The final boss in Minecraft Dungeons is, as you might expect, the game’s primary antagonist: the Arch-Illager. Given that it’s the last boss fight in the game, it makes sense for it to be tough–however, the difficulty spike from the previous section to this one is astonishing. If you’re having trouble with the Arch-Illager, you’re not alone. I, too, had an absolute nightmare trying to beat him. It took ages.
But there’s a way to tackle this boss fight in which victory is almost guaranteed. When I went back to take him on a second time, it was substantially easier than the first, because I had a plan. Here’s how to take down the Arch-Illager in Minecraft Dungeons. Be wary, this is a guide for the final boss fight, so expect some minor spoilers below.
If you’re concerned about the final area before the fight, make sure you know how the enchanting system works in Minecraft Dungeons and take some advice from our essential tips and tricks for Minecraft Dungeons. We’ve also put together a guide for everything you need to know about Minecraft Dungeons. Be sure to check out our Minecraft Dungeons review, too.
The Final Battle: You Don’t Have To Do It In One Life
The Arch-Illager in Minecraft Dungeons has two distinct forms. The first one is easy–he sort of flies about the middle of the map and summons loads of weak Pillagers, who you can pretty much ignore for the most part. Here, you’ll want to fire as many arrows as possible at the Arch-Illager to decrease his health as quickly as possible or get in close with an enchanted melee weapon to zero out his HP bar.
The tricky part of this boss fight is the second phase. After the Arch-Illager is defeated, the Orb of Dominance causes him to transform into the Heart of Ender. It’s pretty easy to damage the Heart of Ender initially, but its area-of-effect attacks are brutal and unforgiving. It has the power to conjure fire around the map and has access to a rotating laser beam that simultaneously shoots in four directions. It spins pretty quickly and lasts for quite a while, so it’s incredibly difficult to avoid getting hit at least once, if not outright killed by it.
This is where a sort of risk/reward strategy comes into play. If you can make it through the preceding dungeon, Obsidian Pinnacle, without losing any lives, you’ll have four chances to fight this boss. What’s more, any damage you inflict on the Heart of Ender will carry over to your next life, meaning that you’ll be able to defeat him if you remove a quarter of his health bar on each run. Now, this is admittedly risky–you’re banking on the fact that you can get value out of every single life, and it only works if you get through the whole dungeon before mostly unscathed.
There are other legitimate strategies, too–you can run in a circle around the Heart of Ender when it launches its multi-directional laser beam. You can also use ranged Artifacts and arrows to deal damage from a distance, which makes it easier to dodge incoming attacks, but also locks you into animations that can be exploited if the Heart of Ender uses its multiplication move, which causes two or more Hearts of Ender to appear in the boss arena, launching a linear beam in a random direction. There are a lot of lasers flying around, so if you’ve only got one life left, or don’t fancy the risky nature of trading lives for damage, your best tactic is to focus on evasive maneuvers and to get one or two hits in whenever it’s safe to do so.
For Artifacts, a companion is good, because they can distract the boss and inflict consistent damage while you fire arrows from a safe distance. Unfortunately, Totems are pretty useless, because you have to move so much that you’ll never be able to benefit from their area-of-effect buffs. Fireworks Arrows are useful for dealing consistent damage from a safe distance, and Boots of Swiftness will make it far easier to dodge its lasers, as will the Death Cap Mushroom. My ideal combo was Wheat, Boots of Swiftness, and Death Cap Mushroom–despite the fact my go-to for most of the game was Tasty Bone, Totem of Regeneration, and Fireworks Arrow–purely because it allows you to make use of increased movement speed, increased attack, and a companion devoted to absorbing the boss’ aggro.
So, whether you want to gamble lives or focus on a long but effective, evasive run, there are ways to defeat the unforgiving Heart of Ender. All you need to do is dodge all of the lasers, or strategically succumb to them in exchange for massive bursts of residual damage.
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