Lunatic Cultist

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Desktop/Console/Mobile-Only Content: This information applies only to the Desktop, Console, and Mobile versions of Terraria.
Lunatic CultistHardmode exclusive
Lunatic Cultist.gif
Map Icon Lunatic Cultist.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
AI TypeLunatic Cultist AI
Damage50/75/112 (contact)
3672108 (Shadow Fireball)[1]
70100150 (Ice Mist)[1]
6080120 (Fireball)[1]
90120180 (Lightning Orb)[1]
120180270 (Ancient Light)[2]
45 (Ancient Doom)[3]
67 (Ancient Doom)[3]
180 (Prophecy's End)[3]402 (Prophecy's End)[3]
Max Life320004800061000
Defense42 / 27 (≤50% health)
KB Resist100%
Immune toAll debuffs except Whip debuffs
Inflicts debuff
Inflicts debuff
Inflicts debuff
DebuffOn Fire!On Fire!
Debuff tooltipSlowly losing life
Chance100% (Fireball)
Duration0.5–2.5 seconds1–5 seconds1.25–6.25 seconds
Coins10 GC25 GC
Projectiles created
Projectiles created
Projectiles created
  • Shadow Fireball
    Shadow Fireball
  • Ice Mist
    Ice Mist
  • Fireball
  • Lightning Orb
    Lightning Orb
  • Lightning Orb Arc
    Lightning Orb Arc
  • Lightning Ritual
    Lightning Ritual
Lunatic CultistAncient CultistHardmode exclusive
Ancient Cultist.gif
Map Icon Lunatic Cultist.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
AI TypeLunatic Cultist AI
Damage0 (contact)
3672108 (Shadow Fireball)[1]
Max Life10000 (Invulnerable)
Defense35 / 22 (≤50% health)
KB Resist100%
Immune toAll debuffs
Projectile created
Projectile created
Projectile created
  • Shadow Fireball
    Shadow Fireball
Map Icon Lunatic Cultist.png"Fanatical leader of the dungeon coven."Map Icon Lunatic Cultist.png
Not to be confused with Cultists.

The Lunatic Cultist is a Hardmode, post-Golem boss summoned by killing the Cultists that spawn at the Dungeon's entrance after Golem is defeated. Defeating the Lunatic Cultist initiates the Lunar Events, and also causes the Clothier to begin selling the Solar and Lunar Cultist sets depending on the time of day.

After all four Celestial Pillars have been destroyed, the Moon Lord will spawn and the Cultists will respawn at the Dungeon entrance, allowing the player to refight the Lunatic Cultist and initiate the Lunar Events again. Unlike most bosses, the Lunatic Cultist does not drop any weapons, accessories, or materials. However, it does drop the Ancient Manipulator, a placeable crafting station used to craft many endgame items.

While the Lunatic Cultist is alive, the music Golem will play. When Otherworldly music (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is enabled, the track Boss 2 (Otherworldly) will play instead.


The Lunatic Cultist makes its first brief appearance at the Mysterious Tablet after all four Cultists are killed. The Lunatic Cultist is immune to damage during its summoning animation, in which it begins to draw energy from the Mysterious Tablet as glowing particles start flowing from the tablet towards it. After this, the Mysterious Tablet breaks into pieces while the Lunatic Cultist rises into the air while its mask tilts up and shakes, appearing to laugh at the player. The Lunatic Cultist then warps to a position above where the player was after it was summoned and cycles between the following projectile attacks. Between each projectile attack, the Lunatic Cultist teleports to a position above the player's current location.

  • A burst of three / four homing, high-velocity fireballsfireballs that explode upon contact with the player or solid blocks, inflicting the On Fire! debuff for 0.5–2.5 / 1–5 / 1.25–6.25 seconds.
  • A crystallized ball of ice mistice mist aimed towards the player, which passes through blocks while spinning forward and firing six ice shardsice shards in a hexagonal formation over four half-second intervals before dissipating.
  • A lightning orblightning orb that appears above it and fires five bolts of lightning at the player's current location.

