Merely a setback

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This is a silly article.

The content of this article is not part of official Warcraft lore, but has nevertheless become part of the World of Warcraft culture or community.

I'll get you next time Gadget! Next tiiime!
Doesn't anyone stay dead anymore?
Arthas Menethil[1]

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

The Burning Crusade This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.


Legion This section concerns content related 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!"

In other games

  • 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, Kael'thas makes a variety of references to the phrase, including simply stating "Merely a setback" upon being resurrected after death.
  • When Deathlord Nazgrim is summoned by Uther of the Ebon Blade's Hero Power in Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne, he will proclaim that "Death was merely a setback!"


External links