Deacons of the Deep

Deacons of the Deep dks3
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
4099 (292 p/deacon) 13,000 (150 p/deacon) Cathedral of the Deep
Drops

Soul of the Deacons of the Deep
Small Doll Archdeacon Set

Defenses
Weak Resistant Immune
Fire Physical-type
 Frostbite
Vow of Silence
Dark   Dark
Magic  Magic
Bleed  Bleed
Poison  Poison &Toxic
n/a

Deacons of the Deep is a Boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. The congregation of clerics defends a roaming soul, that is eventually revealed to be the Archdeacon.

 

Deacons of the Deep Information

 

Location

  • This boss is located in the Cathedral of the Deep. The boss chamber is accessed by going up the stairs in the corner behind one of the giants.

 

Drops

 

Combat Information

  • Health: NG (4,099), NG+ (8,796), NG++ (??), NG+3 (??), NG+4 (??), NG+6 (??), NG+8 (??)
  • Attacks deals Standard Damage, Thrust Damage, Fire Damage or Dark Damage (2nd phase) damage. During second phase can also kill by Curse.
  • Can be parried, which allows to perform a riposte, backstabbed or pinned down. *note* The possessed deacon can't be parried since it doesn't attack the player.
  • Weak to the Hollowslayer Greatsword.
  • All other than the possessed/real one are susceptible to Rapport and Alluring Skulls.
  • Weak to Physical-type damage, Frostbite and Vow of Silence.
  • Resistant to Dark Damage, Magic Damage, Bleed, Poison and Toxic.
  • For the first phase, kill the possessed (red aura) deacons to get to the 2nd phase of the fight.
  • In the second phase, the spirit possessing the Deacons reveals itself to be the Archdeacon, and can now be damaged directly.
  • Four new unique blue-robed undead appear alongside him. These will not re-spawn and will heal the Boss.  Leave these alone too long and you basically die. Check the moveset for more info.

 

Strategies

Video Strategies

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

This is a relatively straightforward fight. You're going to sprint from enemy to enemy killing the ones with the red aura as fast as you can, following it from one enemy to the next. The undead do very low damage so prioritize offense and heal if you take too much damage.

In phase 2 there will be one enemy that possesses the red aura for the duration of the fight. He will be closely guarded by other undead who will try to put a protective barrier between you and them. Try and maneuver around them if you can, or if you feel confident try and AoE them down with a wide swinging weapon. Rolling into enemies is a good way to get out of trouble, as it will make them stumble backwards which should give you some breathing room.

Casters will pool their magic together with the main hollow to fire a black mass that goes through objects to hit you but won't track. Keep these four casters alive until they start pooling their magic separately making a curse debuff fog. Kill one and their spell will be halted. Ignore them and the player will be instantly killed by a curse.

Pontiff's Left Eye will allow you to dive into the mob safely when you use a weapon with large horizontal attacks as it will heal you for each enemy you hit in one swing. Using an item or consumable that increases stamina regeneration will allow you to remain within the mob longer, assuming a brief pause after each swing. As long as you are swinging with an appropriately sized weapon (such as the Hollowslayer), it is possible to heal at a rate faster than damage can be done to you, effectively rendering you immune to any attack that does not stagger. It is a good idea to avoid allowing enemies to circle in behind you, as it increases the likelihood that an enemy will be able to use a physical staggering attack on you before being knocked off balance by your weapon.

Strategy 2 (Magic)

Only a few magic spells are effective in this boss fight, namely (Crystal) Soul Spear, White Dragon Breath, Soul Stream and Soul Greatsword, which can all help you taking down deacons left and right. It may however be difficult to cast properly due to the high number of enemies and their ability to cast fireballs, which may interrupt your own spellcasting.
Note that despite the Soul Spear's ability to pierce through enemy groups, it can be very difficult to hit the actual boss with it due to not being able to target him properly; the same goes for White Dragon Breath and Soul Stream.
The seldom-used Pestilent Mist can actually be an absolute killer in this boss fight, in particular when used in combination with Aural Decoy or an Alluring Skull. Notice that it takes relatively long to set up such a trap, so it is advised to do so from behind a corner or pillar; also, try to cast The Pestilent Mist first, as its effect expires a little slower than the lure.

For the most part, the best strategy in this fight will be to slay a few deacons with a Soul Greatsword, then pull back behind the pillars on the sides of the battlefield, and start another attack on another deacon cluster.
In Phase 2 the Archdeacon and his henchmen appear, and once again the Soul Greatsword is your best tool to clear the way; however, the best way to attack the Archdeacon himself is with Farron Flashsword (or a regular weapon).
Generally speaking, standing around and casting is a bad idea in this battle, as you will get interrupted or overwhelmed quickly. Try instead to stay in motion, and use corners and columns to your advantage. Notice that Soul Greatsword will not bounce off obstacles and can therefore also be used to attack from behind a pillar.

Strategy 3 (Caster/Pyromancy)

With Pyromancy this fight becomes a walk in the park and you don't even have to be a dedicated Pyromancer, I used this strategy with my Sorcerer and only swapped the equipment and spells to Pyro without respecing my attributes. Use Great Chaos Fire Orb for damage and Flash Sweat to buff yourself. This does several things for you: GCFO does a lot of AoE damage which means you don't have to always target the red glowing guy, it's enough to get one that is near him. It kills a lot of other Deacons too which breaks up the cluster so you can easily focus on the main target. Flash Sweat lets you pretty much ignore their fireballs even at VIG20 on NG+.

If you need to run to the other side of the cluster, run behind the pillars to lessen the damage you receive even further. When the boss is down to 50%, run up to the Blue Deacons and kill them as quickly as possible or they will heal the boss. Use the corners of the building in the middle to heal yourself and pull the Cluster around the corner and away from the main boss, leaving him open on the other side. See video above as an example of this strategy, although it was made on NG+ you can apply the same tactics to NG.

