Deathbringer Saurfang

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This article is about the strategy for defeating Deathbringer Saurfang in Icecrown Citadel. For his character biography, see Dranosh Saurfang.
BossDeathbringer Saurfang
Image of Deathbringer Saurfang
Gender Male
Race Orc (Undead)
Level ?? Boss
Health
10 8,785,350
10H 12,299,490
25 31,376,250
25H 43,926,752
Reaction Alliance Horde
Location Deathbringer's Rise, Icecrown Citadel
Status Killable (WoW), Deceased (Lore)[1]
Deathbinger Saurfang.jpg

Deathbringer Saurfang is the fourth boss in the Icecrown Citadel raid. He is described as being the Lich King's most powerful death knight.[2] It's mainly a DPS race with an interesting twist (Blood Power).

After falling to Frostmourne at the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate, Dranosh Saurfang was raised in undeath by the Lich King and brought to Icecrown Citadel. Imbued with the power of the Scourge, the Deathbringer bars the way of any attackers trying to enter the Upper Spire.

The axe he uses here is  [Ramaladni's Blade of Culling].

25-Player Abilities

  • Spell deathknight bloodtap.png  Blood Link — Saurfang gains Blood Power from damage he inflicts with abilities and summoned creatures. Also increases his Energy by 1 each time Blood Link triggers.
    • Spell deathknight bloodpresence.png  Blood Power — Saurfang grows 1% larger and deals 1% more damage for each point of Blood Power he has.
  • Spell deathknight bloodboil.png  Blood Nova — Blood explodes outward from a random enemy target, inflicting 10,000 Physical damage to nearby enemies.
  • Spell deathknight bloodboil.png  Boiling Blood — Boils the blood of an enemy, inflicting 9,500 Physical damage every 3 seconds for 24 seconds.
  • Spell shadow rune.png  Call Blood Beast — Saurfang calls forth 5 blood beasts every 40 seconds.
  • Spell shadow deathpact.png  Frenzy — Saurfang goes into a frenzy, increasing his attack speed by 30%.
  • Spell deathknight bladedarmor.png  Mark of the Fallen Champion — Causes Deathbringer Saurfang's melee attacks to splash to this target, inflicting 5,700 to 6,300 additional Physical damage. If the target dies while under this effect Saurfang is healed for 5% of his total health. Cannot be dispelled or removed by any means, including death.
  • Spell deathknight deathstrike.png  Rune of Blood — Saurfang leeches health when he performs melee attacks on targets marked with Rune of Blood. Leeches 5,100 to 6,900 health from an enemy target and heals Saurfang for 10 times that amount. Lasts for 20 seconds.

Blood Beast

  • Inv misc leatherscrap 11.png  Resistant Skin — The skin of this creature is highly resistant. Damage from area of effect attacks is reduced by 95% and damage from Diseases is reduced by 70%.

Heroic Mode

  • Spell shadow felmending.png  Scent of Blood — Saurfang's Blood Beasts catch the scent of blood, reducing all nearby enemies movement speed by 80% and increasing their damage by 300% for 10 seconds.

10-Player Abilities

  • Spell deathknight bloodtap.png  Blood Link — Saurfang gains Blood Power from damage he inflicts with abilities and summoned creatures. Also increases his Energy by 1 each time Blood Link triggers.
    • Spell deathknight bloodpresence.png  Blood Power — Saurfang grows 1% larger and deals 1% more damage for each point of Blood Power he has.
  • Spell deathknight bloodboil.png  Blood Nova — Blood explodes outward from a random enemy target, inflicting 10,000 Physical damage to nearby enemies.
  • Spell deathknight bloodboil.png  Boiling Blood — Boils the blood of an enemy, inflicting 9,500 Physical damage every 3 seconds for 24 seconds.
  • Spell shadow rune.png  Call Blood Beast — Saurfang calls forth 2 blood beasts every 40 seconds.
  • Spell shadow deathpact.png  Frenzy — Saurfang goes into a frenzy, increasing his attack speed by 30%.
  • Spell deathknight bladedarmor.png  Mark of the Fallen Champion — Causes Deathbringer Saurfang's melee attacks to splash to this target, inflicting 5,700 to 6,300 additional Physical damage. If the target dies while under this effect Saurfang is healed for 5% of his total health. Cannot be dispelled or removed by any means, including death.
  • Spell deathknight deathstrike.png  Rune of Blood — Saurfang leeches health when he performs melee attacks on targets marked with Rune of Blood. Leeches 5,100 to 6,900 health from an enemy target and heals Saurfang for 10 times that amount. Lasts for 20 seconds.

