Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf

champions-gravetender-greatwolf-dks3-dlc
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location

Tender: 2791

Wolf: 4193

60,000 Painted World of Ariandel
Drops Valorheart, Champion's Bones
Defenses
Weak Resistant Immune

Tender:

 BleedBleed, LightningLightning

Wolf:

BleedBleed, FireFire, LightningLightning, Critical Strike

Tender:

FrostFrost,  PoisonPoison/Toxic

Wolf:

FrostFrost

(Both): None

Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf is a Boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. It is part of the Ashes of Ariandel DLC.

 

Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf Information

  • No NPC summon available for this fight.
  • As long as the fight is not triggered, player phantom can't enter the boss fight arena.
  • Optional

 

Location

 

Drops

  • Souls: NG (60,000), NG+ (120,000), NG++ (132,000), NG+3 (135,000), NG+4 (144,000), NG+5 (147,000), NG+6 (150,000), NG+7 (153,000)
  • Co-Op Souls: NG (30,000)
  • Other: Valorheart
  • Champion's Bones: Key item to access the Undead Match at Hollow Arena

 

Combat Information - Gravetender

  • Health: NG (2791), NG+ (2794), NG++ (3074), NG+3 (3213), NG+4 (3353), NG+5 (3632), NG+6 (3772), NG+7 (3912)
  • Attacks deals Standard Damage, Strike Damage, Thrust Damage and Magic Damage (2nd phase). May also cause Frostbite (2nd phase).
  • Gravetender can use Valorheart's weapon arts.
  • Parryable: Yes
  • Weak to Lightning Damage and Bleed.
  • Resistant to Frostbite and Poison/Toxic.
  • Shield can be guard broken, what gives an opportunity to perform a critical strike. Also can be backstabbed.
  • Champion can be easily be staggered.
  • If the Greatwolf howls while the Gravetender is still alive, the Gravetender will get buffed, indicated by the Warcry's red aura.

Combat Information - Greatwolf

  • Health: NG (4193), NG+ (4197), NG++ (4617), NG+3 (4827), NG+4 (5037), NG+5 (5457), NG+6 (5666), NG+7 (5876)
  • Appears when Gravetender's health is lowered by about 55 percent.
  • Attacks deal Standard Damage. May cause Frostbite (2nd phase).
  • Parryable: No
  • Weak to Lightning Damage, Fire Damage and Bleed.
  • Resistant to Frostbite.
  • Players can break his poise, which gives an opportunity to perform a critical strike dealing significant damage.

 

 

Strategies

Video Strategy

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

This boss is an NPC sized character that wields Valorheart. In the first phase, he will be accompanied by a pack of small wolves. He can be taken on fairly straight up. Once the pesky wolves have been dispatched, his health bar gets depleted rather quickly. Be mindful of his weapon's guardbreaking and combo moveset, and try not to over rely on your shield. Dodge effectively, reading his patterns and attack when he presents an opening.

When he reaches half health, his partner, Gravetender Greatwolf will arrive, who is a much larger wolf with a deadly moveset. The wolf is fast and has a powerful forward rush that will launch you into the air with devastating damage, using the central pillar is helpful in staying clear of its attacks. It can also breathe frost that will affect you even if you are using the central pillar for cover. The key to handle the wolf is to stay to its side, avoiding its slash attacks, and recognizing when it is charging up its dash attack, giving you time to effectively dodge to the side of it. Try to take out the Champions Gravetender first and it will make the fight with his partner much easier.
 
To be taken in conjunction with everything else, below is a playbook of how to beat this fight with at least three Estus left, as it was field-proven by this contributor.
 

1. Champion Gravetender summons his big Greatwolf at half health. Play the first phase as safe as you can, being very evasive, killing the wolves first. To get the wolves easy, bait the nearest wolf, which is sleeping to Gravetender's right shoulder. Next, go around the right of the whole batch of pillars and there will likely be another wolf. It is not 100% essential to use these vectors, but they help. 

