Diablo 4 rogue almost solos world boss designed for 12 players, and would have if a necromancer didn't nick in and steal the kill at 1% HP

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Diablo 4's beta came with a taste of one of the game's new challenges: Ashava the Pestilent, a world boss that can only be defeated once per week and spawns at limited times. It cropped up four times during the open beta, which was of course more than enough for the more dedicated min-maxers out there to have a crack at beating it in the most ludicrous manner possible.

Ashava is a giant dragon meant to be fought by up to 12 players, and does scale slightly depending on party composition, but one thing it is not meant to do is be solo'd. Naturally that's all that the Diablo lot wanted to do, and one rogue in particular got so agonisingly close I almost want to say he did. But that wouldn't be honest because, right at the end, a necromancer pops in and performs perhaps the most perfectly timed kill steal ever.

The player Wudijo was streaming what became an attempt to solo Ashava on hardcore difficulty (thanks, Icy Vein (opens in new tab)), using a max level Rogue build tricked-out with all sorts of legendary gear and outputting absolutely wild range damage (the player has various other videos on his channel exploring his min-max builds, including this one).

The fight begins around 40 seconds into the video, at which point Wudijo basically starts dashing around while simultaneously outputting huge damage numbers, and just keeps going. Ashava is a very large and very grumpy dragon who relentlessly attacks players with claw swipes, AOE dashes, and various other attacks, but our boy Wudijo floats like a butterfly while stinging like an ICBM, and after around 10 minutes of this it's abundantly clear he's about to solo this thing in impressive fashion.

Then, just as the dragon's health reaches an infinitesimal sliver, in waltzes a necromancer and his skeleton crew.

"Here comes a guy to ruin my solo kill at 2%" laughs Wudijo as a few of the necromancer's attacks land at the last moment. "Oh man, megalol. What a guy, he comes in at 1% to steal the kill man, look at that." The player can only keep laughing as all the legendary loot spills forth from Ashava's guts and the necromancer takes his pick, before striding off with his skeletons in tow. Job done.

Almost unbelievably, Wudijo has another attempt to solo Ashava and, yet again though less dramatically, a necromancer pops in, lands a few attacks to remove the bragging rights, and then sods off. What is it about necromancers?

These world bosses and the challenge they present are clearly going to be a major part of Diablo 4's longevity, for normal players like me, and are going to be the challenge that min-maxers set themselves above all others. For those rogues feeling let down by necromancer interference, don't be, because shortly after Wudijo's attempts another player, Vidjerei, posted a video showing a near-unbelievable successful solo run against Ashava. The rogue's inner sight ability is amazing for bosses and this is the best demonstration of it you'll see, with Ashava being annihilated. Yes: That's a boss designed to fight a dozen players going down to one in three minutes. And not a skeleton in sight.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."