Old Demon king

Old Demon King DKS3
General Info
hp.jpg souls.jpg Location
5301 25,000 Smouldering Lake
Drops Soul of the Old Demon King
Weak Resistant Immune
Dark Dark
Black Knight Weapons 
Fire Fire
Bleed Bleed
Frost Frostbite

Old Demon King is a boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. Burning in the pits of the smouldering lake, the corpses of demons surround him.


Old Demon King Information

  • You can summon Knight Slayer Tsorig to help you fight this enemy. His summon sign becomes available by killing him after he invades. He will invade in the hallway before the collapsing rope bridge. Summon can be found next to the bonfire to the right of the fog gate.
  • You can summon a White Phantom Great Swamp Cuculus to help fight the boss. The sign can be found at the bottom of the stairs directly in front of the fog gate. If you summon her and defeat the boss with her surviving, the Spotted Whip and Cornyx's set will appear where you first rescued Cornyx of the Great Swamp.
  • This boss is optional.



  • The Old Demon King can be found in Smouldering Lake, which can be accessed via collapsing the wooden bridge in the Catacombs of Carthus. The boss room is located to the left of the entrance, behind the Carthus Sandworm.



  • Souls: NG (25,000), NG+ (56,250), NG++ (61,876), NG+3 (84,375), NG+4 (90,000), NG+6 (??), NG+7 (95,625)
  • Souls for Cooperator: NG (6250), NG+(??), NG+3(??), NG+6(???, NG+9(??)
  • Soul of the Old Demon King


Combat Information

  • Health: NG (5301), NG+ (7745), NG++ (8520), NG+3 (8907), NG+4 (9294), NG+5 (10069), NG+6 (10456), NG+7 (10843)
  • Absorptions: 0% Standard, -2% Strike, 2%, Slash, 0% Thrust 5% Magic, 78% Fire, 4% Lightning, 0% Dark, 112 Defense
  • Attacks deals Fire Damage and Strike Damage.
  • Weak to black knight weapons (Greatsword, Sword, Greataxe, Glaive) and Dark Damage.
  • Resistant to Fire Damage and Poison/Toxic.
  • Immune to Frostbite and Bleed.
  • Parryable: No
  • Can be poise-broken, what breaks most of his attacks. However, if the player manages to stagger him by hitting his head, he can perform a critical strike.
  • The Old King will release his flame around 10-30% HP, dealing massive damage around him and extinguishing himself, leaving him hunched over on the ground, unable to properly fight. This will not happen if the player manages to defeat him with ONLY either Poison/Toxic Mist or Pestilent Mist.
    • He will try to swipe at you with his left hand if you come close.
    • He will also try to raise his mace to attack but is unable to do so completely as it slams back down to the ground.
  • Warning: If you wear a piece of the armor of thorns set and a weapon where you fail the one-handed stat requirements; you will play the weapon bounce animation every time your roll causes damage to the boss. This happens even if you meet the two-handed stat requirements.



Video Strategies


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Strategy 1 (Melee)

The first phase: The best opening is when he slowly vomits lava from your left to right. Just run next to his left leg (your right) and attack a few times before he is done. The next best opening is when he lowers his club to his left side and slowly swings it to his right side. Again move towards his left leg without target lock and dodge the swing behind him. Do not attack yet because he is about to continue with an AoE blast. Keep moving towards the tip of his tail and when you catch it you are far enough to avoid the AoE and take a few swings at the tail. A weapon with a lot of range and wide swipes is recommended.

Staying too long near him and especially in front of him triggers the fast AoE mouth blast. Attacking only a couple of times and then retreating to medium range to wait for openings is easier.

In the second phase: Now Old Demon King has a certain attack pattern: 1-2 melee attacks/combos and then a ranged attack. Usually no two ranged attacks in a row. Same openings as in the first phase work here too but triggering them is different. You can outrange every long range attack of this boss. As you return to medium range to catch his melee attack openings do not stop approaching. Keep moving towards him until he does a melee attack. If he lowers his club for the slow swipe do the same thing as in phase one. If it is any other melee attack you can dodge or even walk under him to get behind him.

