Being a hybrid of different creatures, the Sanctuary Guardian possesses various abilities. Its body is part lion, part goat, and has a long, spiked scorpion tail, in addition to two sets of wings.
Its red-eyed lion half has white fur and large paws, which it uses to strike its opponent. Its goat legs have a dark purple color and can perform powerful kicks, and it uses its large set of curved horns to ram its opponent. Its four large wings give it the ability to fly for short periods of time and to release powerful blasts of wind, and its scorpion tail has poisonous properties. In addition to these deadly abilities, the beast can spew lightning projectiles from its mouth.
The fight is primarily made up of fast physical combos, lightning projectiles thrown in as environmental hazards, and poisonous attacks. Most attacks can be dodged by rolling, but large stamina depletion will occur if blocking is preferred. The Sanctuary Guardian can easily stunlock and kill low Poise players with its four hit combos. Low Stamina or over-encumbered players may have a tough time enduring hit after hit.
This boss can be bled, but up to four successive hits must land.
Should players decide to equip a shield to fight the Sanctuary Guardian, the Eagle Shield is particularly well suited for this battle: it combines 95% physical protection (100% before patch 1.06) and 75% lightning protection, with great stability, all for a moderate weight and low Strength requirement.
It is ill-advised to take on this battle with slow roll: Indeed, the slow roll will not take the player far enough to dodge the "Wave of Water" attack, which otherwise leaves it wide open for a counterattack. If the player cannot dodge then it is better to stagger for a short time than to block this attack as blocking drains large amounts of stamina and will leave the player vulnerable to the Sanctuary Guardian's follow-up charge attack, while absorbing the blow will not damage the player and leaves time to block or roll afterwards.
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. Its tail has 500 health on NG and 785 on NG+.
- 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 dodge too early, he will simply dive into your 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.
- 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.
- After defeating Artorias the Abysswalker, two respawning Lesser Sanctuary Guardians will appear, allowing for multiple opportunities to obtain the Guardian Tail whip if the player missed severing the tail in the first encounter.
Attacks rapidly in combos of 2 or 4 with its paws and horns. Two sequential paw or horn attacks is a 2 string attack. A paw attack followed by a horn attack, or vice versa, is a 4 string attack.
After rearing on its hind legs, it will proceed to slam its front paws down at the player.
Performs a quick charge and then thrusts its head upwards, launching the player into the air if it connects. Its tail will be lowered to the ground for a short time after this attack, providing an opportunity for the player to cut it.
Gallops into the air and the swoops down to attack with its horns. Its tail will be lowered to the ground for a short time after this attack, providing an opportunity for the player to cut it.
The Sanctuary Guardian will fly up into the air and pause before launching straight at the player with lightning speed. If avoided it will be vulnerable to attack for a short time, however if the attack hits it will instead somersault backwards through the air landing far away from the player.
Its wings are used to project a wave of water and wind in front of it. If blocked it will consume a huge amount of stamina, or outright break the block of shields without very high stability. If the player can not roll out of the way it is better to take the hit rather than attempt to block.
Will occasionally follow up with a Charge attack if player stays in front of it.
Lightning Shot[note 1]
Lowers its head to charge, then releases a large ball of lightning at the target. Has an identical telegraph to Lightning Repeater.
Lightning Repeater[note 1]
Fires four lightning projectiles in moderately quick succession. Can be avoided by strafing to either side. Has an identical telegraph to Lightning Shot.
Lightning Strafe[note 1]
Strafes around the target whilst flying, firing a heavy lightning projectile.
Lightning Overhead[note 1]
Flies over the target, releasing a heavy lightning ball at the end of its flight. Can be effectively dodged by rolling backwards after the guardian has passed over the player.
Sweeps its tail from right to left, causing medium poison buildup.
It will spin slightly above ground in 360 degrees, sweeping with its tail, causing heavy poison buildup.
The Sanctuary Guardian will kick with its hind legs if the player is too close to its rear.
The Guardian will fly backwards far away from the player, causing them to lose target lock.
|Physical Defenses||Elemental Defenses||Resistances|
These stats are sourced from FuturePress's Official Dark Souls Strategy Guide.
- Physical defenses: Regular 100, Slash 100, Strike 100, Thrust 100 (raw entity data, for comparison only)
- Elemental defenses: Magic 256, Fire 160, Lightning 352 (Raw entity data, for comparison only)
- Status defenses: Poison 250, Toxic 250, Bleed 100 (Raw entity data, for comparison only)
- The Sanctuary Guardian resembles various mythological hybrids, most alike to the manticore from Persian mythology and Chimera from Greek mythology.
- Lightning damage will spread out from point of impact for area-of-effect damage.