How to prepare for Manus, Father of the Abyss
This is it, the last boss of the Dark Souls DLC and likely one of the last ones you will face in the game. Manus is an incredibly unforgiving Boss Fight, with an utterly huge amount of health. It goes without saying- have your weapon of choice fully upgraded before heading into this fight.
This boss hits hard, and doesn't let up, so let's take the same strategies that we learned at Artorias and use them here, too. Ensure you have a lot of stamina. But we're going to take a different approach with the armour. Ensure you have a high poise and stability shield, as this will eat a lot of the physical damage for you whilst you defend.
If you're looking for more help, our Dark Souls walkthrough and guide can help with all other areas of the game, including the dreadedTaurus Demon, Capra Demon, Ornstein and Smough bosses. Meanwhile, we have explainers on how to access DLC Artorias of the Abyss, the best gift and best class in Dark Souls, Dark Souls' best weapons, Dark Souls Covenants, Dark Souls Estus Flasks locations, Dark Souls Titanite Slab locations and NPC quests including Lautrec of Carim.
Manus, Father of the Abyss boss strategy
The first and most deadly attack we are going to talk about is the six hit combo. This can be partially blocked, with the last hit being the easiest of them all- but it is dependant on the stability of your shield. We recommend a Greatshield for this particular fight. Try to strafe as he combos, being careful not to get caught in it. Then, you will want to block. He also has a three hit combo that you should also be able to strafe away from and counter.
The next attacks are with his hand, he has a few here that sweeps the arena in an arc, just roll away to dodge it, the next is a slam, which you can dodge simply by rolling off to the side. The next attack is the jumping slam, which will knock you back. If you are struggling to find a heal here, ensure you have some Divine Blessings or Humanity stocked so you can heal more than a simple Estus Flask.
From here, you'll want to try to counterattack by sticking to his backside, where you will be able to avoid the vast majority of his attacks. After you knock down its health, it will start doing it's Black Magic attacks, which can be incredibly deadly. You will not be able to roll through any of them, and instead be at the mercy of your spacing, to try and get away from them.
You can get a Silver Pendant in the Township in the winding building, at a dead end that has a message saying 'Let There be Light', use Cast Light to unlock an invisible wall that allows you to block Black MAgic attacks, it can handily deflect these attacks and save your skin in one of the hardest fights in the game.
There is also a great cheesing strategy, where if you look down a ledge in the Chasm of the Abyss, you will be able to see Manus' Red Eyes glow. From here, you will be able to use ranged attacks using a bow to take it out without even passing through the Fog Gate. It's not the true way to fight it, but in Dark Souls, any strategy is a viable one.
Be sure to keep an eye on your stamina, and if you need it, grab the Stamina Restorative from Marvellous Chester in order to keep it up, this will help a ton, and paired with the Pendant, you will be able to take Manus down in no time. Good luck!