Ancient Guardian

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Waxwell Portrait.png
My my, the fuel has changed you.


The Ancient Guardian is a Boss Monster found within the Labyrinth region of the Ruins. It looks and acts similarly to a Clockwork Rook, but appears as a living creature covered in fur.

The Ancient Guardian drops 8 Meat, a Guardian's Horn and a Large Ornate Chest will spawn where it was killed. This chest will contain various loot. It will also drop a Seed of Ruin, which can be used on any surface Sinkhole in order to fully reset the Caves and Ruins. This makes various ancient items such as Gems and Thulecite renewable in an exploited world.

Spear.png Fighting

The Ancient Guardian has 2500 Health and deals 100 damage per hit. It charges at its target similarly to a Clockwork Rook, but it has an additional attack when in melee range; it will use a close-range uppercut with a very short attack delay.

Below is the number of hits it takes with each weapon to kill the Ancient Guardian (based on the default damage modifier). The Weather Pain is not included due to the random nature of its projectile.

Weapon Fishing Rod.pngBug Net.png Lucy the Axe.png Shovel.png Pitchfork.png Hammer.png Torch.png Umbrella.png Walking Cane.png Willow's Lighter.png Axe.png Pickaxe.png Luxury Axe.png Opulent Pickaxe.png Boomerang.png PickSlashAxe.png Spear.png Bat Bat.png Ham Bat.png Morning Star.png Slurtle Slime.pngTentacle Spike.png Fire Dart.pngFire Staff.png Battle Spear.png Thulecite Club.png Tooth Trap.png Dark Sword.png Blow Dart.png Gunpowder.png Old Bell.png
No. of hits for
Ancient Guardian.png
589 184 148 92 82 74 60 43-85 35 or 58 50 49 48 43 42 37 25 13 3

Don't Starve Together icon.png Don't Starve Together

In Don't Starve Together (DST), the Ancient Guardian has 10,000 Health and will respawn when the Ancient Fuelweaver is killed, making Guardian's Horns renewable.

Ancient Guardian's fight functions differently from the base game. It will charge towards the player but will be stunned for 1.5-6 seconds if it hits one of the pillars, allowing the player to attack; the longer time that Ancient Guardian charged, the longer the Ancient Guardian will be stunned when it hit an obstacle. When the Ancient Guardian charges into a pillar, it will cause a small earthquake. The earthquake drops 20 minerals like Flint, Rocks and Nitre over 2.5 seconds within 20 metres of the Ancient Guardian, as well as dropping up to 4 Pillar Fragments within 25 metres. The Pillar Fragments can stun the Ancient Guardian if it charges into them, akin to entire pillars.

Once its health goes below 6,000, it will enter its second phase. It gains a new attack where it jumps and slams the ground into the player's position, similar to the Hippopotamoose from the Hamlet DLC. If the player manages to dodge the slam, the Ancient Guardian will be stunned for 3.6 seconds, but if the player fails the dodge, it will continue to attack as normal. During this phase, it has 1-5% of bleeding when attacked, which then spawn up to 5 Shadow Tentacles within 4 metres. The Ancient Guardian has higher chance of bleeding shadow tentacle when it has lower health. The shadow tentacles deal 60 damage per hit, and they despawn after 30 seconds. The shadow tentacles are invulnerable.

Ancient Guardian has an aggro range of 25 metres, which are equal to 6.25 tiles or 25 walls.

