Defeating Nomad and completing the grandmaster quest Nomad's Requiem, as well as the master quest Nomad's Elegy is regarded as one of the more difficult achievements in the game. This article will attempt to provide a complete, thorough understanding of Nomad's capabilities, as well as common strategies and tactics for defeating him.
Nomad is an extremely powerful warrior and battlemage who is able to cause massive amounts of damage. In addition to his basic Magic attack, he has a number of special attacks that he frequently uses during the fight. These attacks are used in the same order in which they are listed below. It should be noted that every single one of his attacks deal typeless damage.
- Nomad's basic attack is an at-range Magic attack that is capable of hitting over 2500. It deals typeless damage, which means that Protect from Magic and Deflect Magic have no effect whatsoever on it. However, your Magic defence does affect the attack's accuracy; for this reason, armour with high Magic defence is strongly recommended when fighting him. Nomad begins using this attack immediately when the battle begins, and uses it in-between his special attacks.
- His first special attack is to lay a number of flame vortices in a pattern around you. Each vortex occupies one square. If you step on a flame vortex, it explodes, dealing damage for 4000 life points. After about a minute, or after Nomad finishes casting Soul Blast, they explode on their own. The pattern in which Nomad deploys the vortices leaves a gap to the south, but depending on where you are standing a pillar may block the path. You can safely get away from them by running through the gap, the abilities Escape or Surge will not work. If you are meleeing Nomad, you should turn off Auto Retaliate when he deploys the vortices so that you do not accidentally wander over one.
- Nomad's second special attack, Soul Blast, is a powerful Magic attack that deals 7500 damage. Before using Soul Blast, Nomad teleports to his throne (or to roughly the centre of the battle arena in the Dominion Tower) and announces "You cannot hide from my wrath", which is a lie to mislead the player. Immediately hide behind a pillar in order to dodge this attack, although some players prefer to simply take the hit while continuing to attack Nomad.
- Mirror Image is Nomad's third special attack. He teleports to the centre of the arena and creates three copies of himself, each as powerful as the original. These copies will attack you, along with the real Nomad. If you attack a copy, it disappears; if you attack the real Nomad, all of the copies disappear. The actual Nomad will attack you slightly after the three copies attack you, allowing you to distinguish between Nomad and the clones. If you hide behind a pillar and wait around a minute, the clones disappear on their own.
- Nomad's final and most powerful special attack is Disintegrate. He teleports you and himself to the centre of the arena, then hits you with an Ice Barrage-like attack that won't deal any damage, but freezes you in place (you can still attack him during this time though using Magic or Ranged). He then spends several seconds charging an immensely powerful Magic attack that deals an amount of damage equal to your maximum life points minus one. For example, if your maximum life points is 9900, this attack deals 9899 damage. You have time to eat while he is charging the attack, and have a few moments to heal after he unleashes it. All abilities will have their cooldowns reset until he unleashes this attack.
The first time Nomad is reduced to 25% of his maximum life points, he will heal himself to half of his health. The second time, however, Nomad will go berserk and switch to using a melee attack with his staff. Although he will not use any of his other attacks when he goes berserk, his melee attack will hit very rapidly (throwing knife speed), and it can deal 2000+ damage. Protect from Melee and Deflect Melee appear to have some small effect against his melee attack. One way to reduce the damage is to use a hit and run strategy; hide behind a pillar, quickly run out and attack him, run back into hiding, and then repeat the process. This will prevent Nomad from attacking so rapidly.
Nomad has fairly high Defence against all forms of attack and has no weaknesses to any form of combat. Additionally, he is immune to damage from a number of sources, including Vengeance, poison, deflect curses, dragonfire damage from dragon bolts (e), chinchompas, and rings of recoil. Dwarf multicannons cannot be deployed in Nomad's arena.
While Nomad has a maximum of 45,000 life points, he will heal himself 11,250 life points the first time he is reduced to 11,250 life points. This effectively gives him 56,250 life points.
In addition to his powerful offence and defence, Nomad will not tolerate cowardice. If you hide from him, such as standing behind a pillar such that he cannot attack you, he will say "Face me!" If you do not allow him to attack you within several seconds of this, he will shout "Coward!", teleport to the centre of the room, and fully heal himself, effectively resetting the fight. However, once he does this, he also becomes unaggressive, allowing you to teleport out or leave if you wish. If you know that you can't win the battle, you can hide from him and then leave instead of being killed.
The exception to this rule is when Nomad uses Mirror Image to copy himself. You can hide behind a pillar and neither the clones nor Nomad himself will attack you; additionally, he will not shout "Face me!" or heal himself. The clones will last approximately sixty seconds, during which time you can reorganise and prepare. Once the clones disappear, Nomad will run to attack you again, at which point he will shout "Face me!" if you continue to hide from him.
