Diablo 3 Uber Boss Battles: Best Practices

With the introduction of the Infernal Machine system, Blizzard has given players something to aspire to besides simply achieving Paragon level 100. By this point most of you are aware that by finding three keys and a plan, which are obtainable by defeating Keywardens in the four Acts, you can then assemble an Infernal Machine which transports you to one of the three Realms in which the Uber bosses reside. Defeating the bosses gives you a chance to obtain a corresponding organ, and once you have the three distinct organs (and have purchased a Hellfire Ring plan for two million gold from the Act II Vendor), you can craft your own Hellfire Ring, with its guaranteed 35% bonus XP boost and chance to cast a ball of incendiary awesomeness when you attack.

Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, it can go very smoothly or very poorly depending on how you approach the process. Here are some general tips for making the Uber Boss battles more efficient and successful.

1. Consolidation

You have no control over which boss battle you get when using an Infernal machine.  Therefore, if you are seeking a particular organ or organs for your Hellfire ring, you are at the mercy of random luck when using Infernal machines individually. However, if you have used one and then use another in the same game, you will get a different boss battle. If you open three portals in the same game, you will gain access to all three Uber boss battles. Therefore, it is advisable to consolidate your Uber boss runs into one game if possible, either by teaming with other players that can provide additional machines, or by waiting until you have three machines of your own to use in one session.

2. Efficiency

You must have five stacks of Nephalem Valor to have a shot at the bosses dropping organs. Similarly, you must have five stacks at the time you defeat any Keywarden in order to have a chance that a key will drop. Once you have the five stacks, the only other factor controlling your drops (other than whether you win, of course) is what Monster Power level you have selected. Each level adds 10% to your chances of a drop.   When doing Uber/Key runs you should play on the highest MP level that you can have repeated success on. Unlike regular farming runs, it is worth it to increase the difficulty level because it directly affects your chance of dropping a key or organ. The increased difficulty of the run leading up to the ultimate battle will be worth it when you have a higher likelihood of gaining the reward you seek for your efforts. Also note that it is always advisable to go for an Act I key during these runs while you are five-stacked. Why waste the stacks?

3. Winning

Rather than give a huge number of class-specific tips or builds, I will simply lay out some general strategic considerations that I have seen play out time and time again. In case you are wondering, I personally have four Hellfire Rings and will acquire my fifth tonight.

Gear yourself for the boss fights, and make sure you start the run by choosing the skills that will most likely allow you to survive lengthy fights against opponents that have massive health pools and can nearly one-shot many players. If playing with others, try to set up complimentary skill sets that make the sum greater than the parts of your team. For example, if you have a Demon Hunter and a Monk, the Monk’s job will be to tie up the bosses while the DH lays on as much damage as possible. Survivability is key, as is the ability to counter minions, which some refer to as “adds.”

Realize that you will have to endure a long fight, and no matter how much damage you can put out, you will have to survive long enough to inflict millions of points worth of damage to win. Although you can restart a failed fight, you must also watch your stacks timer and may have to go refresh your Nephalem valor in between fights. Typically, you should be able to do two of the three battles without having to refresh your stacks, but if a battle goes poorly this number can change. In any event you need to be aware of the time factor, and resist the temptation to clear too much content before the boss and Keywarden fights. You’ll need at least one additional stack after you commence the boss battles.

The above tips  provide general guidance focused on achieving Hellfire Ring ownership in an efficient manner.  Check back soon for posts regarding the specifics of each Uber boss battle.

Important: Many of the strategies and tips I share here were originally inspired by the people at the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum. If you're serious about making the big bucks in Diablo 3, or just being the best players, you need to signup ASAP.

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