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How To Beat Ornstein And Smough in Dark Souls Remastered

How To Beat Ornstein And Smough in Dark Souls Remastered

Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough are one of the most iconic bosses in all of soulslike genre, let alone Dark Souls Remastered. This boss duo has given many new DS players a run for their money. They stand at a completely separate experience compared to other bosses in the game and might as well be the origin of all the annoying duo bosses you face in other soulslike games.


We will cover all the aspects of this sweaty boss fight in much detail. Every phase, their moveset, and what you should be doing, all is wrapped in this here article.

Fighting Ornstein & Smough in Dark Souls Remastered

Ornstein & Smough in Dark Souls Remastered

This historical fight in DS Remastered begins with two gold-clad knights prepared to test your patience.

Dragon Slayer Ornstein is the smaller one of the bunch. He is nimble, has lightning-infused attacks, and a spear that he likes to shove into you. He goes the extra mile to chase you around the arena and poke you.

Executioner Smough is the thicc fellow with an oversized hammer. For a fatso, he is also quick on his feet accompanied by heavy hammer hits that are designed to squish you like a bug. He is very much the opposite of Ornstein’s relentless pressure, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

You have to face both of these valiant knights together at the same time in the first phase of the fight.

The pillars dotted all over the arena are great for isolating the two while you target them individually.

The next phase is where things get interesting. Depending on whom you kill first, in a cutscene the other surviving boss interacts with the dead body of his comrade and gets supercharged. He returns with a fully restored health bar and the characteristics of his fallen brother.

Super Ornstein grows in size to match Smough’s burliness. He also hits just as hard. Not to mention, he gets his fat friend’s butt slam attacks and a deadly impaling attack that fries you with lightning.

Super Smough inherits Ornstein’s electrifying personality. His hammer will be imbued with lightning therefore dealing both devastating physical and lightning damage with each hit. His butt slam also results in a wide electric AoE that is surely going to cook you.

Tips For Facing Ornstein & Smough

Here are some things to consider when you go up against Ornstein and Smough in Dark Souls Remastered:

  • Use the pillars in the arena to block attacks and cover for when you want to heal up. Although the pillars are destroyed by the bosses’ attacks, their bases remain intact giving you a shorter cover of sorts.
  • Lightning-resistant armor, shields, and rings will be extremely handy during this fight.
  • You can summon Solaire of Astora to aid in this fight. He can help in separating the bosses in the first phase thereby you can only deal with a single boss. He can also defeat a single boss by himself if you distract the other boss.
  • Fire damage is a better choice since both the bosses are relatively weaker to this damage type in both of their phases. For this reason, pyromancers will have a much easier time in this fight.
  • There is no point in dealing damage to both the bosses in the first phase since the surviving boss in the second phase will restore all of their HP. For this reason, it is better to choose which boss you want to kill first.
  • A good sturdy shield will help tank many of both the bosses’ attacks.
  • Dealing 500 damage in quick succession will stun the bosses even in their super phase. This will give a good window to deal some extra free hits every time.
  • Better not lock on in the second phase. The camera goes haywire when dealing with these bosses’ super phase.

Ornstein Tips:

  • Ornstein is almost immune to Lightning Damage.
  • He is relatively weaker to Fire Damage.
  • Ornstein’s first phase deal very little stamina damage if you are blocking with a shield.

Smough Tips:

  • Smough is weak to Lightning Damage only in his first phase. He gets significant lightning resistance in the second phase.
  • Use Fire damage for Smough’s second phase.

Phase 1 Strategy

Phase 1 Strategy Ornstein and Smough

Before we go into the strategy, as a beginner we highly advise you to kill Ornstein first and face Super Smough in the second phase. Super Smough is much easier to deal with in the next phase compared to Super Ornstein.

On the other hand, killing Smough first is easier since he has less health. Additionally, while you focus on Ornstein there is a chance Smough will come from behind the camera and surprise you with a hit. His attacks hit like a truck and are likely to kill you much quicker compared to a surprise attack from Ornstein.

Regardless of who you choose to kill first, the overall strategy remains the same. You need to try and separate the bosses to keep the one you’re not attacking away from you while you kill the one you prioritized.

The pillars in the arena are extremely helpful for this purpose. You can use them to not only separate the bosses but also shield yourself from their attacks, especially their charge attacks. Not to mention, only heal when you are behind a pillar. Trust me, you’ll thank me.

In my case, I concentrated on baiting Smough to attack and move in, put in two hits as he recovers, and move out. You need to apply this hit-and-run strategy to minimize attacks and any damage from the other boss. In my case, it was Ornstein’s spear charges that came out of nowhere. However, these attacks take away only a small HP, if he is successful, it doesn’t pose much threat.

