Slave Knight Gael Information
Slave Knight Gael is a Boss enemy in Dark Souls 3, available with The Ringed City DLC and could be considered the final boss of the entire series. He is an aberration created by consuming the Dark Soul of Man.
- Slave Knight Gael is found at Filianore's Rest. He can be seen consuming the Pygmy Lords to obtain the Dark Soul of Man.
- He can be first encountered as a non-hostile NPC in the Cleansing Chapel of The Cathedral of the Deep, serving as an entrance to the Painted World of Ariandel, should you own the DLC. See the Slave Knight Gael NPC page for full dialogue and information.
- Souls: NG (120,000), NG+ (240,000), NG++ (255,000), NG+3 (264,000), NG+4 (270,000), NG+5 (288,000), NG+6 (294,000), NG+7 (300,000), NG+9 (306,000)
- Co-Op Souls: 30,000 in NG
- Soul of Slave Knight Gael
- Blood of the Dark Soul
- Health: NG (14,985), NG+ (??), NG++ (??), NG+3 (??), NG+4 (19,842), NG+5 (??), NG+6 (??), NG+7 (??)
- Parriable: No
- No NPC summon available for this fight.
- Gael's attacks deals Standard, Strike (whole battle), Dark and Thrust (2nd and 3rd phase) damage.
- During 3rd phase there are thunders, which appears either at random location at the boss fight arena or where Dark Soul projectile landed. Those thunders deal Lightning damage.
- Gael can be staggered, which breaks most of his attacks. Staggering 1st phase Gael is much easier than 2nd/3rd phase Gael.
- If during 2nd or 3rd phase player manage to stagger Gael by hitting his head, he can perform a critical strike, but time for performing this action is very short. 1st phase Gael can't be riposted, even if properly staggered.
- Abyssal enemy, therefore weak to Farron Greatsword and Wolf Knight's Greatsword.
- During whole fight, Gael is weak to Strike Damage, Frostbite and Poison/Toxic.
- During whole fight, Gael is resistant to Bleed and Slash Damage. Also, during 2nd and 3rd phase he is resistant towards Dark Damage.
- At the end of first phase, Gael turns Hollow. Therefore, he additionally becomes weak to Hollowslayer Greatsword.
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- Gael is susceptible to stagger, the heavier the weapon, the easier it is for it to occur.
- Early on in the fight as Gael comes towards you, he is liable to jump into the air with a pink aura surrounding him. After a second, he will fly towards you very quickly. Should this attack connect, you will be impailed and take massive damage. Instead, dodge it and get 1 or 2 hits in.
- Gael's attacks look faster than they are. This is due to Gael having fast movements, his feet are faster than his arms, making his attacks seem to have erratic timing. Best timing to attack is after he ends his combos with a leaping attack as you can get a couple hits in. Be aware, some of the leaps are longer than the others. Time your dodge well or you'll take massive damage.
- When Gael does his plunging stab without any combo beforehand, he has more air time than a basketball player. Wait for the last moment to dodge and get an attack in. Should he attack first, THEN do the plunging stab, it will come down faster usually.
- Gael has a lunging stab that initiates an animation that does more damage to you if it hits. When dodged correctly, you can get 1-2 hits even with a heavy weapon. Do note, in order to get a successful dodge attack off, judge the distance between you and Gael and dodge accordingly, as you might end up being too far for your weapon to reach.
- Gael's attacks are followed up by his cloak, with a range slightly longer than his blade. Also, most of his attacks come in pairs, do not think to attack him right after his first attack.
- When Gael casts Way of White Corona, if you are at mid-distance, it will not hit you initially as it spreads out but keep in mind it will come back to Gael. It is best to get behind his initial casting position. A good way to get behind him is to roll through the initial cast of the miracle, attack him once, dodge his follow up, and skirt around behind him. This will usually take enough time for the Way of White Corona to be on its return.
- Gael's cloak usually acts as an extension of his blade, with the exception of his forward stab, where it will come slightly after.
