Sulyvahn's Beast

Enemy Type Beast





Resistance ??
Immune ??

Sulyvahn's Beast is an enemy in Dark Souls 3.


Enemy Description

  • A ferocious beast that attacks relentlessly.
  • A head similar to that of a crocodile with three eyes and numerous teeth. Covered in grey fur, from its head to its curved tail. The ribcage has been torn open and shudders when the beast breathes.
  • None of them respawn after death.
  • The two in front of McDonnell have 2721 health in NG.


Combat Information

  • Attacks mainly with bites, snapping at the player. Has a running charge that grabs the player and can result in instant death, to avoid it you should roll sideways slightly sooner than you would think. The attack has a wider reach than expected.
  • If the player is behind or beside this beast it will swipe its head to hit the player and to face the player. It can be hard to evade but it has an obvious wind-up. It will generally do two swipes, from one side to the other.
  • Player will generally be charged by the first beast on the bridge, but if one is close enough, it will enter its normal attack patterns instead.
  • Contact with the exposed ribcage on the underside of the beast often creates a knockback effect, interrupting both your blocks and attacks.



  • Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
    • First encountered upon crossing the bridge into Irithyll. If not slain here, it will jump off the bridge and fight you in the water area below after crossing underneath.
    • Two can be found behind an illusory wall in a small room just before the Silver Knight archers. They protect access to the Aldrich Faithful covenant and the Ring of Favor.


Notes & Tips

  • They are EXTREMELY susceptible to bleed. Dorhy's Gnawing can deal upwards 800+ damage per cast at 30 FTH.
  • VERY weak to fire: 2-3 Great Chaos Fire Orbs will put them down pretty quickly.
  • It's susceptible to poison. At SL 31 with 22 intelligence a single application of Poison Spores from the Storyteller's Staff will kill a beast in front of McDonnell. Application can be difficult however due to their speed and unpredictability.
  • All of Sulyvahn's Beasts are unique targets. Dedicated combos kill them quickly, but they have equally dangerous attacks of their own, and can punish reckless behaviour.
  • Roll sideways to stay close when dodging, and come up swinging at them to get damage in before they attack again. Don't trade blows, and don't extend your combos.
  • Without a high investment in Endurance (~30) and/or top notch endurance recovery management (don't hold your shield up when not being attacked for faster regeneration), shields can be difficult to use effectively in this fight as some attacks/combos from the beasts deplete large amounts of stamina. Shield-breaking during this fight will lead to almost certain death.
  • Attacking it from their sides proves useful but beware of its head swipe, it can be difficult to evade.
  • When it breathes lightning it is best to hug its chest or sides. Once the beast breathes lightning they won't change their direction to follow your character, making it easy to evade and punish with one or two good hits before it recovers.
  • Its head is a weakness, like most large enemies
  • A single Great Heavy Soul Arrow to the face after it completes it's initial charge and flop will result in the beast rearing back for a Critical Hit. Simply run up, stab it with an implement of your choice and you will do Massive Damage. The beast then falls backwards and begins flailing. Like everything about this creature the flailing deals damage and can kill you. Either continue blasting it to finish it off or wait for it to slow down and get a swing or two in. It will get back up after this if you've failed to finish it. Differences in NG+ apply until testing can happen.
  • Because the McDonnell fight is very difficult, it is advised to use a bow to lure one of the beasts.
  • Alternatively, you can quickly dispatch them by waiting for their initial plunge and hitting them hard on the nose. This will cause them to go into a reposite state for additional damage. Afterwards, they will be vulnerable for a final attack.


Irithyll: Entrance Bridge Strategies

  • As soon as it spawns for the first time, this Sulyvahn's Beast takes several seconds to roar and announce its presence.  During this moment, it is very easy to run up and unleash your heaviest attack on its head.  With enough damage, it will lean backwards and go into a riposte-able state.  When I used this strategy, I had two-handed a +1 Demon's Greataxe (~400 AR) and hit it with Demonic Flare for an easy riposte opportunity.
  • An easier way is to count 4 decorated, flower pillars on the bridge, as soon as you reach the fourth one the beast will appear. You can then dip in and out of the entrance, the beast will attempt to disappear once you step out the gate, and will not attack even if it sees you. That technique provides an opportunity to get some hits in. Repeat until it's dead.

