Comments posted to our Dark Souls 2 Wiki
By Anonymous
Just kill him from third try
With both summon help on NG

In general summons are bad idea, but if you pure caster with hundred of dark orbs, all you need is just time to cast all of it in his face
Although, both summons died, when he was on 5% hp
By Anonymous
Great boss but he suffers from the same problem that most DS2 bosses are cursed with: he's way too bloody easy to circle strafe.
By ConcernedCitizen
It all comes down to just memorizing his moves and knowing the timing/direction of your rolls based on the attack he's using. Keep an eye on stamina. Sometimes it's better to just let an opening pass so that you can get some stamina back. Don't be afraid to only hit him once when you get the opportunity. This fight is long, so you might as well take your time and conserve estus by playing defensively.

If you fought Knight Artorias in Dark Souls 1, this fight is kind of similar in a lot of ways. He's easier than Artorias, but just like that fight, you must simply die over and over to learn his pattern and eventually prevail.

Since you're going to die repeatedly as you learn how to fight him, you should probably put the Binding Ring on so that you can keep practicing without having to waste a bunch of effigies. Like the article says, summoning is bad here. They just make him stronger and they die really fast.

Fire and Dark resist are a plus, but ideally you will want to avoid taking hits in phase 2 because he punishes healing much more harshly. A safe time to heal is right after Dark Flame Blade and Dark Flame Orbs. Any other time is iffy at best. You might think you can heal in the pause after he misses his melee combo, but he has a backswing ability that he'll use to punish your heal and make it really difficult for you to recover.

Lastly, I found that if you roll through Dark Flame Blade, you can get several solid hits on him and he'll immediately jump away instead of counter attacking. It's probably the only time where aggression is actually safer.

Good luck.
By Anonymous
profound still stops him from using his buff on his sword
By Anonymous
I was fighting him in my first playthrough of the game in a long time, got frustrated, took off all my gear except my sword Greatsword, and proceeded to defeat him in the nude
By Anonymous
Ok, so I know this isn't something to be proud of, but I was having trouble with this guy for the longest time. I eventually gave up and decided that I was going to just do something stupid and see if it works. I equipped robes and the dragonrider bow with some stamina regen gear. I danced around him and just shot dark arrows the whole time, beating him after my second attempt at it. Turns out the best way to beat a master swordsman is to be out of range of his sword.
By Anonymous
That's the opposite of stupid, as you well observed yourself within your last sentence. You adapted to the situation and made use of the most efficient tools / strategy to beat the opponent!

I just beat him in a similar way for the first time and found it to be very satisfying. I was running a mage build, crystallized my blue flame (1H magic sword) to spank him into phase 2 and then dark orbed him one spell at a time, with my fastest staff, while permanently keeping my distance. At first it felt nearly impossible to survive phase 2 as a mage and I kept summoning NPCS to be able to keep my distance, but it's actually fairly easy to keep your distance to him, once you got the hang of his moves. Also the fight is actually a lot less chaotic without the NPCs, aside from the greatly increased boss defenses by summoning phantoms. I found the NPCs to be valuable for nearly every fight with my build, but here indeed they rather made the fight even harder. In fact, I actually beat the boss eventually, when I had decided to do just a solo try for the sake of saving effigies and training the boss moves some more, before I'll try it again with phantoms.
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