- Vertical smashes and thrusts have a poor horizontal tracking so if you are near the boss, you can simply run or even walk right to avoid them.
- Gael has a similar attack to phase one where he will fly into the air and rocket towards you. Except in this phase, you will not be impaled, but it does have a small explosion from his cape. The timing of this dodge is delicate but it allows you to get in a free hit.
- Horizontal swings are difficult to dodge. When close to Gael, always roll towards the attack. If there is little room between you two, safest thing to do is to roll away from him and wait if he finishes two slashes with a highly punishable thrust.
- When Gael teleports to you, he is preparing for a spinning attack. This is difficult to roll out of as you have to dodge his blade AND his cloak. Easy way to evade this attack is to dash away from his position and he will spin nonetheless.
- Gael will release several soul like projectiles upon this phase starting but it should not be a problem if you are constantly evading his attacks. Lightning will have markers on the ground and the souls are easy to dodge. The souls will poorly track towards you and make their way into the ground which is what causes the lightning. Getting hit by the souls doesn't do much damage, but the lightning strikes incredibly hard and will floor you and leave you open to Gael's assault. A good way to just avoid this attack all together is just run in the complete opposite direction as he pauses and stays in place while the souls explode from him.
- His attack from phase two where he rockets towards you in mid air now gets 2 follow up attacks so wait for the third one before countering. Should you fail the dodge on the initial strike and just decide to block, you may die from the second and third attacks if you get your guard broken. The second attack will also release skulls which go straight for the ground and cause lightning so do not linger after you counter his third attack.
- STAY CLOSE TO MID RANGE. He usually does three attack combos. Thrust openings are still the best.
- A good opening is also when he jump smashes Abyss Watcher style and without homing skulls (04:16). This is has a very obvious tell of him running at you, then slamming the sword down. He will do an air spin follow up with a sword slam. Counter this and bait this as much as you can as it's the easiest to counter and avoid.
- There is a variant of the attack in the previous point where he won't do a running slam, but a straight up slam. He will still do an air spin, but he will delay the slam to shoot you with the crossbow, then come smashing down, and THEN go for a third quick Abyss Watchers air slam. This final attack you can counter safely.
- While staying in the arena like part of the map with the ruins seems like a good idea (and is) for all phases, do not forget how massive this map is. Should one area get too hot with lightning, just relocate. He may teleport behind you so be ready for that.
Strategy 1 (Melee)
Using an Ultra Greatsword/Greatsword will easily stagger Gael however, make sure you have enough stamina to dodge afterwards, as most of his combos have 3-4 attacks. If you use any other melee weapons, be sure that they have a good attack range, otherwise you have to stick very closely to him. I'm talking to you curved sword users out there. Do not be afraid of charging a heavy attack right after he does a plunging stab. When Gael's right shoulder is facing you and he looks like he finished a combo, be wary as he may execute a sweeping attack out of nowhere. In phase 2/3, it is recommended to dodge towards him as his range is extended by his cloak, also to get into range for an attack. The cloak usually acts as an extension with the exception of his forward stab, where the cloak comes slightly after. Recommended to sprint away when he teleports to you, you can easily evade it that way. As for the repeating crossbow shots, it is better to sprint away instead of rolling, as some of the bolts may catch you when you get out of your roll.
Below is a playbook on how to beat him.
- Gael kicks off the fight by galloping towards you on all fours. Don't be fooled by his terrible motor skills. He is a one-shot tank build with great speed, and if he doesn't one-shot you, he will require you to drink one Estus to keep from being one-shotted, and that happens very easily.
- Gael's moments where he throws his bigger melee attacks, like his jumping attacks, are moments to use Estus, but you only have 1-3 seconds to get in damage, so you would have to use your Estus immediately.
- Gael has a combo where he yells in frustration. Trying to dodge through this combo will compromise your stamina, so it is recommended to prepare for this eventuality by already being spaced out enough. The player wants about 30 feet, since the player is waiting for Gael to throw heavy anyway.
