The Elder Boss Guide


The Elder in an eldritch being and one of the various endgame Bosses in Path of Exile. Story-wise, he is the main antagonist of the War of the Atlas Expansion, introduced in Patch 3.1.0 Abyss League. According to the lore of the Conqueror's of the Atlas Expansion Patch 3.9.0, The Elder was slain by The Elderslayers led by Sirus, the Awakener of Worlds. You can still fight The Elder using the Key to Decay Map Fragment Set. These Map Fragments can be obtained by defeating The Elder Guardians. The Elder is considered the easiest out of the major Atlas Bosses, but is still dangerous if you are unaware of his abilities.


Elder Guardians - Boss Guides:

Defeating The Elder is guaranteed to drop a Map Fragment required for the Uber Elder encounter, either Fragment of Terror or Fragment of Emptiness. The other 2 Fragments (Fragment of Knowledge and Fragment of Shape) are dropped by The Shaper.

The Uber Elder encounter is considered one of the hardest Boss fights in the game and consists of fighting both, The Elder and the Shaper at the same time. Master the mechanics of The Elder and the Shaper encounter, before attempting the Uber Elder. You will also need their Fragments to open the portals to the Boss fight. Defeating the Uber Elder for the first time rewards you a Decayed Voidstone that can be socketed into the Atlas.

Loot Table

In addition to regular loot, The Elder has the following boss-specific drops:

  • Blasphemer's Grasp
  • Cyclopean Coil
  • Hopeshredder
  • Impresence with Flammability curse modifiers
  • Impresence with Frostbite curse modifiers
  • Impresence with Conductivity curse modifiers
  • Impresence with Vulnerability curse modifiers
  • Impresence with Despair curse modifiers
  • Nebuloch
  • Shimmeron
  • Watcher's Eye
  • Orb of Dominance

The Watcher's Eye that can be looted in the Absence of Value and Meaning is a 2-Mod Variant with Item Level 85. The 3 Mod-Variant can be looted from the Uber Elder encounter and is Item Level 86.

Skills Breakdown

Default Attack

Strikes you at melee range, dealing Physical Damage.

Ice Spears

The Elder has a set of 3 different Ice Spear abilities. Each of them do heavy amounts of Cold Damage and should be dodged at all costs. The ability itself is locked to the player's position while casting.

Ice Spear - Variant 1
The Elder fires multiple sets of 2 icy projectiles.

Ice Spear - Variant 2
The Elder fires 4 icy projectiles at once.

Ice Spear - Variant 3
The Elder charges up and fires 5+ icy projectiles.

Siphon / Siphon Slam

The Elder dives into the ground and re-appears, siphoning energy out of you within a 180 degree cone.

The Elder has 2 different siphon abilities:

The regular Siphon attack:
- If you stay within the siphoning attack area:
- Deals moderate Physical Damage per second as a debuff fed upon.
- You have 60% less action speed.
- The Elder gains Energy Shield depending on how much he siphons you.

The Super Siphon attack has these additional mechanics:
- The Elder locks you in place by applying the Crystallized Fear debuff.
- It guarantees him a second worth of Physical Damage over Time from the debuff fed upon.
- It ends when The Shaper slams the Elder and frees you from the Elder's grasp.
- The Elder gains Energy Shield depending on how much he siphons you.

Tentacle Slam

The Elder spawns several tentacles around you that slam the ground and deal area of effect as Physical
Damage. This attack also leaves a visual ground effect that deals damage over time for a short duration.

Ring of Death

The Elder casts a ring around him, creating a field that expands over time.
After approximately 9 seconds, it explodes dealing massive Physical Damage, enough to kill most builds.
You are free to step outside before the final explosion, but have to stay within the inner ring during the final
explosion in order to survive.

Rising Slam

The Elder starts to spin, launching multiple Cold Damage projectiles that impact in a ring around him, with
a blind spot directly under the Elder. After that, he teleports on top of you to perform a slam attack that deals
heavy Cold Damage.

Pulse Nova

In the last phase he creates a powerful pulsing AoE, dealing damage on hit.

