Maelstrom Arena Guide

Untold thousands have tested their mettle against Maelstrom Arena―and failed.

Maelstrom Arena is a single-person arena in the game The Elder Scrolls Online. The arena consists of various areas each with its own challenges and enemies.  In this guide, I shall explain the mechanics as well as what you should and shouldn’t do while facing the areana’s bosses.

Maelstrom Arena Location

Maelstrom Arena is located in the northeastern region of Wrothgar.  Travel west from the Two Rivers Wayshrine to reach Maelstrom Arena.  You can also access Maelstrom Arena specifically on your Wrothgar map.

Inside Maelstrom Arena

Maelstrom Arena is a one-level arena with nine bosses and one daily quest.  The enemies in this arena include bone colossus, clannfears, ogrims, and ash titans.

Maelstrom Arena

I have been welcomed into the bizarre realm of the Daedric Demiprince Fa-Nuit-Hen. In order to test my mettle and demonstrate my skills, I’ve agreed to enter the Maelstrom Arena, where deadly challenges created by Fa-Nuit-Hen’s Barons await me.

Completing Maelstrom Arena

You will need to survive each of the nine rounds. Speak to Fa-Nuit-Hen to complete this quest.  Completing this quest will reward you with gold, and a Maelstrom Weapon.

Maelstrom Arena Boss Mechanics

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

Round 1:  Vale of the Surreal – Maxus the Many

This boss is pretty straightforward forward although since you have the window mechanic from the previous rounds you do need to move your feet a lot (not run like a headless chicken). It isn’t difficult to avoid, you don’t need to sprint, just try not to stand still.  He has some very basic mechanics which if you follow them you should not have too much trouble. He tends to spend more time casting than he does actually hitting you.

Root – The boss will cast a root ability about the same size as the wind flying around the arena on the floor. If you are caught in this you will of course be stuck to the ground and damaged. To avoid this simply move out of it when it is cast. Since you are avoiding the wind mechanic anyway (or should be) this should be an easy task. However, people do get caught out so be careful and watch your feet.

Adds – The boss will spawn adds during the fight.  First, he will spawn one, then two, and then consistently Three, depending on how long you are in the fight. The time he teleports to a new location he will spawn new adds.  These adds will hit fairly hard and fire out frontal AOEs so don’t stand in front of them.

Above all the purpose of these adds is to distract you. IF you don’t kill them, the next time the boss teleports, he will call them back and heal off of EACH add still left alive. So the trick is, the boss can take as long to kill as you like, but if you don’t kill the adds, it will take you longer. Relax, kill the adds, THEN the boss.

Round 2:  Seht’s Balcony – Centurion Champion

This boss is a lot simpler than it looks. The main thing that kills people here is PANIC!  Relax, keep your eyes on the main mechanic you have been following all along…the spinners! Keep an eye on their patterns and/or try to survive them as much as possible. There is NO race against time on this boss so if it takes you a long time, so be it.

Basically, they spawn one after another (3 in total). They have “sit down” mechanics where they are invulnerable (explained below) and to start with, each Centurion that goes immune, spawns the next one until all 3 are in the room. However, you only ever fight ONE at a time!  They will do different attacks and your window of opportunity to damage them is while they are INSIDE mechanics.

Swipe – IF you are close to a Centurion one of two major attacks they will do, one of them is a swipe which looks similar to a wound-up heavy attack. Do not try to run away from this. BLOCK it. If you fail to block it you will take high damage. Combined with possible spinner bleeds, this could be a pain.

Steam – The second close combat ability they have is they will force steam out in front of them in a cone AOE. This can be completely avoided by simply stepping out of the damage area.

Lightning Rain – IF you are a long way away from the Centurions they will fire multiple lightning blots into the air and they will rain down on the arena. THIS is the longest duration of any of the mechanics that the boss does.  While this is happening, you have a window to do as much damage as possible because they will do NOTHING until this mechanic is over (they are exposed). Note however you must keep your feet moving to avoid the damage coming in at the same time of course as watching out for the spinners.

Sit Down – Depending on how fast you burn the bosses they will sit down, be immune, and have a damage shield on them. You can do NO damage when this happens. When this happens you will ONLY be able to attack one.

This is the ultimate game of whack-a-mole. They will sit down around 75%, 50-55%, 35%, 25% and lower and just up down until they are dead.  Notice however they have a lightning shield around them. Don’t get too close because this WILL damage you.

NOTE:  You CAN burn these WAY before their thresholds however if you do so, once they have finished their mechanics, they will sit down anyway.

