The Dread Cellar Dungeon Guide

“There is no place in Tamriel I’d have rather seen that curdled, sump wizard, Mannimarco, condemned to than the Dread Cellar. While its hospitality might not be the equal to that of Molag Bal‘s realm, it’s a damnable pit I have visitation privileges to.”—Abnur Tharn

The Dread Cellar is a four-person dungeon in the game The Elder Scrolls Online. The dungeon consists of various rooms and corridors, each with its own challenges and enemies.  The Dread Cellar can be accessed at Level 45.  In this guide, I shall explain the mechanics as well as what you should and shouldn’t do while facing the dungeon’s bosses.

The Dread Cellar Location

The Dread Cellar is located in the northern region of Blackwood.  Travel northwest from the Bloodrun Wayshrine to reach The Dread Cellar.  You can also access The Dread Cellar specifically by using the Dungeon Finder.

Inside The Dread Cellar

The Dread Cellar is a seven-level dungeon with three bosses, three secret bosses, and one quest.  The enemies in this dungeon include Waking Flame Beserkers, restless dead, skein spiders, and storm atronachs.

Quaking Dread

I met a pair of Imperial Battlemages named Martus and Lucilla outside an abandoned prison known as the Dread Cellar. Martus asked for my help investigating magical activity that caught the Battlespire’s notice.

Completing Quaking Dead

You will need to defeat the Scorion Bloodlord, Cyronin Artellian, and Magma Incarnate. Speak to Lucilla to complete this quest.  Completing this quest will reward you with gold, a skill point, and an Unidentified Dread Cellar Armaments coffer.

The Dread Cellar Boss Mechanics

Need specific info?  Click these quick links to go directly to each section.

Purgator (secret boss #1)

As shown in the video this secret boss is pretty straightforward.  The tank should maintain a taunt on the boss at all times while turning it away from the group. Never spin the boss around. Meanwhile, the group should be placed behind the boss SPREAD OUT so they do not stack on each other.

Heavy Attack – Simple one, block it or die.

Flame Atronachs – During the fight, the boss will continuously spawn adds. You have two options here.  Either leave the boss alone as the dps and go kill the adds, returning to the boss once they are down. OR the tank can range taunt them to maintain aggression while the group simply focuses all of their efforts on the boss.  The choice is yours but it depends on the experience of the group. be careful the flame adds will place fire dots on the ground, watch your feet!

Meteors – During the fight, the boss will swing his hammer slowly crashing down to the ground. When this happens each player will have a meteor land on them. You can block this OR step out of it (much safer) but you must NOT stack it. If you stack it, people WILL take a one-shot.

Scorion Broodlord

This boss fight can look a little chaotic, you will want to bring barriers and/or protective buffs for the group in regard to ultimates in case you get overwhelmed. The tank will need to turn the boss away at all times while maintaining aggression (a taunt) on the adds.  There is no strict dps check in this fight but you will need to bring plenty of heals if doing the hard mode.

Hard mode is essentially the same fight but the boss has a LOT more health and there are extras involved, explained below.

Heavy Attack – As the tank, block it. It’s simple, if you fail you will get knocked down and/or die. As the dps/healer, this should NOT be on you but if it is, dodge roll or die. You won’t live by blocking it if you are squishy.

Pillars – During the fight, the boss will teleport into the sky and then appear in another location in the room. During this time it will be siphoning energy from a pillar/totem. The longer this continues the more damage the group will take so you must prioritize this and kill it. Once it is dead you can continue the fight.

Xivkyn Adds – Large Xivkyn enemies much like the ones in The Cauldron will spawn the more damage the boss takes. So if you are a group of nukers, be careful because these can overlap. These must take priority over the boss.

The totem is the first priority, adds next, THEN the boss last! The mages have ground lightning attacks which must be avoided and also they channel damage over time which must be interrupted. While the two-handers have huge heavy attacks.  The tank should taunt these adds and the boss at all times if possible. And where ever possible bring them TOP the boss for easier dispatching of them combined.  If you slack on the adds you will get overwhelmed and die.