Blood Beast

  • Inv misc leatherscrap 11.png  Resistant Skin — The skin of this creature is highly resistant. Damage from area of effect attacks is reduced by 95% and damage from Diseases is reduced by 70%.

Reset

This fight can be reset by running back on the gunship while it's still there - it despawns after some time.

Strategy

The fight has only one phase. Saurfang does hard enrage after 8 minutes. At 30% there's a soft enrage (Frenzy), DPS cooldowns are normally saved for that point (although some raids have success using them early, and thus delaying the first Mark as long as possible).

Blood Power

Saurfang starts with 0 Blood Power. He can accumulate up to 100 in his Energy bar (akin to death knights). He gains Blood Power whenever one of his special attacks hits or ticks. When Blood Power reaches 100, he casts Mark of the Fallen Champion on a random raid member, resetting his Blood Power to 0.

Each active Mark increases the rate at which he gains Blood Power. For this reason, it's imperative to limit the amount of Blood Power he gains. Saurfang should be at 60% or lower before he casts the first Mark.

Tanking

Saurfang should be tanked right where he spawns, his melee damage is not high. Tanks must pay attention though that Saurfang doesn't gain Blood Power from Rune of Blood — . If a tank gets it, another tank must quickly taunt and take over. The debuff lasts 20 seconds.

Positioning

The melee should stand right on Saurfang. Ranged damage dealers can stand closer to the boss, while healers should be furthest away. Healers need to be well spread out, so that all raid members are in range of several healers.

All non-melee raid members must stay at least 12 yards away from each other to avoid activating Blood Nova — , else Saurfang receives extra Blood Power.

Blood Beasts

Saurfang summons Blood Beasts every 35 seconds. In:

  • 10-player – two are summoned: one left, one right.
  • 25-player – five are summoned: one in front of him, two at his sides, and two behind (pentagon shape).

Saurfang gains Blood Power whenever a Blood Beast deals melee damage, thus they must be slowed and kited, and killed by ranged DPS. Since Blood Beasts are resistant to AoE it's pointless to use such abilities. Melee in particular should avoid using any multi-target abilities (such as [Heart Strike], [Seal of Command], Improved Revenge, [Hammer of the Righteous], or [Divine Storm]) in order to avoid drawing aggro. The Blood Beasts must leave the platform ASAP (in hard mode they're also likely to one-shot melee).

Blood Beasts are immune to crowd-control. They are susceptible to root, snare, slow and stun. Be careful not to root them within melee range of anybody. Classes with a root, snare, or stun ability should use this macro whenever the Blood Beasts spawn:

#showtooltip
/tar Blood
/cast (Name of ability)
/tar Death

This immediately uses the ability on the closest Blood Beast and then targets Saurfang.

The Beasts normally aggro healers after some time, therefore healers should stand away from the boss. Alternately, healers can stand on the platform among the melee. Initially the Beasts can be pulled away by the DPS pretty easily, later on they move back towards the platform when they aggro a healer. At this point, it helps a lot if the healer can temporarily reduce aggro, such as a priest using [Fade].

Ranged DPS should target the beast furthest away, and as soon as the beast gains aggro, switch away to another one. Ping-ponged between different ranged DPS prevents anyone from being hit in melee. Melee players (or the tank) can help by taunting Beasts that are far away from them. If a Beast gets close to its target, that target must run away and start kiting — do not let them hit anyone.

If the raid is too melee-heavy, it is possible to stunlock one Beast and kill it with melee, while the other beasts are kited by ranged.

