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Not to be confused with Dark Spirit Syan Knight.

Royal Guards, otherwise known as Syan Knights, are enemies in Dark Souls II.


High ranking soldiers in Vendrick's army, these knights were gifted weapons and equipment modeled on Sir Syan, one of Drangleic's military leaders. However Sir Syan was killed during the war against the Giants and his armor became cursed. Shortly after his death, the unfortunate knights that wore his armor were driven insane.


Royal Guards can be found most often in Drangleic Castle and Undead Crypt. In Scholar of the First Sin, they can be found throughout Drangleic, often guarding important paths or blocking the way to treasure.


Royal Guards can wield either a greatsword or a halberd. Depending on their armament, they require different strategies to deal with. However, in both cases they move very slowly, although they also have tremendous health that makes them tough to bring down, and in encounters in Scholar of the First Sin can deal tremendous damage to low-level players should their attacks connect.

Halberd wielders will often attack from behind their shields, though don't track the player as they begin their attacks. They can be easily avoided by strafing to their left (player's right), and dealing critical damage with a backstab.

The sword wielders will usually chain their attacks into two or three-swipe combos. Like the halberd wielders, these attacks have relatively poor tracking and can be sidestepped for easy backstabs.

If the player attacks their greatshield while they are blocking, the Royal Guard may bring their weapon up and charge it with lightning, and then bring it down for a very strong attack. It is very easily telegraphed, and its overhead nature makes it easy to avoid by rolling to the side so long as the player is not obstructed by terrain or obstacles.

It is easy to simply tank or avoid their attacks until they eventually start blocking and backing away, at which point the player can simply Guard Break them and Riposte while they are staggered. (The animation and timing will be the same as a Parry and Standing Riposte.)


  • Shielded Pokes: Attacks from behind their shield, performs two stabs in a row.
  • Overhead Strike: Performs an overhead strike with the halberd.
  • Lightning Strike: Held over their head, the halberd gets imbued with electricity on the bladed end and extends past it as well. Little to no tracking.
  • Swiping: Performs two horizontal swipes in a row.