The Destroyer can be spawned by fulfilling any of these conditions:
- Smash a Demon/Crimson Altar. It will then have a 1 in 30 chance of appearing at dusk. After one mechanical boss has been defeated, this changes to a 1 in 20 chance, and after two mechanical bosses have been defeated, this changes to a 1 in 10 chance. This is only applicable if The Destroyer has yet to be defeated.
- Use a Mechanical Worm at night.
If The Destroyer is not defeated before dawn, it will despawn.
The Destroyer is very similar to the Eater of Worlds, in that it digs underground to strike at players from below. This must be sidestepped (especially in Expert Mode), as the head deals the highest amount of damage. Each segment will individually fire Death Lasers at players. These lasers deal less damage than the body segments, but the sheer quantity of projectiles makes it difficult to dodge them all.
The Destroyer also spawns Probes throughout the fight. Probes will spawn periodically as the Destroyer takes damage, and the light on a segment will go out if its Probe has been released. Each Probe has a 33% chance to drop a heart when killed.
The Probes are both a blessing and a curse. They can deal significant damage with their lasers, and ram players to deal damage on contact. However, the hearts that they drop can be a source of health. Drop to the ground if you need to gather dropped hearts, but only when doing so will not put you at risk of getting hit by the Destroyer itself. When trying to handle the Probes, use weapons with large hit box spreads, such as broadswords or flails, or ranged weapons like the shotgun. When trying to avoid spawning Probes, consider the following: Probes only spawn when The Destroyer is hit, not when a specific amount of damage is done, so use weaponry that prioritizes damage and crit rate over use time.
The Destroyer has an enormous health pool to compensate for its vulnerability to piercing damage and almost-complete lack of evasion. As such, a weapon that pierces or deals area-of-effect damage is practically mandatory for this fight. However, while it may seem like a good idea to front-load a large amount of damage (for example, by summoning a Nimbus Cloud over the spot where it first spawns), because the Destroyer spawns Probes at the same rate it takes damage, you will probably find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of Probes spawning at once. Find a balance between damaging the worm and dealing with Probes to survive the fight.
If engaged on a flat plain, occasionally run across until The Destroyer surfaces. This can cause the worm to spread along the ground, making it an easy target from above. This long target is particularly vulnerable to projectiles. The Daedalus Stormbow, with Holy Arrows for example, can deal massive damage to this wide target. If you have the horizontal space and speed, make use of it by flying back and forth instead of only staying in a single horizontal level to help spread its body out vertically. The more of the body you can keep exposed above ground, the more opportunities you have to deal damage.
On the other hand, if you want to ground (e.g. to gather hearts), you can fly straight up and hover until The Destroyer flies straight up at you. You can then drop to the ground quickly to gather what you need while The Destroyer slowly turns from its attack attempt. The large worm takes time to loop back around from a high jump since outside of solid blocks and tiles burrowing enemies have little control of their movement. This gives you the time to take a breather and gather hearts.
When avoiding The Destroyer, go up, not down. If you are on the ground and The Destroyer goes above you, it effectively traps you with its body, leaving little room to dodge the Probes and making it harder to dodge the head. Getting stuck under The Destroyer is extremely dangerous, so be sure to have an arena with platforms or good jump items.
It is very important not to get touched by the head, as it can deal massive damage, bringing players from full health to zero in only two hits. Otherwise, Expert mode does not introduce any special mechanics.
It is even more important not to get hit by the head as it can bring someone from a full, 400 health to 0 in one hit if you have 0 to 19 defense.
This content is transcluded from Guide:Practical tips § Combat.
- For nocturnal bosses, starting the battle just after the sun sets (7:30 PM) will provide the maximum amount of time to defeat the boss. In Hardmode, the Moon Charm and/or Moon Stone and their upgrades are also useful at night.
- Boss battles can be won or lost before the battle ever starts. Choose your equipment and have it ready; find and/or make potions and placed buffs; use the highest-tier food you have available; set up an arena appropriate to the boss; learn the strategies for the boss you're facing.
