Grounded Mantis boss fight location, weaknesses and strategies

(Image credit: Obsidian)

The Grounded Mantis is one of the game's deadliest boss fights. This giant Orchid Mantis summoned with a Kebab in a flowerpot in the Upper Yard, uses melee attacks and smokescreens to damage the player and if you can beat it, you can unlock some of the best weapons and armor in the game, as well as a new and unique mutation. If you're determined to take the Orchid Mantis down in Grounded and prove you rule the yard, we've got its location, weaknesses, rewards and optimum strategies below. Better start praying...

Where to find the Grounded Mantis

Grounded Mantis location orchid weaknesses

(Image credit: Obsidian)

The Grounded Mantis is specifically inside the potted flowers found on the porch of the shed, to the West of Wendell's SCAB location in Grounded and to the North of the Spilled BBQ, as shown on the map above. Though you can get here the moment you reach the Upper Yard, you won't be able to fight it for a while - and shouldn't until far later in the game anyway, even making it the last thing you do.

To get inside the potted plant and the Mantis' arena, climb up the hose pipe to the East, using it as a ramp. Along it you'll see a hole, meaning you can actually get inside the hose and use it as a tunnel - finally opening up in a contained dome of flowers. The Orchid Mantis boss fight will happen here, though you can't fight it until you summon it with the Orchid Mantis Kebab, much like the Grounded Broodmother BLT. This is where things get… complicated.

How to summon the Orchid Mantis and get the Kebab

Grounded Mantis location orchid weaknesses

(Image credit: Obsidian)

To summon the Mantis in Grounded and start the boss fight you'll need the Orchid Mantis Kebab, there's no way to do it without that. To get it involved the following steps but there's quite a lot to do so we also have a more detailed Grounded Mantis Kebab guide that expands on everything. 

  1. Go to the Black Anthill Lab and kill the Assistant Manager for his keycard. Our page explaining what to do after the Grounded Hedge Lab will yelp you with the items you need there.
  2. Head to the Pond. Underwater, set into the Southern wall near the big dome, is a small, contained lab you can swim into.
  3. Inside the flooded outpost is a locked door. The Assistant Manager's Keycard will open it. Swim through and press the big button in the room you opened - a little CCTV screen will show a door opening somewhere.
  4. That little door is the Tree Stump Lab. Head to the Stump in the Northeast corner of the map, and in the centre of the stump, surrounded by Ticks and the gruesome Grounded Spiders, is an upright tube with a door set into the top. You can get in either by climbing up somewhere else and floating down with a dandelion tuft, or building a staircase/ladder to it.
  5. The lab inside has collapsed onto its side, requiring some parkour. However, in the first big room, just under the glass partition showing the computer terminal in the next room along, is a paper file - that's the Mantis recipe you need!
  6. You'll be trapped in the lab until you can parkour into that next room through the partition, flick the terminal on, then parkour back to the first room and escape through the locked door. It's fiddly as hell - our best advice is to have the patience of a saint.

Grounded Mantis Kebab recipe stump lab

(Image credit: Obsidian)

Now you have the recipe, you can make the Orchid Mantis Kebab in a Grounded Oven. You'll still need the ingredients, however, and despite the kebab looking like it's made of weevils and aphids in the menu, it's actually a lot, lot harder to make than that. We'll go through all the ingredients in ascending order of difficulty.

  • Splinter x1: Once you have a tier 3 chopping tool/axe, you can cut at any spiky piece of wood. It's worth doing this when you get out of the lab - you're at a tree stump, after all - and our Grounded weapons page will show you how to make a tier 3 axe if you don't have one yet.
  • Fire Ant Head x2: Fire Ants crawl all over the Upper Yard, especially in the central/East regions, and should be approached carefully. Both Workers and Soldiers have a small chance to drop an intact head, so you might have to kill a few before you get what you need.
  • Broodmother Chunk x5: Yep, you read that right - in order to summon the Mantis, you have to kill the Hedge Broodmother and put all the chunks she drops into making the Kebab, rather than getting a proper reward. The deadly Broodmother is found in the Hedge, off the Flying Flingman Disc, and summoned with the aforementioned BLT. For more information on how to kill her, check our Grounded Broodmother guide.

Once you have all those ingredients, combine them and put them in an Oven. After some waiting, it'll create an Orchid Mantis Kebab - inedible for you, but take it to the arena in the flowerpot and place it among the shattered eggs to summon this terrifying foe. Of course, you should do some preparatory work before then.