Class-specific tactics

These abilities are particularly helpful for slowing down Blood Beasts:

Boiling Blood

Saurfang casts Boiling Blood — on random raid members. This can easily be healed through. Every tick grants Blood Power. [Blessing of Protection] removes it, though that should only be needed in Hard Mode on a player afflicted with Mark of the Fallen Champion — .

Mark of the Fallen Champion

Whenever Saurfang gains 100 Blood Power, he casts Mark of the Fallen Champion — on a random raid member. This debuff inflicts heavy damage (about 6,000 per second in 25 player) and yields a lot of Blood Power to the boss. When a player with a Mark dies, this heals Saurfang about 5%. The Mark persists through death—do not combat rez a player that dies from it.

A good healer can handle about two active Marks if focusing exclusively on the Mark targets. Two active Marks in 10 player usually lead to a wipe, in 25 players the limit is about 8 Marks.

It may be a viable tactic to let the Mark of the Fallen Champion victims die. It's much easier to deal an extra 5% damage to Saurfang than to heal the Mark victim and deal with the increased frequency of future Marks. There are diminishing returns however, as living DPS are required to take down the Blood Beasts.

Heroic Mode

The primary differences of Heroic mode are a shorter enrage timer (6 minutes), Blood Beasts catching Scent of Blood — 5 seconds after spawning, reducing the movement speed of the entire raid by 80% for 10 seconds, and Saurfang healing for 20% HP upon a mark of the fallen champion death. His blood power gain is also much faster compared to normal. Blood Beasts also hit hard enough to one shot any non tank.

On a first kill, prepare for at least two marks on 10-man and six marks on 25-man. Assign one dedicated healer per mark. If healers are struggling towards the end of the fight, they can stop healing one of the tanks because of the mechanics of Rune of Blood — .

Loot

Main article: Deathbringer's Cache

Normal mode

10-Player Type Description Slot 25-Player Type Description Slot
 [Ramaladni's Blade of Culling] Two hand Melee Axe  [Bloodvenom Blade] One hand Melee Sword
 [Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff] Two hand Caster Staff  [Belt of the Blood Nova] Mail Healer Waist
 [Blade-Scored Carapace] Plate Melee Chest  [Toskk's Maximized Wristguards] Leather Melee Wrist
 [Deathforged Legplates] Plate Tank Legs  [Greatcloak of the Turned Champion] Cloak Caster Back
 [Gargoyle Spit Bracers] Plate Tank Wrist  [Deathbringer's Will] Trinket Melee Trinket
 [Hauberk of a Thousand Cuts] Mail Melee Chest  [Conqueror's Mark of Sanctification] Token Paladin, Priest, Warlock
 [Scourge Stranglers] Leather Melee Hands  [Protector's Mark of Sanctification] Token Warrior, Hunter, Shaman
 [Leggings of Unrelenting Blood] Leather Caster Legs  [Vanquisher's Mark of Sanctification] Token Rogue, DK, Mage, Druid
 [Icecrown Spire Sandals] Cloth Caster +hit Feet  [Primordial Saronite] Ingredient
 [Thaumaturge's Crackling Cowl] Cloth Caster Head  [Shadowfrost Shard] Quest Item
 [Saurfang's Cold-Forged Band] Ring Melee Ring
 [Soulcleave Pendant] Necklace Caster Neck

