High Lord Wolnir

General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
15,041 22,000 Catacombs of Carthus
Drops Soul of High Lord Wolnir
Weak Resistant Immune
Blessed weapons Dark Dark PoisonPoison & Toxic
Bleed Bleed
Frost Frost


High Lord Wolnir Information

High Lord Wolnir is a boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. This colossal skeleton is imbued in deadly darkness and commands an army of skeletons to his defense.

  • You can't summon a phantom inside the room with the goblet. However, you are able to summon a phantom right before the door.
  • Not optional: must be defeated in order to traverse further into Irithyll of the Boreal Valley.



  • Catacombs of Carthus, at the very end, up the stairs past the suspension bridge.
  • You need to touch the goblet on the altar in front of the stairs in order to trigger a cut scene and be transported in the arena.



  • Souls: NG (22000), NG+ (86,000), NG++ (96800), NG+3 (99000), NG+4 (105,600), NG+6 (??), NG+9 (112,200)
  • Other: Soul of High Lord Wolnir
  • Pickup in arena: Grave Warden Pyromancy Tome. If you didn't pick it up, it will spawn in the corner of the room with the bonfire next to the stairs.


Combat Information

  • Health: NG (15041), NG+ (27752), NG++ (30527), NG+3 (31915), NG+4 (33302), NG+5 (36078), NG+6 (37465), NG+7 (38853)
  • Weak to Blessed weapons (Farron Greatsword, Wolf Knight’s Greatsword, Anri's Straight Sword)
  • Attacks with Dark damage and physical damage on his sword attacks (use a 100% physical shield)
  • You do not have to break his shackles to kill him, although they take off significant chunks of his health when destroyed. Breaking all 3 shackles kills him regardless of remaining HP
  • The band on his right hand (your left) is harder to hit as Wolnir doesn't leave it down as long. Thus, it's recommended to break that one first during the easier part of the fight.
  • May spawn a sword at any time. (no bracelets are required to be broken)
  • Permanent cloud of dark coming out of his ribcage. Getting caught in this almost gurantees instant death.
  • He will move towards you if you go too far away. After doing this 3-5 times you'll be trapped against the wall and vulnerable to his dark cloud aura. However, he pulls back a good distance every time you break one of his shackles.



Video Strategies

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

Wolnir is a deceptive boss to fight. On the one hand, he can be very easy if you know how to beat him, but conversely he has several attacks that can kill you very quickly. The key to the fight is breaking the shackles on his wrists. He has a huge pool of HP and while it's perfectly possible to kill him without breaking the shackles, it's not advisable. Each shackle breaking takes 1/3rd of his HP away.

When you enter the fight, make a bee-line for his right hand (your left). This shackle is the hardest to break as he moves this arm a lot and only attacks with it when he has his sword in play. Take a strong weapon and two hand it to deal maximum damage. He tends to keep his right arm near to his rib cage which Is covered with a localised dark cloud. Be careful when attacking this shackle as you can easily take damage from the cloud. If he somehow manages to get you cornered in the other side of the arena, don't be a fraid to go nuts on the other shackles in an attempt to force him back.

Once you have broken the right shackle, move to the left hand and continue trying to break the other shackles. When you've broken a shackle, Wolnir will start summoning skeletons of varying stature, from regular skeleton soldiers all the way up to bonewheels. You can largely ignore these enemies as his Melee attacks will normally kill them. Only engage them if they're likely to do any damage to you. Focus instead on the shackles.

He spawns different skeletons depending on how many bracelents he has remaining. All bracelets: 3-4 normal skeletons, 2 bracelets he will spawn 3-4 normal skeletons and 2-3 bonewheel skeletons, and with 1 bracelet remainimg he will spawn 2 murakumo wielding skeletons, 2 wheel skeletons and 5 normal skeletons. His normal attacks can harm the summoned skeletons and he usually kills most of them quickly. This phase can be avoided altogether if you manage to kill him quickly.

