Rift Guardian Mechanics

Content of this article:


Introduction

When you reach 100% progression in Nephalem and Greater Rifts, a Rift Guardian (RG) appears and all monsters despawn in Greater Rifts. Rift Guardians are the final boss of the Rift and players must kill it within the 15 minutes Rift timer to successfully complete a Greater Rift.

Similar to Act Bosses, Rift Guardians are considered Elites, meaning any Elite Damage mechanic or affix (The Furnace, Stone of Jordan...) works on them. They all have the same amount of hit points (HP) since patch 2.3.0 (Season 4) for balance purposes.

Rift Guardians are immune to some crowd controls: Charm, Fear, Hex, Knockback and Taunt do not affect them. Moreover, Vesalius has a unique immunity to Blind. Every other crowd control behaves the same as Elites on Rift Guardians. This means they have a Crowd Control Resistance (CCR) cap set at 95% and they're unaffected by Crowd Controls whose duration is reduced below 0.85 seconds. Check out the Crowd Control Mechanics article to learn more on this!

The Rift Guardian has arrived.

Rift Guardians always spawn on players if they can. If they can’t due to you standing in an exiguous spot or in specific layouts (Arreat Crater entrance), they spawn on the nearest available spot. This nearest spot only takes distance to players into consideration and not pathable layout distance, which means the "nearest" spot can actually be extremely far from players in maps like Plague Tunnels.

The Rift Guardian that spawns is always random; there is no factor influencing which one spawns in your Greater Rift. There are a total of 25 Rift Guardians in Greater Rifts, each with its own unique abilities.


Teleport Ability

Every Rift Guardian except Vesalius has a teleport ability to ensure it always finds a target to fight. This teleport has a 30 second cooldown. The idea behind it is simple: if the Rift Guardian fails to find a target to attack, it teleports to the closest player it can find. In practice there are two cases players can witness:

  • The Rift Guardian teleports to a nearby location if there are players around but it cannot target them due to line of sight.
  • The Rift Guardian teleports to the closest player if it doesn't find any target within its aggro range of 100 yards (approximately 2 screens).

The first case can happen on every Rift Guardian but is more common to encounter on some of them. Rift Guardians may lose line of sight with players when surrounded by too many monsters, like with The Choker and Perendi (partly because of their tiny hitbox). This can also happen when using Nemesis Bracers to kill the boss with Area Damage. Some RGs such as The Choker or Man Carver are also subject to constant aggro resets which can randomly cause this issue.

The Choker
The Choker, known for its continuous random teleports

The second case is widely (ab)used by players depending on the META. This mechanic is used to position Rift Guardians near a pylon or in a specific spot to fight it. The most common way to do it is sending the whole group to a chosen spot while the zBarb keeps the boss' focus on him. Once the group is positioned, the zBarb casts Ignore Pain to not be interrupted and teleports out of the Greater Rift. As the RG does not have a target to attack within 100 yards, it will teleport to the closest available party member, which should be on the whole group that is standing at the chosen spot. The zBarb can then come back into the Greater Rift and join back the group to fight the Rift Guardian. As stated above, this trick cannot be used on Vesalius.

It is also possible and sometimes faster to use the portal to the previous or next Greater Rift floor, or even simply die (only in Softcore!) when the group is positioned in order to let the boss teleport to the rest of the party. It is also pretty common in Softcore to use the "Revive at Last Checkpoint" button to avoid the time penalty, as the Rift Guardian will teleport on you at the entrance of the floor once you revived. Be careful if you use this trick, as the Battlefields layout specifically does not have checkpoint, hence you would revive at the entrance from the previous floor!


Rift Guardian Killer


The Rift Guardian Killer, commonly known as RGK or Boss Killer, is a fundamental role in groups since Season 7 and the (near) extinction of 3-support METAs. The main task of the RGK is... to kill Rift Guardians. In order to do so, the RGK requires a build that revolves around high single target damage often combined with a lot of Attack Speed to stack Bane of the Stricken as fast as possible.

Bane of the Stricken is the cornerstone of Rift Guardian Killer builds. It is the best gem for long Rift Guardian fights by a mile. While having a 1.25 multiplicative damage boost against Rift Guardians is great, its primary effect is what makes this legendary gem a true powerhouse for boss killing.

