Ascend the pinnacle and take back control of this world.

In Mojang Studios’ franchise-expanding ARPG Minecraft Dungeons, there are a total of eight bosses. Four of these bosses are weaker “mini-bosses” that may appear in a multitude of places throughout, and the other four are stronger “main bosses” that only show up at pre-determined locations. In this Minecraft Dungeons guide series, we’ll go over each and every boss, their strategies and attack patterns, how to fight them, and ultimately the best ways to come out on top in every battle, even on Apocalypse Difficulty.

The vile Arch-Illager is the conqueror of Minecraft Dungeons’ colorful world, and all of your efforts culminate in a final clash of wills with him. Be warned, though, the Arch-Illager has an even darker side that no one has ever seen. Here’s everything you need to know.

There will be spoilers past this point in the guide.

Enter the Dungeon

Minecraft Dungeons

$20 at Microsoft (PC)
$20 at Amazon (Xbox One)

Minecraft grows up and reaches out.

Minecraft Dungeons combines the familiar world we all grew up on with an injection of Diablo, a whole lot of fun. Available on every platform you’re on, for a ridiculously attractive price, what’s not to love?

What is the Arch-Illager in Minecraft Dungeons?

If you’ve made it all the way to the final battle in Minecraft Dungeons, you already know the tragic story of the Arch-Illager. Born a villager, but shunned and disowned from home after home to his stunted stature and off-putting appearance. It’s a story told in many different ways across time, and it filled the Arch-Illager with despair and a deep-seated desire for vengeance. He recieved everything he asked for, and all the things he feared to have, when he stumbled upon an ancient artifact known as the Orb of Dominance. It drew him to it, and then he was a part of it.

Using its power, he commanded legions of powerful illager forces and drove the villagers to their knees, conquering the world as he built up his terrible kingdom. It’s up to you (the general “you,” as in the protagonist) to systematically sabotage the Arch-Illager’s war efforts on your way to confront him yourself, and put an end to this tyranny. Little do you know, the Arch-Illager power is not his own, which you quickly discover in the final battle at Obsidian Pinnacle.

That’s because the final battle as you likely believed it would go is stupendously easy. The Arch-Illager has a total of three tricks up his sleeves, and none of them can save him from his supreme lack of health or defense. If you’ve made it this far, and your loadout matches the recommended power level for the final level, you should have no problem facing the Arch-Illager…at first.

His first “attack” is simple: he summons a wave of illagers (mostly pillagers) to aid him. This is a great time for souls-focused players to stock up on souls, and you will need them, so don’t waste them on the Arch-Illager. His other attack is quick tri-shots of purple fireballs, which deal decent damage but are relatively easy to avoid because of their wide spread. Finally, the Arch-Illager is able to teleport around the place, making him frustrating to track down.

If that’s all you want to know, then proceed with caution, because the Arch-Illager is just the tip of the iceberg in this battle. Otherwise, continue on to find out what makes this battle so intense, especially for solo players.

How can I beat the Arch-Illager in Minecraft Dungeons?

You may be asking why the Arch-Illager doesn’t get separate sections for different player types with various strategies to employ against him, and that’s because the initial battle with the Arch-Illager is supposed to highlight two things: the true fraility of a misunderstood person, and how devastating the power trapped inside of him is, once it comes out. The Arch-Illager is also meant to lull you into a falso sense of security, seeing as the second stage of the final battle is actually pretty brutal in several ways.

So how do you defeat the Arch-Illager? This boss is more frustrating than anything. He teleports around the area, making it hard to stay on top of him, and getting close and sometimes mean being peppered with his tri-shot fireball attack. They don’t do a ton of damage, but can still wear you down if you’re not careful and watch your health. Fortunately, they’re also easy to avoid with any kind of distance. Melee attacks that can buff defense or heal on the fly shouldn’t have any issues standing toe-to-toe with the Arch-Illager, even if it means chasing him down a little bit.

Ranged attacks will fare even better, chipping away at his marginal health rapidly with little threat to the attacker. Unless you have limited arrows that you want to save for the final stage, this might be the best way to go. The worst part about the Arch-Illager are the pillagers that he summons, because their slower cadence of fire leads to higher damage, especially when they attack in unison. Keep the pillager numbers down, watch out for fireball attacks, and watch his health drain as you attack.

