Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls expansion pack brings with itself new environments, new enemies, and more importantly new bosses.
Now most Diablo 3 players were never truly happy with the bosses in the game, simply because they offered little to no challenge. However, the Act V bosses are vastly different, with ridiculous HP and some killer moves that can one-shot your character.
Gone are the days where you could just stand still and slay a boss without caring about what comes out of his/her hands or mouth; Reaper of Souls brings about a paradigm shift in this aspect, especially for those experiencing the bosses for the very first time.
Warning! The content ahead contains Spoilers. Read at your own risk!
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Act V Boss Tips
Just as in the previous Acts, there are three major bosses in Act V: Urzael, Adria, and Malthael.
The maidens are not discussed here, as those qualify more as mini-bosses (or even champion monsters) and do not in any way compare to the difficulty and impact level of the fights against these three main bosses.
Let’s have a look, Nephalem!
Urzael, The Harbinger of Death
Urzael is the first major boss you’ll fight in Act V, and you’re likely to fight him in some bounties as well. The Harbinger of Death is designed to acquire worship from heavy metal fans, as he sprouts wings of flames, holds a fire cannon, and is (oddly enough for an angel) bare chested.
This makes the boss seem pretty lame and cool at the same time. The first time you encounter Urzael, you’ll likely have around a level of 63. If you’re playing on Torment and don’t have hundreds of Paragon points, that’s not enough.
What makes the bosses of Act V so difficult isn’t just that they do tons of damage, but the fact that they have an insane amount of health. Blizzard apparently decided that the best way to make bosses tough is to bore the hell out of players and thus force them into mistakes, and that’s exactly what Urzael’s high HP and repetitive set of abilities will do.
Urzael has several attacks, most of which are either easily avoidable or completely ignorable.
At the start, Mr. Heavy Metal will have a cannon which he’ll use to launch fire balls. These are slow and easily avoidable, and even impact don’t do much damage. He’ll also regularly call down falling wooden pieces and burning planks for some AoE damage, much like the way Azmodan would call down humans and flesh.
Both these abilities are a joke and easily ignorable, but one ability you’ll want to be careful of is when he does this silly looking leap. He’ll look down and fire up the region where he is standing with his cannon, and then leap to a highlighted area.
If you’re in the highlighted area, you’ll take a lot of damage, and if you’re near him when he leaps, you’ll still take damage but a little less.
Avoid this attack at all costs, as he’ll quickly double it with another fire ball attack or something else which can chip away a huge portion of your health. The attack is slow and his channeling takes a while, so you can easily move out of position without trouble.
When you’ve chipped away about 25% of his health, Urzael will turn up the heat (literally), giving himself flaming wings and a meaner cannon, which turns into a flamethrower. This is where things get really tough.
Urzael will now have new move, which is easily the most damaging and will burn you to a crisp within seconds. On Torment this can actually one-shot a player with 3 million Toughness. Urzael will regularly do this move after launching a fireball at you.
His flamethrower attack will cover an entire arc, and the best way to avoid it is to stay behind him – his flaming wings will also burn away some health from your pool, but it won’t even be a fraction of what the flamethrower can do.
If you’re playing on Torment, you’ll have to have a lot of patience and keep your eyes peeled at all times for this attack, or else your hard work at taking away a chunk of his 300 million HP will end within a second or two.
His AoE wood-falling attack will also get an upgrade, this time covering almost the entire arena in the form of individual lines.
There’s very little you can do to successfully avoid this without being completely ineffective in the battle (and hence prolonging it), so it’s best to let it just hurt you while you hit. The only time this attack becomes a real problem is during the flamethrower move, and the collective damage from the two will kill you in seconds.
If you can’t beat him on Torment, don’t be egotistical and just turn down the difficulty to Master. It’ll take out 70 million HP from his health and also make the flamethrower slightly more forgiving (though it’ll still be quite lethal).
Barbarians and Monks should actually have a better time with Urzael because of the innate tendency to take less damage, which will allow you to survive an accidental hit from a flamethrower with decent items.
The casters and ranged classes will need to be good with their position, as getting behind Urzael is important to avoid the flamethrower.
Adria The Witch
Yup, it’s Adria, and it’s payback time. Apparently the lady with a crush on Diablo is also inspired by Andariel, as you’ll notice a kind of familiarity between the two designs (at least the fact that they are both topless).
Just like Urzael, Adria is no joke on Torment difficulty. She doesn’t have that killer attack that can potentially one-shot you like Urzael, but her high HP, decently damaging attacks and annoying spawnlings will certainly make you frustrated.
Once again, Blizzard’s philosophy of bosses with terribly high HP and repetitive attacks is at work here. However, Adria is a bit more challenging because she won’t ever allow you to just come towards her and spam your best DPS ability.
Instead, you’ll have to run around, avoid stuff, chase after, evade, and then hit her a few times once in a while. This can get frustrating for some, while others would admire the added difficulty that comes with these Act V bosses.
Adria has a hand full of attacks, but her most damaging is the teleport and whirlwind kind of spin. This surprisingly does a lot of damage, but the attack itself won’t (and shouldn’t) be enough to kill you off completely.
Just make sure you’re not standing there the entire time she’s spinning about, as she can take a huge chunk of your health if you allow her to do that.
