Guide:Lunatic Cultist strategies

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This is a Guide page.
This means the page will walk you through a specific task, strategy, or enemy/boss fight.
Status: Subject to revision (This Guide does not meet certain quality standards and may be heavily outdated.)
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    Lunatic Cultist Trophy.png"Fanatical leader of the dungeon coven."Lunatic Cultist Trophy.png

    The Lunatic Cultist is a post-Golem boss. Defeating him will summon the Celestial Towers. While his small health bar means he'll be taken out quite quickly, his attacks can be damaging and hard to dodge.

    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
    DebuffOn Fire!On Fire!
    Debuff tooltipSlowly losing life
    Chance100% (Fireball)
    Duration0.5–2.5 1–5 1.25–6.25 
    Coins10 GC25 GC
    • 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
    • Shadow Fireball
      Shadow Fireball


    He spawns after the 4 other Cultists are slain. The Lunatic Cultist will be invincible when he first spawns. After he moves away from his spawn point, you can begin to deal damage to him.

    Attack Pattern

    After moving away from his spawn point, the Lunatic Cultist will begin to cycle through three attacks:

    • A rotating ball of ice that fires six shards at equal intervals before disappearing
    • Three homing fireballs that explode on impact
    • A stationary orb similar to the Magnet Sphere that summons streaks of lightning in a straight line.

    Once the Lunatic Cultist is damaged enough, he adds a fourth attack, which summons in two spreads of five destroyable Ancient Light projectiles. In Expert Mode, the Cultist may also spawn Ancient Dooms that fire purple projectiles in a cross shape.

    After performing 4 to 5 of his attacks, the Cultist will spawn in duplicates of himself that remain stationary. If one of these duplicates is damaged (or after a certain amount of time without damaging any one of them), a Phantasm Dragon will spawn, or an Ancient Vision if a Phantasm Dragon is already present. Two duplicates will also start attacking besides him, occasionally shooting a projectile. If the real Lunatic Cultist is damaged, neither of these two powerful minions will spawn in. The amount of duplicates the Lunatic Cultist spawns in increases, the more clones you hit. It is recommended to fight the Cultist at night, as the fake cultists will glow.

    General Strategies

    General tips

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

    • For nocturnal bosses, starting the battle just after the sun sets (7:30 PM) will provide the maximum amount of time to defeat the boss. In Hardmode, the Moon CharmMoon Charm and/or Moon StoneMoon Stone and their upgrades are also useful at night.
    • Boss battles can be won or lost before the battle ever starts. Choose your equipment and have it ready; find and/or make potions and placed buffs; use the highest-tier food you have available; set up an arena appropriate to the boss; learn the strategies for the boss you're facing.
    • Prepare your Boss-fighting arena with adequate lighting, CampfireCampfires and Heart LanternHeart Lanterns for health regeneration, and Star in a BottleStars in Bottles for mana regeneration if you use magic. Bast StatueBast Statues(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) will provide a significant defensive boost. Garden GnomeGarden Gnomes(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) (if underground) proper torch placement will reduce damage taken and increase damage dealt due to the luck. The Torch God's Favor(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) helps with this. HoneyHoney pools can also be used for extra health regeneration.
    • (Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) SunflowerSunflowers provide the Happy!Happy!(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) buff to nearby players, which grants a +10% movement speed bonus and 17% reduction in enemy spawn rate.
    • Always carry around a stack of the highest-tier healing potion available, as relying only on natural Health Regeneration is not a good idea. Depending on the game stage, this can include items such as Lesser Healing PotionLesser Healing Potions or HoneyfinHoneyfins. On the Desktop version Desktop, Console version Console, and Mobile version Mobile versions, Restoration PotionRestoration Potions are healing potions with a shorter cooldown.
    • It is suggested to build houses for the DryadDryad and the NurseNurse NPCs in your arena. The former casts the Dryad's BlessingDryad's Blessing(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) buff, which increases your defense and provides you with a thorns-like effect, while the latter can heal and remove debuffs instantly, at the cost of some Silver Coincoins.
    • Bosses are displayed on the Minimap: Follow the boss's icon to track it when you're struggling to find it. You can identify the boss icons by checking their respective wiki pages.
    • Once you have freed the MechanicMechanic in the Dungeon, you can use WireWire to enhance your arena with Dart TrapTraps and helpful Heart StatueHeart and Star StatueStar Statues. The former helps to damage the enemies, though be careful to set them up correctly in order not to hurt yourself during the battle. The latter will spawn heart and star pickups, respectively. Connect these devices to 1 Second Timertimers to activate them infinitely.
    • In Hardmode, the Brand of the InfernoBrand of the Inferno(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and Sergeant United ShieldSergeant United Shield(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) can be used to parry incoming contact damage.
    • It may be useful to summon and kill the Eye of Cthulhu or King Slime before summoning any harder boss in order to spawn an extra one-use pool of Hearts. Note that this will prevent any Heart Statues from spawning new Hearts.
    • Remember to use the Sharpening StationSharpening Station(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), Ammo BoxAmmo Box(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions), Crystal BallCrystal Ball, Bewitching TableBewitching Table(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), War TableWar Table(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), and Slice of CakeSlice of Cake(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) before you go to explore or battle bosses/invasions. These will give boosts that are useful to have, with the first five being class-specific. They give SharpenedSharpened(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), Ammo Box (buff)Ammo Box(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions), ClairvoyanceClairvoyance, BewitchedBewitched(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), StrategistStrategist(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), and Sugar RushSugar Rush(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), respectively.

