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Dark Souls Board Game Main Boss Guide: Artorias

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"The strongest of the Four Knights of Gwyn, Lord of the Sunlight, Artorias was the first mortal to traverse the Abyss, having made covenant with the beasts within. When Manus, Father of the Abyss came to threaten Oolacile, it was there that Artorias gave his life in his final battle." - Excerpt from the Darkroot Expansion 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.

When you set the board up for your initial exploration you will choose a mini boss to face at the end of your exploration. Once the mini boss is defeated, you will set the board up again for your next exploration and choose a main boss to face at the end of your next exploration. There are different game modes where you can face multiple mini bosses before you face your main boss, but the typical way to play is just one mini boss and one main boss.

In the Darkroot Expansion there are two main bosses; Great Grey Wolf Sif and Artorias. In this guide I will only be going over Artorias and the rewards given to players once defeated.

Other Boss Guides

Artorias's data card

Artorias's data card

Artorias

Artorias has one of the lowest health totals out of all the main bosses within Dark Souls: The Board Game, but that does not by any means make him the weakest.

He has three physical defense, as well as three magical defense so neither option has a clear advantage in this fight. If you manage to get his health to 15 or below he will "heat up", but more on that later.

Artorias also has an ability, Walking the Abyss, and this is where the fight can quickly get out of hand. I will explain why when we get to Artorias's heat up cards.

The Behavior Cards

All of the behavior cards for mini bosses and main bosses will have a movement phase and an attack phase, but not necessarily in that order. There will be times that the movement phase is also the attacking phase as well, and the boss will deal damage as it moves across the board.

When you finally make it to the boss you will separate the behavior cards from the heat up cards. You will shuffle the behavior cards and draw the appropriate amount for the boss indicated on their data cards - for Artorias it is five. This will be the "behavior deck".

If you managed to find any gravestones through your previous encounters then you may reveal a behavior card for each gravestone.

Once you start the boss encounter you will draw from the behavior deck, and follow what the behavior card says in order to control the boss on its turn. Once you have gone through the deck you will flip it back over without changing the order of the cards. This way you can memorize the boss's attack pattern and have a better chance of survival.

When looking at the boss's behavior cards, an important thing to watch out for is where their weak point is located. A weak point is an area on the boss that when attacked will give you an extra black die to roll when doing damage. The weak point changes from attack to attack, and you can see where it is by looking on the behavior card below their attack. The red portion of the boss's attack arc is their weak point. Always try to position yourself to take advantage of that extra black die as any additional benefit during a boss fight can be the difference between life and death.

Another mechanic to keep in mind is the "pushing" mechanic. Any time a boss moves to a node they will push any character on that node to an adjacent node that is further from the boss. If there are multiple nodes that fit this description then the player controlling that character can choose where their character gets pushed. Occasionally some attacks will also cause the characters to be pushed, so be on the lookout for the little shield icon above the boss's attack. One final note is that bosses cannot be pushed by players, and can only be pushed if another boss happens to move on to their node.

There are ten normal behavior cards for Artorias:

  • Abyss Sludge
  • Wrath of the Abyss
  • Somersault Slam
  • Steadfast Leap
  • Heavy Thrust
  • Retreating Strike
  • Somersault Strike
  • Overhead Cleave
  • Spinning Slash
  • Charging Slash
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dark-souls-board-game-main-boss-guide-artorias
Artorias's normal behavior cards

Artorias's normal behavior cards

A few of Artorias's attacks inflict stagger. This is a status condition that when inflicted upon a character will make it so that they must spend one additional stamina to use their weapon's attacks. Normally I would suggest trying to dodge these attacks, but the attacks that will stagger you require two successful dodge rolls. Your best bet is to memorize the behavior deck and do your best to avoid those attacks all together.

A quick note about weak points. A weak point is an area on the boss that when attacked will give you an extra black die to roll when doing damage. The weak point changes from attack to attack, and you can see where it is on the behavior card. The red portion of the boss's attack arc is their weak point. Always try to position yourself to take advantage of that extra black die as any additional benefit during a boss fight can be the difference between life and death.

Abyss Sludge

Artorias starts by attacking all nodes to his left, right, and in front of him within range for six magical damage. Any character hit by this attack will be staggered. He will then leap to the character with the Aggro token and push them off their node. Artorias's weak point will be behind him.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires only one successful dodge roll to be evade.

Wrath of the Abyss

Artorias does not move during this attack, instead he attacks all nodes surrounding him within range for six magical damage. He will not have a weak point following this attack.

This attack has a range of two nodes, and requires only one successful dodge roll to be evade.

Somersault Slam

He will start be advancing forward one node towards the nearest character. He will then attack all nodes in front of him within range for five magical damage. His weak point will be behind him after he attacks.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires only one successful dodge roll to be evade.

Steadfast Leap

Artorias will start by leaping to the character with the Aggro token, and push them off their node. He will then attack in all directions for five magical damage. He will not have a weak point following this attack.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evade.

Heavy Thrust

Artorias will advance forward two nodes towards the nearest character. He will then attack the nearest character for five physical damage. His weak point will be behind him.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evade.

