The 50 Biggest Villains in World of Warcraft (Ranked Based on Badassery)
Blizzard’s biggest franchise has a huge list of villains. But which ones are really the best?
World of Warcraft is a game jam-packed with villains. For 110 levels, you’re constantly battling all sorts of villains you can find, from the puniest Northshire wolves to huge big bads like the Lich King. With all these villains to play with, which ones really are the most badass? Let’s count down 50 of the most badass WoW villains out there. Some of them might surprise you!
Even the most annoying enemies can be badass… I promise.
Okay, so I know what you’re thinking: “How on earth are Podlings badass?” well, let me put it this way. Podlings are one of the most annoying enemies ever added to World of Warcraft. If you’ve played through Warlords of Draenor, you’ll know exactly how small they are, and the gross sounds they make when you aggro them. Does that make them badass? Absolutely, because when Warlords of Draenor was over, I remembered them more than Thunder Hydras.
I wonder what really happens if I take this candle…
Goldtooth is one of those enemies that Alliance players will probably remember more than strictly Horde players, but that still means he deserves to be on this list. Kobolds are a staple of the WoW universe, almost as much as our half-beloved, half-hated Murlocs are. So when you’re asked to retrieve a necklace from this thief, who isn’t going to jump at the chance to put an end to this whining miner once and for all?
There’s a reason his HP is 666.
As someone who has played the game a long, long time now, Hogger still terrifies. I remember camping out at his spawn, watching, and waiting… and then dying quick when I realised I couldn’t take him on. These days, you can just deck yourself out in heirlooms, and you’re going to probably three or four hit this guy – but back then, Hogger struck fear in the hearts of noobs and alts everywhere. Hogger is so badass that he was made a boss of The Stormwind Stockade back in Cataclysm, so that we can kill him a second time.
Murlocs are everywhere. Levelling a fresh character these days often feels like you’re just out there to go and kill murloc parties. From big bad rare mobs to tiny baby murlocs that make the cutest sounds, these things will always find a way to mrlglgl mrglgl into your heart. Yes, that even includes the Warcraft movie, in which they just had to have a (very short) cameo. Of course they did. Thanks for reminding me how much I hate that sound, Blizzard!
46. “Captain” Cookie
The promotion of a lifetime.
“Captain” Cookie started off his life as Cookie, an optional boss that was apparently the chef of the ship within Deadmines, one of the first dungeons you can do as a new character. When Cataclysm rolled around, as the only surviving NPC from the original version of the dungeon, he was promoted to the captain of the ship. Well, that’s pretty badass if you ask me! I just wish he’d stop covering me in all this rotting food.
45. Timmy the Cruel
Timmy the Cruel is a boss found in Stratholme, one of the creepiest dungeons in World of Warcraft. It might seem like he’s so overrated now, as one of those bosses you just tank and spank and forget about, but he’s so much more than that. Timmy hits exceptionally hard compared to others in the dungeon, and is even speculated to be as old as Warcraft III, as there was a ghoul in a particular quest called Timmy. Maybe he’s cruel now because of how many years he’s lived?
44. Mr. Smite
"I’ll have to improvise!” Is forever in my memory.
Back to the Deadmines now, and Mr. Smite certainly deserves to be on this list. In the original Deadmines, Mr. Smite taunted us from the bridge leading to the ship, serving as a mini-boss for all hopeful low-levels. He hit extremely hard, had two Defias buddies that would also attack, and, well, just became a fan favourite, really. He never returned when Cataclysm rolled around, but these days players can get a toy that turns you into Mr. Smite himself... so I guess he’s really gone, but never forgotten. Keep on improvising, buddy.
Glubtok was the first boss that greeted us in the revamped version of the Deadmines, quite possibly the first boss a lot of players ever faced. He followed us through the Westfall questline, in which we used boxes to not attract attention (that random breathing box must be nothing… reveal your evil plan!). Possibly the most badass move he has actually does no damage, but strikes fear in the heart of everyone when he yells “Glubtok ready? Let’s do it! ARCANE POWER!”.
