Sulyvahn's Beast

Enemy Type Beast





Resistance ??
Immune ??

Sulyvahn's Beast is an enemy in Dark Souls 3.


Enemy Description

  • A ferocious beast that attacks relentlessly.
  • A head similar to that of a crocodile with three pairs of eyes and numerous teeth. Covered in grey fur, from its head to its curved tail. The ribcage has been torn open and shudders when the beast breathes.
  • None of them respawn after death.
  • The two in front of McDonnell have 2721 health in NG.


Combat Information

  • Attacks mainly with bites, snapping at the player. Has a running charge that grabs the player and can result in instant death, to avoid it you should roll sideways slightly sooner than you would think. The attack has a wider reach than expected.
  • If the player is behind or beside this beast it will swipe its head to hit the player and to face the player. It can be hard to evade but it has an obvious wind-up. It will generally do two swipes, from one side to the other.
  • Player will generally be charged by the first beast on the bridge, but if one is close enough, it will enter its normal attack patterns instead.
  • Contact with the exposed ribcage on the underside of the beast often creates a knockback effect, interrupting both your blocks and attacks.



  • Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
    • First encountered upon crossing the bridge into Irithyll. If not slain here, it will jump off the bridge and fight you in the water area below after crossing underneath.
    • Two can be found behind an illusory wall in a small room just before the Silver Knight archers. They protect access to the Aldrich Faithful covenant and the Ring of Favor.


Notes & Tips

  • They are EXTREMELY susceptible to bleed. Dorhy's Gnawing can deal upwards 800+ damage per cast at 30 FTH.
  • VERY weak to fire: 2-3 Great Chaos Fire Orbs will put them down pretty quickly.
  • It's susceptible to poison. At SL 31 with 22 intelligence a single application of Poison Spores from the Storyteller's Staff will kill a beast in front of McDonnell. Application can be difficult however due to their speed and unpredictability.
  • All of Sulyvahn's Beasts are unique targets. Dedicated combos kill them quickly, but they have equally dangerous attacks of their own, and can punish reckless behaviour.
  • Roll sideways to stay close when dodging, and come up swinging at them to get damage in before they attack again. Don't trade blows, and don't extend your combos.
  • Without a high investment in Endurance (~30) and/or top notch endurance recovery management (don't hold your shield up when not being attacked for faster regeneration), shields can be difficult to use effectively in this fight as some attacks/combos from the beasts deplete large amounts of stamina. Shield-breaking during this fight will lead to almost certain death.
  • Attacking it from their sides proves useful but beware of its head swipe, it can be difficult to evade.
  • When it breathes lightning it is best to hug its chest or sides. Once the beast breathes lightning they won't change their direction to follow your character, making it easy to evade and punish with one or two good hits before it recovers.
  • Its head is a weakness, like most large enemies
  • A single Great Heavy Soul Arrow to the face after it completes it's initial charge and flop will result in the beast rearing back for a Critical Hit. Simply run up, stab it with an implement of your choice and you will do Massive Damage. The beast then falls backwards and begins flailing. Like everything about this creature the flailing deals damage and can kill you. Either continue blasting it to finish it off or wait for it to slow down and get a swing or two in. It will get back up after this if you've failed to finish it. Differences in NG+ apply until testing can happen.
  • Because the McDonnell fight is very difficult, it is advised to use a bow to lure one of the beasts.
  • Alternatively, you can quickly dispatch them by waiting for their initial plunge and hitting them hard on the nose. This will cause them to go into a reposite state for additional damage. Afterwards, they will be vulnerable for a final attack.


Irithyll: Entrance Bridge Strategies

  • As soon as it spawns for the first time, this Sulyvahn's Beast takes several seconds to roar and announce its presence.  During this moment, it is very easy to run up and unleash your heaviest attack on its head.  With enough damage, it will lean backwards and go into a riposte-able state.  When I used this strategy, I had two-handed a +1 Demon's Greataxe (~400 AR) and hit it with Demonic Flare for an easy riposte opportunity.
  • An easier way is to count 4 decorated, flower pillars on the bridge, as soon as you reach the fourth one the beast will appear. You can then dip in and out of the entrance, the beast will attempt to disappear once you step out the gate, and will not attack even if it sees you. That technique provides an opportunity to get some hits in. Repeat until it's dead.

Irithyll: Bridge Underside Strategies

  • If you don't defeat the first one you encounter on the bridge in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, and you encounter it again in the water below, there is a simple strategy to defeating it by using the environment to your advantage. In the northern corner, just before you reach the stone floor and manor in the distance, there is a rounded area surrounded by the rocks, a cul-de-sac of sorts. In this rounded area is a crack in the rocks on the right side just big enough for your character to fit into. If you stand at the very back, the monster cannot reach you even though he will try to. From here you can whittle his health down with ranged attacks or carefully timed melee attacks. Block his electrical attack and don't get close enough for him to reach you, and eventually, you will defeat him.

