DLC2 optional boss – tips from an average Souls player

After a few hours of trying, I finally beat Spoiler:, so I thought I'd share some tips for others that are having trouble. I'm just an average-skill Souls player, so I'm not going to suggest things like "git gud and dodge every attack", because for most of us that's just not possible. You'll definitely never see things SL1 no-blocking no-rolling runs out of me, ;-).

Firstly, my character is a STR/DEX build, and I beat the boss solo around level 110.

Next, as others have said, beating the boss solo is definitely the way to go. When you summon other players (if you can even find them, since it was super difficult for me to successfully summon someone just before the boss drop!), things get much more crazy, the boss's health goes up, and its attacks become more unpredictable. I tried being summoned into other people's fights, too, and it was always a sh*tshow.

As for my setup, I was using a Black Knight Sword +5, Black Iron Greatshield, and the heaviest armor I could wear while staying just under 70% equipment load, which ended up being the Cathedral Knight set (minus helmet) and the Golden Crown (from the Dragonscale set). I had a Pyromancer Flame and Flash Sweat, but ended up only casting it once at the start of the battle and then never again. My rings were Havel's +3, Cloranthy +3, Ring of Favor +3, and Ring of Steel Protection +3 (in some runs I tried subbing in the Sun Princess Ring or Flame Stoneplate Ring, but ended up preferring the extra physical damage protection). Finally, I only had 13 Estus Flasks, and they were +9.

As for the battle itself, it didn't take as long as I had originally feared, since each weapon hit on the boss's head was doing 410 damage, and I could normally land 2-3 before needing to deal with a counterattack. Trying to get that third hit in did lead to several untimely demises, though, so 1-2 is probably the safer approach!

Some assorted musings, in no particular order:

  • As soon as you land in the boss arena, just hold still; you'll have 20 or so seconds to set your buffs and get ready, and the boss will make its way over to you and position itself so that you can get a few free hits in on its head. Don't worry: if you stay in the spot you landed, the boss's swipes, fire-breathing, and jumps won't do anything to you.

  • Try to always keep the boss in front of you, so you can lock onto its head, and then stay to your right (the boss's left). When you get close to the boss, the lock may cause the camera to get a bit wonky and at times and you'll need to re-lock, but it wasn't so bad. Others say that a no-lock approach is best, but I never mastered it.

  • Hitting the boss's head deals more damage, but if you're able to get some relatively safe hits in on the arms/legs, go for it. I did not have any luck trying to hit its tail, and that usually ended up with me getting swiped into oblivion.

  • If you stay to your right (boss's left), then you can much more easily avoid its combination fire-breathing/dark magic laser attack, since the end of the attack is a laser beam that goes from (your) right to left in a semicircle, from low-to-high. If you stay to your left (boss's right), you could get fried by the end of the semicircle laser.

  • When the boss flies into the air and then comes at you while breathing fire, I found that it was better to just tank it with the Black Iron Greatshield, which has high enough stability that it just ate a chunk of my stamina and a bit of health. Whenever I tried to roll out of the way, I'd end up getting roasted, at times due to camera issues.

  • Related to this point, I'm a sword-and-board kind of Souls player, and I like the safety net of a shield even if it eats up a lot of my equipment load. I never got good enough at rolling that I feel totally comfortable without a shield, and I'm sure there are others out there like me; I do plenty of rolling, but sometimes I just want to tank a hit and not worry about having to dodge. Ultimately, do what feels right to you: if you're in your comfort zone, you're much more likely to do well in this fight, even if there's an objectively better strategy out there.

  • If you see the boss roar at you and then stand up on its hind legs, get ready to roll to either side to avoid its lunging bite, which will take a huge toll on your HP.

  • When you see the boss not doing anything and just holding still while facing forward, quickly start moving over to either side and prepare to roll in order to avoid its big charge. Note that getting hit by the boss's limbs while it's charging still deals a ton of damage, so be safe!

  • The attacks you most want to see from the boss are the ones where it breathes a straight stream of flame at you, since you can dodge to either side and then run up to its head and get a few hits in. I think he normally breathes fire for a bit, stops to do a stomp, and then continues breathing fire, so you should have time to land some strikes.

  • When the boss is around 20% HP, he collapses and you get a window for a free critical on his head. After that, I only needed 1-2 more hits to finish him off.

That's all I can think of, and I hope it's helpful to others! Once I started trying this fight solo in earnest, I think it took me about 1.5 hours, since it's not that hard to learn the boss's main attacks and tells. In that time, there were plenty of deaths to unexpected attacks from the boss, but the majority were caused by plain old greed on my part, so be smart and safe!

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