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Enemies >> Bosses
Guardian Dragon is a boss in Dark Souls 2. guardian_dragon.png A red wyvern trapped in a large cage at the top of Aldia's Keep, which must be defeated to proceed to the Dragon Aerie. Different from the previous game, cutting it's tail does not reward the player with any item whatsoever, only preventing it from using the Tail Whip attack. This boss is encountered multiple times later as an enemy, usually protecting items and crystal lizards in rock nests.


HP: xxxx (Standard Game)
Souls Awarded: 37,000 (Standard Game) 74,000 (NG+) 120,250 (NG+6) 129,500 (NG+7)
Drops: Guardian Dragon Soul, Fire Tempest (non-boss wyverns)
Weakness: Magic, Dark


Attacks


Description

Counter Measures

Stomp
Raises a leg, and brings it down crushing or kicking the player.

Fire Breath
Breathes a cone of fire towards the player on the ground.

Rain of Fire
Flies high into the air and shoots a large AOE fireball down at the player. Can be dodged with several rolls. Resembles the fireballs used by the giant pyromancers in Forest of the Giants.

Bite Attack
Swings his head round in a hope on biting the player.

Tail Whip
Swings his tail in a wide arc when players are behind him.


NPC Summons

There are no NPC summons for this encounter.
SOTFS: Sellsword Luet, under the stairs near the third mirror (under the dragon bones) that spawns an enemy

Strategy

This fight is best with a light armour and preferably a reasonable physical defence shield. Players of all builds should stay close (IE past his head) to the boss and attack during recovery animations. The bosses physical attacks deal reasonable damage but are slow and easy to block or dodge by backing off. Try to stay at the front or sides of the boss when it is on the ground as his head bite is less powerful than the tail. If the boss flies into the air or on to a wall Immediately run as far behind it as possible making sure no be nowhere near the middle of the arena. This should avoid any fire based attack. just be sure to back off from the dragon or raise a shield as it lands to avoid being flattened.
This boss is not very resistant to any form of attack however Lightning may slightly speed up the fight. In addition the bosses tail can be cut off eliminating its tail sweep attack.
Its fire breath can be blocked with Gyrm Greatshield, but it'll stagger the player.
Using a lightning shortbow +10 (just upgrade the one found in Iron Keep) with 20STR/22DEX using iron arrows hits for ~111 per shot, using dark, magic or lightning arrows hits for 208-250; this can be a very effective means of whittling his health down while he's hanging onto the wall doing his fire attack. Simply dodge the fire, lock on, and you should be able to get 4-5 shots off before he drops back down.

Alternatively, impaling it with Drakewing Ultra Greatsword two handed strong attack at melee range buffed with Dark Pine Resin will inflict up to 1500 damage.

Stay Between the Legs Strategy:

Note: Staying under 70% equip load is highly recommended for this strategy to work.
I've found the easiest strategy for this boss as well as the 3 drakes after him is to stay underneath them and go for the legs, similar to the Rat Authority fight or Sif from DaS1. Hanging out by one of the legs will generally bait his stomp attack, which can easily be completely avoided by simply staying directly underneath and running to the other leg, which you can then hit a few times and rinse/repeat. Note: make sure to stay directly under when using this strategy; the stomp attack has a pretty wide tracking arc and can easily one hit you if you try backing off or going behind him. If you just stay right under his crotch and run to the inside of his other leg, though, he can't bring the stomp further in and will miss you while you get 3-4 good hits in on the other leg. The Guardian Dragon has very little resistance to lightning as well as poison/toxin, even 4-5 regular poison throwing knives is enough to build his poison meter all the way up. Since he's lying down as you come in, it's a good opportunity to hit him with poison knives/arrows or dark fog/toxic mist depending on your build, to start of at an immediate advantage.
Using the stay-between-his-legs strategy, two-handing a +2 mundane Santier's Spear with 19 as the lowest stat (SL112 at the time) and gold pine resin did about 1000 damage for every three R1 presses. If you start off with poison and then hug his legs, the fight should be over very quickly with only dodging needed.

Video Strategies:
Guardian Dragon: Ranged, Sword & Board and Power Stance
Co-op
Magic/faith (Co-op)

Hints

  • Good to have some distance weapon and shield with max resistance to fire
  • The tail can be cut off, preventing the whipping attack.
  • There is a short window at the beginning of the fight where it is getting up. It is possible to kill the dragon before he can attack by using this window to fire off a few high-damage spells. (I hit him with 4 Great Resonant Souls, and ended the fight before he could attack)
  • A bow (in my case Dragonrider Bow +4) with poison arrow will do most of the work, the rest is avoiding fire. Take necessary precaution (flash sweat/flame quartz) but mostly just avoid fire, run behind, shoot additional poison arrow and watch as this majestic beast falls before you
  • Staying directly underneath and hugging his legs will easily bait his stomp attack, which can be completely avoided by attacking the inside of the other leg while he stomps. Good for 2H melee, casters or other builds not relying on a shield.
  • He's extremely weak to Dark Hail since he's a large target.



    • Guardian Dragon can be poisoned and affected by toxic at the same time.29 Aug 2016 04:56  

      Using dual-attacks with Mytha's Bent Blade and a Man Slayer, I constantly applied both poison and toxic on the boss. It makes for constant dps while the dragon is flying around.

      • Use Heavenly Thunder when near!29 Aug 2016 04:56  

        Huge damage with heavenly thunder especially if its on ground breathing fire and you get right under its chest area. Can spam 2 casts of heavenly thunder for huge easy damage since hitting its wings and tail counts towards its health.

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