Boss Modifier Guide at DiabloWiki.Net – Part 2

diablo 3 boss modifiers

All twenty-five DiabloWikiBoss Modifier articles have now been updated with details, strategies, screenshots, and videos showing off all of the monster modifiers in Diablo III. Part One went up a few days ago with some of the pages not quite ready for primetime. They’re all good now, with screens, strategies, and videos for every boss modifier, plus all sorts of miscellaneous tidbits of info.

The main Boss Modifiers article has quick descriptions of every modifier, plus other useful boss modifiers info, including details about which mods can not spawn together on the same monster, and more. There’s even a section covering removed boss modifiers; ones that were seen in Blizzcon demos or discussed by the devs that aren’t in the final game. These include Stone Skin and Multishot (Bashiok forum posted about MSLE in 2010, so it was a fairly recent removal), and yes, it seems weird to have a Diablo game without them.

Here’s the full listing, sorted by their spawning types/rules, since Blizzard just released that info a few days ago and it was easy to miss. The following lists show the limitations of their spawning; only one modifier from the first two groups can be on each boss or champion pack, while up to 4 from the last group can be on the same boss. If someone clever with math wants to calculate the possible different combinations (remember that 3 mods are Champion only and 3 are Boss only) post your results here; I’d like to include that info in the wiki.

Strong CC (Limit 1)Defensive (Limit 1)Aggressive (No Limit)


While researching and writing all those wiki pages, I hit upon a number of questions that I can’t answer yet, but that might come clear with some input from the community.

1) What skills and runes break DiabloWikiJailer and DiabloWikiWaller? Both those articles have extensive lists, but as I have not tested every single skill and rune effect in the entire game, I’m sure there are some exceptions and additions needed; especially when it comes to which skills can penetrate the Waller walls.

2) Can multiple types of ground AoE damage stack? Say a boss has Molten, Desecrator, and Plagued. What happens on the ground? Molten spreads everywhere behind the monster, but if they cast a Desecrator or Plagued, do those remove the Molten? Or stack on top of it? Can you get all 3 stacked in the same spot?

3) How long does the Shielding property last on and off? In my observations it’s quite variable, and especially if you get a Champion pack there’s nothing like a uniform, A, B, C, D sequence of who has the shield at which time. But perhaps there’s a sequence or trigger I’ve yet to discern?

4) Does Extra Health factor into the hit points of Illusionist duplicates? Do they have 50% more hit points than normal Illusionists? Lorieninfl points out in comments that these are both Defensive type, and thus can not spawn on the same monster.

5) I’d like to compile a list of all the random Boss Modifiers that show up on Elites. Elites have a lot of special modifiers, but lots of Elites get regular mods also, either right from the start or added for Hell/Inferno. DiabloWikiCaptain Daltyn with his Frozen is the first one, and Maghda always has Shielding with a modified active timer, but there are plenty more. DiabloWikiThe Warden gets Molten on Hell, DiabloWikiSiegebreaker gets Damage Reflection on Hell, etc.

5.1) Lots of Elites have special properties that only they possess. (All are listed, though not yet detailed, in the Boss Modifiers navigation.) You see this with all of the Act Bosses, but on a lot of the other quest bosses and even on the super-rare Elites. Might we see some of those properties put into the general monster population in the future? Imagine random bosses with DiabloWikiAzmodan‘s Cutting Laser, or DiabloWikiMaghda‘s Moth Dust, or DiabloWikiGhom‘s Acid Slime, or DiabloWikiCydaea‘s Spider Pits?

Update: Lots of comments on DiabloWikiWaller and DiabloWikiJailer vs. skills, but nothing added yet that wasn’t already in the articles. So for people who won’t click the links, here’s the known info — much of the “skills go through wall” stuff is educated guesswork and needs testing. (Things have changed — Evasive Fire penetrated Waller until v1.03.)

Click through for the current list:


A number of skills break DiabloWikiJailer, and some move within it, allowing mobility but not escape. See the wiki article for more details.

