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Dark Souls 3 boss: how to beat the Abyss Watchers

It's time to put down a Lord of Cinder.


Dark Souls 3 boss: how to beat the Abyss Watchers

Crack your neck, have a glass of water, and take come deep breaths: it's time to face a Lord of Cinder. The first of these to cross our path is not an "it" but a "they" - the remnants of the Farron Knights, now known as the Abyss Watchers. Beating this boss will advance the story, so be sure you've completed any quest-related NPC interactions before proceeding.

Head back from the Farron Perimeter bonfire towards the battle scene. If you’ve rested, go slow so the two Darkwraiths have time to advance into battle. Let them clear everything out before luring one of them towards you; you get the souls, and they often take a good amount of damage from the satyrs. If you'd rather not fight the Darkwraiths, sneak around the right side of the area; the worst you'll face is a couple of satyrs, although there's a leaping satyr in the far corner you should avoid. There's nothing in this area but some Black Bug Pellets, by the way.

The next boss arena is through the gate at the top of the stairs. Are you ready?

This is a tricky one, as you’d expect from a Lord of Cinder. The battle is in two phases, and each has its own full health bar.

Phase one is a tough but pretty standard battle with a single Fallon Knight. Your usual knight tactics of rolling under attacks and backstabbing will work very well.

What makes it difficult is that other Fallon Knights will regularly rise. They have much less health than the boss, but they still hit hard. It's tempting to stop and clear them out, but unless you can do it very quickly it can actualyl hinder miore than help: the longer the battle lasts, the more knights will appear - so you really want to be focusing on the primary enemy.

The extra knights can be useful; if you need to heal, roll away and let them all fight each other. Unfortunately the weaker knights can't do much damage to the boss, but they do keep him occupied.

The second phase is just one knight, but it’s not exactly easy, as he’s now armed with a fire sword. He can charge at you with a spinning slash, which does fire damage in a circle which may hit you even if the blow doesn't. The fire splash means his attack combos do damage even behind him.

If you’re at a distance he’ll dash forward, leaving a line of fire, so you need to roll sideways rather than directly forward to avoid damage.

This is a nasty fight to do on your own, especially if you’re not up to spec, but it’s also a very popular spot for summons. Use an Ember, then check around the Keep Ruins and especially Farron Perimeter bonfires. If you're offline, Sirris is available by the door to the boss arena - but her summon sign may crash your game.

When you win, you’ll score the Cinders of a Lord (exciting!) and Soul of the Blood of the Wolf. Light the Abyss Watchers bonfire, and approach the altar to open a path to another area.

Not that we’re going there yet; we’re off to the Cathedral of the Deep after a visit to Firelink Shrine to chat with all the NPCs astonished by your achievement. Hawkwood will give you a Farron Ring for your efforts.

Continue via Crystal Sage to Cleansing Chapel.

Back to Dark Souls 3 guide and walkthrough.

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