Deacons of the Deep

Deacons of the Deep dks3
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
4099 (292 p/deacon) 13,000 (150 p/deacon) Cathedral of the Deep

Soul of the Deacons of the Deep
Small Doll Archdeacon Set

Weak Resistant Immune
Fire Physical-type
Vow of Silence
Dark   Dark
Magic  Magic
Bleed  Bleed
Poison  Poison &Toxic

Deacons of the Deep Information

Deacons of the Deep is a Boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. The congregation of clerics defends a roaming soul, that is eventually revealed to be the Archdeacon.



  • This boss is located in the Cathedral of the Deep. The boss chamber is accessed by going up the stairs in the corner behind one of the giants.




Combat Information

  • Health: NG (4099), NG+ (??), NG++ (??), NG+3 (??), NG+4 (??), NG+6 (??), NG+8 (??)
  • Attacks deals Standard Damage, Thrust Damage, Fire Damage or Dark Damage (2nd phase) damage. During second phase can also kill by Curse.
  • Can be parried, which allows to perform a riposte, backstabbed or pinned down.
  • Weak to the Hollowslayer Greatsword.
  • All other than the possessed/real one are susceptible to Rapport and Alluring Skulls.
  • Weak to Physical-type damage, Frostbite and Vow of Silence.
  • Resistant to Dark Damage, Magic Damage, Bleed, Poison and Toxic.
  • For the first phase, kill the possessed (red aura) deacons to get to the 2nd phase of the fight.
  • In the second phase, the spirit possessing the Deacons reveals itself to be the Archdeacon, and can now be damaged directly.
  • Four new unique blue-robed undead appear alongside him. These will not re-spawn and will heal the Boss.  Leave these alone too long and you basically die. Check the moveset for more info.



Video Strategies

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

This is a relatively straightforward fight. You're going to sprint from enemy to enemy killing the ones with the red aura as fast as you can, following it from one enemy to the next. The undead do very low damage so prioritize offense and heal if you take too much damage.

In phase 2 there will be one enemy that possesses the red aura for the duration of the fight. He will be closely guarded by other undead who will try to put a protective barrier between you and them. Try and maneuver around them if you can, or if you feel confident try and AoE them down with a wide swinging weapon. Rolling into enemies is a good way to get out of trouble, as it will make them stumble backwards which should give you some breathing room.

Casters will pool their magic together with the main hollow to fire a black mass that goes through objects to hit you but won't track. Keep these four casters alive until they start pooling their magic separately making a curse debuff fog. Kill one and their spell will be halted. Ignore them and the player will be instantly killed by a curse.

Pontiff's Left Eye will allow you to dive into the mob safely when you use a weapon with large horizontal attacks as it will heal you for each enemy you hit in one swing. Using an item or consumable that increases stamina regeneration will allow you to remain within the mob longer, assuming a brief pause after each swing. As long as you are swinging with an appropriately sized weapon (such as the Hollowslayer), it is possible to heal at a rate faster than damage can be done to you, effectively rendering you immune to any attack that does not stagger. It is a good idea to avoid allowing enemies to circle in behind you, as it increases the likelihood that an enemy will be able to use a physical staggering attack on you before being knocked off balance by your weapon.

Strategy 2 (Magic)

Only a few magic spells are effective in this boss fight, namely (Crystal) Soul Spear, White Dragon Breath, Soul Stream and Soul Greatsword, which can all help you taking down deacons left and right. It may however be difficult to cast properly due to the high number of enemies and their ability to cast fireballs, which may interrupt your own spellcasting.
Note that despite the Soul Spear's ability to pierce through enemy groups, it can be very difficult to hit the actual boss with it due to not being able to target him properly; the same goes for White Dragon Breath and Soul Stream.
The seldom-used Pestilent Mist can actually be an absolute killer in this boss fight, in particular when used in combination with Aural Decoy or an Alluring Skull. Notice that it takes relatively long to set up such a trap, so it is advised to do so from behind a corner or pillar; also, try to cast The Pestilent Mist first, as its effect expires a little slower than the lure.

For the most part, the best strategy in this fight will be to slay a few deacons with a Soul Greatsword, then pull back behind the pillars on the sides of the battlefield, and start another attack on another deacon cluster.
In Phase 2 the Archdeacon and his henchmen appear, and once again the Soul Greatsword is your best tool to clear the way; however, the best way to attack the Archdeacon himself is with Farron Flashsword (or a regular weapon).
Generally speaking, standing around and casting is a bad idea in this battle, as you will get interrupted or overwhelmed quickly. Try instead to stay in motion, and use corners and columns to your advantage. Notice that Soul Greatsword will not bounce off obstacles and can therefore also be used to attack from behind a pillar.

Strategy 3 (Caster/Pyromancy)

With Pyromancy this fight becomes a walk in the park and you don't even have to be a dedicated Pyromancer, I used this strategy with my Sorcerer and only swapped the equipment and spells to Pyro without respecing my attributes. Use Great Chaos Fire Orb for damage and Flash Sweat to buff yourself. This does several things for you: GCFO does a lot of AoE damage which means you don't have to always target the red glowing guy, it's enough to get one that is near him. It kills a lot of other Deacons too which breaks up the cluster so you can easily focus on the main target. Flash Sweat lets you pretty much ignore their fireballs even at VIG20 on NG+.

If you need to run to the other side of the cluster, run behind the pillars to lessen the damage you receive even further. When the boss is down to 50%, run up to the Blue Deacons and kill them as quickly as possible or they will heal the boss. Use the corners of the building in the middle to heal yourself and pull the Cluster around the corner and away from the main boss, leaving him open on the other side. See video above as an example of this strategy, although it was made on NG+ you can apply the same tactics to NG.




