The Soul of Cinder is the final boss of the base Dark Souls 3 experience. For a final boss, he is not particularly difficult to face if you know what you are doing. How to defeat the boss? What is he weak to? What strategies can you use to beat it? All will be answered in this ultimate guide to beating Soul of Cinder in Dark Souls 3.
In the first phase, Soul of Cinder will cycle through 4 different movesets, each accompanied by a unique weapon and spell combo. Some weapons are harder to fight than others. It all boils down to RNG. The second phase will make him more aggressive and he will use a single weapon. Two NPCs can be summoned during this fight, Yuria of Londor and Londor Pale Shade.
Let’s take a detailed look at some of the best combat strategies and tips for defeating The Soul of Cinder in Dark Souls 3.
Is Soul of Cinder Optional?
Soul of Cinder is not an optional boss and must be defeated to end the base version of Dark Souls 3.
Strategies for Defeating Soul of Cinder
Here are some strategies for defeating Soul of Cinder you can use depending on the build you opted for in Dark Souls 3:
For phase 1 you’ll want to bait his attacks, dodge or block with a good fire shield and then attack once or twice. By this point in the game, you should be familiar with this general strategy.
Things get interesting in phase one at half health mark. He will transform his weapon into one of 3 different types: Spear, Curved Sword, or Staff. It’s completely random which you get, and some will be easier for you to handle than others.
He will also cast pyromancies during these phases, so watch out for those. If he picks a spear he will mostly use long thrust attacks and an occasional spin, which you can roll through. This weapon generally deals the most damage per hit but is usually the easiest to dodge.
If he picks a curved sword he will do many twirling attacks that are much harder to dodge but don’t hit extremely hard by comparison. He also tends to use more pyromancies in this form.
If he chooses the staff, he will cast many spells, some of which hit extremely hard. He is easy to hit in this phase if you can get close enough, which isn’t always easy. It is recommended to play safe in this form if you get it and wait for him to switch to another before really trying to put some damage in.
After you deplete his health bar, it will fill again, and phase 2 will begin. This phase is in many ways easier than phase 1. The main thing you need to be on the lookout for is a 5-hit combo he does that if he catches you with is almost a guaranteed kill.
The tell for this is him holding his blade back and high for a bit longer than you think is necessary. If you see this, roll back and away as fast as you can.
He will cast Sunspear and a variation of it where a bunch of lightning bolts tracks you every now and then, but these are easy to read and easy to dodge. Stay near him when you can, bait his attacks, and continue the same strategy, just watch out for that 5 hit combo, and you’ll be alright.
Pyromancers should leave fire spells and equip dark versions of them. The quick-firing Dark Fire Orb will work the best. The boss is fire-resistant and thus anything fire-related will be useless. For sorcerers, go for the Great Heavy Soul Arrow for primary damage output.
As with any such strategy, maintaining your distance is the key. The first half of the first phase will be relatively harder as he does tons of fast attacks and give little time to cast. Allow him to attack, dodge and cast your spells immediately. Whenever he misses his attacks is when you fire.
The strategy for the second half will depend on his weapon of choice:
- Curved Sword: Keep your distance and let him use his pyromancies. look for openings when he is casting to cast back your own spells. His sword combos here are long-winded too so if you dodge them right, you can fire your spells at him. Just be careful to not get hit by his fireballs.
- Spear: This weapon is the easiest of the bunch. He will only have a couple of easily dodgeable attacks giving you ample time to cast. The only thing you need to worry about is his charge attack which too can be sidestepped smoothly. The spin attack, however, is the best time to rain your spells on him.
- Staff: This is the hardest weapon in his arsenal when casting as he can catch you with his spells. Only opt for casting when he is using slower spells to minimize risk. The best time to do it is when he is casting Soul Stream. If you want, you can simply wait for the boss to change his weapon for a more manageable one to continue your attacks.
Phase 2 will be easier than you think. His jumping slash attack is the troublesome bit that can swiftly cover the distance. Be wary of this attack and the rest will be relatively comfortably avoided with well-timed dodges.
The strategy remains the same, create space between you two and pummel him with spells. Every now and then he will put his sword up to perform the aforementioned 5-hit combo.
If you perfectly move out of the attack’s radius, you will get the most suitable moment to lob your spells. The boss will continue with his combo while you annihilate his health.
What is Soul of Cinder Weak To?
Soul of Cinder is weak to the following damage types:
- Vow of Silence in Phase 1 while wearing Sorcery Set
What is Soul of Cinder Resistant / Immune to?
Soul of Cinder is resistant and immune to the following damage types:
- Frost (can be Forstbitten though)
Can You Parry Soul of Cinder?
The Soul of Cinder can not be parried. His spells are unparryable too. You can break his poise but can not perform a critical strike after it.
Can You Cheese Soul of Cinder?
The soul of Cinder can be cheesed without even entering the arena!
All you need is the Millwood Greatbow and a bunch of great arrows. Buy a bunch of them from the shop if you have acquired the Captain’s Ashes item. Upgrade the weapon if you want although it is not necessary, just speed things up a bit.
This particular bow’s skill allows the arrow you fire to explode on impact. This skill is the key to the cheese. Stack up on Ashen Estus Flask so that you won’t run out of FP.
Now for the cheese itself. You need to stand just outside the boss fog gate. Manually aim the bow and start using the bow’s skill to fire arrows at the boss’s general direction. If you aim it right, the explosion from the arrows will start to inflict damage on the boss. No need to traverse the fog, just keep firing outside it.
You will need to adjust the aim every now and then cause the boss slightly moves its location. You can see the boss’s health bar go down upon each successful hit. Both phases can be cheesed using this method. The boss will die, and you will receive the reward.
Soul of Cinder is not worthy of the final boss status of this game where prior boss encounters had been so challenging. With little practice, you will take out this boss without much effort. The only thing that is cool and can prove lethal is the weapon he chooses so there is an element of luck.