Here you will find some hints to help you through the trials of your quest. More hints will be added in the future. Note that these hints cover only gameplay strategies - if you are having technical difficulties, refer to the Problems page. Some of the hints here contain spoilers, so try to avoid reading them unless you get genuinely stuck.
The Bitter End
When distributing gained skill points, it is probably best to concentrate on only two skills and neglect a third one. Spreading points evenly amongst all available skills is likely to leave a character relatively weak and difficult to manage. Ultimate abilities should be bought as soon as possible, of course.
Items in To the Bitter End can be used freely without any cost in mana. However, that does not mean that they should be used as often as possible. Save items for a situation where they are truly appropriate.
There is no shame is saving the game. It is quite possible that you will die often during your adventure. Saving and loading is better than having to go through everything again.
You will lose a mission if any of your main heroes die. As a result, if a hero is close to death, and other heroes are still at good health, retreat the wounded hero and cover them with the remaining heroes.
Your skills play a vital role in your survival - by the end of the game, they will be by far your most powerful means of attack. As a result, you should read the tooltips and familiarize yourself with the spells. Learn their hotkeys. Things will be much easier for you.
Don't use the Tent item to rest when surrounded by enemies. You'll likely just find yourself getting woken up again a moment later, leaving you with a tent that you cannot use until the cooldown completes. If you absolutely must rest while a battle rages, then it is better to retreat well away from the front lines before using the tent.
All too often, players fail the first time because a guard comes marching down the corridor towards them. Be aware that the guards are almost blind - if you can see them, it doesn't mean they have seen you. Retreat back as far as you can and you might find the guard simply returning to his position, none the wiser.
This early in the game, your items are far more powerful than your skills. The Black Steel gauntlets, particularly, are capable of killing or crippling almost anything near your character. Save the items for when you really need them, and use them in the best locations possible. The Black Steel gauntlets should be saved for battles that are exceptionally tough and can otherwise only be won at the cost of a great deal of allies. Blooddrinker is better suited for handling smaller groups... and should only be used if Soul Reaver's health is full.
Keep as many allies alive as possible. The more allies you have for the final battle, the easier it will be for you. Don't let them get killed off faster than you can find reinforcements.
The final battle can be rather tough. Make sure you have saved up both Blooddrinker and the Black Steel Gauntlets for this fight. When the battle begins, you may find it a big help if you rush into the midst of the enemy and use the Gauntlets. That should take quite a chunk out of the opposition. If your health is still acceptable then, use Blooddrinker immediately afterwards. Remember that you have to kill ALL enemy units to win the final battle.
The time limit on this Chapter is actually fairly generous, so rest often. Do not enter major battles seriously wounded.
The recurring boss during this level should be manageable most of the time, but certain strategies can really give you an edge. Using Blooddrinker will greatly improve your chances against him, and using the Anti-Magic Amulet to cancel his buff or weaken his summoned minion can be a big help too. Finally, if you get really stuck, spend some time before a battle casting the Summon Daemons Ultimate and waiting until all the Daemons have come through. With the Daemons helping you, things should go much more smoothly. Note that the Black Steel Gauntlets should not be used against him - he tends to be smart enough to avoid the effect, and they are better used on the enemies that you will have to fight after him.
The key to defeating the final boss is to kill him as quickly as possible. The longer you draw this battle out, the slimmer your chances will be. Save some hard-hitting items and Ultimates for him and kill him as fast as you can. Be aware the Blooddrinker and Celerity are not as good as one might think, as the summoning of even one minion makes them far less likely to hit the actual boss. Note that, once again, the Black Steel Gauntlets are unlikely to work correctly against the boss, as he knows how to avoid them.
When the Chapter starts, you will gain a new ally with new powers. However, as there is a stringent time limit on this Chapter, it is hard to take the time to familiarize yourself with the powers and items at his disposal. Thus, it is best if immediately after the opening cinematic, you save your game and take the time to go through the tooltips. Once you have decided what powers to get for him, load the game and do so, then continue on your adventure.
The timer for this map is relatively tight. Don't wait around for abilities to recharge, and use Ultimates only where they are genuinely needed or valuable.
You will be looking for magical acorns during the beginning of this mission. On the actual world map screen, they look like sparkling bushes. They tend to be near tough enemies, so after large fights, take a good look around.
The tentacled beast you have to fight during one of the battles can be surprisingly tough. Remember Soul Reaver's Anti-Magic Amulet? Use it to debuff the Fury and Dharuk after they buff themselves and it might help a bit. A carefully-aimed Ultimate also helps to get a quick win.
The Dharuk Officer is a tough customer. However, you can be in range to cast a Sphere of Annihilation without him seeing you yet...
