Pontiff Sulyvahn

pontiff sulyvahn trophy revision1
General Info
hp souls Location
5,106 28,000 Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
Drops Soul of Pontiff Sulyvahn
Weak Resistant Immune
icon thrustdef Thrust
icon firebonus Fire
icon lightningbonus Lightning
icon darkbonus Dark
Critical Strike
icon poisonres.pngPoison/Toxic
icon wp bleed Bleed
icon wp frost Frost

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

Pontiff Sulyvahn is a tall humanoid dressed in bejeweled sorcerer's robes. He wields two greatswords in combat - the greatsword in his left hand emanating a purple aura and the greatsword in his right hand enshrouded in flames. After being brought down to a certain health threshold, branch-like wings sprout from his back.

During combat, the boss attacks players in an aggressively using long sword combos, adding to the difficulty of the fight. This boss is not optional and must be killed for access to part of Irithyll. Three NPCs can be summoned to help you in the fight against Pointiff Sulyvahn:

  • Black Hand Gotthard - in front of Sulyvahn's gate, summoning him will grant the "By My Sword" gesture.
  • Londor Pale Shade - can be summoned in front of a statue to the right when facing the boss fog, as long as the player has been following Yuria's and Yoel's questline, and gives the "Duel Bow Gesture" when summoned.
  • Anri of Astora - Their sign will be to the right (facing away from the fog door) in front of a statue. A seriously powerful summon for this fight, Anri is capable of nearly soloing Sulyvahn, as they’re capable of parrying him.

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 Pontiff Sulyvahn Location

Where to find Pontiff Sulyvahn in Dark Souls 3?


Pontiff Sulyvahn Drops

What do you get from defeating Pontiff Sulyvahn in Dark Souls 3?

  • Souls: NG (28,000) | NG+ (69,300) | NG++ (92,401) | NG+3 (94,500) | NG+4 (100,800) | NG+6 (105,000) | NG+7 (107,100)
  • Co-op Souls: NG (7,000)
  • Other: Soul of Pontiff Sulyvahn


Pontiff Sulyvahn Notes & Tips

What should you know about fighting Pontiff Sulyvahn in Dark Souls 3?

  • Attacks deals Standard, Thrust, Fire and Magic damage. 
  • Weak to Thrust, Lightning and Fire damage.
  • Resistant to Poison, Toxic, Frost and Bleed.
  • During the second phase, Sulyvahn may summon a clone. The attack pattern of the clone will always preempt the attacks of Sulyvahn. When the clone does an attack, expect Sulyvahn to do the same right after.
  • Clone has 50% damage reduction towards all types of damages. 
  • Can be poise-broken, but that does not allow you to perform a riposte.
  • Parryable: Yes. Player can riposte him after a successful parry. Not all attacks can be parried; grab attacks, projectiles and his jump attack cannot be parried.
  • Cannot be backstabbed.
  • You can avoid a good number of attacks while doing gestures such as "Sit, Toast, Rest, Collapse and Stretch Out". Tested on NG+7.
  • You can also avoid a good number of attacks while using the 1H L1 attack of the Farron Greatsword


Pontiff Sulyvahn Stats

Playthrough NG NG + NG ++ NG +3 NG +4 NG +5 NG +6 NG +7
Health 5,106 7,777 8,554 8,943 9,332 10,110 10,499 10,887
Damage Type Standard Strike Slash Thrust Magic Fire Lightning Dark
Absorptions 0% 2% -3% -20% 12% 8% 5% 5%


Dark Souls 3 Pontiff Sulyvahn Boss Guide & Strategies

DS3 Pontiff Sulyvahn Video Strategies



Below are video strategies from our Youtube Partners:

Dark Souls 3 Pontiff Sulyvahn Attacks

First Phase (Pontiff Sulyvahn is alone)
Forward Fire Swipe He swipes forward with his fire sword and can hit you from a great distance. When he lands, it is quite easy to attack him if you avoided his swipe.
Backwards Fire Slash If you get behind him, he might do a backwards slash with his fire sword, but it will only hit your right side, so you can just roll to the left an attack one more time. Can be parried.
Backwards Magic Slash Same as the backwards Fire Slash, but instead of doing it on his right side, he will attack his left side with his magic sword. Roll to your right and attack one time.
Magic Sting and Fire Swipe He swipes forward with his fire sword, like in the first attack, but he doesn't have as much range. He also charges with his other magic sword at the same time, inflicting great damage. 
Spin and Stab He whirls with his sword and, as soon as his fire attack is over, he leaves a small open window for attacking before stabbing you with his magic sword. 
Sweep Attack His favorite attack; he will swing his sword from right to left (or the opposite) rapidly, sometimes doing it more than three times. His range is short, but don't be greedy: he can still kind of move when he attacks, and can gain land fast if you don't pay attention. 
Second Phase (Pontiff Sulyvahn is accompanied by his phantom clone)
Soul Spear Use his magic sword to throw a soul spear, dealing massive damage. 
Soul Wave Use his magic sword to throw a magic wave. It is possible to roll through the wave. This attack has a very limited range.
Jumping Crush Make a very high jump, and fall back on you, doing a big fire AoE when he hits the ground.
Phase 1 Attacks The Pontiff is able to use all Phase 1 attacks during Phase 2, especially after you kill the clone.


