Abyss Watchers

Abyss Watchers dks3
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
1548 18,000 Farron Keep
Drops Soul of the Blood of the Wolf
Cinders of a Lord
Weak Resistant Immune
Lightning Lightning Dark Dark
Bleed Bleed
PoisonPoison & Toxic

Abyss Watchers is a Boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. The soul, passing from one body to the next, forever warring, is one of the 5 Lords of Cinder.

Abyss Watchers Information



  • Farron Keep at the very end through the big stone door with the three sconces for fire.




Combat Information

  • Uses the Farron Greatsword.
  • This boss can be backstabbed and Parried/Riposted. Also staggers easily.
  • During phase one, an additional Watcher will spawn every 20 seconds, to a maximum of two.
  • The first additional Watcher will be hostile to the player. If a second additional Watcher is allowed to spawn, it will have glowing red eyes, and will target the boss as first priority; however, it also appears to target the player if they are closer.
  • Play defensively when the second watcher spawns, as watchers will target whoever hit them most recently.
  • Fire Resistant Armor and Shield recommended.


Video Strategies

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

The boss is pretty standard as bosses go during the first phase. Straight forward regular sword attacks followed by dash attacks. Your main goal is to get a few hits in while dodging and waiting for the their openings after each attack/combo. During the fight, two corpses will rise up and join the battle. The first corpse, which looks just like the boss, is a foe who will ressurect shortly after being felled, so don't worry too much about him. The second corpse, however, has glowing red eyes and will attack the Boss and the other corpse, though he can still hurt you with his attacks. He is very useful for drawing aggro from one or both of the opposing Abyss Watchers and will also ressurect shortly after dying. Take advantage of his distraction and focus your attacks on the primary boss.


  • Backstabs: Since the boss's "cooldown" after attacks is long, if he misses you there's a chance you can perform a backstab by approaching him as he recovers.
  • Heavy weapon user: Attack after rolling/dodging, using the "cooldown".

In the second phase the boss will ignite his sword on fire in a small cutscene and the other two watchers will die. His attacks are far more powerful, more violent and have extra range. Play safe and wait for the end of his combos, most of his attacks are easily avoided if you aren't standing right next to him. Distance is viable. No corpses will rise from the floor during this phase.

  • Backstabs: Opportunity arises after 3-hit combos. Boss either does dash slash+slash+jumping smash or slash+slash+jumping smash. Learn to identify the second move, barely outrange it and then simply walk left and behind the boss while he does the jumping smash. Then you can backstab him easily. Dodge everything else.
  • Heavy weapon user: Roll out of his attacks and wait for the 3-hit combo as above.


Strategy 2 (Magic)

For casters you want to have around 20 int and your casting weapon upraded to +4. 

The main strategy on this boss is running. Instead of rolling like any other boss here you need to be running. While you're in extremely close quarters rolling is needed, but outside of that keep running away from the boss at all times, as your key to winning is being out of range at all times.

In the first phase you can kite the boss until the adds spawn. Once the first add spawns, the one without the red eyes, keep running around and only cast when there are perfect opportunities, those come up once in a while as the main boss will start being more defensive after the first add spawns. Once the second add spawns either the boss or the first add, or both will drop aggro and attack the red eye add, and he will attack them. Note, if you're the closest to the second add when it spawns it might attack you instead. The adds will respawn after dying depending on when they died, does not matter in which order they died. While the boss is focused on the red add, try to get your highest hitting spell/weapon attack on him, possibly backstab if you have a good weapon. With the help of the red eyes add phase one should be fairly easy.

Phase two gets tricky, remember how you are supposed to run away during the first phase? Now you really have to run away. With the fire the boss's attacks have more range. There's no more adds so all the aggro is always on you. In this phase, your only hope as ranged is to run and run and run. Especially on his charges and combos, if you try to roll from those he will catch you and possibly combo you, so just run out of range. Running in a big circle to the left helps avoid most of his attacks.


Strategy 3 (Specific Sorceries) 

NG: Use Great Heavy Soul Arrow in the first phase, use Great Soul Arrow in second phase. On NG+: use Crystal Soul Spear all the way - Sage Ring or Dex 40 is a must for both. When you enter the room, target lock and fire immediately. The boss will either glide towards you with sword extended, run towards you and attack or stay where he is. Once you see his reaction, roll to the side. Most attacks in the first phase are best evaded by rolling to the side. When the 2nd watcher arises from the ground stay locked on the main boss but only attack him if you see where the other guy is. Once the 3rd watcher comes out you can pretty much ignore the 2nd one and focus on the boss.