Look at that lifeless face…
Ook-Ook was a boss added in Mists of Pandaria, and features in Stormstout Brewery. The first boss we defeat, this huge, ugly Hozen has us roll on barrels to do extra damage to him, and even threatens: “Me gonna Ook you in the dooker!” Frightening stuff for any fresh level 85. But what makes him the most badass is his ground pounding, and the bananas he randomly throws around to trip Lich King killing players up. Ballsy stuff from a ballsy Hozen.
41. Princess Theredras
That’s one big woman.
Princess Theredras appears in Maraudon, and is a grotesque being of stone who birthed literally all the centaurs we know and hate today. She began a steamy relationship with one of Cenarius sons, and then set out to terrify us all and walk around like a HBIC. Frightening stuff. What probably makes her the most badass is the fact that she looks… well, gross, and seemingly doesn’t care. She also managed to become lovers with Cenarius’s own son, which is pretty badass for a model that looks, well, like that.
40. Helix Gearbreaker
Helix Gearbreaker is the second boss we encounter with the revamp of the Deadmines, probably the most featured dungeon on this list, but for very good reason! Helix is a goblin that managed to “tame” a Lumbering Oaf, and rides around on his back. What makes him badass is the fact that he jumps off, and mounts your face at intervals during the fight. There was a time where he was glitched, and the Heroic version started showing up in cities, yelling “Ready Oafie? Throw!” over and over, and killing low levels and terrorizing everyone.
39. The Defias Brotherhood
Maybe one day I’ll get one of those masks.
The Defias Brotherhood is a large group of thieves and assassins that have been around since at least the First War. They started out as a group of artisans that worked to restore Stormwind, but after Katrana Prestor refused to pay them, they went rogue. The Defias Brotherhood are particularly badass because they managed to kill of the Queen, and gained numerous numbers throughout the years, enough to still terrorize low levels by the time World of Warcraft rolled around. They may even still be around today!
38. Romulo and Julianne
The gear they drop looks awful, though.
Romulo and Julianne are part of the original Karazhan’s Opera Event, in which random bosses spawned in a tribute to certain plays. Obviously, this one is a nod to Romeo and Juliet, the classic Shakespeare play. I picked these two as a badass duo due to how much of a problem they were for level 70 raiders. The pair switched between Julianne’s ranged spells to Romulo’s melee, and then came together in the end. Difficult for anyone to get past on sheer luck!
37. The Big Bad Wolf
Even the baby version is menacing.
The Big Bad Wolf is another of these Opera event bosses - that pays tribute to The Little Red Riding Hood. Starting out as an innocent grandmother, who you can ask about “phat lewtz”, The Big Bad Wolf manages to hit very hard, and also turn players into Little Red Riding Hood herself, running around aimlessly and not being able to attack. If you solo bosses these days, this can be a pain. This guy also lends his voice to Deadly Boss Mods, one of the most popular addons in the game, and yells “Run away little girl, run away!” when you really, really need to move.
36. The Headless Horseman
Get over here, you idiot!
The Headless Horseman is a seasonal boss, but one almost beloved in the WoW community. When Hallow’s End rolls around – WoW’s version of Halloween – The Headless Horseman is everywhere. From terrorizing low level towns like Goldshire or being farmed daily by millions of players, The Headless Horseman is one badass character. He even drops his mount if you’re lucky, a flying horse that so, so many want. After 10 years I still don’t have it, and can recite all of this guy’s echoing riddles on command.
The scariest dog you’ve ever seen.
Icecrown Citadel is a pretty badass raid overall. I love going there to this day, even if it is just to farm Invincible’s Reigns over and over. Precious, however, is a little mini boss that most people overlook. One of the scary guard dogs of Rotface and Festergut along with Stinky, Precious is one of the hardest critting minibosses in the game, Precious was absolutely terrifying if one of you were underprepared to take on this beast. However, she also drops a bright pink shirt for you to wear. Be badass with this pink shirt of victory!
Oh my god… it got bigger!
After Loken got his hands on him, Mimiron has only been inventing deadly war machines, and the one we see and fight in Ulduar is pretty damn intense. With different parts coming together in different phases, to a final head that can only be attackable by ranged abilities (making it certainly not a tank and spank type fight), Mimiron is one of those bosses you’ll never forget. Though please, please, don’t push that button!
