Pontifex Sullivan in Dark Souls 3: how to win

In Dark Souls 3, Pontifex Sullivan is a tall humanoid wearing a jeweled robe of sorcerer. In combat, he wielded two greatswords: the greatsword in his left hand radiates a purple aura, and the greatsword in his right hand is shrouded in flames. After his health is reduced to a certain threshold, branched wings grow from his back.

Overview of Pontiff Sullivan

  • Location: Irithyll of Coldvale
  • Required: Yes
  • Drop: 28,000 soul, Soul of Pontiff Sullivan
  • Weakness: Physical attacks

Pontifex Sulyvahn is a boss located in Irithyll in the Boreal Valley. This boss is optional and you will have to defeat him to progress. To get to Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, you must defeat Highlord Volnir and go through the door from his zone.

Defeating Pontiff Sulyvahn will grant Pontiff Sulyvahn’s soul, which can be used to obtain the Sword of Justice or Sword of Fel by transposing it in Firelink Shrine.

To get the item, you need to defeat the Cursed Great Tree in the Undead Settlement. Once you do that, you will get a transposition oven. In Firelink’s Sanctuary, you can give this oven to Ludleth to enable Soul Transposition.

There are many possible NPCs to summon in this fight. You can summon Blackhand Gotthard, whose summon sign is located next to the boss gate. You can also summon Londor Paleshadow if you are on Yuria and Yoel’s quest. The challenge sign is near the statue to the right of the boss gate. Anri of Astora can also be called for this fight. The challenge sign is next to the statue again.

Attacks Pontifica Sullivan

Pontiff Sullivan has two phases with unique moves that are hard to understand at first glance. Some of his attacks can be parried, allowing him to deal massive damage if successful.

First phase

Fire Sweep

The boss lunges forward with his fire sword and tries to attack you. It has a long range, but sometimes Sullivan reduces the range and accompanies the fiery slash with an attack from his magic weapon.

Kick back

If you are behind the boss, Sullivan will attack you with either a fiery or magical sword. Which weapon he will use to attack depends on where you stand behind him.

A stabbing attack

Sullivan spins his weapon around him and after a few seconds, strikes with his magic weapon.

Sweep attack

Pontifex Sullivan will swing his weapon from left to right several times and then unleash a deadly swing attack. This attack has a short range but has a delay, so don’t get close.

Second phase

Soul Spear

Sullivan summons a Soul Spear and throws it at the player.

Jump kick

Sullivan jumps into the air and lands back on the ground, dealing massive AOE damage.

soul wave

Sullivan uses his magic weapon to create a soul wave with a short range.

How to defeat Pontiff Sullivan

Pontifex Sullivan has a very aggressive play style and most of his attacks leave you no chance. You will need good stamina recovery items to dodge his attacks and counterattack. Chloranthy Ring and Ring of Favor are good rings for increasing overall stamina and recovery.

Tip: It’s also ideal to have a Grass Shield with you. Even if you don’t want to use a shield, you can dual-wield a weapon and still get the shield’s effect.

Overhead attacks and double sword attacks can be parried if the timing is right. This will stun Sullivan and allow you to land a critical hit. Sullivan’s first attack when you enter the Fog Gate is a guaranteed parry attack and can be used to start the fight.

The boss is quite weak against fire, so pyromancy is a great choice. If your pyromancy flames are high enough, you can deal a lot of damage with spells like Greater Chaos Fire Orb. In the second phase of combat, ranged users such as sorcery and pyromancy must keep their distance and move as much as possible while casting spells. Sullivan will attack the player with his clone, making it difficult to track his movements.

The clone that the boss summons doesn’t have much health. If you manage to destroy the clone with spells, then the second phase becomes much easier. Most of his attacks can be dodged by rolling back or to the right. The boss uses a few seconds to summon a clone in the second phase. If you are proficient with ranged spells, you can continuously cast spells while he does so.

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