[hide][top]The Last Giant (Forest of Fallen Giants)
This fight isn't too difficult, but it may take a couple of tries to get it down. He, essentially, has three types of main moves along with some variants of those same moves.
- He has a couple of swipe moves and a palm smash that he does if you're standing directly in front of him at short-to-medium distance. To evade, simply run through his legs. You can probably get some hits in after these types of attacks, but don't overdo it because you want to reserve some stamina to roll away in case he does his stomp attack.
- Once you're positioned underneath him or slightly behind him, he'll do one of two things. Usually, it's an attack in the form of a stomp, or a series of stomps. As soon as you see him lift his leg up, retreat, either forward or backward. If you go in front of him, chances are you'll be able to bait one of his forward-facing attacks again, allowing you to get in some more hits on his ankles. Alternatively, instead of a stomp, he also has an attack whereby he jumps backwards. If you see him jump, just run forward and you should be fine.
- If you're in front of him and are at medium-to-long distance, he'll do a falling attack, where he'll just collapse right in front of you. You can, again, run forward right through his legs, getting some damage in on him while he recovers. That way you can get about 10 or so hits on him without him retaliating Please note that this falling attack can also occur when you run underneath his legs, but if you're already heading between his legs, it shouldn't hit you.
He's pretty slow, and you can tell when he's going to attack, so it should be fairly easy to just roll or run through his legs when you see his attacks coming. At about 50% health, he'll rip a piece of his body off and start using it as a club. The fight, however, doesn't really change. His move set is the same, but with longer reach. As long as you keep running underneath his legs when you see an attack coming, you should be safe. If you're lucky, you can just rinse and repeat, baiting his forward attacks, running through his legs, getting some hits in, then baiting another forward attack, and so forth. All together, he's not an extremely hard boss because he's pretty slow, so it's just a matter of learning his attack patterns, and learning his tells.
If you have ranged attacks, then this fight can be pretty simple since The Last Giant is relatively slow. Just create some separation between you and the boss, and just spam whatever attacks you have. As he approaches, run to the opposite side to create separation again, rinse and repeat.
[hide][top]The Pursuer (Forest of Fallen Giants)
This boss is optional, but killing him provides an early point-of-entry into the Lost Bastille
This fight can be extremely easy or moderately challenging, depending on how you approach it.
If you want to fight him legit, it's actually not as tough as it seems. You can try to block his attacks, but the problem is, the pursuer's attacks take so much stamina, that sooner or later you'll end up stunned and completely vulnerable to his attacks. In particular, he does a Cursed Blade attack that is unblockable, and at low levels, will surely kill you in one hit, or leave you with minimal HP.
There's a projectile-based attack move that the Pursuer will do if you're far away, but as long as you stay reasonably close, he won't attempt it. What you'll want to do is stay somewhat close to him, maybe about 3-5 paces away, and he should do one of four moves.
- The first move you should look out for is when he pulls his arm back, and you see his blade turn blue. That's Cursed Blade. The easiest way to evade this is to simply strafe towards his shield side and you should easily miss the attack. You can probably get one hit in after he does this move, but don't try for more because the recovery time on this move isn't that long.
- A second move he may try is a Shield Bash. If you see him pulling his shield arm bash, then you know it's coming. You'll want to roll out of the way to avoid this because it'll completely drain your stamina and leave you vulnerable to attack. You may be able to get a hit in after this move if you manage to evade it successfully, but I don't recommend it because the recovery time is fairly quick.
- A third move will be one of two Combo attacks. They're very similar; the only difference is that one combo is two moves and the other is three. I don't recommend trying to get a hit in after either combo because it's not always clear whether it's the two- or three-hit combo that he's doing, and it's not worth the risk. It's best to just play safe on this one and wait for a better opportunity. With the two-hit combo, he'll slash his sword at you and then do a shield bash. Block the slash, and then just like with the stand-alone Shield Bash, just roll-dodge this one. The three-hit combo is the same, except that after the Shield Bash, he'll follow it up with an additional attack.
- A fourth move will be a Dashing Slash attack. The lead-up to this move is similar to the Cursed Blade, but his blade won't turn blue. Also, unlike his Cursed Blade attack, he won't stand still and just lunge at you, he'll actually make a dash towards you, which you can also easily evade by strafing towards his shield side. Again, this is a good opportunity to get a couple of hits in.
Essentially, you just want to keep moving towards his shield side, and hit him either after the Cursed Blade or the Dashing Slash attack, since they are easily avoided and allow you to get some hits it relatively easily and quickly. With the other two moves, just try to block/roll-dodge. The biggest problem with this boss is that he has massive health, so you'll just have to keep at it, chipping away at his health little-by-little. Alternatively, you can try parrying him, but I've found the parry window in Dark Souls II
to be not as generous as the parry window in Dark Souls
, so parry at your own peril. Also, the stun window isn't as big for the Pursuer as with smaller enemies.
If you find yourself having trouble, you can always take the cheap way out and make use of the two ballistas that are on-site. If you can manage to get him in front of one, and quickly use it, it'll take about 95% of his HP with a single shot. From there, just dodge an attack or two, and he should die within a few hits. If you manage to get him in the back it will do more damage than if its in the front so if you are able to get him to turn round and then shoot him, you can probably kill him with a single Ballista shot.
Keep in mind that you'll encounter the Pursuer at least one other time in the game, in the Iron keep. Even then, it's also still another optional boss fight, however, you won't have the aid of the Ballistas, so it may be well worth it to try to beat him legit the first time so you can get the hang of the fight. When you encounter him in the Iron Keep, it'll be on a more-level playing field, though, with no chance of falling off the side of a ledge, allowing for greater mobility.
[hide][top]The Dragonrider (Heide's Tower of Flame)
This fight is actually relatively easy, especially if you have a 100% damage reduction shield. If you search meticulously, you should have picked one up after the Pursuer boss fight in the form of the Drangleic shield. Having made it to the Dragonrider, you'll have encountered some Old Knights. The Dragonrider has pretty much the same attack pattern as them. So, the easiest way to go about this fight is to just keep circling around him, and whenever you can get behind him, take a couple of shots, rinse and repeat. The 100% damage reduction shield is a precaution more than anything. He's not incredibly fast, and his attacks all have tells, so they can probably be easily dodged.
