Sanctuary Guardian


A chimeric demon resembling a manticore. It guards the Oolacile Sanctuary from invaders utilizing lightning powers and its own various body parts. The first enemy encountered in the Additional Content.


Sanctuary Garden
Just after the first bonfire.
Playthrough HP Souls
New Game 2,560 30,000
NG+ 4,019 60,000
NG+6 7,921 75,000



Return to this boss arena once you've killed Knight Artorias to find two Lesser Sanctuary Guardians waiting.

Attack Pattern

  • Lightning blasts - Fires lightning shots in three manners (as the arena is filled with shallow water, all lightning that hits the ground will have an area of effect):
    • One single, large blast from a ground position.
    • One single, large blast whilst flying either directly overhead or strafing in the air.
    • Four smaller consecutive blasts from a ground position.
  • Poisonous tail swipe.
  • Melee flurry - Short distance melee attacks. Up to four consecutively.
  • A strong double swipe with its front claws.
  • Back kick - Kicks with his hind legs if the player is positioned behind him.
  • A single, powerful ramming headbutt attack straight ahead.
  • Flies directly towards the player.
  • A jumping pounce right on you, then flips back to mid-range.
  • Shockwave - Rears onto his hind legs and slams into the ground before releasing a single wave of energy traveling forward along the ground, depleting stamina if your shield is raised (if the Guardian successfully breaks your character's guard with this attack expect a followup charge and ramming headbutt from the Guardian).


Weapons that cause bleeding seem to work well. Give yourself room to move and heal, and get the occasional hit in. Learn all of his attack patterns.


Equip - Any upgraded weapon that can land quick hits (ie. Uchigatana) and any shield with good stability, physical resistance and decent lightning resistance (ie. Silver Knight Shield). The Cloranthy Ring is useful to speed up stamina recharge. Eagle Shield is also very useful due to its high lightning damage reduction as well as 95% physical damage reduction.

Dodge his lightning blasts (sometimes 3-4 times in a row). Stay close and block most of his physical attacks. The safest moment to attack and land a few strikes without having to fear immediate retaliation is after dodging his shockwave attack. Only attack once or twice and then retreat. Two-handing your weapon might be advantageous - if your weapon is powerful enough, you can stun him with a few hits, allowing time for an extra hit and a moment to retreat.

The shockwave does not do any damage, your character is simply pushed back a little bit. Do not block the attack, either roll out of the way or take the brunt of it. The guardian will still do his followup headbutt, though you should have time to block it (this may even give you time to cut the tail if you're lucky).

Be wary of attacking him from behind since he can kick with his hind legs and put his poisonous tail to use, which will penetrate most shields (Even his sides are not safe! His tail has a very wide range).

This boss likes to jump around a LOT. Even if you are used to playing without enemy lock, as many melee players are, it is recommended to lock on to the boss. This will make tracking him much easier and avoid wasting precious hits and stamina. It's also very useful for blocking and many a times you might already take 2 hits by the time you manage to face him.

Iron Flesh Melee

Equip - Iron Flesh, Lingering Dragoncrest Ring, Ascended [Pyromancy Flame, (Cursed) Greatsword of Artorias, Effigy Shield.

Cast Iron Flesh in the first few seconds of the fight and get your shield up. When he gets close, switch to two-handed and start attacking. The Sanctuary Guardian has only 90 poise and he takes 5 seconds to regenerate. As such, two-handing any fairly heavy weapon and landing 2-3 hits will practically stun-lock him (make sure to land those hits without any delay in between, ignore any hits you take as Iron Flesh can take care of it). Expressly for this purpose Cloranthy Ring can be equipped, and the boss fight ends in practically a matter of seconds. If you do not have a good heavy weapon, keep wailing on the boss until Iron Flesh runs out. Repeat.

Pyromancy with fire-based weapon

Equip - Fire Uchigatana or Fire Claymore. Fully upgraded Pyromancy Flame and Great Combustion. Eagle Shield or Silver Knight Shield. Havel's Ring and Thunder Stoneplate Ring. Painting Guardian Set for lightning protection and light weight.

Use Great Combustion on the guardian to burn off most of its life. Finish up with melee.

