Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf

General Info
HP Souls Location
Gravetender: 2791
Greatwolf: 4193
60000 Painted World of Ariandel
Drops Valorheart
Champion's Bones
Defenses
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

 

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)
  • 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.

 

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.

 

 

 




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    • Anonymous

      14 Jun 2021 19:27  

      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

        12 Jun 2021 00:40  

        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 pillars...now that is just obnoxious.

        • Anonymous

          08 Jun 2021 09:48  

          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 09:50  

            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 17:40  

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

              • Anonymous

                04 May 2021 04:38  

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

                • Anonymous

                  28 Apr 2021 00:40  

                  This boss is so stupid that it comes close to the gank squad in the DS2 DLC. At least he has his wolf buddies that aren't copy pasted from the main game.

                  • Anonymous

                    25 Apr 2021 01:43  

                    If you haven't, try dark hand against the champion gravetender. If you catch him in a regular blocking animation (not the weapon art), just unload your entire stamina bar into him. Even if he blocks, he will still take alot of damage. Rinse & repeat, it worked wonders on my level 37 pyro build but I doubt you even need to put any stats into pyro to get a good use out of it. After that, when he summons the wolf just kite them around the pillars, try to get rid of the gravetender first by unloading your whole bar but be mindful of the wolf. After this, I just unloaded all my fire orbs at the wolf. This strat made the boss alot less painful.

                    • Anonymous

                      19 Apr 2021 21:42  

                      So I always kill the Champion Gravetender first but I was messing around and killed the Wolf first this time. The Gravetender randomly got the effect of the Warcry buff you can normally get from Axes and Hammers. Is this like a "rage" thing that when you kill the wolf first, the Gravetender gets a bonus? Never saw that before.

                      • Anonymous

                        08 Apr 2021 08:00  

                        Found that GCFO worked better for me than CBVs. It spreads out enough to get the wolves, and Gravetender will stand in the lava. Once the big wolf comes, he basically just stands there. Hit the wolf a couple of times in the face with GCFOs, then used Toxic Mist and ran around the pillar. Once he went red eye, I switched up to my shield and rolled around the pillar. Next thing I knew he was dead from the poison.

                        • Anonymous

                          07 Apr 2021 17:59  

                          This is a lazy boss fight. It can still be enjoyable and all of that good stuff but it’s part of an extra cost package which adds more insult to injury. The beginning is a standard uninteresting gank with an npc and basic mobs which transitions to a fight with a large wolf who’s about as difficult as Sif but that fights emotional twist at the end was enough to make it memorable and seen as that wouldn’t have worked with the gravetender wolf it doesn’t have anything going for it other than a decent moderately difficult fight. It’s just there, you go and defeat it then you move on and forget about it easily. On the other hand FS put an unmatched amount of effort into the fight with Friede and even if you end up disliking it it’s a fight you’ll never forget.

                          • Anonymous

                            01 Apr 2021 16:42  

                            What a lazy, bs boss. Re-skinned Vordt with more stamina and speed. Biggest challenge is fighting the camera to see what’s happening as the charges kick up snow and frost damage.

                            • Anonymous

                              31 Mar 2021 15:19  

                              Is there some extreme weakness to fire that would cause the greatwolf to instantly die if hit right with pyromancy that isn't described here? I aggroed him for the first solo fight in NG+, and when I hit him in the face with a great chaos fire orb he poise broke right away. After following-up with a second one, his HP bar completely depleted and he died. Granted I was playing a SL 150 40 int/40 fth pyro build and that pyromancy is very strong, but I didn't expect to two-shot this miniboss that's given me a fair amount of trouble in the past.

                              • Anonymous

                                17 Mar 2021 18:47  

                                Second encounter with the Greatwolf is incredibly easy to cheese, just run behind the tower where the captain's ashes are, the little wolves will all throw themselves into the pit and the Greatwolf will just stare at you without doing much so you can fling arrows or spell at him/her (xer ? lol)

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