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Dark Souls Washing Pole – Ornstein and Smough Boss Fight

Here is the video of the boss fight but this time we take out Ornstein first.

In a previous post I claimed that this boss fight is easier if you take out Smough first.  I feel like clarifying since this video is much longer and I heal much more.  After trying both methods, my final thoughts are that the developer did an excellent job of balancing the fight regardless of which boss you take out first.  You are in for a challenging and rewarding fight no matter who dies first.

Giant Smough is easier than giant Ornstein, He lacks the speed and ranged attacks of giant Ornstein.  However, the beginning of the fight is quite more difficult.  Human sized Ornstein is very fast and difficult to damage.  Your best bet is to try to separate Ornstein from Smough and then concentrate your attacks on him.

Enjoy the video and hope to hear your thoughts on the Smough versus Ornstein-first discussion.

Dark Souls Washing Pole – Smough and Ornstein Boss Fight

Here is the video for the boss fight (taking out Smough first). The inset PIP video shows how to obtain Power Within.
Strategy for Washing Pole
This is the toughest but most rewarding and fun fight in the game. It is also the reason the washing pole is my favorite weapon. We can abuse the extended range of the washing pole to be extremely aggressive. We can roll into the boss attacks and immediately do a counter, and we are almost guaranteed a hit. In addition, the quickness of the washing pole can help us take one shot and then roll back to a safe distance.
I recommend the following as general tactics for all builds during this fight. Make sure you can move quickly by equipping the Dark Wood Grain Ring or keeping equipment load to 25%. Circle back and use the entire play area. Try to keep both bosses in your sight. Do not let one of them flank you or gain your back. Use the pillars to shield you for attacks or to position for healing. But remember that some attacks will pass through the pillars. Finally, make sure you can switch lock-on from one to the other quickly.
You need to concentrate all your attacks on one enemy. That is because after one has fallen, the other will absorb his comrade’s life force and turn into a giant version of himself with upgraded attacks, range and speed.
To complement my aggressive playstyle, I am going to cast Power Within to buff my damage by 40%. This pyromancy will deplete your life. Make sure you have high vitality and an unascended base level pyro flame.
If you stay close to Ornstein, his swings attacks can be evaded by rolling into them with the proper timing. He will do a jumping AOE attack that gives off lightning when he lands. It is very powerful and covers a large circular area. Quickly roll back twice to evade it and follow up from his side with a running two-handed attack.
You will be hit plenty of times, especially at the beginning of the fight when both bosses are on screen. Bring plenty of Estus flasks, or equip extra humanity.
Other strategies
Ranged attacks are difficult with both enemies on screen. Magic builds can use Homing Souls Mass. Be wary of any ranged attacks with a long cast time at the beginning of the fight. Cast these spells after you have defeated the first boss.
It is generally easier to take out Ornstein first. He is faster than Smough and you will have a better chance to fight him one-on-one, as he separates from Smough trying to chase you down. When in human size, Orsntein’s attacks can be blocked and he can even be stunned with heavy weapons or strong attacks.
The giant version of Ornstein is more difficult than Smough. Giant Ornstein has very fast attacks that cover a huge amount of ground. He also has ranged lightning attacks, one with a bit of tracking.
You can summon Solaire (his sign is on the stairs close to the Black Knight archer) or a white phantom if you want to even the odds. This is a good way to engage only one boss at a time.

Dark Souls Washing Pole – Iron Golem Boss Fight

Here is the video for the Iron Golem. The inset video show how to take out the Giant prior to the boss fight.
Strategy for Washing Pole
The range and strike zone of the washing pole are of great use versus this very slow but powerful boss. Prior to entering the fog door, go up the stairs and take out the Giant. Otherwise he will hurl boulders on one side of the boss fight area.
Do no lock on to the Iron Golem. If you do, you may not notice how close you are to the edges of the tower. Some areas are not walled and you could fall to your death.
The Iron Golem has a lot of health and strong armor. Attack his ankles while you avoid his pounding, grabbing attacks and axe swings. It is possible to roll in between his legs but if the timing is not right, he will grab you and do his best imitation of the Hulk. After you have done enough damage to his legs, he will be staggered. Press your attack and he will fall down and be completely vulnerable to attacks.
After being stunned, he may fall off the tower if he is close to the edge when knocked down (see how in the video).
Other strategies
He has a ranged attack from his axe that spreads out in front of him. He may use this attack while you are far away. However it is easy to dodge and because he is slow, you should have no problems locking on and launching magic, pyromancies or arrows. The length of the battle will depend on the strength of your ranged attacks.

Dark Souls Washing Pole – Ceaseless Discharge and Large Flame Ember

Here is the video for the Ceaseless Discharge boss fight and the path to the Large Flame Ember (starts at 1:10).

Strategy for Washing Pole

There is a scripted event in the game that allows you to kill Ceaseless Discharge without a weapon.  You must run to the altar and pick up the Gold-Hemmed Black Set, one of the best light armor sets in the game.  Ceaseless will agro and start chasing you.