All of his attacks can be dodged if you run or dodge to the right of him to get behind him. As he attacks, his shield makes his attacks to his left (your right) much weaker and less likely to hit, in order to get behind him I recommend running or dodging past to that side of the boss and then waiting till he uses all of his attacks. Afterwards it is fair game to either hit him a few times or heal up. Try and keep the Dragonrider in the middle of the arena, as he has a pretty strong, almost unavoidable attack that if it lands will launch you out of it, into the water (Assuming you didn't activate the switches that lowers the platforms that make the boss room floor larger. If you did use the switches, then you should be safe from falling). He has about 3-4 combos that he uses, most commonly just a swipe from left to right then right to left (or vice versa depending on your original position).
[hide][top]Old Dragonslayer (Cathedral of Blue)
This boss is optional for the playthrough, but required for the platinum because you have to get past him to access a covenant.
For those that have played Dark Souls
will find this boss very familiar. He's essentially another Ornstein and has many of the same moves that Ornstein did. Most of his moves can be dodged. Look for openings to get a hit or two in, but don't be over-zealous. I basically circled around the room, with my Drangleic shield just to be safe, and struck whenever he was left vulnerable, like after his lunging spear attack. The only thing that you need to watch out for is his AoE attack, where he charges up his dark magic, leaps up into the air, and lands, creating a splash, much like Smough. As long as you see it coming, you can roll back and it can be easily avoided; it's not that large of an AoE.
- Essentially, when a short-to-medium range, a lot of his moves have him jumping forward or thrusting forward. When he appears to be jumping and about to do a spear attack, simply roll forward towards him and you should roll right under him.
- If you're medium-to-long range, he has a set of projectile-based attacks. If it's a single-shot then if you roll towards him, you will completely miss it because it starts high up. It'll pass right above you. If it's the projectile attack that's a spread patter of three projectiles, it's best just to roll dodge as best as possible. If you remain relatively close, he shouldn't use these attacks.
- Again, if you see him charge his Dark Magic and jump in the air, start rolling away immediately. If you think you can't get away fast enough, you can try blocking. You won't block 100% damage, but you should survive the blast with minimal damage if you have a decent shield.
- If you see him setting down as if he's about to charge like a football player, rolling toward the attack will allow you to avoid taking much damage, if any.
- He has one unblockable move in the form of an Impale. He'll raise his spear up and then grab it with both hands. When you see him raising it up, roll towards him and when he lunges forward, the spear will pass you right by, leaving him completely vulnerable to attack.
[hide][top]Flexile Sentry (No-Man's Wharf)
This boss is, more or less, two bosses fused together at the back, like Siamese twins. Since there are four arms, two use curved swords while the other two use clubs. Whichever side of the boss is facing you is what you'll get attacked by, either the swords or the clubs.
The easiest way to fight this boss is with ranged attacks, pretty much of any kind. If you stay to his club side, his attacks are relatively slow, so just kite him around the small room, attacking whenever you get a chance. Don't get too overzealous, and it should be relatively easy.
If you don't have any ranged attack and want to go melee, the club side is still probably preferable if you're relatively skilled at dodging. His attacks aren't that fast, so you can probably dodge most of them. You can use the column to your advantage if you need a couple of seconds to heal.
NOTE: Be aware that the room slowly fills up with water. If you can kill the boss relatively quickly, this shouldn't be a problem. However, if you take too long, the water will start inhibiting your movement.
Be sure to summon Lucatiel of Mirrah for this fight and try your best to make sure she doesn't die. It's one of the requirements for unlocking the trophy for inheriting her gear. Her summon sign is right around the gate that you had to unlock in order to access the area that leads to the ship. It's probably best to clear the area of enemies leading up to the ship just in case. There have been reports of her just blatantly walking off the pier without any enemy involvement, however, so be aware of that bug. If at all possible, meaning if you have PS+, quit your game right before you're about to summon her and save your game to your cloud. That way, if she does manage to fall into the water, you can try to reload your game and try again. Unfortunately, since you can only bring down your save once every 24 hours, this isn't a foolproof method of combating this game bug, but it's the best so far.
[hide][top]Ruin Sentinels (The Lost Bastille)
This fight is against three bosses, so bringing some help is highly recommended. There's an NPC that you can summon in the form of Pilgrim Bellclaire whose summon sign is in one of the cells in the hallway leading up to the fog gate.
When you first drop into the boss room, you'll want to immediately get your bearings because you'll be on a relatively small ledge and one of the Sentinels will be on the ledge with you. Try to stay up on this ledge and take out this single Sentinel because it isolates the other two bosses to a degree (if you take too long killing the first Sentinel, the others can, and probably will, jump up on this ledge with you, so time is of the essence).
If you have a good shield, you should be able to block the attacks, or circle behind it and just attack when possible. Once you've killed the first sentinel, you'll have to drop down to the main floor, otherwise one or both of the other Sentinels will jump up to the ledge, and this isn't where you want a two-on-one fight. Heal up (because you take fall damage when dropping) and face the remaining two, hence why I said bringing help would be a good idea. Otherwise, you'll stuck fighting both of them by yourself, which can be challenging. Again, the beset tactic is to evade/block and circle around. Really, they key is to have help. If you have at least 1, if not 2 other players with you, then the fight's actually pretty easy.
If you have to fight solo, or choose to, it's best to position yourself in such a way that one of the Sentinels is between you and the other Sentinel. That way, you don't have to worry about getting attacked from the side or the back. At times, they will also attack in unison and if they both connect, you'll lose massive HP or even get killed.
[hide][top]The Lost Sinner (Sinner's Rise)
This boss can give you a lot of trouble if you aren't fast enough to be able to hit or dodge its attacks. Pretty much the boss will speed up with the course of the battle and dodge as well as attack you faster. The main issue I had with this boss is that it hits pretty hard if it does manage to hit, unless you have a really good shield. It basically will dash or jump towards you and lash out about 3 or 4 hits with it's sword. The Lost Sinner will continuously go off lock on, through his leaps/jumps and dashes. However if you can manage to survive through those attacks you can retaliate by attacking the boss a few times. The health they have isn't too big but later on in the fight you will need to take risks when to attack as the boss will be moving fast.
