wotlk classic sartharion strategy guide featured image
  • Author: Passion
  • Date: September 26, 2022
  • Updated: September 26, 2022
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

Sartharion is the first and only boss of the Obsidian Sanctum, located below the Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight. Accompanied by his three lieutenants, Shadron, Tenebron, and Vesperon, Sartharion is charged with protecting the twilight dragon eggs spawned by Deathwing himself.

This encounter is the first example of an optional hard mode in Wrath of the Lich King raiding. Raids are able to personally adjust the difficulty of the Sartharion fight based on how many of his lieutenants are left alive. Commonly known as “3D”, “2D”, and “1D”, the more drake lieutenants left alive, the harder the fight will be and the better the rewards are.

Killing Sartharion with all 3 drakes alive will give the raid an extra ilvl 200 item, an extra ilvl 213 item and a unique mount, Reins of the Black Drake.

Each drake lieutenant offers their own mini-boss encounter, with their own abilities and mechanics. If you decide to leave them alive, they will bring these abilities into the Sartharion encounter.

This guide will offer a detailed, step-by-step tutorial on how to defeat Sartharion, with or without his lieutenants being kept alive.

Role Summaries

  • Sartharion
    • The person tanking Sartharion will be taking the most damage during this fight, with the off-tanks taking significantly less.
  • Vesperon

Abilities

Sartharion

Sartharion Cleaves in front of him, dealing a lesser amount of damage and hitting up to 10 players in front of the boss. The damage dealt by this attack isn’t massive, but this fight has a lot of area of effect damage going out. This makes it important to minimize the damage taken by the raid, so everyone except the main tank should always try to be beside the boss.

Just like most dragon fights, Sartharion will swipe players behind him, dealing damage and stunning them. Avoid this by never being behind a dragon!

Sartharion breathes fire in front of him, dealing massive damage to everyone caught in the cone. This should only ever hit the main tank, with everyone else standing beside the boss, out of range for this attack.

Sartharion will throw constant fire at anyone not on the boss platform. This is simply a mechanic to dissuade players from running away from the boss arena and is avoided by staying on Sartharions platform.

For the entire fight, Sartharion will occasionally summon giant Flame Tsunamis that will cross the arena from North to South or from South to North. The direction they come from determines which area of the map they cover.

Being hit by Flame Tsunami deals massive damage to players and will enrage Lava Blazes that are hit. Dodging this mechanic is a key aspect of the fight and must always be considered.

Periodically during the fight Sartharion will summon 2-4 Lava Blazes. These will need to be picked up by an off-tank, typically the same player tanking the drakes. These aren’t very threatening if managed correctly, but risk being a bit chaotic if they aren’t picked up fast enough.

Lava Blazes will enrage if they are hit by Flame Tsunami, massively increasing their damage. Avoid positioning them in the way of Flame Tsunami or have a Rogue or Hunter ready to tranquilize them with Anesthetic Poison or Tranquilizing Shot.

At 10% Health, Sartharion will spawn a massive wave of Lava Blazes that will need to be tanked but should not be a DPS priority this deep into the fight.

Sartharion and all drakes gain 25% more health. This is only active if you engage Sartharion with any drakes still alive and serves as another difficulty boost for hard mode.

Each time a drake dies while fighting Sartharion, he will deal 25% more Physical damage and attack 25% faster. This buff stacks on the boss and will make the fight a lot more dangerous each time a drake is killed.

If there is at least one drake lieutenant still alive, Sartharion will enter Berserk at 35% health, massively increasing his attack speed and damage done. This ability is here to try and avoid cheesing the fight by leaving the drakes alive and only focusing on Sartharion.

Avoid this by either making sure all three drakes are dead before Sartharion reaches 35% health, or by killing him faster than he can kill you!

Tenebron

If left alive, Tenebron will join the fight after 30 seconds.

Tenebron will periodically summon a void zone at the feet of a random player, exploding after 5-seconds and dealing heavy damage to any player caught in it. Deal with this by quickly moving out of the Shadow Fissure if you find yourself standing on it.

Still technically a dragon, Tenebron will cast Shadow Breath in a cone in front of her, dealing Shadow damage to everyone caught in it. This is avoided by simply never being in front of Tenebron, though, unlike Sartharion, you can safely stand behind her.

Every 30 seconds, Tenebron will summon 6 Twilight Eggs in the Twilight Realm. These Twilight Eggs will hatch after 20 seconds, spawning Twilight Whelps for each Twilight Egg still alive.

Twilight Whelps apply Fade Armor to their target, reducing their armor and stacking up to 10 times.

These Twilight Whelps are dealt with by either killing the Twilight Eggs before they have a chance to spawn or just by killing the Twilight Whelps before they overwhelm the raid.

Any players in the Twilight Realm while Tenebron is alive will take constant damage and have their damage dealt reduced by 25%. When they leave the Twilight Realm, they will instead be buffed with Twilight Residue, protecting them from Shadow damage for 3 seconds.