Irithyll: Bridge Underside Strategies

  • If you don't defeat the first one you encounter on the bridge in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, and you encounter it again in the water below, there is a simple strategy to defeating it by using the environment to your advantage. In the northern corner, just before you reach the stone floor and manor in the distance, there is a rounded area surrounded by the rocks, a cul-de-sac of sorts. In this rounded area is a crack in the rocks on the right side just big enough for your character to fit into. If you stand at the very back, the monster cannot reach you even though he will try to. From here you can whittle his health down with ranged attacks or carefully timed melee attacks. Block his electrical attack and don't get close enough for him to reach you, and eventually, you will defeat him.

Irithyll: Water Reserve Strategies

  • Skull Ring Strategy
  • A solid strategy is to stagger/riposte. Lure one over with bow, then climb up the ladder immediately, when it begins to walk into the wall, press (climb)+(jump) the jump down the ladder, aiming for his head, and this should cause him to fall back and giving us a riposte. Note that the beast can reach up to the ladder to a certain height, also being able to finish it in one combo is the best possible outcome.
  • A viable strategy for sorcerers is to apply Poison using a Storyteller's Staff, Hidden Body, and Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring to get close enough without notice. After using Poison Spores the beast will move toward you to investigate the spell casting placing it in the poison cloud. Moving backwards will ensure it does not notice you. If a single casting fails to apply poison simply repeat.


  • It has a similar look to the Egyptian demon Ammit, whose name means Soul Eater.
  • Similar in look to the Beast of Darkness from Berserk.
  • Also bears semblance - both in look and attack patterns - to the Watchdog of the Old Lords, a Chalice Dungeon boss from Bloodborne.
  • Drops 12000 Souls.
  • If the beast survives after a riposte, it will cross its hands over its stomach, seemingly in prayer, and will become "friendly" until attacked again.
  • Its underbelly looks similar to that of the Gaping Dragon.
  • Can be staggered and riposted.








    • 09 Nov 2017 20:48  

      I was going through irithyll once and found out about the praying thing after you ripost them, and felt kindof bad, so when I was going through I riposted the one on the bridge and let it live. I ran through the next area not lighting fires since I was just running to the boss, and I found it under the bridge in the water like normal except it had the low health i left it on. Then I lit and sat at the nearby fire and came back and it had full health again, so I riposted it again and left. I was curious if beating pontiff might pacify it if I left it without killing it, so without going to another bonfire I killed pontiff and came back to under the bridge, and when it jumped down again it looked like it just kindof spawned in and fell, less naturally than the other times, and it died as it landed. I've gotten this to happen twice now, once just a few minutes before writing this, and I was wondering if someone could confirm that after killing pontiff, the beast jumping off the bridge will take fall damage and can kill itself. Preferably tested if you riposte it below the bridge leaving it alive, then kill pontiff and come back without going to a fire, because that's how I have gotten it to work so far. It may not need to be riposted at all, just going to pontiff and coming back might trigger it taking fall damage, but I am not sure.

      • Anonymous

        05 Nov 2017 03:25  

        Can't block these guys cuz they eat stamina. Can't roll away from their snap attack because they're reach is larger. Can't roll under them because I guess their ribs bite at you too? I don't see them moving but I guess that's what's happening. Can't roll past them because they recover from their snap attack faster than it takes to complete a full roll and will either snap sideways at you or do a spin and hit you with their tail. Can't hug their sides because they someone manage to damage there too (seriously, with my shield up, I was getting chip damage from something even though its head wasn't reaching back toward me). Can't hug its tail because of the spin attack. It's only opening is 1-2 hits when it does the lightning breath, but Gwyn be damned, how are you supposed to survive until it does?

        This is the only enemy I've encountered in the game that forced me to use cheap tactics, i.e. the ladder (also the one on the bridge seems somehow easier).

        • Anonymous

          22 Oct 2017 04:28  

          anyone else thinks this beast looks like the one in berserk ?

          • Anonymous

            05 Oct 2017 17:39  

            I can't get the ladder trick to work, I jump on his head and then he just noms me. I would also say these guys are susceptible but not weak to bleed. I killed one with a Flamberge without bleeding it. Using a Carthus Rouge I bled one at about 25% health. I'd recommend using a good weapon instead of concentrating on bleeding them with something inferior. Also note that their hitboxes are particularly bad, even for Dark Souls. They can eat you while you're to their side and the running attack hits you with the entire body, even after you dodge the teeth.

            Because so many tough enemies and bosses are immune to bleed and the small ones die before it procs, I think some enemies get mislabeled as being weak when they are merely susceptible. I generally find that status effects are so widely resisted or ignored they're just not worth the bother. The extra damage of bleeding is only worth one or two free hits and you'll often be sacrificing DPS for it.