Strategy 2 (Sorcerer)

One of the easiest bosses for Sorcerers. Just stay out of range and spam Great Heavy Soul Arrow until the boss is dead. Circle around the pile in the middle of the arena to take cover from his AoE attacks and keep moving.

Strategy 3 (Toxic)

Dodge his attacks until you get into range and cast Toxic Mist. Once the boss is poisoned, stay as far away as you can so he can't hit you with his spells. When the toxic wears off, get close and reapply it. Four rounds of toxic should do it.

The Storyteller's Staff's  weapon art is also very effective and a single cast will nearly defeat the boss by itself. One or two attacks will be enough for the poison to finish him off without having to reapply it.


Strategy 4 (Bow)

The Old Demon King can be easily defeated using a bow if you have a shield with good fire damage mitigation like the Dragon Crest Shield. Other than his fire spray attack, which you should block, there is nothing he can do to you if you keep your distance.

He moves slowly enough that it's possible to simply shoot him whenever he stops to perform an attack and continue to run away without him ever getting a chance to hit you; at some point in the fight, he'll start moving a bit faster, but it's still not fast enough to run you down.

It also helps to take advantage of one of the two mounds of corpses in the arena. Circle around one walking backwards, keeping your distance, and dodging the lava spew, lava AoE, and meteor attacks. Combined with the Cloranthy Ring, the Grass Crest Shield, and lots of careful rolling, this boss becomes almost trivial.


Strategy 5 (Pyromancy)

This fight will either be near impossible or very easy depending on how far you've advanced your pyromancies. The boss is extremely resistant to fire spells, so your best bet instead is to attack him with non-fire pyromancies. Boulder Heave will work, but your very best bet is getting access to Karla's Dark Pyromancies

Using Black Fire Orb will make this an easy fight. Stay at range and evade his melee attacks, which have relatively limited range. During Phase II, the only attack you have to worry about is his expanding fire circle. You can either move out of range, or roll through it at the right time to dodge the damage. Whenever he casts a spell, he leaves himself open to several Black Fire Orbs. When he summons the meteor shower, simply run until the meteors explode. At around 20% hp the boss will collapse and explode. As long as you outrange this explosion, the fight is essentially over, since the Old Demon King will simply lay there and not attack anymore. 

If you do not have access to Karla yet, another method would be using Black Serpent, although the hit rates are not that reliable, as it travels on the ground and the only hitbox it has to do with are the legs of the Old Demon King.


Strategy 6 (Pestilent Mist)

For pyromancers which do not have access to Karla, pestilent mercury might be a good spell to use (30 int requirement). This works for sorcerers as well but would most likely not need it as they have their normal spells. You can cast pestilent mercury around a large pillar in the boss arena and run around it, letting the old demon king chase you, evading his attacks and damaging him at the same time.



First Phase
Swing The demon will swing his hammer, causing fire and melee damage, beware AOE, move under the attack, toward the weapon, or get behind or below him.

Fire Ring


The demon will conjure a circle of fire that will move inwards or outwards from him, can be blocked or dodged through.



The demon bashes his hammer in the ground and then starts to turn it in circles above his head.

Fire Glyph

The demon bashes his hammer in the ground, linear trails of fire covering different directions will emit from the center.  Take Evasive Action.

Meteor Rain

A phase two move, multiple slow flaming rocks will fall towards the player. Slight tracking. If you are quick, hit and run works. Evasive action and use of pillars to absorb shots is effective.

Lava Breath

The demon will spew lava at those in front of him. He will move his head to extend his AOE. His range is short and those flanking him or under him can smack him.


