Guide:Eye of Cthulhu strategies

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The Eye of Cthulhu is usually the first boss a player will encounter. It has a one in three chance of spawning once a player has met a few base conditions: They must have at least 200 health (10 hearts), have at least 10 defense, have three NPCs, and have not yet already defeated it. It can also be manually summoned with the Suspicious Looking Eye. The following are some hints, tips, and strategies to help defeat it.

Terrain preparation[edit | edit source]

Fighting arena

Since this is the first boss you will face, arena possibilities are limited. Simply making long rows of wood platforms should suffice, allowing you to better control your height for dodging, and also letting you hit the boss when it flies beneath you. Make sure the platforms are close enough for you to jump between (or grapple, if you have a grappling hook).

Additionally, you can make the fight a bit easier by placing various items in the arena; a Campfire and Heart Lantern will boost your life regeneration, a Star in a Bottle will boost mana regeneration, and a Sunflower will boost your speed. If your arena is large enough, you may need to place multiple of these in order for their area of effect to span the entire arena.

In Expert mode, the arena will usually have to be much longer to avoid the boss's constant dashing attacks.

Gearing up[edit | edit source]

Armor[edit | edit source]

The best armor to have at this point would be Gold or Platinum armor, although it can be difficult to obtain. Consider using these sets if you are having trouble beating the boss with weaker armors. An even better choice might be to use the meteor armor in combination with the space gun, which provides the same defense as gold, but also provides the extra of a powerful weapon, even though it might be hard to get (not impossible using bombs).

A full set of Silver armor or Tungsten armor is the easiest to get at this point, and it is a good choice for this fight. While it may seem tempting to use pieces of stronger armor (Gold, Platinum), doing so is unwise, as the Silver and Tungsten armor's set bonus provides more defense than mismatched armor. On the Mobile only.pngMobile version, the Boots of Ostara can be paired with Silver armor to complete the set bonus while increasing jump abilities, although using it with Tungsten armor will not grant the set bonus.

If you have taken out King Slime previously, the Ninja armor will be especially useful. While it provides less defense than Silver or Tungsten, it enhances the combat potential of throwing items, which are extremely effective against the boss. Keep in mind that this will not work on the console or mobile versions, as Ninja armor is only decorative, and will not provide any bonuses when worn.

The weaker Iron or Lead armor sets can be used, but caution must be taken, especially in the second phase, and should only be used if you are a good dodger. Copper, Tin, Cactus, Wood armor, or less do not have enough defense to reliably take the hits of the 2nd phase and should not be used unless you have built a good arena and are a skillful dodger.

In Expert Mode, Gold or Platinum armor is an absolute must with Tungsten being the bare minimum due to the Eye of Cthulhu's relentless charges in the second phase and the increased damage.

Accessories[edit | edit source]

A Cloud in a Bottle, Sandstorm in a Bottle (if your world contains a pyramid), a Blizzard in a Bottle, or a Tsunami in a Bottle can aid in avoiding the rams, although this is less necessary with a good arena. A Grappling Hook is also very useful if you can grapple onto platforms above you quickly.

Hermes Boots, Sailfish Boots, or Flurry Boots help by making it easier a chance to dodge the second phase's rams. In Expert Mode, these are almost required, as the Eye of Cthulhu will perform rapid dashing attacks.

If you find one, a Band of Regeneration can help speed up life regen, making lasting a longer fight easier. A Panic Necklace is a useful accessory if you have a hard time dodging attacks, and the increase in speed after being hit can make being hit immediately after less likely.

Any accessory with the Warding modifier be useful if you come across one, and the extra four defense can be used to make up for lower-tier armor, like Iron or Lead.

Weapons[edit | edit source]

In general, long-range piercing weapons are recommended, as they are able to take out Servants and hit the boss.

Melee[edit | edit source]

Melee's options are fairly limited at this point, and mostly serve as a way to take out the low-hp Servants of Cthulhu. Certain melee weapons are able to launch projectiles, but may be difficult to come across.

Gold Broadsword.png Broadswords aren't very helpful against the boss itself, but can make short work of the Servants of Cthulhu without the need to aim. You should aim for a Gold Broadsword or a Platinum Broadsword at this point, but if you've been lucky and found Demonite/Crimtane Ore, you can craft a Light's Bane or a Blood Butcherer, which will perform even better.

Enchanted Sword (item).png Using projectile-launching broadswords instead of regular broadswords is highly recommended, as their sword slash can take out nearby servants and their projectile can hit the boss itself. Their only downside is that they can be rather difficult to come across compared to regular broadswords. The three projectile swords available at this point are the Enchanted Sword found rarely throughout the world or in Enchanted Sword Shrines, the Ice Blade found in Ice Chests in the Underground Snow, and the Starfury found on Floating Islands.

