Nex, the formidable Zarosian general of the Ancient Prison, stands as one of the most powerful bosses in Old School RuneScape. Due to her immense strength and complex mechanics, it is highly recommended that players face her with a well-coordinated team. Soloing Nex is an incredibly challenging endeavor and not advised for most players.
To optimize your chances of success, consider joining forces with other adventurers in a group. Worlds 332 and 505 have been designated as the official worlds for confronting Nex in a free-for-all group. In these worlds, you can team up with fellow players, strategize together, and pool your combat prowess to tackle this mighty foe.
Embrace the spirit of teamwork and coordination to conquer Nex's formidable might and claim the grand rewards that await the courageous in the captivating world of Old School RuneScape.
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To gain access to the Ancient Prison, players must undertake The Frozen Door miniquest, requiring them to assemble the frozen key. This involves defeating the four generals of the God Wars Dungeon, with a minimum level of 70 in Ranged, Strength, Agility, and Hitpoints.
The frozen key pieces are guaranteed drops from the generals themselves, while their bodyguards drop them at a rate of 1/20. Once the key is assembled and used, the frozen door remains permanently unlocked, granting access to the Ancient Prison without needing to gather key pieces again.
Equipping a Zaros-related item makes the spiritual fighters and Blood Reavers non-aggressive, which proves useful when running past them to reach the safe room between the main area and Nex's chamber. Gaining 40 ancient essence from killing these monsters is necessary to enter the safe room. However, this requirement can be bypassed using an ecumenical key or lessened with completion of various tiers of Combat Achievements.
In the safe room, players can prepare for the fight against Nex, as the nature spirit Ashuelot Reis offers banking services. It's recommended to accumulate at least 80 or 120 kill count before entering the lobby area. This way, reserved kill count can be used for immediate re-entry or restocking supplies in case of a teleport via the altar or other necessities.
For efficient kill count collection, using elite Void knight equipment with the Void ranger helm and ancient d'hide boots is recommended. This setup maximizes damage output against Spiritual Mages due to their low defense.
The battle against Nex takes place in a circular room with a cross-bridge symbolizing Zaros. Nex is incredibly fast and agile, capable of using Ancient Magicks during each of the five phases: Smoke, Shadow, Blood, Ice, and Zaros. Four level 285 mages, Fumus, Umbra, Cruor, and Glacies, represent the elements of Ancient Magicks used in the first four phases.
Nex has high health but relatively low combat stats and defensive bonuses for her level. She is weakest against stab attacks but also requires ranged for certain phases and her bodyguards. Her defense can be reduced by a maximum of 10 levels. Bringing both melee and ranged is recommended for smoother and faster kills in smaller teams.
During combat, Nex uses the corresponding Ancient Magicks from the mages in each phase, with an attack range of 10. She also has a standard melee attack that can deal up to 30 damage within melee distance. Nex targets the nearest player for her standard attack and prioritizes players with the lowest defensive bonus against her current style.
If Nex is not in combat with a player for at least 8 ticks, she will fly ahead and resume attacking. Players must be prepared for her maneuvers, as she can interrupt ongoing attacks. Access to Nex's chamber is possible when the barrier is glowing purple, indicating she is not currently being fought. Teleporting out of the chamber can be done via the altar, which restores various stats if wearing at least one Zarosian item.
Should players die during the fight, they can reclaim their items from a chest in the safe rooms, located right after entering the frozen door and before Nex's chamber. Reclaiming items from the chest costs 100,000 coins. Be sure to bring appropriate Zarosian protection to avoid item loss in the fight.
In Nex's first phase, the Smoke phase, she uses Smoke Rush to attack players. This is the only phase where her magic attacks don't drain prayer. The recommended strategy is melee distancing (MD), where all players stand within melee range of Nex. This causes her to use her melee attack, which only targets one player and deals less damage than her magic attack.
During this phase, Nex has several special attacks:
At 80% health (2720 hitpoints), Nex will call out Fumus, don't fail me! Her mage Fumus becomes vulnerable and must be killed to progress to the next phase. Fumus is weak to stab attacks, but ranged is still effective against him.
In Nex's second phase, the Shadow phase, she uses shadow shots, which are considered ranged attacks. Having Protect from Missiles active will reduce the damage taken by half. These shots can slightly drain prayer points upon successful hits, which can be lessened by using the spectral spirit shield.
Players will take more damage from the shadow shots the closer they are to Nex, up to 30 damage with Protect from Missiles. Therefore, it is advised to keep a distance from Nex and maintain high hitpoints in case she starts attacking immediately after gliding next to players.
Shadow Smash: Nex summons deadly shadows under every player. Players have three ticks to move out of the way before the shadows erupt, dealing up to 50 damage.
