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A group of players battling Nex.

Nex, the Zarosian general of the Ancient Prison, is one of the most powerful bosses in Old School RuneScape. It is strongly recommended that players fight her with a team, as it is extremely difficult to solo Nex.

Worlds 332 and 505 are the official worlds for killing Nex in a free-for-all group.

Getting there[edit | edit source]

To access the Ancient Prison, players must complete The Frozen Door miniquest, which requires assembling the frozen key. The four pieces of the key are obtained by defeating the four generals of the God Wars Dungeon. As such, level 70 in Ranged, Strength, Agility, and Hitpoints are required in order to obtain the key. The key pieces are a guaranteed drop from the generals, while their bodyguards drop the key pieces at a rate of 1/20. Unlike RuneScape, the frozen door is permanently unlocked once the frozen key has been used.

The safe room, where Ashuelot Reis provides banking services. The ancient barrier, purple in colour, indicates that Nex is not currently being fought.

Having a Zaros related item equipped will make the spiritual fighters and Blood Reavers unaggressive. This is useful since a player must run past these monsters to gain access to the safe room between the main area and Nex's chamber. To get to the safe room, players must gain 40 ancient essence, from killing these monsters. This requirement can be bypassed by using an ecumenical key, or lessened with completion of the various tiers of Combat Achievements. Unlike essence gathering in the main area of the dungeon, killing Zarosian soldiers grant varying amounts of essence:

Nex herself, along with the mages and reavers, have an occasional chance of providing an additional kill count upon death. This chance is based on the number of Zaros items equipped, with each giving a 20% chance to gain an extra essence per kill.[1]

The safe room is where the nature spirit Ashuelot Reis provides banking services, in which players can properly prepare for the fight against Nex. Once your team is ready for the fight, go past the ancient barrier to enter the chamber.

Regardless of team size, it is encouraged to get at least 80 or 120 kill count prior to entering the lobby area so that the reserved kill count can be used for immediately re-entering the room in the event of a teleport via the altar or needing to restock supplies. It is recommended to collect kill count in elite Void knight equipment with the Void ranger helm and ancient d'hide boots, since the Spiritual Mages have no defence, making this better damage-per-second than Armadyl armour, Zaryte vambraces and Pegasian boots for rapidly killing them.

Fight overview[edit | edit source]

The battle against Nex is fought in a circular room with a cross-bridge that resembles the symbol of Zaros. Nex moves very quickly; she can run at the speed of a player, she can jump across the room in two ticks, and she will leap across the pits. The battle has five phases: Smoke, Shadow, Blood, Ice, and the Zaros phase. There are four level 285 mages in the four corners of the room. These mages are Fumus, Umbra, Cruor, and Glacies, and they represent the four elements of the Ancient Magicks Nex uses in the first four phases.

Nex possesses high health but fairly low combat stats and defensive bonuses for her level - however, she should still not be underestimated. While she is weakest to stab attacks, ranged is also needed for the shadow and Zaros phases and her bodyguards. The bodyguards have fairly high Defence with varying defence bonuses, with three of them being slightly weaker to melee than they are ranged. Regardless, bringing melee and ranged is recommended for smooth and fast kills in smaller teams.

During the fight, Nex uses Ancient Magicks of the same type as the mage of that phase with a range of 10. Nex also has a standard melee attack that can hit players within melee distance, hitting up to 30.

If Nex is not in combat with a player for at least 8 ticks, she will fly ahead of where you are running and resume attacking. If the player is under her, she will dash to the center of the room. If the player is already in the center of the room, she will dash to of one of the bridges in the cross. Player attacks are interrupted when she does this and must be reinitiated. Nex is immune to any hits that are in process during this maneuver, such as those from crossbow bolts, so it is advised only to do this if a new position will benefit the team.

Nex's chamber can only be accessed when she is not being fought, or when the chamber is glowing purple. If players are battling her, the barrier to her chamber will be glowing red and will remain that way until the fight ends. To leave her chamber, use the altar across the room to teleport out. The altar will teleport players right outside the bank area, so make sure to have appropriate Zarosian protection before teleporting.

Praying at the altar while wearing at least one Zarosian item will restore Hitpoints, Prayer, Special attack, and Run energy. If no Zarosian items are worn, the altar will only restore Prayer. This can be done once every 10 minutes.

