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Enemies >> Bosses
AAVA2.JPG HP: ~9,000 (Standard Game), 12,500 (NG+)
Weakness : Fire
Souls Awarded: 78,000 (Standard Game), 156,000 (NG+)
Drops: Soul of Aava, the King's pet

Pet Guardian of Eleum Loyce and the Ivory King's beloved child of the Dark.
Aava is a big sabertooth-like ice tiger whose duty is to protect the path to the Grand Cathedral. She is barely visible but can be seen fully after acquiring the Eye of the Priestess. She usually rests on the way to the Grand Cathedral but becomes Hostile when the player comes too close.

Attacks

Attack Name
Attack Description
Homing Ice Crystals
Runs farther away and roars, conjuring five Ice Crystals that launch a few seconds after at their target, every crystal tracking the player.
Getting hit knocks the player down and thus the rest of them will miss. (With high poise you might get hit by more than one)
Leaping Ice Swipe
Runs farther away like with Ice Crystals. Instead of conjuring crystals she leaps at the player and swipes with her paw.
Ice Swipe
Swipes the area in front of her; can chain another swipe with her other paw.
Note: If she decides to change target and swipe at the same time, she can do a 180' degree turn.
Ice Smash
Smashes the ground with her paw, summoning little ice pools around her which erupt an ice spike after a few seconds.
Ice Explosion
After a short charging animation she does an icy explosion, dealing damage to and knocking back everyone around her.
Bite attack
She leaps away and then leaps towards you with her mouth open. If you are too close to her head when she lands, you will be sucked in her mouth and suffer heavy damage.


Strategy

Melee Strategy for Aava: It is important to note that Aava is a slow boss but can take away a great deal of health if any of the hits connect. Aava is a melee-oriented boss, so a shield with good damage reduction is recommended as to soak up the majority of the damage being dealt. If you’re a dual weapon user, then it is important to have high adaptability to help you when rolling away from attacks.

Now, the first order of business is to lock-on to Aava. This is important, as all your attacks will want to be focused directly Aava. Now that you've locked on, you must ALWAYS stay near the hind legs (the back legs) as Aava will only have 3 methods of attack to get you from there: she can use ice explosion which can and will damage you if you're behind her, as well as her ice smash attack, Aava will move her body to the side that is opposite to your side and do a claw sweep that will force her to directly face you. When this happens you have three things to do (depending on your build):

If you’re a tank with a shield: Raise your shield as soon as you notice Aava moving her body slightly to the side. When she attacks, your shield will soak up the damage and you can then proceed to sprint to her hind legs once again.

If you’re a dual weapon user: Roll to the front of Aava or to the away from her. If you roll to the front, you’ll get underneath Aava ( DO. NOT. ATTACK.), just simply roll to the side and repeat the process of attack that’s already been mentioned.

If you're a mage: Use phantoms to distract her, and then proceed to stagger her with Dark Hail, Block its magic with a shield that has good Magic defenses in order to absorb the majority of the damage. It is vital that you stay at a far away range from Aava, if she begins to focus on you, it is recommended to roll through her attacks OR use a shield to block the damage she may inflict on you. Retreat to a safe position while phantoms begin to distract her.

Aava also has a long-range attack. She will summon 5 soul spears, which will all fire in rapid succession of each other towards the player. When she summons them, just move behind her and 90% of the time they miss. If you're too far away to make it behind her, sprint to the left or the right and they should all miss you.


Alternate Melee Strategy: (Used at SL138 with Throne Watcher's Armor set +2, fire-infused Heide Longsword +10 and fire-infused Blue Flame +5, Chloranthy ring +1, Fire Clutch Ring and Old Leo Ring on a STR/DEX 40 build)
--(Feel free to use any combination of dual-wielded fire-infused weapons, my setup would have been better with a Fire Longsword instead of Heide Longsword)

You will want a fire-infused weapon for this, and a shield is optional as her attacks will very easily stagger you if blocked. For this reason, dual-wielding and powerstancing with fire weapons is preferable. Lighter, faster weapons are recommended, as you will have more time to dodge after your strike. If you can use Flame Weapon, use it. If not, the only other buff that is useful is Crystal Magic Weapon: it adds both physical and magic damage, and she resists both magic and Dark damage.

