The Skeleton Lords

the_skeleton_lords.png
HP Skeleton Lord (Halberd) = 780; Skeleton Lord (Reaper) = 780; Skeleton Lord (Staff) = 520.
Weakness Blunt, Magic, Lightning, (Summoned Skeletons - Yearn, Alluring Skull)
Resistance Poison, Toxic, Dark Mist, Dark

The Skeleton Lords is a boss type of enemy in Dark Souls 2.

 

The Skeleton Lords Information 

The Skeleton Lords are a boss group of Dark Souls 2. These 3 large skeleton kings hold different weapons but are able to cast the pyromancy fireball. After the player enters the fog gate, the 3 Skeleton Lords dismount from thrones of bone and prepare to attack. Each uses different styles of combat, based off of weapon type. The Skeleton Lords are easy to kill but destroying one spawns a set of four minion skeletons after 10-15 seconds. All of the Skeleton Lords and summoned minions must be defeated to complete the boss battle. For this reason, it is recommended that the player only destroy one Skeleton Lord at a time and then clear the summoned minions in order to minimize the number of total threats at once. The skeletons that spawn will appear where the lord died.

  • The Skeleton Lords reigned from deep within the Huntsman's Copse.
  • The Old Iron King commanded the capture of all Undead, but those charged with the task were overcome by the curse.
  • Scythe Lord: He Wields Great Scythe. Spawns Estoc skeletons upon Death.
  • Spear Lord: He wields Roaring Helberd. Spawns Falchion Skeletons upon Death.
  • Staff Lord: He wields the catalyst used by Aldia Warlock. Spawns Bonewheel Skeletons upon Death.

 

Location

  • Huntsman's Copse, behind the waterfall area (past caves or narrow passage with red phantom)

 

Drops

 

Attacks

Skeleton Lords: Attack Name: Attack Description:
Skeleton Lord Reaper (Great Scythe) Great Scythe Swipes with the scythe. Causes bleed damage buildup. Casts pyromancy fireball if at range.
Skeleton Lord Pyromancer (Aldia Warlock Halberd) Fire Orb Fires straight shot fire orb, also used by Skeleton Lord Knight.
Skeleton Lord Knight (Roaring Halberd) Fire Orb Fires straight shot fire orb.also used by Skeleton Lord Pyromancer.
Skeleton Lord Knight (Roaring Halberd) Roaring Halberd Swinging with Roaring Helberd
Skeleton Minion (Saber) * 4 Dashing Slash Dashes forward and slashes with its saber, causing bleed damage
Skeleton Minion (2h Sword) * 4 Charging Stab Rushes forward and stab with 2h sword
Skeleton Minion (Wheel) * 4 Rolling Attack Rolls forward and tries to ram player (Note: Mechanics are changed from original Dark Souls, as they only do 1 hit of damage now)

Note on Scholar of First Sin: The fight on NG seems to be easier, but lasts longer.

Souls Awarded

Bonfire Intensity Souls Awarded
1 15,000
2 30,000
3 37,500
4 41,250
5 45,000
6 48,750
7 52,500
8 60,000
  • No changes to souls awarded beyond Bonfire Intensity 8.

 

NPC Summons

SOFS: You can summon Creighton of Mirrah  phantom to help with this fight, making it even easier. His summon sign is in the skeleton caves, near the gate/lever.

Strategy

1. Item spam strategy - You can buy Holy Water Urns from the NPC that lets you into the Blue Sentinel covenant. These items 2 shot the lords and 1 shot the smaller skeletons.
NOTE: Holy Water Urns have been modified so they no longer affect skeletons so DON'T TRY THIS.

2. Pyromancy Strategy - Put yourself in a position to cast Firestorm and proceed to watch everything burn around you

3. Spellsword Strategy - Use a "Magic Weapon" spell and simply take down the lords as fast as possible. When minion skeletons start to revive target the "Wheel Skeletons" first, once they're down you're easy for mobility, keep taking any lords down then target the skeleton minions with shoulder pads after and simply to clean up. Holy urns are a major bonus for clearing minions

4.Two-Handed Weapon Strategy- Kill the Skeleton Lord on the right side first, then kill the four minion skeletons as they are being 'built'. Rinse and repeat for the remaining Skeleton Lords and minions.

5. Lightning/Faith Strategy - Dispose of the left Lord as soon as possible, kill the skeletons. Use ranged/melee according to the range and stamina usage, Emit Force, and Lightning bolts are your greatest friends here. Kill another Lord, then skeletons - just make sure to watch your stamina and don't be afraid to take your time. Lifegems are great for this fight, no other items needed. Footage posted below.

6. Sorcery Strategy - the Required spell is Yearn and maybe Soul Spear (which is found in the area before this boss). It should take 2 soul spears to kill each lord with 50 INT and a good catalyst. If you're only able to kill 2 Lords with soul spears, start killing the third while backing away from it. After a few second cast Yearn so it goes as far away from you as possible. Finish the third Lord while keeping Yearn up at the other end of the room. Once the third one is dead, Soul Vortex is useful for taking out multiple minions at once. Don't get greedy and make sure you keep Yearn up to distract the minions.