The Juggernaut is as tough as it looks. You cannot defeat it in a single run - trying to do that is simply suicide. Retreat back to Eivahin in Heart Grove when you are running out of HP. To beat the Juggernaut, get all the acorns, and as the Treemen march to war, stay out of their way. Avoid getting yourself jammed between the Juggernaut and the Treemen - that has bad news written all over it. If you see the Juggernaut start to cast the Chaos Firestorm spell, run for dear life, as a single casting can bring you to death's door. Use as many of your abilities as you can as often as you can - if a power does not work on the Juggernaut, aim it at the accompanying Dharuk instead and take some of the heat off the Treemen. Also, try attacking from the rear or side of the Juggernaut - although it makes retreat more difficult, the Juggernaut will have trouble dealing with attacks from more than one side simultaneously.
The opponents you face in this map are some of the hardest you'll have ever encountered. Don't let their size fool you - they can rip you to shreds in moments. You will need to use your abilities often. Use Ultimates when faced with moderate sized groups of lesser Void Children or by several powerful individuals - you have six Ultimates at your disposal now, so you might as well make use of them. The Anti-Magic Amulet actually does a good job of taking some of the fight out of the enemies, who like to use buffs on themselves and debuffs against you (but be aware that the Anti-Magic Amulet cannot free someone frozen by a Void Winds spell).
During the first part of the mission, Kitharsis is more of a liability than an asset, but you MUST get him to the campsite. As he is seriously debuffed, almost incapable of regeneration and has no mana, you must keep the Void Children away from him as much as possible. It is a good idea to have Soul Reaver and Cameron lead the way, with Kitharsis following one of the two, and Fei following him - that way, someone will be ready to defend Kitharsis if he gets attacked from either the front or from behind, but Fei can also quickly run to join a front-line battle if needed. Summoned creatures like the Abyssal Mass or Daemons are also useful as a rearguard, and can occupy ambushing Void Children long enough for reinforcements to arrive.
The 'random' Void Children arrive in waves, with a break between each wave - this break gets shorter as time passes, so it is important to keep moving, lest the Void Children overwhelm the player. Even so, it will doubtlessly become necessary to rest occasionally. This is best done just after a wave of random Void Children, as that way there is the best chance that you will be able to complete the rest period uninterrupted.
Approaching the final boss can be difficult, but as long as the Companions are using their powers to help them and keep moving, they should be fine. The Void Capillary tentacles are usually best avoided - trying to out-fight them is a pointless exercise. Note that when the Companions reach the positions of the final guards, badly wounded characters will have some of their Hit Points restored, giving them a chance against the guards. Although it is a good idea to save some Ultimates for the final boss, it must be acknowledged that the guards are very tough, so hitting them with one or two Ultimates may be your only option for getting out of here alive.
The final boss can be difficult to defeat, but you will regain all of your Hit Points and Mana before the battle begins. The key to winning this battle is to attack the boss itself as often as possible while keeping the Void Capillaries from overwhelming you. Some spells like Lightning Storm, Darkbolt Barrage or Mass Fireballs will greatly contribute to keeping the population of Void Capillaries down. Any Void Children that get created should not be ignored however - concentrate all your efforts on killing them as quickly as possible. Remember to use your Ultimates and items on the boss and you should emerge victorious.
Chapter V is divided into approximately four different parts, with each part separated by a cinematic sequence. It is important to understand this as the strategies for Chapter V tend to be specific to certain parts.
During the first part of the map, the Companions can call for help from Prince Sorin's troops. To do this, simply click on one of the towers in one of the outposts, and click on the Ring Alarm Bells ability. You can do this even though the towers do not appear to be in your 'player colour'. After ringing a bell, Prince Sorin will come to help in any battles at that outpost. If Sorin is deployed elsewhere, he will relocate his troops to the new outpost... provided that he is not currently engaged in battle or still located past the front lines. Strategically deploying Sorin's reinforcements is very important to victory - try to call him to help any heroes who are very weak, or who have no Ultimates ready, or simply who need help to defeat their enemies more quickly.
The first part of the map involves the Companions splitting up and defending the four passes. During this section, the Companions are without support from their friends. The enemy will tend to send four waves of enemies, each of which will attack a different outpost in turn, after which there is (usually) a short break. After a companion defeats a wave, he should usually use a tent to rest as soon as possible. Also, because they are alone, the Companions must be especially wary of facing any Void Child Desolations - if a companion is hit by a Void Winds spell, they are rendered completely helpless for a significant amount of time. Thus, when facing a Desolation, it may be best to use an Ultimate to help end the battle quickly. It is very important to multi-task during this first part - assign each hero with a separate hotkey to allow you to switch quickly between the heroes as needed, and keep a very close eye on the minimap so you can react where needed. Stay relatively close to the outposts so that the troops there can offer help. Protect the unit producing buildings at all costs, and try to keep at least one of the outpost's three Bell Towers in one piece so that you can call on Sorin for help. Near the end of the first part (when the timer falls to about 3 minutes, 30 seconds remaining), the enemy will be sending the last four waves at you - after defeating a wave, it may be a good idea to relocate the companion from the outpost they were protecting so that they can be deployed to help another of the Companions... since the final wave is especially tough, having some other Companions ready to help could make a big difference.
