Stygia

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Stygia is the fifth layer of the Hells and requires The Workshop tag to enter.

Most of the plane is drowned in a sea of ice floes and icebergs, with the only open water being the River Styx. Lightning constantly rips through the sky above the devilish cities and castles perched on the larger ice floes. Tantlin, the City of Ice, is the largest city on this layer. The city is ruled by a pit fiend, though she rarely stirs from her citadel. This "hands-off" approach has left the streets to various gangs interest in dispensing their own law at the expense of each other. Despite the disarray, Tantlin actually serves as a cross planar trading stop, due to its location on the Styx. Though inaccessible, the true ruler of the layer, Levistus, communicates telepathically from where he is frozen deep in the heart of an iceberg floating in the harbor.

~ from Volo's Guide to Baator, Abridged, 3rd Edition.
The Frozen Floes of Stygia
The Frozen Floes of Stygia


Contents

Introduction

Stygia is of a similar difficulty to Phleg and usually takes between 2 to 2.5 hours to complete. There are several new enemies each with new tricks and abilities that require careful handling to defeat. Stygia is also home to the Hell Shop, where Demigods can acquire all sorts of consumables.

Party Needs

Stygia needs a party of 10, including a Bard, Mage (for Raks, Fiends and damage), Druid (shunt and NB), Cleric (implosion) and Tanks. You'll need a couple of good Str Tanks to tank the Nameless Pit Fiend. The third map has area wide kickback enemies that requires an Imploder, Turner, crumble Druid, or disintegrate mage to destroy.

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

Cold, Divine (Coldforge, Ice Fiends), Positive (Ice Fiends, Sahuagin) and Magical (gelugons) are the most common damage types you will take at Stygia. Breach is very common across all maps, as well as mord on the second map. Implode immunity helps significantly against Sahuagin if you are able to fit it in.

First Map: Frozen Floes

The first map of Stygia is a change of pace from Phleg and brings many new enemies. Spawns on the first map consist of Advespa, Amnizu, Arachill, Barbazu, Cornugons, Gelugon, Hamatula, Ice Fiends, Ice Reavers, Lemure, Osyluth and Sahuagin.

Barbazu, Ice Reavers, Lemures, Cornugons and Osyluth are all very weak enemies and can be left until last to focus on, however it is worth noting that Ice Reavers have a paralysation effect and if left long enough somebody will fail the save and be disabled. Amnizu are much more common than in Avernus and are a high priority to destroy first in spawns because of their DC 55 Will Check vs Amnesia ability. Since they appear on all maps of Stygia it is important that they are killed by tanks as quickly as possible, otherwise players (casters especially) may find themselves short on rests by the end of the run. Advespa force a DC 36 Dexterity Check vs KD and are another good target to focus on.

One of the new enemies of Stygia are Arachill, who constantly create large webs where the party stands. Each round spent inside a web you must make a DC 55 Reflex Check vs Freezing (petrification immunity does NOT protect against this). Arachill are very common and these checks occur so often that even with a Reflex save above 60, you will still fail a lot of checks. Once stoned it is very difficult to survive for more than a couple of rounds. It does not take long for half a party to become frozen, for this reason Stygia parties need to kill Arachills quickly and to be swift with gust scrolls (to remove the webs) and Stone to Flesh scrolls (to unstone frozen people). They are most easily killed by drown, implode, disintegrate, wail or weird. There are a few items available that give immunity to the Arachil webs, Frostweb's Freedom which gives immunity while worn and Silks of the Arachill which require use of the Stone to Flesh effect to give immunity for three turns.

Gelugons have a DC 28 Str Check vs Domination. There is no cure other than to wait for the effect to expire. This ability wreaks havoc on casters and dexterity tanks so they are a priority target for tanks to kill since they are immune to instant death spells except Heartbane although the can be killed by assassins mortal strike and rangers called shot abilities. Tanks should be careful since Gelugons have personal Magical kickback.

Ice Fiends and Sahuagin are casters like Rakshasa, each with different spells. Ice Fiends have several spells but the most common and dangerous is Earthquake, which does large quantities of Positive damage. They are easily disabled with a Grasping Hand from an arcane mage. Sahaugin are much more dangerous than Ice Fiends since they have Implode as a spell. It is only DC 59, but anyone can fail on the roll of a one. If you are able, Implosion Immunity helps significantly in removing the threat of implosion. Like Ice Fiends, Sahaugin also cast Earthquake.

Second Map: Port Tantlin

This map is much like the first, with the addition of Kytons and several Rakshasa spawns. Rakshasa should be dispelled and then disabled with a Crushing Hands quickly to avoid unnecessary mords and deaths. There are no Arachills on the second map, so there are no petrification webs to worry about.

