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Dark Souls PC – Beat Manus without the Silver Pendant

September 27, 2012

Manus, Father of the Abyss, is the most challenging boss fight of the new content and on par with the end boss fight.  From Software have given us 2 items to help us with Manus.  The first is the silver pendant, the second is the ability to summon baby Sif.

The Silver Pendant surrounds you with an impenetrable magical aura protecting you from Manus’s black magic attacks.  It must be added to your items slot and you activate it like an Estus flask.  Sif, provides a bit of a diversion and welcomed camaraderie during the fight.  Manus will still focus most of his attacks on you, but Sif does help and may create an opportune healing window. 

But… who needs the help!  In this video, I show you how to defeat Manus without the silver pendant and no summons.

I used the Great Scythe plus Power Within to beat up this bully.  The key to the fight is high stamina and the ability to recognize his 3 different magic attacks.  When he points up his catalyst, expect a rain of black magic and roll or walk back with your shield raised.  When he pushes his catalyst on the ground, a round wave of black magic will surround you and collapse on you.  Break lock, turn around and hold up your shield to survive (you can also roll very close to him to avoid being hit).  His final magic straight-on burst is very quick but can be dodged with a sideways roll. I find it easier to block or evade his magic attacks, as opposed to using the silver pendant.  

Most of his physical attacks can be dodged or blocked.  But be very wary of his 6-hit grab combo.  When he roars, immediately roll back several times to avoid this multi-hit “ground-and-pound”.

If you are having problems with Manus, bump up your vitality and endurance and use a shield with high magic defense.  I like the Crest Shield but you can also use the Eagle Shield, Grass Crest shield or even Dark Hand.  Also use a strong weapon with good reach.  He gives you plenty of time to heal so bring in lots of Estus flasks and heal frequently.

Like other DLC bosses, Manus is powerfully aggressive and may 1-hit you if your defense or vitality are low.  The premium is on dodging and taking 1 or 2 shots at him with your strongest weapon.  Strength builds can use an uber sword without PW.  But intelligence builds should use PW, Crystal Magic Weapon and the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring.  Dexterity builds can use the Great Scythe, or Lucerne plus the Leo Ring.  Higher level builds with high vitality, endurance and defense can outlast Manus by tanking and chucking Estus Flasks, with the occasional poke to score damage.

Let me know if anyone has tried a Faith build with Great Magic Barrier equipped.  That might be my next build.

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21 Comments
  1. Domino permalink

    Thanks for your strategy!! I’m impressed that you knew what you did. For me, I don’t know how I was able to beat the bosses in Artorias DLC, it was all a blur. Was it just me or were they so hard compared to the original content bosses?

    I think I spammed the R1 button and sort of dodged (though I often dodged INTO their attacks) and blocked, but blocking was not too effective, as it drained all my stamina even with Green Blossom. I definitely had to use power within, the lightning gargoyle halberd +5 was too slow for them but I somehow managed, Havel’s ring, RoFaP, black iron FULL set +5, Balder Shield +13 (or was it 14), SL120 character, and even THEN, it took me multiple times to beat them.

    I was thinking of going on NG+ since the original content was not so bad, but after barely beating the DLC on NG with a maxed out character and equipment, I’m not so sure with this particular character…

    I do want to go through NG+ as it would be a joy not having to find all the necessary equipment, and just focus on the fun of fighting the bosses (Quelaag is my fave, she’s SO fun to kill). I was wondering if you would recommend any changes that I should make for an NG character that can be competent in NG+? Maybe focusing on a strength based character rather than VIT/END?

    Since they nerfed my beloved Eagle Shield to 95 physical with its amazing stability, I was thinking a strength character may be more viable since I can create the shield of Artorias with 100 physical and the best stability in the game, and use pyromancy upgraded flame +5 for great combustion/combustion for the faster enemies? But then I won’t have enough points for Vit and End and I keep getting hit (more of a block hit then attack player, as I don’t have the reflexes for dodging). I mean, I need the 40 endurance and 50 vitality (though I had 70 for the above character), so don’t know if strength would take too much soul farming.

    Now thinking about the above more thoroughly, maybe I just don’t have the skill for NG+, sigh…

    Very much appreciate any advice, since you’re awesome and an obvious expert at this game.

