Will Ruby Sanctum Compare To Wrath’s Best Bosses?


I’m one of these weird people who doesn’t read up on content before it’s released. I like a surprise. So the Ruby Sanctum’s got me thinking: is it going to be a patch on my favourite bosses from Wrath? What are my favourite bosses?

After all, I am looking forward to the Sanctum. In about the same way one might look forward to a shopping centre opening up nearby.

I’m vaguely aware it’ll open sometime in the near future and when it does I’ll probably make plans to go trundle round it immediately. But I’m expecting it to be just like any other local Sanctum/raid shopping centre. There’ll be modern lighting trying to hide the fact that the decor is all too familiar. The staff will breath smoke at you as soon as look at you, and their uniforms will look like they’ve been stolen from another shopping centre and dyed a different colour. Oh, and the wares will be updates of last month’s fashion, alluring only inasmuch as being on buy-one-get-one-free and so must be good offers.

The Sanctum’s got a lot to live up to compared to my favourite bosses in Wrath – let me show you.

5. Thaddius. For those who met him when TBC wasn’t yet a distant memory, Thaddius was a well-timed and comforting reassurance that it wasn’t all Big Change. That some fight mechanics had been passed down through the expansion; Mechano Lord Capacitus’ polarity charges could be a fun challenge back in TBC days and here they were again. Better yet, with a twist that put an emphasis on teamwork and introduced raiders to the idea that no, bosses now really do have that much health – and by the way: if you get it wrong you kill your group. Besides, it’s a good sign for a fight mechanic when PUGers regularly spend half a raid session arguing that their nigh-identical method of doing it is better. I was grateful that this wasn’t one of the many tactics dragged out time and again through Wrath – it gave me memories of a unique fight in Naxx.

4. Sapphiron. Bones rising from the floor to amass into a huge nitwibble-off dragon in your way. What better start to showing players the shape of future mechanics? Sapphiron was a really well constructed fight, and well placed within Naxx’s structure. He effectively compiled individual basics which raiders had encountered in earlier bosses in Naxx. Tactics such as moving to the correct place when targeted, a’la Grobbulus, or moving out of the nasty AoE, like Anub’s Insect Swarm. Back when it was a new encounter, moving around – for a long, endurance fight – was quite refreshing to me. I also have fond memories attached to Sapphiron: the first time my guild raided was at our first HerdMoot when we headed into Naxx. It was Sapphiron we found ourselves wiping on at 5 AM.

3. Mimiron. When we hit Mimiron he had a reputation which preceded him, and he didn’t let us down. He was the first four-phase fight in Wrath in which everyone had multiple roles, or at least different tasks to do. He also shared the responsibilities out a bit more evenly. Suddenly tanks had different things to tank at different times. Melee had responsibility past stabbing and kicking things. For many raid groups, he gave a ranged DPS the chance to prove that they’re not all paper (so long as they have a good healer behind them). And for us healers, he gave us the chance to prove we can be flexible. For better or worse, Mimiron was one of the first fights in which healing on the run with twitch-reflexes was showcased. Its originality made it fun.

2. Valithria. I’d not considered as a healer that I rarely had a direct combat role with a boss, nor how this affected my fulfilment as a raider. I’m a healer – therefore my fulfilment should come from making sure other people stay alive so they can do the dirty work, right? So I thought. Until my healers and I were lumped with the responsibility of dealing with Valithria’s health – even if that was to make it go up rather than down. It’s a long deserved fight mechanic and is balanced perfectly: no-one feels left out, as the tanks and DPS have an increasingly manic (and as I understand it, fun) time of keeping the adds in control, and the healer roles are not only varied but accessible for any healing class.

