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Dark Souls Board Game Character Guide: The Knight

Joseph is an IT nerd who is a long-time fan of the Dark Souls franchise.

Character guide for playing the Knight in the Dark Souls board game.

Character guide for playing the Knight in the Dark Souls board game.

"You are the Chosen Undead, Bearer of the Curse. It is now upon you that the fate of this world rests. You must journey across the realms, defeat the many enemies that will confront you, and ultimately choose not only your destiny but also that of this world." — excerpt from Dark Souls: The Board Game Core Rulebook

Dark Souls: The Board Game

Dark Souls: The Board Game is a dungeon-crawler that uses dice, AI behavior cards, and node-based movement to simulate the tense atmosphere, solid combat, and overall difficulty of the video game franchise that it is based on.

There are four different starting characters in the base game for players to choose from: the Warrior, the Assassin, the Knight, and the Herald. In this guide, I will only be covering the Knight and various strategies and equipment you should look out for while playing the game.

Other Character Guides

Character Overview

The Knight's character sheet.

The Knight's character sheet.

The Knight is the tank of the four starting characters found within the base game, but he can end up being a powerhouse with the right gear and stat progression. He is tied with the Warrior for the highest Strength, but he has the second highest Dexterity of the starting characters. He also has a decent level progression for Intelligence and Faith.

His special ability, Stand Fast, when used gives him an additional blue die after rolling to block an attack once per spark — effectively giving him a safety net to fall back on if a fight starts going south. This allows him to remain in situations longer so he can continue to apply pressure on the enemy and fulfill his tank role in the party.

The Knight also has the highest taunt level of all player characters, meaning he will be targeted the most during the encounters you will face.

Starting Equipment

The Knight starts with three pieces of equipment:

  • Kite Shield
  • Knight Armour
  • Longsword
The Knight's starting equipment cards.

The Knight's starting equipment cards.

Out of the four starting characters, the Knight has the best starting armour as you are able to roll a blue die for defense against physical attacks — meaning you are guaranteed to block at least one damage per physical attack. You are still only able to roll one black die for defense against magical attacks, but this is also true for the other characters so you're not losing out on magical defense when starting with the Knight.

His shield is pretty basic, offering just a single black die for physical defense and nothing for magical defense. This is true for the other characters with the exception being the Assassin whose shield offers no physical or magical defense.

His starting weapon is also arguably the best out of the starting characters as it is the only one that uses blue dice for damage calculation.

It should also be noted that the Knight is the only character that is not able to dodge with his starting gear. If you're going up against enemies with a magic attack — i.e, Hollow Crossbow — you're going to have to hope you're single black die for magic defense doesn't hate you.

Unique Knight Treasure

There are five unique equipment cards that you are able to shuffle into the treasure deck when starting with the Knight:

  • Spider Shield
  • Sun Princess Ring
  • Blue Tearstone Ring
  • Lothric Knight Armour
  • Broadsword
The Knight's unique treasure cards.

The Knight's unique treasure cards.

Of these five items, the most notable are the two rings.

The Sun Princess Ring requires you to have 30 Strength and 25 Faith, and when equipped to your armour allows you to heal one health at the end of your activation.
The Blue Tearstone Ring requires you to have 25 Dexterity and 25 Faith, and when equipped it allows you to recover one stamina whenever you take damage from an enemy attack.

The other three items will eventually get replaced as you dig deeper through the treasure deck, but these two items you can keep all the way until the end.

Transposed Equipment

After you defeat the first mini-boss you are able to shuffle an additional five "transposed" equipment cards into the treasure deck:

  • Falchion
  • Twin Dragon Greatshield
  • Faraam Armour
  • Elite Knight Armour
  • Black Iron Greatshield
The Knight's transposed equipment cards.

The Knight's transposed equipment cards.

It's interesting to note that of the five items there are three that require you to put levels into Intelligence — Twin Dragon Greatshield, Faraam Armour, and Black Iron Greatshield. In a standard game where there is just one mini boss and one main boss, there really isn't enough souls to level up three stats - or four in the case of the Twin Dragon Greatshield. You can choose to grind souls by using Sparks to reset enemy tiles, but you will also need to use those souls to buy items from the treasure deck. In a story mode game there might be enough souls depending on how many bosses you end up facing, and that's what these items were geared for. That being said, the only two items of note are the Black Iron Greatshield and the Elite Knight Armour.

