Abyss Watchers

abyss-watcher-enemies-dark-souls-3-wiki-guide
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
1548 18,000 Farron Keep
Drops Soul of the Blood of the Wolf
Cinders of a Lord
Defenses
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

 

Location

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

 

Drops

 

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.

Strategies

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. 



Attacks

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

      22 Sep 2021 17:35  

      i got 3 random guys i summoned to cosplay them with me one time. probably my most memorable experience in the series tbh.

      in the end we decided to commit ritual suicide via seppuku

      • Anonymous

        13 Sep 2021 09:41  

        anyone notice that he abyss watchers are taller than the average person is that because of their wolf blood?

        • Anonymous

          11 Sep 2021 02:45  

          I dont know my Ds lore why exactly are the abyss watchers lords of cinder. they seem like they fit in the same role pontiff sulyvhan fits into

          • Anonymous

            10 Aug 2021 10:40  

            I absolutely love this boss fight. The intense music, the unexpected third party help, and overwhelmingly awesome moves. My only problem is that the fight ends to quickly. I really wish that it was longer.

            • Anonymous

              07 Aug 2021 18:28  

              Now that I think about it, I think the Abyss Watchers stemmed from the destroyed country of Mirrah.

              1) Mirrah is a land associated with many highly skilled honorable swordsmans and constantly at war, only using magic for tactical reasons: Farron Spells
              2) Hodrick (strongly associated with the undead legion bears a Mirrah shield, with the sunless realms likely being Mirrah, a country "without rest" of war)
              3) Lucatiel of Mirrah's storyline is strongly associated with two things "The Undead Curse" and "Family". Both things are associated with Hodricks storyline, and the brotherly shared blood of the Abyss Watchers. All of these storylines end tragically.
              4) The Mirrah greatsword is a possible reward for the boss above Hodrick. All of these things are encountered before you get to the Abyss Watchers, besides Hodricks Storyline.

              My theory is that after Mirrah faded away, the countless warriors formed the Undead Legion getting inspiration from Artorias, constantly fighting just as they did in their homeland towards an honorable goal. They also got pointy hats like the mirrah hats.

              • Anonymous

                18 Jul 2021 21:31  

                just a question what are the chances the watchers are actually related to each other like they are real brothers in arms

                • Anonymous

                  15 Jul 2021 15:46  

                  If you're struggling at the part where the two "good" Watchers gang up on you, I'd suggest targeting the one with the smaller health bar. If you do that, the one with the bigger health bar will just politely stand there and watch the fight happen, at least until he starts fighting the evil Watcher.

                  • Anonymous

                    08 Jul 2021 13:53  

                    For some reason I carnt help but respect the watchers I even bowed after I defeated the main watcher

                    I guess Even after they have fallen I still see them as hero’s and legends

                    • Anonymous

                      04 Jul 2021 19:39  

                      i remember from dorksouls the watcher dose the pose only to drop the sword and flips the player off that needs to be in game

                      • 03 Jul 2021 20:44  

                        I dont know if this has been said before but I think it needs to be added to this page. When you give a pale tounge to rasaria to summon yellow finger it fails the sirris questline. I'm an idiot and didnt know this until after I tried it and wasnt seeing the sirris summon sign. Maybe its just me but it would be nice to have that here for others who may not know.

                        • Anonymous

                          02 Jul 2021 19:43  

                          i made my character s mission to continue the watchers work as a abyss watcher and surprisingly its a lot of fun

                          • Anonymous

                            24 Jun 2021 16:50  

                            The watchers theme is one of the best in the series it’s. Sad to show how they have fallen to the place they are but it’s graceful like

                            The watchers themselves as they show by how they fight

                            • Anonymous

                              16 Jun 2021 02:27  

                              This boss is my personal favorite in the souls series my first playthrough it seemed super daunting and eerie now everytime afterwards that I play against this boss it always feels like an epic fight but albeit easy

                              • Anonymous

                                11 May 2021 07:38  

                                i actually found a server were like 20 players were all dressed as abyss watchers and they were just waiting for me and there was a sign on the floor which read fear the legion

                                • Anonymous

                                  01 May 2021 20:44  

                                  Farron's Undead legion included the Abyss Watchers and the army acolyte of Ghrus. Crystal Sage teaches sorcery to Farron, who in turn teaches his Ghrus. As for who is Farron? We might see him/her in Dark Souls 4.

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