 

Attacks

 

First Phase (Red Orb moves from Deacon to Deacon)
Lunge A Deacon will lunge at you with the Cleric's Candlestick for weak damage.
Fireball Some of the Deacons throw fireballs at you.
Second Phase (the Archdeacon Royce appears and get surrounded)
Curse  The Archdeacon Vanguard will congregate and cast a long build up spell that will cover the arena in curse-inflicting fog. Can be interrupted.
Deep Soul Fires dark soul dregs. These souls are drawn towards life, so they will follow you or nearby summons.

 

Lore Theories

The deacons use pyromancy in addition to the miracles typical of clerics.

Pyromancy is considered heretical in Dark Souls so this shift to pyromancy is probably connected to their fall from grace.

The red aura that hops from deacon to deacon has appeared before in Bloodborne.

This red aura is connected to blood-drunkness, buffs granted by witches, "rot" and Vermin.

Mad Ghru can also obtain a red aura after grabbing you.

The deacons were followers of Aldrich, Devourer of Gods that stayed behind to protect his tomb.

The name of the Archdeacon in this fight is Royce, as indicated by the description of the set found on his corpse after reloading the boss arena.

 

Notes & Trivia

  • Pontiff's Left Eye Ring is very useful in this fight, due to the clusters of enemies making for good multi-hit opportunities. Spells such as Poison Mist/Poison Spores can also serve as decent crowd-control, simultaneously wiping out a large number of deacons when used properly.
  • Bring a Dagger or Mail Breaker to this fight, as it is very easy to fish for backstabs, assuming your target isn't tightly clustered with the other deacons.
  • Royce is in the boss fight arena for the whole time - during 1st phase, he is inside the coffin. 
  • The Farron Greatsword is particularly useful here, due to its special moveset.
  • If you want to make this fight even easier try to use the Ring of the Evil Eye and if you need FP regen try the Executioner's Greatsword. In NG+, the +1 version of the Ring of the Evil Eye is found right behind the large altar in the area just before the Deacons boss fight.
  • As of App Ver 1.05 Regulation 108, this boss is optional, due to a glitch allowing you to bypass the barrier in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley that requires the Small Doll to go through.

Gallery

 

  

 




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    • 31 Mar 2021 17:20  

      Alright... I've killed this boss a few times but I still don't really understand how to stop the curse build up attack that covers the whole arena.

      Who exactly am I supposed to be interrupting? Do I need to kill ALL of the dudes channeling dark, or do I just hit the main red guy? Or both? I killed at least 1 or 2 of the dark guys during the cast, but the attack didn't stop. I also hit the main guy several times and that didn't seem to do it.

      I'm on them now at SL20 with a +3 weapon, trying to stay there (long story, but no I'm not invading), so not understanding this attack is a bit more of a problem this time around.

      When I figure it out I'll post back here, but if someone already knows the answer it'll save some tedium.

      • Anonymous

        19 Feb 2021 03:34  

        first time the room went dark i got the **** scared out of me, and promptly died after hiding in a corner for a bit.

        • Anonymous

          08 Jan 2021 05:32  

          Honestly, even though it was super easy, this fight was a blast. The first phase is pretty mediocre, because there's no pressure on you, but the second phase is really fun to just go ham in and kill end up killing the boss just a hit or two away from death.

          • Anonymous

            27 Dec 2020 04:03  

            Even though it's a relatively easy boss, that doesn't mean it wasn't a good boss. The concept is solid, and that curse attack can be devious if you don't know to target the blue ones.

            • Anonymous

              15 Dec 2020 03:29  

              Lightning storm wrecks shop like nobody's business in this fight, just did it and with Anri and Horace we were killing them faster than they could spawn.

              • Anonymous

                16 Nov 2020 08:29  

                I played DS3 blind with a DEX build and this boss gave me a bit of a tough time. Took me about 5 tries to figure out what to do in phase 2, come up with a plan, and equip properly. It was simple once the "puzzle" was solved. Appreciate how different it is from the bosses in DS1!

                • Anonymous

                  13 Nov 2020 02:59  

                  I like the concept of the boss but holy **** it's too easy. Sometimes I purposely draw out the battle just to enjoy the music.

                  • Anonymous

                    17 Oct 2020 12:38  

                    Excluding Iudex and Vordt, this is the easiest boss for me.
                    By the time I get to this boss I've leveled up my stats, got a nice amount of estus flasks, can summon NPCs to help.
                    Just need to get through the cannon fodder.
                    I two hand my weapon and hack away.

                    • Anonymous

                      19 Sep 2020 03:24  

                      i didnt know the blue deacons didnt respawn so i jusy ignored them lol. no wonder i have so much trouble with the big curse fog

                      • Anonymous

                        10 Sep 2020 16:59  

                        at sl1 ng+ these guys can actually be quite dangerous, so here's my trick. storyteller's staff. run up to the middle of the coffin and use the WA, poisoning the archdeacon. while the red thing bounces around the deacons as they die, run to the back of the room and wait for them to gather there, strafing around as necessary. once the archdeacon and his blue bumbuddies arrive, throw an alluring skull at the wall and run. they shouldn't chase you. simply dps the archdeacon down while throwing alluring skulls to distract the blue pricks.

                        • Anonymous

                          28 Aug 2020 22:41  

                          have had to homeward bone out of the fight twice out of sheer boredom. This boss has way too much HP on NG+

                          • Anonymous

                            16 Aug 2020 07:31  

                            Farron Greatsword and Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords turn this boss into a joke. Using them together makes it just sad. You'll spend more time looking for deacons than killing them, though...

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