The first enemy hit by an attack with a proc coefficient >0 takes a stack of Stricken's primary effect, which increases the player's damage against the target. For all non-channeling skills and Whirlwind, on stack application, Bane of the Stricken goes on internal cooldown (ICD) following this formula:

Stricken ICD Formula

To make it more straightforward:

  • ICD Scalar is a static value set at 0.9 for Bane of the Stricken;
  • FPS (Frames per Second) is constant at 60 as the game runs at 60 FPS;
  • Skill APS is your Attack Speed for a specified skill with separate Attack Speed multipliers taken into account such as The Shame of Delsere or Alacrity;
  • FPA (Frames per Animation) represents the number of frames it takes to perform your skill.
Stricken ICD Formula 2

To get the exact FPA values and Attack Speed brackets for each skill you can visit the D3planner (without Adblock!) and mouse over the "Breakpoint" under the skill's description. If you're interested in learning more, check out the Attack Speed & Breakpoints article by Northwar!

Finally, normal enemies and Elites lose all Bane of the Stricken stacks when they lose aggro to players. Rift Guardians however never lose stacks even if the player dies, switches between Greater Rift floors or teleports to town.


Generally Rift Guardian Killers needs to be tanky enough to survive during the Greater Rift to be able to follow the party and help the zBarb with bodypulling and scouting. Some RGK builds can afford to have damage or toughness buffs to help the Trash Killer in its task.

Boss Killers can also finish off individual Elites or high progression monsters. This is especially true when normal monsters (and consequently Area Damage or density to scale damage in general, the main damage source of Trash Killers) are lacking, at the end of a Greater Rift floor for instance. Every little bit helps!


Damage Soaking

Even though most Rift Guardians abilities can target random players within a certain range and can reset their aggro, they mostly attack the closest target with their basic attack and their abilities.

This is what we mean by damage soaking: As Rift Guardian Killers builds are generally not tanky, support players (mainly the zBarb) should always try to be a meat shield by positioning itself as close as possible to Rift Guardians (even in its hitbox, which is possible thanks to Illusory Boots). This will redirect most of the basic incoming damage and relieve the RGK from worrying too much about survival.

Some boss abilities deal AoE damage despite targeting the closest target, such as Perdition's cleave or Orlash's breath. This explains why "tanking" some Rift Guardians with their back facing the RGK can be a good idea depending on the boss you're dealing with. For solo players, using your Follower (especially the Templar as it is melee) to tank the Rift Guardian and soak some abilities is a good strategy.


Rift Guardians

In this section, we will cover the abilities of all 25 Rift Guardians that can spawn in Greater Rifts as well as some tips and tricks to beat them.

Agnidox

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / FireBeast (Demonic Hellflyer)Medium

Abilities

  • Mortar Affix.
  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Fireball Volley: Spits out 3 fast moving Fireballs in a wide cone.
  • Flame Nova: Releases a 360° Fire Nova when below 50% HP. 30 second cooldown.
  • Flame Breath: Short range attack that knockbacks and deals 3 Fire damage ticks. 6 second cooldown.
  • Fire Mark: Places a Fire circle onto the ground that activates after 2 seconds. Deals heavy Fire damage upon activation and then lower DoT damage. Lasts for 5 seconds. 15 second cooldown.

Strategy
You can fight this Rift Guardian anywhere. Even though it can sometimes run away, it always comes back to players. Supports can stand away from the RGK to tank the Flame Breath. They can also bait the Fire Mark ability. In solo, you can hide behind obstacles to avoid the Flame Breath.

Rift Guardian Agnidox
Agnidox performing its Flame Breath with a Fire Mark on the ground

Blighter

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / PoisonDemon (Herald of Pestilence)Medium

Abilities

  • Plagued & Knockback Affixes.
  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Poison Bolts: Shoots a nova of Poison bolts.
  • Tentacle Attacks: Sticks its arm into the ground spawning multiple tentacles out of the ground creating multiple 10-yards Poison pools ticking every 0.75 seconds. Ticks cannot be blocked. Can be interrupted. This attack comes in 3 variations, each one having a separate 15 second cooldown:
    • Multiple Arms: Casts Poison pools in quick succession for 5 seconds. 1.5 second duration.
    • "Herding": Casts an outer ring of 12 Poison pools quickly followed by an inner ring of 8 pools. 3 second duration.
    • Ranged Line: Casts a line of 5 Poison pools on a player more than 25 yards away. 3 second duration.

Strategy
This is the best Rift Guardian by far for the Thorns Necromancer. For that build you want to fight this boss in a narrow spot if you rely on Thorns to reflect damage. However, with any other build it is best to fight this boss in an open spot to avoid the tremendous damage done by the Tentacle Attack if pools are stacked into one spot. Furthermore, supports can stand in front of the damage dealer to soak up some abilities like Poison Bolts.

