|A violent and wrathful demon, Cerebov appears as a giant human covered in shining golden armour and wielding a huge twisted sword.|
Cerebov is a mighty demon lord of Pandemonium who guards the fiery rune and wields the Sword of Cerebov. He has the second highest HP in the game, behind Antaeus, and his powerful Fire Magic can cut through even full fire resistance. All of this combines to make him arguably the most dangerous foe in the game. He is found on a unique Pandemonium floor crawling with balrugs, efreets, orange demons, and the occasional brimstone fiend.
Tips & Tricks
- If possible, clear out the balrugs and brimstone fiends before engaging him. Getting hit by multiple smites or torments in a single turn can make an already dangerous fight suicidal. If you do encounter him with such a posse, strongly consider teleporting away and regrouping. Worshipers of the Shining One may not mind some popcorn enemies around, however, as they can provide some minor healing mid-fight.
- If you intend to kill him as a melee brute, you'll absolutely need the proper defenses. Heavy defenses (AC, EV, and SH if you're going one-handed), rF+++, and as large an HP pool as you can acquire will allow you to handle his melee attacks in relative safety, avoid those brutal Iron Shots, and reduce the devastation caused by his Fire Storms. Even so, you'll want to be dealing damage quickly, as even the most durable character will be bleeding out as time goes by. To that end, holy wrath is the obvious choice, but antimagic may be the better option: while Cerebov's melee abilities are by no means negligible, his magic is where the real danger lies. Haste and might are also very strongly recommended, as well as any other buffs you happen to have lying around.
- If you are a caster and really want to kill him, you will need some means of recharging MP fast (potions of magic, channeling, or a crystal ball of energy). Your goal is to hurt him at range, teleport out of sight, recharge mana before he can regenerate, and repeat. Do not allow him into melee range with you. He largely ignores fire damage, though enough Fire Storms will do the job. Cold and electricity damage are both very effective here; Glaciate, Chain Lightning, and Tornado are perfect candidates for taking him out. Strong defenses and full rF+++ are again highly recommended, as it's unlikely you'll be spared from his own magic.
- Surprisingly, Cerebov does not fly. You can use this to your advantage when you encounter him behind a pool of lava (which happens quite often), across which he can only engage you with his ranged magic. It is possible to whittle him down with Orb of Destruction, run away for a recharge, and continue. He will not follow you across this lava. A somewhat risky way of killing him is to lift him up with a Tornado. If you are lucky, the storm will end with Cerebov over a lava tile, when you will get the message "Cerebov falls into the lava. Cerebov drowns." The risk is that he may also end the storm right next to you in melee range, and even if it works, the downside is that his artifact sword is destroyed in the lava, if you are inclined to keep it. If you fly yourself, you can keep Cerebov out of melee range by hovering over a lava pool, if one is available.
- If you have one available and aren't lowering your SH or fire resistance by wearing it, a shield of reflection can be quite effective against Cerebov. Hammering him with his own Iron Shot will take a hefty bite out of his HP.
- Killing Cerebov is by no means mandatory; it's entirely possibly to steal the rune away from him without actually fighting him. It's best to go into this encounter knowing whether you intend to kill him or simply steal the rune away. If you do intend to simply rob him, hasting yourself will allow you to lure him away without him catching up to you, and you eventually can get yourself back to the rune vault safely. Just be sure to keep him at the very edge of your line of sight to prevent him from casting Fire Storm, be prepared for possible brimstone fiends guarding the rune itself, and know that he'll return to his fortress if he loses track of you.
- This is a good opportunity to utilize a phantom mirror. He will cut himself down to size, giving himself a lessened fire resistance in the process.