Merely a setback
Merely a setback is a catch phrase originated by Kael'thas Sunstrider in Magisters' Terrace. It has become a common utterance whenever there is the perception that a boss who was previously defeated is merely being recycled, and has even appeared multiple times in World of Warcraft as a result.
List of NPCs using the quote
- Kael'thas Sunstrider in Magisters' Terrace yells I know what you're thinking, but Tempest Keep was merely a set back.
- Prince Valanar in Icecrown Citadel yells Naxxanar was merely a setback!
- Sylvanas Windrunner in says You can assure Garrosh that this is a minor setback. Our victory in Gilneas will be absolute.
- Hogger in the Stockades yells Forest just setback!
- Crusader Lord Valdelmar in Tyr's Hand yells The Scarlet Crusade is not over! Undeath is merely a setback!
- Analynn in Ashenvale when defeated says You do not understand. I have not been defeated, merely set back.
- The announcer of the Brawler's Guild introduces Millhouse Manastorm by saying We have a special guest today: the always-endearing, ever-resilient, Millhouse Manastorm! Stonecore was merely a setback!
List of setbacks
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
- Dar'Khan Drathir in the Sunwell Trilogy and Deatholme
- Kael'thas Sunstrider in Tempest Keep and Magisters' Terrace
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
- Archmage Arugal in Shadowfang Keep and Bloodmoon Isle
- Baron Rivendare in Stratholme and Naxxramas
- Kel'Thuzad in the original and new Naxxramas
- Anub'arak in Azjol-Nerub and Trial of the Crusader
- Onyxia in her original, her new lair and Blackwing Descent
- Prince Keleseth in Utgarde Keep and Icecrown Citadel
- Prince Valanar in Naxxanar and Icecrown Citadel
- Prince Taldaram in Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom and Icecrown Citadel
- Rimefang in the Pit of Saron and Icecrown Citadel
- Zalazane in the Echo Isles
- Sicco Thermaplugg in Gnomeregan
- Princess Theradras in Maraudon and during the Elemental Unrest
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
- Hogger in Elwynn Forest and Stormwind Stockade
- Crusader Lord Valdelmar in Tyr's Hand
- Ranger Lord Renthar Hawkspear in Eastern Plaguelands
- Malor the Zealous in the original and new Stratholme
- Crimson Hammersmith in the original and new Stratholme
- Cannon Master Willey in the original and new Stratholme
- Archivist Galford in the original and new Stratholme
- Balnazzar in the original and new Stratholme
- Baron Geddon in Molten Core and the Circle of Cinders
- Garr in Molten Core and near Sulfuron Spire
- Ragnaros in Molten Core, the Inner Spire and the Firelands
- Nefarian in Blackwing Lair and Blackwing Descent where he yells Oh, I do hope this 'raid' will amuse me more than the last!
- Sintharia in Night of the Dragon and the Bastion of Twilight
- High Priest Venoxis in the original and new Zul'Gurub
- Bloodlord Mandokir in the original and new Zul'Gurub
- Zanzil the Outcast in Stranglethorn Vale and Zul'Gurub
- Jin'do in the original and new Zul'Gurub
- Akil'zon in the original and new Zul'Aman
- Nalorakk in the original and new Zul'Aman
- Jan'alai in the original and new Zul'Aman
- Halazzi in the original and new Zul'Aman
- Hex Lord Malacrass in the original and new Zul'Aman
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
- Bloodmage Thalnos in the original and new Scarlet Monastery
- High Inquisitor Sally Whitemane in the original and new Scarlet Monastery
- Jandice Barov in the original and new Scholomance
- Rattlegore in the original and new Scholomance
- Darkmaster Gandling in the original and new Scholomance
- James Vishas in the original Scarlet Monastery and the Brawler's Guild
- Millhouse Manastorm in the Stonecore and the Brawler's Guild
- Gara'jal the Spiritbinder in the Mogu'shan Vaults and the Throne of Thunder
- High Priestess Mar'li in the original Zul'Gurub and the Throne of Thunder
Warlords of Draenor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
- Garrosh Hellscream in the Siege of Orgrimmar and at the Stones of Prophecy
- Teron'gor in Auchindoun and in Hellfire Citadel as Gorefiend
- During the Patch 6.2 PTR, Mannoroth's Hellfire Citadel placeholder Dungeon Journal entry read: "[PH] Don't look so smug - I know what you're thinking, but the cinematic was merely a setback."
- Despite popular belief, Kael'thas was not the first character to use the catchphrase. It was actually Illidan Stormrage during the Alliance Campaign finale - Kil'jaeden's Command in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Illidan explained his failed attempt to destroy the Lich King with these words:
- "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 the Heroes of the Storm closed beta, when your character is killed for the first time as part of the tutorial, Uther will tell them that "death is merely a setback".