During the fight, if he lifts his head right up, run to the back of the boss room as he is about to breathe his dark cloud attack. This will deal enormous amounts of damage very quickly to you. Once he's done this attack, he'll claw his way closer to the back of the room. When he's as far up as he can go, the breath becomes a major issue. Instead of running to the back wall which will still result in death, run between his head and his ribs. The cloud attack moves forwards from his mouth, not backwards. There's only a small sweet spot where you won't take damage so be careful.

Lastly, when he brings his sword out, roll under the swipes to avoid taking damage. When he dismisses it, he will smash it into the ground and cause an AoE attack. This does physical damage and is largely unavoidable, so when you see him go to stab it into the ground use a 100% physical damage reduction shield. It'll stagger you, but you'll not take damage from the AoE.


Strategy 2 (Magic)

Start by moving towards Wolnir to prevent him pushing you against the back wall early on. Proceed to target Wolnir's golden bracelets (either side) and move in close, hit him a few times with a Farron Flashsword or Soul Greatsword then back off as he will attack now. Roll back to dodge his attacks then simply attack his bracelets once he places his hands back down.

Quickly target the next bracelet and get some good hits in (run up and Farron Flashsword/Soul Greatsword or Heavy/Great Soul Arrow from a distance) then be prepared for his next attack (watch carefully for his deadly breath attack, get as far away as possible to avoid it) while avoiding the skeletons that have now spawned. Wait until Wolnir wipes the skeletons away and continue the onslaught from afar or close-up. Rinse thoroughly and repeat. 


Strategy 3 (Sorcery with White Dragon Breath on NG+)

All you need is the spell White Dragon Breath and your standard Sorcerer equipment. When you enter the room, run to the far right side and target his left (your right) hand. Position yourself so that his bracelet is between you and the white target dot and cast WDB when his arm is down. After 2 full hits the bracelet shatters, rinse & repeat with the remaining ones. If you are quick enough he won't spawn a single enemy, the whole fight you see in the video above was over in 60 sec. Sadly this only works on NG+ because you get WDB later in the game.


Strategy 4 (Pyromancy)

With Great Chaos Fire Orb and +Pyromancy rings (Great Swamp Ring,Witch's Ring and Fire Clutch Ring) you can use both the initial damage burst as well as the short-lingering lava to break the shackles with little to no effort. As you enter the room, grab the tome and head to the left side of the room. Attack and break his right (your left) bangle before you move to the others since it's the hardest to hit and keep track of. Once you break that bangle, it's very likely he will either crawl up the hill or raise his head up to use his cursed breath attack. Just stay back and make your way to the right side of the room to his left hand and repeat the process on the remaining bangles. If he summons skeletons, your Great Chaos Fire Orb will make short work of them. Once you break 2 bangles, they become much stronger, so take out his right hand first! Make sure to dodge the hand strikes and move away from Wolnir's sword as well as his fist strikes and swipes and you are home free!


Attack Name Attack Description
Dark Cloud Raises and  releases a dark damage smoke cloud from his mouth that does heavy damage per second.
Has a safe spot under his head which, unlike running away, is much less likely to trigger him to move forward. Be careful of moving too far forward or to either side and hitting the cloud around his ribcage.
Summon skeletons Summons a group of skeletons using his left hand. He spawns different skeletons depending on how many bracelents he has remaining. His normal attacks can harm the summoned skeletons and he usually kills most of them quickly.
Sword summon Invokes a gigantic sword from the ground using his right hand and swipes it towards you. He can unsummon the sword by sticking it into the ground, when this happens it deals AOE damage.
Crawl Advances towards the player if he is too far to attack. Usually does this right after releasing the smoke cloud to push the player towards the back wall.
Hand slam Slams his hand down on the player with substantial tracking.
Hand swipe Sweeps the arena with his left arm, threatening damage over a large area.


Lore Theories

  • Wolnir does not seem to be in control of the Abyss that he is in and instead fears it, as once the bracelets are destroyed, he is devoured by the darkness.
  • "When Wolnir fell to the Abyss, he was gripped by a fear of true darkness, and pleaded to the gods for the first time. This holy sword, together with three armlets stripped from the corpses of clerics, gave him some semblance of comfort." - Wolnir's Holy Sword.



