Stray Demon

Location Undead Asylum
Health * NG: 5,250
NG+: 8,242
Souls * NG: 20,000
NG+: 40,000
* Recorded in PATCH 1.05

Stray Demon is a Boss in Dark Souls.


Stray Demon Information

A large demon found after returning to the Northern Undead Asylum. This is actually the first demon you see in the game; as you exit your cell at the beginning he can be seen stomping around to your right through the bars in the hallway.

You cannot face him during your initial escape from theAsylum, but upon returning if you walk through the area where you fought the Asylum Demon the floor will break open and you will drop down into the Stray Demon's arena below. This boss, while both optional and challenging to low level characters, is valued because of its guaranteed drop of a Titanite Slab.







Horizontal Sweep

With a slow wind up, the Stray Demon swings his staff from side to side. This attack does a decent amount of damage, if caught in it and can stagger the player. A well-timed roll in any direction but that which the swing is following through in, should be enough to avoid it. Hugging the demon's under belly will also prevent this, and will cause him to do his Ground Pound move instead.


Exploding Staff Slam

Slamming his staff on the floor, delivers a blast that blows up the area directly in front of him, and a bit on his sides as well. This can be quite easy to doge as he normally uses this after a Ground Pound, in which case you would have probably already gotten away from him enough to minimize this threat. So always be ready to run away or behind him and whittle him down while he's occupied but be careful; if you are directly behind him as this AoE attack goes off, you can actually absorb some damage which is no bueno.


Ground Pound

The Ground Pound move is used when the player is very close to, and/or in front of the Stray Demon. It is characterized by the Demon flying up into the air momentarily then thrusting his weight and hammer down into the ground, either crushing the player or damaging them with area of effect shock-waves. The resulting damage varies, depending on how far the character is from the Demon but ranges a maximum of 10 feet, or roughly a little less than two character's heights. This attack will also track you, including when the Demon is in the air, so continue moving.


Strategy 1 - Melee

It is not possible to summon in the Northern Undead Asylum, so you're on your own. Despite his superficial similarity to the Asylum Demon you defeated to escape the area originally, the Stray Demon has a large amount of health and very powerful attacks. As his location is close to your arrival point, remember to first take a short detour to rest at one of the Asylum bonfires before tackling him, to avoid spawning elsewhere in the likelihood that you die.

After falling down into the Stray Demon's chamber, quickly run around or away from the demon to avoid its attack, and heal the fall damage you just sustained. It is advised to stay behind the demon as much as possible or risk being hit by the demon's AOE magic, which has a large radius. You can block his melee swings without taking any damage. But his red wind attacks will cause damage even if blocked (unless your magic block is really high on your shield) and also often cause a knockdown that usually results in your death.

While circling the Stray Demon, the best time to attack him is from behind after he has performed his blast attack by striking the ground in front of himself with his staff. Steer clear until the blast evaporates, then attack him before lifts his staff again. Do not attack more than twice at the most, and ideally once if you want to get him stuck in a helpful combat loop. Specifically, if you get the pattern down, it is possible to get him stuck in a pattern where he does not move, but rather continues to strike the ground in front of himself and set off his AoE attack each time you attack him in the tail or the same leg from behind.

You can then run forward between each attack and strike the same spot from behind with a single attack, whittling him down fairly safely. A weapon with good reach such as a spear or claymore (R2 thrust attack) will give you a little extra space and time to attack him between each of his blasts. 

He may also try to Ground Pound you, but this attack is fairly easy to avoid and if you're quick to run back to him, you can get in a couple hits on him; this is also the best time to cast magic as the process can be long and arduous but it is an easy way of defeating the Stray Demon with little to no damage (excluding the initial fall damage).

  • Extremely weak Against Bleed (3 hits of a bandit knife or uchigatana make him bleed taking 10% of his health).
  • The Lifehunt Scythe is also incredibly effective - two hits (wielded two handed) cut down a massive chunk of his health, even on NG+.