PIN! – During the fight, the boss will pull in a random player and feed on them. If you do not interrupt the boss the player will die.

Munchy Munchy! – The boss will channel for a few seconds, and its animation looks like it is munching the floor at the same time as putting out a cone effect at the tank (which needs to be blocked.  During this time a rotation of moving ground-based aoes will spin out at the players. You can get some distance and go between these, OR you can risk stacking resistances and heals. The choice is really up to you but I personally would recommend moving your feet to take as little damage as possible, this phase HURTS

Curse – The boss during the fight will curse members of the group, this is incurable and does a LOT of damage so be sure your healer is awake!

BIG BOOM! – During the fight about halfway in the boss will start to introduce a new mechanic. It will pull in all members of the group and slow down their movement speed while channeling a large AOE. You need to get out of this as fast as possible before it explodes.

Hard Mode – Hard mode for this the boss has a LOT more health and you get two more adds in the room. During the fight, you will get constant waves of individual Bone Colossus and JEFFS! (yes Jeff is a daedroth). These are a HUGE priority, must be taunted MUST be turned away from the group, and above all must be killed.

Jeff has a huge flame breath, and the colossus if not killed fast enough will channel fire bursts around the room under players.  It’s not a dps race you can just play the mechanics and still do this absolutely fine, but of course, the sooner you get rid of those adds the better, and then you can get back to dealing with the boss.

TIPS:  Priority is simple. Totem first, Adds second, Boss last. Try to stack things together as much as possible.

Undertaker (secret boss #2)

This boss is quite dramatic but simple.  The tank should be holding the boss 100% still the whole time. And the dps/healer should be standing behind the boss. Don’t stack give people room!

Skeletons – During the fight the lower the health the more adds will spawn. You have two choices here. Ignore them while maintaining aggressive heals at the same time as the tank range taunting them. OR simply go around and kill them to lessen the pressure on the group.

BIG BOOM! – The boss will channel a large spreading aoe. This will explode and persist for a second or two and then go away again. Don’t get caught in it!

Lich Crystals/Magical Bombs – The boss will cast MANY bombs/crystals that explode on the ground and leave a negative AOE. Don’t stand in them. Simple!

Cyronin Artellian

This boss VERY tricky! He doesn’t have a huge amount of health vs some other DLC hardmodes but there is a lot going on. People not watching their feet will die a lot.  The tank needs to maintain a taunt at ALL times. And always try to keep the boss turned AWAY from the group.

Heavy Attack – This heavy attack will one-shot a dps or healer, and will cause a big problem for a squashy tank. It’s easy to spot, has a long channel, and should be blocked by the tank if they can help it. However, if they are scared and unsure of their ability (try it you never know) it CAN be dodge rolled but you do risk making the fight more mobile than it already is. So be careful. If you can suck it up, do it.  Do NOT miss the block, however, because if you do, you are dead.

Lightning Winds – The boss will spin his staff and cast winds in multiple directions at the group. You can block these, out-heal them, or simply walk between them. Just be sure that you don’t deliberately take too much damage from these else they could land at the same time as other mechanics and get messy.

Atronachs – The boss will have TWO atronachs with him during the fight. They channel to make lightning aoes happen which can be interrupted and they also can be revived after they are dead for a short while. You can either kill them first then focus on the boss, or simply pay attention to interrupting them when they channel.  It’s up to you, personally, stack them on the boss and kill them 😉

Lightning Wraiths – During the fight, the boss will spawn Lightning wraith-type enemies. These need to be killed immediately! If they are alive they will snare players in the group making them incredibly slow.

Red Dead Waves! – Yes those big red waves obviously kill you! Look for a gap in each wave to avoid them. this makes the fight very mobile and tricky but they don’t go on forever. You will get moments where there are no waves. Pay attention!

Skulls and Skeletons! – During the fight the boss will channel his staff into the air and a big red beam will be on him. THIS is crucial. During this phase, multiple skulls will come out and aim directly at individual players. If it is YOU, you will be glowing red! You must dodge roll each time this happens OR block. You will need to be sure there are heavy heals, resistance buffs, and mitigation bonuses (perhaps from ultimates) If you are deliberately choosing to block rather than dodge roll.