2. Kill Gravetender second. Don't interrupt his combos, punish and go for openings only.

3. If Gravetender is still alive when he calls his Greatwolf, separate them, but don't bring the wolf's health down, because he will buff into a red-eyed variant. Kill Gravetender by punishing his soul-spear magic combo and when he's open or recovering, and absolutely do not stay in the line of attack with the wolf. 

4. Kill the wolf. Basically, it's the Sif strategy of simple dodge rolling and hitting the legs from the sides and inside while in first stage, you can punish his frost by rolling inside the lines of spray, and hitting him. More than two hits for a punishment is dangerous.
 
5. The giant wolf can do a dashing cyclone attack up to four times in rapid succession. In his first phase (before he buffs), he is likely to do it three times. 
 
6. If you have too much heat on you, use the pillars and such to buffer yourself, and conserve your stamina. Don't panic roll or spam panic swings, or you will get hit. None of the enemies heal, so use that to your advantage to keep your punishments as short as possible. 

 

 

Strategy 2 (Melee, Bleed build, Solo)

Equipment: Carthus Rouge, Carthus Curved Sword +10 (or any non-large weapon that causes bleed damage) wielded in two hands, Medium armor set.

After entering the area with the fight, use Carthus Rouge on the sword and approach the high building. When Gravetender rises, go back a little, as he will walk slowly, which can be used to eliminate 3 nearby wolves (with them, the fight is much harder). When Gravetender is alone, re-use Carthus Rouge and attack him in the moments in which he can be harmed with ease, f.e. after his rush attack. When his health is lowered to about 1/2, he uses (not always thought) the "By my sword" gesture, and Greatwolf will appear on the battlefield (in the middle of the arena). Do not hesitate to eliminate wounded Gravetender and re-use Carthus Rouge. After doing so - lock on to Greawolf (let you avoid his rush attacks more easily) and stick to him. During activating second phase (red eye and "roar") you can still attack him - bleed damage will kill him easily.

Strategy 3 (Pyromancy, Solo)

Spell: Chaos Bed Vestige with Pyromancy Hand +10. In addition Chaos Battle Axe.

Rings: Boosting Fire Damage + Dusk Crown Ring

Set: Fire Keeper

Slowly approach the place with Gravetender and 3 wolves and back up a little, then cast CBV a few times to eliminate them (they are vulnerable to fire, so even non-direct hit will cause massive damage). Gravetender alone is an easy target, but his rush can deal a lot of damage (spells can't break this attack) and he can avoid them. If Greatwolf approaches, do not look on him and eliminate wounded Gravetender. Greatwolf is vulnerable to fire - so CBV can easily deal even 600-700 damage per hit, but be careful with his attacks, as most of them can be fatal. However, HP base (especially if you won 2 encounters with him and regular wolfs) is low, so few a CBVs will kill him without any problem.

Strategy 4 (Cheese using bow+Toxic Mist)

Equip Black Bow of Pharis and feather arrows (I tested it with Hawk Ring also) or greatbow. Stand next to the future fog gate, but DON'T enter the arena. Shoot the arrow to the first visible wolf. If it gets hit, fight starts. Then shoot Toxic Mist through the gate. You'll see HP of three wolves going down, then you should also poison a Gravetender. Simply repeat few times if needed. Then you can safely enter the arena and fight only a Greatwolf.

If you want to cheese Greatwolf then you can trigger the fight only by getting on the ledge near the branches leading to Livid Pyromancer Dunnel, which is placed above bosses' arena. However, it is quite hard to achieve as you need to cut through  Birch Woman, climb up, cross the bridge, go through flies' room, then return by hitting the bridge, climbing down and cutting through enemies to reach the arena again.

As it requires lot of time and it's also harder than the fight itself it is more wise to just beat the Greatwolf in a normal way.