    Terrain Preparation

    A basic arena with some rows of platforms will suffice. If the player made an arena for Skeletron, they can reuse it here.

    Gearing up

    While the Cultist himself doesn't require as much preparation as Plantera or Duke Fishron, killing him will start the Celestial Event, so it is better to fight with the best gear available.


    • For Melee characters, the Beetle armorBeetle armor is the best available. The Beetle Scale MailBeetle Scale Mail is better for offensive bonuses, while the Beetle ShellBeetle Shell is better for those that can't avoid taking hits frequently. The best mixed set consists of Hallowed MaskHallowed Mask, Valhalla Knight's BreastplateValhalla Knight's Breastplate(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) for valuable life regeneration / Shinobi Infiltrator's TorsoShinobi Infiltrator's Torso(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) for a significant melee speed boost / Monk's ShirtMonk's Shirt(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) for the highest raw damage, and Valhalla Knight's GreavesValhalla Knight's Greaves(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions).
    • For Ranged characters, the Shroomite armorShroomite armorShroomite armorShroomite armor is the strongest available. Due to shroomite armor's set bonus being hard to utilize in singleplayer, you can use Adamantite MaskAdamantite Mask or Hallowed HelmetHallowed Helmet which boost all weapon types and provide the highest damage for rocket type weapons; Red Riding DressRed Riding Dress(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is optimal when using minions; and Red Riding LeggingsRed Riding Leggings(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) provide higher stats than shroomite leggings, especially when using minions.
    • The Spectre armorSpectre armor is the strongest for a Mage. The Spectre HoodSpectre Hood should be used only when at low health to maximize damage output. The mixed set consisting of Spectre MaskSpectre Mask(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions), Dark Artist's RobesDark Artist's Robes(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and Dark Artist's LeggingsDark Artist's Leggings(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) provides higher damage than the full spectre set (especially when using minions), at the cost of not being able to easily switch to the Spectre HoodSpectre Hood to quickly heal up.
    • The Spooky armorSpooky armor provides the highest damage for summoners, Tiki armorTiki armor provides a bit more defense and a significant whip range bonus, which is especially important when using low range whips like FirecrackerFirecracker(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions). Valhalla Knight armorValhalla Knight armor(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is a sentry focused set which grants excellent survivability.


    For Melee users:

    • FlaironFlairon is a very strong choice with its homing, high damaging projectiles.
    • The Terra BladeTerra Blade, Flying DragonFlying Dragon(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and the Influx WaverInflux Waver(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) are the strongest projectile swords available, with the Influx Waver being particularly powerful against single targets.
    • The StarlightStarlight(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is even higher in DPS, and the nature of his attack patterns means that dodging can be easier if you are closer, making this an excellent option for facetanking.
    • The Eye of CthulhuThe Eye of Cthulhu(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) deals high damage and will help with taking out the Lunatic Cultist and the Phantasm Dragon he summons. In addition, it is incredibly useful for hitting only the real cultist during the ritual, since it follows the cursor very accurately.
    • Vampire KnivesVampire Knives should be used due to their healing effect. But due to the low damage output, a different weapon should be used when not at low health.
    • The Paladin's HammerPaladin's Hammer has high damage and quick attacks, while the Possessed HatchetPossessed Hatchet trades some power for a homing effect.

