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Diablo 3 Boss Strategy Guide – How To Kill

Diablo 3 Boss
Bosses are an essential part of Diablo 3 – not only are they an integral and mandatory part of the storyline, but are also the source of some of the most valuable loot in the game. This obviously makes them a lot more difficult than many of the elite enemies and mini bosses.

In this guide we’ll be covering the strategy to take out the bosses in Diablo 3, with tips for all the classes. For more help, read our guide on Crafting, Builds and Legendary Items.

Warning: The proceeding content contains Spoilers.

The Skeleton King

It’s Leoric, except that he’s mad and dead, and has been revived by you only so that you can slay him eternally. This is your first major boss, and he isn’t easy. There are two reasons for that:

Firstly, the Skeleton King has an ample amount of health, and a teleporting attack that can catch you anywhere you are in the relatively large area.

Secondly, the boss tends to spawn a good amount of skeleton minions to aid him, during which time it is exceptionally difficult to target him.

For the first problem, you can only but hit him with the best abilities you have available. The boss has two main abilities: a slow wind-up attack that does decent amounts of damage, and the dangerous teleport attack that is not slow at all.

Here’s what you should be doing based on your class:

Barbarian
This boss is difficult for the melee fighters, mainly because he has heavy damage, and his annoying minions can easily overwhelm you. Though the Barbarian is a tank, you will need to be patient and remain agile, dealing damage to the Skeleton King only in bursts.

Once he spawns his minion army, stun them and continue fighting the Skeleton King. Remember to always prioritize the main boss over the minions. However, if things get out of hand, Cleave and Bash can really do a great bit of cleansing of the battlefield.

Demon Hunter
If you have the Templar with you, then this battle is easiest with the Demon Hunter. This is because of Vault, which will be your most trustworthy ability against the Skeleton King’s teleport attack, and should also allow you to keep a good distance from the minions.

As a ranged DPS, you can literally just hold left-click and win this battle, provided you Vault whenever the boss gets close.

Monk
Once again, the boss is relatively difficult for the Monk as it is a melee character. Tempest Rush and Blinding Flash are your best friends against the minions, while Deadly Reach should allow you to hit the Skeleton King from a range.

You’ll have to be mobile, as is the case with the Barbarian. However, the Monk’s heal should allow you to stay much longer than otherwise.

Witch Doctor
The Skeleton King is immune to Poison, making your darts almost useless. Spiders on the other hand work great against the minions, slowing and dealing DoT damage. Make sure you have your dogs up, and remember to re-conjure them if and when they die.

Firebats work great against the boss, but be wary of your Mana – you wouldn’t want it to go down to zero when the boss is just a feet away from your Witch Doctor.

Wizard
Three words: Ray of Frost. This is your best ability against massive crowds, and the Skeleton King’s minions are no exception. Other than that, the Wizard has enough firepower to take out the Skeleton King from afar, similar to the Demon Hunter.

However, be careful from the teleport, as the Wizard is far more fragile than any other character. Use Frost Nova on the enemies if you have to, and Ray of Frost can even be used on the boss for an easier time.

Queen Aranae

Meet the queen spider. She’s mainly a close-ranged boss, and the stupidly narrow area won’t do you justice in that regard.

Her melee attacks also consist of a few poison attacks, which aren’t very comforting, and at long ranges she’ll attempt to snare you with her webs so she can resume her poisonous munching habits.

She, like the Skeleton King, will also spawn minions to fight her, but unlike Leoric she’ll only do it twice. The first time will be when you take out 1/3rd of her health, and the second when you take out 2/3rd of it. She’ll spawn six spiders during these times, and it’s important you rid of them before continuing the battle.

Barbarian
The Barbarian shouldn’t have a difficult time with the queen. Just stand still and pound the giant insect to oblivion. Of course, it’s a little less easy than just that, but you get the idea.

Don’t let it snare you though, as that can be very troublesome for a melee fighter. When the minions spawn, concentrate on taking them out with multi-enemy damaging abilities like Cleave.

Demon Hunter
Dodge the spider queen and drive her mad. This battle is again quite easy for the Demon Hunter, as his/her extra speed should allow you to stay away from her poisonous attacks and her snares.

When she spawns minions, use area/collateral damage abilities like Fan of Knives, Rapid Fire or Chakrams to take them out.

Monk
Lashing Tail kick with the Vulture Claw Kick Rune will bring the queen’s health bar down real quick.

The Monk is too well equipped with support abilities and aggressive DPS melee skills to have any trouble at all in this battle.

Witch Doctor
Poison Darts baby! Keep them coming and give the queen a taste of her own medicine. Your doggies should be tanking the boss while you stay out of its melee range, when her minions are spawned, use Firebats to quickly get rid of them.

Wizard
The Wizard is the only one who might just face a bit of trouble from this one. Your aim should be to get around the boss and hit it from behind with Ray of Frost. Diamond Skin will greatly assist you if/when the boss gets near your character.

