The Rotten

HP 7,080 (Standard Game)
Weakness Lightning, Magic, multihit AOE attacks
Resistance Poison, Toxic, Dark Mist

The Rotten is an enemy in Dark Souls 2.


The Rotten Information 

The Rotten is a boss in Dark Souls 2. A hideous monster made of corpses stitched together, that rules the Black Gulch. It carries a large Butcher's Knife in one arm, and crawls using the arms of corpses where its legs would be.
The arms can be cut off to reduce the lethality of the Rotten, preventing it from using the Butcher's Knife. However eventually they will grow back. The left arm will drop a Pharros' Lockstone once cut off.

  • The Rotten embraces all, in the sanctuary for all things unwanted or tossed away.









Counter Measures

Forward Slash The Rotten slashes straight forward as many as three times with its Butcher's Knife. - Rolling to its left could be a viable option.
- Blocking could be a viable option.
Horizontal Slash The Rotten slashes once horizontally with its Butcher's Knife. (Note: The Horizontal Slash has two versions: One from right to left, and another from left to right at a slight upward angle. - Rolling to the opposite direction of swing could be a viable option.
- Blocking could be a viable option.
Pummel The Rotten pounds the ground with its left fist if the player is close. - Rolling could be a viable option.
Side Pummel The Rotten pounds both fists, in succession, into the ground at its sides. - It's possible to run/roll towards its back/front and land a few hits.
Grab The Rotten swings its left hand when in close range to grab the player. Cannot be blocked. - Rolling could be a viable option.
Sludge Wave The Rotten slams its Butcher Knife into the ground to shoot out a cone-shaped projectile of sludge.  
Acid Spit The Rotten grabs its chest and spits out ball of acid a couple meters in front of him. Can spit twice very quickly. - Just keep some distance.
AOE Blast The Rotten charges then releases a high-damaging Dark AOE blast 360° around him. - Run as fast as possible!
- As a last resort, block the explosion with whatever you have at hand. It may mean the difference between life and death.
- It's possible to dodge through the explosion.
Forward Slash + AOE Blast The Rotten charges his cleaver with the same energy from the AOE Blast. First he swings the cleaver vertically, and then the AOE blast occurs on the location of impact. Used when low on health.  

Souls Awarded

Bonfire Intensity Souls Awarded
1 47,000
2 94,000
3 117,500
4 129,250
5 141,000
6 152,750
7 164,500
8 188,000
  • No changes to souls awarded beyond Bonfire Intensity 8.

NPC Summons

Lucatiel of Mirrah

Lucatiel of Mirrah can be summoned for this fight, provided the player has exhausted her dialogue in the hidden pathway in the Black Gulch. Her summon sign is located near the Hidden Chamber.
Lucatiel, as in all of her appearances, can be very useful during this fight by distracting the boss. She will not do a large amount of damage, but she does have a vast health pool and can withstand a pretty good beating while the player deals damage to the Rotten.

Lone Hunter Schmidt

Lone Hunter Schmidt can be summoned for this fight. His summon sign is located before the Razorback Nightcrawlers, near jars.
Schmidt is not especially durable and doesn't do very much damage, but he can still be useful as a distraction while the player attacks.

Bashful Ray

Bashful Ray can be summoned as a Shade between the two Razorback Nightcrawlers near Lone Hunter Schmidt's sumon sign.


Wear light armor with the Old Leo Ring and use a thrusting weapon (for example, a Rapier). Since his attacks are very slow, there is a larger window to take advantage of the Leo Ring's counterattack damage bonus. Roll from his attacks and just jab away but keep an eye on your stamina. Keep in the middle so the flames can't hit you.

  • Arm chopping strategy

Using a weapon with an arcing overhead attack can make it easier to remove his limbs. A Bastard Sword one handed heavy attack (R2 on PS3 and RT on Xbox) was effective at doing this and caused heavy damage. If an arm is lost he will still try to attack with it but it will be meaningless to the player. If left alone for too long he will regrow the limb.
Keep load weight under 55% for effective dodge rolls. Armor not necessary, shield should be used for absorbing minor damage taken.
Line boss up with a pathway that has no fire pits either behind or in front of you, utilize this as your fighting area (as if on a narrow bridge). KEEP A LOOK OUT for overhead swinging attacks, you need to be vigilant and notice when he's readying his swing. After most attacks you will have 1 or 2 hit window in which you can hit and immediately dodge or walk backwards to avoid damage. *Suggestion, when boss uses Acid Spit use it to utilize heavy hits.

  • Easy spell strategy

Equip Lion armor for casting speed buff, priest hoodie really helps to get more spellcasts. Any type of magic works, you have to be a little bit good at pulling off dodges, just don't be afraid. In particular, Soul Vortex is incredibly effective due to his large frame allowing the vortex to hit many times. Bait him to attack if needed, be aware and watch your bars. Check the second video for the kill footage.

  • Poke strategy

Wear light armor, and wield a very long ranged fast melee weapon, such as a spear, lance, or Halberd. Walk close to him and bait an attack, then quickly back up to evade it, rolls aren't necessary and can even be dangerous. While using light armor simply sprinting back should be enough to dodge his attacks. After he attacks poke him for some damage, heal, or get away from walls. This strategy is great for dodging every attack he has except cone wave, which can either be blocked by a powerful shield or dodged, though be mindful of the fire pits. Please note; locking on to this boss is a bad idea, and this strategy is best used with weapons that deal heavy damage in 1 hit rather than damage over time.

