Diablo 3 Advanced Strategy GuideSeparate Builds for Bosses and Leveling ___________________ 3Adjusting to More Powerful Elite Enemies __________________ 4 Nightmare _________________________________________ 5 Hell ______________________________________________ 5Inferno ____________________________________________ 6 What to Expect _____________________________________ 6 The Different Acts ___________________________________ 7 Preparation ________________________________________ 7 Progression ________________________________________ 7 Understanding Nephalem Valor ________________________ 8 Farming Mechanics __________________________________ 8 Four Affixes ________________________________________ 9Boss Guide __________________________________________ 9 Diablo ___________________________________________ 15
The lower levels of Diablo 3 are pretty straightforward. With little to no knowledgeyou should be able to make your way through the normal part of the game andyou could probably even manage Nightmare with a little bit of skill testing andpractice. The real challenge starts when you make your way to Hell and itescalates dramatically from there to Inferno.Understanding what you have to do to be successful in those higher leveldifficulties will help you make it to the top levels and help guide you through thegame smoothly. While this guide isn’t going to cover every aspect of the game, itwill teach you plenty of the advanced techniques that you should know about ifyou plan on playing the later levels of the game.When you make it to the end of the game it pays to know how to beat the InfernoBosses effectively, and understanding the more complex farming mechanics ofInferno will help you make the gold that you need to advance your characterthrough the last leg of the game. On top of that, understanding how to be flexibleas you play the game is going to help you handle any of the elite bosses that youencounter, because they become very challenging at the later levels (even moreso than the bosses).Separate Builds for Bosses and LevelingOne of the most important steps that you have to take as you make the transitionfrom a green player to a seasoned veteran is to get separate builds for bossesand leveling. Enemies outside of boss battles and bosses themselves representvery different fights, so it only makes sense that you should be approaching themdifferently.Your build while you are working through the quest line and fighting regular andelite enemies should focus more on area of effect damage and ways tomanipulate crowds of enemies. You will almost always be killing larger groups ofenemies, and the more effective you are at this the faster you will level up.While you are in a boss battle you have to think a lot more about how you aregoing to do a high amount of single target damage, and avoid his particular
special moves. This means that you should have at least one powerful attack thatis meant for a single target, and plenty of defense or evasion abilities.With your two separate builds you can switch from one to the other when youswitch to and from boss battles and you will be a much more effective playerbecause of it.Note – It’s important to note that you won’t be able to have separate builds forbosses and normal groups of enemies when you make it to Inferno because ofthe Nephalem Valor buff (explained below). Instead you will have to come upwith a hybrid build that is going to be effective with both bosses and everyoneelse.That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of being able to have twodifferent builds up until that point, because the flexibility will make the game quitea bit easier to get through.Adjusting to More Powerful Elite EnemiesAs you progress through the game you will have to account for more powerfulelite enemies even more so than the bosses in the game. Surprising as it maybe, there are many instances where the elites are harder to kill than the bosses.With each new difficulty level you need to rethink how you are going to handlethe elites because they get a huge boost.More Affixes with each new difficultyAs you get to the new difficulty levels one of the first things you will notice is thatthe elites have more affixes than they did before. This can lead to some seriouslydevastating combinations that will make the game much more challenging than itwas on the first difficulty. The affixes are basically the little words underneath thename of the elite enemy that describes what special moves it has. An enemy withthe Waller affix will lock you into place with randomly spawning dirt walls. Thiscan lead to serious problems if you are a ranged class. The Mortar affix gives theelite enemy the ability to lob explosives directly at you and generate someserious damage.
