Dedicated to helping you conquer the Spiral

Highway to Hades

Highway to Hades

Jul 15, 2013

Each of the dungeons in Aquila has a level 90 side boss hidden within them. The side boss on Tartarus is Cronus. He’s so great for farming individually that we’ve given him his own guide here.

A note on wisps: There are wisps at the start of this dungeon, between the Death Satyr and Charon. There are also some around the death minotaur so you cna refresh yourself after his battle. However, there are none between Cerberus and Hades, so if you don’t want to have to run back to grab health after the Cerberus fight, remember to pack your potions. These will also come in handy if you choose to respawn Hades.


It's not as scary as it looks. Ok, yes it is, but we'll get you through it! Promise.

It’s not as scary as it looks.
Ok, yes it is, but we’ll get you through it! Promise.


Orpheus waits for you within the gates of Tartarus, fearful for his beloved Eurydice and needing some help to recover her. Being that you’re here and oh so powerful, guess who this task will fall to?

In order to start your journey to find Eurydice, you’ll need a guide to navigate through Hades, and the best candidate available is the Death Satyr. The death satyr, on the other hand, would prefer to take to you the lord of the underworld himself as a prize… so he’ll need some convincing to help you.






The death satyr doesn’t cheat at all, so take him on as you would a normal boss. After defeating him, he’ll help you into Hades. Or rather, he’ll direct you to someone else who can help you, the ferryman Charon. While you’re on your way down to Charon, take a minute as you work your way down the path to stop at the first landing and pick up this furniture item on the first landing.

It's tucked behind a tall statue of an Aquilan woman.

It’s tucked behind a tall statue of an Aquilan woman.


and this item, in the circle around the Bronze Hoplites just above Charon.

Be careful when grabbing this one; the Hoplites often get close to the edge of the circle, so make sure to stick right to the edge of the stone wall.

Be careful when grabbing this one; the Hoplites often get close to the edge of the circle, so make sure to stick right to the edge of the stone wall.


Charon would be happy to help you across the river… if you can help him build a new boat by collecting petrified wood. This petrified wood can be found scattered all over the area, so look in corners and follow crooked paths until you’ve tracked them all down.

If you’re having trouble finding the petrified wood, check out this quick video showing all their locations, as well as the housing items you can pick up along the way. If you’d rather not watch the video, scroll down to see a pictorial guide instead.

Here’s a quick picture and explanation to help you find all of the petrified wood.

1. On the path above & to the right of Orpheus
2. On the small island just before the bridge to the House of Faun
3. Just to the right of the door to the House of Faun
4. The first landing down the path beyond the House of Faun
5. In the back corner of the ruins, beyond the Doomed Bones
6. Up a small path just behind the Bronze Hoplites.




Be careful! There are mobs scattered in the areas near the wood, and they’re nothing to sneeze at. One petrified wood piece is hidden just behind the Doomed Bones, and one of them is hidden just behind the Bronze Hoplites, so be extremely cautious working your way around their circles to grab the wood pieces. You’ll have to run into the circle just a little bit in a few spots to get to the wood, and the minions can pull you in when you do that, so make sure the area is clear before you dart around the edges.



Speed run tip: As soon as you are done, fighting the death satyr, have one player run down to talk to Charon while another player runs back UP the path, to (and beyond) Orpheus. There are three petrified wood up this way, and running up there early will save you the time of running down to Charon and ALL the way back up again.

Once you’ve built your boat and gotten across the River of Souls to the Garden of Statues, you’ll need to take on the Death Minotaur.




Warning: this battle circle is farther away from the foot of the stairs than you might think. If you want to get everyone in on the first round, you’ll need to stand a bit closer to the minotaur in order to make it.

At the start of the fight (not as an interrupt but on his first turn) he will cast what appears to be a doom and gloom around the fight for no pips. This bubble actually doesn’t affect healing, but does increase death damage by 25%. You can knock out this bubble at any time and it will not be replaced. Just because the doom doesn’t affect healing doesn’t mean that healing is a great idea, though; every time someone casts a heal, the Death Minotaur will place a 75% death trap on whoever cast it. (Pet heals are exempt from this cheat.) Aside from this, he can also cast balanceblade and hex, so be prepared for hits that are a bit heavier than you might normally expect from a balance boss. Watch out for his 45% virulent plague as well.

