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How To Beat The Old Demon King in Dark Souls 3

How To Beat The Old Demon King in Dark Souls 3

The Old Demon King is a tough boss for some builds, while others will have a field day. How to defeat the boss? What he is weak to? What strategies can you use to beat it? All will be answered in this ultimate guide to beating Old Demon King in Dark Souls 3.

The fight against the Old Demon King can be a challenging one for a melee class, as he hits hard and has a lot of AoEs. If you are having too difficult a time, we suggest respecing into a Sorcerer or Bow build and then respecing back when done. Ranged classes will find this fight a breeze.


Let’s see how difficult the fight with The Old Demon King in Dark Souls 3 is and what are some of the best ways to beat him.

Is The Old Demon King Optional?

Old Demon King Optional

The Old Demon King is an optional boss. He is not needed to be killed for mainline progression.

Strategies for Defeating The Old Demon King

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

Melee Strategy

For melee builds, the key to this fight is patience. You will only get 1 or 2 attacks if you are lucky in most of your openings. If you try for more you will be hit by an AoE 9 out of 10 times, so avoid gambling and getting greedy.

For this fight, you will be dodging every attack. You don’t require a shield in this fight. The strategy here is baiting him into attacking you, rolling through his attack, hitting him once or twice, and then rolling away as fast as you can. If you stick to that for phase 1 you should have relatively no issues.

In phase 2 he will ignite and have a flaming aura. His moveset will change somewhat and he will now have more AoEs than before as well as a meteor spell that gives you a great opening to hit him and also a great opportunity to get murdered if you don’t dodge in time.

When he jams his hammer into the ground it will create a flame shockwave that goes inward and then back out again. You’ll want to back away and wait for this to vanish before engaging him in melee combat again.

Again the strategy is the same, roll through his attack hit him once or twice, and then roll away as fast as you can. The tough part about phase two is that you have to pick your openings a bit more carefully than phase 1, but generally, it is actually a bit easier as his meteor spell gives you about 5 seconds of time to hit him as much as you can.

A note about the end: he will stagger at about 5% health. If you don’t kill him fast enough he will explode and one shot you. So be extra vigilant when approaching him at the end.

Bow Strategy

Bow Strategy

A good bow, some powerful arrows, a fire damage reduction shield like Dragon Crest Shield, Cloranthy Ring, Grass Crest Shield, and lots of running and rolling will make this fight a cinch for Ranger/Bow builds. The Dragon Crest Shield should be used to block his lava/fire breath attacks.

His walking speed in both phases is never enough to catch up to you. You can easily go to town on him by staying at a considerable distance and hurling arrows at him. Whenever he stops to attack, it’s when you should fire your arrows.

Use the corpse mounds and pillars in the arena to negate his lava spew attacks, AOEs, and his meteor attacks. Just keep your distance and effectively use the bow of your choice and this fight will be done in no time.

Magic Strategy

Sorcerers will have a walk in the park fighting this boss. Simply, keep your distance from the boss and pummel him with the Great Heavy Soul Arrow spell.

With enough distance between you and him, neither will his attacks reach you nor will he be able to cover the distance. For his AOE and meteor attacks, use the corpse piles in the middle.

Toxic Mist spell and Storyteller’s Staff’s poisonous weapon art will make things even easier. You will somewhat passively kill the boss using these. Just move in close to him, cast the spell or the weapon art and move out and watch his HP tick away.

Whenever the poison wears off, just cast the respective attack again. Four Toxic Mists spells or one to two Poison Spore weapon art will be enough to bring him down.

Pyromancy Strategy

The boss’s resistance to Fire damage will render traditional pyromancies useless unless you have considerably upgraded them. Non-Fire pyromancies will be your best friend during this fight like Boulder Heave or Karla’s Dark Pyromancies.

Lob as many Black Fire Orbs at the boss as you can is the right way to go here. Staying at range from his many attacks and keeping the same movement strategy, as previously mentioned, will be enough to annihilate the fool.

What is The Old Demon King Weak To?

Old Demon King Weakness

The Old Demon King is weak to the following damage types:

  • Dark
  • Black Knight Weapons

What is The Old Demon King Resistant / Immune to?

The Old Demon King is resistant and immune to the following damage types:

Resistant to:

  • Fire
  • Poison
  • Toxic

Immune to:

  • Bleed
  • Frostbite

Can You Parry The Old Demon King?

You cannot parry this boss. However, he can be poise-broken. And can be on the receiving end of a critical strike if you stagger him by hitting his head.

Can You Cheese The Old Demon King?

The Pestilent Mist spell will easily cheese this boss fight. Cast the spell around a pillar in the arena and run around it. The boss will indefinitely chase you, all the while walking in your mist trap, chipping away at his health. Just look out for his occasional AOE and meteor attack, and he will go down like a huge tree in a burning forest.

The Old Demon King is a tough boss for melee users, and a breeze for ranged builds like bows and sorcerers. Since he is an optional boss, you can come back to him once your equipment is upgraded enough.