- For the Familiar, see Dragon (Familiar).
The Ancient Dragon is the third and final boss in the classic campaign. He appears at the end of the final combat phase on The Summit.
After a brief introductory cutscene showing off his deadly fire breath attack, the Ancient Dragon begins to attack with fireballs while flying around the outside of the level. Ranged weapons and towers can hit him while he is airborne, but he will be easier to hit if a players shoots him down by operating one of the stationary Ballistas on the ramparts.
The dragon then reappears perching on one of three ledges. This gives melee characters the opportunity to attack him and other heroes an easier time to rack up damage. While grounded, the Ancient Dragon will shoot fireballs more frequently and can either bite or exhales fire breath to heroes (or defenses) close to him. He will take flight again after taking enough damage when enough time has passed.
Ensure you have sturdy defenses protecting your crystals during the final boss wave. These defenses must require little to no repair maintenance as most of your attention must be directed towards the boss (this strategy applies to Nightmare as well).
In cooperative play, one person should stay behind to repair the defenses as needed, while the other player runs around the ramparts. A Squire/Countess or Barbarian are the best classes for this job. Blood Rage movement speed bonus and increased health pool or Tornado Stance movement speed increase make them perfect classes for this strategy. A Summoner can greatly simplify this fight by handling all of the repairs. The ability to hover across the battlefield can also assist with grounding the dragon if other players are caught up on enemies, and the Summoner can activate a Ballista even while using Phase Shift. Watch the mini-map as you run around to know when the dragon is lined up for a good shot. If you manage to shoot it, the dragon will land and breathe fire. If you are a Squire, activate Blood Rage and attack it. Run away when the dragon breathes fire and heal if needed. Repeat this process until you defeat the dragon. If you are the Apprentice or Huntress, use ranged damage while standing on the ramp to avoid a pyroclastic death. As a Monk, you should melee him until the dragon breathes fire. While he does, run to the ramp and use your ranged attack. When the dragon is no longer breathing fire, return to hitting him with your melee attacks.
If you have spare Defense Units you can also set up ranged towers on the top of the steps pointing down to where the dragon will rest. In this way you can be damaging the dragon continually and gives you some time to repair defenses.
Beating the Ancient Dragon will yield your class's legendary weapon and a familiar for your class. Glitterhelm Caverns will also be unlocked.
- It is possible to use Invisibility on the Huntress to take down the Ancient Dragon and avoid its melee attack, useful when you solo on Insane on the console.
- The dragon shoots fireballs at the closest defenses to him. This can be exploited by placing a few low-cost defenses along the edge of the map, such as Magic Blockades or 2 DU Physical Beams.
- When playing solo, the Ancient Dragon has 1.6 million HP on Insane difficulty, and 32 million on Nightmare.
- The dragon seems to have more intelligence on Boss Rush. It also cannot be hit with hero weapons while airborne.
- When the dragon prepares to breathe fire, it cannot take off again until it completes the entire attack's duration, regardless of how much damage he has received.
- There is a poster of the Ancient Dragon in the Back Room of the Tavern with the words Black Dragon written on it. This is possibly a reference to the movie Black Swan.
- The Tavernkeep often references the Ancient Dragon through his dialogue, even after the hosting player has long-defeated the boss.