Barbarian Skills

  • Dashing Strike, Leap, and Wrath of the Berserker will break out out Jailer. A Barbarian in WotB form can not be jailed.
  • Sprint does not break Jailer.

Demon Hunter Skills

  • Smoke Screen breaks the jail when cast.
  • Vault and Evasive Fire do not move or break the jail.

Monk Skills

  • Serenity grants “immunity to all control-impairing effects” including Jailer. It breaks jails and prevents them from forming.
  • Seven Sided Strike escapes the jail.
  • Dashing Strike will not break the jailer, but the Monk will teleport to the target, the jail moving with him.
  • Thunderclap rune in Fists of Thunder provides a sort of teleport to the first targeted enemy, and can break the jailer effect.
  • Tempest Rush does not break out of the jail or make the Monk immune to being jailed.
  • All of the Monk’s protection abilities also work while jailed, so the class can shield and defend as necessary.

Witch Doctor skills

  • Spirit Walk allows the Witch Doctor to pass right through the Jail.
  • All pets can be summoned while jailed, and will appear outside the jail and move normally. Pets will be caught in jails if they are active when the jail is cast.

Wizard skills

  • Archon will break out of the jail, and a Wizard in Archon form can not be jailed.
  • Mirror Image breaks the jail effect.
  • Teleport does not break out of jail, but moves the Wizard with the jail remaining around her.


DiabloWikiWaller is a lot more complicated that Jailer. Only a very few movement skills allow players to pass over walls, but lots of skills allow you to hit monsters on the other side of the walls, especially if the monster is within melee range and just on the other side of the wall.

Moving Through Walls

Barbarian Skills:

  • Leap will hop over the walls effortlessly.

Demon Hunter Skills:

  • None. Neither Vault, Smoke Screen, nor the backflip from Evasive Fire will pass over or through the walls.

Monk Skills:

  • Seven Sided Strike can be used to hit targets over walls. No other Monk skills can move past walls.

Witch Doctor Skills:

  • None. Spirit Walk can not pass through the walls.

Wizard Skills:

  • Teleport can be used to pass Walls without hindrance.

Shooting/Hitting Over Walls

Barbarian Skills

Many Barbarian melee attacks will hit enemies directly on the other side of a wall.

  • Ancient Spear and Weapon Throw are blocked by walls.
  • Many AoE attacks and effects will work through the walls, including Seismic Slam, Earthquake, Ground Stomp.
  • Most Shouts will pass through walls to their usual area of effect, including Threatening Shout, Battle Rage, and War Cry.

Demon Hunter Skills

The vast majority of Demon Hunter projectile attacks are blocked by walls. Attacks that are stuffed by waller include: Hungering Arrow, Entangling Shot, Bola Shot, Grenades, Impale, Rapid Fire, Chakram, Elemental Arrow, Fan of Knives, Sentry, Strafe, and Multishot.

  • Evasive Fire shot past Waller walls prior to v1.0.03. It no longer does, though it can still be used to partially bypass walls at diagonal angles that direct projectiles can’t.
  • The “death from above” rune effects in Cluster Arrow and Rain of Vengeance will pass over walls.

Monk Skills

  • All Monk movement skills and dashing attacks, including Thunderclap, Dashing Strike and Tempest Rush are blocked by Waller, though many Monk attacks (sometimes depending on weapon range) can hit enemies on the other side of a single wall.
  • Deadly Reach’s projected waves will pass through walls normally.
  • Seven-Sided Strike can be used normally against enemies on the other side of a wall.
  • Party buffing or monster debuffing Mantra effects will extend beyond walls.

Witch Doctor Skills

Witch Doctors fare well against Wallers, since many of their projectiles are thrown in an arc and thus pass over the walls without hindrance.

  • Blocked by walls: Poison Dart, Plague of Toads, Firebats, Haunt, Locust Swarm, Zombie Charger, Wall of Zombies
  • Not blocked by walls: Corpse Spiders, Firebomb, Rain of Toads, Grasp of the Dead]], Spirit Barrage, Acid Cloud.
  • The AoE of Soul Harvest, Mass Confusion, and Horrify will extend past walls.
  • Sacrifice will detonate Mongrels on the other side of walls.

