Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough
|Health *||NG: Ornstein: (Normal/Super) 1642/2981
Smough: (Normal/Super) 2645/4094
|NG+: Ornstein: (Normal/Super) 2873/5218
Smough: (Normal/Super) 4630/7166
|Souls *||NG: 50,000|
|* Recorded in PATCH 1.5|
Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough are Bosses in Dark Souls.
Dragon Slayer Ornstein Information
Ornstein is the captain of the Four Knights of Gwyn Lord of Cinder, serving alongside Artorias the Abysswalker, Lord's Blade Ciaran, and Hawkeye Gough. As his name would suggest, he was an honorary dragon slayer.
He wields his Dragonslayer Spear, a sword-spear after the fashion of Gwyn's Firstborn's own weapon. He also commands the power of lightning. It is believed that he was left behind with Smough to guard Anor Londo's cathedral after the gods fled.
However, there is reason to believe that Ornstein's presence in Anor Londo is an illusion, much as Gwynevere and the light of Anor Londo is a mere facade maintained by Gwyndolin. This is evidenced by his presence in Drangleic, at Heide's Tower of Flame, where we can speculate he might have fled with Gwynevere. There is also the matter of his armour being present in Archdragon Peak, suggesting he followed Gwyn's Firstborn after his betrayal, with some suggesting he even shed his armour and body to become a dragon – not least as the Nameless King echoes the Ornstein and Smough boss fight in absorbing the lightning of his stormdrake, The King of Storm.
Executioner Smough Information
The executioner for the royal family of Anor Londo, Smough dreamed of being anointed a knight of Gwyn. However, such was his relish for his work that he soon began to eat the bones of those he had executed. Regarded as distasteful by his masters, the royal family never raised him to the rank of knight. Though, after the gods fled Anor Londo, he remains in defence of Gwynevere's illusion. Whether he does so out of loyalty to Gwyndolin or he, too, has been fooled by the illusion of sunlight is not clear.
Last Man Standing
The course of this fight changes, depending on how you approach it. If you wish for an easier fight and fancy Smough's armor, you might wanna take his partner out first. If you prefer a tougher battle with an extra piece of loot, as well as Ornstein's armor, kill the crazy executioner first. Whoever you decide to kill first, you should make that decision before entering the boss area, and stick to it.
Drops (Super Ornstein)
Dragon Slayer Ornstein (The Spear Knight)
Quick and agile, Ornstein is opposite of his partner Smough. Attacking with leaps, thrusts, large arcing sweeps and shooting bolts of electricity from his spear.
If he survives Smough, he absorbs his fallen partner's corpse, and his already-long attack range becomes even greater and several of his abilities gain different attributes from his increased size and strength.
Ornstein will swing his weapon in vertical and horizontal arcs, up to four times. Use this chance to either get around him and hit him between swings or move towards Smough while he is executing this move. The move has relatively decent tracking and range and is fairly easy to block.
Ornstein jumps and stabs his spear down in front of him. The attack has decent tracking and hits rather far in front of it and can go through pillars if you are close enough, but its hitbox is quite narrow, simply roll to the side.
A hurling lightning bolt. The cast time is relatively long, so take this time to get some hits in on him or Smough, provided one is close enough. Until he throws the bolt, he will track you, so be prepared to dodge. Thankfully, the bolt moves fairly slowly, but it is guided and will connect if you roll too soon. You can also make smart use of the pillars to block this attack.
If you are close enough, instead of the lighting bolt, he'll stab you with it.
Ornstein will glide across the room as he makes his way to stab you. The telltale sign of this attack is when he starts to kneel and gets in a pouncing stance, once he does this, prepare to roll out of the way. Think of this attack as Old King Alant's gliding attack in Demon's Souls.
If he glides into an obstacle on his way to you, he will continue the attack until he reaches your position, so keep an eye out and see if he resumes gliding after running into a pillar.
Super Ornstein's Attacks
Ornstein will spin his spear across, and back if you don't move out of the way. Take the time to run under his legs and get some damage in.
Ornstein jumps into the air backwards, making a sweeping motion and doing damage to a wide area in front of him. This can be avoided by simply being under him at all times, and this should not hit. If your weapon is fast enough, you should be able to get in one attack after he lands.
Similar to the one used in round one, but he's just bigger; plan accordingly.
Spear Downward Stab
Ornstein thrusts his spear at the ground, if this connects, it has a good chance of breaking your guard, as he may continue with a charge, doing major damage.
He will only do this when you are far away from him, similar to the first form.
