So first off, if you'd like to just see my run of beating King of Storms/Nameless King (which in my mind is probably the hardest boss I've ever faced in a video game ever), then you can go see that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw1gsf9DNCo
If for some reason that video makes it look easy, please understand that I had spent three days on this boss, well over 75 attempts...alone and with co-op partners.
My character was basically a Knight with just enough DEX to use Gundyr's Halberd. I upgraded Gundyr's Halberd to +5, which is max. I two-handed it without a shield (trust me, I would have LOVED to use a shield for this fight).
The most important thing for me for understanding and beating this boss was primarily two things:
- Using the Carthus Bloodring (which extends your rolling invincibility)
- Understanding the second phase (Nameless King) and the rhythm of his close-up strikes
Once those two things were locked down, this boss became very doable.
On the first phase, you're going to want to look out for the obvious windows to hit the feathered dragon on the neck or head. His spitting fire animation is the easiest opportunity to get 3-4 good hits in with your weapon. When he's spitting fire do NOT try to hit him on the head but rather the neck. If you touch the fire from his mouth even a little bit you will get staggered and fall to the ground, which kills your opportunity for hits.
Also, an important point is that there IS a way to escape his flame attack AOE where he blasts the floor with fire. As soon as the dragon flies up and shrieks at the same time, immediately starting running away and don't stop. In the video above I get close to escaping the flame but the very edge caught me. It's okay if it does, as there's plenty of time for a quickie sippy of Estus after you get hit with the fire.
Otherwise, this first phase is about staying relatively close right under the dragon's chest area so that the sword strikes don't hit you. Keep rolling through the sword strikes and take those opportunities to hit the dragon's neck/head whenever you see the opportunity. You will most likely only get chances for one hit, except for the spitting fire animation that we talked about earlier.
75% of the time you will have an opportunity for a visceral attack on the dragon. As soon as the opportunity comes up just do it, even if you're low on health. There will be plenty of time after your visceral attack to heal since it takes a moment for the dragon to get back up.
Now the hardest part is easily the second phase, where you're one-on-one with Nameless King. For me, I died way, way too easily by trying to stay far away from him. When you're far away from him he does chain after chain of his distance-closing strikes, which are brutally accurate and devastating to your health (if they don't kill you outright).
So my personal advice is to stay close to him at all times. His up-close strikes and combos are much more predictable once you understand their rhythm. Keep rolling through his combos or heavy strikes, the ring will help you greatly with boosted i-frames.
Now, at the end of each of his combos or at the end of one of his heavy strikes, you have an opportunity for JUST ONE hit. Do NOT try to take more than one unless he is staggered or after a visceral attack. If you try to do more than one hit he will have already begun his next combo or heavy strike and either kill you or eliminate most of your health.
My other crucial realization: At the end of his combo or heavy strike, you have an opportunity to do one of two things - either one hit of damage OR a sip of Estus. You do NOT have time to do both. So every time you have that "window" you need to decide if you're going to heal or strike.
As you can see in the video, even if he took off only a little health, the next window I got I chose to heal. It's better to have full health in this fight at all times because accidental hits or combos can wipe you out easily.
And, of course with any Souls boss fight, just practice practice practice. Understanding the rhythm of attacks for both phases is the name of the game - because then you can just roll through and pick your opportunities for quick one-hits of damage. In my opinion this fight is about attrition - your "big moments" of damage will come with opportunities for visceral attacks. Otherwise, you really just need to take your time.
I would also offer the advice of "don't get greedy" but honestly even just trying for ONE more hit in either phase of this boss usually leads to instant death, so I feel like that piece of advice is generally just implied.
So that's my take! I hope this helps.
You can do this!!
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