The Tomb of the Nine Gods is the new dungeon introduced in Neverwinter’s Tomb of Annihilation. In order to solve the mystery around the death curse and demi-lich Acererak, groups have to delve into an environment filled with traps, puzzles and challenging bosses. Our guide should help you get through it! In case you’re looking for more general information on the dungeon, check out our preview post!
The dungeon features a plethora of traps and puzzles. Some are set, others are random. Failing these however doesn’t exactly match the lore. You neither die nor fail the dungeon. Normally groups just have to fight through extra mobs. Completing puzzles will grant 40 Chultan Riches.
Entrance & Stone Masks
Many players don’t realize that the entrance to the tomb already features a puzzle. There are three possible paths, and only one is correct. The entrance is marked with a stone mask on the wall, so don’t waste your time clearing all paths and turn back if there is no mask present.
The first room inside the tomb presents a second puzzle. The altar in the middle is surrounded by three pictures on the floor. You have to find the matching pictures on the side and activate their altar. Failing this will spawn mobs. Unless you know what you’re doing you should move as a full group here, because you can aggro adds. Also watch out for an ambush once completing the puzzle.
Mimic Shell Game
The mimic shell game is one of three possible puzzles in a room before the first and second boss. Once activated three mimics will spit a purple glowing skull to each other and change places constantly. It can be a bit tricky to track the skull, but normally it shouldn’t be an issue. Failing the puzzle means fighting the mimics.
The second random puzzle requires players to find the right sequence out of six artifacts. You have to activate them in a distinct order,
which is a very annoying trial and fail test (It’s not as outlined by player thefabricant here). Many groups skip this one for how long it is and just take the punishment. Placing all five members in front of a specific artifact and then communicate over chat or voice is probably the most efficient way. The groups I was in that actually did this went solo however.
The third of the random puzzles in the room before the first and second boss also requires group interaction. Drinking potions on the table in the room will add a colored animal aura to players and they have to find the matching one on the platforms at the sides. However, only other party members can see the aura and have to tell their buddies where to go. Normally one player calls out the colors or animals while the others drink potions. Failing to step on the right platform just leads to a pushback.
If you progress through a room without solving a puzzle, there are three possible punishments:
- Fight your way through three rooms with mobs.
- Doorway collapses and the group has to move rocks.
- Trial and error challenge with rows of three panels. On stepping onto them, one will let you progress, the other two move you back to start. You can use VIP stuff to trigger the panels and reveal wrong ones, which is probably not intended.
Although some groups prefer to skip puzzles and just take the punishment, I highly recommend solving them. I had the doorway collapse bug more than once and then you need to restart the dungeon.
To activate the first boss fight, three members of your group have have pick curses:
- Temp Hit Points (left): The player gets 1900% of their HP in temp hit points, but can’t be healed.
- Zombies (middle): The player deals more damage to the zombie adds, but less to Orcus.
- Orcus (right): The player deals more damage to Orcus.
The middle curse is marginal. Zombie adds normally die in seconds, so additional damage isn’t worth it, especially not in exchange for fewer damage to the boss. Give that one to a healer or buffer that doesn’t care about damage. The right one obviously goes to your main DPS.
Orcus features the same attack types as in Castle Never, but has way more health and doesn’t hit as hard. The intermediate phases are gone, but he now features a push AoE attack, which is more annoying than lethal. All of the attacks are random, so the full group must be ready to dodge. Additionally the poison sphere mechanic was changed. Those now appear periodically starting at 75%, are chained to and slowly move towards a party member and insta-kill the first player in impact. This is where the temp HP curse comes into play. The player with that curse has to intercept the spheres and absorb the damage.
This is also why the fight is a DPS check. Even if you nail the mechanics, the temp curse will run out of HP eventually. And then the spheres will start to kill your players. I think GFs might be able to kite a sphere around the arena for a while, but that’s it. If you run out of temp HP, the group is pretty much dead. What you can do however is stack other sources of temp HP or shields on top of the curse. OPs “Templar’s Wrath” works and the Swift Golden Lion‘s Combat Power as well. That’s why OPs are a natural fit as bearers. They have high HP pool already and can continue to generate temp HP. And a group with enough lions can theoretically tank the spheres forever.
