Ludwig The Holy Blade was a legendary warrior and the first DLC boss in Bloodborne. You read about his bravery in the base game but he is not present in it. You later fight him in The Old Hunters expansion and finally witness what he has become. He is amongst the podium of the most difficult bosses in Bloodborne.
We won’t sugarcoat it, you will die a ton in this boss fight. However, take every death as a learning and get back in stronger. And with the help of this guide, you will tame this equine soon enough.
Fighting Ludwig The Holy Blade
When you enter the arena, you’ll see a mangled monstrosity that is Ludwig the Accursed. He has transformed into a horse and human hybrid and totally lost his mind. His animalistic nature embodies his fighting style in the first half of the fight.
He has a wide array of feral attacks like charges, slams, swings, and kicks accompanied by dreadful cries and roars making this fight a terrifying experience.
For a huge fellow, his equine DNA gives him exceptional speed on top of some of the most hard-hitting attacks in the game, easily taking you out in a few hits. He gains additional attacks when his health reaches 75%.
Nevertheless, the true phase change occurs when his health drops below 50% turning him into Ludwig, The Holy Blade.
A cutscene will play out where he picks himself up, takes out the iconic From’s Moonlight Greatsword, and stands erect to channel the warrior he once was. This phase completely changes the way he fights and is like fighting a whole new boss.
In this phase, he uses the sword to attack with its wild swings, sends out magic projectiles from the sword, and performs lethal AOE attacks. He has the same speed as before but sheds the bestial nature for a graceful warrior fighting style. He adds more attacks to his repertoire when his HP is at 25%.
Here are some tips you can use when facing Ludwig, The Holy Blade in Bloodborne:
- He is weak to Fire damage in the first phase only. Use Fire Paper for the starting phase.
- Bolt damage and Paper works fine against the boss although his resistance climbs up in the second phase.
- Weapons with the “Vs Beast” attribute deals more damage to the boss.
- You will get very few windows to heal up so choose when to use Blood Vials wisely.
- Dealing enough damage to his head will drop him to the ground, giving you an opening to perform a Visceral Attack.
- You have a choice between summoning three NPCs; Old Hunter Henriet or you can summon Valtr or Confederate Younger Madaras Twin if you have the Impurity Rune equipped and joining The League covenant. Having an NPC is a huge help during this fight.
- The horse legs on his sides are his weak points in phase 1. They will explode with enough sustained damage. After the explosions, these limbs will take additional damage.
- The Whirligig Saw’s shredding attack can stun-lock him if used right.
Phase 1 (Ludwig the Accursed)
The first and most important tip when facing him is to try and avoid staying in front of him. His attacks are mainly focused in front and hit harder than a truck.
Stick to his sides where his legs are during the first phase and react to the attacks. Avoid his backside too for he will horsekick you to an early grave.
For the most part, you should refrain from dodging frantically. His fierce spirit won’t let you take a breather and constantly chase you. You must take the fight to him. He will continuously move around the arena and you should meet his agility. You can use Fire Paper to exploit his weakness in this phase.
Stay on his sides and attack in between the small recovery windows. Focus on the horse’s legs dangling on his sides. They are easier to exploit, and once they explode, they not only take more damage from subsequent hits but also stagger him for a good amount of time for you to continue your punishment.
You are sure to get hit so instead of retreating each time, use your Rally potential to get some of the health back. His left side is more vulnerable but you should move on to the other side once the left legs have exploded to try and destroy the right ones for that sweet stagger window.
Reacting properly to his attacks is the only way to bring him down. There are no two ways to it. He adds new attacks to his moveset once his health reaches the 75% mark so memorize the next section and make it your job to hone your maneuvering skills.
Here are all the attacks you have to look out for in the first phase of the fight:
- Lunging Slam: Leaps towards you and slams his hand into the ground. Usually the first attack.
- Reaction: Dodge into the attack and deal one or two hits.
- Left Hand Swing: Use the left hand to slash to the side.
- Reaction: Dodge towards the attacks and hit him a few times.
- Slash Combo: A quicker hand swing that he can chain into multiple hits.
- Reaction: Dodge towards and under him. You can attack him while he is animation-locked.
- Bite: Uses his head to try and take a bit out of you. He can perform a combo after this attack.
- Reaction: Move to the left and dodge into him when he bites. Land close to him and start attacking.
- Quick Jump Attack: Jumps in the air and lands on top of you.
- Reaction: Walk towards him or sideways as he jumps. Press the dodge button when he’s about to land and land a few hits as he recovers.
- Delayed Jump Attack: Jumps up and stays airborne for a few seconds only to plummet down on you.
- Reaction: When he disappears, look for blood drops around you. Keep dodging when you see them to avoid his landing zone.
- Horsekick: Uses his horse legs to kick you if you stand for too long behind him.
- Reaction: Avoid his backside at all costs.
