Curse-Rotted Greatwood

curse rotted greatwood enemies dark souls 3 wiki guide
General Info
hp souls Location
5405 7000 Undead Settlement
Drops Transposing Kiln
Soul of the Rotted Greatwood
Weak Resistant Immune
icon slashdef Slash
icon thrustdef Thrust (Hand)
icon firebonus Fire
Pestilent Mist
N/A icon poisonres.png Poison & Toxic
icon wp bleed Bleed
icon wp frost Frost

Curse-Rotted Greatwood is a Boss in Dark Souls 3. This Dark Souls 3 Curse-Rotted Greatwood Guide features locations, strategies and videos on how to defeat Curse-Rotted Greatwood easily, as well as tips, weaknesses, trivia and lore notes for the Greatwood boss.

The Curse-Rotted Greatwood is a giant tree with human-like limbs. It is covered in sacs that act as the hitbox of the boss. When the player encounters it, they will find a couple of undead in the arena that will fight alongside it during combat. After being brought down to a certain health threshold, instead of going through a transformation, the battle arena changes. This massive tree is filled with curses, and is the object of worship for the Undead Settlement's inhabitants.

Players should find the Mound-Makers covenant before defeating this boss, or they will need extra steps to enter the covenant. It is recommended to bring a weapon with long reach to deal with the Curse-Rotted Greatwood quickly. This boss is optional, but must be defeated for the Transposing Kiln required for Soul Transposition.

Bosses are unique and challenging Enemies that drop Boss Souls capable of being transformed into powerful Weapons, Spells, and Items for the player.


Dark Souls 3 Curse-Rotted Greatwood Location

Where to find the Curse-Rotted Greatwood in Dark Souls 3?

  • You can find this boss near the end of the Undead Settlement. Cliff Underside is the nearest bonfire after opening the shortcut door in front of the boss area.


Curse-Rotted Greatwood Drops

What do you get from defeating the Curse-Rotted Greatwood in Dark Souls 3?


Curse-Rotted Greatwood Combat Notes & Tips

What should you know about fighting the Curse-Rotted Greatwood in Dark Souls 3?

  • Deals Standard Damage.
  • The undead in the first phase will respawn a few times if killed, but will eventually stop. Avoid them and let the Greatwood swipe them away. They deal Standard Damage, Thrust Damage or Strike Damage.
  • Wooden areas take no damage, aim for the round fleshy growths on his body. He will have some at his stomach, back, ankles and thighs. Destroying egg sack stuns Greatwood for a few seconds.
  • Weak to Slash Damage (Hand and Egg Sacks), Thrust Damage (Hand) and Fire Damage.
  • Has the most extreme fire weakness in the game, at -110% absorption.
  • Pestilent Mist will not break up eggs, therefore 2nd phase will not trigger. Similar effect can be achieved without this spell, provided player can deplete the boss health bar within breaking 3 available egg sacks.
  • Immune to Poison/Toxic, Bleed and Frostbite.
  • Can be fooled with Alluring Skulls.
  • Damage him by taking out his back legs so he sits down. Attack him from behind while he is on sitting. 4-5 attacks will stun him and cause major damage.
  • Try to move to the bosses right side when he stands up. When he falls the arm will be on that side, letting you get good damage in.
  • You can skip first phase altogether by killing all of the Unkindles before waking the boss up. You will end up fighting normally for a brief time and the second phase will commence straight away. Also, Greatwood will not drop other unkindles on you


Curse-Rotted Greatwood Stats

Playthrough NG NG + NG ++ NG +3 NG +4 NG +5 NG +6 NG +7
Health 5405 15,444 16,988 17,761 18,533 20,077 20,489 21,622
Damage Type Standard Strike Slash Thrust Magic Fire Lightning Dark
Absorptions 44% -20% 30% 30% -14% -110% -20% -20%


Dark Souls 3 Curse-Rotted Greatwood Boss Guide & Strategies

DS3 Curse-Rotted Greatwood Video Strategies


Below are video strategies from our Youtube Partners.