General Tips

  1. Sulyvahn will always open up the fight with a jumping lunge attack, provided you are at a distance. He will not approach you unless you are a certain distance in front of him.
  2. Sulyvahn’s attacks are fast, aggressive, long-reaching, and do lots of damage. Staying locked on to him while circling over his right shoulder, on the left of the player, where his flame sword is held, will reduce a lot of damage, and players have beaten Sulyvahn at SL 1, with no hits, parries, or rolls this way.
  3. His heavy attacks, which are slower and more emphasized than his other attacks, allow for a one to three second window to hit him, without taking damage. A shield with 60 or more stability, such as a slightly upgraded Shield of Want, helps make this process safer, because Sulyvahn attacks a lot, and frequently. However, I will explain how to no-shield this fight later on in this playbook, and the strat will be confirmed to work in NG+7
  4. When Sulyvahn squats down, he will do a powerful AOE attack. You have about a two second window to roll out to avoid damage from this, so you are not low on estus flasks, with lots of health to take away from Sulyvahn.
  5. There will be times where Sulyvahn raises his neon purple sword to his face to summon a hologram of himself, and he will summon multiple, if you let him. There are the times to get free hits on him, and take out the hologram, as they do not have boss-tier health. While you could leave these holograms, as Sulyvahn will be less aggressive, this reasoning is flawed. Yes, Sulyvahn will be less aggressive, but the combined aggression between multiple holograms and himself will keep the fight at the same tempo. It is better to kill these holograms, to put Sulyvahn in a loop where he will continue to summon, so you can continue to get free hits on him. This, along with the last three points are the real bulk of the fight. 
  6. You will benefit from a fast weapon for this fight. The Sellsword Twinblades have a fast, short and responsive rolling attack so this is a good way to get in your rolls. Fast weapons also increase your number of openings, making the fight shorter and making it less likely you'll lose.
  7. Dark or Chaos is definitely good against Sulyvahn. Chaos does about 40 more or less damage to him, so they're pretty interchangeable
  8. You want multiple weapons for this fight. This way, you don't have to lose DPS because your weapon lost durability.
  9. Unless Sulyvahn is throwing a heavy or big attack with a nice big window for damage, you want to focus on rolling, and I will explain why: He will usually try to roll catch by waiting for your roll. However, his attacks are on a timer, so he must swing after some time.
  10. You do not want to get hit by Sulyvahn in general. This is because his strategy is to use his poise and long, fast, roll-catching combos to stun lock you to death. That means that if you get hit once, you will almost assuredly also get hit three or four times, and then it's a TKO-you lose!
  11. When Sulyvahn has his hologram out, you don't want to try to punish his flurries. This is almost a guarantee that you will get roll-caught to death.
  12. Try not to attack unless he is open to attack, at these times:
    • When he is in his default stance, with one sword held low across his torso, and the other held high across his torso. He will always wind up or go into stance in this window, so that is a good amount of time to get in hits. This is also pretty much the only window to use items, and I recommend getting distance to do that.
    • He does his lunging spin combo. This leaves a window.
    • His jumping attack that he most often starts the fight with. However, like ALL of his windows, he always tries to sneak in an attack and counter.
    • His overhead slam with his Profaned Greatsword. Window number four, here.
    • Overhead jumping attack with his Greatsword of Judgement
    • He is getting ready to do an AOE, or he has just done an AOE
    • Fiery jumping attack AOE
    • Horizontal purple magic projectile beam attack.
  13. Here is a list of red flags that can get you hit and thus very likely killed in this fight:
    • You are too close when using items. Remember, when Sulyvahn hits you once, he is likely to hit you some more times and kill you.
    • Your weapon has degraded past 99%. Use repair powder, or swap to another weapon.
    • You have come between Sulyvahn and his hologram. 
    • You are trying to wait for only one window. Good luck, because Sulyvahn loves to juggle his attack routines to mess with you, and draw out the fight.
    • You are trying to tank hits. Yeah good luck because he's basically a one-shot speed tank build.
    • You are looking at parts of Sulyvahn, instead of him along with the whole scene.

How to fight and beat Pontiff Sulyvahn

Strategy 1 (Fast Melee without a shield)

Sulyvahn has very long combos and leaves few openings, so be sure to better your stamina with the Cloranthy Ring, Ring of Favor, Grass Crest Shield or Green Blossoms to be on the safe side. When you enter, he will likely leap at you with his fire sword. Roll to the right or the left when his sword is about the reach the ground and attack him one or two times. Then, get as far as you can. He will likely do the same attack over and over.

Be careful, because if you get too close, he will chain his attacks rapidly, and you won't be able to avoid them all. If you want to get close to him, roll through his attacks and strike immediately when he stops attacking. The preferable angle of attack is his back, but he turns quite rapidly.

When his phantom clone appears, don't bother attacking him and make sure to roll through its attack and wait as far as you can, luring Pontiff into leaping towards you. Be careful, because he could also use a ranged magic attack, which is quite deadly, but is easy to avoid; just roll to your left or right. 