What is the Heart of Ender in Minecraft Dungeons?

Defeat the Arch-Illager, and learn the terrible secret of the Orb of Dominance. A pillar of shadow and violet light will envelop the Arch-Illager and the malevolent staff that gave him his power, and he will become the Heart of Ender — a vicious, brutral creature with unimaginable powers…and it’s your job to defeat it. The Heart of Ender is a proper final boss battle, if a little on the short side, with its wide variety of attacks and moves, and its ability to decimate anything that stands in its way.

The Heart of Ender has four main attacks to watch out for, with two of them being simpler attacks and the others “my entire party was downed in seconds”-type attacks. We’ll start with the former, since they’re easier to deal with. For one, the Heart of Ender will occassionally stop and stand completely upright, then unleash a barrage of purple fireballs that rain from the sky. This attack is easy to dodge, since it has only strikes a wide area at a “medium” range. Ranged players can easily stand outside of the attack’s radius and return fire, while melee players can move in close and get a couple of quick hits in.

The other is more annoying, restricting the movement of players on the battlefield. The Heart of Ender will leave a trail of twisted black fire as it moves, which deals rapid, persistent damage to anyone standing in it. It will also occassionally deposit pools of purple fire on the battlefield as well, with the same effect. Unless you’re willing to take the hit, you won’t be able to move in that direction for a few crucial seconds. By itself, this isn’t that big of a deal, but combined with the Heart of Ender’s major attacks, it can end the battle for you.

These are the attacks that frustrate players endlessly, because both absolutely decimate even the beefiest of tank players if you’re not careful. Think of the Heart of Ender as having a few dozen Corrupted Beacon artifacts on its side, but with infinite souls at its disposal. They have endless range, deal incredible amounts of damage, and can be very difficult to avoid for slower players. It’s definitely rough, especially if you don’t have any back up.

The first attack is the Heart of Ender’s favorite. The final boss will sort of…separate itself and fire a brutal cross of purple energy, then begin rotating and sweeping the entire battlefield with its terrifying lasers. If you see this attack, do not bother with attacking or closing the distance. The Heart of Ender always turns clockwise, so gain some distance and follow its turn, staying as close as you can to the laser in front of you without touching it.

Artifacts that grant speed like Boots of Swiftness and Deathcap Mushroom can be used in a pinch. I suggest not using the dash button if you can avoid it, since it actually slows you down for a few moments afterwards. In this case, the Light Feather is a fantastic option, giving you a quick boost that doesn’t affect your movement speed after the fact, which can result in the Heart of Ender running you through with a laser thicker than your entire body.

The last of the Heart of Ender’s attacks is a little stranger, because the best way to avoid it is to usually not move. Your opponent will summon smaller version of itself that rise up from the ground, open their ghastly mouthes, and erupt in the same powerful purple beam. Using these cloned heads, the Heart of Ender will create an interlocking grid of impassable lasers, all of which deal absurd levels of damage. The creature itself will continue wandering around.

In this situation, it’s best to avoid moving at all. It looks like the game usually avoids spawning a laser directly on top of the player, and attempting to move while the grid is being created can end up with a laser through your body. This is a good time to use your bow to get a few shots on the Heart of Ender while its wandering around, and you’re waiting for the lasers to stop and things to return to normal. Well, not normal, but closer to normal than a maze of death beams.

If knowing all the various tactics the Heart of Ender employs is enough to get you hyped up to fight it, then you’re free to move on. For everyone else who wants that little bit of extra help, read further to find out the best ways to fight back against the Heart of Ender.

How can I beat the Heart of Ender in Minecraft Dungeons?

The biggest factor that adds to the length of time it takes to beat the Heart of Ender is simply avoiding death. Fighting the Heart of Ender is about knowing when to close the gap, when to increase the distance, when to move, and when to halt. Finding times to attack occurs in all the spaces between these decisions. As long as you recognise the Heart of Ender’s different attacks and respond accordingly for your playstyle, victory is a lot easier to obtain. As long as you’re not vaporised, that is.