Trident.png Spears can be helpful, hitting both the boss itself and the servants with the same hit. The only spears available at this point are lacking in range, so consider using a more ranged weapon when the boss is in motion. The recommended spear at this point is a Trident found in Water Chests, but a regular Spear found in surface chests should suffice.

Enchanted Boomerang.png Boomerangs can be of great use due to their long range, but missing with a boomerang can leave the player open for a moment. An Enchanted Boomerang (found in Golden Chests) would be preferred, as a normal Wooden Boomerang doesn't deal enough damage to be reliable.

Rally.png Yoyos are another pseudo-melee weapon, and like the others, excells against the boss. A Rally should be good enough, though a Malaise or Artery are preferred if you have the materials to make them. More ambitious players can try to craft an Amazon, though this requires going into the highly dangerous Underground Jungle.

Ranged[edit | edit source]

Ranged weapons are a great choice for dealing damage to the boss itself, unlike melee's more supportive role of taking out the Servants of Cthulhu.

Gold Bow.png Bows are the main choice of ranged weapon available at this point. You should aim for a Gold Bow or a Platinum Bow at this point, but if you've been lucky and found Demonite/Crimtane Ore, you can craft a Demon Bow or a Tendon Bow, which will perform even better. Standard arrows will work well, but they leave some to be desired in terms of combat potential.

Flaming Arrow.png Flaming Arrows or Frostburn Arrows are a better choice for hitting the boss itself, as their lingering fire effects can harm the boss even while it's out of your range.
Jester's Arrow.png Jester's Arrows or the Corruption-exclusive Unholy Arrows are ideal for taking out the servants. Additionally, if they hit correctly, they can hit the boss twice with a single shot. Combined with their higher base damage, this allows them to outperform Flaming/Frostburn Arrows if used correctly.

Snowball Cannon.png The Snowball Cannon, found in Ice Chests in the Underground Snow is a good alternative to bows. While its base damage is low, it makes up for this with the ability to rapidly auto-fire and use easily-obtained Snowballs as ammunition.

Flintlock Pistol.png Guns can also be used to great effect against the boss, although this requires venturing into the Corruption/Crimson to smash Shadow Orbs/Demon Hearts. Nearly any gun will outperform bows available at this point, so if you can get your hands on one, use it.

If you are planning on a speedrun, an Ebonwood Bow/Shadewood Bow will suffice, but you will need an arena. This should be attempted only with extreme preparation and practice on Expert mode.

Magic[edit | edit source]

Magic weapons are mainly good for beating on the boss itself, but can also be used to attack servants in a pinch. All magic weapons at this point are able to pierce through multiple enemies.

Ruby Staff.png Gem staves are the main magic weapon of choice against the eye, with their long ranged piercing shots being a perfect fit for the boss battle. You should aim for a Ruby Staff, a Emerald Staff, or a Sapphire Staff at this point. The Amethyst Staff and Topaz Staff tend to be lacking in damage output. If you manage to get the materials for the Diamond Staff, using it is a must.

Water Bolt.png The Water Bolt, normally found on shelves in the depths of the Dungeon can rarely be found in the accessible areas, making it possible to obtain before beating Skeletron. If you're lucky enough for this to happen, using it in place of gem staves would be a good idea. If you re-adjust your arena to contain sold-block walls surrounding it, you can make use of the Water Bolt's ricocheting projectiles.

Vilethorn.png The Vilethorn, found in Corruption-only Shadow Orbs, can be of great use to more ambitious players. While it's somewhat lacking in range, the lingering thorn can hit the boss and servants many times, and can even pass through walls to hit it, if you lack a platform arena.

Crimson Rod.png The Crimson Rod, the Crimson alternative to the Vilethorn, is similarly useful. Clouds can be defensively set up to avoid having to deal with the servants, while also dealing steady damage to the boss.

Space Gun.png

The space gun might be useless on its own, since it eats away tons of mana, but in combination with the meteor armor, it can be one of the easiest ways to take down the boss.

Summoner[edit | edit source]

A Summoner's options are extremely limited at this point of the game. Because there are only three summoner-class weapons available pre-hardmode, summoners have a very tight selection available, made worse because all of these weapons are extremely difficult to obtain at the point you have to fight the Eye. For first-time or unskilled players, it's better to completely avoid focusing on the Summoner class until later in the game. For those who still want to try, get ready for a much harder challenge.

