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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.