Ancient Dragon

HP 19,840 | 23,808 (NG+)
Weakness Lightning
Resistance Fire, Poison, Physical
Immune None
Respawn NO

Ancient Dragon is an NPC and a Boss in Dark Souls 2 (DKS2). Players have the option to engage in a conversation with the dragon, leading to the acquisition of the Ashen Mist Heart. If they choose, they can also initiate a battle with this formidable creature. Bosses are unique and challenging Enemies that drop Boss Souls capable of being transformed into powerful WeaponsSpells, and Items for the player.


Ancient Dragon Information in Dark Souls 2

  • An ancient dragon at the top of the Dragon Shrine, that whispers telepathically to the player.
  • After speaking with the dragon, the trophy/achievement "Ancient Dragon" unlocks, and you receive the Ashen Mist Heart


Dark Souls 2 Ancient Dragon Encounters

Dragon Shrine. From the bonfire make your way up the Shrine. The Ancient Dragon is found up a long set of stairs that is guarded by many enemies.


Ancient Dragon Drops in DKS2

  1. Ashen Mist Heart (If didn't speak to him first)
  2. Petrified Dragon Bone
  3. Soul of a Giant



NPC Summons

  • There are 2 NPC summons available, Melinda the Butcher near the bottom of the grand staircase, and Head of Vengarl in the hallway immediately before the fog wall. Neither sign will show before your first attempt at fighting the Ancient Dragon.


DKS2 Ancient Dragon Dialogue

- First Encounter
The murk shifts and stirs.
Yet another stands before us…
Then so be it.
For the curse of life, is the curse of want.
And so, you peer…
Into the fog, in hope of answers.



Ancient Dragon Attacks in DKS2



Counter Measures

Rain of Fire The Ancient Dragon flies up into the air and breathes fire directly at the ground beneath it, creating a large AOE. Because the Ancient Dragon is so large, when it does this move you can actually attack its tail which will clip through the ground. Will sometimes turn 180 degrees in either direction. While landing he can kill you. The best way to avoid this is to anticipate it, and begin to book it towards the tip of his tail. This is the safest spot.
Breath Of Fire The Ancient Dragon will breathe fire while on the ground in a large cone in front if it going from either left to right or right to left.  
Bite While on the ground in front of the dragon, the Ancient Dragon will bring its head up slightly from one side and swipe across to the opposite side, attempting to bite the player.  
Ground Stomp While underneath the Ancient Dragon, he will raise his foot to crush you while you stand under him, this can easily instantly kill you along with most of his other moves. This move also has a slight area effect around his foot, so it's best if you roll/run away from the foot, or with a good shield, you could easily block this area damage.  
Self Immolation If you are near the front of the dragon but underneath it, the dragon itself will turn its head facing itself and light its underbelly aflame attempting to kill you while you're under it, when he does this simply run behind the dragon and use this opportunity to attack his back legs.  
Tail Whip If you are attacking the tail, he will raise it in preparation for smashing you down (also OHK)  




A time-consuming fight, best to come with the highest damage attacks and spells available to save time.
Patience (Read: Luck) to evade the fire attacks is important as they take up a large area.
If you are summoning phantoms, allow them time to prepare before entering the fog gate. If your phantoms enter more than a few seconds behind you, they will likely die instantly to a Breath of Fire, and you will face the boss (empowered with extra health) alone.

900 fire defense strategy

If you have 900 fire defense you are immune to fire damage so if stay away from the physical attacks the boss fight is trivial. Like any kind of caster this tactic is very easy because you will have built-in fire defense and spells that do damage from a distance, but it's possible to use with any build. Here is some equipment that will help you reach 900 fire defense: Flame Quartz Ring +2 (100 fire defense), Dispelling Ring (60 fire defense), Dragon's Tooth (50 fire defense even without the strength), Flash Sweat (300 fire defense for 60 seconds). Best armor that requires Twinkling Titanite (303 fire defense): Smelter Demon Helm, Chaos Robe, Smelter Demon Gauntlets, Chaos Boots. Best armor using normal titanite (250 fire defense): White Hollow Mage Hood, Alonne Captain Armor, Alonne Knight Gauntlets, Alonne Knight Leggings. Best armor without using titanite (237 fire defense): Black Dragon Set.


Big Toe Method

When the battle begins run to the back of the ancient dragon and stand in between the big toes (talons?) of one of his back legs. If you are standing in the right spot, he will only ever use the stomp attack. As soon as he begins to telegraph the stomp attack, immediately run over to the big toes of his other back leg. rinse and repeat until he falls.

Side note: I just beat him using this method and the only time he used a move that wasn't a stomp attack was when he used Breath of Fire after I just entered the room.

Note: Don't literally stand right between his toes, so that you are up against them. Instead, position yourself so that you are a little distance back, but so that you could walk straight ahead between his inner toe and his middle toe.

Note: He can and often will stand up and breathe fire back between his legs. You can see this starting as his front legs leave the ground it is easily avoided by stepping outside which ever hind leg you are closest to. Take this opportunity to hit him in the head a few times with spells or arrows. Also when he comes back down, his front legs landing can kill you so watch out for those.

