Boss Rush

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The Boss Rush is an optional room that becomes available by beating Mom within 20 minutes or by having the Added in Afterbirth † Broken Shovel equipped.

In the center of a large room there will be 4 random items to choose from. Picking up an item will cause the other three to disappear and start the Boss Rush. Completing the Boss Rush will also reward 1 more item, separate from the 4 seen when first entering the room.

Added in  Afterbirth There is a chance that there will only be 2 items to choose from. Additionally, items may be trapped behind rocks or spikes. Items may appear in the corners of the room instead of the center.

Added in Afterbirth † There is a small chance that there will be 8 items to choose from.

Waves[edit | edit source]

The Boss Rush consists of 15 waves with 2 bosses per wave. The next wave does not spawn until both bosses from the previous wave have been killed, and any lingering monsters from previous waves will not prevent the next wave from spawning.

Occasionally, all the bosses fought in the Boss Rush will be their Champion variants, if they have one.

Rebirth[edit | edit source]

All 15 waves are predetermined.

Afterbirth[edit | edit source]

All 15 waves are randomized. Each wave spawns two random bosses from the list. Each boss can only appear once per Boss Rush.

Boss Entity Type Entity Variant
3x Larry Jr. 19 0
3x The Hollow 19 1
Monstro 20 0
Chub 28 0
C.H.A.D. 28 1
Carrion Queen 28 2
Gurdy 36 0
Monstro II 43 0
Gish 43 1
Pin 62 0
The Frail 62 2
Famine 63 0
Pestilence 64 0
War 65 0
Death 66 0
The Duke of Flies 67 0
The Husk 67 1
Peep 68 0
The Bloat 68 1
Loki 69 0
Fistula 71 0
Blastocyst 74 0
Gemini 79 0
Steven 79 1
Blighted Ovum 79 2
The Fallen 81 0
The Headless Horseman 82 0
Mask of Infamy 97 0
Gurdy Jr. 99 0
Widow 100 0
The Wretched 100 1
3x Gurglings 237 0
3x Turdlings 237 2
The Haunt 260 0
Dingle 261 0
Dangle 261 1
Mega Maw 262 0
The Gate 263 0
Mega Fatty 264 0
The Cage 265 0
Dark One 267 0
The Adversary 268 0
Polycephalus 269 0
Uriel 271 0
Gabriel 272 0
The Stain 401 0
Brownie 402 0
The Forsaken 403 0
Little Horn 404 0
Rag Man 405 0

Note that all of the Chapter 4 bosses (and beyond) are not present in the Boss Rush:

Furthermore, some other bosses are not present in the Boss Rush:

Layouts[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • If Mom is beaten within 20 minutes and Isaac enters the Devil Room, he must return to the boss room before 20 minutes has passed; otherwise, the Boss Rush entrance will be closed.
    • If Isaac is teleported to the Devil Room while inside the Boss Rush room (for example, using a Joker JokerJoker Icon.pngTeleports you to the Devil Room or Angel Room. card), exiting the Devil Room will lead him to Mom's Boss Room.
  • If Isaac dies during the Boss Rush, but is able to respawn, the entrance to the Boss Rush room will still be open if the timer is still under 20 minutes. If the Boss Rush entrance has closed, the room can still be re-entered by dying in the Mom boss fight room at the cost of another life.
  • The Boss Rush can only be retried by picking up an item off a pedestal in its room. If the item Isaac originally picked from the room was an activated item, the pedestal and item it was swapped out for will still be there. Swapping the items again will restart the fight. Alternatively, a new pedestal can be created, such as through a XX - Judgement XX - JudgementXX - Judgement Icon.pngSpawns a Beggar. card, and taking its item will also restart the fight.
  • Added in  Afterbirth If a mystery sack spawns for whatever reason, picking it up will start the Boss Rush. The player can still pick up one of the pedestal items.
  • The boss rush does not unlock anything if beaten in a challenge.
  • Added in Afterbirth † UsingVoid VoidVoid Icon.png6 roomsConsumes all pedestal items in the room. Active items will have their effects added to Void, and passive items will grant stat upgrades. or the Black Rune Black RuneBlack Rune Icon.pngDeals 40 damage to all enemies in the room. Consumes all pickups in the room and turns them into blue flies and spiders. Consumes all pedestal items in the room and turns them into random stat upgrades. will start the Boss Rush.
  • If a chest is opened in the Boss Rush room, it will start the Boss Rush.
  • Added in Afterbirth † If used before defeating Mom,Mama Mega! Mama Mega!Mama Mega! Icon.pngOne time useDamages all enemies and destroys all obstacles. The effect occurs every time a new room is entered for the rest of the floor. Opens doors to the floor's secret and super secret rooms. will open the Boss Rush room even if the time limit has expired.
  • If a Crawl Space is entered from within the Boss Rush room, exiting the Crawl Space will not return the player to the Boss Rush room, but will instead place the player back in the Mom boss room.

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • The player's playtime can be checked at any moment by pressing TAB (or long pressing SELECT on the controller), enabling Extra HUD in the options menu, or by simply looking down to the bottom screen on the 3DS version, where it is shown on the map.
  • Each boss will drop red hearts on normal difficulty. Dark Bum Dark BumDark Bum Rebirth Icon.pngSpawns a familiar that follows Isaac around and collects red hearts. For every one-and-a-half red hearts collected, Dark Bum will generate one soul heart, one hostile Spider or one friendly blue spider. can turn these into soul hearts, providing loads of extra health.
  • Take out Carrion Queen quickly, as its red poops will remain for the rest of the boss rush. They can be advantageous though, as other bosses can also take damage from these poops. In particular, bouncing bosses like The Hollow and The Husk can quickly kill themselves on contact.
  • Wave 9 can be quite difficult as Monstro II (he always spawns on the left side) can catch the player off guard with an offscreen Brimstone BrimstoneBrimstone Rebirth Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period. laser. The black creep left by Gish will remain until he is killed.
  • The Bloat + Mask of Infamy is one of the hardest waves, but The Bloat can be baited into destroying both the heart and the mask itself of the Mask of Infamy with its Brimstone BrimstoneBrimstone Rebirth Icon.pngTears are replaced by a laser beam that pierces through all enemies and obstacles in its path and deals high damage. Can only be fired after a short charge-up period. lasers.
  • Any Teleport effect (such as cards, activated items, Telepills etc) can be used to leave the Boss Rush. This can be used to gain one item without having to fight any bosses.
  • Added in  Afterbirth The Gate's curving brimstone attack targets any enemy on screen, including other bosses. It may be beneficial to focus on the other boss before killing it.

Unlockable Achievements[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Despite battling bosses from the floors before, a few bosses from The Womb will spawn such as Blastocyst and Death.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

Bug Bug! It is possible for item pedestals to spawn on red poop (which can be spawned by Carrion Queen or red Dingle) or spikes. Attempting to pick up the item will damage Isaac.
Bug Bug! One of the possible layouts for the Boss Rush room will have spikes near the location that an item pedestal spawns after completing the fight. If you possess There's Options, one of the item pedestals can appear in the same place as the spikes, causing you to take damage by picking that item up.
Bug Bug! Entering Boss Rush after the 20 minutes (killing Mom before it, but waiting to enter) and using Glowing Hour Glass will crash the game.

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