The Old Demon King is a boss you can find in the Smouldering Lake in Dark Souls 3. Yes, this boss fight is optional and you can simply skip it. However, if you killed Greatwood and you want to have either the Demon’s Greataxe or the Demon’s Fist, then you want to get the soul out of this boss as well.
Know the weak spots
Before we start, there are a few you should know first.
- The Old Demon is resistant to all toxic, fire and poison attacks.
- But he is weak against Dark attacks as well as the Black Knight weapons (Black Knight Glaive, Greataxe, Sword, Greatsword)
- His attacks deal Fire damage so any defense against fire will make this battle a lot easier.
Proving your dodging skills in melee
So far most bosses were dealt with far easier in melee than with any other build. This boss is here to set the record straight. If your plan is to meet him face to face then you are going to have a hard time, but it is doable none the less.
It is wiser to use a weapon with a long range and has wide swipes. You also want to attack only once or a couple of times before retreating. The reason for that is because if you stay close to him for too long, he will use a mouth blast which is both fast and AoE.
In the first phase of the battle, you will want to stay at a medium range from him and wait for openings. You will find the best one to be when the Old King is vomiting lava from his right to his left. When you see that, charge from his left (your right) aiming for his leg and tail, and land a couple of strikes before retreating.
Another opening this boss has is when he is lowering his club for an attack. Start getting close to him and dodge behind him to avoid the swing. Don’t start attacking yet since the Old King will follow with an AoE attack. But if you stay close near the tip of the tail then you will be out of the attack’s range and clear for a few attacks.
In the second phase, things get easier and harder at the same time. The good news is that the attacks now have a clear pattern. One or two melee attacks followed with a ranged attack. Rarely you will see him doing more than one ranged attack. You can use the same tactics as above with the only difference being that you will have to keep moving when you get close to him and attack when he is going for a slow swipe attack.
All his melee attacks will be a little easier to dodge and you can outrun all the ranged AoE attacks as well. The only bad thing here is that if you get caught by one of the attacks you will be in trouble. Especially the ranged attacks like the meteor, are more than enough to reduce you to a green stain on the floor.
Killing the Old King with poison.
If you are looking for an easy way to kill this boss, then you can just poison him like any other king. In this case, you can use Toxic Mist and let it do the work for you. The plan is, get close, cast the spell, retreat and repeat once the spell wears off. Do this four or five times and the King is dead.
Revenge of the ranged.
Many bosses can be tough as nails if you want to shoot them down with a bow. Here you can get your payback. Grab your bow, a good shield against fire damage and you are good to go.
Stay far away from him and keep shooting arrows. Depending on how good you are with the bow, it will take about 90-100 arrows to kill him, but it will be a breeze. Go in circles around the stones and shoot whenever you are either at a safe distance or the Old King is doing an attack. All you will have to worry about is blocking the fire spray.
Even when he picks up some speed in the second phase, you can still outrun him. In the end, you can even avoid him forever and all you need is enough arrows.