I've used this method to defeat the Ancient Dragon 5 times, solo and as a phantom. Not once was I ever hit by his underbelly fire attack. As long as you are positioned firmly between his claws, the fire will not touch you. This way, you can continue to attack instead of fleeing and possibly losing rhythm and focus.


Gower's Method

Wear Gower's Ring of Protection! The only thing that makes this boss hard is his Rain of Fire attack that will kill you in one hit. As long as you wear this ring and run away as he flies in the air, you can't be hurt. Even if you get hit it will negate the damage. Wearing this ring while utilizing the Bait and Dash strategy is a guarantee of success.

This method is gold. The ring will render 5 hits to your back completely harmless, after that it breaks. Wear Bracing Knuckle Ring or use repair powder if you want it to last longer.

"Baddest Bareknuckle Brawler" variation: Equip this ring along with Bracing Knuckle Ring (I had +2), Red Tearstone Ring, and Vanquisher's Seal. Get your health low before the fight so your Red Tearstone boost kicks in (any hit from the boss will likely kill you anyway, so you won't be in any more trouble with low health). Keep your equipment load below 25%. Follow the below "Bait and Dash" method. It is recommended you try this solo. If Gower's ring is at risk, give up one of your opportunities to punch and use a Repair Powder instead. I did this in about 10 minutes.


Hollow Strategy

I tried going hollow (because I had burned through effigies, its an OHK, and my allies always died on the first ROF) and my damage went up significantly. Started doing about 100 damage with +10 Sun Sword or +10 Lightning Claymore per hit. After around 4 deaths I was doing over 300 a hit with both. Claymore was doing closer to 400. I finally finished him off with a lightning buffed Sun Sword, and did close to 360 damage per hit after around 6 deaths into hollowing. I checked the numbers each time and they definitely went up with each death (around 20-40 points I think). I checked my gear and nothing accounted for the damage increase. I no armor, slumbering dragon shield (for stamina), Cloranthy, Ring of Blades, Third Dragon Ring, and Gower's (thanks guy above me!). I haven't been able to find anything about this anywhere on the net so please confirm. Don't believe me? This strategy costs less than nothing to test and I'd love to see this works for other people too. I hated this boss so very very much and figuring this out made it unbelievably easy.


Bait and Dash!

Keep in front of him, don't bother with the back legs, as he tends to fly up and AOE the ground when you stay under him, which puts you at a bigger risk than when he does his other attacks. Keep in front of him, and at a close distance- this baits out his Breath of Fire. You can tell he's winding up for Breath of Fire when he sits on his back haunches, if crouches and flaps, then you know he's going airborne and you need to build distance quick because his fire is incredibly damaging and in AOE form it's a teeny bit harder to avoid.

His Breath of Fire is highly telegraphed, easy to bait out, leaves him vulnerable to about 3 or 4 good two-handed weapon swings and gives you plenty of time to back off right after. Just provoke the fire breath, run in, get your hits, get out, then bait some more. Keep an eye out for when he flies up, do not hang out between or under his haunches, be patient- play conservative, bait- dash, attack, repeat, win.

While baiting out his breath attack, consider using the +X Grym Greatshield as it will allow you to backpedal away from the Ancient Dragon and shield through the Massive AoE (130+ stamina advised [30+ END]). The airborne fire breath attack will consume your stamina bar but leave you unharmed. Don't panic in regards to being staggered as the Ancient Dragon has a long recovery time following the attack. Once he lands, you can begin moving towards him but try to remain in front of him long enough to bait out his standing fire breath attack. This is telegraphed as stated above (pulling his front feet together and standing more erect) and will allow you to land 4 or more two-handed attacks with enough time to recover your stamina bar to full ( withoutChloranthy Ring). After you finish attacking, begin backpedaling out to position yourself in front of his face again (this will either prompt him to do his standing fire breath attack or more likely, him jumping into the air again to perform his airborne fire breath attack again). Rinse and repeat until dead (roughly a 10+ minute flight depending on the weapon used)

Weakness: Lightning

The Ancient Dragon is very weak to lightning. Imbue a weapon with lightning or throw (Great) Lightning Spears or Heavenly Thunder at him!
On this lightning weakness, I beat him with a couple of tries using only heavenly thunder. Basically, I had the full fire defense, but I used it by dropping Heavenly Thunder endlessly on him. When you enter the boss room, run straight toward him to avoid his initial fire breath. move between but slightly forward of the two hind legs, and just drop the heavenly thunder. His hitbox is so huge you are guaranteed to hit with almost all of the thunderbolts. If he uses his breathe under the legs attack, run right or left. If he uses his aoe flame, run to his tail. The only time I died during this method was when he landed on me after the aoe and OHK me.
Use any of the above strategies to avoid dying, as a caster the 900 fire defense strategy is the easiest.