Rift Guardian Blighter
Blighter channeling its Tentacle "Herding" Attack

Bloodmaw

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / PhysicalReaper (Executioner)Big

Abilities

  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Frenzy: Gains 50% Attack Speed when below 25% HP.
  • Leap: Performs a leap on a target that is not in melee range (15 yards) up to 80 yards. Cannot be interrupted, immune to Crowd Control during the leap, stuns and deals Physical damage.
  • Leap Rage: Leaps 3 times at the start of the fight and 5 times when below 50%. Each leap can land within 90 yards and leaves an earthquake on the ground dealing Physical damage every 0.3 seconds for 1.2 seconds. Cannot be interrupted. 20 second cooldown. Bloodmaw is completely immune to Crowd Control when casting this ability.

Strategy
Fight this Rift Guardian in a narrow spot it cannot leap out of, like close to an entrance or exit to another Greater Rift level. Ideally you can get him completely stuck in one position. Even if it gets out during its Leap Rage, stay in the same position as the boss will always return to you after using its Leap if you're more than 15 yards away from it. Leap Rage can be interrupted if Bloodmaw doesn't have any player in aggro, for instance with vanish abilities like Spirit Walk or Smoke Screen.

Rift Guardian Bloodmaw
Bloodmaw jumping during its "Leap Rage"

Bone Warlock

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Ranged / ArcaneUndead (Skeletal Summoner)Medium

Abilities

  • Teleporter & Wormhole Affixes.
  • Summon Minions: When below 95% HP, casts skeletons minions one at a time. 15 second cooldown.
    There are 4 different minions and each of them gives Bone Warlock special abilities:
Summon TypeAffix on MinionAbility Bone Warlock gains
Knockback BonesKnockbackKnockback
Mortar BonesMortarShoots 4 Arcane Bolts (see below)
Quick BonesFastTeleport
Reflecting BonesReflectReflect on Bone Warlock and all minions
  • Arcane Bolt: Ranged Arcane damage attack with 3 variants:
    • Single Shot: Fires a slow moving single target high damage projectile.
    • Triple Shot: Fires 3 faster moving projectiles.
    • Quad Shot: Fires 4 faster moving projectiles only if Mortar Bones is active.

Strategy
You can fight this Rift Guardian anywhere even though open rooms work best to dodge the Arcane Bolts and the Wormhole Affix. In group play, the zBarb usually pulls the minions away to maximize Bane of the Stricken stacking for the RGK.

Rift Guardian Bone Warlock
Bone Warlock releasing Arcane Bolts, with a Wormhole and Skeletons minions around

Cold Snap

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / ColdDemon (Izual)Big

Abilities

  • Frozen Pulse Affix when below 75% HP. Deals more damage and has a shorter cooldown than the normal affix.
  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Slam: Slams the ground with a melee Physical damage attack. Has a long cast animation.
  • Charge: Charges towards a random target, knocking it back and dealing Physical Damage. Has an insanely fast animation. Movement Speed Slows reduce the charge speed.
  • Cold Nova: Releases a 360° Cold Nova in a 60 yard range. Freeze and chill players for 2 seconds. The freeze breaks as soon as the boss hits a player with a melee attack. 10 second cooldown. Cold Snap cannot die while casting this ability.
  • Enhanced Frozen: AoE Cold Frozen-like ability.
    When below 50% HP, releases ice crystals that explode dealing Cold Damage and freezing the player. Doesn't deal damage over time while building up unlike normal Frozen affix.

Strategy
This fight is pretty straightforward. If you never leave the melee range this Rift Guardian will never charge and never move. You can use layout elements (rocks, trees) to avoid its Charge. Supports can try to tank the melee attacks but in solo you might want to dodge some of its attacks.

Rift Guardian Cold Snap
Cold Snap performing a Slam on the player, with Frozen and Frozen Pulse around


Crusader King

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / Physical & ArcaneUndead (Skeleton King)Medium

Abilities

  • Jailer Affix when below 50% HP.
  • Melee Attack: Cleaves for Physical damage.
  • Teleport Attack: Aim with its arm a player more than 15 yards away then teleports to him and swings his mace, performing an AoE cleave that deals Physical damage.
  • Arcane Volley: If minions are summoned, can release a volley of Arcane damage bolts when a player is further than 25 yards.
  • March of the Black King: Deals three AoE Physical hits in succession, the first one dealing more damage. Laughs and spins like a Barbarian's Whirlwind. Crusader King is completely immune to Crowd Control when casting this ability.
  • Summon Skeletons: Plants its arm on the ground to summon 5 minions twice in a row and teleports away in between. Can be interrupted, maximum of 10 minions.

