Castle Never Strategy Guide: Orcus

In our third part of Castle Never’s Strategy Guide, we’re dealing with the big baddie Orcus himself. Following the blog you should have learned how to deal with the first two bosses and trash by now and Orcus uses some of the mechanics that we experienced throughout the dungeon.

Orcus Cutscene Banner

Entering the fight the first thing you need to know is that the cutscene can be canceled. We generally learned to hate the unnecessary wait before bosses if you’re doing them for the gazllionth time, but enforcing them at least guarantees that the group will start the fight together. At Orcus it can happen that the DPS start to rush into the boss without their healer or tank, which are still looking at the cutscene. So it’s generally recommended to wait at the spawn point until everybody is ready.

Basic Attacks

Orcus has three major attacks and all of them are deadly to anyone not the tank. His wand crush and sweep attack hit for 800k and as a ranged class there is no need to go near him, especially because the attacks are AoE ones. Melee classes position themselves on the opposite side of the tank as usual. The boss also has a Finger of Death ranged attack that hits similarly hard, but can be dodged. So everyone but the Scourge Warlock has an easy way of avoiding it.

The one thing making the boss predictable is the fact that he always prioritizes melee over ranged attacks and the aggro table. If he can hit something in front of him, he’ll always do it instead of using Finger of Death on a ranged target. So as long as the tank is alive, hugging the boss and out-aggroing any melee DPS, no one else will get hit. This is also why having melee pets can be rather convenient. In the solo videos of Castle Never you can see Blink Dogs or Yetis fully tanking the boss. That’s because as long as the target is in melee range, he never switches to the actual player, who has all the freedom in the world to do damage.

Special Attacks

Every so often, the boss will raise his arms and roar, initiating a randomly picked special mechanic. These include:

  1. Sphere of Annihilation interlude: A sphere you should already know from the run spawns, and the group again has to prevent Undead Adventurers to reach it. It’s a bit more difficult than the baby version before the second boss, but it should be no biggie. If the sphere gets charged, it’ll take away 80% of the HP of each group member.
  2. Rifts: Three rifts appear on the battlefield and can be entered and cleared just like those in the Foyer. As long as the rifts are open, Orcus gets an additional 80% damage resistance that can’t be mitigated. Most groups decide to pull through and live with the low damage, but it’s probably faster to let the DPS just close the rifts. The phase lasts 90 seconds.
  3. Two players are bonded, pulled towards each other and take significant damage on impact. This is the mechanic from the first boss and Servitors and can be countered by moving/dodging away from each other.
  4. Moving death spheres / poison balls: This is probably the only really challenging mechanic of the fight. Orcus can spawn up to three death spheres / poison balls that you already needed to avoid in the last section of the run. They are randomly bouncing around and kill on impact. Since this is the worst that can happen, you should always prepare for them to appear and start dodging and blocking whenever Orcus starts his animation.
  5. Nothing. No matter which outcome, you always take 80% of your HP as damage, but sometimes no extra mechanic is started.


There is no reason to die in the fight other than to the moving death spheres. Those can be annoying though, because they spawn at random locations and if they happen to surprise multiple players at once, the wipe is inevitable. Even after the nerf you probably still want to think about using Divine Protector as Paladin against the poison balls, because it’s exactly the type of “oh shit” situation the power was originally designed for.

If the tank loses aggro or dies, the group is dead most of the time, because the boss will soon switch targets and melt everything. Ranged DPS with dodges might be able to stall just enough time for the tank to resurrect and continue, but especially Scourges and Great Weapon Fighter are just fodder. GWFs can technically dodge attacks by using Mighty Leap, but that’s not a standard power for DPS and if you don’t use a third-party switcher, it takes to much time to slot it.

So as long as you have a potent tank or tank/DC combo, every group should be doing ok. Generally all powers that give immunity to the tank or suck up hits are helpful, because the boss is a hard, not a fast hitter. Steel Defense, Fox’s Cunning or Anointed Army are good examples. You can also use Break the Spirit or Ray of Enfeeblement to debuff Orcus’ damage and Astral Shield should be mandatory as well. Decent groups should be able to kill Orcus after his second special attack, he doesn’t have particularly much HP.

This wraps up our Castle Never Strategy Guide and we hope you will be soon standing on top of Orcus and looking at two chests of loot. Make sure to add your own tips and remarks in the comments below or on our message board. I’d also like to thank Sharpedge for contributing to this guide.


j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

7 thoughts on “Castle Never Strategy Guide: Orcus

  • May 4, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Courage breaker = -120% dmg.
    That’s very very useful, i dont think i ever saw a tank get 1hitted while orcus was under CB effect.

    • September 3, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Please excuse my ignorance, but what is Coursge Breaker, and how do I get it?

  • May 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I have to add, “sometimes” the DR buff stays on Orcus even if the portals are cleared, this is a good reason to just ignore them.

  • September 16, 2016 at 12:15 am

    There is actually a very good reason to die that has killed even my Paladin at least 3 times. LAG, Cryptic’s damn servers made of twigs messing with my movements

  • October 7, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Does praying at the altar increase you chances at good loot drops?

    • November 21, 2016 at 7:02 am

      No. RNG =S.O.L.

  • October 25, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Courage Breaker is a Trickster Rogue daily. It lowers damage the enemy will deal and raises the rogues power.

Comments are closed.