Old Demon king

Old Demon King DKS3
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
5301 25,000 Smouldering Lake
Drops Soul of the Old Demon King
Weak Resistant Immune
Dark Dark
Black Knight's weapons 
Fire Fire
Bleed Bleed
Frost Frostbite

Old Demon King Information

Old Demon King is a boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. Burning in the pits of the smouldering lake, the corpses of demons surround him.

  • You can summon Knight Slayer Tsorig to help you fight this enemy. His summon sign becomes available by killing him after he invades. He will invade in the hallway before the collapsing rope bridge. Summon can be found next to the bonfire to the right of the fog gate.
  • You can summon a White Phantom Great Swamp Cuculus to help fight the boss. The sign can be found at the bottom of the stairs directly in front of the fog gate. If you summon her and defeat the boss with her surviving, the Spotted Whip and Cornyx's set will appear where you first rescued Cornyx of the Great Swamp.
  • This boss is optional.



  • The Old Demon King can be found in Smouldering Lake, which can be accessed via collapsing the wooden bridge in the Catacombs of Carthus. The boss room is located to the left of the entrance, behind the Carthus Sandworm.



  • Souls: NG (25,000), NG+ (56,250), NG++ (61,876), NG+3 (84,375), NG+4 (90,000), NG+6 (??), NG+9 (71,790)
  • Souls for Cooperator: NG (6250), NG+(??), NG+3(??), NG+6(???, NG+9(??)
  • Soul of the Old Demon King


Combat Information

  • Health: NG (5301), NG+ (7745), NG++ (8520), NG+3 (8907), NG+4 (9294), NG+5 (10069), NG+6 (10456), NG+7 (10843)
  • Attacks deals Fire Damage and Strike Damage.
  • Weak to black knights weapon (Greatsword, Sword, Greataxe, Glaive) and Dark Damage.
  • Resistant to Fire Damage and Poison/Toxic.
  • Immune to Frostbite and Bleed.
  • Parryable: No
  • Can be poise-broken, what breaks most of his attacks. However, if the player manages to stagger him by hitting his head, he can perform a critical strike.
  • The Old King will release his flame around 10-30% HP, dealing massive damage around him and extinguishing himself, leaving him hunched over on the ground, unable to properly fight. This will not happen if the player manages to defeat him with ONLY either Poison/Toxic Mist or Pestilent Mist.
    • He will try to swipe at you with his left hand if you come close.
    • He will also try to raise his mace to attack but is unable to do so completely as it slams back down to the ground.



Video Strategies

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

The first phase: The best opening is when he slowly vomits lava from your left to right. Just run next to his left leg (your right) and attack a few times before he is done. The next best opening is when he lowers his club to his left side and slowly swings it to his right side. Again move towards his left leg without target lock and dodge the swing behind him. Do not attack yet because he is about to continue with an AoE blast. Keep moving towards the tip of his tail and when you catch it you are far enough to avoid the AoE and take a few swings at the tail. A weapon with a lot of range and wide swipes is recommended.

Staying too long near him and especially in front of him triggers the fast AoE mouth blast. Attacking only a couple of times and then retreating to medium range to wait for openings is easier.

In the second phase: Now Old Demon King has a certain attack pattern: 1-2 melee attacks/combos and then a ranged attack. Usually no two ranged attacks in a row. Same openings as in the first phase work here too but triggering them is different. You can outrange every long range attack of this boss. As you return to medium range to catch his melee attack openings do not stop approaching. Keep moving towards him until he does a melee attack. If he lowers his club for the slow swipe do the same thing as in phase one. If it is any other melee attack you can dodge or even walk under him to get behind him.

Strategy 2 (Sorcerer)

One of the easiest bosses for Sorcerers. Just stay out of range and spam Great Heavy Soul Arrow until the boss is dead. Circle around the pile in the middle of the arena to take cover from his AoE attacks and keep moving.

Strategy 3 (Toxic)

Dodge his attacks until you get into range and cast Toxic Mist. Once the boss is poisoned, stay as far away as you can so he can't hit you with his spells. When the toxic wears off, get close and reapply it. Four rounds of toxic should do it.

The Storyteller's Staff's  weapon art is also very effective and a single cast will nearly defeat the boss by itself. One or two attacks will be enough for the poison to finish him off without having to reapply it.


