
Brain Linked players get a linking beam between them which is red when they are too far apart, and yellow when they are safe. Entering a portal ends Brain Link.
60 seconds into phase 2, and then regularly after 80 seconds (=20 seconds after the preceeding portal phase), Yogg-Saron emotes: "MADNESS WILL CONSUME YOU!" and opens portals into the Mind's Eye (4 for 10 players, 10 for 25). They spawn in equal distances around Yogg-Saron's body. Each portal can be used by only one player, and they despawn after a rather short time. Using all the portals quickly and efficiently is the key to this phase.
Since ranged are more effective outside, mostly melee DPS should enter. In 25 player, one healer should also join. The assigned players should make sure their sanity is high enough. It's a good idea to pre-assign portals, so that players can move to the portal spawn points before they actually appear.
Inside: The Mind's Eye
Abilities: Laughing Skull:
- ω ϖ—Looking into the laughing skull inflicts 1750 Shadow damage and reduces Sanity by 2% every 1 sec.
- 40,000 hit points.
- ω ϖ—All attacks against Influence Tentacles cause 60% of the damage taken to the attacker as well.
Brain of Yogg-Saron
- 6.85/1.3 million HP.
- ω ϖ—Drives all nearby targets insane, reducing Sanity to 0. 60 second cast time.
After the portals are open, Yogg-Saron's brain starts a 60 seconds cast of Induce Madness, which turns everybody in the Mind's Eye insane upon completion.
After passing through the portals, players enter one of three possible illusions. Each of them is a circular room with a door to the brain room right at the spot where players enter. The door is blocked, in order to open it, the Influence Tentacles in the first room need all to be killed. Additionally, laughing skulls float around. Characters looking at one of the skulls are affected by Lunatic Gaze (a purple beam) and lose sanity. To avoid this, players should look towards the outside wall of the room, and strafe. Use the camera controls to look around; don't physically turn your character.
Influence tentacles can be disguised as neutral mobs (e.g. dragons or human guards), they always stand along the outer wall around the room. All attackable mobs in the room are tentacles. Damage dealers should take one quick tour around the room (along the wall), and hit each Influence tentacle once or twice. After moving a full circle, all tentacles should be dead, and players are back at the door.
Killing all influence tentacles has several positive effects: Inside the door to the brain room opens. Outside all tentacles are stunned, Sara stops casting and no additional tentacles spawn until the Induce Madness cast is finished. It's essential to kill the influence tentacles very quickly.
After entering the brain room, players should look for the portal back outside near the rear wall. It's a good idea to stand next to that portal before nuking the brain. When about 5 seconds are left on the Induce Madness cast timer, quickly use it.
Phase Three: The Head of the Beast
- Yogg-Saron starts this phase at 30% of its original HP (=16.5/3.3 million).
- ω ϖ—Looking into the maw of madness unhinges your mind, inflicting 5700 to 6300 Shadow damage and reducing Sanity by 4% every 1 sec. for as long as you are facing the caster.
- ω ϖ—Empowers friendly units within 20 yds. of the target, causing them to regenerate 750,000/225,000 Health over 20 sec.
- ω ϖ—Protects the caster from all attacks and spells.
- ω ϖ—Wipes the raid, cast 15 minutes after the start of phase 1
Heroic 3 Keepers or Less Only:
- ω ϖ—Deals 7600 to 8400 physical damage and silences enemies for 4 seconds. Throw the shattered fragments of Vala'nyr into Yogg-Saron's Maw while he casts this spell then defeat Yogg-Saron to reforge the legendary mace Vala'nyr.
Note: the epic music and voicework that begin when the phase is initiated are worth turning on game sounds at least once.
When phase three starts all tentacles left over from phase 2 remain active. Therefore, no Crushers must be up - some communication is needed, don't kill the brain until all Crushers are dead. A few Corruptor Tentacles can be ignored as long as the debuffs are dispelled.
Phase three ends when Yogg-Saron dies. Yogg-Saron has no aggro list and is unable to move.
Players should stand near near the green pillars if Freya is helping to be able to restore sanity. All healers should face away from Yogg-Saron at all times. The caster camp is best located about 20 yards away from the melee camp. Melee DPS can get knocked back by Yogg-Saron if they run into his body.
Lunatic Gaze is used every 12 seconds, it creates purple beams between Yogg-Saron and the players facing it. Healers should turn away the whole time, tanks and DPS should get into the habit to regularly turn away.
Yogg-Saron spawns (and heals) increasing numbers of Immortal Guardians, which eventually kills the raid. Ranged DPS should focus on Yogg through the whole phase, while melee and tanks deal with the Guardians. Melee may require help from ranged on the Guardians.
