Hard mode strategies for TzKal-Zuk
Starting off at Hard Mode TzKal-Zuk[edit | edit source]
In Hard Mode, both Zuk and the TzekHaar monsters in the preceding waves possess double their life points from normal mode. Unlike normal mode, only one checkpoint is available, which is right before facing Zuk. This means that if the player fails to complete wave 17, they will need to restart from the beginning. Zuk's health is doubled from 600,000 to 1,200,000, and as such, the damage thresholds during waves 4, 9, and 14 are increased to 100,000.
In order to access hard mode, the player must have the Make Way, I'm Coming Through achievement, which requires the player to defeat Zuk and successfully complete all of his challenges in normal mode without leaving. Players who can clear hard mode flawlessly will achieve the Excuse Me, That's My Seat achievement, allowing them to create Igneous Kal-Zuk capes.
While it is possible to complete the encounter with melee, doing so is more difficult than with magic or ranged.
Recommended equipment[edit | edit source]
Magic is recommended when starting out at Zuk. For smooth kills, it is recommended to be on the Ancient spellbook with completion of the City of Senntisten quest in order to unlock Smoke Cloud, Animate Dead and Incite Fear, all of which significantly speed up kill rates. Tank armour usually has a higher priority over power armour for this encounter due to the very high damage players can take in several waves, which when combined with Animate Dead can reduce the chance of death. The Obsidian mage helms work within the arena and offers a 9% damage reduction against all damage, or 19% if the player recently donated TokKul to the Fight cauldron coffer. Donating to the coffer is heavily encouraged to reduce damage taken and slow down the armour degradation. The helm also counts as tank armour and works with Animate dead. Note that with power armour, players cannot stand near active geysers or tank a single stack of Geothermal Burn as it will deal more damage than what they can Soul Split of off.
- Augmented Seren godbow for TzekHaar-Aken, Zuk and the conduit of Ful (optional)
- Augmented wand for Planted Feet
- Essence of finality secondary amulet with Armadyl battlestaff inside if available
- Powerburst of vitality for tanking retaliatory fireball (optional)
- Spiritual prayer potions to increase Ripper demon special move rate during Zuk fight
- Rune pouches with runes to cast Incite Fear, Exsanguinate, Animate Dead, Smoke Cloud, Shadow Barrage (optional), Spellbook Swap and Disruption Shield
- Dual-wield melee for Bladed Dive
- Elite tectonic as a swap for safe waves and Zuk (optional) to speed up clear times
- Super restore flask to counter Zuk's searing mechanic
- Reaver's ring as a switch when fighting Zuk
- Grimoire for increased critical chance - only if using the Fractured Staff of Armadyl special. Otherwise substitute for a Ful/Wen/Jas scripture.
Ranged has significantly more issues than magic, most notably the inability to tank as efficiently compared to magic. However, bows can be used to safespot TzekHaar-Ket-Zeks, who have an attack range lower than that of the bows. More emphasis is placed on power armour over tank armour when ranged to kill the monsters as quickly as possible, since Animate Dead only applies to magic tank armour.
Useful items / conditions[edit | edit source]
|Item / condition||TzKal-Zuk||All other monsters|
|Obsidian armour up to 55% damage reduction|
|Tokkul donation at Fight Cauldron for 10% more damage reduction from Obsidian armour|
|Obsidian helms 10% accuracy increase|
|TokKul-Zo 10% damage increase|||
|Slayer helmet, Genocidal, and Tuska's Wrath effect from TzHaar slayer assignment|||
|Volcanic damage enhancer 10% damage increase|
Waves[edit | edit source]
|1||2 TzekHaar-Kih, 5 TzekHaar-Hur||2|
|2||2 TzekHaar-Kih, 4 TzekHaar-Hur, 2 TzekHaar-Xil, 1 TzekHaar-Yt-MejKot||4|
|3||1 TzekHaar-Kih, 2 TzekHaar-Hur, 2 TzekHaar-Xil, 4 TzekHaar-Yt-MejKot||4|
|4||Igneous TzekHaar-Hur, 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Xil, and 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Mej per cycle with reinforcements (see below)||2||Reduce TzKal-Zuk's health by 100,000 to complete the wave.|
|5||5 Volatile TzekHaar-Hur||1||Challenge wave (see below)|
|6||1 TzekHaar-Jad, 5 TzekHaar-Xil, 2 TzekHaar-Yt-MejKot, 2 TzekHaar-Kih||3|
|7||2 TzekHaar-Kih, 1 TzekHaar-Mej, 4 TzekHaar-Xil, 2 TzekHaar-Tok-Xil||3|
|8||2 TzekHaar-Yt-MejKot, 6 TzekHaar-Tok-Xil, 1 TzekHaar-Xil, 2 TzekHaar-Mej|
|9||Igneous TzekHaar-Hur, 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Xil, and 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Mej per cycle with reinforcements (see below)||2||Reduce TzKal-Zuk's health by 100,000 to complete the wave.|
|10||1 Unbreakable TzekHaar-Ket||1||Challenge wave (see below)|
|11||2 TzekHaar-Jad, 2 TzekHaar-Kih, 5 TzekHaar-Mej, 1 TzekHaar-Yt-MejKot||3||Both TzekHaar-Jad spawn on the North side of the arena.|