Strategy
A common trick on this Rift Guardian is to wait for the minion cap of 10 to be reached and then force teleport the boss. As a result, you can fight it as if it was a single target Rift Guardian. As long as the cap of 10 minions is met, it won't try to summon any more. But it is also possible for the zBarb to interrupt the summon ability or pull minions away depending on the RGK.


You can also control this Rift Guardian teleports as it is aiming the player (with its arm) to lock the destination quickly before the actual teleport. Moving after Crusader King locked its teleport destination allows the player to dodge the melee attack that follow the teleport.

Rift Guardian Crusader King
Skeleton King during its Whirlwind ability

Ember

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Ranged / FireDemon (Morlu Incinerator)Small

Abilities

  • Teleporter Affix.
  • Meteor: Casts a huge AoE meteor that comes down from the sky after 2 seconds causing AoE Fire damage. 10 second cooldown reduced all the way down to 5 seconds when the boss is below 50% HP.
  • Summon Lunatics: Below 95% HP, summons three Fallen Lunatics that run towards players and explode dealing a huge amount of Physical damage. 10 second cooldown.
  • Summon Shamans: Below 67% HP, summons two Fallen Shamans that shoot fireballs dealing Fire damage. Fallen Shamans can revive small Fallens if there are any corpses left nearby.
  • Below 67% HP, gains the Summon Shamans ability while losing the Summon Lunatics one.
  • Below 25% HP, gains back the Summon Lunatics ability.

Strategy
Comfortably dodge the meteor and avoid the Fallen Lunatics. In party, the zBarb usually drags them away to protect the Rift Guardian Killer.

Rift Guardian Ember
Fallen Lunatics rushing towards the player meanwhile Ember summoned a Meteor

Erethon

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Ranged / PoisonDemon (Corrupted Angel)Small

Abilities

  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack. Can critically hit.
  • Poison Volley: Shoots 3 Poison bolts in rapid succession targeting the closest player.
  • Poison Nova: Casts a Poison Nova that releases after 1.5 seconds and deals damage in a 20 yard AoE.
  • Dash: Charges enemies that are not in melee range dealing Physical damage and knocking them back.

Strategy
Get this Rift Guardian next to a wall or stay in melee range so it does not dash around. Supports can soak the Poison Volleys for the DPS by standing in front of them as seen earlier in the Damage Soaking section. This Rift Guardian's melee attack can critically hit, oneshotting most players. Erethon tries to dash even if you stuck it or stay in melee range, you can see the Rift Guardian quickly bending from time to time. This means the boss will constantly break root effects.

Rift Guardian Erethon
Erethon about to shoot a Poison Volley while casting Poison Nova

Eskandiel

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / ArcaneReaper (Corpse Raiser)Small

Abilities

  • Arcane Enchanted Affix.
  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Wave: Casts a Physical damage wave that moves 40 yards away from the boss, slows and knocks players back. Can be interrupted.
  • Soul Rush: Casts a Cold damage AoE effect on a random player.
  • Summon Skeletons: Summons up to 10 skeletons alongside a wave attack. Maximum of 10 minions.

Strategy
A common trick on this Rift Guardian is to wait for the minion cap of 10 to be reached and then force teleport the boss. As a result, you can fight it as if it was a single target Rift Guardian. Side benefit: The boss will not teleport around if there are 10 minions alive even if they are far away. Don't forget to dodge the Arcane beams which can be deadly especially in closed areas.

Rift Guardian Eskandiel
Eskandiel performing a Wave while its minions attack the player, with an Arcane Beam present

Hamelin

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / PoisonBeast (Rat King)Big

Abilities

  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Double Swing: Performs in quick succession two single target Physical damage attacks.
  • Ratnado: Casts two 10 yard radius ratnadoes dealing Poison damage over time while moving around unpredictability. After 6 seconds, the Ratnado explodes dealing Poison damage in a 10 yard circle.
  • Shield Dome: Creates a 35 yard circle around the boss that cannot be crossed by players unless they have the ability to ignore hitboxes like from Illusory Boots or a teleport ability. Lasts for 10 seconds. 15 second cooldown.
  • Dig: When a player is more than 15 yards away, digs into the ground and emerges under him. 30 second cooldown.
  • Ratlings: When below 90% HP, frequently spawns ratlings upon losing HP. Can sometimes spawn ratlings at 100% HP when engaged. Maximum of 20 minions.

