A Rogue in Naxxramas – Sapphiron

This is part of a series describing rogue tactics for the bosses in Naxxramas. The focus is on the 10-man version of the fights, since that’s what most people will be running. If you have suggestions for alternate strategies, or if I say something that you disagree with, please put it in the comments.

These are not meant to be full raid strategy guides. They are written to describe the role of rogues (or other melee dps) during the encounters. For full strategy guides refer to Bosskillers or WoWWiki.


So you’ve made it to Frostwyrm Lair.  Time for the big guns – Sapphiron and Kel’thuzad.

sapphironSapphiron is a very straighforward fight.  It has two phases.  Its puts pressure on your healers because there is a lot of raid damage (frost).  If you find that the healers are having a hard time keeping up, you might get yourself some of the crafted Polar set.  Yes, your dps might take a little hit from wearing that.  But a dead rogue does no dps, so if it helps you stay alive then its worth it.

The fight has two phases.  Both are fairly simple for melee dps.

The first phase is tank-and-spank.  The tank will hold Sapphiron in place.  He has the typical dragon frontal cleave and tail swipe, so you will want to park yourself right around his rear leg.  You will take consistent ticks of frost damage throughout the fight, so hopefully you’ll get some heals.

Note: his frontal cleave is huge.  Make a wiiiide run around to his side when you are first starting the fight.  All the way around the edge of the room.

During the fight there is an ice storm that moves around the room.  It looks like a large mage Blizzard.  It does fairly heavy damage.  If you see it coming, run through Sapphiron to his other rear leg, or strafe to a safe spot.  Make sure you don’t get out of range of the healers.  If you get caught in it, you will get slowed so you’ll want to Cloak out of it and get away.

You might see a curse appear in your debuffs called Life Drain.  That will reduce your life and also heal Sapphiron.  It needs to be dispelled.  If your dispellers are slow, you can Cloak that, if you have to.

Phase two begins when Sapphiron takes off into the air.  Try to get a Rupture off just before he goes up to get those extra damage ticks while he is out of range.

When Sapphiron takes off, your raid wants to spread out, but not too much.  Sapphiron will fire Ice Bolts at three random players.  Those three players take some sizeable damage, but also anyone within ten yards gets hit with the damage, too.  That’s why you want to be spread out.  The three players who are hit will become Ice Blocked as well.  Stay spread out until all three have been hit… each ice bolt does AoE damage as well to those in its vicinity.

After all three players have been hit with the bolt and turned into ice blocks, then you have to run and hide behind one of the blocked players.  Sapphiron casts a frost breath that will hit everyone in his line of sight for over 100k damage.  Hiding behind an ice-blocked player is the only way to avoid this.  (I have never tried to hit Cloak of Shadows to avoid the damage.  I don’t think it will work)

Once the frost explosion goes off, the tank picks up Sapphiron and you are back to phase one.  Repeat.  Its a pretty simple fight.  If you can dispel the curse and avoid the blizzards, then you’re doing your job.  Then its up to the healers to keep up with the raid damage. Since much of the fight is standing still and dpsing, you can put up very good numbers here.  Its a rogue-friendly fight.

Sapphiron drops some great loot.  On the 10-man version, you can get the Helm of the Vast Legions (yay meta socket!).  Also available is the Cloak of Mastery – one of the best dps cloaks.

On 25-man you can be lucky and get Murder – an amazingly good  dagger.  You might get the Gloves of Fast Reactions or the Icy Blast Amulet or (what I keep hoping for) the Bandit’s Insignia trinket.

In addition, killing Sapphiron drops one Key to the Focusing Iris.  You need this to start the Malygos fight in Eye of Eternity.  Only one person can get it, so choose wisely.  We give it to our raid leaders since its important that they have the key.  The one who gets it receives a great quest reward after killing Malygos, so that’s a consideration as well.

Back to main Rogue in Naxxramas page —–>


6 Responses to “A Rogue in Naxxramas – Sapphiron”

  1. 1 Thimble
    April 1, 2009 at 10:13 am

    On a fight like Sapphiron, or Heigan, where you’re going to have a prolonged period of time away from the boss, is it better to spend any combo points you have on a rupture just before they become unhittable, so you get some damage ticks while they’re away, or hold those combo points and start SnD (which will wear off while they can’t be hit) as soon as they come back? I’ve yet to determine which is going to be more effective overall. I imagine it really doesn’t make a huge difference either way, but I’ve tended to hang onto my combo points so I can get right back to business when they return.

  2. April 1, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Some additions here:

    1. You don’t have to stay very close to him. He’s a big dragon, so you can stand as far as the green circle on the floor (you can’t really miss it ;] ) and still be in melee range.

    2. Because of the above, I find running a few steps in whatever way is clear a much better way to avoid the Blizzards. Running through him has two disadvantages – you can get tailswiped while doing so, and on the other side you can be out of the range of your healers, and you want to get heals and get these Drain Lifes off of you. This is not that big of a deal when you have people on both of his sides, but we don’t split the raid even in Naxx-25.

    3. On the start of the air phase, you can use your Killing Spree just as he’s going into air and get some free damage, since he’s not doing anything in that period of time. Remember to quickly run back to the proper side, so you won’t be turned into an ice block too far from the rest of the raid.

    4. Don’t hide behind a mage’s Ice Block ability! They have a different color. 🙂

    5. Also the Key to the Focusing Iris gives a quest that gives an awesome necklace as a reward of killing Malygos, so you might want to get it, especially on 25-man version.

    As for Thimble’s question – I usually do Ruptures in this time. Damage is good, and restarting SnD is not that much of a problem, since after the break you’ll usually have more than enough energy for that. ;]

  3. April 1, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    It’s kind of hard to time a rupture for air phase since IME most of the time you’ll have a partially-completed one already going.

    I’ll also second Saithir’s approach to avoiding Chill – it’s worked well for me.

    And no, cloak won’t save you from the breath :>

  4. April 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I think that trying to time the Ruptures for part of the fights where you can’t directly damage the boss is a good idea anyway. I use it on Malygos’ Vortexes, in Azjol’Nerub on the last boss, on one of Sartharion’s drakes just before running into the portal. It’s free damage if you can do it, nothing wrong with that. :]

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