In DOOM Eternal, you will come face-to-face with a ton of unique demons, but not all of them are made equal. Some are non-threats by design, while others will end your life faster than you can say “I CAN’T MOVE!”. This guide will cover certain demons more in-depth depending on how threatening they are in a typical playthrough of the base game.
Fodder demons (Zombies, Soldiers, Mecha-Zombies, Imps, and Gargoyles) share one thing in common: they are all rarely threatening. They should be used for resource replenishment.
To optimize the process of replenishing your resources, you need to learn when the best time is to use your equipment. I like to herd up a bunch of fodder, and then I use the Ice Bomb + Flame Belch + Frag Grenade combo. This combo is not usable until Misson 3: Cultist Base, but you can still reliably flame a bunch of fodder and then use a Frag Grenade to kill them all. If you need ammo and not health, a simpler combo of Flame Belch + Chainsaw can replenish your armor and ammo.
With any of these combinations, you can save the Flame Belch if armor is not of concern, although that’ll rarely be the case, especially if you’re playing Ultra Violence or harder.
Heavy Demons, Part 1
The most common demons overall are heavy demons. They are more threatening than fodder demons on average, and they cannot be chainsawed unless you’ve stocked up enough fuel to get 3 bars.
I said that the heavies are more threatening than fodder on average, but not all of them are threatening. This first part will cover the less threatening heavies and brush over some strategies to take them down.
Revenants, Cacodemons, Pinkies/Spectres, Makyr Drones, and Pain Elementals are rarely, if ever, threats. Revenants are frail and weak, while Cacodemons are easily incapacitated by the Sticky Bombs mod for the Combat Shotgun or, later on, killed by the Arbalest mod for the Ballista. Pain Elementals are big sponges for your Chaingun to tear up, while Pinkies and Spectres are bait either for a well-timed Blood Punch or the Super Shotgun (SS), depending on the situation. Lastly, Makyr Drones are basically lavish pinatas. Snipe them, and don’t be stationary.
Hell Knights and Dread Knights are nearly identical. The Chaingun tears them apart, but if you’re lacking the ammo, I like to Meat Hook to them, blast them with the SS, and quickly dash away before they can counterattack, and repeat that cycle until they’re dead. They aren’t too threatening, but always be aware of them, because they can mess you up badly if you ignore them for too long.
Arachnotrons are potentially annoying, but they’re easy to take care of once you get the Precision Bolt mod. Early-game, I prefer to use the Full Auto mod to kill, but you get better options as the game progresses, specifically the SS and especially the Chaingun.
Carcasses are a similar case, but they’re more potentially dangerous; their shields can potentially ruin your game plan if you fire rockets or they block off your planned escape route. The Plasma Rifle destroys their shields, and after that, they’re easy to deal with.
Heavy Demons, Part 2
For these heavy demons, it is sometimes a viable strategy to stock up on chainsaw fuel to specifically eliminate them if given the chance and you know what’s coming. However, you can’t always do that; here are some more consistent strategies for each of these demons.
Prowlers can be nasty, especially in the late-game; they’ll often come in numbers and can easily warp behind you and cut your HP well below the comfort zone. They are, however, frail as hell; one Ballista shot will instantly stagger them. What’s more, a single SS blast will gib them like they’re fodder.
Cyber Mancubi are a pain if you don’t have a charged Blood Punch, but a Blood Punch + SS combo can easily take it out. You may be wondering, “well can’t they counter that with their toxic bombs?”. While that’s true, you can avoid this pretty consistently if you dash in and out of their range as you land a Blood Punch.
Regular Mancubi are arguably more threatening, since they’re all too eager to flame you if you get too close. If you’re far away, they like to snipe you, and you’ll see them in numbers. My recommendation is to systematically snipe off their arm cannons and then unload your whole arsenal into them early on, but once you get the Rocket Launcher and the Lock-On Burst mod, you can target them and then shoot an extra rocket to remove them from the picture.
Whiplashes are potentially the most dangerous demons you’ll commonly encounter, but you actually have a couple of strategies at hand for them. The first one is the Microwave Beam mod on the Plasma Rifle, which keeps her still until she dies. Sounds great, right? Well, there’s one problem, and it’s the other demons. This strat is only viable if you’re absolutely certain that A: you have adequate ammo, and B: the other demons won’t manhandle you. The second strategy is to use the Lock-On Burst on them, which is safer overall but can potentially be ruined if they move behind an obstruction or another demon gets in the way. Either way, they are a threat. Do not underestimate them, especially since they often come in numbers as well.
Super-heavies are the bulkiest enemies of the bunch; they cannot be chainsawed at all, and they are very resistant to your equipment launcher. As such, all of these enemies are very good candidates to use your Crucible on them if you find the opening in the last missions.