- Prepare your Boss-fighting arena with adequate lighting, Campfires and Heart Lanterns for health regeneration, and Stars in Bottles for mana regeneration if you use magic. Bast Statues will provide a significant defensive boost. Garden Gnomes and (if underground) proper torch placement will reduce damage taken and increase damage dealt due to the luck. Note Torch God's Favor helps with this. Honey pools can also be used for extra health regeneration.
- Sunflowers provide the Happy! buff to players within a 50-tile radius, which grants a +10% movement speed bonus and 17% reduction in enemy spawn rate.
- Always carry around a stack of the highest-tier healing potion available, as relying only on natural Health Regeneration is not a good idea. Depending on the game stage, this can include items such as Mushrooms or Honeyfins. On the Desktop, Console, Mobile, and Switch versions, Restoration Potions are healing potions with a shorter cooldown.
- Likewise carry mana potions, if you use Magic.
- The Strange Brew is also an option, but its weak healing effect will trigger the Potion Sickness cooldown as well as Mana Sickness. On the Old-gen console version, Nintendo version, and tModLoader version, Restoration Potions can save a slot, but will likewise trigger both cooldowns.
- It is suggested to build houses for the Dryad and the Nurse NPCs in your arena. The former casts the Dryad's Blessing buff, which increases your defense and provides you with a thorns-like effect, while the latter can heal and remove debuffs instantly, at the cost of some coins.
- Bosses are displayed on the Minimap: Follow the boss's icon to track it when you're struggling to find it. You can identify the boss icons by checking their respective wiki pages.
- Once you have freed the Mechanic in the Dungeon, you can use Wire to enhance your arena with Traps and helpful Heart and Star Statues. The former helps to damage the enemies, though be careful to set them up correctly in order not to hurt yourself during the battle. The latter will spawn heart and star pickups, respectively. Connect these devices to timers.
- It may be useful to summon and kill the Eye of Cthulhu or King Slime before summoning any harder boss in order to spawn an extra one-use pool of Hearts. Note that this will prevent any Heart Statues from spawning new Hearts.
- Remember to use the Sharpening Station, Ammo Box, Crystal Ball, Bewitching Table, and Slice of Cake before you go to explore or battle bosses/invasions. These will give boosts that are useful to take, with the first four being class-specific. They give Sharpened, Ammo Box, Clairvoyance, Bewitched, and Sugar Rush, respectively.
Like with the Eater of Worlds, a tall, wide arena with multiple rows of Platforms can make dodging its main body easier. Alternatively, standing on a rectangular box around 150 blocks into the air will make the Destroyer unable to reach the player while also protecting them from its lasers, leaving only the Probes as a threat. However, the player should be careful about building the box too high as Harpies and Wyverns may start to spawn. Wiring Boulder Statues below the box to some timers will also deal a fair amount of damage. Additionally, running along a long platform with plenty of campfires and sunflowers is a viable strategy, as all off screen air blocks are treated like solid tiles to the Destroyer. This also allows you to more easily dodge its lasers if they are behind you, and using the mini map can help you see where it may pop up next.
- Adamantite armor provides the overall greatest increase to all stats, though it lacks a unique set bonus.
- Titanium armor is a great choice due to its high stats and the Titanium Barrier / Shadow Dodge buff.
- Crystal Assassin armor provides respectable defense, stat boosts and a nice dash that can free a slot of Shield of Cthulhu, making it a viable alternative to Adamantite armor or Titanium armor.
- Orichalcum armor is especially powerful as its set bonus can hit many segments.
- Palladium armor provides lower stat bonuses, but the Rapid Healing greatly increases natural regeneration.
- Hallowed armor provides the Holy Protection buff / strong stat boosts , but can only be used if you have already defeated another Mechanical Boss.
- Spider armor is the best choice for summoners. However, if one is planning to use the Firecracker or the Cool Whip, Obsidian armor () is an extremely powerful choice well into Hardmode.