While in Berserk Mode, Nomad can get stuck behind a summoning familiar and be unable to attack. During this time, even if you are attacking him, he will eventually shout "Coward!" and heal himself.
Players who wish to fight Nomad are encouraged to have the following skill levels. However, the higher these skills are, the better.
- At least 7501 life points to survive his Soul Blast
- 80+ for resisting his basic attacks
- 80+ if using Ranged
- 80+ if using magic
- 80+ and if using melee
- 70+ if using standard prayers, or 80+ if using Ancient Curses
- 52+ for a spirit terrorbird at minimum
It is recommended to, at the very least, use a tier 80 weapon against Nomad.
If using magic against Nomad, it is advisable to use the strongest spell available in tandem with a high level magic weapon. Nomad has no weakness, so magic fares just as well as any other attack style. Blood Blitz or Blood Barrage are highly useful due to their ability to restore life points. The Polypore staff and its built in Polypore Strike spell are also useful.
If Nomad kills you, you will respawn in the Soul Wars lobby, along with all your items. However, if you had any items in your beast of burden, they will be lost.
When fighting Nomad, you must devote as much inventory space as possible to healing items, in order to endure his massively damaging attacks. For the majority of players, the most recommended method of healing is to use the best kind of food that heals corresponding to your Constitution level. Stat potions, like a super set, are recommended. An Overload can increase the chance of victory if the player is capable of making them.
Mid-level players with 70-80 combat skills should bring stat-boosting potions, such as a super set or extreme potions, and use their highest-healing food. For those with the required Summoning and Prayer level, it is recommended to supplement the healing with a unicorn stallion and Soul Split (covered below).
Aside from healing items, you may need to bring:
- Summoning scrolls if you are using a familiar with a useful special attack
- Diamond bolts (e) if using ruby bolts (e)
- An extra Summoning pouch if you plan to switch familiars mid-fight
- Prayer potions if not using Saradomin brews
- If you have unlocked them from the Dominion Tower, you may wish to bring ascendancy mines, as each mine can deal up to 2,000 damage to Nomad. However, bear in mind that the mines are not stackable and do not appear under your gravestone.
- Any shield to enable use of Resonance/Barricade. Take note Resonance will only block the attack with no healing received from it.
Ascendancy mines cannot be used when fighting Nomad within the Dominion Tower.
There are three types of familiars that are useful when fighting Nomad. The first is a beast of burden, specifically a spirit terrorbird, war tortoise, or pack yak. Beasts of burden can hold additional healing supplies, increasing the amount of damage you can withstand.
The second is a combat familiar. Players with access to them could use an iron titan or steel titan against Nomad, both of which are effective. Players with lower Summoning can summon a talon beast which is fairly effective.
Finally, a healing familiar may be used. Players with 88+ Summoning can use a unicorn stallion, which provides the best healing of any familiar at high Constitution levels.
One common strategy with regards to familiars is to bring a beast of burden filled with food. Once the beast of burden is empty, dismiss it and summon a combat or healing familiar.
Although protection prayers cannot be used to block Nomad's attacks, other prayers can still be very useful. For those using standard prayers, Piety, Rigour, and Augury are very good prayers to use for their respective combat styles. All three can boost one's stats reasonably high, and will be very helpful against Nomad.
For players with 95+ Prayer, the Ancient Curses are arguably more useful versus Nomad than the standard prayers. Leech Defence drains Nomad's Defence by 8 levels when fully activated, which makes it significantly easier to hit him, as well as boosting your Defence by 5. Sap Mage may be used as a substitute, which drains his Magic and Defence but does not boost your stats at all. Leech Ranged is not useful against Nomad. However, meleers will find use in Leech Attack and Leech Strength. Magic users can use Leech Magic alongside Leech Defence to lower Nomad's Magic and Defence, which will reduce his offence and significantly reduce his defence against Magic attacks.
With 92 Prayer, Soul Split is exceptionally helpful against Nomad, provided you can hit him consistently enough. At 95 Prayer, Turmoil, Anguish, and Torment will greatly increase the player's strength, as well as greatly decreasing Nomad's stats. If you are using Saradomin brews and super restores to heal, note that the latter potion restores prayer points, so there is no need to bring prayer potions. Otherwise, you will need a few, and possibly a prayer renewal.
When the fight with Nomad begins, turn on whichever prayers you're using and run to the side of the room, to stand next to a pillar. Ideally, you want to stand next to a pillar's rear corner, as in the first image below. Begin to range Nomad, eating as needed. Keep your health reasonably high; 8000 life points or higher is safe enough.