If players die during the fight with Nex, they may reclaim their items via the chest found in the safe rooms immediately after entering the frozen door, as well before Nex's chamber. Reclaiming items in the chest will cost 100,000 coins. Bring Saradomin and Zamorak-affiliated items; if intending to head straight back into Nex, bring a Zarosian item too if it is not one of the items held in the chest. Dying elsewhere without reclaiming items in the chest will cause them to be lost for good.

Smoke phase[edit | edit source]

A single player, on the top right of the image, purposely receives Nex's Choke attack by having the least amount of magic defence bonuses.

On the left, other players distance themselves from her to avoid spreading the virus.
Smoke Barrage icon (mobile).png

Nex's first phase, the smoke phase, starts when she shouts Fill my soul with smoke! During this phase, Nex will use Smoke Rush against players, which can poison. This is the only phase where her basic magic attacks do not drain prayer. All players should stand within melee range of her, a strategy known as melee distancing (MD), which will cause her to use her melee attack which only targets one player, as opposed to her magic attack which targets multiple players and deals more total damage. While in melee distance, the player being targeted by Nex may use Protect from Melee to reduce the overall damage taken, and then immediately switch to Protect from Magic once Nex switches targets.

Her special attacks in this phase are:

  • Choke - Nex will shout Let the virus flow through you! The player furthest away with the least amount of magic defence bonus will be targeted with the attack and become infected, drains two prayer points per every two ticks, and drains stats based on the player's highest attack bonus. The virus will also spread between adjacent players, infecting players without it, and resetting the duration on infected players.
    • Infected players can be easily identified by the *Cough* above their heads. The virus can easily be prevented from spreading by having one player equip negative magic defence armour, such as Justiciar, and standing away from the other players, at the start of the fight to avoid spreading Choke to the rest of the players.
    • A slayer helmet will reduce the duration of the choke, and the spectral spirit shield will reduce the prayer drain.
  • Drag - Nex will drag a random player towards her, stunning them and deactivate their protection prayer. Nex will only drag players if they are within 6 tiles away. There is a 1/4 chance for Nex to drag a player if they do not have Protect from Magic on and a 1/8 chance if they do.[2]
  • Smoke Dash - Nex will shout There is... NO ESCAPE! and dart down one of the four aisles in the chamber for up to 50 damage. Nex will look at the direction she intends to fly down towards prior to the attack as a warning indicator to avoid that area.

Nex will always start this phase by using her Choke attack. In smaller teams that are melee distancing, each player should spread out to avoid spreading the virus. Once a player has received the virus, the other players no longer need to distance themselves from each other and should move to a position that allows space for the infected player, in case they are targeted by the Drag special attack.

After Nex reaches 80% health (2720 hitpoints), she will shout Fumus, don't fail me! Now, her mage Fumus will become vulnerable and must be killed to proceed to the next phase. Fumus is weakest to stab attacks, although ranged is still reasonable.

Shadow phase[edit | edit source]

Nex unleashes her Shadow Smash attack.
Shadow Barrage icon (mobile).png

Nex's second phase, the shadow phase, starts when she shouts Darken my shadow! During this phase, Nex will shoot shadow shots which are considered as Ranged attacks. Having Protect from Missiles active will cut the damage taken in half. Successful hits can drain prayer points slightly, which can be reduced by the spectral spirit shield.

Players will take more damage from the shadow shots the closer to Nex they are, up to 30 with Protect from Missiles, so it is advised players keep their distance and maintain high hitpoints at all times on this phase in case Nex happens to glide immediately next to players and begin attacking right after.

Her special attacks in this phase are:

  • Shadow Smash - Nex will shout Fear the shadow! Deadly shadows will appear under every player. Players have three ticks to move out of their way before they erupt and deal up to 50 damage.
  • Embrace Darkness - Nex will shout Embrace darkness! The chamber will be darkened drastically. The closer players are to Nex, the darker the room will be. If players stand next to Nex, they will take constant damage from the pure shadow. If this damage is triggered, the player must remain outside of Nex's melee distance for 10-15 seconds to avoid taking damage while next to her.