Zana's Bubble

Once defeated in Phase 3, he creates one last powerful shock wave before dying. Zana appears in the South-East of the Arena to save you by creating a protective-shield. You have to rush into the bubble created by Zana in order to survive. Failing to reach the bubble instantly kills you once he detonates his final shock wave.

Madness Propagators

Occasionally, Madness Propagators spawn randomly across the boss Arena, which fire slow projectiles and
leave a patch of eldritch decay if it is left alive for too long. It is highly recommended to kill these monsters
as soon as you see them because the puddles they leave last for the entire fight duration.

Boss Mechanics

In order to open the portals to the Absence of Value and Meaning, you have to collect all 4 Elder Guardian Fragments and place them into your Map Device in the right order.

These Fragments are:

  • Fragment of Purification obtained in a Map occupied by the Purifier.
  • Fragment of Constriction obtained in a Map occupied by the Constrictor.
  • Fragment of Enslavement obtained in a Map occupied by the Enslaver.
  • Fragment of Eradication obtained in a Map occupied by the Eradicator.


Phase 1 - Boss Phase

Once you enter the Absence of Value and Meaning, you find yourself in The Shaper's room, which holds a portal to The Elder.

The Elder uses the following abilities:

  • Default Attack
  • Ice Spears
  • Ring of Death
  • Siphon

Make sure to check out the Skills Breakdown above to learn more about each of the abilities.

The Elder - Entrance to the Arena

Once The Elder's Life drops lower, he also starts using:

  • Tentacle Whip
  • Rising Slam
  • Super Siphon
Phase 2 - Restraint Phase

Upon reaching 25% Life, The Shaper binds him at the center of the arena. The Elder becomes invulnerable, and The Shaper has to channel all his energy to fully bind all four restraints. You have to protect The Shaper while The Elder spawns Null Portals, these spawn multiple monsters that can attack The Shaper. If he dies within this phase, The Elder is freed, and you have to end the fight in his first phase. You cannot loot a Watcher's Eye if The Shaper dies in this phase.

Each restraint takes approximately 35 seconds to complete. The Shaper performs his channel starting on the west side, followed by the east side, south side and north side. Each side spawns more Null Portals than the one before.

There are multiple ways to protect the Shaper while he is channeling. You can either destroy the Null Portals to stop them from spawning monsters (Null Portals respawn after a short period of time) or you can use abilities like Frost Wall to block the incoming projectiles on The Shaper.

The Elder - Restraint Phase
Phase 3 - Unstable Phase

The Shaper leaves once he finished all four restraints and The Elder becomes vulnerable again.

While still being bound to the center of the arena, The Elder continues to spawn monsters and attack you with Tentacle Whips, multiple Rings of Death and Pulse Novas.

It is recommended to end this phase as quickly as possible since you can be easily overwhelmed by the amount of overlapping abilities as well as hoards of monsters attacking you.

The Elder - Zana's protective shield

Good Luck, Exile!

Atlas Passive Tree

To further enhance the difficulty as well as the rewards, there are some Atlas Passive Tree Notables and Nodes. Allocate the "Gaze into the Abyss" notable due to the potential value of a Watcher's Eye drop, even for just a single kill if it only means respeccing a few points


  • Gaze into the Abyss


  • Shaper, Elder and Guardian Influenced Item Chance
Atlas Passive Tree - Shaper & Elder Cluster


  • Dodge the Ice Spear ability, since these spells are locked to your position while casting.
  • Immediately move out of the siphon area.
  • Outrun the Tentacle Slam ability with a Quicksilver Flask.
  • Make sure to stand within the inner circle of the Ring of Death ability.
  • Keep moving once he starts to spin and perform his Rising Slam ability.
  • Keep The Shaper alive in Phase 2 in order to be able to drop a Watcher's Eye
  • Once he reaches 0% health, rush to Zana's protective shield to avoid getting hit by his final shockwave.


Written by mbXtreme
Reviewed by wudijo


Jul 18th 2022
Guide created.