Top 5 Most Annoying Diablo 3 Elite Ability Combos


Whereas Diablo 2 was all about doing boss runs over and over, Diablo 3 is much more concerned with its procedurally generated packs of “elite” enemies. These blue- and yellow-titled monsters sport funny names and not-so-funny special abilities that make them much more deadly than normal mobs. Not coincidentally, they are also the primary source of both loot and frustration for late-stage Diablo addicts.

Because of the randomized nature of Diablo design, the special abilities assigned to the elite groups in any particular game are entirely unpredictable. This can sometimes work in the player’s favor, when confronting enemies with weak abilities. In other cases, it results in maddening difficulty, when abilities combine to devastating, synergistic affect. What follows is a list of the most annoying combinations. A disclaimer: we left out “Invulnerable Minions,” which is annoying in pretty much every case. We also limited ourselves to just two abilities, so players who haven’t moved on to Hell and Inferno can get in on the cathartic fun.

5. Jailer/Desecrator

“Jailer” enemies lock you in a place with a magical circle of “bars.” “Desecrator” enemies cast a small circle of AOE goop on the ground that damages anyone who steps in it. Though not as deadly as some of the combinations to follow, Jailer/Desecrator is infuriating if you get hit with both abilities at once. You’re reduced to clicking furiously, fruitlessly trying to escape the prison while your health slowly burns away.

4. Waller/Arcane Enchanted

For some reason, the purple laser turrets cast by “Arcane Enchanted” mobs remind me of the Nazi flying wing in Raiders of the Lost Ark. They rotate slowly, but you really don’t want to be caught in one. The best strategy for dealing them is just to scamper out of range, but that suddenly becomes difficult if you’ve got “Waller” enemies throwing up walls everywhere. Nothing like watching a purple beam of death come slowly, inexorably toward you, knowing that there’s nothing you can do to escape it.

3. Shielding/Nightmarish

“Shielding” enemies enter temporary states of invulnerability when they throw up their shields. “Nightmarish” enemies send you running in fear if they hit you. This combination can result in a vicious cycle of frustration. When they’re not shielded, you’re feared. When you’re not feared, they’re shielded. Repeat until you can’t take it anymore.

2. Vampiric/Plagued

This combination is annoying thanks to shoddy AI behavior — in itself, one of the most annoying video game foibles. “Plagued” enemies are surrounded by green auras that do damage to anyone who comes near them — your AI-controlled minions, for example, who are happy to stand there and bash away as the damage done by Plagued rapidly refills the enemy’s health bar, thanks to the “Vampiric” ability, which returns a percentage of outgoing damage as life. This is especially galling when you’ve got an elite with this combo on the ropes, only to see your hapless Templar charge in, restoring it to full health in a matter of seconds.

1. Fast/Mortar

The only way to avoid the high damage and long range of “Mortar” enemies is to run away; like many enemies in Diablo 3, kiting is the best solution. Unfortunately, you’ll have a hard time kiting “Fast” elites, who can run just as fast if not faster than you do. If you encounter this combo (particularly on higher difficulties when it combines with other tough modifiers), all I can say is: good luck, have fun.

Which elite ability combinations do you think are most annoying? Add them in the comments.

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7 Comments on Top 5 Most Annoying Diablo 3 Elite Ability Combos


On June 1, 2012 at 8:21 am

Uh… Invulnerable Minions/Reflects Damage…. probably the worst one of them all. Minions are invulnerable, and when you can actually get in some damage, you end up killing yourself.


On June 1, 2012 at 10:21 am

By Inferno they have four abilities. Invulnerable Minions/Shielding/Nightmarish/Knockback.

The pack’s HP regen outpaces your dmg cause your stupid guy is too busy trying to flee for his life…-stares at screen as tries to attack with barbarian-…”I USED IGNORE PAIN YOU FOOL! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO IGNOREEEE!”


On June 1, 2012 at 11:03 am

Me and some buddies just completed Hell last night. I can say that Nightmare provided a well rounded challenge with difficult bosses and tough rare mobs, but Hell is when everything went to pieces. Our Monk tank become completely useless when faced with 4 blues that would one-shot him before he could even make a tactical assessment, our wizard’s high damaging spells were shrugged off like pebbles, and my demon hunter’s evasive skills made no difference, I might as well have been standing still.

I personally believe Diablo 3′s biggest flaw is the ridiculously difficult rare enemies. Getting instant killed as soon as the mob is on your screen does not make a game difficult, IT MAKES IT STUPID.


On June 3, 2012 at 8:48 pm

So can we as players all agree that if this series wasn’t Diablo, made by Blizzard, we’d crush it beneath our booted heels? Return all copies and demand a refund? I’m sure many would shout loudly about how they’d pirate it (as happened with Assassin’s Creed)? Perhaps rather than the crushing, we’d achieve a reasonable game if we just tell Blizzard we’ll crush them NEXT time. And then do it. If they with us again this badly (DRM, bugs, agonising elites, connectivity problems- and DRM again, not enough servers, etc).


On June 10, 2012 at 6:19 am

Worst ever is Shielded Minion. The shield stays on the minion until the Elite is dead. The only pack I ever have a real problem with on a blizzard wizard. Best to pull these in a far off corner and never return.


On June 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

^*$@ inferno as a monk, playing vortex extra health arcane enchanted electrified naga’s (from wow), that you are unable to kite, and unable to tank while bubble is down. Melee is $@#$ing broke. There are another half dozen combo’s that without 10million in gold to gear up, it’s damn near impossible to play and definitely frustrating. And I’m just in act2.


On November 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Invulnerable minions + fire chains….. GG