- Arcane Breath (75% HP): Lowers his head and spews a white substance from his mouth. The attack deals Arcane damage.
- Reaction: Dodge to the right and move into him. Attack until he stops.
- Charge: Claws the floor and charges at you. This attack can easily one-shot.
- Reaction: Dodge to the left side once he starts charging.
Phase 2 (Ludwig The Holy Blade)
When his health goes below 50%, a cutscene will play where he takes out his Holy Moonlight Sword and stands up leaving behind his starting feral fighting style to a more of a warrior stance.
This transition is quite drastic, not only changing his whole moveset but also boosting his resistances, so Fire Paper is less likely to work here.
He primarily fights with his sword after this point. The sword isn’t just for melee attacks, it also fires magic projectiles, performs AOE explosions in a radius, and sends out waves of bursting magic from the ground.
This time around, his front side is also approachable although many of his attacks are front-focused. If you deal enough damage to his chest, it will explode giving you that stagger window to exploit. His sides are relatively safe but the leg weaknesses are gone. He is still quite agile so you have to continuously keep up your pace as he dodges around.
Again, it is all about out-maneuvering his attacks. Taking advantage of the little windows in between his attacks to deal damage.
He likes to perform an AOE attack in a small circle around him which you can spot a mile away. Back off when you see him his charging his sword pointing downwards. He gets new attacks when his health is below 25%.
Here are all the attacks you have to look out for in the second phase of the fight:
- Side Slashes: Lowers his weapon and slashes the right side first and then the left side.
- Reaction: Dodge into the right side slash and attack. Either dodge the next attack or if you are safe then continue attacking.
- Retreating Combo: He lifts his sword and slams it twice while backing away. Then slams the ground again followed by a slash.
- Reaction: Dodge backward when you see him lift his sword. Let the combo play out before approaching him.
- Slash/Slam Combo: Performs a left-hand slash, pauses for a while, slashes from the same side followed by two consecutive slams.
- Reaction: Dodge into the first slash and then back away or move his sides when he is about to chain the combo.
- Poke: Thrusts his sword directly in front.
- Reaction: Dodge to the side.
- Diagonal Projectiles: Siwngs his sword twice to hurl two projectiles towards you.
- Reaction: Dodge left and then right and towards him to deal some damage.
- Charged Horizontal Projectile: Charges his sword a bit only to send out a single horizontal projectile at you.
- Reaction: Dodge to the sides.
- AOE Blast: Points his swords downward and thrusts into the ground after some delay, causing an explosion a radius around him.
- Reaction: Notice the sword pointing to the ground and start dodging backward out of the blast radius.
- Charged Shockwave (25% HP): Points his sword to the heavens and after charging it, slams the ground sending out a massive shockwave bursting from the ground. The shockwave quickly travels to you if you are farther away.
- Reaction: Move behind him when he is charging to completely avoid this attack. You can take this time to lay into him.
How to Cheese Ludwig The Holy Blade
You can kill Ludwig The Holy Blade in Bloodborne without having to fight him directly using this cheese strategy. For the perfect scenario, you need to do a few things first:
- Initiate the boss fight and exit the game so that the fog gate appears the next time you face him.
- You must have ideally two to three (works with one too) Blood Gems which adds Rapid Poison Effect slotted in your weapon. (See the picture above).
Now go to Ludwig’s fog gate and position yourself on the right corner where the fog meets the wall. Next, face the wall and move away to the edge, where you can still see the option to Traverse Nightmare Fog. You can see the exact location in the picture above.
Press the button and you’ll walk through the pillar in the corner and through the fog. If you do this right, Ludwig’s AI will be broken. If it doesn’t work, simply exit and try again. He will stand in place with no health bar.
You can start attacking him while he is inactive, but once his health is at the halfway point, the usual cutscene will play out, and you have to face his second phase normally.
However, you can skip this second phase too. With the three or two Rapid Poison Blood Gems equipped, you should walk up to the boss and start rolling into him. Do not attack him! By doing so, you are essentially poisoning the boss.
With three Blood Gems, you need to keep rolling for about 10 minutes straight. After some time, the phase transition cutscene will start, but once it’s over, the boss will die cause his health has all withered away. You won’t have to fight him at all.
With a single Blood Gem, it will take a longer rolling time and he will survive the transition with only a bit of health. You will have to fight him for that last sliver of health.
Rewards for Defeating Ludwig The Holy Blade
Taking out Ludwig The Holy Blade in Bloodborne will reward you with 34,500 Blood Echoes, Guidance Rune, and the Holy Moonlight Sword. This version of the Guidance Rune will boost the health you gain back from Rally by 20%. Equip it through the Rune workshop in Hunter’s Dream.
Furthermore, you can interact with Ludwig’s severed head which is located in the arena where you fought him.
To get additional dialogue options, you must wear any chest piece of a Church set. After you have done so, choose the “Yes” option to get more dialogue from the head. If you choose “No”, the head can be killed afterward.