Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf

General Info
HP Souls Location
Gravetender: 2791
Greatwolf: 4193
60000 Painted World of Ariandel
Drops Valorheart
Champion's Bones
Weak   Strike (Greatwolf)
  Fire (Greatwolf)
All Status Effects
Resistant   Slash (Greatwolf)
  Frostbite (Greatwolf)
Immune None

Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf is a Boss 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


Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf Location


Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf 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)
  • 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).
  • Champion's 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.



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.


 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 before 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.




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    • Anonymous

      16 Aug 2021 07:17  

      trust me! black knight sword will wreck the champion's grave tender and the wolf so I recommend using this weapon when fighting them (used in ng+2 so in ng the black knight sword is still really good)

      • Anonymous

        27 Jul 2021 22:00  

        The camera on this fight is the worst in Dark Souls I've ever experienced. At first I thought it was just me but clearly many comments here express similar sentiments. It just randomly locks you off actors in the game for no real reason other than obviously being "bugged". It actually needs a patch because it's ****ing heinous.

        • Anonymous

          23 Jul 2021 17:45  

          I think the AI in this must be genius or broken, because using pyromancies one playthrough on him works well, but then the next time he's immune and uses this stabby move that breaks through the pyro. It's like he analyses your behavior to that detail.

          • Anonymous

            30 Jun 2021 00:59  

            I beat them in one try without an ember with the Astora gs and Black Knight shield. I highly recommend a ugs. The poise makes the little wolves easy and the range and stun make the champion easy. I beat the big wolf before the champion by just dodging around it, hitting once in the side, then continuing to dodge. The shield’s high stability helped when I screwed up a dodge or when the champion shot a spell. It really wasn’t hard and took like 15 minutes

            • Anonymous

              14 Jun 2021 13:27  

              People are exaggerating by comparing it to Sister Friede, but this boss is indeed annoying. My tip is to do your best to prevent it from becoming a gank and to use the boss arena to your favor. In the start, the small wolves will come at you one by one, before the champion reaches. They have a tendency to try to circle you, so stay in the narrowest part of the path and kill them one by one. Don't play footsies with the human gravetender, keep your shield up and counterclockwise circle strife him to chain backstabs. Try to finish him off before the big wolf comes down, or you are in for a bad time. With the big wolf in, you can stay behind the columns to heal or hide from his charge. But you will eventually have to leave to actually deal some damage to him.

              • Anonymous

                11 Jun 2021 18:40  

                Kind of a disappointing boss fight. The four on one is mildly irritating although not real hard, the two on one is a nuisance because if you don't take the Gravetender down very fast the wolf will kill you without with cheap shots from behind without any chance to heal. But then when you finally kill all the fodder and get down to a one on one with the doggo - the ice breath that shoots through the that is just obnoxious.

                • Anonymous

                  08 Jun 2021 03:48  

                  This mf took me 2 hours to beat, it's quite easy to kill champion's gravetender cuz he can be parried, but the wolf? It's absolute bs, I always died to the wolf due to the speed and high damage, glad it can be stunned and riposted.

                  • Anonymous

                    25 May 2021 03:50  

                    An NPC, a gank fight AND an absolute struggle with the camera controls? OH BOY WHAT ISNT THERE TO LOVE ABOUT THIS "BOSS" FIGHT? Friede was fun, this is just ass.

                    • Anonymous

                      15 May 2021 11:40  

                      Equip Farron Greatsword>Enter arena>Run straight to Champ and L1 him to death before his pet comes and destroys you

                      • Anonymous

                        03 May 2021 22:38  

                        Everything that deals with wolf in Dark Souls games has to be related to Artorias? Why not assume the champion is Artorias then?

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