Embrace Darkness: The chamber is drastically darkened, with the darkness being stronger the closer players are to Nex. If players stand next to Nex, they will take constant damage from the pure shadow. To avoid taking damage while next to her, players must remain outside of Nex's melee distance for 10-15 seconds.
Players targeted by Nex should try to lead her away from Umbra. This allows the team to attack Umbra while staying a safe distance away from Nex.
At 60% health (2040 hitpoints), Nex will call out Umbra, don't fail me! Her mage Umbra becomes vulnerable and must be killed to proceed to the next phase. Umbra is weak to ranged attacks.
In Nex's third phase, the Blood phase, she uses Blood Barrage against players, which heals her a percentage of the damage dealt and drains prayer based on the damage dealt. The spectral spirit shield can reduce the prayer drain.
During this phase, Nex targets only one player with her Blood Barrage, but it has a 3x3 area-of-effect centred on the target. The player targeted should move away from others to reduce damage and Nex's healing.
Her special attacks in this phase are:
At 40% health (1360 hitpoints), Nex will shout Cruor, don't fail me! Now, her mage Cruor becomes vulnerable and must be killed to proceed to the next phase. Cruor is weakest to slash attacks, but ranged is still reasonable.
Any blood reavers that remain will be automatically killed once Nex enters the next phase.
In Nex's fourth phase, the Ice phase, she uses Ice Barrage against players, which can freeze them if they are not praying Protect from Magic. The damage dealt by Ice Barrage also lowers their prayer points by half, reduced to one-third with the spectral spirit shield. Players should stand in melee distance (MD) similar to the Smoke and Zaros phases. However, players need to be cautious of the 'Containment' special attack when standing close to Nex, especially after Glacies has been activated, to avoid being frozen in place.
Her special attacks in this phase are:
Containment: Nex smashes the floor, causing icicles to 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 cautious of this special, as it is possible for Glacies to freeze them in place while Nex glides to the corner and uses this attack right after. If a player 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 freeze a targeted player using an ice stalagmite attack, spawning stalagmites within a 3x3 area centered 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 a lower chance of failing. Like with the Containment special attack, if a player is frozen and cannot escape the attack, praying Protect from Missiles will reduce the damage by half its original amount.
At 20% health (680 hitpoints), Nex will shout Glacies, don't fail me! Now, her mage Glacies will become vulnerable, and killing him is required to proceed to the last phase. Glacies is weakest to crush attacks, but ranged is still reasonable
In Nex's fifth and final phase, the Zaros phase, she shouts NOW, THE POWER OF ZAROS! She calls on Zaros' power, healing her for 500 hitpoints, and will only use her normal magic and melee attacks. Her magic attacks can drain 5 prayer points if they hit, but this can be reduced with the use of the spectral spirit shield.
As in 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 defense bonus are targeted more frequently by her melee attack.
In this final phase of the fight, Nex will use several Ruinous Powers, which are Zarosian prayers:
To successfully defeat Nex in this phase, players should continue to use the same melee distancing (MD) strategy and be vigilant with their protection prayers to mitigate damage. Praying against Turmoil, Anguish, and Torment can be beneficial when possible, especially during critical moments in the fight.
It is essential for the team to coordinate their attacks and prayers effectively to deal the most damage to Nex and avoid unnecessary damage. With good teamwork and precise execution, the team can triumph over Nex and claim their well-earned rewards.
To access Nex's Prison, you need to pass through the Zarosian encampment safely. It is highly recommended to wear a Zaros-affiliated item until you have passed the essence-consuming door to avoid aggression from the encampment's monsters. If you teleport out of Nex's arena, you will return to the dangerous area, so always keep the Zaros-affiliated item with you.
To gain access, you must collect 40 ancient essences by defeating the Zarosian soldiers, including Spiritual Warriors, Rangers, Mages, and Blood Reavers. Each kill will grant a varying amount of essence. Equipping Zaros-related items will prevent these creatures from attacking you, making it easier to collect the required essences.
Once you have collected enough essence, you can proceed to the safe room, where Ashuelot Reis offers banking services. Here, you and your team can prepare for the battle against Nex. When ready, proceed past the ancient barrier to enter Nex's chamber for an intense and challenging fight.
For a large team fighting Nex, a basic inventory setup includes:
Anglerfish (or additional brews and restores if needed)
Crush weapon (e.g., Dragon warhammer or Zamorak godsword) to free trapped allies during the ice prison attack
Rune pouch with blood, cosmic, and fire runes for summoning thralls (optional but highly encouraged)
Divine rune pouch with death runes for picking up drops or a stack of them in the inventory for casting Death Charge.
Adjust the ratio of Saradomin brews and Super restores based on your team's needs and the duration of the fight. Using thralls can significantly increase overall DPS, but it's optional if you don't wish to summon them.