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

      27 Feb 2020 11:33  

      FROM learned from their mistakes with Sif, and instead chose this time to make the greatwolf a pain in the ass throughout the level so you don't feel bad about murderizing him

      • Anonymous

        14 Feb 2020 09:08  

        Speaking from a perspective of a person who bought the dlc when on ng+5, the Greatsword trivializes this battle a lot. Gravetender can be smacked and smashed all the time with charged r2 and the stomp greatly reduces the wolf charge s damage (dodge the first and second ones and stomp in the third while turning your back on it, it will be vulnerable for the spinning slash after that for tons of damage).

        • Anonymous

          13 Feb 2020 05:01  

          This MF ain't *****ING ARTORIAS. HE WILL NEVER BE *****ING ARTORIAS! He charged me with a tiny dagger with his tiny buckler STILL RAISED against my CKGS r2 and came out on top. ***** this boss. I ain't *****ing with something that doesn't follow the rules of it's own *****ing game.

          • Anonymous

            11 Feb 2020 23:38  

            you made me put down a dog in dark souls one and you want me to do it AGAIN IN FRONT OF HIS MASTER! YOU ARE CRUEL FROM SOFTWARE SCREW THIS BOSS

            • Anonymous

              29 Jan 2020 10:02  

              Holy hell, This is by and far quite possibly the worst boss in DS3, which is an absolute crying shame because Friede is easily one of best, How I got stuck paying actual legal tender for Supercharged Royal Rat Authority is beyond me. Utterly disappointing. Thankfully theres other ways to get Champions Ashes, so i can skip this dog*****excuse for a boss.

              • Anonymous

                26 Dec 2019 01:12  

                So you encounter two greatwolves before this fight meaning beating both lowers its hp by solid 30%? Also unlike sif, this one gets stronger at low health.

                • Anonymous

                  25 Dec 2019 21:58  

                  This fight is a***** stain on a great dlc. Friede is awesome, but this fight? To put it lightly, I didn't pay 20 dollars to get ganked by a naked guy and turbo wolf

                  • Anonymous

                    18 Dec 2019 14:19  

                    Mele strategy 1 is wrong. Fight the wolf in the field where you can see him coming. Playing Ring-Around-the-Rosy with him will get you blindsided and camera-*****ed, and there might be a wall in place of the safe area you'd want to otherwise dodge to. YOU are the slow, ungainly one, here.

                    • Anonymous

                      18 Dec 2019 14:14  

                      Dark souls 2 didn't hide THEIR arena behind a pay wall. Anyhoo, using carthus flame over lightning blade help drop the wolves better, which is the important bit. Mix in Power Within if you're still not one shotting them, since you got your flame out already.

                      • Anonymous

                        07 Dec 2019 05:45  

                        I fought this boss twice so far once as a mage once as a knight and I want to say screw melee on this boss at least the second phase melee just doesn't work that wolf jumps around so much by the time my sword swings he's already jumped back and is charging at me before I can even dodge maybe I haven't got the timing down or something but jeez is it annoying to try and hit him

                        • Anonymous

                          23 Nov 2019 03:50  

                          That dog's hitboxes gives me hard flashbacks to the royal rat authority. I hope it's hot where i sent that mangy asshole

                          • Anonymous

                            21 Nov 2019 18:00  

                            NG+7, I killed the Twin Princes at my fourth try, SoC on my second, Nameless King on my third or fourth. I'm probably on my 15th try on this boss. I think I went to sleep and woke up dumber and bad at the game. I killed this thing in like half a minute on NG+6. Jesus Christ.

                            • 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.

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