First, summon the two NPCS available for the fight; they serve as meat shields and will likely die before the end of the fight. As soon as the fight starts, lock on to Aava and stay that way for the rest of the fight. While Aava concentrates on them (she always turns her head to face her target), stand far enough away that you're out of her spinning swipe range, as this should be the only move that could hit you while she isn't targeting you (other than her AoE ice spike which is easy to dodge), but close enough that you can run in for a few hits. (Using a straight sword, you may feel like you have time enough to go for 4-5 hits, but her spinning swipe has next to no warning, so stay with 2-3 hits). As soon as she finishes her combo, dash in for a few hits to her side. Quickly back away once you finish. DO NOT strike at her flank: she will begin targeting you after doing a backwards leap/leaping bite combo if you do. Only strike at her side; the left side seems the best choice. Keep this up until the NPC Phantoms die, which should happen after she is at about 1/3 health.

Once the NPC Phantoms die, Aava will begin targeting you. DO NOT STRAFE at this point. She will unleash holy hell and wreck your ass with AoEs if you do. Allow her to use her biting and clawing attacks (she typically does either 2 swipes or a bite followed by 2 swipes) while facing her head-on. Simply back away before she strikes and after the combo, strike her face 1-2 times and repeat. The only moves you need to worry about are her back jumps followed by leaping bites, which are highly telegraphed but have a deceptively wide hit-box, her leaping swipes, and her spin attacks, which have almost no warning and a lagging hit box extending ALL THE WAY TO HER OPPOSITE SHOULDER (she shouldn't use this unless you strafe). Move backwards, not to the side, to avoid both of these. When you see her leap back, DO NOT APPROACH unless she is charging her soul spears, in which case you need to run forwards and roll between her legs, hit 1-2 times, and quickly move away once the attack is finished.

Optimal healing times are while she uses her ice spike AoE, which can be triggered by attacking her hind legs (not her flank or side, but in between the two) and her spin swipe, which can be avoided once you know how to trigger it and can predict when she will use it. This should take no more than 2-3 minutes.

Video Strategy:

Solo NG+3 Black Knight Greatsword
Aava: Ranged, Sword & Board and Power Stance
Ng+ boss strategy, solo, sl1, melee, no shield just a rapier
NG+2 Shield & Murakumo strategy
NG Rapier & Bow Strategy
Solo/Melee/NG+ with Bone Fist
Solo, Caestus Only
(( Please respect these video posting guidelines))


Hints

  • Without the Eye of the Priestess the player can barely see Aava. It is possible, although very hard to see Aava's very faint outline,
  • Even with a good shield Aava will most likely drain your stamina completly after 1-2 hits (especially in NG+ and further). However the Baneful Bird Ring might be helpful and allow blocking 1 more attack, (especially for smaller shields)
  • If she has summoned her Ice Missiles, just walk to the side of Aava. Normally none of them should hit you.
  • Aava is very resistant to all magic - dark orb does 25% dmg only and the other 3 elements seems to be no better.
  • However Dark Hail is actually handy for staggering Aava.
  • Its highly recommended to get your magic resistance as close to 900 as possible to minimize damage from her spells
  • Magic Shield and Rebel's Greatshield infused with Magic makes this fight almost trivial, as both provide 100% magic damage reduction



    • Anonymous

      17 Nov 2017 17:39  

      Just to add to below, the Tiger has specific move sets that she executes before running off. The best time to attack is after her initial move. Example; She swipes at you up to three times, you wait for her to finish then you attack or drink the flask. Never interrupt her motion. If she raises ice spikes, stand still. If she pulses with a blast, roll away from her. Magic spears, run toward her rear and roll(hard to pull off). I usually swing a strike from behind her after she does her thing. Rinse and repeat...

      • Anonymous

        17 Nov 2017 17:02  

        I dissed this tiger last night. I was undead so i couldn't summon. Get your Strength up to 40, Int 50, Faith 30 and box him out. I only had small amounts of time to use the Estus flask, so no magic or spell uses for me. I used the fire sword +10 and danced with him. It can be done, you need the Eye of the Priestess though...

        • Anonymous

          15 Oct 2017 07:18  

          If anyone is having trouble with durability against Aava, keep the Bracing Knuckle Ring on. Having the +2 version slows weapon degradation in half. I've tested it with the Ice Rapier's special attack. Normally it would've lost 10, but with the ring it will lose 5.
          (Some clarification on percentage reduction is only by my guess, but it may need to be checked.)

          And if you have others keeping Aava busy, some repair powder or repair sorcery (15 intelligent requirement). The repair powder may repair more base on your stats, but you just might be able to repair at least 20 with the spell. The spell has 2 uses each but requires only one slot so it's supposedly lucky that you can repair without the powder.