            • Anonymous

              02 Oct 2017 15:37  

              For the two in the Water Reserve, it's pretty easy to riposte the one on the left by sticking close to the wall until you're right next to it. Step into view, and it will give out two warning roars, which is ample time to land three hits to its face, opening it up for a visceral. It might not die from this, but they're immobile until you hit them again, so use a charged attack on its head after it finishes thrashing and it should be history. Then you'll only have to deal with the one.

              • Anonymous

                30 Sep 2017 23:53  

                If you need a break to make some tea or coffee or so, but also want to go for some casual beast-murdering, poison arrows do the trick, too. Takes a whole lot of them and it's painfully slow, but you can fill at least the farther beast's nose with arrows from the corner near the ladder, and it wont even notice you. Again, it's painfully slow... but if you want to play super safe... go for it.

                • Anonymous

                  07 Sep 2017 17:15  

                  I'm sorry but; HOW exactly are they "susceptible to bleed"?

                  Cause 2h a sharp black blade katana, sure didn't trigger a single bleedout in 7 hits (ng+ and NOT bleed build specced though).

                  Also, thanks to anonymous for providing the "jump off the ladder trick". Very helpful!

                  • Anonymous

                    28 Aug 2017 06:05  

                    never got the Continent the 2 in water reserve are guarding now im in ng4 lvl 266 and they 2 shot me looks like ill never get that covenant

                    • Anonymous

                      25 Jul 2017 23:43  

                      The 2 in the water reserve area quite easy to beat if you spin around a pillar and just hitting them when he spits lightning (you get 1-2) depending on your weapon and then repeat

                      • Anonymous

                        24 Jul 2017 05:56  

                        For the two in the water reserve, aggro one at a time, climb the ladder, jump off the ladder and plunge attack their heads to instantly open them for a riposte.

                        • Anonymous

                          03 Jul 2017 10:05  

                          So here's the easiest way in the world to kill both of the Sulyvahn's Beast without effort/trouble.
                          Slumbering Dragoncrest ring + Hidden Body. walk toward one of them cast Poison Mist while being locked on the beast and from a safe distance. The cloud will travel a small distance and stay a few seconds. The Beast will walk to where the cloud is and smell on it without dectecting you. (I don't have the stats for Toxic Mist but if it has the same effect as Poison Mist. Might be worth trying)
                          Take a few steps back and cast Perstilent Mercury. Again keeping a certain distance is necessary. The beast will once again walk toward where the spell is and stay there. Their HP will melt pretty fast. Keep casting Hidden Body/Perstilent Mercury and using Ashen Estus Flask. (Depending on your character build you may be low on FP).
                          Lingering Dragoncest Ring and Sage Ring can be helpful to make the process faster/easier.
                          Rince and repeat with the 2nd beast. It's all about distance to avoiding being detected.

                          • Anonymous

                            02 Jul 2017 22:39  

                            those things even destroyed me even while i was fighting 2 v 1 (i summoned a player to help me)
                            they are really *****ing hard to do and even in finished ng+ i'm still scared to fight them, even after i already killed way bigger beasts.
                            those things are just really *****ing hard to dodge as a melee character
                            and yes i do have a shield, but they can break through it, even though i am already at max stamina lol

                            • Anonymous

                              19 Jun 2017 15:57  

                              If you're having trouble with the encounter in the water reserve, try aggroing the one to your left first, and fighting it next to the ladder. The second one won't aggro until you get closer to it, so if you fight the first one by the ladder, you can take them on one at a time. Fighting it in the more enclosed space also means that it's less likely to get far away from you and do one of its highly damaging charging attacks. Alternatively, if you can stagger and riposte one of them (a pyromancy or hard-hitting sorcery/weapon skill to the face can generally open it up for a riposte), it will flail about a bit (which can damage you) and then become passive until attacked again. If you can avoid hitting it again afterwards, you can fight the remaining one without fear of being double teamed.

                              • Anonymous

                                16 Jun 2017 00:31  

                                He had his way with me the first time but I beat him without even taking dmg the second time. My Advice: Treat him like Vordt. Just camp under his stomach.

                                • Anonymous

                                  13 Jun 2017 07:05  

                                  Fextra has a lot of iffy info running around, especially when it comes to advice and such, but they definitely got it right with this one over Bleed being really effective. These things die sooo fast with it.

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