33. Lord Jarraxus
You face Jaraxxus!
Lord Jaraxxus is one of the bosses we fight during the Trial of the Crusader, and is an Eredar Lord summoned by plucky gnome Wilfred Fizzlebang. Usually, a massive, hulking Eredar Lord would be higher up on this list, but then again, Lord Jaraxxus is special. Featuring in Hearthstone as well, Lord Jarraxxus quickly became a fan favourite, with remixed songs involving his voice lines going viral. Now he’ll forever be remembered as Jaraxxus, Eredar Lord of the trifling gnome. Also, his karaoke is stellar, according to Medivh.
Moroes is another of the bosses found in the original Karazhan, who greets us to the Banquet Hall and allows us to access the Opera Event in all its glory. Moroes was a personal servant to Medivh, and lived in the tower for a long time until his master killed him. Resurrected as a dagger wielding undead, Moroes became the badass we all know and love today. To this day, with his return in Legion, he still isn’t prepared for all those uninvited guests.
31. Edwin VanCleef
Always shady, never forgotten.
Edwin VanCleef was the original final boss of the Deadmines, and a loved encounter for many a player, as he was one of the first final bosses to be defeated for many. He was the leader of the Defias Brotherhood, and captained the ship we infiltrate to take him down from the shadows. Edwin VanCleef will always be remembered, and was so great, that Blizzard now allow you to disguise as him on their launch anniversary.
30. Vanessa VanCleef
There is no Hope, there is only Vanessa.
Vanessa VanCleef is the daughter of previously mentioned badass Edwin VanCleef, and became the leader of the Defias Brotherhood upon his death. Until Cataclysm, players had no idea that Vanessa even existed, only finding out through a new Westfall quest. Vanessa then became the end boss of the Heroic version of the Deadmines, in which she had us swing from ropes and endure visions. We thought she was dead and gone, but Blizzard surprised us in Legion when she joins rogues in their Class Order Hall – reluctantly, of course.
29. The Scarlet Crusade
What once was good is now bad…
The Scarlet Crusade as a collective offer some of my favourite pieces of lore in the game, and fascinate me to this day. What started out as one of Lordaeron’s most devoted acts against all Scourge quickly turned bad, showing hatred towards all those that could not prove their mortality, and made enemies upon enemies along the way. Most of them were mad and driven by hate, but there intentions were once good, and they had an immense amount of power over the Eastern Kingdoms until their collapse.
28. The Sha
Do you really want to fight this?
The Sha were everywhere in Mists of Pandaria, infesting people, land, and even gear in spread of negativity. The physical manifestation of negative emotions such as pride, anger, etc – the Sha were said to be the most ancient enemy of the Pandaren and Pandaria as a whole. These gross blob like creatures are the spawn of an Old God, some of the most terrifying creatures in Azeroth. If that isn’t an indication of how badass they are, then what is?
No more play?
Patchwerk is a name that most WoW players will know. The first boss of the Construct Quarter in the beloved raid Naxxramas, Patchwerk is one of the best examples of a tank and spank fight you will ever find in the game. However, with his unique dialogue and terrifying look, he quickly became a beloved boss by many, and even managed to appear twice in the same expansion, appearing in the Death Knight questline.
26. Lei Shen
Is that 1.21 gigawatts?
The first emperor of the Mogu race, Lei Shen, in some of his last attempts, tried to rally together all the Mogu once again, after their previous demise. When the Mists of Pandaria raid Throne of Thunder launched, players had the chance to put an end to this titan of an emperor once and for all. One of the hardest fights of the raid, even in the watered down LFR version, Lei Shen proved to be a huge headache for many a raider at all different levels.
EAT YOUR BONES!
Another boss found in Naxxramas, the horrible construct Thaddius is one of the most frightening things you’ll find in WoW to this day. An encounter that worked on splitting your raid and switching from side to side due to electrical charges, Thaddius was even a pain from a tactical standpoint. However, this creature is built from the flesh of women and children, whose souls are fused together to maintain the beast. If your ambience is turned up to full, you can hear the screams of these people through the Naxxramas raid – and it gives me chills to this day.
