Yogg-Saron DPS and Parse Guide

yogg saron

To maximize damage on Yogg-Saron, there are two basic strategies explained below.

The Speed Kill

Phase 1:
To maximize DPS in phase 1, you’re going to want to touch a lot of clouds. You can have your tank and/or some melee hitting a cloud or two in a controlled fashion when there are fewer than 4 adds alive. The ranged should all stand perfectly still and let clouds roll over them.

This creates a scenario where ranged are able to spam AoE abilities on a group of several mobs, making this phase extremely fast. Melee will need to use a combination of personal defensive cooldowns and ducking in and out of the add clump to stay alive.

Your ranged will want to play a larger role in interrupting Shadow Volley than they normally would, as your melee will often be unable to kick.

Divine Sacrifice and/or Shadow Aura + Aura Mastery should be used if two or more adds are at risk of dying simultaneously.

Phase 2:
The duration of phase 2 can be shortened significantly if your raid is able to push Yogg‘s brain to 30% and enter phase 3 in a single portal phase. This has an extraordinary DPS requirement. Unholy Death Knights and their Summon Gargoyle are your friends here.

You’re going to need to give your portal players a Bloodlust when they reach the brain to make this possible. Your ranged and healers should move to the edge of the arena just before the shaman down below pops Bloodlust. They’ll want their own lust in phase 3.

Phase 3:
To kill the boss as fast as possible, you’re going to want as little damage on the adds as possible. Before the first Shadow Beacon the adds can be passively cleaved down. They will only need direct AoE damage after the first Shadow Beacon, or your tank will surely die. You should assign only a handful of DPS to attack the adds at this point. Shadow Priests, Demo Warlocks, Fire Mage and Boomkin are all good candidates, in addition to melee cleave.

If your team was not already doing this, make sure that the Shadow Beacons are being handled entirely by tanks, or you will lose significant DPS uptime.

Heroic Strike
Rend OR Execute OR Cleaving

The third glyph slot has a lot of viable options as none are particularly great on this encounter.

Begin the encounter using Nitro Boosts to get to the center so you are positioned to begin attacking the adds as early as possible. 

As this is a rather lengthy fight, we have 3 opportune Death Wish timings: 

  1. As soon as we engage combat with the adds in Phase 1
  2. First brain room while attacking the brain 
  3. Phase 3 against Yogg

In Phase 1, try to maintain as much uptime as possible while weaving out of melee range of the adds if your health dips too low. 

In Phase 2, try to squeeze as much damage as you can onto the Corruptor and Constrictor Tentacles as long as you still make it to your portal assignment in time. 

In Phase 3, position yourself in such a way that your Whirlwind is hitting Guardians of Yogg Saron. Bear in mind that all damage done to the Guardians of Yogg Saron count (even when at 1 HP).

Turn towards the boss for a very brief moment to squeeze in a GCD in between Lunatic Gaze ticks and then quickly turn away again.

Opener: N/A

Pre-Pot: Flame Cap for Searing Pain snipes

Glove Usage:
Phase 1 after the first two Guardian of Yogg-Saron spawns
Phase 2 with first Crusher Tentacle & the last Crusher Tentacle
Phase 3 at Execute

2min Trinket Usage:
Phase 1 with first 2 Guardian of Yogg-Saron spawns
Phase 2 with 2nd or 3rd Crusher Tentacle (depending on kill time)
Phase 3 during execute

Talents: Default 55/0/16

Quick Decay
Life Tap
Glyph of Haunt

Phase 1:

Pre-placing a Demonic Circle just outside of the pool around Sara on the entrance side can prove incredibly useful for teleporting to avoid clouds or mobility during Phase 2.

The Guardians die very quickly, and we will not gain very much value out of Curse of Agony. Instead, Corruption, Haunt, and Unstable Affliction will be our bread and butter in this phase, with shadow bolt fillers.

If a Guardians will not live long enough to cast a Shadow Bolt, cast Searing Pain instead.

If your teams Phase 1 strategy involves dodging clouds, focus on moving into opportune positions during any downtime.

Phase 2:

The key to maximizing DPS in Phase 2 is going to be a high DoT uptime on as many targets as possible. As such, positioning is hugely important.

