Dark Souls II Bosses Ranked

Continuing the Dark Souls boss ranking I am moving onto the second game in the series,now I have been known to slag off Dark Souls 2, but after playing so much of the original recently I thought I would give this entry a try and see not just how the game stacks up after a long break from it but also how the bosses rank up. So here we are, as usual I won’t be including the DLC bosses and will instead be focusing on the main game plus the optional bosses found within the core game.

I am going to base this list on my opinion, which is obviously subjective but I am basing it on my experiences from playing the game this includes my first impressions of the bosses, but also how my opinion has changed over time including subsequent playthroughs as different characters.

29. Prowling Magus and the Congregation: Dear lord a trash fight… Magus is one guy, his congregation is 10 shit guys. With the congregation are two priests that’ll fully heal him so take out the congregation one by one and this fight is a cake walk. Not knowing the fight will lead to 1, maybe 2 deaths which are forgivable on a first playthrough but this boss really is trash and I won’t dedicate anymore words to it.

Prowling Trashbag and the trashgregation

28. Royal Rat Vanguard: This is also apparently a boss fight… You fight 20 endlessly respawning rats. One of them is the king, or something. Run around a narrow room and whack rats, if the main health bar depletes then that is the Rat King and you can unload all your stamina into it potentially killing it in a single round of waffle stomping. Otherwise retreat and ensure you’re never surrounded by rats as they stack a tonne of poison on you, but other than poison they are slow, dumb, and a waste of time. The main difficulty is poison build up and estus management, but if you take a couple of hits and you’re worried you will still have plenty of time to run away let poison wear off and drink your magical Gatorade. It is a trash fight though and a waste of everyone’s time.

Royal Rat Trash Bag

27. Skeleton Lords: This is a trash fight, you fight three skeletons and when you kill one of the three main skeletons a few smaller skeletons will spawn. So if you try to kill all 3 at once you *MIGHT* struggle with the 10ish spawns, especially as three of these are those BASTARD skeleton wheel things, but other than that it is a waste of time. Kill a big skeleton, and kill the spawns, kill next one, kill the spawns and this “boss” will die without even hurting you. You might die once or twice on this boss, the first time is you not expecting the spawns. The second is if a skeleton wheel clips you in the ass. But to be honest it is a waste of time piece of shit that adds nothing.

More trash

26. Royal Rat Authority: Sif was a good doggo, bhis is a shitty reskin boss to make a very visible dog character model look like a giant rat. The fight is a fucking chore though as the entire thing comes down to whether or not you can orchestrate a perfect entrance with perfect timing swings of the sword to kill the toxic causing regular rats. This is actually hard because it requires some perfect timing. Deal with that and the boss is easy, but you will die a lot getting the regular rats down without toxic death. This would be the worst boss if it wasn’t for the trash fights below it in the list.

Shit gankfest reskin is shit gankfest reskin

25. Old Dragonslayer: Urrhm, this is literally Dragon Slayer Ornstein. Same moveset just with much lower stats since it is an early boss and lacking his buddy. Without the help of Smough this fight is pointlessly easy, a few attacks that close gaps, and a powerful thunderbolt. But if you keep moving and strafing he won’t hit you. He is a generic dude in armour that adds nothing to the game, which is a shame as it besmirches Ornstein’s legacy with this none-boss fight fight.

Ornstein hasn’t even be reskinned here. It’s just a shit version of Ornstein!

24. Last Giant: I feel mean being putting the last giant this low  but it is simply a tutorial boss that doesn’t even provide a tutorial. He is slow, dumb, butactually pretty tough hitting for early game. Mechanics such as NPC summoning and attacking legs to stumble big lads is on show to teach you the mechanic, but other than having a fog gate and a health bar this guy doesn’t really qualify as a boss fight.

He is a tutorial boss, so what more do you expect from him.