Notes & Trivia

  • Exploit: If you run all the way back after you enter the area, Wolnir will follow you until it can no longer do so. Head to either side and stay near Wolnir's wrists, and then continue to attack his bracelets. None of his attacks will hit you, although the skeletons he summons will still target you.
  • He takes much more damage on his bracelets before waking up (first one was two swings of a fire broadsword+2, others were 6 or so).
  • From footage of older trailer Wolnir was apparently meant to be in a different place, or have a different arena.
  • While time consuming, it is actually possible to kill Wolnir without breaking a single one of his bracelets; even having a different death animation if this is done.
  • Oddly, if the player instanly follows Wolnir once he is killed, they will simply see a wall where the Abyss is supposed to be; Wolnir simply disappears.



    • 29 Nov 2016 02:48

      used a Wolfknight Greatsword +2 beat him first go. Attack the bracelets hitting your left (his right) first. Can be easily beaten quickly before any skeletons are summoned.

      • 24 Nov 2016 16:06

        got crazy on the bracelets, stay close to him but not too close to his chest, you can avoid almost all of his attacks and kill him so quickly you wont have to deal with anything else.

        bracelets are key guys

        • 12 Nov 2016 15:56

          I have a question for the creators and supporters of this wiki: Can you tell all the storylines that fail when defeating a Boss before talking to the correct NPCs? Would be a great help! Sincerely, an Ashen One

          • 24 Oct 2016 15:28

            special thanks to this great man and his great spirits of love for restoring joy and happiness back into my love life. Now am so happy that my girlfriend is back into my hands again, all thanks to Dr Garuba.
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            • For the Pyromancer Strategy...10 Oct 2016 09:52

              I'd reccommend having a straight sword or dagger in your right hand Infused with a Fire Gem, sine it scales with the Fire Clutch ring, or Anri's Straight Sword, if your heartless enough to murder her.<br/>

              • Unexpededly Easy03 Oct 2016 05:50

                Either he's bugged, or he's just that easy, but with a single phantom summoned and using the Wolf Knight Greatsword +2 we knock him out in about 30 seconds flat. He never summons anything. No skellies, no sword.<br/><br/>After the utter hell of the Smouldering Lake, though, I was ***** grateful.

                • Bridge???02 Oct 2016 03:10

                  Directly after I killed Wolnir, I sprinted down to where he fell and I saw some bridge-like structure back there but I couldn't make it closer because I was warped out. Can anyone else confirm this?

                  • +7 Bracelet HP06 Sep 2016 08:51

                    Currently running this ***** on +7 without a phantom in my world the bracelets appear to break around 10 swings but it seems like it takes 3 or so more for each additional phantom I summoned. Wolnir is officially the hardest boss in DS3 (+6/+7/+8/+9 statistically)

                    • Easiest boss ever05 Sep 2016 02:06

                      In all my playthroughs he never summoned anything, not even his sword, never hit me with any attack either, is he bugged on offline mode or something? Running ver1.00

                      • FYI31 Aug 2016 09:37

                        If you get all the way back, the battle is not over. If he does the fog breath thing (Dark Cloud at the attack chart. Nice game btw), move right or left all the way the area allows you to, next to his hand, right before his body fog. Neither the breath nor the body fog will hit you. After you locate the places I'm mentioning (two of them, since you can do this from either of his sides), he becomes a walk in the park every time.

                        • Trivia/Lore Theory11 Aug 2016 18:54

                          His armlets are whats keeping the abyss at bay for him. When you kill him by destroying the armlets you see him being dragged down into the abyss, no longer protected from it.

                          • Boss Souls Trick01 Aug 2016 13:39

                            Here is something that will help your soul count when defeating Bosses or Mini Bosses. Put on your Silver Serpent Ring and Shield of Want. After you defeat any Boss, once they go down there is a delay before they award the souls for the kill. Pull up your menu and immediately switch your headgear for the Symbol of Avarice. Apparently it gives you credit as if you had it on the whole fight. Greatly boosts the souls you get. Just beat Wolnir in NG++ and got 226,000 souls. Worked for the Old Demon King too. 196,000. It will be lower for NG but it will definitely help you. Hope it works for you.

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