If you find yourself in need of a few seconds to heal, withdraw from your beast of burden, or just focus yourself, you can step behind the pillar as shown in the second image below. Remember that if you hide for too long, Nomad will teleport and heal, resetting the fight.
When Nomad deploys his flame vortexes take care not to step over them. When he teleports to use Soul Blast, move behind the pillar in order to avoid it. Move back out afterwards in order to continue attacking him.
When Nomad uses Mirror Image and copies himself, hide behind the pillar and wait for them to disappear. This gives you about a minute with which to manage your health, items and familiar. Right after you hide behind the pillar, equip a shield and activate defensive abilities to stall adrenaline. Once the clones vanish, step back out.
Eventually, Nomad will teleport and freeze you, then begin to charge up his Disintegrate attack. Heal until you can survive the attack. If you are using Saradomin brews, don't drink any super restore doses until after the attack hits, or you will have to drink a super restore twice. Keep on ranging him until Disintegrate hits you. Once Disintegrate hits, immediately heal, drink super restores if necessary, and run back to the pillar. Resume ranging him, and remember that at this point, his cycle of special attacks resets.
If you brought a combat familiar pouch, summon it once your beast of burden is empty. However, bear in mind that if you are too far away from Nomad, the familiar will not attack him. This can present problems when avoiding his flame vortexes. When necessary, focus on survival rather than offence.
Follow this strategy until Nomad goes berserk. Remember that he will heal himself back to half health when he's reduced to a quarter of his maximum health; once you reduce him to a quarter of his health again, he goes berserk. When he goes berserk, switch to diamond bolts (e), turn on Protect from Melee or Deflect Melee, and, if necessary, move forward until he can attack you. Range him with the diamond bolts and duck behind the pillar if you need a moment to heal, but as always, heed his command of "Face me!" Consider activating Retribution or Wrath if Nomad is almost dead, because if he kills you and Retribution or Wrath deals enough damage to kill him, it will count as a victory on your part.
Fighting Nomad using melee is somewhat simpler than using Ranged, in terms of strategy. When the fight begins, activate your prayers and begin attacking him. Keep yourself healed with your food or Saradomin brews; 8000 health is a safe limit.
Make sure you keep Auto Retaliate off. When Nomad deploys his flame vortexes, stay still. Continue fighting him standing in the middle of the flame vortexes, where you are safe from them. Take extreme care not to misclick and move on top of a flame vortex. After a short time Nomad will either teleport or stop attacking; either way, he is about to use Soul Blast. Move directly south until you are away from the vortexes, then hide behind a pillar. Heal yourself up to over 7500 life points beforehand, just in case you don't make it to the pillar in time. Once he uses Soul Blast and the vortexes begin to explode, run out and continue attacking him as normal, but stay away from the exploding vortexes.
When Nomad uses Mirror Image and summons his clones, you can either attack him to get rid of them (remember, he will attack a split second after the clones), or hide behind a pillar and use the time to heal, drop vials, manage your familiar, or just take a breather. After about a minute, the clones will disappear, and you must resume fighting him as normal.
If you don't bring a Ranged weapon, you won't be able to hurt Nomad when he freezes you and uses Disintegrate. You may wish to bring a crossbow and ammunition for this reason; remember that the special effect can activate regardless of your Ranged accuracy. Make sure you are at or above your maximum life points, and if you're using Saradomin brews, wait to drink super restores until after you've healed from Disintegrate. Once he hits you, heal up and continue to attack him. His cycle of special attacks will reset at this point.
Using a spirit kyatt is somewhat easier when meleeing, as you do not have to worry about Nomad being out of range of the kyatt's special attack.
Once Nomad goes berserk, turn on Protect from Melee or Deflect Melee and finish the fight. Remember that you can hide behind a pillar for a few seconds if you need to, but as always, heed his command of "Face me!" Consider activating Retribution or Wrath if Nomad is almost dead, because if he kills you and Retribution or Wrath deals enough damage to kill him, it will count as a victory on your part.
Nomad's combat level increases to 799 during Nomad's Elegy, in addition to possessing 100,000 life points for each of his four phases. In addition, Gielinor will also assist Nomad whenever he orders it. Nomad does not do his Flame Vortice and Disintegrate attacks in Nomad's Elegy.
