Black Hydra

Boss 0013 Black Hydra
Location Ash Lake
Health * NG: 3,864
NG+: 6,336
Souls * NG: 10,000
NG+: 20,000
* Recorded in PATCH 1.05

Black Hydra is a Mini-Boss in Dark Souls.


Black Hydra Information


While similar to the Hydra found swimming around Darkroot Basin, the Black Hydra has the upper-hand in the form of higher HP. It will also follow and harass you constantly throughout Ash Lake, chasing after you and pelting you with water projectiles about every ten seconds, making its harrowing presence the primary theme of Ash Lake. It is identical to its cousin, the Hydra in appearance, except for being a menacing black color.





Aqua Projectile

Each head can spit a powerful water projectile that can travel a disturbingly long distance, and is not affected by gravity. The range on these projectiles is so great, that the Hydra often begins spitting them even before the player can see the culprit. The player should utilize all available cover when working their way up towards the Hydra, as the projectiles are numerous, and only very precise rolling will allow you to evade them.

While it can be considered magic, the water attack is deals only physical damage, so don't go into this fight thinking a magic shield will do you any good. About a second before firing the projectile, the Hydra will suddenly jerk its heads around faster than normal, which you can use as a sign of impending (watery) doom.


Head Strike

While the player is within range, the heads will all strike the ground in different areas, in an attempt to hit them. These attacks can be blocked almost entirely with a good shield but you can also reduce the risk of getting hit by evading them, using some good ol' dodging and rolling skills. This attack is preceded by an easily distinguishable loud shriek, which allows you to prepare yourself.

If the Hydra has waited a bit longer than normal between attacks and has not shrieked, it is time to start running sideways and zigzagging as the projectile attack is probably coming.


Flying Hydra

If you are on the opposite side of the beach than it, the Hydra may seemingly jump across the entire strip of land and will attack you from its new position.


Strategy 1 - Melee

From the Bonfire, head straight towards the Black Hydra. As you approach the shoreline, the Hydra will close the distance too, getting very close to as well. From here, the strategy can follow that for the Hydra from Darkroot Basin. Standing on the shallows will cause the Hydra to switch primarily to its head strike attack. Once close, just keep up your shield - the Hydra's attacks are fairly weak and with a good shield like the Heater Shield you should deflect all damage. After a strike, the heads will rest on the ground for a couple of seconds before raising back up and striking again. Simply locate one of its heads during this period, and hack away. A few hits with a decent weapon should cut it off. Rinse and repeat until the Hydra is no more.


Strategy 2 - Ranged

Use the Melee Strategy above, but only in getting the two heads in the middle. While there is a spot around the middle of the lake's edge where none of the Hydra's heads will attack, it is safe to cut the two in the middle to ensure your safety. Find that spot and you can shoot with arrows or use sorcery. You won't even need a shield to block at all. You must hit a neck, a head or even the stump where a neck used to be, because the body itself is not vulnerable at all; which is also why it's a good idea to stump the two heads first, giving you a more stationary target. The Hydra is also weak to lightning. For a mage, the Grass Crest Shield and Ring of Steel Protection are life savers

A good crossbow, such as the Heavy Crossbow located in the Depths, can be very effective once the player reaches the edge of the lake. A crossbow, it's not needed, enables the player to block with a shield between shots, and the Hydra can be target locked from quite a distance. However if you find yourself in a situation where you have to, simply block the Hydra's bite attacks with a shield, and then fire crossbow bolts at its main body. Often the Hydra's heads or necks will interfere with the shot, resulting in even greater damage due to the close range.



  • The water projectiles should be avoided at all costs. They do heavy damage and can travel a surprising distance. There is terrain you can use to hide from the attacks as you progress through the level, but it's best to just close the distance and deal with the Hydra, to get it out the way.
  • Obtaining the Rusted Iron Ring would lessen the difficulty of the fight as it allows you to walk through water without speed reduction.
  • The Hydra will seem to stop chasing the player once they pass the final Man-Eater Shell and will simply shoot projectiles towards them.
  • Using the bonfire next to the Everlasting Dragon after being chased does not reset the Hydra back to the beginning but instead places it half-way along the pathway next to the large tree. The Hydra's awareness of the player though is reset and it will not give chase until spotting the player again.



Unlike it's cousin, the black hydra can be lured onto land. When it tries walking on solid ground it dies.