    • This is an excellent question! For NG+ you either have to combine high strength with high vitality, or high dexterity with high faith/intelligence. The reason I say this is because high strength allows for high damage output with heavy weapons but you will likely have standard movement and you will have to tank, so you need high vitality as well. Builds with maxed out halberds and 40+ dex can do massive amounts of damage and still remain light on their feet. To increase the damage output, you can add INT/FAI and rock crystal magic weapon (CMW) or lightning blade. My new personal favorite build for NG+ is dex-based plus high endurance, a +15 Great Scythe and CMW. In NG+, I start adding points to both vitality and INT (until I can use Logan’s catalyst). You just need 2 attunement slots. I use Havel’s in combination with the Leo Ring, the Dark Wood Grain Ring or the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring (LDR). Power Within is a back-up as needed for some boss fights but in NG+ you need some vitality + the LDR.
      Check out my channel for a current playthrough of the DLC. The build I am making can be taken into NG+ and I am going to explain the strategies for how to beat the new bosses.

      • Domino permalink

        Thanks so very much for your advice. I like your idea of high strength and high vitality build, since I can’t dodge very well, if I get hit, I better have very high vitality, to say the least. Did you find the strength weapons too slow? I felt that the gargoyle’s halberd was not as fast as I would’ve liked in the DLC content (Artorias was way too fast) and for Allant. I wonder if I will struggle with strength weapons if they’re even slower than gargoyle’s.

        However, your dex based plus high endurance using CMW with a +15 seems much more powerful for NG+. Personally, I think any decent build is good enough to beat NG, but it seems NG+ is much more challenging to consider.

        I’ll try your fave build with NG and see how far I get with NG+. I will definitely check out your videos!

      • Good comment! I was just thinking about my favorite build versus optimized builds for PVP and NG+. If you are not good at evading, I recommend either a tank build (super high VIT, END and a very stable shield), or the Dark Wood Grain Ring which makes evading much easier. For NG, you don’t need CMW or Sunlight Blade but it does help for NG+. The way I think about NG+ is like this: In NG+, you want to have a way to do more damage so you can use CMW or SB, or, a heavy weapon that is not enchantable plus Power Within. I don’t think heavy enchantable weapons make sense because you have to increase 3 stats to use them (strength, endurance and either intelligence or faith). If you use the Great Scythe, you can take your build to 32 INT or 30 FAI to have good damage output. If you use the Black Knight Halberd or the Black Knight Great Axe, you bump up STR and END and forget about spells or miracles. One build I am dying to make is with the Obsidian Sword. It turns out that at 20 STR and 16 DEX, this is the most powerful weapon in the game! You can do 480 damage and it is still enchantable. That means you can have a level 49 build (VIT 20, END 20, INT 25) or level 56 build (INT 32) and cast CMW on the Obsidian sword and deal a total of 732 (Oolacile Catalyst) or 835 (Tin Crystallization Catalist) damage. Add a few points to ATT and you have a nightmarish PVP build, with Pursuers. The Obsidian Sword is decent at guard breaks too. The starter weapon would be a Bastard Sword (same move set as the OS).

      • The Gargoyle’s Halberd is an excellent weapon for NG+ because its got reach and does very high damage and works well with STR and DEX builds. Lucerne is also great because it can be boosted by the Leo Ring. But nothing beats the Great Scythe in my book, as long as you like DEX builds.

  2. Domino permalink

    After a very long hiatus from DS and video games in general, I am back on NG and am now playing a dex build, instead of my usual vit build. I appreciate your advice very much as I would like to be able to beat NG+.

    I’m going to take your advice and use the Great Scythe (get it to +15) with power within for NG. I’m aiming for vit/end at 40/40, dex at 40, and strength at 16 to wield Gargoyle’s Halberd as back-up. Unlike you, I do need a LOT of vitality even for NG, LOL.

    For NG+, I will build up on INT to 32 so I can use TCC and CMW.

    I think with your great advice, I can beat NG+ since I love the boss battles. I wished DS has a feature where after you beat the game, you can keep fighting the bosses like in the Ocarina of time.

    How is the Obsidian Sword compared to your fave weapons?