If you can make it to the fog door and wait there before he chases you down, he will swing down and impale himself on some ruins (my interpretation of what happens).  He is then vulnerable and a few hits even with your bare fists will end the fight.

I always recommend that you immediately continue to the Large Flame Ember.  There is a bonfire on the way that can be used for upgrading.  Follow the path shown in the video.  Use rolls to evade the Minor Taurus Demons.  Vamos can upgrade +5 fire weapons to +10 with the Large Flame Ember.

Other strategies

After Ceaseless aggros and begins to chase you, take cover in the looped path.  Bait him into attacks.  His outstretched arm will be vulnerable for just a few moments.  Use a weapon with high physical damage, make sure your armor and shield are strong, and carry a lot of Estus flasks.  His arm pound has an AOE fire effect and will do a lot of damage even when shielded.  Be patient when you attack and do not try to engage him out on the open.  Ranged attacks with magic work well.

Dark Souls Washing Pole – Chaos Witch Quelaag

Here is the video for the Quelaag boss fight with a Washing Pole +10.

Strategy for Washing Pole

The range of the washing pole along with its strike area and quick-hitting ability are very useful during this fight.  Quelaag is a difficult boss because of the large variety of attack patterns.  She has ranged lava attacks, up-close Fury Sword attacks and area of effect (AOE) attacks.  All are very powerful and the surrounding lava limits your movements.  You must anticipate each type of attack by learning the related animation.  This will likely take a few tries.

Lava attacks can be dodged by moving to her right side.  She is vulnerable while spewing lava and you should be able to hit her 2 or 3 times.  However, make sure that you can roll out of the way at any time (don’t consume all of your stamina attacking her).

Her sword attacks can be dodged by rolling to your left but the timing is a bit tricky.  The finishing move is a powerful straight forward thrust that has much more reach than her swinging attacks.  If you can stay very close to her body on her right, even with her sword hand, she will miss you altogether.  You need nerves of steel to pull this off.  The safest evading tactic is to roll far back, wait until her 3-hit combo ends and then rush in for a direct attack on her head, followed by a roll to the side.

The AOE attacks include a fire stomp with her legs.  It is easy to avoid by backing up a bit.  The second AOE is her most dangerous move of all.  She will go limp, rear up slightly and then down releasing a very powerful fire blast.  The hit area is spherical and does massive damage.  You must roll back at least twice.  If you are out of stamina, try to hold up your shield and pray you can survive.  After the AOE’s, she is vulnerable to a running attack.

Other strategies

Ranged attackers must be careful of her lava attacks.  If you are far and trying to lock-on, she can jump and spew lava at the same time.  This move covers an insane amount of ground and can trap you in a lake of lava.  She is also extremely fast and can close in strike you while you are trying to target her, even from what feels like a safe distance away.

Finally, the lava she spews will restrict your movement.  It eventually disappears but you need to be aware of the lava puddles.  I recommend running to a lava free area periodically.

She has very high fire and magic damage.  If you plan on using magic attacks, get ready for a long and tough fight.  Physical damage is your best bet.

Dark Souls Washing Pole – Gaping Dragon

A video in my series showing you how to defeat every single boss in Dark Souls with a washing pole, my favorite weapon in the game.

Here is the video for the Gaping Dragon boss fight.  The PIP video inset shows how to locate and kill the Channeler in the balconies overlooking the boss fight area.

Strategy for the Washing Pole

Prior to the boss fight, eliminate the Channeler lying in wait in the balconies. Otherwise, He will pepper you with Soul Arrow during the boss fight.  The range of the washing pole will help you stay at a relatively safe distance from the Gaping Dragon.  The simplest and most effective strategy is to keep to the back of the boss.  Make sure you can move quickly by reducing your equipment load or wearing the Dark Wood Grain Ring.

Your first target is the tail.  The Gaping Dragon has a very long tail and will swipe it.  Chop it off to receive the Dragon King Greataxe.  This is a powerful but very heavy weapon with high strength requirement (50 STRE).

With the tail out of the way, you can concentrate on the dragon’s rump.  Watch the moving legs since they can damage you as he moves them about.  Periodically, he will fly up and in an attempt to face you.  He will follow up by rearing its head back and smash down with his tooth-filled maw.  The dragon may also charge forward.  He has a long recovery time after these moves and is vulnerable to attacks.  During his recovery, you can also heal, run to his back or even use repair powder on your weapon.  Katana’s are vulnerable to his acid spew attack which can damage armor as well.

Other strategies

Bring an upgraded weapon to chop his tail off.  Then, switch to ranged attacks but make sure you position yourself to his back.  Magic or pyromancies will keep you at a safe distance away from his legs and make this an easy fight.

Dark Souls Washing Pole – Capra Demon Boss Fight

Here is the video for the Capra Demon boss fight.

Strategy for Washing Pole

The Capra Demon is guarded by 2 undead attack dogs.  You need to take care of them first.  Otherwise they will nip at your heels, or worse, they could make locking onto the Capra Demon problematic.  Make sure you have a weapon that will one-hit-kill them.  You will have plenty of practice since the path to the fog door is defended by both dogs and assassins.