There is a single miniboss on this map, Drakiz'niz (Amnizu) who drops an energy matrix.

Third Map: Citadel of Ice

The third map of Stygia introduces the Coldforge Construct. Coldforges are enemies that create area-wide Cold and Divine kickback when hit or damaged, so they must be carefully avoided by both casters and tanks. They are best removed with implode, disintegrate, crumble or greater ruin. There are no set Sahuagin, Kyton or Rakshasa on this map.

There is one miniboss on the final map, Krakta'kri (Gelugon). This is a dangerous mini since it is a Gelugon that does area-wide kickback when hit and cannot be defeated using any instant death spells. It has to be beaten to death in melee and with damage spells (multi-hit spells are inadvisable due to every success causing KB, it is much better to use large packet single hit spells, DFB, Fire Orbs, etc), so to avoid a series of kickback deaths most parties will use Immute to provide a brief period where everyone can attack Krakta'kri whilst taking minimal damage. Usually parties will clear the room of all other enemies first by having a mage enter alone to cast a wall of stone in the door where Krakta'kri is, stopping him from attacking you. He drops an energy matrix to the boss room.

Class Specific Guides

Fighting Malebranches at Port Tantlin
Fighting Malebranches at Port Tantlin

Tanks

Priority targets for tanks at Stygia are Amnizu, Advespa and Gelugons. Sahaugin should also be targeted if the party casters are not able to reliably beat the saves of these enemies. It is best to leave Arachills to the casters although hitting them does not cause extra webbing you will almost certainly fail a save and get petrified at some point. Rangers and Assassins should target Amnizu's since they are vulnerable to Mortal Strike and Called Shot, Gelugons and Corngons are also vulnerable to these effects but they will need cursing first. Tanks will want to put on plenty of Cold and Magical immunity to counter Gelugon personal Cold/Magical kickback.

Druid

Stygia is often a tough run for druids due to Amnesia. Since they spend so much time on the frontlines they will be subject to a lot of Amnizu Amnesia checks. Druids often come very close to running out of rests at Stygia. If you don't have an amnesia ring or asmo boots there isn't much you can do to stop this apart from positioning yourself away from Amnizu's. That said, you shouldn't avoid them completely as they have very high SR, requiring you NB them so that other casters in the party can destroy them for you.

There is plenty to drown and stone at Stygia. Good targets are Arachills that can be stoned/drowned and Sahuagin that can be stoned.

Arcane Caster

Ice Fiends are plentiful and require a speedy Grasping Hand (Crushing creates personal KB) to disable them. To kill non paragon fiends you can use weird, but paragon versions must be disintegrated. On the second map there are several Rakshasa spawns which need Mord'ing then Crushing Hands. Disintegrate is very effective against Coldforge Constructs, it is also an effective spell for Kyton and Erinyes.

As always, Weird and Wail is great for quickly killing easy enemies such as Osyluth, Sahuagin (paragons can only be stoned), Arachill and Ice Reavers.

Cleric

On the earlier maps priority implode targets are Sahuagin and Arachill. Both enemies are very good at disabling/killing party members quite quickly, so destroying them early in spawns is a great help to the party. Heartbane is an excellent way to destroy Amnizu, Gelugons and Cornugons. There are also lots of lesser enemies such as Ice Reavers, Barbazu, Lemures etc that can be imploded quite easily. On the third map Coldforge Constructs should be the first target for implodes due the their areawide kickback ability. Your best tactic is to impolode any tightly packed groups of enemies in melee with your tanks then mop up any Heartbane vulnerable creatures finishing off with Destruction on any Osyluths/Advespas that may be remaining.

Bard

Except for Kytons and Advespa, there aren't many KD checks at Stygia so you can afford to apply UUU liberally throughout the run. Something you really need to be careful of though are Amnizu's. Bards that rely on Ethereal Visage without any AC will be subject to a lot of on-hit Amnesia checks from Amnizu's. Stygia is a medium length run so it is very easy to run out of rests due to Amnesia this way. Place yourself carefully and use GV to get Amnizu's targeting other party members (or your own BBoD). Another annoying part of Stygia is Gelugon domination, unless playing a uni-bard these Str checks are hard to avoid and are something you simply have to live with. Finally, care needs to be taken in the bossfight, since the Nameless Pit Fiend has an AoE amnesia ability. Avoid him as much as possible throughout the fight as losing song and epics in the middle of this fight can be extremely painful. Try to position yourself so that whoever is tanking the Nameless is within the outer, or on the edge of the Inner UUU ring, obviously Str tanks can be left to their own devices against the boss and you can focus on other useful stuff.

See Also

The Hells
Bestiary: Hells
Stygia Drops
Hell Drops

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