7. Step by step strategy - Before entering the room, I suggest applying a buff to your weapon, whether it be magic weapon or a pine resin. Upon entering the room, immediately sprint to the skeleton lord on the left, (scythe lord) if your damage is good enough you should be able to kill him before he can do anything, if not just deal a little damage then step back. Make sure to kill the scythe lord first, his melee attacks are the hardest to dodge, and he does the most damage in melee. After killing him, a group of skeletons will spawn, dispatch them before killing the next lord, only fight the skeletons when the other 2 lords aren't near you. Next kill the spear lord, same strat as before, he just spawns skeletons with falchions instead of estocs. Now kill the final lord, he's squishier than the other 2 and is easily staggered. The hard part is after that, bonewheel skeletons spawn. If you let them spawn they will quickly overwhelm you. They can spawn in different places so look around for them, when you seem them rising out of the ground quickly kill them 1 by 1 before they get all the way up. Notes - Scythe and spear lord can use a slow-moving pyromancy. The staff lord will not go into melee range to fight you, he will attack you with spells the entire fight, though they are usually easy to dodge and if you hide behind the pillars to fight he won't move into position to hit you.

8. Easy Method:
Attune all your slots to Yearn (Carhillion of the Fold sells infinite after using a Bonfire Ascetic on the Home Fire after he's moved to Majula, or maybe its after opening the Shrine of Winter?), Otherwise, stock up on alluring skulls if you don't have Yearns. Equip the Lion Mage Set, Black Hood & Clear Bluestone Ring to make casting Yearns faster. Equip Lingering Dragon Crest to Prolong Yearn, and a Ring of Blades if you have one. Carry Your preferred anti-boss weapon to handle the 3 Lords, as well as a Large Club or Great Club, since they can one shot even the heavily armed skeletons & wheels which spawn, and take out several at once (I used a +3 Large Club in NG and a +10 Great Club in NG+, which I'm sure was overkill). Enter the Fog and run straight ahead to the Scythe Reaper on your left, hurt him badly but don't kill him. Just take his life down as far as possible without killing him; then do the same thing to the Spear Lord, and repeat it with the Pyromancy Lord. Once they are hurt but not dead, kill off BOTH the Scythe Reaper & the Spear Boss in quick succession. Wait for the Skeletons to start standing up then cast Yearn to a nearby Mountain in the middle of the room. Wait until the Skeletons are grouped around the Yearn and close in behind them. Quickly cast another Yearn on the exact same spot. Immediately pull out your Largest Wooden Club weapon and wipe them all out with a couple of swings. next, Finish off the Pyromancy Lord then put your back to a wall near one of the central mountains. Wait for the Wheels to Spawn then cast Yearn onto the Mountain closest to you. When the Wheels try to roll up the mountain, Smash them to bits with a swing of your club. Enjoy your new Ring (in NG+)

9. Scimitar strategy (relatively easy). Take a scimitar in your right hand (mine was upgraded with titanite to +5) and preferably a shield in the left. You may want to apply a stamina buff if you don't have a lot. I also used the stone ring which helps stagger enemies. The scimitar deals relatively high damage while being faster than the lords' huge weapons. When you enter the arena, run straight for the rightmost Lord and hit him with a combo of heavy attacks. He will die by the end of your combo. At that point, be wary of the second melee lord behind you. Your scimitar is faster than its scythe so again, a combo of heavy attacks should kill it in just one combo. That's two lords down and, if you have enough stamina, their minions haven't popped yet. Try to get some distance between yourself and the minions, don't attack them as they rise from the ground. I suggest walking behind the pillars so that the pyromancer lord can't target you. Minions will run at you and form a mob in the process. Use the scimitar's light attack to slash the whole front line at once. It takes 2-3 hits to kill a minion. Roll backwards as needed. Once the minions are dead, dash towards the last lord. I like to roll forward 1 meter before being in melee range to avoid any unseen attack. As with the others, go for a heavy combo and kill him. A few wheel skeletons will then spawn. Either slash them with the light attack as they arise, or use your shield to block them. The scimitar needs only 2 hits to kill one.

