The Lord's Labyrinth
Ascend with Precision
There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom; the latter is fear.
At this point, you're ready to make an attempt at completing The Lord's Labyrinth to earn your Ascendancy subclass.
Before you proceed, you are strongly encouraged to get yourself some form of Immortal Call trigger setup (probably with Cast When Damage Taken) somewhere on your gear set. The Labyrinth is filled with Physical damage, and it can really, really hurt.
You are also encouraged to carry a Basalt Flask and to have rolled Staunching on one of your flasks, as detailed at the end of the Utility Effects section.
This is the point where having low Life will really, really start to hurt. Hopefully, you've picked up enough by this point to survive the Labyrinth. If you have trouble, you can come back to the Labyrinth later.
The Lord's Labyrinth
Within these halls, the Goddess of Justice doth preside.
The Lord's Labyrinth - or "Lab", for short - is a long dungeon filled with traps that you must complete in order to earn your Ascendancy subclass.
It's formed of a series of connected rooms in a branched-linear layout. You can see the map of the parts of the Labyrinth you've reached so far by clicking on one of the obelisks near each zone transition within the Labyrinth. Mousing over rooms will give an explanation of what is inside them. The layout resets daily: multiple attempts within the same day will contain more or less the same layout.
Once you enter the Labyrinth, you must complete it in one attempt: no deaths, no town portals, no logouts, no disconnections. Leaving the Labyrinth by any means will lose your progress, and you will need to restart the Labyrinth from the beginning. You do not have to repeat the trials if you fail, however, and can immediately re-attempt the Labyrinth.
Objects Found in the Labyrinth
Where there's a silver key, there must be a silver door...
Inside the Labyrinth you'll find a number of objects. Most of these are not directly relevant to your objective of completing your Ascendancy, but they can yield substantial extra loot.
- Gold Keys & Gold Doors: A Gold Door blocks the way forward. You'll need to find a Gold Key to open it. Gold Doors are the only one of the room features that is mandatory to complete the Labyrinth, since they block all forward passage. In the lowest-tier Labyrinth you're about to enter, these will not be present.
- Silver Keys & Silver Doors: Silver Doors stand in front of rooms with valuable treasure. Find a Silver Key to unlock them. In the lowest-tier Labyrinth you're about to enter, Silver Keys will be located in the same room as a Silver Door, but at higher difficulties you'll need to find the key early on and bring it to a door located further into the Labyrinth.
- Mysterious Darkshrines: Found in hidden locations that display on the minimap (but are not immediately visible within the corridor they're located in). Can apply a number of beneficial effects that make the Labyrinth safer or its rewards greater. With your map overlaid, look at the top-right side of your screen to see what your Darkshrine did once you've clicked it.
- Argus: A mini-boss found randomly in a room in the Labyrinth. Hits very, very hard, and should be skipped unless you're really aiming for treasure. Always behind a special door (not a Silver or Gold door, just a regular clickable door) that you have to actually open to access/get murdered by him.
- Forgotten Reliquaries: Contain some object that makes the Labyrinth's boss fight easier. See below for the possible contents of reliquaries, which depend on the particular Labyrinth of the day.
- Aspirant's Trial: Contain one of the the boss fights with the Labyrinth's creator. Completing the third Aspirant's Trial in a Labyrinth means you've reached the end.
I, Izaro Phrecius, shall return us to Justice. I shall build the greatest Lord's Labyrinth in Azmerian history, and my successor shall be chosen by the Goddess herself.
Izaro Phrecius, the third-to-last of the Eternal Emperors, was the creator of the Labyrinth and is its primary boss. In each tier of the Labyrinth, you fight Izaro three times, taking off one-third of his health with each fight. He is by far the hardest and most complex encounter you've seen up to this point in the game, and tends to be the first place a newbie with a weak build hits a real wall. Get ready for a bit of a novel, is what I'm saying.