Be sure to summon Lucatiel of Mirrah for this fight and try your best to make sure she doesn't die. It's one of the requirements for unlocking the trophy for inheriting her gear. Her summon sign will be quite a bit before the boss fight, when you take the elevator down to the areas with water. You will have to protect her throughout this and watch out as if she steps into the deep water she will die. You will have to be careful as there is a bug where she will just carelessly walk into the water. Alternatively, you can just clear the area out, leaving a clear path.
NOTE: It may be worthwhile to go to Belfry Luna and acquire the Bastille Key. It will unlock all of the doors in the watery area leading up to the area boss. This is important because if you go up the stairs on both sides right before the boss fog, they lead to small rooms where light the oil, which will eventually light up the boss room, which will be very dark otherwise.
[hide][top]Belfry Gargoyles (Belfry Luna)
This boss is optional.
This fight is pretty much identical to the gargoyle fight in Dark Souls. It takes place on a rooftop, but the only difference is that there are a total of 6 or so gargoyles that come to life. However, don't fret because it's still only two at a time. Once two are killed, another two come to life, and so forth. The best bet is to have a decent shield, or dodge their attacks, get behind them, and attack when appropriate. They'll often fly up in the air to either do a fire breath attack or a swoop down attack. Just back away from these and you should be able to not take any damage. Bring a heavy weapon, like a battleaxe or something that can smash their rocks as it will deal much more damage than a normal sword, due to their rocky bodies. If you are not fast enough at killing them you will have three or more alive at once which is quite a pain to deal with.
[hide][top]Skeleton Lords (Huntsman's Copse)
Again, you're up against not one but three enemies in the form of three large skeletons. One wields a scythe, another a halberd, and the last one, a staff. To make matters worse, each time you kill one, it spawns minions, which are different depending on which Skeleton Lord you kill. The Skeleton Lords are actually very slow, and there are a couple of giant pillars in the room to block off attacks from unexpected sides, so use those to your advantage. In particular, the pillars help quite a bit in avoiding damage from the mage, which will mostly attack using ranged magic.
- The preferred order to kill them is to start on the left with the Scythe Skeleton Lord since his spawns are probably the easiest to deal with. Once he's killed, he'll spawn some dual-wielding skeletons or sword-and-shield skeletons.
- After taking out the Scythe Skeleton Lord's minions, focus on the Halberd Skeleton Lord. His death spawns another set of sword-and-shield skeletons. Take out the minions, again trying to use the pillars to your advantage to avoid any attacks from the mage.
- Once the Halberd Skeleton Lord minions are dead, take out the mage Skeleton Lord. He spawns wheel-bone skeletons, which anyone that played Dark Souls will know are a real pain in the @$$, which is why we saved them for last.
Once you've killed the remaining minions, the fight's done and you can progress.
[hide][top]Executioner's Chariot (Undead Purgatory)
This boss is optional for the playthrough, but required for the platinum because you have to get past him to access a covenant.
This boss fight is just a bit tricky. As soon as you go through the fog door, you're basically on a racetrack with the Chariot making laps around the track. It's one of those roman style chariots with blades on the wheels, though, and the span of the blades covers the entire width of the track. What you'll need to do is as soon as you enter the fog door, hug the left wall and look for the first alcove you can find. There are alcoves like these on both sides of the track, along the walls. These are safe from the Chariot.
What makes this fight a bit annoying, though, is that there are skeletons roaming around, and two necromancers that keep reviving them. The first necromancer is about 3-4 alcoves down on the LEFT wall. Try to get to him as quickly as possible, avoiding the chariot, and kill him. The second necromancer is about another 3-4 alcoves down on the RIGHT wall. Kill him and that takes care of any dead skeletons coming back to life.
Once that's done, you'll want to look for a lever that's on the floor, along the left wall. Pull the lever and a gate will drop. The Chariot will crash right into it, and here's where part 2 of the fight starts.
Basically, you're fighting the horses. They have a variety of attacks, but the idea is to try to stay at their side where they can't necessarily hurt you, although there is one attack that they can use if you're at its side, but it can be blocked or dodged. Don't hang around the back too much because they'll kick you with the hind legs. Hanging around the front exposes you to their various breath attacks. Just stay to the sides, attacking when opportunities present themselves, and it shouldn't be too difficult a fight. It also does have a charge attack so be careful of that.
[hide][top]Covetous Demon (Harvest Valley)
The Covetous Demon, for the most part, is relatively slow and most his attacks only cover the immediate area around him.
He does have an attack where he jumps towards where you are, as well as a medium-ranged projectile spit attack, but those are his only ranged attacks. Due to this fact, the easiest method is just to have ranged attacks yourself, such as bows and arrows, and attack from a distance, avoiding the spit and the jump. You can probably strafe around the room, and roll only when necessary, shooting arrows at him, but making sure you don't continuously deplete your stamina.
As far as close range, the Demon has a claw swipe which you can probably just roll back away from out of its range. If you stand in front of him, he'll also either do the aforementioned spit attack, or even worse, pick you up and put you in its mouth. After you're free, however, all of your equipement will be unequipped, and you'll have to re-equip everything, so staying in front of him is probably the worst place to be unless you're back far enough.
If you're at his side, the Demon has a couple of attacks where he rolls to the side. One of them is fairly quick, and he can follow it up with a second roll. The other roll is a bit slower and provides time to attack during his recovery. So, if you're at his side, try not to get to close so you can have time to jump back out of range of the roll, try to bait either of the roll attacks and only counter when you know you have ample time. This is probably the best strategy for melee-only builds.
If you happen to be behind him, he'll do a tail slam, where he slams his tail down 2-3 times in succession. This move has a decent recovery period, so you can get a couple of hits in aftewards.
[hide][top]Mytha the Baneful Queen (Earthen Peak)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to have burned the wind mill earlier in the level, otherwise, this fight becomes extremely difficult, not because of the boss, but because of the environment. You'll be in a pool of poisonous liquid the entire time, contending not only with her, but with the continuous poison damage.