Part two begins with a very vicious skirmish. If any of your allied heroes die, you will lose this battle, so you must react quickly to help protect them. Since the enemies are very tightly packed, try to hit them with a Sphere of Annihilation and/or Cataclysm spell. Follow up with as many powerful spells as you can: Unbridled Rage, Psychic Onslaught or Celerity are all good choices, but anything you can throw will do. Be aware that after you succeed, you will need to redeploy quickly to protect the four outposts - you can again call on Sorin for help during this section.
The third part features a massive battle. Sera will be with you for this, and is located near the outpost Soul Reaver is protecting. You will have some time to distribute her skill points... but you won't have enough time to read all the tooltips. Thus, it is probably a good idea to save just after the cinematic, read her tooltips, then load the game and select the abilities you want. Once the battle starts, you need to charge forward with your Companions and join the battle. At first, Soul Reaver, Sera and Prince Sorin will likely be at the forefront of the charge, since they together will kill their foes faster than any lone heroes will. Keep a close eye on your allied heroes - should they die, you will lose the game. Again, you may have to multitask heavily and concentrate most on those areas of the battle where the Companions' powers are most needed. When attacking the enemy base, try be especially wary of the heroes guarding the huge Warp Portals. Try to take them out quickly, and fight them on your own terms - be prepared to hit them with a powerful Ultimate (or two) and try to ensure that you outnumber them when attacking. Once you've got some breathing room, try to join up with your other Companions and join forces to defeat your enemies... it will make things much easier.
Sera's Healing Touch ability is useful to have on autocast when one of the Companions needs to recover health quickly, but be aware that if the autocast is activated, Sera's AI will prioritize healing over attacking... and that may not be a good thing. Be sure that the autocast is turned off unless you want Sera to spend her time healing rather than attacking.
The fourth part features one last battle against powerful enemy heroes. These foes will beat you into a pulp if given half a chance. You should not pull any punches during this battle. Before the enemy arrives, you should order the Companions to hold position (so that they do not end up running the midst of the onslaught you will soon unleash). Be sure to cast Sera's Face of the Heavens near the battlefield, as it will help immeasurably. Then, begin casting Sphere of Annihilation, and probably also Cataclysm, so that they strike the enemy upon arrival. The enemy heroes have powerful channeled abilities, so try to keep some stun-inducing powers ready for interrupting those spells should they use them. Throw everything you have at them. Note that one of the enemy heroes has a spell called Sorcerous Seal which is may try to use on you - it will prevent the Companions from attacking or using any spells for a time. If this happens, run for it and keep running until the spell's duration expires. As long as you hit your enemies fast and hard, you should be able to defeat these horrors.
Chapter VI is divided into five separate outposts. Each outpost contains various troop-producing structures (or portals), an enemy Warlord, and a Mana Conduit. Troop producing structures will constantly train additional enemies, and additional reinforcements will arrive from the valleys near the outpost. The Warlord can be attacked, stunned, and debuffed, but cannot be killed, as the Mana Conduit will constantly heal them. The only way to conquer an outpost and move onto the next is to destroy the outpost’s Mana Conduit – this will force the Warlord to retreat. Attacking the Warlord will give you a clue as to where the Mana Conduit is located, since you can trace the green healing stream of energy straight back to the Conduit. Before moving on a new outpost, be sure to destroy all troop producing structures in the current outpost, and kill all Void Child summoners – otherwise they will constantly send additional troops at you.
Though there is no obvious time limit, reinforcements will arrive more quickly and in greater force, and troops will be trained ever more rapidly the longer you take to destroy an outpost’s Mana Conduit. It is vital that you not take too long, or the reinforcements will suddenly start to arrive at such an extreme speed that you will have little hope of surviving.
Furthermore, be aware that after destroying a Mana Conduit, you have only a limited amount of time to destroy any remaining troop producing structures and rest before the next outpost. Take too long, and the reinforcements will begin to arrive in force. Once you enter the next outpost, the time limit will reset and begin anew.
Chapter VI has few complete lulls in battle – there is almost always someone or something getting ready to attack you. As a result, resting can be difficult. If you attempt to rest, make certain that you have eliminated at least a decent portion of the enemy’s troop producing structures first. Also try to keep some guards in place to intercept any attackers making for your sleeping heroes – either summon these guards using spells, or better yet, leave two or three heroes awake to stand guard over those that are sleeping. If you have Sera’s Healing Touch ability at a decent level, you can keep her awake and have her use this on injured comrades to greatly speed up their healing rate.