Round 3:  Drome of Toxic Shock – Lamia Queen

This boss is a pain but not as difficult as you might think on the surface. She can kill players very very fast but most of the time it is because people forget the mechanics already ongoing. 

You have lightning coming from the sky, so you already know to keep moving to avoid this from the previous round.  You also have stranglers which of course should be your primary focus since they slow you down (slow down while trying to move, = lighting death of course).  Something that will help a LOT in this fight is the shield synergy buff. This will reflect back at the stranglers and save a lot of hassle.

Adds – It is essential that you lessen the complications of the fight. The way to do this is to focus on the adds. She will spawn adds at 75% 50% and 25% health. Keep your buffs up, (resistances and heals if you have them) and focus the adds each phase before going back to the boss. Most people die in here because they get overwhelmed with too much going on. So, get rid of the additional mechanics!

Scream – The main trick to this boss is to stay out of her face, and this is why.  If she screams she will stun you and you will take damage. But of course, during this stun, everything else can hit you too. If you are stunned you must break free to get out.

Generally, it is safer try to circle her all the time so i do not get caught out so much.  If you didn’t kill those adds from the above mechanics…guess what is going to kill you while you are stunned?  Keep it simple. Nuke it LATER when you get good at it. Remember there is NO rush, take your time with CLEAR mechanics.

Round 4 – Seht’s Flywheel – The Control Guardian

This fight CANNOT be simpler. The boss has TWO major mechanics:

  • Mechanic 1 is: Moving around in a circle.
  • Mechanic 2 is: Standing still!

Moving – While the boss is moving it will pump out HIGH shock damage around it and you will constantly take damage. To avoid this, stay UNDER the boss at ALL times while it is moving and you will take NO damage from it.

Stopped – GET OUT! When the boss stops, under it is NO longer safe so get away from the boss. It will constantly pump out fire damage under it.  However, at the same time, the boss will fire meteor-type effects around the room aiming at YOU. You must avoid these by moving away from them before they land.

Adds – When the boss is standing still, each time it does this you will get one Spider Dwemer and one Sphere Dwemer add. Be sure to draw these out and kill them to save complications.

Sentries – These will constantly spawn like the previous rounds, be sure to kill these asap, OR keep an eye on where they are since when they are enraged they will have a damage shield making them invulnerable, and fire out nasty ground aoes.

Basically…When the boss is moving, stay under it. When the boss is standing still, stay away from it. That’s it.  Don’t be afraid to take synergies that can help a LOT, especially the healing chalice.

Round 5:  Rink of Frozen Blood – Matriarch Runa

This is the first major stopping point for anyone and almost everyone in VMA and this is because of one very simple reason…PACE!  People try to nuke it and it is NOT that kind of fight. This fight has a completely different condition in order to be clean. Do NOT over burn the boss. If you do, you will be overwhelmed with more adds than your survival will allow.

Trolls – Rule number one. Interrupt the troll, no matter where it is, and kill it. If the troll smashes ONE platform, it is game over.  They will spawn all throughout the fight, pay attention to them. They spawn from the middle but can go anywhere they like.

Fear – Occasionally the boss will fear you trying to push you into the ice (damage over time in the ice) be sure to break free from this as soon as you can.

Slam – The boss will cause a HUGE aoe slam to knock you back and do large damage. Be sure to avoid this but if you get caught at least block.

Swipe – The boss will swipe in causing you to be knocked back so avoid/block this.

Cleave – The boss has a nasty frontal cleave which makes the ground raise up, basically causing frontal aoe damage with rocks flying across the floor. Stay out of this or block it. The trick really is to stay on the boss’s back if you can help it. Circling helps sometimes but remember the rest of the mechanics.

Adds – Once the boss starts taking damage shortly after (around 80%, 60% and 40% ISH, depending on your burn) the boss will spawn TWO adds (note one does come with a pet wolf too).

At all costs the adds MUST take damage before you push the boss to the jump phase.  ALWAYS kill the adds and get damage off the boss as much as possible to be sure the room is clear. Failure to do this will cause an overlap of mechanics and you could end up with up to 6 + adds in the room if you go solo!

Two-handers heavy attack so be sure to block (they turn into werewolves too and eat corpses to heal so kill them fast)  Archers have a spray attack.  Ice mages MUST be focused they hit incredibly hard.

JUMP! -THIS is important. At 75% and 50%, the boss will glow red, enrage, and JUMP on whichever platform she is standing on and smash it to bits. 