Strategy 2 (Parry)

You can read a long guide with video on "How to Parry Pontiff Sulyvahn" here. This strategy aims to burst down the boss before he has a chance to get in your face with two copies of himself. Thankfully, this boss is extremely prone to parrying and thus equipping a small shield such as the Target Shield is advisable for facing this boss. Using the Hornet Ring, if the player has it, is very helpful as well.

The best attacks to parry are the overhead attacks with delay (both the attack with the fire sword and the one where he uses both weapons can be parred) as well as the combination attacks he has. For these attacks, blocking the first attack often sets up for the second parry quite well, although there is a slight delay in his second attack that you should watch out for. If a parry is missed the best idea is to immediately roll away. He is very unlikely to hit you like this. Iron Flesh can also be utilized here, enabling you to poise through a botched parry to easily get the follow-up.  One cast should give you enough time to get him to phase two.

You can dodge the first move he does (jumping slash) left and behind him, stay there and hope it baits him to continue with a single swipe that is easy to parry. Just hit the parry button as soon as you see the swipe. This bait tactic does not work 100% of the time but more often than not.

Two parries should be enough to get him into the stage where he begins to transform, first with a black aura around him and then with the animation where he points his sword upward and it spawns his clone. During these two animations you should two hand your weapon and try to do as much damage as possible.

If you have weapon buffs they can be very useful here; simply buff your weapon while he is standing up from the second parry and then attack as fast as possible. Even if you cannot burst the boss within these two animations, his remaining health should only require a couple more hits. Be patient and soon the boss will be down before you know it. 

The only really parryable move when the clone is out is the jumping slash. Clone goes up, Sullyvahn goes up, clone comes slashing down, Sully does the same. Dodge the clone and immediately parry. No waiting at all. Just dodge+parry+riposte. Just be sure the move is not jumping smash instead. If the clone drops straight down and thrust his sword to the ground do not try to parry Sully. Just dodge.


Strategy 3 (Shield strats without parrying)

Staying at extremely close range and lock-on circle strafing the Pontiff is very effective in the first phase of the fight but requires a little bit of stamina management unless using a greatshield (see below.) Many of the Pontiff's attacks will pass overhead or miss completely with this strategy and a stable shield with good fire and magic block, such as the Wargod Wooden Shield or even better, the Dragon Crest Shield, will reduce the damage taken significantly.

Possibly the safest way to combat this difficult boss is by hiding behind a Greatshield, particularly the Greatshield of Glory, which is able to absorb a massive amount of damage without being staggered. Yhorm's Greatshield is also viable, and it is obtainable, just like the Greatshield of Glory, in New Game by fighting Yhorm before Aldrich or the Pontiff. The strategy? Simply stand near him with your shield raised and block until you see a clear, sure opening and strike him with a fast weapon (like a Longsword or Axe) 1-2 times. The Butcher's Knife is particularly effective for this purpose, because the health you regenerate from hitting him is almost the same as the chip damage you will take while blocking, which allows you to block for much longer. The Chloranthy Ring and Green Blossoms are highly recommended, as well as the Estus Ring to maximize heals, and the Knight's Sword Ring to maximize damage right after a heal. Havel's Ring is all but required to maintain a fast roll while holding such a massive shield. With this strategy, his first phase is relatively simple.

However, do be wary that Sulyvahn has a grab attack. He also puts a lot of pressure on your stamina bar while relentlessly assaulting your shield. Make sure to maintain your stamina. Watch for him to telegraph an attack with the Greatsword of Judgment; this is what he will try to grab you with.

You could also keep your shield up and keep walking to the right. The boss will hit either zero, one or two attacks on you before he misses one or stops his combo. If he stops his combo, keep your shield down for stamina regeneration until the moment he attacks again. When the boss misses a single attack, you can make a single hit and immediately hold up your shield again without getting hit.

If you need to heal only do so after his crushing fire sword or magic stinger, when he has the most recovery.  You can also try to gain distance on him, but be aware that he can cover a massive distance to punish you, so be prepared to put a football field between the two of you.

His second phase is a bit trickier. When he begins his "transformation", back up to avoid the explosion, and then move in for 1-2 hits. It is also a perfect opportunity to heal. He will almost always attempt to summon his clone immediately after this, so be prepared to deal with that. Get close and wait until the clone appears, and then attack it as much as you can. Be careful though, if you use too much stamina he may punish you severely. Again, the Greatshield can absorb a stunning amount of punishment, and should be used whenever in doubt. The only attacks that will severely damage you through the shield are his flaming plunge attacks and his magic attacks. Be wary of those, and prepared to dodge to avoid big damage. Ideally, you will be able to kill the doppelgänger and simplify this phase. If not, you still should not have too much trouble taking him down if you simply play safe.


Strategy 4 (Pyromancy)

With a large amount of points invested in Faith and Intelligence (28/32 respectively in my case) and a properly upgraded Pyromancy Flame (+5), the boss battle becomes extremely trivial. For this fight, use the Great Chaos Fire Orb (from the Izalith Pyromancy Tome) spell. Upon starting the fight, kite backwards. The Pontiff's jumping gap closing attacks are fairly easy to dodge in comparison to his other moves and give you ample time to land a spell or two. Once you've chipped him down to his second stage, he'll spend a significant amount of time for his transformation. This gives you free time to lob more Fire Orbs at him. You should only have to dodge a jumping attack or two until he attempts to summon his clone. Keep throwing Fire Orbs at him, the puddle of fire left behind after each hit will end up killing his clone almost immediately. At this point he'll either be dead or a few spell casts away from death. If he attempts to summon his clone simply lob another Fire Orb at it, killing the clone and dealing him a large amount of damage. Continue kiting backwards as long as it takes for you to kill him.