After having passed Harvest Valley and Earthen Peak, you'll notice that there's an abundance of poisonous gas and liquid. As if From Software wasn't sadistic enough, this boss's chamber has the entire floor covered in poisons liquid. If you enter the fight without having burned the wind mill earlier in the level, you basically have to worry not only about the boss, but also about poison status, which will quickly deplete your HP. The fight becomes extremely difficult, if even possible. Burning the wind mill causes all the mechanism within the structure to stop functioning, such as the massive gears in the main area, thereby stopping the flow of poisonous liquid to main parts of the level, including the bosses room. While the room isn't completely rid of poisonous liquid, you're left with a pretty generous area of the floor to fight on, while the perimeter still has poisonous liquid. This slight change makes all the difference in this fight, though.
To start, assuming you've burned the wind mill and cleared the areas of poisonous liquid, you'll be able to summon an NPC, Jester Thomas. His summon sign is in a corner of the now-empty pool where the poisonous liquid used to be, where the two guards are, right outside the boss fog gate. Don't let the 'Jester' fool you; he can be very helpful in the fight, especially if you can keep her Mytha's attention and get her to follow you around. He'll cause a pretty good amount of damage with his pyromancies.
Mytha has projectile-based magic attacks that can be dodged. Her melee attacks also have pretty decent range. Most, if not all, of her attacks can be dodged if you roll either right or left. If you're standing behind her, her tail also does a swipe attack, so watch out for that if you're lurcking behind her.
If you can do enough damage (such as power-stancing dual-wielding weapons), you can actually stagger her, and just beat her to a pulp without her even getting a chance to react.
[hide][top]Looking Glass Knight (King's Passage)
He has a variety of melee-based attacks in the form of both horizontal and vertical slashes, as well as thrusts. They can deplete quite a bit of stamina so it's probably safest to roll-dodge through them, either forward, or towards the swing. If you roll in the same direction as the swing, you'll probably get clipped by the follow-through.
He has three lightning-based attacks, but they all commence with a single move in which the boss will life his sword up (like He-man summoning the powers of Grayskull) and lightning will strike the sword. From here, he'll do one of three moves. If you have a good lightning-resistant shield, you can probably absorb thee attacks from the lightning element, but the physical damage taken from the sword will obviously be additional damage taken.
- He'll do a horizontal 360-degree-radius slash. The best way is to back up out of range. If you don't think you can make it, then try to just roll forward, through the attack. Rolling sideways will, most likely, wind up in you taking damage.
- He'll do a downward slash of his sword, which will release a relatively-straight lightning projectile attack. Rolling to either side should allow you to avoid taking damage.
- He'll do a horizontal slash attack that releases a set of large orbs that spread out in a fan shape. You can roll forward, through them, and avoid taking damage if timed correctly.
The final move the boss will do is he'll put the shield on the ground right in front of him facing forward. This is the move where he'll spawn a dark phantom to join the fight, so if you see this, be ready. If you see it coming, you can quickly approach the shield and attack the dark phantom to try to get some early damage in. Taking the summons out should be a priority. Try to create separation between the Looking Glass Knight and his summons, or wait for his lightning summon move to strike.
[hide][top]Royal Rat Vanguard (Grave of Saints)
This boss can be a bit of a nuisance for a couple of reasons. First of all, the boss room is extremely confined, and there are small pillars throughout, that get in the way of your mobility. Secondly, the way this fight is set up is annoying because not only do you have to contend with the boss, but you also have minion rats that spawn continuously throughout the fight. The only redeeming factor is that the boss has very little HP, so he can be dealt with quickly.
So, once you go through the fog door, you'll immediately start noticing a bunch of rats that emerge from the various coves lining the room. They're just the regular rats that you encountered earlier in the level. so just take them out as you see fit. Once tactic that I found useful was letting a group of them come to me (ensuring that they left me at least one path to get away), and once they were all close by, I'd run to the other side of the room, getting some separation between myself and the rats. This allowed me to heal or making any other modifications I needed to make.
That being said, once you kill 10 rats, the Royal Rat Vanguard will emerge. He looks almost identical to the minion rats, even down to the size. The only differentiating factor is that he has a Mohawk. So, once his health bar appears on the screen, start looking for him. If at all possible, try to deal with him only because the minion rats, no matter how many you kill, will continuously spawn until you've killed all 100 (YES, 100!) of them. If you can managed to kill the boss, the rest will scurry back to their holes.
The easiest way I found to deal with this boss fight was to stock up on a ton of Firebombs/Magical Urns/Hex Urns/anything that dealt splash damage. The reason being is once the boss emerged, I always found him surrounded by a bunch of minion rats, so I'd have to kill quite a few just to get to him, and they'd swarm me and I'd die.
With your splash damage items in hand (hopefully you bought a decent amount, around 50 or so), once you enter the fog, lock on to a nearby rat and just spam the bombs. If you notice that you're starting to get swarmed, unlock from your target and run to the other side of the room. This should give you ample time to lock back on and spam your bombs once again. You should be able to kill the required 10 fairly easily and quickly.
Once the boss emerges, start looking for him. Once you've spotted him, target either him or any nearby rat and keep spamming your bombs. The splash damage is enough that it'll cause damage to all nearby rats as well, including the boss. Again, if necessary, kite them to opposite sides of the room to create separation. Keep rinsing and repeating this method, and he should be fairly easy to beat since he doesn't have that much more HP that the minion rats.
After many attempts (and deaths) using melee, this method worked the first time around.
[hide][top]Royal Rat Authority (Doors of Pharros)
This fight is more annoying than anything, mainly because the fight includes minions, which can easily frustrate you. As soon as you enter through the fog door, you WILL NOT be immediately attacked. If you look out, you'll see about 4-5 minion dogs, and the boss will be up on the platform above them. Once you engage the minions, the boss will quickly jump down off the platform to engage you. You won't have much time, so try your best to eliminate the minion dogs before it's too late. They don't have much HP, so it shouldn't be too much trouble. If you're successful, the fight becomes 10x easier.
If you're a veteran Dark Souls player, and remember the Sif fight, this is basically it. The Royal Rat Authority's main attacks are all frontal attacks in the form of claw swipes, head nudges, and the like. So, that being said, your aim should be to get underneath the boss and try to stay there for as much time as possible. Like Sif, he jumps around a lot, and is very nimble.