Wizard Skills

Most Wizard projectiles are blocked by walls, though summoning attacks and death from above spells can be cast normally over the walls.

  • Blocked by walls: Magic Missile, Shock Pulse, Electrocute, Energy Twister, Ray of Frost, Arcane Orb, Disintegrate, Familiar’s projectiles, Frost Nova, Explosive Blast.
  • Not blocked by walls: Spectral Blade, Wave of Force, Hydra (can be summoned past walls, though walls block their shots), Meteor, Blizzard, Arcane Torrent, Slow Time.
  • Archon form can not move through walls, but the Disintegration Wave attack passes through them freely. (While regular Disintegrate does not.)

As I said in the intro, I haven’t personally tested every single one of these in v1.03, so corrections or additions are welcome.

Related to this article
  • Boss Modifier Guide at DiabloWiki.Net – Part 1

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    66 thoughts on “Boss Modifier Guide at DiabloWiki.Net – Part 2

    1. “Demon Hunter Skills:
      None. Neither Vault, Smoke Screen, nor Evasive Fire will pass over or through the walls.”

      I can confirm this. Usually the smart AI will let you escape using vault even if it needs to do some more intricate maneuvers but I’ve had cases where walls are cast twice in a matter of milliseconds and pretty much on top of each other like an ‘X’ shape preventing you from anything but Smoke Screen spam, praying to endure and cursing the developers for thinking of such a broken skill.

    2. If you are currently Vaulting you are immune to jail and vortex but if you’re caught by it already it won’t let you break out midway through. Wrath of the Berserker and Serenity grant immunity to jail and will break an active jail. Teleport will let you escape, Fists of Thunder will let you teleport but the jail will move with you.

    3. To 5.1, I’d like to see documentation of the various curses that can be put on your character. Often I see them hovering over my action bar in the middle of a fight and I’m not gonna bother to check what it’s doing to me because I’m too busy trying not to get killed. Those enslaved-mage demons in Act 4 cast several curses, and Diablo does as well. I’m still not even sure what the curse Succubi use actually does.

      • The succubes give an armor debuff to monk and barb and increase resource cost of spells for range characters.

    4. Elites are any monsters with special properties, including champions, superuniques, and rares. This is how it is tracked through stats in the game, and also even item affixes.

      I don’t think anything can get you out of the walls but leap attack may be an exception. More often than not, you get actually stuck IN the wall so it’s irrelevant anyway because it’s broken as hell.

      Ground AoE certainly stacks. I’m interested to know where this information came from about how they separate the affixes into types because that makes no sense at all, the way they did it. Edit: Saw the blue post in the boss mod entry, god that’s retarded.

      • For his last question and it’s sub-question, I think he meant “uniques.” From what I understood, champions are blue, elites are yellow, and uniques are purple.

        • no, elites really are all of them. as tracked through game, and through reduction of what the colors of monsters were always called in d2. champions are blue, rares are yellow, super unique is purple, elite is any of them.

          • Right. I only make sure to note that when I can because of item affixes that reduce damage done from elites, or increase damage done to elites. I think it is an important distinction to make.


          If we take the official nomenclature from a blue post in 2010, they’re Champions, Rares, and Uniques. Thus “Boss” or “Elite” is a generic term for any monster type larger than normal.

          This has problems, since “rares” are the dominant item type in D3, and I have yet to see anyone use “Unique” to mean “purple named monster,” rather than “disappointing orange item type.” I personally favor Boss for the generic term as we’re all used to that from past games, and Elite = purple name. The problem then is that most people use boss as the term for the yellow named monsters with minions.

          Hence there’s always going to be some confusion about what means what for players, since we’ve got 2 terms for monsters overlapping awkwardly with terms used for items.

          • It is awkward. I thought about that when I made the elite entry on the wiki so I just referred to them as rare elites. Which means that I now always refer to items as rare item type, or rare items. I dunno.