The fight is very easy with the large investment in Faith and Intelligence. It simply requires slightly more patience with lower values. With my values it's possible to kill the Pontiff in about 30 seconds with very little actual maneuvering etc.


Strategy 5 (Sorcery)

For this fight you should first get the Logan's Scroll and free Karla in Profaned Capital. This will give you the Soul Spear, Affinity and if your INT is above 50 the Court Sorcerer's Staff. Damage is your best defense in this fight, with enough damage you can one-shoot the illusion he spawns, thus making this fight quite trivial. On NG+ you should use the Crystal Soul Spear and the Court Sorcerer's Staff. Steady Chant can be tricky with this boss because he will often get you in the midst of charging it, which is why I chose the Court staff over the Sage's Crystal Staff.

When you enter the room, cast Affinity and be ready to roll right when he jumps. In general you can evade most of his attacks by rolling backwards or right. When he swings from (your) right to left you can roll under the swing if you go right, he will most likely hit you if you go left. Affinity does almost half the damage of a Crystal Soul Spear so you should definitely use it. The next opportunity to cast it is when he summons his illusion. Cast Affinity and a Soul Spear, this will one shoot the Illusion. If the (Crystal) Soul Spear does not one-shoot it for some reasons, stay back and let Affinity finish the job. If you are far away from him he will often just walk towards you, use this opportunity to cast Affinity and some Soul Spears. See video above as an example for this strategy on NG+.


Pontiff Sulyvahn Lore Theories

  • The Pontiff is a very important character in Dark Souls 3 and ally of Aldrich.
  • The Pontiff was once a sorcerer. Something changed in him when he found the Profaned Flame, suggesting that he developed a thirst for power and influence (see descriptions of Profaned Greatsword and Greatsword of Judgement).
    • In the High Wall of Lothric, there is a Winged Knight patrolling a courtyard full of corpses, circling around a statue in the middle of the courtyard.  This statue appears to be holding the Profaned Greatsword, and has a bracelet on its right wrist that closely resembles the one that Sulyvahn wears.  This suggests that Sulyvahn once had considerable influence in Lothric, and, being a sorcerer, may have been the first scholar of the Grand Archives, as mentioned in the description of the Soul Stream sorcery, a sorcery protected by one of Sulyvahn's Outrider Knights.  This is further supported by his design, which has the red vestment of the Grand Archive Scholars.
    • The Pontiff is wearing a chain of brass medallions identical to that found on the Xanthous Overcoat, indicating that he was at one point a researcher of lost sorceries.
  • In phase 2 Sulyvahn sprouts rootlike wings. The clerics in Irithyll have roots sticking out from under their garbs.
    • Fat Clerics (including McDonnell) have roots growing from their eyes.
    • The sky of Lothric Castle is full of "Pilgrim Butterflies" which have rootlike wings.
    • Pilgrims similarly have roots growing from under the shells on their backs.
    • When hollow, root like growths appear on the player's body.
    • The Profaned Flame that Sulyvahn discovered seems to be tied, or similar, to the Chaos Flame, as roots are a common theme with it as well.
  • Given the similarity of the clone the Pontiff summons in his second phase to the phantoms wandering around Irythyll, and their shared similarity to player phantoms, it is possible that the second Pontiff is a Pontiff Sulyvahn from another time, summoned in much the same way that players summon each other as phantoms from across time and space.
  • Pontiff's Left Eye is a ring that you can transpose from Vordt of the Boreal Valley's soul. It is a ring that Pontiff "bestowed upon his knights". 
  • Pontiff's Right Eye is a ring found on the first Sulyvahn's Beast (crocodile monster) you encounter when entering Irithyll.
  • The title Pontiff is self-proclaimed, based on Yorshka's dialogue.
  • Pontiff Sulyvahn is most likely dedicating a cult to Aldrich seeing as he "imprisoned a god in the abandoned cathedral to be fed to the devourer"
    • The imprisoned god was Gwyndolin, as is apparent by the appearance of the humanoid top of Aldrich.
    • Based on the description of the Archdeacon Set, as "a sign of the Way of White's highest rank," and the organization's central location in Anor Londo, it is likely that the religion Sulyvahn heads was created by co-opting the beliefs of  The Way of White by feeding one of the gods they worshipped to Aldrich, thereby creating a new religion around the god's devourer.  
    • Despite the Pontiff's apparent devotion to Aldrich, Archdeacon McDonnel, head of the Aldrich Faithful Covenant, is found dead in the Water Reserve, with two Sulyvahn's Beasts guarding his body and preventing any from reaching it.
  • The Pontiff created the Outrider KnightsVordt, of the Boreal Valley, the Dancer of the Boreal Valley, and three nameless knights: one in the Undead Settlement, one in Lothric Castle, and one in the Grand Archives.
    • The Dancer mirrors his swords. From the description of the Dancer's Enchanted SwordsThese blades, symbolic of the Dancer's vows, are enchanted with dark magic in the right hand, and fire in the left, mirroring the Pontiff.
  • From the description of the spells Snap Freeze and Frozen Weapon, Sulyvahn was the creator of these two spells, and was born and raised in The Painted World of Ariandal, "yet had little use for his frigid homeland, since he had not yet experienced loss."  If so, he may be the source of the frozen weaponry that supplies both his Outriders and the Pontiff Knights.
  • Although Pontiff Sulyvahn's motivations are unknown beyond a yearning for the Profaned Flame, he appears to be the only boss in the game to actively work to hinder the process of linking the fire, having deployed Outriders as watchdogs at passages key to Unkindled, having ended The Blades of The Darkmoon by feeding Gwyndolin to Aldrich and imprisoning his sister, and if the First of the Scholars, having convinced Prince Lotheric to abandon his duty as a Lord of Cinder.   Aldrich and Pontiff Sulyvahn are additionally strongly associated with Rosaria's Fingers, with the covenant being headquartered in a temple devoted to Aldrich, and therefore enabling the proliferation of  cracked and whole Red Eye Orbs.
  • "Pontiff Sulyvahn" was likely influenced by the DS2 character "Darklurker". Cut content suggests he was closely connected to "the eclipse" as well as to the Primordial Serpent Kaathe. The Pontiff clung to Prince Lothric in the fashion of another fiendish shadow that clung to Mergo.

