Guide:Deerclops strategies

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This is a Guide page.
This is a Guide page.
This means the page will walk you through a specific task, strategy, or enemy/boss fight.
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Map Icon Deerclops.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
AI TypeDeerclops AI
Damage204060 (melee)
265278 (Ice Spike)
3672108 (Debris)
204060 (Shadow Hand)
Max Life7000/11900/15172
KB Resist100%
Immune toConfusedShimmering
Debuff tooltipMovement speed is reduced
Chance100% (Roar)
Duration12 24 30 
Debuff tooltipYou can't move!
Chance100% (Ice Spike)
Duration0.33 0.67 0.83 
Coins5 GC12 GC50 SC
  • Ice Spike
    Ice Spike
  • Debris
  • Shadow Hand (hostile)
    Shadow Hand (hostile)
Deerclops Trophy.png"The chilly one-eyed monstrosity from a foreign land."Deerclops Trophy.png

Deerclops is a pre-Hardmode boss. It does not need to be killed to progress the game, but it drops several Don't Starve-themed items, including the useful pet item Eye Bone. It also drops significant amounts of money.


Deerclops can be spawned using the Deer ThingDeer Thing in the Snow biome, crafted from 3 Flinx FurFlinx Fur, 5 Demonite OreDemonite Ore or Crimtane OreCrimtane Ore, and a LensLens. It also naturally spawns at exactly midnight during a Blizzard in the Snow biome if one player has either 9 defense or 200 health. Despite being summoned or being naturally spawned in the Snow Biome, it can be fought at any biome after being summoned.

The fight

  • Deerclops has four / five attacks:
    • If it is close to the player, Deerclops will smash the ground, summoning a wave of Ice Spikes that quickly travels towards the player. Every third consecutive wave does not go as far, instead spreading in both directions. Ice Spikes freeze the player briefly.
    • If it is not close enough to its target to use the Ice Spikes attack, Deerclops will "scoop" and then throw numerous chunks of Debris into the air that fall back down. These chunks can pass through blocks.
    • Deerclops will occasionally stand in place and roar, inflicting the SlowSlow debuff on all players within 50 tiles[1] for 12 / 24 / 30 seconds, unless they are already affected by the debuff.
    • If the player is above Deerclops for enough time, five Shadow Hands will be summoned around the player.
    • In Expert Mode, Shadow Hands will be periodically summoned that either move forwards slowly, move forwards quickly and curve, or spin in place. Shadow Hands are summoned more frequently as Deerclops's life gets lower. Shadow Hands predict the player's movements.
  • Deerclops cannot pass through solid blocks, but if the player is above it, far enough away, and Deerclops cannot reach them, it will quickly rise through the blocks to reach the player.
  • If the player is more than 30 tiles away, Deerclops will turn a dark shade of purple, two reddish, semi-transparent images of Deerclops will begin spinning around it, and it becomes immune to all damage.
  • If all players are dead or there are none nearby, Deerclops will wander around instead of immediately despawning. This will happen until a player gets close to the boss, at which point the fight will resume as normal. Once one in-game day (24 real-world minutes) has passed since Deerclops's spawn, it will despawn as soon as no players are near. Leaving and re-entering the world will also cause it to despawn.
    • Like all other bosses, Pylons cannot be used while Deerclops is alive in a world.

General strategies

General tips

This content is transcluded from Guide:Practical tips § Combat.

Terrain preparation

It is recommended to clear a large flat area in the Snow biome.

One or two layers of platforms is enough since Deerclops follows the player if they are 30 blocks away, passing through blocks and being immune to attacks.

Gearing up

It's recommended to have at least 300 health before you attempt to fight Deerclops. If using magic weapons, having the max amount of mana is recommended.