If you miss the block/dodge, you are dead to a one-shot.  During this time there will also be small red skeletons in the room which die to the smallest amount of AOE damage but of course, they need to die.

HARD MODE! – On hard mode, the boss has more health, AND occasionally he will cast lightning on TWO players. They have roughly 2-3 seconds to run out of the group so that the lightning aoe is placed outside of the main area you are fighting in. If you do not spread out and drop these somewhere safe, they will drop in the group and cause a bit of a problem!

TIP:  Don’t forget to use your secrets if you have them! (explained in the video)

Grim Warden (secret boss #3)

This secret boss is actually extremely straightforward forward but people mess up the obvious.  Hold the boss still, as the tank, and turn it away from the group.  The dps/healer should be spread out behind it. Same formation as the rest of the bosses.

Heavy Attack – The boss will heavy attack the tank, this is simple, Block it.

Jesus Beam – The boss cast a constant channeling Jesus Beam attack on the tank. Simply block it, it doesn’t hit THAT hard.

Spinner!!! – This mechanic is the group killer.  Most people try to face tank this. Do NOT. Not even Magma Shell will protect you. When the boss is spinning, maintain a taunt, and move either left or right until he stops spinning, then hold him still again. Rinse repeat every time until the boss is dead. It’s THAT simple.

Each tick is deliberately designed to take health % chunks from you whether you are blocking, protected, or not. Don’t stand in it.  The trick to the movement  (as shown in the video) however is to take the boss to an add and stack it on it. This makes things much easier for the group.

Adds – These small adds can heavy attack the group so should be ranged taunted if possible however not always essential if the group is paying attention.  If you are following the above tactic about the spinner mechanic, these can be dispatched WITH the boss one by one.

However, if anything goes wrong OR you get too many in the room…the boss will become invulnerable until you kill a couple.  If you want to make things easier for the group. Just kill the adds when they spawn. It doesn’t matter how long you take if you want to keep it clean.

Winds – This is tricky. A player will be targeted with a spinning wind mechanic. they need to kite this away from the group so people don’t get caught in it until it has gone away. nice and simple, just keep moving and don’t run through your friends.  Sometimes you can get up to two winds in the room but not always. Notice if you are the target, and move!

Magma Incarnate

The Final Boss, has many stacking mechanics that can make this difficult but above all, you need two things…  Good active heals, and to delete any panic you think you might have.  Panic will mess this up! So relax and absorb the mechanics at a steady pace.  The tank should hold the boss close to the middle of the room at ALL times to make the mechanics easier on the group.  Do NOT drop taunt he WILL kill the group!

Heavy Attack – This is a bit of a flurry so hard to time if you are not blocking right now, but basically BLOCK this!  If you are a dps/healer this will kill you if you consider blocking so a dodge roll will save you if well-timed, but this SHOULD be on the tank if they are maintaining a dedicated taunt skill.

Channel Circle! – The boss will stab his swords into the ground and crouch. Channeling the whole time with a yellow/orange circle around him with multiple strange sections in it. The tank needs to stand in this and block during this phase. If not each tick it is channeling will be released at the whole group and blow them up. Stand in it, block and you will be fine.

Beams!! – The boss selects 3 individual members of the group and attaches a beam to their feet. After 3 seconds this will have a large swipe attack flung down it at the player. You can block or dodge the damage BUT you WILL get a 5-6 second fire-based damage over time effect on you! This is the difference between life and death. The healer will need to work hard to combat this as it CANNOT be cleansed.  Also note that the beams must NOT be overlapped. If they are, they will do TWICE the damage and kill the members responsible for not paying attention.

BIG BOOM! – The Boss will channel a massive, almost room-sized aoe. When this peaks it will explode. You have 3 options… block it, dodge roll it as it goes boom, or just stay out of it. ANY of the above are fine. The tank can stand in it and block with no issues, the dps/healer however, it’s up to them.

Scamps – Scamps will spawn in waves of x4. These MUST be prioritized over the boss at all times. They will end up stacking up and doing stupid amounts of damage. be sure your tank tries to stack these on the boss OR be sure your dps knows to kill these at all costs regardless.