Strategy 1a - Drake Sword

Although it will be a challenge, you can also beat this foe with a Drake Sword

  1. Make sure you fight 2-handed as that will give you more damage output. Considering that you can't block most of its attacks (unless you have a good Magic/Physical shield and high stamina), a shield will prove to be useless.
  2. Any soul level is possible as the demon will most likely 1-hit you unless you have a large amount of health.
  3. The 20,000 souls will certainly be welcome to any low soul level character and it may take multiple tries, but if you think you can do it, it is certainly worth the amount of time spent.


Strategy 2 - Pyromancy

This is fairly simple, taking what you can from Strategy 1 and making these specific adjustments:

  1. Attune the Iron Flesh spell. Once you fall, run up to him and use the spell.
  2. Hack away with your top weapon.
  3. Feel free to drink an Estus or two while your stamina is regenerating. He's going nowhere so mobility isn't an issue.


  • Purchase "fall control" and "Magic Shield" from Griggs in firelink. Once above the Stray Demon cast both on your self, and then fall through the floor. The fall control will keep you at full health once landed and magic shield will protect you against his hits if using a shield. If you have saved this boss for later into the game you may already have "strong magic shield" from the Duke's Archives which would be even better. Using the "run straight at him you can use your strongest weapon to begin attacking from behind" tactic, if strong magic shield is applied you can even withstand his AoE attacks for quite a while.
  • When you return to the Asylum (as you clearly have if you are facing the Stray Demon) it is possible to obtain the Crest Shield. This shield has high magic resistance and using it will make the red wind/blast attack much less dangerous.
  • To safely exit the arena after defeating the boss, walk towards the wall with the iron bars and climb up the ladder situated nearby. You will then be able to roll through the broken bars into the first hallway of the game. Be aware though that if you didn't kill the Black Knight in the starting room (the one you spawn in at the beginning of the game), he might spot you and attack you. That escape ladder will also be inaccessible during the fight while Stray Demon is alive, so plan accordingly. 



  • If you return to the Asylum only to collect other items, such as the Rusted Iron RingCrest Shield, or the Peculiar Doll, you can avoid the Stray Demon by walking around the open area through the vases. If you fall in by accident and are unable to beat him, let him kill you as soon as possible (or warp out); if you die quickly your bloodstain should appear on the floor above near where you fell, rather than down with the Stray Demon.
  • For players who have not began as a Thief - and consequently without the Bandit's Knife - the Morning Star can be acquired by rolling off of the elevator shaft that leads to the Undead Church. It can be two handed by all starting classes and will cause bleed regularly enough to kill Stray Demon quickly. Stray's tail can be "chicken" poked for the 300 bleed damage.
  • Master Key users can use this to avoid getting the Uchigatana or the Reinforced Club from the Undead Merchant - preventing the Bridge Wyvern from triggering to nest at the bridge and having to fight the Taurus Demon.
  • Try battling the boss without locking on. Your movement speed while locked on makes it difficult to get/stay behind the boss, which is crucial for avoiding his attacks.
  • Using Vow of Silence prevents his AOE attacks.



Area Bosses
Asylum Demon  ♦  Bell Gargoyle  ♦  Capra Demon  ♦  Centipede Demon  ♦  Crossbreed Priscilla  ♦  Dark Sun Gwyndolin  ♦  Demon Firesage  ♦  Four Kings  ♦  Gaping Dragon  ♦  Great Grey Wolf Sif  ♦  Gwyn Lord of Cinder  ♦  Iron Golem  ♦  Moonlight Butterfly  ♦  Nito  ♦  Ornstein and Smough  ♦  Pinwheel  ♦  Seath the Scaleless  ♦  Taurus Demon  ♦  The Bed of Chaos

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    • Anonymous

      06 Aug 2020 08:12  

      Me on my first playthrough: oh my god my +5 longsword isn't doing anything! Oh no no no

      Me on my 10th playthrough: Listen here, demon. For the next 30 minutes it's just me, you, and this stick I found on the ground. May Gwyn have mercy on your soul.