24. Professor Putricide
That was interesting!
Good news, everyone! Professor Putricide made it onto this list. The Icecrown Citadel boss that procured all sorts of plague, scourge, and abomination was an incredible fight when it first launched, and it even gave some of the most quotable and remembered lines in the whole game. He was also pretty annoying, with ooze that made its way across the floor and three phases that made him incredibly gross with each new phase.
23. Lady Vashj
When fish people get… even worse.
Lady Vashj has been around for a long time. Since her introduction in Warcraft III, Lady Vashj has been an incredible villain. One of the handmaidens to the Naga Queen Azshara, Lady Vashj retained her title even when Azshara fell to the depths and she obtained her Naga. She was introduced as a boss in Serpentshrine Cavern in WoW, where she was just as deadly as we had grown to know through time, whether as a player character or otherwise.
22. The Four Horsemen
The very, very bad type of Death Knights.
Originating in the first version of Naxxramas with the original release of the game, the Four Horsemen were Kel’Thuzad’s favourite creation, as they were the most powerful of all the scourge at the time. The Four Horsemen consisted of Thane Korth’azz, Lady Blaumeux, Sir Zeliek, and Alexandros Mograine, the latter wielding the Ashbringer at the time of his death, which then became the Corrupted Ashbringer, one of the most rare and desired items in the entire game. Yes, this item dropped – and was totally badass. It doesn’t anymore, as Baron Rivendare took Mograine’s place. Bummer.
21. Blood-Queen Lana’thel
When the dead get... attractive?!
Blood-Queen Lana’thel is another boss featured in Icecrown Citadel, this time nearing the end of the raid itself (depending on which route you take). This fight sees the San’layn queen on the search for blood, in which you have to pump out the most DPS you can, and fighting through her short air-intervals. What brings her up there in the badass list is the vampire debuff mechanic that honestly, still confuses me to this day. The highest threat player takes the debuff (excluding the tank), and players do more damage, but must pass around the debuff or be mind controlled. For easily confused players like myself – this mechanic is literally hell. Get it away from me!
Roaring on your login screen since 2008.
Sindragosa was possibly the most anticipated fight of Wrath of the Lich King, as she was raised as a frost wyrm by the Lich King in the trailer cinematic. Before this, she was the consort to the blue dragonflight’s Malygos, and birthed many of the blue dragons we know today. She was one of the bosses in Icecrown Citadel, traditionally fought just before the Lich King. She had a chance to freeze players solid, and these players were basically doomed. The roar she did on the log in screen will forever be imprinted in my memory... so she deserves to be on this list. Maybe she’ll stop now?
19. The Burning Legion
Who are we taking over now?
Okay, so “The Burning Legion” is kind of a broad term, but I think the vastness of this group is something that makes it even more badass. Any demon that you encounter can be classed as part of the Burning Legion, which means that there are literally thousands, and estimated to be millions of them, running about and trying to get stuff done. Their goal is for there to be no order in the world, and for there to be only chaos left. They invade Azeroth practically all the time, and seem to be the reason many things go wrong.
Did Sylvanas ever pay this guy? Probably not.
Varimathras is a long standing character that has been around since Warcraft III. A dreadlord that led his forces into Lordaeron to ravage the land, he eventually made a pact with Sylvanas to save his skin. He offered her a place in the dreadlord ranks, but she refused, and would have to beg for his life as she stood above him, ready to assassinate him. However, he betrayed his brothers and teamed with Sylvanas, offering his knowledge so that his life would be spared. So, most WoW players remember him as a quest giver in the Royal Quarter of the Undercity, still under Sylvanas’ control.
17. Doom Lord Kazzak
Employee of the month: Lord Kazzak?
Kil’jaeden’s right hand is a title that strikes fear into the heart of many – if they know how powerful Kil’jaeden was, of course. An elite doomguard commander that has now appeared in three different versions of the game, it’s safe to say that he’s one big bad many people have had the pleasure of killing. From Lord Kazzak, to Doom Lord Kazzak, to Supreme Lord Kazzak, this guy just keeps getting promoted, and keeps on being more difficult to kill.
