This page outlines strategies for defeating demon bosses.
A demon boss's name will contain both a prefix and a suffix title, which indicate how the boss will fight.
All "area of effect" abilities apply to the demon's area of effect: within 3 squares of the boss.
|General||Accurate melee||Blazing||Magic damage over time|
|Executioner||High damage||Corrupting||Poison area of effect|
|Castellan||High defence||Frostborn||Stun area of effect|
|Deacon||Multi-target magic||Glorious||Stun target|
|Infernal||Magic damage over time area of effect|
|Obscured||Stat drain area of effect|
|Rending||Melee damage over time|
|Shattering||Melee area of effect|
|Terrifying||Bind and reduced adrenaline gain area of effect|
This section covers effective strategies to use based on the boss's prefix. Keep in mind that this alone cannot decide the best strategy, as the demon's suffix will need to be taken into consideration.
Demons with the general title have accurate attacks. Overall, you may find yourself using more food, but at higher levels, this will matter less.
Demons with the executioner title have very high hitting attacks. Even at higher levels, they may exhaust your food source if you are soloing or in a two- or three-man team. It may be wise to switch to tank armour depending on the boss's suffix.
Demons with the castellan title have very high defence. Even with the highest end equipment and levels, landing a hit is difficult. These are the longest fights. When tanking a castellan demon, even in large teams, reflecting damage back to the boss will be a significant source of damage. With effective use of prayer, damage per minute can be increased as much as 10,000. Against these demons, that much damage makes a significant difference. Solo hunters may wish to avoid castellan demons to increase kills per hour.
Demons with the deacon title are not an increased threat, as their ability only makes their magic attack multi-target. This ability will make no difference for soloers or small teams (assuming the dps roles are away from the tank).
This section covers effective strategies to use based on the boss's suffix. Keep in mind that this alone cannot decide the best strategy, as the demon's prefix will need to be taken into consideration.
Blazing, Rending, Infernal
Demons with these titles will apply a very weak damage over time attack with every successful attack they land. The former two will apply their damage over time to the tank, while the latter will apply it as an area of effect, and thus it may be avoided by standing back away from the boss.
Overall, the damage is very minor and will be very insignificant compared to the main hit. This damage over time effect can be used to your advantage. Every hit will trigger abilities like Revenge, allowing you to maximise your damage output quickly, and Preparation, to get Resonance off of cooldown quickly. These small hits will also trigger resonance, so it will need to be activated at the last second to have the large hits activate the effect.
Demons with these titles have the ability to poison. The former is an area of effect that can be avoided by standing back from the demon. The latter is more dangerous, as the poison will stack high, allowing it to hit well over 1,600. Having several doses of antiposion++ is recommended for pestilent demons.
Demons with these titles have the ability stun players. The former is applied as an area of effect, and it may be avoided by standing back from the boss. The latter applies only to the tank, and will only stun on a successful hit. Freedom and Anticipation are very important for staying in combat with the boss. Plan your attacks ahead so that you can be under these abilities' effects, having stun immunity during combo or channelled attacks. Care should be taken when using prayer, as being stunned before you can cast resonance or other defensive abilities may result in death. Prayers can be deactivated and familiar scrolls can be used (including healing aura) even under this stun.
Demons with the shattering title have a melee attack that hits all players in front of them. This can be avoided by standing back from the demon.
Demons with the terrifying title can bind and reduce adrenaline gain of players within 3 squares. Standing back from the demon is highly recommended to avoid both of these effects.
Demons with the obscured title can drain the stats of players within their area of effect. Players using overload potions or its variants can practically ignore this ability, as it will recover the stats extremely quickly. It is recommended to avoid using anything that isn't an overload against demons with this title, as they will be quickly removed due to its effect. Super restore is mandatory if fighting these demons to counter their stat drain.
This section covers strategy that is important to all players, and also provides insight into strategy for players taking on a solely DPS-based role.