Once it is gone it is gone! This is your queue to get out of the way and find a safe place. If she lands on you or you are on the pad that explodes, you are dead.  Once it is gone, a Nerid/Leminid will spawn with HIGH ice damage and she must be killed. Remember, in this fight, adds must die first!

TIPS/Strategy!:  Start on the platform with the speed buff and face the center of the map. The boss spawns there.  Look to your right and THAT is where the two adds will spawn. So gently attack the boss to push for the spawn and then take all damage off the boss and kill the adds.  Once they are down, push the boss (no ultimates).

When the boss is ready to jump, (take the speed synergy if you wish) run to the platform with the healing chalice (take this too if you wish for survival).  Face the boss, and kill the incoming Nerid.  Note your location, your RIGHT hand side behind you almost, is where the NEXT two adds will spawn.

Push the boss a little until they spawn then get all damage OFF the boss and ON to the adds. DO NOT push the boss until ALL adds are dead (no ultimates). Once they are dead, push the boss to jump.  When she jumps run to the last pad. Pick up both synergies (shield and damage).

NOW you can drop the house on the boss. BUT if you have low damage, kill the adds first THEN kill the boss.  If you have extremely low damage the boss will jump a final time and kill you but that is only if you have like 1k dps or make a lot of mistakes. It is very rare for it to happen with the current state of the game regardless of experience. Relax, pace it, adds first, boss last.

Final Note:  ALWAYS deal with that troll. No matter what is happening.

Round 6:  Spiral Shadows – Champion of Atrocity

This boss is simple but hectic at the same time. She hits very hard and there can appear to be a lot going on.  Remember from the previous round with the lightning coming down, the hoarvors, and the spiders coming, you have to keep moving and pay attention to those totems.

Like the last boss, however, there is a simple condition. Kill ALL adds. Anything that is NOT the boss, has no business being there, so kill it.  Also remember, if you uncover all of the totems, you WILL stun her.

Lightning Blast – The boss will channel/cast a spell and if you do not interrupt her she will emit a frontal lighting rage type ability which does HIGH damage. Be sure to interrupt this.

Spider Minion – As the fight unfolds she will spawn a small minion that looks just like her. This has similar abilities and they are linked together. Basically, while this add is alive the boss takes MUCH less damage and grows in strength. You must kill this add at all costs.  Mechanics can overlap but generally this spawns around the 70-75% health area and again at 50% and under. Pay attention to what is going on and don’t let these live.

Lurcher – Midway through the fight a lurcher will spawn. These are the same as the enemies from the last round, you may want to hit this guy with an ultimate to get rid of him fast. He is not so bad on his own but with the boss in the room, the additional damage is not something you want to have to defend against. So get rid of it quickly, and be sure to interrupt it if he starts shaking.

Blast! – The boss will occasionally emit a large aoe from her center, be sure to get away from this. When it peaks it will explode and knock you back.

Spit – This is consistent throughout the fight. The boss will spit a ball of poison at you which hits pretty hard to start with but the longer the fight goes on the tougher it gets especially if she is enraged/low health. You can dodge this if you see it coming. However, if you have low damage and you feel the fight is just getting too tough, take the reflection shield synergy and it will throw it back at her.

TIPS: – Essentially this is NOT a DPS race as such BUT the longer the fight the tougher she gets both in damage output and mitigation so focus as much as you can on keeping the mechanics clean.

DON’T leave the spiders alive for her to grow in strength, don’t forget the hoarvors for the totem stun, and don’t forget the sneaky spiders that cover them up.  Speed buffs and healing buffs from synergies help a lot but pace them.

Round 7:  Vault of Umbrage – Argonian Behemoth

This boss much like the Ice round is hated by most. The boss is not really the difficult part but RNG is instead. The mushrooms CAN spawn where you do not want them to and there is nothing you can do about it. However, rather than dwelling on that the mechanics and tips will be explained.

You can stay as close to the boss as you like so long as you know the mechanics, failing that you can play ranged and it is also just fine to do that so long as you know what to avoid and block. You really don’t need to run around, in fact, if you do, you are likely to run into poison, so relax.

Bite – The boss will bite you stunning you and applying a bleed. You must break free from this and out heal the damage over time. This CAN be blocked but every time you block it he will quickly try again, so sometimes, sucking it up can save you a lot of blocking resources, but the choice is yours there.

Slap – The boss does a few light slap attacks, these can be blocked

 – If you are at range, the boss will spit in the air and put a small aoe on the ground, simply avoid this by walking out of it when it lands.

Stomp – if the boss stomps, you really want to block this. He will make rocks fly out in all directions and has a small knockback. At range, you can stand between these hits and completely avoid them but up close you must block.

