For other uses, see Enrage.

Enrage is a collective term for boss and other monster abilities which dramatically increase damage output. Many bosses have a hard berserk timer to limit the possible length of the encounter, while others may have a soft berserk that gradually increases tank and healer stress over the course of a fight. Certain mobs and players also have unrelated Enrage effects that hunters, rogues, and druids can dispel.

Although Enrages are ubiquitous now, they were once the exception rather than the rule. Bosses with various Enrage abilities became more and more frequent during the course of Classic WoW as encounter complexity increased.

The various types of Enrage mechanics can be classified as follows:

Berserk (hard)

A hard berserk is designed to wipe a group if the boss is not defeated in a certain length of time. Without such a mechanic, killing a boss would just be a question of having enough healers who don't run out of mana. It adds some urgency to the encounter, makes DPS a more critical role, and prevents undergeared raids from killing the boss. Not all bosses have what is often called a 'zerk timer; bosses without one usually use a soft mechanic instead.

The absolute time limit that a hard berserk represents varies by encounter, although most bosses are in the 5-10 minute range. When the enrage occurs, the boss' damage output will increase greatly and the boss will begin annihilating players one by one, starting with tanks and proceeding to the best DPS without an aggro dump. Most bosses in berserk mode also gain movement speed increases and taunt immunity (if not already taunt immune), to prevent players from kiting the boss while continuing to DPS. The fight is no longer winnable at that point unless the boss is already very close to death, and even then it becomes a desperate race. Any sort of area-effect attack combined with Berserk spells immediate defeat for the players.

Boss goes into a berserker rage! is a common raid warning issued when this time limit is reached.


  • Lord Kazzak would enter "Supreme Mode" after 3 minutes or if engaged by more than 40 players, removing the cooldown from his [Shadow Bolt] AoE.
  • Hakkar the Soulflayer was the first instance boss to have a hard berserk timer.
  • Vem, Battleguard Sartura, and the Twin Emperors in Temple of Ahn'Qiraj were the first 40-man instance bosses to incorporate berzerk timers as part of their arsenal.
  • Archavon, Emalon, and Argaloth feature short 'zerk timers to keep them from being complete tank and spank fights.
  • Blood-Queen Lana'thel: Goes Berserk after 5 minutes and 30 seconds. After her initial bite target, players must infect each other with a vampirism (de)buff to do the required damage to her.
  • Halfus Wyrmbreaker: After 6 minutes he goes Berserk. Overcoming this time limit is part of the fight, as appropriately geared players are not capable of doing enough damage in the given time without the stacking debuff from defeating the drakes.
  • Valithria Dreamwalker: If not fully healed in around 7 minutes, she 'enrages' and starts to pull every mob to her position, wiping the raid. Players have to manage to protect the healers as they heal Valithria, and dps have to kill and interrupt the mobs to prevent the healing reduction debuff. Using the Emerald Nightmare portals properly and killing the dream clouds inside is important to beating the encounter since it is impossible for players to heal Valithria and handle the mobs without properly using the buff granted by killing the dream clouds.
  • Norushen: If players fail to defeat the Amalgam of Corruption within approximately 7 minutes, Norushen will instantly kill every member of the raid party. The berserk timer for this fight starts during the opening Role Play, allowing for slightly less than 7 minutes of actual damage output from players.
  • Brackenspore: After 10 minutes, Brackenspore will enter a hard enrage killing every raid member. The fight may be prolonged if Brackenspore is affected by a moss mechanic that heals the boss's health by a significant amount over time.
  • Oregorger: After 7 minutes and 30 seconds, the boss will begin to stomp repeatedly, causing high raid damage and wiping the remaining party members.
  • Operator Thogar will call all four trains in on the tracks that run through the boss's room, causing every player to get run over and killed instantly after 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

Berserk (soft)

A soft berserk is the informal name for a variety of mechanics that gradually increase the difficulty of an encounter and eventually wipe groups who cannot defeat the boss. Soft berserks take many forms. Some are over the entire fight, while others are invoked at a fixed point in an encounter (for example, at a certain boss health percentage, or after a certain amount of time), and some become apparent only when the group makes mistakes or doesn't control elements of the fight (for example, letting adds or stacking debuffs get out of control).


  • Blackwing Lair
    • Vaelastrasz the Corrupt: The first great DPS race of World of Warcraft. Players have three minutes to defeat Vael before their buff fades and healers no longer have infinite mana to keep up with constant heavy raidwide damage. Compounding this limit, a random player is lost to Burning Adrenaline every 15 seconds, lowering raid DPS over the duration of the fight.
  • Zul'Gurub

The Burning Crusade

  • Gruul's Lair
    • Gruul the Dragonkiller: Gains +15% damage every 30 seconds of the fight, limiting the fight length to how long the raid's tanks can avoid being one-shotted.
  • Tempest Keep

Wrath of the Lich King

  • Vault of Archavon
    • Toravon: Applies a stacking +25% Frost damage debuff on all players after every wave of adds.
  • Icecrown Citadel
    • Deathbringer Saurfang: Uses Mark of the Fallen Champion at 100 Runic Power, which adds significant damage to one target and increases his RP generation speed.