Grounded Mantis weaknesses

Grounded Mantis location orchid weaknesses

(Image credit: Obsidian)

The Orchid Mantis is basically resistant to everything except Salty damage. Only one weapon in the game comes with this hard-coded into it - the Salt Morning Star - anything else has to be upgraded and modified. With that in mind, the best weapon can be… anything! With no restriction on weapon types, all you have to do is pick your preferred killing machine, take it to a Smithing Station and start upgrading it for Salty damage. 

The fast speed and killing power of the Mantis means that blocking is an important power, so we suggest choosing a one-handed weapon so you can carry a shield in the other hand. You can - and should - also stock up on Salt Arrows if you're a ranged fighter, and try equipping the Mask of the Mother Demon for those lasting poison effects on everything you do (assuming you're willing to kill the Broodmother again for the components).

Grounded Mantis boss fight strategy and tips

Grounded Mantis location orchid weaknesses

(Image credit: Obsidian)

Before fighting the Orchid Mantis drink all the best smoothies you can make, stock up on healing items, make sure your weapons and armor are as good as they can be and fully repaired, and pick some smart combat mutations. Those that enhance weapon damage are good (they'll vary depending on what weapon you're using), as well as minion-summoning perks that'll pull the Mantis' aggro off you, like the Mom Genes or Mant-sterious stranger (if you don't know how to get the latter, kill the boss at the end of the Grounded ORC secret lab). 

You also absolutely should be playing this fight in Grounded multiplayer if at all possible. Yes, the Mantis gets more health for each person fighting it, but it's still easier, and the ability to revive each other is a game-changer, no way around it.

Once that's all done, it's time to start the fight. Here's what to expect from each phase of the Orchid Mantis. There'll be a tension-building pause before it suddenly comes crashing in - and then it's on. 

Grounded Mantis location orchid weaknesses

(Image credit: Obsidian)
  • Phase 1. To start with, the Mantis uses melee attacks primarily, but also has a ranged attack - it strikes the ground and makes a line-impact towards a target. Sidestep and jump to the right or left for the best chance to avoid it, and play defensively throughout - the Mantis strikes are quick and lethal with little warning.
  • Phase 2. At 75% health, the Mantis leaps away and suddenly starts summoning yellow flares of pollen. Standing in one obscures the player's vision, and there's no way to dispel them - once they're there, they're sticking around. It'll also do a roar attack that can stun, similar to the Broodmother. It keeps the melee focus and attack patterns as before, but now they're longer and more elaborate, and can often break through blocks without difficulty. Keep playing defensively, but try to dodge more than you block (not easy in Grounded).
  • Phase 3. At 50% health, the Mantis starts taking reduced damage - again, like the Broodmother - and those pollen flares start coming constantly, making the whole area difficult to see through. The Mantis will effectively be invisible if it's more than a few feet away, so if you're in a flare, find one of the few areas not concealed as a priority - or you risk getting caught by a sudden attack.

Make it through to the end, and you'll have effectively conquered the greatest foe that Grounded (currently) has to offer! It'll drop some components for you to scoop up - and you absolutely should, because this is how you get some of the best gear in the game.

Mantis boss fight rewards, weapons and armor

(Image credit: Obsidian)

The Orchid Mantis drops the following when killed and harvested:

  • Mantis Head x1
  • Mantis Claw x2
  • Mantis Chunk x8

This is enough to make at least part of a full set of armor and weaponry, though you'll need some other ingredients like Lint Rope, Rust, Pupa Leather and Pond Moss, depending on the piece of armor or weapon. Put all these pieces through the Resource Analyzer at a Field Station, and you'll get the "Assassin" armor set unlocked and craftable at any workbench, as well as the "Scythe of Blossoms".

The Assassin Armor is superb, a highly-resilient set of light armor that also inflicts bleeding damage on criticals with the weapons you use - so you can leap in, swipe an opponent, cut a tendon, and back away to watch them slowly die. Meanwhile, the Scythe of Blossoms is a weapon that vastly boosts critical hit damage, as well as having some of the best speed and damage in the game - so when you're hitting so rapidly, sooner or later one of those attacks will be a crit, and everything goes badly for your opponent from there.

Grounded Mantis location orchid weaknesses

(Image credit: Obsidian)

Of course, to make the full set you'll have to kill the Mantis a second time - though with its own weapons turned against it, that should at least be a little easier. You'll also have gotten the Apex Predator mutation, which boosts the damage of all weapons made from boss monsters.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.