Curse-Rotted Greatwood

Dark Souls Gameplay 5.jpg
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
5405 7000 Undead Settlement
Drops Transposing Kiln
Soul of the Rotted Greatwood
Weak Resistant Immune

Slash Slash
Thrust Thrust
Fire Fire

Pestilent Mist

N/A PoisonPoison & Toxic
Bleed Bleed
Frost Frost

Curse-Rotted Greatwood Information

Curse-Rotted Greatwood is a Boss in Dark Souls 3. This massive tree is filled with curses, and is the object of worship for the Undead Settlement's inhabitants.

  • This boss is optional, but must be defeated for the Transposing Kiln.
  • Find the Mound-Makers covenant before defeating this boss, or you will need extra steps to enter the covenant.



  • You can find this boss near the end of the Undead Settlement. Cliff Underside is the nearest bonfire after opening the shortcut door in front of the boss area.




Combat Information

  • Health: NG (5405), NG+ (15444), NG++ (16988), NG+3 (17761), NG+4 (18533), NG+5 (20077), NG+6 (20849), NG+7 (21622)
  • Deals Standard Damage.
  • The undead in the first phase seem to spawn infinitely until you fall down the pit. Avoid them and let the Greatwood swipe them away. They deal Standard Damage, Thrust Damage or Strike Damage.
  • Wooden areas take no damage, aim for the round fleshy growths on his body. He will have some at his stomach, back, ankles and thighs. Destroying egg sack stuns Greatwood for a few seconds.
  • Weak to Slash Damage, Thrust Damage and Fire Damage.
  • Pestilent Mist will not break up eggs, therefore 2nd phase will not trigger. Similiar effect can be achieved without this spell, provided player can deplete the boss healthbar within breaking 3 available egg sacks.
  • Immune to Poison/Toxic, Bleed and Frostbite.
  • Can be fooled with Alluring Skulls.
  • Damage him by taking out his back legs so he sits down. Attack him from behind while he is on sitting. 4-5 attacks will stun him and cause major damage.
  • Try to move to the bosses right side when he stands up. When he falls the arm will be on that side, letting you get good damage in.



Video Strategies

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

Immediately after the boss becomes active charge its left hand and left leg and destroy the egg sacks there. Back away and wait for the boss to do a kicking attack, fending off any undead as needed. As soon as you recognize that it is raising his leg to kick, charge to its groin and attack it as much as you can and then block or roll to dodge the imminent blow from its arm. Repeat until you fall into the pit.

Once in the pit, you'll want to stay away from the boss while determining where the remaining sacks are. You are entirely safe if you stay locked on and circling him, out of range. The Greatwood has a few eggs on its lower back and a few more on its right elbow; manually-aimed ranged attacks work best here, bows particularly for the targeting reticule, but you can also attack it in melee following the Cursed Wood's stand-and-fall attack, but you have to be quick; the white arm that emerges from its stomach/groin is also vulnerable. Once you've gotten rid of the groin sacks, and the lower back sacks, you may have to attack its white arm, as the remaining sacs are impractical to reach. This may require you to fight locked-off. Watch out for the arm's attacks, it has a grab that's particularly nasty. Simply dodge whenever you see it doing something, all its attacks have considerable recovery that should let you get in 1-3 blows. 

The best time to do massive damage is in its second phase. Goad it into it's falling attack. Dodge and you will have a good opportunity to get some hits in on some of the sacs you couldn't easily hit before.

As soon as you see the boss stand up and lean forward, sprint to you're coming from behind it, to its left hand side. When it falls down the white arm will be vulnerable for about 5 seconds. This is a perfect time to score a combo. When you see it stand up, if you have any, use a Pine Resin and imbue your weapon with either fire or lightning and maximise the amount of damage you can get in the small window. If you've destroyed all of the sacks, this is the safest (if slowest) tactic.