The optimal positioning is going to greatly depend on your raid DPS and how fast the tentacles die. The best position is always going to be within range of as many Corruptor Tentacle and Crusher Tentacles as possible.

If standing in the optimal position requires a lot of movement to reach, then it is better to only move on open global instant casts such as Corruption, Curse of Agony, and Life Tap. Movement outside of these grace periods will hurt your DPS especially if it results in dots falling off the primary Crusher Tentacles target.

If you have very high raid DPS where the Crusher Tentacles die quickly then the uptime lost moving into this optimal position will result in a lower DPS due to the lower total effective uptime.
Utilizing your Demonic Circle: Teleport from Phase 1 will help tremendously, and don’t be afraid to reposition your Demonic Circle in Phase 2 downtime into more optimal positions.

Phase 3:

To start this phase, you are going to want to position yourself as close to Yogg as possible to reduce travel time on your Shadow Bolt and Haunt making it easier to maintain Shadow’s Embrace stacks.

As the first three Immortal Guardians spawn, look to apply your Corruption and Unstable Affliction to them, while still fully prioritizing the boss.

Once Yogg hits execute we will no longer be looking to dot any of the incoming Immortal Guardians to maximize our uptime with Drain Soul.

Every time you cast a Drain Soul begin shifting your character to face away from Yogg in preparation for her Lunatics Gaze.

Set Yogg to focus during this phase so that you can easily reapply our dots as well as keep Corruption from falling off using Haunt.

Depending on your kill time in Phase 3 you will look to Infernal as close to the 1-minute time to kill as possible, but the highest parse strategy method will use Infernal on the grouped Immortal Guardians.

Once the Immortal Guardians are brought back to the raid after the 1st Shadow Beacon expires the methods of killing the boss and parsing begin to differ.

*The highest way to parse will be to maintain Corruption and Shadow’s Embrace via Haunt while casting as many Seed of Corruptions into the Immortal Guardians as possible. This includes the window of time where they are actively healing with Empowering Shadows, but this is ONLY for parsing purposes.
Continuing to properly execute while keeping full dots up and utilizing our trinket, potion, racial, and on use gloves will result in the highest effective DPS for killing the boss. Once Empowering Shadows has fallen off the Immortal Guardians then Seed of Corruption can be an effective method of reducing their damage on your tanks since they do reduced damage at lower health pools.

*All Seed of Corruption damage done to Immortal Guardians while they are affected by Empower Shadows is wasted and ineffective. This damage counts towards parsing but has no benefit to the fight itself since the Immortal Guardians will immediately out heal all damage done to them. This can be highly detrimental to your raid as Affliction Warlocks are the primary source of damage to Yogg and any downtime may result in missing a kill that would otherwise have been secured through proper play.

Opener: Shadow Bolt and Corruption until you get Decimation and attempt to chain Decimation to cast Soul Fire all of p1. If there are 3 adds or more than simply seed.

Pre-Pot/Second Pot: Flame cap. Potion of Speed in p3.

Metamorphosis: Around when the second Guardian of Yogg-Saron spawns so you don’t waste as much of your Metamorphosis duration waiting for new Guardians. Second Metamorphosis is used on Crusher Tentacle #2 or #3 unless you one brain phase, then save for phase 3. Third Metamorphosis is used in Phase 3 during Bloodlust or on the Immortal Guardians right after the first beacon goes out (this is usually at the expense of your raid as the add damage doesn’t matter until after they are done healing and is essentially padding the parse).

Gloves Usage: During first Metamorphosis and on cooldown if you think you’ll use most of the buff on a tentacle in p2 or anytime during p3.

Nitro Boots Usage: Whenever you need to reach a new Crusher Tentacle to increase dps uptime in p2.

Ideally, you have 4-5 Guardian alive at any given moment so that you can get a ton of AoE damage and get out of phase 1 very quickly.

When there is only one or two Guardians alive then simply Corruption and Shadow Bolt until you get Decimation to do Soul Fire instead on the next Guardian.

If there are ever at least 3 Guardians up at the same time, then you seed instead. As mentioned above, pop Metamorphosis and gloves when the second Guardian spawns for solid uptime and to also put them on cooldown in a timely manner.