Strategy
A very dangerous Rift Guardian for solo players - avoid the Ratnado! In groups you can pretty much face tank this boss. This is one of the best bosses for AoE damage dealing build due to its big hitbox and minions spawning more frequently as its HP decreases.


Unlike other Rift Guardians, Hamelin doesn't grant experience and In-Geom procs to players outside of the zone when slain. This Rift Guardian has a short death animation before being considered killed and there is no combat log message stating that you killed it.

Rift Guardian Hamelin
Hamelin standing near a Ratnado, with its Shield Dome around

Infernal Maiden

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / Fire & PhysicalReaper (Death Maiden)Big

Abilities

  • Fast & Teleport Affixes.
  • Melee Attack: Fire & Physical close range attack.
  • Slam: Raises its arms before slamming the ground dealing Physical AoE damage within 20 yards and knocking you back. 6 second cooldown.
  • Spin: Spins in place dealing Physical damage within 11 yards. 6 second cooldown.
  • Fire Spin: When below 70%, this replaces by the Spin ability. Spins within 11 yards and throws out a Mortar Volley of 10 projectiles around a wide cone in front of the boss, dealing Physical damage. This ability is automatically cast when the boss reaches 70% HP. 6 second cooldown.
  • Fire Nova: Below 50% HP, can jump in the air and upon landing cast a Fire projectiles nova that travels up to 100 yards away. The further you are away from the Rift Guardian the easier it is to dodge this attack. Infernal Maiden cannot die while casting this ability.

Strategy
All Infernal Maiden abilities have long cast animations and can be interrupted besides the Spins. For melee builds you want to avoid a close range Fire Nova combined with a Physical hit as this may one-shot you. Infernal Maiden's huge hitbox allows for kiting that can avoid the melee abilities altogether. Its Spin abilities are buffs on the boss, meaning it can cast other abilities during the Spin, like a teleport or melee attack.

Rift Guardian Infernal Maiden
Infernal Maiden performing its Fire Spin ability releasing a Mortar Volley

Man Carver

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / PhysicalDemon (Butcher)Medium

Abilities

  • Waller Affix.
  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Melee Smash: Smashes the group with its axe for heavy Physical damage in a small area of effect close to the Rift Guardian dealing Physical damage.
  • Fan of Chains: Below 75% HP, casts a fan of chains when a player is more than 15 yards away. Does Physical damage in a cone in front of the boss. 10 second cooldown.
  • Hook: Below 50% HP, uses a hook attack to pull a player towards him usually followed by a melee smash dealing Physical damage.
  • Charge: Performs a roar animation and breaks all slow and root effects before charging in a straight line for Physical damage. Can be interrupted. 20 second cooldown.
  • Fire Mark: Creates an AoE dot effect on the ground that deals Fire damage. Activates after 2 seconds and lasts for 15 seconds. Deals heavy Fire damage upon activation and then lower DoT damage. 15 second cooldown.

Strategy
The Waller Affix can be annoying for ranged classes like the Impale Demon Hunter as it blocks your projectiles, Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid can help here. Try to move around a lot to dodge the hooks and do not let the Rift Guardian cast the Mark of Fire on you. If you want to avoid the Fan of Chains ability, stay within 15 yards of the boss.


This Rift Guardian has a tendency to reset its aggro constantly, which sometimes leads to random teleports on the furthest player. If incoming damage is an issue, Supports should position the boss facing a wall with its back to the RGK.

Rift Guardian Man Carver
Man Carver using its Fan of Chains ability, with Walls around and Fire Mark on the ground

Orlash

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / Physical & LightningDemon (Terror Demon)Small

Abilities

  • Waller Affix: Walls stay for only 2.5 seconds.
  • Melee Attack: Slashes a single target in melee range for Physical damage.
  • Lightning Breath: Targets the closest player and cast 20 projectiles launched in quick succession as a beam dealing Lightning damage in a straight line. The beam's direction follows the target. Can be interrupted.
  • Illusionist: Summons 2 clones (3 below 50% HP) that cast Lightning Breath twice in a row before disappearing. Targets the closest player on cast but does not change direction. Clones cannot be attacked.

Strategy
Dodge or interrupt the beams! Since this attack always targets the closest player, supports can direct the beams away from the damage dealers. Lightning Breath has a dead spot, standing in the Rift Guardian's hitbox allows players to avoid the damage entirely. Layout elements like stairs can also be used to avoid the Breath. As the Lightning Breath projectiles can be blocked, this Rift Guardian is the best for Ivory Tower Heaven's Fury Crusaders.