- A large potion of this whole fight can be solved by focusing on the heavy aerial attacks thrown by Gael. When Gael is in his base form, before the first cutscene, he does a jumping attack, and a lunging attack where his sword glows red, and this is a good time to hit him. However, expect a counter-attack, so give yourself about two seconds to hit him during these punishments. The rest of it is being able to counter-attack at the right time after these heavy aerial attacks, while making sure you have ~80 points of stamina for dodging and sprinting.
- A large portion of the post-cutscene part of the fight takes place in an area with a large brick wall. This wall can be used to space out Gael from the player, so the player may heal.
- Gael has an attack where he shoots out golden discs of faith magic. You want to dodge roll to the left to get in-between these, and be circling so they avoid you completely and you don't use too much stamina.
- Gale will use attacks of varying speed, Gael is going to power up after the second cutscene, which happens during the fight. Keep about fifteen feet from him, and avoid the invisible walls and other wall-like objects. This whole sub-phase is about waiting for Gael to do his lunging attack, which may be followed up with a heavy counter attack.
- From now on, Gael may do a jumping or lunging attack. The player has to look and see if he is queueing up to swing after such an attack, so do not hit him unless he has thrown an attack where he seems to struggle to heave himself to attack. So the player's queue is to wait for Gael to get tired while doing these follow-up attacks, and then attack, but expect a counter!
- In the end phases of the fight, it is important to watch Gael's weapons, and hands. He will summon red orbs and lightning, but the red orbs can be spaced out with sprint, and there will be bright spots on the ground where the lightning will hit. These may hit Gael, but they only do extremely minor damage.
Strategy 2 (Melee/Faith)DO NOT USE DARK DAMAGE/DARK WEAPONS/DARK BLADE. This boss will most certainly punish the greedy and overly aggressive. Tears of Denial, 60 faith, fast weapons like a longsword or curved sword. (Rapiers work well also) with lightning blade and Yorshka's chime should make this fight go well. With Gael, it is a battle of attrition. Due to his high health pool and high damage, quick but sustained damage is key. If he gets away from you a sunlight spear or lightning arrow miracle is good poke damage. First phase a shield will work also, just watch for his forward leaping attack as it's a grab that you cannot block. When he screams roll away, as he will either do a three hit flurry or a four hit flurry, ending in a leaping attack. This leap attack gives you ample amounts of time to do some damage. Phase two and three I DO NOT recommend blocking attacks, but roll dodge away from them, as the added dark damage follow up to his attacks will shred your stamina very fast, and a counter hit from him due to a guard broken state is almost certain death. Roll at the last possible second toward and behind him, as an early roll can still catch you with his dark damage follow up on his attacks in the final two phases. When your lightning blade runs out, try to wait for one of his longer combos or leaping grab, as they have longer recovery times allowing you to rebuff your weapon.
Strategy 3 (Pyromancy)
Recommended that Pyromancers bring Chaos Bed Vestiges instead of Great Chaos Fire Orb, as CBV has slightly faster travel speed and is a straight projectile, whereas GCFO acts like it's thrown as a ball, plus has less base damage than CBV unless Gael enters the lava pool. Gael moves quickly and sometimes GCFO might fly right over Gael as his posture is low and hunched. Don't use dark pyromancies.
Whichever you choose to use, try to cast ONLY after Gael shows an opening after a series of attacks, as his movements will cause your pyromancies to miss unless he is either moving towards you or very close to you. Sometimes Gael has a large delay before his next series of attacks, it is important to recognize these moments and get a few shots off.
In Phase 2, keep your distance and try not to stay close to Gael, his movements will be less beastly and he will usually attack twice in succession. If you are too close when he does a downward slash, he might flick his blade upwards. Observe and keep the cloak's range in mind, it usually travels along with Gael's attacks, with the exception of his forward stab, where his cloak will come slightly after.
