High Lord Wolnir

high lord wolnir enemy dark souls 3 wiki guide
General Info
hp souls Location
15,041 22,000 Catacombs of Carthus
Drops Soul of High Lord Wolnir
Weak Resistant Immune
icon strikedef Strike,
Blessed Weapons, Bracelets
icon darkbonus Dark
icon poisonres.png Poison & Toxic

icon wp bleed Bleed
icon wp frost Frost

High Lord Wolnir is a Boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. This Dark Souls 3 High Lord Wolnir Guide features locations, strategies and videos on how to defeat High Lord Wolnir easily, as well as tips, weaknesses, trivia and lore notes for the High Lord Wolnir boss.

High Lord Wolnir is a massive skeleton covered in jewelry, of which the bracelets act as the hitbox of the boss. He mainly attacks the player with his torso and limbs but on occasion may wield a sword, making the fight more dangerous. This colossal skeleton is imbued with deadly darkness and commands an army of skeletons to his defense.

This boss fight can be unpredictable - either going very smoothly or being a chaotic mess.  It is recommended to destroy the bracelets as quickly as possible to reduce the chances of the boss summoning his sword or army of skeletons. There are no NPC summons available for Lord Wolnir's Boss Fight. You can summon Phantoms before the doors but not in the room with the Goblet. This boss is not optional and must be defeated in order to traverse further into Irithyll of the Boreal Valley.

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 High Lord Wolnir Location

Where to find High Lord Wolnir in Dark Souls 3?

  • Catacombs of Carthus, at the very end, up the stairs past the suspension bridge.
  • You need to touch the goblet on the altar in front of the stairs in order to trigger a cut scene and be transported in the arena.


High Lord Wolnir Drops

What do you get from defeating High Lord Wolnir in Dark Souls 3?

  • Souls: NG (22,000) | NG+ (86,000) | NG++ (96,800) | NG+3 (99,000) | NG+4 (105,600) | NG+6 (110,000) | NG+7 (112,200)
  • Other: Soul of High Lord Wolnir
  • Pickup in arena: Grave Warden Pyromancy Tome. If you didn't pick it up, it will spawn in the corner of the room with the bonfire next to the stairs.


High Lord Wolnir Notes & Tips

What should you know about fighting High Lord Wolnir in Dark Souls 3?

  • Deals Standard Damage and Dark Damage. Permanent cloud dealing dark damage coming out of his ribcage. Getting caught in this almost guarantees instant death.
  • Wolnir is an abyssal creature, therefore it is weak to Farron Greatsword and Wolf Knight's Greatsword.
  • Weak to Strike damage and weapons with the Blessed infusion.
  • Very high defense against Dark Damage
  • Immune to Frostbite and Bleed 
  • Resistant to Poison and Toxic
  • May spawn a sword at any time (no bracelets are required to be broken).
  • He will move towards you if you go too far away. After doing this 3-5 times you'll be trapped against the wall and vulnerable to his dark cloud aura. However, he pulls back a good distance every time you break one of his shackles.


High Lord Wolnir Stats

Playthrough NG NG + NG ++ NG +3 NG +4 NG +5 NG +6 NG +7
Health 15,041 27,752 30,527 31,915 33,302 36,078 37,465 38,853
Damage Type Standard Strike Slash Thrust Magic Fire Lightning Dark
Absorptions 32% 9% 34% 36% 24% 28% 40% 70%


Dark Souls 3 High Lord Wolnir Boss Guide & Strategies

DS3 High Lord Wolnir Video Strategies


Dark Souls 3 High Lord Wolnir Attacks

Attack Name Attack Description
Dark Cloud Raises and releases a dark damage smoke cloud from his mouth that does heavy damage per second.
Has a safe spot under his head which, unlike running away, is much less likely to trigger him to move forward. Be careful of moving too far forward or to either side and hitting the cloud around his ribcage.
Summon skeletons Summons a group of skeletons using his left hand. He spawns different skeletons depending on how many bracelets he has remaining. His normal attacks can harm the summoned skeletons and he usually kills most of them quickly.
Sword summon Invokes a gigantic sword from the ground using his right hand and swipes it towards you. He can unsummon the sword by sticking it into the ground, when this happens it deals AOE damage.
Crawl Advances towards the player if he is too far to attack. Usually does this right after releasing the smoke cloud to push the player towards the back wall.
Hand slam Slams his hand down on the player with substantial tracking.
Hand swipe Sweeps the arena with his left arm, threatening damage over a large area.