23. Twin Dragonriders: Wow… This is original. This is the Dragon Rider boss, but there are two of them. One stands in an awkward spot firing great arrows at you, the other is slow and shit. So you walk around the room timing your attacks between sword swipes and arrow hits. In fairness it is a fairly fun, fast and frenetic fight, but the fact it is a repeated boss is lame. Either scrap the earlier one, or make them look different. They are obviously dudes in armour, and feel unnecessary being repeated. Especially as the Dragonriders appear as standard mobs after this point in the game.

Not pictured is his buddy with a Greatbow spamming arrows at you.

22. Belfry Gargoyle: It’s the Gargoyle again. If you haven’t fought them in Demon Souls and Dark Souls then you might find this a novel fight. The only difference her is there are around 6 of them that slowly come to life. But to counter this the Gargoyles are weaker and less aggressive, so crowd control is pretty easy even when you’re taking it slowly and allowing all the gargoyles to be alive at once. You can raise these a couple of places up my list if you never played the previous two games.

Just add more…

21. Covetous Demon: It is a big slug… That’s it really. A big fucking slug. I will give it some credit for the arena help. If you shoot the pots in the room hollows will fall out, the slug will then eat them giving you a massive window to two hand 25% of his health bar off. If you don’t use the cheese he isn’t much harder. His moves can be a little faster thn expected for a fat lad and will rolling pin over you if you’re not paying attention. That said, I dislike the boss, it is bland, and boring, and the only entertainment is shooting the pots to watch slug-boi eat a hollow. Outside of a first playthrough he gets easier on New Games and is only a challenge to a newb.

Slug-boi!

20. Dragonrider: Usually the first boss I try to take on. He hits HARD, with a high amount of stagger but ultimately a piece of piss. This boss can be hard if you haven’t flicked the switches in Heide Tower to expand the fighting arena and removing (or minimising) the chance of falling to your death. If you do flick all the switches simply run around him and attack in the many windows to attack in. I think both times I died on this boss was from falling off the platform. Every time I raised both platforms the Dragonrider hasn’t killed me. He is also one of MANY generic dudes in armour.

The Dark Souls 2 bosses fundamentally lack awe.

19. Scorpioness Najka: This is a, uninspiring reskin of Quelaag. If you didn’t know that Quelaag was a naked lady on a massive spider that spat lava. Najka is a naked lady on a scorpion that , uhhrrrm, tries to stab you with her tail, and goes underground a couple of times to spring out on you. So totally original. I have never died to this boss, she is stupidly easy, strafe and whack once or twice. Or wait for her to stick her tails in the ground and unload into her. She fire some magic at you at range, which can make a mage’s life hard, but melee never encounter this issue. She is this low for being a crappy reskin but not as low of the trash.

Bewbs!

18. Lost Giant: So obviously the Last Giant wasn’t the “last” one, though technically he is, as this is a weird flashback fight thingy. But the Lost Giant is basically the same as the Last. He is a Big Lad but has been minimally tweaked to not be so easy as the tutorial boss. His overhead swing sword attack will probably one shot you, and getting to him is frustrating as there are bullshit obstacles to clear. But this is probably the number one boss to farm due to his easy. He is completely optional, and you’ll only bother fighting him if you want a less tedious Vendrick. You will die a fair few times getting to him as you learn the awkward route, and you’ll probably die first time you reach him as the mist lifts and the Lost Giant wafflestomps with his giant sword, but butt poke, and hug his left right leg to avoid sword sweeps and you’ll kill this lame ass boss in no time.

Big lad is big. And boring

17. The Rotten: One of the boss I completely forgot existed, and this is a Great Soul, so one of the key story bosses! It is sort of a reskin of Gravelord Nito asit is a big monstrous thing made of gloopy dead bodies instead of skeletons. The arena is filled with fire, and you need to run around hitting The Rotten and avoiding said fire, who has some slow low tracking attacks. Last time I played, I ran in room, and circle strafed him on one spot. He does an occasional explode that is actually pretty hard to avoid if you’re not paying attention but i shouldn’t be able to one shot you. So as long as you can get away and heal up before strafing the spot again The Rotten will die in no time. If the explosion move was more powerful to the point it punished you i’d probably move this boss higher up the list. As it is, it is barely a challenge.

