11 of 19
11. Crystal Sage
The Crystal Sage's first form is deceptive; she'll appear near the center of the map, get clocked a few times by whatever weapon you're using, then teleport to another part of the map. Repeat until she gets around half-health, after which she'll begin spawning copies of herself, all spewing different spells at you. If you can't find a nearby pillar to hide behind, you're in deep. The guesswork of finding the right Sage immediately throws a bit of chance into the proceedings, which means that success isn't all up to you some of the time. Her spells are hard to dodge, but if you find the real mage immediately, that's really not a problem.
Use Ember to Summon?: Up to you. Having a friend reduces the guesswork, but if you have extra-bad luck, you might just waste an Ember.
12 of 19
12. Vordt of the Boreal Valley
Vordt will likely be the first real hump many players encounter. He's fast, his attacks drain enough stamina to make blocking useless, and his frostbite attacks can slow your stamina regeneration to a crawl, which can make dodging his next attack difficult. Pyromancers and spellcasters might be tempted to fire off their spells immediately, but they should wait until Vordt transforms mid-match, after which staying back becomes a better strategy. Dedicated casters might even re-allocate their Estus stock towards Ashen Flasks for more spells, but that's a big risk considering they'll have less healing to rely on. Everyone else is stuck dodging his three-attack flurries and countering with an attack of their own.
Use Ember to Summon? No.
13 of 19
13. Dragonslayer Armour
Dragonslayer Armour would be a great test of skill for whatever build you're using if it wasn't for that pesky friend of his. As you move out of the way of the Dragonslayer's devastating, long-range attacks, you'll occasionally get bombarded by massive fireballs from the sky, and there's nothing you can do about that. Even worse, the two of them can sync up their attacks to kill you in a single burst or knock you off the narrow arena. Dragonslayer's tough on his own though, since no one method works on everything he does. You'll have to roll forward, back, sideways and block just to stay alive.
Use Ember to Summon? No; having a second player means one player has a higher chance to get knocked off the very small arena you fight Dragonslayer in. Don't waste Embers on a fight you can win.
14 of 19
14. Abyss Watchers
It's hard to take in the "moment" of this fight (and it's definitely important to what's going on in Dark Souls III) when you're worried about getting mauled by two soldiers at once. Sure, you get help from an enemy of your enemy, but all three of them are just as likely to kill you as each other. You can backstab and parry each Abyss Watcher, but they're way too fast to do that consistently. Fast, slim weapons like lances work best since you might get carried away on dodging their lightning-fast attacks and be pressed for space. Press your advantage when the two Watchers are fighting the third to maximize the amount of time they're not focused on you and you should come out on top.
Use Ember to Summon?: Yes.
15 of 19
15. Pontiff Sulyvahn
Pontiff Sulyvahn will almost immediately make you wish you didn't have to fight him. His attacks are fast, his vulnerable windows are small, and halfway through the fight he'll summon a copy of himself to help him kill you. It can be hard to learn his tells because they're not super-obvious, and having to keep track of two separate enemies at once means your attention's a bit strained. Like Vordt, you should probably dodge his attacks rather than block them, since a few of his sequences will break all of your stamina, damage you, and make it impossible for you to mount any sort of offense.
Use Ember to Summon?: Yes. If he gets a phantom buddy, you should too.
16 of 19
16. Soul of Cinder
Soul of Cinder definitely delivers as final boss. It's not the hardest boss in the game, but it's the most momentous. The field of flowers reminiscent of Bloodborne's fight against Gehrman, the way it switches stances throughout the fight—you can feel how final this encounter will be. Having to learn five different movesets (four fighting styles plus a bonus one when you whittle its first life bar down) is a real pain in the ass made worse by how much damage it does. Rolling forward is a must during the first half of the fight, since it's the only way you'll have a chance to land a blow and not get hit in return. In its second form, your best bet is to stay away and let it come to you, as its leap attack is the easiest one to dodge and counter. Be patient, watch the windup on their moves, and it'll eventually buckle to the superior bonfire-lighter.
Use Ember to Summon?: Unless it's a friend you can coordinate with, no. Its attacks can make short work of any ally you bring in, wasting precious Embers.
17 of 19
17. Dancer of the Boreal Valley
My general advice for most Dark Souls bosses is "learn their patterns or level up some more," both of which are hard to apply to the Dancer of the Boreal Valley. Depending on what order you tackle the game's bosses, you'll face the Dancer at different points in your journey, making the level requirement hard to pin down. And even once you learn her patterns, she'll still kill you quite a few times. Her attacks have ridiculous reach (you'll swear multiple times that you were out of the reach of her grab move when you weren't), her patterns are erratic with short windups, and once she gets her second sword going, the fight becomes a whole other level of hard. My only advice is that you get a weapon with long reach upgraded before you fight her, since that will make actually hitting her between attacks a lot easier.
Use Ember to Summon?: Yes.
18 of 19
18. Lorian, Elder Prince/Lothric, Younger Prince
You can do everything right against the Prince Brothers—block their attacks, dodge the teleports before they happen, find Lorian before he throws out that beam that basically kills you in one shot—and still lose, all because you didn't force these two to share. If you haven't dealt enough damage to Lothric by the time you kill Lorian the second time, you won't be able to kill Lothric before he can revive his brother, making you start the fight over. That, on top of how fast, how strong, and how resilient these brothers are, makes this fight one of the most frustrating in the game.
Use Ember to Summon?: Yes. Kill these bastards by any means necessary.
19 of 19
19. King of the Storm/The Nameless King
No matter how you decided to build your character (tanky, nimble, aggressive, defensive, physical, magical), The Nameless King and his stupid pet bird will make you question your choice. Even after beating every other boss in the game, leveling up multiple weapons to their full potential, and clearing out every area Lothric has to offer, this fight will make you feel as though you don't stand a chance. Dodging is usually your best bet during the first phase, while the second almost demands you stay in his face and block his attacks. This fight is tucked away deep into the late hours of the game and is entirely optional for good reason: it's by far the toughest. When you ring the bell to summon The Nameless King, you better be ready.
Use Ember to Summon?: Maybe. A coordinated group can make short work of this fight, but can just as easily be wiped out be single well-placed fire blast or thunder strike.