|Knight Artorias the Abysswalker|
|Health *||NG: 3,750|
|Souls *||NG: 50,000|
|* Recorded in PATCH 1.5|
Knight Artorias the Abysswalker Lore
Sir Knight Artorias was one of the four Knights of Gwyn, the commanding knights of Lord Gwyn's army. Artorias had an unbendable will of steel, which both helped, and fed, his hatred for servants of the Dark, particularly the Darkwraiths of Kaathe.
Lord Gwyn bequeathed him with a custom-made ring, the Wolf Ring, to assist in his already unmatched ability to wield a greatsword.
When in New Londo, Artorias discovered the ability of abysswalking, earning him his title, Artorias the Abysswalker, and allowed him to enter The Abyss, the home of the Darkwraiths and the Four Kings themselves. At some unspecified time in the past, when Oolacile was attacked by the Abyss, Artorias traveled to Oolacile to rescue Princess Dusk of Oolacile.
Artorias, deeply marked by the Abyss, and feeling his end was near, gave his shield which served as a magic aura, to protect his loyal battle-companion, a young Sif, from the Abyss. Later, he had become fully corrupted by the abyss. Some time after, an unknown hero (the player), who traveled to the past, killed Artorias, releasing him from his wretched state.
This also preserved his honour, because none would ever known what really happened to Artorias; he was instead believed to have died while facing the Abyss, instead of being corrupted to fulfil the Abyss's goals and killed by an Undead. The hero continued on to kill the dark creatures of the Abyss, and saved Sif, who was being held captive. To thank the hero, Sif awarded them the Cleansing Greatshield.
- Savage Leaping Strike, Artorias howls, then leaps to the player to use him as a sheath for his sword, dealing massive damage. Can be blocked while moving sideways or avoided by rolling forward/to the side when he's about to land. Good moment to hit once.
- Stabbing Charge, Artorias dashes to the player in an attempt to pierce the player. This attack hits twice, unless you manage to avoid it, and while blocked, can take most of your stamina bar away if you don't have a proper shield for it. If blocked, it's a good moment to hit safely on Artorias as he will back off if hit. If hit in the back, he can perform a Slashing Dodge.
- Slashing Dodge, at close range, Artorias can perform a very fast backhand slash at the player, while leaping away at the same time. This attack is very fast, and it one of the main reasons a shield should always be held ready when close to Artorias and not attacking/regaining stamina.
- Light Stab, Artorias will often follow with a light stab after closing up on the player with a previous attack.
- Gliding Slash, Artorias glides a short distance to slash horizontally in front of him. There is another version where Artorias rather slashes downwards after approaching with a disarticulated upperbody motion. Can be blocked or avoided by rolling sideways. May follow with a Light Stab.
- Slashing Combo, Artorias will swing his blade 1-3 times. Commonly followed by 2-hit Hurricane Swing/Light Stab.
- 2-hit Hurricane Swing, Artorias will swing his blade for 720°, hitting the player twice in the process. Can be blocked or dodged. Used when standing near him for a long time/after he does a melee attack.
- Somersault Smashing Combo, at medium range, Artorias might do a fast somersault towards the player to heavily smash his sword downward. This smash can be repeated another 2 times, each swing individually tracking the players new position. Dodging/blocking the first attack is vital as each strike will stagger the player/crush the player to the ground, which are very hard to avoid if having higher than 50% Burden. Not recommended to hit after avoiding the first hit since Artorias can do the same counter as the follow-up of Stabbing Charge. Can safely hit if you blocked the 3 somersaults. He slowly regains stance after the last smash. This is one of the few attacks in the game that completely ignores iFrames, meaning that it will damage the player even mid-roll or on the ground if the sword connects with the player. Rolling to the side is the best way to avoid it.
- Oozing Darkness, if standing behind Artorias for too long, he will throw sludge at the player with a backhand swing of his free hand. Medium-ranged, can be blocked or avoided with a back roll.
