In Dark Souls 3, Highlord Volnir is a massive, jeweled skeleton whose bracelets serve as the boss’s hitbox. He mainly attacks the player with his torso and limbs, but sometimes he can wield a sword, which makes the fight more dangerous. This colossal skeleton is drenched in deadly darkness and calls upon an army of skeletons to defend itself.
The fight with this boss can be unpredictable – it can go very smoothly or turn into a chaotic mess. It is recommended to destroy the bracelets as quickly as possible to reduce the chance of the boss summoning his sword or skeleton army. There are no available NPC summons in Lord Volnir’s boss fight. You can summon phantoms in front of the doors, but not in the goblet room. This boss is optional and must be defeated in order to progress to Irithyll of the Boreal Valley.
Overview of Highlord Wolnir
- Location: Catacombs of Karthus
- Required: No
- Drop: 22,000 Souls and Highlord Volnir’s Soul
- Weakness: Bracelets and hit damage
Highlord Volnir is a boss located in the Catacombs of Karthus. After interacting with the bowl, a scene will appear that teleports you to the boss room. You will find yourself in a dark arena, in the center of which is a luminous object. As soon as you approach the item, the boss will appear and the battle will begin. You can pick up an item to receive a Grave Warden Pyromancy Tome.
Tip: If you didn’t manage to get this item and the boss fight is over, you can pick it up from the corner of the bonfire room near the stairs.
There are no summonable NPCs in this fight. You will have to fight the boss alone, or you can summon an online player by using Amber and summoning the player through his White Sign soapstone. The player’s challenge increases the boss’ health, but since this is a trick boss fight, you will need to destroy that many bracelets for the boss to die.
The boss fight is optional and you will have to defeat Wolnir to progress through the game. After defeating the boss, you will receive 22,000 souls and the soul of Highlord Volnir. You can transplant the soul back to the Firelink Sanctuary to receive Volnir’s Sacred Sword or the Black Snake. If you don’t need these items, you can spend a soul for 10,000 souls.
High Lord Volnir’s Attacks
Highlord Volnir is a trefoil boss and doesn’t have many attacks. Most of them are easy to dodge and reflect easily. However, the boss does a lot of damage if you get hit by his attacks.
The boss hits the player with his hand.
Highlord Volnir sweeps his hand across the arena, dealing massive damage to you.
The boss summons a sword from the ground. He can then either swipe the sword around the arena or stick it into the ground to cause an AOE explosion.
Highlord Volnir summons various skeletons throughout the fight. The attacks of the boss itself can also damage skeletons.
cloud of smoke
The boss opens its mouth and releases a cloud of smoke that deals damage over time if you are in its area of effect.
How to defeat Highlord Volnir
For all melee players, the main task is to run to the golden bracelets that the boss is wearing. The boss does not take damage anywhere else on his body. By breaking the bracelet, you will deprive the boss of a huge piece of health. You must repeat this several times and destroy all the bracelets. Once all bracelets have been destroyed, the boss fight will end.
However, after each bracelet is destroyed, the boss will summon various skeletons. Luckily, you can ignore these enemies as they don’t pose much of a threat and the boss can deal with them with his attacks.
From time to time, the boss will raise its head, signaling a Smoke Cloud attack. When this happens, run away from the boss to avoid the cloud.
Note: Wolnir also tends to move his arms to make it harder for you to break his bracelets. Just wait for the right moment to start attacking again while you defend against his calls.
Mages using magic and pyromancy are best positioned some distance from the boss and use their spells and pyromagics on his bracelet. Large Chaos Fire Orb is an exceptional choice as it does a lot of damage and a few spells will break the bracelet.
Tip: White Dragon’s Breath is a required spell for this fight. It makes combat much easier for mages. All you need to do is cast a spell every time the boss puts his hand on the ground.
If you’re on NG+ and don’t want to mess around with the whole fight, you can use Toxic Miasma. This spell acts like a mist that eats away the boss’ health bar. At the beginning of the fight, you can go to the right bracelet and cast this spell. A few mist spells will be enough to kill the boss.
You can purchase Toxic Miasma from Orbeck of Vinheim for 1,000 souls after you turn in any enchantment scroll. The NPC lives in the Path of Sacrifices and moves to Firelink Shrine after you talk to him.