1. Yogg Saron. Tentacles. Many-eyed blob in the floor. Sanity loss. Need I say more? This is the most unique fight in WoW. Yes, in terms of fight mechanics, it’s a “this is your final test, what have you learnt up to now?” There were fires clouds to not stand in, there were adds to control in a certain way, there were target priorities for DPS. But it didn’t feel like a final test: every wipe felt like a few minutes of unbridled, chaotic fun. Even going into the brain room and coming out before going mad, while a ‘do this before X time’ mechanic, wasn’t as annoying if someone failed; it was almost funny for people to miss the chance to come out of the brain room and so go mad. No other fight has had my Herd raiding to the sound of “Tentacles!” and “If I were a Deep One“. A pure stroke of genius to incorporate Cthulhu mythos into WoW without it feeling forced or misplaced.


My main metric here was how much fun I had in a fight, regardless of how long it took to best. But most of these also did something unique or at least were the first of their type. The Ruby Sanctum has a tall order. We’ll see! Perhaps I’ll have a pleasant surprise when I’m panicking that the fire’s getting away and I should be standing in it or be lost in time and space.

I am amused that those bosses aren’t a fair representation of all of Wrath – I’ve left the bosses from Trial of the Crusader out in the cold, and there they can stay. While I was whittling this list down I was also compiling a list of the worst bosses. I have a feeling those will be harder to choose between … though I certainly know which luridly-lit fight tops that list. Perhaps I’ll share that list at a future date!

What do you think? What fights in Wrath have you particularly enjoyed – and why? They don’t have to be raid bosses, any encounter you remember having fun whilst redecorating the walls with your character’s innards – let us know. Do you agree with my choices – or are you sitting there asking why on earth anyone enjoyed Mimiron? Which encounters would you like to see a variant of in Catacylsm?

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twitter feed here.

Article image originally by hawk684 @ Flickr

20 thoughts on “Will Ruby Sanctum Compare To Wrath’s Best Bosses?”

  1. Tried it on the PTR. All I can say is this is not your ordinary sanctum. Fight is a lot more hectic than people think, at least from a healers standpoint there is a lot of things to watch. Some of the encounter is reminiscent of other’s we’ve had but then again what fight isn’t these days?

    My top Five boss fights in all of wow so far (in no particular order).

    Nefarian: Hated and loved that fight. So much going on and just awesome to coordinate so many people to take him down

    Sarth+3D: When it was THE end game premier content, it was a great encounter. Required a lot of planning and movement and when it was done you felt pretty good about it.

    C’thun: Any boss that had a component where you had to fight from inside their belly was ok in my book. Fun fight too.

    General Drakkisath from UBRS: Back in the day when it was a raid group to complete it, hunters had the best job in the world. To kite the boss while the adds were dealt with. I was playing a hunter at the time and I LOVED every time I got picked to kite.

    Valithria: Healers get the lime light here. Hearing my healers delight at this encounter, and how fun it is made it a great encounter for me.

  2. I’ll have to say, my favorite fight is actually Heigan… yeah, that guy can be a pain for some, especially with latency. But… you can dance if you want to!

    Seriously, even though it’s tough, it was great to get that Safety Dance achieve pop when the whole raid finally figured out how to do the damn thing.
    .-= Cassieo´s last blog ..Mastering Masochism: Top Ten Tips for New Tanks =-.

  3. “..or are you sitting there asking why on earth anyone enjoyed Mimiron?”

    Actually I’m sitting here asking why on earth anyone enjoyed Valithria. 🙂

    I’m a healer.. but to me, that wasn’t a healer fight. That was a tank and dps fight. The healing mechanic, I felt, was purely a gimmick. The true fight was (a) can the tanks pick up the spawning adds before they one-shot a healer or dps?, and (b) can the dps burn down the aoe adds before they kill everyone? Combine that with an enormous room to spread the raid out over, and I found it to be possibly the least fun fight Blizzard have ever designed: certainly by far the least fun fight in WotLK.

    Your other picks are pretty good though! I’d give honourable mentions to Sarth and Putricide.
    .-= Carson´s last blog ..How quickly is it OK to judge an MMORPG? =-.

  4. I do wonder how much of a part nostalgia and cinematics play, Sapphiron and Rag aren’t really particularly amazing fights but both had epic entrances and typically rank high in the favourite boss lists.

