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Abyss Watchers

Abyss Watchers dks3
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
1548 18,000 Farron Keep
Drops Soul of the Blood of the Wolf
Cinders of a Lord
Defenses
Weak Resistant Immune
Lightning Lightning Dark Dark
Bleed Bleed
PoisonPoison & Toxic

Abyss Watchers Information

Abyss Watchers is a Boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. The soul, passing from one body to the next, forever warring, is one of the 5 Lords of Cinder.

 

Location

  • Farron Keep at the very end through the big stone door with the three sconces for fire.

 

Drops

 

Combat Information

  • Uses the Farron Greatsword.
  • This boss can be backstabbed and Parried/Riposted. Also staggers easily.
  • During phase one, an additional Watcher will spawn every 20 seconds, to a maximum of two.
  • The first additional Watcher will be hostile to the player. If a second additional Watcher is allowed to spawn, it will have glowing red eyes, and will target the boss as first priority; however, it also appears to target the player if they are closer.
  • Play defensively when the second watcher spawns, as watchers will target whoever hit them most recently.
  • Fire Resistant Armor and Shield recommended.

Strategies

Video Strategies

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

The boss is pretty standard as bosses go during the first phase. Straight forward regular sword attacks followed by dash attacks. Your main goal is to get a few hits in while dodging and waiting for the their openings after each attack/combo. During the fight, two corpses will rise up and join the battle. The first corpse, which looks just like the boss, is a foe who will ressurect shortly after being felled, so don't worry too much about him. The second corpse, however, has glowing red eyes and will attack the Boss and the other corpse, though he can still hurt you with his attacks. He is very useful for drawing aggro from one or both of the opposing Abyss Watchers and will also ressurect shortly after dying. Take advantage of his distraction and focus your attacks on the primary boss.

 

  • Backstabs: Since the boss's "cooldown" after attacks is long, if he misses you there's a chance you can perform a backstab by approaching him as he recovers.
  • Heavy weapon user: Attack after rolling/dodging, using the "cooldown".

In the second phase the boss will ignite his sword on fire in a small cutscene and the other two watchers will die. His attacks are far more powerful, more violent and have extra range. Play safe and wait for the end of his combos, most of his attacks are easily avoided if you aren't standing right next to him. Distance is viable. No corpses will rise from the floor during this phase.

  • Backstabs: Opportunity arises after 3-hit combos. Boss either does dash slash+slash+jumping smash or slash+slash+jumping smash. Learn to identify the second move, barely outrange it and then simply walk left and behind the boss while he does the jumping smash. Then you can backstab him easily. Dodge everything else.
  • Heavy weapon user: Roll out of his attacks and wait for the 3-hit combo as above.

 

Strategy 2 (Magic)

For casters you want to have around 20 int and your casting weapon upraded to +4. 

The main strategy on this boss is running. Instead of rolling like any other boss here you need to be running. While you're in extremely close quarters rolling is needed, but outside of that keep running away from the boss at all times, as your key to winning is being out of range at all times.

In the first phase you can kite the boss until the adds spawn. Once the first add spawns, the one without the red eyes, keep running around and only cast when there are perfect opportunities, those come up once in a while as the main boss will start being more defensive after the first add spawns. Once the second add spawns either the boss or the first add, or both will drop aggro and attack the red eye add, and he will attack them. Note, if you're the closest to the second add when it spawns it might attack you instead. The adds will respawn after dying depending on when they died, does not matter in which order they died. While the boss is focused on the red add, try to get your highest hitting spell/weapon attack on him, possibly backstab if you have a good weapon. With the help of the red eyes add phase one should be fairly easy.

Phase two gets tricky, remember how you are supposed to run away during the first phase? Now you really have to run away. With the fire the boss's attacks have more range. There's no more adds so all the aggro is always on you. In this phase, your only hope as ranged is to run and run and run. Especially on his charges and combos, if you try to roll from those he will catch you and possibly combo you, so just run out of range. Running in a big circle to the left helps avoid most of his attacks.

 

Strategy 3 (Specific Sorceries) 

NG: Use Great Heavy Soul Arrow in the first phase, use Great Soul Arrow in second phase. On NG+: use Crystal Soul Spear all the way - Sage Ring or Dex 40 is a must for both. When you enter the room, target lock and fire immediately. The boss will either glide towards you with sword extended, run towards you and attack or stay where he is. Once you see his reaction, roll to the side. Most attacks in the first phase are best evaded by rolling to the side. When the 2nd watcher arises from the ground stay locked on the main boss but only attack him if you see where the other guy is. Once the 3rd watcher comes out you can pretty much ignore the 2nd one and focus on the boss.

What ever you do, be sure that you are near the entrance when the boss dies for the first time. This is crucial because he will respawn near the end of the hall and walk slowly towards you, leaving you plenty of time to heal up and restore your FP. Don't be shy to attack him with a Great Heavy Soul Arrow while he's still walking towards you. When he breaks his walk and begins to swing it's best to switch to the Great Soul Arrow because it casts faster. In the 2nd phase it's best to roll backwards away from the boss, some attacks need two rolls in a row. Be sure to have about 20 END and therefore enough stamina to roll twice (or trice) and cast. Kite him while walking/rolling backwards through the room and attack whenever there's an opening.

