Written by Derparnieux
The Croesus front is the third front of the Elder God Wars Dungeon, released on September 27, 2021. It is RuneScape's first official skilling boss. The recommended group size for the boss is 8, although it is very much possible to do the boss with 4 well-prepared people. In this guide, I will assume you know the basics of the Croesus fight; if you don't, there are already a few beginner guides available on YouTube (e.g. by Protoxx and Maikeru). Now, let's get into how to 4-man Croesus.
You absolutely need Bladed Dive
In my mind, there is only one unlock that is absolutely essential for all players to have in a 4-man Croesus encounter: the Bladed Dive ability. This is essential because 4-manning Croesus requires you to move around the arena a fair bit more than you would in an 8-man encounter, and having Bladed Dive enables you to cross the north-south lanes (mushroom fields) much faster and much easier. Also, it's just very beneficial for your mobility, so you can get to the middle faster in clutch situations. Of course, you will always want to bring the Mobile perk in some form, whether that be on an offhand (like enhanced Excalibur) or through the Shadow's Grace relic power.
Obviously, if you're going to be 4-manning Croesus, you will need one player for each of the four skills (Hunter, Fishing, Mining, Woodcutting) involved in the Croesus fight. The preset above is a Hunter preset, but just sub in the correct elite skilling outfit and tool for your chosen style. It is essential to have at least 18 free inventory spots.
At the time of writing, the crystal fishing rod doesn't work inside the Croesus encounter, in the sense that it doesn't give its 5% success bonus and you also don't benefit from any perks you have on it. As such, you should really be using a rod-o-matic for Fishing.
- You will want to take the tools for the three styles you don't main. Firstly, this is because someone in your team might make a mistake, and they could need you to help them out for a second. Secondly, this is because I switch to the correct tool for dealing damage to the boss' core; this is probably not necessary, but I do it anyway. I consider the enhanced yaktwee stick as the Hunter tool, but it only server the purpose of giving you a little extra xp.
- I bring a powerburst of acceleration for when I need to hop back over the mushroom field when my Bladed Dive is still on cooldown. Not essential to bring, but I've used it a fair few times during 4-mans.
- Super restores are essential to restore your stats whenever they are drained, so bring a few. Typically a few doses are enough to last a kill, but you might make mistakes, so bring plenty.
- Protean logs are also quite essential, as they allow you to free yourself during the sticky-fungus-at-your-feet mechanic. If you don't bring (protean) logs, you will need someone else to release you, or you will be stuck and your stats will be drained for around 10 seconds, during which you will not be able to contribute to the kill. Protean logs are preferable over other logs because they are stackable, as you might need multiple logs during one kill.
- The artificer's measure and Orthen furnace core skilling offhands each have an effect inside the Croesus encounter. The artificer's measure speeds up your progress restoring statues, and the Orthen furnace core allows you to deal with the sticky-fungus-at-your-feet mechanic without having to bring logs (and also deals with it faster than using logs!). These are nice in combination with the Shadow's Grace relic power, as it means you don't have to bring the Mobile perk on an offhand (like enhanced Excalibur) and can instead just bring one skilling offhand (or both if you don't mind switching during the kill).
- The skilling offhands that come from Croesus, Sana's fyrtorch and Tagga's corehammer, also work in terms of their style-specific boosts inside the Croesus encounter. Additionally, Sana's fyrtorch provides the same effect as the Orthen furnace core.
- The only skill cape that actually has a beneficial effect inside the Croesus arena is, as far as I know, the Fishing cape. As such, you will want to wear it for its effect.
- Seren spirits can spawn inside the arena, so bring your grace of the elves if you have it. Its porter effect doesn't work inside the Croesus arena, so you don't need to worry about that.
- I take a statue collection bag because I find the Brooch of the Gods annoying when it teleports urns into your inventory, and it's also annoying when strange/golden rocks decide to clog your inventory; two problems solved with one pocket slot item.
- I take a rune pouch filled with body, soul and lava runes. These allow you to cast the Crystal Mask spell, which will allow you to negate one stat drain attack from Croesus. Essentially, this is a panic button for when the orange blobs spawn that follow you around and you aren't able to dodge or trap them. Quite non-essential, so if you don't want to bring this, don't bother. Note that you can also take a grasping rune pouch with body, soul, earth and fire runes, as this is slightly cheaper per cast. Its special effect won't work on Crystal Mark, though, because it isn't a combat spell.