When the Lunatic Cultist is below 50% of its maximum health (16,000 / 24,000 / 30,600), its defense drops to 27 and it occasionally replaces an attack with two volleys of five destructible Ancient LightAncient Lights that travel through blocks. Ancient Lights are spawned with 400 / 800 / 1,200 health and linger in midair before exploding upon contact with the player or after an extended period of time, making them susceptible to being targeted by homing projectiles and minions.

In Expert Mode, when the Lunatic Cultist is below 50% of its maximum health, it may also replace an attack by summoning one to three sets of three destructible Ancient DoomAncient Dooms that, if not destroyed directly by the player, disperse into four purple Prophecy's EndProphecy's End projectiles in the cardinal directions after 7 seconds[4], dealing massive amounts of damage (especially in Master Mode). The Lunatic Cultist visibly laughs at the player while executing the attack, and may also teleport once in between summoning sets of Ancient Dooms.

The Lunatic Cultist cycles through five attacks (or six when below 50% of its maximum health) before proceeding to start a ritual. During this ritual, homing projectiles and minions are rendered incapable of targeting the Lunatic Cultist. At the start of ritual, the Lunatic Cultist will spawn two semi-transparent / almost opaque decoys of itself, called Ancient Cultists, while surrounding a large, glowing circular rune called the Lightning RitualLightning Ritual. The positions of the Lunatic Cultist and its decoys randomize each time the ritual is performed, and hitting a decoy will immediately kill it. If a decoy is killed, or the Lunatic Cultist and its decoys are unharmed for a total of 5 seconds[5], the ritual is considered as complete, and a Phantasm DragonPhantasm Dragon will be summoned at the center of the rune. If a Phantasm Dragon is already present, an Ancient VisionAncient Vision is summoned instead. Decoys that were not killed during the ritual become invincible and fly in formation alongside the Lunatic Cultist and cast one homing Shadow FireballShadow Fireball each while it performs its usual projectile attack patterns. Up to a maximum of six decoys can be summoned by the Lunatic Cultist at one time, and hitting the real Lunatic Cultist during the ritual causes all / three of its summoned decoys to immediately disappear. If the ritual is completed by leaving the Lunatic Cultist unharmed, hitting the real Lunatic Cultist before it teleports to perform projectile attacks will still cause decoys to disappear; the Phantasm Dragon or Ancient Vision will still be summoned in this case, however.

Homing projectile resistance

The Lunatic Cultist will only take 75% of the damage from homing projectiles.[6] The following are lists of homing projectiles that deal reduced damage to the Lunatic Cultist:

ID Image Name Source
16 Magic Missile (projectile).png Magic Missile Magic Missile
34 Flamelash (projectile).gif Flamelash Flamelash
79 Rainbow Rod (projectile).png Rainbow Rainbow Rod
181 Bee (projectile).gif Bee Bee Gun, Bee Keeper
182 Possessed Hatchet.png Possessed Hatchet Possessed Hatchet
189 Wasp.gif Wasp Wasp Gun
190 Piranha Gun (projectile).gif Mechanical Piranha Piranha Gun
195 Pygmy Spear.png Pygmy Spear Pygmy Staff
207 Chlorophyte Bullet (projectile).png Chlorophyte Bullet Chlorophyte Bullet
221 Flower Petal.png Flower Petal Orichalcum armor set bonus
225 Chlorophyte Arrow.png Chlorophyte Arrow Chlorophyte Arrow
227 Crystal Leaf (projectile).png Crystal Leaf Shot Chlorophyte armor set bonus
248 Flower Pow Petal.png Flower Pow Petal Flower Pow
255 Magnet Sphere (projectile).gif Magnet Sphere Bolt Magnet Sphere
266 Baby Slime (minion) (animated).gif Baby Slime Slime Staff
285 Nano Bullet (projectile).png Nano Bullet Nano Bullet
297 Spectre Staff.png Lost Soul (friendly) Spectre Staff
307 Tiny Eater.gif Tiny Eater Scourge of the Corruptor
309 Staff of the Frost Hydra.png Frost Blast (friendly) Frost Hydra
316 Bat (projectile).gif Bat Bat Scepter
317 Raven (minion).gif Raven Raven Staff
321 Flaming Jack.gif Flaming Jack The Horseman's Blade
338 Snowman Rocket I.png Snowman Rocket I Snowman Cannon using Rocket Is
339 Snowman Rocket II.png Snowman Rocket II Snowman Cannon using Rocket IIs
340 Snowman Rocket III.png Snowman Rocket III Snowman Cannon using Rocket IIIs
341 Snowman Rocket IV.png Snowman Rocket IV Snowman Cannon using Rocket IVs
356 Spectre Mask.png Spectre Wrath Spectre armor set bonus (with Spectre Mask)
374 Hornet Stinger.png Hornet Stinger Hornet (minion)
376 Flames (friendly) (projectile).png Imp Fireball Flying Imp (minion)
378 Spider Egg (projectile).png Spider Egg Spider Turret
379 Baby Spider.png Baby Spider Spider Turret
388 Spazmamini.gif Spazmamini Optic Staff
389 Pink Laser.png Mini Retina Laser Retanimini
390 Venom Spider.png Venom Spider Spider Staff
391 Jumper Spider.png Jumper Spider Spider Staff
392 Dangerous Spider.png Dangerous Spider Spider Staff
393 One Eyed Pirate.png One Eyed Pirate Pirate Staff
394 Soulscourge Pirate.png Soulscourge Pirate Pirate Staff
395 Pirate Captain (minion).png Pirate Captain Pirate Staff
405 Flairon Bubble.png Flairon Bubble Flairon
407 Sharknado (minion).gif Tempest Tempest Staff
408 Mini Sharkron (animated).gif Mini Sharkron Tempest
409 Typhoon.gif Typhoon Razorblade Typhoon
433 Lightning Orb Arc.png UFO Ray UFO (minion)
477 Crystal Dart.png Crystal Dart Crystal Dart
484 Seedler (projectile 2).png Seedler Thorn Seedler
535 Medusa Head.gif Medusa Ray Medusa Head
536 Medusa Ray.png Medusa Head Ray Medusa Head
566 Large Bee.gif Giant Bee Hive Pack
567 Spore Sac (projectile).png Spore Trap Spore Sac
568 Spore Sac (projectile 2).png Spore Trap 2 Spore Sac
569 Spore Sac (projectile 3).png Spore Gas Spore Sac
570 Spore Sac (projectile 4).png Spore Gas 2 Spore Sac
571 Spore Sac (projectile 5).png Spore Gas 3 Spore Sac
606 Laser2 (projectile).png Scutlix Laser Scutlix Mount
613 Stardust Cell.gif Stardust Cell Stardust Cell Staff
614 Stardust Cell (mini).gif Stardust Cell Shot Stardust Cell
616 Vortex Rocket.png Vortex Rocket Vortex Beater
617 Nebula Arcanum (projectile).png Nebula Arcanum Nebula Arcanum
618 Vortex Rocket.png Nebula Arcanum Subshot Nebula Arcanum
619 Nebula Arcanum (projectile).png Nebula Arcanum Explosion Shot Nebula Arcanum
620 Nebula Arcanum (projectile).png Nebula Arcanum Explosion Shot Shard Nebula Arcanum
625 Stardust Dragon (head) (projectile).png Stardust Dragon 1 Stardust Dragon Staff
626 Stardust Dragon (body 1) (projectile).png Stardust Dragon 2 Stardust Dragon Staff
627 Stardust Dragon (body 2) (projectile).png Stardust Dragon 3 Stardust Dragon Staff
628 Stardust Dragon (tail) (projectile).png Stardust Dragon 4 Stardust Dragon Staff
634 Nebula Blaze (projectile).gif Nebula Blaze Nebula Blaze
635 Nebula Blaze Ex.gif Nebula Blaze Ex Nebula Blaze
640 Luminite Arrow (projectile).png Luminite Arrow Trail Luminite Arrows
642 Lunar Portal Laser.png Lunar Portal Laser Lunar Portal
644 Rainbow Explosion.png Rainbow Explosion Rainbow Crystal
659 Spirit Flame (projectile).gif Spirit Flame Spirit Flame
664 Flameburst Tower Shot.png Flameburst Tower Shot (tier 1) Flameburst Rod
666 Flameburst Tower Shot.png Flameburst Tower Shot (tier 2) Flameburst Cane
668 Flameburst Tower Shot.png Flameburst Tower Shot (tier 3) Flameburst Staff
680 Ballista Shot.png Ballista Shot Ballista Rod, Ballista Cane, Ballista Staff
700 Ghast (animated).gif Ghast Ghastly Glaive
755 Sanguine Bat Minion.gif Sanguine Bat Sanguine Staff
758 Vampire Frog (minion).gif Vampire Frog Vampire Frog Staff
759 Finch.gif Finch Finch Staff
803 Snowman Cluster Rocket I.png Cluster Rocket I Snowman Cannon using Cluster Rocket I's
804 Snowman Cluster Rocket II.png Cluster Rocket II Snowman Cannon using Cluster Rocket II's
805 Snowman Wet Rocket.png Wet Rocket Snowman Cannon using Wet Rockets
806 Snowman Lava Rocket.png Lava Rocket Snowman Cannon using Lava Rockets
807 Snowman Honey Rocket.png Honey Rocket Snowman Cannon using Honey Rockets
808 Snowman Mini Nuke I.png Mini Nuke Rocket I Snowman Cannon using Mini Nuke I's
809 Snowman Mini Nuke II.png Mini Nuke Rocket II Snowman Cannon using Mini Nuke II's
810 Snowman Dry Rocket.png Dry Rocket Snowman Cannon using Dry Rockets
832 Desert Tiger (flying).png Desert Tiger Desert Tiger
833 Desert Tiger (tier 1).gif Desert Tiger (tier 1) Desert Tiger Staff used 1-3 times
834 Desert Tiger (tier 2).gif Desert Tiger (tier 2) Desert Tiger Staff used 4-6 times
835 Desert Tiger (tier 3).gif Desert Tiger (tier 3) Desert Tiger Staff used 7+ times
837 Skull (projectile).png Skull Book of Skulls
856 Stellar Tune.png Stellar Tune Stellar Tune
864 Enchanted Dagger (minion).png Enchanted Dagger Blade Staff
916 Reaping (projectile).gif Reaping Dark Harvest
917 Cool Flake.png Cool Flake Cool Whip
930 Rocket I.png Santank Rocket Santank Mount
931 Nightglow (projectile).png Nightglow Nightglow
937 Volatile Gelatin (projectile).png Volatile Gelatin Volatile Gelatin
946 Terraprisma (projectile).png Terraprisma Terraprisma
951 Flinx (minion).gif Flinx Flinx Staff
963 Abigail.gif Abigail Abigail's Flower
967 Houndius Shootius Fireball.gif Houndius Shootius Fireball Houndius Shootius