As for the enemies, a blast of Frost Nova and regular channeling of Ray of Frost should do that trick.

The Butcher

It’s the big bad Butcher, and he lives up to his intimidating name. This is a relatively tough boss, especially for the Demon Hunter and the Wizard. To add to it, the area is ridiculously small, and often segments of it will light up on fire.

The boss himself has a wide range of abilities, and an insane amount of physical damage. He can even grapple you close to him if you stray afar. He’s not slow either, and he’s definitely not merciful.

But it’s not all bad news; you have two healing wells in the upper corners of the arena, which refill after every 45 seconds or so.

Barbarian
Leap, Cleave, Bash, just beat the hell out of this overgrown demon, but be careful not to overdo it, as even the Barbarian will always be physically outmatched by this boss.

Thankfully there are no added minions or interventions, so you can fully concentrate on which segment burns and which doesn’t. Keep your Fury up and Leap out of danger whenever possible – trust me when I say you don’t want to have your health below 50%, and trust me again when I say you don’t want to take added damage from the burning segmented ground.

Demon Hunter
This boss is quite difficult for the Demon Hunter, and great care must be taken. Your agility is the only thing that can keep your alive in this small arena, but Discipline is a severe issue in this case.

That is because you’ll need Vault a hell lot – get close to him and he’ll finish you within three seconds. You’ll also require Vault to keep off the burning segments of the platform, and also to dodge his grapple. If he does manage to grapple, I suggest using anything and everything possible to get away from him.

With enough patience, lots of aid from health wells, and plenty of Vaulting, you should eventually be able to put down the massive beast.

Witch Doctor
You’ll want to use as many DoT abilities as you can. This means Poison Darts, Spiders, Haunt, and every other you can think of.

Your dogs may not last long because of the burning platforms and the speed and damage of the boss, but they should divert the demon’s attention enough to save you from potential grapples and hits.

The Jungle Fortitude passive should help a lot too, so use that.

Wizard
You’ll have to go on the back foot with the Wizard, as like the Demon Hunter the boss is difficult for the Wizard. Sadly, you don’t have an ability like Vault. Gladly, you have Ice Armor, Diamond Skin, and Blur.

These three should keep you alive enough, but your major concern should be avoiding his grapple and the burning platform segments. Use health wells whenever you fall to 50% health and when potions are on cool-down.

Wave of Force should also save you from the hook projectiles, and slow the otherwise fast and agile demon.

Maghda

Man does this evil witch deserve to die or what? She’s been eluding you for an entire Act now, but this time there’s no running away for her, right?

Maghda is, to say the least, quite an easy boss, and irrespective of your character, you shouldn’t have much trouble defeating her.

Firstly, she’s slow as a snail, and secondly, she barely has any moves of her own. The only real threat you’ll face from her is her minions, which she will spawn frequently. As long as these minions are alive, she will be immune to damage, forcing you to focus on them.

Here’s what you should be doing based on your class:

Barbarian
The Barbarian can pound her to oblivion with little worries. When she spawns her minions, just use off your Fury with some powerful Fury consuming attacks, then resume your onslaught against Maghda.

Her health is decent enough, but it’s nothing compared to the might of the Barbarian. If anything she’s probably easier than any of the previous bosses you faced.

Demon Hunter
Ranged characters will be almost untouchable against Maghda, though her minions are a slightly different story. Maghda herself is too slow to even think of being a threat to a Demon Hunter while she’s alone.

When she spawns her minions, use an ability like Fan of Knives to cripple them, and continue using anything you like. Most people prefer Rapid Fire for some constant channeled damage. Sure, it works just as fine as anything else.

Monk
Once again, the story’s all the same. Maghda is weak, and you are just too tanky with too many support kills to be brought down by her. I’d be surprised if any Monk has to use more than one health potion against her in Normal Mode.

Witch Doctor
With the Witch Doctor, Maghda becomes oh-so-much-easier. Your pets can focus entirely on her minions when they spawn, while you go about your business.

Once that is done, Sacrifice can do some massive burst damage to her when her immunity shield is off, so there’s no reason not to use it.

Wizard
The only thing to look after as a Wizard is the minions. Make sure they don’t get close to you; Ray of Frost does a great job keeping them away.

Couple it with Diamond skin and your insane damage, Maghda will fall in no time.

Zoltun Khulle

It was obvious that you’d eventually have to fight the maniacal wizard. The first thing to immediately notice is the pair of towering behemoths standing in front of him.

Get rid of these guys are quickly as possible. They’re super-slow, which should make it quite simple for the ranged characters.

Once you get rid of them, Khulle himself is also terribly slow. He has just a few attacks, but the one to watch out for is the meteor-like fireball he lofts at you. This can do some terrible damage, so be wary of it.

Here’s what you should be doing based on your class:

Barbarian
The problem here is that you’re a melee champion, those big guys are four times your size. Yes, they’re incredibly slow, but you’ll have to stand an inch away from them to hurt them.