As far as strategy, approach the boss from the front, and just roll forward through any of his attacks, or circle around to the side and get underneath of him. Once you're in position, preferably around his hind legs, get a couple of hits in. You won't be able to get many in because he'll quickly jump out of the way. When that happens, it's just a matter of repeating the process over again. Wait for an opening then either roll through his attacks or circle around, get underneath of him, get a couple of hits in, rinse and repeat.
NOTE: As far as I can tell, you cannot summon anyone for this fight.
[hide][top]Scorpioness Najka (Shaded Woods)
- She has two magic-based attacks, but they're fairly similar. She will either conjur Homing Soul Arrow or Homing Soul Mass. When the projectiles release, you can either try to dodge, or use the shield and block. If you choose to block, with a good magic shield, you'll take minimal damage.
- If you stand behind the boss too long, she has two types of tail attacks she'll do. One attack is a tail swipe. The build-up is relatively long, so when you see it coming, back up out of range or roll towards it. If you roll in the same direction as the swipe, you'll probably take damage because it has wide range. The other attack is a tail slam. Again, just roll away.
- If she goes underground and starts to burrow, look for the area of ground that's covered in stone. You'll be safe here as she cannot emerge from underneath of you like she could if you stayed on the dirt. Additionally, when she emerges, there's a bit of time for you to get in a couple of hits since she's, apparently, stunned for a second or two.
- Finally, she has two stinger-based attacks which are relatively the same. She'll either use both stingers simultaneously and poke at the dirt in front of her, or she'll do it one stinger at a time. The recovery time for both of these moves is long, so this is the perfect move for counter-attacking. Keep in mind that the stingers will eventually fall off if you do too much damage to them, and that's exactly what you want to avoid. Once they fall off, she no longer does this attack, and this attack is THE ONE you want her to do because it leaves her most vulnerable. That being said, when she does do either of her stinger attacks, it's probably best to circle around to the side and attack her at her side rather than the her stingers.
Essentially, stay in front of her. Either dodge or block her projectile magic attacks. If she burrows, seek the stone-covered area. Try to bait her stinger attacks as much as possible and attack her sides.
You can summon Manscorpion Tark to help you with this fight. You need to purchase the Ring of Whispers
(cost is 5,800 souls) from Sweet Shalquoi
r. Once equipped, speak with Manscorpion Tark BEFORE the boss fight, and he'll offer his assistance. His summon sign is right outside the boss fog door.
The Golden Falcon Shield
is a good shield to use for this fight, and can be found in this same area. From the second bonfire in Shaded Woods (the one in the circular room where the three paths all converge), if you take the path on the left (opposite the path into the dense fog woods), at the end of the path you'll encounter a miniboss Flexile Sentry enemy. Kill it and the shield is sitting on a corpse behind him.
[hide][top]Duke's Dear Freja (Brightstone Cove Tseldora)
This is, yet, another fight that involves annoying minions, although they're not as aggressive as the minions in other boss fights.
You'll go through the fog mist and you'll encounter the boss, as well as several of the same spiders that you fought throughout the level. Whether you kill all the small spiders or just focus on Freja is up to you. Sometimes you can just let the spiders be and they'll sort of leave you alone, and other times, they can really be a pain. I always choose to kill the small spiders first just to get them out of the way. Be aware, though, that they will keep spawning during the fight, but it's not immediate. You have a couple of minutes in between spawns, so it may be worth your while.
Freja's two weak points are her two heads. Attacking anywhere else will be useless since she's completely armored. If you plan on doing the fight completely ranged, keep that in mind. If you try to attack her heads using ranged attacks, her legs often get in the way. Any elemental effect will inflict additional damage. So, for example, if you're using arrows, try to stock up on Fire Arrows at the nearby Blacksmith, Ornifex (assuming you rescued her in the Shaded Woods/Ruins).
If you are doing the fight melee, there are a couple of attacks that you can try to bait that will give you opportunities for a couple of hits. If you're medium-to-long range Freja will use her laser attack. She lifts her body up, opens her mouth, and shoots a very focused beam of what appears to be magic. It has a counter-clockwise rotation
. While it can be rolled through, the timing is pretty tight. The best thing to do is to run under her legs (if you're facing Freja, run through the right-hand side) and take the opportunity to get a hit or two on the other head. With practice, you can keep baiting this attack and get some good damage in. If you (and all your summons) stay relatively close to her the whole fight, she will not use this attack.
If you're short-to-medium range, she has a copule of projectile-based attacks that she'll shoot out in the form of acid or webbing. They're fairly easy to dodge if you just roll or strafe to either side. Additionally, she has a move whereby she jumps up into the air. Normally, this is a defense mechanism. Just pay attention to the direction she's jumping in. As long as she doesn't land directly on you, you should be fine. These moves don't offer much recovery time, so just wait for them and evade, then wait for better opportunities to attack.
Obviously, being melee means you'll have to approach her head on. The best tactic that I've used the many times I've fought her was to position myself slightly to the right side of either of her heads, baiting her frontal attacks. At this range, she'll probably do one of several attacks which are, for the most part, easily evaded.
- The first attack she may use will be to strike the ground directly in front of her with her two fore-legs, one at a time. Once she does it with the second leg, go in for a hit or two.
- Another move that she'll do, that has deceivingly-long range, is where she'll open her two mandibles open far apart, and close them tightly. I've found that the best method of evasion is to roll to either side, out of the way. If you try to roll backwards out of range, you'll find that there's a good chance you won't make it (again, deceivingly-long range), and you'll get hit for massive damage. Roll to either side, and when she closes her pincers, go in for another hit or two. If you can manage to learn the timing on this, it's an excellent move to bait as it's very predictable and has a good recovery time.
- She may also do a couple of moves that will involve her pulling back, and then pushing her body forward toward the player. There's also a variant whereby she also spews out acide while pushing forward. Evading this just staying (or rolling) toward her side. As long as you're out of range, or preferably, to the side, you should take no damage.
Keep in mind that staying at her side isn't completely safe since she can often do stomp attacks with her legs, but that shouldn't cause too much of a problem as long as you stay moving around her, baiting her front attacks, etc. Keeping your shield up will also often negate any damage you may take.
You can summon an NPC in the form of Ashen Knight Boyd
. His summon sign is in the large room right outside the Freja boss fight, behind a pillar.
