Havel The Rock

Location Undead Burg
Health * NG: 1,000
NG+: 1,600
Souls * NG: 3,000
NG+: 6,000
* Recorded in PATCH 1.05

Havel The Rock is a Mini-Boss in Dark Souls.


Havel The Rock Information

 Havel the Rock is a powerful opponent found at the bottom of the spiral watchtower leading up to the Taurus Demon in the Undead Burg, guarding the entrance to Darkroot Basin. He wields a massive dragon's tooth hammer and Havel's Greatshield while wearing the heavy Havel's Set. While somewhat slow moving due to his heavy gear, his attacks deal incredible damage to unwary opponents, and his armor and shield protect him from all but the strongest counter attacks. Havel is aggressive, and will pursue you on sight a fairly far distance within the general confines of his tower.
Havel the Rock was a Bishop (later a knight) of the Way of the White Covenant, from Thorolund. It is unclear whether he was the head Bishop of the order or whether he deferred to Allfather Lloyd, the patriarch of Thorolund itself.

He is described as an Apostle to Allfather Lloyd, the Guardian of Law and Caste, and one of the great Royals of Thorolund. Havel was likely a member of Gwyn's army during the Age of Fire, creating a question about why he deferred to Gwyn later in life. (Havel is not Gwyn's uncle. The description of the White Seance Ring says: " entrusted to the head bishop of the Way of White and apostle to Allfather Lloyd, uncle to Lord Gwyn". The placement of the comma implies that Lord Gwyn's uncle is Allfather Lloyd and not the head bishop of the Way of the White.)

He turned hollow later in life and was locked in the watchtower basement by 'a dear friend,' as stated on the flavour text of the watchtower basement key. There are two possibilities as to who this 'dear friend' could be. Some suggest it was the charred divine blacksmith in Darkroot Garden in the tower after the Moonlight Butterfly, an obvious candidate considering his skill at forging, his possible origins in Thorolund as a divine blacksmith and the fact that the watchtower basement key is found on his body. Others suggest that the 'dear friend' was Gwyn, before he himself turned hollow trying to protect Havel.

In life Havel was a sworn enemy of Seath the Scaleless. He despised magic, and particularly Seath for his consummate involvement in sorcery. This is reflected in Havel's character design; rocky armour evoking the natural elements as opposed to arcane sorcery, and the dragon tooth; a symbol of his hate for magic of dragons. It is also elaborated upon in the description of the Great Magic Barrier miracle, which explains that Havel devised the powerful defensive miracle to counter Seath's magic. Unsurprisingly, that miracle is extremely effective if employed by the player against Seath.


Havel the Rock Location

Undead Burg, locked door at the bottom of the spiral tower before Taurus Demon.

Havel the Rock Info

  • Havel's most common attack is a long overhand smash that deals massive amounts of damage. Although this attack takes a long time to swing, Havel is able to very quickly adjust where his attack lands just as he begins to swing forward his hammer, so it's important not to dodge before he begins swinging forward. This attack commonly kills even higher level players with a single swing if they are struck squarely.
  • After the hammer hits the ground, Havel staggers to lift the weapon back onto his shoulder. This is the best window of opportunity to attack him.
  • Havel also has very high health, and although he wears heavy armor, he moves relatively quickly.
  • It is possible to block all of a single hit from Havel's hammer with an upgraded Black Knight Shield or other very high stability shields with 100% physical resistance. However, if you do not have enough stamina to absorb the entire hit on the shield, the damage will still carry through, probably resulting in a 1-shot kill. Attempting to block one of his swings should be a move of last resort if you are otherwise not able to roll or evade.
  • It is possible to absorb a hit and take no damage if he hits your shield with only the tip of his weapon. Given the size and large impact area of his weapon, however, this is usually just a matter of luck.
  • Later on in the game, his armor and weapon can be found within three chests in a basement in Anor Londo, behind a secret passage in a fireplace.




Darkroot Basin Strategy / Early kill Strategy
This is very similar to the "Cheesier Strategy" laid out below, but doesn't involve exploiting glitches. Havel apparently does not like to leave his tower. You can take advantage of his hermit-like nature! Approaching from the Darkroot Basin, Havel is lying in wait to your right just inside the doorway. When you come through the door he will immediately swing at you, so just retreat quickly back outside. He will then run up to the door and, if you are lucky, take another swing. Use this as an opportunity to get a hit on him. He will then raise his shield and retreat, so dash back in and do it all over again!

It is very possible to use this same strategy on the early stages of the game, through the upper entrance of the tower. Before going upstairs to fight the Taurus Demon, go first downstairs and lure Havel to chase you upstairs, then head to the tower entrance and step the stairs outside. Do not run too fast or Havel will stop chasing you. Once outside, wait for Havel to go outside, at which point he will turn around and go in again. That's the moment when an attack is safe, best with long reaching weapons (I used the Reinforced Club for this). Then come in the tower and lure Havel to go outside again. Repeat over and over. This strategy is simple but requires a lot of patience since your attacks will not do much damage at this point. Just make sure to not rush the process and take your time since a single hit from Havel will certainly kill you. Killing Havel so early will help greatly in boosting your level before the Taurus Demon fight.
Havel's ring can be obtained through this method, but may fail to drop [thanks for the confirmation of LeoTheTitan who acquired the ring].