DS3 Curse-Rotted Greatwood Attacks

Attack Name Attack Description & Counter
AoE Slam Boss slams its posterior on the ground, doing AoE damage and unleashing an AoE pool of corrosive liquid. Back up, used range if you like. You can actually move in and score some hits. As long as you don't abuse the corrosion, or play around, most equipment won't break right away and the damage it deals is low. You can use range or hit arm or leg weak spots while waiting for the corrosive liquid to vanish.
Grab-slam Brings both arms around the ground in a grabbing motion. Stops for a moment afterward with hands in front of its chest bulbs, allowing for easy hits on its hand bulbs. Standing directly in front of its chest bulbs will never let the boss hit with this attack.
Stand-and-Fall In the underground part of the battle, the boss will stand up, then immediately topple over, face down, onto the player. Get out of the way, run, roll, etc. Once it falls down, you can score attacks as it takes time for it to stand. This is perhaps the only time where the bulb on its right arm (not the white arm protruding from its chest; keep to your left if you were facing each other) is safely vulnerable to melee attack. Provoke this attack by maintaining your distance from the tree when you have aggro; quickly move to its right side, remembering that it's face down, so it's on your left if you were in front of it, and try to pop the bulb before it sits back up again.
Spin The boss will plant its hands on the ground and quickly whip around in a 360. Its arms and legs are what hit you. Move away, use a roll's iframes, block, etc.
Roll The boss will roll on its side in an attempt to crush the player. Move away. Preferably to the side, be ready to land some hits after the roll.
Ground-Pound The additional arm (the white one) will slam the ground 2-3 times in the player's direction. Its limbs can slam down on the player with minor AoE effect. Best dodged, not blocked. Aim for its back weak points as you circle it/dodge toward the back.

How to fight and beat Curse-Rotted Greatwood

Strategy 1 (Melee)

Immediately after the boss becomes active charge its left hand and left leg and destroy the egg sacks there. Back away and wait for the boss to do a kicking attack, fending off any undead as needed. As soon as you recognize that it is raising his leg to kick, charge to its groin and attack it as much as you can and then block or roll to dodge the imminent blow from its arm. Repeat until you fall into the pit.

Once in the pit, you'll want to stay away from the boss while determining where the remaining sacks are. You are entirely safe if you stay locked on and circling him, out of range. The Greatwood has a few eggs on its lower back and a few more on its right elbow; manually-aimed ranged attacks work best here, bows particularly for the targeting reticule, but you can also attack it in melee following the Cursed Wood's stand-and-fall attack, but you have to be quick; the white arm that emerges from its stomach/groin is also vulnerable. Once you've gotten rid of the groin sacks, and the lower back sacks, you may have to attack its white arm, as the remaining sacs are impractical to reach. This may require you to fight locked-off. Watch out for the arm's attacks, it has a grab that's particularly nasty. Simply dodge whenever you see it doing something, all its attacks have considerable recovery that should let you get in 1-3 blows. 

The best time to do massive damage is in its second phase. Goad it into it's falling attack. Dodge and you will have a good opportunity to get some hits in on some of the sacs you couldn't easily hit before.

As soon as you see the boss stand up and lean forward, sprint to you're coming from behind it, to its left hand side. When it falls down the white arm will be vulnerable for about 5 seconds. This is a perfect time to score a combo. When you see it stand up, if you have any, use a Pine Resin and imbue your weapon with either fire or lightning and maximise the amount of damage you can get in the small window. If you've destroyed all of the sacks, this is the safest (if slowest) tactic.


Strategy 2 (Sorcery)

The best strategy for pure magic with this boss is to spare him until you have the spell Pestilent Mist. With it, this boss gets rather easy, just get near him, cast the spell, move out of range, wait, repeat. Since the boss will only break the ground if you are near him, with Pestilent Mist it is possible to avoid stage two completely - the boss will break the ground when he dies, but not before. The only things you have to watch out for are the undead, that spawn until the boss is dead, and his ground rolling attack.

Another very easy method as a Sorcerer is to use White Dragon Breath to destroy its sacks. In phase 1 you run up to the right side of the boss and target lock. Move with the boss to the left side and when one of its sacks is in the line of sight between the white target lock dot and you, cast White Dragon Breath.

Phase two is much easier then, always keep the boss target locked and bring your self into position. The advantage of White Dragon Breath is that it follows the ground and upward, which is why you should keep the boss target locked and only cast when one of its sacks in between you and the lock. You can aim for its middle sack after the white hand swiped 3 times, sometimes even hitting the hand and the sack.

It is also possible (and not very difficult) to hit the egg sacks with unlocked spells; the large aggregation on the Greatwood's back in particular is just barely out of range of many melee weapons, but easy to hit with unlocked soul arrows.