Sorcery and hexes

The Ancient Dragon is not weak to magic or dark but he doesn't resist it either. Soul Vortex, Scraps of Life, Darkstorm, and Dark Hail are very effective because the Ancient Dragon has such a large hitbox but spamming most spells will do, the higher damage the better. Be sure to bring some herbs in case you run out of spells.

Use any of the above strategies to avoid dying, as a caster the 900 fire defense strategy is the easiest.

Double Shields!

A slower but safer strategy is to tank the fire damage from the Rain of Fire attack. This requires a Gyrm Greatshield +10, a Slumbering Dragoncrest Shield, and a lot of stamina (tested with 32 END). Equip Gyrm Greatshield +10 in your right hand and a Slumbering Dragon Shield in your left hand. Two hand the Gyrm Greatshield and start by rushing towards him, aiming to get below the dragon and to his back left leg. If you're running too slow you can unequip all your armor, as the shield should block all damage anyway, and any other kind of damage is likely to kill you immediately anyway. Get positioned below the dragon, behind his hind leg, and launch an R2 shield bash combo. His attack pattern should be reduced to stomping with his leg, breathing fire beneath himself, and fly away for a Rain of Fire. If he begins a tail smash pattern you're standing too far back.

When he tries to stomp you, simply move to his right leg and smash it a bit, then move back to his left leg again. If he stands up on both hind legs and launches a fire breath beneath himself, either move to the other side of his foot and keep smashing it or tank the fire damage with a full stamina bar. When he flies up in the air, lose your lockon and aim your shield towards the central impact of the rain of fire. Usually, it ticks 2 times, sometimes 3 if you're unlucky. Your Slumbering Dragoncrest Shield should help you regain your stamina enough to be able to tank 3 ticks without getting staggered by the second tick, leading to the third incinerating you. If you're feeling bold you can lower your shield between the ticks to speed up the stamina regeneration, however, this is extremely risky. Be careful as he lands again, as he crushes you if he lands on you with either leg, tail, or neck. If you're directly below him you should suffer no damage.

Confirmed to work with a naked character, using a magic enchanted (for the extra damage) Gyrm Greatshield +10 with 32 Endurance

Bite & Breath Bait (BBB) Method

This strategy focuses on luring the dragon's bite and breath of fire while getting rid of rain of fire altogether while allowing a melee user safety and the ability to attack every time the dragon attacks. Magic-users can use this as well as a character will never be in any danger so long as your position when you need to. Once you start the fight, run straight at him with a slight veer to your right. This part is a little bit tricky as sometimes he will use Rain of fire instead of breath of fire. If he does use rain of fire, simply dash to your right straight away. The trick here is to get him to use breath of fire then you can begin the sequence.

Once you bait him to use breath of fire (it is usually to be slightly to his left and far out enough that: 1. it looks like he's looking directly at you, as in from your screen to your real eyes. 2. it looks like you're just far out enough that he couldn't bite you. 3: his neck is turned slightly to look at your character and you should be far enough out to see most of a good portion of his body) you can run into his left front claw (or right side from the player perspective). Stay between the two biggest claws (inner and middle) and unleash your combo until he is about to finish his fire (As a heavy weapon user, about 3 strong attacks). Don't worry too much about running back out as staying in his claws like this will push you out most of the way with no damage. Run back out but just enough that you're slight to the left, making his head face you with a slight neck turn. You should be just far enough out that it looks like he could bite you from there or just slightly away from his mouth. This will lure bite. Once he winds up to bite you (he brings his head and neck back and does a bite swipe from HIS right to left, YOUR left to right) run back into the left foot and do a dash attack. After this run back out and repeat the process of luring Breath of Fire and Bite.

Note: Positioning may be a little hard to get used to at first. In this case, sometimes he may instead use rain of fire instead of breath of fire however he will always do bite when baited with this strategy. In case rain of fire does happen, run straight away to your right and keep running till you're safe. Run back in and continue to bait Breath of Fire and Bite repeatedly.

Confirmed: No Rain of Fire attacks done during several runs.

Video Strategies:

  • (dual Katanas)
  • (Sorcery)
  • (Ranged/Two-Handed Melee focusing on back legs)
  • (Sorcery focusing on staying near the back legs)
  • (Fast kill with 2 handed melee focusing on staying near the back legs)
  • (Sorcery, safe win)
  • (Solo and doable with any weapon or spell combination)


Playbook & Guide (Confirmed for up to NG+7, with Company of Champions Activated)

Once you enter the boss ring, the Ancient Dragon will almost always open up with a ranged fire attack, in a tight cone.