The Black Iron Greatshield requires you to have 27 Strength, 37 Dexterity, and 17 Intelligence. It gives you a single blue die for physical defense and two blue dice for magical defense. Its ability allows you to ignore being pushed by enemies - including bosses - effectively making your Knight an immovable tank.

The Elite Knight Armour requires you to have 35 Strength, and 15 Faith. It gives you two blue dice for physical defense and one black die for magical defense. It also has two upgrade slots, so if you happen upon the rings I mentioned earlier you are able to equip both of them if you have the stats.

Legendary Equipment

When you defeat the first mini-boss you are also able to shuffle five random "legendary" equipment cards into the treasure deck. There are ten legendary cards in the base game and they are:

  • Dragon Tooth
  • Fume Ultra Greatsword
  • Santier's Spear
  • Sunlight Straightsword
  • Avelyn
  • Dark Sword
  • Gotthard Twinswords
  • Drake Sword
  • Moonlight Greatsword
  • Washing Pole

There are several good weapons here for the Knight, specifically Dragon Tooth and Fume Ultra Greatsword. The problem with both of these options is their high stamina cost attacks.

The Dragon Tooth can do considerable amounts of damage, but you will need to be more methodical in your approach to various encounters. Enemies like the Sentinel who has two physical defense and ten health won't easily be felled by a single blow from the Dragon Tooth, which will leave you open for subsequent attacks.

While both of these weapons may not make for the best primary weapon — it is usually better to have a primary weapon that has at least one zero stamina cost attack — they can make for great secondary weapons to switch to when the odds are in your favor.

Notable Treasures

There are a lot of other normal treasures that the Knight can take advantage of should you come across them, and these are the most notable:

  • Exile Armour
  • Drang Armour
  • Sunset Amour
  • Reinforced Club
  • Thrall Axe
  • Great Axe
  • Zweihander
  • Claymore
  • Dragon Crest Shield
  • Effigy Shield
  • Heal
  • Heal Aid

The Great Axe, requiring 32 Strength and 22 Dexterity, is one of the best weapons for the Knight. It has a zero stamina cost attack that allows you to roll two blue dice, as well as offering an area-of-effect (AOE) attack for three stamina. It has one blue die for defense, and has two upgrade slots. The only downside is that it requires you to use both handslots to wield it meaning you can't use a shield. Or does it?

The Effigy Shield, requiring only 10 Strength and Faith, is equipable even when you are using a two-handed weapon, like the Great Axe. It only offers one black die for both physical and magical defense, but it is just enough to help offset the negatives of using a two-handed weapon.

If you are unable to find the Effigy Shield while digging through the treasure deck, you can still keep a two-handed weapon in your backup slot for you to switch to when you really need to make a powerful attack.

If you're building your Knight with Faith, you can also take advantage of a few Miracles: Heal Aid and Heal. Requiring 13 and 23 Faith respectively, these can be put in your backup slot for emergency use should you be out of range of another player with Miracles or when you are playing solo.

Weapon Enhancements

There are also nine other treasure cards you should look out for when drawing from the treasure deck:

  • Sharp Gem
  • Titanite Shard
  • Heavy Gem
  • Simple Gem
  • Crystal Gem
  • Blessed Gem
  • Blood Gem
  • Poison Gem
  • Lightning Gem

The Titanite Shard — which requires no stats to equip — is arguably the most valuable out of the gems, as the extra +1 damage means that you'll break through most of the normal enemies' physical defenses without even having to roll the dice.

The Blood Gem is extremely rare — only one copy — and is great against bosses. The gem, which requires at least 15 strength, makes it so that the weapon you have it equipped to inflicts the bleed status on an enemy that you hit. It doesn't deal any extra damage until that same enemy takes damage from another source, in which case the bleed status activates and inflicts an additional three damage. Afterwards, the enemy is cured of the status and you can reapply it.

