Iudex Gundyr

General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
1037 3000 Cemetery of Ash
Drops Coiled Sword
Weak Resistant Immune
Frost Frost
Fire Fire (2nd Phase)
Dark  Dark
Bleed Bleed
PoisonPoison & Toxic

Iudex Gundyr Information

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+9 (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)
  • 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 Frost (whole fight) and Fire Damage (2nd phase).
  • 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 second form, he is weak to Fire damage. Either use Pyromancy or Firebombs for exceptional damage. 


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. Relevant theories can be read here.
Leaks from quality assurance testers of the alpha version suggest that Iudex Gundyr was originally going to play the role of Oceiros - using that name - in The Consumed King's Garden, with Oceiros appearing in a cut area called "God's Grave". Gundyr would still be a character, 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

      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!!

        • Anonymous

          13 Jan 2019 01:35  

          Perfect guide for beating Iudex Gundyr: Get Gud. But seriously I like him as an opening boss. You need to have a decent understanding of the game mechanics to beat him, which is of course the point. He serves his purpose of preparing you for the world of Dark Souls very well.

          • Anonymous

            03 Nov 2018 05:22  

            I'm not in a position to check this myself, but seeing as there's an edge in his arena, is it possible to knock him off/convince him to fall off?

            • Anonymous

              27 Oct 2018 02:49  

              Finally beat this boio after about 450 hours of grinding enough fading souls to drop them all on top of each other so I could vault over the gate into Firelink.

              • 27 Apr 2018 17:30  

                Scared me*****less in my first playthrough when his abomination came out! He made me panic sooo much that even in ng+ I took some time to prepare myself before pulling the coiled sword out of him.

                • Anonymous

                  08 Mar 2018 19:35  

                  Looking at the trivia, could we speculate that the Unknown Champion was the heir that became the Soul of Cinder? And that when we see him in the Untended Graves (in the past), he has yet to be beaten so he still retains his title. Perhaps we are the unknown warrior that bests him, after all, if you talk to the Untended Graves Shrine Hand Maiden, before the one in Firelink Shrine, she gives you some unique dialogue.

                  • Anonymous

                    01 Feb 2018 17:59  

                    I like too see Gundyr as Ludleths Unkindled. Like imagine this frail being making a champion that ideally him, and sending them to link the fire for him, only for him to fail so he actually had to do it himself.

                    • Anonymous

                      19 Jan 2018 18:06  

                      Gundyr's like that bully that always belittled you but you managed to get by.

                      Then you come back in NG+ and beat him to a pulp.

                      • Anonymous

                        11 Jan 2018 19:58  

                        was so frustrated with him the first time due to me playing depraved since i "wanted to be a badass". Eventually got him by "attack up" skill from the club and staying close to his side during the fight. Cheap tip: expect his transformation around 50% life and during the long animation you get 4-5 free hits on him. Praise The Sun.

                        • Anonymous

                          05 Jan 2018 01:23  

                          When I first got the game (this was my first time playing dark souls) I chose deprived I noticed how he was really slow, it took him a lot of time to transition between attacks and I used this against him, At the half way point the black thing on his back consumes him. I used the same strategy rolling around when he was just about to do damage.

                          • Anonymous

                            03 Jan 2018 15:32  

                            This boss is like an overleveled ganker hanging out somewhere only noobs go, waiting for easy prey. Unless they dont have their hands tied behind their backs and are wielding nothing but an oily rag. Otherwise... Easy prey

                            • Anonymous

                              16 Dec 2017 07:30  

                              Fun fact: Recently tried out being a sorcerer using sorcereries on him. If you're really good at dodging and you keep your distance, you'll kill him easily. It took me less than a couple of minutes to defeat the boss this way. Use the Sorcerer, and the Great Soul Arrow, be ready for any of his further ranges attacks, and make every hit count as you only have one AEF. In 2nd phase, mix in firebombs and he'll be done in no time.

                              • Anonymous

                                12 Dec 2017 14:26  

                                You can actually parry his Jump and Slice attack if you time it right. I pressed the wrong button at just the right time on my second playthrough and basically backhanded him out of the sky.

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