If the raid is using three or fewer Keepers in 25 player mode Yogg-Saron emotes, "Yogg-Saron opens his mouth wide!" while casting Deafening Roar (about once per minute). This is the cue to throw the into Yogg-Saron's maw to recover the upon his defeat. Deafening Roar is best dealt with by Holy Paladins rotating Aura Mastery with Concentration Aura up.
- 500,000/100,000 HP.
- Melee for ~20-25k on plate at start with a full empowered stack
- ω ϖ—Transfers 3,333 health per second from a random player to the Immortal Guardian for 5 seconds. Heals the Immortal Guardian for 33,330 per second.
- ω ϖ—Empowers an Immortal Guardian, increasing the damage it deals when its health value is high. Damage increased by 180% per stack. Begins at 9 stacks. Every 10% HP the Immortal Guardian loses/gains will remove/add a stack.
- ω ϖ—The Immortal Guardian becomes a beacon for Yogg-Saron's Empowering Shadows. It will receive the buff after 10 seconds.
- Immortal - Immortal Guardians cannot be slain except by Titanic Storm while at 1% HP.
Yogg-Saron spawns Immortal Guardians every 10–15 seconds. These have to be picked up by the tanks and DPSed down quickly. At full health, they hit a well geared tank for 25k, when their health deceases, so does their damage output.
Immortal Guardians can only be killed if Thorim is helping. Without him, they need to be tanked through the whole phase. Every 45 seconds, Yogg-Saron marks one or more Guardians with Shadow Beacons. 10 seconds later, it launches shadow missiles at the marked Guardians. Upon impact, the missiles explode and give the Empowering Shadows buff to all Guardians and Yogg-Saron within 20 yards. This means that at the moment when the missiles are launched, all marked Guardians must be 20 yards away from Yogg-Saron, else it gets healed. The healing Guardians receive can be reduced by a rogue with Wound Poison and Fan of Knives.
To keep the Guardians at low health (and thus at low damage output), they should be tanked in a tight group near Yogg-Saron, so that one or two ranged DPS can AoE the Guardians and Yogg-Saron. When the Guardians get beacons, they must be quickly dragged away until the missiles explode, then they can be brought back.
- Phase One
- Sara yells: The time to strike at the head of the beast will soon be upon us! Focus your anger and hatred on his minions!
- Sara yells: Yes! YES! Show them no mercy! Give no pause to your attacks!
- Sara yells: Let hatred and rage guide your blows!
- Killing a player
- Sara yells: Could they have been saved?
- Sara yells: Powerless to act...
- Phase One wipe
- Voice of Yogg-Saron whispers: Weak-minded fools!
- Phase Two Intro
- Sara yells: I am the lucid dream.
- Sara yells: The monster in your nightmares.
- Sara yells: The fiend of a thousand faces.
- Sara yells: Cower before my true form.
- Yogg-Saron yells: BOW DOWN BEFORE THE GOD OF DEATH!
- Phase Two
- Sara yells: Tremble, mortals, before the coming of the end!
- Sara yells: Suffocate upon your own hate!
- Whispers to insane players
- Voice of Yogg-Saron whispers: Your will is no longer your own...
- Voice of Yogg-Saron whispers: Destroy them minion, your master commands it!
- Creating a vision
- Yogg-Saron yells: MADNESS WILL CONSUME YOU!
- The Tortured Champion vision:
- The Lich King says: Your resilience is admirable.
- Immolated Champion yells: Arrrrrrgh!
- Immolated Champion says: I'm not afraid of you!
- The Lich King says: I will break you as I broke him.
- Yogg-Saron says: Yrr n'lyeth... shuul anagg!
- Yogg-Saron says: He will learn... no king rules forever; only death is eternal!
- The Forging of the Demon Soul vision:
- Neltharion says: It is done... All have been given that which must be given. I now seal the Dragon Soul forever...
- Ysera says: That terrible glow... should that be?
- Neltharion says: For it to be as it must, yes.
- Malygos says: It is a weapon like no other. It must be like no other.
- Yogg-Saron says: His brood learned their lesson before too long, you shall soon learn yours!
- The Assassination of King Llane vision:
- Garona Halforcen says: Bad news sire. The clans are united under Blackhand in this assault. They will stand together until Stormwind has fallen.
- Garona Halforcen says: Gul'dan is bringing up his warlocks by nightfall. Until then, the Blackrock clan will be trying to take the Eastern Wall.
- Yogg-Saron says: A thousand deaths... or one murder.
- King Llane says: We will hold until the reinforcements come. As long as men with stout hearts are manning the walls and throne Stormwind will hold.
- Garona Halforcen says: The orc leaders agree with your assessment.
- Yogg-Saron says: Your petty quarrels only make me stronger!
- Phase Three
- Yogg-Saron yell: Look upon the true face of death and know that your end comes soon!
- Casting Lunatic Gaze
- Yogg-Saron yell: Hoohehehahahaha... AHAHAHAHAHAHA!
- Deafening Roar
- Yogg-Saron yell: Eternal suffering awaits!