Despite the demon bosses having no explicit weakness, they are actually the weakest towards magic, moderately weak to melee, and the most resistant to range. Therefore, magic or melee with Darklight is recommended. Melee is inherently less flexible than magic and ranged as it requires being adjacent to the boss. For demons with an area of effect ability, this is a large hindrance, and it may be preferable to use a different style; for demons without, melee can be equally effective for the fight. Overall, however, melee has a huge advantage with the darklight upgrade that can be purchased after Dimension of Disaster. With the upgrade, it is extremely easy to achieve near 100% accuracy, even without potions.
No matter what your role is, accuracy and damage will be important. Players taking on DPS role should preferably be using superior Elite Void Knight equipment. If you do not have superior elite void, then power armour will be preferable over tank armour.
Beginning a fight
If you are present when the boss is freshly spawned, he will be surrounded by 6 imp heralds, 4 lesser demons, and 2 black demons. Unlike the common mob-type demons, these demons have significantly higher health.
The boss immediately starts siphoning health from the lesser demons, one at a time. If all the heralds or killed or he finishes off the lesser demons, the boss immediately starts siphoning from the black demons. The boss siphons health equal to 1/10th of his current target's health, so he heals 3,000 life points at a time from lesser demons, and 6,000 from black demons.
To interrupt the healing as fast as possible, kill all the imp heralds. This will prompt the boss to send his lesser demons at his assailants. Once all the lesser demons are killed, he will be forced to send his black demons at you.
Use of prayer
Except for protect item, all prayers and curses will greatly increase the boss's damage and accuracy. Avoid using prayers at all time, unless you are tanking and using the mechanic to your advantage (covered below).
For a tank role, defence is not as important as it may seem. Dual-wielded equipment is superior to two-handed because it allows use of a shield without sacrificing damage. For most demon bosses, tank gear can be replaced with power armour or void knight equipment to increase damage.
For lower levels, a beast of burden can be used to store extra food. With higher end equipment and levels (90+), a beast of burden can be replaced with a Unicorn stallion, as healing will be less demanding.
Use of prayer
Except for protect item, all prayers and curses will greatly increase a demon boss's accuracy and damage. While for the most part, prayer should be avoided, this can be turned into an advantage if executed properly.
If the boss fires an attack while Resonance is active, the effect will be disabled; however, if activated after the attack is fired, the effect can work. If the boss's attack misses, then the next attack may remove the effect of Resonance. By turning prayer on before an attack is fired and and activating Resonance after, this mechanic can be used to provide very high heals (upwards of 5,000).
Demon bosses are not immune to deflect, so if prayer is active while Reflect is in effect, large amounts of damage can be deflected back on the boss. This can be combined with Resonance, allowing a high hit to not only heal you, but damage the boss as well. Do note that under Reflect, all damage received is cut in half, so Resonance cannot heal as high. You may prefer to wait until Reflect's effect is over to cast Resonance.
Transfigure can have damage absorbed to heal you. While the ability stuns and binds you, it does not prevent you from activating and deactivating prayers. Cast Transfigure at mid health (around 4,000–5,000) and turn prayer on for 1 or 2 hits (depending on how much is dealt). Transfigure's max heal is 5,000; taking around 2,000 life points of damage is ideal.
Solo (Upgraded Darklight method)
This section covers methods for a player who is taking on the boss on their own.
This specific setup revolves around hefty use of the upgraded Darklight's special, Weaken. This special attack applies a stacking Attack, Strength, and Defence debuff on the Demon boss. By using this tactic, one can effectively drain a demon's accuracy and defence to such low amounts it will rarely hit the player, and will be unable to block any hits the player deals. By regularly using the special throughout the fight, the player can ensure the demon is severely weakened, making it only a matter of time before the boss falls. The state where a demon boss will miss most of its attacks is usually reached after less than 10 Weaken stacks.
Using this strategy, it is needed to effectively put as much adrenaline as possible into the special attacks until the demon is weakened enough. As using prayers (besides Protect Item) should generally be avoided, the player should be able to heal as much as possible without eating food that causes adrenaline drain. A Blood necklace (Fury or Brawler's), Vampyrism aura and Scrimshaw of vampyrism are good options for lifestealing off of the boss, while a healing familiar such as a Unicorn Stallion or a Bunyip may provide passive heals that do not cost the player any adrenaline. Saradomin brews are also a very viable option to heal up while not being interrupted. However, it is only recommended to use these if also taking Overloads, because of the 15 second re-boosting effect these potions bring.