During phase 1, Nomad can occasionally order Gielinor to attack the player. When Nomad yells "Witness the power of Gielinor!", you will be teleported to the middle of the chamber. Gielinor will then slam its arm several seconds after you get teleported, dealing heavy melee damage. Gielinor may also look up at the player and launch a magic attack which deals rapid damage of 850 (around 450 with protect/deflect magic). Nomad does not need to order Gielinor to attack with magic. Both attacks are avoidable by simply moving out of the way. Protection prayers and Debilitate can also reduce the damage dealt (it must hit Nomad, since Gielinor is treated as scenery).
During phase 2, the same mechanics from phase 1 apply. This time, Nomad will have access to his Soul Blast attack. Nomad will teleport to either end of the bridge, yelling "Can you face my wrath?", before launching the soul projectile. It will deal 7,500 damage (9,000 if you let Nomad take a piece of the Stone of Jas during Dishonour among Thieves). This can be blocked by hiding along the many walls in the room, or Resonance/Barricade the incoming projectile. If you hide from the projectile, you will know if you have avoided it when Nomad says "Stop hiding, worm." and teleports you to the middle of the room for Gielinor to smash you with its arm.
During phase 3, Nomad will create a clone of himself at 50,000 life points and use the same mechanics from the previous two phases, taunting your ability to find him. If you kill the clone, you will be left with Nomad himself and just drop his health back to 0 to proceed to the next phase. If you manage to find and defeat Nomad himself, you will skip straight to phase 4 instead (after Icthlarin's role has been completed). A good way to determine which Nomad is the real one is to look for the target yellow circle under one of the clones. Do note that the yellow circle might not appear for players sometimes.
On phase 4, Nomad stops using all of his special attacks and instead attacks with rapid melee. Stay in the middle of the platform, since Gielinor will still perform its magic attack on you.
After completion of Nomad's Elegy, the memory of Nomad may be fought again in Hard Mode. In Hard Mode, Nomad's combat level increases to 1001, his health is doubled 200,000 life points per phase, and his attacks deal more damage. Occasionally, Gielinor will send 5 red bombs at the player (typically after it attacks), dealing 2,000 magic damage each which cannot be reduced or blocked, and has an AoE of 3x3.
On phase 4, however, several new mechanics will start appearing on this phase. First, a soul wall will appear blocking both sides of the bridge, meaning it is a fight to the death at this point. In addition, Nomad will occasionally say "You're alone in here, Player", disabling their protection prayers/curses. Block any incoming damage quickly (e.g Reflect) until you get your protection prayer/curse back up.
If Soul Split is active, Nomad says "Your pitiful attempt to manipulate souls is a mockery of my work." and heal rapidly for 10,000 at a time.
Once Nomad is defeated in his temple and Nomad's Requiem is completed, you can fight him again in the Dominion Tower. He may appear in both Climber and Endurance modes, but in a weaker form. Additionally, one of the special fights, entitled "No More Nomad... No More!", involves fighting Nomad twice, one after the other and without a break between fights. However, Nomad can appear as low as the sixth floor in Endurance and Climber.
Defeating Nomad is one of the requirements for unlocking the Goliath gloves. Defeating him in Endurance will work, as well as completing the special double Nomad fight. However, defeating one Nomad during the special fight and losing to the second will not count. Once Nomad is defeated in Endurance, or the special fight is completed, Nomad is unlocked in Freestyle mode and can be fought at will.
Fighting Nomad in the Dominion Tower is nearly identical to fighting him during Nomad's Requiem. However, he has double his total life points and has an increased max hit of 2940. Another difference is the arena, which features four larger pillars instead of multiple smaller ones. These pillars can be used to hide from him much the same as the pillars in his throne room. Attempting to use the ability Surge or Escape to escape his vortexes will result in the message "You are in an area which is preventing you from performing that ability."
While fighting Nomad in the Dominion Tower, you are able to use power-up items, such as Dominion swords, Dominion crossbows, and Help horn powerups. Fighting Nomad in the Dominion Tower, he can not be hit by diminuitive, massive or colossal bomb powerups, so it is not recommended to bring them with you. If you choose to use Dominion weapons during the "No More Nomad... No More!" special fight, be sure to bring at least 2, as one alone will not make it through the entire fight. If the 'No Powerups' handicap is activated in Climber mode, Dominion weapons are not allowed.
Unlike in the quest, it is not easy to run through the mines to a safe area. Standing still and hitting Nomad does work, as long as you don't move until after the mines explode. As stated above, Surge and Escape cannot be used in the Tower.
Nomad's special attack hits about 15 seconds after he freezes you. Even though all abilities are disabled at the start of the special attack, it is possible to use Resonance or Barricade to block this attack, but only when enabling it the exact second Nomad fires his attack. If this fails, there is a period of time after Nomad uses Disintegrate that you will have to heal.