First Phase (Red Orb moves from Deacon to Deacon)
Lunge A Deacon will lunge at you with the Cleric's Candlestick for weak damage.
Fireball Some of the Deacons throw fireballs at you.
Second Phase (the Archdeacon Royce appears and get surrounded)
Curse  The Archdeacon Vanguard will congregate and cast a long build up spell that will cover the arena in curse-inflicting fog. Can be interrupted.
Deep Soul Fires dark soul dregs. These souls are drawn towards life, so they will follow you or nearby summons.


Lore Theories

The deacons use pyromancy in addition to the miracles typical of clerics.

Pyromancy is considered heretical in Dark Souls so this shift to pyromancy is probably connected to their fall from grace.

The red aura that hops from deacon to deacon has appeared before in Bloodborne.

This red aura is connected to blood-drunkness, buffs granted by witches, "rot" and Vermin.

Mad Ghru can also obtain a red aura after grabbing you.

The deacons were followers of Aldrich, Devourer of Gods that stayed behind to protect his tomb.

The name of the Archdeacon in this fight is Royce, as indicated by the description of the set found on his corpse after reloading the boss arena.


Notes & Trivia

  • Pontiff's Left Eye Ring is very useful in this fight, due to the clusters of enemies making for good multi-hit opportunities. Spells such as Poison Mist/Poison Spores can also serve as decent crowd-control, simultaneously wiping out a large number of deacons when used properly.
  • Bring a Dagger or Mail Breaker to this fight, as it is very easy to fish for backstabs, assuming your target isn't tightly clustered with the other deacons.
  • Royce is in the boss fight arena for the whole time - during 1st phase, he is inside the coffin. 
  • The Farron Greatsword is particularly useful here, due to its special moveset.
  • If you want to make this fight even easier try to use the Ring of the Evil Eye and if you need FP regen try the Executioner's Greatsword. In NG+, the +1 version of the Ring of the Evil Eye is found right behind the large altar in the area just before the Deacons boss fight.
  • As of App Ver 1.05 Regulation 108, this boss is optional, due to a glitch allowing you to bypass the barrier in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley that requires the Small Doll to go through.




    • Anonymous

      07 Jan 2018 22:20  

      The only way you could possibly die in this fight is with a naked SL1 using a broken Broken Straight Sword. A very underwhelming boss.

      • Anonymous

        05 Jan 2018 10:07  

        Every weapon with a large radius is effective. Mornes hammer is king, great curved swords are queen but an upgraded fire infused whip is deadly for them aswell and requires almost no stat investment. Or try out Pestilent Mist and watch them melting down. Endless options really. Whatever you do just don't be that sunbro that goes into that fight with a dark infused tooth pick.

        • Anonymous

          27 Dec 2017 13:36  

          Usage of an ultra greatsword for this boss fight can be reenacted/experienced in real life by lining up soda cans and swinging a baseball bat.

          • Anonymous

            16 Oct 2017 17:22  

            Alluring Skulls allow you to spin the pack around and buy a couple extra seconds to dive in on the red aura ones that end up in the middle.

            • Anonymous

              15 Oct 2017 21:59  

              Hilariously, if you go to the DLC before this boss you can level up and upgrade your equipment and come back with a fully upgraded weapon, say Hollowslayer.

              • Anonymous

                06 Oct 2017 02:43  

                Curved greatswords work wonders here, especially Old Wolf CGS. Another option is to use some form of long thrusting weapon, since they can reach deeper into the crowd, making it much easier to attack Royce while he's got his bodyguards. But, you can probably also manage this fight just fine with a dagger.

                • Anonymous

                  24 Sep 2017 15:36  

                  First boss I've encountered in the Soul series where my trusty longsword just doesn't work. I actually have to lower myself and use a greatsword like a scrub.

                  • Anonymous

                    17 Sep 2017 13:51  

                    By far the hardest boss in the game when you are doing a bow only challenge run. Borderline impossible unless you get really lucky with enemy positioning as you can't really dps boss and cancel curse at the same time

                    • Anonymous

                      31 Aug 2017 13:36  

                      This is my first rub through and I've never played a souls game before.

                      This boss was super easy for me, I ran into it with no expectations of winning and killed it/them in probably under two minutes.In fact I found the knight guarding the entrance way more difficult lol. The hollow greatsword (I think thats what I used) worked great for everything in the cathedral.

                      The boss was easy but I got to say I found the area pretty frustrating, farron keep was way easier.

                      • Anonymous

                        09 Aug 2017 21:07  

                        I think they've changed a few things. I encounter the giant as soon as i enter the cathedral now and in this fight they go to dark casting much earlier.

                        • Anonymous

                          06 Aug 2017 04:20  

                          I used to scoff at this fight, but it all depends on your level and the NG. A SL1 on NG+7 is going to have a very different experience than a lvl 300 on NG.

                          • Anonymous

                            12 Jul 2017 10:33  

                            "Haha such an easy boss. Can't believe it even is a boss!" Continues on until he is in NG+12 and is one shot by fireball

                            • Anonymous

                              11 Jun 2017 07:51  

                              The curse fog seems to be triggered by the tall deacons in the second phase. Sometimes, one of them will stop moving and just start shooting soul dregs up into the air. If enough of them (3 or 4, it seems) are doing this, it triggers the curse fog. However, if they're staggered (or backstabbed) they will resume their normal "aggressive" tactics, though they may later resume firing soul dregs up if left alone. Notably, if many of the plump or generic deacons start shooting soul dregs up into the air, it does NOT contribute to the curse fog, but instead means that Royce is charging up his deep soul attack. You should quickly stagger him to cancel this attack (should only take one hit, since he has no poise at all).

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