Each day, Izaro will come equipped with different mechanics. These change the way the exact fight plays out, although "kill the enemies, click on the clickable things, and dodge the telegraphed one-shot attacks" is a pretty good rule of thumb for Izaro.
Izaro hits extremely hard, particularly relative to the enemies you've seen so far. The only attack up to this point that comes close to Izaro's normal melee hits is Dominus' "Touch of God" melee slam. In addition, Izaro comes with a suite of special attacks that hit even harder. His basic attacks include:
- Leap Slam: Leaps at the player's location, then slams a moderate-sized area for heavy damage. If he jumps, move!
- Sunder: Fires a slow-moving wave of damage forward in a straight line.
- Summon Guardians: Summons a pack of weak Skeleton monsters. These can be killed to regain Flask Charges in the case of a drawn-out fight to avoid having to approach Izaro himself.
- Spikes: Causes blackish spiked ground to appear below the player, slowing and damaging them. This is always followed by a barrage from the Goddess attached to his back, making moving out of them a very high priority.
- Traps: (Cruel and higher Labyrinths only) The third round fight with Izaro will feature two of the Labyrinth's trap types, like spike floors or poison darts.
- Teleport: (Cruel and higher Labyrinths only) A greenish circle will appear and, after a delay, anything inside will be teleported to another point in the room - typically right on top of a Labyrinth trap.
Izaro will wield a two-handed mace, twin swords, or a sword and shield, each of which grants him a particular attack:
- Ground Slam (2h Mace): Izaro raises his weapon, then smashes a large circular area directly in front of him. If you're already in melee range, you can run past Izaro to get behind him and dodge this; if you're at range, just move a bit further away.
- Radiant Slash (Dual Swords): Izaro visibly winds up an attack for a moment, then fires two fast-moving projectiles that travel a long range directly in front of him. The range is long enough that it's a good idea to move perpendicular to Izaro when you can't see him.
- Shield Bash (Sword + Shield): Izaro glows for a moment, then charges directly forward, dealing heavy damage to anything he hits. Shorter range than the slash.
The first two times you fight Izaro in a given Labyrinth, he will have one additional mechanic from the following list, which can be disabled by certain means during the fight. The associated mechanics will be the same for all Labyrinth runs on a given day.
If this mechanic is not disabled during the first fight, it will persist to the second, and will have to be dealt with along the second fight's mechanic. Similarly, if the second fight's mechanic is not disabled, it will persist into the third. Not disabling mechanics results in extra loot at the end of the Labyrinth (Izaro will, when killed, drop an extra Treasure Key for each undisabled mechanic).
These mechanics are identified by what comes up out of the three smaller circles on the west, south, and east sides of the room, along with the quote Izaro uses to introduce the fight. If you find a Forgotten Reliquary, it will yield an item that disrupts Izaro's upcoming mechanic (thus cluing you in on what you'll face):
- Conduits, introduced by the phrase "When one defiles the effigy, one defiles the Emperor" and indicated by elemental statues around the edges of the room or by a reliquary dropping a Cube of Absorption. While active, the statues grant Izaro bonus damage from, and resistance to, their corresponding element. Click the statues to temporarily disable them. Any active statue when Izaro is defeated carries on to the later encounters, and letting all three persist results in the bonus key.
- Charges, introduced by the phrase "Complex machinations converge to a single act of power" and indicated by electric-looking Charge Disruptor objects around the edges of the room or by a reliquary dropping Cogs of Disruption. Izaro will steadily gain Charges throughout the fight, gaining increased damage. Clicking a Disruptor will remove these charges. Any charges on Izaro when he is defeated carry on to the later encounters; not using any Charge Disruptors and letting 10 charges persist results in the bonus key.
- Essences, introduced by the phrase "The essence of an empire must be shared equally amongst all of its citizens" and indicated by elemental Golems rising from the floor or by a reliquary dropping an Orb of Elemental Dispersion. The Golems will walk towards Izaro and try to merge with him; if they succeed they'll grant him damage bonuses and a chance to apply status ailments. Any Golem not killed carries on to the later encounters; not killing any Golem results in the bonus key.