If you lure the Hydra to the far side of Ash Lake, other side of the large tree with the Mushrooms and Basilisks, you can fight it from behind the sand dune, still need to dodge its head strikes, but the water shots will largely miss you, on top of that, if you run low on healing you can run to the 2nd bonfire to recover and any heads you've already cut off will still be gone, giving you an extra edge if your having trouble taking it down. Seen with 3 other people but could use full confirmation (believed to be patched as the heads respawned for me).

You can also find a safe spot to the left of the Hydra's starting position (near where you would run to pick up a dragon scale), among the small trees and fallen logs. There is a place up against the side of the map where you can wedge yourself into the trees/wall and take shelter from the water attacks. It doesn't look safe, but it is. You will still have a view of 3-4 of the Hydra's heads, so with some patience ,and a bow and arrows you can shoot a number of the heads off in safety. This will let you cut down on the water attacks and also open up a huge gap in the pattern of the physical head attacks, making it easy to then run out and attack the Hydra directly.


The Hydra II

As you enter Ash Lake, you will see a bonfire to your right and a Hydra lurking in the water straight ahead.


Mini Bosses
Black Phantom  ♦  Butcher  ♦  Fang Boar  ♦  Giant Cat  ♦  Giant Rat  ♦  Golden Crystal Golem  ♦  Havel The Rock  ♦  hydra  ♦  Ricard the Archer  ♦  The Berenike Knights  ♦  The Black Knight  ♦  The Channeler  ♦  Titanite Demon  ♦  Undead Dragon


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    • Anonymous

      does it really have a different color from the hydra in the basin to justify the "black" in it's name? unless i'm colorblind and i never knew about it, both hydras seem to be the same color, and even the different lightings from where you find them don't seem to influence their color that much.

      • Anonymous

        I had trouble with it at first, but it actually gets close enough that a long melee weapon can hit the heads while upright. The BKGS was more than enough.
        You don't really need to wait for it to lunge at you.

        • Anonymous

          how the **** are you supposed to kill this thing - I just wanted to do some extra damage for ornstein and smough

          • Anonymous

            such a massive waste of time - low rune drop and dragon scales you can live without (unless you're upgrading more than 1 dragon weapon)

            • Anonymous

              i wish we had any lore behind the hydras, i mean, they're the second biggest creatures in the game, only behind ceaseless discharge, but we never knew **** about them

              • Anonymous

                I got there on a sl38 character now got the Dragon greatsword and Dragon headstone but the way I got out was the hydra had reset itself at the beginning

                • Anonymous

                  me: sees a giant hydra shooting water nukes at me
                  my dumb af brain: bet you could parry those
                  my HP bar: ight I'ma head out

                  • Anonymous

                    okay, i am not trying to flex or anything but i rly need to tell you what kind of player am i for you to understand what kind of **** am i going through. i was able to kill capra demon on my 3rd try. i killed 4 kings on my first try, i killed sif on my first try, i killed guardian on my first try and i killed ornstain and smough on my second try (super ornstain). okay i think i am not that bad right? fck no i died to this piece of snake **** more than 23 times. are you fking kidding me i tried so hard so ****ing hard but i can't do it, i just can't. i actually gave up and finished the game while this 9 headed ***** is still in ash lake. i tried so hardddddddddddddd. it pisses me off so much i just can't do this boss. i don't know why, i need to git gud right? yeah ofc but i just don't see logic. how can i kill the fcking 4 kings on my first try and die to this piece of snake **** 23 times wtf is this game. Dark soul: prepare to die edition, i love this game lol

                    • Anonymous

                      I got it to half life but none of the head got chopped off.... been fighting for a while and still got all its heads.... what's the deal?

                      • Anonymous

                        If you walk to Ash Lake and run to Stone Dragon, rest at Bonfire and then walk back out to the coast, you can see the Hydra in the water, and it’s actually got a very large body with long tentacles/tails in the water behind the already long necks. Very cool enemy body design

                        • Anonymous

                          Once i cut Off all of her heads and rest at the bonfire. It had full health but no Head and i didn't had have the stats for a Bow (sl1). She still followed me around the Area but couldn't attack. That Was by Far the weirdest DS1 experience i have ever made.

                          • Anonymous

                            This isnt even a joke. I join the covenant in the little area after getting away from it. After I got the dragon weapon from cutting off the dragons tail the hydra( other side of ash lake ) just died without me touching him. Has anyone else exprienced this before?

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