Heroic mode

10-Player Type Description Slot 25-Player Type Description Slot
 [Ramaladni's Blade of Culling] Two hand Melee Axe  [Bloodvenom Blade] One hand Melee Sword
 [Mag'hari Chieftain's Staff] Two hand Caster Staff  [Belt of the Blood Nova] Mail Healer Waist
 [Blade-Scored Carapace] Plate Melee Chest  [Toskk's Maximized Wristguards] Leather Melee Wrist
 [Deathforged Legplates] Plate Tank Legs  [Greatcloak of the Turned Champion] Cloak Caster Back
 [Gargoyle Spit Bracers] Plate Tank Wrist  [Deathbringer's Will] Trinket Melee Trinket
 [Hauberk of a Thousand Cuts] Mail Melee Chest  [Conqueror's Mark of Sanctification] Token Paladin, Priest, Warlock
 [Scourge Stranglers] Leather Melee Hands  [Protector's Mark of Sanctification] Token Warrior, Hunter, Shaman
 [Leggings of Unrelenting Blood] Leather Caster Legs  [Vanquisher's Mark of Sanctification] Token Rogue, DK, Mage, Druid
 [Icecrown Spire Sandals] Cloth Caster +hit Feet  [Primordial Saronite] Ingredient
 [Thaumaturge's Crackling Cowl] Cloth Cloth Head  [Shadowfrost Shard] Quest Item
 [Saurfang's Cold-Forged Band] Ring Melee Ring
 [Soulcleave Pendant] Necklace Caster Neck
 [Conqueror's Mark of Sanctification] Token Paladin, Priest, Warlock
 [Protector's Mark of Sanctification] Token Warrior, Hunter, Shaman
 [Vanquisher's Mark of Sanctification] Token Rogue, DK, Mage, Druid
 [Primordial Saronite] Ingredient


Related achievements

10-player mode 25-player mode Objective
[I've Gone and Made a Mess (10 player)] [I've Gone and Made a Mess (25 player)] Defeat the Deathbringer before Mark of the Fallen Champion is cast three/five times
[Storming the Citadel (10 player)] ( Heroic) [Storming the Citadel (25 player)] ( Heroic) Defeat the first four bosses in Icecrown Citadel

Quotes

Speaking with Muradin Bronzebeard
'Twas a fierce battle, <name>! Take a moment to rest and gather yer forces. Who knows what lies beyond that door?
Let me know when yer ready and we'll begin our ascent into the upper reaches of the citadel.

Gossip We're ready, Muradin.

Are ye sure, <lad/lass>? Ye don't need another minute or two?

Gossip We're sure. Let's go!

Intro as Alliance
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Let's get a move on then! Move ou...
Deathbringer Saurfang yells: For every Horde soldier that you killed -- for every Alliance dog that fell, the Lich King's armies grew. Even now the val'kyr work to raise your fallen as Scourge.
Deathbringer Saurfang yells: Things are about to get much worse. Come, taste the power that the Lich King has bestowed upon me!
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: A lone orc against the might of the Alliance???
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Charge!!!
Deathbringer Saurfang immobilises Muradin and his guards.
Deathbringer Saurfang yells: Dwarves...
Intro as Horde
High Overlord Saurfang yells: Kor'kron, move out! Champions, watch your backs. The Scourge have been...
Deathbringer Saurfang yells: Join me, father. Join me and we will crush this world in the name of the Scourge -- for the glory of the Lich King!
High Overlord Saurfang says: My boy died at the Wrath Gate. I am here only to collect his body.
Deathbringer Saurfang yells: Stubborn and old. What chance do you have? I am stronger, and more powerful than you ever were.
High Overlord Saurfang says: We named him Dranosh. It means "Heart of Draenor" in orcish. I would not let the warlocks take him. My boy would be safe, hidden away by the elders of Garadar.
High Overlord Saurfang says: I made a promise to his mother before she died; that I would cross the Dark Portal alone - whether I lived or died, my son would be safe. Untainted...
High Overlord Saurfang says: Today, I fulfill that promise.
High Overlord Saurfang charges!
Deathbringer Saurfang yells: Pathetic old orc. Come then heroes. Come and face the might of the Scourge!
Aggro
BY THE MIGHT OF THE LICH KING!
Casting Mark of the Fallen Champion
The ground runs red with your blood!
Summoning Blood Beasts
Feast, my minions!
Killing a player
  • You are nothing!
  • Your soul will find no redemption here!
Berserk
I have become...DEATH!
Death
I... Am... Released.
Outro as Alliance
Muradin Bronzebeard gasps for air.
Muradin goes over to inspect the body.
Muradin Bronzebeard says: That was Saurfang's boy - the Horde commander at the Wrath Gate. Such a tragic end...
Muradin Bronzebeard says: What in the... There, in the distance!
Muradin runs over to the edge of the rise.
A Horde Zeppelin flies up to the rise.
Muradin Bronzebeard yells: Soldiers, fall in! Looks like the Horde are comin' to take another shot!
The guards run up and form a line behind him. The zeppelin docks, and High Overlord Saurfang spawns on the rise and approaches Muradin.
Muradin Bronzebeard says: Don't force me hand, orc. We can't let ye pass.
High Overlord Saurfang says: Behind you lies the body of my only son. Nothing will keep me from him.
Muradin Bronzebeard says: I... I can't do it. Get back on yer ship and we'll spare yer life.
A mage portal from Stormwind appears off to the side of them and Varian Wrynn and Jaina Proudmoore emerge.
King Varian Wrynn says: Stand down, Muradin. Let a grieving father pass.
Muradin and the soldiers run off to the side. High Overlord Saurfang walks over and kneels before his son's body.
High Overlord Saurfang says: [Orcish] No'ku kil zil'nok ha tar.
Higher Overlord Saurfang picks up the body and walks over to Varian.
High Overlord Saurfang says: I will not forget this... kindness. I thank you, Highness[sic]
King Varian Wrynn says: I... I was not at the Wrath Gate, but the soldiers who survived told me much of what happened. Your son fought with honor. He died a hero's death. He deserves a hero's burial.
Overlord Saurfang nods.
Saurfang boards the zeppelin and it flies off.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore cries.
King Varian Wrynn says: Jaina? Why are you crying?
Lady Jaina Proudmoore wipes her tears away and smiles at King Varian Wrynn.
Lady Jaina Proudmoore says: It was nothing, your majesty. Just... I'm proud of my king.
King Varian Wrynn says: Bah! Muradin, secure the deck and prepare our soldiers for an assault on the upper citadel. I'll send out another regiment from Stormwind.
Muradin Bronzebeard says: Right away, yer majesty!
Muradin and the others run back to the where the Skybreaker docked. Two laborers teleport in, run to the left and get to work, setting up two tents for Brazie Getz and Shely Steelbowels, along with an anvil and forge.
Speaking with Muradin
We got the final barrier blockin' entry to Frostwing Halls down, <lad/lass>. Only Sindragosa stands between the Lich King and divine retribution! What are ye waitin' for?!