What ever you do, be sure that you are near the entrance when the boss dies for the first time. This is crucial because he will respawn near the end of the hall and walk slowly towards you, leaving you plenty of time to heal up and restore your FP. Don't be shy to attack him with a Great Heavy Soul Arrow while he's still walking towards you. When he breaks his walk and begins to swing it's best to switch to the Great Soul Arrow because it casts faster. In the 2nd phase it's best to roll backwards away from the boss, some attacks need two rolls in a row. Be sure to have about 20 END and therefore enough stamina to roll twice (or trice) and cast. Kite him while walking/rolling backwards through the room and attack whenever there's an opening.

On NG+ this is a very short fight for dedicated Sorcerers with Crystal Soul Spear at INT 60 and all magic buff equip you can get your hands on. Same tactics as on NG but way faster, see video above.

Strategy 4 (Pyromancy)

This boss will be tough as a pyromancer. Try to upgrade your flame as much as possible. The boss will pursue you rather relentlessly, making getting casts off difficult, especially during the first phase when there are multiple Watchers. Take your chance to get in as much damage as possible before the other Watchers spawn. Once they do, try to bait them into fighting each other. Trying to kill the main Watcher with one or two others chasing you at the same time is extremely difficult. If all three begin fighting, you've hit the jackpot, and can essentially just stand there are free cast. 

During phase two, keep as much distance as possible. The boss is quite fast and can close big distances quickly. Attack after one of his slides or slams, which have longer recovery, and during his combo, provided you are far enough that you are at no risk of being hit. If you simply run away from the boss, he won't be able to catch up with you, and you'll be able to take the chance to counter attack after his slide misses. 


Phase I (Multiple Enemies)
Attack Name Attack Description
Stab The Boss lunges at the player with his sword. Range varies depending on distance away from the boss.
Dash Slash The Boss dashes forward a great distance and does an almost 360 degree slash.
Uppercut The Boss swings his sword upwarda followed by a large dust cloud. Can knock the player down. 
Jump slam The Boss jumps towards the player and slams his sword into the ground upon landing.
Phase II (One Watcher)
Attack Name Attack Description
Dash Burn A Wild Flaming Dash Slash at the player where the boss swings his sword, except now a fire trail soon follows the boss's path and burns everything in the way, slight delay for the trail to start. Woe to any who stick to his back too long once the trail of flame starts to move. The boss may combo these, and alert rolls and moving around is recommended.
Fire Sword The Boss attempts to hit the player with his flaming sword using various swings. This includes a gap closer where a delayed blaze of fire burns you if you dodge roll into the space behind the enemy. This delayed fire effect is similar to the explosive laser beam attack used by lesser amygdala in Bloodborne, with the exception that only the explosion, and not the laser itself, did damage.


Lore Theories

  • The Abyss Watchers are the heads of the Undead Legion. They are enemies of the Abyss, and will destroy kingdoms if they even show the slightest sign of exposure.
  • Two Darkwraiths can be seen fighting their way to the boss room. It could be interpreted that they have come to defeat the Watchers as well.
  • They look up to the Wolf Blood Master (heavily implied to be Artorias), and they all shared the blood. However, it seems as if this binded their souls into one, and left it constantly going between bodies of the Watchers, hence why they are fighting.
    • The only Watchers that attack the others are the ones with glowing red eyes. Similar to other creatures in the world, red eyes indicate that they are affected by the abyss, which the Watchers must eliminate, regardless of the target and circumstance.
  • The Abyss Watchers are entirely based on the legend of Artorias the Abysswalker, who braved the abyss and saved the city of Oolacile, as told in stories.
    • In reality, however, the Chosen Undead was the one who did this during the first Age of Fire, through a distortion in time, while Artorias was consumed by the abyss. But, as promised by Elizabeth the mushroom, their identiy is left out of the legend.
  • It's speculated the Abyss Watchers' souls became one shortly after linking the flame. It's likely the fire could only ever be linked by one person at a time but since the Abyss Watchers themselves were linked by the blood of the wolf, they were able to link the fire at the price of their individuality, their souls becoming one in the process.