            “Boss” does fit better though, since it’s a monster who is bossing around minions, basically, which is their dynamic when compared to champions who all use teamwork.

            • I wrote a short and slightly absurd article about this to post tomorrow. I’ll try to work a vote into it also so we can measure fan disinterest… I mean preference for monster classification names.

    5. 4) is no. Illusions don’t get the extra health. They don’t get any special abilities, even the ones innately on the mob. Ninja naga illusions do not disappear when you get out of melee range.

      • Extra health and illusionists are both from the defensive category so you are limit to 1 of them , according to this list you will never have extra health and illusionist together.

    6. Monk:
      Fist of Thunder: Thunderclap rune teleports you to the next target. Its a little tricky, but you can use it on a target that is not in melee range to teleport (and break jail)

      Sweeping Wind damages trough walls

      If you are already on Plague ground, you can in addition get desecration
      If you stay on the same spot and enemy cast plague, he can cast more than one and you don’t sse it (beside of the increase damage you get), so start kiting after a coupple of seconds if enemy is not dying in the next seconds.

      • A lot of stuff can do damage through the walls. Most melee attacks can. Overflow from stuff like grasp of the dead or blizzard can as well if you cast it right at the face of the wall.

    7. For waller effects, I thought I read somewhere that Evasive Fire does shoot through walls. I’ve been using evasive fire a lot when dealing with wallers. I’m pretty sure I see the monster’s HP doing down.

      Also I’ve been using multishot for wallers. I think it works because in the animation, the multishots actually goes through the wall, whereas other skills (say bola shots) do not. Again I think I see the monster’s HP go down.

      I think that both evasive fire and multishot are worth testing to see if they actually pass wallers.

      • Evasive Fire used to pass through walls but that was fixed in 1.03. Maybe, they changed it again, I haven’t tried Evasive Fire since then.

        • This is correct. EF used to shoot over walls, but playing the last week I’ve noticed that it no longer does. It can be good kind of diagonally past walls where other projectiles wouldn’t work, but if there’s a solid wall between you and the target, no hits from Evasive Fire.

          Which is lame, since DHs are already the class most screwed by walls, lacking any useful damage reduction skills and no way to leap or teleport over walls.

          walls also block all other direct DH projectiles, including all the elemental arrow types, MS, hungering arrow, etc. The only way to shoot past them that I know is with the death from above, via Rain of Vengeance or some of the rune effects in Cluster Arrow. All this and much more is detailed in the waller article.

    8. I have personally suffered through an elite pack that had BOTH Invulnerable Minions AND Shielding. So i could only damage the named elite periodically while his minions wailed away on me. Luckily i was farming in Act 1 and could tank the damage, but anyway, it IS possible to get two defensive bonuses.

      No picks = no proof, but i know what i saw.

      • Yeah, I’ve definitely had Vampiric Avenger packs, and Vampiric Extra Health too. Again, no pics as proof, but I’m wondering if that statement about them only having one from the CC and defensive lists is not correct.

        • Or if it is more recent than the encounters you mentioned. I think I even have a video of me fighting an invulnerable shielding pack in inferno.
          Edit: Nope, I was wrong. Didn’t spawn with both.

        • As Bliz just released that list a couple of days ago, it’s probably new or tweaked for v1.03 and in previous patches different mods could stack on the same boss?

    9. You might also elaborate question 1 by asking which skills break frozen and which skills are useable while you are frozen ( but dont break it )

      Regarding question 4 – It is not possible to get Extra health and Illusionist.

    10. Barbarian’s Wrath of the Beserker has immunity to all CC including Jailer and Frozen. You can also cast it while frozen or jailed to break it or just use it and be immune for the 15sec of its uptime. Waller is still a block to you since well it is a wall 🙂

      • Yeah, WotB is way more amazing than I initially gave it credit for. Funny enough, it’s a stupendously powerful ability that I completely ignored until inferno. I swapped out earthquake for WotB when I had to get a bit more defensive in Act II.