Strategy 4 (Bow)

The Old Demon King can be easily defeated using a bow if you have a shield with good fire damage mitigation like the Dragon Crest Shield. Other than his fire spray attack, which you should block, there is nothing he can do to you if you keep your distance.

He moves slowly enough that it's possible to simply shoot him whenever he stops to perform an attack and continue to run away without him ever getting a chance to hit you; at some point in the fight, he'll start moving a bit faster, but it's still not fast enough to run you down.

It also helps to take advantage of one of the two mounds of corpses in the arena. Circle around one walking backwards, keeping your distance, and dodging the lava spew, lava AoE, and meteor attacks. Combined with the Cloranthy Ring, the Grass Crest Shield, and lots of careful rolling, this boss becomes almost trivial.


Strategy 5 (Pyromancy)

This fight will either be near impossible or very easy depending on how far you've advanced your pyromancies. The boss is extremely resistant to fire spells, so your best bet instead is to attack him with non-fire pyromancies. Boulder Heave will work, but your very best bet is getting access to Karla's Dark Pyromancies

Using Black Fire Orb will make this an easy fight. Stay at range and evade his melee attacks, which have relatively limited range. During Phase II, the only attack you have to worry about is his expanding fire circle. You can either move out of range, or roll through it at the right time to dodge the damage. Whenever he casts a spell, he leaves himself open to several Black Fire Orbs. When he summons the meteor shower, simply run until the meteors explode. At around 20% hp the boss will collapse and explode. As long as you outrange this explosion, the fight is essentially over, since the Old Demon King will simply lay there and not attack anymore. 

If you do not have access to Karla yet, another method would be using Black Serpent, although the hit rates are not that reliable, as it travels on the ground and the only hitbox it has to do with are the legs of the Old Demon King.


Strategy 6 (Pestilent Mist)

For pyromancers which do not have access to Karla, pestilent mercury might be a good spell to use (30 int requirement). This works for sorcerers as well but would most likely not need it as they have their normal spells. You can cast pestilent mercury around a large pillar in the boss arena and run around it, letting the old demon king chase you, evading his attacks and damaging him at the same time.



First Phase
Swing The demon will swing his hammer, causing fire and melee damage, beware AOE, move under the attack, toward the weapon, or get behind or below him.

Fire Ring


The demon will conjure a circle of fire that will move inwards or outwards from him, can be blocked or dodged through.



The demon bashes his hammer in the ground and then starts to turn it in circles above his head.

Fire Glyph

The demon bashes his hammer in the ground, linear trails of fire covering different directions will emit from the center.  Take Evasive Action.

Meteor Rain

A phase two move, multiple slow flaming rocks will fall towards the player. Slight tracking. If you are quick, hit and run works. Evasive action and use of pillars to absorb shots is effective.

Lava Breath

The demon will spew lava at those in front of him. He will move his head to extend his AOE. His range is short and those flanking him or under him can smack him.


Lore Theories

  • The Old Demon King is the oldest and the last remaining witness of the chaos of Izalith. "The shriveled Old Demon King is now like a clump of burnt ash, but he is the last living witness of the Chaos of Izalith." - Soul of the Old Demon King.
  • "This weapon has survived since old Izalith, and is imbued with remnants of the Chaos Flame." - Old King's Great Hammer.


  • If, when you've entered the arena, you go straight forward and then, look carefully up on the left side on top of the pile of dead demons that are surrounding the whole area, f.e. Centipede Demon body, a boss from Dark Souls.
  • During the second phase of the fight, if the player listens carefully to the song playing, they can hear a small slightly remixed excerpt of the Bed Of Chaos's theme.

    • Anonymous

      13 Mar 2018 04:36  

      Note for the unwary: When he uses his sweeping fire breath, don't hit him in the legs mid-animation. His head will jerk down towards his feet and bathe you in pain.

      • Anonymous

        30 Dec 2017 16:59  

        "What do I do Lord? 'Destroy the child. Corrupt them all.' These are their plans people, these are demons." - Alex Jones

        • Anonymous

          30 Dec 2017 05:53  

          Imagine being the last surviving member of an infamous demon race, and your last memory was a dude that is 4x shorter than you who kept stabbing you in the ass.

