Rewards: Commander’s Standard, Unalloyed Gold Needle, 12000
Summons Available: Yes
Commander O’Neil is an optional boss found in the Swamp of Aeonia part of Caelid. Defeating him allows you to continue Milicent‘s quest.
- Using the NPC summon sign at the entrance or calling in a player for help will force you remain on foot, which makes this fight harder.
- The boss is very slow, which makes him vulnerable to ranged attacks and hit and runs.
- The boss room remains open throughout the fight. You can both run away whenever you need to heal up, and use the terrain to your advantage to defeat the boss.
First and foremost, do not use NPC or player summon signs. You want to ride Torrent during this fight since being foot makes this fight harder than it has to be. With that in mind, at the very start of the fight the boss will stop to use a lengthy incantation to summon several spectral soldiers to aid him. This will be your cue to run up to him and beat him up.
Once the boss finishes casting and starts moving his weapon again, make sure to run away from him and deal with his summons instead. There is a total of two summons during this fight:
- At the start of the fight, the boss will summon several soldiers with crossbows and a few more with swords.
- Later on during the fight, the boss will summon several axe wielding soldiers.
In both cases, this will be your opening to run in and use your meatiest attacks against the boss. After running away, just run around the arena and kill the soldiers first before focusing on the boss. This boss will never run, which means that while there will be a few soldiers trying to kill you, you can just run up to them while on horseback and turn them into dust while O’Neil is walking menacingly.
As for the boss itself, wait for him to finish an attack/attack chain to run in for a hit or two before running back. Commander O’Neil has one attack however that has a bigger range and that will inflict heavy damage if you’re not careful. After a short delay, the boss will conjure a rotten tempest that will be able to reach even at mid range.
You’ll have to make sure to run as far away from the boss as possible as soon as he kneels down, since not only is this attack inflicting heavy damage, it will also end up dismounting you and leaving you vulnerable to follow-up attacks. Other than that however, you can simply run towards the boss to get him to try to attack you with his spear and run in for a hit or two once he’s done flailing around.
Ranged characters here will be at a massive advantage. The only issues you could run into are the soldiers, and the rotten tempest attack. Just make sure to dispose of the boss’s minions before attacking him. Run around the arena and take as long as you need to safely defeat the soldiers. Don’t hesitate to imbue your weapon with either Intelligence or Faith scaling if you want to save up on FP while dealing with the soldiers, or just simply bring more Flasks of Cerulean Tears.
Once the soldiers are dead, simply run around the arena while throwing spells at the boss’s face. He will sometimes initiate a lunge forward after being hit, so make sure to keep a healthy distance away from him as you kite around the arena.
For the rest of the fight, just run away from the boss once he kneels down and starts channeling the rotten tempest attack and make sure to dispose of his minions before attacking him.
The tried and true strategy is using the Poison Mist incantation before the fight even begins. This works against quite a few open world bosses, and this one is no exception. Just sneak up to him before the fight begins, and use the Poison Mist at his back which will poison the boss, but won’t begin the encounter. This may not be a very fun or quick strategy, but if all else fails and you’re still struggling, you can just use the Poison Mist, grab yourself a coffee or read a book and keep reapplying it whenever the poison stops ticking.
If you want a quicker strategy that doesn’t involve violence, you can simply drag the boss towards one of the rot geysers found right outside of the boss arena. Surprisingly, the boss will not reset as he goes out of the arena’s bounds, though you will still have to choose the right geysers to keep him from resetting. East of the nearby Inner Aeonia site of grace, there is a set of 3 geysers that explode one after the other.
If you slowly drag the boss there by having him walk after you, he will not reset and you’ll be able to kite him around the geysers. You’ll have to carefully make circles around him to keep him walking around a geyser, or simply drag him to one of the three geysers depending on their timings.
Not only is the geyser’s damage quite high, the bubbling water underneath will also inflict decent damage to the boss’s weary legs.