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Path of Exile Bosses Guide: Defeat the Dreaded Spiker

Path of Exile, the popular ARPG, is known for its challenging monsters. Among them, one creature stands out as the most feared and despised in the game's history—the Spiker. In this guide, we will delve into the world of Path of Exile's most hated monster. We'll explore what the Spiker is, where it can be found, its history, and most importantly, how to effectively defeat it. Whether you're a seasoned Exile or new to the game, this guide will help you conquer this formidable foe.

Path of Exile Bosses Guide: Defeat the Dreaded Spiker


The Porcupine Goliath, AKA the Spiker

The Spiker, colloquially known as the "spiky boy" or the Porcupine Goliath, is a massive monstrosity resembling a rower with long spikes covering its back. It walks on two large hind legs and attacks enemies with its arms or its tooth-filled maw. However, what truly instills fear in Exiles is not its primary attacks but rather its devastating on-death effect.


On-Death Spike Explosion

When the Spiker is defeated, its corpse explodes in a nova of vicious physical spike projectiles. These projectiles deal substantial physical damage, which can be further amplified by map modifiers. This on-death spike explosion has claimed the lives of many Exiles and caused the loss of untold amounts of experience.


Finding the Spiker:

The Spiker can be encountered in various areas of Path of Exile. In Acts 1, 3, and 8, you can find them in locations such as the Imperial Gardens, the Slums, and the High Gardens. In maps, they are commonly found in maps that share the Act 3 tilesets, often appearing in large packs. Additionally, maps with the "Feral" modifier, which contain animals, are likely to house Spiky Boys. The Spiker is also one of the beasts that can be hunted by the Beastmaster, so any map containing him may have these formidable creatures.


Historical Appearances

The Porcupine Goliath has made appearances in various league contents throughout Path of Exile's history. In the Invasion league, the Spiker had a unique invasion boss variant called the Bladeback Guardian. This boss unleashed a barrage of ice spears instead of the usual spikes. In the Synthesis league, the Spiker's model was repurposed with a metallic hue and called Rot Reavers. Finally, in the Harvest league, a unique purple version of the Spiker called the "Wild Spikeback" was introduced, which had more complex abilities and exploded in dazzling violet hues upon death.


Countering the Spiker

While the Spiker may be annoying and has permanently killed many characters, there are strategies to neutralize this formidable foe:

  • Positioning Matters: Melee characters are at a disadvantage due to the spike explosion occurring at the Spiker's death location. Ranged characters have a bit more safety, but some spikes may still reach them. Stay vigilant and be prepared for subsequent spike projectiles.
  • Corpse Destruction: Shattering the Spiker's corpse with cold damage or using abilities that cause corpses to explode on death can nullify the spike explosion. The Herald of Ice skill is particularly effective at freezing enemies and shattering their corpses.
  • Evade, Block, or Mitigate: Since the spike projectiles count as physical attacks, you can use evasion, blocking, or armor to mitigate their damage. Keep in mind that evasion and blocking are more effective, as physical damage in maps can become more lethal when converted to other damage types.
  • Avoidance: Sometimes the best strategy is to avoid fighting the Spiker altogether. If you lack the means to defend against them, consider avoiding the tilesets they are found in or skipping maps with the "Feral" modifier. Additionally, you can choose to skip the porcupines that Einhar brings into his maps.


The Evolution of the Spiker

In the recently introduced Dry Sea map, Exiles can confront an evolved version of the Porcupine Goliath known as Gazul Droughtspawn. This boss fight is more involved and likely based on a Path of Exile 2 boss. Gazul possesses various abilities, including a basic attack, a ground slam, a fireball projectile, a trampled attack, and a leap slam that causes spikes to shoot out in a nova.



The Spiker, or Porcupine Goliath, has earned its reputation as one of the most hated monsters in Path of Exile. Despite the frustration it may cause, it adds to the challenge and thrill of the game. By understanding its mechanics and employing the right strategies, Exiles can overcome this fearsome foe and continue their journey in Wraeclast. Remember, the path to victory often lies in preparation, positioning, and adaptability. 

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