You only need to be patient throughout this fight. Separate the two and wait for your openings. Go in to attack no more than twice and bail before the other boss gets too trigger-happy. It will take some time but you’ll eventually beat one of them.

Summoning Solaire will make this boss fight trivial. He can divert the attention of one boss while you hone in all your attention on the other.

Phase 1 Movesets

Both Ornstein and Smough have very different fighting styles. Below we have listed down all of their attacks separately and how you should react to them:

Ornstein Moveset

Ornstein  DS Remastered
Spear ComboWhen you are near him, he swings his spear four times in quick succession The attacks do not deal much stamina damage so it is better to block this combo with a shield. This also allows you to stay close to the boss giving you an opening to attack once he exhausts this combo.
You can also dodge through each of the swings since they are highly telegraphed.
Thrust ComboA short spear thrust towards you ending with a spear uppercutBlock the thrust or dodge to the sides then dodge to the sides for the uppercut.
Heavy Spear ComboA three-hit combo with two horizontal swings and a final overhead slam. Each blow has a long wind-up.Dodge into each horizontal swing then dodge to the sides for the overhead slam.
You can also tank the whole combo with a shield.
Jumping ThrustA short leap in the air followed by a straight spear thrust towards you Dodge to the sides as he is about to land or block with a shield.
Charge ThrustCrouches down and thrusts himself towards the player with his spear sticking out. Usually used when you are farther away.
He can cover a huge distance with this attack.
Dodge to the sides or block it with a shield.
Lightning Imbued ChargeSame as Charge Thrust but this time his weapon is buffed with lightning. Dodge to the sides.
Blocking will still deal lightning damage provided you don’t have a lightning-resistant shield.
Retreat AttackSwings his spear horizontally then performs a backstep Block or dodge backward.
If you time it right, dodging into the swing will put you much closer to the boss after his backstep, giving you an opening to attack.
Quick Lightning Projectile A quick spear thrust forward which fires a lightning bolt at you.Dodge to the sides

Smough Moveset

Smough DS Remastered
Bulldozer ComboSticks his hammer out and tries to run you over with it. When he gets near you. he performs a diagonal uppercut.Try to outrun it if you are confident.
Best to take cover behind a pillar. The attack will be hindered by the pillar. His subsequent uppercut might still hit you through the pillar so put some distance between.
Wide SwingBrings his hammer back and goes on to perform a wide horizontal swing.
He can chain another after the first one.
This attack has a long windup so you can roll into the boss before it is executed. The attack will go over your head while you can continue to attack the boss as he recovers. Be careful to dodge the follow-up swing if he opts for it.
Overhead SlamRaises his hammer over his head and slams it vertically in front. May chain a follow-up horizontal swing. Back off when you see him raise his weapon.
Butt SlamJumps in the air and slams his butt in the same spot where he jumps from Walk backward when he jumps. The recovery time is pretty long so move in and deal some damage.

Phase 2 Strategy

The second phase strategy is contingent upon which boss survives from the first phase. We will cover both of the bosses’ strategies in their separate sections:

Super Ornstein (Giant) Strategy

(Giant) Strategy

When facing Super Ornstein, there are only a couple of attacks you need to look out for. When he does the Butt Slam, he shoots out electricity in all directions. You need to get the hell out of there quickly.

If you’re up close to him and spamming attacks wildly, you might be locked into the animation thus unable to roll in time to dodge this attack. Your greed might end up costing your life so do not go crazy with your attacks.

The long recovery after the Butt Slam is the perfect time to use an Estus Flask.

When he goes for the Lightning Skewer, you need to jump/dodge towards him and stay close to him. With perfect timing, the impaling attack will go over you while you remain close to the boss. Use this time to keep attacking him.

Don’t swing your weapon wildly when you’re close to him. Just attack once or twice, and if he doesn’t jump into the air, then you can keep swinging or jump forward if he does a different attack. Refrain from mashing R1/RB. Slowly and steadily chip away his health.

The best rhythm I deduced for Super Ornstein is to roll forward through most of his attacks. Other than the previously mentioned attacks, you can roll forward into his legs and the majority of his attacks will miss you all the while providing small windows to put in some damage of your own.

Keep this mantra in your head, and you are golden in this fight; “When in doubt, just roll forward”.

Super Smough (Lightning) Strategy

Super Smough (Lightning) Strategy

Super Smough has a long wind up to his attacks and, thus, is easier to react to and find openings to attack. He is also relatively slower, so if you have spells or ranged options, this is the right time to use them, especially if you have any pyromancies.