To be fair, he is pretty rotten…

16. Baneful Queen Mytha: Medusa headed boss lady that is pretty surprisingly forgettable, in fact I forgot she was a boss 5 minutes after beating her and nearly missed her off this list. You fight this boss inside the Earthen Peak which is a semi rehash of Sen’s Fortress but much shorter and far less interesting.

There are two modes to this fight. The first has the arena filled with poison and it is marginally difficult with managing your movement and avoiding poison buffs, which isn’t under any circumstances especially difficult. Or, the stupidly easy method… where if you have burnt the windmill near the bonfire inside Earthen Peak you’ll remove the poison cloud. Now just run up to her and stab her in the ass avoiding the fairly slow magic casts. If you’re ranged fighter this fight is a little more difficult as it can be difficult trading magic, but get close walk around her and pound the booty and she’ll be dead in no time. Getting to her is harder than she is and I have never died fighting her.

I still struggle to remember her

15. Vendrick: The main boss when it comes to optional/story bosses is King Vendrick. He has possibly the most tedious fight in the series. Make this easy on yourself by completing the Giant Memory sidequest as getting one Giant Memory reduces his health by a quarter, getting all 3 will reduce him by another half. But even doing that, this fight is a boring 10 minute slog where you stand in his ass and butt prod him, slowly chipping his health away. Make one mistake and the Vedrick will one shot you just means you’ll stand at his ass, hit once, and always keep your eye on stamina and positioning. If you haven’t done the Giant Memories then this fight can take an hour as you chip 5 health off a hit. Ultimately it makes this very boring, and the only challenge is your attention span.

Prepare for 100 butt pokes

14. Pursuer: Frustrating to say the least if you fight him early as he is super fast with powerful attacks that fuck up your stamina and poise, not to mention most people won’t have a good shield at this stage and have two or three Estus Shards. But once your stats are not plain terrible or you have 5 or so shards this boss is actually pretty easy. Sure the attacks are a pain. Sure his charged attack will curse you and probably one shot you. But despite being super fast, he tracks fairly slowly. Just stand near and strafe him. Smack once and keep moving. This boss is the ultimate in teaching you hit and run fighting that is the meta for Dark Souls 2, and you’ll mostly die from getting cocky or still learning the mechanics. In The Scholar of the First Sin he is a little more interesting as he keeps appearing in inopportune times through out various areas in the game. But honestly, this is the boss I die to the most when playing a new game as I want to beat him early. He is one of many generic dudes in armour.

Don’t stand this far away from him…

13. The Duke’s Dear Freja: The missing half of Quelaag that wasn’t used on Scorpioness Najka? This is a two faced Spider, so like the Flexible Sentry butt nuzzling isn’t an option. You can only hurt this boss by stabbing the eyes though which means you’re always in the danger zone, so is a fairly novel fight. I did beat it in my last playthrough without taking any damage (I had no estus flasks left) and only fought her because I was there and had no souls on me. Slow attacks, and a mini spider gank to start the fight can be difficult if you’re slow. But kill the mini-spiders and then whomp her eyes when you get a chance and she is pretty easy. She does get bonus points for being a fairly novel idea can be difficult as a casting since the area to hit is small, but as melee run in stab stab stab, and run away before the heavy counter attack comes at you.

Pretty hard to find a good screenshot…

12. Nashandra: I honestly hate this boss, she is simply bland and dissapointing as a final boss. She has some wells that appear that build up curse as a frustrating gimmick that will smash fuck out of your life bar and a couple of powerful spells, but all this is fairly easy. It isn’t the fast reactions-fest of Gwyn. The min tactic is hit and run as you are constantly diverting from a fight to smash the curse wells, or running around so the curse wheres off enough to go in for another round of fisticuffs. You can occasionally pull Nashandra far enough away from some of the wells render them useless. Other than these wells the other thing to look out for is the one shot big cast that is fast but lacks tracking, then it is some ok damage from her Scythe. It really depends on the RNG in this fight as she can spam big spells at you with wells in the way making attack impossible, or she can swipe away with her ass scythe. She is a boring banshee design, and not as hard as other regular bosses you fight in the game.