Strategy 3 (Pyromancy)

This boss is weak to pyromancy, giving you a good advantage. As soon as the fight starts, start lobbing fire at the big egg sack on his crotch. You'll be able to quickly destroy this, progressing the fight into phase II. During the phase transition, if you're quick enough, you can destroy the egg sac on his left hand. 

While in the pit, prioritize targetting the sacs on his hands, feet and back. Once the boss has low health, you can just target the white hand that has now emerged from his stomach. Be careful not to get hit by his sweeping attacks, and be prepared to evade his body splashes. 


Strategy 4 (Baiting a fall)

Follow the same Phase 1 strategy as the guides above, but once you get to phase two you can cheese it. If you run out of range as far as you can the Greatwood will stand up and do a belly flop a lot like the Frog Boss in DS2. While he is down you can hit the arm a couple times and run away before he can do any damage to you. Simply keep on doing this over and over again and the boss should be easy for any build. Keep in mind he does have an attack where he stands up and rolls sideways that you have to avoid; its a bit more rare and does not give you a window of opportunity to do damage, but seems to only come up after he has done half a dozen of the regular belly flops.


Curse-Rotted Greatwood Lore Theories

  • According to the Soul of the Rotted Greatwood, it used to be a spirit tree until it was used as a vessel for unwanted curses by the inhabitants of the Undead Settlement. This lead to its transformation into a grotesque beast.
  • Considering the tree's presence above the pit of hollows it is possible the Mound Makers and their murders are at least part of the reason for the tree becoming steeped in curses, as hundreds upon thousands of bones are found in the pit of hollows at the shrine of the Mound Makers.
  • May be related to The Bed of Chaos, may also be part of an overarching theme that links plants to chaos and fertility.

Curse-Rotted Greatwood Trivia

  • In the second phase, a large white arm will emerge from the center of his body that you should avoid as it can pick you up and throw you. Observe it - if it is still, and not about to grab, you can score hits on it.
  • Bug: Just happened in my playthrough. Tree fell into second arena in a slow stuttering fashion and failed to grow more egg sacks and limb! Fight became impossible to win. Remaining sacs do not do enough damage to kill him.
  • Bug: Boss became a tree and fell a few feet into the ground. Was unable to move for a few seconds. It eventually popped out and started fighting normally. Silly tree, you ain't no tree no more.
  • Bug: Boss would not go into his second phase and drop into the pit - however he was still beatable as the egg sacks would not pop and simply continued to take damage. The floor broke after he was defeated and the pit could be accessed normally.


Curse-Rotted Greatwood Gallery

Curse Rotted Greatwood Curse Rotted Greatwood Concept Art




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    • Anonymous

      It's kind of a shame that he breaks the floor because that would have been a nice little courtyard to hang out in after the boss fight.

      • Anonymous

        I managed to kill it without breaking the floor (hitting the back sack with a dagger), and the floor broke on its own after the boss died

        • Anonymous

          Pyromancy flame +2 fireball and great combustion zero damage to nut sack, firebombs and black firebombs zero damage after hitting the same nut sack area. The adds, including a red eyed, real dirty motherf**ker dual wielding daggers, lay to rest the vestige of From Software's one time mission statement "difficult but fair" and "difficult but fun" I see it in Elden Ring as well.

          • Anonymous

            The Great Machete, which is dropped in the same area, can one hit those sacks. After dying 10 times with charcoal buffed ss, I decided to just 2h the machete and boom, got this gnarly old tree in one attempt.

            • Anonymous

              Tried fighting him with a Hollow Corvian scythe today and whenever I hit him in the second phase I received bleed build up.

              • Anonymous

                "You can skip first phase altogether by killing all of the Unkindles before waking the boss up. You will end up fighting normally for a brief time and the second phase will commence straight away"

                Not at all the experience I had.

                • Anonymous

                  This is either the hardest or easiest boss depending on your build and playstyle. I one shot it easily with a fire longsword on my dex character but am somehow struggling to get any of my fire orbs lined up with my pyro character. It's cool in principle and hey it's a giant tree, that's neat right? I find all the enemies in the first phase to be really tedious, but then missing the bulbs by millimeters with my fire orbs is also tedious. Wish fromsoft had gone with one or the other, on top of it being incredibly fast and aggresive for a giant tree it's just too much.