For this boss, we recommend setting up for a one hit kill like a regular boss, and if your party needs healing, do a “victory heal” on the final round, the same round your hammer hits. That way, the boss doesn’t get the chance to take advantage of that uber death trap. Everyone should be prepared with cleanse charm in their sideboards; if you’re going second, it would be wise to have someone cleanse your hammer the round of the hit in case the minotaur decides to use virulent plague.

After you’ve faced the Death Minotaur (or before, if you don’t mind taking the risk of getting pulled in early), feel free to take a stroll around the garden of statues. It’s full of those who have ventured into Tartarus but been turned to stone by Stheno, the Gorgon.

Someone forgot to tell Stheno that it is a monstrous thing to slay a unicorn.

Someone forgot to tell Stheno that it is a monstrous thing to slay a unicorn.


Oh and by the way, now that you’ve defeated the Death Minotaur, you’re going to have to visit her next. No big deal, right?


Go on, you’ve Urned it.

After defeating the death minotaur, you’ll be able to enter the Temple of Longing where Stheno the Ophidian is mourning the loss of her favorite urn. You can either help her piece it back together…. or you can fight her for passage. Either way, you’ll need to work your way through some mazes in a crazy game of hide and seek to find the urn’s missing pieces.

Each teleporter leads to a different maze. Each maze has one urn piece and one liontail leaf.

Each teleporter leads to a different maze. Each maze has one urn piece and one liontail leaf.

Stheno’s puzzle includes finding your way through four of these mazes, each teleporter leading to one maze. Each maze holds one urn piece and one liontail leaf. Thankfully, the labels for each of these items are now high enough that you can see them over the walls, which will give you a bit of an idea as to where you want to head inside the maze.

Each maze has one urn piece hidden within in. The location of the urn piece appears to be random, changing each time you do the puzzle.

Each maze has one urn piece hidden within in. The location of the urn piece appears to be random, changing each time you do the puzzle.


Once you find the urn pieces within each maze, each piece will appear back at the foot on the teleporter to the maze in which is was found.

Once you’ve found all four pieces, you will need to put them back together in Stheno’s chamber in the proper order, or you will have to fight Sthenos. You will find the order in which you should repair the pieces written in Roman numerals on the base of each teleporter.

Greek mythology, but Roman numerals. Close enough?

Greek mythology, but Roman numerals. Close enough?


For those of you who don’t know how to read Roman numerals, this is the proper order in which to repair the urn pieces, as shown from behind Stheno.



If you don’t repair the urn pieces in the correct order, you’ll need to fight your way through Sthenos and her minion. While there are no cheats in this fight, her minions are fire and sure do love their efreet. If you’re not confident in your group’s ability to do this puzzle, you may wnat to make sure you have some cleanse handy in your sideboard before attempting it (she will pull you into the fight right from the middle of a maze if someone picks up a piece at the wrong time).


Once you’ve repaired the urn pieces (or defeated Stheno), she tells you that while she’ll give you pasage further into the temple, Cerberus stands between you and your goal, and that you’ll need to find some liontail leaves to calm him down. There’s one liontail leaf hidden within each maze, but you don’t need all four – one leaf will do just fine. I recommend getting the leaf from maze #4, it is generally the more straightforward to find your way through.

Speed run tip: Have one player stay inside their maze after picking up their urn piece and wait next to the liontail leaves. The others can assemble the urn pieces in Stheno’s chamber, and as soon as they are done, the player left in a maze can pick up the leaves and return to the main chamber withut having to redo the whole maze.


For some tips on getting through the mazes quickly, check out this video. We show you one of the more confusing mazes (maze 3) and give you some general advice to help you find your way faster.

At this point you can advance in to the next room and you get to meet Cerberus! No worries about him, he’s just a sweet cuddly little puppy who only wants his liontail leaves before a nice long nap.

