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Diablo 4: How to Complete A Serpent Cornered

Take the blood throne for yourself

A Serpent Cornered will have you chase down Lord Zir in your efforts to stop him from turning Sanctuary into a thralldom. But completing this quest has given quite a few players a run for their money. Here’s how to complete A Serpent Cornered in Diablo 4.

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How to Complete A Serpent Cornered in Diablo 4

A Serpent Cornered is the fourth quest in the seasonal quest chain of Diablo 4. And it’s easily the hardest one we’ve encountered so far. This quest is obtained once you’ve sought out and destroyed (or at least tried to) the Blood Harvest and gone back to Ked Bardu.

There, you’ll encounter Erys, who will tell you to meet her in the City of the Ancients. Here’s where most people get tripped up, as the City of Ancients quest marker is not appearing for everyone.

Find the City of Ancients in Diablo 4

The City of Ancients is located close to the Yelesna waypoint in the Fractured Peaks. You can find Yelesna by going to the far right of the map. From Yelesna, head north towards the Darkened Way.

Head inside the Darkened Way, but you won’t be in the City of Ancients yet.

Follow the path and go left. There, you’ll encounter the City of Ancient’s door. Erys will be waiting for you. Speak to her, and she’ll open the door.

Fight through the City to reach Lord Zir

Pass through the door, and you’ll find yourself in the Courts of Dawn dungeon. This dungeon has no shortage of Bone Thralls, Sanguine vampires, and Crimson Blades. But more importantly, there are floating blood orbs.

If you’ve played through Nightmare Dungeons, you’ve likely encountered something similar. These Blood Orbs are invulnerable to all damage and will follow you around. Periodically, they will launch an attack at you. The attack of the Blood Orb will depend on how far you are. If you’re very far, it will shoot a Blood Shard at you. If you’re in medium distance, it will send a poisonous wave at you. If you’re very close to it, will create a circular poisonous area of effect around itself.

The damage the Blood Orb does is minimal. However, you’ll encounter several Elite-choked areas and several mini-bosses on your way to Lord Zir. During these moments, the Blood Orb can be a very painful addition to the melee. So, listen for its audio cues. If you hear a gurgle, the Blood Orb is about to attack. Its attack move slowly, so strafing left or right will usually help you avoid it.

The path through the Court of Dawn is linear, so there’s really no getting lost.

However, there are two mini-boss fights before you encounter Lord Zir.

The first fight occurs after you reach the first chokepoint. A fog door will come down, and you’ll be faced with Onroe of the Ancients and Tidao of the Ancients.

I highly recommend clearing out the mobs first, then focusing your DPS on one of the two bosses before taking on the second one. Onroe is a close-range barbarian-styled enemy. Tidao is a rogue with a bow. Chasing down Tidao first will give you distance from Onroe, and Tidao is less likely to attack you and more likely to run if you’re close to him.

For that reason, I prefer to attack Tidao first then Onroe.

Once you’ve defeated both, continue down the linear path through the Sanctum of Night. You’ll encounter a group of Elites, which might be more challenging than the Ancients. Take them down and continue forward until you meet the Echo of Lord Zir.

He’ll be a bit of a jerk and imply that you’re the real monster. Which, logically, doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, once he’s done with his spiel, he’ll vanish through another fog door, and you’ll encounter three more ancients.

After playing through this dungeon twice because I got kicked out for inactivity while writing this article, I’ve found that the Ancients in the next encounter are randomized. However, my strategy for dealing with them remains the same no matter which three you happen to encounter.

  • Clear out the mobs.
  • Prioritize long-distance Ancients (sorcerers, rogues).
  • Kill the beefy tank that’s been slowly following you around.

 Once you’ve defeated all three, the fog door will fall and Lord Zir, almost with exasperation, will tell you to approach his throne.

Approach the Sanguine Throne

After you’ve defeated the three Ancients, you’ll be in the final stretch of the dungeon. Follow the path to the Sanguine Throne. It’s, as you might expect, a throne in a pool of blood. Interact with it, and Lord Zir will descend into the blood.

He’ll then re-emerge as a much bigger vampire who likes to run around on all fours. Lord Zir is actually quite tough. He has several attack, but they’re all manageable if you know what to do.

  • Blow: A linear gust of air that will display on the floor. This attack will follow you, so keep running around in a circle.
  • Multi-swipe and Blood Scythe: Lord Zir’s most common attack is to swipe at you twice with his hands. Once he’s done this, he’ll rear up and summon scythes onto his arms. He’ll then swipe in front of him. When he begins rearing up, run behind him to avoid the attack entirely.
  • Blood Pools: Lord Zir will periodically summon pools of blood while will remain on the floor for quite some time. Don’t step in them. Eventually, they’ll shoot out a barrage of blood orbs which move slowly. Stay away from them to make them easier to dodge.
  • Summon: Lord Zir will summon a Blood Seeker. The first time, it will be one Blood Seeker. The second time, two Blood Seekers. If you defeat him, all Blood Seekers will despawn.
Screenshots by Prima Games

Once you’ve defeated Lor Zir, you’ll get a bevy of rewards, including Lord Zir’s Amulet.

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Daphne Fama
A Staff Writer at Prima Games since 2022, Daphne Fama spends an inordinate amount playing games of all stripes but has a soft spot for horror, FPS, and RPGs. When she’s not gaming, she’s an author and member of the Horror Writers Association with a debut novel coming out in 2025. In a previous life, she was an attorney but found she preferred fiction to contracts and forms