When he goes for the Bulldozer Combo, use the pillars to trap his charge and this attack won’t ever hit you. Also, watch out for his Lighting Butt Slam. This sends out a long-range AoE so get out of dodge when you see him go airborne.

The Leaping Overhead Slam is a nice opening for you to roll forward while he flies over you and you can attack him while he recovers.

His horizontal swings are another great window to move in close to the boss. These swings will never hit you if you are close and you take your time to lay down some punishment.

It is just a matter of finding these small windows and exploiting them. Again, you need to be very patient with your attacks. Do not overcommit or else you are done for.

Phase 2 Movesets

Depending on who dies first, the surviving boss will become their super form accompanied by a change in their attacks. We will go over both Super Ornstein’s and Super Smough’s moveset in the section below with their appropriate reactions:

Super Ornstein

Super Ornstein - Dark Souls Remastered Ornstein Smough
Spear ComboSame as before but this time he only swings his weapon three times. This combo hits like a truck so be careful of blocking this time. You can do it with a good shield and adequate stamina.
Better to back off when he starts this combo.
ThrustAnother short thrust towards you but his size just propel him a tad bit farther.Block with a shield or dodge to the side as his spear’s about to land.
Heavy Spear ComboSame as the first phase but with mightier force and longer wind-upDodge into the horizontal swings and dodge to the sides for the overhead slam.
Jumping ThrustSame as before but the jump is higher and the damage output is boostedDodge to the sides as he is about to land.
Charge ThrustSame as before but with more powerDodge to the sides as he comes closer
Retreat AttackIn this phase, he will jump backward while swinging his weapon horizontally. If you time it right, dodging into the swing will put you much closer to the boss after his backstep, giving you an opening to attack.
Or you can stand still and the swing will miss you.
Lightning Butt SlamJumps and pauses in the air only to land on the ground beneath. The landing sends out a short 360-degree lightning AoE. Back off when you see him fly up.
Quick Lightning Projectile Same as beforeDodge to the sides
Heavy Lightning ProjectileCharges up his spear and swings it across sending out a larger lightning bolt. This bolt moves slower and has slight homing capabilities. Wait for the projectile to get close and then start dodging to the sides.
Lightning SkewerCharges his spear and lunges at you while trying to impale you with it. If it hits you, he will pull you up with his spear and cause a lightning burst on you dealing a ton of damage. When you see him take this charging stance, get out of range of the spear thrust.

Super Smough

Super Smough
Bulldozer ComboSame as before but this time his hammer will deal lightning damage too.
The resulting damage is gargantuan.
Try to outrun it if you are confident.
Best to take cover behind a pillar. The attack will be hindered by the pillar. His subsequent uppercut might still hit you through the pillar so put some distance between.
Wide SwingSame as before but now deals lightning damage on top of physical This attack has a long windup so you can roll into the boss before it is executed. The attack will go over your head while you can continue to attack the boss as he recovers. Be careful to dodge the follow-up swing if he opts for it.
Overhead SlamSame as before but with lightning damage this timeBackoff before the hammer comes down on you
Leaping Overhead SlamJumps in the air with his weapon raised and tries to land on you with a vertical overhead hammer slamCan be dodged in any direction.
If you dodge towards the boss it will position you closer to him giving you some time to deal more damage while he recovers.
Lighting Butt SlamSame as the Butt Slam in the first phase but this time he charges up lighting before jumping and stays airborne for a while only to land and release a lightning AoE that covers a large area You can with start running away when he jumps up and you might get out of range of the lightning explosion.
Or if you time your roll right when his butt hits the floor you might come out scratchless.

Rewards for Defeating Ornstein and Smough

Rewards for Defeating Dark Souls Remastered Ornstein Smough

Whether you kill Super Ornstein or Super Smough in the second phase, the rewards unlocked will vary accordingly in Dark Souls Remastered. You must defeat the other boss in New Game+ to get their respective items. We will list all of their rewards below:

  • Ornstein
    • Soul of Ornstein
    • Leo Ring
    • 50,000 Souls
    • Unlocks the Ornstein armor set in Domhnall of Zena’s shop.
  • Smough
    • Soul of Smough
    • 50,000 Souls
    • Unlocks the Smough armor set in Domhnall of Zena’s shop.

The fight against Ornstein and Smough in Dark Souls Remastered is a practice of tolerance and tactful thinking. The first time, I just ended up employing Solaire to level the playing field which made this fight incredibly easy.

However, when I faced them again in NG+, I opted for the honorable victory and that led to a lot of “You Died” screens. Despite this, I eventually bested them with pure resilience and learning from my mistakes.