TIP:  Healer will need to track the DPS player’s movements for big heals when beams land if they have to run out of the way to get these adds.

Winds – Usually after the “BIG BOOM” the boss will stab his swords into the ground and two winds will come out. Spinning around and on fire.  These are in a static location and the tank should move the boss around the room a little to avoid people accidentally standing in these. They will kill most players in 1-2 ticks.

Portal – At 60-65/% and at 30-35% ISH, depending on mechanical overlaps…The boss will encase himself in a shield. During this time a portal will appear directly opposite the side of the entrance. The group must run there as quickly as possible and enter the portal.  During the run there you MUST maintain high heals because everyone will be taking heavy damage over time.

Once in the portal, you have one of 6 random arenas.  The main point of it is to destroy the totem inside. There will be adds that the tank will have to manage. Do not try to kill all the adds, simply kill the totem. You have A short while to do it.  Each portal is random and has different mechanics but you will need to watch your feet.

Variations To Pay Attention To:

Lava:  If you have a fire pulsing aoe under your feet, move back from the group until it drops the larva in the room, and then rejoin the group.

Frost:  If there is a frost spinning aoe, look for the ONE gap in it and go through it or run around and follow it so you don’t get caught.

BOOM:  If there is a BIG BOOM! either block it or dodge it before it explodes.

Flamethrower:  If there are flame bursts, the first one will be 3 flame throwers, and they will rotate LEFT, so follow it. After that there will be 5 bursts, don’t move they DON’T rotate (this mechanic repeats).

Once the totem is dead you can go back into the main room and fight the boss. If you fail in time the totem will explode still but you will now buff the boss for a short while making him immune until the buff period is over.  So while it is not a dps race because either way, it is fine so long as you are not dead, IF you succeed, he WON’T get buffed!

The BIG Spinner! – After the first portal, when you come back into the room the boss will do his “big boom” mechanic. Directly after he will stab his swords into the ground and spawn the flaming winds again, but this time very different from before.  Try to stand to the left of him while he channels else you will get caught.  Now instead of the static winds spinning on the spot, there will be a WALL of winds.

Look carefully, you can see there is ONE gap in the middle of the room every rotation without fail.  NOW you know why we tank the boss in the middle of the room! We can avoid that mechanic by default.  During the rest of the fight from here on, nothing changes. But there will be roaming winds randomly moving around that you should avoid.

HARD MODE – The boss has more health on hardmode. And has two more major differences.  Each time you come out of the portal, there will be a BIG spider with 2.5 million health. You need to kill this and the tank must NOT let it go loose on the group. This is your priority target. There are no dps check for it, but it hits like a steam train so the healer must be supporting the tank.

And finally the trickiest one. The beams that affect the group, drop a flame aoe under the player when it pops. This makes it so much more important to make sure it bursts AWAY from the center of the fight.  This will take some practice but careful placement makes all the difference.


The Dread Cellar Dungeon Loot

Below is a list of all the loot you can expect to find in The Dread Cellar.

On normal the loot is blue and the boss does NOT drop a monster helmet, but on veteran difficulty all of the loot is purple and the main boss DOES drop a special monster helmet.

Note: in dungeons some individual bosses can drop a unique item but generally, the weapons and jewelry (non-named items) come from the last boss. HOWEVER the entire loot table can also drop from trash and chests, so loot everything!  Got the gear in the wrong traits?  Don’t worry!  You can alter the traits by either transmuting or reconstruct the piece with a trait of your choice.  For more information see the Introduction to Transmuting and Reconstructing article.

If you are looking for a matching shoulder monster piece, visit the Undaunted Pledge Master Urgarlag Chief-Bane at the nearest Undaunted enclave.  She sells a 50/50 chance at the shoulder piece as part of the Waking Flame Coffer or it could be in her mystery coffer.  You can learn more about the Undaunted in the Undaunted Guide.