Ornstein leaps into the air and lands, producing a huge electrical AoE below him. If you see him leap up offscreen, sprint or roll away. After he lands, you can rush him and get some damage in as well. Beware that the lightning hitbox lingers slightly after he lands, so don't rush in too quickly. Some of the electricity damage can be soaked by a high electric resistance shield (such as the Eagle Shield or the Effigy Shield) but it is far safer to roll out of the damage zone.
If Ornstein or Smough actually land on top of you, you will take additional physical damage in addition to the electricity burst. This is often enough to KO a player.
Ornstein's ultimate attack. If you are near him, he will charge his spear and then thrust it in front of him. The tracking is sub-par but unpredictable. Roll to his side to avoid, however he will sometimes abruptly switch targets or turn around completely to surprise you or a summon. Your best bet is to simply roll backwards or, if you have a sub-par dodge, go under him while he charges his attack, and it should not hit you. Rolling backwards or to the side too soon often results in impalement.
If the attack does hit you, Ornstein skewers you then lifts you into the air, and does a considerable amount of damage with a powerful Lightning Bolt, before hurling you to the ground. He is also invulnerable to damage during the long animation of this attack, up to and including his recovery time after hurling his victim to the ground. At the same time, he will be locked into that animation throughout, so this attack can be an opportunity to heal for other players not affected. It is possible to use a humanity or even cast a heal spell while standing right next to him during when he is lifting someone else into the air, and not be harmed.
Executioner Smough (The Hammer Wielder)
Large, strong and surprisingly mobile, Smough takes advantage of his size (and the size of his hammer) to cause devastating damage to anything caught within his reach. Smough attacks with large hammer swings, smashes, as well as a dangerous charge that can follow the player through a distance and eat through a shield block very quickly if the player is both trampled and then struck with the hammer swing at the end of the charge.
If Ornstein is defeated first, a cinematic will show him get crushed and absorbed by Smough, who gains lightning attacks, which cause large amounts of damage.
Smough will rear back with his giant hammer in both hands and then slam it down in front of him. This attack is slow and has poor tracking, and can easily be evaded by strafing or rolling to one side. However, it can pass through broken pillars so make sure to keep your distance, if you are using one as cover. This attack is a good opportunity to evade to one side and then deal some damage, due to its slow recovery time.
Jumping Hammer Smash
Smough will leap forward and slam his hammer on the ground in front of him. This attack can also be evaded by strafing or rolling to one side. The AoE of the impact zone is hard to predict, so rolling forward or through the attack is not recommended since the hammer or even Smough himself may still hit you.
Single Hammer Sweep
Smough will pull his hammer back to one side, and then swing it around to the other side, where it eventually impacts the ground. This attack has a wide radius and unpredictable hitbox, so it is best to try to get behind him or back well off. Another option is to actually run into his chest and wait for the swing to go by behind you. As the handle of the hammer will not hurt you, and you can immediately start dealing some melee attacks or close range spells/pyromancies.
Double Hammer Sweep
This rare attack starts with the above Single Hammer Sweep, then after the hammer strikes the ground Smough will reverse his grip and bring it back around in the other direction. This can surprise people charging in after what they thought was a single sweep. You can still avoid damage by getting within the attack radius by pressing right up against Smough, but otherwise you should continue to try to get behind him or stand well off. Do not try to block or tank.
One of Smough's more dangerous attacks, even in his regular form, involves him dropping his hammer in front of him in both hands, and running towards you. If you have the misfortune to be caught by this attack, you will take damage from the hammer and from being trampled by Smough himself. Worse, once he reaches the end of his charge, which can vary significantly depending on whether he runs into any players or has to chase them across the area, he will finish with a powerful popup swing with his hammer that deals additional, significant damage.
The safest way to deal with this series of attacks is to recognize it when it starts, and then get a pillar between you and Smough. If you place yourself correctly, when he runs into the pillar it will end his charge and he will then do his popup attack, which can in fact pass through the pillar, so be careful. If you do not place yourself properly, it is possible for Smough to clip around the side of the pillar and still hit you.
If you are nowhere near a pillar, rolling several times to your right in a circle around Smough while locked on, can carry you past both the charge and his eventual hammer swing.
In his regular form it is possible to block this attack while backpedalling, although you will need a high stability shield (70+ to be safe) and full stamina. Even then, your guard will likely be broken, and Smough has been known to chain his trample attacks. If you are playing with other characters, it is also possible to stagger Smough from the side or behind as he starts his run, cancelling it entirely.
Smough leaps straight up in the air, and then crashes down on his rear end while holding his hammer sideways. You can take damage from either having Smough land on you, or from being under his hammer when he lands. Backing up slightly or strafing around to your right are safe counters. This attack also has a long recovery time as Smough ambles back to his feet, so it is a good opportunity to land some attacks.