  • Bastion of Twilight
    • Ascendant Council: Ice patches continuously form on the ground in the last phase and will eventually overrun the room, wiping the raid.
  • Cho'gall: In the final phase he gains Corruption of the Old God, increasing corruption stacks raid-wide and eventually wiping the raid.
  • Blackwing Descent
    • Chimaeron: Phase 2 reduces all healing effects by 99%, forcing healers to help the remaining DPS finish the boss off quickly.
  • Firelands
    • Beth'tilac: Gains +5% damage every few seconds of phase 2, which causes her AoE to quickly overtake healer throughput.
    • Majordomo Staghelm: Two stacking buff mechanics, one increasing the damage of his special attacks every time he changes form and the other increasing their frequency the longer he remains in one form. He should be kept in one form until the special attacks become unmanageable, otherwise the damage buff will stack too quickly.

Mists of Pandaria

  • Mogu'shan Vaults
    • The Spirit Kings have a soft enrage in that, even after one of the kings is defeated, he continues using one of his abilities against the raid periodically. By the time the raid is fighting the fourth king, they are dealing with his abilities as well as some of the abilities from each of the prior kings.
  • Terrace of Endless Spring
    • Lei Shi gains a stacking buff each time she loses 10% of her health, increasing her casting speed for each stack.
    • Sha of Fear on heroic mode has a soft enrage in that the number of adds he summons during the second phase increase each time he summons them. These adds fixate on the current Champion of the Light and will one-shot that player if not killed beforehand. As the phase progresses, this rapidly increases the amount of time the raid concentrates on killing adds and eventually the adds will overwhelm the raid, the Champion of the Light will die and the adds will then proceed to kill everyone else.
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Megaera has a soft enrage in that the damage from her Rampage increases each time she casts it, requiring healers to steadily increase the potency of their abilities each phase transition.
    • Lei Shen on heroic mode has a soft enrage in that the conduits that are overcharged will continue independently using their abilities for the remainder of the encounter.
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Immerseus has a soft enrage in that the frequency of split phases increases as the fight progresses and the boss loses corruption, and the amount of damage at the end of these phases increases as well as fewer Sha Puddles (hostile) spawn and more Contaminated Puddles (friendly) do. While the damage from the Sha Puddles is completely preventable (by killing them), healing the Contaminated Puddles to full will still cause reduced raid damage, making an increasing amount of the damage at the end of the phase unavoidable.
    • The Fallen Protectors has several soft enrage mechanics which can be controlled by forcing phase transitions faster. On normal mode, He Softfoot periodically places an undispellable DoT called Garrote on each member of the raid which can only be removed by triggering his Desperate Measures. On Heroic mode, Rook Stonetoe's Corrupted Brew steadily increases in speed until his Desperate Measures is triggered and Sun Tenderheart's Calamity steadily increases in damage until her Desperate Measures is triggered. In all of these cases, Desperate Measures triggers a reset of the mechanic, but it nonetheless increases damage over the course of the fight and necessitates timing the phase transitions properly.
    • Norushen has a soft enrage in that the damage from Icy Fear steadily increases over the course of the fight.
    • Sha of Pride has a soft enrage in that the gaining of Pride (particularly after he becomes Unleashed) increases the complexity of the mechanics the raid must address after Swelling Pride and also has the result that the raiders will become permanently mind controlled when they reach 100 pride.
    • Kor'kron Dark Shaman both steadily gain additional abilities as the fight progresses.
    • Thok the Bloodthirsty has a different soft enrage for each phase. During his normal phase, he gains stacks of Acceleration, increasing the frequency of his Deafening Screeches. During his fixate phase, he gains stacks of Blood Frenzy, increasing his movement speed and the likelihood he will reach his fixate target and eat them. Both of these mechanics can be reset by triggering the next phase.
    • Garrosh Hellscream in phase 2 periodically enters an intermission phase where he gains energy. When he reaches set levels of energy his phase 2 abilities become empowered, dealing additional damage and having additional handling requirements.

Warlords of Draenor

  • Highmaul
    • Tectus splits into additional targets each time an original target is defeated. Each time the boss splits, his abilities are gained by all of the additional mobs which may wipe the group if too many of them are up at the same time.
    • Imperator Mar'gok goes through 4 phases during the course of the encounter. During each phase, his core abilities become altered in such ways that make them more difficult and intense to deal with. By the fourth phase, players must defeat Mar'gok quickly as his abilities may wipe the group within a matter of moments.
  • Blackrock Foundry
    • Flamebender Ka'graz summons enchanted armaments during the course of the fight that remain throughout the entire encounter. Eventually, the boss's room may fill with the weapons causing the fight to become increasingly difficult to navigate.
    • The Iron Maidens will each become increasingly difficult to defeat as they gain an Iron Fury resource. Near the end of the fight, each boss takes on the resource in full, causing the encounter to become highly intense extremely quickly.