  • A full set of at least Gold HelmetGold armor or Platinum HelmetPlatinum armor should be acquired, but better armor is always an option. Other armor sets with set bonuses can be effective as well.
  • Fossil HelmetFossil armor or Necro HelmetNecro armor are the only armor sets available for rangers, with Necro armor obtainable in the Dungeon.
  • Crimson HelmetCrimson armor is excellent due to the high defense values and increased damage. Shadow HelmetShadow armor is good too and suits a melee playstyle.
  • The Wizard HatWizard set, with magic-boosting or defense-boosting leg armor, provides the most damage for magic users. If defense is preferred, Jungle HatJungle armor or Meteor HelmetMeteor armor can be used.
    • Meteor armor's set bonus can make Space Gun and Gray Zapinator much more effective against Deerclops since it reduces Space Gun's and Gray Zapinator's mana usage to 0.
  • Obsidian Outlaw HatObsidian armor is the best summoner armor set at this point in the game which focuses on whip bonuses.
    • Bee HeadgearBee armor is an alternative set if Queen Bee has been defeated and focuses on minion bonuses.
  • Molten HelmetMolten armor is the best pre-hardmode armor set for melee classes, although it requires a visit to the Underworld and a pickaxe that can mine Hellstone.


For melee users:

  • For swords, a solid choice would be the Blade of GrassBlade of Grass.
    • The VolcanoVolcano and Night's EdgeNight's Edge are better, but they are harder to acquire.
    • The TerragrimTerragrim performs excellently if acquired.
    • The StarfuryStarfury does high damage at a range with its falling stars. Its stars do not pass through platforms, however.
  • Thorn ChakramThorn Chakram or FlamarangFlamarang are good at killing Deerclops, due to their long range.
  • Flails are a solid choice, due to their range.
    • The SunfurySunfury is the best pre-hardmode flail, but requires both killing Skeletron and looting the Underworld.
    • The Blue MoonBlue Moon is a decent flail that can be obtained from the dungeon.
  • The Storm SpearStorm Spear and The Rotted ForkThe Rotted Fork are spears with good range. The Dark LanceDark Lance is even stronger, but requires both defeating Skeletron and exploring the Underworld.
  • For yoyos, the AmazonAmazon and the Code 1Code 1 are a good option.
    • The ValorValor is slightly better than these, but it requires defeating Skeletron and finding one in the dungeon.
    • The CascadeCascade is better than the Valor and is possible to obtain before defeating Deerclops but requires defeating Skeletron and getting one to drop from an enemy in hell.
    • The Hive-FiveHive-Five can be obtained by defeating Queen Bee and releases bees when it hits an enemy, making it arguably the best pre-hardmode yoyo.

For ranged users:

  • Bow users should use a Demon BowDemon Bow, Tendon BowTendon Bow, or Molten FuryMolten Fury if they've got it.
  • Blood Rain BowBlood Rain Bow is an effective choice but requires a big arena to be used properly. It works best with Unholy ArrowUnholy Arrows or Hellfire ArrowHellfire Arrows if obtained.
  • Hellwing BowHellwing Bow has fast use time and infinite piercing, making it effective against Deerclops, however, it performs better at close-range, due to its inacuracy and arrow speed.
  • A MusketMusket or The UndertakerThe Undertaker are decent and the MinisharkMinishark can also be used. The BoomstickBoomstick is also a very powerful choice. Players that have already defeated Skeletron can get the Quad-Barrel ShotgunQuad-Barrel Shotgun. However, it is very inaccurate, so staying close to the boss is mandatory if using this.
  • The Star CannonStar Cannon's infinite piercing and high DPS makes this a viable choice, however, its ammo requires the user to take ammo conservation measures.
  • Silver BulletSilver Bullets/ Tungsten BulletTungsten Bullets are the preferred bullets to use with the guns mentioned above. Meteor ShotMeteor Shots work better with the former two, since they don't have problems with the invincibility frames caused by piercing attacks.

For magic users:

  • Crimson worlds will benefit from having the Crimson RodCrimson Rod, as you can fire it once and then switch to another weapon, increasing damage output.
  • The Space GunSpace Gun is a good weapon, especially when combined with Meteor armor.
  • The Gray ZapinatorGray Zapinator is also an excellent weapon, thanks to its high damage output, especially with Meteor Armor.
  • The Ruby StaffRuby Staff or Diamond StaffDiamond Staff are both decent choices due to their low mana cost and decent piercing damage. The Thunder ZapperThunder Zapper does similar damage at a higher mana cost, and the Emerald StaffEmerald Staff also pierces but has lower damage.
  • The Water BoltWater Bolt is a decent choice, though the open space makes it unwieldy.
  • The VilethornVilethorn is a solid choice, especially due to Deerclops's low defense.
  • Magic MissileMagic Missile and its upgrade, FlamelashFlamelash can be used to quickly and repeatedly strike it with great accuracy.
  • The Flower of FireFlower of Fire is the one of the strongest magic weapons in pre-hardmode, but has a high mana cost.
  • The Demon ScytheDemon Scythe is a very strong option, however the Underworld must be visited to obtain it.
  • The Book of SkullsBook of Skulls is a decent option due to its homing and piercing capabilities.

