The Four Kings

Description

Lord Gwyn recognized the foresight of these four great leaders of New Londo, and granted them their ranks and fragments of his Lord Soul. Sadly, they fell into the Dark after a primordial serpent offered them the Art of Lifedrain.

Location

The Abyss
At the center of the (previously) submerged New Londo Ruins. To get to this boss you must first drain the water in the New Londo Ruins, using the Key to the Seal which Ingward will give to you after you acquire the Lordvessel or he will drop it when killed. You then must equip the Covenant of Artorias ring, or you will die when you enter The Abyss.

Playthrough HP Souls
New Game 2,354 each King (9,416 total) 60,000
NG+ 3,976 each King (15,904 total) 180,000
NG+6 4,970 each King (19,880 total) 225,000

Drops

Summoning

Witch Beatrice
You must have summoned her for the Moonlight Butterfly fight if you want to summon her here. If you are looking at the bridge to the fog before The Four Kings, turn right. Her Soul Sign is on the left by the wall, near a ledge that would put you back at the beginning of the ruins. Be wary of a Darkwraith attacking from your right.

Notes

  • Even though you are fighting "The Four Kings," more than four bosses will spawn if you take too long.
    • Only four can spawn at a time, but additional kings will continue to spawn regardless of how many you've already killed.
    • It is possible to complete the fight with less than four kings spawning if you have a high enough damage output.
  • It's not possible to fight this boss before you have the Covenant of Artorias, because you will die when you jump to The Abyss without it. You must also wear the ring throughout the entire fight, because removing it will kill you immediately. You can safely remove it after you have killed them, though.
  • If you die during the boss fight, getting back to The Abyss can be hard since there are no bonfires in New Londo Ruins. Once the water has been drained out, the quickest way to get to The Abyss from the Firelink Shrine bonfire is as follows:
    • Head down the elevator and into New Londo Ruins using the suspended wooden bridges.
    • Upon reaching the small square where the first two Ghosts appear, run past the ghosts just to their right and then head straight over the ledge leading to the shallow pool below. Be ready when you land as there will be a Darkwraith enemy waiting just beyond the shadows.
    • From there, you can try to run past the enemies blocking your way to The Abyss, although you'll need to be quick about entering the fog gate and then running down the stairs before getting attacked in the back.
  • Attacking a king during its death animation will still deal damage to the total health bar of the boss, reducing the amount of damage that needs to be done to the last king. Also, during co-op (or if you summoned Witch Beatrice), if another player is held in the grab animation, damage cannot be done to the king doing the grab. However, attacks will again deal damage to the total health bar of the boss, so it is worth continuing the assault.
  • The kings have a grab attack that if you can spot can easily be dodged by moving quickly strait away from them.
  • WARNING: All damage done by the kings is magic, physical defense will do you no good.

Resistance

Weaknesses

  • Fire does a lot of damage, compared to the other damage types
  • Lightning
  • Magic weapons
  • Divine weapons gain a damage bonus against them. The higher the holy modifier, the higher the bonus.

Attack Patterns

  • Horizontal swing attack: the first swing stuns while the second usually kills.
  • Forward thrust attack. Poor tracking.
  • Vertical swing attack. Poor tracking, easily sidestepped. May have follow-up swing.
  • The King rotates completely with his sword extended pointing to the ground, signaling his upcoming attack, then homes in and grabs the player, dealing moderate to high damage, which also takes away one Humanity. It's very difficult to dodge this attack unless you start evading it from the beginning. He has another attack that starts with a very similar animation, so it's advised to start rolling away from him everytime you see him rotating.
  • The King rotates completely, this time covering himself with his wing, after a short delay creates an explosion for heavy damage. This attack has a similar starting animation than the attack mentioned above. You may even want to block this attack with your shield (the Crest Shield absorbs a good amount of its magical damage) as long as you're sure it's not the grab attack and also that you can withstand it.
  • He tries to gain some distance from you and then creates a homing projectile that moves very slow to the player, but it's difficult to dodge. If the projectile hits, the king may follow-up with a sword swing before you get up. The projectile disperses after 15 seconds, although only the animation stops and the projectile continues for a few seconds more. The projectile can also be blocked by a shield (again, the Crest Shield block almost all its magical damage) if hit head on but will still do a lot of damage through the shield.
  • Also at a distance may fire a circle of purple projectiles. These are easily avoided, but should you let them hit you, the added damage from all projectiles can deal serious damage.

Strategy

  • This battle differs from the others as you deal with (at least) four enemies in total, with each of them making up for about a quarter of the HP for this boss battle.
  • The key to this fight is speed, at the start there will only be one King; however, as the fight progresses the other three will spawn and join the fight. They all look the same with an identical move set. Killed kings will respawn as the fight goes on longer, but they won't extend the health bar at all. Killing them quickly is very important as you will eventually have four of them on you. Sometimes killing four kings is sufficient, but it sometimes requires an extra hit or two after the fourth goes down.
  • Due to their high Magic resistance, the Dark Hand and Crest Shield are able to almost completely block their attacks. Be wary of their low stability, though. Going Two-Handed with your weapon would remove this defence, and in turn, it is recommended to wear the Painting Guardian Set for the very high magic resistance.
  • If you are losing the damage race and several kings have spawned, staying very close to one can keep the others from attacking you.  This generally only works while soloing.
  • You can let Witch Beatrice tank for you while you land attacks on the distracted king. She does huge damage, but takes her time casting. Don't rely on her to kill the kings herself. When you walk through the fog door you will need to kill a ghost floating near the ceiling of the room or Beatrice will stay at the top of the stairs and wont come to the fight. On NG+, Beatrice will be almost completely useless, except for tanking, because her spells do little damage.

