Top 5 Challenging Boss Battles in Dark Souls 2!

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Dark Souls is a series known for its robust level of challenge and punishing learning curves. Dark Souls 2 is no exception to this, and it contains several bosses that occasionally make you wonder why you are playing in the first place. Generally speaking, the bosses in DS2 are considerably easier than the original (or perhaps I am now just more skilled at the game). Indeed, some are almost laughably easy. Demon of Song and the Skeleton Lords spring to mind immediately, with an honourable mention to Nashandra and Aldia who were disappointingly easy as a final boss in comparison to Lord Gwyn.

That being said, some of the bosses were frustrating to say the least. Here are my own personal top five most difficult (or annoying) bosses in Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin.

  1. Sinh, Slumbering Dragon

The main game and the DLC material pit you against a number of Dragon bosses, but I would say that this is the most challenging of the lot. Primarily, this is due to the fact that it spams toxic at you as an after effect to its breath attacks. Bosses that like to inflict status effects on to the player are always frustrating, but in this case the combination of toxic, flying charges, fireballs and punishing melee attacks make this fight stand out.

  1. The Smelter Demon/Magical Smelter Demon

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I have included these two in the same spot as they are more or less identical in terms of appearance and move set (albeit slightly more power on the magical demon). Some players may have found this fight pretty easy but I found myself struggling. The Smelter Demons hit hard, move faster than you would expect for their size and also inflict fire and magic damage respectively. A few area spread attacks can catch you off guard, and midway through the fight the Demons will cause residual damage if you stand too close and enchant their weapons for further damage. This is challenging enough, but I think what caught me off guard the most was the fact that, well telegraphed as the attacks are, there is a slightly longer pause than you would expect between the beginning of the attack animation and the attack landing. Often you roll out of danger only to then take the attack full on in the face. Most people could probably adapt to this a bit quicker than I did but it still proves a challenge. A special nod has to be given to the magical Smelter Demon for having a very irritating run up to the boss, full of dangerous enemies and traps.

  1. Aava, the Kings Pet

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Hands up, who remembers Sif from Dark Souls 1? Anyone else feel slightly bad about killing him? I always did; he looks too cute, makes a heart-wrenching noise like a dog when hurt and just misses his dead buddy.

No such feelings accompany this fight. Aava is a bastard; a straight-up bastard. Beast boss fights are, in my experience, either quite easy or punishing in the extreme. Aava falls into the latter category. Unlike the Royal Rat Authority, whose attacks are pretty easy to suss out and avoid (roll forward), Aava’s move-set is more varied, do more damage, and he is much, much faster. All of your dodges need to be completely on-point or you are in for a mauling. There are many times where I felt that my dodge was perfectly timed only to die moments later. Additionally, Aava also has a few spells/area attacks to keep things interesting. I always plump for a melee build; I have no idea how spell-casters manage to get through this fight.

  1. Raime, the Fume Knight

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I probably died more times in this boss fight than in many of the others put together. He is another boss fight that comes in two halves; once his health is depleted by half he becomes a lot more dangerous. His initial attack pattern is quite varied but can be mastered with a few attempts. That being said, if he hits you, the damage can be quite severe as he racks up combo-hits and staggering attacks. It is easy enough to heal at this stage; sprinting across the room should give you enough time to chug that sweet, sweet Estus.

His second form is genuinely frightening. He adopts the move-set and flaming sword attacks of Lord Gwyn, the final boss in Dark Souls 1, only there is no favourable terrain to assist you in the fight. His attacks are lightning fast and it is nearly impossible to get enough breathing space to heal. I ended up two handing my Pursuer’s great sword as blocking any of his attacks was simply not an option. In order to win, your rolls and doges must be perfect every time. There is no margin for error. Additionally, he can follow up his quick combos with punishing area attacks, fireballs, and a laserbeam-like type attack. If you have depleted your stamina through dodging his combos they can be very hard to avoid.

However, the sense of triumph on winning this fight is pretty special, and has only really been matched the first time I defeated Ornstein and Smough in the first game.

  1. Burnt Ivory King

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I am going to preface this entry by saying that I did actually enjoy it quite a lot, despite the level of difficulty.

