Path of Exile: How to Beat The Guardians

The Guardians are four of the toughest bosses leading up to The Shaper. This guide will help you easily defeat The Minotaur, Hydra, Phoenix, and Chimera in PoE.

The Keepers of the Keys, or The Guardians of the Void, are some of the most exciting new bosses in Path of Exile's recent content updates. These enemies stand between you and The Shaper, who is often regarded as the most difficult boss in the entire game.

Each of The Guardians holds a fragment of the key to The Shaper's realm. Defeating them will allow you to retrieve these fragments and come one step closer to facing off with PoE's most formidable foe. But doing so safely isn't easy if you go in unprepared. Luckily for you, we're here to help. 

In this guide, we'll show you how to approach each fight with the Guardians and what you need to do to prepare for these encounters. 

Beating The Minotaur in Path of Exile

The Minotaur has powerful attacks and several AoE moves at his disposal. He deals Physical and Lightning Damage, and he's immune to Stun, Bleeding, Chill, and Freeze.

His attacks break down as follows:

Attack Description
Melee Attack Deals Physical and Lightning Damage
Sweep Deals Physical and Lightning Damage
Overhead Slam AoE melee attack that deals Physical and Lightning Damage and creates a cave-in zone that lasts for 30 seconds (which spawns Stone Golems and falling rocks)
Burrow Dives underground and moves to target in a straight line, dealing Physical Damage in that line and unburrowing to deal Deadly Physical Damage in a small AoE
Lightning Barriers At 80%, 60%, 40%, and 20% Life, activates to deal Lightning Damage, Shock, and an attack, as well as casting Slow

Upon starting the fight, immediately watch for the Sweep, Overhead Slam, and Burrow attacks. They're very telegraphed and can be devastating if you're hit with them. As he begins spawning cave-ins, quickly move out of them. Remaining in a cave-in leaves you open a one-shot KO from the falling rocks. However, if you're heavy on Life Leech, you may be able to safely endure the hits.

You want to stay near enough to The Minotaur that he doesn't trigger a Burrow -- especially if you move a full screen away. If you do, he may Burrow and you won't be able to see it before it's too late.

As you kite through the fight, you're going to be activating Lightning Barriers that will force you into proximity with The Minotaur, so you'll want to be popping flasks whenever you can. If you ever have to pass through a Lightning Barrier, make sure The Minotaur is as far away from you as possible.

Beating The Hydra in Path of Exile

The Hydra has an assortment of Physical and Cold Damage attacks, many of which can Chill or Freeze. She's immune to Knockback, Poison, Chill, and Freeze.

Her attacks break down as follows:

Attack Description
Barrage Fires a fast succession of arrows that deal Physical and Cold Damage
Doom Arrow Fires an arrow into the air and a progression of explosions occur in a straight line in front of The Hydra, which deal Deadly Physical and Cold Damage
Fork Arrow Charges up to fire a single arrow that forks at a set distance to deal Deadly Physical and Cold Damage (300% of base)
Teleport Short Disappears and summons minions, which drop Cold Damage vortices upon dying before The Hydra reappears at a random location
Frostbolts Cold Damage projectiles that continuously fire from the sides of the arena in a random pattern and fire more frequently as The Hydra comes closer to death

This fight requires a lot of movement and awareness of your surroundings, and you want to stay near The Hydra (for melee and ranged attacks) so you can quickly run circles around her to dodge attacks. The further you move away, the harder it's going to be to dodge. She'll stay near to you, turning to fire Doom Arrows and Barrages. When she charges up to fire a Fork Arrow (a blue orb), be sure to move behind The Hydra.

You're going to need flasks with Chill and Freeze Immunity, because you can count on being hit by many Frostbolts and attacks from The Hydra. As long as you stay moving and weaving out of the way of Frostbolts, this fight shouldn't be too hard.

Beating The Phoenix in Path of Exile

The Phoenix deals massive amounts of Fire Damage with his attacks, some of which can Ignite. He's immune to Knockback, Ignite, Chill, and Freeze.