Pyromancy strategy

This battle, for a Pyromancer, will be a damage-per-second ordeal: you want to pelt the Sanctuary Guardian with as much damage as you can in as little time as possible, and avoid damage as much as you can, since he has quite a few attacks that will either insta-kill you outright or leave you in a bad way . You should equip Lightning reducing gear, but heavy armor won't do much against the Guardian's physical attacks, so a lighter armor with better mobility is recommended. You should have your Pyromancy Flame as high as it can go, and you want high-damage close range Pyromancy spells, like Great Combustion and Fire Whip. Resist the temptation to use Ball-type Pyromancy spells: the Guardian is very good at avoiding them, and the long casting times give it more than enough time to jump away from them and making you waste them. You should also equip the Eagle Shield, Thunder Stoneplate Ring and Wolf Ring. The Eagle Shield and Thunder Stoneplate Ring will help you survive if you get hit by the Guardian's thunder attacks(though it's much preferable to avoid them), and the Wolf Ring will help give you high poise so the shield will also protect you better from the Guardian's physical attacks.

You want to close distance with the Guardian as soon as possible, since its deadliest attacks are from long- to mid-range. The large lightning blast will probably kill you instantly if you don't block it or avoid it, and if blocked will hit pretty hard, but the smaller blasts probably won't hurt you much if they hit thanks to all the lightning protection you have, and the damage is negligible if blocked. Unless it takes flight, the Guardian won't attack with lightning from up close. Nearing mid-range, it might try its pounce attack, which will pretty much insta-kill you, and if you survive blocking it you'll be pretty hurt. However, like the lightning blasts, it doesn't do it if you're up close, hence you wanting to close the distance.

Once you're close to the Guardian, you want to start advancing and strafing left (the Guardian's right) with your shield raised, so that if it does any of its melee attacks, they'll either miss outright or hit your shield for minimal damage. It's melee combo will usually connect with your shield, but the double swipe misses a lot when you're strafing, either landing to your side safely or going over your head. Once you have the Guardian's flank, start pelting it with your Pyromancy spells. The closer-range spells hit hard and come out fast, so you'll probably be doing very good damage against it, and you can take a hit or two from its combo if you're caught while casting and still survive and hit the spell. If you're to its flank and it does a physical attack that misses, that's your window to use your Estus Flask to heal if you've been hurt. If you see it lower its tail, raise your shield to block the tail swipe attack, which will hit for minimal damage and not poison you. If it manages to get s a little distance and go for its shockwave attack, let yourself hit by it. The shockwave merely stuns you for a second if it hits, but if you block it it'll sap all your stamina away and you won't be able to block it's ramming headbutt attack, which will probably insta-kill you. Let yourself be hit by the shockwave, let it dissipate completely(if it hits you and you immediately raise your shield, it might still hit your shield and sap your stamina), then raise your shield to block the ramming headbutt.

If you follow all these steps, you should be able to dispatch the Guardian with a little effort. While its speed and attack variety can be troublesome, good preparation and a meticulous gameplan should see you victorious.

Tail Cut

To cut off a tail it's necessary to deal a certain amount of damage against it. The HP of the tail increases with higher NG cycles and is based on the HP of the respective enemy.

Playthrough Tail HP
New Game 500
NG+ 785
NG+6 981

In case of the Sanctuary Guardian, the tail has about 19.53% of his HP.

  • Once in a while (could be very long while) the Guardian will fly high up, then drop down towards you for a powerful melee attack. When the Guardian drops down, roll left and it will miss, that gives you a chance to rush up and attack the tail. You will most likely land one attack on the tail. A more surefire method is to bait out the Guardian's shockwave attack and stand directly in front of him with your shield raised. You will be staggered, but he will not have recovered from his attack, giving you ample time to recover instead. Roll to either side of his charging headbutt and you will find his tail vulnerable for a quick attack (Great Combustion will help shorten the fight).
    • Be careful not to dodge too early; the Guardian spends a good while gaining elevation before diving. If you dodgeroll too early, he will simply dive into your dodgeroll destination.
  • He may also charge in and attempt to gore you for a powerful melee attack (be careful not to mistake this for his quick headbutt). Roll out of the way and attack his tail.
  • Trying to cut the tail after dodging his attack can be frustrating with melee, using strong ranged or magic attacks can cut his tail even if he doesn't lower it. Wait until he uses the shockwave attack and run to his side, do not use lock on and point your camera manually at his tail. I managed to cut his tail off this way with 1 crystal soul spear on new game.
  • If you missed the tail the first time and are struggling with the two Lesser Sanctuary Guardians, you can cut their tails by shooting them with a bow from the tunnel near the Sanctuary Garden bonfire. Be wary, the lesser guardians will still be able to hit you with lightning if you move up in the tunnel to get a better shot but, if you don't move up you will have a hard time hitting the tail because you will hit the elevation instead.
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