  • Co-op strategy

Best implemented with a phantom being the melee bait for ranged/casters. Bait gets The Rotten to aggro on him and begins to circle without locking on. The Rotten will often keep focus on the bait and follow across the arena allowing him to be drawn away from walls and other players. This also allows the bait to stay just out of range of his melee attacks while still distracting him if desired( works best if other players are ranged/casting to prevent an unexpected shift of aggro). If he moves to attack another player then the bait dashes in an hits him until he follows the bait again. In the event the host is also melee then the bait just circles close in to The Rotten while the other players attack from the other side and repositions The Rotten as needed. - Priority of the bait should be keeping The Rotten's attention over doing damage with most attacks following the Poke strategy.

  • Miracle strategy

Heavenly Thunder miracle can easily cheese this boss to near death. 4 casts of Heavenly Thunder (44 faith) will reduce the boss' hp to 1/3 of its maximum health.

  • Greatsword Strategy

Bring the boss to center of the arena and lock on. Stay close and rotate clockwise. By doing this, you can out-turn him and most of his attacks will miss, allowing you to deliver 1-2 strikes after each. With luck, you will be able to chop off his sword arm this way. Be wary of his AoE attack, which will still hit you reliably.

  • Soul level 1 strategy (mace)

Run up to him and lock on. You should circle his right all the time, baiting his attacks and rolling through. His recovery is slow enough to get a few hits in, but don't be greedy. Keep doing this until he's got about half his HP left, when will start doing his AoE attack. This will kill you if you are too close. After each of your attacks, lock off and run away from him. He may do his AoE attack, but if you are far enough you will be safe.  Following this method, you can gradually chop his HP away while taking no damage,  granted you dodge well.

Video Strategies




  • When trying to cut off The Rotten's arms, try to fight without locking-on. You could also use a weapon with good vertical reach.
  • The Rotten is immune to Dark Fog and Toxic Mist.
  • The Rotten has high resistances to non-physical damage, but has a weakness to thrust damage. Try using a rapier or a spear for a good damage output.
  • When backing up, The Rotten will move his left hand in front of him. Long reach weapons such as spears can attack the hand at least once per animation without fear of a retaliatory attack.



  • If you are on the fire and he grabs you, you'll continue to take damage from the fire for a few seconds after. He'll then hurt you with his grab attack and it's basically a 1-Hit KO.



  • The Rotten's moveset is modeled after Gravelord Nito from Dark Souls, of whom he is a reincarnation.
  • There is a lone person sticking out of The Rotten's left shoulder. This is possibly Pharros, who is likely controlling each move The Rotten makes. (Needs Confirmation)
  • The Rotten shares some of Nito's movesets, such as dark explosion, grapple attack, and the way he swings his knife (or possibly related to Milldred).
  • During the opening cutscene, it is trying to replace a broken statue's head, suggesting it cares for the statues, or where it lives.



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    • Anonymous

      This boss can be a nightmare if you are underpowered for it, he's tanky and he delays his attacks in weird ways, besides that if you have the right adp and damage it's a pretty easy boss

      • Anonymous

        "Since his atacks are very slow"?! WTF? Are we talking about the same boss? He perfectly locks on you and has also quite the range. Difficult af.

        • Anonymous

          For anyone still trying to complete her questline. Make sure you kill any of the Darksuckers in close proximity. While doing another playthrough of DS2 I always try to complete her questline, the loss of souls didn't bother me. But I found out that she obsessively attacks the Darksuckers hiding in the Tar which seems to be useless because they don't aggro from her presence. This resulted her being stuck in combat outside the fog gate.

          • Anonymous

            Lucatiel died by poison outside the boss fog wall as soon as i killed the boss so idk if it counts to her quest :(

            • Anonymous

              My reaction when I first walked through the fog gate and saw the cutscene was just me screaming “nope” at the game while I ran around the arena, then I got my bearings and it was a pretty easy fight

              • Anonymous

                "**** you I used bonfire ascetics to kill the rotten and bypass 2 thirds of the ****ing game"
                - Some ******* about what makes a speedrun fun to watch (Grinding)

                • Anonymous

                  lets give the rotten credit all those mindless hollows stuck together are still synchronized enough to actually swing the arms good for them

                  • Anonymous

                    if you are struggling with the runup, save the fragrant branch of yore you got at the start of the area, and use it to get the hidden bonfire. You'll have to run past 3 statues, and no enemies.

                    • Anonymous

                      The trivia about Pharros is ridiculous. Rats drop lockstones too don't they? Are all those rats Pharros too?

                      • Anonymous

                        The fact that this***** happens in six flaming tar pools makes it so much harder than the fight actually is.

                        • Anonymous

                          In SotFS ALL the shattered statues and everything resets back to normal if you die. ***** this whole place.

                          • Anonymous

                            I bait-rolled him and spammed the everloving Sun out of him with 16 fireballs and 4 Lingering Flames. While each one did little against him (and that's with a +5 flame, penal cuffs and 30+ Fth, base Int) it added up enough for me to finish him off with a couple sword swings. Easy boss for casters. Could probably have done more damage with 6 lightning spears instead of the fireballs, but oh well.

                            • Anonymous

                              Everyone saying the boss is slow and easy to dodge with rolling but with 16% encumberment my rolls don't dodge any attacks. He continues to turn locked on to me even on the down swing. And the NPC that was supposed to be able to help me isn't there. This is the hardest boss fight I've been in in all of dark souls 1 and so far in dark souls 2

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