When you get more than one of these abilities together you have to figure outhow to deal with the combination which can be pretty challenging.On top of gaining more than one special ability, they are smarter, they work moreto gang up on you and they are more aggressive than before meaning that youcan’t just run away from them and hope to survive that way. Even with a highamount of armor you are going to take more damage than before, if a single hittook away half your life in the last difficult there is a good chance that it will nearlykill you now.With each new difficulty you have to refine your play style a little more and reallythink about how you are going to handle the new obstacles being placed in frontof you.NightmareNightmare isn’t much more difficult than Normal, but you will notice that it doesn’ttake as long for you to die if you play recklessly. Instead of being able to runheadlong into rooms without considering what will happen, you have to take yourtime a little bit more and plan out your attacks before you rush into things.The enemies do a noticeably higher amount of damage and the elite enemieshave two affixes instead of one. That means that they have two special abilitiesand you will start to run into a few combinations that are pretty dangerous, suchas mortar and wall together.In order to get ready for Nightmare you should buy a new set of gear when youmake it to the new difficulty. Other than updating your gear you just have to be alittle more cautious than you were before and you will probably have to go backthrough and repeat a few of the boss fights because you probably won’t downthem all in the first try.HellThe transition from Nightmare to Hell is just as noticeable as from Normal toNightmare. The enemies were just starting to be able to kill you in Nightmare, inHell they will drop you pretty quickly. There are going to be more enemies out
there that will kill you in a single hit. The best way to get ready for Hell is to getthe best gear you can and start focusing on defensive skills and abilities more.While you could get away with an offensive build before, in Hell you will die muchquicker, so it only makes sense to do whatever you can to make yourself harderto kill. That means getting some shields and mobility abilities such as Teleportand Diamond Skin.You also need to think about getting resistances and vitality more than you did inthe past. The more vitality you have, the less likely that you will be killed with asingle hit. The same goes for resistance, and resistance will really help with theboss fights.Three AffixesOne of the things you’ll notice the most is that the elites have three affixes now.That means that nearly every pack that you run into will have an ability that isdifficult for you to handle. When they get a few different difficult abilities you willhave a very hard fight on your hands and will probably be killed very quickly.Change your skills around for specific purposes and do whatever it takes to stayalive in the more difficult level.InfernoWhat to ExpectInferno is what many of the Diablo 3 players are working toward, because itpromises to be the highest level challenge you will experience in the game. Itreally is a whole different game altogether when you make the transition fromHell to Inferno. Even the weak enemies at the beginning of the first act willprobably put you on the floor before you know it. Everything moves faster andhits much, much harder.The original plan for Inferno was for it to be a completely flat difficulty, where youcould farm any part of the game and still face the same level of challenge. Afterthinking about it for a little while Blizzard decided to scrap that plan and instead
the first act starts off with that difficulty and it quickly escalates to even higherlevels as you progress through the game.The Different ActsThe enemies in each of the four acts increase in difficult as you go. The first acthas monsters of level 61, the second has monsters of 62 and both three and fourfeature the same level of 63. Although going up one level doesn’t seem like asignificant change, the monsters from one act to another feel very different whenyou are actually fighting them.PreparationIn order to prepare for the start of Inferno you have to get up to level 60, and earnas much gold as you can. The more money you have the easier it is going to beto transition to Inferno. As soon as you hit 60 upgrade your gear as much as youpossibly can. Focus on vitality and resistance as much as you can, don’t worryabout boosting your damage until you are sure that you can survive at all inInferno.ProgressionUnlike in Diablo 2 your progression path really relies on your ability to gathergold. It doesn’t matter how you get the gold; the more gold you have the bettergear you can obtain. For this reason many players prefer to go with gold findgear over magic find whenever they can, because it is just more reliable. Start off with max vitality, defense, and resistance. Kill all the bosses in the first Act. Boost DPS until you can kill the bosses and elites with ease. Farm until you have enough gold to buy gear powerful enough for the next act. Jump to the next act and start all over again.This progression pattern is pretty straight forward and simple. If you aren’t able totake on even the weakest monsters of Inferno after you finish Hell, you will have