Lightning Mages/Scream – After under 20 seconds the boss will spawn two lightning mages. These will hit you with ranged damage and sometimes teleport to you and explode in lightning damage. kill ONE of these, NOT both.

As soon as ONE is dead, the boss will enrage and scream doing massive damage throughout the entire room.  The ONLY way to survive, is to stay in the protective bubble the lighting mage puts himself in…OR interrupt the boss (Warning do not do this, stay in the bubble).

While inside the bubble you are safe so long as the add stays alive. Once the screaming is over, kill the add and go back to hitting the boss.  This mechanic will repeat as many times as you like until the boss is dead.  So…kill one add, hide near the other, kill the add when it is safe, rinse repeat. That’s it.

However, if you accidentally, OR purposely interrupt the boss, he will stop screaming, and STAY enraged! doing massive damage. So don’t let him touch you with anything, especially the stomp.

NOTE:  Remember the Venom callers MUST die. And also mushrooms will explode and put a dot on you which you MUST cleanse if you get caught via the green pools.  If you are in the bubble, safe, and a mushroom spawns under you, very few survive this…RIP.

Round 8:  Igneous Cistern – Valkyn Tephra

This boss is as simple as they come but can get so messy if you have not already learned the rules of previous bosses. Mainly meaning “adds first!”. ANY adds in the room must be killed. And also, keep your distance and half the mechanics won’t affect you.

Totems – There are 3 totems in the room. Each one needs to be killed in order to weaken the boss. Once they are down, the boss will be stunned and exposed and this is where you attack.  YES, you can kill this in one go if you have lots of damage, but if not, you will have to follow the rest of the mechanics and do multiple laps.

Flame Shaper – These will spawn throughout the fight, depending on how fast you are, usually around the second/3rd totem death. These are your primary target. If they put their staff in the air and start channeling their fire attack, and they are NOT interrupted. You are going to die. Interrupt them and kill them ALWAYS as a priority.

Flame Atronachs
 – Usually on the second lap (not shown in the video) the boss can spawn two flame atronachs. These are not a huge threat but to save complications, be sure to kill them so you are not taking additional damage where you don’t want to.

Cleave – If the boss gets close to you he will cleave you with his sword and knock you back. try not to get close to him.  Between a wipe and a pass because if people die this is VERY hard to recover from.

Fireball – The boss will occasionally breathe a fireball at you, this can be blocked, or dodge-rolled and doesn’t do too much damage. Just keep your resists/heals up.

Chain – If the boss is still alive by a 3rd lap of the totems, he will gain a new ability and be able to chain you in (like the previous mini-boss). This is normally used in combination with a follow-up cleave.

Explosion!!! – If the is STILL alive as long as a 4th lap, he gets what looks like an ultimate. He can explode and cause a HUGE spreading fire mechanic.

There are gaps in this so you can survive if but the trick is, if you see him channeling it, get as far away as possible in order to be in a safer position to find a gap. (close is clustered, long-range it spreads with bigger gaps).

TIP:  Always kill adds, be sure to kill the adds before the final totem or even force them to spawn so you get as much time on the boss as possible.  And finally, stay away from the boss at all times unless you are killing him. Speed buff and reflective shield synergy help a lot!

Round 9:  Theater of Despair – Voriak Solkyn

Rule number one! DON’T PANIC!  This boss has a LOT going on, so you will need to absorb these mechanics step by step, there is NO rush, this is NOT a DPS race.  The boss has 3 major phases and each one must be paid close attention to.  But of course, you must understand his mechanics in order to successfully follow through with the fight.

Skull Throw – The boss puts his hands together or casts a winding-up ability with his staff. When this happens he is going to fire a Skull at you which will do HUGE damage and knock you down and back! This can be BLOCKED or DODGED. (This mechanic is crucial).

Burst – The boss will crouch and channel an ability with a spreading aoe under him, when this peaks it will explode and knock you back. Do not get caught in this.

Skull Channel! – The raise his staff in the air and hit you rapidly with multiple skull-like attacks over and over and over. THIS is simple. Interrupt it (or take the shield synergy and reflect it). Failure to do so will kill you.

Teleport – The boss teleports regularly normally after about 20 seconds in his current position. So plan your burst. If you throw down all of your damage as he is about to move, that’s a waste. So keep your eyes on him.

Adds – The boss has 2 basic adds, one is a healer (which should be killed or it will heal things and hit you with fire damage) and a slow walking add from two rounds previous. These must be killed. The slow walking add is intending on releasing a Bone Colossus into the fight. Do not let that happen.