Clearly, nothing to be scared of here.

Clearly, nothing to be scared of here.


Unfortunately as you can see, his subconscious isn’t nearly so gentle and loving, so you’ll need to take on the three floating heads of doom.


Cerberus’ Cheats

Cerberus has three heads. Please note that these are cheats have already been changed numerous times, and may be again. If you see anything different from what’s laid out here, please let me know so that I can keep this up to date.

I'm not quite sure what happened to his heads, but it looks painful.

I’m not quite sure what happened to his heads, but it looks painful.

Cheat #1 – Traps

The myth and balance heads will remove a trap every time you attempt to place on one him (with the exception of windstorm and pet traps, which will not be removed). This means that if you wish to place a feint, hex, curse, and school specific trap on either of these heads, you must place a myth dispel on them first. If you place a tri trap, only one of the three traps will be removed. Once these traps are up, they are there to stay until you use them up in an attack. They will never be cleansed off, even when these heads cleanse off their shields.

The fire head can be trapped at any time and also will never remove any traps, even when cleansing tower shields.

Cheat #2 -Shield Noobs (All or Nothing)

Please bear with me as I try to explain this, because this cheat can ge pretty detailed and confusing.

At the start of round one, the balance and myth heads will each put three 40% tower shields on themselves. The fire head does not get any tower shields at this point in time. These shields can be hit, shattered, or pierced off and will not be immediately replaced.

The balance head is straightforward. At the start of every fifth round, the balance head will cleanse and remaining shields and replace them with 3 new ones, without exception.

The Myth head, however, is trying to confuse you. Unlike the balance head, the myth head is not on a 5 round cheat cycle – he is on a ten round cycle, with different cheats on the “five” rounds and the “ten” rounds.

At the start of a cycle beginning on a “5” round (ie, in rounds 5, 15, 25, etc), the myth head will simply cleanse all of his remaining shields and then replace them on himself. However, at the start of a cycle beginning on a “10” round (ie, in rounds 10, 20, 30, etc), he will pass any shields that remain on him over to the fire head. If no shields remain on the myth head at the beginning of a 10 round, he will simply replace his own three shields. Should the fire head get myth’s “spare” shields, he will keep them for the duration of the new 5 round cycle. As with the other heads, you can pierce/shatter or hit them off of the fire boss as well. Never fear – he’s only inherited the myth’s spare tower shields, not the rest of his cheats. You can still trap the fire head without a dispel, even if he has a tower shield on him, and you still will NOT be able to trap the myth head even if he’s given all of his shields to fire. If any shields still remain at the end of this 5 round cycle, they will be cleansed off by the fire head and not replaced.

The shield cheat will stop once the fire head is defeated. When he is dead, the myth and balance heads will complete their current 5 round cycle. At the start of the next cycle they will remove their shields but will not replace them. (Exception: If you kill on the 4th round of the 5 round cycle, the shield refresh has already been triggered and they will still replace them the next round.  However, they will be permanently removed at the start of the next cycle.) From that point on, they will no longer put up new tower shields, although at the beginning of a new cycle they will remove any regular shields that the balance head may have put up during the course of play. They will continue to remove traps, however.

*Note: While we generally refer to it as a 5 round cycle, the first cycle is technically only 4 rounds since it goes from round 1-4 instead of round 0-5.*

Cheat #3 – Guard Me!

If there are ANY tower shields remaining on ANY heads, the heads will react if they are hit without being killed. When a head is hit (even if it is not one that currently has a tower shield on it), if it survives the attack, it will shout



at which point the other two heads will “protect” him by attacking two random people in your group. These attacks deal a range of damage, seemingly anwhere from 500-600 damage each. If you attack one head, it will activate a guard dog attack from the other two heads. Be extremely wary of doing group attacks while there are still shields up! Each head will then shout “GUARD ME!”, and since each heads shouts it (triggering two cheat attacks per cry for help), it will result in a total of SIX ATTACKS on random members of your team if all 3 heads live. That’s a lot of damage, so if you’re going for group attacks, eiher make sure all of the shields are first removed, or aim to kill. Interesting note on death drains: The “guard me” cheat is only triggered by attack spells. Many death spells are technically considered DRAINS rather than attacks, and as such will not activate this cheat.

