Merely a setback

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This is a silly article

This article is silly. Coming from a source other than the computer games, trading card game, novels, RPG, or manga, its content is not part of official Warcraft lore, but nevertheless has become part of the culture belonging to the World of Warcraft community.

I'll get you next time Gadget! Next tiiime!
"... as you're well aware, death in Azeroth is sometimes just ... merely a setback."
Smokywood Pastures Presents: A Winter Veil Carol

Merely a setback is a catch phrase originated by Kael'thas Sunstrider in Magisters' Terrace. It has become a common utterance and a sort of running gag whenever there is the perception that a boss who was previously defeated is merely being recycled, and has appeared multiple times in World of Warcraft as a result.

List of NPCs using the quote

List of setbacks

The Burning Crusade

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Wrath of the Lich King

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.


Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Mists of Pandaria

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

Warlords of Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.


Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.


"Kil'jaeden! I was merely set back. I was attempting to bolster my forces. The Lich King will be destroyed, I promise you!"
  • The phrase has carried over into other Blizzard games. In StarCraft II, a mission in the campaign features a Protoss/Zerg Hybrid that repeatedly spawns and attacks the player. One of the quotes he utters upon killing one of his incarnations is "merely a temporary setback".
  • In Heroes of the Storm, when your character is killed for the first time as part of the tutorial, Uther will tell them that "death is merely a setback." In addition to this, when Kael'thas respawns in the game, he will say: "Merely a setback."

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