How to fight and beat High Lord Wolnir

Strategy 1 (Melee)

Wolnir is a deceptive boss to fight. On the one hand, he can be very easy if you know how to beat him, but conversely he has several attacks that can kill you very quickly. The key to the fight is breaking the shackles on his wrists. He has a huge pool of HP and while it's perfectly possible to kill him without breaking the shackles, it's not advisable. Each shackle breaking takes 1/3rd of his HP away.

When you enter the fight, make a bee-line for his right hand (your left). This shackle is the hardest to break as he moves this arm a lot and only attacks with it when he has his sword in play. Take a strong weapon and two hand it to deal maximum damage. He tends to keep his right arm near to his rib cage which Is covered with a localised dark cloud. Be careful when attacking this shackle as you can easily take damage from the cloud. If he somehow manages to get you cornered in the other side of the arena, don't be afraid to go nuts on the other shackles in an attempt to force him back.

Once you have broken the right shackle, move to the left hand and continue trying to break the other shackles. When you've broken a shackle, Wolnir will start summoning skeletons of varying stature, from regular skeleton soldiers all the way up to bonewheels. You can largely ignore these enemies as his Melee attacks will normally kill them. Only engage them if they're likely to do any damage to you. Focus instead on the shackles.

He spawns different skeletons depending on how many bracelents he has remaining. All bracelets: 3-4 normal skeletons, 2 bracelets he will spawn 3-4 normal skeletons and 2-3 bonewheel skeletons, and with 1 bracelet remaining he will spawn 2 murakumo wielding skeletons, 2 wheel skeletons and 5 normal skeletons. His normal attacks can harm the summoned skeletons and he usually kills most of them quickly. This phase can be avoided altogether if you manage to kill him quickly.

During the fight, if he lifts his head right up, run to the back of the boss room as he is about to breathe his dark cloud attack. This will deal enormous amounts of damage very quickly to you. Once he's done this attack, he'll claw his way closer to the back of the room. When he's as far up as he can go, the breath becomes a major issue. Instead of running to the back wall which will still result in death, run between his head and his ribs. The cloud attack moves forwards from his mouth, not backwards. There's only a small sweet spot where you won't take damage so be careful.

Lastly, when he brings his sword out, roll under the swipes to avoid taking damage. When he dismisses it, he will smash it into the ground and cause an AoE attack. This does physical damage and is largely unavoidable, so when you see him go to stab it into the ground use a 100% physical damage reduction shield. It'll stagger you, but you'll not take damage from the AoE.


Strategy 2 (Magic)

Start by moving towards Wolnir to prevent him pushing you against the back wall early on. Proceed to target Wolnir's golden bracelets (either side) and move in close, hit him a few times with a Farron Flashsword or Soul Greatsword then back off as he will attack now. Roll back to dodge his attacks then simply attack his bracelets once he places his hands back down.

Quickly target the next bracelet and get some good hits in (run up and Farron Flashsword/Soul Greatsword or Heavy/Great Soul Arrow from a distance) then be prepared for his next attack (watch carefully for his deadly breath attack, get as far away as possible to avoid it) while avoiding the skeletons that have now spawned. Wait until Wolnir wipes the skeletons away and continue the onslaught from afar or close-up. Rinse thoroughly and repeat. 