The danger with this boss fight is the floor around you. There are hot spots all around that will cause massive damage if you hang around them too long. That being said, try your best to stay where its safe.
As far as attacks, The Rotten has a copule of slashing attacks and a couple of fist slam attacks. With the slashing attacks, he'll either slash forward, up to three times in succession. He can also slash horizontally, in either direction. If you bait either of these attacks, you can probably just roll or jump/run back out of range. Locking on may be a hindrance since it may cause you to roll into one of the hot spots in the area, so keep that in mind. He can also charge his cleaver and perform an AoE attack. This move looks the same as the forward slash.
Also at close range, he will do one of two fist slam attacks, either a single left-fist slam on the ground, or both fists, in succession, at either side. Again, just back up out of range. Again, you can try to bait these attacks and counter-attack if you feel you have an opening.
If you're close, he can also grab you for considerable damage.
As far as ranged attacks, he can slam his butcher knife into the ground, which shoots out a projectile. he can also do a spit attack, often twice in succession.
Essentially, try to bait his attacks, back away/dodge as appropriate, and attack. Each move should provide you with time to get at least 1 hit in. I wouldn't try to over-do it, though.
NOTE: This is one of the fights you can summon Lucatiel for to fulfill the requirements for her trophy. Her summon sign is right by the fog boss door. It's probably a good idea to destroy the poison-spitting jars right by the boss fog to make sure she doesn't take any unnecessary damage when summoned.
NOTE: You can cut off the limbs, which will eliminate some of his attacks. Keep in mind, though, that the limbs will grow back if enough time passes.
[hide][top]Smelter Demon (Iron Keep)
The Smelter Demon fight has three phases.
- At the beginning, his attacks only deal physical damage, and can be easily blocked, granted you have a decent amount of stamina.
- A little ways into the fight, he'll stop for a couple of seconds, and he'll power up the fire that's eminating from his mid-section. From this point forward, any time spent near his body will deal a small amount of fire damage.
- Finally, after some time has passed, he'll stop again for a couple of seconds and insert his sword into his abdomen, lighting it on fire. From this point forward, all of his melee attacks will deal fire damage in addition to physical damage.
That being said, in preparation for the fight, you'll want to stock up on consumable items (e.g., Orange Burr) that increase fire resistance as well as equip fire-resistant gear, in particular, a shield, if you plan to block rather than dodge his attacks and/or a ring, such as the Flame Quartz Ring which you can purchase from Rosabeth.
The Smelter Demon has a couple of attacks where he'll raise his sword and perform a forward stab. One has farther range than the other due to the fact that he lunges. That aside, they look similar. The only difference in evading is the timing of the roll. If you're blocking, it makes no difference. The stamina drain on these moves is minimal. Keep in mind that when he sets his sword on fire, he will do fire damage when blocking.
He has a couple of combo-style attacks where he'll slash his sword back and forth several times. Given that it's multiple hits, it's probably best to get out of range when he does these combos, or continously dodge. Trying to block will probably end up in depleted stamina, leaving you vulnerable for additional attacks.
He has another move where he'll raise his sword above his head, and do a downward slash right in front of him. Keep in mind that once he sets his sword on fire
, this attack will have an additional effect of shooting a wave of fire forward, so backing straight away will still leave you vulnerable to this. The best option is probably to just strafe/roll to the side either when he's slashing his forward down, or if you're back far enough to avoid the sword, roll to the side as soon as the sword makes contact with the ground as it shoots the fire forward.
If you're medium-to-long range from the boss, he'll jump up in the air and do a plunging attack, driving his sword into the floor. DO NOT
try to follow up after this attack. While it looks like there's some recovery time of about 3 seconds, that only leads up to an AoE attack that does massive damage and/or drains massive stamina. So, when he does his plunge attack, back away. If you're low on health, this move is perfect for chugging some Estus.
You'll want to try your best to avoid his attacks and look for openings to get a hit in. Don't get overzealous because his recovery times are minimal. The best chance is probably after his downward slash attack or the forward lunge/stab attacks.
You can summon Lucatiel for this fight, if you so desire; her summon sign is right outside the boss fog door.
[hide][top]Old Iron King (Iron Keep)
What makes this boss fight a bit challenging is the environment. You'll be on a relatively-small platform with nothing but lava surrounding you, and a hole that's in the middle that you need to also watch out for.
Old Iron King has two types of attacks--melee-based and fire-based. Once you've entered the boss area, if you go to the right and around the corner, there's a little slither of ground that's a sort of a "safe zone" that you can use to hide from his melee attacks or to heal, if necessary. Don't think that it's completely safe, though, because if nothing else, there's at least one move, the Fire Palm, that he can definitely use to knock you off, so don't just hang around there the entire fight.
With Fire Palm attack, he will pull his right hand back and you'll see him charging his fire energy. Once it's charged, he'll shoot a very narrow, focused beam of fire in your direction. Timed properly, you can roll to the side and avoid the attack.
He has two types of fire breath attacks. One is the Aimed Breath where he aims at a particular spot on the ground, and the other is a Sweeping Breath attack, where he sweeps the area. With the aimed attack, he'll lower his head down to the platform. You can roll or step to the side at the right time and you should be able to avoid this attack, if you're close enough. With the sweeping attack, he won't lower his head. I often found that if I went to the "safe zone", all the way back, that the fire couldn't reach me, so that may be an option. Otherwise, stay close to him, and either block or roll through the fire and you should take little-to-no damage.
His melee attacks are actually relatively easy to deal with, although they are unblockable. If you're comfortable roll-dodging, then just wait until you can time it properly, and as he's about the lay the smack-down, dodge out of the way. Alternatively, if you stand in the "safe zone", you can wait for him to drop his fist(s) and then attack during his recovery. You should be able to get a few hits. He has two primary attacks. One is a Double-Fisted slam where he slams both hands down simultaneously. Another is a Single-Fisted slam, where he'll slam a single hand down. Sometimes, he'll follow it up with the other hand, so be careful to not attack too soon after he slams the first. He has variants of these same moves, but he'll charge his hands with fire and when he slams them down, they'll have a small fire AoE. Again, if you stay in the "safe zone" you should be safe while he's performing the move, and just attack during the recovery.
If you stay close to him, he does have a Roar attack that's an AoE attack, so just watch for him crossing his arms and retreat.
