After failing to defeat Ornstein & Smough fat man first, and failing to defeat them all-melee (used pyromancy), I thought I was reconciled to exile from gamers' Valhalla. But my failure against Manus in NG+ is shaming me further. I know you guys can't really help without a specific breakdown of my build. I'm just hoping an abyss can weep, and looking for any advice on what's worked for my esteemed colleagues out there. I'm basically trying to dodge and hit him with pyromancy. I've gotten him down to about 40% health, once; 50%, a few times. Should be doable, right? But I can't seem to close the deal. If the dark magic doesn't kill me, the six hit combo does. Sif doesn't help much.
Manus NG+ most soul-crushing boss since Ornstein & Smough
All of his attacks are pretty easy to dodge with a fast roll or you can block them if you have decent stamina and a shield with decent stability. The important thing about the 6-hit combo is to back out as he is doing it, eventually he will knock himself away enough that you will only take 3-4 of the hits.
As for the dark magic it is just a simple pattern. One needs you to rush towards him, the other needs you to rush away from him. It's good practice for people who use the new sorceries in PvP. Just identify which spell startup will indicate which pattern and prepare.
In short, Manus is a fight about endurance and punishing his attacks. It is a rough fight (and you can cheese it but doing that is for lamers) and very demanding, but you can pretty much apply what you do to every Dark Souls encounter and get through it. This is coming from a guy who was still using a +15 Battleaxe at the point I fought him in NG+. Crazy, I know.
What weapon are you using?
If its a slow ass great sword or great axe then I suggest you get something small but faster and level it up as high as you can like the Boulder Side Sword (I think that is what it is called) and levelling it up to +14 or so because Manus does not give much chances for bigger weapons to hit so you have to hit him with something smaller and faster, the Gold Tracer is perfect, go back to where you fought Aratorias and kill the woman praying to his grave, level up the weapon I just mentioned and you're good.
Edit: I forgot to tell you how to use it, with better speed and less stamina usage you can get one to three hits between Manus's every combo, just remember to switch in and out of blocking mode so you can regain your stamina faster, many people don't know this but the best way is to just block only when your about to be hit, use the gap between Manus's slower attacks to regen stamina and if you go into blocking in the instant of his attack, you stand a much better chance of withstanding it, especially if you got stamina rings or equipment,those things do wonders during boss battles,
Well, there's only one of him, so the fight is a lot more predictable than O&S. Manus is overall harder & more damaging, but with O&S it's tricky to predict how their individual A.I.s will combo together and adjust to that random factor. With Manus, as chaotic his movements are, everything he does is telegraphed and avoidable. Which means if you're finding it hard to avoid his attacks, you gotta study him further.
Fight him a few times without ever attempting to land a hit. Don't worry about beating him and just accept that you're going there to eventually die. Instead use that time to observe his moves, and experiment with avoiding them as long as possible. After a while you should be able to read his tells, which will go a really long way towards surviving the battle.
This is true of all bosses. If you do your homework and just go to observe rather than fight, it goes a long way. There'll still be twitchy mistakes. Even after I memorize a boss, I get hit all the time because my brain and fingers aren't in sync. At least I understand exactly what went wrong and how to avoid it, even if my reflexes might fail me.
P.S. Dumb question, but have you tried summoning a certain NPC? But then again, you may prefer to accomplish it alone. Either way, it's an option.
If you've got him down to 40% health before you can do it. As everyone else has said, every attack is perfectly dodgeable provided you recognise it before it happens. Just go for the hands when the opening arrives. Don't get greedy in a panic and never stay too close. When he launches the orb magic attack immediately dodge towards him, and they will dissipate. Whilst the magic animation is in effect you could squeeze in a Great Combustion or two. If you're finding that it's simply the length of the fight that's taking its toll perhaps focus on improving your damage output. Apologies if you've already got these but you could try using the Crown of Dusk and Red Tearstone Ring, or maybe Power Within?
YOU DEFEATED Been away from Oolacile for a while, family visiting . . . Finally got in there . . . I stopped trying to back away and hit him with fire orbs. I strafed him with great combustion. I also got a +15 Eagle shield. I summoned Sif; he helped distract Manus sporadically so I could drink a flask. On the victorious run I realized my great combustion was doing less than my usual damage because I had forgotten to swap out Covetous Gold Serpent for Bellowing Dragoncrest after my last humanities farm. I swapped em midbattle! I know a lot of you guys have already beaten him on a naked, Calamity Ring, 1 hp no healing Gauntlet of Thorns roll damage only run . . .
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