    Entrance aside Sapph isn’t actually a partcilarly amazing fight, Sindra contains pretty much the same elements and is (currently) more fun. Adding Sapph’s Blizzard spell to Sindra would be interesting.

    As a dps I think Valithria is one of the most boring fights ever, it only starts getting interesting if the healers are taking too long to do their part and a wipe is imminant.

    3) Putricide
    2) Mimiron (Hard Mode)
    1) Yogg

  5. While I have been out of the game for too long to have a real opinion past HM Ulduar, I do love talking about my favorite fights.

    So, having not fought Valithria, my favorites in all of WoW:

    -Sarth-3D for sure. A fight that scaled in a natural way, allowing great entry level content then slowly getting harder till it reached it’s full glory of chaos. The waves being some of the most fun ‘don’t stand in the fire’ ever released imo. The rush when each drake entered and the need for every ability we had on our bars atm. Great.

    -Kalecgos: Something about this fight and it’s use of groups made it a joy for me every week when SWP was king. Most ‘group’ fights require one group to go somewhere special or do something special (Yogg, Sarth 3D, C’Thun, the council fights to a lesser extent) but Kalecgos required every single raid member to participate in all the roles while being very nicely balanced. Loved it.

    -Lady Vashj: (I have not done the LK fight, so maybe he could take this spot, though from what I hear LK has a different approach to difficulty) Many of you prob hated Vashj… but for me she is the best, and maybe last, example of a fight were everyone had a job, every job was completely essential, each job was unique, and the fight was more than just “burn this! now that! back to this! oh, dont die to X,Y,Z!” More actual raid cordination then any other fight I ever did. Awesome.

    -Agreed on Mimiron, particularly Firefighter.

    -Tie between Sapphiron for all the reasons above, and Nightbane in Kara! Maybe if I fought Nightbane now, having done all the raids I have done, he would be nothing special. His mechanics are nothing crazy, he has no fancy gimmic, but back in the day, before arena epics, before badge gear, when Kara and t4 was still all the raid content most people got to see, Nightbane was Epic! He required an extra key, he flew in from the dark reaches of the night, and he had no strat like the prince hide in the door strat. You just had to get through it. Good memories.

    Sorry… way to long… and no spell check… 🙁

  6. I see a lot of people quoting end bosses and the hardest hard modes here which mostly brought me weeks of frustration so for pure fun and not just a lot of wipes with eventual relief.

    Flame Leviathan – who cares if you’re a healer let’s demolish something, Patchwerk – Watching raid buffed DPS try everything they can to top the meters vs the only combat dummy raid boss.
    Loatheb – I’m a holy priest, how much healing can I squeeze into 3 seconds? Quite a lot more than any other healer actually! Can I fill the rest of the time with useful DPS? sure!

  7. The difference between Sapphiron and Sindragosa, for me, is the way the difficulty ramps up.

    With Sapphy, you’ve got to get the mechanic of the fight, and that’s it. You’ll have a bunch of one- or two- minute wipes, and eventually enough people will learn where the fakk to stand to get it.

    With Sindragosa, the first two phases are trivial, and your ICC raid will learn them in half a dozen goes. And those phases take 5 or 6 minutes.

    The third phase … is the third phase. We took three weeks to get past it. And that’s three weeks of repeatedly having to do by now mind-numbingly easy phases again and again and again in order to wipe in a minute and a half on Sindy. That meant tthat fighting Sindragosa divided the evening up into phases as follows:

    6 min: mind-numbing content you’ve done 45 times perfectly before.
    90 seconds: Frantic charging around that would be fun if you weren’t worried about having to repeat this cycle.
    5 min: Wipe recovery.

    Repeat. 90 seconds of fun every 13 minutes. (or more – this doesn’t count the one-in-five times where you’ll screw up Phases 1 and 2 due to being so bored and frustrated you’ve just thrown your monitor out of the window) And that fun tempered by the fact that if your raid doesn’t Get It Right This Time, you’ll have to do the frustratingly tedious bit AGAIN.

