This boss is found at the end of the Grand Cloisterin the Lake of Rot, and is something of a Vigor check. However, besides its ability to one-shot low vigor builds, this boss doesn’t need to be a challenge — it has generally slow attacks that can be easily avoided once you’ve learned to see them coming. The hard part is learning how to see the moves coming, and learning how to react to them.
In this guide, we’ll go over some general strategies, and offer specific tactics for melee and ranged characters. The end of the guide features a moveset list to help you identify and avoid the boss’s attacks.
If you’re wondering why the path to the elevator is blocked after you defeat Astel, it’s because you need the Dark Moon Ring from Ranni’s questline in order to access the area past Astel.
Equipping gear with resistance to Magic damage can help mitigate the damage from Astel’s hardest-to-avoid attacks — the Carian Knight’s Shield is useful for the same reason.
Unlike most large enemies, being directly underneath Astel is generally a bad idea, since he has some AOE attacks that you cannot see coming if you’re beneath his center. Instead, try to hang out right in front of him — this lets you see what’s coming next, and also baits his easy-to-avoid-or-block pincher attacks.
Melee summons can sometimes struggle to follow this boss around the arena.
This boss can be staggered, and you can critically strike the eye on his forehead.
The fight always starts off with Astel doing his Beam attack, so don’t summon your spirit ashes right as you enter the boss arena. Instead, wait until you’ve dodged the first attack, and then summon your spirit ashes. Because this boss teleports around so much, ranged summons like the Jellyfish can be stronger than melee summons, but if your only upgraded summons are melee, that’ll work too.
You’ll want to spend most of your time just in front of the boss — that way, you can see the boss’s attacks coming and avoid them, while still being in range to counterattack once you’ve blocked or avoided the boss’s attack. As always, I recommend using a shield and holding block until you’re familiar with the boss’s moveset. Equipping magic-resistant gear, and using the Carian Knight’s Shield, can let you block most of the boss’s attacks with only minimal chip damage.
The hardest attack to avoid is going to be the Grab, at least for most players. It seems to only show up when the boss reappears after teleporting, and it’s tough to get the timing down for avoiding it. If you see where he’s reappearing, you can avoid it by simply getting far enough away, but that isn’t always possible. If the Grab is consistently one-shotting you, you’ll need to get more Vigor, or this fight is going to be incredibly frustrating.
Stay relatively close to the boss, but don’t get under it — it’s very hard to identify the boss’s moves while you’re beneath him. Instead, stay in front of him, hold block, and try to roll to avoid attacks. The pincher attacks will appear often while you’re right in front of him, and you can leap the pincher attack with a jumping attack. Land enough leaping/heavy attacks and you’ll stagger him, and you can get off a critical attack for some serious damage.
The boss has long periods where he’ll idle in between attacks, so you shouldn’t struggle to find DPS windows. When the boss attacks, roll diagonally to one side and keep going that direction for a bit — many of the boss’s attacks have terrible tracking, and it will attack where you were a few seconds ago.
Beam – The boss raises his head and brings his pinchers together, and a purple ball of magic forms between them. He then brings his pinchers low, and after a delay, fires a damaging beam of magic energy. Unlike most projectiles, you cannot avoid this by sprinting horizontally, and instead must block it or (ideally) dodge roll as it fires. Start counting to 3 once the purple ball forms, and dodge on 3.
Tail Slams – Astel floats up slightly and raises his tail high in the air, then slams it down onto his target. After a delay, he does this a second time, although the range is shorter and this can miss if his target is far away.
Tail Stabs – The boss raises his tail into the air and stabs down in front of himself with it. This attack has poor tracking, and if he is stabbing where you aren’t, you can attack him while he finishes this move.
Pincher Chomps – Astel clacks his pinchers together, and then chomps twice with his pinchers. Roll behind his head when he does his first chomp, and the second chomp should miss — you can also do a jumping attack when you see him clack his pinchers, and you should dodge his attack while landing your own. Frequently chained into the Charged Chomp.
Charged Chomp – Astel clacks his pinchers together, and then chomps twice with his pinchers. Roll behind his head when he does his first chomp, and the second chomp should miss.
Waves of Darkness – The boss raises either arm and forms a chain of purple balls. He then brings the arm he raised to the ground, and three waves of magic emanate from that hand. This cannot be blocked effectively, and the timing for the dodge rolls is tough, so just run away from the hand that has the orbs near it when you see him start this attack. Occasionally, he will do this move with both hands (you’ll know because the purple balls will form around both of his arms) — you need to run far away from either hand to avoid.
Teleportation – A singularity forms above the boss, and white lights appear and float towards it while the boss slowly floats upwards. After a delay, the boss disappears, and targets near him take damage. The AOE on this attack is fairly small, so as long as you run away when you see this begin, it’s easy to avoid. However, this is always chained into his Grab if he reappears near you, so be careful!
Grab – Often seen right after the boss emerges from his Teleportation, the boss will fly towards you and then attempt to grab you. It seems like if you roll early, you’ll be grabbed automatically, so wait until he does the hugging motion to roll (rolling away seems better than rolling towards him). Even better, start running once he teleports and quickly spin your camera until you see where he’s appearing. Run away from his location — if you get far enough away, he won’t do his grab.
Gravity Swipe – The boss does a vertical swipe with a purple orb in his hand — in addition to the damage from the swipe, a string of magic is left behind, which explodes after a brief delay. If you roll forwards or backwards to dodge this, the magic string shouldn’t hurt you.
Gentle Gravity Swipe – Astel puts his hands together and raises them over his shoulder, and purple orbs form around his hands. He then gently moves these towards his target, leaving a trail of magic that explodes behind the path of the orb — the orbs then explode as well. If you move diagonally away from the orbs, this attack is fairly easy to dodge.
Gravity Slam – The boss’s teeth and pinchers chatter, there’s a brief sparkle of electricity around the boss, and then the area around the boss starts to glow slightly white. After a few seconds, there is a white flash, and everything around the boss floats in the air, and then is slammed violently to the ground. It’s possible to roll right as you see the white flash, which will let you avoid being picked up, but it’s better to try and run away, since you’ll take damage if you’re near the front of the boss when the spell ends regardless.
Meteor Shower – The air above the boss becomes a (denser) field of stars, and purple portals open — meteors then fly out of them. Roll backwards to avoid meteors that are coming your way. Often chained into Teleportation.