- The armor sets available from the Tavernkeep combine summoning with one of the other classes. This is only available if you've defeated another mechanical boss.
- Forbidden armor provides weak stat bonuses, but comes equipped with a set bonus that can be used against the Destroyer to great effect.
- Frost armor does not apply Frostburn against the Destroyer, so wearing the full set is not advised. However, the Frost Breastplate provides high melee and ranged bonuses, which can be useful on a hybrid set if you do not desire a set bonus . On Desktop version, Console version, Mobile version, and Nintendo Switch version, great stat increases are part of the set bonus, which makes it a good alternative to Adamantite and Titanium armors.
This boss is very large, not at all agile, and consists of many segments. Any weapon that pierces, has an area of effect, or fires multiple projectiles will do well against it. If none of these are available, a fast auto-swing weapon can be deadly against the main body, as you can dodge its lunge and attack continuously as it passes by. However, you will still need some way to attack at range, to deal with the Probes. As always, it is helpful to reforge your weapon(s) to get a good modifier.
- For Melee users
- Drippler Crippler and Dao of Pow can do significant damage across multiple body parts.
- The incredibly high damage of the Fetid Baghnakhs can destroy it in a matter of seconds, provided you have knockback immunity and enough attack speed to maximize its potential. Other swords can be useful but less powerful, as long as you have backup to support you against probes (such as minions or sentries). Getting the destroyer to attack vertically helps, and all swords are risky to use.
- The Shadowflame Knife is a powerful choice due to its ability to bounce off the Destroyer, hitting it and its Probes multiple times.
- Yoyos such as Chik, Hel-Fire, Amarok, Yelets, or a Code 2 (if you killed at least one Mechanical boss) can easily damage multiple coils of The Destroyer quickly and with high accuracy. It does an even better job with a Yoyo Bag, as it gives a wide attacking area, as well as kill the heart-dropping Probes without having to directly target them.
- Ice Sickle also deals significant damage, while allowing you to maintain some distance from the Probes.
- The Flying Knife is very useful for the fight due to its good range and infinite piercing ability.
- The Mushroom Spear and Ghastly Glaive are powerful spears, with the Obsidian Swordfish being a riskier option that is easier to obtain.
- For Ranged users
- The Daedalus Stormbow is excellent against large bosses like the Destroyer. It should be used with Jester's Arrows, Unholy Arrows, or Holy Arrows (in order of increasing effectiveness). The Adamantite Repeater or Titanium Repeater also works well with those arrow types. If you've already defeated The Twins or Skeletron Prime, the Hallowed Repeater is a great option.
- The Dart Pistol combined with Crystal Darts or the Dart Rifle combined with Cursed Darts will kill it quite easily even on Expert Mode. Using a Dart Pistol with Ichor Darts can be good too, since the Ichor Darts split off into several darts so they can damage multiple segments at once. Note that the Destroyer is immune to the Ichor debuff, however.
- The Phantom Phoenix has a piercing phoenix flame ability that can devastate the Destroyer faster than even the Daedalus Stormbow, if lined up for the shot.
- Crystal or Exploding Bullets used on any weapon with a fast firing rate will deal very high amounts of damage very quickly.
- Meteor Shot's piercing capabilities greatly increase its DPS, and after defeating another boss High Velocity Bullets.
- The Onyx Blaster is the best gun available, and should be used with Crystal Bullets/ Meteor Shot, or High Velocity Bullets if another boss has been defeated.
- The Uzi will also work very well if obtained, and should be used with Exploding Bullets / Endless Musket Pouch (for its piercing High Velocity Bullets).
- The Gatligator with Exploding Bullets is good against the Destroyer, as it is very easy to hit many segments at once even with the Gatligator's inaccuracy, and the Exploding Bullets can cause splash damage, hitting multiple segments.
- If you have already defeated Skeletron Prime, a Flamethrower can be used for this fight.