to go back to Hell and farm for gold until you have gear that can withstand theenemies.Understanding Nephalem ValorIf you are serious about farming Inferno for gear, then you need to understandhow Nephalem Valor works. Whenever you kill an elite or champion enemy youwill get a single stack of the Nephalem Valor buff. This buff boosts your magicfind and gold find by 15 percent and lasts for 30 minutes. While that in itself is apretty nice boost, it doesn’t stop there. The next time you kill a champion or eliteenemy you will receive another stack of the buff if the original buff remains onyou. On top of the additional stack, the buff is completely refreshed and you willget 30 percent more gold and magic find for the next 30 minutes. This cyclecontinues until you reach five stacks and you can maintain those stacks by killinga steady stream of elite enemies.It is important to note that killing the enemies with the violet names, or the rareenemies, won’t give you the buff or refresh it. On top of that, if you leave thegame, switch any of your skills, (passive or active) or your skill runes you lose thebuff immediately.Blizzard is basically rewarding players for sticking with the same build all thetime, so it pays to find a build that works for you when you are farming for gear.Some players simply avoid bosses while they are farming gear from elites, andothers decide to challenge the bosses with their farming build and hope for thebest. Either way it is very important that you manage your Nephalem Valor (NV)buff while you are farming for new gear.Farming MechanicsUnlike in the previous difficulties, in Inferno the loot that the bosses drop isn’treduced dramatically. You can get some pretty great gear by going back throughand killing the same boss over and over again. What you farm really depends onwhat you enjoy doing, but you are the best off if you combine killing eliteenemies, bosses, and opening up containers.When you down those elites you get the nice NV buff that will help increase thevalue of your runs. By picking out an area that not only has elites, but also a
large number of containers, you maximize the amount of loot that you can pickup in the shortest amount of time possible.Farming Checklist Pick a spot you can get to without running. Always use a spot with elites that you can kill. Focus on areas with elites as well as plenty of containers. Kill any bosses if they are easy to get to from your farming spot, but don’t focus on a boss if it wastes a lot of time. Maintain the same skills after you kill the first elite. Switch between damage gear and gold find gear near the end of an elite kill whenever possible.Four AffixesInferno elite enemies can often be more powerful than the bosses themselvesbecause they have four affixes or four special abilities. You will often run acrosscombinations that will leave you dead before you even know what is going on.While you are killing the elites your only real course of action is to avoid all of themore nasty combinations whenever you can until you have good enough gear towithstand them.Boss GuideThe boss guide section will help you through the more difficult boss fights. Withan easy to read set of tips you can enter any of the boss fights knowing what toexpect. When you make it to Inferno you have to consider things that you don’tthink about at the lower difficulty levels. Not all of the fights work the same asthey did at the lower levels and this set of tips will help with the learning curve.Skeleton King
Although the Skeleton King is one of the easiest boss fights in the game, yourfirst time fighting him on inferno will still be very difficult. He uses most of thesame mechanics that he does in the other difficulties, but you have to handlethem a little more cautiously than you normally would.It is very important that you have a decent AOE ability for this fight to handle allthe packs of skeletons that you are going to encounter.The fight is pretty basic and if you know how to handle the few mechanics thatare present you should be able to beat it in a few attempts.Minions – He will summon a group of skeletons, you should separate yourselffrom the pack of skeletons and the king to avoid being killed instantly. He willsummon a high number of minions throughout the fight and it is very importantthat you kill them as soon as they are there to avoid a buildup.Cackle – When he starts to cackle jump back out of the way or use a defensiveability because he is about to unleash a powerful melee attack.Summon – There are times when he will summon you to him and rangedclasses will have to use a defensive move, or a move like teleport to quickly getaway from him again.The ButcherThe Butcher is going to be one of the first boss fights that is very challenging.There is a good chance that you will have to go through it several times beforeyou are able to beat it, but the main thing is to learn all of the different mechanicsof the fight.There are signs to look for while you are fighting the Butcher that will help youbeat him. You just have to pay attention constantly and be ready for his differentattacks.Grate Fires – Pay attention to the grates and when you see a fire forming makesure you aren’t above it or you will die very quickly.