Pyromancer Strategy

  • Attune Iron Flesh, Combustion, Great Combustion and Fire Whip
  • Equip a strong shield with 100% physical block and high defense armor
  • Stay as close as you can to the king you are attacking. Close the distance to the first king, activate Iron Flesh, then use your spells to burn him down. Rinse and repeat. When Iron Flesh ends, circle right with your shield up and re-cast. Iron Flesh may run out before the last king is dead, but if you keep casting you should be able to take it down.

Easy Pyromancer Strategy (also good for SL1 run)

If you dump all your souls into upgrading your pyromancy adjustment (+15 or ascended), it is extremely easy to take out this boss very quickly

Simply rely on the Crest Shield to block the slashes as you rush to get in point-blank range. Then, circle behind, and spam Combustion/Great Combustion. Make sure to be ready to heal and/or block if needed. Each King will fall in 3-4 castings of Great Combustion, and 5-6 castings of combustion, assuming high magic adjust on your pyro glove.

Caster Strategy

  • Right hand: pyromancy flame and catalyst
  • Left hand: a high magic resistance shield to keep you safe between spell castings and a strong weapon to two-hand in case you run out of spells;
  • If you stay out of range of their swiping attacks, then rush back in and counter with soul spears and fireballs, you can usually take each king down quickly and avoid fighting multiple kings. The key is to step right outside of their swings and cast your spells as you are rushing so you have time to avoid their follow up attacks. If you don't rush in after dodging their sword, your spells probably won't hit the boss;
  • You can also use homing spells, but make sure you get close enough when rushing so the spells hit them.
  • Alternative: Use a high intelligence build (INT 40+). Use homing crystal soulmass (use 1 cast per King so you hit it as your approach it), and use Crystal Magic weapon on a fully upgraded quick weapon (Uchigatana is good) and use it two handed for max damage, and the fight becomes very easy, even on NG+. *Uchigatana gains no damage bonus from being two-handed, but will gain a poise-breaking bonus (not substantial for Kings). You're better off saving your stamina for one-handed attacks.
  • Alternative High intelligence builds (INT 40+) using Logan's Catalyst can abuse Crown of Dusk and Power Within pyromancy to burn the kings very fast using Soul Spear, Crystal Soul Spear and Homing Crystal Soulmass. As soon as you land on the Abyss, Equip the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring and cast Power Within. Once the first king spawns, rush to him. Do not cast until you are close enough their sword attacks bareley hit or miss you. Then proceed to burn with Soul Spear/Crystal Soul Spear first until you run out of ammo, then switch to Homing Crystal Soulmass. You can buy two scrolls of Soul Spear and one of Crystal Soul Spear per game. Very quick, very effective, enough downtime between Kings to drink Estus.

Melee Pyromancer Strategy

  • Equip a high magic block shield and high magic defense shield such as Stone Greatshield or Giant's Shield or Havels shield. If you don't have enough Strength, the crest shield will do
  • High defense armor is recommended, but not required.
  • After the first king spawns, rush him with your shield up.
  • Two-hand your weapon and kill the first one as fast as possible. You need to kill him before or as the second spawns.
  • Use Iron Flesh. It will probably run out before you reach the third king, so have your shield up and be ready to re-cast it. The fourth spawns fairly close so you should be able to finish the fourth off before Iron Flesh fades again. Try to cast it as close as possible if you have a good shield to protect you as you bum rush between Kings.

Video: Melee Pyromancer Strategy

Chaos weapon Strategy

  • Blitz the kings by equipping the most damaging Chaos weapon you can find (Quelaag's Furysword is ideal), and raise your Humanity level to 10 if possible (any more will not grant a further Chaos weapon damage boost).
  • Equip the Grass Crest Shield. Regardless of its stats, it is needed for stamina recovery.
  • After entering The Abyss, cast Power Within quickly and rush the first king with your weapon two-handed.
  • Watch your health bar as Power Within drains health.
  • Avoid the kings' Humanity stealing move, as losing Humanity lowers your weapon's effectiveness.
  • Even on NG+ and higher, this strategy will dispatch each king quickly.

Tank Strategy

  • Equip the following before jumping into The Abyss:
  • When you're done, jump into The Abyss.
  • Once the first king appears, run for him with your shield up, when you're close to him two-hand your weapon and attack him until he is dead (the Lightning Zweihander can kill him with 5 hits, quickly enough before the second king appears) ignore the hits you're taking, you shouldn't be staggered if you're using Havel's Set.
  • Use an Estus Flask if you need it.
  • Run for the second king (with your shield up) and repeat the strategy, he should be dead before the third king appears.
  • Use another Estus if you need and repeat the strategy as soon as the third king appears.