  • Run right, and head for the region between his two rear claws on his hind legs.
  • You should be at the Ancient Dragon's rear left paw. Take as many hits as you can get in before his windup, but be careful of his paws.
    • If he does not do something to bait a reaction out of you, he will either stomp the foot you're attacking, or he will try to blow flames between his hind-legs.
      • If he decides to stomp his foot, just sprint over to the other foot, and be careful of invisible AOE hitboxes that occur from his normal foot movements.
      • If he tries to blow flames between his rear legs instead, run outward, in the direction of his front left paw, which should be to your right, but in a diagonal line. This will help you clear the hitbox.
      • The Ancient Dragon likes to jump upward and blow fire downward.  It can be really hard to escape the hitbox for these flames, but if you orient yourself in a straight line towards the tip of his tail, you can dodge the flames. Watch out for his tail when it comes down.
      • Make sure you give yourself some extra room when you're avoiding an attack since the hitboxes are sometimes bigger than they appear.
      • Sometimes, he likes to take his front paw, right before the foot you're attacking and hit you while you're concentrated on his foot. Definitely keep an eye out for stuff like that.
  • Hitting the talons on his back feet and his head are good ways to get extra damage.
  • The Ancient Dragon likes to control your movement so you're stuck on the edge of the arena. If you stay under his crotch then you can shuffle him around and you'll be able to clear the hitbox for his downward flame.
  • Tip: Don't try to clear the hitbox for his downward flame by running past his head and front paws.
  • Keep an eye out that way his attacks that come from off-screen don't hit you.


Dark Souls 2 Ancient Dragon Hints

    • A +10 Gyrm Greatshield can be used to block the AOE Fire breath on New Game - though you better have sufficient stamina. The AOE does two ticks of damage (3 if it hits you directly).
    • 900 fire defense will negate all fire damage.
    • Absolving your sins resets Ancient Dragon, thus lowering his defense significantly.
    • It is probably a good idea to wear the Red Tearstone Ring to boost your attacks since he will mostly one-shot you anyways.
    • There is multiple version of Rain of Fire attack - the fire attack doesn't change but his jump and hovering do. There is one where he jumps slightly forward, another where he jumps slightly backward, and an additional version where he jumps straight up and aims it at you. Also if he is near the ledge he will jump again to relocate himself without any fire.
    • It's worth noting that the Heavenly Thunder miracle, typically of limited use in any situation, often hits 4 times when cast directly under the dragon for total damage greater than a Sunlight Spear off the same catalyst. The same is true for many area of effect spells.
    • Vengarl's summoning symbol will appear in front of the fog door, after attacking the Ancient Dragon but he is not helpful.
    • Melinda the Butcher can also be summoned on the platform to the right of the first two giants on the large staircase. She is generally useless and will die to the dragon easily but can help clear the staircase itself (She has to invade you in the Gutter to be able to be summonable).

      Has the highest hp out of any boss in Dark Souls 2


Ancient Dragon Trivia in Dark Souls 2

  • This is the dragon featured in a snowy location during the teaser trailer for Dark Souls 2.
  • This NPC can be engaged and begins a boss fight. The Ancient Dragon is very large and has the biggest health pool in the entire game. He will drop a Soul of a Giant when killed. Thankfully the area you fight it in is also large enough to evade its attacks.
  • Nashandra calls him a "prop" and "false deity" in her dialogue after speaking to him, and the large pile of dead giants in one of the rooms in Aldia's Keep, as well as the description of the Bone Shield, suggest that Lord Aldia was experimenting with Giant Souls trying to recreate the dead dragon.
  • The description of the Guardian Dragon Soul suggests that the other drakes are under Aldia's spell, while the Drakekeeper Set says that the giant soldiers guarding the shrine are, suspiciously, controlled by a dark power, despite the Dragon Shrine supposedly being a holy place and the undead priestess using miracles. Since the Sunset Staff, the game's most powerful Hex staff was crafted by Aldia, it can be surmised that he was a master of hexes, a banned form of sorcery.
  • The large, possessed dragon skeleton in Aldia's Keep is much larger than the drakes, nearly the same in appearance as the Ancient Dragon, but is not fossilized, suggesting that Aldia managed to create at least one copy of said dragon that landed in the mansion's main hall.


Alsanna, Silent Oracle  ♦  Ashen Knight Boyd  ♦  Aslatiel of Mirrah  ♦  Bell Keeper  ♦  Benhart of Jugo  ♦  Blacksmith Lenigrast  ♦  Blue Sentinel Targray  ♦  Bowman Guthry  ♦  Cale the Cartographer  ♦  Captain Drummond  ♦  Carhillion of the Fold  ♦  Chancellor Wellager  ♦  Creighton the Wanderer  ♦  Crestfallen Saulden  ♦  Cromwell the Pardoner  ♦  Darkdiver Grandahl  ♦  Dyna and Tillo  ♦  Emerald Herald  ♦  Felicia the Brave  ♦  Felkin the Outcast  ♦  Grave Warden Agdayne  ♦  Head of Vengarl  ♦  Jester Thomas  ♦  Laddersmith Gilligan  ♦  Licia of Lindeldt  ♦  Lone Hunter Schmidt  ♦  Lonesome Gavlan  ♦  Lucatiel of Mirrah  ♦  Magerold of Lanafir  ♦  Manscorpion Tark  ♦  Masterless Glencour  ♦  Maughlin the Armourer  ♦  Melinda the Butcher  ♦  Merchant Hag Melentia  ♦  Merciless Roenna  ♦  Mild Mannered Pate  ♦  Milfanito  ♦  Milibeth  ♦  Nameless Usurper  ♦  Nashandra  ♦  NPC Dialogue  ♦  Peculiar Kindalur  ♦  Pilgrim Bellclaire  ♦  Rat King  ♦  Rhoy the Explorer  ♦  Rosabeth of Melfia  ♦  Royal Sorcerer Navlaan  ♦  Screenshots  ♦  Steady Hand McDuff  ♦  Stone Trader Chloanne  ♦  Straid of Olaphis  ♦  Strowen  ♦  Sweet Shalquoir  ♦  Titchy Gren  ♦  Vendrick  ♦  Vorgel the Sinner  ♦  Weaponsmith Ornifex