The key to the second boss is to deactivate the elemental hazards it throws at your group. There are four:
- Poison gas fills the arena and damages the group.
- Water slows down movement and drains stamina.
- Lightning AoE deals damage and applies Partial Paralysis.
- Flamethrowers like those inside Illusionist’s Gambit deal damage.
Now these for themselves can already be annoying and dangerous, but there are particular situations you want to avoid. The elemental states can stack and if lightning strikes a water filled arena, it will electrocute players for heavy damage. Poison on top of fire applies a nasty debuff that enhances the damage the group takes. To stop the effects, someone from the group has to go up the stairs and kill unlucky dwarfs that Withers uses as power source. The dwarf will glow in a certain color corresponding to the elemental hazard. Water is near right, fire near left, toxic far right, and lightning far left.
Powerful groups mostly choose to ignore the mechanic and just DPS through the fight. It’s possible, but you certainly need good protection. On top of the elemental states Withers also features occasional Bone Golem adds, a Valindra like grasping hand and an AoE hand smashing from above, which should be dodged. After beating down the control stations, Withers is exposed and can be burned rather quickly.
Ras Nsi is the boss from the House of the Crocodile intro/weekly quest, just a lot stronger and with more mechanics. First of all there are several AoEs that deal damage and apply armor shredding. I’ve not found a great way to avoid this consistently. You should obviously try to stand outside as much red as possible, but you’ll often find yourself a bit overwhelmed with what’s going on and will need to take a few of those. It doesn’t help that the damage from the stripe attacks and the debuff is undodgeable. So you either get out soon enough or get hit.
Ras Nsi itself has annoying attacks as well. The most lethal one is a big overhead smash that deals tons of damage and applies a nasty DoT burn. Tanks should definitely turn the boss away from the group, but especially melee DPS have to be aware as well and be prepared to dodge it at all cost. It’s a major help if a DC with Cleanse is in the group, for lesser geared groups this is probably even mandatory.
Souls and Pushes
Occasionally a large ghost will appear on one side of the platform. The group has to move to the opposite side to not get pushed off. Make sure to react quickly, so that your companions have enough time to follow. Otherwise you risk losing your Bonding bonuses. After the platform shift the boss does a slicing AoE attack around itself that applies Partial Paralysis and hits for large base damage.
Last but not least, “Soul” adds will appear on the platform. If the group fails to clear them fast enough, they will charge the “Soulmonger” bar. Once or twice during the fight, the boss goes immune and dishes out damage based on the Soulmonger charges. If it’s full, it’s an automatic wipe at that point. Adds always appear after Ras Nsi has channeled its AoE attack where the only safe zone is close to the boss. So you can prepare to go for the souls after that.
Between Ras Nsi’s attacks, AoEs, adds and the platform push, there’s a lot to process in the fight. Take your time, see what works and where your group struggles. There’s definitely a need of significant protection for the tank with all the armor shredding and high base damage going on. Also the full group has to be aware of the ghost platform push and adds spawning, and have to place themselves on the opposite side of the tank all the time.
Generally you need a strong tank/healer combo and Paladins seem to be able to tank Ras Nsi more comfortably than Guardian Fighters. As mentioned “Cleanse” helps tremendously especially for underpowered teams. Other than that you absolutely have to communicate roles before the fight. It’s kinda obvious for how the first boss is set up, but members need to know who goes for Dwarfs and adds in the other fights as well.
It’s probably hard to beat the dungeon with three pure DPS in the group, especially if they are particularly squishy. I would always start groups around a GF, DC and OP and then see what else you can get. Most currently run with GWF/GF/OP/DC/DC, but that is likely to change in the future.
I hope this helps you to get through the Tomb of the Nine Gods dungeon! If you have further questions or remarks, don’t hesitate and post them in the comments. You can also visit the corresponding thread on our message board. I’d like to thank our community for posting a lot of helpful information in this thread, rjc9000 for their write-up on the official forum and Sylux for providing valuable comments on the Discord!
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