While resting during Chapter VI is problematic, it is sometimes required before taking on a particularly difficult opponent, so don’t try to take on deadly situations with only a sliver of health left if there’s a possibility of resting first.
The first outpost is in many ways the simplest. The Warlord will engage you as soon as you enter the outpost, and will continue attacking until the Mana Conduit is destroyed. Your best hope is to make a direct beeline for the Mana Conduit – if you can, summon some Skeletal Minions or an Abyssal Mass to distract the Warlord as you do so. Once you get to the Mana Conduit, have Sera cast Face of the Heavens near it, and start attacking it with everyone. You can use disruptive abilities such as Darkbolt Barrage, Meteor Shower and Mass Fireballs to hold the enemy at bay while you smash the tower apart. Once it comes down, destroy all troop-producing structures in the area, rest if necessary, and move to the second outpost.
The enemies here are numerous but weak. There are some robed summoners here that you should kill to cut down the number of enemy troops produced. Beware of the ‘Undying’, the brown-robed, staff-wielding enemies – they have to be killed twice in quick succession, or they will not stay dead.
Move through the outpost carefully, eliminating as many troop-producing structures and summoners as you can. Use area-of-effect attacks to quickly deal with the large number of foes.
Once the Warlord speaks, he will come to engage you in battle. He will summon a large number of enemies to attack you, and has a number of dangerous abilities. His Ultimates are particularly bothersome. When he uses these Ultimates, your best bet is to run in wide circles around him and keep away as much as possible. Drop the occasional spell (and summon reinforcements if possible) to thin out the enemy ranks, but be aware that the enemy numbers are likely to swell heavily during this forced retreat. Once the duration of the Ultimates expires, make straight for the Mana Conduit. Use Face of the Heavens to recover, and use powerful disruptive abilities (Sandstorm works quite well if you can avoid being stunned) to keep the enemy weakened as you smash the tower down. Once it collapses, mop up the remaining enemy forces, destroy any troop producing structures left, rest, and move on to the third outpost.
The biggest problem here are the enemy heroes waiting to engage you. There is a lone Dharuk Officer, a lone Dharuk Champion, a Void Child Malice, and then an Officer and Champion together. You should be able to take out the Officer, Champion and Malice without too many problems, but be certain to have rested before taking on the Officer and Champion team.
The actual Warlord will be last. He is very strong but not particularly fast. Try to keep your distance from him, particularly when he is charging up to unleash his Ultimate – you may be able to escape its radius if you are fast enough. Do not try fighting the beetles that he spawns, although keeping them at bay might be advisable. Try to run a wide circle around him to get to the Mana Conduit (but keep in mind that he may freeze one of the Companions in place during their flight!). Use Face of the Heavens near it and use disrupting attacks to keep the enemy at back as you take it down. Once finished, destroy any remaining troop producing structures, rest, and continue onwards.
The fourth Warlord will come to harass you at regular intervals at this outpost. This makes resting difficult and makes it even more important to keep moving forward, lest you find yourself being bogged down. The fourth Warlord’s attacks and abilities can seriously slow their targets, so be careful that your group does not get separated during a crucial moment. They also have an ability – Wytchbane – that creates a burning sphere that will lash out at any enemies trying to cast spells nearby. Either avoid casting spells, or destroy the sphere, and be extremely wary of using autocast abilities while the Wytchbane sphere is present.
Move forward quickly and destroy all troop producing structures you come across. If the Warlord attacks, either flee, or stall for time by summoning minions and using disruptive abilities. After a while, the Warlord will break off the attack and retreat again. However, once you near the Mana Conduit, the Warlord will engage you in all-out battle – this includes using Ultimates against you. One of these is particularly damaging and almost impossible to avoid, making it important to rest and heal as much as possible before this battle. The Mana Conduit itself can be difficult to get to, so be particularly wary of the fourth Warlord slowing down, isolating, and then killing one of the Companions as you try to make for the Conduit – cover their retreat with disrupting abilities if this should start to happen. Once at the Mana Conduit, use Face of the Heavens and smash it to pieces. After this is done, quickly destroy any remaining troop-producing structures, rest and carry on to the final challenge.
This outpost is quite different from the rest. There are only a few troop producing structures, but there are four groups of Void Portal summoners. The groups summon different types of Void Children – the ones at the bottom left and bottom right summon the weakest Void Children, but quite rapidly, the one near the middle summons moderately strong Void Children, and the one at the top right summons powerful Void Children but quite slowly. All four groups must be destroyed before the Mana Conduit can be destroyed. However, whenever you destroy a group, all your heroes will be completely healed and have their mana fully restored.