Slime Staff.png Baby Slime (minion) (animated).gif Out of the three weapons available, the Slime Staff is the only that does not require you to fight a much stronger boss, or travel to a very dangerous place. Unfortunately, it is locked behind a 0.01% / 0.014% Desktop Version drop chance for all Slimes and Slimed Zombies with the minor exceptions of Pinky and the Sand Slime. Even if you somehow managed to get it, you haven't obtained a fantastic weapon for such a painstaking grind session(or stroke of luck). The Baby Slime deals very little damage and cannot fly. Even if it manages to attack the Eye, its piercing attacks will activate invincibility frames for the boss, preventing you from damaging it. It's best to skip this weapon altogether.

Hornet Staff.png Hornet (minion).gif Boasting a fast and flying minion that attacks lightning quick and packs a whallop of a devastating poison against your enemies, the Hornet Staff would have been a fantastic choice for this fight... if it weren't locked behind a challenging boss you're not supposed to fight until significantly later in the game. To obtain the Hornet Staff, you must craft it in an anvil with 14 Bee Wax, which is dropped exclusively by the Queen Bee. Because the Queen Bee sports much more health, damage and defense than the Eye and is capable of inflicting the dangerous Poisoned debuff, and is fought in the equally dangerous Underground Jungle, it's better to skip this weapon as well.

Imp Staff.png Flying Imp.gif The Imp Staff is the most powerful summoner weapon available pre-hardmode, as the flying imps deal 21 damage and inflict the On Fire! debuff against enemies, at the cost of being completely ineffective underwater - a flaw that does not come into play when fighting the Eye of Cthulhu. To get this weapon, you need to craft it on an anvil with 17 Hellstone Bars, the most powerful ore before hardmode only found in The Underworld, the last location you visit before fighting the Wall of Flesh and activating hardmode. Ironically, out of all the three summoner weapons, this is the easiest to acquire - but is by no means truly easy. Assuming you can fish up a Reaver Shark, it is only a matter of playing with water and lava to produce and mine Obsidian, and carefully mining Hellstone. Caution is necessary, as the enemies in the Underworld are very dangerous and can easily kill you. For more information, see Guide:Mining_techniques#Mining_Hellstone.

Throwing[edit | edit source]

Thrown weapons are at their best at this stage of the game, with a wide selection of effective weapons to use against this boss. Most of them are also cheap or easy to obtain, allowing the player to rack up stacks of thrown weapons.

Shuriken.png Shurikens are an effective weapon which can be bought from the Merchant. They will hit up to 4 times, allowing a well aimed shot to kill a Servant and hit the Eye twice - even three times, if it falls back through the boss. 500 or so are more than enough to defeat this boss with relative ease.

Throwing Knife.png Throwing Knives act similarly to Shuriken, but they only hit twice. Even so, their comparable throwing rate and higher damage makes them a good compromise between Shuriken and bows. They can be found in Chests or bought from the Merchant during Blood Moons. If the player is willing to run through the surface of the corruption, they can obtain Vile Mushrooms, to produce Vile Powder, combining the powder with the throwing knives for Poisoned Knives. In the first form, the Eye has a respectable 12 defense, which negates 6 damage from all attacks. This can mean whilst Shuriken are hitting for 4 on average, Poisoned Knives will deal an average of 7. Combined with their damage-over-time poison effect, this makes them more than twice as effective.

Grenade.png Grenades cause high damage and hurt everything in their blast, but may pose as much danger to the player as they do to the boss. Since the Eye will be spawning Servants or charging at the player most of the time, it's difficult to keep a safe distance from the explosion. If desired, Grenades can be purchased from the Demolitionist. A good strategy for Grenades is to lay them like a quick trap. As the Eye charges at you, you can predict its movements. Throw a grenade underneath you and run away as the Eye begins to charge. If timed correctly, the grenade will explode on contact with the Eye and you will be unharmed.

Molotov Cocktail.png Molotov Cocktails avoid the danger of self-injury and work very well, especially in the second stage when Eye of Cthulhu will charge at you through the flaming puddles the Molotovs leave behind.

Spiky Ball.png In Expert Mode, Spiky Balls are very helpful in its second phase if you scatter them all over the floor of your arena.

Potions[edit | edit source]

Finally, bring a batch of Lesser Healing Potions at the very least, in case you start taking too much damage. (Regular Healing Potions can be used if one has access to a Glowing Mushroom farm.) Three other helpful potions are the Regeneration Potion, the Ironskin Potion, and the Thorns Potion. Swiftness Potion, Hunter Potion, Archery Potion and Bowl of Soup/Cooked Marshmallow/Pumpkin Pie/Cooked Fish wouldn't hurt as well. They are easy to brew and last a few minutes each, so you will probably only need a couple.

First Phase[edit | edit source]

During this phase the Eye will spend most of its time floating above you. It will summon Servants of Cthulhu which fly towards you to attack, much like Demon Eyes, but will fly through walls and the ground. The Eye will still hurt you, if you run into it, so do not disregard it while you kill the Servants. If you start to get swarmed by too many Servants, temporarily switch to a fast swinging weapon such as a broadsword to get rid of them quickly.

