WoW: The 7 toughest bosses of all time – They survived the longest

WoW 5 boss mechanics Nefarian Dragon

World of Warcraft has numerous bosses, but only a few could withstand the players for long. We show you the toughest bosses who have protected their thrones for months.

With more than 18 years, World of Warcraft has an extremely extensive game world and numerous raids. Some bosses are defeated the day they are released, others live for many weeks or even months. But which bosses have endured the longest in WoW history? Which enemies withstood the onslaught of players the longest? We show you the 7 toughest bosses in WoW history – at least in terms of their lifespan.

Note: The article is originally from August 2020. We updated it in March 2023.

7th place: Nefarian

Lifespan: 77 days (11 Raid IDs)
Raid: Blackwing Lair (Vanilla)

The black dragon Nefarian – feared to this day for his “class calls”.

As WoW players know, the degree in business administration is not a bachelor thesis, but the black dragon Nefarian. In vanilla times, it kept the raiders busy for a whopping 11 weeks and was considered insurmountable for a long time. This was not only because the whole raid before it was already pretty hard, but also because of a special requirement.

If you wanted to survive against Nefarian, you needed an Onyxia Scale Cloak. Only with this item was it possible to survive the devastating shadow flame that otherwise kills players with one attack. However, since the cloak requires scales from Onyxia, which in turn is also a raid boss, farming the cloaks took a long time.

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Nefarian also required pretty good coordination and still possesses one of the most well-known abilities of all, namely the so-called “class calls” – a mechanic that actually returns in Dragonflight. Each class has been forced by Nefarian to use special abilities against allies or to help Nefarian. Magicians, for example, turned their friends into animals, which led to a lot of chaos.

6th place: Archimonde

Lifespan: 79 days (12 Raid IDs)
Raid: Battle for Mount Hyjal (The Burning Crusade)

World of Warcraft Archimonde BC
The original Archimonde on Mount Hyjal – later reappearing in Warlords of Draenor.

Archimonde was the final boss of the Battle of Mount Hyjal and was part of The Burning Crusade expansion.

The Battle of Mount Hyjal is considered one of the most lengthy raid instances due to its structure. The battle is reminiscent of the map from Warcraft III. Again, waves of enemies had to be defeated in order to withstand the onslaught of the Legion and the Scourge. If you fail at the individual bosses or the waves, the whole procedure has to be repeated. So there could be a lot of time between individual boss attempts.

Accordingly, Archimonde was able to make himself comfortable at the very end of this raid. When the players finally got to him, he had a lot of devastating effects with him. Lethal high damage debuffs, massive knockback effects that could cause players to die from fall damage, and a fountain that silenced everyone for long periods of time if they fell into it.

Note: Strictly speaking, Archimonde survived a bit longer, as access to this raid required completion of the previous raids. However, we calculate from the point at which it would have been technically possible to visit Archimonde.

5th place: Yogg Saron

Lifespan: 85 days (13 Raid IDs)
Raid: Ulduar (Wrath of the Lich King)

Hearthstone Yogg Saron
Yogg-Saron drove the players crazy. Mostly multiple times.

With its 14 bosses, Ulduar is one of the biggest raids of all time in World of Warcraft. Above all, the final fight was particularly crisp – at least in the hardest available variant.

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As with almost all bosses in Ulduar, there were various hardmodes that made bosses more difficult, added new skills and thus improved the possible loot.

With Yogg-Saron, players had the option to forego the help of the Titan Constructs. Each of these guardians provided combat buffs, such as a way to restore the character’s sanity.

That sanity was the sticking point of the fight. Many abilities left players insane and losing all sanity will end up serving the Old God and turning against his allies. So it’s hardly surprising that Yogg-Saron withstood the heavy “+0” variant for a full 85 days.

4th place: Kel’thuzad

Lifespan: 90 days (13 Raid IDs)
Raid: Naxxramas (Vanilla)

Kel’thuzad was then a raid boss in WoW – at the end of Naxxramas.

Kel’thuzad was not only an important character in Warcraft III, but also the last major antagonist of the vanilla version of World of Warcraft. He ruled the necropolis of Naxxramas and was the final boss before The Burning Crusade entered the first expansion.

Naxxramas has been known for several things at once. For one thing, access to Naxxramas was quite expensive, as players had to buy the passage first – depending on how much reputation they had previously farmed, it cost more or less. The far greater difficulties, however, were the crisp boss mechanics.

At least for the standard of vanilla WoW, Naxxramas put a good shovel on top and offered interesting but also deadly mechanics. Just think of the famous “Heigan Dance” or the four horsemen, which required four tanks. Frost resistance and other gimmicks were also required here.

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At the end of all these difficulties, Kel’thuzad faced an extremely long fight in which a particularly large number of adds had to be killed. Thanks to the preliminary work of the other bosses, it was not surprising that Kel’thuzad was able to retain his honor for a full 3 months before the first group managed to kill the Lich King’s chief servant.

On the next page you will find places 3 to 1.