JEFF!! – The boss will spawn a daedroth aka Jeff into the room and this guy MUST die. Kill Jeff no matter what, no excuses, he MUST die. If he bursts into flame and breaths on you, you will have fire damage over time ability stuck to you. Running won’t save you. As long as Jeff is alive, you will ALWAYS take damage and you will die. Kill him, he is more important than the boss!

And now to explain how to tactically manage this fight phase by phase.

PHASE ONE: – The boss starts in the middle of the room and it is just you and him.  So this is your opportunity to get some damage in on him.  He will hit you with some basic attacks and then a skull attack (explained above). This should be blocked or dodged. If he has not hit 75% health or lower he will teleport to a random location.

Once he teleports he will start his Skull channel ability. You have two choices here. interrupt him, or take the shield synergy buff and just let it reflect on him while you kill the healer.  IF you let it run its course you will have time reflecting damage with the buff to kill the healer BUT if you interrupt the boss (or let it run out) the first JEFF will spawn!

The boss will teleport and continue with his basic attacks, skull, blast etc. This phase you MUST kill JEFF.  Once Jeff and the healer is down (healer is optional but makes sense). continue with the boss. Once he finally does hit 75% or lower he will go up into the air and be immune (he has gone upstairs).

To get upstairs you need to look for ONE of THREE pads on the floor. This will be lit up.  You must go over to it and kill the clan fear NEAR it. In order to activate it. Once this is done you can use it as a teleport upstairs.

Warning:  During this phase, there are lich crystals you must avoid, and if Jeff is alive you must NOT go upstairs. His dot will go with you.

PHASE TWO: – Upstairs is simple.  There are 3 crystals. They must die.  Meteors will constantly be falling so do NOT stand still, these must be avoided. Or you will be stunned and killed.

The boss will put his hands together and fire a skull at you which must be dodged or blocked (demonstrated in the video). So try to keep your eyes on him until you have it embedded in your mind as a mental timer.  After the skull, he will cast a protection wall which is rotating around the platform. You must get behind it and follow it. It will explode and you will be protected, but if you are not behind it the explosion will push you off and you will have to make your way back upstairs.

NOW, this process will repeat but now he throws TWO skulls before the wall phase.  So, avoid two skulls, while avoiding meteors, and killing crystals, and then hide behind the wall again. This needs to be repeated until all crystals are dead.

TIP:  If you are upstairs for more than 3 laps, jump off, kill the new Jeff, and come back up.  You are constantly taking damage over time and each lap increases the damage and the speed of the protection wall.  Once all three Crystals are dead, the boss will explode and you will be thrown off, and it is back to downstairs for the final battle.

PHASE 3 The Final Fight: – The boss now has all his basic mechanics, take a breath…

Interrupt his channeling, avoid his aoe, and dodge/block the skull. Relax and keep consistent damage on him. This is NOT a DPS race.  While you are downstairs there is ONE add,  the walking “I’m going to spawn a huge bone colossus” enemy. Add must die. Don’t worry about the boss. Kill the add, and avoid boss attacks. Take your time and relax.

During the fight, the gold ghosts are now present. Pick up 3 and you can stun him just like other rounds but be sure he does NOT take them because if he gets 3 he will explode and you will die.  Every 3rd gold ghost, Jeff will spawn and he is 100% your priority now. KILL that Deadroth or else. 

THIS whole thing now just needs to be repeated.  So…to keep it simple.  Interrupt and avoid boss hits, while keeping damage up as and when (no rush). Kill the add, pick up all ghosts. Kill Jeff.  Repeat repeat repeat until it is over.  No rush, no panic, no solo. FORCE clean mechanics and you WILL do it.

Best of luck!

Maelstrom Arena Loot

Below is a list of all the loot you can expect to find in Maelstrom Arena.

Normal weapons can drop from the last boss of the arena on normal difficulty.  Perfected versions of the weapons only drop in Veteran difficulty modes.

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.

Maelstrom Arena Achievements

ESO In-Game Achievement Wrothgar 037
Maelstrom Arena Champion

Conquer all challengers and earn the title of Maelstrom Arena Champion.

ESO In-Game Achievement Wrothgar 038
Maelstrom Arena Conqueror

Conquer all challengers in Veteran Maelstrom Arena.

ESO In-Game Achievement Wrothgar 039
Maelstrom Arena:  Perfect Run

Complete Veteran Maelstrom Arena in a single attempt, without dying or leaving the arena.

Maelstrom Arena Leads

There are currently no leads located in Maelstrom Arena.

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…