That beamwill hurt marginally more than those curse wells, which hurt a lot.

11. Flexile Sentry: This boss has grown on me after several playthroughs. It has never killed me to my knowledge, but the fight does try something different. The boss itself is a fast ninja monster with a slow lumbering wafflestomper attached to it’s back. So depending which way it faces it is either a powerhouse of damage or a twink bastard that’ll skin you alive. You can’t beat this one simply by stabbing the butt, as the butt fights back making this boss relatively unique. If you’re a caster you can spam him from a distance and not worry. as a close combat kinda gal, you’ll need to time attacks and use the space trying to hug the Flexile Sentry’s side. Further to this the arena fills slowly with water making movement increasingly difficult which adds another slightly different dimension to the fight which will punish you for taking too long.

No butt poking, just side poking.

10. Velstadt, the Royal Aegis: Velstadt demonstrates perfectly some of the mediocrity in boss design in Dark Souls 2. He comes this high up the list because everything else is worse in comparison rather than his own merits. He is a fast, strong dude in almost armour with some pretty powerful one shot magic. On my latest playthrough I died from getting cocky but I honestly think that is my only death to him. His attacks are fast and strong, but by virtue of getting this far (and beating the Pursuer) you should have the skill set to beat him. The only thing to watch out for is the spell that has a long wind up and minimal tracking but will mostly likely kill you if you’re close and not paying attention. This makes for a fun fight as you use the space to get around him and butt poke this guy to death.

I actually really like this boss

9. Lost Sinner: Fast and weak is the best way to summise Lost Sinner. You fight her in a large dark room which makes keeping the camera attached to her difficult (unless you light the oil outside the room). If the room is dark she can be tricky as she leaps in and out of view. Or easy, as lighting the room negates her one strength. Strafe and booty stab, and the Lost Sinner will be the first Great Soul you devour. On a first playthrough she’ll kill you a couple of times, which is annoying as it is a fucking long corpse run back to her.

Light room, and jobs a good ‘un.

8. Old Iron King: More than a little bit generic as a fight, as it is a massive fire demon submerged in lava. You will probably die a fair few times as most attacks have potential to one shot through knockback, but he is SUPER slow with many of his attacks leave him open to 5-6 hit combos. Some of his attacks leave him open WHILE he is performing them. So assuming you can avoid slow overly telegraphed attacks your real concern is the awkward arena as there are holes in the floor, and some sharp corners that will result in instadeath if you run into them or get smacked into them. So make sure you have a free camera, and you should be fine.

This fight has grown on me.

7. Demon of Song: Is a big frog that has a big obvious weak spot that can only part of him that can be damaged. Since it is slow and lumbering you’re open to 3-4 attacks on the counter, and the demon dies in around 12 hits. Magic casters will struggle because aiming for the eye can be difficult but that is it really. He has some strong attacks that can be blocked but a wafflestomp attack that’ll one shot you if you don’t get out the way. The main problem is that Demon of Song is one of those bosses where the fight itself is too easy.

Hit the thing inside the frog thing.

6. Throne Defender and Throne Watcher: This boss mixes the Dark Souls 2 formula up, as it is one dude in armour with a big sword, and one lady in armour with magic and fast attacks. The only other twist is if you kill one the other one will resurrect them after a while. So you can’t focus one down and then easily gank the other. You need to patiently chip them both down. It adds a nice dynamic that is repeated in Dark Souls 3 and builds on Ornstein and Smough from the first, it just doesn’t feel very original. The problem is that this fight very much tacked on coming as a warm up to Nashandra and would have been much better searved in place of the Two Dragonriders

All things considered, this is properly an Ornstein and Smough fight minus the super buff.