Simple Rolling Strategy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8cJveV69F8

Power Within tank

  • Equip Pyromancy Flame and a Grass Crest Shield (for stamina recovery) in your left hand and your blade of choice. Also equip a high defense armor set such as Havel's set or Stone set.
  • As soon as the first king will appear, cast Power Within and run up to him, stay really close and hack away. Heal when needed or at least when your stamina meter is empty. With a decent blade dealing decent damage, Power Within should last enough to kill the third king on NG++.
  • Note that if you character is still under the effect of Transient Curse, you won't be able to cast either Power Within nor Iron Flesh. Wait on the steps before descending to the Abyss until Transient Curse wears off.

NG+ Strategies (High Poise)

  • It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you attempt this fight solo, i.e. don't look for help by summoning Beatrice or other players who have left soul signs. Bringing in help also means the Kings will spawn faster, making it very likely that you'll be surrounded before you know it.
  • Equip any armor with high poise (such as the Black Knight Armour set) and Mask of the Child and Grass Crest Shield for faster stamina recovery. The Stone set works very well (with Havel's Ring) due to it's high physical and magic protection…
  • Equip your best great sword, not UltraGreatSword…if the sword doesn't already have elemental buffs built in, be sure to use something which can be buffed with items or magic.
  • Using a +5 Black Knight Halberd works very well…make sure to two-hand the entire time! The only time you should switch back to single-hand weapon usage would be to recast your Magic Barrier miracle.
  • Chaos weapons also work well, but you may not want to risk losing the humanity you'll need to spend in order to get the stat bonus.
  • Use Great Magic Barrier as soon as you land on Abyss. If you are quick about it, you can potentially kill two Kings within a single cast, but be careful not to recast too soon as you may be standing around while waiting for the next King to spawn, wasting precious seconds of protection.
  • Get close to the 1st king as soon as possible, lock on and start hitting him equipping the sword two-handed.
  • When your health bar is down to about 60%, use an Estus Flask. If your poise is high, he can't stop you…try to stay close and work your way behind the current King while staying locked on before taking a swig.
  • Never block or doss; with the right armor set, most physical attacks should be negligible. A well-timed roll can go a long way to tipping this fight into your favor…
  • Rinse and repeat. Speed and stamina are the keys to winning this way…
  • Remember that the HP of each King that appears is not what matters; only the bar at the bottom is important. It's definitely best to focus on killing one King at a time, but if you have to back off and can't get back in close, it might be best to lock on to whichever King is nearest.

NG+ Strategy - Pyromancy

Buff-Stack Strategy

  • Equip your best enchantable weapon with good AR and damage output
  • Equip high-poise armor like Havel's or Giant's set so you can attack without being staggered by the Kings' attacks
  • The Spell Stoneplate Ring and Crest Shield work great in this fight because they drastically reduce the magic damage done by the Kings' spells, AoE blasts and magic-enhanced strikes that become prevalent later on by the third King
  • Equip Power Within and any build-specific buffs you have (Darkmoon Blade and Sunlight Blade come to mind for Faith builds; Crystal Magic Weapon and Great Magic Weapon is great for INT builds and much easier to obtain
  • If you only have two buffs for your character, you can substitute Charcoal Pine Resins to add a bit of extra damage (80 damage will add up and every swing and dmg point counts); or use a defensive measure like Great Magic Barrier
  • Make sure your talisman and/or catalyst has a good magic-adjust (Darkmoon Talisman and Logan's Catalyst are highly recommended - especially if your INT or FTH stats approach 40)

The key to this is timing the individual or combined uses of your buffs so that they can overlap and have their duration used as efficiently as possible. Because of how easy the first two Kings are, it is recommended you save one-use weapon buffs like Darkmoon Blade or Sunlight Blade for the last two. INT builds can switch between Great Magic Weapon and Crystal Magic Weapon as they please since they would get a combined six uses:

  • INT builds: start off with Great Magic Weapon for the first two kings. When the third appears, cast Power Within and Crystal Magic Weapon so that the last two Kings - which are the most damaging due to the magic damage on their attacks - will fall significantly fast. This is important because the Kings will overwhelm quickly if the last third of their combined health is not dealt with quickly.
  • FTH builds with both Sunlight and Darkmoon Blade: Do not buff for the first King. Get close and hack him away quickly. When the second King is approaching, use Sunlight Blade to deal with him quickly as well. When the third King arrives, combine Power Within with your Darkmoon Blade. You should be able to take him out very fast and still have enough time to do significant damage to the last king before your buffs deplete - if not complete the fight.
  • FTH builds with Power Within but only one cast-able buff: Follow the above strategy. But instead, cast Power Within on the second King. When the third is coming, overlap with whichever buff you have. After the third king, or if you get an opening once Power Within expires, cast Magic Barriers or great Magic barriers when appropriate and coast the rest of the fight.
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