    Screw. That.

  8. Valrithia is a really odd choice. I don’t like fights that encourage raid stacking, and that fight is insane for it. The best group possible for that fight is one holy priest, one resto shaman and the rest holy paladins: you’ll win before the first set of suppressors spawn.

    You’re number one pick of Yogg is totally right though. That is the best fight ever in WoW. I think it’s too bad they decided to give up on multi-step hardmodes after Ulduar. It allowed them to make an incredibly complex and fun fight, and to make the hardest mode nearly impossible to satisfy the world-first chasers.

    And I also agree to leave out ToC completely. Anub is almost a great fight, but the fact both a mortal strike debuff and a tank with a shield are required sort of ruins it for me.

  9. @Malchome – interesting choice. Whenever I bring FC up it seems to be one of those fights people either love or hate. What makes you like it?

    @Lodur – hmm, perhaps there’s hope for Ruby Sanctum! General Drakkisath is a good choice. I missed it unforty, but I think that fight produced a whole ‘heroic’ breed of hunter capable of epic kiting – I wonder how many of them/you survive?

    @Cassieo – you’re right, it’s a good fight mechanic. I’d forgotten how great it feels when everyone gets it – I think folks got a sense of achievement as it finally clicked with them. You might just have persuaded me to take it off my ‘worst fights’ list!

    @Betty – oooh, Putricide on your list. Am curious as I thought about him as both best and worst fight – what’s your reasoning?

    Also – exactly right, cinematics and particularly nostalgia play a fair part. When the metric is “did I have fun?” if those things contribute towards me saying “yes” – well, all to the good. Sapph. is partly a nostalgia addition for me, I have to admit – although i do think he was a good learning fight, and Sindragosa just gets my goat with the tedious first phases.

    @Ot on – no worries, ty for sharing your favourites! Gotta admit, I missed Lady Vashj and kind of wish I hadn’t. I heard back in TBC she was quite the challenge – how do you think the raid co-ordination for her compares to what’s needed of Wrath (of what you’ve seen)?

    @Jooles – Flame Leviathan! Can’t believe I forgot that one! Nice catch. Great fight mechanic. It’s still a good laugh for my group even nowadays and personally, I Am Teh Biker Cow.

    I’m interested that a lot of you pick up on Valithria, and many aren’t keen on her. It’s true, it is a fight that gets increasingly chaotic and can be over very very quickly if an add isn’t picked up quicksmart. I wonder though – are you guys talking from the experience of 10 or 25 man? As I’m talking mostly from 10 man, and I wonder if the difference in enjoyment is dependent on group size?

  10. Regarding Valithria on 25 man (even heroic mode) I tend to find I spend a lot of time sitting around doing nothing as a DPS, everything dies too fast these days. Probably due to out gearing the encounter along with the 20% buff. The only time it gets frantic is at 95% and only if the healers are behind where they should be.

    Putricide on the other hand has a fair bit going on and the addition of the new plague on heroic mode is a nice addition, and the double slime spawn is always fun. I quite enjoy seeing tactics being slowly revised to lead to cleaner kills every week.

    People mentioning the first two boring phases of sindra suprise me, I would have thought that would be the case for any multi-phase fight. The part you get to practice the most becomes really simple. Yogg Phase 1 (and even phase 2 when we were going for 0 lights) became rather easy and a tad dull, but i tend to expect that for any decently complex fight.

  11. @Mimetir For some reason our 10 man group blasts Valithria up in no time, we got it on the 2nd attempt ever. Our 25man group has now done it 6 times and can’t get her past 85% before the fight is 7-8 minutes in and the waves are coming too quickly. I’m tempted to make everyone healers and just have the tanks/dps left try survival mode. 😛
    .-= Cassieo´s last blog ..Mastering Masochism: Top Ten Tips for New Tanks =-.

