First hours in Dark Souls II can be literally devastating. You do not know what your enemy is exactly going to do and you feel somehow cheated by the high level of difficulty. This level of difficulty is mainly generated by the amount of damage your enemy is able to produce once he attacks you, so you’ll better learn how to avoid those attacks and be quick (and patient) enough to respond to them only when the right occasion occurs.
For this purpose, we are here to introduce a work in progress guide that will show you how to face some of the enemies you will be probably encountering in your first moments in Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin. As your times will be tough during the gameplay, we highly suggest you to take a look off the legde you will find once in Majula, on the right of the entrance path: there you will gain, among some other useful items, a morning star that will make your attacks stronger against heavy armored mobs.
Let’s start with three mobs, then: the Pursuer, the Ironclad Soldier, the drake in Heide’s Tower of Flame.
Read carefully the following lines because you will meet the Pursuers much more frequently in Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin in comparison with the original Dark Souls II. That’s why we are going to explain you how to easily defeat this mob.
The following are pursuers’ moves:
He lean back just like the charge attack, but his sword will become blue before he strikes. This is his most dangerous attack. Dodge left or right to avoid easily any damage, then you can punish with a few strikes.
If he hits you, you will take severe damage and you will get cursed. Getting cursed means you lose your human form and a bit of your max HP. You can recover those using a Human Effigy later.
Dark Homing missiles
When he starts to make weird noise and put his arms to the side, run to his back and hit him. This attack is only dangerous if you are in front of him. If you can’t run to behind him, just run sideways to avoid the missiles.
– 3-4 Hit Combo
If you stand too close, he will slash his sword horizontally and follow with a downward shield strike then a vertical sword hit. Then he usually dodge or follow with a poke of his sword. Unless you manage to get behind him when he start the combo, you will better just move back and let him miss. If you are too close to go backward, dodge to the right, left side will most likely hit you after your roll.
The Pursuer will ready his sword and lean backward a bit, then charge at you with high speed. This move is fast and deals an average amount of damage. You can easily dodge it sideway or backward, even forward if your agility is high enough to dodge the damage. You can then hit him a few times as he recovers.
This move is also a good way to stun him as he is vulnerable to parry. Use a parry dagger or a small shield for the best chances and time your parry just as he make contact with you. He will stand still for a few seconds and you can deal a lot of damage to him.
THE IRONCLAD SOLDIER
Don’t be afraid of the Ironclad Soldier’s size: all you need is a bit of patience as there will be lots of them in some areas of the game. Since they are very weak to mace, you should use the one you found in Majula (you found that one, didn’t you?). Pass to the two-hand mode if your character still doesn’t have enough strength.
Here you have the Ironclad Soldier’s list of moves:
Running overhead strike
This is exactly the same as above, but with this move they run to get you. It only happens when you are too far. Sometime they will stop their motion before they reach you.
Ironclade Soldiers will lift their weapon above their head and try to crush you with it. If you are too close, you will be unable to run away or walk fast when the hammer hits the ground.
What you need to do is bait this attack, take a step backward and do a front roll just as they swing to hit the ground. Follow with a regular attack and then go back away or roll back.
Don’t try to attack them in the back or they will jump and land on you. You can’t backstab them at all.
3 Hit combo
Sometimes they just go crazy and start smashing at everything in front of them. You can block this attack but it’s best to just step out of the way when they do it.
Same as the Overhead Strike, you can bait it and follow up with a front roll attack but be careful: they recover faster and might hit you before you step away.
THE DRAKE IN HEIDE’S TOWER OF FLAME
As the drake is a new entry for Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, many people are having a hard time beating it once it appears in Heide’s Tower of Flame. Anyway, once you beat it, it won’t respawn anymore, so you could be more interested in finding a good way to get rid of it. To be precise, there’s not one way to do it but three, and here you have those.
1: The easiest way to kill him is simply to get a crossbow, either found a bit earlier in the game or to buy one from Majula’s blacksmith over here and kill him while he’s out of reach. You don’t need a lot of stats to wield the crossbow so just get 20 or so bolts and nuke it.
2: The first time you meet the drake, he will be sleeping on his bridge. If you can kill all the mobs around without getting near the stairs, you won’t wake him up. Just stand here, and take a sprint toward him as fast as possible. The time it take him to wake up and start breathing fire, you’ll already be between his legs. Now just hit him while avoiding his leg attacks.
3: If you have already awaken the drake and you don’t want to kill him with arrows, you’ll need a lot of luck to even get near him. His fire-breath attack is fast and you’ll probably get him once or twice by the time you get near him.
You can however get items to help you defeat him. If you have a fragrant branch of Yore, or buy one from the merchant in the Cardinal tower (for 12,000 Souls), you can go unpetrify Rosabeth of Melfia who is hidden in this path of Majula. She can sell you a ring and a consumable that will help you resist fire damage.