As long as Tenebron is alive, all players will take 100% more Shadow damage. This is another difficulty boost for hard mode and is removed by killing Tenebron.

Shadron

If left alive, Shadron will join the fight after 75 seconds.

Shadron will periodically summon a void zone at the feet of a random player, exploding after 5-seconds and dealing heavy damage to any player caught in it. Deal with this by quickly moving out of the Shadow Fissure if you find yourself standing on it.

Still technically a dragon, Shadron will cast Shadow Breath in a cone in front of him, dealing Shadow damage to everyone caught in it. This is avoided by simply never being in front of Shadron, though unlike Sartharion, you can safely stand behind him.

Roughly every 30 seconds, Shadron will create a Twilight Portal to the Twilight Realm. Shadron will spawn Acolyte of Shadron inside of the Twilight Realm, which will periodically buff Shadron with Gift Of Twilight. This buff increases Shadron‘s Shadow damage dealt by 50% and makes him immune to damage.

This buff will remain for as long as Shadron is alive, making it very important to deal with this add as soon as possible.

On hard mode, this buff is used on Sartharion instead, increasing his Fire damage done by 50% and making him immune to damage. This can be very dangerous for the raid and it should be the #1 priority for DPS to kill Shadron.

As long as Shadron is alive, all players will take 100% more Fire damage. This is another difficulty boost for hard mode and is removed by killing Shadron.

Any players in the Twilight Realm while Shadron is alive will take constant damage and have their damage dealt reduced by 25%. When they leave the Twilight Realm, they will instead be buffed with Twilight Residue, protecting them from Shadow damage for 3 seconds.

Vesperon

If left alive, Vesperon will join the fight after 125 seconds.

Vesperon will periodically summon a void zone at the feet of a random player, exploding after 5-seconds and dealing heavy damage to any player caught in it. Deal with this by quickly moving out of the Shadow Fissure if you find yourself standing on it.

Still technically a dragon, Vesperon will cast Shadow Breath in a cone in front of him, dealing Shadow damage to everyone caught in it. This is avoided by simply never being in front of Vesperon, though, unlike Sartharion, you can safely stand behind him.

Every 30 seconds, Vesperon will shield himself and summon a Twilight Portal to the Twilight Realm. Any player attacking Vesperon while this shield is active will take a chunk of Shadow damage.

To remove the shield, players will need to enter the Twilight Realm and kill the Acolyte of Vesper located there. This Acolyte will cast Twilight Torment on players in the raid, increasing the Fire and Shadow damage they take as well as causing any damage they deal to cause Shadow damage back to the player. Make sure the Acolyte dies quickly to avoid this becoming a problem for the raid.

As long as Vesperon is alive, all players will have their maximum health reduced by 25%. This is another difficulty boost for hard mode, and is removed by killing Vesperon.

Raid Composition & Preparation

This fight has no specific class requirements and will be best dealt with by a balanced raid composition.

You will want to bring 1-3 Healers for this fight.

There are no strict requirements for DPS classes or specs here, you simply want a combination of good raid buffs and debuffs, as well as the best players you can muster.

You will want at least 2 tanks for this fight. Your main tank will be focusing on Sartharion for the majority of the fight, while the off tank prioritizes drakes, Twilight Whelps, and Lava Blazes.

The Pull

sartharion glance left

Hard Mode

For the ultimate challenge in this fight, you will want to leave all 3 lieutenants alive. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that you can run in and immediately pull Sartharion.

Your raid will need to clear the adds before attempting to pull Sartharion, the last thing you want when already fighting 4 bosses at once is to have a random group of Dragonkin come in and start smashing.

To effectively clear all the trash without pulling any of the drakes will take some maneuvering, ducking into the walls around the drakes to make sure you avoid them. Once you’ve cleaned up the area, you can make your way to Sartharion, have your tank pull him, and immediately turn him 90 degrees to the side so that your raid is safe from his head and tail.

Normal Mode

If you have decided to forfeit the bonus loot offered by hard mode, you will have to do slightly more preparation than you would on hard mode. Along with clearing all the trash, you will also be killing all the drakes. Fortunately, this means you don’t have to try and avoid them, and instead just kill them and go from there.

You will still want to clear the trash around the drakes before pulling, otherwise, you might end up with them joining the fight.

Just like with hard mode, once you’ve cleaned up the area, you can make your way to Sartharion, have your tank pull him, and immediately turn him 90 degrees to the side so that your raid is safe from his head and tail.

sartharion no drake positioning 1

The Fight

Sartharions basic mechanics are very simple. Don’t be behind or in front of the boss unless you are the main-tank, and avoid the Flame Tsunamis that spawn. These Flame Tsunamis are telegraphed by a raid warning stating “The lava surrounding Sartharion churns!”. Flame Tsunamis will form on either of the long sides of the arena, crossing the arena and landing on the lava on the other side.

These Flame Tsunamis will place a damage-over-time effect on anyone hit by them. To dodge this, place yourself in between the waves and simply wait them out.

sartharion tri lava positioning direction
The waves are telegraphed based on which side of the arena they come from, either North or South.

