The Skeleton King is the first boss you will fight. A return demon from Diablo I, he is still out to slay the living. After placing his crown back atop his head, the fight will begin.
The Skeleton King only has a few attacks that he will use against you. All of which of some obvious tells to make it that much easier to avoid taking damage from him.
- The Skeleton King has a simple melee attack where he swings his mace at you if you are close to him.
- He also has a triple swing attack that he will use.
- When further away, he will teleport right next to you and swing.
- The Skeleton King will also summon Returned and Forgotten Soldiers to attack you as well.
The fight with the Skeleton King takes place in an enclosed area with two levels and large area in the middle that cannot be passed through.
- You will have to kill some returned before gaining entrance to the Skeleton King.
- There are no healing wells anywhere in the area.
- There are two levels with stairs accessing either level.
- Gaining some distance will help avoid his regular melee attack.
- Before he does his triple swing he will gain a blue aura around him. Gaining some distance from him when this is activated will help from taking damage from all three hits.
- Before using his teleport attack, he will emit forward a ghostly shadow. Using a mobility skill as soon as you see him disappear will help you change position from where he is targeting you.
- You can use the skeletons he summons as potential sources for health globes.
- The skeleton King will also inflict damage upon his own skeletons and can kill them. If you get him to kill 15 of his own skeletons you can obtain the "Instant Karma" achievement.
- Stunning or freezing him will stop any of his attacks.
- An AoE or multi-target skill is useful for the extra skeletons you will be fighting.
- A mobility skill can help you avoid all of his close-range attacks.
The Skeleton King is the first boss you fight and because of this, he is not extremely challenging. By recognizing the tells of his few attacks, you should know exactly what's coming at you so you can avoid the extra damage.
The Butcher is the first Act boss you will encounter. A returning demon from Diablo I, the Butcher is back to eat our "fresh meat". Whether you are encountering this demon for the first time or trying to down him in Hell or Inferno, it is helpful to know everything you can about him.
The Butcher has many tells to his attacks. Knowing these signs can help you avoid his upcoming attacks and find his vulnerabilities.
- The Butcher will jump twice before smashing down his cleaver directly in front of him.
- Before throwing out his chain hook, which will pull your character right to him stunned, he will point with his cleaver.
- After he shoots out a ray from his chest, he will charge at you.
Knowing your environment can be just as helpful as knowing about the demon you are fighting. In this small area, it can be difficult to avoid his attacks.
- There are two health wells in the top two corners of the arena.
- The floor has seven sections that will emit fire periodically with a glow showing before catching on fire.
- On Inferno, if the Butcher reaches his enrage timer, the entire floor will burst into flames.
With this knowledge, it is now time for us to turn the tables on this demon. As with most monsters in Diablo, the tactic is to inflict as much pain while taking as little damage as possible.
- While performing his slamming cleaver attack, the Butcher takes a few seconds to use the attack as well as recover from it. By knowing the tell for this attack, you can easily side step the attack and use this valuable downtime to attack him.
- Avoiding his chain grab can help you from taking unnecessary damage. After he points his clever, make sure to change your position away from in front of him. You also need to avoid this attack, on Hell difficulty, to obtain the "Don't Stand in the Fire" achievement. (Along with avoiding the fire from the floor)
- If you are caught by his chain grab, you can use a movement skill to break your stun and avoid the attack from his cleaver.
- The Butcher will always stun himself after his charge attack. By moving out of his path, you can take full advantage of his stunned state to inflict some damage.
- You can also plan your killing blow after his charge to get the "Stunning Reversal" achievement.
- The two health wells will replenish themselves after a short period. You are not always best off saving these until you are close to dying. With proper timing and rotation, you can ensure they will replenish your character multiple times.
- The floor's fire will increase as you continue your attack. The closer the Butcher is to death, more of the tiles will catch on fire, with up to five of the seven tiles on fire at once. Using a movement skill can help you from taking damage from these fires. You need to avoid this attack, on Hell difficulty, in order to get the "Don't Stand in the Fire" achievement. (Along with his chain grab)
- It is also helpful to take full advantage of the skill system. Right before taking on the Butcher, you can switch your skills to larger damaging single-target skills with only one demon to fight.
- Whether you use your movement skill normally, adding it to your boss build will help you avoid some heavy damage.
The great thing about knowing these helpful hints is that they are the same no matter what difficulty you are on. By being able to avoid many of his attacks you can help keep your health points from dropping too quickly. You can also inflict a lot of damage by knowing when he will not be helpless to defend himself. Hopefully, with this strategy, you will be able to defeat the Butcher.
Belial is the second Act boss. Concluding the Act II, the Lord of Lies, has disguised himself until your hero finally discovers the truth. Between Azmodan and himself, Belial is out to take control of both the black soulstone as well as Sanctuary.
The Lord of Lies lives up to his name. The demon shows only a few tells to his attacks to use against him. Not only this, but Belial is one of the only bosses that actually changes through the different phases of the boss.
- In the first phase, Belial only has two attacks. If you are close, he will swipe at you. If you have distance he will shoot out three blasts at once.
- Along with Belial, there will also be Veiled Sentinel continuously attacking you.
- After dropping him down to 10% of his life, the second phase will begin where he becomes large and stationary.
- In his second phase, Belial will have new attacks where he slams his arms to the ground, sprays out an attack, and cause the floor to become volatile.
- Belial will attack you by slamming down his arms. Occasionally, he will attack with three consecutive strikes instead of one.