Instead, attack her once she’s done with the move, and then back away quickly and stay mobile. Yes, staying mobile, for once, is an important part of a boss fight in Diablo III.
Once you’ve taken a small chunk of her HP, she’ll go back to her blood well which will erupt and spew out multiple clotted blood-like things. These annoyances aren’t targetable, and they’ll explode when you walk on them, dealing damage and also leaving a pool of blood which will do DoT damage to you.
At first, there will be very few and you’ll be able to avoid them easily and attack Adria. However, she’ll then start doing this move regularly, retreating to her well and making it erupt to release more and more of these clot things. By the mid of the fight there will be so many that it’ll be hard to move around without touching one of them – this is where things get tough.
If you’re caught in these things, and Adria is close enough to do her whirlwind attack (or even her normal lashes for that matter), your HP will go down fast. Try to work your way around these blood clot things, and when you do accidentally pop one, avoid staying on the pool they leave for too long.
Mobility, once again, is the most important part of this fight, and that’s why you’ll have an easier time with casters like the Wizard and Witch Doctor (and perhaps a well-rounded Demon Hunter) as compared to Barbarians, Monks, and Crusaders.
Note: Many players have complained that the fight against Adria during Adventure Mode (bounties) is broken, as she cannot be defeated. This is, apparently, a major bug in the game that needs to be addressed. Avoid this bounty if you can.
Malthael, The Angel of Death
Yes, it’s beloved Malthael. He’s so cool I kind of don’t want to kill him. Yeah, the voice-acting isn’t that great, but that remains a commonly observed fact for most of the bosses in Diablo 3.
Malthael is the final boss of Act V, and easily the most difficult.
If you had a tough time defeating Urzael and Adria on Torment, you need to reduce the difficulty for Malthael. If you don’t you’ll be spending around half an hour fighting him, or till your threshold of efficient concentration levels.
This isn’t a recreation of a final boss fight like Diablo’s, where you can just ignore whatever comes spitting out of his hands and hack away with your best DPS skill. Malthael will challenge your skills, patience, and determination.
The Angel of Death has several tricks up his sleeves. His melee attacks are his basic moves, and if you’re far away from him he’ll “spirit run” till your location and do a sweep attack with his sickle swords. This attack is ignorable, and you can easily get the life back with decent health regen.
However, soon he’ll conjure (without any skill action) multiple clouds of souls in the battle arena that will do intense DoT damage. It’s very easy to miss these clouds while you’re slashing away and the numbers for your critical hit (along with your skill animation) cover up the cloud you’re standing in.
Keep an eye out for these clouds and never stick too long at one place while attack him or he’ll conjure one right under your feet.
When you’ve had at him enough, he’ll create a transparent cocoon wind around himself – staying in it will once again do a lot of heavy DoT damage and can chip away your health very quickly.
Soon after, he’ll teleport to the center of the arena, and start unleashing these spirits that move to the circumference of the arena from the center in all directions.
Getting hit from one of these spirits isn’t a biggie, but you’ll notice your movement speed will be severely slowed, and if you’re close to the center you’ll take hits from several of these spirits and die within seconds. Thus, when he does teleport to the center, make sure you go to the edge of the arena. The spirits will diverge as they travel, and you’ll be able to easily dodge them without trouble.
Once you’ve taken out about 25% of his health, he will start regularly spawning two Exorcist Reapers. The electricity attacks from these demons do a fair bit of damage, which can combine with the cloud and the cocoon to pile up tons of damage within no time. Get rid of them quickly (preferably with your best AoE skills). Not only will this clear up the battlefield, it will also give you a confirmed duo of health globes to gobble up.
Towards this time he will also call up spirit skulls on the ground that will move in a spiral towards the center of the circular arena, and then unleash from the center and move outwards to the circumference.
Once these spirals have converged about halfway of the arena radius, move to the edge to avoid them – if you’re in the center and multiple ones happen to hit you, you can ready yourself to click the Restart at Checkpoint button (or just kiss your hardcore character goodbye forever).
At around half of his health, a cutscene will ensue. Malthael will absorb the shards of the Black Soulstone, and apparently become more powerful. He will now unleash these slow moving fireballs (much like Urzaels, except multiple in a circle) when at the center, and will spew out arcane fire from his wings in an arc.
If this fire hits you once, you can still live, but if you are moving in the direction of the arc, then you can die easily with this move.
It’s difficult to actually judge the direction of the attack itself, because it’s fast and often done right after he unleashes a set of fireballs. When he’s not doing this, he’ll be calling Exorcist Reapers very regularly – almost right after you get rid of one set he’ll call in a couple of more.
Patience and persistence, along with good levels of concentration are required to win this battle.
Malthael is the most difficult boss you’ll fight in the game (I won’t say most difficult foe, since there are some Elites that have killed me more times within 10 minutes than I had died before in my nearly two years of Diablo experience combined), and he has many ways to kill you off.
Don’t be a fool to try him on Torment if you haven’t reached level 70 yet, unless you’re sporting insane gear and can one-shot every other thing that comes at you.
This battle is very well designed and balanced, so all classes have equal number of perks and weaknesses. Good luck slaying the embodiment of death himself.