Strategy 3 (Sorcery with White Dragon Breath on NG+)

All you need is the spell White Dragon Breath and your standard Sorcerer equipment. When you enter the room, run to the far right side and target his left (your right) hand. Position yourself so that his bracelet is between you and the white target dot and cast WDB when his arm is down. After 2 full hits the bracelet shatters, rinse & repeat with the remaining ones. If you are quick enough he won't spawn a single enemy, the whole fight you see in the video above was over in 60 sec. Sadly this only works on NG+ because you get WDB later in the game.

Alternatively, you can do early Dancer and Oceiros and transpose Oceiros' soul, this wil enable this strategy on NG.


Strategy 4 (Pestilent Mist)

Using Pestilent Mist you can kill Wolnir without him ever waking up, to do so, start the fight as normal, walk up on his left (your right) hand and start casting Pestilent mist, do not attack him by any other means and you can kill him in about 5 uses of pestilent mist.


Strategy 5 (Pyromancy)

With Great Chaos Fire Orb and +Pyromancy rings (Great Swamp RingWitch's Ring and Fire Clutch Ring) you can use both the initial damage burst as well as the short-lingering lava to break the shackles with little to no effort. As you enter the room, grab the tome and head to the left side of the room. Attack and break his right (your left) bangle before you move to the others since it's the hardest to hit and keep track of. Once you break that bangle, it's very likely he will either crawl up the hill or raise his head up to use his cursed breath attack. Just stay back and make your way to the right side of the room to his left hand and repeat the process on the remaining bangles. If he summons skeletons, your Great Chaos Fire Orb will make short work of them. Once you break 2 bangles, they become much stronger, so take out his right hand first! Make sure to dodge the hand strikes and move away from Wolnir's sword as well as his fist strikes and swipes and you are home free!


Strategy 5 1/2 (Pyromancy, with less progression needed)

With Great CombustionGreat Swamp Ring and Lloyd's Sword Ring, do the same thing. you do have to be careful not to get too close because the fog will choke you, but it still works a treat.


Strategy 6 (Poison Cheese)

Acquire a Storyteller's Staff from one of the Corvian Storytellers on the Road of Sacrifices and re-allocate all or most of your charges to your Ashen Estus Flask. Then either level up or respec to at least 12 Intelligence to wield the staff. Upon the first time entering the fight, walk to your right and approach his left arm off to the side. Use the storyteller's staff's weapon art until he is poisoned and repeat when it wears off, restoring FP from your ashen estus flask as necessary. This can be repeated until he is dead but you cannot use this strat if he's "awake" either by attacking him directly or getting too close to his face. This is similar to using Pestilent Mist except that it can be performed with far less INT at the expense of needing to get the staff which may take a while to drop. Excellent for low level builds attempting to get past the catacombs.


Strategy 7 (Lightning Storm NG+)

Two point-blank casts are needed of Lightning Storm to pop off each bracelet, and the spell is also great at clearing skeletons when they spawn. Treat this like a melee strat as you need to get in close to each bracelet. Tested on NG+ with 60 Faith, Canvas Talisman +10, Lightning Clutch Ring, Morne's Ring, and Ring of the Sun's First Born.


High Lord Wolnir Lore Theories

  • Wolnir does not seem to be in control of the Abyss that he is in and instead fears it, as once the bracelets are destroyed, he is devoured by the darkness.
  • "When Wolnir fell to the Abyss, he was gripped by a fear of true darkness, and pleaded to the gods for the first time. This holy sword, together with three armlets stripped from the corpses of clerics, gave him some semblance of comfort." - Wolnir's Holy Sword.
  • Leaks from quality assurance testers of the alpha version suggest that Wolnir was originally going to play the role of Yhorm the Giant - using that name - in The Profaned Capital. with Yhorm the Giant playing the role of Gundyr - using that name - in The Cemetery of Ash - (credit darksouls3theorist).