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    • Anonymous

      Y'see, my theory has been that Drangleic is a dragon worshipping country; highly heretical considering the stance Gwyn took towards dragons and the estrangement of his son after the war against the dragons.

      Following the betrayal of the dragons at the hands of the Paledrake, Seath the Scaleless, extensive research was performed to see if the dragons could be revived using his own DNA and a surrogate mother (the pygmies). I think that Seath found success in this experiment in the form of the dragon hatchling in the hollow of Ash Lake. However, it is also my belief that this dragon was eventually slain as it was viewed as a heresy to the fire.

      Fast forward to the rise of Drangleic as a kingdom and we find the court sorcerer of Drangleic performing experiments using the forbidden library of Seath the Scaleless: Aldia. The kingdom of Drangleic funded the excavation efforts in Tseldora to recover the corpse of a dragon buried far beneath the ground in what was once the site of long dead Archtree. From the corpse, Aldia studied the biology of the dragons and perhaps used the surviving remnants of Seath's notes to piece together a new experiment to resurrect the kin of dragons.

      Enter the Giants from the land across the sea. Aldia found that the giants possessed souls very much unlike that of the Pygmies that made up the populus of Drangleic and by extension, the Dark Soul. He found these souls to more or less be blank slates compared to his brethren and began experimenting on the souls of Giants slain during their war against Drangleic.

      During the process of this study, excavation efforts in Tseldora revealed the location of Shulva, the Sanctum City. Under Aldia's guidance, the city was fully excavated and the slumbering dragon Sinh was discovered in it's deepest depths. Aldia, being the extremely influential court sorcerer that he is was able to convince to convince King Vendrick to send a contingent of highly skilled knights to defend this dragon at all costs and crowned Elana, a potentially secret aide to Aldia, the queen of Shulva to protect the slumbering dragon and the city at all costs, going as far as to create a wax replica of the King's most trusted knight, Velstadt, who sought to defend the investments of the kingdom with his life, including the slumbering dragon.

      Over time, Aldia would study the slumbering dragon continue to use the souls of the slain giants in an attempt to resurrect the draconic species, the symbol of the kingdom's worship. There would be MANY failed experiments however and these experiments would be thusly named the Imperfect and would be protected by the contingent of elite Drakeblood Knights (as well as the court Jester, oddly enough) until Aldia's experiments would come to fruition. Unfortunately, the kingdom fell long before Aldia would see success in the creation of the first fully blooded dragon.

      A construct was developed in Aldia's laboratory that used the soul of a giant to create the body of a dragon with fully intact DNA. Aldia would send this dragon to the most heavily guarded location where he could allow this dragon to reproduce naturally, the Dragon Aerie where the finest knights in the Drangleic army would become guards for their god, the construct of the corpse of the Ancient Dragon. And finally, after YEARS of backbreaking research, Aldia's experiment came to a climax in the success of his constructed dragon laying a stone egg, first true offspring of a dragon to be produced since the infamous and hidden dragon of Ash Lake far beneath the former kingdom of Lordran.

      The egg was to be guarded with the entire might of the kingdom until it could either be fertilized or be properly hatched by a true dragon. Slowly the kingdom crumbled and Aldia, in his wisdom would become one with flame itself to prolong his life and retain his mind amidst a plague of the Undead Curse. He would research every kingdom that rose and fell before Drangleic until he could find a way to finally defeat the Undead Curse and the cycle of fire that would spell the end off all kingdoms. His tasked the court jester, Thomas, and the Squalid Queen, Elana to protect these assets at all costs until the egg could hatch while he tried to solve the cycle of the fire. Though Elana would retain her mind, the jester would not, as he slowly started to hollow as well, eventually forgetting who he was but not forgetting his solemn duty to protecting Aldia's draconic experiment. The jester would wander the land of Drangleic and smite anyone who would dare threaten Aldia's work, including the Baneful Queen, Mytha. But there would remain hope that prevented from truly hollowing even as he forgot his own name. He would find himself aiding the Undead who sought to follow in the footsteps of Aldia and in the process would create a new name for himself, believing he was a merchant from the distant country of Lanafir and though he could not understand why, would seek the Dragon Aerie in a bid to finally hatch the egg and resurrect the dragons. It wouldn't be until one such bearer of the curse would seize the egg from the Aerie that Magerold of Lanafir would once again find his true purpose as the kin of dragons, shedding his flesh in search of the scales of long dead dragons to become a dragon himself and see Aldia's vision to fruition. Such is the function of a dragon, separation from the endless cycle of flame.