- The upgraded pontifex ring is very nice for its Bik front passive; it will reduce all stat drains in the Croesus arena by 25%. Moreover, if you've fully upgraded it, it will now also allow you to get tier 3 troves. The ring of whispers is a good alternative if you don't care about tier 3 troves and the stat drain reduction.
Besides the things included in the preset, there are a few other boosts you can use:
- You can summon a familiar to help you in the Croesus fight; either summon a waterfiend or the familiar specific to the style you've chosen. These are the arctic bear (Hunter), granite lobster (Fishing), lava titan (Mining) and beaver (Woodcutting). Waterfiend is the best for all skills, though.
- You can use an aura as well; just choose the aura that's specific to your chosen style. Obviously, the higher tier your aura is, the better. These are the Tracker aura (Hunter), the Call of the Sea aura (Fishing), the Quarrymaster aura (Mining) and the Lumberjack aura (Woodcutting).
- Augmenting your (Fishing/Mining/Woodcutting) tools and putting the perk Honed 6 (or lower, but Honed 6 isn't super difficult to get) on them is nice for the skilling boost.
- As usual, luck boosts apply, so you can bring a Luck of the Dwarves ring switch or use the corresponding relic power. I use the relic power.
- Although I don't know this for sure, the description of the perfect plus potion on the RuneScape Wiki leads me to believe that it has beneficial effects for Fishing and Woodcutting inside the Croesus arena, so definitely have that active as well. Also, people are saying having perfect plus active makes it so you have a chance at double-damaging the core? I'm not sure, but a single dose lasts for 4 hours, so just use it.
Archaeology relic powers
I've mentioned relic powers multiple times throughout the guide so far, but I figured to list them separately as well. These are the most useful relic powers for the Croesus encounter:
- The Shadow's Grace relic power is essentially the Mobile perk. Having this relic power active means you don't have to bring a Mobile offhand (like enhanced Excalibur), so you can camp skilling offhands during the entire encounter.
- The Luck of the Dwarves relic power means you don't have to bring (or wear) a Luck of the Dwarves, so you can camp your upgraded pontifex ring or a ring of whispers.
- The Inspire Effort relic power provides a 2% XP boost for all gathering skills, which is probably your best option for the third relic slot. You might consider Inspire Genius instead, as this provides a 2% XP boost to Construction, so you get some extra XP while restoring statues.
Mechanics & rotation
- Croesus throws a smoke bomb at you that stays around for a decent amount of time (15-20 seconds?). If you stand inside the smoke, your stats get drained. If you time it correctly, you can walk away and back to your current skilling node to get Croesus to throw the bomb off to the side.
- A fairy ring starts to form underneath your current position. If you don't move away fast enough, it will teleport you randomly to a different position in the arena.
- An orange blob spawns that attempts to explode in your face. If you get hit by it, your stats are drained quite heavily. You can walk away from it, try to trap it (which it often does itself) or cast the Crystal Mask spell to be able to face-tank it.
- Croesus throws a stun bomb at you. You can deal with it through using the Anticipate and Freedom abilities.
- You get locked in place by sticky fungus at your feet, and you have to burn them away before you can walk again. This requires either logs, timber fungus, the Orthen furnace core or Sana's fyrtorch. If you don't have these, you require someone else to free you (which requires nothing).
- Piles of energy fungus spawn in the middle of the arena. The team has to remove these in time, or they add tons of enrage stacks. These seem to be an important factor in distributing contribution scores, so everyone should get on these piles ideally as soon as they spawn.
Consecutive mechanics are 12 seconds apart, and they always go in a specific order: smoke bomb -> fairy ring -> orange blob -> smoke bomb -> stun bomb -> sticky fungus. The energy fungus will coincide with every second sticky fungus (at approximately 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, ...); this pauses the timer between mechanics, and it starts running again when the energy fungus piles are fully removed. Use the timing knowledge to deal with mechanics accordingly, i.e. walking the smoke bomb to a nice spot, activating Crystal Mask before the orange blob spawns, using Anticipate before the stun bomb lands and moving to the middle before the energy fungus spawns.
The 4-man strategy
The beautiful thing about this strategy is that, when done correctly, everyone does essentially the same thing. As such, I will only illustrate from the perspective of the Hunter person. I will always tell you to take 17 resources for the purpose of contributing to statues; you will only need 15 to actually contribute, but it's nice to take a few extra resources to account for mistakes you make along the way (certain stat drains will also consume your gathered resources, hence the need for this buffer).
- The Hunter person should always start the kill; this is because the Hunter person has the easiest side to deplete, as the elite skilling outfit for Hunter is absolutely overpowered in this fight.
