You wouldn’t think there would be much to do as a collared slave on an island prison camp, but the first act of Divinity: Original Sin 2 is absolutely packed with hidden quests and difficult battles.
While stumbling around Fort Joy looking for a way to escape imprisonment, you may have noticed a small cellar door found near crime boss Griff and the imprisoned elf Amryo.
Down in that cellar lies the Arena Of The One, where religious fanatics endlessly battle each other to find the One true master of combat. Perhaps that One could actually be you?
Her’s how to find out.
Preparing For The Fort Joy Arena
Before you even attempt the arena battle, you want to be at least third level and have a full party of four characters as the contingent of level three gladiators found here will wipe the floor with a low-level party that isn’t well equipped.
Everyone should have all of their armor slots filled (pants, gloves, boots, helmet, chest, and when possible, magic rings). If you haven’t found enough equipment lying around while exploring, you can buy some better gear from the lizard in the caverns or complete a few quests that provide bonus items and experience.
One of the easiest to complete is The Shakedown, since you just have to talk to Elodi at the front of the fort while she’s being intimidated by thugs — and then follow her into the cavern to wrap up the quest. I also recommend taking on the three giant crocodiles on the western beach to get the teleportation gloves.
Once you’re ready, simply entering the arena gives you 300 XP and starts a new quest. Before taking on the arena combat, though, be sure to check the side rooms and loot all the vases for gold and crafting items. Each of the combatants also has items to sell, which you should check before hand, with Thora having a useful nailbomb grenade for sale.
Even if you don’t buy anything, make sure to talk to Mia. During your dialog exchange, admit you are no battle-hardened warrior and then ask about The One. If you tell her you believe in her faith, she will give whichever character is talking a Magic Shell buff that increases magic armour. (You can actually swap characters and repeat this process for every party member, which I highly recommend doing if you want to survive.)
Finally, make sure to save before telling Thora you are ready to battle, because you can only do this once.
There are four primary enemies with a wide range of skills who will hit you at range, in close combat, and apply plenty of status effects if you aren’t paying attention to your armour level. The enemies are:
- Veerle, the Avid One, who attacks with a crossbow and can teleport.
- Rex, the dog, who has 20% resistance to all elemental effects, extremely high physical armour, and attacks with melee abilities.
- Ailsa, the Cultured One starts on scaffolding for high-ground advantage and will heal other party members, cast buff spells, and Fossil Strike your team from long range. She’s the real threat, as she can quickly move behind a wall to get out of range of your attacks.
- Gedeon, the Tenacious One will use Encourage and Crippling Blow against anyone with low physical armour. Taking him down with fire or poison effects should be a priority as he will impair the mobility of your team.
All of the enemies have robust physical and magical armour, meaning you have to whittle those armour ratings down before you can actually hurt them. Most have 30-41 points in physical armour and 12-17 points in magic armour, so skills that strike magic armour first will be more effective at killing the gladiators.
The reverse is true of Ailsa, who has 39 points in magic armour and 17 points in physical armour. Teleporting a backstabbing rogue behind her on the scaffolding can be a devastating tactic here, as Ailsa is the biggest threat.
Winning The Divinity: Original Sin 2 Arena Battle
Warfare and physical-based skills like Battle Stomp aren’t that helpful because of the tough physical armour of many enemies. Their knockdown effects won’t trigger until very late in the battle, although you may want a skill like this in reserve for taking down Ailsa.
Instead, its better to use magic spells to whittle down magic armour, then hit your enemies with magic status effects such as stun or blind. At this early stage in the game, when your skills are limited, I’ve found these to be the most effective:
- Lizard’s racial fire breath ability
- Electric Discharge and Blinding Radiance (Aerothurge)
- Fossil Strike and Poison Dart (Geomancer)
- Searing Daggers (Pyrokinetic) and the Fireball scroll found on the boat
Because magical armour is the lowest for most of the combatants, don’t discount polymorphing abilities or using summoning spells for extra firepower if your main character took either of those spell schools.
You also need to keep your party alive, and to that end make sure you have either Fortify (Geomancer) or First Aid (Huntsman) to remove burning, as the battlefield will quickly become engulfed in flames.
The Opportunist talent is also helpful as the gladiators change position frequently around the battlefield. Anything that recovers your two armour ratings will be furthermore useful mid-combat.
Set your Huntsman or ranged spellcaster up on the scaffolding to hit from afar, then go to work casting spells or backstabbing as appropriate to win the battle. Make sure to work your way towards the other side so you can get up and fight Ailsa in melee on her wooden platform.
Your party will likely have to reload and do this battle more than once even if you are prepared. I only won by the skin of my teeth with Ifan at 1 hit point and three other characters all dead when I finally took down the final arena fighter in my first attempt.
Winning the fight unlocks the Gladiator achievement, and everyone is resurrected at the end, so don’t worry about using resurrection scrolls during the combat unless you need a full party to finish the battle.
Make sure to talk to Thora to complete the arena quest and get a piece of magic armor as a reward. After leaving the arena through the cellar door, the blacksmith Nebora — found near the front of Fort Joy — will also remove your collar after you win the arena.
This nifty bonus finally lets your main character access Source abilities and can also lead to an escape route if you talk to a Magister and have them throw you in the jail for breaking your collar.
Did you manage to beat the Fort Joy Arena Of The One battle with any other tactics? Let us know your best strategy in the comments below!
If you’re looking for more tips on this massive fantasy game, be sure to check out our full list of Divinity: Original Sin 2 guides to get the most out of your role-playing experience:
- Divinity Original Sin 2: Escaping Fort Joy
- Divinity Original Sin 2: Artefacts of the Tyrant Guide
- Divinity Original Sin 2: Black Cat Secrets Revealed
- Divinity Original Sin 2 Character Creation Guide
- Divinity Original Sin 2: Skill Crafting Combinations and Book Vendors
- Divinity Original Sin 2: Complete Crafting Recipes Guide