Attacks

 Champion's Gravetender

First phase
Valorheart Special Attack - Sword Gravetender uses Valorheart weapon art - swift sword attack. Can be avoided with ease.
Rush Attack If player is at medium distance, Gravetender starts to run, which may end with a swift and medium damage dealing attack. Can be avoided or blocked, but not broken.
Block Gravetender uses his shield to block player's attack. 
Valorheart Special Attack - Shield If Gravetender is blocking, he can perform a roar attack with his shield. Doesn't deal much damage, but drains a lot of stamina.
Critical Strike If player is stunned, Gravetender approaches and performs a critical strike. 
Magic attack After Greatwolf appears, Gravetender sometimes switches to a staff and casts either Homing Arrow or Snap Freeze.

  Champion's Greatwolf

  First phase
Rush  Greatwolf rushes 1/2/3 times, dealing high psychical damage. Attack is telegraphed by white snow appearing around Greatwolf, though it can be avoided. Can be blocked.
Ground Head Rush Attack  Greatwolf lower his head, then swiftly rushes towards player causing massive physical damage. 
 Head sweep  Greatwolf sweeps his head 2/3 times, causing physical damage.
Swift rush + Frozen breath (second phase) Greatwolf rushes through the arena 2 times, then stops and breathes in player's direction causes massive frost damage. 

 

Lore Theories

It should be noted that the Champion's Gravetender was likely the Champion's page referenced in the description of Valorheart. He and the Gravetender Greatwolf are both referenced to have been extremely loyal to the Champion, so we can assume they are watching over the Champion's grave. Gravetender Greatwolf appears to have some history with the Farron Followers and The Abyss Watchers of Farron Keep. For more, an article about Wolf's Blood,  The Abyss Watchers and  Artorias.

 

Notes & Trivia

  • The Greatwolf which appears during the fight can be encountered twice - at the entrance to the area with a tower with Millwood Knights and near this tower. If you kill Greatwolf without winning those encounters, you lost the chance to obtain loot (Large Titanite Shard x3 for one victory). During these encounters, he uses the moveset from the boss battle and is supported by a pack of wolfs.
  • In addition, if player wins those fights, Greatwolf's HP during the boss battle will be lowered by around 15%. This is a permanent effect.
  • Gravetender, in order to call Greatwolf, may use the gesture "By my sword".
  • Few of Greatwolf's abilities mirror Vordt of the Boreal Valley.
  • Bug (Very rare): Greatwolf, instead of fighting, circles around player without attacking him.

 

 

 




    • Anonymous

      07 Nov 2019 22:09  

      That boss is really, irritating. Especially the jetpack wolf part. It drives the camera crazy. Very frustrating and stupid enemy. I like hard bosses like Nameless King of Friede, but this seems to have been designed just to troll the player.

      • Anonymous

        04 Nov 2019 04:34  

        Is this really from softwares idea of quality for a $20 DLC? A gank, NPC/basic enemy intervention duel? I didn't buy the season pass do do *****ing PvP. I bought it for cool boss fights

        • Anonymous

          03 Nov 2019 09:49  

          As a pure sorc Homing Soulmass was clutch for this fight. It was the only way I could hit the Gravekeeper since he dodged everything else perfectly. Soulmass was good at catching him unawares. Once the wolf spawned I completely ignored the Gravekeeper. I ran like hell when he did his frost breath to maximize distance, dodged through him when he charged and used openings to cast Soulmass. The wolf went down quick since he was on top of me the entire time and his large hitbox ate all the Soulmass. After that the Keeper was a breeze.

          • 25 Oct 2019 23:01  

            I rather this Faraam is connected to this boss than NK. Concidered the Lion motif and all...probably the "Champion" in the grave. That would make at least a bit of sense.

            • Anonymous

              15 Oct 2019 17:26  

              Is there a hack that turns this into Artorias and the great wolf? How is that not the boss already anyway. Could have turned a mediocre DLC into an incredible one if we had Artorias and Sif fighting together in their prime.