        • WotB is my absolute favorite skill in the game. It is like 15sec of god mode and the ultimate pack killer. With my dual wield spec I hit 140k dps with WotB w/ insanity. And is easily the #1 reason I like playing a barb.

          • Really wish they would add sometging similar to the DH

            Shadow power should really be in the same vein

    11. I’ve also had a pack with shielding and invulny minions. I wondered how that happened when I read the boss affix article that Blizzard posted but I know I had it.

      Also, someone mentioned that illusions don’t get the abilities but I think that they do. It seems like molten illusionists do their split and suddenly you’re surrounded by fire. I also notice a lot more freeze bombs in the frozen/illusionist packs and limbo disco lines of doom in the AE/illusion groups.

      • Those spider guardian dudes in Act 2, if you get the fire version elite with illusionist; it’s quite possible to get like 30-40 fire pits all over you in just a few seconds.

        Fast/freeze or fast/molten or whatever will cause them to fire off their abilities more often.

      • Molten does not share to Illusions. There’s actually a big pic on the Illusionist article showing that quite clearly, and it’s in teh article text.

        • “Molten does not share to Illusions. There’s actually a big pic on the Illusionist article showing that quite clearly, and it’s in teh article text.”

          I don’t see any Molten packs in the Illusionist article images.


            Alas it was only on the Molten article. I’d forgotten to copy it over to Illusionist as well, though it’s there now.

            The most obvious one is Fire Chains, since the chains only link the legit enemies. It can look very odd when you’ve got a huge pack of silvery beasts and the chains are only connecting two of them out of the masses.

    12. Quick note on molten packs. For monks, you cannot melee them safely unless you are directly in front of their face. Anything near the side of them and you’ll be aoe’d by molten fire even though you’re not standing in it (try to fight them at a diagonal angle with them in top left, you in bottom right). Also fists of thunder: thunderclap can play havoc when fighting molten/desecrator mobs.

    13. Contradictions on shielding. I thought minions get these all the time when I encountered some.

      Shielding is a Boss Modifier that may appear on Champions or Bosses (***but not boss minions***) in Diablo III.

      Shielding causes a shielding bubble to appear around the Champion, boss, or ***boss’ minion*** for a few seconds, every few seconds…



      Monster Level Minimum: 31 (Nightmare and later)
      Available to: Champions and bosses, but ***not boss minions***.

      • Shielding is a modifier that lets a monster completely mitigate damage for x amount of time.

        Invulnerable Minions is when the minions of a rare elite have the shield up at all times. They die when the rare boss dies.

      • I’d fixed the shielding (does go to minions) on the main page and in the text of the shielding article, but not in the little bullet point thing you quoted. changed now.

    14. I have done the maths. Here are all the possible combinations:

      Champions: 22 (normal), 291 (nightmare), 3354 (hell), 35412 (inferno).

      Bosses: 22 (normal), 273 (nightmare), 2892 (hell), 27852 (inferno).


      • I don’t get the same results. Here are mine :

        Difficulty: Norm, Night, Hell, Inferno
        Champions: 22, 213, 1222, 4693
        Rares : 22, 207, 1132, 4081

        Here are the details for inferno champions :

        4 cases :
        – 1 Strong CC and 3 aggressive
        3*(3 among 13) possibilities

        – 1 Defensive and 3 aggressive
        6*(3 among 13) possibilities

        – 1 Strong CC, 1 Defensive and 2 Aggressive
        3*6*(2 among 13) possibilities

        – 4 aggressive
        (4 among 13) possibilities

        Total : 3*(3 among 13) + 6*(3 among 13) + 3*6*(2 among 13) + (4 among 13) = 4693

        (k among n) is the number of combinations of k elements among n. Lookup binomial distribution for more info.

    15. Pretty much only play Barb and would be interested to know what other classes have to combat Frozen. As mentioned, Wrath of the Berserker breaks Frozen and prevents frozen while active (along with Jailer and Nightmarish).