Jumping Up and Down – As soon as he starts jumping up and down you needto move to the side of him and resume killing him. He will slam his hammer downon the ground and kill you if you happen to be in his way.Arm Swing – When he swings his arm up it means he is either going to send outa stream of fire or a set of spiked chains. Ranged classes should stand back asfar as possible for this and melee should jump to the side to avoid the fire.Charge – Right after the fire stream the Butcher will charge in your direction. Youhave to be ready to get out of the way or you will be hit very hard.Enrage Timer – If you take too long on this fight the entire floor will catch on fire.There is a good chance the fire will kill you if you don’t have high enoughresistance.MaghdaMaghda is one of the smaller bosses in Act II. Although she has a pretty low lifepool she is still pretty challenging and there are a few things you should knowabout before going into a fight with her.Plague Breathe – She attacks with plague breathe that will follow you aroundthe screen until it eventually goes away. Make sure to stay out of range of it oryou will be hit hard.Summons – She summons packs of enemies that you have to deal withcarefully. They hit very hard and ranged classes will be killed by them very easilyif they get close. Your best bet is to use AOE skills to kill them quickly whilemaintaining your distance.Melee classes should fight them far away from Maghda so that they can avoidany of her special attacks that continue to go on while you are fighting the otherenemies.Always avoid attacking Maghda when she is surrounded by her shield becauseyour attacks won’t do any damage to her.Zoltun Kulle
As one of the last bosses in Act II Zoltun Kulle is very challenging. He has plentyof special moves and you really need to know what you are doing in order to stayalive for the entire fight.Elementals – In the beginning of the fight you have to kill the two elementalswhile avoiding damage from all of Zoltun’s attacks as well. They hit pretty hard soyou will probably have to kite them a little whether you are melee or ranged.Move around while you kill them and avoid all of the other attacks.Fireballs – The fireballs that drop down from the sky are easy to avoid becausethey are so slow. Run away from them when you see them falling as you shouldbe fine.Rock Rain – A large cluster of stones falls down from the air periodically. Thebest way to avoid this is to either use a defense skill when you are going to behit, or jump out of the way quickly. It won’t kill you right away but it will hurt youquite a bit.Energy Twister – Avoid the small tornadoes on the ground because they hit veryhard. They are pretty easy to walk around though so you should never be hit byone.Slow Time – When the elementals are dead Zoltun will start putting slow timebubbles on the floor that will expose you to other attacks. Just avoid walking inthe bubbles and you won’t have to worry about being stuck when an additionalattack is falling down toward you.BelialThe lord of lies isn’t a pushover to say the least. He relies on a variety of specialmoves to keep you running around and working pretty hard to stay alive. Learnhow to react to his abilities and you should be able to overcome him with a littlepractice and make it through Act II.
Phase 1Quickly drop all of the adds that spawn around the level. There will be around 15adds that you have to kill, it is very important that you run around to keep themseparated from each other. If a decent sized group is hitting you at the same timeyou will die fast.Save any of the health globes that you don’t need from them because you canuse them in the next phase.Phase 2Now it’s time to fight Belial himself. This phase is pretty simple, ranged classesstay away from him as much as you can, melee classes stay on top of him andburn him down.As soon as he rushes away you need to put some distance between him and youbecause he will start throwing out green energy balls that will do a massiveamount of damage to you. There is three in a bunch and you can dodge them allif you are far enough away.You may have to do this phase a few times if you don’t get many health globedrops, try to save as many of your survival cooldowns for the next phase as youcan.Phase 3Now it’s time to face the full grown Belial and he’s not a pretty sight. This is thefinal phase of the fight and it is by far the most difficult, you will have to be verymobile or you won’t make it long.Green Mines – When you see the small green circles on the floor get away fromthem, they aren’t dots, but they will burst and do a massive amount of damage toyou if you are nearby.Stabs Hands into Ground – When he stabs the ground you will have to dealwith a very large number of those mines and the best bet is to run around the