  • Defeating the Lunatic Cultist will also fully unlock the Bestiary entries for the Phantasm Dragon and Ancient Vision, even if they were not encountered during the fight.
  • The Lunatic Cultist targets every player, so if one is too far away from it (e.g. by using a Magic Mirror or Recall Potion), it will despawn.
    • If a player teleports away before the Lunatic Cultist's spawning animation finishes, the tablet will finish its animation while the Lunatic Cultist despawns.
  • If the player loses against the Lunatic Cultist or it despawns, it cannot be fought again immediately. Instead, the player has to wait for the Lunatic Devotees and Cultist Archers to respawn at the Dungeon, which takes 12 minutes (12 in-game hours) from the destruction of the Mysterious Tablet.
  • The Cultists will never spawn if Skeletron has not yet been defeated in the current world, since the Old Man takes spawning priority over the Cultists.
  • Most homing projectiles and minions will not target the real Lunatic Cultist during its ritual, although minions that deal contact damage may accidentally damage them. Some exceptions include projectiles produced via on-hit effects such as the Flaming Jack projectiles from The Horseman's Blade and the Spectre Mask's damaging orbs, which will still target the real Lunatic Cultist.
  • The Lunatic Cultist will always spawn at the Dungeon entrance's original location, regardless of modifications (similar to the four Cultists), meaning that if the four Cultists are teleported or otherwise moved away, and then killed there, the Lunatic Cultist will still spawn, and instantly despawn if the player is far enough away from the Dungeon entrance.
    • Removing the floor and ceiling at the entrance to the Dungeon (where the Old Man spawns) will prevent the Cultists from spawning.