Ranged-attack based players such as Sorcerors will probably have an easier time since they have more opportunities to attack him from the "safe zone" and don't have to come out as often as melee-attack based players. Again, though, while it may appear so, don't think you're completely safe here. You may want to venture out to the open area at least for a little bit to attract his attention to somewhere else before returning back to the "safe zone".
NOTE: During one of the fights I had with him, he was initially in a position where if I was in the "safe zone", I couldn't see him because he was too far to the left. He dove down into the lava for about 3-4 seconds, and when he emerged he was much farther to the right, limiting the amount of cover I had, so look out for that. I'm not sure what caused it but it may have been the AI compensating for the player staying out of the line-of-sight for too long.
TIP: To negate some of the damage you may receive if you try to block his fire attacks, you can consume Small Orange Burrs, which you can purchase from Rosabeth of Melfia for 1,200. You can also purchase the Flame Quartz Ring from her for 2,000 souls.
[hide][top]Guardian Dragon (Aldia's Keep)
Powerful ranged attacks, make this fight much simpler.
You'll enter the boss room, and the dragon will be on the ground. Try to get underneath of him, where it's most safe. If you can bait his fire breath, that'll give you perfect opportunities to get a few hits in while underneath, swiping at his legs. Sooner or later, he'll spread his wings and start flying. He'll breath fire down upon you, and it has a fairly wide AoE, so try to see where he's positioned and hug the wall. If far enough away, you should be able to not take any damage.
If you're melee, it's a matter of waiting it out until he lands again, getting back underneath him and attacking for more damage. If you have powerful ranged attacks, you can take him out from a distance while he tries to rain fire down. Overall, he doesn't have much HP, so he shouldn't be too tough of a fight as long as you can deal some decent damage.
[hide][top]Demon of Song (Shrine of Amana)
The Demon of Song is a fairly simple boss, especially if you have power ranged attacks.
You'll enter the boss room he'll be perched on a rock or something on the other side. The trick to this boss is to wait until he exposes his face. You cannot do any damage while he has it covered. If you have ranged attacks, simply wait for him to open his face, and when he does, target it with whatever attack you have.
If you are going melee, then wait for him to uncover his face, and wait for him to do one of his attacks. During his recovery, get a couple of hits in before he covers his face back up.
Some of his attacks are either unblockable or cause massive stamina drain, so it's best to stay about mid-range, regardless of fight strategy. That way, you have ample time to dodge his attacks. They're fairly slow and predictable once you learn what to look for.
[hide][top]Velstadt The Royal Aegis (Undead Crypt)
Velstadt can be challenging, but still manageable.
He has a series of melee attacks, both stationary and lunging, that he does. They're not too difficult to roll-dodge through, or simply back out of range from. You can try to block if you have a shield with really high stability. If you stay relatively close to him, he'll perform mostly perform his melee attacks.
A bit into the fight, he'll kneel down and use his sword to summon dark magic. You can take the opportunity to get some free damage in.
If you're medium-to-longe range, he may do a dark magic ranged attack whereby he casts several orbs out in different directions. You can try to roll through them (probably forward) if you think you can manage, or just back up out of range.
NOTE: If you spoke to him earlier, you can summon Gravewarden Agdayne for the fight.
[hide][top]Vendrick (Undead Crypt)
Vendrick basically has a variety of melee attacks, which include horizontal and physical sword slashes, which, for the most part, can be easily evaded by simply strafing around him, towards to right or left (preferably to the right). Aside from that, when at medium-to-long range he has an attack where he'll summon dark energy and short an orb at you. This can easily be evaded by rolling to either side, or through it. If you stay close to him, he'll never do this ranged attack, though.
The fight isn't actually that bad. It's just a matter of chipping away at his HP without making any mistakes and getting hit. His hits do massive damage if they connect. If you haven't tried to fight Vendrick already, he'll be passive. Hit him a few times and he'll start to engage you. If you've already tried to fight him and failed, he'll have a fog gate active, so pass throught he fog gate and he'll immediately be aggro.
If you notice his stance, his left leg is positioned slightly ahead of his right leg. The area between his left and right leg is where you want to be positioned. If you move slightly towards the outside of the left leg (towards the left), you can bait either the horizontal slash or the vertical slash. Don't worry about the swords follow through. Even though it looks like it will hit you while you're standing at his side, it won't as long as you keep strafing to your right. As soon as you see the swing, move back behind him and you can get at least two hits in during his recovery. Again, if you move towards the outside part of his left leg, he may also do either a single, or multiple vertical downward slashes. These DO NOT have tracking on them, so you can simply strafe counter-clockwise again, and he'll completely miss you, leaving him vulnerable for another couple of hits.
There are times when he'll jump backwards as a defense mechanism. As he approaches you, jump/roll-dodge to his right side when he swings and he should miss you completely, allowing you to get back into position behind him.
Rinse and repeat and it should be a fairly simple fight.
[hide][top]Darklurker (Dark Chasm of Old)
[hide][top]Dual Dragonriders (King's Gate)
Basically the same as the fight against The Dragonrider in the Heide's Tower of Flame, however this time it's much more difficult as there are two of them at the same time. Basically same strategy applies here. You'll probably want to take out the Bow-Wielding Dragonrider since he can be a nuisance if you leave him alone. Take him out quickly, since he doesn't have a shield and is completely vulnerable. Once he's done, the fight becomes MUCh more manageable with just the single Dragonrider left.
[hide][top]Prowling Magus and The Congregation (Brightstone Cove Tseldora)
This fight isn't all that difficult at all, especially if you summon Benhart of Jugo, which you should anyway to be able to earn his gear and unlock the trophy. His summon sign is all the way back at the camp, though, so it's probably a good idea to clear the entire way to the boss then go back and get him so he can be at max health for the boss fight.
You enter through the fog gate and you'll see some minions praying on the floor, as well as Magus and his two underlings beside him. The minions only have melee attacks, and won't initially attack you, but Magus and two underlings shoot magic projectiles; however, the projectiles can be easily evaded. Magus and the two other mages don't really move around the room, so the fight is basically just dodging their attacks and countering when an opening clears. If the praying minions do start getting up, though, they WILL follow you around the room.