Strategy 4 (Sorcery)
Sorcery can be pretty tricky against this one. May even be the hardest method of taking him down. Due to his very high health pool, sitting back and shooting spells at him will leave you out of FP before the fight is over. Pure sorcery, only thing I can recommend is putting a few more ashen estus uses, plus ashen estus ring, and deeply learn his attack patterns from purely fighting him, or from the other good guys and gals that have put edits on this wiki page. Now, for an example on fighting him as a mage. No Moonlight Greatsword sadly. The slower but slightly more damaging attacks (on this boss at least) is not worth the trade-off. DPS and low recovery times over chunk damage in this boss fight is ideal. Raw Lothric Knight Longsword, Crystal Magic Weapon, and offensive spells of your choice will work. Please keep in mind that dark damage is a no go for this boss fight. Might as well be punching him to death. Pure sorcery, just stay away from him and pelt him with great heavy soul arrow and crystal soul arrow. Try not to spam the crystal soul arrow though, as mentioned at the start of this strat. Sorcery with a weapon buff is the best way to go.
Easiest way to beat him as a Sorcerer is simple usage of Great Heavy Soul Arrow. Crystal Soul spear if you have excess FP. Went in with 7 healing estus, 7 ashen (Used one after the Ring Knight) and still ended with 2 extra Ashen on my first try on NG+ knowing nothing about him. Gear/stats setup was Sprint is your friend here. Play keep away, wait for him to start a combo, then hit him with CSS or GHSA. If he does the discus attack into crossbow, as long as you're at medium to long range it's a simple matter of rolling to the left/right once you've gotten into a safe spot between the discus, then roll back into place to avoid their return. It's also a good time to hit him with a spell. When he does the side leap at long range, roll through him and then once more away to avoid his second swing. Again, a good time to hit him with a spell. Do not get greedy, cannot emphasize this enough, sprint is your friend, bait out his combos then sprint away like the prissy mage you are until you have the space to cast. He doesn't seem to cancel his combos, so you should always have time for a spell or two. If you space correctly, you should only need to roll to dodge his leaping attacks.
Strategy 5 (Aux effects, cheesy one, ANY CLASS)
Did it 1st attempt with 30INT/30FTH/~15STR|DEX build. Basically, get yourself a Storyteller's Staff and Bleed Bandit's Knife, both +9-10. In the beginning of the first and second phases activate the staff's poison(it burns him real fast, 35 per tick 1st phase, about 70 per tick 2nd phase, and requires 4-5 casts to put it on him), then proceed to quickstep/hit until he's dead. The biggest advantage of this strategy is that you don't really need any specific build for it - get a full 60 INT sorcerer, and he's able to equip that dagger(and you don't need scaling from it - bleed trigger damage doesn't scale aside from HP percentage afaik). The only downside is that 12 INT is required. Keep in mind that he will cleanse himself of any effects at the beginning of the second phase. You don't even need to care about enchanting two more useless weapons - you should have collected plenty of chunks on the way to this boss.
Strategy 6 (Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords)
I did this after I struggled with other Weapons on NG+ on a 50VIT/40STR/40DEX/40END. Basically you get the Paired Greatswords from the Ringed Knights and reinforce it to +5 (maybe it will work on lower levels, didn't test it). Now fight Gael with the two handed L1 Attack. You may take some damage when dealing the first 1 or 2 hits, but then he will be permanently staggered for the whole combo and take massive damage. Just be careful not to lose too much health while doing the first hits in his 2nd and 3rd phase. Try starting the combo when you are at full hp and you should be fine. After I discovered this strategy I beat him 1st attempt.