      Leap can avoid Frozen, you just have to time it so you’re in the air when the freeze explosion occurs. I always leave Wrath as an absolute last resort and can often avoid being frozen by leaping with good timing. If I do get frozen, I can then Wrath and apply the beatdown.

      • barb can also be healed by shards – Juggernaut passive

        and I’m not sure about monk perfoming SSS

      • Tidbit I heard from a Monk expert friend. Dashing Strike can avoid being frozen, if you time it perfectly so your instant of dash occurs while the frozen bombs go off. I’d assume this principle applies to other “very temporary” invul skills like Vault, but I haven’t tested it.

    16. Barbarian: leap does not break jailer – at least on inferno. Greyed out when I’m jailed

    17. “5) The Warden gets Molten on Hell”

      I believe The Warden gets Molten on Nightmare, but could be wrong.

    18. I haven’t consistently used Archon in quite some time, so my memory on this might be skewed, but I could swear I remember jailer still affecting me while transformed.

    19. Not sure if it has been mentioned, but as a barbarian, I am able to use Furious Charge while Jailed, however it doesn’t break it, rather it just moves me, but the Jail remains and I’m locked into the new position.

    20. The official website says that illusions do real damage to your character, and from what I experienced, I believe that it is the case.

    21. Lots of comments on DiabloWikiWaller and DiabloWikiJailer vs. skills, but nothing added yet that wasn’t already in the articles

      Earth quake zone spreads over the walls

    22. for my experience (as any meele) i can confirm ground aoe stacks at least in combination of 2 of molten/desacretor/plagued cant remember right now having fought a rare with 3 of them.

      think maybe a month or so there was a blue post here saying ALL ground aoe could stack together iirc.

      • even with 2 at the same time u need to avoid
        looks like possible stacks

        pl and des both are DoT mods if I’m not wrong(1 step – few secs dmg tick tack). Need to check this combo

        • @Rageburst yes they are dot, and a rare with both of them is a pain, with multiples plagued areas on ground wich stack and also they stack with the des

    23. wizard’s teleport breaks the jail at least with the fracture rune
      at least that’s what I use when I get jailed

    24. Here is the math.

      Difficulty: Norm, Night, Hell, Inferno
      Champions: 22, 213, 1222, 4693
      Rares : 22, 207, 1132, 4081

      Here are the details for inferno champions (3 CC, 6 Def and 13 aggressive)
      4 cases :
      – 1 Strong CC and 3 aggressive
      3*(3 among 13) possibilities

      – 1 Defensive and 3 aggressive
      6*(3 among 13) possibilities

      – 1 Strong CC, 1 Defensive and 2 Aggressive
      3*6*(2 among 13) possibilities

      – 4 aggressive
      (4 among 13) possibilities

      Total : 3*(3 among 13) + 6*(3 among 13) + 3*6*(2 among 13) + (4 among 13) = 4693

      (k among n) is the number of combinations of k elements among n. Lookup binomial distribution for more info.

    25. Haunt CAN shoot through walls. Heck, it can shoot through floors and normal walls aswell – just like Spirit Barrage.

    26. As an amendment to the section on demon hunters and wallers – note that spike trap can be dropped over walls. With the scatter rune, this is a really effective way of doing serious damage even when you’re penned in.

    27. “Dashing Strike will not break the jailer, but the Monk will teleport to the target, the jail moving with him.”

      This is 100% incorrect unless it changed within the last 5 days (I haven’t played monk lately). I use untargeted dashing strikes to escape Jailer all the time. This, along with flipping out of fire chains and molten are the main reason I have it on my bar.

    28. “Tidbit I heard from a Monk expert friend. Dashing Strike can avoid being frozen, if you time it perfectly so your instant of dash occurs while the frozen bombs go off. I’d assume this principle applies to other “very temporary” invul skills like Vault, but I haven’t tested it.”

      This is true, although I only ever do it by accident. I should try to get that timing down though. Good tip.

    29. Barbarian does not have Dashing Strike. Barbarian has Furious Charge. It will break Jailer. I am unaware that Leap breaks Jailer.

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