This boss is possibly unique in the Souls franchise (I haven’t played DS3 so can’t say for sure) in the sense that the boss fight includes a melee or sorts with multiple enemies and allies. The Burnt Ivory King opens portals into the fight arena and you have to defeat all of the Burnt Knights before facing off against the King himself. It’s actually quite fun, but the enemies are not as weak as you would like which means that the changes of actually getting to the King each time you try is about 50/50. Due to the fact that he is similar in fighting style to the challenging Fume Knight, this can be problematic. He moves with terrifying speed, hits hard and offers very few chances for healing. On his own, this fight is probably a bit easier than Raime, but when you add in the extra challenge of defeating his knights, it just pips it for me in terms of difficulty.

Do you agree with my list? If not I’d love to hear which bosses made you want to never play the series again!

Top 5 Most Annoying Doubles Pokemon

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So, as readers of my most recent blog posts will know, I have recently taken up competitive Pokemon battling, more specifically, competitive doubles battles. This has gone fairly well; I’ve battled my way through the battle spot to become rated in the top 20 in the UK. Those of you who would point out that this may be down to the UK only having 20 competitive players may have a point, but either way its going well. However, one thing that has become apparent is that there are some Pokemon which are so overused or annoying that their mere appearance in a battle is enough to send your blood pressure through the roof. Now, don’t get me wrong, these Pokemon do have their counters, but often they are so limited or specific that if that option has become unavailable for whatever reason, they can become a nightmare to deal with.

5. Landorus
I’ve picked on Landorus here, but really any of the three genie Pokemon could feature in this spot. With good speed and attack power, decent defences and intimidate ability, this Pokemon can hit hard and severely reduce your Pokemon’s attacking capability. This in itself is not a huge problem, but often these Pokemon run the Choice Scarf item which hugely increases the speed of the Pokemon. Given the good base speed it becomes very hard to outspeed this Pokemon. You are then guaranteed to endure rockslide after rockslide to huge damage with a pretty high chance of being flinched and being unable to attack back. This can shut down a battle very quickly if you are caught unprepared. Sadly, this Pokemon is also everywhere, so your chances of running into it are pretty high.

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4. Smeargle
This is one of the most bland and uninspiring Pokemon that I have encountered in a while. Unfortunately it is also used pretty frequently. It can learn any Pokemon move that isn’t ghost type, but there is only one reason that anybody uses this Pokemon: Dark Void. This move puts both of the opponents Pokemon to sleep, rendering you absolutely helpless for anything up to three turns. Unless you have filled a slot with a Pokemon specifically designed to tackle this problem then your options can be pretty limited. Words cannot describe the rage of sitting there as both of your Pokemon sleep away taking an absolute battering. You can switch out of course but that Dark Void will be coming back with a vengeance. I don’t mind gimmicky play, but there is something offensive about it coming from a Pokemon as bland as Smeargle.

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3. Darkrai
This Pokemon suffers from all the same problems as Smeargle only more so. Not only does this Pokemon know Dark Void, but it also has the ability Bad Dreams, which slowly damages all Pokemon who are asleep. Not only will your Pokemon be getting damaged every turn by other moves, but you will also slowly be leeched of health for all the time that sleep lasts. Oh, and Darkrai is tougher and more powerful than Smeargle in almost every way. Fun, eh?

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2. Rotom Wash
Don’t get me wrong, I like most of the Rotom forms, particularly heat and mow. I also like Rotom wash. It is undeniably annoying though. It’s too useful. Its pretty bulky, has good special attack and is only weak to grass due to its levitate ability. Given the other popular Pokemon in doubles, it really is pretty hard to not take this Pokemon. As a result it really is everywhere. Be prepared.

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1. Mega-Kangaskahn
Possibly one of the most over powered mega-evolutions, this Pokemon’s ability Parental Bond allow the Pokemon two attack twice each turn, with the second hit doing a third of the damage of the first hit. This is pretty powerful in itself, but where things get really crazy is that any move which has an effect will happen twice. For example, power-up punch will hit twice and increase attack by two stages. This is stupidly powerful as your next turn you will be able to get two attacks in with your already powerful attack raised by 2 stages. There are ways of taking this Pokemon down, but if you make even a single mistake its game over.

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As always, if anyone wants to battle just drop your friend code into the comments section and we can set something up.