Videos

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Hints

  • Weakness: magic/lightning
  • The Large or Great Wooden Clubs crush all minions & wheels in a single shot (may need to add a bit of reinforcement).
  • Fire resistance/fire resistant shield very helpful
  • You can use the hill to the right from the entrance to circle around and get cover from the ranged attacks while also funneling the large mobs.
  • Use the pile of bones to your left to defend yourself from bonewheel skeletons, it's incredibly helpful when you kill every lord before any of the minions.
  • Alluring Skulls seem to be rather effective on the minions, but only last for 2 seconds. But enough to drink an Estus Flask.
  • The Yearn spell is also effective on the minions. Just target some wall with the spell and the bonewheel skeletons, etc, will rush there, use Lingering Dragoncrest Ring to prolong the effect.
  • High poise plus high defense when taking out the minions.
  • The Lords can be backstabbed and parried.
  • In NG+, to get to the Skeleton Lords quickly, go across the bridge when leaving the bonfire, take the path that leads up to the left, go down past the Crystal Lizard, and leap across to the platform. From here you can snipe the Invader, then drop down and arrive at the fog gate, bypassing the 2 respawning giant sickle-wielding maniacs from Harvest Valley. (Moon Butterfly Skirt makes the jump to the edge much easier)
  • Due to the water pools in the cave, the miracle Heavenly Thunder can be extremely effective at clearing all of the enemies that spawn after each Lord dies. For best results, the player may lure a Lord to a water pool before it dies.

 



 




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    • Anonymous

      20 Sep 2021 08:12  

      This guide is outdated. I'm just playing DS2 SotfS for the first time, NG no Bonfire Ascetic. When I killed the first Lord, shortly after not four, but many more - I say 10 or 12 - skeletons spawned, nearly got me killed as I was standing right in the middle of them and barely escaped. After cleaning up and killing the second lord, 6-8 big skeletons spawned. Couldn't get the exact numbers as I was busy surviving. After the third Lord only two Bone Wheels shown up. That was a pleasant surprise, as I was expecting hell at this point.
      Still a manageable boss fight, got them in first try, but it was a close call as I was expecting way less enemies.

      • Anonymous

        09 Jul 2021 17:03  

        hey uh i know i sound like im bad at the game but i kinda need help with this boss because im doing a sorcery only and im over whelmed by the amount of enemies so if someone could put their summon sign outside the boss that would be great thanks. my character is called sorcerer noob

        • Anonymous

          17 Mar 2021 06:15  

          I did this at NG+ just to get the Clear Bluestone Ring +2 for my sorcerer. I hadn't used Yearn on my first encounter with this boss but in NG+ I was surprised how easy it was with Yearn (slot at least 2 Yearn spells or for 10 usage). I killed the 2 skeleton melee lords (around 3-4 hits with Soul Spear each lord) at the beginning, leaving the pyromancer one. When the minions spawn, Yearn (one cast last 10 secs if i'm not mistaken) on the wall, kill them with Great Heavy Soul Arrows one by one (you can 1-hit some skeleton but the shield ones and wheels need 2 hits) and repeat until dead and lastly kill the pyromancer.

          • Anonymous

            16 Dec 2020 17:40  

            I destroyed this damn, boss so hard with a broken Santier's Spear +3 but I literally almost died and had 1 Estus Flask left.

            • Anonymous

              21 Aug 2020 09:03  

              First tried this boss in a long battle, no idea how I managed it, I ran out of estus halfway during the fight, broke my weapons, had to run behind a pillar and rush through the menu to equip a new weapon, used lifegems and spent most of the time running around the arena picking off the skeletons bit by bit. The boss room is one of the nicer looking ones in the game with the water puddles reflecting the lights.

              • Anonymous

                05 Aug 2020 16:41  

                Demon’s Great Hammer with aromatic ooze one-shots the lords and can kill many skeletons at once. The wheeled skeletons at the end are a little tricky for it though

                • Anonymous

                  09 Jun 2020 11:21  

                  It's a fun boss battle with no one-hit kills, no pressure of needing to block or roll constantly, gives plenty of time for me to switch around to different weapons and equipment. This fight is real neato (pun intended).

                  • Anonymous

                    04 May 2020 00:36  

                    King's Ultra Greasword+5 takes out each lord in 3-4 hits on NG+. You can backstab them as well. Any blunt weapon in general hits like crazy too.

                    • Anonymous

                      03 May 2020 08:58  

                      Tactic (because Bonewheel Skeletons are PAIN - especially in NG+): 1. Light armor, Sweeping wepon (with good poise) + fire, pyromancy (not necessary) 2. Kill quickly first Lord then small skeletons (repeat with two other Lords) 3. Bonewheel Skeletons: - run and hide behind those bone pillars near wall - kill them 1, max 2 at time - wait untill they start rolling then when near you - dodge and when they stuck on wall finish them - you can cast Lingering Flame if you have enugh time and then run toward another pillar

                      • Anonymous

                        12 May 2019 18:57  

                        For those who have trouble in the wheel mob, just kill the 1st summoner in the middle to get rid of the wheel mob 1st and the rest will be easy af.

                        • Anonymous

                          14 Feb 2019 20:30  

                          Now this is bull*****mob spam done right. Tons of enemies, crowd control is necessary, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming as long as you stay on the move and focused on the task at hand. While sentinels of ruin felt obnoxious and unnecessary, this fight is that moment when the DM goes "eh, you guys have done good. Here's a horde of level 1 kobolds. Have fun."

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