Complicating matters is the fact that the fifth Warlord will be constantly attacking you. He is very powerful in melee, so it is important to use summons to distract him, as well as slowing and stunning abilities to keep him at bay, and to use the open spaces to maneuver around him. Luckily there is a way to keep him out of the battle for a time – attack the Mana Conduit. Once the Conduit has suffered enough damage, the fifth Warlord will focus on restoring it, and will effectively be out of the battle until this is done. It is usually a good idea to do this before attacking a group of summoners.
When you destroy the first, second, and third group of summoners, you will be attacked shortly afterwards by a Void Child Hatred, Void Child Despair, and a team of a Hatred and a Despair respectively. During these battles, the Warlord will not interfere, but he will resume his attack the moment that your foe falls. Keep these enemy heroes stunned as much as possible and be prepared to interrupt their powerful channeled Ultimates. Use Ultimates of your own if needed, particularly against the final team of enemies.
Once the fourth group of summoners is killed, the Warlord will try to stop you at all costs, which includes using his Ultimates. One of these is very damaging, particularly if you are foolish enough to stand still. Keep moving, and summon minions to dissipate the power of his Ultimate somewhat. Use abilities to slow him and keep him stunned as much as possible as you head for the Mana Conduit. Destroy it as quickly as possible while keeping the Warlord distracted or stunned. Once it crumbles, victory will be yours!
Your enemies will not attack until you make a move, so take this opportunity to activate any autocast abilities you want to use and prepare yourself for attack. The easiest way to win is to have everyone Hold Position, then start casting Cataclysm in front of your heroes. The enemy will react and rush in, usually arriving in the midst of the explosion when the comet hits. Use Face of the Heavens, and cast Sphere of Annihilation while the enemies are still stunned. Activate Unbridled Rage and use Darkbolt Barrage and Meteor Shower to buy yourself more time if you need it. You should be able to kill everything without them ever recovering from the stun effect.
During the battles against the Warlords, the power orbs will have activated. This will cause small spheres of colored energy to appear for both heroes involved in the battle – you can only activate the red orbs, and the enemy can only use the purple ones. To activate an orb, just move close to it, and it will turn into a rune. Whenever a hero’s health drops low enough, one of their runes will disappear, and they will regain a considerable amount of HP and MP. Note however that a given hero cannot have more than 4 orbs/runes on the battlefield at once, and that the rate at which new orbs appear for a given hero will decline steadily (the more orbs have already appeared for a hero, the longer it takes for the next one to appear for that hero), so they are a limited resource.
The enemy bosses each have two magic items – the Bracers of Might boost their physical damage, causing their hands to glow orange, and the Mageslayer Ring protects them from magic damage (but not debuffs!), surrounding them with a glowing orange shield. It is often a good idea to stay away from the Warlords when the use these items and wait for their duration to expire.
Kherek is an extremely tough and strong opponent. You will not be able
to defeat him in a straight melee fight. His weaknesses are his lack of
potent ranged attacks and his slow speed – slightly slower than your own. Try
to keep your distance and attack using long ranged, high damage spells.
You can summon Skeletal Minions to help you out – in this case, a
concentrated dose of Shadow Lightning spells will help wear Kherek down
too, with Minor Haste added in for further support. The single most
damage-dealing method of attack is for Kitharsis to be affected by Minor
Haste, use his Rage Axes, and then go toe-to-toe with Kherek while
activating Unbridled Rage. Fighting Kherek is likely to be very time
consuming, so just hang in there.
Dustwalker can summon vast hordes of troops and posseses a number of nasty
spells, including a very effective defensive spell called Wraithform.
His physical damage is poor however, and he has a low HP total. To
defeat Dustwalker, it is important to understand how Wraithform works:
while it lasts, the spell absorbs Magic damage up to a certain limit,
and gives him a 90% chance to dodge physical attacks. It can end in two
ways: either by its duration expiring (in which case Dustwalker will be
able to re-cast it shortly afterwards) or by it having reached the limit
of Magic damage it can absorb. The best strategy is thus to quickly
pepper Dustwalker with Magic damage (using Blood Plague, Abyssal Mass,
and the Kurusunami if available), and then concentrating on physical
attacks and abilities (such as the Yugitti to reduce armor, Blood Frenzy
and Celerity) to deal as much damage as possible while Dustwalker is
vulnerable. Blood Corruption is best used when Dustwalker is trying to
grab an orb, as its slowing effects will significantly impede his
progress and its damage is quite respectable.
