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  Fire Fire Bleed Bleed
Frost Frost

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 (18,750), 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)
  • Weak to Black Knight Greatsword, Black Knight Sword, Black Knight Greataxe, Black Knight Glaive
  • Weak to Dark.
  • Strong against Fire damage.
  • Attacks with Fire and Strike damage.
  • 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.
    • 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 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 a 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 recommend.

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 works here too but triggering them is different. You can out range 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 (Toxic)

Dodge its attacks until you get into range and cast Toxic Mist. Once the boss is poisoned, stay as far away as you can so it can't hit you with its 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 3 (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 4 (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. 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 5 (Pestilent Mercury)

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.



The demon bashes his hammer in the ground, starts turn it around in circles

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 infront 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 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, you can see the Centipede Demon body; reference to 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.

    • 15 Apr 2017 20:07  

      He's the last witness to the chaos of Izalith. I have him waiting for me to finish him, and thought about sparing him..... But, alas, he awaits the cold embrace of death, what cruel fate to deny him the end he deserves.... Goodbye Demon.

      • 11 Mar 2017 21:19  

        Easy as hell with any ranged weapon or spells (besides pyro)

        Melee? ***** you. AOE left right and center, unavoidable and unrollable through ground fire. Meteor spam you can't see. Timing that vary and aren't consistent. Good *****ing luck getting this guy as melee, doesn't matter what gear you have. Bring a friend if you want to survive more than 2 hits.

        • 29 Dec 2016 02:49  

          Pure faith strat: Kite around the room using lighting spears and gnawing abilities. Stay away from him for the most part, but be aware that your lightning spear has a short range and won't always hit.

          • 28 Dec 2016 08:53  

            Well designed boss. At first I attempted the classical big guy dark souls strategy which was trying to roll up against him and hit him during his clunky attacks but that close range fireorb attack he has is extremely strong. Felt like it was much easier once I started just trying to wait patiently for the openings and then get out of range again. His moveset in both the first stage and second stage seemed really diverse and prevented the more cheesy strategies. I had a lot of fun with this one, like I said really nice design.

            • 10 Dec 2016 03:24  

              Personal experience´╝Üif you want Cornyx's set, copy your saves file to a usb drive and summon the swamp girl only. Knight slayer seems to have no estus flask on him...and he often is more likely to draw the demon's attention, so he dies quickly in my runs. Having two ghosts to help you will increase the boss's total health significantly...after Knight slayer's death, you and the swamp girl will face an even stronger boss...and she might not be able to make it alive...
              I also wonder what's the relationship btw the swamp girl and our pyromancy teacher...since the Cornyx's set (no helm) appears beside the cage where we find the old man...

              • 07 Dec 2016 07:54  

                Tried something new that made the old Demon King go down easy... Deep Soul, Dusk Crown Ring, Sage Ring ... you can cast the Deep Souls so fast the damage starts building up, and he seems very susceptible to dark and Deep Soul takes barely any FP and casts fast even w/out the Sage ring

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