- One with the Abyss, after chopping off close to 1/8 of his HP, Artorias will gather Darkness around him to unleash a violent AoE explosion while giving him a damage buff and a trail of harmless Darkness will float behind him. He can stack the buff if he does it again before it runs out and the explosion has a medium-sized AoE. The explosion can be avoided/blocked and the whole attack can be interrupted by hitting Artorias a certain amount of times while he channels the explosion, causing him to get staggered. The number of times you have to hit him depends on the weapon (3 hits with a Man-Serpent Greatsword or 2 hits with the Avelyn crossbow were enough, for example, but it's very hard to pull it off with Ricard's Rapier). A headshot with a bow will always knock him out of the channelling process, but you've only got enough time to get maybe 2 or 3 tries at it if you're quick. It seems to occur no matter the damage output, since headshots on humanoids always stun. It is better to interrupt the buff as it may be troublesome to deal with Artorias when a buffed Savage Leaping Strike might drain a whole HP bar/stamina bar, even with Havel's Greatshield. While he is channeling this ability the damage he receives is reduced significantly.
- 25,000 souls if fought with a sunlight warrior or 50.000 souls without (100.000 in NG)
- Soul of Artorias
- Artorias possesses most of the attacks of Great Grey Wolf Sif.
- If the player rescues Sif before attacking him in Darkroot Garden, a different cutscene will be played.
- The game's database reveals that Artorias has his own cut dialogue.
- In the ending credits, Artorias' voice is attributed to Freddie A'Brassard.
- Artorias' design seems to draw primary inspiration from Guts, the protagonist of Berserk, from which the Souls series draws many influences.
- Both Artorias and Guts, the main character in the Berserk manga, are unmatched with greatswords, and are both outright stated to be defined by their incredible unbending will, yet whose fighting style is defined by becoming possessed by the darkness of humanity and fighting recklessly and brutally, like an animal. Both are legendary for being the first to survive existing in a plane of greatly lethal darkness and are cursed by this experience. Many of Artorias's attacks are direct references to attacks Guts makes throughout the manga, notably his flip and spinning move. The design decision to have Artorias fight with one arm disabled greatly parallels Gut's lack of an arm, which is highly distinctive. Both characters have predominate wolf motifs, with Artorias being called the Wolf Knight, having Sif as a companion, and howling like a wolf when fought, while Guts' spirit is depicted as being a wolf, much like the berserkers of old, which is channeled in its wolf-like design. Artorias's armor looks greatly like renditions of Gut's armor, especially his Berserker armor.
- The cover-art from the Prepare to Die Edition is similar to Issue 28 of the Berserk manga, in both cases having similar poses, wielding a massive sword in their offhand while having a greatly damaged arm dangling down.
- Artorias The Abysswalker is connected to The Abyss Watchers of DS3, to the Champion's Gravetender of the same game, and may also be connected to the Hunters of Bloodborne (read here)
- Additionally, Artorias likely has some connection to the last optional boss of the Souls Series, Gael, who possesses many moves entirely identical to Artorias's.
- Artorias's name is likely derived from Arthur of the King Arthur myth, much like Gwyn's and Gwynevere's.
- It appears that there is a sort of division of roles among the Four Knights regarding countering threats to the Gods, namely between dragons and humans respectively. Ornstein and Gough wear gold armor and have fighting styles specifically oriented towards dragonslaying, while Artorias and Ciaran wear dark blue, and have fighting styles clearly intended for killing humans.
Melee Rolling Strategy
While this boss is really difficult to predict, he does have a few tells for his attacks and a quick roll is very important. Place yourself away from him by about twice his reach at all times (even for melee).
- Aerial Attacks
When he uses his Somersault slam attack you will want to roll to the right as the camera tilts upward while locked onto him. You want to do this three times and then get in 1 or 2 attacks (based on your weapon) after the third attack lands. Avoid attacking after his Steadfast Leap. Instead use that opportunity to heal or get some distance from him.
- Standing Attacks
When he uses his Overhand Smash, roll to the right. While he leaves himself open for a frames, he will usually follow up with his Spinning Slash attack. Therefore it is best to get some distance from him instead as the Spinning Slash attack is difficult to get away from when it begins.
- Charging Attacks
With his Charging Slash move you will always want to roll backwards from where he intends to land the attack. After successfully dodging this attack, you will be able to get 1 or 2 hits on him.
His Heavy Thrust attack will need to be side dodged. Depending on which way he turns during the charge, you will need to dodge the opposite way. After you dodge he has a long recovery time and you should be able to get 2 or 3 hits in.
- Other Attacks
When you are behind Artorias he may use his Abyss Sludge attack. This move does little damage but can stun you. If timed right, you can roll forward through the attack and get a hit on him then immediately retreat.