Lore Theories

  • The Old Demon King is the oldest and the last remaining witness of the chaos of Izalith. "The shriveled Old Demon King is now like a clump of burnt ash, but he is the last living witness of the Chaos of Izalith." - Soul of the Old Demon King.
  • "This weapon has survived since old Izalith, and is imbued with remnants of the Chaos Flame." - Old King's Great Hammer.
  • The Old Demon King is part of an overarching theme that links chaos to vegetation, and which involves The Bed of Chaos from DS1 (read theory).


  • If, when you've entered the arena, you go straight forward and then, look carefully up on the left side on top of the pile of dead demons that are surrounding the whole area, f.e. Centipede Demon body, a boss from Dark Souls.
  • During the second phase of the fight, if the player listens carefully to the song playing, they can hear a small slightly remixed excerpt of the Bed Of Chaos's theme.


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    • Anonymous

      16 Sep 2021 05:39  

      Usually one of the easier bosses for me, but in my current playthrough he absolutely kicked me in the nuts several times. His timing for that close-up fire orb was too perfect and he got me every time I even tried getting close. Had to patiently fully upgrade the black knight sword to finally beat him.

      • Anonymous

        15 Sep 2021 10:20  

        Thank you Brutus and Dante for helping me kill this boss. Third time challenging it and finally killed it. Praise the Sun!

        • Anonymous

          12 Sep 2021 17:18  

          Posting this again since it didn't work the first time, but fighting this guy SL1 on the base game has to be the hardest boss so far, i worry about pontiff

          • Anonymous

            16 Aug 2021 05:36  

            this MF plays dirty as all hell, waits for you to dodge then headbutts you in the face just to breath hell fire in your face at the same time, and thats not even on NG+

            • Anonymous

              28 May 2021 12:41  

              Knight Slayer Tsorig's summon sign is available even if you don't kill him first. I was able to summon him before encountering him anywhere.

              • Anonymous

                20 May 2021 15:54  

                Generally believe he’s a underrated boss and I think there’s a reason for it.

                With what little lore there is on Demons, I believe they don’t get enough respect simply due to just not knowing enough. I believe that the fire demons, Stray Demon, Old Demon King and Demon Prince could be really tragic boss fights but there’s just no lore on them to really connect to there struggles.

                • Anonymous

                  26 Apr 2021 15:31  

                  Has an annoying quirk where staying under him can cause him to "push" your character around when he winds up attacks like a moving invisible wall. The cathedral giants have a similar effect when you're between their legs but they're so slow it doesn't matter. At least when the stray demon throws me around it's because he has a grab.

                  • Anonymous

                    20 Apr 2021 14:00  

                    trying to keep Cuculus alive is almost impossible
                    Feels like she tries to suicide
                    but in the end, after 6 embers and 5 Homeward bones lost i did it and got rewarded with the spotted whip

                    • Anonymous

                      02 Apr 2021 18:56  

                      im gunna do a stupid lore theory. so in ds1 the demons are all made of actual flesh and stuff but in this game there all wood what else is wood bed of chaos so like what if when the flame was dying it essentially tore apart the bed of chaos for more material to make demons

                      • Anonymous

                        16 Mar 2021 17:50  

                        I killed him quickly and threw a boss soul on his death spot I didn't need at all as thanks for killing the Taurus demons the ds1 and the boss was easy but super irritating constantly hitting me off the ledge.

                        • Anonymous

                          08 Mar 2021 21:55  

                          I had a lot of fun fighting this boy! Not super challenging but he has some crazy AOE that caught me off guard and killed me a couple times. Demon fights are usually boring but this adds just enough variety to be a good time.

                          • 08 Feb 2021 15:45  

                            Certainly not the most honorable strategy, but the Storyteller's Staff strategy definitely does make for an effective way to kill this boss. 2 applications is enough to kill him, provided you have no summons to boost his health. Though you could get away with just 1 application as a Pyromancer if you did the smart thing with Wolnir's soul and picked up Black Serpent, which gets you a a damage source Old Demon King is weak to.

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