Dark Souls 2: How To Defeat The Pursuer

Quick Links

  • The Pursuer Overview
  • Quick Strategy
  • The Long Way
  • Key Tips

Dark Souls 2 is often considered the dark horse of FromSoftware’s iconic set of fantasy RPGs. Despite this, the game has a slew of fantastic bosses to test your mettle against, ones that will challenge both your skill and preparedness.

The Pursuer is an early game boss that eventually turns into a mob which stalks you through a number of the game’s areas. It can be extremely tough on your first go, but once you learn the not-so-secret trick to taking him out, it becomes much, much easier.

The Pursuer Overview

You can take on the Pursuer very early on in your Dark Souls 2 journey. However, this fight can be a roadblock for some, so make sure you have the basics of the game’s combat down before you attempt this. Key skills for this fight include parrying and utilising i-frames.

Interestingly, the Pursuer appears multiple times throughout Dark Souls 2, but only once as an actual boss. There is a tactic in this guide specific to his boss fight, but the other strategies will work across all locations.

To fight the Pursuer in its boss form, head to The Forest of Fallen Giants. At the end of the area, atop the tower, you will find him. To access this area you will need the Soldier Key, an item dropped by the Last Giant.

Ultimately, there are two strategies to this boss fight. There is the traditional way, learning its attacks, patience and counting. Or, with some quick thinking and careful timing, you knock him into next week with a conveniently placed ballista in the boss room.

The Pursuer Attacks

Attack Description Counter
Charge Attack The boss will charge at you from afar, swiping upwards with its greatsword. This one requires some practice. As soon as the animation starts, move to the right. The attack doesn't have much tracking, so moving right should help you.
Combo The Pursuer will swipe its sword horizontally twice, before spinning in a 360 motion. This one hits hard. Unfortunately, the only way to stop this is to learn its timing. The first couple of attacks can be blocked, but you need to roll the third.
Shield Bash The Pursuer quickly hits out with his massive shield. This can be blocked, but causes huge stamina drain. Instead, try to roll toward the attack, using i-frames.
Curse Thrust This is the killer. The Pursuer will begin to glow, before stabbing you and inflicting curse. This attack cannot be blocked, and has a rather suspect hitbox. Once again, learning the dodge timing is crucial here. The attack does not have great tracking, so a roll to either side or through it can work. Be careful though, the hitbox can stay after the animation is complete. You should avoid this attack at all costs.
Dark Magic Orbs The Pursuer will shoot dark magic orbs in your direction. Anywhere between three and five orbs will head in your direction. This attack is used after you have got the boss below 50% health. The moment it begins casting, run behind the boss.
Energy Slash The Pursuer will use its greatsword to send a wave of energy in your direction. Use i-frames in order to roll through this.

Quick Strategy

For this strategy, you will need a couple of things. Firstly, purchase some firebombs from a vendor in game, and secondly, learn to parry the Pursuer’s opening attack. It will always open with the same melee attack.

When you enter the boss room run directly left of the barrel you can see on the ground.

Now, wait till the Pursuer floats over to you, and parry him. This will freeze him in place for a couple of seconds.

Now, here is where the timing comes in. Run directly to the giant ballista you can see in front of you and pull the trigger.

This should deal around 990 damage, essentially leaving the boss with around 5% remaining health. Next, simply throw one of your firebombs directly at him, and it should kill the boss.

Sounds easy, right? This method does trivialize the boss, but it takes perfect timing and the ability to parry the Pursuer, so it will take a few tries.

The Long Way

The longer and perhaps more suited to hardcore Dark Souls fans way, essentially revolves around baiting out the Pursuers three-hit combo.

By keeping a small round of distance between you and the boss, it will continue to use its three-hit combo, leaving it open for damage at the end.

As explained in the attacks section, two of the hits in the combo can be dodged, while the final one cannot be. Importantly, with this strategy, it is crucial you avoid the curse attack, that is his most dangerous move.

Ultimately, this way will be an endurance battle, forcing you to learn each of his attacks in order to take him down.

Key Tips

  • Use the quick method, there is no shame!
  • Bring firebombs.
  • Learn to parry.
  • Do not get hit by the curse attack.
  • i-frames!

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