You may have noticed I said “while there are shields up” a few times in there. If you have removed all the tower shields from all of the heads, you can attack freely with no consequences until the 5 round cycle has restarted and the shields are replaced.


Cerberus Strategy

To check out how we take on this battle in 4 rounds and get some helpful advice, feel free to watch our short Cerberus video guide.


There are two main methods for fighting Cerberus:

1. Take out all the bosses at once. For this method, trap all three heads early on. Take the time to get at least two stacking feints up on each boss, which will involve a LOT of myth dispels. You can choose to either use spears to help overcome the resist of the multiple tower shields, or try to time a shatter for each of the bosses appropriately so that you don’t need to worry about hitting through a shield. The set up for this method can be time consuming, especially given that one of the heads is myth and can earthquake. It’s very important that if you try this method without first removing the tower, your attack must be strong enough to kill…. if it isn’t, the “Guard Me!” cheat will inflict not one but SIX cheat attacks on your team.

2. Take out the heads one at a time. Since the bosses are different schools, you can set different members of your group up to attack different heads that they will be most effective against. We recommend taking out the fire head first, since he is the simplest (given that you can trap him and he will have no shields if you leave the other bosses alone). After the fire boss dies, the myth and balance heads will remove their towers when the nextcycle begins, making them easier to kill. If you choose to kill them one at a time, you may want to focus on the myth head simply so that you no longer have to worry about earthquake. Saving balance for last is a simple solution, since he does not hit as hard as the other two heads anyway, which will leave your team relatively safe and perhaps even give you some time to heal up.

Once your team has defeated Cerberus (Cerberuses? Cerberusi? ) , you’ll gain access to Hades’ inner sanctum and your final battle! Prepare yourself, because Hades has some friends with him, and they’ve got a bit of a grudge against you.

Those guys should look pretty familiar by now.

Those guys should look pretty familiar by now.


Cheats in the Hades Fight

All bosses in this fight are immune to beguile. Poseidon and Zeus are stunnable.

Each boss will gain an additional power pip the round after the cast their natural attack.

For Hades
  • Hades uses slightly more powerful utility spells than normal. His curse is 25%, and his virulent plague is 45%.
  • Hades’ natural attack is an 4 pip attack that deals 400 base damage to all players and places a 3-tick heal over time spell on himself. He uses this spell frequently, but without pattern or consistency.
  • Every fifth round he will cast a 0 pip damage over time spell on one player in the battle. This spell will last for 3 turns and does approximately 600 base damage per tick. This spell is not cast as an interrupt but on his natural turn. This attack currently has no animation other than Hades’ casting of the death school symbol, so it’s easy to miss. When the first tick hits (not at the time of  casting but when the damage is dealt) Hades will shout “The Sands of Time Are Running Out!”
  • If a member of your team dies, he will shout “Ahh, The Glorious Taste of Defeat!” and cast group heal over time spells  on every enemy currently in the battle. The heal does a total of 1890 healing altogether (630 per tick). How many time he casts this heal will depend on how many bosses are still alive in the battle. If Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are all still alive, he will cast this spell three times, once for each boss, leading to a total of 5670 deal for each boss! If Hades and only one other boss are alive, he will cast the group heal twice, leading to a total heal of 3780 per boss. If only Hades is alive, he will only cast the healing spell once. If all three bosses are still alive this means that there will be NINE total heals, and therefore this cheat is not practical to dispel off. This cheat is only activated if a player is killed when the spell is cast. IE, if a player is killed by a tick from a damage over time spell, it will not activate Hades’ cheat.