Eryion is primarily a spellcaster, and his physical attacks are not all
that powerful. However, Eryion is highly resistant to magical damage
himself, which will make this fight more difficult, and his summoned
minions will boost his own magical powers by ‘mirroring’ the spells that
he casts. This makes it useful to eliminate them when they are present,
but it is dangerous to get too distracted with fighting them. Eryion is
best attacked by casting Psychic Blast as often as possible, followed up
by Mass Fireballs if available, and physical attacks if not. Switch
Explosive Shells off and on depending on if it will hit Eryion’s
summoned minions as well or not. Also, if you can save Mass Fireballs
for when it will hit his minions as well, it tends to be a big help. Try
to avoid using Meteor Shower, as it leaves you vulnerable and tends to
be too inaccurate. Use the Flamethrower to add some additional damage if
needed. Use Cataclysm to hit both him and his minions if possible. Only
use Psychic Onsaught if Eryion has just exhausted the duration of his
anti-magic shielding item, or otherwise he may activate it and thus
avoid most of its damage.
Kathryn has powerful debuff abilities and does a lot of damage, but has
a poor HP total. She is also slightly slower than you, although her
Blighted Fate spell tends to counter this. Avoid fighting her
face-to-face, as she will definitely overpower Sera. Only use physical
attacks if you really have nothing else you should be doing and you can
get a safe shot from across one of the pits on the battlefield. If using
Face of the Heavens, cast it on the center of the battlefield, but do
not stand still in it, as Kathryn’s debuffs will make your attacks
largely ineffectual - instead, just cross through it as often as
possible while running. Rely on Arrow Storm followed by a Piercing Shot
to do most of the damage, and keep moving. Use Healing Touch only in
those few cases where you have a breather. Use the Divinity Arrow item
for some additional damage and to buy yourself some time to attack or
flee if needed.
Both Soul Reaver and Maelstrom are excellent melee warriors, but
defeating him requires a bit more than just brute force. One of
Maelstrom’s strengths is that he can regularly cast Accelerated
Regeneration, which will restore a considerable amount of hit points.
This means that slowly wearing him down is not an option, as he will
simply heal himself. When attacking, it is best to attack all-out,
causing enough damage at once to force Maelstrom to use up a rune. Also,
keep in mind that Soul Reaver can use his Anti-Magic Amulet to dispel
the Accelerated Regeneration effect, which is likely what it is best
used for in this battle. To damage Maelstrom, simply attack with
everything you have: Darkbolt Barrage, Lightning Storm, and particularly
Iron Will coupled with physical attacks. Using Sphere of Annihilation as
often as possible is a good idea. If Maelstrom is at melee range when he
is hit by the Sphere of Annihilation, this could potentially be followed
up with the Black Steel Gauntlets. Using Blooddrinker against Maelstrom
is also effective. Unfortunately, using the Summon Daemons Ultimate will
not usually be successful, as Maelstrom will try to destroy the Warp
Gate as soon as it is created, but if you manage to keep him at bay long
enough, it can provide a great deal of help.
The entire battle is a single, massive boss fight against Morganem. Morganem has over 200000 HP, has numerous devastating abilities, teleports in reinforcements, and will even call in bosses for support, so expect this to be tough. Save throughout the battle!
Throughout the battle, as you drop
Morganem's HP to certain key percentage levels for the first time, Mana
Splinters will spawn at random areas of the map. Picking up a Mana
Splinter uses it automatically, and has two effects: firstly, it will
instantly restore the character that grabs it to full HP and MP.
Secondly, all nearby friendly heroes will temporarily gain the Mana
Surge buff, which rapidly regenerates their HP and MP. Try to only use
the Mana Splinters when all your heroes are gathered close together –
this way, they will all benefit from the Mana Surge. Note that the
Anti-Magic Amulet will dispel the Mana Surge buff, so avoid getting your
own heroes caught in the Anti-Magic Amulet’s effects while the Mana
Surge is healing them.
At three points in the battle, Morganem
will call in Void Child heroes to aid him. When Morganem’s
health drops to 75%, he will call in a Void Child Hatred. When it drops
to 50%, he will summon a Void Child Despair. And when it drops to 25%,
he will summon both a Hatred and a Despair. These creatures will
announce their arrival with a loud roar/hiss.
Morganem has a slow but powerful, very
long-ranged area of effect attack, exceptionally high HP, and the
passive Mana Vortex ability that gives him effectively infinite MP.
Even though his spells might not seem too powerful at first, appearances
are deceptive – as his health drops, he will constantly change his
strategies and spells. His array of abilities will change (and become
steadily stronger and more numerous) as the battle wears on. To
effectively counter him, learn to recognize his abilities, understand
how they work, and respond accordingly when you see them. Here is a list
of the spells Morganem uses, and what (if anything) can be done to avoid
Void Children will spawn throughout the battle, appearing from Void Portals. There is not much you can do to stop this, although destroying a Portal before the Void Child emerges will prevent that Void Child from appearing. As the battle wears on, the Void Children will appear more frequently and will become more powerful.
