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FextraBot

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Fire attacks/firebombs do a lot more damage and makes them flinch in transformed form. They'll rage and attack right after flinching though.
Make sure you let them transform and kill them in this form at least once, they will always drop an Ember and titanite Shard
Fire will allow a few hits then back off light em up again.
I thought these things would end up being important given their prominence at the start of the game, but apart from two that emerge from dead dragons in Lothric castle they just sort of disappear.
Lore wise they only appear in Lothric so it would make sense that in the game they would only be in lothric. Plus, who wans more of these?
Just go somewhere where they dont get you and spam arrows in a artful appearence
Title says it all. They Flail around and take half of your health with every hit.
Why would they put one in the beginning area? That's so mean to defensive/new players who prefer to be more passive/tanky then aggressive and up personal.
So, like every other enemy in the game?
Maybe it's a deliberate way to teach those players that being tanky and defensive isn't as effective as it used to be.
why the ***** would they allow a specific playstyle to never have problems. NOTHING is always viable. just *****ing learn where each tactic is effective or play a different *****ing game

lentinant

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They are counted as simple undead until transformed. This goes for souls and loot as well. You will get no loot, and close to none souls, if you will kill them in form of undead. And while in form of monster, they will drop ember and proper upgrade material after being killed for first time (and considerately more souls anytime).
Great Chaos Fire Orb is your friend. It does not have faith/intelligence requirements and will not scale with either.
Chaos Fire orb absolutely gets more powerful with higher int/faith.

VoxelAG

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Do these enemies drop different items in different forms? I never get anything (although I rarely encounter these guys) when I kill them pre-transformation, but I normally get shards and embers after they transform.
I can confirm, they only drop the shards if you kill them AFTER transformation (and possibly only once), because the shard comes from the black creature, not the hollow host.
In HWoL, I killed the one on the tower to the right of the starting bonfire before it transformed when I first went through there, and got no drops. Went back again, let it transform, and got the drops.
Correct. I believe that they drop an ember the first time you kill them, but only then, thus trying to farm embers from them wont work. If my memory does not fail me, I recall one of them dropping an undead bone shard even. It's the one you encounter after the first bonfire in High Wall of Lothric, if you continue to run past the dogs and up to the one of the towers. Correct me if I'm wrong.
You sir...are very wrong. You don't get your first undead bone shard until Undead Settlement.