- Your fate is sealed. The end of days is finally upon you and ALL who inhabit this miserable little seedling. Uulwi ifis halahs gag erh'ongg w'ssh.
The following achievements are for the encounter's hard mode.
The following achievement is given to the first raid group on a realm to defeat Yogg-Saron on Heroic difficulty without the help of any keepers.
10-man Hard mode encounter
25-man Hard mode encounter
Yogg-Saron with game sounds and voiceovers
- is considered by many to be the most complicated and difficult encounter currently in the instance, more difficult even than and Algalon the Observer, though the one hour timer on Algalon means that raids will have much more time to work on Alone in the Darkness.
- 2009-04-16: was first completed by Ensidia.
- 2009-04-28: was first completed by Irae AoD using Thorim as the only Keeper up.
- 2009-05-18: was first completed by Ensidia.
- 2009-07-07: was first earned by the guild Stars.
- Patch 3.2.0 (04-Aug-2009):
- Players can now use Blink, Shadowstep, and Demonic Teleport while participating in the illusion events in the Yogg-Saron encounter.
- Ominous Clouds in the Yogg-Saron encounter are now more vocal about touching players and should no longer sometimes appear to be in the wrong place for certain players.
- An Immortal Guardian targeted for Empowering Shadows in the Yogg-Saron encounter will now become a 'Marked Immortal Guardian' while targeted.
- Crusher Tentacles in the Yogg-Saron encounter spawn a little slower in 25-player mode allowing a bit more time for players to clear out the Illusion room.
- Empowering Shadows in the Yogg-Saron encounter now targets a maximum of three Immortal Guardians in 25-player mode.
- Yogg-Saron's health has been reduced by 20% in the final stage of his 25-player mode.
- Hotfix (2009-07-02): "We've made one additional change to a specific element of the Yogg-Saron fight. Since the fight went live, there has been a hidden protection for players that prevents the casting of Psychosis and Malady of the Mind on targets with less than 30 Sanity. However, because Malady of the Mind has a slow missile speed and the hidden protection could take a second or two to apply, it was quite possible for the 30 sanity targeting threshold to be breached by these two random unavoidable effects.
To try to address this we're raising the threshold to 40 sanity, and increasing the missile speed of Malady of the Mind. Note that the spells are still being cast just as often, so the net sanity loss to the raid will still be the same. This hotfix just evens out the random targeting of the spells across the raid. Also note that the threshold is for targeting purposes of those two spells only, and this fix means Psychosis or Malady of the Mind can still bring you below 40 sanity. If you have 41 sanity, you're a valid target and can then be brought to 32 sanity by a casting of Psychosis on you."
- Hotfix (2009-06-30): "Immortal Guardians are now able to target players in the "illusion room" of Yogg-Saron with their summoning ability."
- Hotfix (2009-06-30): "We're also in the process of deploying a hotfix for an issue with Immortal Guardians that could cause them to pause their movement before reaching melee range. This fix will also prevent the Immortal Guardian from running away if their target is stunned."
- Hotfix (2009-06-17): "Once the Yogg-Saron encounter is started players outside of Yogg-Saron's area will begin to go Insane, after 15 seconds."
- Hotfix (2009-06-15): "Focus Anger, on Yogg-Saron’s Crusher tentacles, will no longer result from pet attacks."
- Hotfix (2009-06-11): "The Yogg-Saron encounter has received the following changes: Death Ray no longer hits players who are under the effect of Malady of the Mind, Guardians of Yogg-Saron no longer use Dominate Mind, the spawn rate of Guardians of Yogg-Saron is more forgiving, and these Guardians will no longer spawn if a player that is protected by Hodir's Flash Freeze hits an Ominous Cloud."
- Hotfix (2009-06-01): "The tentacle creatures and floating skulls in Yogg Saron’s brain rooms should now load faster."
- Hotfix (2009-05-14): "In the Yogg Saron encounter, Paladin Judgement spells will no longer cause Diminish Power from Crusher Tentacles to cease channeling."
- Hotfix (2009-04-21): "The Yogg-Saron encounter has received the following changes: Guardians of Yogg-Saron in phase 1 and Immortal Guardians in phase 3 have had their health reduced by 15% in heroic mode, the Destabilization Matrix cast by Mimiron will now correctly hinder the casting speed of Crusher Tentacles in both normal and heroic modes."
- Patch 3.1.0 (14-Apr-2009): Added.
- ^ [~ttp://www.wowprogress.com/achievement/2893 The Descent into Madness (H)]. WoWProgress. Retrieved on 2009-07-09.
- ^ [~ttp://www.wowprogress.com/achievement/3163 One Light in the Darkness (H)]. WoWProgress. Retrieved on 2009-07-09.
- ^ Boubouille 2009-07-07. Yogg +0 World First Kill by Stars. Retrieved on 2009-07-07.