- Gargoyles, introduced by the phrase "Some things that slumber should never be awoken" and indicated by metallic gargoyles around the edges of the room or by a reliquary dropping Heart of the Gargoyle. Gargoyles start inactive and are hard to kill until they activate, at which point they connect to Izaro by a greenish beam. While active, a Gargoyle grants Izaro bonuses to his speed, damage reduction, or damage. Any Gargoyle not killed carries on to the later encounters; not killing any Gargoyle results in the bonus key.
- Idols, introduced by the phrase "Slowness lends strength to one's enemies" and identified by three idols around the edges of the room or a reliquary dropping Sand of Eternity. Idols cannot die and start with no hp, but will slowly regenerate towards full Life. Once they reach full, they'll litter the room with explosions. Any idol that activates at least once will carry on to later encounters; allowing all three to do so results in the bonus key.
- Lieutenants, introduced by the phrase "An emperor is only as efficient as those he commands" and identified by three elemental skeletons around the edges of the room or a reliquary dropping a Bane of the Loyal. The Lieutenants attack on their own and have various effects; the Cold one (which can reflect damage) is by far the most dangerous. Any Lieutenant not killed carries on to the later fights; leaving all three alive results in the bonus key.
- Portals, introduced by the phrase "The Emperor beckons, and the world attends" and identified by three portals around the edges of the room or a reliquary dropping a Portal Shredder. Each portal spawns skeleton casters until killed. Any portal left alive carries over to later encounters; leaving all three alive results in the bonus key.
- Fonts, introduced by the phrase "It is the sovereign who empowers the sceptre, not the other way around" and by three squareish glowing obelisks around the edges of the room or by a reliquary dropping a Rod of Disruption. Fonts apply a curse to you. When destroyed, a Font casts a stronger version of its curse on you for ten seconds, making you very vulnerable. Any font left alive carries over to later encounters; leaving all three alive results in the bonus key.
The throne is the most devious trap of them all.
If you can get through the Russian-novel-level mechanics complexity of Izaro and complete the Labyrinth, you'll find three types of reward.
The reason we're here in the first place! The first time you complete the Labyrinth on each of its four difficulties, you'll earn two Ascendancy Points, which allow you to select from the passives offered by your Ascendancy. The first time you gain Ascendancy Points, you'll be prompted to choose your Ascendancy, which you generally should have in mind from the beginning as you build your character.
There are four levels of difficulty for the Labyrinth, resulting in a maximum of eight Ascendancy Points. This is not enough to get all the Ascendancy Passives in your Ascendancy, so choose carefully! If you want to change later, you can recover Ascendancy points for 5 Passive Respec Points apiece (and if you recover all your spent Ascendancy Points, you can swap Ascendancies by repeating the Normal Labyrinth and choosing a different one).
Allows you to apply a powerful Enchant effect to an item. The enchants available on Normal are not valuable, so don't worry about wasting this; you can use it on your regular gloves if you want. Later versions of the Labyrinth also allow Enchants on Boots and Helms.
Enchants display like Implicit modifiers, but do not remove any Implicit modifier currently present on the item when applied. (This is a change as of patch 3.6; older guides may incorrectly say they overwrite implicits.)
Izaro himself will always drop a Treasure Key, allowing you to loot one of the random chests in the final room of the Labyrinth. You can get more keys by failing to disable Izaro's mechanics (as discussed above), through possible effects of Darkshrines, by killing Argus, or by finding them in chests throughout the Labyrinth.
Your Ascension Awaits
Though you might be shackled by the tribulations of the past, the trials ahead offer you both freedom and glory.
The guide pauses here; check your Guided Build's section on early Act 4 for build-specific tips on Izaro. Go to it, and come back when you've put the ghost of a crazy Emperor down.