                  • Anonymous

                    Easy and hard. Easy since the fire buff weapon thing is use full for poppin' those balls of his, hard since that spin attack has a hit box larger than the arena. Also sometimes when i roll, the grab attack somehow gets me. 7/10

                    • Anonymous

                      Why do you not have him listed as weak to strike when his strike absorption is much lower than other physical dmg types in your chart?

                      • Anonymous

                        There are breakable candles in the boss room. Do enemies stop spawning after they are destroyed? I feel less of them spawned after the boss did a roll over those candles.

                        • Anonymous

                          His ass slam with piss on ground attack is just annoying, drags out the boss fight for no reason (for melee at least)

                          • Anonymous

                            Make sure you remember the bug that happened on some guy's playthrough which made this fight impossible to win for when you play the Dark Souls 3 Trivia DVD with your family

                            • Anonymous

                              This boss is called "Granbosco, la Foresta Maledetta" in Italian, which translates to "Granbosco, the Cursed Forest" in English. It is just called the Curse-Rotted Greatwood in the English version of the game, so I'm confused as to why they gave it a name in the Italian version. Anyone know?

                              • Anonymous

                                This is a boss I will defend to my grave, my experience with it was delightful and one of the only downsides was maybe the enemies in the starting arena which are gone my the second phase. I remember how nice it felt to die and learn. To make progress on finding the weak points and being amazed at what i could hit during certain attack cycles. Not to mention the boss disturbs you so beautifully as even prior to knowing the lore it seems unnatural and you know: cursed. And I love the second phase, the transition to the second phase isn't a cutscene but keeps the gameplay going. When that hand emerges from its stomach I felt a sense of discomfort followed by bravery as I shifted my strategy of attack accordingly. This was the first time I had done a pyromancy build so I had access to projectiles and wow that was fun. During the second phase I remember I kept looking for weak spots I could hit and than realized I'd have to aim high and now with fire, and so I did. And with surgical precision I hit the eggs on its back over and over with fire and like the fire alight in my heart I threw the last ball to the very top of its head perfectly and won the battle (This was all done without locking on of course). I felt satisfied, the boss was nicely challenging, had great lore implications that I understand today and most of all: I had fun. Praise the curse rotted greatwood!

                                • Anonymous

                                  Best advice for this boss is just wait and come back later, after leveling some. Even with a pyro build, easily killed this melee using a fire broadsword +6. Obviously, this boss can be done immediately, but save yourself the headache.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    Welcome to part 1 of how to beat the optional bosses in ds3

                                    Get a faster weapon (I would recommend something like the hand axe or a straight sword)
                                    Early in undead settlement you can find charcoal pine bundles (you can also find resin)

                                    If they bother you kill the hollows in your way
                                    Buff your weapon with either a bundle or resin
                                    Prioritize the middle (the great wood can only be damaged by attacking the egg sacks)
                                    It should break in only a few hits with fire damage
                                    If your fast you can run to his leg and break another one, and maybe break one on his arm too (before phase 2).
                                    Once you break one or two egg sacks the floor will break then the fight starts over again with the main difference being the addition of the arm.

                                    Watch for grab attacks, avoid the acid pools if you need to (you can throw firebombs if you struggle getting close).
                                    The arm can also be hit the few times it on the ground

                                    Not very difficult but worth doing because you get the transposing Kiln

                                    • Anonymous

                                      Doing a Nintendo Run with some friends. I'm Mario so a pyromancer who uses Demon Fists for my main weapon (the weapon art is so perfect). This boss has always been cake so I was fairly surprised how I could barely hit half the freaken growths with the fist. My face would literally be clipping through them but my R1 or R2 couldnt connect.

                                      Swapped to Deep Axe from Lothric Mimic after I got punted to death and easily 1-shotted him. Love the fist love the build but god damn, the Demon Fist range must be in the negatives lol.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        i think there is a bug where when the boss fell his stomach won't open and no white arm shows up. can't damage any visible egg and the boss stuck on butt slam attack cycle

                                        • Anonymous

                                          "hey, you know what this cursed tree needs? balls."
                                          "what do you- oohhh you mean balls on their arms for the players to-
                                          "no, BALLLS."
                                          "i don't- oohhh! you mean balls to fall from the branches-"
                                          "DO I NEED TO SPELL IT OUT FOR YOU?! THIS TRE REQUIRES TESTICLES"

                                          • Anonymous

                                            Why is there 1 white ghost arm in 2nd phase? Why not 2 white ghost arms? What is the speculation of the ghost arm n why only got 1?

