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Diablo IV

How to Complete The Onyx Watchtower Stronghold in the Dry Steppes

Nathan Garvin

Strongholds are subregions that have fallen to hostile forces, functioning like a mix between an overworld dungeon and a side quest. To begin a Stronghold, just enter the subregion and complete the objectives, the first of which is usually to headhunt some elite enemies or destroy some defended object, after which you’ll need to find and defeat the Stronghold’s boss monster. Strongholds are unique, one-time events, and once cleared the subregion may become a safe area, populated with merchants and a Waypoint. Even without that incentive, some Dungeons cannot be accessed until the nearby Stronghold is cleared, and you gain a whopping 100 points of Renown for each Stronghold you conquer. On this page you’ll find a walkthrough for "The Onyx Watchtower" iconThe Onyx Watchtower, a Stronghold in the Dry Steppes region in Diablo 4.

You can find The Onyx Watchtower in the center of the Dry Steppes.

How to Find The Ruins of Qara-Yisu Stronghold in Diablo 4

The Onyx Watchtower is a subregion in the center of the Dry Steppes. You can reach The Onyx Watchtower by heading east from Menestad in Sarkova Pass (Fractured Peaks) until you reach Chambatar Ridge in the Dry Steppes. From here, continue east to reach Khargai Crags, which almost completely surrounds The Onyx Watchtower. There are numerous routes that connect the Khargai Crags to The Onyx Watchtower, and your approach doesn’t really matter.

(1 of 4) One of your objectives is to kill bandits and raze their campe,

Slay the Captains Lieutenants and Raze the Encampment

Enter by whatever means you prefer and head towards the center of the Stronghold to find yourself in a bandit camp. Pretty much no matter where you go you’ll find yourself being attacked by a horde of bandits, and the objective will update, assigning you two tasks:

  • Purge the bandits and raze their encampment
  • Slay the Captain’s Lieutenants

These two go hand in hand, for the most part. To raze the encampment you’ll just have to destroy a variety of objects marked on the map with an objective icon. If you use AoEs, you’ll probably clear some of these as collateral damage while fighting various bandit mobs. Just keep exploring the Stronghold and kill every bandit and smash everything that highlights until the red progress bar is filled.

As for the Captains Lieutenants, there are four elite bandits around the camp - one near the northeastern gate, one in a storeroom to the east, one just west of the camp’s center, and one on the high ground along the northern end of the camp. This is mostly just headhunting busywork, but it should be noted that to reach the lieutenant in the storeroom you must defeat an elite enemy along the southwestern corner of the map to score a Storeroom Key, which opens the door to the Storeroom. Also note that the lieutenant near the center of the camp has numerous caged beasts around him, some of which contain elite monsters. Watch your fire if you don’t have to end up freeing the critters.

Kill bandits - lieutenant and grunt - and smash up the camp until both conditions are satisfied, at which point "Captain Ezmin" iconCaptain Ezmin will call for a retreat to a fortified bastion just north of the middle of the camp.

(1 of 3) Captain Ezmin’s main goal in this fight is to get in close and start swinging… something she’s not all that good at, honestly.

How to Defeat Captain Ezmin

Depending on your build and resistances, Ezmin can be a pushover, or a somewhat tricky foe. Usually the former, but some advice and preparations never hurt anyone. Chase Captain Ezmin past her palisade and she’ll make you an offer, and upon your refusal violence becomes inevitable.

The core of Captain Ezmin’s strategy is to get close and start slashing with her blades. She’s not terribly fast on foot or on the attack, nor do her standard dagger attacks deal much damage, but they can add up. It should go without saying that she’ll regularly summon standard bandit henchmen to pester you, so having some AoEs to deal with them will prove quite handy.

While Captain Ezmin may not be that dangerous in a fair fight, bandits are rather notorious for not fighting fair, and Captain Ezmin is no exception. Her most dangerous attack is an envenomed stab that she’ll perform after turning invisible… well, mostly invisible. You can still see the shimmering distortion, and if you attack her while she’s sneaking about you’ll find that she’s surprisingly easy to expose, which will inhibit this attack. If she isn’t hit while slinking towards you, she’ll perform a potent sneak attack, dealing moderate damage and significant poison damage. If you find yourself having trouble catching her before she lands this attack and you don’t have an AoE you can spam blindly in hopes of landing a hit, you can always buff with a defensive skill to mitigate or absorb the attack. A high poison resistance also helps.

Finally, Captain Ezmin can toss out barrages of fire pots (similar to the attack some bandits use, but far more projectiles are used at a time). These fire pots don’t always directly target the player and their aiming reticles and the generous delay between the appearance of said reticles and the attack landing makes this attack relatively easy to avoid. This is mostly an area denial attack, and as the fight progresses (read: Captain Ezmin’s health bar is depleted) she’ll toss out more of these fire pots, until Captain Ezmin is capable of coating damn near half the battlefield with a single use of this attack. While not tremendously powerful, this attack leaves linger, burning pools on the ground, and the damage-over-time from these can be quite painful and should be avoided. Failing that, fire resistance will help.

Keep the pressure up and don’t let her land her sneak attack and you should be fine. Defeat Captain Ezmin, then leave the palisade and activate the Wanderer’s Shrine to complete this Stronghold. Your reward includes 120 Renown - again, 100 Renown from clearing the Stronghold and an additional 20 Renown for claiming "The Onyx Watchtower Waypoint" iconThe Onyx Watchtower Waypoint, which will happen automatically. With the scourge of banditry expunged from this region, a blacksmith, armor and weapon vendors, and a healer will take up residence nearby. You can also now explore the "Onyx Hold" iconOnyx Hold Dungeon.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Blizzard Entertainment
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, PS5, XB One, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    15 March 2023
  • Last Updated
    11 November 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Diablo IV is the ultimate action RPG experience with endless evil to slaughter, countless abilities to master, nightmarish dungeons, and legendary loot. This guide for Diablo 4 currently contains the following:

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