Retreating Strike

This starts with Artorias attacking all nodes in front of him within range for five physical damage. Any character hit by this attack will be staggered. He will then retreat back two nodes away from the nearest character. He will not have a weak point after this attack.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evade.

Somersault Strike

Artorias will leap towards the nearest character and deal five physical damage while pushing them off their node. His weak point will be on his right side.

This attack has an infinite range, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evade.

Overhead Cleave

Artorias will advance forward one node towards the nearest character. He will then attack all nodes in front of him within range for six physical damage. Any character hit by this attack will be staggered. His weak point will be to on his left side.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires only one successful dodge roll to be evade.

Spinning Slash

This starts with Artorias attacking all nodes in front of him, behind him, and to his right within range for five physical damage. He will then retreat back one node away from the nearest character. His weak point will be on his left side.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evade.

Charging Slash

Artorias will charge forward two nodes towards the nearest character. He will then attack all nodes within range in front of him and to his right for six physical damage. His weak point will be on his right side.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires only one successful dodge roll to be evade.

The Heat Up Cards

When you reduce the boss's health to its "heat up" point - this is 15 for Artorias - you will add one random heat up card to the behavior deck. You will shuffle the deck and continue on as normal. You will need to relearn the boss's attack pattern, so proceed with caution once you reach this point in the fight.

However, with Artorias this mechanic is a little different thanks to his ability. When Artorias reaches his heat up stage, you will remove two random behavior cards from the deck, and then add all three heat up cards to the deck and shuffle it.

As previously mentioned, there are three heat up cards for Artorias:

  • Abyss Assault
  • Leaping Fury
  • Lunging Cleave
Artorias's heat up behavior cards

Artorias's heat up behavior cards

Abyss Assault

Artorias starts by leaping to the character with the Aggro token, and pushing them off their node. He will then attack all nodes within range to his left, his right, and in front of him for five magical damage. His weak point will be behind him.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evaded.

Leaping Fury

Artorias will leap to the nearest character, dealing five physical damage to them and pushing them off their node. He will then leap again but this time to the character with the Aggro token, dealing six physical damage and pushing them off their node. His weak point will be in front of him.

This attack has an infinite range, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evaded.

Lunging Cleave

Again, Artorias will leap to the character with the Aggro token, dealing five physical damage to them, and pushing them off their node. He will then attack all nodes in front of him within range for six physical damage.

This attack has a range of one node, and requires two successful dodge rolls to be evaded.

Rewards

There are three items that you can get from defeating Artorias:

  • Gold Tracer
  • Abyss Great Sword
  • Dark Silver Tracer
The rewards for defeating Artorias

The rewards for defeating Artorias

Gold Tracer

This weapon requires 25 Dexterity and 25 Intelligence, and is a one-handed weapon. It offers no defenses, but has two upgrade slots.

It has two attacks. The first attack costs zero stamina, and uses two orange dice for damage. What ever you roll for damage, you will minus one from the total and that's how much damage you deal. Its second attack costs three stamina, and also uses two orange dice for damage. It still requires you to subtract one from your total, but it also inflicts bleed on your target and lets you move one node in any direction.

This weapon is perfect for the Assassin, and pairs perfectly with the Dark Silver Tracer.

Dark Silver Tracer

This weapon requires 25 Dexterity and 20 Intelligence, and is a one-handed weapon. Just like the Gold Tracer it also doesn't offer any defenses, but has two upgrade slots.

It has two attacks, and they are similar to the Gold Tracer's. Its first attack costs zero stamina, uses two blue dice for damage, but what ever you roll for damage you have to subtract one from it. Its second attack costs three stamina and also uses two blue dice for damage minus one. However, you inflict poison on your target and can move one node in any direction.

As previously mentioned, this pairs exceptionally well with the Gold Tracer and is perfect for the Assassin. Since you can attack with both weapons during your activation these two weapons can quickly cut through enemies without having to use any stamina. You won't be able to inflict bleed and poison on the same target, as characters and enemies can only have one status effect at a time, but the raw damage alone is worth having both weapons equipped.

To help offset the "-1" on each of their attacks, you can upgrade both weapons with a Titanite Shard. You can even upgrade one with a Lightning Gem to give it magical damage. Regardless of how you choose to upgrade these weapons they will be sure to make short work of any enemy you encounter

Abyss Greatsword

This weapon requires 33 Strength and 15 Faith to equip, and is a two-handed weapon. It gives you one black die for both physical and magical defense, and has one upgrade slot.

It has two attacks that are somewhat lackluster. Its first attack costs one stamina, and uses three black dice for damage. Its second attack costs four stamina, and uses three blue dice for damage. Both of these attacks have a unique ability that allows you to add one damage to your roll if you have an Ember token. If you choose to upgrade this weapon with a Titanite Shard, and have happened across an Ember, your attacks will deal a least two damage per attack. This is a minimum of five damage with your second attack.

This can be a decent secondary weapon for the Knight or Warrior, mostly for its second attack and when you have a Titanite Shard and an Ember token.

Character Guides

Good Luck!

Hopefully this has helped give you a better idea on what to expect when fighting against the Artorias main boss. Feel free to comment below if I have missed something, or if you have any questions!

"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

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