    For Ranged users:

    • The XenopopperXenopopper(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) with Crystal BulletCrystal Bullets is the strongest gun available. The Chain GunChain Gun is weaker but still a good choice. However, when used with Chlorophyte Bullets, it can prove very useful.
    • The Snowman CannonSnowman Cannon is very useful with its homing high damaging projectiles. It is also very useful for quickly taking out the Phantasm Dragon, as its explosive projectiles hit many segments at once.
    • The TsunamiTsunami with Holy ArrowHoly Arrows is the strongest bow available.
    • Using the Piranha GunPiranha Gun will help as it deals continuous damage to the Cultist and prevents him from summoning minions.
    • The Electrosphere LauncherElectrosphere Launcher(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is very useful as the Cultist's movement pattern has him stay in one place for an amount of time which allows for many hits from this weapon.

    For Magic users:

    • The Razorblade TyphoonRazorblade Typhoon and NightglowNightglow(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) are very strong weapons with a reliable homing effect.
    • The RazorpineRazorpine, Blizzard StaffBlizzard Staff and Laser MachinegunLaser Machinegun(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) have stronger single target damage.
    • Magnet SphereMagnet Sphere will do a lot of damage, and can be used in combination with other weapons.
    • The Nimbus RodNimbus Rod, and the Rainbow GunRainbow Gun should be used with caution, as their stationary attacks could accidentally damage a duplicate of the Cultist, causing the Phantasm Dragon and/or an Ancient Vision to spawn in.

    For Summoners:

    • The TerraprismaTerraprisma(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is the strongest minion available, though you will have to face the monumental task of beating Empress of Light during the day. The Xeno StaffXeno Staff(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is the strongest minion if you couldn't be bothered to fight enraged Empress of Light. Deadly Sphere StaffDeadly Sphere Staff(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) and the Tempest StaffTempest Staff are weaker, but still decent.
    • The Ballista StaffBallista Staff(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is the strongest sentry available. The Staff of the Frost HydraStaff of the Frost Hydra is a weaker alternative.


    • Wings are important for every boss fight. The best ones available are the Fishron WingsFishron Wings. Betsy's WingsBetsy's Wings(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) provide horizontal speed but less vertical power.
      • The Frog LegFrog Leg makes all wings significantly faster, making dodging his attacks easier
      • Expert mode players who have obtained the Soaring InsigniaSoaring Insignia(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) may opt for the Empress WingsEmpress Wings(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions), as it has slightly better vertical mobility, with no loss to maximum height.
    • The Cosmic Car KeyCosmic Car Key(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) or other infinite-flight Mounts can be useful, freeing an accessory slot that would otherwise be used for mobility, but are slower and clumsier than wings.
    • The Master Ninja GearMaster Ninja Gear greatly helps in dodging the attacks and is recommended for all classes.
    • The Yoyo BagYoyo Bag(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) is extremely useful for melee characters with Yoyos as it can double their damage output.
    • The Destroyer EmblemDestroyer Emblem and/or the Celestial ShellCelestial Shell(Desktop, Console and Mobile versions) are always good to have.
    • Other damage increasing accessories include every other Emblem, the Celestial StoneCelestial Stone, the Sniper ScopeSniper Scope and the Mechanical GloveMechanical Glove.
    • For magic users, the Celestial CuffsCelestial Cuffs(Desktop, Console, Old-gen console and Mobile versions) can help regenerate mana.
    • The Cross NecklaceCross Necklace or Star VeilStar Veil can help when battling the Phantasm Dragon.
    • The Charm of MythsCharm of Myths reduces the Potion Sickness cooldown as well as providing some extra health regeneration. For the Philosopher's Stone's effect to apply, it only needs to be equipped the instant a Healing Potion is drank.

    At this point in the game, it is almost required to have all accessories on Lucky, Menacing or Warding.


    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, AI_084_LunaticCultist() in Terraria.NPC.cs and Damage() in Terraria.Projectile.cs.
    2. Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, ScaleStats_ApplyMultiplayerStats() in Terraria.NPC.cs.
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Information taken from the Desktop version Desktop source code, ScaleStats() in Terraria.NPC.cs and AI() in Terraria.NPC.cs. The relevant part is the aiStyle == 101 block.