Strategy 2 (Sorcery)

The best strategy for pure magic with this boss is to spare him until you have the spell Pestilent Mist. With it, this boss gets rather easy, just get near him, cast the spell, move out of range, wait, repeat. Since the boss will only break the ground if you are near him, with Pestilent Mist it is possible to avoid stage two completely - the boss will break the ground when he dies, but not before. The only things you have to watch out for are the undead, that spawn until the boss is dead, and his ground rolling attack.

Another very easy method as a Sorcerer is to use White Dragon Breath to destroy its sacks. In phase 1 you run up to the right side of the boss and target lock. Move with the boss to the left side and when one of its sacks is in the line of sight between the white target lock dot and you, cast White Dragon Breath.

Phase two is much easier then, always keep the boss target locked and bring your self into position. The advantage of White Dragon Breath is that it follows the ground and upward, which is why you should keep the boss target locked and only cast when one of its sacks in between you and the lock. You can aim for its middle sack after the white hand swiped 3 times, sometimes even hitting the hand and the sack.

It is also possible (and not very difficult) to hit the egg sacks with unlocked spells; the large aggregation on the Greatwood's back in particular is just barely out of range of many melee weapons, but easy to hit with unlocked soul arrows.

Strategy 3 (Pyromancy)

This boss is weak to pyromancy, giving you a good advantage. As soon as the fight starts, start lobbing fire at the big egg sack on his crotch. You'll be able to quickly destroy this, progressing the fight into phase II. During the phase transition, if you're quick enough, you can destroy the egg sac on his left hand. 

While in the pit, prioritize targetting the sacs on his hands, feet and back. Once the boss has low health, you can just target the white hand that has now emerged from his stomach. Be careful not to get hit by his sweeping attacks, and be prepared to evade his body splashes.  

Strategy 4 (Baiting a fall)

Follow the same Phase 1 strategy as the guides above, but once you get to phase two you can cheese it. If you run out of range as far as you can the Greatwood will stand up and do a belly flop a lot like the Frog Boss in DS2. While he is down you can hit the arm a couple times and run away before he can do any damage to you. Simply keep on doing this over and over again and the boss should be easy for any build. Keep in mind he does have an attack where he stands up and rolls sideways that you have to avoid; its a bit more rare and does not give you a window of opportunity to do damage, but seems to only come up after he has done half a dozen of the regular belly flops.


Attack Name Attack Description & Counter
AoE Slam Boss slams its posterior on the ground, doing AoE damage and unleashing an AoE pool of corrosive liquid. Back up, used range if you like. You can actually move in and score some hits. As long as you don't abuse the corrosion, or play around, most equipment won't break right away and the damage it deals is low. You can use range or hit arm or leg weak spots while waiting for the corrosive liquid to vanish.
Grab-slam Brings both arms around the ground in a grabbing motion. Stops for a moment afterward with hands in front of its chest bulbs, allowing for easy hits on its hand bulbs. Standing directly in front of its chest bulbs will never let the boss hit with this attack.
Stand-and-Fall In the underground part of the battle, the boss will stand up, then immediately topple over, face down, onto the player. Get out of the way, run, roll, etc. Once it falls down, you can score attacks as it takes time for it to stand. This is perhaps the only time where the bulb on its right arm (not the white arm protruding from its chest; keep to your left if you were facing each other) is safely vulnerable to melee attack. Provoke this attack by maintaining your distance from the tree when you have aggro; quickly move to its right side, remembering that it's face down, so it's on your left if you were in front of it, and try to pop the bulb before it sits back up again.
Spin The boss will plant its hands on the ground and quickly whip around in a 360. Its arms and legs are what hit you. Move away, use a roll's iframes, block, etc.
Roll The boss will roll on its side in an attempt to crush the player. Move away. Preferably to the side, be ready to land some hits after the roll.
Ground-Pound The additional arm (the white one) will slam the ground 2-3 times in the player's direction. Its limbs can slam down on the player with minor AoE effect. Best dodged, not blocked. Aim for its back weak points as you circle it/dodge toward the back.


