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For world boss, see Niuzao (tactics).
Image of Niuzao
Title The Black Ox,
the Western Celestial[citation needed] 
Gender Male
Race August celestial
Reaction Alliance Horde
Location Various
Status Alive
Relative(s) Zao (calfling)
Student(s) Emperor Shaohao
"Fear seeks to diminish you.
Instead, let it reveal you."[1]

Niuzao the Black Ox is one of the four creatures known as the August Celestials who watch over Pandaria. Niuzao watches over the Townlong Steppes and Dread Wastes and is sometimes referred to as the Western Celestial. He is the spirit of fortitude. He has been referred to as the strength of the west and protector of the weak.[2] As such, he is served by the Niuzao sentinels.


Main article: August Celestial#Early history
Niuzao TBoS

Niuzao in The Burdens of Shaohao.

The mogu empire[]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62 This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

During Lei Shen's conquest of Pandaria, he and the mogu overpowered the four August Celestials. During this time, Niuzao showed fear when he was surrounded by an army of lifelike clay mogu that he had mistaken to be real. The mogu conquered the black ox that day.[3]

The Burdens of Shaohao[]

As Emperor Shaohao attempted to cross the Serpent's Spine, he was overcome by fear, afraid of the nearby Mantid. Niuzao spoke to him from across the steppes, telling him that if he was afraid, he should just follow his own feet and they would lead him to where he needed to go. This was exactly the advice the emperor needed, as the Sha of Fear's infamous ability was to make someone afraid to act even though it was certain they would succeed. Emperor Shaohao eventually found his courage when his friend the Monkey King was in danger, breaking away from the fear that would have prevented him from acting.

Mists of Pandaria[]

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

Niuzao in World of Warcraft.

Niuzao and the other three Celestials opened the gate to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

At the conclusion of Shado-pan rep quests, Niuzao is attacked by the Shan'ze clan of Mogu led by Shan Bu during N [25-35] Surprise Attack!. The Mogu attackers are defeated by the Shado-pan forces led by Ban Bearheart and Niuzao is freed.

He also granted his powers to the Golden Lotus warriors when the mogu invaded the vale after the death of Zhi the Harmonious.


As part of Wrathion's legendary journey, he and an adventurer visited the mighty Black Ox in order to get his blessing.

Timeless Isle[]

The trial of Niuzao is a test of bravery and fortitude. When Emperor Shaohao was overcome with fear, the Black Ox counseled him to face his fears directly. After a protracted battle with the Sha of Fear, the Emperor emerged victorious. To pass the trial of the Ox, warriors must be resolute in the face of overwhelming danger.[4]

Siege of Orgrimmar[]

During the quest N [35] Why Do We Fight?, the celestials alongside the ghost of Shaohao, Lorewalker Cho and Adventurer gathered around to begin to heal the Vale. As he stands before the tree he knew in the end that the hero that caused the havoc on Pandaria and did set it right to be proved worthy.

<Niuzao nods approvingly at you.>

War Crimes[]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62 This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Niuzao and other Celestials chose to hold a trial involving the members of the Alliance and Horde rather than sentence Garrosh Hellscream among themselves. During the trial, Niuzao took the form of a strong, muscular tauren male as a show of respect to the gathered races.[5]

Battle for Azeroth[]

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

During N'Zoth's Assault in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, he fights against Faceless Conquerors at the Emperor's Approach.


Stub Please add any available information to this section.

Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Niuzao Temple 90 1,149,400
N [90] Celestial Blessings 90 393,941
Niuzao (tactics) ?? 2,863,125


The Burdens of Shaohao part 3 - Fear
"Just follow your feet. They will know the way."


Main article: The Might of Three#Notes
Main article: Surprise Attack!#Notes
Main article: Celestial Blessings#Notes
Main article: A Witness to History#Notes
Main article: Niuzao (tactics)#Quotes
Main article: Time-Lost Shrine


  • Like the Dragon Aspects, the August Celestials have the ability to take on mortal forms. During the trial of Garrosh Hellscream, Niuzao took on the form of a glowing tauren.[5]
  • Niuzao (牛皂, Niú zào) is Chinese for, roughly, "black ox".
  • In the original four symbols of Chinese mythology which the August Celestials are based on, there is a Black Tortoise rather than a black ox. The tortoise is also in the North while the white tiger is in the West.
  • Niuzao is voiced by Jamieson Price.[6]
  • During the beta, he had the title <The Black Yak> instead of <The Black Ox>.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Niuzao may be the bull Wild God that Brann Bronzebeard speculates created the tauren.[7] The yaungol, which were actually the original bovine species and became the tauren and taunka later,[8] resemble him greatly.


Fan art


Patch changes[]


External links[]