5. Ancient Dragon: This is the “ultimate” fight, the hardest, and most optional boss in the game. 99% of your deaths will come from the rain of fire attack that almost entirely fills the giant arena in which you face him. It can feel pretty unfair as all these deaths are because this attack is a little bit cheesey, and also the size of the boss causes the camera clip which will mean you miss the visible cues that he is about to launch into the rain of fir attack. If you are not 7000ft away from him you will die and have the longest and most tedious corpse run back to the fight to contend with. Unless you went full fire resistance build you will be one-shot by this spell. Other than the inevitable cheese attack though, the fight is fun and the difficulty for ultimate boss is fair. His attacks are fast, and powerful but again, all feel pretty fair. You will die ENDLESSLY to this boss though even when done as endgame after Nashandra and 100 souls levels over levelled.

Look how cool this guy looks (you die 0.3 seconds later)

4. Guardian Dragon: I’m sure all the lore says all the dragons are dead, except they never are. There are tonnes of dragons in DLC, and well, there is an area called Dragon’s Aerie, that is filled with the fuckers. But to get to that location you fight the Guardian Dragon. Run around, and leg poke while avoid the stomps, avoid the head trying to eat you, and run to the edges if he ever takes off.  The Guardian Dragon is a fun fight, as dragons are cool, but all emphasis is lost 20 seconds after this fight when you get several of these dragons to fight as regular enemies. Still, bonus points for not being a dude in armour.

Eat Dragon Fireball!

3. Looking Glass Knight  Coming in towards the end of the game is and one of the cooler boss designs. Firstly he is a dude in armour, which isn’t especially original. But secondly, he is a fairly fun fight. Here is a melee powerhouse with some decent magic with a not completely predicatble move set. His gimmick is that he can summon NPC helpers to fight you, and depending on how slow you are he will summon further players (Human players can invade if you are online). The AI NPCs are weak as piss and will die before they can attack you on most occasions, but they do require focus as concentrating on the NPC means an unwelcome proctal exam from a sharp instrument. Or a skilled PVP ganker ruining you day.

Look how cool this guy looks!

2. Darklurker: This boss is always ignored in lists and is frankly one of my favourites. Here is an Angel of Death that has a variety of cool lightning based attacks, and some powerful sword attacks. Due to her elemental attacks you need to keep moving and try to attack in the narrow windows. Mages will have a better time as you can throw shit at her from a distance and avoid her magic. Melee will need to balance your attacks and stamina combined with patience to beat this boss. To fight this boss you need to have slogged through the Pilgrims of the Dark covenant quest-line which explains why the boss is mostly forgotten.

Check the aesthetics on this lass!!

1. Executioners Chariot: I don’t know if I currently love this boss because of my love of Warhammer Tomb Kings obsession, or if it is actually a cool fight. Actually,it’s both, sod you. Here you fight an undead chariot that rushes around an oval arena. On the way you fight some resurrecting skeletons, and some necromancers and avoiding the chariot as it rampages passed. If you hit and run the necromancers the skeletons will bugger off when you kill them or if the chariot accidentally clips them on it’s way past. Once theseNecromancers are dealt with you can safely pull a lever causing the chariot to crash. Once this is done you can fight the charioteer’s horse.  Do this and you have a fast spoopy horse to fight. It has some powerful magic, and some decent damage meaning it isn’t the easiest of fights but it is pretty slow. You will probably die A LOT figuring this boss out, as even watching a guide doesn’t really prepare you for the RNGfest that is the skeletons. However, the one black spot on this awesome boss’s resume is the fucking corpse run back to it as you pass a dozen of some of the hardest regular enemies in the game on the way to this guy, they are fast, and they are hidden in awkward spots, so they will gank your ass as you run back. Plus the bridge you can fall off and die, plus fog gate guards. I really like this boss but getting there is possibly the worst in the series.

Check this bad-boi out!

 

So what you think? Should the Persuer be top, and is it unfair to call the Trash bosses trash?

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I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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