Pontiff Sulyvahn Trivia

  • Armor that gives resistance to Fire or/and Magic, the Flame Stoneplate Ring and Magic Stoneplate Ring (for NG+ mostly) are advisable. If the player doesn't have the ring slots, Speckled Stoneplate Ring.
  • Tends to thrust with his Magic sword and whirl with his Flame sword, so focusing on gaining more Flame Absorption than Magic is a good idea.
  • His name is derived from Irish name Súilleabhán which means "Little Dark Eye" in Irish.  This goes well with the appearance of the rings which reference him in their names and descriptions.
  • Pontiff is a religious title for anyone who is a Bishop or above, including the Pope.


Pontiff Sulyvahn Gallery

pontiff2 tc pontiff07 tc

Sulyvahn Twin Swords pontiff06 tc

pontiff3 tc Pontiff Sulyvahn Concept Art



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    • First try lol, fire ultra greatsword +6.

      I just rolled his attacks wait for R1 openings and when he stands still to phase transition and summon the clone I just stood in front of him and charged R2. Kills the clone instantly and does a ton of damage to him, do that once or twice and if you aren't monkey the fight is over.

      • Anonymous

        What an anticlimax. Not only was he a lot easier to predict and dodge than I'd been led to believe, but he bugged out shortly after summoning his clone and just kept backing slowly away with his weapons crossed in front of him.

        • Anonymous

          Honestly if this dude had Gael-tier damage and health, he probably would've been the hardest boss in the game for me without parrying, his combos and aggression and drastically random timings is just nuts

          • You find the Leo Ring here for a reason, just parry him. The first attack is exactly as Gwyn leap attack, parry that one once the animation starts. The rest of the fight is over with two more parries.

            • Anonymous

              Well this was incredible a Hard fight but easy kill, he took all my estus and in the Last bit of hp I killed him on 1st try. When he stops to summon spank him, and always zerg rush the clone, it's pratically impossible to fight with 2 of him, after roll without pauses and waits for the gaps in certain moves, like the sword to the ground.

              • Anonymous

                oh my god its my first playthrough and it took me 3 hours to beat. 3 hours. i have all my rage recorded too. this guy is insane

                • Anonymous

                  I always beat him first or second try and I have no idea how. I just roll like a mad man and all I can see is chaos. To be honest his damage output isn't super high. At 25 Vigor, starting Knight Armor, zero defensive rings + Embered I can survive some 5 hits before I need to chug again.

                  • Anonymous

                    I can’t parry if my life depended on it, so this was absolutely terrible for me and I’d say it was comparable in difficulty to ng Ludwig and Orphan for me.

                    • Anonymous

                      The summons are an absolute game changer (Anri and Gotthard, the other one is useless). Don't know how else I would have beaten him tbh.

                      • Anonymous

                        One Word: PARRY. You're probably gonna die when he does the first jump attack. You may die during his combos. Just keep trying to Parry with the buckler and the fight will quickly turn into you riposte-ing him to death

                        • Once you learn how to consistently parry him, he becomes one of the easiest bosses in the game imo.

                          BUT, on a first playthrough, if you don't know how to parry him, Pontiff is quite possibly one of the hardest bosses in the base game. Nearly unending combos, insane reach on one weapon, insane speed on the other. Both weapons will do chip damage through nearly any shield in the game, assuming you have the stamina and/or a shield with high enough stability to block only a couple of his attacks.

                          Did you think dealing with ONE Pontiff was bad? Try dealing with two that do the same attacks as Pontiff, do the same damage, and BOTH of them have massive AoEs and long ranged attacks.

                          I love Pontiff.

