Diablo 4: How to Complete the Altar of Ruin Stronghold

Altar of Ruin is not as hard as you think it is. Follow this guide and you will be on your way to completing it easily.
By Abed Shatila August 09, 2023 - Updated on August 26, 2023 in Guides Reading time: 3 minute read
Altar of Ruin Stronghold

Altar of Ruin is not one that you should take lightly. It is festered with Cultists and Shamans who know that you are not here to deliver a cake. Your main goal in this Stronghold just like any of the other Strongholds would be to go in and defeat the cultists and their leader Dark Cardinal Maldul.

Do that, and you will bring back the old inhabitants of the Stronghold, and unlock a dungeon and waypoint while doing so. In the remainder of this guide, we will go over how to complete Altar of Ruin in Diablo 4, how to defeat Maldul, and what rewards you can expect.

Diablo 4 Altar of Ruin Stronghold location

The Altar of Ruin Stronghold is located on the northern side of Kehjistan. It is one of the three Strongholds located in this area, and the best way to get there is by taking the Iron Wolves Encampment waypoint located in the Ragged Coastline, and then making your way north from the camp.

As soon as you get there, you will get to know that the front gate is locked, and you will have to find an alternative route. Simply look to your left, and you will find a small crevice that allows you to enter the Stronghold.

How to conquer Altar of Ruin Stronghold in Diablo 4

To conquer this Stronghold, players have to:

  • Defeat three High Priests
  • Collect their Keystones
  • Place the keystones in their sockets in the central room
  • Defeat Dark Cardinal Maldu
  • Rekindle the Wanderer’s Shrine.
Altar of Ruin Keystone locations
Keystone locations (Credit: Mapgenie)

After entering the Altar of Ruin Stronghold, your first task would be to explore the cavern trying to figure out what is happening. A little bit down the line within the cavern, take a left and you will see a steep hill that you can slide on. Go down, and confront the first High Priest, Elegia Razorpulse.

The priest will be invulnerable, and you have to defeat some Shamans around him to trigger him to attack you.

After defeating the priest, he will drop a Ritual Chamber Keystone which you have to collect, and then proceed further to collect the remaining two keystones. The second one can be found on the central platform, and the last one can be found to the right of the entrance.

Collect all three keystones then make your way back to the central room and place them all in their sockets. By doing that, you will unlock the door that takes you to Dark Cardinal Maldul.

How to defeat Dark Cardinal Maldul in Altar of Ruin

To defeat Dark Cardinal Maldul, you have to get rid of all his Elites, and make sure to avoid all his blood-based attacks. Remember that the boss will drop two health potions if he loses a mark from his health bar.

Once you are inside the boss’s chamber, you will be met by an Elite Shaman called The Annihilator. Defeating him will bring yet another Elite called The Unholy, and defeating The Unholy will trigger Dark Cardinal Maldul to start attacking you.

The boss has three main attacks that you have to watch out for, and they are the following.

Dark Cardinal Maldul - Basic attack

Ability 1 – Basic Attack: The boss will fire three blood projectiles that go in different directions but in a linear form. He will do that two times in a row, so make sure to keep that in mind. The best course of action here would be to keep some distance from the boss as you can get hit by all six projectiles if you are too close.

Ability 2 – Summoning Circle: The Cardinal will cast a big red summoning circle. Make sure to stay away from it as it will explode after a short period of time, and it deals a lot of damage. Moreover, after it explodes, so many shamans and demons will be summoned.

My advice would be to defeat them first before proceeding to attack The Dark Cardinal.

Dark Cardinal Maldul ritual

Ability 3 – Ritual: The boss will cast a big ritual that has lines and circles all over it. Make sure to avoid stepping on any of the lines or circles as they will deal a lot of damage over time.

Dark Cardinal Maldul resummon elites

By the end of the fight, Maldul will resummon The Annihilator and The Unholy Elites, but this time, you will have to confront both of them at the same time, and my advice would be to defeat them first before finishing the boss up.

Altar of Ruin Rewards

When you complete the Altar of Ruin, you will get a lot of experience, gold, and 100 renown points. This allows you to level up very fast because conquering the Stronghold can give you up three-quarters of a level. Moreover, you will also unlock the dungeon Sepulcher of The Forsworn and a new waypoint.

If you haven’t done that yet, you can also find an Altar of Lilith in a small alley facing the waypoint.

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Abed Shatila

Abed Shatila

Abed Shatila is a developer with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, but he is also a passionate gamer who has been enjoying games of all genres since he was six years old. Abed is an expert at creating video game guides. When he is not busy writing code, he enjoys crafting content to assist both existing and newer generations of gamers in making their gaming journeys much smoother.

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