The Tyrant/ Cyberdemon is actually the least threatening out of all of the super-heavies. Yes, they can be dangerous, but they’re big and relatively slow, so as long as you keep some distance and keep firing at them, they’re not too bad.
Fireborne Barons are fiery versions of the familiar Barons of Hell and are bigger, more powerful Dread Knights. As such, the Chaingun is a good answer to them, but don’t rely on the Chaingun to flinch them to death; if needed, blast them with your SS a couple of times.
Arch-viles are scary, but also fairly easy to deal with if you spot them quickly. Find them before they can spawn in any other demons. I like to use the Chaingun and SS on them; that strategy usually works, but really, whatever can damage the Arch-vile works. The key to defeating the Arch-vile is really to just spot it before it’s too late.
Other Super-Heavies/Bosses, Part 1
If the title of this chapter confuses you, just keep in mind that DOOM as a franchise likes to use some of its bosses as regular enemies as the game progresses. It’s no different with these first two enemies.
The Marauder is the most notorious enemy in this game, and for good reason. I wouldn’t say it’s the most dangerous enemy in the game, but it is very frustrating if you don’t know what to do, and many people don’t. Start off by practicing being in the range of where the Marauder will swing his axe at you, and fire your SS a couple of times. Repeat that loop until the Marauder is no more. Some more advanced options include quickswapping from the SS to the Ballista and back to the SS. This is the most consistent high-DPS strategy, although you can also do SS to BFG if you want to flex, and there are even videos where people swap between SS and Ballista until the Marauder dies, killing it in one cycle. So yeah, the Marauder is a threat, but it’s manageable. And also, don’t shoot its shield unless you WANT to die. After the first fight, you should save it for last if you’re fighting it alongside other (super)heavies.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: the Marauder is technically not an official boss, but its first appearance is as the last enemy standing between you and completing the mission, so I think that it counts)
The Doom Hunters are honestly not too threatening as long as you can get into a rhythm. That rhythm is to use the Heat Blast mod on the Plasma Rifle, and repeatedly hit the Hunter with plasma balls until the Heat Blast is sufficiently charged. Then you unleash the blast and Blood Punch its sled, a risky maneuver, but well worth it when you see how much health it takes off from the Hunter. This also means you should be glory killing fodder demons or otherwise getting your Blood Punch charged. At some point, its sled will break, at which point the second phase begins. The old rhythm can work, but it’s wasteful when the Lock-On Burst absolutely wrecks the Hunter, putting it into a falter if you lock on twice. When fighting non-boss Hunters, you only have to do that once for the same result. Pretty busted.
Bosses, Part 2
The Gladiator is, in my humble opinion, the single most difficult enemy in the game. His first phase isn’t too bad; using any one weapon, preferably the SS, be patient and wait for a window to stagger him. Then you can go in for a pseudo-glory kill, which does major damage to the Gladiator. Just repeat the cycle until you lower his health bar enough, meanwhile replenishing resources by killing various fodder and heavies.
The second phase is where the difficulty ramps up. He loses the shield he had in the first phase in exchange for a second mace, which means double the hits he can unleash at once. You really just need to get good and try to dodge his attacks, since faltering him is generally inconsistent. However, since he has no shield, he is quite vulnerable to the Lock-On Burst, so use that in tandem with the SS and Ballista for great damage output. Of course, if you can falter him and you’re low on health, it’s not a bad strat. It’s just less generally consistent than unloading your artillery on him.
The Khan Makyr is a massive threat. She isn’t too bad herself, but she will constantly play a literal “The Floor is Lava” game with you. Just focus on her once you get on stable ground. I like to use the Ballista, as it provides good power over a distance. If luck is on your side, five Ballista shots are enough to freeze her, at which point you should Meat Hook to land a Blood Punch on her. Do that five more times, and she’s done for. Make sure to snipe the Makyr Drones for ammo and health as well. Sounds simple, but it’s fairly tough in practice.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Icon of Sin. Your focus should be on removing its armor piece-by-piece, which is best done with the Mobile Turret mod on the Chaingun. BFG ammo is also sparsely available, so use it; it does massive damage to the armor and also heavily damages/ kills the other enemies. Other than that, make sure to avoid the Icon’s attacks and take out heavies however needed- with Crucible ammo or Chainsawing them. Other weapons work on the Icon as well, but I like to use the Chaingun. Phase 2 is the same, except now you’re ripping its flesh off.
Hopefully this guide helps you get past a tricky enemy or boss, or it helps you improve your demon-slaying prowess. I was inspired by my friend’s guide, but I wanted to go more into detail on specific strategies you can use on various enemies, whereas his guide is good for broader strategies and game progression.
Who knows, if I feel like it or there’s demand, I might make other guides on how to take out the forces of hell in the DLC campaigns. Nevertheless, I’d be happy to take feedback on this guide, and if you have a different strategy for a specific demon, I’d love to see those as well! Thanks for reading and have a great day!!
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