                          • Anonymous

                            I love this boss so much. He's like Darklurker, but with a semi-reasonable runup and fairer attacks. You also just WANT to kill him. You can argue all day if the Dark is evil or not, but the Pontiff is just plain evil. He feeds a god to a sentient mass of bones and goo to be slowly devoured alive, he exiles knights and turns them into horrifically violent, unthinking monsters fused to their armor, he abandoned his decaying homeland, he appoints HIMSELF as a religious icon, and he dual-wields evil lightsabers. I'm glad I get to kill him in every NG cycle.

                            • Anonymous

                              When you get demoted from being the final boss to a mid-game boss but your boss weapons trivializes the rest of the game + DLC

                              • Anonymous

                                It took me 6 tires to beat him without parrying. Dispatching his clone early in phase 2 made it easier until he summoned it back. Staying close and circling left makes his left-hand sword (the purple one) a lesser, almost non-issue. He still hits hard and has unrelenting combos, so use your eyes and time your dodges.

                                • Anonymous

                                  Can only summon 2 of 3 npcs? The guide seems to imply you can summon 3. Or is it a more global limitation of player + 2 "friends"? I wouldn't know I DON'T HAVE ANY

                                  • Anonymous

                                    I swear this guy is really hard as a mage. Abyss watchers I figured out you can run away and kite them, but this dude nah those greatswords are designed to punish you for wanting to keep distance. Recommend a melee approach

                                    • Anonymous

                                      Pontiff, your speed cannot possibly compare to my reflexes after fighting Malenia! You are no match for me

                                      *insert other anime lines here*

                                      • Anonymous

                                        "you need a fast weapon"

                                        I beat him with my trust Moonlight Greatsword, the weapon art killed his clone in 2 hits and staggered Pontiff, by which time he was nearly dead. People overthink this boss, he leaves quite generous openings after certain attacks.

                                        • Anonymous

                                          My experience in fighting Pontiff with a ZweiHander has been: "I deal good damage per hit!... When I can actually hit him."

                                          • Anonymous

                                            "Here is a list of red flags that can get you hit and thus very likely killed in this fight:
                                            ...You are trying to tank hits. Yeah good luck because he's basically a one-shot speed tank build."
                                            lol, this guy is very tankable, just slap him senseless repeatedly

                                            • Anonymous

                                              I heard he is a hard boss
                                              Too bad you can get a +10 Astora greatsword and grind to level 77 to whoop his ass

                                              • Anonymous

                                                Like that other guy said before, hug him and it gets a hell of a lot easier, you even get a breather or two to chug some estus. Otherwise he's just gonna wail at you until you stop existing.

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  If you are a mage, this boss is piss easy. Just summon the phantoms, and spam your spells while boss is attacking your guys. LOL

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    I feel like I cheated by summoning two of the phantoms from outside his door. beat him second try.
                                                    wanna 1v1 him on my next playthrough...

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      I've always wanted to beat a Fromsoft game, DS3 is shaping up to be the first.

                                                      This boss looked so cool that it's a big reason for playing the game, sad it was such an easy fight

                                                      Dragon crest shield, uchigatana, hug him and his attacks miss or are easily blocked, kill the clone asap and you're golden.

                                                      Looking forward to the rest of the game

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        Got him yesterday yay!

                                                        Was obliterated within seconds th few first times but thanks to this wiki I parried his #ss to oblivion. What really helped was a good parry shield (target) and Carthus Bloodring, Carthus Milkring. Those rings really confused poor Pontiff and made all his attacks way easier to dodge when I messed up the parry. Highly recommend going at it like this!

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          I...I killed him on the second try, while hollowed. I was ready for this grueling hell on earth. Same dance behnd and chop it in the ass I use for everything else.

                                                          • Anonymous

                                                            I'm going to be completely honest.
                                                            After almost 40+ regular and challenge runs, I can safely conclude that this mf right here is the hardest boss for me in the game

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              Ring of Favor should probably be noted that it's NG+, since the place you can get it requires you beat Sulyvahn in the first place. Unless I'm sorely mistaken

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                His fast combo, long flurry, high damage wouldn't be so bad if he staggered when hit. But no, the guy just tanks ultra greatsword hits without flinching.

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  Who needs fancy parries when you have an ember and an npc gank squad

                                                                  Anri gotthard and pale shade are actually kinda useful in this fight, and if you don't wanna be "evil" you can still trivialize it with anri and gotthard

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    If your melee character hits hard, you can pretty much kill Pontiff's hologram before it comes out. After Pontiff squat down for the 2nd phase transformation, he will raise his sword to summon the hologram. When that happens, go up and start pouncing. Remember to equip Pontiff's Right Eye ring and/or do War Cry if available.

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      This man is a straight-up wall. Everything up to that point is pretty easy but Pontiff combines literally all the elements that make a nasty and/or frustrating boss:
                                                                      1: Long run to the boss arena even from the closest bonfire (with a dog on the route for added flavour. And it's one of the weird human-headed Irithyll dogs, meaning it'll actually do quite a bit of damage and stagger you if you get hit).
                                                                      2: Very fast attacks
                                                                      3: Brutally long combos that take all of your stamina to avoid so you can't properly attack if he gives you anything resembling an opening)
                                                                      4: Summons a minion for added obnoxiousness and danger

                                                                      Well... I'm definitely not beating him with my Flamberge unless I grind for a stupid amount of levels first. Guess I'm gonna have to level those twinblades them.

