Diablo 3

Rift Guardian Overview & Strategies (for Cold Lancer RGK in 4-player meta)

diablo7 - Rift Guardian Overview & Strategies (for Cold Lancer RGK in 4-player meta)

Rift Guardian Overview & Strategies


This is a memorization chart I made showing a list of all the Rift Guardians in Greater Rifts, their adds spawning mechanics, and the best strategies for corpse lance RGK in the current 4-player meta (in Patch 2.6.1). Although there's a chance that lancer RGK will be replaced by Impale in Patch 2.6.4, I still want to share this, since it has helped me a lot with memorization and quick referencing.

Most of the data comes from "D3 Cheatsheet" shared by D3 Resource. All credits go to the makers of that document. If you want to learn more about the detailed mechanics of each RG, read over that document. My chart is just a condensed version showing the most vital information. This can also be seen as a companion to my In-Depth Guide to Pestilence Corpse Lance RGK.

Categorizing RGs

The way I memorize this list is by dividing all RGs into 4 categories – (1) Single-target RGs, (2) RGs that only spawn adds when below a certain percentage of health, (3) RGs that spawn adds at 100% health, and (4) two special cases (Orlash and Stonesinger).

1. Single-target RGs

These are the easiest ones for lancer RGK, since each additional mob on screen significantly reduces your (extremely single-target) damage. Since you have zmonk and zbarb, you don't really have to worry about survivability and you can just focus on stacking.

The trickiest one is Bloodmaw, who cannot be frozen during its jumping sequence. So you want to shoot right after it finishes its jumping sequence. Note that he usually does 3 jumps, and if the team stays at one spot, he will eventually jumps back. So there is no need to follow each of his jumps. If possible, you can TP or corner him in a very tight spot, such as staircase or a very narrow hallway, so he can't jump anywhere else, allowing you to keep stacking stricken. If you are short on time and have to stack till the very end, don't wait for the last cycle to shoot. You should get ready to shoot 2 cycles before the end, just in case it starts jumping. (This means telling the supports to stop attacking at around the 45 seconds mark, so you are ready at 30 seconds and you have the time to wait one more cycle if it starts jumping).

2. RGs that only spawn adds when below a certain percentage of health

It's important to memorize these 5 – Voracity at 65%, Saxtris at 75%, Binder at 85%, and finally Bone Warlock and Ember both at 95%. If capable, you definitely want to one-shot. If you have to two-shot, make sure that your first shot does not lower Voracity below 65%, or Saxtris below 75%. This way they will remain single-target until your second-shot that kills them.

Read:  Deadset's Guide Compendium for the New Season

For two-shotting Binder, Bone Warlock, and Ember, you pretty much want to wait for max spawn and TP. This strategy will be discussed below. Usually, the fallens and shamans spawned by Ember are pretty easy to pull, so you can just shoot Ember from the other side of the adds. Same goes for Binder and Bone Warlock if you have a competent zbarb.

3. RGs that spawn adds at 100% health

This category is further divided into 2 sub-categories – Crusader King and Eskandiel, which are relatively easy, and the Big Three (Choker, Hamelin, Perendi).


For Eskandiel, you just wait for max spawn and TP. Crusader King's summoning animation can be cancelled by the zbarb's charge, which stuns it. If played properly, Crusader King can be single-target throughout the fight. But if your zbarb is shit, then you just wait for it to max spawn skeletons and TP.

The Big Three are the three hardest RGs for lancer RGK. Choker and Perendi continuously spawn adds and have no cap to adds spawn. Hamelin spawns adds when it takes damage, even when it's frozen. There are a variety of strategies for each, but I will discuss the most optimal ones below.

Choker – The easiest way to deal with Choker is to use the door trick. For whatever reason, if your whole teams leaves the current map (either go back to town or go to the previous or next level) and wait for 6 seconds, all of Choker's adds will disappear. When you have enough stacks, have the whole team move to the previous/next level, wait there for 6 seconds (or 1 cycle, to reset its CC resistance), and go back to Choker's level in the middle of your physical and immediately start shooting the moment you see it. You also want to pop simulacrum before going back, so the moment you are back with Choker, you can immediately pop LotD and freeze it. This obviously prevents it from spawning new ones.

A less optimal strategy is for the necro to run away from Choker, which will cause it to TP to the necro. This is because the Choker tends to teleport to the farthest player. The problem with this strategy is that you can't control when it teleports, so it might TP to you when you are off-cycle.

Hamelin – You are pretty much never going to be able to one-shot Hamelin because it spawns adds when you hit it even under LotD. The safest strategy is for you to shoot it once, have it max spawn, then TP. Then it will be single-target. But for this to work, the wiz must refrain from killing the adds. A second strategy (usually for lower levels) is for the wiz to help you. Because there are so many adds, the wiz can do some damage with the meteor. So you and the wiz just have to keep shooting corpse lance and meteors and slowly chunks it down. It's very suboptimal but can be very fast if the wiz is OP for that level.

Read:  Deadset's Guide Compendium for the New Season

Perendi – This is arguably the hardest RG because it requires the whole team to work. The best strategy is for the zbarb to pull adds to one place and the zmonk to keep them there with Cyclone Strike. This means you have to stack stricken without zmonk, which means you must be very good at dodging its attacks. When the time comes, you can either shoot from the other side (making sure there are absolutely no adds on your screen), or TP. If you use the TP strategy, you gotta shoot the moment it teleports to you, regardless of cycle. You can time it better by coordinating with the zbarb (i.e., have the zbarb town portal at the end of your cold cycle, so it teleports late physical/early poison).

4. Two Special Cases

Orlash spawns clones of itself that despawn after awhile. You just wait for them to despawn and shoot. It's pretty much a single-target RG.

Stonesinger spawns fissures that despawn after 12 seconds. You want to move 1 screen away, and make it run towards you. The moment it's away from its fissures, you shoot, and he will become single-target.

TP Strategy

The correct way to teleport a RG is for the zbarb to stay with the RG and its adds, and the rest of the team to go to the new location. The zbarb hit ignore pain and go back to town, causing the RG to teleport.

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