Backstab Strategy
Fighting Havel is simple, but tedious. Remove all of your armor for the extra speed - if he hits you you're dead, regardless of your armor, so there little point in having it weigh you down. Once he starts chasing you, get him to begin his overhand swing. Once he begins to bring the hammer forward, roll out of the way and try to backstab him. Be careful to time this right since he can adjust where he attacks right before he swings and catch you if you roll to early. Rinse and repeat. If you don't feel comfortable timing the roll, you can also back away out of the range of his swing and sprint forward to attack or backstab while he struggles to pick his weapon back up.

Rolling Backstab Strategy
As an alternative, Havel technically has a heavy roll, making it very easy to backstab him if you can manage to confuse his AI enough to have him start rolling instead of simply tanking through all of your damage. The best way to do this is to spam the force miracle, purchaseable from Petrus in Firelink for 4,000 souls at the very beginning of the game, as soon as you enter Havel's aggro range from the Burg end of the tower. If Havel does not begin to roll, you've still come out ahead as spamming the force miracle will break his poise instantly, and you can sneak in a backstab while Havel is recovering from stagger, if all else fails.

Easy Melee Strategy
This strategy works well for a Melee fighter/STR build.
First, equip a shield with 100% damage reduction. Next, make sure you are lightweight enough to be able to strafe quickly - armor really doesn't matter in this fight because if you get hit while not blocking then it's a 1-hit kill. Finally equip a melee weapon that allows for quicker striking (such as a one-handed sword). Once you have a shield and sword equipped simply charge into the tower and run past Havel to the far wall. Turn around and lock-on to him and block with your shield. You should be blocking with your shield for all of the fight, except when you need to get your stamina up to 100%.
Using a shield with 100% damage reduction and having your stamina at 100% should allow you to defend against one (and only one) of his strikes and not take any damage, although it will cost you almost all of your stamina. However, the goal is to simply lock-on to Havel, get right next to him (literally on top of him) and just constantly strafe left. What should happen is that he will telegraph his attacks and either do an overhead swing or a sweeping strike. Both of these are easily avoided if you're constantly strafing left because when he starts to telegraph the strike you simply strafe left and end up behind it. Attack him a few times during his swing recovery, making sure to leave yourself plenty of stamina to get back to 100% stamina before he swings again. Just keep doing this until he's dead!

Super easy Melee strategy
Attack him THROUGH the door, whenever you get close to the door when it's closed, he'll get close to it, if you then hit the door, he'll take full damage of the strike, though remember that he can hit you through the door as well, each time you've landed an attack, back up, wait a second or two, get close to the door to get him close to it as well, attack again, back up again and repeat. some spells may hit him through the door, hasn't been tested.

Ranged Strategy
You can do this at any level. This also assumes you're entering his tower from the Undead Burg side. The external staircase you climb in Undead Burg to get to the tower's door (where a Hollow tries to hit you with a burning barrel) is "the staircase," and the external door at the top of that staircase is the "external door".
Equip a bow and plenty of arrows, the stronger the better. Go down the tower's internal staircase beyond the locked door, only far enough to get Havel following you up. Retreat back to the external door, making sure Havel is still following you up the internal stairs. If he is, lure him to the external door and run down the staircase back out into the Burg. Havel will follow you out. Once he's outside the external door and on the external stairs, he'll take precisely one swing at you (the overhead slam) before backpedaling to his spawn point. If, while he is backpedaling, you set foot back inside the door / in the tower, he will re-aggro and run back at you (assuming he was still relatively close to the door). You can then run back down the stairs, he'll follow, swing, and return. The key here is that, when backpedaling, Havel never has his shield up. Fire one to two arrows at him as he backpedals up the steps. If you time it right as he's at the top of the stairs, one of those locked-on shots will be a bleeding headshot. Continue luring him back to the external door, avoid his resulting attack, and then shoot him with arrows again as he backs away. Repeat until he is dead.

Exploit/Pyromancy Strategy
Travel to the bottom door of the tower in Darkroot Basin but do not open it. If you stand in contact with the door you will see something on the other side of it due to improper door rendering, this is Havel. Hit him hard through the door and immediately roll backwards, as otherwise he will attack you through the door and likely kill you. After he swings you can move back into contact with the door and repeat the process until he dies. Then open the door and collect your loot.
You can also use pyromancy attacks to kill him. Walk in through the door if you're coming near from the Darkroot Basin, and once you enter quickly roll backwards out the door. He should follow you and when he does will attempt to attack you by an overhead swing, and when he does this hit him with a fireball pyromancy. This should take around 5 fire orbs (if each one connects directly to him and not the shield) if you have your pyromancy hand at +5

Firebomb Strategy
Havel, similar to black knights, is moderately vulnerable to fire. Stock up on about 40 firebombs, although you'll only need around 25 or so. Let him get close enough to begin an attack then simply move back or to the side, after his attack misses he'll be vulnerable for one or two seconds so you can toss the firebomb. This strategy costs around 2000 souls to pull off, but is fairly straight forward for the new player. If your character has high vitality or good armour you will want to keep wearing your armour, classes like the knight can survive one hit, albeit barely. Lastly, Havel doesn't seem to like to leave his tower, so if you're injured you can pop out of the tower and heal safely or play cat and mouse.

