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Dark Souls Board Game Main Boss Guide: Dancer of the Boreal Valley

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"The undead here are not alone, however, for amongst them can be found the corrupted guardians of old. The greatest and most deadly of their number are the powerful Winged Knights, their holy vows forgotten. These are joined by Outrider Knights from the Boreal Valley, driven to insanity by the Eyes of the Pontiff and now little more than mindless beasts. If you are to continue your journey into Lothric, you must defeat not only these poor, tortured souls, but also the most powerful denizen of the High Walls: the dreaded Dancer of the Boreal Valley." — 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.

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 base game, there are four mini bosses: Gargoyle, Titanite Demon, Winged Knight, and the Boreal Outrider Knight. There are also two main bosses: Dancer of the Boreal Valley, and Ornstein & Smough. In this guide, I will only be covering the Dancer of the Boreal Valley and the rewards given to players once defeated.

Other Boss Guides

The Dancer of the Boreal Valley's data card

The Dancer of the Boreal Valley's data card

The Dancer of the Boreal Valley

The Dancer of the Boreal Valley is a fearsome and, as you will see later, unpredictable foe. It has two physical defense, and two magical defense meaning you are free to use whichever is your strongest option.

It starts with 34 health, and when you eventually manage to reduce its health to 18 or below, it will "heat up" but we will get to that in a bit.

The Dancer of the Boreal Valley also has an ability, Unpredictable Onslaught, and as the name suggests makes the encounter unpredictable. It activates once it has heated up, and makes it so that when a heat up behavior card is drawn and resolved you shuffle the entire behavior deck. Again, I will explain why this makes the fight increasingly difficult later on.

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 the Dancer of the Boreal Valley 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 the Dancer of the Boreal Valley:

  • Flashing Blade
  • Lunging Thrust
  • Deadly Grasp
  • Double Slash
  • Uppercut
  • Ash Cloud
  • Sweeping Blade Swipe
  • Backhand Blade Swipe
  • Triple Slash
  • Plunging Attack
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dark-souls-board-game-main-boss-guide-dancer-of-the-boreal-valley
The Dancer of the Boreal Valley's normal behavior cards

The Dancer of the Boreal Valley's normal behavior cards

Flashing Blade

This attack starts with the Dancer advancing forward two nodes, and then attacking in all directions for six physical damage. There is no weak point after this attack.

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

Lunging Thrust

The Dancer will advance forwards three nodes towards the character with the Aggro token, and then attack that character for five physical damage. The weak point on the Dancer after this attack will be behind her.

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

Deadly Grasp

The Dancer will move one node to the left. She will then attack the nearest character for seven physical damage as well as pushing them off their node. Her weak point will be on her left side.

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

Double Slash

As the name implies, this behavior card repeats once. The Dancer will advance forward one node. She will turn 90 degrees to the right, and then attack all nodes within range in front of her and to her right for five physical damage. Afterwards she will repeat everything one more time. Her weak point will be behind her after.

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

Uppercut

This attack starts with the Dancer advancing forwards three nodes towards the nearest character. She will then attack the nearest character for five physical damage. Her weak point will be on her right side after she attacks.

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

Ash Cloud

This behavior card begins with the Dancer attacking first. She deals six magical damage to all nodes in front of her. After she attacks she will leap to the character with the Aggro token and push them off their node. Her weak point will be behind her.

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

Sweeping Blade Swipe

This attack will have the Dancer move forward one node. She will then turn 90 degrees to the right, and then attack all nodes within range in front of her and to her left for seven physical damage. Her weak point at the end of her activation will be on her right side.

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

Backhand Blade Swipe

This is essentially the opposite of Sweeping Blade Swipe. The Dancer will advance forward one node. She will turn 90 degrees to the left, and attack all nodes within range in front of her and to her right for seven physical damage. Her weak point will be on her left side.

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

Triple Slash

This can potentially be the Dancer's most devastating normal behavior cards. She will advance one node. She will then turn left 90 degrees and attack all nodes within range in front of her for five physical damage. She will repeat everything two more times. At the end of her activation her weak point will be on her left side.

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

Plunging Attack

The Dancer will leap towards the nearest character and deal six physical damage to them as well as pushing them off their node.

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

The Heat Up Cards

When you reduce the boss's health to its "heat up" point - this is 18 for the Dancer of the Boreal Valley - 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.

Some bosses have abilities that activate at this point in the fight, so be mindful of the boss's data card.

There are three heat up cards for the Dancer of the Boreal Valley:

  • Whirling Blades
  • Blade Dance
  • Plunging Assault
The Dancer of the Boreal Valley's heat up behavior cards

The Dancer of the Boreal Valley's heat up behavior cards

Whirling Blades

This attack is the reason you should invest in dodge dice.

The Dancer will advance one node. She will turn 90 degrees to the left, and then attack all nodes within range in front of her and to her left for six physical damage. She will then repeat everything three more times. That's right, this attack happens FOUR times. She can potentially deal 24 damage in one activation.

Fortunately, this attack only has a range of one and only needs one successful dodge roll in order to be evaded. At the end of her activation her weak point will be on her right side.

Blade Dance

With this attack the Dancer will advance forward two nodes. She will then turn around 180 degrees, and attack all nodes within range to the left, right and in front of her for five physical damage. This will repeat one more time. At the end of her activation her weak point will be behind her.

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

Plunging Assault

The Dancer will leap to the character with the Aggro token and deal six physical damage to them as well as push them off their node. This will happen two more times. This attack can potentially deal up to 18 damage to a single character which is almost twice their maximum health. While having a lot of physical defense can be helpful here, the better strategy is to have a couple dodge dice handy.

This attack has infinite range, and requires only one successful dodge die to evade.

Rewards

There are three rewards for defeating the Dancer of the Boreal Valley:

  • Dancer's Enchanted Swords
  • Dancer Armour
  • Soothing Sunlight
The rewards for defeating the Dancer of the Boreal Valley

The rewards for defeating the Dancer of the Boreal Valley

Dancer's Enchanted Swords

This weapon requires 36 Dexterity and 26 Intelligence, and is a two-handed weapon. It is a fairly unique weapon as both of its attacks allow you to move one node in any direction before attacking, both attacks repeat once, and both attacks deal magical damage. The first attack requires two stamina, and uses one blue die for damage. The second attack requires four stamina and uses one blue die and one black die for damage.

The damage potential is rather low given the stamina costs, even with a Titanite Shard upgrading the weapon to be more powerful. This can be a good secondary weapon, however, if you find yourself in a situation where you need extra mobility.

Dancer Armour

This is the perfect armour for the Assassin. It requires 35 Dexterity, and 25 Intelligence and Faith to wield, but its ability is well worth the investment. It allows the wearer to move two nodes instead of just one when walking. This can allow the wearer to advance quickly without excess stamina use, or retreat after making an attack.

The armour also gives you one black die for both physical and magical defense, as well as two dodge dice. It also has a slot for a ring.

Soothing Sunlight

This miracle requires 38 Faith, and so the only character in the Core Set that can use it is the Herald. It offers no defenses, and its ability is rather expensive to use. It requires four stamina, and when used it will heal all characters with one node of the Herald to regain four health.

If you are playing a longer campaign-style game, and you have a larger party, then this miracle might be worth using.


Character Guides

Good Luck!

Hopefully this has helped give you a better idea on what to expect when fighting against the Dancer of the Boreal Valley 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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