Players that are targeted by Nex should try to lure her away from Umbra. This allows the entire team to attack Umbra, once she is vulnerable, while maintaining a safe distance away from Nex.

After Nex reaches 60% health (2040 hitpoints), she will shout Umbra, don't fail me! Now, her mage Umbra will become vulnerable and must be killed to proceed to the next phase. Umbra is weakest to ranged attacks.

Blood phase[edit | edit source]

A player is marked in red as part of Nex's Blood Sacrifice attack.
Blood Barrage icon (mobile).png

Nex's third phase, the blood phase, starts when she shouts Flood my lungs with blood! During this phase, Nex will use Blood Barrage against players, which heals her a percentage of the damage dealt and drain prayer based on the damage dealt which can be reduced by the spectral spirit shield.

Unlike the rest of the fight, this attack only targets one player, although it has a 3x3 AoE centred on the current target. The player targeted by her should move away from other players to reduce damage and effectively Nex's healing.

Her special attacks in this phase are:

  • Blood Siphon - Nex will shout A siphon will solve this! Nex will summon up to eight blood reavers (depending on team size) and kneel down for about 8 ticks. During this, all damage she receives will instead heal her. When a new siphon is used, the previous siphon's reavers, if any, will die and heal Nex for their remaining health.
  • Blood Sacrifice - Nex will shout I demand a blood sacrifice! A single player will be marked for sacrifice, and will glow red. The marked player has about four seconds to move at least seven tiles away from Nex, otherwise they will be dealt up to 50 damage through Protect from Magic which heals her and drains the player's current prayer points by 1/3rd. Closest players will also take up to 12 damage through Protect from Magic, and their prayer is drained by 1/3rd as well.

After Nex reaches 40% health (1360 hitpoints), she will shout Cruor, don't fail me! Now, her mage Cruor will become vulnerable and must be killed to proceed to the next phase. Cruor is weakest to slash attacks, although ranged is still reasonable.

Any blood reavers that persist will be automatically killed once Nex starts the next phase.

Ice phase[edit | edit source]

Nex unleashes her Containment attack.
Ice Barrage icon (mobile).png

Nex's fourth phase, the ice phase, starts when she shouts Infuse me with the power of ice! During this phase, Nex will use Ice Barrage against players, which will freeze them if they are not praying Protect from Magic and lowers their prayer points by half of the damage she deals, reduced to one third by the spectral spirit shield. Players should stand in melee distance (MD) similarly to the Smoke and Zaros phases. Players should be wary of the 'Containment' special attack when standing in melee distance, especially after Glacies has been activated to avoid being frozen in place.

Her special attacks in this phase are:

  • Containment - Nex will shout Contain this! She will smash the floor and icicles will appear in a 5x5 area around her. Getting caught in this can damage players up to 60 hitpoints and will deactivate protection prayers. Players near Glacies should be wary of this special as it is possible for Glacies to freeze them in place and at the same time Nex glide to the corner and use this special right after. If one is frozen and cannot escape the special attack, praying Protect from Missiles will reduce the damage by half its original amount.
  • Ice Prison - Nex will shout Die now, in a prison of ice! She will freeze a targeted player using an ice stalagmite attack, spawning stalagmites within a 3x3 AoE centred on the target player and deactivating their protection prayers. Players next to the formation will be shoved aside for no damage, although players on the same tile as the target will also be imprisoned. Four seconds after forming, the prison will shatter, dealing up to 75 damage to everyone inside it if one of the stalagmites were not destroyed. To destroy these, use either stab or crush-based attacks; while unarmed players can destroy them via kicking and punching, stab & crush weapons (especially those with higher accuracy like the Elder maul or Osmumten's fang) are more effective and have less chance of failing. Like with the containment special attack, If one is frozen and cannot escape the special attack, praying Protect from Missiles will reduce the damage by half its original amount.

After Nex reaches 20% health (680 hitpoints), she will shout Glacies, don't fail me! Now, her mage Glacies will become vulnerable and must be killed to proceed to the last phase. Glacies is weakest to crush attacks, although ranged is still reasonable.

Zaros phase[edit | edit source]

Players staying within melee distance of Nex to minimise damage from her magic attacks.