The most famous Pit Lord we know.
One of the oldest villains on this list, Mannoroth has been around and causing havoc since as early as the War of the Ancients. A lieutenant to both Archimonde and Kil’jaeden, Mannoroth has also been known as “the Destructor”, which basically means that wherever he goes, destruction follows. If that doesn’t make for a particularly badass villain, I don’t know what does. Even in undeath, resurrected by Gul’dan, Mannoroth wreaked havoc among many a 10 and 25 man raid.
Remember when Ragnaros skipped leg day?
Although it may not be known to many, Ragnaros and the elemental lords are actually servants to the Old Golds – which are basically the biggest big bads Azeroth have. The end boss to the vanilla raid Molten Core that was famously designed in a week, Ragnaros became a fan favourite through nostalgia and then-challenging boss mechanics. He was so beloved that Blizzard gave him a comeback in Cataclysm with the Firelands raid, and he has even recently been added to Heroes of the Storm.
Not this guy AGAIN!
Gul’dan has been around for so long, that he has around five different iterations. Whether it’s the Warcraft III version, or the newest Legion version, Gul’dan is one mean guy. Even one of the worst villains to ever grace Azeroth carries his skull around. That’s goals for a villain, there! He was also the first Orcish warlock, and helped to form the Horde as we know it today. This guy has a ton of lore, and this is only scratching the surface – and with his introduction as a boss in Legion, it’s safe to say I can’t wait to kill him.
Tremble, mortals, and despair!
What’s just more badass than Gul’dan? Well, the Eredar Gul’dan manages to summon. The closest thing to Sargeras we have ever encountered, Archimonde has tormented us for a very, very long time. Since Warcraft III, through Burning Crusade and Warlords of Draenor, Archimonde has been popping up more badass than the last time again and again. He even managed to muster enough energy to send Gul’dan through the portal he came from as he died, making him way more powerful than Gul’dan.
Ner’zhul: Azeroth AND Draenor’s resident badass.
Do not be discouraged – just because Ner’zhul was only given a dungeon to exert his awesomeness in Warlords of Draenor does not make him any less badass. I blame Blizzard for that one. Kil’jaeden got a hold of Ner’zhul after he tried to escape Draenor, and forced upon him a blood pact Ner’zhul had all but forgotten about. Kil’jaeden gave him exceptional power – and birthed the first ever Lich King. Yep! That’s right, before Arthas ever stepped foot into that Citadel, Ner’zhul claimed power over death and the scourge.
11. Kael’thas Sunstrider
Number 11 was merely a setback!
The Prince of Quel’Thalas, the kingdom of the High Elves, Kael’thas was severely misguided throughout his life. He led his people to the Alliance, but then allied himself with Illidan Stormrage and the Burning Legion, leading his people to sate their magic with fel, and birth the Blood Elves as we know them today. He’s also a beloved boss in The Burning Crusade, with highly quotable lines and a desirable mount, the Ashes of Al’ar that keeps people slaying him to this day.
Come inside… meet your friends at the door!
While Medivh is categorized as being a True Neutral aligned character, he deserves a place on this list purely because of the evil that inhabits him, and the things that is has made him do in the past. He started out as the son of Aegwynn and Nielas Aran, destined for greatness at his mother’s hand. Though, he was possessed by Sargeras while he mother was still pregnant, and that lead him to do awful things that Sargeras’ power had over him, including killing his servant, Moroes, who also featured on this list.
9. Queen Azshara
Why does evil have to look so good?
Before the War of the Ancients, Queen Azshara was the beloved Queen of the original Kalimdor, due to being highly beautiful, charismatic, and incredibly powerful. When she sought to make the world perfect in her eyes, she caught the attention of Sargeras, and even challenged Mannoroth. Mannoroth himself decided that she had a power that only Sargeras was superior– and through her own folly she became the Naga Queen, desperate to live again. Coming second to Sargeras himself makes her pretty badass in my opinion – but I’m biased in this sense, I love her!
Mr. Bigglesworth’s biggest fan.