Fatal Fall Strategy
Enter from either entrance and aggro Havel. Run up the stairs towards the top of the last staircase, right before the door to undead burg, which is also the tallest drop. Perform a jump when Havel gets close and he will follow you, jumping and taking huge damage due to his high equipment weight. You should also roll when landing, so you can recover faster than Havel. Alternatively; wait at the top of the staircase and roll off when he starts to swing his weapon, run back up and drink some Estus if necessary, rinse and repeat. Make sure you are equipped with a light-weight set, or even nothing. After 5-6 falls, he will die.

Gold Pine Resin
First is to get the gold pine resin, there are 3 in a chest in the residence next to the archer tower in the undead burg. You will need either the residence key or the master key to enter. Then while descending the stairs to confront Havel, use it (it lasts 60 seconds). Be sure to have a 100% physical resistance shield for this fight as Havel's attacks deal insane damage. Block or dodge Havel's attacks and backstab him with your weapon until he dies. Don't get too cocky as he can still one-hit you. (Very effective for NG)

Poison strategy
This strategy will help to kill him without actually having to fight him or use another strategy that will put you in harms way. To do this use either of the poisoning pyromancies ( poison mist and toxic mist) or poisoned weapons/items like Poison Throwing Knives, poison arrows and Dung Pies. Dung Pies work wonders but be careful of the self inflicted toxic. (All these are bought from female undead merchant.) After you poisoned him up simply escape through the exit to Darkroot Basin and wait for him to die. It may take more than one poisoning but this strategy allows you to do damage without having to be in his clubbing range.

The Teasing Strategy
First, get to the bottom door of the tower through Darkroot Basin. Kill any golems on the way if you happen to aggro them. Open up the door of the tower. You'll usually find havel directly on your right in the room. For this strategy you need to be locked on to him non-stop, so don't get too much of a distance between you two. Go through the door and lock on to Havel. Getting this close also aggros him. After that, head back outside. Havel should follow you but he can only take a few steps outside (he won't get down the steps entirely). Here you can do one of two things:

  1. Stay out of his range for long enough untill you see him backing into his tower again.
  2. Get close enough so he can try to attack you. Simply walk down a few steps, out of his range. You can use a shield and block to be on the safe side, Because of the difference in height, sometimes Havel will only hit your shield with the tip of his weapon, which is easily blocked. After his attack he will return to the tower, as mentioned in the first method

This is the window of attack, as Havel will not try to hit you untill he's back in his original spot. Squeeze in 2 to 3 hits, and wait outside the tower untill he's back in his spot. After that, go back in (a little beyond the opened door so he can see you), aggro him, and lure him back outside. Rinse and repeat from there on.


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



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    • Anonymous

      Why is parrying not listed as a strategy? All but 2 of his attacks are super easy to parry and it deals the most damage.

      • Anonymous

        Uh Gwen didn't turn hollow trying to protect him, he turned hollow trying to stay in power because he was a ****ing idiot. Gwyn is the true villain of the series and all the originated with him and his self absorption. Dude had it coming to, and to have his soul forever wrung out like a dirty dish rag for power for eternity. Dude was a piece of ****.

        • Anonymous

          I just parry his ass. Does more damage than backstabs anyways and given how slow his windup is, I take him out with ease:

          • Anonymous

            just parry/backstab, also on the darkroot side he wont follow you out as of 4/5/21, atleast in my experience

            • Anonymous

              Keep in mind that this dudes attacks are super easy to parry given the long windup for all of his attacks. If you want to try to fight him at least somewhat fairly, this is the way to go. all of his attacks take at least a full second to wind up, and the attacks themselves are actually pretty slow. The best time to parry is right when he starts swinging his club down. Beat this guy with just a cracked round shield and a long sword.

              • Anonymous

                That's not Havel, for Christ sake. He is one of his warriors wearing the armour that Havel supplies them. Read the God damn descriptions

                • Anonymous

                  Very first time playing dark souls I went down the watchtower and saw this guy. I’ve heard all the stories of His Thickness and I was not disappointed when he smashed me into the ground after I hit him with zwei for a fat 50 damage. I’m not going down there for a bit.

                  • Anonymous

                    I have no idea how people consider this fight difficult. All it takes you win is any shield with 100dmg reduction and ~66 - 70 stability. This makes his attacks a meme and you just walk behind him for backstabs.

                    This fight literally boils down to locking, holding block while walking left and backstabbing.

                    • Anonymous

                      Havel recently sort of glitched out on me. During the fight he stopped and stared at me for about 30-45 seconds as if it was a time of mutual understanding where neither opponent wanted to kill the other but then he resumed and I had to continue too.

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