Nex's fifth and final phase, the Zaros phase, starts when she shouts NOW, THE POWER OF ZAROS! During this phase, Nex will call on Zaros' power, healing her for 500 hitpoints, and will only use her normal magic and melee attacks. Her magic attacks drain 5 prayer points if they hit, which can be reduced with the use of the spectral spirit shield.

Similarly to the smoke and ice phases, all players should run up to Nex to reduce the team's overall damage taken. Players with the lowest crush defence bonus are targeted more frequently by her melee attack.

In addition, she will use several ancient curses, which are Zarosian prayers, in this final phase of the fight:

  • Turmoil - Lasting until the end of the fight, Nex's magic and melee attacks are now far more accurate and powerful, hitting massive damage even through prayer. In addition, it can also drain the player's melee, range and magic stats, transferring the drained stats to her own.
  • Soul Split overhead.png Soul Split - An overhead prayer in which Nex will heal a small percentage of her health for every successful hit she inflicts on up to three players. She will use this as soon as the phase begins.
  • Deflect Melee overhead.png Deflect Melee - An overhead prayer in which Nex will activate a variant of Protect from Melee that deflects the damage the player would have dealt to her with melee attacks.
  • Wrath overhead.png Wrath - An overhead prayer in which Nex shouts Taste my wrath! This is a stronger version of Retribution, and deals up to 50 damage to players within a 5x5 radius of Nex upon her death. Players have three seconds after her death to run away from her Wrath attack.

Note: She will change overhead prayers every 5 attacks. And repeat the cycle until she is defeated.

Advanced Strategies[edit | edit source]

With the elementary understanding of Nex, some advanced strategies may be used to reduce personal damage and team damage. It is important to reduce team damage, as Nex is a team-killed boss, and the loss of a team member might mean the failure of a successful kill. This is also impactful for teams that are splitting, as the chance of a drop is given to everyone based on the percentage of damage each player has done in the room. If any of the team members teleport out or die, their contribution is not redistributed to the other members, ultimately resulting in a diminished likelihood of a drop upon a successful kill. This contribution-based chance of a drop is similar to that of The Nightmare. These tactics are especially useful for players with near-to-best-in-slot gear who want to maximize their kills per hour. Some teams may require these for participation.

  • Follow-stalling - Follow-stalling first requires that Player 1 "sets a stall," where they step under Nex and immediately attack her right afterward. When Player 2 is being attacked by Nex, they will quickly follow Player 1. Due to the pathing mechanics of the game, this allows Player 2 to hide under Nex for a few ticks while they switch to Protect from Melee, decreasing the overall damage dealt to the team while they contribute damage to Nex. Doing so at a rate of no less than 5 ticks is ideal, as this will align the players' 5-tick-cycle weapons to be damaging Nex at the same time as her attacks, which are normally on a 4-tick cycle. Stalling for no more than 8 ticks is ideal, because waiting any longer to attack Nex may cause her to dash to another part of the room, causing everyone to get dealt a few magic hits as well as make them have to re-set their stalls. This method is useful during the Smoke, Ice, and Zaros phases (Parts 1, 4, and 5), as the players are at melee distance, and there is no obligation to avoid stacking onto each other. It should be noted though that four hits after her Smoke Dash special attack, Nex will use her Choke special attack, which will infect anyone standing within two tiles of the chosen victim, so any follow-stalling should be avoided before this special attack occurs. When not follow-stalling, Nex will usually attack a player with four hits, and rarely, five or six hits. When follow-stalling, Nex will attack with three hits. It is important to only eat or drink potions after attacking nex, never during a follow-stall. If one eats or drinks during a follow-stall, it will interrupt the action, allowing Nex to move, thus causing all team members to need to reset their stalls.[3]
  • 5-tick stalling - 5-tick stalling is performed by stepping one tile under Nex on the tick just before she attacks, and then immediately attacking her again on the next tick. This aligns Nex's attacks, which are on a 4-tick cycle, with the players' weapons, which are on a 5-tick cycle. 5-tick stalling holds the same goal of follow-stalling with some improvements. Although it is more difficult to master, it is more effective than follow-stalling once mastered, because it allows the player to rapidly return to dealing damage to Nex. Also, in contrast to follow-stalling, when everyone is performing the 5-tick stall, it is known that everyone will be attacked by Nex for at least four hits, providing a higher average number of hits for everyone to be on the correct protection prayer. If a player is quick and/or prepared, they can switch to Protect from Melee either before or after they perform their first 5-tick stall. This stalling method also holds an advantage over follow-stalling during the Smoke phase, as when Nex uses her Choke special attack on the player performing the 5-tick stall, they should not be positioned under a player, if properly spaced in the fight.[4]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