Rift Guardian Orlash
Orlash attacking the player while its clones are casting Lightning Breath

Perdition

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / PhysicalDemon (Rakanoth)Medium

Abilities

  • Melee Attack: Cleaves for Physical damage. Can be interrupted.
  • Blade Shurikens: Levitates and channels 2 seconds to release AoE blades dealing Physical damage. Can be interrupted.
  • Blink Strike: Charges up then teleports to a player or to a random position, dealing Physical AoE damage. Can be interrupted. This ability is automatically cast upon reaching 50% HP.

Strategy
This Rift Guardian only uses melee attacks if players remain in melee range (around 5 yards). As a support you want to turn the Rift Guardian back to the RGK to take melee hits and cleaves. You can also interrupt abilities like Blink Strike if needed.

Rift Guardian Perdition
Perdition performing its Blink Strike ability

Perendi

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / PhysicalDemon (Mallet Lord)Tiny

Abilities

  • Extra Fast Affix.
  • Melee Attack: Raises its arms then swings into the ground dealing huge Physical damage in a small area of effect. Can be interrupted.
  • Summon Armored Destroyer: Spawns Armored Destroyers from the sky, damaging players on impact. They deal Physical melee damage. Only 10 minions can be spawned at a time. The oldest one despawns every time the Rift Guardian casts a new one.
  • Rocks: Casts rocks from the sky that hit the ground after 2 seconds dealing 3 ticks of Physical damage in a 20 yard area. The ground effect of this ability is barely visible if the Low FX option is enabled!

Strategy
Interrupt the heavy melee attacks by stunning or by running around. Dodge the rocks falling from the sky. In groups the supports can pull away the minions to a degree to maximize Bane of the Stricken stacking.

As seen in the Teleport section above, this Rift Guardian has a tendency to teleport around when he can't successfully find a target. This is either because the targeted player is too far or because the boss is surrounded by too many minions. You can prevent this boss from teleporting by having all the group standing in its hitbox, but only if Bane of the Stricken stacking is not an issue and you can tank the incoming damage.

Rift Guardian Perendi
Perendi about to perform a Melee Attack, with Armored Destroyers minions around

Raiziel

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / Lightning & HolyReaper (Exarch)Tiny

Abilities

  • Lightning Attack: Melee single target Lightning damage attack.
  • Holy Bomb: When below 75%, shoots an arc of Holy projectiles. When below 25% HP, shots a nova of Holy projectiles instead.
  • Lightning Shower: Creates a Lightning Orb similar to Exachs. Every hit creates a charged bolt similar to the Electrified Affix. Cast more frequently when below 75% HP.

Strategy
You can fight this Rift Guardian pretty much anywhere but it can be difficult to hit due to its tiny Hitbox. You can push him to a corner as it always dash away from players. Supports can stun during the damage dealers Convention of Elements rotation to guarantee full damage is inflicted. If incoming damage is an issue, Supports should stay in front of the RGK to soak the Rift Guardian's abilities.

Rift Guardian Raiziel
Raiziel moving around after casting a Lightning Shower

Rime

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Ranged / ColdDemon (Keywarden Xah'Rith)Small

Abilities

  • Teleporter Affix.
  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Frost Volley: Fires 3 Frostbolts dealing Cold damage on a random player outside of melee range.
  • Frost Pools: Creates small circles in rapid succession dealing Cold AoE damage over time.
  • Frost Ring: Casts a large blue circle on the ground dealing Cold damage.

Strategy
This Rift Guardian moves a lot due to the ranged and teleport abilities. However, it will always come back to players to melee attack them after teleporting. Supports can stun during the damage dealers Convention of Elements rotation to guarantee full damage is inflicted. Avoid the heavy AoE DoT effects on the ground if you are playing a squishy build!

Rift Guardian Rime
Rime performing its Frost Pools ability

Sand Shaper

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Ranged / Physical, Arcane & FireHumanoid (Zoltun Kulle)Small

Abilities

  • Teleporter Affix.
  • Fireball: Casts an small AoE hitting fireball for Fire damage.
  • Slow Time: Below 75% HP, gains a Slow Time ability. The area of effect reduces players' Attack Speed by 30% and Movement Speed by 80%. This is negated by Crowd Control Immunity but players still experience random locks/silences.
  • Energy Twister: Below 75% HP, gains a Twister ability similar to the Wizard one. Casts a randomly moving tornado dealing Arcane damage.
  • Rocks: From 65% to 40% HP only, casts rocks from the sky that hit the ground after 2 seconds dealing 3 ticks of Physical damage in a 20 yard AoE. The ground effect of this ability is barely visible if the Low FX option is enabled!

