After traipsing around the High Wall of Lothric you are probably mentally fatigued, tense and ready to get out of the fortified vertical hell hole that is the first truly expansive area in Dark Souls 3.

Well, you will be happy to hear that a new location is on the horizon, but first comes the matter of Vordt of the Boreal Valley; the game's second, non-optional boss and the first seemingly impassable roadblock after the warm up that was the Iudex Gundyr fight.

Vordt is a feral beast, clad in gleaming chrome and with an irritating penchant for ice-based attacks that can freeze you on the spot. Having trouble toppling this metallic menace? Then read on malnourished 'Unkindled' one and let this foul scourge trouble you no longer...

Where to find Vordt of the Boreal Valley

The maze-like High Wall of Lothric is a small, but confusing place to navigate and without discovering a late shortcut you might find that getting stomped by Vordt sets you back much further than seems fair.

Vordt lies in wait at one end of a leafy courtyard found directly after you topple the disarmingly chubby Winged Knight, a.k.a. the fellow who likes to spin around like a deadly whirling dervish. As you exit the Winged Knight's veritable graveyard of corpses head right instead of entering the courtyard.

Up the stairs here is an archer and a few enemies that favour ambush tactics, but press on as just beyond lies a lift that ascends up to the High Wall of Lothric bonfire found at the very start of the area. Should you struggle with Vordt then this shortcut is the fastest route for further rounds of pain.

Within the verdant courtyard you can either head left towards Emma who will provide you with the Small Lothric Banner - a mandatory item used to open the path to the Undead Settlement - and after a second conversation offers up access to Dark Souls 3's first covenant, the Way of Blue.

Dark Souls 3 Way of Blue Covenant
Way of Blue members receive aid when invaded by other players. FromSoftware

At the opposite end of the courtyard lies Vordt, although be careful of the many knights in this area as while they are manageable alone, 'aggro'-ing several of them is a mistake you will sorely regret. Enter Vordt's lair and approach the rear door that appears to be blocked by withered tree roots to prompt a short cutscene that precedes the deadly tango.

Phase One

Vordt has a fairly minimal range of attacks, but unfortunately they all really hurt. Ranged players are in for a tough ride here, although as with many Souls bosses, Vordt is manageable once you become accustomed to his patterns of assault.

If you did stump for a ranged build, make sure you keep as much distance between your fragile limbs and the rampaging pig/knight as possible. Pick your moments with the fast-casting fire spells (Vordt is weak to fire) and be careful of his wild charges.

For melee players, although Vordt is a tad intimidating as he thrashes around and performs impressively nimble 180-degree spins, his mace swings and fist slams thankfully have heavily signposted (and relatively lengthy) wind-up animations.

The furious adversary also has an attack blind spot between his legs and will have a tough time damaging you if you manage to get behind him. Be brave and face Vordt head on and roll through his attacks, between his legs and then begin your own flurry of attacks. When he spins away and turns to face you again, repeat the process and run directly towards him before rolling again to avoid getting hit.

All of Vordt's strikes inflict the Frostbite status effect which gradually fill a gauge at the bottom of the screen. Maxing this bar will result in a significant amount of health loss and will affect your stamina regain while suffering the debuff. In short: try to not get hit. If you see the bar rising, back away until it diminishes.

Phase Two

At half health, Vordt will express his displeasure with an almighty roar, at which point his eyes will glow bright white. Use this moment to get in a charged attack/weapon art strike or even an Estus heal, whichever is easier (not both as I did in the above video, that was a bad move). Immediately after this Vordt will rapidly charge about three times. Be ready to get out of the way.

In this phase, Vordt has two new tricks. The first is an absolute pain, as the frostbite bar will now rise while you are within close proximity to the icy terror. The second is much easier to handle as he will now sometimes stop momentarily, draw in a loud deep breath and unleash a front-facing, 180-degree frost breath attack. If you are in a position to dodge it then this is an opportune moment to whittle his health down, otherwise retreat to a safe distance (quite far away) and heal.

Otherwise Vordt's attacks are similar to phase one, although they are slightly more reckless, difficult to predict and with added range. Melee players need to finish this phase fast, otherwise the growing frostbite effect will cripple your chances. Stick with rolling between Vordt's legs and between his attacks before aiming your own strikes at his vulnerable ankles.

Ranged players on the other hand should continue to plug away with quick cast spells, saving the stronger attacks for when Vordt finally stops hopping around to fire out a wave of frost.

When the silvery brute finally kicks the bucket you will receive the Soul of Boreal Valley Vordt which you can later sell to Ludleth of Courland (you will need to find the Transposing Kiln first) in exchange for either Vordt's mammoth Great Hammer or the Pontiff's Left Eye ring. The latter refills your health by a fraction following every successful attack giving Dark Souls 3 a very Bloodborne-esque flavour to combat.

Dark Souls 3 Ludleth Boss Souls Weapons
Ludleth will trade boss souls for powerful weapons and items, but you will first need the Transposing Kiln found deep within the Undead Settlement. FromSoftware

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