Avernus

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Avernus is the first layer of the Hells and requires a Hellstone and The Workshop tag to enter.

The first layer is a wasteland of charred, rubble strewn plains, with mountains and foothills breaking up the monotony. Legions of mail-clad devils are on perpetual watch here in preparation for some new cross-planar Blood War sortie. Blood-red light suffuses the air, and balls of fire flit randomly across the sky, sometimes detonating to terrible effect. Runnels of blood flow in streams across Avernus, finally joining the River Styx. The Pillar of Skulls is a massive landmark of actual skulls taken as devilish trophies in the Blood War. Most are twisted, demonic skulls ranging in size from small to enormous.

The Pillar rises to height of more than a mile, standing near the part of the ledge where access to the next layer is an easy walk down a tall metal spire. However this spire is guarded by a particularly terrible sentinel of the ledge, the Chromatic Dragon Tiamat, who is attended by her five consorts -- great wyrms of red, black, green, blue, and white varieties.

~ from Volo's Guide to Baator, Abridged, 3rd Edition.
A party on the Plains Of Avernus
A party on the Plains Of Avernus


Contents

Introduction

Welcome to the Hells! Avernus (or Tia) is where your journey to demihood begins. To start the run someone in the party will need a Hellstone and everyone will need a way of getting to the workshop (most often by using Zerial's Token, but can also use a Stone Of Succor). The run itself is relatively easy and is a fun introduction to the Hells, taking a quick 1 - 1.5 hours to complete. The boss Tiamat drops 3 pieces of very valuable caster gear, some of the best in the game.

Party Needs

Tia runs must have a party of at least 5, but are usually done with 10. Party composition is fairly flexible and there are minimal class requirements. A bard and tanks are a must. Most parties will try to get a mage, druid and cleric as well since they make runs far smoother, although they are not necessarilly required to complete the run (we do however recommend you try and get one of each before leaving, going without should be a last resort).

General Guide

Layer AB AC E:Imm P:Imm Sk Sv DC
1 2 1 3% 5% 2 1 1
2 2 3 6% 10% 4 2 1
3 3 4 9% 15% 6 2 1
4 4 6 12% 20% 8 2 2
5 4 7 15% 25% 10 3 2
6 5 9 18% 30% 12 3 2
7 6 10 21% 35% 14 4 3
8 6 12 24% 40% 16 4 3
9 7 13 27% 45% 18 5 3
10 8 15 30% 50% 20 5 4
11 8 16 33% 55% 22 6 4
12 9 18 36% 60% 24 6 4
13 10 19 39% 65% 26 7 5

Where immunities are concerned there is very little focused damage on Avernus, Fire and Magical are often good choices however. Cornugons populate each map so having a breach ring or boots on is a good idea. There are no mords, except for random Rakshasa spawns if you are unlucky.

Be careful of the large fire clouds, they cannot be gusted and do very large quantities of Magic damage when walked through. Enemies will happily walk through the fire with you in tow, so be careful and watch where your enemies are going.

First Map: Foothills

Spawns on the first map of Avernus consist largely of Advespa, Barbazu, Narzugon, Nightmares, Bezekira, Lemures, Hell Hounds and Abishai. These are all easy mobs (that become fodder in the deeper layers) but they do have some special abilities.

Advespa do a DC 36 KD check vs Dexterity but can easily be beaten down by tanks as they lack any concealment. Narzugon do DC 34 KD check vs Dexterity as well as a DC 55 death check vs your Will save against which there is no complete form of protection (if you roll a 1, you will still die). Narzugon are often melee'd to death but this is time consuming due to their high concealment, casters who can beat their SR and use wail can kill them instantly. Bezekira do DC 40 KD check vs Strength, but are relatively weak otherwise, possessing very few immunities and no concealment. Nightmares constantly create a cloud effects that drop the saves of anyone within it by 4 each round, the cloud can be gusted to stop the effect, like Bezekira the Nightmare itself lacks any real spell immunities or concealment. Barbazu, Lemures, Hell Hounds and Abishai have no notable special abilities and can be left until last to kill.

Be careful of the River Styx, you will have to cross this multiple times during the run. When crossed the river forces a DC 60 Amnesia check vs Will Save. If you fail this check you will lose all your spells/abilities and will have to rest again.

There is one named devil on this map, an Abishai called Piraz. He drops an Energy matrix you will need to open the Energy barrier at the end of the map.

Second Map: Plains

Second map of Avernus is near identical to the first in terms of spawns and difficulty. You will have to cross the Styx several times again.