Lore Theories

  • According to the Soul of the Rotted Greatwood, it used to be a spirit tree until it was used as a vessel for unwanted curses by the inhabitants of the Undead Settlement. This lead to its transformation into a grotesque beast.
  • Considering the tree's presence above the pit of hollows it is possible the Mound Makers and their murders are at least part of the reason for the tree becoming steeped in curses, as hundreds upon thousands of bones are found in the pit of hollows at the shrine of the Mound Makers.



Notes & Trivia

  • In the second phase, a large white arm will emerge from the center of his body that you should avoid as it can pick you up and throw you. Observe it - if it is still, and not about to grab, you can score hits on it.
  • Bug: Just happened in my playthrough. Tree fell into second arena in a slow stuttering fashion and failed to grow more egg sacks and limb! Fight became impossible to win. Remaining sacs do not do enough damage to kill him.
  • Bug: Boss became a tree and fell a few feet into the ground. Was unable to move for a few seconds. It eventually popped out and started fighting normally. Silly tree, you ain't no tree no more.
  • Bug: Boss would not go into his second phase and drop into the pit - however he was still beatable as the egg sacks would not pop and simply continued to take damage. The floor broke after he was defeated and the pit could be accessed normally.







    • Anonymous

      07 Jan 2018 22:17  

      A bad boss, annoying, boring, mindlessly simple, the list goes on. The only things saving it are the Transposing Kiln, and the option to turn it's soul into the Hollowslayer Greatsword.

      • Anonymous

        02 Jan 2018 01:12  

        Seems there's a misunderstanding when mentioned that the player could avoid triggering the 2nd phase by killing it within 3 eggsacks.
        There's a 3rd eggsack that you can destroy before destroying the main one that triggers the 2nd phase.
        It's on its right elbow, and the boss can do a forward slam attack with both arms that will make it come within melee range for a little while.
        Whenever i destroy this eggsack, the 2 others and then the main one, the boss' healthpool is extremely low and i need to destroy only 2 more eggsacks which does not need to include the main one. Heck, i don't even have to hit the arm.

        • Anonymous

          05 Nov 2017 21:12  

          Sword and spear might be a Bloodborne Maria reference. She is using a sword (katana) and a spear and might be inspired by Lucatiel from DS2.

          • Anonymous

            26 Oct 2017 07:11  

            I just realized the tree where you encounter your first Evangelist is foreshadowing this boss fight, and even kind of gives it some background insight. This particular tree is also surrounded by Undead, some of which are praying in the same manner we find in the Curse-rotted Greatwood's arena. Secondly, the tree is festooned with hanging corpses and cages, possibly meaning that the strange "pods" dangling from the Curse-rotted Greatwood's boughs were actually once sacrificial victims--you can even see human limbs sticking out of these pods in the concept art. In addition, some of the root-infested corpses throughout Undead Settlement are found in a sitting position similar to the Curse-rotted Greatwood.

            • Anonymous

              02 Oct 2017 16:23  

              It also kind of reminds me of the trees in Lothric with the pale bodies fused to them. The Hollows there are often found praying to those trees, just like the Hollows in this boss fight. Don't know why they're praying to something apparently filled with things they feared, according to the Hollowslayer.

              • 21 Aug 2017 17:09  

                General tip against this boss is don't hit the sac between his legs (in front of the body) first. But I say - go for it. The first phase is significantly harder than his 2nd phase in actuality because of the peasants around (they are a huge nuisance and if you aren't careful they can hit you a lot). Poke that pouch and drop down the floor, the battle becomes much easier. His gross fluid attacks will not damage you much even if you navigate on it a lot, and it'll rarely break your weapons, they'll just slow you. His new-grown hands will never hit you if you stay to the side or behind him (which is where the other sacs are).

