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Dark Souls - Ornstein and Smough boss strategy

How to beat one of the toughest boss fights in Dark Souls - Ornstein and Smough.

Ornstein and Smough is the boss you'll encounter after beating exploring Anor Londo in Dark Souls.

If you're looking for more help, our Dark Souls walkthrough and guide can help with all other areas of the game, including the dreaded Taurus Demon, Capra Demon, Ornstein and Smough bosses.

Ornstein and Smough

Ornstein and Smough is one of the toughest boss fights in the entire game. Before doing anything else, ensure that your weapons, armour and any curative items are all equipped and upgraded. We had our Melee Weapons upgraded to +10 here, anything less and it will be much more challenging. Before you even set foot through the fog gate, here are some basic tips.

Do not lock on to either Ornstein or Smough, be sure to know the general placement of each of these two for the duration of the fight in order to block their attacks. You can kill them one at a time, which we recommend doing- Then the boss fight enters a second phase - a powered up version of the last remaining boss. For this guide, we're going to recommend that you kill Ornstein first.

So, dealing with Ornstein is a bit of a pain, he has a few rushdown attacks that will definitely catch you off guard more than a few times. The first of which is a charging stab which locks onto your location, in addition to another Lunge which is a shorter range version of this.

He also can cast lightning bolts at you which home in on your location. He is all about catching you off-guard, which is why we're going to want to kill him first.

Smough is a lot slower than Ornstein, He has a charge attack which can rush you down, but you can dodge backwards and out of the way of this. In addition to this, he has a hammer combo which he will use when you are up close, in addition to a vertical attack which this is often followed up by. These are much easier to telegraph than any of his other attacks.

If you can, you should be able to find a Summon Sign for Solaire of Astora in the hallway outside the boss arena, he will help to draw the aggro away from you and will target Ornstein in the first half of the fight. Having something else to draw aggro is invaluable in this fight, so be sure to use him well.

Smough is very easy in his second phase fight - he will regenerate to full health, but his slow, telegraphed moves are much easier to dodge than anything else. Be sure to make a good use of the pillars for occasional respite during this fight, as you will almost definitely need time to heal. If you run out of healing items, make sure you have humanity or a Divine Blessing equipped for a full heal.

When looking to retreat to a pillar, be sure to stay as far away from the two bosses as much as you can, or else you may find the fight a lot tougher or having your heals interrupted. If you have any enchantments, such as the Great Magic Weapon spell that we got earlier, this will be incredibly useful for getting some additional damage on top of your weapon.

The same also goes for when dealing with Smough- who is weak to Lightning, when you are targeting him, Gold Pine Resin is incredibly effective and will work really well to get chunks of his health down very quickly.

If you're looking for more help, our Dark Souls walkthrough and guide can help with all other areas of the game, including the dreaded Taurus 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.

This is an extremely challenging boss, and we do not recommend you going solo through it. Just remember to keep your eyes on Ornstein and kill him as quickly as possible, then enchant your weapons to lightning once he is down to deal with the slow and lumbering mega-Smough once he's defeated.

Again, this is one of the toughest fights in all of Dark Souls, and there is no shame in Summoning to get help. If you can get player characters summoned in, then even better, as Solaire will likely die during this fight.

Follow these tips and you should be able to defeat them both, and get a nice reward for it, too. Once done, go up the lift and light the bonfire and head into the next room for a pretty nice reward - where you will now be able to warp between Bonfires.

From here, you have to collect take down four bosses in a series of new areas. They are located at:


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