Frenzy (hard)

Hard frenzies generally take the form of large damage buffs, are usually triggered when a boss reaches a certain (low) percentage of health, and last until the boss is defeated. This part of the fight puts immediate stress on tanks and healers, and is almost always the ideal time to use Bloodlust or similar effects.


  • Temple of Ahn'Qiraj
    • Huhuran frenzies at 30% health in perhaps the most infamous example. In addition to hitting tanks harder, her colossal Nature AoE can no longer be tranqed and must be absorbed for the remainder of the fight.

Wrath of the Lich King

  • Naxxramas
    • Maexxna frenzies at 30% health, increasing attack speed by 50% and physical damage by 75%. Patchwerk frenzies at 5% health, increasing damage by 25% and attack speed by 40%.
  • Icecrown Citadel


  • Firelands
    • Shannox frenzies when each of his two hounds is killed, increasing his damage and attack speed by 30% each time. The first application occurs early in the fight and is not too threatening; the second is fairly serious but must occur before Shannox reaches 30%, as living adds at that point receive a enormous frenzy effect of their own that will cause a wipe.

Mists of Pandaria

  • Mogu'shan Vaults
    • Gara'jal the Spiritbinder frenzies at 20% health, increasing his attack speed by 25% and his attack power by 10% for the remainder of the encounter. He also stops dropping Spirit Totems, preventing the raid from going into the Spirit World to deal with the invisible adds pelting the raid with extra damage.
  • Heart of Fear
    • Garalon on heroic mode frenzies at 33%, ceasing to fixate on the player with the Pheremones debuff and instead beginning to melee the tank while continuing to use his other abilities. (Prior to the frenzy, Garalon does not have a melee attack.)
  • Throne of Thunder
    • Horridon frenzies when War-God Jalakk dies, increasing his attack speed by 50% and his damage by 100% for the remainder of the encounter.
    • Tortos frenzies at 20% health and will begin spamming Call of Tortos, flooding the encounter area with Whirl Turtles for the remainder of the encounter.
  • Siege of Orgrimmar
    • Sha of Pride becomes Unleashed at 30% health, beginning to use a raid-wide AoE attack every ten seconds for the remainder of the encounter.
    • Kor'kron Dark Shaman cast [Bloodlust] at 25% health, increasing their attack speed and damage by 25% for the remainder of the encounter.
    • General Nazgrim summons an additional wave of adds at 10% health.

Warlords of Draenor

  • Highmaul
    • The Butcher will gain a 10% damage and 30% attack speed buff once he reaches 30% of his maximum health. Due to his intense bleed mechanics, the raid will wipe quickly if the boss isn't defeated swiftly.
  • Blackrock Foundry
    • Kromog will gain a damage output and attack speed buff of 20%, and a quickening of ability usage upon reaching 30% health.

Frenzy (soft)

Soft frenzies are a damage buff that can be dispelled with a Rogue's [Shiv], a Hunter's [Tranquilizing Shot] or a Druid's [Soothe]. These are similar to other boss enrages, but are short duration and can usually be healed through.


  • Magmadar, Flamegor, Chromaggus, Huhuran, Gluth: The 'tranq fights' of Vanilla. Unlike later soft frenzies, these buffs had to be tranqed off immediately as a few seconds of the damage increase was enough to kill progressing tanks. Some of these bosses also gained raidwide AoE capability while enraged. At the time, only Hunters could dispel Frenzy and Tranquilizing Shot had a cooldown, so multiple Hunters had to coordinate in order to keep the buff off.
  • Halazzi: Frenzies in phase 1, increasing attack speed and damage.
  • Saviana Ragefire: Frenzies every so often, increasing her attack speed by 150% and periodically casting Fire Nova for 10 seconds.
  • Icehowl: If he hits someone during Massive Crash, he goes into a Frothing Rage, increasing physical damage and attack speed by 50% for 15 seconds.
  • Beastlord Darmac: Periodically casts Savage Howl when riding on his wolf mount. This will inflict moderate damage to the raid and increase attack power of nearby hostile mobs by 75%.

Bosses without Enrages

Although many raid boss encounters feature some sort of time limit, some do not.


  • All bosses in Molten Core, and nearly all bosses in Blackwing Lair, as these encounters predate the widespread use of the mechanic.
  • Heigan the Unclean: Even during Tier 7 progression, a tank and healer could survive his damage indefinitely if all DPS died in the dance. Fights lasting over 30 minutes have been reported for this boss.

External links