Prototype.png Tips

Don't Starve Together icon.png Don't Starve Together

  • After killing the Ancient Guardian, ensure that all shadow tentacles have despawned before plundering the Large Ornate Chest it drops, or risk being hit/killed while looting it.
  • Light sources should be considered prior to starting the fight.
    • While the arena contains many Light Flowers, these will flicker on and off, plunging the player into darkness mid-fight at least once. In the darkness, the Ancient Guardian becomes much more dangerous as it is able to charge or leap from the darkness and surprise the player with a sudden and powerful strike.
    • As usual Miner Hats, and Lanterns can be used, though these may be dangerous to use as they require fuel and provide a meager light radius, and must be refueled periodically and equipped in favor of weapons or armor.
    • If either of these sources are used, it is recommended to play far more cautiously until the Light Flowers in the arena turn back on.
    • Magiluminescence provides a small light radius, but grants a speed boost, which can help dodge attacks. It is best worn only when the Light Flowers are lit, so an alternative lighting option should be ready.
    • A Star Caller's Staff is the most effective way to keep the area illuminated, but can be costly to obtain.
    • On the other hand, Campfires and Fire Pits will be destroyed by the Guardian's attacks, and thus are unsuitable.
  • Be prepared to encounter many Earthquakes mid-fight, and in Summer, possibly an attack from Antlion. If the screenshake effect is too intense for the player to handle during the fight, it may be turned off in the settings menu prior.
  • 2-4 Log Suits, and 2-3 Football Helmets/an Eye Mask with enough food is sufficient for the fight, though more/less may be needed depending on player skill.
    • Healing items such as raw Blue Caps, Pierogis, or Healing Salves are strongly recommended.
    • Predicting the Guardian's dashing direction and attacking while the Ancient Guardian is stunned, it's not too difficult to avoid getting hit, reducing the need for healing often.
    • If the player feels it is necessary (i.e. first time ever fighting Ancient Guardian), Thulecite weapons and armor may be crafted to use against the Ancient Guardian to make the fight go more smoothly, though this will be very costly.
    • With enough skill and patience, even 2-3 Spears are sufficient for the fight, though a Ham Bat or 1-2 Thulecite Clubs are much more safe and will take substantially less time.

Don't Starve icon.png Don't Starve

  • Rock Lobsters can be utilized against the Ancient Guardian, and are very effective due to their damage reduction. 5 large Rock Lobsters will be able to deal with the Ancient Guardian, taking turns tanking damage and dealing damage.
  • Using 12 Gunpowder, 1 Blow Dart and 1 Ice Staff is another strategy to defeat the Guardian. Freezing the Guardian gives the player time to place the Gunpowder nearby. After the Gunpowder is ignited and explodes, the Guardian will be on Fire. When the fire goes out, a Blow Dart can be used to finish it off. If the Guardian is killed while still on fire, its loot will become Ashes and Cooked Meat.
  • It is possible to Trap the Guardian between two Campfires and attack with impunity (this won't work in DST as the Guardian will destroy Campfires). The same effect can be achieved by hiding behind a pillar close to the edge of the map. It is also possible to trap the Ancient Guardian using Graves but that will depend on world generation.
  • 5 Log Suits, 3 Football Helmets, and a Ham Bat can be utilized to attack the Guardian head on. To save inventory space, the armor can be crafted right before the fight, allowing the player to only carry 4 stacks of materials instead of 8 pieces of armor.

Placeholder.png Trivia

  • The Ancient Guardian was released in The Stuff of Nightmares update.
    • The Six Feet Under update added its ability to do a close-range attack
  • The fact that the Ancient Guardian spawns in a labyrinth, and is named "Minotaur" in the game files, is likely a reference to the story of Theseus and the Minotaur from Greek mythology.
  • The Ancient Guardian is a product of prolonged exposure to Nightmare Fuel, as referenced by Maxwell in his examination quote: "My my, the fuel has changed you."
    • This also indicates Maxwell knew the Ancient Guardian from before its transformation. While examining the Guardian's Horn, he mourns his death and calls him a friend.
  • The Ancient Guardian does the second highest damage per hit, and has the swiftest running speed of any mob in the game. The highest amount of damage is done by Biiigfoot.
  • An Ice Staff will freeze the Ancient Guardian after only two hits. No other boss can be frozen so quickly; by comparison, the Rook takes the same amount of hits to be frozen.
  • The Ancient Guardian is one of the only bosses who don’t have an insanity aura (others include the Moose/Goose, Toadstool, Bee Queen, Klaus, Tiger Shark, and the Quacken).
  • The DST version of the Ancient Guardian received his fight overhaul and second phase in the March 2022 QoL update.

Mosquito.png Bugs

  • It is unlikely, but possible, that when the Guardian is trapped between the Abyss and a non-destructible obstacle (Campfires, Pillars, etc.), it may end up walking onto the Abyss, making it impossible to retrieve its loot without using the console. If killed while at the extreme boundary of the Abyss, there is a small chance for the loot to drop in an unreachable position.

Blueprint.png Gallery