His attacks break down as follows:

Attack Description
Melee Attack Deals Fire Damage and can Ignite
Whirling Charge Locks onto a target, charges up, and spins to the target's original location, dealing Fire Damage multiple times throughout the attack's path
Fire Bomb the Phoenix brings his swords down into the ground, emitting a debuff that reduces the player's Fire Resistance by -50% before channeling to release a large Fire discharge
Resistance Debuff For every 10% of Life that The Phoenix loses, the player's maximum Fire Resistance is reduced by 1%
Add Spawn For every 10% of Life that The Phoenix loses, a phoenix will shoot fire projectiles at the player (and will respawn a few seconds after dying)
Fire Spout For every 10% of Life that The Phoenix loses, a fire spout deals Fire Damage in a small AoE as it travels around the arena (which lasts for a few seconds and are then replaced by another)

Unlike the other fights, you're safe to keep your standard engagement ranges throughout this one. Don't worry about being too close to The Phoenix. When the Phoenix goes to perform a Whirling Charge, be prepared to dodge left or right (or even behind the Phoenix) as quickly as you can. This attack can be devastating if you take a direct hit because it can damage you multiple times.

As The Phoenix begins to channel Fire Bomb, move as far away from him as possible. During that time, you can kill off some of the adds that have spawned. When The Phoenix is around 50% Life, you want to be sure you're utilizing a Ruby Flask, because you're going to be passively losing Fire Resistance as his health gets lower and lower. It's also extremely important to kill off add spawns because if you allow too many to spawn at once, you're going to get overwhelmed with damage and die. The lower The Phoenix gets on Life, the more you're going to want to sweep the area clean of add spawns.

Beating The Chimera in Path of Exile

The Chimera is the final and hardest of The Guardians. He deals heavy amounts of Physical Damage and there are multiple phases of the fight. He's immune to Knockback, Bleeding, Poison, Chill, and Freeze.

His attacks break down as follows:

Attack Description
Melee Attack Deals Physical Damage
Flicker Strike Picks a target location and flickers to it to deal Physical Damage
Flicker Lance Strikes the chosen target location and inflicts Bleeding (which lasts for 5 seconds)
Charge Attack Charges up and strikes several times, dealing 60% of the basic melee attack Physical Damage per hit
Combo Attack A red circle appears on the ground and anything within it will be struck, dealing 125% of The Chimera's base Physical Damage per attack
Hidden Attack Numerous smoke clouds appear, shrouding The Chimera within one of them, and the player must travel through the smoke clouds to find him as he does 80% of his base Physical melee attack to the player (which can't be evaded or dodged)
Add Phase For every 25% of Life The Chimera losses, he will retreat outside of the arena and release strong add waves from the three cages in the arena

This fight is very different from the rest of The Guardians. It consists of four boss phases and three add phases. The add phases end with an add boss that's just as dangerous as The Chimera himself.

You want to save your flasks for The Chimera's Charge and Hidden Attacks. The rest of his moves are pretty manageable and do not deal threatening damage. Always be sure to move out of the red circle when The Chimera forms his Combo Attack.

For every 25% of Life lost by The Chimera, you'll begin an add phase. During the add phase, move around from cage to cage to clear out the adds in small groups. After all three waves have been spawned and cleared, go to the bottom-right cage to spawn the boss add. Once the add phase is over, The Chimera will return to the arena and immediately go into a Hidden Attack. You want to urgently run through the smoke clouds to find him, because you'll be receiving a very deadly amount of damage until you do. This is one of the most dangerous parts of the boss phase.

You're going to repeat this same process over until you've passed three add phases. At that point, The Chimera will only have 25% Life remaining and you'll be able to finish him off. The add phases are quite difficult, though, so you'll need some additional information regarding these.

The Chimera Add Phases

Add spawns are homogeneous, meaning that whatever spawns during the add phase will be the one and only thing that spawns during that phase. These spawns can occur in any order during the encounter. Here are the unique add bosses that you'll face near the bottom-right cage during each phase:

Aspect of the Goat

Attack Description
Orb Projectile Constantly fires a single Physical Damage projectile
Physical Cascade A Physical Damage succession that can strike the target several times

Aspect of the Snake

Attack Description
Single Projectile Fires a single Chaos Damage projectile that can inflict Poison and leaves Desecrated Ground in its path
Multiple Projectiles Fires 4 Chaos Damage projectiles that can inflict Poison

Aspect of the Helion

Attack Description
Enrage Gains attack and movement speed, chasing the target and striking it with Physical Damage to apply Bleed
Fire Mortar Attacks with 3 Fire Damage projectiles with a varied spread

Again, take the add bosses just as seriously as The Chimera. You may even want to bring an Amethyst Flask to help deal with the Chaos Damage inflicted by Aspect of the Snake.


Enjoy these fights as you go through them, because they're cake compared to what you're going to go up against when you take on The Shaper. If you need any advice or help with taking down The Guardians, be sure to watch the video in the header or leave a comment below!

If you're looking for some great builds to head into these fights with, check out my article on Path of Exile 2.6 builds. Here are some other articles that can help you get started:

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Published Aug. 14th 2017

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