|12||2 TzekHaar-Ket-Zek, 4 TzekHaar-Mej, 2 TzekHaar-Tok-Xil, 1 TzekHaar-Kih||3|
|13||4 TzekHaar-Ket-Zek, 4 TzekHaar-Mej, 2 TzekHaar-Tok-Xil||3|
|14||Igneous TzekHaar-Hur, 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Xil, and 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Mej per cycle with reinforcements (see below)||2||Reduce TzKal-Zuk's health by 100,000 to complete the wave.|
|15||3 Fatal TzekHaar-Yt-Hurkot||1||Challenge wave (see below)|
|16||3 TzekHaar-Jad||1||The Jads spawn all at once but attack on different ticks - however, stunning them can cause them to hit on the same or near tick.|
|17||1 TzekHaar-Aken||1||Refer to section below.|
|18||1 TzKal-Zuk with 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Hur, 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Xil, and 1 Igneous TzekHaar-Mej per cycle||1||Refer to section below.|
Unlike normal mode, where Zuk simply watches the player fight, he will occasionally intervene in all non-challenge waves. He will yellor before the wall appears. These walls of lava always start on the opposite side of the player (e.g a player hugging the east wall would mean that the lava will always appear west). The lava contains ten "segments", and getting caught in any of them will deal up to 3,000 typeless damage every tick. Having voice-acting enabled will make dodging this attack much easier. He will stop sending lava walls when he fights the player himself.
Because the Tzekhaar monsters have doubled health, it is much more important to lure them behind safespots where they cannot attack the player. Try to have only one type of TzekHaar attack, or if that is not possible, ensure they attack on different ticks to pray flick. Utilising several spots around the arena can also prevent several TzekHaar from attacking, either through an obscured sight or out of attack range. This saves a significant amount of food, as many monsters attacking can prevent effective use of Soul Split flicking and significant damage, even with prayer flicking.
During waves 1-3, 6-8, and 11, the player can remain in the northern areas of the arena without having too much issue with TzekHaar reinforcements. During waves 12 and 13, the player should instead stand to the south-west as these two waves contain a mix of Tok-Xils and and Ket-Zeks, both of whom deal very high damage. Before starting the Igneous waves, move to the north-west.
Igneous waves[edit | edit source]
Igneous waves in hard mode work differently from normal mode - rather than spawning one type of TzekHaar like he did in normal mode, Zuk will immediately call for one each of the Igenous TzekHaar - a Hur right in front of him, Xil to the south-west and Mej to the south-east. As with all other enemies, their health is doubled; they keep their passive 50% damage reduction as usual, but will start healing only after losing roughly 50% of their health. Shortly after these three spawn, six additional TzekHaar will spawn alongside them in the same general area - melee in the middle, ranged to the west and magic to the east. This consists of one TzekHaar-Xil, Tok-Xil, Hur, MejKot, Mej, and Ket-Zek.
Only the igneous TzekHaar have to be killed to progress through these waves, and leaving the other TzekHaar alive but stuck in places where they cannot attack the player is preferred over killing them, both to save time and to reduce damage taken because if all non-igneous TzekHaar are killed, a TzekHaar Tok-Xil, a Ket-Zek, and a MejKot will spawn after a few seconds, to the north-west, north-east, and south-middle respectively. Leaving a single TzekHaar alive will prevent these three from spawning.
It is recommended to start by the north-west at the start of this cycle, as the maging and melee TzekHaar, barring the Igneous Hur, get stuck on rocks. This allows for the ranged TzekHaar to also move in on the player, all clumped together to be destroyed with AoE attacks. After killing the ranged TzekHaar and the Igneous Hur, the player can surge straight into the Igneous Mej and stand in line with it to the south-east; as it is the only enemy that is a "solid" creature, this prevents the Mej and Ket-Zek from attacking and also speeds up kills significantly as the player does not have to deal with the normal TzekHaar anymore. After killing the Igenous Mej, return to Zuk and prepare an ultimate damage rotation.
As Zuk's health is doubled in hard mode, the player will need to reduce his health by 100,000 to advance to the next wave. If this damage is not achieved in time, Zuk will resummon another set of Igenous TzekHaar until this is met.
If the player is going for a flawless run, it is recommended to not fully deplete Zuk's health at the end of phase 4, and instead dealing around 80k-90k damage first and finishing with basics in a second cycle in order to start the phase 5 challenge with full adrenaline and powerful abilities off cooldown.