The Poison Gem is another extremely rare gem with only one copy. It requires 15 Dexterity and, when equipped to a weapon, inflicts the poison status on an enemy that you hit with an attack. It doesn't deal any additional damage until the end of that enemy's activation when it deals one damage. Just like with the Blood Gem, once the enemy takes the poison damage they are cured of it and you must reapply it.

Be careful when equipping gems as once they are equipped you cannot remove them from a weapon. Typically you want to wait until after the first mini boss — if you've managed to draw any of the gems — as you are bound to get better suited weapons to upgrade.

Art from the "Dark Souls: The Board Game" rulebook.

Art from the "Dark Souls: The Board Game" rulebook.

Strategies & Loadouts

There's really only two strategies for the Knight; be slightly decent on offence and have a huge defense, or be a powerhouse that is a decent tank.

The Tank Build

One of the best defense builds for the Knight is as follows:

  • Falchion w/ Poison Gem and Titanite Shard
  • Black Iron Greatshield
  • Elite Knight Armour w/ Blue Tearstone Ring and Sun Princess Ring
  • Heal (in the backup slot)

This set up gives you one black die and three blue dice for physical defense, and one black die and three blue dice for magical defense. You're still able to do quite a bit of damage with the Falchion especially if you are able to find the Poison Gem to add to it. The zero stamina cost attack that the Falchion has will also help ensure that you aren't taking any unnecessary stamina damage meaning that you will be able to tank for longer.

Levels Required

In order to equip everything for this setup you will need to have a total of eleven levels:

  • 3 levels in Strength (maxed)
  • 3 levels in Dexterity (maxed)
  • 2 levels in Intelligence
  • 3 levels in Faith (maxed)

For you to use the Black Iron Greatshield you will have to put two levels into Intelligence, so if you are running low on souls and you happen to have the Twin Dragon Greatshield you can use that instead. It will give you an additional blue die for physical defense, but you will lose one blue die for magical defense.

The Offensive Build

The best offensive builds I have found so far is this one:

  • Great Axe w/ Bleed Gem and Titanite Shard
  • Effigy Shield
  • Elite Knight Armour w/ Blue Tearstone Ring and Sun Princess Ring
  • Dragon Tooth (in the backup slot)

The Great Axe has an AOE attack that when combined with the Bleed Gem allows you to inflict multiple enemies with the same status effect. This won't be useful against the weaker enemies that only have one health, but in later encounters on your way to fight a main boss — or even a mega boss — it will help shorten encounters considerably. You could equip the Poison Gem if you come across that one first. The Blue Tearstone Ring helps to offset the stamina cost of using the Great Axe's more powerful attacks.

This set up still gives you one black die and three blue dice for physical defense, but only two black dice for magical defense so you will have to be careful around enemies with magic based attacks.

When you switch to the Dragon Tooth one of your blue dice for physical defense will be replaced with a black die, but you will gain a blue die for magical defense. So in an encounter with a lot of enemies with magic based attacks, it might be beneficial to switch to your Dragon Tooth in order to tank some hits if you are not able to get to the enemies and kill them during your turn.

Levels Required

In order to equip everything for this setup you will need to have a total of eight levels:

  • 3 levels in Strength (maxed)
  • 2 levels in Dexterity
  • 0 levels in Intelligence
  • 3 levels in Faith (maxed)

Good Luck!

As there are so many cards in the treasure deck trying to find a specific build, much less a specific card, is going to be extremely difficult. Just use what you can, and hold off on using any of the gems until after you've defeated your first mini-boss at least. That way you will have a better assortment of gear to choose from and make a better decision.

I would recommend using the souls you collect from completed encounters to draw from the treasure deck first before leveling up. That way you don't level up Intelligence and Faith, for example, and then get a really good weapon you want to use that requires Strength and Dexterity.

Hopefully this has helped give you a better idea on whether or not playing the Knight starting character is right for you or not. Feel free to comment below if I have missed something, or if you have found an even better gear combination than the ones I have listed above!

"You may be remembered either as Lords of Cinder yourselves, forever joining the Soul of Cinder, or as Ashen Ones, ushering in an Age of Humanity where the curse of undeath is at last lifted—but chaos will ultimately consume all." — excerpt from Dark Souls: The Board Game Core Rulebook