Slave Knight Gael has 3 attack phases. In his first and arguably easiest phase, he will only use his greatsword in combat. Upon entering the deserted land, he will confront you with an aerial attack from a distance. In his first phase, he has a bunch of combos, some being more deadly than others. His attacks vary from just a single strike to multiple strikes with an aerial attack. Every time he attacks, he will leave a window of opportunity for you to land your blow. It is advised you only hit him once in this window since he recovers quickly. In the first phase, he can be staggered by a Fully Charged Ultra GreatSword Attack and randomly staggered by other weapons. When you diminish about a third of his health bar (around 5,000 damage, leaving him with around 10,000 health), a cutscene will occur and you will enter stage 2 of the fight. This stage is much more difficult than the previous one as he has some new moves up his sleeve. Gael can now become invisible and teleport next to you, use a repeating crossbow, throw magic discs, and use new combos. These new combos are way deadlier than the previous ones since his cloak is powered up and will strike you after every swing he takes. Then, once his health is at around 6,500 (after taking around 8,500 damage), he will stay still, create a red shockwave, and enter phase 3. This phase is undoubtedly one of the hardest in the entire game. Now, Gael will use lightning as well as some extremely strong aerial/crossbow combos to take you down. The lightning is fairly easy to dodge since a marker will appear on the ground before it strikes. One of his combos is an aerial attack where he does multiple flips in the air whilst shooting from his crossbow. Keep in mind, throughout the fight, he will continually use AoE attacks or shockwaves.
|Critical Strike||When Gael's sword is covered in red souls, he jumps and performs a critical strike. If the player fails to avoid it, Gael raises up his sword, shouts and then throws player on a long distance.|
|Plunging Attack||Gael jumps, then swiftly stick his sword into the ground dealing medium physical damage.|
|Rage||Gael shouts, then attack with his sword: 4 times horizontally, then performs a plunging attack. With a bit of luck attack can be broken. Rarely Gael breaks this combo after third attack.|
|Sword Combo attack||Gael performs various sword attacks combinations dealing physical damage. Attack from ground may launch player into air.|
|Repeting Crossbow WA + Strike||Gael uses Repeating Crossbow's weapon art - Repeat fire, which deals very high physical damage. Sometimes uses his sword after this attack. In contrast to any other Gael's move from 2nd phase, this one can be broken with 1 weak hit. Does not appear in 3rd phase.|
|Way of White Corona||Gael uses upgraded version of Way of White Corona - instead of one circle, five appears. Very rarely, he will use fast version with three circles. Both versions deal physical damage. Sometimes, after five circle version, Gael uses Repeating Crossbow's weapon art - Repeat Fire. Does not appear in 3rd phase.|
|Weak Gael's Greatsword WA||Gael uses weaker variant of second part of Gael's Greatsword weapon art - swing around him with a support of coat. Deals physical and dark damage.|
|Coat rush||Gael attacks with his sword 2 times with a support of coat. Deals physical and dark damage.|
|Coat strike||Gael attacks with his sword similar as player with two-handed Ultra Greatsword, with a support of his coat. Deals physical and dark damage, may launch player into air.|
|Attack from above||Gael shouts, then attacks from above and covers himself using his new weapon - coat. During third phase, this move has additional 2 attacks from above and releases a huge amount of soul projectiles dealing dark damage, which - when fallen on ground - will attract a lightning. Deals physical, dark and lightning (3rd phase) damage.|
|Combo sword + coat attack||Gael attacks horizontally with his sword (with a support of his coat), then performs a strike attack. Deals physical and dark damage|
|Tactical retreat||Gael retreats on a medium distance, covering his "escape" by Repeating Crossbow weapon art. Does not appear in 3rd phase.|
|Surprise Attack||Gael disappears, then behind player a white summoning sing appears. Few second later he appears and performs one of the attacks listed above from 2nd/3rd phase (excluding those with Repeating Crossbow, Way of White Corona and Soul Rage). Note: Rarely, he will appear in a different place than summoning sign location.|
|Jumping attack||Gael attacks 2/3 times from above using his sword and coat dealing physical and dark damage. During 3rd phase, while in the air, he will use Repeating Crossbow and release a huge amount of souls projectiles, which after landing on ground will attract a lightning.|
|Soul Explosion + Lightning Rain (3rd phase, less than 1/3 hp bar left)||Gael stands for a few seconds, then releases a large amount of souls and explosion with medium AoE. Deals high damage, as this attack can't be broken simply walk away. Few seconds later, in place where soul projectiles has fallen, there is a lightning strike. Announces beginning of third phase, but Gael may use that move later.|
|Soul Rage + Strong Gael Greatsword WA + Lightning (3rd phase, less than 1/3 hp bar left)||Gael attacks from above two times, then performs Strong attack from Gael Greatsword Weapon Art. During this rage there is a large amount of soul projectiles dealing dark damage. If projectile falls on ground, it will darken ground an attract a powerful lightning dealing 1 damage to Gael and serious damage to player.|
Lore TheoriesHe is the same missionary sent out by the Painting Woman to bring her the blood of the dark soul for her canvas. He originally helped the player begin the questline in the Cathedral of the Deep but does not seem to recall the player when met. He is seen feasting on the pygmies in the hopes of obtaining the Dark Soul. However, due to this, he is seen to have lost his sanity and part of his humanity. When damaged enough, he bleeds to what he believes is "blood of the dark soul." This is all in part of his quest for the Painted Woman that led him to ruin and the consuming of blood that destroyed him. When defeated, he drops the Blood of the Dark Soul which can be brought to the Painted Woman.
