Diablo 3 Darkening of Tristram dungeon guide: Loot, bosses & rewards

Diablo 1 loreBlizzard

Diablo 3’s The Darkening of Tristram event is back, here’s everything you need to know about braving the depths of Tristram Cathedral in this throwback to Diablo 1.

After first appearing back in 2017, Diablo 3 has resurrected its beloved The Darkening of Tristram event for a second go around. This means that the dungeons of the original Diablo have been faithfully recreated in the Diablo 3 engine, this includes each area’s, enemies and bosses. There’s also lots of new delicious loot to be found for a limited time only.

If you’re reentering the demon-infested Cathedral for Diablo 3’s The Darkening of Tristram event, here’s a complete guide to what awaits you in terms of enemies, bosses, and rewards. Be warned, your journey will take you straight down into Hell, where the Lord of Terror awaits.

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diablo 3 darkening of tristram anniversary event 2021 the butcher in the cathedralBlizzard Entertainment
Welcome back to the Cathedral that started it all in the Diablo universe.

How to access each level in The Darkening of Tristram

Diablo 3’s The Darkening of Tristram event replicates the areas from Diablo 1 as players go deeper and deeper underground. The maps are randomly generated, but most follow a linear structure when it comes to descending to the next level.

You’ll just need to explore the level until you find the stairs down to the next one. Just make sure you explore thoroughly if you want to find all the available loot. Most of it is dropped by the unique enemies that populate each level.

Unlike Diablo 2 and 3, you’ll just need to head down to the next level to progress, so finding the stairs is enough. As you go deeper, the areas will change and the enemies will get tougher. Once you reach the depths of Tristram Cathedral you’ll then enter the Catacombs. Beneath that is a Cave system that leads down to Hell itselfWhere Diablo himself will challenge you.

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Level Notable Loot Monsters Bosses and unique enemies
Level 1 None Fallen One Scavenger Skeleton Skeleton Captain Zombie None
Level 2 (The Butcher’s Lair) The Butcher’s Cleaver, Ring of Truth Carver, Devil Kin and Fallen One Scavenger Skeleton and Skeleton Captain Zombie and Rotting Carcass The Butcher Shadowbite Rotfeast the Hungry
Level 3 (The Skeleton King’s Lair) The Undead Crown Black Death and Ghoul Carver, Dark One Burning Dead Skeletons, Corpse Skeletons, Skeleton Archer, Horror Plague Eater and Shadow Beast Fiend Leoric the Skeleton King Madeye the Dead Brokenhead Bangshield
Level 4 Harlequin Crest Dark One and Devil Kin Rotting Carcass Flesh Clan Gloom Gharbad the Weak Snotspill Blacklash the Burning
The Catacombs
Level 5 Arkaine’s Valor (After solving the puzzle) Empyrean Band Overlord Blink Flesh Clan Winged Demon Bloodskin Darkbow Foulwing Shadowcrow
Level 6 None Fire Clan, Stone Clan, Flesh Clan Horror Archer and Horror Captain Hidden Overlord Familiar Bone Gasher, Acid Beast Deathshade Fleshmaul Bilefroth the Pit Master Bloodgutter
Level 7 Optic Amulet Mud Man Night Clan Khazra Illusion Weaver Blighthorn Steelmace Gorestone Nightwing the Cold
Level 8 None Blood Stone, Magma Demon Toad Demon, Mud Man Familiar Gargoyle Poison Spitter, Acid Beast Night Clan Zhar the Mad Firewound the Grim Baron Sludge
The Caves
Level 9 Black Mushroom Illusion Weaver Night Clan Mud Runner Toad Demon Magma Demon Gargoyle Breakspine Brokenstorm Oozedrool
Level 10 Griswold’s Edge, Anvil of Fury Mud Runner Toad Demon Death Wing Slayer Night Clan The Flayer Goldblight of the Flame Blackstorm
Level 11 None Death Wing Guardian Frost Charger Cave Viper Red Storm Bluehorn Fangspeir
Level 12 None Storm Lord, Storm Rider, Maelstrom Black Knight Lava Maw Fire Drake Balrog Flayed One Obsidian Lord Succubus Viperflame Viletouch Lionskull the Bent
Level 13 None Steel Lord Maelstrom Slayer Succubus Warlord of Blood Rustweaver Witchmoon
Level 14 Veil of Steel Counselor, Magistrate Black Knight, Doom guard Fire Drake, Gold Viper Maelstrom Hell Spawn Steelskull the Hunter Graywar the Slayer Stareye the Witch
Level 15 None Snow Witch, Soul Burner, Hell Spawn Steel Lord, Blood Knight Magistrate Azure Drake Balrog Cabalist The Vizier
Unholy Altar None Advocate Soul Burner Arch-Bishop Lazarus Red Vex Blackjade
Level 16 (Diablo’s Lair) None Blood Knight Advocate Sire Gorash


Diablo in Resurrected artBlizzard
Diablo himself is the final boss of The Darkening of Tristram.