                                            • Anonymous

                                              Okay that was weird. I've played through a few times now so I know how this fight is supposed to go. But when I started hitting his balls at the beginning of the fight, they wouldn't break. I was using a sword... So I don't know what that was all about... But yeah he died without breaking the floor or growing that spooky hand.

                                              Saw that someone listed this glitch above already, just confirming that definitely happens. Totally vanilla game on PS4 btw

                                              • Anonymous

                                                This guy gets a lot of hate, but you know what, it's a great boss. It's easy but that's fine, its in the second area of the game. Popping the weak points is quite satisfying, and it also serves as a good introduction to elemental weakness, with a tree obviously being weak to fire. Conveniently, the game supplies fire resin earlier in the area. The floor breaking out is exciting when you don't expect it, and the hand popping out is among the more horrific things in the souls games. Plus, the lore of the tree is incredible and super interesting. To top it all off, some of the attacks that have it stand up look epic. Stop hating on the Greatwood, this boss rocks.

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  After a gajillion tries, I was able to kill this boss (using a whip [because I like whips] ) thanks to getting the bug multiple times ( I died at some attempts even w/ the bug, my first time playing this game >< ). It took forever.

                                                  Anyways, maybe the bug where the eggs not popping and the floor breaking didn't happen because I never attacked the same egg more than twice.
                                                  In no specific rotation, I just kept whipping the eggs at its left hand, back, left leg and crotch.

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    did 3 runs without a problem, but this time when the floor broke hodrik was down there in the pit of hollows .... it feel on hodrick, instant killing him
                                                    i found it strange because heard a sound of someone dying and some souls being added, but was thinking that maybe it was just one of the hollows praying to the tree .... but after killing the tree, hodrick dead body was there close to the bonfire

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      This modafaka is hardest boss in game, no doubt. He completely trashed me. I can beat all other game bosses no problem, but this boss? He is just too broken for gentleman such as I.

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        So came across a glitch where i could not get through the fog wall to help my buddy. So i just cast pestilent mist through the fog wall to hurt the boss, and managed to kill the boss without it breaking the floor. But upon its death the floor preceded to break inside for my buddy.

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          Sl 15, wep + 1, NG+ Killed Aldrich, Twin Princes, Demon Princes, Sister Friede, Dancer, Dragonslayer Armour, Champion Gundyr, Oceiros and Soul of Cinder. Only Cinder needed more than 3 tries... Before i went for the tree... 10 tries and counting, i hate this boss now lol

                                                          • Anonymous

                                                            Never thought I would be poking a big tree's balls with a flaming sword while an army of rednecks try to kill me with farming tools. You live, you learn.

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              I’m pretty bad (still can’t consistently kill the lothric knights) but I beat this dude on my second try. For reference, it took me around 10 tries to kill Vordt.

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                It's actually a good concept and the music is pretty scary, but the execution is poor. I might've gone for a fake-out, where you fight some kind of hollow boss in the area, then the floor collapses and the tree wakes up. Instead we got a lumbering acorn-looking thing with a bunch of ballsacks all over it.

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  I hope I wasnt the only one genuinely freaked out by the arm just popping out during the second phase, thought some kind of giant grotesque hollow was gonna pop out and fight me as a third phase.

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    I hear Eygon and Siegward can be summoned for this boss if conditions are met but you couldn't tell it from this page.

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      Something I didn't find out until my umpteenth playthrough, there's a sixth sac on his right arm. To get to it, you either need to snipe it with a bow or run away so he stands up and tries to squish you, leaving the sac exposed. If you go for this sac (along with the other five), it will kill him without having to deal any additional damage to the hand he grows in the second phase. Makes the fight much easier without any cheesy tactics.

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        I actually encountered a glitch fighting him a little while ago. I don't know how to trigger it, but sometimes the fight will start up without music. When that happens, the entire fight will occur in the first phase. The bulbs on the front of his body will never burst, and he takes double damage.

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          Maybe one of the most significant health jumps from NG to NG+; this boss gains 10k health, which is something like a 300% increase. It took roughly 6-8 full Pestilent Mists to kill this guy.

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            The hollows in phase 1 do not spawn infinitely, there is an end to them. Tested by prolonging phase 1 until no more arrived.

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              i detest this boss, the *****ing eggs are a pain trying to hit with small weapons and most weapons does'nt attack upwards enough to reach and the boss drags out the fight longer by spamming that piss acid move

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