Iudex Gundyr

General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
1037 3000 Cemetery of Ash
Drops Coiled Sword
Weak Resistant Immune

Frost Frost
Fire Fire

Dark  Dark
Bleed Bleed
PoisonPoison & Toxic

Iudex Gundyr is a Boss in Dark Souls 3. He is the first Boss that players will encounter. The player will have to face him in order to gain access to Firelink Shrine.





  • Souls: NG (3000), NG+ (15,000), NG++ (16,500), NG+3 (16,875), NG+4 (18,000), NG+6 (18,750), NG+7 (19,125)
  • Co-Op Souls: None, co-op is disabled in the tutorial.
  • Other: Coiled Sword


Combat Information

  • Health: NG (1037), NG+ (3561), NG++ (3917), NG+3 (4095), NG+4 (4273), NG+5 (4629), NG+6 (4807), NG+7 (4985)
  • Absorptions: 15% Standard, 12% Strike , 18% Slash, 16% Thrust 5% Magic , 2% Fire, -14% Lightning, 38% DarkDefense: 100
  • Defenses do not change between phases - a firebomb will do the same damage in phase 1 as in phase 2.
  • Deals Standard Damage.
  • Parriable.  If you are close enough to hit him, the first attack he will usually use upon wake-up is a one-handed thrust.  This attack is one of his more easily-parried moves.
  • Can be poise broken, but that does not allow to perform a riposte. He receives extra damage for a brief period of time.
  • Weak to FrostLightning, and Fire Damage - however the lightning weakness is only apparent on subsequent playthroughs.
  • Resistant to Dark Damage and Bleed.
  • Immune to Poison and Toxic.



Video Strategy

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Strategy 1 (Melee)

Once the Coiled Sword is removed, the player will have the opportunity to get a few attacks in before the Boss begins to attack. If the player has a Weapon with a Weapon Art that acts as a buff, its use before removing the sword is recommended.

Keeping in mind this is a boss fight designed to teach new players the basics of combat, consistently blocking all of his attacks with one of the starting classes is impossible. Rolling through or parrying his attacks is vital to win this fight. Learn the boss's attack patterns and attck when he's vulnerable.

An easy way to dodge most of Gundyr's attacks is to circle around to your right of him with your shield up. Most attacks will miss the player but be ready to dodge out of the way of his grab.

During the second stage of the fight, he will gain in speed and range.


Strategy 2 (Melee)

If the player has trouble defeating him, keeping your distance and baiting him into doing attacks that are easily dodged and leaving him vulnerable is recommended.  Otherwise, sticking to his left side or back allows for an easy kill. 

Once he transforms, maintain the same strategy. However, due to a now gained weakness to Fire, using the Firebombs found in the tutorial area is recommended.  

Strategy 3 (Magic/Pyromancy)

In his both phases, he is weak to Fire damage. Either use Pyromancy or Firebombs for exceptional damage. 


Strategy 4 (Magic/Pyromancy)


Contrary to their melee counterparts, sorcerers and pyromancers will have a much easier time keeping maximum distance. This will most likely trigger Gundyr's Jump and Slice, which is one of his easier attacks to evade, especially in phase two when it can be difficult to keep track of his attacks. It is then safe to cast a spell during Gundyr's recovery.

Sorcerers can enjoy the hard-hitting Heavy Soul Arrow during Gundyr's waking animation. They can keep casting it further into the fight provided they keep their proper distance and cast it during Gundyr's longer recoveries. Otherwise Soul Arrow will also do the trick just fine.

Pyromancers' main damage will come from Fireball, which is a great choice given Gundyr's weakness to fire. However, even more so than sorcerers, pyromancers should really be careful in picking the right time to cast, and only cast one orb at a time. Again, a good tactic is to bait Gundyr into his Jamp and Slice attack and use the recovery time to cast.

In the case of both types of magic, the fight will probably be over pretty soon.


Iudex Gundyr has two attack phases. In the first phase, he wields a halberd type weapon. In the second phase, which triggers when he is below half health, a dark, lizard/serpent-like mass with a tail and claw erupts out of his body, greatly extending his reach.

First Phase
Strong Sweep Attack He uses his halberd to sweep the ground in front of him. It does considerable damage, but there is a delay between the moment when he raises his arm and when he attacks. 
Jump and Slice Creating distance between you and Iudex will provoke him into doing a jumping attack with a long range, slicing the ground( and maybe you) with his Halberd. It can be avoided by rolling. The player should not try to get more than one attack in after this.
Fast Sweep Attack It's similar to the first attack, except it's much faster and it does approximately the same amount of damage. He tends to do it while getting up to get you off of him. 
Jump and Jab It's the same thing as the second attack, except now, instead of doing a slice, they stick their halberd into the ground when landing. He gets up slowly, so use this as an opportunity to retaliate. 
Rapid Slice He chops the terrain in front of him quickly. Easily dodgeable, but you still have to be careful. He does this attack rapidly, mostly after doing the second attack. 

Lore Theories

Gundyr, corrupted by the abyss, spends eternity testing unkindled to see if they are worthy to Link the Flame. He was once an unkindled himself but arose too late to fulfill his duty, never meeting his Fire Keeper, who had been buried within the tower behind Firelink Shrine with the Estus Ring. The flame had already gone out and the bells failed to ring which started a new dark age. As the player character travels through the illusion door, they go back in time to the dark age to face Champion Gundyr at his prime (note: this is fan speculation, it's not proven). This is where they defeat him as the unknown warrior mentioned in the description of Soul of Champion Gundyr, sheathing within him a Coiled Sword and sealing his fate. A prisoner with an unbreakable halberd hoping that one day an unkindled will rise and relink the flame once more. The  Pus of Man that possesses him is a form of The Abyss. A Pus of Man behaves like an amalgamation of small morsels and may be like a Mass of Souls, or perhaps some amalgamation of Humanity. 
Leaks from quality assurance testers of the alpha version suggest that Gundyr was originally going to be called Oceiros, with Oceiros not appearing  in The Consumed King's Garden, but a cut area called "God's Grave". The character "Gundyr" would still exist, but look and play like Yhorm the Giant  - (credit darksouls3theorist and Lance McDonald).