Outro as Horde
High Overlord Saurfang coughs.
High Overlord Saurfang weeps over the corpse of his son.
High Overlord Saurfang says: You will have a proper ceremony in Nagrand next to the pyres of your mother and ancestors.
High Overlord Saurfang says: Honor, young heroes... no matter how dire the battle... Never forsake it!

Videos

10-player Normal encounter

10-player Heroic encounter

25-player Normal encounter

25-player Heroic encounter

Trivia

  • The Horde Intro is reminiscent of famous Star Wars dialogues, first between Luke and Darth Vader (except that the roles of the evil father and the good son are reversed): "Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son!", and then between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi: "When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master."
  • His berserk quote is reminiscent of the infamous "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." This passage from the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu scriptures), was most famously quoted by Robert Oppenheimer, designer of the nuclear bomb, when the bomb was detonated in its first successful test.
  • Deathbringer Saurfang is voiced by Chris Metzen, who also voices Algalon the Observer, Nefarian, Varian, Thrall and Ragnaros.

Gallery

Patches and hotfixes

  • Hotfix (2010-03-04): "In the Deathbringer Saurfang encounters, the boss is now less likely to cast Blood Nova on targets affected by Mark of the Fallen Champion."
  • Hotfix (2010-02-05): "Deathbringer Saurfang should gain blood power less rapidly in normal 10 and normal 25 player modes and players can also no longer zone in while this encounter is active."
  • WotLK Patch 3.3.2 (2010-02-01): Deathbringer Saurfang will no longer gain blood power from Mark of the Fallen Champion. In addition, mitigation abilities such as [Power Word: Shield] will no longer prevent blood power generation.
  • Hotfix (2009-12-16): "Deathbringer Saurfang's Rune of Blood has been modified to heal 10 times the amount of damage dealt instead of 5 times the damage. This will make the encounter more difficult if you try to tank Saurfang with just one character. The tooltip does not reflect this change, but it will in a future patch."
  • WotLK Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): Added.

References

External links