Whew! Gael arrives to remind us that the most overpowered thing in a FromSoftware game is old-man strength. I just beat pops solo at SL 106 on my second-playthrough (I ignored the DLCs on the first). He was the only real wall I faced. Nameless King didn't give me as much trouble, and Midir was kind of relaxing for a boss fight. Here's a few things I noticed when fighting Gael with a Lorian's Greatsword on a str/int/fth spellsword build. 1) He's relentless and punishes estus drinking like no one else. The only time I felt 100 percent safe to heal was the beginning of his 2nd phase, and when he's charging up for the "dark" explosion. I simply couldn't tell you where else was safe. I was either lucky or I wasn't. 2) His poise breaks on every third hit from the UGS. If you're cognizant, you can easily get away with a strong attack on your third. But be careful about using charged up strong attacks elsewhere. 3) Follow up attacks are risky at best, self-destructive at worst. Like I said, he's relentless. Stick to one hit at a time if using a slower weapon, thought I've seen a certain "Best Friend" successfully spam him with the Ringed Knight UGS. 4) If you're having trouble fighting him, especially with a strength build, ask yourself if it's because you're having trouble managing stamina. Actually, I'd grinded up Endurance three points to a base of 33 for this fight. Ring of Favor+3 and Prisoner's Ring helped out a lot on top of that. 5) Snap Freeze activates very fast for a few hundred points. It is very safe to cast it in the beginning of the second phrase, but I'm fairly certain that my Lorian Greatsword's fire attribute resets it, so I couldn't take advantage of the defense debuff. Go figure. I didn't really have ideal options for weapons, since I only had access to Fire (which resets frost) and Dark damage (which Gael's resistant to). But I can vouch for the effectiveness of the frostspell if you're using a non-fire weapon. 6) As you've seen from the wiki, he's weak to Toxic. I ignored this for most of my attempts, but then happily did it at the end of my run, as Gael drove me to insanity. As with estus drinking, it's safe to do it in the beginning of the second phase, or when he's charging for the "dark" attack. It works well, but he often doesn't stand long enough for it to proc. Personally, I had to cast twice. Casting while he's actively aggressive is dangerous without acceptable casting speed. In other words, without enough Dex, or the Sage Ring, you shouldn't go out of your way to do this. Often times, it's actually safer just to fight him melee. 7) Always, always, always run away from where his dark "bulbs" hit the ground. That's where lightning strikes. Run away. There's no benefit for you to fight him there. He can get hurt too, but I've only see this hurt him for 2 damage.