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Warcraft’s most infamous elf is the game’s newest loot pinata

A legendary bow! A mount! And more!

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands - Sylvanas Windrunner, an undead elf with bright red eyes, speaks to a figure off-camera with a hopeful expression. Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Today’s World of Warcraft patch is a big one. Chains of Domination, also known as patch 9.1, brings a new raid, zone, new end-game systems, and 40 new mounts. The final boss of that raid is Sylvanas Windrunner, and fans have been waiting to beat her ass for a long time now. If you’re still on her side, Blizzard has made her one of the juiciest loot pinatas in the game for years to come — she has a legendary bow, unique weapons, and a mount.

Sylvanas has been the antagonist throughout Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands, and if you’ve been playing since the old days of the game, you may have a grudge against her for her actions in 2010’s Cataclysm expansion. She’s spent the last eleven years just being the absolute worst — plague bombing innocent people, raising their corpses to serve as her army of undead, and burning down major population centers.

Players could kill her this entire time — all of the major faction leaders exist in game as optional bosses — but that was a fun side diversion for an achievement. Now, it’s a major, canonical story beat with big rewards for players who kick down her door. There’s also no special phase for Mythic difficulty, which means all players are seeing the same fight from start to finish.

Her legendary bow looks great for hunters, and it has a special ability pulled straight from Heroes of the Storm. Players with this bow can shoot a wailing arrow, doing damage to enemies in an area and silencing them so they can’t cast abilities. There’s also a scary skull-faced, undead dragonhawk mount called Vengeance for the collectors out there.

Sylvanas is one of the game’s most popular characters, and the developer has had to revise content in the past in order to accommodate her fans. At one point, Horde players had a storyline where they aided the rebel High Overlord Saurfang. An alternate path was later added where players could stay loyal to Sylvanas, although it didn’t change her long-term plans of leaving the Horde and going to the afterlife to commit some more crimes.

The Sanctum of Domination opens up in a few days. Normal and Heroic difficulties crack open on July 6. Mythic difficulty opens on July 13. If you’re a raid finder player, you’ll have to wait until August 24 for Sylvanas’ fight to open up at the lowest difficulty. A Sylvanas novel is also in the works. It’s been delayed to a February release, but that suggests her story doesn’t end quite yet.