High Lord Wolnir Trivia

  • Exploit: If you run all the way back after you enter the area, Wolnir will follow you until it can no longer do so. Head to either side and stay near Wolnir's wrists, and then continue to attack his bracelets. None of his attacks will hit you, although the skeletons he summons will still target you.
  • The band on his right hand (your left) is harder to hit as Wolnir doesn't leave it down as long. Thus, it's recommended to break that one first during the easier part of the fight.
  • He takes much more damage on his bracelets before waking up (first one was two swings of a fire broadsword+2, others were 6 or so).
  • From footage of older trailer Wolnir was apparently meant to be in a different place, or have a different arena.
  • When Wolnir is asleep, his HP is lower by about 2/3, comparing to state, when he is not asleep.
  • Pestilent Mist does not wake him up, what makes him very easy to kill.
  • Killing Wolnir with at least 1 remaining bracelet will trigger different death animation.
  • Oddly, if the player instantly follows Wolnir once he is killed, they will simply see a wall where the Abyss is supposed to be; Wolnir simply disappears.


High Lord Wolnir Gallery

Cup of Wolnir High Lord Wolnir Up Close

High Lord Wolnir Concept Art




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    • Anonymous

      The easiest boss in all souls 3. Thankgod they made this boss easy, relaxed a bit, the others so far were all insane.

      • Anonymous

        Helped a guy beat Wolnir. We both took out his last 2 bracelets simultaneously and he didn't fall to the abyss. Fun bug, still beat him by getting his health down.

        • Anonymous

          First sorta soft jump scare was fine, but seeing him be unwillingly dragged into that abyss? F*ck no, Nein danke, I choose life.
          Whatever’s in there, I don’t want to ever know.

          • Anonymous

            He also has an EXTREMELY rare attack where he throws his sword at you, and than picks it up through telekinesis or something.

            • Anonymous

              That boss was trivial. Forget blessed weapons go two handed heavy, don't lock on and focus only on the gold bracelets. Two handed +5 heavy claymore broke them in two to three hits.

              • Anonymous

                This boss was so easy and so random. I be doing good then it traps me under him killing me instantly it was annoying

                • Anonymous

                  I Hate This Damn Boss. My First Playthrough, I Died Several Times Before I Got His Ass But I Recently Started Ds3 Over And Killed His Ass Before Phase 2 Even Started Without Taking The First Hp Of Damage. Just Wtf.

                  • Anonymous

                    on my first playthrough i couldnt find any bonfires in this area, and when i died to this boss the whole area was my runback

                    • Anonymous

                      I Used a torch,saw a GIANT skeleton hand and thought it's a background object and decided to break it but suddenly a red line appeared on screen and I told myself:Why do I hear boss music?
                      Then I saw some trinkets on his hands and decided to strip them off him in a patches style but it emptied his health bar for nothing and I just got a lot of souls and a boss soul.(+7 sellswords)

                      • Anonymous

                        If you get too close to this boss your health evaporates. Now you might think this is unfair, but fromsoft in their infinite wisdom warned you for this. You see there is actually some black smoke in front of this boss that is just barely distinguishable from the black background. So it's your own fault for not knowing really.

                        I'm not salty you're salty

                        • Anonymous

                          Wow i killed in an 8 secs no damage taken !…. I am level 165 so maybe that an a plus 6 heavy spiked mace will do it !! I just busted bracelets on right arm then the left , he never stood a chance!!

                          • Anonymous

                            Not an amazing fight by any stretch of the imagination, but the imagery is pretty unnerving. The final moment where he gets dragged straight into the dark is unsettling af. Even the worst bosses in this game have something memorable to them.

                            • Anonymous

                              "I was put here at the dawn of life on earth. To feed on the last breath of everyone of you f***ers. I'm alittle more than ah.. thing."

                              • Anonymous

                                I have not felt this much fear and panic in any game, when i walked to the light with a torch; saw a giant hand; and proceeds to slowly see the skull. I backed down in game and irl lmao

                                • Anonymous

                                  I didn't know you had to hit his bracelets and I targeted his hands, thinking that was the way to break the bracelets and it took sooo long to break them. second time I directly targeted his bracelets and the whole fight took no longer than a minute. be sure to hit the damn bracelets!