The good part is that they all have relatively low health, so as long as you have decent armor/shield, even if you take damage, this fight shouldn't prove too stressful. In fact, this is probably a good fight to use a bonfire ascetic on and re-do with Benhart and have it count as a 2nd boss fight he survives through if you're having trouble keeping him alive for any of the other boss fights.
[hide][top]Giant Lord (Memory of Jeigh)
You can fight this guy much like you fought the Last Giant. However, the area is much more constricted which doesn't leave you too much room to move around in, or heal if your HP is drained. The objective is still to be behind him, attacking his heels. Always look for the stomp attack, and when you see it, just switch to the other heel.
For the most part, his swipe attacks are focused in front of him. So, just try to stay behind him as much as possible.
If you're a ranged character, there's an elevated area to the left of the giant where you can take him out with ranged attacks. He can still hit you here, so it's not completely safe, but you can dodge through his attacks, and attack when appropriate.
[hide][top]Ancient Dragon (Dragon Shrine)
This optional boss is, arguably, the hardest boss in the game. In my opinion, there's a combination of two things that make this boss extremely difficult and frustrating for a lot of players.
First of all, he has a tremendous amount of HP. Second, he can pretty much one-shot-kill you with his fire breath attack. Third, his fire breath attack has immense range.
Having the Cloranthy Ring may be useful because you'll need good stamina for this boss. Armor is, essentially, useless because he'll probably one-shot-kill you no matter what you have on. It's best to just go "naked" to increase your speed and stamina regen. For the same reason as going naked, if you're a pure melee, carrying anything other than your attack weapon, such as a shield, will be useless. Ditch the shield and two-hand your weapon for maximum damage; you're gonna need the extra damage output. While you may think that having help is preferable, it's only helpful whomever you summon knows very well how to deal with this boss. Otherwise, they'll enter the boss area, get killed by the initial fire breath, and you're stuck fighting this monster of a boss yourself, with its increased HP, as if its base HP wasn't bad enough already. So, I would try to do this boss solo if I were you.
That being said, I've seen several strategies for dealing with this boss, and I'm not sure one is preferable to the other. It may be just a matter of what you feel like doing, and your method of attacking. When he flies up into the air and does immense AoE fire breath, some people say to run to his tail, and others say to run away, and to the side. It may take a couple of tries to determine which you prefer. I tried running towards his tail a few times, and couldn't get out of range of the AoE most of the time. If you run away from him, you can manage to get out of range, but you have to run pretty much to the edge of the platform, and to his side; simply running away from him won't cut it.
Now that you've gotten away from his fire attack, how to proceed depends on what you did. Those that stuck to the tail can come back and deal damage to his hind feet, alternating feet when it looks like he's going to stomp on you. If you're lucky, you can simply keep trying to bait this stomp, alternating feel, getting 1-2 hits in every time (DO NOT over-do it and deplete your stamina). Rinse and repeat and this boss MAY be an easy one for you.
If you ran away from the dragon (and not towards its tail), you can try to quickly run back underneath and position yourself under the dragon and follow the same technique as above. Otherwise, if you have ranged capabilities, like strong sorceries or miracles, you can attack from a distance, trying to evade the fire breath attack each time he takes flight.
Killing this optional boss nets you the very precious Soul of a Giant will which come in handy against your fight with Vendrick.
[hide][top]Throne Watcher and Throne Defender (Throne of Want)
This fight puts you up against both bosses at once. No suprise there, right? It seems like a common theme in Dark Souls II
Moving on, one important thing you need to realize about this duo is that when you have depleted the HP bar of one of them, they don't die instantaneously like other bosses. They actually go into "Last Stand," (for you Call of Duty degenerates
). The one that's left can possibly revive the fallen boss back to full health. So, time is of the essence in this fight. It may be best to bring an ally just in case, although, having an ally is probably a good idea regardless, since there are two bosses.
The Watcher is the more agile of the two, and will probably be the more aggressive. It may be best start with him, because if you focus on the Defender first, you leave yourself more vulnerable to the Watcher than vice-versa.
The first move the Watcher has is a simple combo move. They can be blocked or dodged, depending on your preference and available stamina.
If you remain at close range with the Watcher, keep in mind that he may do an AoE. So, if you see him kneeling and it looks like he's casting a spell, back away quickly.
If you're around short-to-medium range, the watcher has a lunge/dash-type attack. This one can also be blocked or dodged, although blocking is probably the easier of the two; the timing for a proper dodge is a bit tricky. Another short-to-medium range attack is a dash attack, where the watcher will run towards you, sword held behind him, and slash just as he reaches you. Again, either block or dodge.
When medium-to-long range, the watcher will run towards you, leap into the air, and come crashing down on you--similar to Ornstein/Old Dragonslayer.
The Defender is the less aggressive of the duo, so you can probably focus on the Watcher, and just keep a watch on your periphery, always knowing where the Defender is.
The Defender has a simple combo, just like the Watcher. Again, either block or dodge, depending on what you prefer. After a certain amount of HP drained, he'll start two-handing his sword for more damage and stamina drain. You can either block, or try to dodge these much-slower attacks.
If you remain at close range with the Defender, he has a shield bash, that will most likely drain your stamina and stagger you. Roll away quickly if you see him raising his shield.
A cheap tactic to use against this duo is poison. If you have either the Poison Mist or Toxic Mist pyromancies, they can be very useful. Otherwise, you can use things such as poison knives or arrows.
[hide][top]Nashandra (Throne of Want)
Nashandra can be super easy or super tough depending on your build/play style.
Once you enter into battle, she may immediately summon a set of dark orbs in a circular pattern around her. Once you enter this circle, you'll be cursed within seconds, and remain cursed while you're in the circle. This is what makes the fight annoying for melee-based characters. If you hit the circles, they dissipate, giving you some breathing room, until she re-conjures them.
If you're medium-to-longe range, she'll lift her hand up and cast a beam of magic forward. You can run towards her and behind her to get out of the way. If you can bait this move, and now how to evade it, it's a great move to get some good damage in.
If you're relatively close to her, she'll swing her scythe at you. The schythe does insane damage if it connects.
If you're a ranged player and use miracles or sorceries, then just stay out of range and shoot whatever spells you have and she'll be an easy target. A set of lightning bolts to the face make this a 10-second fight.