Phase 2 is all about uptime and reducing movement as much as possible. You’ll typically send your pet in on any Corruptor that is up and single target rotation into a Crusher Tentacle. If a Corruptor is within range of a Crusher Tentacle (and if melee aren’t up top annihilating the Corruptor) then feel free to put up an Immolate and Corruption on the Corruptor while single targeting the Crusher Tentacle.

Stay around the middle of the room circling Yogg so that you do not have to move as much to reach the other side of the room. Demonic Circle can also be used to go from one side of Yogg to the other.

Beyond this, the best way to increase your parse in Phase 2 is to have your melee one brain phase and to simply skip a large portion of Phase 2. If you happen to one brain phase or are expecting to one brain phase, then save Metamorphosis for phase 3. 

As for Phase 3 you are simply single targeting Yogg until the adds really start to accumulate.

If you want to pad damage (at the expense of the raid), then you will save all cooldowns and speed pot for when the adds return after being healed from shadow beacon and seed your little heart out for around 15 seconds until the adds are back down to 1 health. Be very careful about aggro here and expect to shatter or receive a BoP

Ideal Duration: 240s-420s

Guardian of Yogg-Saron rotation:

Cleave and AoE as many adds as your group can possibly handle.

Use shamanistic rage if two adds are going to die simultaneously. Run out if no CDs are available or 3+ adds will explode simultaneously.

Keep magma totem down so you can fire nova when moving in and out.

Crusher Tentacle rotation:

When Corruptors are dead and there is nothing to melee you can hard cast chain lightning, lightning bolts, or shocks on Crusher Tentacle.

Yogg-Saron’s Brain opener rotation:

Standard single target rotation

Yogg-Saron opener and rotation:

You can cleave off of Yogg onto the adds but will want to do a cleave/AOE rotation as soon as adds start spawning. fire nova > chain lightning > single target

Immortal Guardian rotation:

  • Run spell power setup as you will be cleaving and AOEing for much of this phase.
  • AOE these mobs as their damage counts uncapped for parsing.
  • Use a wild magic potion when adds are at a maximum to achieve best possible AOE damage (15 seconds prior to final kiting if kiting for second heal

Encounter specific notes:

  • fire elemental is a dynamic choice for this fight. If your raid team is struggling to meet the single brain phase DPS requirement, use it in the brain room. Securing a single brain Phase 2 is more important to your parse than anything else. If your raid is meeting the check handily, using fire elemental in Phase 1 or Phase 3 is best.
  • If 2 braining, you can drop fire elemental totem near the brain and then stand near Yogg during the up-phase to keep fire elemental alive and damaging the brain. When sent back down be careful not the range it when killing illusions or it will despawn.
  • Fight length determines best time for Spirit wolves. You may be able to use Spirit wolves for all 3 phases, but you should know your groups strategy and timing to choose optimal Spirit wolves timing. Spirit walk can be used for uptime on tentacles or brain.

Cooldown Usage:

  • As mentioned above, certain cooldowns depend on kill time and group strategy/performance. Below cooldown recommendations assume a 2-brain phase kill in 6-7 minutes.
  • As always, use gloves on cooldown
  • fire elemental in phase 1, trying to snapshot with any spellpower/attack power procs
  • Use Spirit wolves on the opener along with gloves as you’ll get 3 uses out of them in a 7 minute kill.
  • Use Spirit wolves in brain phase along with gloves and any haste buffs as wolves will benefit.
  • Use Spirit wolves as soon as they’re up in P3 and call for a second heroism if necessary to buff them
  • Use shamanistic rage between spell cooldowns and maelstrom procs if mana is needed
  1. At this current time the adds at the start still count for damage, so try and do as much as you can. This will vary in groups but doing a single Mutilate and envenom (2-4 CP) is standard for myself. Keep feint us as much as possible for when the adds die. 
  2. If you have Sara’s Fervor or Blessing, the first one you can cloak of shadows off and be fine. If you get it again and a mob dies near you, you are most likely dead so just run out for the aoe damage.
  3. Focus the Corruptors during phase 2. Constrictors die very quick and paladins can bop the target to save them so uptime can be very bad for damage.
  4. Brain room – 1 phase is what you want, ideally with getting Icecrown and having 2 shamans with 1 being sent down to provide Bloodlust while the rest of the raid up top goes to the sides to avoid getting sated/exhaustion.
  5. Pop everything all cooldowns on the brain, except Goblin Thermal Sapper Charge
  6. The raid should position behind Yogg to eliminate parries.
  7. Wait until there are multiple targets before doing using a Goblin Thermal Sapper Charge.
  8. If doing Yogg 0, the adds once they reach 1 health will no longer count toward your damage in the log.
  9. Yogg 0 also has a time where adds need weakened before the Shadow Beaconed needs to be taunted and moved away. For this you can use your weapon swap macro to Titansteel Spellblade and Felstriker and FoK the adds down.
  10. Watch your sanity, if you didn’t use Goblin Thermal Sapper Charge till phase 3 you won’t want to turn away during the Lunatic Gaze but only if you have the sanity to afford to do so. 
  11. You can weave in attacks/casts during the Lunatic Gaze and take 0 sanity. This requires a weakaura to track the ticks, during the window in-between you can deal damage and turn away without losing any sanity.

Glyph of Shadow
Glyph of Mind Flay
Mind Sear

Potion: Potion of Speed

Opener: Standard

Phase 1: Guardians

Single-target rotation on the kill target and maintain DoTs on all others. Use MS to AoE if your group decides to pull 3+ Guardians.

Phase 2: Tentacles and Portals

Single-target rotation on the Crusher Tentacles and maintain DoTs on the Corruptor Tentacle if they are in range to be attacked. Use Dispersion and Hymn of Hope during downtime. Pre-position behind Yogg-Saron before the transition into Phase 3.

Phase 3: Yogg-Saron

The unfortunate truth to parsing on Yogg-Saron is that padding on the Immortal Guardians is included even if they are at 1 HP. If you can get away with it, then you should maintain DoTs on Yogg-Saron, Vampiric Touch the Guardians as they come in, and spend the rest of your time using MS off of a Guardian at 1 HP.

This is detrimental to the raid, but it is the optimal way to parse.

Seal: Seal of Vengeance + Seal of Command + Seal of Righteousness

Glyph of Judgement
Glyph of Seal of Vengeance
Glyph of Reckoning

Phase 1:

  • Pop Wings when the first 2 adds are up and stay in Seal of Command, make sure to get out
    your hammer of wraths during the short execute window, you can use your art of war procs on flash of
    to help keep yourself alive here when adds blow up.
  • If you are in a tight spot near the very end of phase 1, you can bubble to keep uptime on the
    adds as high as possible

Phase 2:

  • You want as much uptime on the corruptors before you go into brain room as possible, youre fighting the clock in p2 when it comes to uptime, so any form of damage that you can reliably do to any adds is good (besides meleeing the crusher)

Once you’re in the brain room, your Seal usage vastly depends on which room you are in.

Save your Saronite bomb for when you get to the brain as well as your gloves/potion/wings.
If you don’t one phase, then leave a consecration just before you exit the brain room for the first time.

Phase 3:

  • Use Seal of Vengeance for the start, then after the waves of adds start to come in you can swap to Seal of Command
  • If you really want to parse, then you sadly have to pad as much as possible on the adds during the last phase. Mouse over hammer of wrath on adds, dropping consecration on the adds, etc.
  • Make sure that when you turn away from the boss you are still always meleing the adds for maximum uptime

Coming Soon!

The pre-pull:

●     The fight starts as soon as you cross the threshold into the room. Boot into position with the rest of the raid and use a flame cap before entering combat. This will leave it available for the last phase of the boss to use a Potion of Speed.

Phase 1: 

Phase 2:

Phase 3:

Use a Flame Cap instead of a potion. Use Nitro Boosts immediately and run towards the center of the arena to drop an Explosive Trap. Continue to do this as your trap comes off cooldown, using disengage (carefully) to rejoin the ranged clump.

Phase 1:

  • Land as many Killshots as possible.
  • Use Volley if there are 3 or more mobs.

