Gearing up for The Searing Exarch in Path Of Exile? The Siege Of The Atlas expansion is here and introduces four new bosses to Path Of Exile’s vast endgame. The Searing Exarch is one of two new “pinnacle” bosses, promising a big challenge and great rewards. This fight is visually impressive and can look daunting at a glance. However, The Searing Exarch is really the most straightforward of the new bosses. Once you know what to look out for you can take him on with ease. This guide will set you up for success against The Searing Exarch.
The Searing Exarch boss fight guide
The Searing Exarch spends most of the fight cycling through three main abilities. Each of these is foreshadowed by a specific voice line, making them easy to react to. The first two to look out for are “Disintegration!” and “Annihilation!” Those may sound like major threats, but these attacks are easy to deal with. Disintegration creates a wall of flame that deals significant fire damage over time. If that wall drops between you and The Searing Exarch, he can push it across the ground towards you. Even so, it's fairly easy to dodge, and you can jump right over it with Flame Dash. Annihilation shoots a series of fiery beams at the ground, tracking the player around the arena. You can quite literally just run in a circle and dodge this entire attack. Characters with significant life recovery through regeneration or leech can even tank this attack, despite its ominous name.
The ability you really need to look out for is “Incineration!” When The Searing Exarch yells “Incineration,” run. This is a massive slam that covers about two-thirds of the arena and will one-shot most players. Just before the slam drops, a huge, flaming sigil (seen above) will appear to indicate the edge of its range. Get beyond that and you will be just fine.
The Searing Exarch bullet-hell phase tips
If anything about The Searing Exarch is truly frightening, it is the bullet-hell phase that slings walls of magmatic orbs across the screen. It is easy to panic here and die, but if you know what to look out for it is less terrifying than it seems. The Maven will float above you during this phase and fire purple beams that vaporize some of the fireballs. Watch for her shots, and then slip through the gaps they create. If you get stuck, you can also jump across an incoming line with Flame Dash. As with most boss fights, Flame Dash’s instant blink makes it the best movement skill here.
You can also cheese the hell out of this phase if you have minions or totems. The fireballs explode and vanish on impact, regardless of what they hit. Throw some totems or disposable minions in front of you and the sea of fire will part. This is a pretty corny strategy, but we won’t judge you.
The bullet hell phase can happen several times during a fight, but will always trigger when The Searing Exarch reaches around 20% health. This triggered phase is more extreme, featuring far more fireballs to dodge. However, a build with sufficient DPS can actually kill him before the trigger completes. The more damage you have, the easier this fight gets.
How to access and repeat The Searing Exarch boss fight
Once you’ve defeated The Black Star, you will receive a new quest step asking you to complete a Tier 13+ map with The Searing Exarch’s influence. Progress up through a Tier 16 map with that influence, and you will earn an invitation that leads to the story version of this fight. Win the battle to earn the Omniscient Voidstone, which you can slot into your Atlas to raise the tier of all maps.
To take the Exarch on again, just complete more maps of Tier 14 or higher with The Searing Exarch’s influence. It takes 24 maps to earn another invitation. Throw it in your map device to take on a harder version of this fight at any time. You can also roll modifiers onto the invitation like a map or Maven invitation, upping the difficulty and the rewards.
That’s all it takes to defeat The Searing Exarch! The bullet-hell phase means this fight requires a bit more execution than the other new bosses, but there are no esoteric mechanics to deal with here. Just hit, dodge, and run. It’s a good, ol’ fashioned slugfest. If you haven’t yet reached the pinnacle bosses, our guides to The Black Star, The Infinite Hunger, and The Eater of Worlds can help get you there. If you're just diving into patch 3.18, check out our best Sentinel league starters and Atlas passive strategies!