                                  • Anonymous

                                    When your at the very backwall don’t panic too hard. He couldn’t even hit me and I broke his right hand easy

                                    • Anonymous

                                      In my 3rd playthrough on XB1 I broke half the urns in the room, moved to the door but no message appeared, touched the goblet, picked the tome and used blessed Astora sword to break one bracelet on left hand, the bracelet on the right hand and then the other bracelet on the right hand. High Lord never released dark cloud nor summoned any skeleton. He just summoned, swiped and unsummoned his sword time after time. It was very easy to defeat him that way.

                                      • I think my game is broken.
                                        I beat him on my 2nd try. Wtf ?
                                        First time got caught in his pneumonia, instakilled.
                                        Second time I went for the bracelets with some 240damage dual wield Uchigatana, broken one by one and he didn't even seem to have pulled any attack bar the right arm sweep, which barely touched me.
                                        I thought, ok, that was easy part, now he's surely maul me in the 2nd phase with some out of ass crazy strong attack, but no, heir destroyed. well, mmkay :D

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Such an erratic boos. One run you're knocking out the fight a minute. And the next time you fight, you die multiple time to him cheesing with his sweeping attacks. On top of his arms that never stop moving.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            Okay but we can all agree this boss fight sucks right

                                            You completely delete him except for that one run everyone has where they look away from wolnir for one frame and miss the windup for the charge

                                            • Anonymous

                                              Holy ****, as aPyro this took my 20 seconds on my first try. Great combustion shattered his 3 bracelets in like 3 or 4 hits (more for the right hand) and he never touched me. EZPZ

                                              • Anonymous

                                                in lore wolnir is a very powerful and brutal conqueror which is why i was disappointed by meeting him he's nothing like has described as

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  I died 3 times and wasted Embers because of some invisible ****. Friendly reminder not to go too far behind him or too close to his ribcage

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    Died to some invisible **** and wasted Embers 3 times. Friendly reminder not to go too close to his ribcage, it'll instakill you

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      it's a beautiful day outside. birds are singing, flowers are blooming... on days like these, kids like you... Should be burning in hell.
                                                      BWEUH BWEUH *ASSSCK* BWEUH *ASSSCH* BWEUH *ASSSCH* BWEUH *ASSSCH*
                                                      huh. always wondered why people never use their strongest attack first
                                                      ba dun dun dun ba dun dun dun da dun

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        Died to some invisible crap and wasted Embers 3 times. Friendly reminder not to go too close to his ribcage, it'll instakill you

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          Pretty lame boss, honestly. Most of his attacks are incredibly slow and easy to dodge, and if you know what you're doing you'll easily break the bracelets before his summons. Not that his summons are particularly hard to deal with either.

                                                          • Anonymous

                                                            I’m hoping the bracelets have the same weaknesses as Wolnir, though I don’t know why they wouldn’t. Blessed mace sounds like a good strategy, and can be obtained before Abyss Watchers so just good for the area in general.

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              He summons skeletons??? I have like 1k hours in ds3 and never saw them. Btw this boss is so much wasted potencial.. and not ever for being a gimmick.. bed of chaos for example is dope.

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                i’m in an hour long invasion because the absolute COWARD of a host has been fog wall hiding like the biggest p u s s y in the world. his characters name is Leo so if you see him point and laugh. i’m aware posting someones name is really childish and rude, but he deserves it lmao. im literally going to bed and leaving my game on (i’m hiding by the mimic in the demon room as a pot, the coward will never find me). anyone wanna take bets to see if i’ll still be in his world in the morning?)

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  to me wolnir should of been a optional boss he doesn't really fit as a main get in the way of the plot boss

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    On the PS5 this boss is actually difficult because that fog will insta kill you. First run on a PS4 I went in with no research and killed him 2nd try.

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      Cannot even be called a boss. How the freaking hell can a boss be killed in his sleep? Lousiest boss of all time.