Kel’thuzad is an incredibly complex character. Originally, he was a mage with the Kirin Tor, who then fell under the influence of the Lich King. After he was originally killed by Arthas Menethil for plaguing Lordaeron, when Arthas became a Death Knight he was resurrected by him and made a lich, and the Kel’thuzad we all know today. He has also been in both the original and Wrath of the Lich King versions of Naxxramas as the end boss, and he may not even be defeated, as the phylactery that keeps him is missing. He could come back ANOTHER time!
So many forms, so little time.
The Black Dragonflight are some of the most evil that there is in Azeroth. Tainted by the Old Gods and their whispers, they are lead to do many evils both in their dragon form and their humanoid form. Onyxia is no exception, with most of the evil she concocted being done in her human form, Katrana Prestor. She has returned numerous times as a boss, in Vanilla, Wrath of the Lich King, and even in Cataclysm where she is resurrected as an undead dragon in Blackwind Descent. A lady 100% full of evil.
Does this guy even have legs?
Another Eredar lord to add to this list, Kil’jaeden is one of the lieutenants of the one and only Sargeras, and is currently the acting leader of the Burning Legion as a whole. That’s potentially millions of demons in all forms, and this guy is the current leader of them all. That fact is badass as it is, but with the fact that he was the end boss of The Sunwell Plateau as we attempted to shove him back into the Sunwell he was being summoned through, well. This guy is one force to be reckoned with, and who knows when he’ll return to try and kill us again?
Put it back where it came from, quick!
Althought you might not think it, Old Gods are actually behind some of Azeroth’s worst events. As C’thun is one of them, he is one of the most powerful beings on Azeroth, despite only being a level 60 boss and under a million health. C’thun is the Old God of chaos itself, and through the awful boss fight and the lines that send shivers down your spine, it’s safe to see why. Not all Old Gods are known to us yet, but this encounter is certainly an example of why we shouldn’t touch them.
4. Illidan Stormrage
Am I really prepared for Legion?
As a fan favourite, I just had to put Illidan on this list. Despite the fact that he started out as a hero, and the events of Legion have made him more of an anti-hero than a villain, during the Burning Crusade, this was our big bad. Giving us one of the most quotable lines in World of Warcraft history, along with legendries that every rogue would kill for (I have them and can vouch for that), Illidan is one hell of a guy, despite being led into evil all those years ago.
Hey, can you take Goldshire with you while you’re there?
Okay, so we’re getting into rather predictable territory, here, but how could I make a list of WoW villains without including Deathwing? The Destoryer, The Aspect of Death, The Worldbreaker … this guy screams badass villain. Driven mad by the whispers of the Old Gods, Deathwing was kept in Deepholm for a long time after his effects on the Second War, and returned in Cataclysm to wreak havoc once again. When we finally brought his end, many, many were pleased, to say the least.
2. The Lich King
What do you mean The Lich King isn’t number 1?
Yes, that’s right, the Lich King failed to make it to number 1 of this list, but comes incredibly close at number 2. Though famously remembered as purely Arthas Menethil, as he was during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack, The Lich King has also been Ner’zhul, and is currently Bolvar Fordragon, as Terenas Menethil declared: “There must always be a Lich King”. The deathly leader of the Scourge and dominion over death – the Lich King will forever be one of the best villains to grace World of Warcraft, and has the potential to come back again, and again, and again.
So, when will we get to kill this guy?
The titans are basically the founding fathers of Azeroth as we know it. Sargeras was one of them, and has been behind a lot of the chaos Azeroth has faced after he fell from glory. Originally, he fought against demons, and then once he fell from fear he sided with them, being the creator of the Burning Legion itself. He seeks to annihilate everything from existence, as do the rest of the Burning Legion, and leave nothing but chaos and fel in it’s path. Sargeras is possibly the number one villain we will ever have to face, if we as players ever DO face him, that is. However, in my opinion, defeating Sargeras would mean the end of World of Warcraft as a whole. Maybe one day, huh?
And there we have it! That’s it for my pick for the 50 Biggest Villains in World of Warcraft (Ranked Based on Badassery). What do you think? Do you agree with my list, or is there someone I missed?
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