Melee-focused players

If getting close and personal is your calling in Minecraft Dungeons, the Heart of Ender presents an interesting challenge. Its nearly constant movements are accompanied by trails of perilous flame, and its brief stops are often signalling massive attacks that are best left alone. You’ll need to take opportunities when they present themselves, and avoid the Heart of Ender’s lasers at all costs. For this, I recommend equipping some artifacts that give you extra mobility and attack speed to capitalize.

The Light Feather is awesome for getting out of a pinch, because it doesn’t hit you with a slow down effect like a dash does, and has a rapid cooldown. The Deathcap Mushroom is a must-have for any melee-focused player, and lets you close the gap faster and dish out some damage with serious fervor. The third artifact depends on your playstyle, but the Boots of Swiftness can give you a little more oopmh if you’re in the run from the Heart of Ender’s laser attacks. Just remember when not to move, when the Heart of Ender summons clones of itself to create a grid of lasers on the battlefield. Sit tight, and give your artifacts a chance to cooldown.

The best time to attack the Heart of Ender is during its fireball barrage attack, and immediately after major attacks. The Heart of Ender isn’t actually that sturdy, so as long as you’re cautious and wait for the perfect chances to strike, focusing on avoid its own attacks, you can defeat the final boss in Minecraft Dungeons for sure. Tank players may struggle a little more on their own, but these same strategies can still be employed for you.

Range-focused players

Range-focused players will arguably have the easiest time conquering the Heart of Ender, if only because you’ll have more opportunities to attack. For ranged players, it’s crucial to maintain distance, and be constantly on the lookout for the Heart of Ender’s ultimate attack. Just like melee-focused players, artifacts that provide a speed bonus in a pinch are extremely valuable. I suggest the Light Feather or Boots of Swiftness, to help you get out of sticky situations.

For ranged players, your bow is your most vital tool. You need to make sure your bow is suitably high level, and has enchantments that play to your overall strengths, like increasing your damage or speed. Then it’s all about finding those various moments to attack, which can be a little chaotic against the Heart of Ender.

Almost every attack has a tiny opening that you can take advantage of, besides the cross laser attack. In that case, simply focus on evading until the Heart of Ender runs out of steam. That gives you yet another chance to pepper the final boss with arrows. Worst case scenario, if you’re down to your last life, you may be able to weaken the Heart of Ender from the platform before you get to the final boss, giving you another avenue of attack.

Souls-focused players

Unfortunately, souls-focused players will struggle mightily against the Heart of Ender, because this boss simply doesn’t spawn any minions that can be used to harvest souls. There’s not a lot a souls player can do here, unless they’re using the Eternal Knife Unique weapon, which has a chance of providing souls on a hit instead of a kill, but even then it’s far too uncommon to be relied upon. If you stocked up on souls while fighting the Arch-Illager, you’ll have a better time going into the battle, but will still suffer when trying to finish it.

If you can double up a weapon with the Soul Siphon enchantment, which is the standalone version of the Eternal Knife’s ability (even better, getting an Eternal Knife that can also be enchanted with Soul Siphon), this evens the odds, but souls-focused melee weapons are typically slow, relying more on souls artifacts than anything else. If you don’t have this gear, you’ll need to switch tactics a bit to come out on top.

Souls-focused players that have gone more for a “battle mage” approach can begin using melee-focused tactics, using speed and aggression to come out on top. Players that use a bow or ranged tactics can act like a range-focused player, using caution and evasive manuevers to wittle down the Heart of Ender’s health. If you did save some souls from the Arch-Illager’s fight, then be sure to take full advantage of them while you can. Any extra bit of damage you can do could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Companion-focused players

I probably don’t have to tell you again that companion-focused players will struggle more with this fight than anyone else. None of the companions can withstand the powerful attacks of the Heart of Ender, and it’s difficult to control them beyond rudimentary directions like “attack this thing” and “come here,” meaning your companions constantly get themselves killed. The best way to think about companions in this context is as a “shield” of sorts, distracting the Heart of Ender and letting you attack mostly in peace.

What does this mean for you? Just mirror the tactics outlined in the melee-focused and range-focused sections, depending on your proficiency, and use your companions as diversions that also happen to inflict a bit more damage before they inevitably perish in the face of some massive death laser. Using this, you can still claim to be a master of companions but not die instantly when fighting the Heart of Ender. It’s a compromise, but one you’ll have to make until Minecraft Dungeons makes some changes to the companions.

