The Ashes of Ariandel DLC for Dark Souls 3 includes two boss encounters, and we’re going to walk you through each battle the best we can. Souls DLC bosses are legendary for their enhanced difficulty, and the creepy frozen wastes you’ll have to cross to reach each of these major monsters won’t be a walk in the park either.
To help make sense out the Painted World, we’ll also offer step-by-step instructions to help you reach every boss — the ultimate goal of these games is, naturally, to reach the next boss battle. If you’re ever stuck, consult the location guide for each boss. That should point you in the right direction.
How To Beat Every Boss | DLC Guide
- Location Guide:
- Move on to the bridge to find the Cathedral. To the left of the bridge, there is a ladder that leads into the old town. Continue into the town to find Sir Vilhelm. Defeat him in the library to gain the Contraption Key.
- Use the Contraption Key on the device to lower the stairs into the attic. Drop down from the planks on the ledges, past the balcony, to find another bonfire.
- Continue up the mountain. Knock down the weak tree near the stone bridge, and follow the path up to the cavern entrance. Open the shortcut to Sister Friede’s cathedral up the stairs.
- Find the crank through the Cathedral shortcut to open a passage behind the altar. Enter the passage behind the altar to initiate the boss fight.
During your first encouter with Sister Friede in the Cathedral, speak with her twice to earn the Chillbite Ring — a ring with strong resistance to frost damage. Equip the Chillbite Ring to lessen the impact of Friede’s ice spells.
NOTE: An NPC can be summoned at the bonfire closest to Sister Friede. The summoned NPC will not appear until Phase 2 of the fight.
In the first phase, Friede launches ice blasts that can be dodged with a side-step or roll. They can quickly cause frostbite — the Chillbite Ring will help here. Stay relatively close, the blast launches in a cone. Escape the effect before the ice crystals cascade forward.
Friede will use an invisibility spell to hide, teleport, and use a powerful finishing attack before appearing visible again. Her invisibility spell can be interrupted, and she is vulnerable to backstab attacks. If you don’t interrupt the spell, listen carefully and watch the floor for her footsteps. When you get near, she’ll reappear.
- Try to track her down when she disappears. Run toward her, reveal her position, then attack to interrupt her powerful surprise attack. If you can’t find her, wait until she’s just about to swing then roll toward her.
When the first phase is complete, a cutscene will initiate and the second phase will begin.
A second opponent, Father Ariandel, will appear and help Sister Friede in the fight. Both opponents share a health bar, although attacking Father Ariandel drains health much faster. Father Ariandel is also vulnerable to riposte, if you can time it right.
Try to only attack Father Ariandel from the side, and let your NPC summon keep Sister Friede distracted. Be prepared to exit lock-on and roll-dodge to escape if Sister Friede changes her attention to you. Surviving both of their attacks will be very difficult.
At range, Father Ariandel spits a burst of flame that will slowly turn to track you. It’s a slow attack, so simply sidestepping is enough to avoid it.
- Solo Strategy: If you’re going solo, stay at medium range and strafe the pair of opponents. Wait until Father Ariandel launches the burning stream attack — when he does, dash forward and attack his side. Usually, Sister Friede will only attempt to attack with her ice cone. Easy to escape. Continue to bait out Father Ariandel’s long-range fire attack. If you stand too far away, he’ll just use his charge combo.
Sister Friede will not turn invisible — but she will teleport. When she teleports, she’ll begin to charge a healing spell. If you see her sitting in a large circle of light, dash toward her and attack once to interrupt the healing. You only need to attack once, but you can get in 3-4 hits while she’s stunned if Father Ariandel isn’t on your back.
Sister Friede powers-up with dark attributes when she becomes Darkflame Friede. She now deals bonus dark damage, and her moves are much faster. Wait out her Dark Explosion and Dark Beam attacks — she will slow momentarily following a long string of spells.
- When Sister Friede turns invisible, she will unleash two ice cone attacks, then charge her powerful finisher. Wen you see the source of her ice cones, dash toward her and watch which direction she dashes. That way, you’ll be able to find and attack her before she can charge her finisher.
Dodge left or right and stay out of melee range to avoid her attacks. When she unleashes the Dark Explosion, dash/dodge far to the left. When she slows down, rush in and attack while you have the small window of opportunity.
This boss is hilariously difficult. Your best bet is to practice against the first two phases so you can bring the majority of your Estus Flasks for the final section. 6-8 should be enough for a normal Chosen Undead.
Stay at medium range to avoid her explosions of damage, and don’t bother trying to block — you’ll still take damage, evevn when blocking. Stay out of melee, and watch for her when she charges up and launches forward. That’s another of her killer finishers.
Champion’s Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf
- Location Guide:
- Cut down the rope bridge that leads to the Cathedral where Sister Friede is located.
- Descend down the rope bridge ladder, and follow the new path at the bottom.
- The boss battle will commence once you reach the large snowy field.
This dual boss is actually two fights in one. It is also completely optional, but completing the encounter will earn you the right to enter the Hollow Arena, a new PVP area designed specifically for duels.
Champion’s Gravetender is an NPC-style opponent with a pack of regular-sized wolves as back-up. Deal with the wolves first — back away and let the faster wolves rush you. Clear the pack before attempting to fight the Champion one on one.
The Champion is an effective guardbreaker, and will attempt a combo string. Strafe, dodge, and counter. You can riposte and backstab here. He is fast, but his health bar isn’t too long. It will deplete fast. At about 40% health remaining, he’ll summon a helper and begin Phase 2.
The Champion is relatively easy. Use the pillars to separate him from the Greatwolf and kill him before dealing with the much tougher companion.
This is where the real fight begins. A giant pet called Gravetender Greatwolf will swoop in to defend its master. The wolf is much larger and faster than the rest of the pack. The forward-thrust attack is the worst — watch for its tell before it lunges forward and knocks your undead hero into the air.
Use the pillar in the center of the ruins to retreat from the Greatwolf’s attacks. Be aware, the Greatwolf’s frost breath attack will go through the pillar.
To win, continue strafing to the side — left or right — and watch for the charge-up on its forward-thrust. Once you can effectivate predict the rush, it can be dodged.
Things get tough when the Greatwolf’s eyes turn red. It will not charge three times in a row. Dodge through its attack — learning to dodge through the Greatwolf’s charges is the only way to survive this fight. Otherwise, it isn’t nearly as difficult as Sister Friede.
More Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel guides, secrets, and locations:
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – DLC Walkthrough | Low-Spoilers Guide
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – 12 Cryptic Details Worth Checking Out
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – All New DLC Weapons | Locations Guide
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – All New DLC Armor | Locations Guide
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – All New DLC Spells | Locations Guide
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – All New DLC Key Items | Locations Guide
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – How to Access the DLC Area
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – How to Access the New PVP Area
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – How to Get the Chillbite Ring