          • Anonymous

            01 Aug 2017 06:52  

            I feel like there's a problem with DS2's PC port... every time I attack Aava with my halberd, it takes 10-15 durability. I broke a 70 durability weapon before it was dead, the same weapon I killed the fume knight with easily.

            • Anonymous

              09 Jul 2017 12:25  

              Does Aava really have low fire defence? I summoned Ellie and couldn't help but notice that her pyromancies rarely did more than 10 damage, Aava is practically immune to fire as far as I can tell.

              • Anonymous

                02 Jul 2017 23:52  

                Aava is the most stunningly beautiful creature in Dark Souls II. It was an egregious tragedy to end her life.

                • Anonymous

                  18 Jun 2017 05:34  

                  The hex "Repel" negate all her magics and will protect from 1 attack. It saved my pure mage ass. Pass it on.

                  • Anonymous

                    20 May 2017 22:23  

                    This boss IS slow in terms of it gives you generous opportunities to heal in ng. Im soul level 183ish, i just equipped a large shield with better stability, bird ring that reduces stamina up take, cloranthy. steel protection. and ring of blades. only attack that ever hit me was just the bite attack because id roll to the side and then it felt like it grabbed me from the side. but anyway all you have to do is turtle the swiping attacks. roll to the right when it lunges. and your opportunities to heal are when its running not facing you. charging spell, or aoe attacks. Sir Allone is FAST doesnt even let you heal when you want you have you get lucky

                    • Anonymous

                      01 May 2017 13:59  

                      Just killed her invisible, she was so hard, spent the first 2 tries learning what she could do, the next 3 to actually kill her.

                      • Anonymous

                        15 Apr 2017 14:10  

                        My weapons seem to break really quickly when fighting her so maybe have some repair powder if you dont have a backup weapon

                        • Anonymous

                          27 Jan 2017 23:53  

                          Just killed it while invis having never seen it before like wtf, actually nearly died like 20 times cause i didn't know there were summons.

                          • Anonymous

                            14 Jan 2017 04:40  

                            Finally got gud and killed it. The stand under her and dodge tip was actually very useful, I stayed very close and it was way easier. As for the slow boss part Aava is actually pretty slow when not flipping around, I was able to run after her and run attack her when she jumped away multiple times. Most of my hits came from dodge attacks under her though, mostly after the wide sweep attack. I don't even know why I'm typing this. I think I'm just very happy I finally killed it. Maybe I just got lucky.... Good luck to the others who have to kill this thing!

                            • Anonymous

                              14 Dec 2016 07:51  

                              Slow boss is complete bull*****, Aava was killing Elli while I'm throwing Great Fireball and Fire Orb when next thing I know is Aava instant transmissioned herself behind me and picked me up in her jaws then bye bye went my health

                              • Anonymous

                                12 Dec 2016 05:16  

                                What kind of *****wit dark souls player said this was a "slow boss"? it's a giant sabre tooth tiger that can sprint and jump across the bridge in an instant.

                                • Anonymous

                                  "Slow boss"04 Oct 2016 10:08  

                                  Slow boss my ass this famed thing can hop across the bridge and back like it's got instant transmission

                                  • Anonymous

                                    another note29 Aug 2016 10:56  

                                    He drops aggro so randomly and can cover distance so fast that you won't want him jumping between there people

                                    • Anonymous

                                      my advice29 Aug 2016 10:56  

                                      You can summon nameless glencour near the first bonfire and steelheart ellie at the gate. I found it much easier to summon only glencour to let him soak up a lot of the damage while you pound on his back legs. wllie died too fast to be useful and you want to max out your damage with one summon.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        Something I noticed29 Aug 2016 10:56  

                                        You can also stand directly beneath him, which will prevent most of his attacks of hitting you. Although it is more difficult than standing behind him, because he will likely attack with his left-right sweeping combo. It is also a way to avoid his ice spears, so if you manage to run beneath him while he's charging his attack, you can easily hit him a few times, depending on your speed and choice of weapon. I found the Ruler's Sword +5 to be very helpful (I was carrying around 2M souls, with the ring of life protection equipped, of course).

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Dodge.29 Aug 2016 10:56  

                                          This boss becomes quite easy once you realize you can dodge all of the melee attacks by rolling towards her from close range. Her claws and bite attacks are focused in front of her, and you can walk underneath her, so by rolling beneath her you can quite easily dodge those hard hitting swipes.

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