Phase 2:

  • Pop your CDs on the first Crusher Tentacle.
  • Find a Corruptor and send your pet on it. Do not send your pet on a Crusher Tentacle or it will die.
  • Once the melee gets to the brain and freezes the tentacles, send your pet in and start doing your normal single target rotation on the highest health tentacle.

Phase 3:

  • Get to the back of Yogg and drop a trap on the add closest to the boss.
  • Perform a normal single target rotation, but use Volley instead of Steady Shot.
  • If your only goal is to parse, you can spam Volley, but this will increase the length of the fight and grief your raid.

Glyph of Insect Swarm
Glyph of Starfall
Glyph of Starfire

Potion: Potion of Speed

Opener: Standard

Phase 1: Guardian
Single-target rotation on the kill target. You can safely use all CDs in this phase as this is a very long encounter. Use Hurricane to AoE if your group decides to pull 4+ Guardians.

Phase 2: Tentacles and Portals
Single-target rotation on the Crusher Tentacles.

If you’re assigned to a portal, then make sure to position accordingly.

Ensure that Starfall and Barkskin are available for the portal room.

You will die extremely quickly while Starfall hits multiple targets in the portal rooms, so heal yourself with Rejuvenation and Nourish as needed.

Pre-position behind Yogg-Saron before the transition into Phase 3 if you’re not entering a portal.

Phase 3: Yogg-Saron
The unfortunate truth to parsing on Yogg-Saron is that padding on the Immortal Guardians is included even if they are at 1 HP.

If you can get away with it, then you should maintain your single target rotation on Yogg Saron until there are 4+ Immortal Guardians to AoE. Channel Hurricane on the Guardians while also hitting Yogg-Saron.

You can also single target Yogg-Saron while he is not casting Lunatic Gaze and turn around to cast Hurricane while he is.

Recommended Talents & Glyphs

240s – 420s Ideal Duration


Yogg-Saron is a very advanced encounter. There’s several mechanics to be respected, moderate positioning rules, and some strict timings to be met.

Mechanics Briefing

  1. Shadow NovaBarkskin and Survival Instincts this damage.
  2. Death Ray – Deals massive damage, avoid it at all costs.
  3. Malady of the Mind – This can hop players, avoid others with it.
  4. Brain Link – Inform your partner to stand near your portal.

Pre-Pull Checklist

  • Yogg-Saron has no pre-pull, but there are moments to get Clearcasting.

The Encounter
Perform a single-target or Swipe rotation with Berserking on the Guardians of Yogg-Saron.

If you receive Sara’s Fervor or Blessing, you should likely escape.

After Sara dies, ensure all the debuffs you receive are dispelled.

Ignore Crusher Tentacles, but attack Constrictors and Corruptors.

After entering the portal and killing your assigned tentacles, use Feral Charge – Cat on the brain to be placed behind it.

If you’re one phasing the brain then use Berserking on it, if not, save Berserking.

Once you enter the last part of the fight, begin a single-target non-Berserking opener and rotation on Yogg-Saron.

Turn and auto-attack the Immortal Guardians on Lunatic Gaze.

When the first set of Shadow Beaconed Immortal Guardians return, turn to them and perform a Swipe rotation with Berserking and use your Potion of Speed.

Finish Yogg-Saron.

Parsing on Yogg-Saron is a combination of Swipe maximization, rotational cleanliness, mechanical excellency.

Glyph of the Ghoul
Glyph of Death and Decay
Glyph of Icy Touch

Encounter notes:

  • Gargoyle in phase 1 if it will be up in time for the first Brain
  • Gargoyle AND army in the Brain phase if your guild lusts the melee to 1-phase it, otherwise, just pop Gargoyle and use Army later in p3
  • Use Dark Death glyph, Icy Touch could be good for Immortal Guardian padding but the Death Coil damage on Yogg in p3 is juicy.
  • Leeway your DND and Pestilence casts in p3 to help cover more targets
  • If your guild is pumping and 1 phasing the brain, you will only have enough time for ONE Gargoyle Maximize it and then chill in Blood Presence for the entire p3


About the Author


World of Warcraft veteran of 18 years. Ex world first raider and rank 1 healer. Slayer of dragons. Lover of cats.
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