                • Anonymous

                  25 May 2017 02:06  

                  If you don't destroy the sacks, but use pestilent mercury to kill the boss it will not go to second phase. It's so much a bug, but just a result of the way you killed it. The floor will still break once the boss is defeated.

                  • Anonymous

                    24 May 2017 01:47  

                    seems to have quite the buggy fog gate

                    i found standing away from it, such as down the stairs in front the gate and waiting then once the critical battle blah blah thing shows up , then approach gate, it seems to work everytime ive tried and i love to coop this boss

                    it seems to wig out for me if im at the gate spamming the A button on xbox controller waiting for the to boss wake up then sometimes i cant get in

                    • Anonymous

                      12 May 2017 15:56  

                      I killed the normal enemies enough times to the point that they just gave up on life without breaking the floor.

                      • Anonymous

                        03 May 2017 17:34  

                        If you kill it after it does it's forward fall attack it has a special death animation where it tries to get up but goes back to how it was, fading away.

                        Thought it was neato.

                        • Anonymous

                          29 Apr 2017 09:00  

                          So I just killed this thing in NG+, and uh, I found the Moundmaker covenant dude squashed... NO IDEA how I managed to do that happened.

                          • Anonymous

                            18 Apr 2017 01:33  

                            Had the bug where the egg sacks wouldn't explode, was using a sword with magic weapon on and the buff ran out as i was hitting the sacks on his back (hadn't exploded any sacks)

                            • Anonymous

                              13 Apr 2017 21:22  

                              I was putting my summoning sign down to help with this boss to grind some easy souls, but one time I wasn't able to enter through the fog gate at all, even though the boss had been activated. Has this happened to anyone else or was it just me?

                              • Anonymous

                                08 Apr 2017 14:13  

                                Hi, something strange happened to me. I take one free level from Yoel, that is free without hollowing. Then I was fighting curse rotted greatwood and die here 8 times and I got hollowed. Why this happened to me ?

                                • Anonymous

                                  08 Apr 2017 10:27  

                                  I'm sorry but whoever wrote this is not very intelligent when it comes to ds3. The first bug written there where the eggs didn't do enough to kill him... hello you can hit his arm that comes out of his chest/belly. He litteraly does a move where he stands tall then falls giving lots of time to attack it..

                                  • Anonymous

                                    07 Apr 2017 18:00  

                                    So I'm on new game 6 and used Pestilent Mercury ln this boss focusing on the eggs of the torso and the second phsçase didn't trigger, even tought I destroyed the eggs on a leg with my sword

                                    • Anonymous

                                      26 Mar 2017 23:33  

                                      About the third bug in the notes and trivia, where the boss never progresses to the second stage - for me, the boss music never started playing, and you didn't have to hit just the egg sacs. The entire boss was able to be hit for damage.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        17 Mar 2017 04:09  

                                        If you use Pestilence Mercury on the boss, it will never go into phase two. Just run around and keep it in the poisonous mist and eventually the boss will parish and the ground will just suddenly shatter. A useful tactic to keep it easy.

                                        • Anonymous

                                          12 Mar 2017 20:12  

                                          I had some trouble with this boss, because I kept breaking all the sacs and had to fight the arm head on. It's not impossible, but it takes some patience to attack it at the right times. One mistake and it'll grab you and abruptly end the fight.

                                          I took a break fighting him and went to scavenge for items I know I missed. Along the way, a Flamberge dropped from the Flamberge minion in the house between the bridge to the fire tree and house bonfire nearest to the boss.

                                          I traded up from my Claymore and +1'd the Flamberge. Boss went down fast. You can't bleed him but the horizontal swings and vertical smash make it easier to hit the tree's sacks. Adding to that the fact that he is weak to slash damage, makes the fight a lot easier. By that time, I had learned how to bait him into certain attack patterns (butt slam, rolly poly, minion stomp, etc) so I barely needed to use Estus.

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