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        Just beat Pontiff on my first playthru of any DaS game. Switching to the long sword based on advice here was helpful, as was defaulting to strafing left (his right). But I was certainly intimidated by boss and by the specificity of the strategies here. And it took ~27 tries (at least you bank 2300 souls each try as long as you keep the fighting in the pews).

                                                                        I found he ultimately was a pretty gradual step up in difficulty from the other challenging bosses (the first two, greatwood, and the Abyss watchers). I didn’t have to memorize his complete move set (except watch for the combo after he makes a big X with his swords) or be especially conservative with my attacks. What I did try for the first time was actually holding my crest shield up anytime I was expecting an attack. I didn’t try parrying but when I missed a roll it greatly minimized the damage, and it doesn’t take much stamina to get off the 1-2 swings each time he finishes attacking.

                                                                        I appreciate that these boss fights feel close, reflexive, and physical, and that you don’t need to resort to gimmicks or advanced play to win. They seem to teach you to fight better and eventually give you a win before you quite master or can even really express what you are doing. And you feel awesome when you finally win. I personally took my exhalation as opportunity to try Fashion Souls.

                                                                        The bosses with gimmicks (high lord, Y the giant) seem like they would require a lot more memorization and precision to beat through a normal fight. At least the ones you need to fight normally don’t have too much HP.

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          I just came back from an invasion of the Boreal Valley ... There was this boss in the fight club ... More hackers still present in this game, like an incurable disease.

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            In the painted world of ariandel, sulyvahn was sitting by a campfire with a crab on a stick, roasting it. He felt different from this place, then friede just came outta nowhere and blasted snow into his campfire and him, sulyvahn had enough, he wanted to see the outer world and not live in this painting. He climbed up a ladder that.. simply appeared, and found a exit to this painting and said ''Surely this has to be better than that **** place''. He then has gone to irithyll and to a local pub, where he sat down and drank some ''ANOR BEERDO'' beer, he then encountered a guy with a frosty hammer, he asked him ''yo you wanna become a team and do some crazy ****?'' Vordt, while he was normal and human, said ''Hell yeah sure'', Sulyvahn and vordt have gone to this funny lake, and sulyvahn said ''man i wish there would be some cool crocodile roaming here'' then followed on ''Yknow i heard of some capital that got burned down deep in irithyll, why not travel to there?'' Vordt said ''Idk lets go'' So Sulyvahn and Vordt have ventured into irithyll dunge- i mean some place that will maybe become a dungeon, its hallways rn, after wandering and wandering through these halls sulyvahn said ''**** this i wanna see the capital right now'' and jumped off the cliff where you see the capital and landed right on a gargoyle, breaking him into pieces, then he stood up and made place and vordt aswell jumped down on the gargoyle breaking his pieces into dust with his thicc armor and hammer. Sulyvahn and vordt have wandered in this capital, looking at all those burned humans, vordt said ''Why are here so many dead hoomans?'' Sulyvahn said ''Idk theres a funny flame in the distanc-'' suylvahn got his head flamed by a fireball. He was not happy about it. Vordt said ''woah what the hell, are thou alright?'' Sulyvahn said ''**** that flame, i want to look closer at it'' so both of them have gone even deeper and confronted the profaned flame, sulyvahn deeply looked into it, while vordt screamed ''I dont know if its healthy to look into a flame that long!'' while fending off hand monster babies that tried to eat him, after he defeated them all sulyvahn sneaked right up close to him like a drug dealer and said ''Yo what if the age of fire ****ing sucks and linking it is bad?'' Vordt said ''Uh, i dunno''. They both have gone to irithyll again and sulyvahn told vordt to wait here while he went to lothric to convince the prince to not touch the fire or his soul will burn to dust. After sulyvahn arrived at the grand archives, he said ''Yo can i be the first scholar or some ****?'' Oceiros said ''Yeah sure im currently researching some crystal meth ****, yo can you also become the mentor of the prince?'' sulyvahn said ''k sure'', oceiros have lead sulyvahn to lothric's room and oceiros said ''Hey this guy will be your mentor about some ****, have fun!'' Prince lothric said ''Daad hes scaring me-'' but oceiros already shut the door loud, Sulyvhahn said to young lothric ''Did you know linking the fire is bad?'' Prince lothric said ''but my parents want me to do it'' then sulyvahn said ''Well linking it makes your bones and soul burn'' Prince lothric immediatly didnt want to link the fire, so after sulyvahn left lothric after researching some **** there or i dunno he went to make anor londo his *****, when oceiros came into lothrics room lothric said ''Dad i dont want to link the flame anymore'' Oceiros, not suspecting it was sulyvahn convincing him immediatly left to **** gwynevere again for a worthy heir. Sulyvahn returned to anor londo and said to vordt ''yo i need some cleric'' vordt threw a guy called aldrich to sulyvahn and sulyvahn said ''go to the cathedral of the white or some **** and turn into a slug'' aldrich said ''wait wha-'' but sulyvahn already kicked his arse into the cathedral of the white, where he did some cleric **** and tastes human flesh for fun and said ''damn this is good ****, i want to be a cannibal!'', Sulyvahn told vordt he needs some poison stuff, and then vordt ripped out of the insides of a sewer centipide that long pillaged irithyll and gwyndolin didnt give a **** about em. Sulyvahn heard of adrich becomming a slug got forced to become a lord of cinder as he would want himself so his slugfu looks more powerful, but if he wanted him to eat gwyndolin he would first need to somehow take out smough, that is chilling in his old boss hall that definitly didnt get killed by the cosen undead, he knew that if he let aldrich into the cathedral smough would eat aldrich alive and slurp him like a noodle, so he placed a trace of human remains to a nearby cliff, smough followed and ate all those human remains and foun the ending at a cliff, and sulyvahn fired a soul spear at his back causing him to fall off, then when he snuck into the cathedral more he found out smough has a duplicate of his armor, which he would let aldrich eat, aswell as he found a duplicate of smough's greatahmmaer. When gwyndolin was admiring the beautiful view he fired a poison arrow into him and then stabbed him with a bastard sword dealing 200 damage and enhancing it with magic, then he threw gwnydolin into the old hall of smough and threw yorshka like a kukri into a tower, then when aldrich returned he slinged him right into ill gwyndolin and also feed him smough's armor duplicate, now that gwyndolin was being eaten alive he could rule irithyll, and he proclaimed himself pontiff. Vordt said watching all of this madness ''Yo what about this daughter of the royal family'' and pointed to the now called dancer, Sulyvahn forced her to dance for him like a monkey, the after she had to dance and dance, he made her a outrider knight, gave her a black eye ring of his and told her to go to lothric after giving her a paired curved sword aswell, he then looked to vordt and told him ''Take this ring and go to lothric aswell!'' Vordt said ''but shouldnt i stay with thee?'' Sulyvahn said ''I can do this ****, now go'' so vordt followed the dancer to irithyll. Meanwhile at the painted world friede is being a **** to everyone. Sulyvahn dreamt of revenge after friede has put out his fire.

