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How To Beat The Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3

How To Beat The Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3

The Abyss Watchers are the first Lord of Cinders that you will have to face in Dark Souls 3. These bosses will fight each other but you need to stay vigilant since they can turn on you.

The fight with the Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3 is a bit strange. There will be other Watchers that will spawn during the fight who will fight beside you. The boss itself isn’t that difficult since they do not have any dangerous moves up their sleeves. You can summon 4 NPCs in this fight to aid you.


Let’s take a deep dive into the Abyss Watchers boss fight in Dark Souls 3 and figure out the best strategy to use and exploit all of their weaknesses to beat them as swiftly as possible.

Are The Abyss Watchers Optional?

The Abyss Watchers optional

The Abyss Watchers is not an optional boss fight in Dark Souls 3. They are needed to be defeated to gain access to the Catacombs of Carthus.

Strategies for Defeating The Abyss Watchers

Here are some strategies for defeating The Abyss Watchers you can use depending on the build you opted for in Dark Souls 3:

Melee Strategy

The first phase of the fight is as standard as it comes. It is just simple sword slashes and dash attacks, things that you must be accustomed to by now. You should let the boss finish their combos by dodging or blocking and moving in to land a few hits.

Things get interesting when other Watchers spawn in the middle of the fight. The first one will aid the boss, while the second one, with the red eyes, will fight the boss instead.

Both of these Watchers will respawn once killed, so it is better to avoid them. As a side note, the second Watcher will turn on you if you are closer to him than the boss, so stay away from his radius.

If used right, the second Watcher will provide meaningful aggro-grabbing assistance from the boss team. Use this time to focus your attention on the primary Watcher and chip away at his health. If you are silent enough, you can even go for a backstab at this point.

Speaking of backstabbing, the boss has a substantial recovery time from most of his attacks. Use this to your advantage whenever he misses you. Swiftly move towards its rear while he is recovering and perform a backstab.

The second phase will ignite the boss’s sword, and the other two Watchers will be permanently gone. Consequently, the boss’s behavior changes where he becomes more powerful, deals fire damage, gets more violent, and the range of his attacks gets a boost too.

Although most of his attacks are easily avoided if you put some distance between you, you will have to stay more vigilant than before and play defensively.

Since the combos are even more hard-hitting this time around, take a little more time to let him finish his attacks and then move in.

Backstabbing in this phase can be achieved after the boss performs a 3-hit combo. The combo can vary from time to time, so learn the pattern as soon as possible if you want to backstab.

The combo with the jump slash at the end has a long range but can be exploited easily if you simply outrange it.

You can employ the same dodging and landing a few hits strategy as phase 1, and you will be good to go.

Magic/Pyromancy Strategy

Magic/Pyromancy Strategy

Sorcerers and Pyromancers, instead of staying close to the boss and dodging like with melee builds, should focus on staying away from the boss. Maintaining a sufficient distance is highly recommended. You can do this by running away from the boss, out of the reach of most of his attacks.

Ranged spells are your best friends in this fight. Keep pummeling the boss while keeping a safe distance until the other Watchers start spawning. The first Watcher will make it difficult for you to keep up this strategy. Identify the relatively smaller openings and keep on firing the spells.

As soon as the second friendly Watcher joins the fight, this is where your windows for dealing damage will expand.

The main boss and the add Watcher will turn their attention toward the attacking Watcher, giving you ample room to unleash your spell barrage. Just keep some distance from the friendly Watcher, as he will start fighting you.

At this point, you should use your most upgraded and damaging spell to fire at the boss. In addition, backstabs can be performed if you get an opening and you have an adequate side weapon. Keeping this up will enable you to breeze through the first phase.

The second phase will surely make a runner out of you if you weren’t before. Since the boss is more aggressive in this phase, running away is your only strategy. The boss’s attacks gain more range due to the fire element.

There will be no other Watchers in this phase to grab the boss’s attention, your only defensive move is to run. Even roll dodging isn’t recommended, as the boss can catch up to you while you are recovering, leading to dire consequences.

The best tactic is to run in a large circle, particularly to the left of the boss. This will potentially avoid the majority of incoming attacks. However, there are exceptions to it, so keep an eye out for special combos.

Again, the only thing you can do here is to find openings, and cast ranged spells. The openings are few and far between but are easily available if you keep on running.

The preferred Intelligence level for Sorcerers is 20, and the Staff of your choosing should be around +4. The fight will be much harder for Pyromancers since the boss, too, has some Fire affinity. Upgrade your flame spells as much as you can before engaging.

What are The Abyss Watchers Weak To?

The Abyss Watchers Weakness

The Abyss Watchers are weak to the following damage type:

  • Lightning

What is The Abyss Watchers Resistant / Immune to?

The Abyss Watchers are resistant and immune to the following damage types:

Resistant to:

  • Dark
  • Bleed

Immune to:

  • Poison
  • Toxic

Can You Parry The Abyss Watchers?

The Abyss Watchers can be Parried and Riposted. The boss will give you many opportunities to backstab him, especially in the first phase. You can easily stagger this boss too.

Can You Cheese The Abyss Watchers?

This is a slow fight but an easy one. You cannot completely cheese the boss, but you can however, parry and stagger them to high hell. Their susceptibility to parry makes them extremely easy hence no cheesing is required.

Even fighting them normally is easy as their attacks are easily avoided. You just have to be watchful.

The Abyss Watchers are the first of five Lord of Cinders in Dark Souls 3. The lore surrounding this boss makes you want to sympathize with them, and killing them will be the most humane thing you could do for these damned souls.