              • Anonymous

                15 Oct 2019 15:00  

                Gravetender is as dumb as any NPC, and rocketwolf is very telling with his attacks. Unfortunately 2 bad enemies make an unpleasant fight at best. Just be sure to make use of the very big arena, the dog's charge attacks basically bounce off of the stone pillars

                • Anonymous

                  05 Oct 2019 03:56  

                  The *****ing wolf, man. The hitboxes on that charge ***** me every time, like it seems to hit just long enough after the animation suggests that I get roll-caught 80% of the time. And that frost breath...wolfy's got some lungs, damn. Good theme tho, lol

                  • Anonymous

                    22 Sep 2019 17:18  

                    the boss : i am a boss therefore i am a considerable opponent that will give you a hard time defeating me. the player : *laughs in bleed build*

                    • Anonymous

                      21 Aug 2019 00:43  

                      This boss isn't super hard but god his design is bad. Like... a butt-jetpack-rocket-snow-fueled-giant-wolf ? Really ?

                      • Anonymous

                        02 Aug 2019 04:15  

                        I'm baffled that people think this is a difficult boss, the wolf telegraphs his attacks for a full second minimum and it's easy to take on a single enemy at a time

                        • Anonymous

                          01 Aug 2019 08:47  

                          I enjoyed this boss because he sucks, on all my NGs i complete Ashes after Ringed city so it feels nice to have something to laugh at as a final boss instead of being laughed at by Gael.

                          • Anonymous

                            28 Jul 2019 19:56  

                            The salt in this page's discussion is unreal. This boss wasn't that hard in comparison to the likes of Nameless King and the other DLC bosses. Though I would agree that the fight was a little underwhelming with what was basically some mobs, a miniboss you've already fought, and the equivalent of an NPC invader.

                            • Anonymous

                              23 Jul 2019 03:31  

                              Get the Great Wolf between the stone pillar and and the ice, keeps him from dashing away from you for the most part and keeps you close

                              • Anonymous

                                13 Jul 2019 07:35  

                                I just, hate FromSoftware whenever they do this stupid thing... This, GOD DAMNED STUPID, Entire Phase 1, is not challenging for anyone with high gear, because you can kill those wolves instantly and also cheese the hell out of Valorheart, but if you don't have the high enough gear, You will pull your nails out with fights like these, because of those nearly 1k health 3 wolves at the start, as well as Valorheart, the ever truly annoying NPC boss fight, likewise, phase 2, if Valorheart happens to stay alive and again repeating, that all happens If You don't have great gear to boot. You can access this area as soon as you reach Cathedral of the Deep.

                                • Anonymous

                                  29 Jun 2019 11:01  

                                  literally worst boss in the series. worse then the dark souls 2 gank boss, worse then BOC, it's the worst. those, atleast, are easy to do once you know what's happening. with this, however, it's *****ing garbage if you don't have an upgraded large weapon. you're almost 100% going to get hit by the wolves. following that is easy, but it's still the worst designed boss in the series, being a dude wearing no pants and a mob that's already been encountered several times over. it's cheap, and it nearly kills the DLC. especially considering it's paired with friede, which is a fairly mediocre boss. only good things in this DLC are weapons, and frankly, most of them are terrible, even if they can be cool. this is a complete waste of money and time, in the unlikely case you haven't already bought this. i beg of you. don't waste time on ashes of ariandel.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    14 May 2019 19:53  

                                    I simply walked right and let the gravetender do his lunge, then backstabbed him to*****. This went on until Big Doggo dropped in, wherein I just lobbed a***** ton of great chaos fireballs at the dude until he forgot to jump out of the way, he was well and done in 2-3 hits. Doggo Daddeh is more of a pain in the ass since he gives few moments to cast, his ice breath is absolute horse*****and the charge spam can throw you in for a loop, but he's *incredibly* susceptible to fire. He has this nasty habit of going space shuttle right as I was throwing the fireball at him, but he still went down in a couple hits. Still though, these two have costed me more retries than Aldrich, Dancer and Sully combined. It's no huge deal since they're a short walk away from the bonfire and souls can be easily retrieved before the actual fight starts. Well done, From!

                                    • Anonymous

                                      05 May 2019 18:36  

                                      my tactic as sorc: 60 int + candlestick + crown of dusk + court staff Rings: Sage, magic clutch, dragon rings for damage 1. phase: hsm only. oneshots the wolves and staggers him 2. phase: hcsm. cast and evade the big one

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