          • Anonymous

            29 Nov 2017 02:25  

            I literally just do low lvl runs nowadays and a dark hand beating the crap outta this guy's crotch makes him a pathetically simple boss. Using an NPC summon (Cuculus) makes it even easier since he seems to have an odd tendency to occasionally acknowledge cuculus over me. Maybe because I'm behind his immediate line of sight?

            • Anonymous

              25 Nov 2017 20:28  

              Am I the only one that feels bad about killing this guy? Dark Souls 3 was my first introduction into the trilogy and back then I didn't really care about the lore. But now that I know about how you're basically making a species extinct made me feel really bad.

              • Anonymous

                06 Nov 2017 13:09  

                Stay CLOSE to him the whole time, except when he delivers his AoE attack, and be patient.
                (claymore +4, no shield, original knight armor)
                Oh after Orphan of Kos and Laurence, the first Vicar, all fights seem so easy...

                • Anonymous

                  27 Oct 2017 08:06  

                  lmfao i just died to him AFTER he sizzled out because I walked under his hammer not thinking it would hurt me when he drops it.

                  • Anonymous

                    02 Oct 2017 07:52  

                    For struggling pyromancers, Toxic Mist makes this fight a total joke. Took me about 1 1/2 cast duration of Toxic mist to inflict him with the condition; it takes off over half of his HP. All you have to do is run up at the start, inflict it then dance till halfway through; cast again when it runs out and dance for the rest of the fight.

                    • Anonymous

                      30 Sep 2017 00:05  

                      Tip for keeping Cuculus alive: KEEP THE PRESSURE ON.

                      Do everything in your power to keep his focus off Cuculus. You might as well summon Tsorig as well, just to reduce the chances of the ODK aggroing on Cuculus. She has SUCH low health, and only two or three hits will likely sizzle her to a crisp. For maximum defense against his fire and strike damage, utilize the Black Iron armor. Most of ODK's pyromancies should deal minimal damage, so maybe don't bother running away from his ring of fire or lava breath, but instead take the opportunity to give him a beat down. Also try and use a Black Knight weapon, if you've got one upgraded enough (the Black Knight sword is found in the Demon Ruins, thankfully). As for rings, Fire Stoneplate is an obvious go-to, and maybe Chloranthy for keeping the pressure on.

                      When he reaches that final 30-10%, and you notice him becoming lethargic, SHOW HIM THE MEANING OF PAIN. Cuculus, being the total dumbass that she is, will probably hang pretty close and inevitably get caught by his colossal fire blast, likely incinerating her. OBLITERATE him before he gets the chance.

                      If Cuculus dies, don't bother fighting anymore. Just use a homeward bone/coiled sword fragment and get out, or hell, just let ODK squash you. If you kill him and Cuculus isn't present, you're not getting the Cornyx set or the Spotted Whip. Thankfully, her summon sign should still appear outside the boss room so long as ODK is still alive. (Also watch out for Cuculus getting one-shotted by the giant Avelyn, lol.)

                      When I finally managed to beat ODK without Cuculus dying, she had so little HP left, I couldn't even see the red in her health meter. The real boss fight is apparently time itself.

                      • Anonymous

                        22 Jun 2017 21:51  

                        First boss I killed on first try without any help. Used a +6(or maybe 5?) Dark Sword two handed, and all 10 Estus +6. Just roll under his hammer and hack away at his legs and tail. It should be pretty easy to get behind him. Every now and then you have to eat his AoE attacks but that's why you use the Estus.

                        Almost died right at the very end when he exploded. Then he took a knee and basically waited for me to finish him off. Kinda sad actually... never seen a boss admit their defeat like this before.

                        • Anonymous

                          18 Jun 2017 22:54  

                          Did they buff him? I just killed Wolnir in less than 1 1/2 minute and went to him. He just crushed me for the 7 attempts. Also, the mobs inside the Smouldering Lake seems to be a lot stronger since the first time I played DS3 (about a year ago).

                          • Anonymous

                            06 Jun 2017 22:14  

                            It might be a good idea to leave this boss alone for the sole purpose of having something to kill when you send Greirat to Irithyll.

                            • Anonymous

                              30 May 2017 18:29  

                              well, he is quite easy to defeat, i did it with my first attempt. Just took both Tsorg and Cornyx, and used a black knight sword in his first phase, and a bow with poison arrows in the second.

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