Super Smough's Attacks
Electric Hammer Smash
Smough will use a powerful lightning-charged overhanded smash to flatten players. This attack is best evaded to one side, as it is difficult to block or tank.
Electric Hammer Sweep
Smough will swing his lightning-charged hammer horizontally in a wide arc in one direction or the other, similar to his regular Hammer Sweep.
Jumping Electric Hammer Smash
Smough will leap forward while bringing his lightning-charged hammer down in front of him. This is best evaded to the sides, or by using a pillar as cover.
One of Smough's most dangerous attacks. He will leap up in the air while drawing in a large electrical aura, and then when he lands he will blast a 360 degree electrical charge onto the floor. The effect is similar to Ornstein's electric crash attack above, but has a much larger radius and does a lot more damage. If you are in the middle of trying to attack him, it is possible to be hit both by the electricity, and the force of Smough's body impacting the ground at the same time, usually resulting in a KO. As this attack is extremely visible and recognizable, as soon as he leaps players should backpedal or ideally roll backwards several times to try to get out of the blast radius.
Electric Trample Charge
Arguably Smough's most dangerous attack. In form it is very similar to his above regular Trample Charge, but with significantly increased damage. This attack is far harder to block as even a very high stability shield will likely not be sufficient to block the entire series of charge and hammer swing attacks.
Hiding behind a pillar is the only guaranteed way to avoid damage, but it is possible to evade by rolling to your right several times as he approaches, or rolling directly backwards just as he reaches you with his charge and begins to go into his popup hammer swing. Failure to time the evasions properly, however, often results in extreme or fatal damage. This attack pattern becomes particularly brutal in NG+ and beyond.
Strategy - Ornstein
Ornstein is the faster of the two bosses, but his hitbox is narrower and his attacks are easier to dodge. Ornstein's smaller frame may sometimes be hidden by Smough's large body and he can also attack you through him. Use his Gliding attacks to get some distance between the two, or use the walls.
It is also important to keep your shield, but more importantly, your guard up when entering the arena as Ornstein is known to close the space very quickly at times. He may also send large lightning bolts at the host in a similarly dangerous fashion.
When Smough does a charging attack, make sure a pillar is directly between you, so that he hits it with his hammer. The key to this tactic is that Smough seems to path straight when charging (unlike Ornstein's floating charge that goes around objects). As long as you move around a pillar, so that it is directly between you and Smough, and occasionally bait his hammer blows by moving closer to the pillar, you can effectively separate him from Ornstein, who will walk/float around the pillars to you. Wait for Ornstein to start a combo while Smough is behind the pillar, block or dodge it, hit him a few times, and then check on Smough's position to make sure he is still behind a pillar. If he is walking around to get to you, simply strafe until he is once again on the other side relative to you. This may take a few tries to get the hang of, but the advantage of the tactic is that by separating them you buy yourself a few precious seconds during which you need only worry about Ornstein.
Keep your attention on the other boss while attacking his partner. Move the camera to a position where you can see both of them. Do not let them corner you and try to evade their attacks instead of blocking, as that will drain your stamina and leave you vulnerable to his partner's attack. After he transforms, keep close to him and attack at his legs, but watch out for the Impale, and Crash attacks. Keep up the pressure, read his movements, and he will eventually go down.
Run backwards—with shield ready to block—and wait for Ornstein to attack. Hit him one to three times and back up again. Watch out for Smough's jump attack (just roll this attack). If Ornstein is difficult to hit, due to being constantly close to Smough, the pillars around the room can be used to separate them for some quick hits.
Super Ornstein Sorcery/Ranged Trick
When fighting Super Ornstein, make your way behind a broken pillar (one of them should be broken from the first part of the fight), while keeping him at a range. Stay behind the pillar and wait for him to spam his lightning attack. If he rushes at you, you did it wrong. If he spams his lightning attack, you can simply target him from here, using sorcery/a bow and easily kill him.
You may need to move a bit to the side so your magic will shoot over the pillar, but make sure you don't get hit. Be wary that even if you get him in his lightning bolt attack, he can still stop the attack and resume his usual pattern of attacks, so be ready to pull out your shield when that time comes.
Strategy - Smough
Smough is bigger, stronger, but is a lot slower than Ornstein, however is quite mobile for his size. When fighting Smough, the player must make use of their rolls and the pillars in the room. Adapting to this style of play here will make this fight a lot easier. Make sure you have a decent shield and Quelaag's Furysword or another fire based weapon. A Lightning Spear is helpful but not required for Super Smough (Sen's fortress mimic, the Demon Spear from pink gargoyles or make one). You will want to have below 50% carry weight at the very least; below 25% is better if you think you can do it.