Irithyll: Water Reserve Strategies

  • Skull Ring Strategy
  • A solid strategy is to stagger/riposte. Lure one over with bow, then climb up the ladder immediately, when it begins to walk into the wall, press (climb)+(jump) the jump down the ladder, aiming for his head, and this should cause him to fall back and giving us a riposte. Note that the beast can reach up to the ladder to a certain height, also being able to finish it in one combo is the best possible outcome.
  • A viable strategy for sorcerers is to apply Poison using a Storyteller's Staff, Hidden Body, and Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring to get close enough without notice. After using Poison Spores the beast will move toward you to investigate the spell casting placing it in the poison cloud. Moving backwards will ensure it does not notice you. If a single casting fails to apply poison simply repeat.


  • It has a similar look to the Egyptian demon Ammit, whose name means Soul Eater.
  • Sulyvahn's Beast belongs to a group of crocodile like monsters inspired by Berserk's Beast of Darkness - read here.
  • Drops 12000 Souls.
  • If the beast survives after a riposte, it will cross its hands over its stomach, seemingly in prayer, and will become "friendly" until attacked again.
  • Its underbelly looks similar to that of the Gaping Dragon.
  • Can be staggered and riposted.
  • Is nearly identical to the Watchdog of Old Boss from Bloodborne








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    • Anonymous

      28 Oct 2020 02:42  

      It's kinda silly, but I managed to kill one of Sulyvahn's Beasts near McDonnel with bleed on low SL by throwing kukri from distance on which they don't do damage (beast wasn't triggered as there was no direct dmg).

      • Anonymous

        15 Oct 2020 03:19  

        These are without a doubt the worst enemy in the game. Entire body is a hitbox, lightning fast, attacks wipe off half of your health, relentless combos, massive healthbars plus you have to kill 2 of them to access a covenant. Seriously, **** THESE THINGS

        • Anonymous

          08 Oct 2020 14:21  

          Article doesn't mention the fact that hitting it square in its face results in a critical opportunity, full nloodborne style. And if it survived, it simply prays on the ground wating to be killed.

          • Anonymous

            03 Sep 2020 22:50  

            I usually like challenges, but these things (in the pit at least) instakilled me all the time (I missed the upgradable armor quite a bit that time). I mean, sure, it's okay, they're quite scary but damn, sometimes I evaded correctly and they hit anyway with their... Leg, I suppose?

            Anyway, horrible things. I wish their drops were more worth the while. But the bleeding helped me a lot.

            • Anonymous

              22 Aug 2020 13:39  

              Why would they make the entire body a hit box for it's attacks? They clearly knew that was a bad idea when making Midir...

              • Anonymous

                14 Aug 2020 04:38  

                Plan to fight this double dog at the giant room using poison: get down the ladder go to the right one hide behind the colum, use poison mist and toxic mist for best resut, posion the dog when you stay behind the colum, do not point the camera at the other dog, i dont know why but if you dont see it it will not atack you, hug the colum and use posion and repeat with the other dog, do this right and you can beat this 2 *****es without taking damage and zero skill needed

                • Anonymous

                  10 Aug 2020 08:52  

                  Y’ALL. they weren’t kidding when they said these things are extremely susceptible to bleed. i’m SL12 and my +0 barbed straight sword with carthus rouge killed the one on the bridge in <30 seconds. didn’t even upgrade luck or wear a gold serpent ring

                  • Anonymous

                    02 Aug 2020 20:51  

                    Be forewarned eager ash! I'm on NG+7 and beyond and these guys can one-hit you with their Grab. Even at 99 Vig, with Lifering +3, FaP +3 and Embered. Im not Joking but these guys on NG+7 are worse than most bosses.

                    • Anonymous

                      01 Aug 2020 07:16  

                      Do yourself a favor, if you use spears, and use a different weapon type on these guys. Just fought the two in Water Reserve and R1 pokes basically phased through them half the time and did no damage. Real pain in the ass.

                      • Anonymous

                        26 Jul 2020 09:46  

                        The best way to go at it is to let it do some attacks and keep rolling backwards. Wait for it to start doing a regular walk towards you then hit it in the head. Then do a repost (I prefer a fist so I don't kill it).
                        If you do it enough you'll know the animation and can immediately hit it in the snout.

                        • Anonymous

                          23 Jul 2020 20:34  

                          To reach Archdeacon McDonnell without killing the beasts, just use a Young White Branch. The beasts will not see you and you will have just enough time to either join or level the covenant and warp out before the beasts get to you.

                          • Anonymous

                            07 Jul 2020 18:23  

                            For me, the strategy I made up was luring one of them close to the ladder and going up before they can reach you. Then you proceed to plunge attack off the lather which causes massive damage and also opens them up for a riposte.

                            • Anonymous

                              06 Jun 2020 05:08  

                              These things hit like a freight train in NG+2. I have ~1800 health and 40 absorption and still got hit for more than half my health bar with one snap

                              • Anonymous

                                21 May 2020 19:59  

                                i didnt have any problems with these guys actually... in fact i riposted the one and it just flopped onto its back and started praying... hes still in the basement there, too cute to be killed XD

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