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Nihlathak is a very important Boss for Diablo 2's end-game. Not only are you taking revenge for the kidnapping of Anya and his betrayal of Harrogath, you also need to farm him to get keyofdestruction. These are required to fight the Ubers to get the Hellfire Torch. For this, Nihlathak is farmed in Hell difficulty.
He is located in the Halls of Anguish, the deepest corner of Nihlathak's Temple, which you gain access to through a red Portal in Harrogath after rescuing Anya from her icy prison in the Frozen River.
Why farm Nihlathak?
Nihlathak is the only monster that can drop Key of Destruction. For most players that want to fight the Ubers, this key is the only reason to farm Nihlathak.
Due to his Treasure Class (TC) and his monster Level in Hell (95) Nihlathak is capable of dropping every single item in the game, although farming him for Unique and Set items is very inefficient compared to most other farming areas.
His monster Level also puts him among only 3 monsters (with Diablo and Baal) that can drop a Grand Charm with a sufficient item Level to get the +41-45 to Life Affix. These charms can be re-rolled by putting them and 3 Perfect Gems into the Horadric Cube with a small chance to get +1 to Skill Tree with 41+ to Life.
Finally, Nihlathak is one of 3 monsters (with Diablo and Baal) that allow a Level 98 Character to receive a significant amount of Experience when killing him in an 8-player game.
How do I find Nihlathak?
Finding Nihlathak is exceptionally easy when you know what to look for. Let's break it down into 2 steps:
Halls of Pain
The Halls of Pain has 3 possible layouts that have static configurations. When you enter through the Waypoint, you can immediately determine where the Halls of Vaught is:
Halls of Vaught
The Halls of Vaught are an x-shaped area similar to the Arcane Sanctuary in which 3 directions are dead-ends while Nihlathak resides in the final one. Unlike the Arcane Sanctuary, however, you can always determine in where he is hiding. Look for the image of a set of red eyes at the marked locations below:
Tips & Tricks
Nihlathak's Corpse Explosion
The most notorious ability to be aware of is Nihlathak's Corpse Explosion. Even with 1,500 Life you can get one-shotted. You can reduce the chance of this happening by:
- Wearing high amounts of Damage reduced by x%.
- Using a Nature's Peace - This Unique Ring has the Stat "Slain Monsters Rest in Peace" which periodically removes their corpses entirely.
- Good abilities to remove corpses:
- Leaving the area for 8+ seconds despawns corpses. This is a rather tedious process, and you are better off waiting to have the above-mentioned options before farming Nihlathak.
- Sniping Nihlathak without creating any or very few corpses far away from you is also very effective.
Powerful Characters that easily can farm Nihlathak for various reasons are:
- Amazon - Lightning Fury
- A well-equipped "Javazon" with Infinity can often one-shot Nihlathak inside his ring of minions.
- With the right set of Boss-Affixes (Magic Resistant + Lightning Enchanted), Nihlathak can become Immune to Lightning beyond the breaking capability of Infinity. At this point you clear out his surroundings and engage him with Jab.
- Assassin - Lightning Sentry
- Even the most budget "Trapsin" can make Nihlathak look like a fool. Using Lightning Sentry and Death Sentry from a distance is a very safe way of dealing with him.
- Barbarian - Berserk
- This build can simply jump on top of Nihlathak, use howl, and focus down Nihlathak as a single target. He completely avoids the dangers of Corpse Explosion because he creates no corpses at all.
- Druid - Hurricane Tornado
- The "Wind Druid" makes short work of Nihlathak by teleporting on top of him, and destroying him with Tornado. With a decently high Life pool due to Oak Sage, he can survive a Corpse Explosion here and there. Make sure to keep it up!
- cyclonearmor reduces the Fire damage portion of Corpse Explosion.
- Necromancer Bone Spear
- The Necromancer can keep enemies away by spamming Bone Prison. After doing so, simply snipe down some monsters with Bone Spear and start spamming Corpse Explosion yourself.
- A well-equipped "Bone Necro" is able to snipe down Nihlathak with only a couple Bone Spears. Bone Armor is capable of negating most of the damage coming from Nihlathak's Corpse Explosion.
- Paladin - Blessed Hammer
- As one of the most powerful builds in the Game, the "Hammerdin" jumps on top of Nihlathak and just blasts him away with his Blessed Hammer
- When still on a budget, you can make use of Redemption to remove the corpses and with that Nihlathak's ability to use Corpse Explosion.
- Sorceress - Blizzard
- Blizzard allows the Sorceress to fight Nihlathak without creating a large amount of corpses for him to use Corpse Explosion on. His minions are Immune to Cold, so they won't die to your attacks.
- Even a low-budget Blizzard Sorceress can kill Nihlathak with ease, unless he is Immune to Cold. It is best to skip him completely if your Mercenary is the only source of damage.
- Sorceress - Meteor
- With its massive damage output, Nihlathak stands no chance against Meteors aimed directly at him.
- Be aware that this build creates a lot of corpses for his Corpse Explosion.
- Sorceress - Lightning
- A well-equipped Lightning Sorceress with Infinity can snipe down Nihlathak easily.
- With the right set of Boss-Affixes (Magic Resistant + Lightning Enchanted), Nihlathak can become Immune to Lightning beyond the breaking capability of Infinity.
- Be especially careful when you encounter Tomb Vipers and try to avoid Nihlathak's Corpse Explosions by not positioning yourself away from corpses.
- His Grand Charms are high enough Item Level to spawn with the "of Vita (+41 - 45 Life)" Suffix!
- Only farm Nihlathak when you are looking for Experience at high Levels or the Key of Destruction.
- Familiarize yourself with the 3 layouts of the Halls of Pain and remember the locations for the image of the red eyes which direct you towards him.
Post by Teo1904