      • Anonymous

        03 Aug 2020 05:20  

        The AI is so ****ing broken it's hilarious, just R2 him with the Zweihander from behind, step back 10 feet, let him do his AOE, then repeat for the easiest kill in the game

        • Anonymous

          26 Jul 2020 11:48  

          This boss has a really cool attack when your at a distance, it leaps towards you with a staff slam that hits ridiculously hard and covers one end of the arena to the other. It gave me more of a thrill during the fight and if it was more like this I would love the boss but staying behind it is too efficient to change tactics without putting yourself at a disadvantage. Still a good fight IMO it has the amount of HP and damage an enemy of its size should and the magic is a nice addition!

          • Anonymous

            25 Jul 2020 04:48  

            the Titanite Slab drop is most certainly NOT "guaranteed".
            I just killed this guy (PS4 remaster version) and it did not drop a Titanite Slab.

            • Anonymous

              24 Jul 2020 08:54  

              Had to pause at this boss recently as my level 6 sorcerer dealt pitiful damage but I had planned to return to the asylum as soon as I could for the crest shield and being a stubborn undead I want to kill the boss while I’m there

              • Anonymous

                23 May 2020 14:55  

                When you drop down, don't try healing immediately. Just back away from him to avoid the AOE, heal and then approach.

                • Anonymous

                  30 Apr 2020 05:25  

                  Got him on first try, but we died at the same exact time and didn’t get a slab when I went back for my souls. Did get the 20,000 souls, though.

                  • Anonymous

                    27 Apr 2020 04:14  

                    Battle strategy for one handed users: 1. Kill the wounded knight who gave you the estus flask. He's hollow now. He has a "Crest Shield" which has 100% phys block and ridiculously high magic def (80%) 2. Grab a spear or a longer weapon (makes battle easier), a straight sword will do 3. Prepare for fight. Maybe kindle the bonfire for more estus flask uses. Things to keep in mind for fight: - Asylum demon's blasts are MAGIC DMG. Use high magic resist gear. - Stay close to the demon and circle around. If you stay in front you WILL get cornered and blasted with his huge red magic mist. - His magic blast has a MUCH shorter reach in the back, maybe 3-4 feet. You have to attack him in the back and circle around back. - If you circle behind him he will just keep spamming his AOE blast attack (which doesn't reach far behind his back) - Keep your shield up to BLOCK his magic with the "Crest Shield" you got from the estus flask guy (or have another high MAGDEF shield) It will mitigate the damage by a LOT - You have to stay close to him somewhat or circling around him will take too long and he'll bring his weapon down on you (he doesn't miss; this attack has damn near perfect tracking, you HAVE to dodge or you will get hit) 4. Profit

                    • Anonymous

                      25 Apr 2020 19:44  

                      Equip Ring of Fog+Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring. As soon you fall through the ground immediatly roll away off him to the right or left corner. Stay behind the pillars with your back against the wall and out of its aggro range and use some dung pies on him. You will need up to 5 of them to make him poisoned and it will reduce his health to 20% in 5 minutes. Repeat and he will die. I used this in the remastered version

                      • Anonymous

                        13 Apr 2020 16:30  

                        That little nook / cranny right behind him is a great area for players to be close to him and just out of reach of his butt slams (will still get AoE damage from staff explosions but at least you get some cover and can attack his legs and heal if you fast enough)

                        • Anonymous

                          19 Mar 2020 01:14  

                          Part of the deal gwyn made with Izalith, probably a guard of the damned bound to slay the jailed hollows, who keep gettin up for they are immortal, but once the fire gets rekindled those everlasting hollows are made mortal again.

                          • Anonymous

                            14 Jan 2020 18:13  

                            I beat him with the circle around strategy, he only spam 2 attacks when I behind him so it's easy to dogge. the problem is when I fight him, I only do like 40 damage per hit so it took like 15 min to beat him

                            • Anonymous

                              30 Dec 2019 16:00  

                              You can poison him with dung pies and nearly kill him with them alone. When you fall down quickly roll away so you don´t aggro him and throw some at him and wait till he is nearly dead if you have problems.

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