|A violent and wrathful demon, Cerebov appears as a giant humanoid 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. It has the second highest HP in the game behind Antaeus, and its powerful Fire Magic can cut through even full fire resistance. All of this combines to make it arguably the most dangerous foe in the game. Cerebov is found on a unique Pandemonium floor crawling with balrugs, efreet, orange demons, and the occasional brimstone fiend.
Tips & Tricks
- If possible, clear out the balrugs and brimstone fiends before engaging Cerebov. Getting hit by multiple smites or torments in a single turn can make an already dangerous fight suicidal. If you do encounter Cerebov 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 Cerebov 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 its melee attacks in relative safety, avoid those brutal Iron Shots, and reduce the devastation caused by Fire Storm. Even so, you'll want to be dealing damage quickly, as even the most durable character will be worn down as time goes by. To that end, holy wrath is an obvious choice for weapon brand, but antimagic may be the better option: while Cerebov's melee abilities are by no means negligible, its 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 Cerebov, you will need some means of recharging MP fast (potions of magic, channeling, or a crystal ball of energy). Your goal is to hurt Cerebov at range, teleport out of sight, recharge mana before it can regenerate, and repeat; do not allow Cerebov into melee range with you. Cerebov largely ignores fire damage, though enough Fire Storms will still do the job. Cold and electricity damage are both very effective here; Glaciate, Chain Lightning, and Tornado are perfect candidates for taking it out. Strong defenses and full rF+++ are again highly recommended, as it's unlikely you'll be spared from Cerebov's own magic.
- Surprisingly, Cerebov does not fly. You can use this to your advantage if you encounter it behind a pool of lava (which happens quite often), as then it can only engage you with ranged magic. It is possible to whittle Cerebov down with Orb of Destruction, run away for a recharge, and continue. Another, somewhat risky way of killing Cerebov is to lift it up with a Tornado. If you are lucky, the storm will end and dump Cerebov into a lava tile, whereupon it will instantly drown. The risk is that Tornado may end with Cerebov right next to you in melee range; even if it works, you won't be able to get his artifact sword (though it's largely just a trophy, as few characters who can kill Cerebov need an extra sword). If you can 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 it with its own Iron Shot will take a hefty bite out of its HP.
- Killing Cerebov is by no means mandatory; it's entirely possible to steal the rune away from it without actually fighting it. It's best to go into this encounter knowing whether you intend to kill him or simply steal the rune. If you do intend to simply rob Cerebov, hasting yourself will allow you to lure it away without it catching up to you, and you eventually can get yourself back to the rune vault safely. Just be sure to keep Cerebov at the very edge of your line of sight to prevent it from casting Fire Storm, be prepared for possible brimstone fiends guarding the rune itself, and know that Cerebov will return to its fortress if it loses track of you.
- This is a good opportunity to utilize a phantom mirror. A copy of Cerebov will help cut the original down to size, stripping some of its fire resistance in the process.