    • If you can, mix in some INT for your NG+ build. I have 2 playthroughs on my youtube channel. One with a DEX + INT + Great Scythe build, and one with a pure INT build (which I am calling “easy mode”). The pure INT build destroys the game even in NG++++++. That is the best way to go if you are struggling in NG+. But it is more rewarding to melee your way past harder iterations of the game. I am also going to post my new top 10 weapons list shortly. Check it out to see where the OGS lands.

      • Domino permalink

        Oh, I didn’t see your reply and added another comment below regarding my progress! You are totally awesome and the best, as I completed all trophies with your DEX/INT Great Scythe build suggestion (But failed miserably against Artorias on NG+ although he was not that bad on NG).

        Does the pure INT build work against Knight Artorias on NG+ and beyond? I couldn’t beat him in NG+ so skipped the DLC for my second playthrough after defeating Sanctuary Guardian. I would think you’d need tons of attunement slots. Also, what spells are the best? I had to use all 2 copies of my great combustion (fully ascended pyromancy flame) with Solaire to defeat Gwyn in NG+ and I only had 4 attunement slots!

        Can’t wait for your new top 10 weapons, and I’m VERY curious to see where the Obsidian lands. I was not able to cut off Kalameet’s tail, so I hope it’s not at top of the list, LOL!

      • Congrats on platinuming the game, that is indeed an achievement! Please follow my Dark Souls Easy Mode walkthrough on youtube where I use an INT build. It is by far the easiest and fastest way to beat the game and advance as far into NG+X as you want. What is great about the build is that it is also awsome for PVP even for those that are not expert dodgers and parriers. I was able to quickly make a level 250+ character. I am now into NG+5 and will progress to NG+7. Artorias is indeed tough. For melee, the Dark Wood Grain Ring, fast roll and a super high stability shield really help. With my INT build, the fights usually last less than 30 sec and I am far enough that I only have to block 1 or 2 of his attacks. My advanced INT build has 4 copies of Dark Bead, 3 copies of Pursuers and Manus’ Catalyst. At 70 INT, the spells do a ridiculous amount of damage. Also, on my channel I have a tutorial for cutting off Kalameet’s tail while solo. You definetely want to try to get the Obs GS. The easiest way to get it is to go online and summon 2 other people. One of you will cut off the tail fairly quickly into the fight, and as the host, you will get it.

  3. Domino permalink

    Forgot to mention. I LOVE your suicythe video on how to get the Great Scythe at the very beginning of the game!

  4. Ben permalink

    I’m using maxed out great demon axe with good strength and high vitality. Also maxed out giants shield, this guys tough! but noticed the best opportunity to hit him is after you’re near him and he does a ground slam, block it and he takes a second or two to recover, hit him then. Also after his crazy combo, he roars, can hit then.

    But thanks! didn’t know about the surround attack. Me and two other people all got one hit with his surrounding attack, his life bar was practically empty, so sucked!

  5. Domino permalink

    Thanks so much techphantomreviewer! You and epicnamebro are the best!!! I took your advice. Had a 40 Strength/42 End/40 Dex/38 Int using Great Scythe +15, CMW with Tin Crystallization Catalyst, Power Within, and platinumed the game! I was SHOCKED! I beat Ornstein and Smough on my own on NG++ without Solaire which they were easy with him on NG and NG+ so I decided to challenge myself on NG++.

    The only issue is that I had to stop the DLC at NG+ as I couldn’t beat Knight Artorias. I just don’t have those reflexes to dodge. This was a bummer as I would’ve liked to have additional copies of dark magic.

    Although the character I had was not optimal since my goal was to get all achievements (so I pumped a lot of stats into Faith to 25 to join SunBro Covenant for the Prayer of the Maiden trophy), I will most likely start a new character and really practice the timing and dodging of Knight Artorias in NG to prepare for NG+. I tanked him which worked in NG, but doesn’t quite work for a dex build in NG+.

    Thanks to all of your wonderful advice, I have really improved my playstyle with Dark Souls and got all the trophies!

  6. Domino permalink

    I started to watch your INT easy mode and was impressed! Wow, taking on Mildred and Quelaag before reaching the Burg!!?! I got stressed as your VIT and END was so low (for me, I always need at 40/40), but realized why since your dodging, parrying and backstabbing is a wonder to behold! I finished watching you breeze through new londo ruins and looking forward to your 4 Kings and King Artorias fight! Can’t believe your fight only lasts 30 secs with him on NG+5 with your INT build!!!!