Strategy
Supports can tank the fireballs to optimize damage output when using Squirt's Necklace. Dodge the rocks when playing a squishy build and avoid the Slow Time bubble when playing an Attack Speed dependent build.

Rift Guardian Sand Shaper
Sand Shaper standing near Slow Time and Energy Twisters

Saxtris

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / Physical & ArcaneDemon (Copperfang Lurker)Small

Abilities

  • Vortex Affix.
  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Energy Twister: Similar to the Wizard ability. Casts a randomly moving tornado dealing Arcane damage.
  • Summon: Below 75% HP, frequently summons 13 Swarms (Physical damage) or Electric Eels (Lightning damage). Minions are immune to Knockback.

Strategy
One of the best Rift Guardian's for AoE damage dealing builds. You can stack your Bane of the Stricken first and then do crazy Area Damage due to frequently added minions. As a support, try to take the boss aggro for the melee attacks. Trash Killer builds can try to spawn Oculus Ring for the Rift Guardian Killer by killing the boss' minions.

Rift Guardian Saxtris
Saxtris and its Swarms minions

Stonesinger

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / Physical & FireBeast (Sand Dweller)Huge

Abilities

  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Fissure: Raises its arm in the air before planting it to the ground and creating a turret that lasts 20 seconds and fires Mortars. Can be interrupted.
  • Slam: Plants its arms on the ground and uppercuts dealing Physical damage and knocking players back.
  • Charge: Targets a player outside melee range to charge at, dealing Physical damage to all players it passes. Movement Speed slows reduce the charge speed.

Strategy
The charge can be avoided by staying close to this Rift Guardian. You can interrupt the turret summon to optimize Bane of the Stricken stacks.

Rift Guardian Stonesinger
Stonesinger about to summon a new Fissure

Tethrys

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / Physical & FireDemon (Succubus)Medium

Abilities

  • Teleporter & Knockback Affixes.
  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Blood Star: Throws a Succubus Physical projectile that inflicts a 35% Armor debuff on hit.
  • Fireball Volley: Spits out 3 slow moving Fireballs in a wide cone.
  • Backward Dash: Glides away from players, ignoring the map layout.
  • Geysers: Below 60% HP, spawns 4 geysers. They charge up for 2 seconds then activate dealing Physical damage for 3 seconds.

Strategy
Fight this Rift Guardian in a narrow spot like a corner so it cannot backward dash all the time. Supports can stun during the damage dealers Convention of Elements rotation to guarantee full damage is inflicted.

Rift Guardian Tethrys
Tethrys flying away after casting a Fireball Volley, with Geysers on the ground

The Binder

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Ranged / PoisonDemon (Cydaea)Huge

Abilities

  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Poison Volley: Shoots 2 Poison projectiles dealing high single target damage.
  • Poison Spit: Below 65% HP, spits missiles up to 30 yards away in a 160° angle in front of the boss dealing tremendous Poison damage.
  • Summon Spiderlings: Below 85% HP, summons 5 Spiderlings that deal Poison melee damage. Maximum of 10 minions.

Strategy
One of the best Rift Guardian for AoE damage dealing builds. Stack your Bane of the Stricken first and then do crazy Area Damage due to the frequently added Minions with a large boss Hitbox. As a support try to take the Rift Guardian's aggro for the melee attacks. Trash Killer builds can try to spawn Oculus Ring for the Rift Guardian Killer by killing the bosses Minions.

Rift Guardian The Binder
The Binder performing a Poison Spit right after a Poison Volley

The Choker

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Ranged / PoisonAncient Beast (Barbed Lurker)Tiny

Abilities

  • Poison Enchanted Affix when below 25% HP.
  • Summon Slimes: Creates up to 10 Slimes dealing ranged Poison damage that are replaced if killed.
  • Backward Dash: Glides away from players, ignoring the map layout.
  • Poison attack: Shoots three bolts that randomly move away from the boss dealing Poison damage.
  • Poison Circle: Below 75% HP, spawns a 20 yard circle around the boss that detonates dealing Poison damage.
  • Poison Pools: Below 75 % HP, spawns pools that deal huge AoE Poison Damage over Time.