- Dynamite can be a good weapon, dealing big damage. Beenades are also a viable option against the Destroyer, dealing significant damage to exposed segments and easily eliminating the Probes. Though its base damage is low, the bees will deal thousands of hits to the Destroyer over a short time, finishing the battle surprisingly quickly. A Shark Tooth Necklace, Stinger Necklace, and Orichalcum armor are recommended for this approach.
- Lining up hits when the Destroyer is approaching you in a straight line using the Star Cannon deals almost 8000 damage, with a fast fire rate. If you killed one of the other mechanical bosses, you make the Super Star Shooter.
- For Magic users
- Due to its piercing effect, lasting projectiles and armor penetration, the Crystal Vile Shard is one of the strongest magic weapons available against the Destroyer, although it is somewhat risky to use.
- Thanks to their piercing ability and fire-and-forget nature, the Nimbus Rod and Clinger Staff are extremely effective against the Destroyer, whether you are using magic gear or not.*The Medusa Head and Life Drain are great weapons for fighting The Destroyer, as they damage multiple segments at once, and can also strike down the Probes in a wide area.
- The Tome of Infinite Wisdom is a fantastic choice as the tornadoes it fires deal good damage and have infinite pierce, and can cut down the boss in seconds, even in Master Mode. However, it requires that you have already defeated another mechanical boss as well as the second tier of the Old One's Army to access it.*Various other piercing magic weapons can obliterate this boss in no time. Most notably the Magical Harp, Golden Shower, and Shadowflame Hex Doll due to their piercing ability.
- The Meteor Staff deals extreme amounts of damage at a high speed, but it burns through mana extremely quickly.
- The Orange Zapinator is very useful, as its different projectile abilities can pierce through the boss. Also, its projectiles have a small chance to deal massive damage, which, if you get lucky enough, can deal over 128,000 damage, which is more than the Destroyer's health in Expert Mode.
- For Summoners
- The Firecracker and Cool Whip are the best whips for this fight, with the former multiplying enemy damage and the latter having a snowflake projectile that pierces multiple segments and hits probes. Durendal is better than both due to its tag damage and high direct damage against the Destroyer.
- !!Error: Invalid EICONS input!The Destroyer's universal debuff immunity prevents the Firecracker's special effect from working.
- Regardless of choice of whip, it is advisable to summon the Destroyer in the air and whip the point where all the segments spawn in in order to deal massive amounts of damage before the Destroyer fully spawns. The Summons acting in conjunction with the infinite piercing of whips can remove a large chunk of health before the fight starts in earnest.
- The Optic Staff and Sanguine Staff are the best minions available for this fight, and Pirate Staff also performs exceptionally well, as the boss is ground-based. The Blade Staff is another extremely viable option due to its extremely fast attacks, infinite piercing and lack of i-frames, especially when paired with the Durendal. A Spider Staff can be used in the event that none of the others have been obtained.
- !!Error: Invalid EICONS input! The Optic Staff, whilst usable, is a mediocre choice due to its poor AI and it activating the Destroyer's invincibility frames.
- A Queen Spider Staff or Lightning Aura Rod can contribute a small amount of damage at no cost.
- If you defeated Skeletron Prime or The Twins first, you can buy a Ballista Cane or Lightning Aura Cane, which deal excellent damage to the Destroyer.
There are many great accessories available at this point.
- The Cross Necklace(or its upgrade, the Star Veil) will make the barrage of laser bolts much more survivable.
- Frozen Wings are the best wings available at this stage, but Leaf Wings are reasonable substitutes. Lightning Boots or better will provide better ground movement. Those two accessories will allow you to move almost freely through the air and on the ground, making it easier to evade The Destroyer's body. However, it may be preferrable to use Amphibian boots instead, since they provide a similar sprint speed while providing great benefits to Wing acceleration, allowing one to make much faster ascents to dodge attacks.
- The Cobalt Shield or its upgrades prevents knockback and it is practically mandatory for melee users, but useful for any class.
- The Frozen Turtle Shell is a defensive accessory that reduces damage if your health starts getting low. The Expert mode exclusive Worm Scarf is also effective.
