Vaults of Madness is the final normal mode group dungeon in ESO. It’s located in central Coldharbour, just east of the Orchard. The dungeon is tuned to level 47-50 players, whilst the bosses are level 50.
This guide explains the boss fights of normal mode Vaults of Madness in detail, and provides strategies for defeating each boss.
Vaults of Madness Overview
Vaults of Madness is a grim & very impressive looking dungeon in Molag Bal’s realm, the Coldharbour. The dungeon is full of daedra, and Fighters Guild abilities will come in handy.
Recommended Group setup
Tank, Healer and two DPS is recommended.
- The Cursed One (miniboss)
- Ulguna Soul-Reaver
- Death’s Head (miniboss)
- Achaeraizur (miniboss)
- The Ancient One (miniboss)
- Iskra the Omen
- The Mad Architect
The Cursed One
The Cursed One is the first miniboss in Vaults of Madness. The Cursed One is a wraith. He should be a simple kill, but has some high spike damage.
- The Cursed One has a couple of skeleton adds. Take them out and the fights gets very simple.
- The Cursed One uses a standard wraith ability: a cast which sends forth a frozen whirl type of thing infront of him. It deals high damage and should be simple to avoid.
- The main thing to look out for as the healer is his drain life ability. The Cursed One will cast a blue beam at a player, channeling for very high damage. It can easily surprise anyone, and unless you have a lot of health, it might kill you almost instantly.
Ulguna Soul-Reaver is the second boss in Vaults of Madness. She’s a harvester with a couple of nasty abilities.
- Ulguna can take a single player out for roughly 10 seconds with her levitate ability. There’s nothing you can do about it, just sit tight.
- Ulguna’s most dangerous ability is her frontal cone fire wave. You’ll see this ability coming when all four of her hands get a blue glow. She’ll send forth a wave of blue fire infront of her, dealing high fire damage. The best way to counter this is to have your tank face her away from the group.
- Ulguna also randomly casts projectiles at players, disorienting them shortly.
Death’s Head is the third boss in Vaults of Madness. He’s a giant skeleton guardian and comes with a bunch of daedra adds.
- The main thing to look out for is Death’s Head’s charge ability. He’ll charge directly infront of him, dealing a high amount of damage and knocking everyone down.
- Like other skeleton guardians, Death’s Head also has a frontal cone slam attack which deals a decent amount of damage. Don’t stay infront of him unless you’re the tank.
- The boss periodically summons skeleton adds who run to a target and then explode. The explosion radius is so small that even if they run directly to you, there’s a good chance you will not get hit by it.
- Death’s Head casts poison runes on the ground which will deal damage over time and disable you. Stay ouf of them.
Grothdarr is the fourth boss in Vaults of Madness. He’s a giant flesh atronach. The theme in this fight is fire. You’ll be moving a lot and dodging beams and pools of fire.
This fight is relatively simple to solo with a restoration staff, and ironically the more players you have with you, the more dangerous the boss becomes because of unpredictability.
- The most dangerous thing in this fight are the two beams of lava that move around on the platform. Their movement patterns seems somewhat random, but they definitely also fixate on players from time to time. Just take it easy and avoid the lava on the floor.
- The tank needs to look out for Grothdarr’s overhead smash. Block it or just get out of its way.
Achaeraizur is the fifth miniboss in Vaults of Madness. He’s a daedroth and is a simple kill due to his low amount of Health. Clear the dremora adds and you should have no problems.
- Achaeraizur does a fire breath infront of him. The animation is pretty easy to see and the tank should be able to step out of it most of the time.
- Achaeraizur also casts patches of blue fire on the ground. Needless to say: don’t stand in them.
The Ancient One
The Ancient One is the sixth miniboss in Vaults of Madness. He’s a Watcher daedra who offers very little resistance, although he does have a surprise.
- The Ancient One has all the standard Watcher abilities; he’ll create three green beams infront of him and try to catch his victim with them.
- The boss does an AOE spin attack which deals a low amount of damage to everyone. It’s easily healed through.
- The main thing to look out for is his final spin attack, which is nearly a one-shot kill unless you’re on full Health. When The Ancient One is on low Health, somewhere below 20%, you can expect this attack to happen. Make sure everyone is on full health before this.
Iskra the Omen
Iskra the Omen is the seventh boss in Vaults of Madness. Iskra is a dangerous titan daedra. There’s potentially a lot of damage to be taken in this fight.
- Iskra jumps at a random target’s location, dealing a high amount of damage and knocking players down in the process. The red circle marks where he’s about to jump, but it can be difficult to get out of it in time.
- Iskra fires a beam of blue fire on the ground at a random player. This does a ridiculous amount of damage. The best way to avoid this is to keep moving. Whenever the boss turns around and even looks at you, step aside. The further you are away from him, the easier it is to avoid this attack.
- Iskra also has a ranged projectile attack aimed at a random player. It does a low amount of damage and disorients the target shortly.
The Mad Architect
The Mad Architect is the final boss in Vaults of Madness. The setting around him is pretty epic, but he doesn’t offer a great challenge.
- The Mad Architect casts circles of zombies on random players. These circles look more dangerous than they actually are; all they do is slow you.
- The Mad Architect keeps on summoning skeleton mages and zombies throughout the fight. When he goes below 50% Health, he’ll also summon Bone Guardians.
- The Mad Architect smashes the ground with his staff which deals a low amount of AOE damage to everyone around him.
- Once below 50%, the Mad Architect has a chance to do either of the following attacks:
- He’ll either create a wall of ghosts around him, marked with a white area. It’s hard to miss. You should run away from him if this happens, or you’ll take lots of damage.
- The other possibility is for him to break the glass of the windows in the room and pull it towards him. This ability will deal lots and lots of damage to everyone who is not standing right next to him. When this happens, you want to run to him instead of away from him.