Sends a hail of anti-magical projectiles pounding down over a small area from above. They cause a small amount of damage, but momentarily stun the victim, drain MP, dispel all buffs, and cause extreme damage to summoned units. Unfortunately, it strikes so quickly it is pretty much impossible to avoid, though units near the outskirts of the effect might be able to move away before the projectiles hit.
Creates a huge, red, debilitating magic circle. It slowly drains the health of any of your units in its area of effect, slows their movement speed, and reduces their armor. Furthermore, attacking any enemy units in the area of effect in melee will bounce back a percentage of the damage caused onto the attacker. This is a very annoying ability – moving out of the area of effect is strongly recommended. Using a stunning ability or two to keep enemies off you as you retreat might be a good idea.
This ability creates an easily visible glowing blue rune above the target’s head. Ten seconds after the rune is created, it will detonate. This causes minor damage and stun to the cursed unit, but fires out powerful projectiles that cause significant damage and stun to all nearby allies. One way to minimize the damage is to move a cursed unit away from all allied units as soon as you see the Mark of the Betrayer rune appear above them. A better alternative is to use the Anti-Magic Amulet to dispel the rune before it detonates, assuming you don’t need the Amulet for something more important.
This allows Morganem to teleport. It effectively has infinite range, but Morganem will use it in different ways depending on the circumstances. During early stages of the battle, he will use it to teleport away from the companions when they are closing in on him, but at the same time ensure he is still within range to attack them. During later stages of the battle, he will also use it to get closer to the companions if they are trying to escape from him. The ability is instant and thus impossible to avoid, but it has a moderate cooldown period – thus, after Morganem teleports, it is a good idea to press the attack before it the ability has time to recharge again.
Sends out a shockwave of energy in a straight line. The ground behind the shockwave will start to smolder, and a few seconds later, will detonate in a series of explosions. The shockwave itself is largely unavoidable but causes only minor damage. However, the explosions that will follow are devastating, so it is extremely important to get out of the area of effect before they go off. Due to the relatively narrow line the spell creates, the best way to escape is to run sideways, perpendicular to the spell to escape the effect. Running in the direction the spell travelled is very ill-advised.
Provides a targeted unit with a massive boost to movement speed and a significant attack speed bonus. The Anti-Magic Amulet can remove the effect, although swiftly killing the target is usually a better option.
Void Arteries will burst from the ground to attack the companions. These units are immobile and relatively weak, but they can really add up over time. If several are in one area, area of effect abilities such as Lightning Storm, Darkbolt Barrage, Mass Fireballs, Dark Tendrils or Arrow Storm should be able to clear them out pretty quickly.
This is a more powerful version of the spell used by the Void Child Despair. It creates a single, relatively weak, purple-glowing Dark Memory unit. The problem is that after a few attacks, the Dark Memory splits into two equally powerful units, and each of these have the ability to split further. This can very rapidly get out of hand. If a Dark Memory appears, it should be eliminated as quickly as possible, before it can multiply. If a large number are present, they should be attacked with area of effect and stun-inducing abilities (both to kill them and to prevent them from attacking and thus multiplying further), or if there are far too many, they should be avoided until their duration finally expires.
Unleashes a pulse of energy that affects any of your units in an area around Morganem. Affected units take a small amount of damage as well as suffering a large chance to miss with their physical attacks and a significant armor debuff. The spell cannot be avoided, but using the Anti-Magic Amulet can dispel the debilitating effects.
Curses one target, enveloping their head in a phantasmal, skull-like mask. This causes them to suffer damage over time, move more slowly, and find themselves unable to cast spells. The Anti-Magic Amulet can dispel the affects, or failing that, a Mana Splinter can be used to save a unit if their health drops dangerously low before the duration expires.
Causes a series of ghostly purple Anguish units to spawn near a chosen victim unit for a time. The Anguishes will try to close in on the target unit in order to perform a powerful area of effect suicide attack. Running from the Anguishes may be partially successful, as individual Anguish units don’t last very long – however, because they can appear anywhere in the area near the victim unit, some will still get through. A better option is to fight it out, since Anguishes are very fragile. Area of effect spells will work well, particularly ones with a long duration such as Lightning Storm, Nature’s Wrath and Psychic Onslaught. Attacking the Anguishes in melee is also a last resort option, though they will detonate pretty quickly once they reach the unit they are currently targeting.
A straightforward, long-ranged magic attack that strikes a target with a burst of green energy. It causes significant damage to a single target and has very long range. It is unavoidable, so it is important to keep your heroes’ HP above critical levels at all times, lest this spell suddenly and unavoidably finish them off.