Achievement Obsessive Devotion.png
Obsessive Devotion • Defeat the Ancient Cultist, fanatical leader of the dungeon coven.
Defeat the Lunatic Cultist for the first time. (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
Category: Slayer Slayer
Achievement Slayer of Worlds.png
Slayer of Worlds • Defeat every boss in Terraria.
Defeat every boss in the game. (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions)
Category: Challenger Challenger


Lunatic Cultist.png   Ancient Cultist.png
The real Lunatic Cultist (left) and the decoy (right).
For more elaborate strategies on defeating the Lunatic Cultist, including weapon and arena recommendations, see Guide:Lunatic Cultist strategies.
  • The player should avoid defeating the Lunatic Cultist if they are not yet ready for the Lunar Events. Beating the Lunatic Cultist causes the Lunar Events to begin immediately, and there is no way to de-summon them thereafter (aside from defeating all of the Celestial Pillars).
  • The real Lunatic Cultist can be distinguished from its decoys in a number of ways:
    • The real Cultist has pointed, angry eyes, while the decoys' eyes are round and neutral.
    • The real Cultist has a line on its hood while the decoys do not.
    • The real Cultist does not emit light, while the decoys do; however, this may only be apparent if fought at night.
    • When the ritual starts, the real Cultist is the copy that is furthest away from the player.
    • Using a Hunter Potion will only highlight the real Cultist.
    • The Leaf Crystal produced by the Chlorophyte armor only targets the real Cultist.
  • Using Autopause grants as much time as needed for identifying the real Cultist.
  • Attacking a decoy Cultist is not a bad idea if the player uses the Vampire Knives. The resulting Phantasm Dragon is very long and may be easily targeted to restore some life.
  • Many of the Lunatic Cultist's attacks can be blocked by hiding behind solid blocks, including its lightning bolts and fireballs. A weapon that attacks through blocks or a yoyo can be used to deal damage.
  • There is little reason to farm the Lunatic Cultist itself, as its only non-vanity drops are Greater Healing Potions and the Ancient Manipulator, the latter only needing to be obtained once. However, defeating it is the only way to access the Lunar Events and Lunar Fragments.
  • If the lock on mechanic selects the Lunatic Cultist as the target, the target is dispelled every time it teleports.
  • Depending on the world size and generation, one of the Celestial Pillars will often spawn immediately within the vicinity of the player upon defeating the Lunatic Cultist. If this happens when the player is unprepared, and the background changes to indicate a Celestial Pillar has spawned near the player, it is recommended to immediately pick up the Lunatic Cultist's drops and teleport back to a safe base using a Magic Mirror or Recall Potion to prevent from being unexpectedly ambushed by dangerous enemies spawned from the Lunar Events.