An amazing strategy to beat the first phase is to use the Slimy Saddle and bounce on the eye while at the same time attacking it with a ranged weapon. The eye will move toward you and you will bounce on top of it continuously dealing damage. If you want to try this strategy, make sure you have some forms of preventing fall damage i.e Lucky Horseshoe, Grappling Hook, or Cloud in a Bottle.

A good strategy in this phase is to aim ranged weapons at the pupil of the Eye, since that is where it spawns the Servants. That way, you can kill the servants and damage the Eye. If you stand directly below the Eye and aim straight up with a piercing weapon, after a few seconds your projectile will fall back down and hit the Eye again. After spawning 3 or 4 Servants, the Eye will charge at you, attempting to ram you 3 times before hovering once more, so be prepared to evade. It turns rather slowly and roars as it charges, giving you time to prepare your next dodge. It can be helpful to begin to evade after the 3rd servant is spawned, as this will often allow you to dodge his first charge.

Rinse and repeat and the first phase should go down easily.

Eye of Cthulhu has 12 defense during this form, which negates 6 damage from every attack. As such, higher damage, lower speed weapons are more effective during the first form, such as the Musket or a Bow.

The expert variant of the Eye is considerably more challenging. The first phase of the fight is largely unchanged; however, the Eye's damage output is increased, making the margin for error much smaller even for well equipped pre-hardmode players. Ranged weapons are an asset to this fight, since the rate at which the Eye summons servants is increased, and heart drops are scarce. It is also recommended that the player expands the width of the arena to maximize evasion.

Second Phase[edit | edit source]

For the last half of the fight, the boss sheds its iris to reveal a fanged mouth. Make sure to take advantage of its transformation sequence as much as possible, since it just spins in place for a few moments and you can still damage it. It moves slightly faster and deals more damage when it hits you but it also has less defense. It will not be summoning any more servants, so this time it will simply keep rushing at you. When it does so, do not try to attack it- concentrate on dodging. It'll charge you 3 times, and then pause for a few seconds during which you can attack freely. Try to hit it with your strongest weapon. For newer characters who haven't made it to the Gold-Platinum/Silver-Tungsten stage, Shurikens are still your best bet.

In expert mode, the Eye of Cthuhlu becomes more aggressive the lower its health gets. This is where a larger arena will benefit the player, as the sequence in which the Eye charges is different. At first, it will perform its regular 3 charges. After enough of its health has been depleted, it will perform a brief series of extremely quick dashes, usually at a steeper angle. As the battle progresses, the Eye will use this ability more freely, until its only action is to dart haphazardly back and forth, making contact with any weapon very rigorous.

For this phase, Hermes Boots is an asset. With a wide enough arena, running in a straight line while the Eye of Cthulhu does his quick charge is fast enough to avoid any damage. Later in the fight, the player can use the Grappling Hook in tandem with the Hermes Boots for a quick escape, should he or she become stun-locked. As it is difficult to hit the Eye for the final percentage of his health, Spiky Balls are to be considered in this fight, provided the player has encountered the Goblin Army. Throwing Spiky Balls around the battlefield assures the player a number of hits on the Eye, even as it charges rapidly. Grenades are a useful alternative. A weapon like the Snowball Cannon also works. Just fire in the direction of the Eye and where it will charge, and some snowballs will hit him. If you are somewhat good at dodging you'll kill him before he kills you.

Survival[edit | edit source]

Like the Eater of Worlds, the Eye of Cthulhu will flee if the player dies during the fight. It will also flee if the player fails to defeat it before early dawn (exactly 4:30am, which you can determine with a Grandfather Clock or watch). The best way to avoid this is, like the other methods described above, a matter of preparation. Start the fight early after sunset (7:30pm), take lots of potions with you, and wear the best gear available to you. Normally however, the eye can be killed with shurikens in a little less than half the night, so while it is important to start the fight early, it is not essential to start the fight the moment that night begins.

Redux[edit | edit source]

As you upgrade equipment, the Eye of Cthulhu becomes easier and easier to defeat and is a great source of money. Craft stacks of Suspicious Looking Eyes and immediately re-summon the Eye after defeating the previous one (keeping in mind that dawn is at 4:30 am). If you manage to dodge it during his charging attack, and he goes underground momentarily, hit it with fire arrows before he disappears in order to set it alight, and you can see the On Fire! debuff animation, making it visible. Keep in mind also that as of 1.3, bosses have minimap icons to increase their visibility. If you have a spear or vilethorn, try to hit it while he attempts to hover above you again.

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