  12. Firefighter & Yogg-Saron was definitely one of my favorite fights. What I most liked about Yogg Saron was the “Sup dudes?” periods us Melee had, after leaving the brain and coming back, waiting for the portals to respawn again.

    The more and more I think about it, Ulduar was the pinnacle of Wrath’s raids. FL was a nice change of scenery, especially +4. Ignis was a fun moment for tanks and a lucky DPSer. Razorscale’s achievement and XT was funny as hell. Council each had fantastic abilities. Mimiron and Thorim were most fun. And of course, Yogg and Algalon.

    I really wanted one last Patchwerk/Brutalus fight once again. Both were originally the peek of their respective time and were balls to the wall. There’s something alluring about a fight with, aside from a ton of hitbox and large amount of pain, nothing else going on. Pure math. Gotta love it.
    .-= DKS´s last blog ..Attunements & Everything That Was Right with TBC =-.

  13. I have really only experienced Wrath raiding, but I have done absolutely everything with the exception of HM LK, so of those raids I know them all well. Here are my favorite 5:

    5) Sindragosa – The epic size of the dragon adds to this fight, and while a bit boring in phases 1 and 2, the amount of necessary coordination for phase 3 gets the fight into the top 5 for me.

    4) Mmiron Firefighter – While the normal mode is a fun fight in itself, the craziness of adding fire that eventually covers most of the room and the dreaded Frost bombs really kicks up the fight a notch. If you lived through this fight and beat it with appropriate level gear, you are undoubtedly an aware player (especially as melee).

    3) Yogg Saron – Another very challenging fight, especially when you started giving the middle finger to the Keepers (we can do it ourselves!). The different levels of difficulty I think were a unique and interesting design for the fight and I liked the brain room. My one complaint was the final Yogg 0 mechanic, which felt like a bit of a gimmick to me and made us rely on three Hunters to execute the mechanic perfectly several times, or you would wipe and have to start all over.

    2) Lich King – A great fight to end an instance that fell a bit short of my expectations (for example, gunship should have been MUCH cooler), the final encounter is diverse in mechanics and rich in lore. It was a fitting end (well, the end IMO) for the expansion.

    1) Algalon – For those who have yet to experience the fight, go back and make time to do it if you can. With appropriate level gear (I was realm first on both 10 and 25 man on my server, which isn’t saying much), the fight was VERY challenging with some tough mechanics. The time constraint added a sense of urgency to it all (especially when going for a realm first), and the quotes from Algalon and story behind the fight gave a sense of epicness that made you feel like killing him was a big accomplishment (spoiler: you save all life on Azeroth from destruction). For bonus points, make sure to turn in the quest in Dalaran and listen to Ronin’s speech afterwards. I have fond memories or turning it in myself and having people follow Ronin and I to the crystal thing in front of the bank, and a crowd gathering to listen to his speech.

  14. My favorite is Curator. Not particularly complicated–though a definite gear check before the first nerf and the only time I ever saw anyone putting down a resistance cauldron–but easy to mess up. Taught cooldown stacking in an intro raid, let DPS and tanks put up numbers they’d only dreamt of, and you fought a FRIGGIN’ LIBRARIAN. We called evocate The Shh.

    The trash before him can screw off though. Particularly the worms bugged into the walls of his room.

    My least favorite was also BC, Maulgar. “Wait, I’ve not only got to do the pull and tank but I’ve got to carry around a bag full of stam greens for this one fight? I rolled a mage to avoid that bl**p!”

    The Beast was a nothing fight…until you made it into a betting game, player who got knocked onto the ledge above the most times collected the pool. We’d wipe because no one wanted to quite kill him as we fought to break ties. The awful death run, we’d all agree it wasn’t worth doing. Until next week!

    Firefighter is the best hardmode the game’s yet seen. (Full disclosure, not done hards on last two ICC wings yet.) Could’ve done without the screechy emoting but each chunk of it felt like training for an Olympic berth in synchronized swimming. With fire. And fewer noseplugs.


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