On NG+ this is a very short fight for dedicated Sorcerers with Crystal Soul Spear at INT 60 and all magic buff equip you can get your hands on. Same tactics as on NG but way faster, see video above.

Strategy 4 (Pyromancy)

This boss will be tough as a pyromancer. Try to upgrade your flame as much as possible. The boss will pursue you rather relentlessly, making getting casts off difficult, especially during the first phase when there are multiple Watchers. Take your chance to get in as much damage as possible before the other Watchers spawn. Once they do, try to bait them into fighting each other. Trying to kill the main Watcher with one or two others chasing you at the same time is extremely difficult. If all three begin fighting, you've hit the jackpot, and can essentially just stand there are free cast. 

During phase two, keep as much distance as possible. The boss is quite fast and can close big distances quickly. Attack after one of his slides or slams, which have longer recovery, and during his combo, provided you are far enough that you are at no risk of being hit. If you simply run away from the boss, he won't be able to catch up with you, and you'll be able to take the chance to counter attack after his slide misses. 



Attacks

Phase I (Multiple Enemies)
Attack Name Attack Description
Stab The Boss lunges at the player with his sword. Range varies depending on distance away from the boss.
Dash Slash The Boss dashes forward a great distance and does an almost 360 degree slash.
Uppercut The Boss swings his sword upwarda followed by a large dust cloud. Can knock the player down. 
Jump slam The Boss jumps towards the player and slams his sword into the ground upon landing.
Phase II (One Watcher)
Attack Name Attack Description
Dash Burn A Wild Flaming Dash Slash at the player where the boss swings his sword, except now a fire trail soon follows the boss's path and burns everything in the way, slight delay for the trail to start. Woe to any who stick to his back too long once the trail of flame starts to move. The boss may combo these, and alert rolls and moving around is recommended.
Fire Sword The Boss attempts to hit the player with his flaming sword using various swings. This includes a gap closer where a delayed blaze of fire burns you if you dodge roll into the space behind the enemy. This delayed fire effect is similar to the explosive laser beam attack used by lesser amygdala in Bloodborne, with the exception that only the explosion, and not the laser itself, did damage.

 

Lore Theories

  • The Abyss Watchers are the heads of the Undead Legion. They are enemies of the Abyss, and will destroy kingdoms if they even show the slightest sign of exposure.
  • Two Darkwraiths can be seen fighting their way to the boss room. It could be interpreted that they have come to defeat the Watchers as well.
  • They look up to the Wolf Blood Master (heavily implied to be Artorias), and they all shared the blood. However, it seems as if this binded their souls into one, and left it constantly going between bodies of the Watchers, hence why they are fighting.
    • The only Watchers that attack the others are the ones with glowing red eyes. Similar to other creatures in the world, red eyes indicate that they are affected by the abyss, which the Watchers must eliminate, regardless of the target and circumstance.
  • The Abyss Watchers are entirely based on the legend of Artorias the Abysswalker, who braved the abyss and saved the city of Oolacile, as told in stories.
    • In reality, however, the Chosen Undead was the one who did this during the first Age of Fire, through a distortion in time, while Artorias was consumed by the abyss. But, as promised by Elizabeth the mushroom, their identiy is left out of the legend.
  • It's speculated the Abyss Watchers' souls became one shortly after linking the flame. It's likely the fire could only ever be linked by one person at a time but since the Abyss Watchers themselves were linked by the blood of the wolf, they were able to link the fire at the price of their individuality, their souls becoming one in the process.

Notes & Trivia

  • During the second phase, all the sword attacks are enhanced, and most have a secondary fire explosion in addition to his actual swing, the hitbox on the explosion is usually different from the arc of the swing.
  • Hawkwood is a former member of the Undead Legion, possible former Abyss Watcher. His armor matchers theirs except his helm, which is possibly symbolic of his leaving them. He also knows a good deal about them, though his weapon and combat style is different. He also rewards you with the Farron ring, which could had been worn by the Abyss watchers.
  • However Hawkwood doesnt seem to have the shared bit of the Wolf Blood Soul. He isn't possessed like how these bodies seem to be possessed. He certainly was undead legion. His rank may have been lower than the watchers, or he may have left them before everything went to hell and was spared the misfortune that befell them.
  • The attire of the watchers, the blood healing that takes place during the cutscene of the second phase, and the chalice that reveals the way to the dungeon, are all perhaps a reference to Bloodborne.
  • Yoel of Londor dies after this fight. If you intend to free level up and go hollow, make use of him before you beat this boss.