For the waves coming from tanks side, the tank should be able to remain still and the melee DPS should be able to keep DPSing Sartharion, while the ranged DPS and healers will have to move further away from the boss to get to safety. They should still be in range of the boss if he is positioned correctly.

sartharion duo lava positioning arrows 1
The waves are telegraphed based on which side of the arena they come from, either North or South.

For the waves coming opposite the tank, the tank will need to shift to the side a little, ideally only turning the boss but not moving him. Melee DPS will not be able to stay in their position and can either run through the boss, ending up on Sartharions left-hand side, or go with the ranged DPS and healers for the duration of the Flame Tsunami.

sartharion lava blaze no drake

Periodically, Sartharion will summon 2-4 Lava Blazes. These adds aren’t too powerful by themselves, but if they get hit by a Flame Tsunami they will enrage, dealing 400% increased damage. Rogues and Hunters can remove this enrage with Anesthetic Poison or Tranquilizing Shot respectively, but ideally they should be positioned so that they never get hit by a Flame Tsunami.

Lava Blazes will need to be picked up by the off-tank ASAP, bringing them away from the boss. DPS should try to focus on them to get rid of them as quickly as possible to avoid being overwhelmed, especially when the lieutenants become involved.

These adds will continue to spawn for the entire fight, and when Sartharion reaches 10% health he will spawn a large pack of them. This large pack will need to be tanked, but most groups will opt to either kill them with area-of-effect on top of the boss, or to ignore them entirely and burn down the last of Sartharions health.

sartharion tenebron landed

30 seconds into the fight, Tenebron will join the fight if she is still alive. The raid should shift over to her and focus on killing her ASAP, with Healers making sure they are in-range of both tanks.

All the drakes will cast Shadow Breath directly in front of them, dealing heavy damage. DPS should always be beside or behind the drakes to avoid this ability. The drake lieutenants will also periodically spawn Shadow Fissures under a random player, that will explode after a delay dealing heavy damage. Everyone will need to stay on their toes to make sure they don’t blow up.

sartharion tenebron whelp portal

Tenebron will summon a Twilight Portal that players can enter. Players entering will find Twilight Eggs that they can kill, and that will eventually hatch into Twilight Whelps. Any Twilight Whelps that hatch will cross from the Twilight Realm into the regular fight. The most common method for this Twilight Portal is to simply ignore it.

Focus on killing Tenebron and when the Twilight Eggs eventually hatch, the off-tank will need to pick up the Twilight Whelps, while the DPS kill them with cleave damage on top of Tenebron.

sartharion tenebron shadron positioning

75 seconds into the fight, Shadron will join the fight. You will want Tenebron to be dead by now, but if she isn’t, the off-tank will need to shift towards Shadrons landing spot and grab them both, facing them towards the lava. Prioritize killing Tenebron before swapping to Shadron, even using cooldowns if you need to.

sartharion shadron portal

Shadrons Twilight Portal will contain Shadron. This enemy will buff Sartharion with Gift Of Twilight, making Sartharion immune to damage and increasing the fire damage he deals by 50%. This can be ignored because you will be DPSing Shadron, not Sartharion, but the damage can be very heavy. If your raid finds themselves unable to keep up with the healing, DPS should dip into the Twilight Portal and quickly kill Shadron.

sartharion vesperon shadron positioning

125 seconds into the fight, the final drake lieutenant, Vesperon will join. You will want Shadron to be dead by now, but if he isn’t, the off-tank will need to shift towards Vesperons landing spot and grab them both, facing them towards the lava. Prioritize killing Shadron before swapping to Vesperon, even using cooldowns if you need to.

vesperon portal positioning

Periodically Vesperon will cast Twilight Torment on himself, shielding him and reflecting a large amount of damage back to any attackers. Killing the Acolyte of Vesper found in his Twilight Portal will dispel this shield, allowing DPS to resume. You will need all the DPS as well as some Healers to dip into the Twilight Portal and kill the Acolyte of Vesper as fast as possible in order to continue DPSing Vesperon.

When all 3 drake lieutenants are dead, Sartharion will be dealing massive damage and hitting significantly faster than before. It is very easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of damage Sartharion can deal here, so it is vital that everyone burns him down as fast as they can, using every cooldown they have available as well as Bloodlust if it wasn’t used on the drakes.

Here are some of the main things that can typically go wrong in this fight:

  • Lava Blazes get hit by Flame Tsunami and enrage
  • Too many players get hit by Flame Tsunami, needing a lot of extra healing or outright dying
  • Your raid simply does not have enough DPS to do hard mode without being overwhelmed
  • Healers neglect one of the tanks, causing them to quickly die
  • DPS don’t go into Twilight Portals when needed

Congratulations on defeating Sartharion and culling the brood of Deathwing before it is too late.

 

About the Author

Passion

I love MMOs of all shades, especially the nitty gritty numbers parts of them. You might recognize me from the Shadow Priest discord, otherwise I play a little bit of everything, especially games with support roles available.
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