Tucked away in the northern reaches of Helm's Hold, the Lair of the Mad
Dragon is a dungeon of epic battles and your first serious challenge.
Into the Dragons Maw
Cloak Tower down? Check! Cragmire Crypts conquered? Of course! Now it's time to get ready to cut your teeth on your first true challenge in the game so far - the Lair of the Mad Dragon. The final boss in this dungeon is nothing short of brutal so pull up your britches and get ready to beat the hell out of the minions of Asmodeus, Lord of the Nine Hells.
Unlike the other dungeons you've gone through so far, the Lair of the Mad Dragon has a very small window of opportunity in terms of using the queue to get a group. If you're between the levels of 30 and 35, you can use the queue system. If you're too high, you can still run the dungeon. You just need to gather a group and enter through the entrance in the northern parts of Helm's Hold (map location 1672, 1742).
I suggest creating your own group for this dungeon before trying to take it on. The queue system will not always include a healer. While this isn't an instant fail designator in other dungeons, there is virtually no way you are going to be able to take on the final boss without a dedicated healer. There are just far too many adds and danger zones for you to survive that battle without one. I would also suggest ensuring you have a proper tank with taunts.
Any cleric is going to be stressed to the max trying to keep the tank alive in this dungeon, let alone worrying about you getting aggro and having your butt handed to you. Have your own potions. They're cheap and at this point in the game, you have no excuse to not have plenty of gold to buy stacks of them. If you've accumulated any other potions such as Potion of Force, Fortification Potion, Tidespan Potion, etc. -- anything that boosts your various character abilities such as Recovery, Defense, Power, or more for 10 minutes -- save these for bosses and they'll make the battles go much easier.
There dont appear to be any optional bosses nor any puzzles in this dungeon. Perhaps the designers felt the battles were sufficiently devastating and didn't want to bother you with anything else. There are a few illusionary walls, but the dungeon is very linear compared to the previous two. You will need to speak to a ghostly servant of Helm to get through a flaming door, but other than that, just be prepared to fight, fight, and fight some more.
Filled with various Devil spawn, including massive Shocktroop Devils (similar to Pit Fiends), even the "trash" battles will be enough to test the mettle of many groups. Every battle has adds (Imps), casters (Hellfire Magus), fighters (Legion Devils, Erinyes, etc.), and the occasional undead. Be prepared to work for this one.
There are three bosses in the Lair of the Mad Dragon and none of them are pushovers. You'll need to battle them in order.
Name: Mizreal Everdark
Class Type: Caster
- Cloak of the Ashmadai (Neck - Level 34 - Any Class)
- Brimstone Boots (Feet - Level 34 - Devoted Cleric)
First up is Mizreal Everdark. She may be cute in a horrific soul-sucking demon way, but don't let her good looks fool you into thinking she wants anything more than your death. She's a caster of no small amount of power and loves to set everything in sight on fire, including you. She begins the battle with two Blazing Skeletons but quickly starts summoning more and more groups of Imps. There are a number of ways to defeat her, but a solid strategy is to have everyone except the tank avoid her. The tank needs to keep her attention, while a Control Wizard takes care of both Blazing Skeletons from range. The Cleric needs to concentrate on keeping the tank alive with the final two members of the party keep the swarms of Imps off of the Cleric. Once the Blazing Skeletons are taken care of, the battle becomes pretty easy as the wizard then joins in the fight against Mizreal herself.
Name: Baelrath the Vile
Class Type: Fighter
- Sword of Tyranny (Weapon - Level 34 - Guardian Fighter)
- Scale of the Nine Hells (Armor - Level 34 - Great Weapon Fighter)
Next up is Baelrath the Vile. He's a massive Devil that likes to stomp and cause destruction in every direction. Even though he looks vicious, Baelrath is actually a pretty easy foe to defeat. Have the tank keep him occupied while the cleric keeps them alive. Everyone else can generally ignore the few adds that appear and concentrate on plucking away at Baelrath from as much distance as they can manage. Simply stay out of his AoE range and this battle will be over before you know it.
Class Type: Dragon
- Ring of the Ashmadai (Ring - Level 34 - Any Class)
Remember the good old days when Mizreal and Baelrath were the worst you had to face in this old haunt of Asmodeus? Yeah, me too. Those moments are behind you now so get ready for the pain. And a long fight. Hit the head (use the lavatory), pop your potions, and get ready for the first big fight of the game.
Chartilifax is a little dragon, but packs a massive breath weapon, teeth, and claws. He loves to spray huge streams of poisonous gas that linger wherever he breaths. There will be long streams and sporadic circles of the stuff, so be prepared to move a lot. On top of this, there will be a constant stream of Hellfire Mages, Legion Devils, Erinyes, and Imps. Later on, a couple of Shocktroop Devils show up as well, just in case you were getting bored.
The Tank is the only one that should be on Chartilifax. The Cleric should be focusing solely on the tank. A Control Wizard should be guarding the Cleric and the two remaining party members need to do everything they can to keep the adds busy.
The Wizard should have Singularity loaded and ready to go every time they have enough Action Points to cast it. Rather than centering it on Chartilifax, place it in the middle of wherever the add train is. This will suck them all up, allowing some well-placed AoEs to make short work of the Imps and giving the other party members easy access to the stragglers.
If the Cleric goes down at any time, it is imperative all party members minus the tank attempt to get to them for revival. A live Cleric is the only way this battle ends with the death of Chartilifax rather than the rest of the party.
Be prepared for a long battle. It's going to be rough. You may even wipe a couple of times. As long as you have a Cleric and Guardian Fighter to tank, you can do this - it's just going to take some work.
And there you go. If you completed this dungeon and took down Chartilifax, congratulations! It really is something to be proud of. You would be astounded how many players have never seen his green scaly corpse lying at their feet. Well done. The experiences will serve you well as you prepare to enter the next dungeon, the Throne of Idris.