Challenge waves[edit | edit source]
Similarly to normal mode, Zuk's challenge waves remain the same, apart from the doubled health. Like in normal mode, they do not need to be cleared successfully to advance, but this is required for players that are looking to create the Igneous Kal-Zuk.
- Wave 5: The five TzekHaar-Hurs have 16,000 health. Build up adrenaline and set up Sunshine before the wave starts. Greater Chain as many as possible (preferably a cluster of three) and use Omnipower with an Igneous Kal-Mej - this should kill three of them or leave them with very little health, while the remaining two can be dealt with using thresholds. As ranged, Death Swiftness and dump as many attacks as possible, preferably with a dark bow special inside the shroud. While possible to clear them without using an ultimate damage boosting ability, it is riskier and may result in one or two not being able to be killed on time; if the cape is not of a concern, vitality powerburst to survive any leftover Hurs. With a minimum of 25,000 health. At full health, a powerburst of vitality can allow the player to tank three or four Hur explosions.
- Wave 10: Throw a vulnerability bomb at the Ket's spawn point and equip the Tokkul-Zo to gain a 20% damage increase, which is especially important when not setting up an ultimate ability rotation. Dump special attacks, thresholds and ultimates as needed to kill it.
- Wave 15: As with normal mode, try to have at least 100% adrenaline before the Yt-HurKots spawn and use Barricade with a tier 90 shield before the attack connects and registers. Gain as much adrenaline from the HurKots as fast as possible before they die off. Alternatively, the player can Disruption Shield and Resonance both of the middle HurKot's hits and Devotion the remaining two from the side HurKots.
After each challenge wave is completed, immediately run to the north-west.
TzekHaar-Aken[edit | edit source]
TzekHaar-Aken acts similarly like its normal mode encounter, with a few exceptions:
- It is capable of performing the +/X lava formation in its unsubmerged state, occurring once per cycle.
- It launches a total of three blobs of adrenaline-draining lava instead of two.
- In its submerged state, it can summon warding magic tentacles and piercing ranged tentacles inside the arena as opposed to in the lava outside it. Unlike the normal tentacles, these only have 8,000 and 7,000 health respectively. They do contribute to its warding capabilities. Four are summoned per cycle in pairs of two.
TzKal-Zuk[edit | edit source]
Zuk acts similarly like his normal mode encounter, but he uses mechanics once every two auto-attacks instead of three. This accelerated attack cycle means that there is less time available to damage him. The Igneous TzekHaar that he summons during his charge-up sequence are the same as in normal mode (25,000 health). Upon reaching 100,000 health, he will begin an additional phase: he will jump back to his throne and raise a Conduit of Ful from the centre of the arena, also separating himself from the player with a barrier of fire. He will draw power from the conduit and continually launch fireballs from the lava outside the arena at the player, which can each deal up to 9,000 soft typeless damage in a 7x7 AoE. The damage is dependent on how close the player was to the centre tile when they were struck, with a minimum of 1,300 damage at the rims of the explosion. He will no longer use autoattacks, so it is safe to use Soul Split on the conduit to regain lost health.
The player must damage the conduit sufficiently in order to sabotage the power being channeled to Zuk while running around to dodge the fireballs; the conduit itself has around 50,000 health per cycle. Each time the conduit is reduced to 0 life points, Zuk will take 20,000 damage but will charge up a retaliatory fireball that deals 15,000 soft typeless damage. He will not launch fireballs from the sides of the arena while charging up this attack, although he may immediately resume launching fireballs afterwards, so be prepared to run. Zuk will raise his left arm whenever he launches fireballs. When he reaches 20,000 health, he launches fireballs at an extremely rapid rate, roughly twice as fast as the first four intervals. The conduit restores itself to full life points after its previous pool of life points are depleted.
Players can handle the four retaliatory bombs with a combination of Resonance/Divert, Disruption Shield, Reflect with a powerburst of vitality, and Barricade. For both the powerburst and Reflect, it is recommended to have over 9,000 health before drinking to survive the hit and have some extra health leftover. If run energy becomes problematic, equip a shield, Barricade, and stand still to allow run energy to recharge. The player can tank 8-15 seconds depending on perks available (taking 2 seconds away to account for running), which should be more than enough to restore sufficient run energy. An ogre flask (salt water) or stamina potion may also be used at the start of this phase to give infinite run energy, although the player should be able to fully destroy the conduit before this occurs.
Once the conduit has been subdued a fifth time, Zuk will kneel in defeat, ending the encounter.
References[edit | edit source]
- ^ Jagex. Mod Sponge's Twitter account. 20 October 2021. (Archived from the original on 5 November 2021.) Mod Sponge: "Against the mobs yeah, against Zuk no."
- ^ Jagex. Mod Sponge's Twitter account. 20 October 2021. (Archived from the original on 5 November 2021.) Mod Sponge: "They won't be affected by tzhaar tasks, much like the tokhaar aren't"