There are two named devils on the second map. The first is Baddabuz, a Barbazu found just outside the entrance of the second map. He drops an energy matrix that opens the energy barrier leading to the second named Cornugon; T'kritz. The energy matrix he drops opens the door that leads to the final map.

Third Map: Pillar of Skulls

The Pillar Of Skulls is a very large open space filled with Abishai and Amnizu spawn points. Enemies can be spawned one at a time or in confident parties; massed all at once. Either way this map needs to be cleared quickly so that respawns do not occur during the boss fight. There are no Advespa, Narzugon or Bezekira on this map so KD and instant death are rarely a problem unless you get a random spawn.

Amnizu run rife on this map and should be a priority to get rid of due to their DC 55 Amnesia check vs Will save. There is also another River of the Styx on the East side of the map you should be careful of.

Once cleared of enemies, anyone who needs rest should do so, then it is boss fight time. All dragons do divine kickback and any number of elemental damage types so you should wear two Divine rings if you are able (there is no breach in the boss fight so you don't need a breach ring).

An oft used tactic is for the mage to set up an epic wall slightly to the south of the center of the map to protect casters from the dragons. A black blade or two outside the wall can sometimes occupy one of the consorts while you focus on others. To start the boss fight there are five pedestals around the map (one in each corner and one next to the entrance) that must be pulled simultaneously to spawn Tiamat's five dragon consorts. When this happens flames will appear all over the map so often the druid will countdown and cast Immutable Force before the levers are pulled so the party has a brief period of invulnerability to escape the flames and return to the Epic Wall after pulling the levers. It is very important that each person at a pedestal spams the pedestal as immute goes up so that it is not wasted. The consorts have good regeneration so someone in the party should call out which dragon the whole party should focus on at once so they go down quickly. Be careful fighting dragons in melee, they will happily run through the fire and your character will follow them if not stopped. Each dragon has a very powerful breath weapon so casters (bard especially) should use healing circle/mass heals/mass cure wounds to keep the party alive. Warning DO NOT have summons (including BBoD) in place when you spawn the consorts or you will also get additional mobs to kill, summon them after the consorts have dropped in, same rule applies when Tiamat shows up

When all five dragons have been defeated, Tiamat herself will drop onto the red rune in the center of the map. Like the other consorts she has a powerful breath weapon and Divine kickback. Physical, Negative, Magical and Divine are about the only damage types against which she is vulnerable.

Once defeated, past the energy barrier is a ring pedestal you can use to recharge your Ring Of The Planar Traveler to 10 charges. Past the Pedestal is the Pillar Of Skulls, use the Pillar to take a skull. This is what tracks your progress through the Hells, never forget to take your skull as without it you will need to do Avernus again. You do not need to take a skull on every layer, only Tia.

Class Specific Guides

Boss fight at the Pillar of Skulls
Boss fight at the Pillar of Skulls

Tanks

Tank priorities should be Narzugon, Advespa, Nightmares, Bezekira and on the third map; Amnizu. A significant portion of enemies lack Crit Immunity in Avernus so it tends to be a playground for Assassins and Rangers. Assassins and Rangers should especially focus on Amnizu on the third map as their MS/CS ability is one of the fastest ways to kill them. Prepare for the final fight by bringing plenty of Divine and Elemental immunities.

Druid

Using Nature's Balance should be the first priority for Druids, as it will be on any layer. Narzugon, Advespa and Amnizu have very high SR and should be first priority for NB so that other casters in the party can dispose of them quickly. Many Tia spawns lack Drown and Petrification immunity (Abishai, Barbazu, Hell Hounds, Lemures and Nightmares), providing a good way for you to work on crowd control. Bezekira can also be drowned relatively easily.

Arcane Caster

There is heaps for Mages to do at Avernus. If your able to beat Narzugon SR (92) Wail is an extremely good way to destroy them quickly. Countless enemies are susceptible to Weird, Wail and Disintegrate and you will rarely be short of things to do.

Cleric

The list of things to implode at Avernus is long, with Abishai, Barbazu, Hell Hounds, Lemures, Nightmares and Bezekira all good targets. Spawns will consist largely of implodable enemies so use BT/Prayer/GR to give yourself the best chance of destroying them.

Bard

Advespa, Narzugon and Bezekira all do Knockdown so use UUU when they are around and have pt2 handy. A high priority for Avernus is to have a stack of gust scrolls quickbar'd so you can quickly gust Nightmare clouds as they appear. After spawns are cursed try to focus on finding other ways to aid the party, such as using mass cure wounds on party members or bestowing/mording Narzugon and Advespa

See Also

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