      • Anonymous

        With the Red Iron Twinblades +10 + Gold Pine Resin this fight is quite easy, if you stick to his big toe. Took like 2 minutes to bring him down.

        • Anonymous

          Ring of Fire +2, Witcher Set and Raw Flesh. I only got 700 fire resistance, but that was more than enough for me to take a little damage.

          • Anonymous

            Not sure if I was just lucky, since the comment section is full of complaints up to the point of claiming it is "not worth" fighting, but I beat this thing second try on my blind first playthrough. The supposedly insane damage was manageable with the +2 fire resist ring and full heide set (+10). I just hit its hind legs with my Longsword and ran away whenever it did the stomp or the fly+breath attack (it didnt do anything else or if it did i didn't see it). Was hit sometimes, but didn't even use 5 estus. I am so confused, maybe it is cause I always go hard on vigor in my first playthrough of souls games (many people seem to be complaining about getting oneshot). This is not supposed to be a flex, every boss in this game so far has felt lik a complete pushover (except maybe darklurker, whom I still beat 2nd try).

            I'll admit that it was boring, but so was almost every boss so far. Didn't expect Ornstein to be one the best bosses when I met him.

            • Anonymous

              Do you get the feeling they didn't really want you to fight this boss? But it's big, and mysterious, and one-of-a-kind, and it's just sitting there. They know their players are going to want to kill it.

              And think about it from the dragon's point of view. You worked your whole life protecting eggs, extorting kingdoms, watching the first flame rise and fall, over and over.

              You finally save up enough to afford a big temple full of armed butlers with a spacious mountain range for your family to live in, and do you get to enjoy it?

              Of course not. Along comes some gen-zombie punk wearing a ridiculous outfit asking about some king who's been undead for longer than they've been unalive.

              What do they want from you? Go into the giants' heads and figure it out yourself, lazy epochial...

              • Anonymous

                Honestly F tier boss, nothing but a health sponge. He isn’t mechanically challenging or rewarding. The best I can say about him is that he’s optional. This guy is so boring and the toe cheese method is the only way to save your sanity and stop you from going hollow. He’s not fun, he’s not cool, he’s WAY too tanky. His AOE fire breath hit box is so awful there are numerous times where I think I will be hit but I’m fine and other times where I get hit but my body is NOWHERE near the flame. Honestly do not fight this guy unless you’re doing all bosses. Vendrick is a push over even with 4 souls.

                • Anonymous

                  I seriously don't get why people consider this boss hard. I just did it on SL1, first try, without summons, after not playing this game for years. He has like 3 (very slow) attacks, granted they are large hitboxes. This isn't a flex, Throne Watcher and Defender took me a couple hours.

                  • Anonymous

                    The bait and dash method worked for me second try. I was 82% encumbered with the gowers ring and the gyrm greatshield (base level). My END was at 29 and was able to just run towards him, then as he began his ground forward fire breathing move, ran to the front right and could get in two good R2 moves with my lightning zweihander +10 onto his claws. The moment those two moves were done I ran away from the front of the dragon (towards fog door) as it began its AOE flying fire ground blast. just kept running until my stam was out and the AOE attack was ending. then immediately turned and faced the dragon to bait the ground fire blast again. Rinse and repeat. gg ez

                    • Anonymous

                      got this dude 2nd try. bash the nail watch the stamina, wait for him to fly up, run af. bait his frontal fire breath run af. clip dat nail some mo. repeat. all the strategy right here.

                      3 moves. such disrespect for such mighty beast

                      • Anonymous

                        "Vengarl's summoning symbol will appear in front of the fog door, after attacking the Ancient Dragon but he is not helpful." Why?

                        • Anonymous

                          "The only thing that makes this boss hard is his Rain of Fire attack that will kill you in one hit" The stomps kill me in one hit.

                          • Anonymous

                            If you're a mage, this fight is very easy. I equipped fire defense rings and cast Flash Sweat and then just cast spell at him. He will only do fire attacks which will barely damage you. The only problem is running out of spells since his HB bar is so bloated, but I just grabbed my sword and smacked him to get rid of his last 20-30% HP.

                            • Anonymous

                              I've never fought him, He's too cool and chill, Plus he gives me an essential item to progress, I have no real reason to pick a fight with him other than the souls, and sure the Giant Soul is nice for making Vendrick less resistant, but I really don't need more than 4 anyways

                              • Anonymous

                                Aside from the fight itself, getting to pass that batallion of Drakeknights and Oldknights is quite annoying.

                                • Anonymous

                                  Indeed he's gonna kill you no matter your hp, I guess it's some kind of godly damage, so just wear the Red Tearstone Ring and have around 200 END to block the fire. Two hits and retreat to recover the stamina, anything is gonna kill you, don't get greedy.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    Red Iron Winblade melted his health like butter, didn't even use lightning (would have been twice as fast if I did.)