Notes & Trivia

  • During the second phase, all the sword attacks are enhanced, and most have a secondary fire explosion in addition to his actual swing, the hitbox on the explosion is usually different from the arc of the swing.
  • Hawkwood is a former member of the Undead Legion, possible former Abyss Watcher. His armor matchers theirs except his helm, which is possibly symbolic of his leaving them. He also knows a good deal about them, though his weapon and combat style is different. He also rewards you with the Farron ring, which could had been worn by the Abyss watchers.
  • However Hawkwood doesnt seem to have the shared bit of the Wolf Blood Soul. He isn't possessed like how these bodies seem to be possessed. He certainly was undead legion. His rank may have been lower than the watchers, or he may have left them before everything went to hell and was spared the misfortune that befell them.
  • The attire of the watchers, the blood healing that takes place during the cutscene of the second phase, and the chalice that reveals the way to the dungeon, are all perhaps a reference to Bloodborne.
  • Yoel of Londor dies after this fight. If you intend to free level up and go hollow, make use of him before you beat this boss.



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    • Anonymous

      29 Sep 2020 03:18  

      I believe when the Watchers decided to link the fire Hawkwood was one of many who was killed by the SoC, burnt to ashes as a result, but the Watchers were victorious nonetheless. When they linked the fire the wolf blood dried up, Farron was consumed by the wood. And when the unkindled rose from their graves, in this time-frame aswell as the rising of the old Lords of Cinder, Hawkwood deserted the legion and then ended up in Firelink. When the Watchers returned home, seeing how they basically failed and Farron is a mess at this point and that the Abyss in Carthus was rising, this affected the Watchers. This is just a theory though, but I tried to make sense how Hawkwood ain't that possessed like the other Watchers.

      • Anonymous

        19 Sep 2020 03:31  

        I'm challenging myself not to summon and this was the first boss that gave me real trouble. I must have died literally dozens of times but when I finally won it was so worth it. Great fight, it might end up being my favorite.

        • Anonymous

          07 Sep 2020 17:30  

          Yet another shhhhitty spammy ganky trashboss, on top of being a total edgelord
          Then y'all wonder why the nubz gonna gank and spam when they have such example thrown at their face by the game itself

          • Anonymous

            28 Aug 2020 13:29  

            Why does the Drops section say they only give you 13,500 souls? I just beat them on NG (solo) and I got 19,800, which is the 18,000 they give you (correctly stated up top) plus The Silver Serpent ring lol

            • Anonymous

              21 Aug 2020 04:51  

              my boyfriend said this boss was “the hottest boss in the game” ...........he was dead serious and now i don’t know what to feel

              • Anonymous

                10 Jul 2020 20:22  

                Really weak boss fight honestly... more like a mini-boss. I really hope someday i'll get 70mil just to get this game remastered. I want armor to make sense. I want poise to tie with the weapons weight not the armor... I really want all stats to scale indefinitely with certain magic types/weapons. Even better I want weapons infused with elements to be buffable with those elements (Example: Lightning on lightning) I want areas to be bigger and more open. Gael boss fight area could've been cash money if you could explore beyond it and see pilgrims making their journey and different enemies scattered about looking for sanctuary or heading to Lothric.
                Adding more armor sets and weapons as easter eggs. Make certain items include certain effects (Example: Abyss Watchers Sword actually catches fire) Or make certain boss weapons buffable. Like Andre said "Reinforcement is straightforward. It strengthens a weapon without altering its property." So buffing wouldn't alter it right? Making certain convinents ally to eachother like Sunbros or Rosaria's fingers and added certain npc's, animations and items they never added.
                Biggest one... Make the dragons less garbage. Napkin could kill 'em.

                • Anonymous

                  10 Jul 2020 13:58  

                  I usually put down my summon sign after the perimeter bonfire when I farm pale tongues, and would put on the full undead legion set plus farron greatsword, so when I get summoned there will be at most 4 undead legions fight each other, really fun.

                  • Anonymous

                    06 Jul 2020 06:41  

                    I hope people see this, you can one phase the abyss watcher fight. I've done it and seen one other person do it. Just backstab the abyss watcher just as he dies the first time to start the animation before the cutscene, the second phase boss dies right after.

                    • Anonymous

                      16 Jun 2020 13:39  

                      Unding my Greatsword, this boss wasn't able to catch a breath. Staggering him, roll of for some distance before my stamina reaches zero and than back at him again. Even when it was two on one they they weren't able to get me in trouble. Just love my greatsword :)

                      • Anonymous

                        15 Jun 2020 21:37  

                        Tips for a SL1 run with +4 Fire Broadsword? Completed the entire game before but finding these guys to be a serious hurdle, about 20 tries so far.

                        • Anonymous

                          09 Jun 2020 19:25  

                          what should I have my endurance at, I'm having a lot of trouble with being able to roll around and still having enough to get a hit in.

                          • Anonymous

                            28 May 2020 14:36  

                            Pull off backstabs when he does "Dash Slash" or "Jump Slam" in the first phase, then slowly whittle down his health down on the second phase with regular attacks after every attack by him.

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