How to beat the Darkening of Tristram bosses

Here’s how to beat each of the bosses in the Darkening of Tristram event:

The Butcher

The Butcher Diablo 1Blizzard
The mighty Butcher in The Darkening of Tristram.

Like he was in the original Diablo and Diablo 3, The Butcher is the first major test of the Darkening of Tristram. Here resembles his Diablo 1 version more closely, but despite his smaller size, he’s no less deadly.

He doesn’t level to match your character, so we’d advise leveling up a few times before you face him. As he only appears on Level 2, it’s tempting to just rush right at him, but doing so can be deadly.

The Butcher can be taken down with ease from a distance, but melee characters should proceed with caution. You can lure him around the scenery and swipe at him while he’s moving, then repeat. He also cannot open doors so use that to your advantage.

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The big brute is resistant to fire and lightning too, but poison is a great way to chip away at his health while you’re avoiding his attacks. Minions and followers will also be useful when it comes to distracting him.

Leoric: The Skeleton King

The Skeleton King gameplayBlizzard
The Skeleton King in The Darkening of Tristram.

Leoric looks fearsome but can be taken down with some careful cat and mouse gameplay. He’ll be protected by a group of skeleton archers, but these don’t take too long to cut through. Once you do, Leoric himself will be exposed to your attacks.

Be careful though, as Leoric uses a deadly Life Stealing attack that hits hard. Not only does it drain your health, but it also heals him too. So, get in, hit him hard, and get out before he has a chance to use it. Followers and minions can help to distract him but be warned, he can steal their life too.

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Ranged attacks de-tooth his life stealing abilities, so this is often the safest way to put him down.

Arch-Bishop Lazarus

Arch Bishop Lazarus bossBlizzard
Arch Bishop Lazarus in the event.

Lazarus is surrounded by a retinue of Succubi, so cleave through them before you attack the corrupt bishop himself. Once his minions are dead, Lazarus himself isn’t too hard to defeat once you get up close, or pepper him with spells.

He’s a caster, so he’s most dangerous from a distance. He’s immune to base magic and resistant to fire and lightning, but ice spells will make short work of him – as will a few well-placed axe blows.

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diablo in The Darkening of TristramBlizzard
Diablo is the final boss in The Darkening of Tristram.

As you’d expect, and just like at the end of the original Diablo, The Lord of Terror is the final boss of the Darkening of Tristram event. The good news is that Diablo fights a lot like his other forms from the Diablo series. He shoots red lightning and gallops around the map swiping at you if you get too close.

The fight isn’t as tough as it is in other Diablo boss battles, but The Dark Lord can still be deadly to newer characters. Our advice is to keep moving and fire projectiles at him from a distance. When he runs around try to head him off and land strikes before he can recover and counter-attack.

He’s resistant to nearly all forms of magic and can kill melee characters in just a couple of hits. In truth, there’s no easy way to take him down. It just takes persistence, guile, and good luck. If you’re struggling, level up some more and come back, The Lord of Terror will fall to you eventually.

Darkening of Tristram Rewards

Beating the Darkening of Tristram event leads to the following cosmetics and item rewards:

  • Butcher Pet
  • Royal Calf Pet
  • The Butcher’s Cleaver weapon transmog
  • Wirt’s Leg weapon transmog
  • Classic Angel Portrait
  • Classic Demon Potrait
  • Dungeon completion banner

Although for many long-time Diablo fans, getting to replay Diablo 1 within Diablo 3 is its own reward!

So that’s everything you need to know about Diablo 3’s Darkening of Tristram anniversary event! Looking to brush up on your D3 knowledge coming into Season 25? Be sure to check out our dedicated guides:

Diablo 3 Season 25 Soul Shards guide | Best Barbarian Builds | Best Crusader Builds | Best Demon Hunter Builds | Best Necromancer Builds | Best Witch Doctor Builds | Best Wizard Builds