Notes & Trivia

  • This set bears extreme resemblance to Old King Dorian from Demon's Souls, a probable call back.
  • Their crown also bears some resemblance to the one worn by Ludleth of Courland
  • Iudex means judge in latin, and gund means battle in old germanic. Together it means judge or test battle. In Japanese, his name is "Judge of Ash Gundyr"
  • His moveset is interesting to observe on a second playthrough if you also fought Champion Gundyr. Iudex Gundyr's specific halberd moveset is almost exactly the same as the Champion's, but he staggers slightly more after each swing. It's not just a simpler moveset for beginners: compared to the later fight he seems lethargic and not on point at all.
  • When Gundyr came late to the shrine as an unkindled, the fire had already faded, and the fire keeper dead. Bested by an unknown warrior, he became a judge for unkindled planning to link the flame. Upon his duty, he was bestowed an unbreakable halberd, leaving to think that he was fated to be an eternal judge from the beginning. When the player encounters Gundyr in the untended graves, he had been recently made judge ( you can clearly see that the world is plunged in the dark, which leaves to conclude that untended graves is in the past). The many years Gundyr waited for the Ashen One to claim to coiled sword caused the Dark to corrupt his body to the point where a creature has come to life in his body. We can assume decades, or centuries passed since Gundyr awaits, rendering his technique dull, and making him weak when the player first meets him as Iudex Gundyr.




    • Anonymous

      27 Jun 2020 19:39  

      Wanna cheese him as a mage in your first playthrough? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iea9wBXcoIw

      • Anonymous

        07 Jun 2020 14:53  

        I have a top guide to anyone struggling with Gundyr or any knight enemy/boss, just keep on strafing around them getting a few good hits or a backstab if you’re behind them.

        • Anonymous

          20 May 2020 05:44  

          New players may find this boss pretty hard. Veterans will have an easy time. For beginners: don’t give him too much respect. Stick to him - keeping space between you and him makes it hard for you to reach him, while he can hit you easily with his long halberd. There is plenty of time to hit him and heal between his attacks. Heal right in his face, don’t feel the need to run to the end of the arena. Second phase when he deals lots of damage learn how to roll, all his attacks are dodgable. When you beat this boss easily you start understanding the secrets of Dark Souls

          • Anonymous

            24 Mar 2020 20:33  

            New unkindled: oh wow, a whole new adventure? I just got resurrected out of a coffin with, learned the basics through messages on the ground and some undead on the way here and now i stand here in this arena, with this big gladiator who had a twisted, scorched sword in the chest that i pulled out of him. I wonder what awaits me ahea- Gundyr: DODGE! New unkindled: ded.

            • 16 Nov 2019 11:17  

              The surface of water symoblizes the border to another realm. The golden gate is the entry to that realm. Behind that gate begins the real game. But first we have to be judged by Iudex Gundyr if we are worthy to enter it. The boss, the arena...the whole thought process they've put into that first boss battle is just amazing and proofs that DS3 is more than just a rehash of what came before.

              • Anonymous

                17 Oct 2019 04:18  

                Does he count as abyssal for the wolf/beyblade swords? Not that it matters bc he's easy, just couldn't find data on this

                • Anonymous

                  11 Oct 2019 20:43  

                  easiest boss, i used black firebomb, normal firebombs found there and killed him only with fire and fists

                  • Anonymous

                    01 Jul 2019 01:09  

                    So I'm currently doing a fist only run and I'm able to parry all of his attacks in phase one, so does anyone know if he can be parried in the second phase? I'm guessing it's a no but I want to be 100% sure. Thanks in advance

                    • Anonymous

                      23 Apr 2019 08:28  

                      Please, respond and correct the defenses and attacks, so I found out that fire dmg absorption is different on other parts of gundyrs body, so if you play with a pyromancer and shoot gundyr himself they deal about 80 dmg each, but when you lock on to the pus of man on him in the second fase the y deal 120 dmg at least (hopefully I remember it correctly) and please fill the attacks, cause it is really obvious that there are much more.

                      • Anonymous

                        17 Apr 2019 01:09  

                        i found that smacking Gundyr's ass with my sword is one of the best strategies. just go behind him and smack that ass a couple times then protect your own ass with a shield. this also works in the second phase, especially when he goes into the air and plunges down. Just stick behind him to avoid damage and then spank Gundyr in the ass for an easy kill.

                        • Anonymous

                          03 Apr 2019 14:44  

                          Anyone notice he's received a buff? Used to be able to mash R1 or bomb spam. Seems they bumped down the stagger/fire damage to make gunny a decent challenge, but still fun.

                          • Anonymous

                            30 Jan 2019 22:36  

                            I love how his lore perfectly fits his role as the first boss, being a test for the unkindled to see if they are worthy to link the flame. Punishing if you don't understand the game, but once you learn the mechanics of the game (and his moveset) becomes a relatively easy fight. Gives new players the correct mindset most of the time for the struggle to come.

                            • Anonymous

                              18 Jan 2019 00:17  

                              Hardest boss of the game. All the rest catches you with already understanding of the mechanics, this was my fist dark souls and this guy almost made me quit. After that (except for the dancer and maybe nameless king cause his high atk), all are easier than him. Don't give up, try ass!!

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