The limited space of this boss fight can become a big challenge. However, this also means that not a lot extra work is needed to master your surroundings.
- The entire area is a just a small crescent.
- The only chance for health is from orbs dropped by the Veiled Sentinels and the occasional drop from Belial.
Although Belial and his environment does not give us much to work with, we can still take full advantage of some techniques to help us stop this demon.
- Unlike the Butcher, this boss fight will include additional targets so at least one multi-target or AoE skill to help fight of the serpents with your boss spec. Killing 10 Serpents within 30 secs will get you the "Why'd It Have To Be Snakes" achievement.
- If you can stay ranged in the first phase, his three shots at you are slow and easy to avoid.
- If running low in health in the first phase, focusing on the extra Veiled Sentinels can help you find some needed health globes.
- Making sure you are full on health before dropping Belial down to 10% health will help you keep up your life before moving on to the harder phase of the boss.
- Moving on to the next phase, avoidance becomes essential to survival.
- When attacking with three strikes, he will always attack you from your left, then right, then the middle. By moving to the far left of this attack, you can use some skills while he finishes his attack.
- After any slam attack, a green spot will appear on the floor. If you can get away from this area, you have 2 secs before Belial will attack again giving you precious time where you will not have to worry about avoiding his attacks. You can also get the achievement "Fist Missed" by avoiding this attack.
- Before doing his spray attack, Belial will pull his whole body back. He will sweep the crescent but he starts a quarter of the way in. By running to the far edge, you can avoid this attack and earn the "Bad Breath" achievement (Inferno difficulty only).
- When he digs both arms into the ground, the floor will become volatile. It is more important to avoid this attack and do not try to damage Belial.
- Avoiding the green circles on the floor will stop you from taking extra damage. The circles go from green to black right before exploding.
- Belial will occasionally drop health globes from taking damage. Waiting for pauses in his attacks will help you collect these health globes without taking additional damage.
- Using your mobility skill will help you avoid many of these quick attacks with the small amount of warning time.
Belial does not show as many tells as some of the other bosses. However, many of his attacks can be avoided if you can move quickly out of their way. Choosing to fight this boss only during the few down times of Belial will take a bit longer but will help preserve your health for longer. Lastly, don't forget to alter your tactics between the two different phases.
Azmodan is the Act III boss for Diablo. He is the last of the two remaining of the Lesser Evils. Surmounting an assault through Arreat Crater, your hero must go down into the depths to slay this final demon.
While Azmodan is large in size, this massive attribute lends itself to slow attacks. While many of his attacks can deal some massive damage, they are also easy to avoid.
- Azmodan has a simple melee attack that he will use when you are right next to him.
- Azmodan will also rain down chunks of corpses
- A large fireball will be thrown that will target your character
- After taking some damage, Azmodan will have two more attacks that he will use against you.
- He will also shoot out a fiery laser beam that will follow your character.
The area for the fight is enclosed in a round map. The entire floor is open, except a few small circles, which makes it easy to run around to avoid his attacks.
- Demon Gates will perodically appear releasing Minions of Azmodan to attack you.
- Bloody Demonic Pools will randomly appear on the floor and consecutively appear for a short period until they all disappear.
Avoiding his attacks becomes essential for survival. Even though there are not a lot of warning signs to his attacks, most are easily avoidable even after he begins them.
- His melee attacks are not very strong. For casters, keeping distance should be easy enough since Azmodan moves very slowly. For melee, a simple dodge or block should help to prevent most damage.
- Right before his uses his corpse rain attack, a red circle will appear on the floor. Leaving this area will help you avoid this attack. Melee characters can go back to attacking once the corpses stop dropping.
- Azmodan's fireball attack can do some heavy damage. However, he will hold the attack for a second before throwing it which will allow you plenty of time to get away.
- The fireball will track your character but simply running around will avoid the attack until it just explodes on its own. Avoiding this attack throughout the duration of the fight will gain you the "Be Cool" achievement (Hell difficulty or higher).
- There will be no warning when he shoots is laser beam. However, the beam does minimal damage as long as you can get out of it quickly. Simply running away from Azmodan will get you out of range of the attack.
- There will also be no warning to the bloody demon pools. Once the first one appears, run away but stay near the edge. This will cause the next one to appear close to your current location. By keeping the pools spawning closer together, this will leave more of the map for you to move around in. Be careful as you can still take damage if you are close enough to the edge. Avoiding this attack will earn you "Hot Foot" achievement (Hell difficulty or higher).
- When Demon Gates appear, you will see them on your map. You can go directly to them to easily destroy them before they spawn any minions. Destroying all of them this way will gain you the "No Reinforcements" achievement (Hell difficulty or higher).
- You can also save the Demon Gates for some needed healing since they have a 100% drop rate for a health globe. The additional minions also have a chance of dropping a health globe. However, not killing them at all will gain you the "Azmodan Adds" achievement (Hell difficulty or higher).
- By avoiding these attacks, you can take full advantage of every second in between to inflict damage upon Azmodan.
- Heavier damaging single-target skills should be used for this fight. The interference from his minions are easily killed so no AoE or multi-target skills are needed.
- A mobility skill can be useful; primarily, against the bloody demon pools that will randomly spawn.
- Stunning or freezing him will not stop any of his attacks once started.
Azmodan can do some massive damage but all of his attacks are easily avoidable. Using the ample time in between his attacks will allow you to do inflict some damage of your own while taking little damage yourself. No matter what difficulty you are on, you should be able to beat this boss by taking little damage yourself.