edge of the screen hoping to avoid a cluster of them. You may need to use amobility or protection ability to survive this.Melee Attacks – Green splotches will form on the ground where he is going tostab down. If one of those clusters forms on you get out of the way or use ashield immediately because he hits very hard. Sometime he will only hit once andother times he does a series of three attacks next to one another.Green Breathe – After the melee attack he will tip back and launch a damagingbreathe attack around the level. Stay off to the right side of the screen and youshould avoid it.AzmodanCompared to Belial, Azmodan is actually a pretty straightforward fight. You willhave to look out for a few special moves, and the puddles on the floor can bepretty challenging, but you should be able to beat him after a few attempts aslong as you shape your build around his different abilities.Fireball – When you see the meteor in the air, run straight away from him until itexplodes on the ground.Puddles – Get out of the puddles as soon as they spawn or you will die veryquickly. You may need mobility skills to get away from the puddles because theycan box you in pretty easily.Pillars – Kill the Pillars as soon as they spawn to prevent extra enemies fromgetting into the fight. Get away from the pillar as you kill it if you don’t want towaste the health globe that spawns right away.Auto Attack – As a melee character if you are right in front of Azmodan he willdo a powerful auto attack that you will have to jump out of the way to avoid. Savemobility skills such as leap for this. You will be able to tell when it is comingbecause he raises a couple of his arms up into the air beforehand.Corpse Rain – When an orange ring blinks on the floor you are about to getrained on. High defense classes will be able to handle the attack without a
problem. Low defense ranged characters need to get out of the area right away ifthey want to live.Molten Stream – When he is trying to hit you with the molten stream simply runaround and dodge it until he stops, it only lasts a few seconds.Enrage Timer – If you take too long to kill him the entire floor is going to fill withpuddles and you will have to hurry to finish the fight before they finish you off.DiabloYou finally made it to the last boss in Inferno and he’s going to do his best tomake your life a misery for the next couple days. Throughout the three phasesyou will be dodging a large number of special attacks that become prettyoverwhelming near the end of the fight. Expect to have to try this fight severaltimes. It is the last fight of the game after all.Phase 1The first phase is in the standard world and you will be running around avoidinghis mechanics while taking advantage of the two health pools.Bone Cages – Black smudges will form on the floor and a second later bonecages spring out of them. Avoid these at all costs or you will be dropped down toone health and killed right after most of the time. If you do get caught have adefensive ability ready for right after you get away to give yourself a chance ofsurviving.Health Pools – Use the life pools at either side of the map as much as you can.While you are fighting with Diablo work your way back and forth between the twoto try and keep your healing potions from being on cool down.Fire Ring – When he starts charging up back away from him a little bit becausehe is about to unleash a ring of fireballs that you can dodge if you get in betweenthem as they spread apart.
Phase 2 (The Realm of Terror)When he switches to the next phase let the cut scene play all the way out. Thiswill take some time off your cooldowns and start you in a better position.Shadow Clones – The Shadow Clones are a good tool for healing yourcharacter back up if you are low on health because they always drop a healthglobe. The clones are pretty difficult to kill and they will do a few basic specialattacks for burst damage to try to avoid letting your health drop too low whilefighting them.Fireball – Ranged classes will have more trouble with the fireballs than melee.He launches fireballs that go straight out, make sure you stay far away from thembecause they will explode on the ground creating a fire field that stays there.If you get hit by one of the fire fields from the fireball you will have a DOT that willkill you slowly if you don’t heal through it.Phase 3The only new mechanic in the last phase is the energy breathe that many Diablo2 players will recognize. When he gets ready to unleash the stream of energyyou need to run around behind him to avoid getting hit.You have to deal with all of the special attacks from the first two phases as wellas the energy beam, but you have access to the two health pools again so makesure to use them often.If you run out of cool down abilities you can simply run around the screen to getaway from Diablo for a little bit while you wait to get those abilities back again.Simple avoid everything and attack when you can and Diablo will be dead in notime at all.Do you want even more advanced strategies? Check out Diablo 3 Hero.
The Diablo 3 Hero guide is a complete leveling guide for Diablo 3 - we are the onlyguide to feature leveling guides, a full strategy guide and also HD videos to go along withthe guide.