                                    Pharros mask, hexer set, 4 casts of profuse sweat, and dragon tooth in other hand.

                                    Hit legs, run for the hills as far as possible when he flies in the air, let the fire attack knock you to the ground far away from him (so he doesn't land on you and kill you,) run back and continue to hack on legs. With profuse sweat enabled his fire attack does zero damage with this set up.

                                    One hit killed me about four or five times on his landings before I learned to just get as far away as I could when he's in the air. After that it's not bad at all. His fire barely ever moved my health bar.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      That moment when everything's just going fine, he's 1 or 2 hits from dying...

                                      ...and then he 1 shots you. Fun stuff.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        just did the toe methond he was first try dead in under 2 mins and he never did any other attacks. i didn't even do any positioning i just ran from one leg to the other always staying under him attacking his inner toes

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Alright so what i did was have a greatsword +10 (you should have around 50 str if you are a big bonk build) Run towards his tail when he does the air fire. Then keep on staying behind him and do ONE SWING With your weapon, if you do two he will do a stomp and you will have no stamina left to dodge.

                                          Hit his heel once, run towards tail and repeat, (YOU COULD HIT HIS TAIL IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH ADP TO DODGE) Make sure to stock up on lifegems because you will use most of your flasks during the awful runback.

                                          I would say it took around 7 mins to kill him doing 500 dmg per swing. If you are about to end stamina when running from the fire make sure to jump as you will gain more distance.
                                          I also had no Resin to use on my sword, so using resin will you help a lot. You can get it from the merchant in the shaded woods, take the left side when entering the fog.

                                          Hope that helps.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            What if this game had a gigantic boss that becomes untarget (if you're playing melee) having an insane amount of HP (even on NG) and also had many moves that could one shot the player... wow, that would be a true nightmare eh?

                                            • Anonymous

                                              For those who are struggling with this boss, here's a way to cheese and make him very very easy, and I'm not even joking

                                              First enchant your weapon with lighting, it can be any weapon as long as you're able to enchant it, I used Lost Sinner Sword +5 cause it has big damage

                                              The strat is as soon as you enter the arena run towards his feet, whenever he flies, run towards his tail and follow it, you'll not be hit by his fire attack. Stay at his toes, between the middle and index toe, stay as close as possible and attack, if he does his stomp attack don't panic, just beware when he does and simply roll forward, his stomp will land behind you, usually far away from you, then you get back between his toes and continue the process. If he does his fire attack where he breaths fire between his legs without flying DON'T PANIC, stay as close as possible between his toes and take this opportunity to land as many hits as possible, if you stay close between his toes this attack will not hit you.

                                              1 final tip: when he's going to do his stomp attack he rises his feet in the air, without any other movement. But when he's going to do he's breath fire attack between his legs, he attacks a small step forward, it's pretty obvious when he does, so put this in mind and notice those patterns before you decide to land multiple hits or dodge.

                                              This strat makes him really easy guys no cap, I did it first try I'm not even kidding

                                              • Anonymous

                                                This is the only wall I'm currently stuck at. I can't fight Vendrick or Nashandra with their bullshit defense because I don't have the 5th giant soul and it's so frustrating to fight the ancient dragon, hell I'm more than lucky to even survive the way there because of all the endgame heavy hitting enemies. Literally a whole new level of unfair

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  First try in ng with CoC, strat with standing behind his leg works just fine, even though I screwed it up and he flew all over the place. Doesn't matter, just stay behind him as he flies and this boss becomes really easy to be honest. Basically two attacks you can easily avoid.

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    heavenly thunder + big toe method is so easy i killed him with 52 faith build and used only 9-10 heavenly thunder

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      Why does this series have so many passive, optional boss fights? I don't have the heart to attack them but they keep locking good stuff behind them. This series literally punishes you for not being evil.

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        The Big Toe method works. Even as a caster/pyro, which I typically play as, I always use this method. A couple added caveats/tips: 1) Keep a second weapon (or repair powder) ready because sometimes the primary weapon doesn't last the whole fight (typically only post-NG, in my experience); 2) sometimes in the initial encounter (when the dragon starts at rest) he takes off and makes the strat fail, but when you come back (and have to go through the fog gate), you can easily make the strat work by running toward his left leg at the start of the fight (being careful to avoid his initial straight-ahead fire attack); and 3) make sure to manage your stamina and don't get greedy (typically 4-5 hits at each foot for me). Also, if needed, you can strip off your armor to increase mobility, especially if one hit will kill you anyway.

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          I wasn't taking the "He's gonna one-shot you anyway" comments serious, and then he took off 80% of my 2000 health pool in one stomp lmao. He does, in fact, hit like a truck. A truck that weighs several hundred tons and falls on your head, to be precise.

