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How To Beat The Pursuer in Dark Souls 2

How To Beat The Pursuer in Dark Souls 2

The Pursuer is one of the earliest optional and most peculiar bosses in Dark Souls 2. He is completely optional and is faced multiple times as a mini-boss throughout the game. To make it easy, we will cover the Forest of Fallen Giants version of the boss and this will prepare you for the rest of the encounters.


Fighting The Pursuer in Dark Souls 2

Fighting The Pursuer in Dark Souls 2

You’ll come face to face with The Pursuer when he is first dropped off by a bird when you are traversing past the Cardinal Tower Bonfire. He doesn’t have a boss health bar during this encounter.

He will continue to literally pursue you if you don’t do anything about him. Either fight him or die by his hands. Dying to him will despawn him for this location.

He can then be fought as an actual boss in the Forest of the Giants, past the locked door that requires the Soldier Key to open. Dying to him here doesn’t despawn him like before.

The Pursuer is incredibly agile for a hulking knight. Instead of using his feet to walk, he hovers around giving him a surprising amount of acceleration and the ability to close distance. To top it off, his lethal use of the giant sword and shield makes him incredibly deadly.

He does have a limited number of attacks that are easy to predict, but they hit like a truck, even if you are blocking. You need to be quick on your feet to stay toe to toe with him during this fight. He has a special Impale attack which ends up Cursing you and adding new attacks to his repertoire so avoid it at all costs.

Here are some tips and tricks to consider when facing The Pursuer in Darks Souls 2:

  • Best to fight the boss in the second “real” encounter. Let yourself be killed in the initial encounter to stop him from harassing you further.
  • The boss is weak to Strike physical damage type.
  • He is also weak to Lightning-based attacks. Imbue your weapon with the Gold Pine Resin to deal additional damage.
  • He is vulnerable to Poison.
  • He is immune to Bleed.
  • His sword attacks, other than Impale, can be parried.
  • You can fall to your death from the open side of the arena.
  • The ballistas in the arena are functional. (More on this in the cheese section of the guide).

Boss Strategy

The Pursuer Boss strategy

The best strategy when facing The Pursuer is to strafe to the right, his shielded side. Most of his attacks come from his sword so moving to the right will ensure he misses them most of the time.

For melee builds, the problem lies in putting in damage. The boss has very short openings between his attacks to deal some meaningful damage. You need to hit him one or twice at max and conserve your stamina to dodge his subsequent attacks.

Other than his shield bash and impale attacks, his regular sword attacks are parryable. If you successfully parry them, the recovery window is huge enough to lay into him.

The 3-Hit Combo is his most used and most deadly move. If you learn to read and react to this attack right, you are safe for the most part. We have mentioned the right reactions below so memorize it.

Avoid his Impale attack at all costs. It is easy to avoid by dodging to the side but if it happens to connect, you are in a world of hurt. The attack applies the Curse effect on you and unlocks new projectile attacks.

The fight is a battle of attrition. You need to constantly move in and out and deal meager damage to the boss. Lightning-imbued weapons will boost damage output. If you have some Gold Pine Resin on you use it.

Sorcerers will have an easier time in this fight. Since the arena is longer, you can keep retreating to the far ends and lobbing your spells like the Great Soul Arrow. Most of the boss’s attacks are close quarters, with a few exceptions, which can be easily avoided.

Pyromancers can spray a cloud of Poison Mist spell and watch as it slowly eats away his health. You may need to apply it multiple times during this fight. Once applied, stay away from the boss and let him die.


Here are all of the Pursuer’s attacks and their right reactions:

  1. 3-Hit Combo: Slashes his sword then bashes his shield and ends with either of two hits; Spin Slash – spins in the air and delivers a forward lunge sword slash, or Overhead Slam – raises his sword to perform a vertical sword slam.
    • Reaction: The first and final attack of the combo can be parried but not the shield bash. Or Dodge to the side for the first hit, dodge back for the second, strafe to the right for the Spin Slash, or dodge to the side right before his overhead slam lands.
  2. Charge: When you are at a distance, the boss will charge at you with an upwards sword strike at the end.
    • Reaction: Strafe to the right to avoid it or parry the strike.
  3. Stab Combo: Puts his shield up and continues to poke you twice with his sword. He then finishes the combo with a Spin Slash.
    • Reaction: Strafe to the right to avoid the stabs then dodge into the Spin slash and deliver some hits.
  4. Impale (Curse): Rears his sword which then turns blue and goes on to impale with a straight poke. He will raise you on his sword if it connects, and a Curse debuff will be applied. He gets additional attacks if this attack is successful.
    • Reaction: Dodge to the side and stay away. The attack lingers for some time and can still grab you if you walk into it later on. You can move behind him to put in some attacks.
  5. Homing Orbs (After Impale): Spawns 3 to 5 orbs of dark energy. These orbs move slowly and will hunt you down with a good amount of tracking. They deal normal damage apart from building up Curse.
    • Reaction: Run behind as soon as you see him start casting. The orbs can’t reach you here. Continue to attack him during this point.
  6. Spreading Orbs (After Impale): Same as the casting of Homing orbs but this time he sends waves of dark orbs in a cone.
    • Reaction: Get behind him and hope you are not in the path of the orbs.
  7. Moonlight Projectile: Charges his sword and sends an energy projectile towards you when at range. Much like the Moonlight Greatsword.
    • Reaction: Dodge to the side before the projectile reaches you. He will rarely use this attack if you stick close to him.

How to Cheese The Pursuer in Dark Souls 2

Cheese The Pursuer in Dark Souls 2

The arena of the boss has a built-in cheese if you look closely. There are two Ballistas present at the far end of the arena. Surprisingly, you can interact with these siege weapons and they fire three bolts per use.

To exploit this cheese, as soon as you enter the arena, make your way to the cart and barrels on the left-hand side. Stand here and let the boss charge you. Dodge straight ahead right before his attack is about to land and quickly run behind the ballista, preferably the one on the left.

Don’t even bother circling your camera to keep him in sight and immediately spam the “Use” button when behind the ballista. If done right, the ranged weapon will fire three bolts that will eat away 95% of his health in an instant. Keep spamming the ballista after the initial hit to fire it again and finish the fight in mere seconds.

The Pursuer can destroy these ballistas with his attacks. In case they get ruined, you will have to end him using either the second ballista, regular attacks, or the easiest way is to lob a Black Bomb at him to end him.

Rewards for Defeating The Pursuer

Rewards for Defeating The Pursuer

These are all the goodies you’ll receive for terminating the Pursuer in Dark Souls 2:

  • Soul of the Pursuer
  • Ring of Blades
  • 17,000 Souls