                                                                      • Ome of the most visually stunning bosses I've ever witnessed. He's kind of a breather boss if you know how to exploit his weakness, but it's still so much fun to take on this guy.

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          my first playthrough and new to DS games, it was nearly as easy as the deacons of the deep. just rush his wrists with a big 2H weapon. After the abyss watchers this was a cake.

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            One of those bosses where everything about it is good, except for the part where you fight him. His design is sick, his music is sick, the terror factor is sick... but he barely has any attacks and goes down in so little time

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              anyone know what the loot you see in his area is? I forgot to pick it up
                                                                              I guess I'll see in the next cycle

                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                Raw +5 drang hammers, GG2EZ

                                                                                The game literally outfits you for a 30 second fight and the easiest dungeon so far. Drang hammers are lightly OP against skellybones

                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                  by any chance is this guy gravelord nitos dad they share a lot of things in common has a army of skeletons is a skeleton himself and seems to have some mist that surrounds him like nitos cloak I'm sorry but i cant help but see the resemblance between them

                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                    For the good ending in this fight kill him without breaking the shackles. If you break the shackles wolnirs only sense of comfort is gone as he is consumed by the abyss if you kill him “dont break” then its more merciful than leaving him in constant fear

                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                      Since I'm replaying, I had kind of an odd idea regarding Wolnir and the Four Kings, at least thematically.

                                                                                      Both are fought in an Abyss, obviously, but more than that, they're both fundamentally separate from this Abyss. By destroying Wolnir's gold bands—the symbols of his lordship—he's violently dragged into the depths of this Abyss, which promptly dissipates, leaving the player back in the catacombs. The Four Kings don't exactly share these weak points, but they do possess one other symbol: a shard of Gwyn's Soul. Upon defeating them, a special cutscene even plays, showing one of them screaming before sinking into the darkness and disintegrating. After which, the "Abyss" becomes benign, allowing you to walk freely even without the Covenant of Artorias.

                                                                                      What's more, Wolnir's crown details how he subjugated four kingdoms, then ground their crowns and reassembled them as one. In the case of the Four Kings, they all share one Lord Soul shard granted by Gwyn, as if united as one. (This may also allude to the four crowns of Drangleic, but that may not be entirely unrelated to the Four Kings, either.)

                                                                                      So my thought is, we know fire and darkness are opposites representing disparity, so what if for an Abyss to even exist, the host has to represent light in some way? Otherwise, they would be completely consumed by it, and the Abyss would disappear anyway.

                                                                                      He may not be important to the story, but I really like that even Wolnir can make you stop and wonder sometimes.

                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                        Does the "high" in his title mean that he has a high position of power or he just happened to be high when we encounter him at the end of the catacombs?

                                                                                        • This fight is, in essence, a race against time. When he crawls up the arena he brings the dark fog with him, making the space you can fight in smaller. When you destroy an armlet you knock him and the darkness back, buying yourself more time.
                                                                                          That said, I honestly don't see this fight as a poorly designed boss but rather a cleverly designed one.

                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                            I hate this boss so much. Go too far away suddenly he's up your ass blasting his insta kill smoke, too close and suddenly you can't see a single ****ing attack he's doing. And nothing's more lazy than just having a boss summon ****, now you're rather getting ganked by skellies or ass blasted by a big boney hand. Even if you are far away so many of his attacks go so far up in the air they ****ing disappear from your view before you can dodge him, and his hand keeps going through the wall so you can't even hit him at a certain point.

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              What exactly wakes him up?
                                                                                              Every time I have fought him, he's already awake when the opening cutscene finishes.

                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                I feel like Wolnir's appearance was changed and then rushed.
                                                                                                His whole fight just feels off.

                                                                                                Would've been cool to have seen where he was originally meant to be fought (based on the original trailer).

                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                  Base on his appearance, i bet he suffered serious bone cancer around his neck and shoulders. Looking nasty.

                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                    While you can destroy a bracelet before the fight begins, you should destroy the one on his right hand, i once was stuck with him for 5 minutes cause he kept usingg his sword

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