Another idea is using the Final Shout enchantment to give you a last line of defense. This enchantment makes it so all of your artifacts are instantly used when your health drops below 25%, disregarding all cooldown costs entirely. If you’re in a pinch and get clipped by the Heart of Ender, you can rebolster your army with fresh companions, and possibly buy yourself a few more seconds. It’s not the most effective strategy, but is a solid option for companions-focused players.

What are some tips for every boss fight in Minecraft Dungeons?

Every boss is different, and every player approaches these bosses in a unique way. However, there are always tips and tricks that work in any fight in Minecraft Dungeons, regardless of how you play. Here’s a list of all the essential tips for every boss fight, which should aid you in winning even on Apocalypse Difficulty.

  • Choose your playstyle, and build your loadout around that. Minecraft Dungeons gives you a constant revolving door of new loot to try out, meaning you should be able to narrow down the direction you want to go in. Different gear compliments each other (like dual-wielding weapons with fast armor, or a bow with armor that increases arrow drops), so you can customize a perfect set for how you want to play. To get ahead of the curve, read up on our lists of weapons and armor.
  • Artifacts are essential for any player. No matter how you decide to play, artifacts are the special sauce that exponentially increase your capability in Minecraft Dungeons. There’s a good variety to experiment with, from artifacts that are clearly aimed at certain players, to more niche ones that players will find creative uses for. It’s always a good idea to keep at least one of each artifact so you can test new combinations as you go, but you can also read our comprehensive list of artifacts.
  • Unique gear takes things to the next level. Where things truly get interesting in the later game is using unique weapons and armor to augment your loadout. These unique weapons possess attributes and characteristics that set them apart from the standard gear they’re related to, giving you an extra ability on top of what you can add with artifacts and enchantments. Uniques can truly narrow down what you’re going with, whether it’s the ultimate battle mage, or a super-nippy rogue that heals as they shred their opponents. Here’s a list of all the unique gear to get you started.
  • Not all weapons are created equal, and enchantments are the difference. Finally, enchantments on your gear are the final push that takes you from “capable” to “everything is exploding and I heal five times a second.” You get enchantment points as you level up, so you should always be spending these points to make your gear even better. These enchantments are pseudo-random, as well, so even two identical pieces of gear can have completely different enchantments. Make sure to check these constantly, as a weapon with different enchantments or an extra slot can overhaul your entire loadout in one fell swoop. Here’s a list of all the enchantments to get you started.
  • Keep moving, and use the “Dash / Dodge” button wisely. It’s important to keep moving in Minecraft Dungeons, to prevent enemies from surrounding or pinning you down. It also helps to avoid some of the more devastating attacks, especially from big bosses. Dungeons also gives you a dash that lets you roll out of trouble once every few seconds, which can be crucial in a fight. Use this button wisely, as you can’t spam it and you’ll have a temporary period of slow down immediately afterwards.
  • Don’t hesitate to retreat, if necessary. Minecraft Dungeons is not particularly liberal with their health potions, forcing you to wait a not-insignificant amount of time between health top-ups. If you’re in a tough fight, there’s nothing wrong with backing up to wait for your next health potion to come in, or to allow your artifacts to cooldown for another use. To this end, the dash button can help you evade immediate danger and give you a chance to retreat.

Save the world, do it again

The Heart of Ender is an intense, short-lived battle that is decided in just a few minutes (unless you have to be extra careful the entire time), but is an incredibly solid final boss to cap off Minecraft Dungeons. Or, at the very least, underline the entrance into the next phase of the game, whether it be a higher difficulty, or the endgame that all Diablo-like titles live and breathe. The trickiest part of the Heart of Ender is that rotating laser cross for sure, so once you’ve mastered running away in terror from that, you’ll have this battle in the bag.

Fight your way out, endless of heart.

Enter the Dungeon

Minecraft Dungeons

$20 at Microsoft (PC)
$20 at Amazon (Xbox One)

Minecraft grows up and reaches out.

Minecraft Dungeons combines the familiar world we all grew up on with an injection of Diablo, a whole lot of fun. Available on every platform you’re on, for a ridiculously attractive price, what’s not to love?