It is possible to solo every single type of boss using the upgraded Darklight with Jessika's sword and Bandos equipment with a full inventory of sharks, with exception of the "Terrifying" suffixed bosses, unless the player is fairly experienced.
Start of the fight
Often, a Demon boss will already have consumed all of its Lesser demons and Black demons generals when the player arrives. If not, it is fairly easy to kill those after finishing off all of the Imp heralds. They have high health, but do not deal significant damage or have any special properties. The player should aim to finish off the last Black demon with 100% adrenaline present, so that they may immediately use two special attacks on the Demon boss.
If only the Imp heralds stand alongside the boss, it is still recommended to kill these to build up adrenaline up to 100%, in order to directly use two special attacks in succession.
Adapting to the Demon's properties
As all Demon Bosses have two traits that give them a unique effect - a prefix and a suffix - it can be crucial the player is well prepared against some of them. Every trait is explained and has a recommended strategy when struggling with the fight. This does not mean these are required by any means.
The demon boss will have more accurate melee attacks. This means it will require more stacks of Weaken in order to have the boss miss most of its attacks to you.
The hits of the Demon Boss will be considerably higher. While this can cause some difficulty in the beginning of the fight, this trait is fairly harmless later along, as the boss will miss most attacks on the player anyway.
- Recommended, if struggling: shield switch in combination with Resonance, Tank armour with life boost (Tetsu, Teralith).
Previously regarded as the most difficult and/or tedious trait, this is the contrary when using the Darklight method. Because of the massive defense drain Weaken offers in combination with the high accuracy boost Darklight has versus demons, it will be easy to consistently hit the demon, especially later in the fight. This is generally considered the "easiest" prefix to fight.
- Recommended, if struggling: accuracy boosting equipment (Void knight equipment, Brawler aura, Scrimshaw of attack).
This prefix will cause the Demon Boss to have multi-hitting Magic attacks. While soloing, the player should not have any problems with this trait.
Blazing, Rending, Infernal
These three traits will make the Demon Boss apply a fairly weak damage over time effect on the player. Generally, these can be ignored, as the damage received is insignicant. The constant bleeding effect does open up the possiblity to make very effective use of Revenge and Preparation (for Resonance), as the small damage ticks will quickly boost the abilities.
- Recommended, if struggling: usage of a shield, in combination with Revenge and Preparation.
These two suffixes will cause the demon to apply a strong poisonous effect, either area of effect based or as a single-target bleed respectively. In contrary to the other bleeds, the poisonous one from the Pestilent bosses will actually deal significant damage in longer fights.
As these Demon bosses can repeatedly stun the player, they can cut down the ability to build up adrenaline and apply Weaken stacks often enough. It is recommended to only use Weaken or other thresholds while under the buff effect of Anticipation or Freedom to ensure the player does not get stunned halfway through an attack. While Barricade also provides stun immunity if used with a shield, it is not considered worth its cost.
- Recommended, if struggling: paying close attention to using Anticipation and Freedom as much as possible, while not overlapping the buffs.
This trait will turn the Demon's attacks into huge area of effect damage. For soloing, this should not affect killing at all. This is generally considered the "easiest" suffix, as it does not bring any extra effect to the table while taking on the boss alone. As such, there is no special recommendation for this type.
Demons with this trait can bind the player and halve their adrenaline gain. While the bind may not be a problem for the player, the halved adrenaline gain can be a major nuisance, and will make the kill considerably harder. This suffix is the "hardest" to face, as it will take twice as long to gain enough adrenaline to use Weaken. Many players consider this type to not be worth the effort when using this method.
A trick that may sometimes be used while fighting the Demon boss in areas where other monsters are present, is to tag a weak monster (such as a Skeleton in the wilderness) and continue to attack the demon. While the monster attacks you in melee distance, you will often not suffer the decreased adrenaline gain.
As this Demon boss will drain your stats over time, it can be wise to counter this effect by bringing stat-restoring or even stat-boosting measures. When using Overloads, the stat-draining effect is negligible, and can be ignored.
- Recommended, if struggling: Overloads (or Super warmaster's potion if no access).