Builds That Use The Dread Cellar Gear

The Dread Cellar Achievements

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A Deadly Undertaking

Defeat the Undertaker in battle and gain the ability to call upon it in the Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Dun 1 Secret Content Meta
Arcane Analyst

Complete secrets in both Red Petal Bastion and the Dread Cellar.

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Assuaging Agony

Destroy all the Agonymium Stones drawn upon by the Magma Incarnate at least one time in Veteran Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Dun 2 Perfect Non Meta a
Battlespire’s Best

Defeat all encounters in addition to the Scorion Broodlord, Cyronin Artellian, and the Magma Incarnate after placing the Challenge Banners in Veteran Dread Cellar within 25 minutes without suffering a group member death.

ESO In-Game Icon Quest Book 001
Crimson Oath Style Master

Defeat Cell Haunter, Shadowrend, Angata the Clannfear Handler, the Skeletal Destroyer, and High Kinlord Rilis in Veteran Banished Cells I.

ESO In-Game Icon Update 31 Dun 2 Speed Challenge
Dreadful Dash

Defeat all encounters in addition to the Scorion Broodlord, Cyronin Artellian, and the Magma Incarnate within 25 minutes of entering Veteran Dread Cellar. Your timer starts when you engage the first group of enemies.

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Dreadless Runner

Defeat Cyronin Artellian without getting hit by a Dread Surge in Veteran Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Dun 2 Klll Monsters a
Dremora Slayer

Defeat 200 Dremora in Veteran Dread Cellar.

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Glutton For Punishment

Defeat the Scorion Broodlord after placing the Challenge Banner in Veteran Dread Cellar.

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Preposterous Priorities

Defeat the Scorion Broodlord after destroying 4 Agonymium Stones while no Xivilai are alive when each stone is defeated in Veteran Dread Cellar.

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Purgatory Purged

Defeat the Purgator in battle and gain the ability to call upon it in the Dread Cellar.

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Rest In Pieces

Destroy 200 Restless Dead as a group while fighting Cyronin Artellian in the Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Update 31 Dun 2 Flavor e
Ring Around The Ashes

Obtain 15 stacks of Flame Dancer by moving through the Magma Incarnate’s Eternal Flames without being hit for 15 seconds in Veteran Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Dun 2 Klll Monsters b
Scorion Slayer

Defeat 50 Scorions and Agonymium Stones in Veteran Dread Cellar.

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Settling Scores

Have Scorions get struck 10 times by the Magma Incarnate’s Unstable Blitz after placing the Challenge Banner in Veteran Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Update 31 Dun 2 Death Challenge
Stay of Execution

Defeat all encounters in addition to the Scorion Broodlord, Cyronin Artellian, and the Magma Incarnate in Veteran Dread Cellar without suffering a group member death.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Dun 2 Meta a
The Dread Cellar Challenger

Complete the listed achievements for Veteran Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Dun 2 Vet Bosses
The Dread Cellar Conqueror

Defeat the Scorion Broodlord, Cyronin Artellian, and the Magma Incarnate in Veteran Dread Cellar.

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The Dread Cellar Vanquisher

Defeat the Scorion Broodlord, Cyronin Artellian, and the Magma Incarnate in the Dread Cellar.

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Tormenting the Torturer

Defeat Cyronin Artellian after placing the Challenge Banner in Veteran Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Update 31 Dun 2 Hard Mode Final

Defeat the Magma Incarnate after placing the Challenge Banner in Veteran Dread Cellar.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Both Vet Complete
Waking Flame Delver

Complete both Red Petal Bastion and the Dread Cellar in Veteran.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Pkg Loyalty Reward
Waking Flame Explorer

Enter either Red Petal Bastion or the Dread Cellar for the first time.

ESO In-Game Icon Achievement Update 31 Both Normal Complete
Waking Flame Scout

Complete both Red Petal Bastion and the Dread Cellar in Normal.

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Warden Awarded

Defeat the Grim Warden in battle and gain the ability to call upon it in the Dread Cellar.

The Dread Cellar Leads

There are currently no leads located in The Dread Cellar.

Final Note

Thank you for taking the time to watch the content and read this guide. Be sure on your travels to remember, although once you get very experienced you may make these dungeons much easier and faster… it starts from the ground up and it’s…