Strategy
This is one of the worst Rift Guardians in the game for most builds as it slides backwards or sideways constantly and has a tiny hitbox, on top of summoning minions. The Choker also has huge targeting and aggro issues (as seen above in the Teleport Ability section) which causes it to teleport a lot. This boss randomly teleports on the furthest player whenever a player is in melee range (closer than 5 yards) or too far (more than 10 yards away). This is why The Choker is best positioned in a corner, with all players sitting around 7-8 yards away from him.

Supports can try to lure the slimes away for the damage dealers to get more Bane of the Stricken stacks. The slimes minions can also be despawned if they don't find a target to attack for more than 10 seconds. A common trick for some builds is to use the portal to the previous or next Greater Rift floor to make them disappear.

Rift Guardian The Choker
The Choker after casting its Poison Pools ability

Vesalius

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Ranged / ArcaneDemon (Vidian)Tiny

Abilities

  • Wormhole & Frozen Pulse Affixes.
  • Blind Immunity.
  • Gateway: Disappears into the ground and reappears somewhere else. When disappearing into the ground, stays on the same spot for some time (and is still attackable and controllable) before teleporting. Can be interrupted.
  • Arcane Volley: Stretch out its arm towards a player and releases 4 fast moving bolts in rapid succession dealing Arcane damage in a small area of effect. Only cast if all players are further than 10 yards away. Can be interrupted.

Strategy
This is the newest Rift Guardian in the game and also the only boss that can't be force teleported. This boss usually keeps its distance from players. Interrupt its gateway ability when it sinks into the floor to optimize damage output and Bane of the Stricken stacking. Avoid being dragged into the Wormhole circle and dodge Arcane Bolts and Frozen Pulse if playing a squishy build. Supports should lure Wormholes and Frozen Pulses away from damage dealers and stand on Wormholes to take them.

Rift Guardian Vesalius
Vesalius unleashing an Arcane Volley on the player

Voracity

 

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / PoisonDemon (Ghom)Huge

Abilities

  • Melee Attack: Single target Physical damage attack.
  • Gas Clouds: Releases two 20 yard gas clouds (one on itself and one on a random player) that deal Poison Damage over Time and stack with each other. The maximum number of gas clouds is 12. Lasts for 75 seconds. 10 second cooldown.
  • Bile Spew: Mid range spray attack that deals Poison damage over 2 seconds in a small area of effect.
  • Summon Slimes: Below 65% HP, summons 2 Slimes after a long range Poison attack that spit at players that are more than 10 yards away, with a maximum of 4 minions at a time.

Strategy
Get all your toughness buffs before entering the Gas Clouds. The DoT damage from these clouds snapshots your toughness upon entering them. If you cannot tank the clouds, this Rift Guardian's huge hitbox makes it easy to hit while kiting. If your group doesn't want minions, everyone needs to stay in melee range of the boss when it is below 65% HP.

Rift Guardian Voracity
Voracity walking around with Gas Clouds on the ground

Special Rift Guardians

These Rift Guardians can only spawn in special rare Nephalem Rifts:

Lord of Bells

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / LightningBeast (Cow King)Medium

Abilities

  • Electrified Affix.
  • Illusionist Affix when below 50%.
  • Lightning Pool: Casts a 10 yard Lightning pool on the ground.

Trivia
This boss only spawns as Rift Guardian in the very rare Cow Level Nephalem Rift.

Mooo!
There is no Cow Level.

Josh Mosqueira

Damage TypeMonster TypeHitbox Size
Melee / PhysicalReaper (Executioner)Medium

Abilities

  • Electrified, Orbiter, Wormhole & Vortex Affixes.
  • Leap: Performs a leap on a target that is not in melee range (15 yards). Cannot be interrupted, immune to Crowd Control during the leap, stuns and deals Physical damage.

Trivia
This boss only spawns as Rift Guardian in the elusive "Developers" Nephalem Rift using Cemetery as layout.

Josh Mosqueira, Reaper of 'Soles
Meet Josh Mosqueira, Reaper of 'Soles

Rift Guardians can be tough to deal with depending on your build. Sometimes you rely on Hamelin or Saxtris for Area Damage, while others look for single target Rift Guardians. Similarly, some squishy builds are looking for bosses with low incoming damage or that barely move around. No matter who you're looking for, with some practice and game mechanics knowledge you can take down even the worst Rift Guardian for your build! Hopefully this guide has been helpful and you now know everything about Rift Guardians in Diablo III!

Shoutouts to:
Rob for the initial boss abilities write-up.
Raxxanterax and Northwar for reviews.


Guide by Chewingnom.