This will randomly cause several areas of the battlefield to be enveloped in a vile, decaying black fog. Any units in an affected area will suffer significant damage over time. Entering affected areas is strongly discouraged, and any units that do have to enter them should endeavor to leave it as fast as possible.
Will send out masses of glowing skulls that swarm over your nearby units. The skulls inflict damage, and the damage they inflict will be used to heal Morganem. The skulls are invulnerable but can only attack in a limited radius around Morganem, so the best option is to attack from a distance until the effect expires.
A powerful green anti-magic shield, this ability reduces all magic and spell-based damage significantly. More importantly, it will remove any debuffs on Morganem every second, and every time it removes a debuff, it sends out a powerful, damaging and disorienting shockwave in a large area. This is a highly irritating defensive ability, and if possible, should be removed with the Anti-Magic Amulet as soon as possible. If you cannot dispel the Shield of Wrath, then only attack with physical attacks, personal buffs, and damage-only spells. Avoid using any spells or abilities that inflict debuffs on Morganem (even stun) until the Shield of Wrath expires.
Creates a static, shimmering stone that hurls bouncing bolts of energy at nearby units. The Voidstone is best countered either by closing in and quickly destroying it, or moving out of range until its duration expires.
Teleports one of your units to a random location elsewhere on the battlefield, as well as inflicting a small amount of damage and stun. This ability is unavoidable, so keep an eye on your heroes and be prepared to guide them back to their allies if necessary.
Creates an aura of intense cold around Morganem, visible as a blue glow around him and causing snow to fall. Any units approaching Morganem will be periodically struck by damaging, debilitating bursts of cold. The cold blasts cannot be avoided and inflict significant damage over a small area, but the area of effect of the Frost Surge aura is relatively small. Keep your distance and you should be safe from the effects.
Morganem will cast this upon Void Children – it permanently ‘upgrades’ the target Void Child, making it into a more powerful Void Child unit. This spell cannot be avoided.
This ‘protects’ one of Morganem’s allies with a powerful enchantment, visible as a green spherical glow above its head. If the protected unit is killed, any of your units in a large radius around it will suffer a debilitating curse that drains health, reduces armor and slows movement speed. The Anti-Magic Amulet can remove the effects of Vengeful Retribution either before or after it triggers. Alternatively, avoid killing units affected by Vengeful Retribution until the effect expires.
To use this ability, Morganem will first use Void Jump to teleport to either the very North or very South edge of the battlefield – whichever is further away from your units. Once there, he will begin channeling the Funeral Pyre spell. The spell causes huge pillars of flame to form and then explode from the ground near your units. The pillars will continue to form for as long as Morganem channels the spell – thus it is vital you stop Morganem from channeling it. Pick one unit with a stun-inducing ability and have it close as fast as possible with Morganem to stun him. All remaining units should stick together and head in Morganem’s general direction while dodging the pillars as much as possible.
This spell initially surrounds Morganem with a glowing green aura of energy. A few seconds after being cast, the spell unleashes a surge of energy over a huge area, striking any of your units in the area of effect with a green energy blast. The blast causes considerable damage. The only way to avoid suffering damage is to move as far away from Morganem as possible as soon as he casts the spell. However, even then it can be difficult to avoid, so the best preventative measure it to ensure your health never drops to a level so low that Spirit Flaying would be fatal.
Creates a massive black and purple Void Breach that will slowly move toward your units - the screen will momentarily flash black when the spell is cast. The Void Breach cannot be destroyed, only avoided. Any of your units near the Void Breach will be slightly slowed. The Void Breach will unleash a storm of devastating Void Lightning to any enemy units in a small area around it every few seconds. It is thus vital to avoid getting too close to the Void Breach. If you see it coming, run away from it, and avoid getting cornered by it. It will eventually dissipate on its own with an audible noise.
Morganem’s most powerful spell, this ability creates five runes arranged in a circular shape near the centre of the battlefield. Once all the runes are formed, they will start to ‘connect’ to each other, slowly forming a pentagram star. If the star is allowed to form completely, it will quickly become enclosed in a pentagon, and then trigger, instantly killing all your heroes, regardless of where they are on the battlefield. Causing a modicum of damage to a rune temporarily ‘disrupts’ it – this prevents it from forming any additional connections for as long as it remains disrupted. However, as long as all five runes are present, disrupted runes will suddenly heal back to full health and thus become active again every few seconds. There are only two ways to stop the Apocalypse spell from triggering. The first is to destroy one of the runes – however, their HP is so high that this is exceptionally difficult. The other option is to have all five runes disrupted at the same time. This is the better option, but requires all five companions to split up, each targeting one rune, and then attack all five runes at the same time. Be prepared to use an emergency Mana Splinter if it becomes necessary for survival during this dangerous maneuver.
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