 

 

 




    • Anonymous

      10 Jul 2017 22:25  

      i was fighting the watchers and turns out they are more interested in the fog wall than me and the 3rd watcher has not come in the battle against the wall

      • Anonymous

        07 Jul 2017 18:35  

        Ithryll straight sword + 3 with crest shield dropped these guys easy. Didn't even need help from the 3rd watcher. Finished it first try and first ever souls game. Frost hurts them in 3 to 4 hits

        • Anonymous

          30 Jun 2017 14:36  

          OK on NG++ and noticed something weird as hell.

          Using a lightning lothric war banner, r1 AP 535 with my build. If I fight like this, they fight as normal.

          BUT. If I use the R2 to boost weapon AP for 2 mins (r1 AP goes to over 600), the watchers fight style goes to hell. It completely changes. All they do is a roll attack CONSTANTLY. No dodging, no circling, just constant roll attack, and they don't seem to stagger at all. It's near impossible to deal with without help as they really do do it non stop, I've had the first to doing it against me in perfect tandom.

          Anyone else encountered this? Is it a bug or supposed to happen? It feels cheap as hell.

          • Anonymous

            05 Jun 2017 23:22  

            So I actually beat this boss on my first try, and I'd say that's mostly thanks to my instincts and a player who had joined me named "Val", and damn, this fight is so amazing, I enjoyed every second of it, and Dark Souls 3 is my first Soulsborne game! This fight was brutal and really pushed me to watch for windows to attack, dodge, and use my estus, I then looked up the lore and felt bad because of the Abyss Watchers past, but at the same time, I felt I was doing them a favor for making it so they no longer have to see what the place they had tried to protect had become, and OH MY GOD that soundtrack, the soundtrack in this fight.. Amazing, simply amazing! I wish I could fight this boss again without NG+ or creating another character. Easily my favorite boss fight so far! (As of the making of this comment, the last boss I killed was Wolnir and I'm now at Disney Souls-- I mean Pontiffs castle.)

            • Anonymous

              12 May 2017 17:49  

              Fun fact: while i haven't tested this with other gs, you can stunlock this boss with the Hollowslayer and beat him with hardly any effort.

              • 04 May 2017 22:18  

                So I felt like playing this boss on fair terms no matter how many times I died without any summons. So I did fight and fight him but one time I fought him he got stuck in a wall and then fell under the map and died. Guess thats all if it comes to fair fighting for me.

                • Anonymous

                  04 May 2017 20:49  

                  May I mention that they are weak to frost. Irithyll Straight Sword could proc frost in about 3-4 hits in NG+7.

                  • Anonymous

                    03 May 2017 06:38  

                    If you let the abyssal watcher kill off the main one, he becomes the one you fight in the second form. Red eyes and all, nothing else seemed different (no different loot or attacks), but was a neat thing I noticed just now.

                    • Anonymous

                      30 Apr 2017 22:25  

                      I just killed him im a pyro and it dealt massive damage to him both states im using
                      Chaos Bed Vestige with
                      55 Int and Faith

                      • Anonymous

                        27 Apr 2017 13:36  

                        It seems that you cant summon both black hand gotthard and londor pale shade at the same time for this fight cus they are on opposing factions. When i summon one, the sign for the other disapear

                        • Anonymous

                          22 Apr 2017 15:08  

                          Un upgraded Greatsword of Judgement dealt massive damage to this boss. Makes me wonder how easy it will be once the sword is fully upgraded

                          • 18 Apr 2017 23:04  

                            I could misunderstand something, but at the phase 1 there is actually one Watcher at the beginning, and the the second spawns quickly after some time, but he has NO red eyes and atack only me.Then spawns the third is Watcher with red eyes.The boss is not so hard to kill, especially when you don't block their strong attacks but just dodge and wait to score safe hits or even backstabs.The second phase is OK too because i found a dragon crest shield and used it in case.

                            • Anonymous

                              13 Apr 2017 10:12  

                              Dark souls 3 is so hard for casters. I struggled with one in my first 3 playthroughs. Finaly, after playing Bloodborne I decided to play as a melee character. I just wasted this guy. Just equip a good armor in cas you are being hit and smash him out of your way.

                              • Anonymous

                                02 Apr 2017 23:15  

                                In my first game he was the hardest boss. But when i play now he is so easy that i even don t have to use estus. ( i have only one advice: Backstab)

                                • 27 Mar 2017 22:36  

                                  This is the 1st boss that I didn't die in the fight. Before facing the boss, I have only 2 estus flasks left and start thinking about returning the bornfire in a few minutes. However I am lucky to have a summon named "Londor Pale Shade" after killing the big lizard near the bonfire. He attracted the boss's attention for me to have time to punctuce the boss from behind. The phase 1 ended so fast after few successful combos. The next phase wasn't much trouble either except for the fire blade he got. I used the same solution - let the summon tank and i deal damage from behind. Kill the boss in an easy way. Maybe I am really lucky :) Sorry in advance for any errors in grammar because English isn't my first language.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    09 Mar 2017 17:06  

                                    *Watcher is about to finish me off*
                                    *second watcher walks behind him*
                                    Me, pointing: "That one was talking trash about your mother!"
                                    problem solved

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