A tip for newbies struggling with this fight. Use the pontiffs left eye ring (boss transpossed ring from vordt). This is really the only fight where that ring shines and if you do you will not need to heal using your estus one time! There is a glitch or feature of that ring that heals for more than just 30 HP if you hit multiple enemies with the final hit for the heal proc. It will completely fill your HP. Just attack as many of them at a time as you can (try for 3 minimum). My favorite weapon for this fight is the crow talons because you just aim for the largest clump of enemies you see and use the weapon art. Instant full heal. Back away and repeat. All except the fat deacons have no poise and you can spam longsword or any weapon with a horizontal arc. As long as you can hit 3 enemies at a time minimum it should be easy.