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, Bracelets

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 with 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 (110,000), 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)
  • Deals Standard Damage and Dark Damage. Permanent cloud dealing dark damage coming out of his ribcage. Getting caught in this almost guarantees instant death.
  • Weak to weapons with the Blessed infusion and weapons that deal extra damage to Abyssal foes. (Farron Greatsword, Wolf Knight’s Greatsword, Anri's Straight Sword)
  • Medium resistance to Dark Damage.
  • Immune to Frostbite and Bleed 
  • Resistant to Poison and Toxic
  • May spawn a sword at any time (no bracelets are required to be broken).
  • 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 afraid 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 remaining 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 RingWitch'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 bracelets 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When Wolnir is asleep, his HP is lower by about 2/3, comparing to state, when he is not asleep.
  • Pestilent Mist does not wake him up, what makes him very easy to kill.
  • Killing Wolnir with at least 1 remaining bracelet will trigger different death animation.
  • Oddly, if the player instantly follows Wolnir once he is killed, they will simply see a wall where the Abyss is supposed to be; Wolnir simply disappears.





    • Anonymous

      17 Feb 2018 22:38  

      I broke all of those magic pots in the room because I thought the boss would activate them, and then he just teleports us away..

      • Anonymous

        09 Feb 2018 09:39  

        Okay, maybe I shouldn't have wiki'd this boss. Just rushing for the shackles totally trivializes the fight. Each shackle only took 4 hits with +3 BKS. Fight only lasted about 15 seconds and took no damage. I feel cheap now.

        • Anonymous

          03 Feb 2018 22:44  

          His bracelets break easily with a few great heavy soul arrows. Even with heavy and great soul arrows if you can't afford the requirement for the first.

          • Anonymous

            03 Feb 2018 21:33  

            This boss is broken for summons. I’ve been summoned several times to help out with this boss and the moment I arrive my health drops instantly, as if I’m in his fog cloud, despite me being a very far distance away that not even his breath should reach me. I can only lag is the issue but it has never been this bad this consistently.

            • Anonymous

              22 Jan 2018 15:26  

              Just saying, but if you have atleast 30intel, just buy Pestilent Mist and don't even bother. When you get in the boss room, cast it on his right arm and watch his hp go down. Might take some casts to get him fully down, but it is the simplest and easiest way to defeat Wolnir.

              As for people who care about the tome that Wolnir guards, you can pick it up when he is nearly dead or you can pick it up right after you kill him : before you take the stairs, in a little space on the left there will be the pyromancy tome.

              • Anonymous

                12 Jan 2018 08:29  

                I simply use Pestilent Mist on his hand(or leg?) before picking up the item in front of him
                and it doesn't make him hostile, by the time his heath is almost reached 0 I walk in and pick up the item and start the fight not long after his name shows up he die.

                • Anonymous

                  05 Jan 2018 03:23  

                  I was thinking through which bosses were morally "good," "neutral," and "evil," but for some reason I can't really decide what Wolnir is. Most bosses have deep connections to each other or have some sort of purpose that helps you to understand their placement in the story, but Wolnir is just kind of... there. I suppose he has something to do with the Abyss Watchers, since they guard the entrance to Carthus, but all it says about him is that he conquered other unspecified kingdoms and eventually fell to the Abyss, then decided it was a good time to start praying to the gods.

                  The fact that he lead a pointless conquest makes him kind of evil, but maybe he was just overly ambitious, which is what attracted the Abyss. In the end, I feel like they just needed an excuse to put a big-ass skeleton in the game. And I'm cool with that.

                  • Anonymous

                    27 Dec 2017 13:08  

                    When Wolnir does the move where he kinda sets his head higher and vomits out darkness, you can avoid being hit by it, by being in the immediate area of the bracelets. The darkness only moves up the slope, and does not move downward.

                    • Anonymous

                      26 Dec 2017 02:00  

                      Is it just because I played Bloodborne before DS3 or are the bosses up to Pontiff Sullyvahn actually so ridiculously easy? First tried everyone, needed 2 attempts for Abyss Watchers.

                      • Anonymous

                        15 Dec 2017 20:20  

                        Don't be like me and assume a blessed reinforced club +4 at 12ish faith would work wonders on this guy. Took around 10 hits or so per bracelet to break. Ended up just breaking out the pyro and nuked him.

                        • Anonymous

                          17 Nov 2017 13:49  

                          Hope this helps: I´ve wasted 3 tries / embers trying to attack him and evading the fog, the skeletons and his sword - was very hectic and resulted in pain. :)
                          I then switched strategy and killed him on my 1. try (unembered) by just ignoring everything else and keep slashing the bracelets. After the second one broke I just kept on slashing his hand until he went back in his goblet.
                          Two-handed my uchi+7: Did exactly 6x R1 attacks (stamina gauge empty), waited a second, rolled away, rolled back to the same hand, waited ~3 secs until gauge was full again (Grass Crest Shield + Chloranthy Ring) - repeated until first bracelet broke. Changed targeted hand when the bracelet was destroyed and just did the same (bracelet broke after 3x 6 R1 attacks), keep on slashing after the second brakes ==> Victory!

                          • Anonymous

                            09 Nov 2017 19:03  

                            Easy cheese using Pestilent Mercury and Storyteller Staff (took me 2 uses of it's weapon art to poison him).

                            Just walk up to his hand on the right side without waking him, use the staff's weapon arts until he's poisoned and keep Pestilent Mercury up.

                            • Anonymous

                              07 Nov 2017 18:29  

                              You can get White Dragon Breath before facing him, just kill the Dancer, go through the Consumed Kings Garden, kill Oceiros and transpose the spell.

                              • Anonymous

                                15 Oct 2017 19:31  

                                I just sort of ran at him with sellsword twinblades and 40 dex and just steamrolled him. Fight was over in less than 30s and took no damage.

                                • Anonymous

                                  25 Sep 2017 16:51  

                                  Holy*****, this dude was so broken the last time I fought him. I broke the two bracelets on his left hand first, then moved to his right hand, but this *****er WOULD NOT STOP SPAMMING HIS SWORD. He would summon the sword, then immediately slam it down for the AoE, which wasn't a problem on its own considering if you stand against the side walls, literally none of his attacks besides his dark cloud will hit you. However, he did this so frequently that I could not for the life of me get a chance to hit his last damn bracelet.

                                  I had to re-equip myself mid-fight with the Dragonslayer Greatbow (again, sticking to the side walls makes you virtually invincible) just to snipe his damn bracelet, which is easier said than done considering how much he moves his right arm. Thankfully, he never once summoned his skeleton soldiers, despite he had about ten minutes to do so. I guess you have to be a pretty good distance for him to do that, but I stuck pretty close.

                                  He's a cool boss in terms of design and situation, but my god is he broken.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    17 Sep 2017 04:51  

                                    He is highly Poison "Resistant." Not Immune, tested not 5m ago. Not tested yet but Toxin should work as well.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      11 Sep 2017 04:39  

                                      When I wanted to kill him in ng+ I broke all boxes and vases before going to boss fight and I didn't get any skeleton army inside boss fight like the first time,
                                      I don't know if it was coincidence or not
                                      It is not a hard boss to beat but it was interesting

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