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              Is he really a witchtree? He's from Ariandel and his mother is heavily implied to be Birch Woman. Plus he's a sorcerer and has a tree form. Hmm... (Saint said this, i just came here to look).

                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                Lightning is the best element against him. Dark can beat it by a VERY tiny amount with the blindfold mask.

                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                  I don’t like how people be hating my pontiff. He left the painted world found the profaned flame and wanted to take it back so we could get a better dlc.

                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                    All diffficulty aside can we appreciate the music, i feel like it really sets the feel for the the battle against the traitor of lothric and the royal family

                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                      Sully, this is mommy. I've packed your ADHD meds, please take them. Mr. Aldritch complained again of you waving your crayons during class again.

                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                        He may be resistant to bleed but that didn’t prevent me and Londor Pale Shade from bleeding him to death. Fastest phase 2 since when I summoned players.
                                                                                        Oh and +0 level 11 so I didn’t know what to do otherwise.

                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                          Finally got him. The carthus blood ring was really useful against him. Spamming great chaos fire orbs whenever he summons clones was really beneficial too.

                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                            Summoning is the best way to fight this boss, because then it's like an epic confrontation for the man who wronged all of Lothric.

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              I killed this man not cuz he is evil and rude but because he is in the way of accessing the fight club (the real reward for killing him (100% facts))

                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                Actually beat him 2nd try albeit with that one NPC phantom. I never summoned phantoms before this so I wanted to see how easy it is, turns out phantoms, even NPC ones, are op.

                                                                                                My only gripe with this fight is his stupid hitbox, like you can be hugging him, swing, and still not hit him????

                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                  Interesting...everyone seems to struggle with different bosses. The first time i met abyss watchers i often heared how hard they are, still went in without any guide or letsplay knowledge. They stopped me for slightly more than 30min...as any Caster you can even outrun them and they have no attack to close the distance really quick. The "burning dash" in phase 2 can also be outrunned or easily dodged.
                                                                                                  Pontiff on the other hand took me 3 hours. If the distance between a caster and him is too big, he always rushes in, so even a caster should consider to melee him if you can't maintain that sweet spot where he just walks towards you. Even kiting NK is easier.
                                                                                                  As a pure melee, the AW had also way more standardized combos and can be staggered or even knocked down easily. Pontiff has times where he just freaks out and has unlimited stamina. He can be staggered too but i only see knockdown when i sunbrofarm him and he gets smashed up by 2-3 players.

                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                    Interesting...everyone seems to struggle with different bosses. The first time i met abyss watchers i often heared how hard they are, still went in without any guide or letsplay knowledge. They stopped me for slightly more than 30min...as any Caster you can even outrun them and they have no attack to close the distance really quick. The "burning dash" in phase 2 can also be outrunned or easily dodged.
                                                                                                    Pontiff on the other hand took me 3 hours. If the distance between a caster and him is too big, he always rushes in, so even a caster should consider to melee him if you can't maintain that sweet spot where he just walks towards you. Even kiting NK is easier.
                                                                                                    As a pure melee, the AW had also way more standardized combos and can be staggered or even knocked down easily. Pontiff has times where he just freaks out and has unlimited stamina. He can be staggered too but i only see knockdown when i sunbrofarm him and he gets smacked up by 2-3 players.

                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                      when i found out what he did to anor londo and gwyndolin i wanted to feed him head first into a 20 year starved mimic

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