With Super Smough, equip your lightning spear if you have one and position yourself the same way, with Smough on the opposite side of a pillar. Run around the pillar towards him with your shield up to bait his attack. Back up to dodge his sweeps and roll to dodge his forward hammer slam. While he recovers, run around the pillar and stab him a couple times. Rinse and repeat. The advantage of a spear is that you can hit him from further away, making more efficient use of his vulnerable recovery time. The only attack you need to be aware of is his electrified butt slam; when he jumps in the air, roll back twice and you should be fine. Under 25% weight for this will make the butt-slam a joke: you shouldn't be taking hits. By standing behind a broken pillar with enough distance between you and Ornstein, he will keep using the lightning bolt attack and you can shoot at him from a safe distance with no fear of the other attacks.
Toxic (NG Tested Only)
Make sure you have about 15+ Dung Pies on hand (just in case you miss or die). Keep a good distance and hit them with about 5 or so to put them in toxic. If you can avoid dying for the duration of the battle the toxic kill will them without you even having to attack once. After one of them dies and you move on to the super form, just repeat the strategy. Also works with Dark Silver Tracer's R2 (DLC item). Gravelord Sword will also inflict poison, but only after 4 or 5 hits in quick succession.
Hints and tips
- The arena is filled with large pillars that will be broken by attacks from Smough or Ornstein. The base of each pillar that remains will make good cover to protect against many of their attacks, notably Ornstein's lightning bolts, and Smough's charge move.
- Some of their attacks have sufficient reach to clip through the pillars so always be alert.
- It is an excellent opportunity to heal or cast magic.
- Ornstein is weak against fire, using a +5 fire weapon in this fight will be significantly easier. However, if you do not have easy access to the Fire Ember or the Chaos Ember, Quelaag's Furysword is also a good alternative. Pyromancies are therefore also quite effective.
- Smough is weak to lightning in the first form, but gains slight resistance once he transforms, but also shares Ornstein's vulnerability to fire.
- Both Smough and Ornstein can be staggered by melee attacks, which disrupts their attack patterns.
- This remains true, albeit more difficult, when they are in their larger forms as well. The staggering appears to be based on rapid cumulative damage (similar to poise breaking), rather than the particular strength of an individual attack.
- Certain spells will also stagger Smough and Ornstein with varying degrees of consistency. The best option seems to be regular Soul spears, followed very closely by Crystal Soul Spears. Homing Crystal Soul Mass, Homing Soul Mass, and Heavy Soul Arrows can also be effective.
- Miracles are generally less useful for staggering, although they will still deal regular damage. Wrath of the Gods, Emit Force, and the various sunlight spear type miracles are all useful, but Force should not be used.
- However, the miracle Replenishment can be surprisingly helpful during this fight, as you may not have much time to stop and heal. Cast it once just prior to entering the fog gate, and then a second time as soon as the cutscene following the defeat of one of the two foes plays.
- When one dies and absorbs the other the survivor's health is restored.
- Focus exclusively on whichever one you wish to kill first.
- If you are playing with summons, most summons will know to decoy the other one away and simply block their attacks for a while, permitting you time to focus on and kill your preferred target. You can also message any summons before the fight to ensure they know which one you intend to kill first. Also, be mindful of where you are standing when the first of the two is slain.
- Following the cutscene, the survivor will always appear in "super" form at the far end of the cathedral floor from the entrance. If the initial fight ended up in that area, the survivor can immediately start attacking unprepared players who are standing next to him after the cutscene.
- When facing Super Smough, his extended reach will sometimes cause him to completely miss close range attacks. Use these misses to deal some damage. This does not mean he can't still hit you so keep your guard up.
- Like every boss fight you will have enough time to equip the Symbol of Avarice and the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring after defeating this boss.
- Using this method in NG+ will grant you 215,000 souls.
- Ornstein was named after the composer "Leo Ornstein".
- Ornstein reappeared as The Old Dragonslayer in DS2.
- The armor set of Ornstein was later rediscovered at Archdragon Peak (DS3).
- Smough is very muscular under his armor, as suggested by concept art for him, explaining why he has such high mobility and can swing his massive hammer with ease
A rare bug has been found in the PC version of the game where defeating Ornstein last does not correctly trigger the end of the boss fight. The fog walls will not disappear, the music will not stop, and while the Leo Ring will drop, you will not obtain the Soul of Ornstein nor the souls from the boss fight itself. Quitting and reloading the game will result in the character appearing just before the fog door, entering triggers the battle again, with the same results. A confirmed way to deal with this bug if you happen upon it is to defeat Smough last instead. This bug is very rare but it appears to be persistent to the character until you manage to trigger the end of the boss fight correctly.