Both Zeus and Poseidon continue to use the same cheats they did in their own respective dungeons. This means that:

For Poseidon
  • He has an ice mastery and he’s not afraid to use it. You’re likely to see more frost demons (which puts up a balefrost as an after effect) and frost giants than storm spells.
  • If you try to direct a single target ward or charm (such as traps, dispels, weakness, black mantle, etc) at Poseidon, he will do a natural attack which will remove it and hit you with a storm attack for your efforts while shouting “You Seek to Weaken Me? Drink From the Depths!” Single target attacks are exempt from this cheat unless they have an after effect – ANY after effect, even if the effect does not touch Poseidon. This means Dr Von’s monster, efreet, sabertooth, and MANY of the crafted spells are all triggers for his cheat.
  • There is no way to stop him from removing traps. All three portions of a tri-trap will be removed.Pet traps and are (thankfully) the only exemption from this cheat. If you must prism, you will have to use a MASS prism rather than a single target one. Be aware that sometime he will use his natural attack on a player as a regular spell in the course of a battle, and at that point will remove any traps or prisms that you have managed to sneak onto him up until that point. In other words, if you’re going to try to sneak on a pet trap or mass prism, it’s best to do so directly before your hit.
  • Poseidon will shout “We immortals are infallible!” at some point during a round in which he chooses to play an infallible aura. There does no appear to be any consistency to how often he will use this aura.
For Zeus
  • He has a storm mastery and looooooves to tempest. (Thankfully he does not seem to know Sirens.)
  • If you use any spell that is 6 pips or greater, he will attack you with a minotaur while shouting “You Hesitate Too Much!”. This applies to both attacks and heals. X-pip spells will trigger the cheat if they are played with 6 pips or more (ie, a 5 pip tempest would not trigger the cheat while a 7 pip judgment would). The trigger spell does not need to be directed at Zeus in order for the cheat to be activated.

A note on farming: if you’d like to make Hades respawn for double the chance at his gear, try the following:
1. Mark location in Hades’ chamber before beginning the fight.
2. Kill Hades FIRST, and kill him ALONE. Leave the other two alive.
3. Once Hades is dead, have someone flee the battle, port back in to their mark, and rejoin the battle.
4. Kill Poseidon and Zeus.
5. Watch Hades reappear and fight him again!







Hades fight Strategy

The strategy for this fight is quite simple, but given the bosses high health it can take quite a while. With any strategy, be prepared with cleanse charms in your sideboard as Hades likes to use that 45% virulent plague of his.

If you are not using a storm hammer:
  • Buff up for a one hit kill on Hades and Zeus with plenty of traps and blades (this should make a decent dent in Poseidon as well). Trap these two bosses first, and blade when Zeus is low on pips. By killing in one hit, you don’t have to worry about his heal over time spells. He won’t have any damage to heal off because you’re doing it all at once, and even if he does have a heal over time spell currently on his when you attack, it will not heal him back after he dies. Blade up as much as you can and use an attack aura; the more blades you get on, the more likely you are to kill Poseidon along with Zeus and Hades.
  • If there is a member on your team that is close to dying before you are ready to kill Hades, either heal them up before you attack so that there is no danger of your teammate dying, or make sure that your attack is strong enough to kill Hades. If your cards are against you and you can only set up to kill one boss at a time, kill Hades first so that you no longer need to worry about the healing issue.
  • Once Hades and Zeus are dead, hammer away at Poseidon with lots of well-bladed attacks. In this instance he is actually quite similar to Morganthe except that you can use larger attacks (although of course be wary of attack with single target after effects). Don’t forget reshuffle! Given how much health you need to chip away at, you may need to get those cards back later to attack again.
If you are using a storm hammer:

There are a few ways to approach this fight with a storm hammer, but we have had the greatest success with the following:

  • Early on, place a myth prism on Zeus (changes myth damage to storm damage). Myth prism treasure cards are readily available in the bazaar.
  • Blade up heavily (if you want a storm hammer for this fight we highly recommend taking along a balance who has also trained sharpen blade with you), and feint Hades and Zeus at least once each, preferably twice.
  • Play mass prism just before the hit. If you mass prism early, Poseidon may do a natural attack on his turn which will remove your prism.
  • Fire away with a heavily bladed storm attack. The mass prism will cause Poseidon not to resist the storm hit, but the addition myth prism on Zeus (as long as it was placed before the mass prism), will convert the damage on him back to storm damage to allow for a clean hit.
If you want to respawn Hades:
  • Have everyone mark location in Hades’ chamber before beginning the fight. Choose who will be the one to flee after Hades dies (this cannot be your Zeus/Poseidon hammer). Try to do this without bickering about it, if that’s humanly possible. You’ll want everyone to mark location, just in case someone loses connection, your chosen person decides to be obnoxious and refuse to flee, etc. It’s always a good idea to have a back up plan.
  • Set up two hammers – one to take out Hades with a single target attack, and one to take out Posiedon and Zeus.
    Feint Hades asap with as many stack feints as you can get up. Take advtange of the fact that you can trap him to take him out fast. Ideally, with enough feints, try to take him out before turn 5 when he will do his cheat DoT attack on someone (you also want him dead asap to hopefully avoid those annoying viruleny plagues). Pretty much any school can make an effective and fast hammer at Hades. To take him out quickly, you may want to put some buffs for this hammer in your sideboard so that you don’t waste a turn because you can’t find anything useful.
  • While your Hades hammer is setting up, have your Poseidon and Zeus hammer blade themselves in preparation for their own attack.
  • Once Hades is dead, have your chosen member flee the fight on the following turn, drink a potion (or grab some mana) and port right back in to rejoin the fight.
  • Help set up your secondary hammer, mostly with blades, bubbles, and an aura (to ensure they kill Poseidon, who cannot be trapped). Kill the remaining two bosses.
  • Once your fight is done, Hades will reappear. Set up your Hades hammer again and finish him off a second time for double drops!


Feel free to check out our Hades video, which shows a combination of the respawn method and storm hammer method. (Warning: this video contains the AC/DC song Highway to Hell. I am giving you warning ahead of time so you can mute the video at 2:20 if this may offend you.)

Once you’ve completed this fight, you’ll be freed from Tartarus! You’ll want to head a little bit to the left and pick up your new mural as well.

Hades "The Unseen" as a mural seems like a bit of a contradiction.

Hades “The Unseen” as a mural seems like a bit of a contradiction.


Once you’ve completed this fight, you’ll be freed from Tartarus! Unfortunately the gods (or the designers) seem to have forgotten completely about poor Eurydice and we never do find out what happened to her… but even the gods admit you put up a good fight! Overall, the enemies in this dungeon hit hard (make sure you’ve got decent critical block!) and like to cause problems with earthquake, efreet, trap removal, etc, which makes for long fights, but with perserverance you’ll make it through!

*Shout out to Cret92, Aeneas, Sheldon Cooper, and of course the M4H team for figuring all this out with me. This is more a group effort than my own and I don’t want to be the only one getting the credit for all the work. :)  *

  • Hunter Moonhammer

    Great guide Katherine! 😀 This sure will help out!

  • torre

    Alexander lionheart was able to do alllllll of this solo O. O

  • Jacob Moonblood

    Hi guys! So soon I will be trying my hand at Tartarus! But I will most likely have to double box it alone, so I was wondering If you guys had any tips or tricks! Oh and are there any TC’s I could bring to make my life easier! The two wizards would be life and storm! they wear Azteca crafted robe, block boots, WW hat, and a high block wand!
    Thanks in advance! You guys rock! :)

  • Jacob Moonblood

    I am posting this because 2 or 3 days ago I posted something here but its nowhere to be seen and it doesn’t say its being moderated. If there’s anything I did wrong let me know! :)

    • mercs101

      Hi Jacob! It’s not you. We’ve set up a new comments system and while it’s mostly great, it sometimes fails to notify us when we have new comments to approve. Both of yours have gone through now, sorry for causing you worry!

  • Jacob Moonblood

    I am sorry if you see everyone of these, but every time I post something for a while it will say its being moderated then that will disappear and my message will never show up. Is there something I’m doing wrong! I’m really sorry if I seem like a nuisance, I’m just curious whats happening.

  • Jacob Moonblood

    Thanks for letting me know! :)

  • benjamin stormblades

    on the hades respawn thing here is a question

    the person that flee’s after hades dies will he get credited for beating hades (get hades gear) or will he not be credited for hades?