Lunatic Cultist laugh.gif   Ancient Cultist laugh.gif
The Lunatic Cultist and Ancient Cultist's laughing animation.
  • The Lunatic Cultist is the smallest boss in the game and the only one without an awakening message.
  • The Lunatic Cultist's attacks appear to be based on the four Celestial Pillars from the Lunar Events, and/or their class counterparts.
  • Crowno's set is visually similar to the appearance of the Lunatic Cultist and was added to the game much earlier, indicating that it possibly served as an inspiration for the Lunatic Cultist. However, the Lunatic Cultist was designed first, according to Crowno.[7]
  • The boss' appearance, especially its mask, resembles a plague doctor costume, which was an outfit worn by plague doctors during European epidemics of the bubonic plague in the 16th and 17th centuries that were intended to protect them from airborne diseases.
  • The Lunatic Cultist was once named "Insane Cultist" during development, according to an unimplemented achievement.
  • The Lunatic Cultist has an Expert Mode Treasure Bag in Terraria's game files, but it is unobtainable, as it never actually drops it.
    • The reason for this may simply stem from the Lunatic Cultist's overall lack of distinct drops aside from the Ancient Manipulator.
  • The decoys share map icons with the real Lunatic Cultist.
  • This is the only boss to use music specifically titled after another boss, Golem, and the only boss whose music starts before the boss itself spawns, making it easier to obtain the Music Box.
  • The term lunatic is nowadays usually used as an informal synonym for insane, mentally ill, etc. The word itself, however, originated from the fact that diseases were historically thought to have been caused by the moon, tying in with the moon-themed events following this boss.
  • The Lunatic Cultist, Brain of Cthulhu, Moon Lord, King Slime, Queen Slime, Empress of Light, and, in Expert Mode, Duke Fishron are the only bosses that can teleport.
  • Oddly, when the Lunatic Cultist is killed, the status message "Celestial creatures are invading!" appears before "Lunatic Cultist has been defeated!", probably hinting that the summoning ritual might have finished before the Lunatic Cultist died.
  • When the Lunatic Cultist despawns after a player has teleported away from it, it plays its dying animation.
  • Wearing the Lunatic Cultist Mask and the Lunar Cultist Robe causes the player to look very similar to the Lunatic Cultist, however, the boss is still taller than the player, and is therefore distinguishable.
  • The Lunatic Cultist is one of the few bosses in which all of its attacks' damage, other than contact damage, do not increase linearly in Master Mode.
  • It is the only non-event boss not to have an Expert Mode-exclusive drop.
  • The Lunatic Cultist has the most types of "servants" out of all the bosses, totaling four.
  • Terraria lore pages – According to the Terraria lore pages, the Lunatic Cultist and their cult worshipped Cthulhu, and sought to restore/resurrect their master. To this end, they forced the Mechanic to forge the Mechanical Bosses as new mechanical organs for Cthulhu - however, as the mechanical brain was never completed before the events of the game, this plan never came to fruition.
  • The BestiaryBestiary entry for the Lunatic Cultist: "A fanatical leader hell-bent on bringing about the apocalypse by reviving the great Cthulhu through behind-the-scenes scheming."


  • Desktop
    • No longer respawns while the Moon Lord is spawning.
    • Can no longer spawn during important events like boss fights, invasions etc.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, methods AI_084_LunaticCultist() in Terraria.NPC.cs and Damage() in Terraria.Projectile.cs.
  2. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method ScaleStats_ApplyMultiplayerStats() in Terraria.NPC.cs.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, methods ScaleStats() in Terraria.NPC.cs and AI() in Terraria.NPC.cs. The relevant part is the aiStyle == 101 block.
  4. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method AI() in Terraria.NPC.cs. The relevant part is the aiStyle == 101 block.
  5. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method AI() in Terraria.Projectile.cs. The relevant part is the aiStyle == 89 block.
  6. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, methods Damage() in Terraria.Projectile.cs and Sets() in Terraria.ID.ProjectileID.cs. There may be inaccuracies, as the current Desktop version Desktop version is
  7. Post on Crowno's forums profile June 25, 2015