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Diablo II Monsters [e]
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is a Monster
and an Animal
and a SuperUnique

Nihlathak is an Animal.

Nihlathak is found at one corner of the four-pointed Halls of Vaught level, the third Halls level below Nihlathak's Temple, reached through a red portal by Anya in Harrogath. Nihlathak is a quest monster, and only by killing him can you finish the Betrayal of Harrogath quest. As the game plot reveals, Nihlathak is the Judas of the Barbarian tribe, a traitor to his people and a collaborator with evil who gave Baal access to Mount Arreat in exchange for temporarily sparing Harrogath his terrible wrath.

Battling Nihlathak is a unique experience. He is a summoner, and he presides over a vast mob of Minions and uses them as his weapons. He has no melee strikes at all, and only a chilling Arctic Blast spell for direct damage. The real danger comes from his use of the Necromancer's Corpse Explosion skill, which he uses to detonate the corpses of fallen monsters. These explosions deal substantial fire and physical damage, and prior to being considerably nerfed a bit in v1.09, Nihlathak was the single most dangerous monster in Act Five. Hardcore characters virtually never risked him, and only very high hit point builds, such as Druids teamed with Barbarians, felt safe risking his 1000+ damage Corpse Explosions. On the right hand side, you can see him being defeated by a Barbarian, using the frenzy attack.

Nihlathak, destroyed by corruption

Nihlathak remains somewhat dangerous in v1.11, but the damage and radius of his Corpse Explosion has been reduced to reasonable levels, and he's now killable by any character type, and ranged attackers, Bowazons especially, can put him down without ever entering the danger zone of his Corpse Explosion range.

Skills that destroy corpses are helpful to employ around him, especially if they can be used from some distance, such as some of the Druid's Vines, or the Paladin's Redemption. Necromancers can have the most fun, fighting fire with fire by using their own Corpse Explosion skill. Items that grant "Slain Monsters Rest in Peace" such as the Nature's Peace Unique Ring, are also useful. Cold attacks can help by shattering the corpses, but the Ice Spawn that surround Nihlathak are immune to cold in Hell, so can not be shattered on that difficulty level.

Nihlathak can cast the following skills:

  • Summon Minion -- Nihlathak will summon up a new minion periodically, during a long battle. The second you kill it, he'll usually hit the body with Corpse Explosion.
  • Minion Frenzy -- Just like an Overseer, Nihlathak can drive his minions into a frenzy, causing them to charge and attack at an increased rate of speed.
    • Speed: +80%
    • Attack value: +80%
    • Defense: +50%
    • Damage: +100%
  • Corpse Explosion -- Blam. In v1.09+, 10-20% of the monster's full hit points are released as 50/50 fire/physical damage. (60-100% damage pre-v1.09, when Nihlathak was truly deadly.)
  • Arctic Blast -- A chilling column of frost; same as the Druid skill. (But far more damaging.)
  • Teleport -- Nihlathak moves short distances during the battle, usually when besieged by melee attackers. He does not heal when he teleports.

All values are listed by difficulty level: Normal / Nightmare / Hell.


  • The TC/Rune drops listed are the highest Treasure Class/Rune Group a normal monster of that type can drop.
    • Champions and Bosses can sometimes drop from the next higher TC.
    • The max TC/Rune possible depends on which level a monster spawns in, and can vary slightly from the listed values (monsters that spawn in later levels can drop higher level items). See the item calculators to ascertain precisely what a monster from a given area can drop.
Name Level Experience Hit Points Speed Max TC/Rune
68 / 73 / 95
10739 / 56895 / 168,161
911 / 3218 / 13345
7 39/Dol, 60/Ist, 87/Zod


Nihlathak's stats are entirely preset, like an Act Boss'. He does not gain random modifiers on Nightmare or Hell.

  • Nihlathak has no melee attack. His damage comes from his Arctic Blast and the Corpse Explosion he can cast on dead monsters.
  • In v1.09+, his corpse explosion deals 10-20% of the dead monster's full hit points (the damage is 50/50 physical/fire). This is a huge nerf from the 60-100% damage it did prior to v1.09, and largely explains why he is now an interesting monster, instead of an instant death machine.
    • Nihlathak's minions are Ice Spawn. Their hit points, by difficulty level: 408-507 / 1480-1850 / 4292-7152. On Hell one Corpse Exploded deals 429-715 to 858-1430 damage, 50/50 divided into physical and fire.
    • Nihlathak can corpse explode any monsters in range, and may turn his ire upon the corpses of other monsters that spawn on the level.
Name Arctic Blast
360-480 (11 sec) / 414-552 (12.8 sec) / 486-648 (14.4 sec)


Like all SuperUniques, Nihlathak does not regenerate hit points.

  • Drain Effectiveness tells what % of a character's mana and life steal apply to that monster. 100 is all, 0 is none.
  • Chill Effectiveness tells what % of a character's cold length applies to the monster. 100 is all, 0 is no freeze/chill at all.
Name Defense Blocking Regen Rate Drain Effectiveness Chill Effectiveness


491 / 1029 / 1951
-- --
100 / 75 / 50
50 / 40 / 33


  • Resistances over 99% are listed as immunities and monsters will take no damage from that type of attack.
  • Immunities can be "broken" by skills that lower resistance, if the value drops below 99%. See the Resistances page for more details.
Name Physical Fire Cold Lightning Poison Magic


0% / 0% / 0% 0% / 0% / 33% 70% / 70% / 70% 0% / 0% / 33% 70% / 70% / 70% 0% / 0% / 25%


All SuperUniques (except for Uber Diablo) are found in roughly the same location every game, on all three difficulty levels. (Except for the Uber Monsters who are only found on Hell Difficulty.)

Name Location
Nihlathak Act 5: Halls of Vaught. (On the stage at one corner of the level. Surrounded by Minions.)


For my homeland!
I shall keep my end of Baal's bargain!
I will kill you!
You have no idea of the power you face!