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WoWMar 11, 2020 6:00 pm CT

N’Zoth in LFR is the literal worst, so here’s a short guide you can link to your raid group as you run back to your corpse

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the final boss of the expansion has turned out to be the ninth circle of hell on LFR. Players who don’t have the cloak get mind-controlled right off the bat, but they can still queue anyway. (EDIT: This has now been hotfixed and you are required to have the cloak.) Players try to kill the boss, who is mostly immune to damage until phase three. Everyone tries to kill Psychus and treats the tentacles as if they have cooties. People are getting dragged over Bad Things during Mindgrasp. People are running away from their Paranoia buddies. People are going insane and then draining sanity from the rest of the raid. People are sitting in the vast assortment of Bad Things available on the fight. More than a few players have zoned in to raids with a 10-stack of Determination, the hidden debuff Air of Resignation, and no end in sight.

We kinda saw this coming. The last boss of every expansion is always a pirate ghost at first. But even with a coordinated raid, it’s easy to wipe on N’Zoth while people are getting used to the mechanics or not paying attention. What’s more, raid DPS in LFR tends to be on the …  uh … low side, so your margin for error can be fairly thin.

But that doesn’t mean the boss isn’t doable. On top of our previous boss guide, which goes into detail about every aspect you may need to know, I’ve assembled a pocket list of pointers below.

The Basics

Get your cloak

Sorry, there are no alternatives. If you’re not wearing Ashjra’kamas, you will get mind-controlled the moment the fight starts, and then the raid has to stop whatever it’s doing to kill you while you’re trying to drain sanity from everyone else. The cloak is literally an upgrade for everyone, and we may get to the point where Blizzard won’t allow you to queue for Carapace/N’Zoth unless you have it equipped. (See above: A hotfix has made the cloak mandatory for the encounter.)


Keeping yourself from going insane is a key part of this fight. You have an extra action button called Azeroth’s Radiance, which on LFR has a one minute cooldown. When your sanity gets low, click it, stay still for the next four seconds while your sanity refills, and then go back to doing whatever you were doing.

Fighting Psychus

You’ll fight Psychus during phase one and then again on phase two. Don’t bother DPSing him at first because he has very high health and won’t take much damage. The tanks should keep dragging him to the little tentacles called Exposed Synapses. Kill the tentacle next to Psychus, and as long as Psychus is within 8 yards, he’ll get a debuff called Synaptic Shock, which increases the amount of damage he takes. Keep dragging him to fresh tentacles and killing them until you get Psychus to roughly five stacks. At this point, blow him up and get the hell out. If you’re in Psychus’ realm too long, you’ll wipe.

When to damage N’Zoth

N’Zoth will be immune to damage for all of phase one (when you’re downstairs fighting Psychus) and most of phase two. There are only brief periods in which he can be damaged. Every time Psychus dies, N’Zoth will get a debuff called Shattered Ego, which gives you 30 seconds of free DPS on him. Pop your trinkets and blast as much as you can, because you want N’Zoth’s health as low as possible going into phase three.

Because the raid kills Psychus three times during the fight, you’ll get three Shattered Egos, so plan accordingly.

Bad stuff to avoid (and one thing you shouldn’t)

Dark stuff on the ground that keeps spreading is called Creeping Anguish and will both damage you and drain sanity. You’ll see it on Psychus, the little adds called Corrupted Neurons before Mindgrasp, and with Evoke Anguish on phase three. Stay out of it.

Mindgrasp: In phase two and phase three, you’ll see dark lines emanating from your character when N’Zoth casts Mindgrasp. They will either go towards N’Zoth or toward the edge of the platform, and indicate which direction you’re going to get pulled in. If you’re going to get pulled toward N’Zoth, go to the wall: If you’re going to get pulled to the wall, go to N’Zoth. You have plenty of time to figure out where to go, but on LFR you’re better off putting a raid marker on an experienced player and telling the raid to stack on them for this.

Blood: When tentacle packs die, they throw blood on the ground. Stay out of it.

Paranoia: When Paranoia goes out (a little purple line between you and another player), run to the other player. Other people should stay away from you. However, on LFR the sanity drain isn’t too bad, and the whole raid will probably be fine if people just stay spread out.

Stupefying Glare (Eye beams) on phase four. These rotate slowly around N’Zoth. Don’t get hit.

Harvest Thoughts on phase four looks like something you need to avoid but it isn’t. It needs to be soaked. It’s a big circle with a dark border around the Thought Harvester add, so get in it! In general, just keep out of everything else.

The fight is always the same

The encounter is highly scripted and the basic sequence of events is the same every time. While this looks like a lot to remember, the truth is you’ll get used to it quickly.

  1. Phase one: You fight Psychus downstairs. When Psychus dies, N’Zoth gets Shattered Ego.
  2. Phase two: You have 30 seconds to pop your trinkets and blast N’Zoth. When N’Zoth regains his immunity, phase two begins in earnest.
  3. N’Zoth casts Mindgrasp.
  4. Tentacle packs spawn.
  5. N’Zoth casts Paranoia.
  6. 45 seconds into phase two, N’Zoth spawns the Mindgate. This will be located close to where the first tentacle pack spawned and is a black/blue/red circle on the ground. One group needs to stand in the Mindgate, which will take you downstairs for another Psychus phase. The rest of the raid should keep killing tentacle packs.
  7. When the downstairs group kills Psychus again, N’Zoth gets Shattered Ego.
  8. N’Zoth and any remaining tentacles will be stunned for 30 seconds. Clean up any remaining tentacles and blast N’Zoth again.
  9. When N’Zoth regains his immunity, you go through events #3-7 again in the same sequence. When Mindgate spawns again, send people back downstairs to kill the third Psychus.
  10. When the third Psychus dies, N’Zoth gets another Shattered Ego and both he and any remaining tentacles will be stunned for 30 seconds. Clean up any remaining tentacles and blast N’Zoth again. You should use Heroism/Bloodlust here and potions to do as much damage to N’Zoth as possible while he’s stunned.
  11. Phase three: Shattered Ego ends and phase three begins. N’Zoth can be damaged in this phase. Stack the raid next to him. He does not need to be tanked.
  12. Evoke Anguish. Try to move as a group for this (or at least don’t drop puddles on the raid).
  13. Mindgrasp. Same deal as phase 2, except you won’t need to worry about killing any little Corrupted Neuron adds.
  14. Thought Harvester add spawns. This will need to be tanked. Keep it next to N’Zoth for cleave.
  15. The Thought Harvester will cast Harvest Thoughts (a big circle with a dark border). Stand in this to split the damage and sanity loss.
  16. Stupefying Glare. Stay away from the eye beams.
  17. The previous five events will keep repeating (though not necessarily in the same sequence) until N’Zoth reaches 2%.
  18. N’Zoth dies at 2%.

Congratulations, you have saved the world (of Warcraft)! For now, anyway. Good luck next week with another pack of randos!

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