In order to access Nex's Prison, you must first pass through the Zarosian encampment. In order to do so safely, it is highly recommended that you wear a Zaros-affiliated item until you have passed safely beyond the essence-consuming door. Teleporting out of the arena will place you in this dangerous area, so it is recommended you keep this item with you at all times. For the purposes of the following section, consider the following:

Best-in-slot[edit | edit source]

Zaryte crossbow

(for team sizes under ~8)

Twisted bow

(for team sizes over ~8)


(for team sizes under ~8)

Masori mask (f).png
Ava's assembler.png
Necklace of anguish.png
Ruby dragon bolts (e).png
Zaryte crossbow.png
Masori body (f).png
Twisted buckler.png
Masori chaps (f).png
Zaryte vambraces.png
Pegasian boots.png
Masori mask (f).png
Ava's assembler.png
Necklace of anguish.png
Dragon arrows.png
Twisted bow.png
Masori body (f).png
Masori chaps (f).png
Zaryte vambraces.png
Pegasian boots.png
Archers ring (i).png
Torva full helm.png
Infernal cape.png
Amulet of blood fury.png
Ruby dragon bolts (e).png
Osmumten's fang.png
Masori body (f).png
Avernic defender.png
Masori chaps (f).png
Ferocious gloves.png
Primordial boots.png

Mid-tier[edit | edit source]

Armadyl crossbow Bow of faerdhinen
Ancient coif.png
Ava's assembler.png
Necklace of anguish.png
Ruby dragon bolts (e).png
Armadyl crossbow.png
Ancient d'hide body.png
Twisted buckler.png
Ancient chaps.png
Barrows gloves.png
Ancient d'hide boots.png
Archers ring (i).png
Crystal helm.png
Ava's assembler.png
Necklace of anguish.png
Ancient blessing.png
Bow of faerdhinen (c).png
Crystal body.png
Crystal legs.png
Barrows gloves.png
Pegasian boots.png
Archers ring (i).png

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Dragon warhammer.pngStamina potion.pngBook of the dead.pngDivine rune pouch.png
Divine bastion potion.pngRanging potion.pngRanging potion.pngRanging potion.png
Sanfew serum.pngSuper restore.pngSuper restore.pngSuper restore.png
Super restore.pngSuper restore.pngSuper restore.pngSaradomin brew.png
Saradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.png
Saradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.png
Saradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.pngSaradomin brew.png
Blood rune.pngCosmic rune.pngFire rune.pngDeath rune.png

The following inventory is a basic setup for Nex encounters in a large team. As the duration of the fight depends largely on the size of the team, anglerfish may be substituted for additional saradomin brews and super restores as needed. You may adjust the ratio of Saradomin brews and Super restores if you find you run low on one or the other.

If using a crossbow setup, a Toxic blowpipe or a Twisted bow (with Dragon arrows) can be brought to hit Fumus, Umbra, Cruor, Glacies and Blood Reavers.

At least two players should also bring a crush weapon, such as a Dragon warhammer or Zamorak godsword set to the crush attack style, in order to free trapped allies during the ice prison special attack. Players without a melee weapon can unequip their weapon to attack the ice prison unarmed, however this will often fail and is not recommended.

To significantly increase overall DPS, thralls are highly encouraged as they ignore Nex's defensive bonuses and count towards the player's kill contribution. Greater thralls require blood, cosmic, and fire runes in order to be summoned and should be put in a rune pouch. A rune pouch should still be taken nonetheless if the player cannot or will not summon thralls, as to pick up Nex's blood, death and soul rune drops. If the player owns a divine rune pouch, they can bring death runes and pick up the soul rune drops or bring a stack of them in the inventory for casting Death Charge.

References[edit | edit source]

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