                                                          • Anonymous

                                                            You guys are the absolut best, I couldn't defeat this giant piece of dark souls 2, but with the help of you guys... Man awesome

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              Whoever wrote the Hollow Strategy I think the extra damage was because you didn’t summon phantoms that try. In DS2 phantoms don’t just increase boss HP but also damage reduction. I always hit about 100-200 damage harder solo (with late game fully upgraded weapons)

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                Everyone coming here to read and reread the "super easy back leg" strategy you were told about: Just leave the dragon for endgame, collect your 900 fire resistance, and hit him with lightning arrows. 1000% easier and you'll never accidentally get stomped.

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  What? I got him on my first try and only used one estus... could have been 0 but I was basically sizing him up to prepare later. I just alternated left and right rear legs, rolling from his stomps. After 3 or 4 stomps, I realized I could just walk to save stamina. Then he died. What? I didn't even have the rings I was planning to use equipped and used my regular armor and spear, not tailored for this at all. What? I feel bad for him. He was so chill and gave me a present. Then I killed him while he stood there doing basically nothing but cry in pain and lift his foot. I am a horrible person.

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    At leas we got Darkeater Midir to show that From can nail a giant Dragon boss fight (Kalameet is a fairly small dragon in comparison), shame that this turd is what DS2 got.

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      For melee characters - I tried a few strategies like running to the tail, etc but it didnt work for me. The "Big toe method" as described here makes this fight super easy tho. Get light armor, stamina regen is the key, 2hand your best weapon, use gold pine resin for extra damage and run like hell under his head to his back legs. Stay glued between his toes and hit him a few times. Dont get greedy and stay between his toes until he starts to lift his leg. Then run to the other leg and repeat. If you do it correctly he stays on the ground. You only need to watch out for the "under belly fire attack" - in that case just get out of there and wait until he finishes and get back to work. If something goes wrong, stay in front of him and bait his fire breath attack - run back to his toes and finish him.

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        Hope you get good RNG. All it does is spam the Rain of Fire attack over and over again. He uses it 3-4 times in a row and there's nothing you can do about it. Waste of time.

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          If you stay in between his toes, he becomes one of the easiest bosses, due to his limited attack patterns. If he stomps, you run to his other foot. If he breathes fire down his stomach, run to the outside of his foot. Those are the only two attacks he used on me, at least.

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            Get as much fire resist as you can under 70% equip & a fire-blocking shield like Watchdragon Parma, no point mitigating or blocking physical damage for this guy. Run to his back ankles and keep an eye on his front half. When he's about to take off sprint toward his tail, you can usually avoid the fire breath this way. If you can tell you're not far enough turn around and block the fire ASAP. It'll do a little damage & stagger you, then hit you again & knock you down but you'll survive. Most importantly, this delays getting knocked down long enough to invuln through his gigantic landing hitbox.

                                                                            Other than that, keep some stamina to run from stomps, don't get crushed by his tail when he lands, use lightning damage if possible. A janky, obnoxious boss that's just barely worth fighting.

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              Breath bait + maxed out hunter's black bow + lightning arrows to the face = 1 dead dragon. In case of RoF... RUN!!! Flame resistance is also a plus. All that made the battle relatively simple for me.
                                                                              P.S. Confirming that it has been nerfed heavily, compared to 360.

                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                Holy cringe at the "Playbook & Guide (Confirmed for up to NG+7, with Company of Champions Activated)" section. Please edit or remove it, this wikia isn't some sweaty tryhard's personal blog.

                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                  Did it get nerfed in SotFS? Cause at the time the game came out i heard this bossfight was so bad and so difficult it was almost impossible, but i beat it first try. The bossfight is still ****, it's so boring it makes me wanna kill myself (especially seeing what From did with Midir), but it's also really easy.

                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                    Who wrote the NG +7 part? It's written in this extremely obnoxious tone filled with cussing and comes off really pretentious.

                                                                                    It doesn't fit the rest of the guide or page at all, and really should be removed. It's also just really cringe worthy.

                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                      What I do for htis fella is stand between his hind legs. Usually, there's two attacks:
                                                                                      Stands up using his hindlegs and breathes fire underneath him. It's super slow. I run to the outside of the left foot and start smacking it (or casting spells.)
                                                                                      Or he'll jump up and use the fire breath. Once you notice him getting ready to jump, I just run straight for the tail and that keeps me safe. Watch when he comes back down, though. The landing hurts.

                                                                                      Occasionally he'll stomp if you're too close to a foot. It's pretty easy to avoid as its slow, but for some reason the dragon gets damage resistance while stomping.

                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                        Use the "Big Toe Method", if you break the chain just reposition and do it again. Honestly, this boss is more tedious rather than hard.

                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                          the ai just gets annoying sometimes i fought him and he would nonstop fly with only a few seconds for me to attack

                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                            Such a crap boss.
                                                                                            One of the largest health bars in the series, ability to one shot on all attacks plus with darksouls 2s questionable hit boxes (like he didn't even move and I got hit some how) and a downward fire attack that covers the entire arena.

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              Fighting Ancient Dragon is not hard. It's just extremely tedious. Anyone who thinks it hard clearly only tried to hit his feet.

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