    Now that I platinumed I can enjoy Dark Souls without worrying about getting the Channeler’s trident, LOL, and all the miracles, etc that I don’t need. Getting the trophies actually felt more of a chore when I could have used the time to explore more and practice honing my very poor dodging skills, so I’m going to enjoy a new walkthrough with a pure INT, though I must admit I need to pump up VIT/END as per usual.

    How many attunement slots did you end up needing to beat NG+X?

    will watch all your easy videos, very entertaining and great commentary!

    • 5 attunement slots is the minimum I would recommend but the more the better. On the easy mode videos, I am purposefully not dodging or parrying much at all so that new players can follow along with a similar character. Every NG+ playthrough takes about 3-4 hours after the first playthrough. Good luck!

      • Domino permalink

        Thank you! Since my last reply, with a new character, I have followed your advice to the max.

        VIT 60, END 40, Dex 45 (max casting speed and Great Scythe), INT 50, and 8 attunement slots,working on getting to 10 so I won’t be afraid of running out of spells with TCC. i’m on NG+3 right now, and it’s thrilling b/c your advice totally works!!!! I use the Great Scythe+15 to clear out path to the bosses (except I use almost all sorcery for Duke’s Archives), and then pure sorcery (except for Great Combustion on Lord Gwyn as that works really well on him) on the bosses. Interestingly, 4 Kings is one of the easiest since I use power within, Crystal Homing Soulmass and Dark Bead!!!! I end up fighting only 2 to 3 kings as a result!

        High vitality is great since I can use power within without being afraid of the health drain. PW, crown of dusk and bellowing dragoncrest ring is a power to behold!

        I admit, I use the cheap bow trick to kill Manus, and only fought him legit on NG.

        I’ll let you know when I get to NG+7!!

  7. Domino permalink

    Forgot to add, did it take long to get up to SL250? I found I had to do grinding even on NG+ and NG++ to get up to SL150!

  8. Domino permalink

    Your easy mode videos were spot on! I finished NG+7 based on all of your advice! I was rather paranoid and kept increasing my vitality since I’m not the best gamer, so my end stats were VIT97, ATT50, END44, STR16, DEX45, INT 50, FAI baseline, RES accidentally increased at 13 (otherwise would’ve been baseline).

    With INT build, it was VERY easy to grind chamber of princess to get to SL240 as you mentioned.

    If I continue on NG+8 and beyond, I’ll probably max out VIT, and then work on STR to see if manus catalyst is even more effective than TCC with dark magic.

    I hope you do an easy mode walk through for Dark Souls 2, look forward to it!

    • Congrats on beating the game!!!!! If you want to max out your build, you need to go to PVP as opposed to trying to grind out NG+8 and beyond. At SL 240 everyone has 50 INT so the playing field is leveled. Even if you are not good at melee, you will win many PVP fights just by using Dark Bead and Pursuers. I think you are going to really enjoy my easy-mode PVP video. I was able to get over 5 million souls over 2-3 days. I got 1 million souls and then I used those to level up VIT and END and then I did PVP again until I had 5 million more souls. PVP with the easy-mode build is a blast and the fights are fast and furious. It is mostly a question of matchups. Some are good and some are very tough. Yes, I will do a ton of content on DS II. I can’t wait for next year’s release!

      • Domino permalink

        Is your pvp video up yet? I’ll check your youtube channel! I’m too afraid to do pvp since I really can’t compete with the teenage boys with better than cat-like reflexes, LOL!

        At SL240 I can definitely beat NG+8 and up easily (since I already beat NG+7), and there really is no need for me to level up so the enjoyment is that I don’t care about losing souls and just having fun with the boss battles. I just found the DS bosses the most fun ones to defeat!

      • My PVP video is up. With a 50 INT build and SL 90 or so I was able to get 6 million souls over a couple of days. The INT build is perfect for learning how to PVP so I highly encourage you to try it. I have also done a lot of PVP with an SL 200 INT build as well. Maybe we can hook up online and we can do some PVP or coop so you get the hang of it. I will need to get my character to about SL 230 first.

  9. Domino permalink

    But at the same time, I do want to experiment with the manus catalyst and getting my strength up, so I’ll definitely see if I can be competent enough in pvp, though I have my doubts!

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