That’s exactly what you should be doing. The Barbarian is tanky enough even to take the mightiest blows from the big guys.

Once they are down, Khulle is as simple as a cup-cake – just avoid his meteor thingy though.

Demon Hunter
The Demon Hunter can win this battle in a jiffy. There’s little to no chance of the big guys catching you before they fall. Keep your distance and fire away with your most lethal abilities, and the bad boys should go down in no time.

Once that is over, keep a safe distance from Kulle and dodge his meteors. Also, stay away from his slowing fields! Slow is the biggest weakness for the Demon Hunter and Wizard – try to avoid it in any kind of situation.

Monk
Blind the boys and smash them to oblivion. Ranged melee attacks work well for it, and they’ll be coming down in no time.

Once again, Kulle is not much of a threat, especially if you’re in the habit of using your heal perfectly. Avoid his tornadoes and meteor though, as when the two simultaneously hit they’ll really make your life reservoir empty out quick.

Witch Doctor
Poison the behemoths as the doggies get busy with them. With lots of crowd and CC they should be dead in a flash.

Zultun Kulle himself is no threat to the Witch Doctor, you can slow him down with your spiders, sacrifice your dogs, call out dead hands to snare – there’s too much going in your way to lose.

Wizard
Start off with Ray of Frost and keep them at bay till they drop. Kulle’s next. Avoid his slow field and meteor!

You’ll have to be dynamic for doing so, and because of that I wouldn’t recommend excessive use of Ray of Frost. Just use your Signature spells and occasional Arcane-powered abilities to kill of Kulle.

Belial

Folks, meet Belial, the Lord of Lies. At first he’ll just spawn some of his minion snake things, which you should have no trouble disposing off.

Next, he’ll come down and attempt to attack you himself. He’ll also occasionally summon more minions as you eat away his health. Don’t you think he’s a little too easy?

When he reaches 20% health, Belial will change completely, revealing his true form. Once again, he’s fooled you into thinking he’s an easy boss. Let me tell you, this may be the most difficult boss you’ve faced yet.

I’ll only explain how to defeat his true form, as that’s the most troublesome. He does massive damage, has a good few abilities, is very hard to dodge, and worst of all occupies nearly the entire area.

Here’s what you should be doing based on your class:

Barbarian
When Belial enters his true form, you should start bashing away immediately at him. The area which he’ll stomp with his – uh – hands, will be marked by a green swirly thingy in advance.

Avoid it if you want to stay alive for long – the Lord of Lies has an insane amount of health, and many ways to kill you. Next up he’ll probably use a sort of acid spitting move, which does minor damage.

His worst move, however, is when he shoves his hand-things in the platform and starts to create explosions. The explosions will show an advanced green swirly maker in advance, but there will be so many that it’ll be super-hard to determine which one explodes when.

At this time, immediately stop attacking Belial and attempt to avoid as many explosions as you can! Two or three explosions are enough to replace your character with a cross, and there’s no way you’ll survive by standing at one place.

If you concentrate hard enough, and successfully avoid the series of explosions (he’ll use this ability at least 3 times… good luck warrior), you should be able to get through a very tough battle.

Demon Hunter
I hope you read the description of the Barbarian – it contains details of Belial’s final form’s moves. Please do so if you skipped it.

Anyways, the Demon Hunter will be in severe agony here, because this place is terribly small, and you can’t really keep a distance from Belial. Vault should let you dodge his main attacks and his acid breath, but it’s the explosions you’ll have to worry about most.

The Demon Hunter is generally fragile, and if you don’t have many Vitality items chances are you’ll die within two explosions. AVOID THEM AT ALL COST. Once again, don’t try to be a hero and hit him when these explosions are taking place, even if he has 10% health remaining.

Monk
The Monk has a slight lay-off as compared to every one else because of his heal. USE IT IF YOU GET HIT BY THE EXPLOSIONS! Don’t rely on potions every time – the cool-down is way too large when compared to the insane damage Belial will do.

Again, don’t be a hero and try to hit Belial while he creates those explosions.

Witch Doctor
The Witch Doctor is slow, and that means he/she’s in trouble. While his main moves may be focused on your pets, his explosions will be random, and the slowness of the Witch Doctor can easily have him/her get caught in it.

Once again, you’ll have to be clever and concentrate hard to avoid them. A word of advice: don’t get into the corners of the platform while the explosions take place; it can mean certain death.

Wizard
Say bye-bye to Ray of Frost because stand-and-deliver is not what you should be doing here. Use your Signature spells to deal out most damage, and don’t use Diamond Skin until Belial starts to channel those explosions.

When he does, use Ice Armor and Diamond Skin for as much protection as you can get, and avoid the crazy explosions. If all goes well, you might just be victorious in the end.

Pat yourself on the back when you finally defeat Belial. It may take more than just a couple of tries, even on Normal mode. If you manage to do it in the first try, then you should go give yourself a treat.

Work in progress. More to come!