The Capra Demon has very strong and rangy attacks.  His weapon is quite heavy and he likes to two-hand it for normal and strong attacks.  His tw0handed attacks will break your guard and do heavy damage.  The washing pole can be used to strike at him in between his attacks.  Back up with your shield raised and keep your distance while waiting for an opening.  He is sensitive to fire.

Other strategies

The stairs can be used to gain some distance from the Capra Demon to either heal or to launch ranged attacks.  You might even be able to do a plunging attack to score extra damage.  Equip your most stable shield and strong armor.  Higher level characters with a lot of vitality can go toe -to-toe with him after casting Iron Flesh, but equipment is important in this fight.

Dark Souls Washing Pole – Pinwheel Boss Fight

Here is the video for the Pinwheel boss fight with a Fire Washing Pole +1.

Strategy for Washing Pole

This is one of the easiest boss fights in the game provided you have some decent magic defense (armor, shield or both).  The most difficult part of the fight is to actually get to the fog door.  Pinwheel is down in the Catacombs, defended by a slew of undead skeletons and necromancers.

I always try to take on Pinwheel after making a fire weapon.  You must run past the skeletons wheels, who can quickly overwhelm you with their spinning attacks, even with a high level character.

Pinhweel will make clones of himself.  The clones do not take damage, unlike the real Pinwheel.  He is the first one that spawns so keep your eye on him as he jumps and blinks about the level.  A washing pole’s impressive range will help quickly strike at the boss.  With a fire version, the fight should not take very long.

Pinwheel will drop one of 3 masks that can buff endurance (Father), vitality (Mother) or stamina regeneration (Child).  They are amongst the best drops in the game and quite useful for any build.  You will also be able to kindle fires to receive up to 20 Estus flasks after the boss fight.

Other strategies

Any strong weapon will make mincemeat out of Pinwheel.  His magic attacks are powerful but very slow.  You should not have any issues if you equip the Stone Set armor or the Crest shied.

Dark Souls Washing Pole – Bell Gargoyles

Here is the video of the boss fight with a Washing Pole +5.

Strategy for Washing Pole

This can be quite a punishing boss fight during your first few run throughs.  The key is to be well equipped.  Do not face the Bell Gargoyles without decent equipment.  Fire resistant gear will help, along with an upgraded weapon.  The Washing Pole +5 does a very respectable amount of damage for early game and it is perfect for this boss fight, especially if you can double-hand it when you actually attack.

If you chop the tail from the first gargoyle, you have a chance at a powerful early drop (cross your fingers for the Gargoyle Halberd).  Try to be as aggressive as possible with the first one, as a second one will spawn based on a pre-set time or event (enough damage on the first one).

The gargoyle halberd attacks can be dodged and immediately countered with the washing pole.  You will be doing much evading and countering so mind your stamina bar.  The fire breath attacks are telegraphed and easy to avoid.  But take too much time with the first one, and the second will make your life hell, literally.

Other strategies

Buff your weapon with fire or lightning for additional damage (they are especially sensitive to lightning).  Magicians need to have a good shield and evasive moves as the only chance to launch range attack is during their fire breath or while they fly.  Watch for their swinging tails when they are up on the air.  If they connect, you will be thrown into the air and stun locked for a bit.  Try to go through the fog door with as many Estus flasks as possible.

Dark Souls – Every Single Boss Fight With The Washing Pole (Videos Too!)

The Washing Pole is an Uchigatana on steroids or HGH.  It is much longer, heavier and requires high stats but it does the same amount of damage as an uchi.  Why would you want to use this weapon?  Because it combines the superior moveset of the uchi with the extended range and strike zone of a greatsword.  While it is much less powerful than the greatswords, the washing pole can be swung very quickly.  Score enough hits and you can unlock a bleed bonus.

We are going to face every single boss in Dark Souls, required and optional, with a fire or lightning washing pole.  Along the way, we will equip complimentary equipment such as the Grass Crest Shield, the Dark Wood Grain Ring and Havel’s Ring.   To make later boss fights more of a “risk-and-reward” gamble, we are going to buff the washing pole with Power Within, a long-acting and powerful sorcery that, alas also depletes our vitality while active.

Power Within is best used by agile Vitality builds with an unascended, base level Pyro Flame.  We’ll begin with the Pyromancer, and after meeting the stat requirements for the washing pole, we will concentrate on vitality and dexterity.

During our journey, we’ll discuss the merits of the washing pole and different boss strategies.  Enjoy and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts along the way.

Taurus Demon Boss Fight – Video

Strategy for Washing Pole

The range and quick-hitting ability of the washing pole are quite handy for the Taurus Demon.  This boss pauses after a failed attack leaving himself wide open for some quick hits.  Bait him to attack by closing in, walk or roll back as he swings and then counter.  If you are up close, you can safely roll into his side swings and then counter.  Make sure to take out the archers on the tower prior to starting the fight.

Other strategies

Do a plunging attack from the top of the tower to consume a large chunk of the boss life bar.  The Taurus Demon is very easy prey to ranged attacks.  Stand at a safe distance and lob firebombs, magic or pyromancies for a quick kill.