Notes & Trivia
- Wolf Knight's Greatsword +5 is capable of staggering Gael during 1st phase in 1 fully-charged strong hit (up to NG+2) and in 3 light hits in any phase of the battle (NG and NG+). (Needs testing, if this applies to Farron Greatsword)
- Lightning caused by Dark Soul projectile creates blue aura on target, in differ to gold aura caused by weapons/miracles dealing lightning damage. Lightning weapons with identical aura appear in Dark Souls II (f. e. Syan Knight), what may give a clue about it's true nature.
- Gael bears some similarities to Sir Kay, a powerful knight from Arturian legend.
- The manner in which Gael fights and runs in his first phase is very similar to how Guts from Berserk fights in the Berserker Armor. Gael's second phase also shows this by his use of the Repeating Crossbow, akin to Gut's Repeater Crossbow, and the way he hides and follows his attacks with his cape.
- In one of the closed towers in the boss fight area there is a model of standing Gael. It is used instead of 1st phase version of Gael during introduction cutscene.
- During 2nd and 3rd phase, Gael has the same skin as hollow in Dark Souls II. This can be easily seen in introduction cutscene, when the camera is behind Gael.
- Transformation at the end of stage one bear some similarities, to what player may see during Ludwig, the Accursed boss battle from Bloodborne. Same applies to wounded person giving us warning about an enemy.
- Several of the Gael abilities mirror Artorias, the Abysswalker (Dark Souls I), Lost Sinner (Dark Souls II) and Orphan of Kos (Bloodborne).
- The introduction cutscene bears some similarities to what the player has seen before Artorias, the Abysswalker boss fight from Artorias of the Abyss DLC to Dark Souls I.
- Arena with Gael's boss fight is the largest arena of that type in Dark Souls series. This area can be seen in Dark Souls III intro and from it the player can see remains of few locations from main game, f.e. Lothric Castle or Anor Londo.
- The lone Ringed Knight tucked away in the deep corner of the boss arena (to the left of the Filianore's Rest tower) will never target Gael, even when Gael hits him.
- During 2nd, 3rd etc. attempt to kill Gael, Shira will not invade. She will attack only either before starting first attempt to defeat Gael or after he is dead. Being the Host of Embers is not required.
- If the player looks very closely when Gael teleports, he has a summon sign under him, and has the same visual effect when a white phantom gets summoned.
- Gael is the only boss that can die not by player/phantom attack (lightning rain from 3rd phase), but due to very low damage it is very difficult to achieve. Unfortunately, this does not grant a unique death animation.
- During 2nd and 3rd phase, around Gael's coat there are numerous red skulls. Identical skulls are at messages created by Slave Knight Gael (NPC), which player will see at The Dreg Heap. Similar skulls can also be seen in with the Executioner's Gloves in Bloodborne.
- Gael, unlike other ripostable bosses, has one death animation.
- If the player looks very closely at the gaping wound in Gael's chest, they can see a tiny hole that looks identical to the Dark Sigil.
- Gael's moaning after player depletes his health bar can stop, when he raises his hand in the sky or end when he disappears. Needs verifying, if this depends on weapon/spell he was killed with or it is a bug.