After Artorias has lost 1/3 of his health he will start to use his Wrath of the Abyss power up. If left alone, he will do much more damage after he completes the power up for a limited time, potentially one shotting you. If you can get close fast enough, you can stun him out of his power up before it's completed by hitting him repeatedly. If you don't do enough damage fast enough then he will hit you with an AOE blast attack that will knock you on your back. Your best bet is to use a heavy, high damage, weapon and stop him from gaining his attack buff, or to quickly whip out a bow and shoot him in the face.
He has 3750 HP and gives 50000 souls.
Artorias lives up to his billing as being unmatched with a greatsword, and even co-op battles against him can be a drawn out and exhausting affair. He is extremely aggressive (pretty much like Gwyn) and usually controls the pace of the fight, but also uses his speed and dodge-rolls to defend himself or break away from walls or multiple attackers. He switches rapidly between defense/offense as well as his targets, and will press his attacks against injured opponents to finish them off before they can heal. It is very important to keep moving and not let him wind up on you. Summoned players should try to maintain aggro on him and keep him away from the host, as his aggressive tactics and leaping abilities can make it easy for him to cover a lot of ground and surprise a host particularly if they are trying to cast a spell or drink Estus. Staying at a close or middle distance while constantly strafing to one side can be an effective way to avoid his various gliding stabs and somersaults, but backing off too far can result in punishing leap attacks that track fairly well, or give him time to use his charge up attack. All of his attacks can be blocked with a fairly nice shield quite easily (Balder Shield + 5 for example is more than enough) so you should try to use a good shield and keep your guard up whenever possible. Blocking with a high stability shield and good stamina tends to be safer than trying to roll through his attacks, as a number of his attacks have the range and tracking to punish all but the most perfectly timed and directed roll evasions. But when he pauses to kneel down and start charging his power up, that is the moment you NEED to attack him. He can be staggered out of his charging animation with a few swings of a strong melee weapon (such as a greatsword or ultra greatsword wielded two handed) or by the obsidian greatsword's 2-handed R2 AoE attack. This can also be an opportunity to hit him with a few spells. If you let him fully charge however he will emit an AoE attack and increase his damage for some time. After a few times he may be far to strong to be blocked in any way, depending on the shield used.
NG+: The charge-up which increases his damage will not last for the entire fight, but he might charge again before it has run out. Even charged though, he remains blockable, only his very high leap can be unblockable and must be avoided by walking backwards from him, otherwise he will strike behind your shield. If only attacked in uncharged state and healed when he´s at a distance makes this fight very controllable.
Always keep stamina bar over 50% at all time as none of his direct attacks are to be taken lightly and considering Artorias' extremely fast stance recovery/follow-up speed.
Note: I've experienced the fight easier with a long ranged spear, like the Silver Knight Spear. With a long ranged spear, you can safely hit him once or twice when he has landed his Savage Leaping Strike, Somersault Smashing Combo and his Gliding Slash (always remember that while rolling to his left side, you cant be hit with this attack), just remember to quickly roll backwards after you've hit him. Also, some poise will help you with the fight, as with around 40 poise you can outstand one or two of his weaker attacks, and one hit of his Somersault Smashing Combo, and safely roll out if you miss the timing.
This fight becomes relatively easy for an upgraded pyromancer. You will need to have your flame upgraded to ascended max and have acquired the Power Within, Great Chaos Fireball (GCF) and Great Fireball (GF) spells. Also, having a 100% high stability shield (I used Caduceus Kite Shield) the Crown of Dusk (or other pyro boosting gear), Cloranthy Ring and Dark Wood Grain Ring will help a lot. The Cloranthy to keep your stamina up and Dark Wood Ring to give you extra dodge frames. At the fog door pop Power Within. Enter and try and bait him into doing his high leap attack. Dodge the attack with a quick side roll and immediately hit him with a GCF. Rinse repeat. After the second (or sometimes first) GCF he will back flip to do his buff charge up. Be on the look out for this constantly! As soon as he does this rush to casting range and hit him with two quick GCF. This will stagger him out of the buff. At this point you may have one GCF left. It is best to switch to GF if you do, you always want to have 2 spells queued up to interrupt the buff. Follow the same strategy with GF. It shouldn't take more than all of your GCF and GF to finish him, but you may want to have some fireballs on hand in case you miss a GCF or GF or two.
- If you don't break the buff, don't freak out. Just keep dodging and trying to bait him until it breaks. Though you may not want to cause a second buff before the first wears off due to the stack effect.
- The high leap has the longest recovery time and is easy to bait which makes it the the best chance to attack. Not only for your casting time but also he is very good at dodging projectiles. He can't dodge during the recovery animation.