- The Charm of Myths enhances survivability by providing regeneration and reducing the duration of Potion Sickness. To reduce the potion cooldown, it only needs to be equipped during the instant a health potion is drunk.
- An Emblem provides additional damage for your primary damage type; the Summoner Emblem and your best summoner equipment should be worn before summoning minions.
- Yoyo fighters should use a Yoyo Bag, as it doubles a yoyo's damage output, as well as providing 2 extra counterweights that can do a bit more damage to it and it probes.
- Magic Quiver should be used if using a Daedalus Stormbow or any Repeater with Jester/Unholy arrows.
- Magic users who wish to rely less on Mana Potions can equip a pair of Magic Cuffs/Celestial Cuffs. Probes drop mana stars frequently.
- Since the fight takes place at nighttime, the Moon Charm will be active if equipped and is a viable choice for melee users.
- Putrid Scent provides a generic increase to DPS and is a decent filler accessory.
- Berserker Gloves are a great utility for Summoners, especially in Expert/Master Mode as it gives 8 defense, helping patch up Summoner's typically low defensives, as well as providing Whip speed and Autoswing, which greatly increases the effectiveness of minions.
- Gelatinous Pillion is a flying mount that allows you to bounce off the top of enemies without taking damage. This is especially useful in The Destroyer fight, due to its sheer size and the Probe spawn.
- In Expert Mode, Volatile Gelatin can be useful as an additional source for damage and knockback against probes.
As with most situations in general, it is best to reforge your accessories with damage, critical strike chance or defense increasing modifiers.
- Regeneration Potion, Endurance Potion, Lifeforce Potion, and Ironskin Potion will greatly increase survivability.
- Any food item that provides the Well Fed buff is good.
- Mana Regeneration Potion is a must for mages.
- Swiftness Potion will increase mobility.
- Rage Potion and Wrath Potion will improve DPS.
- An interesting weapon is the Cannon: it can deal high damage and pierce through multiple parts, giving great damage potential. However, it may be hard to get a good shot. It is best to position the cannon on platforms high up (above the Destroyer's range), point the cannon straight up, and fire.
- Assuming you are willing to farm for it, the Rod of Discord is an extremely effective tool to dodge the Destroyer's attacks.
Safe House + Remote Weapons
There are multiple versions of a "safe house" strategy where the player builds a box in the sky as either a resting or fighting spot. The house should be made of solid walls on most sides (at least the bottom, left, and right) in order to block the lasers from the Destroyer and probes. The probes and Destroyer can both move through walls, so a weapon which can attack through walls such as the Crystal Vile Shard is ideal for clearing the probes as they approach the safe box, and can be rapidly farmed in early hardmode by using Key of Light (though bear in mind that Hallowed Mimics are themselves formidable minibosses in early Hardmode).
With these strategies to deal with lasers and probes, the task of dealing damage to the Destroyer remains. The player can either fight the Destroyer in the open/normally and only retreat to the box when needing to recover health, or can also try to damage the Destroyer while resting in the box by using persistent weapons such as the Nimbus Rod or Clinger Staff (if using this method the player will benefit from holding a Sky Fracture in hand while the sentries deal damage), or indirect fire weapons such as the Daedalus Stormbow or Meteor Staff. The player will need to balance slowing the fight down to reliably stay alive, and dealing enough damage to kill the boss before dawn.
Small tanking box Strategy
A tricky alternative way of building an arena is by creating a small box, wire up a few Heart Statues around it and some honey inside it. Combine this with high defense, a Cross Necklace and a Charm of Myths. The Destroyer itself will only deal relatively low damage, less than your healing potential, making the fight very easy. Additionally, you can put a few Heart Lanterns and use Regeneration Potions to increase your regeneration rate.
If you can make a bridge out of Asphalt blocks and equip a variant of the Lightning Boots, you can easily kill the destroyer with piercing projectiles like the Star Cannon or its upgrade Super Star Shooter to kill the destroyer. This is because the destroyer is slower than the character on asphalt blocks.