- As in the 8-man fight, you will work on depleting your own creature; for Hunter, this is the Dagannoth. When you have depleted your creature, you will move on to gather your remaining resources from the guard nodes around the creature. Always try to gather from the sparkly node.
- Put the first 17 resources you gather into your deposit box at the base of the central stairs.
- Deplete your creature and gather from the guard nodes until you have 17 more resources in your inventory. If your creature is not yet depleted at this point, finish that first before moving on. You can always just rot your excess resources.
- With 17 resources, you will move one corner anti-clockwise and contribute your resources to the statue. For Hunter (NW), you will need to take your resources to the Woodcutting corner (SW).
- In this corner, you will take the resources that are deposited in the deposit box, take them all the way to the opposite corner of the arena and contribute them to the statue there. If you're the Hunter (NW) person, this means you will take the Woodcutting (SW) resources to the Fishing corner (NE).
- Poison the creature in your current corner with 10 rotten fungus (the person who originally started here should have depleted it). If you don't have enough rotten fungus after rotting your excess resources, you can gather some more from the guard nodes.
This last step is known as late rotting. It is more efficient than early rotting (poisoning the creatures immediately after depleting them) because you make better use of excess resources. The earliest version of this guide recommended early rotting, but the meta has since changed.
If everyone does this correctly, all statues will now be restorable. Restore the statue you arrive at, and when the middle opens up, go there and damage the core. I always wield the correct skilling tool for the central node, but I'm not sure if this is necessary. When the middle closes again, make sure to move to a statue that hasn't been restored and/or prayed at yet, and work on completing that statue. Praying at three of the four statues should be enough to get you the kill, so you will always have an extra statue's worth of wiggle room. It's important to only start praying after the second round of energy-fungus-in-the-middle, because these are very important for your contribution scores.
Moving one corner anti-clockwise and then moving to the opposite corner is known as the 1-2 method. Some teams might opt to move to the opposite corner first, and moving one corner anti-clockwise afterwards; this is the 2-1 method. Both work just fine, so long as everyone in your team does the same thing.
Particles on the core
When the middle opens up, everyone will need to go and do damage to the boss by skilling on the core node. When you see yellow or green particles on the core, click the core once to deal extra damage to the boss. When you see red particles, do NOT click the core; clicking during red particles will heal the boss. You can continue skilling on the core when red particles emerge, just make sure you don't click on the core again during red particles.
What can go wrong?
- In the east-west corridors, you can accidentally not climb the mushroom with the sparkles and lose one of your resources. Don't forget, you should always climb over the mushroom with the sparkles.
- In the north-south lanes, you can accidentally mess up the Bladed Dive + Surge combo. This is the worst thing to make a mistake on, because this will consume a ton of the resources you have gathered, and you will need to go back to get more. Luckily, you can take a few seconds to ensure you do the Bladed Dive + Surge combo correctly.
- If no one pays attention to the mechanic in the middle with the energy fungus, then the boss will gain too many enrage stacks and you will almost certainly fail the kill. Therefore, you should always keep an eye on the middle, and if you see the little energy fungus piles spawn, then you should tell everyone to go to middle to remove them. In general, a good rule of thumb is: when someone shouts "MIDDLE!", you go to the middle.
- You should make sure to avoid as many stat drains as possible; if people get hit too much, the enrage counter will hit 100%, and the kill will fail.
- Someone could have forgotten to deplete and/or poison a creature, which could result in the boss taking much less damage than usual. If you notice this, call it out and fix it immediately before restoring any more statues, or you will almost certainly fail the kill.
Bladed Dive + Surge combo
- Stand at the bottom of the stairs, and face towards the other side of the north-south lane. It doesn't matter where you stand specifically, you just need to face straight to the other side (not diagonally!).
- Press the keybind for your Bladed Dive.
- Right-click the bottom of the stairs straight across from you, and hover your mouse over the Bladed Dive "Activate" action.
- In the same tick, press your Surge keybind and click the Bladed Dive "Activate" action. You will end up at the bottom of the stairs on the other side. Your stats will not have drained and no resources will have been consumed from your inventory.
- If you use Bladed Dive before you Surge (but still in the same tick), it's not necessary to face straight ahead, as the Bladed Dive will determine the direction you Surge in. If you're careful enough, you can do this method while walking up to the mushroom field, but this takes some practice.
Bonus: the 3-man strategy
Credits to u/Kibbium on the RuneScape subreddit