For summon users:

  • The Imp StaffImp Staff and the Vampire Frog StaffVampire Frog Staff are the strongest summoning weapons available.
    • The Hornet StaffHornet Staff is a viable alternative if the Underworld hasn't been explored yet.
  • Out of the sentry weapons sold by the Tavernkeep, the best options are the Ballista RodBallista Rod and the Explosive Trap RodExplosive Trap Rod. The Ballista Rod has incredibly high damage and their bolts are capable of piercing, while the Explosive Trap Rod inflicts damage in an area of effect. While the sentries themselves are slow to attack, you can continually re-summon them to make them attack more rapidly, reducing the cooldown time.
  • The SnapthornSnapthorn combined with the Spinal TapSpinal Tap can deal tremendous amounts of damage, otherwise, the Snapthorn itself can be used.


  • Anything that increases your vertical mobility is a godsend. The Cloud in a BottleCloud in a Bottle is good, but better choices would be the Blizzard in a BottleBlizzard in a Bottle, the Fart in a JarFart in a Jar, or the Sandstorm in a BottleSandstorm in a Bottle and its upgrades, especially Bundle of BalloonsBundle of Balloons. You can also use the Rocket BootsRocket Boots and its upgrades or Fledgling WingsFledgling Wings for flight, and if Rocket Boots are upgraded, speed.
    • Combining both Rocket Boots and its upgrades and Fledgling Wings is viable, as it increases flight time, and if Rocket Boots have been upgraded, speed.
  • The Shark Tooth NecklaceShark Tooth Necklace is a very good increase to DPS.
    • If Queen Bee has been defeated, the Stinger NecklaceStinger Necklace is an upgrade to the Shark Tooth Necklace, increasing both on survivability and damage.
  • If going melee, the Magma StoneMagma Stone and Feral ClawsFeral Claws are useful, increasing DPS and enabling autoswing respectively.
    • The Feral Claws works for whips too, enabling autoswing for whips.
  • Anything that reduces damage is very helpful, including Expert Mode-exclusive Worm ScarfWorm Scarf, Obsidian ShieldObsidian Shield, which also provides knockback immunity, and defensive reforges on accessories.
  • The Expert Mode-exclusive Brain of ConfusionBrain of Confusion increases critical strike chance for 3 seconds and chance to dodge on being attacked makes it a useful accessory against Deerclops.
  • If the Hand WarmerHand Warmer has been obtained, use it, since Deerclops inflicts the Chilled and Frozen Debuff. Being immune to these effects makes manuevering around considerably easier.
  • In Expert Mode, Shield of CthulhuShield of Cthulhu's dash is essential and makes the fight considerably easier.


Specific Strategies

Respawn Strategy

Set up a spawn point with a BedBed in the arena where you will fight Deerclops. Because Deerclops won't despawn as long as a player was near within a certain period of time, the player will be able to die an infinite amount of times during the fight. This method may take a long time with lower-tier gear, but eventually defeating Deerclops is nearly guaranteed, as long as the player can deal some damage each time they respawn.

Short Skybridge

Build a skybridge 20-30 blocks off the ground and spanning 100 or so blocks long, with a flat area underneath. Deerclops will stand beneath the platforms and follow the player's motion, but will not use his Ice Spikes attack. Instead, he will only summon Shadow Hands (if the player is above him) or throw debris if the player is off to one side. He can be easily handled by slowly walking just ahead of him until he begins to throw debris, then jumping in the opposite direction to avoid the ice chunks. Keep walking the other way until he throws debris again.

The main risk is the Expert Mode shadow hand that can knock the player the wrong direction, knocking them into debris or causing Deerclops to summon many shadow hands. This can be avoided by jumping over the hand or using the Cobalt Shield or Gladiator Armor to avoid knockback.


  1. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, method AI_123_Deerclops() in Terraria.NPC.cs. There may be inaccuracies, as the current Desktop version Desktop version is