The bosses in Cult of the Lamb's Darkwood section are your first taste of the challenge the game can provide, and they're far from being pushovers. Going up against them without knowing how to deal with their patterns, and what the best loadouts for them are, can result on a quick loss and a heavy hit to your Followers' faith in your abilities. Fortunately, we're here to help you avoid that with our Cult of the Lamb Darkwood bosses guide.
Cult of the Lamb Darkwood Boss Tips
In the grand scheme of things, the Cult of the Lamb Darkwood bosses are generally larger and more aggressive versions of the enemies you encounter throughout each room of an area. This means they'll utilize jumping attacks, AOE attacks in their immediate vicinity, spiked wave attacks and minor projectile attacks against you. They'll also move around their arenas to attack you from different angles and avoid getting blasted by your attacks repeatedly.
With this in mind, you'll be best served going for weapons and Curses that allow you to deal fast damage while also allowing you to regain your distance quickly. If the opportunity presents itself, try to get a Dagger or Sword, as these will be your fastest attacking options for this Zone. Likewise, poison will be your friend in most every encounter. Try to unlock the Bane variant of weapons via the Faith unlocks from giving your cult Sermons, and go for the Ichor Curse whenever it appears.
Past that, remember that dodging constantly is your friend. There's rarely a situation where being stationary will help you, and you'll always want to dodge around or through the projectiles coming your way.
Darkwood Bosses - Amdusias Guide
Amdusias is the first of the Cult of the Lamb Darkwood Bosses, and he's fairly straight-forward. He'll spawn in smaller work enemies to distract you, launch lobbed projectiles at you from a distance, and charge at you after taking a second to work himself up. He isn't too fast though, so you won't have much difficulty avoiding him and getting in close for some damage-dealing opportunities.
Don't waste time on the smaller worm enemies he spawns, and instead focus on going in for attacks as he moves around. Dodge to the sides and away from the targeting projectiles for his lobbed ranged attacks, and dodge up or down to avoid getting hit by his charging attack. Rinse and repeat, and before long you'll have taken down your first boss of the game.
Darkwood Bosses - Valefar Guide
Next up is Valefar, and he raises the bar a bit compared to his predecessor. Though he doesn't spawn smaller enemies to distract you with, his projectile attacks will require constant movement to dodge properly and his jumping attacks can smack you around if you aren't careful.
Fortunately, he has clear tells for all of his attacks. When a symbol resembling a treble clef appears above his head, he'll shoot out a circular blast of projectiles. These can be avoided by dodging away or through them. A t-shaped symbol above his head, meanwhile, will mean a turret blast of projectiles is incoming. Dodge roll constantly to keep from being hit by these rounds, and keep dodging until the rapid fire subsides. Once it does, move in and hammer them with melee attacks and curses until he starts charging up another attack.
As for his jumping attacks, you'll need to adjust accordingly as his health decreases. At first, he'll only jump once or twice at a time and you can move in after he stops jumping to hit him with some melee attacks. As his health gets lower though, he'll jump three or four times per attack rotation, so be prepared for this or else you may run right into an attack.
Utilize hit and run tactics, and use Curses if you don't feel fast enough to get some melee attacks in safely. Before long, you'll have taken down your second boss without issue.
Darkwood Bosses - Barbatos Guide
The next Cult of the Lamb Darkwood boss is Barbatos, and he can be tricky to deal with if you don't break yourself out of certain habits.
Mimicking the enemies who dig underground to attack you from different positions, Barbatos is all about attacking you from a distance and punishing you for moving in close to him without caution. He leaves a trail of spikes as he moves underground, and fires both shockwaves of spikes and lobbed projectiles at you from wherever he pops up.
Watch his movements carefully, and react to his attacks accordingly. If a target reticle appears near you, the lobbed projectile is incoming and you can dodge toward him for some quick hits. If one doesn't appear, waves of spikes are incoming and you'll need to dodge before attempting an attack. Don't get too greedy with melee attacks, and dodge away from him as soon as he goes underground to avoid getting hit by his spike trail. Take your time, and before long he'll be another notch on your boss-killing belt.
Darkwood Bosses - Leshy Guide
Last up is Leshy, the ringleader of the Cult of the Lamb Darkwood bosses and the first Bishop of the Old Faith you'll need to take down. He lives up to his namesake too, using attacks and elements from every preceding boss in the area in addition to techniques of his own. Fortunately, this also means you can use the same strategies from all the bosses above to make your fight with him several times easier.
During his first phase, he'll move around underground and leave spikes in his path before re-emerging to fire off bursts of lobbed projectiles. Avoid getting close to him until he resurfaces, and then close in on him as he's prepping his lobbed projectiles. Avoid the targeting reticles, and keep tearing him apart until he dives underground again. If he sends out waves of spikes in either star or circular patterns, go to the back of the arena and wait for gaps to emerge between the waves that you can dodge through. When he summons smaller enemies, avoid killing them unless you have to and keep your focus on him.
Keep this up until he reaches half health. Once this occurs, he'll start to jump up in the air and slam back down on you for heavy damage. This can be avoided by dodge rolling constantly until the targeting reticle can't keep up with you. Likewise, he'll also start slamming his head around the ground near him if you get too close. For this attack, simply keep your distance whenever he reels his head back and move back in afterwards for some easy hits.
Keep up the pressure, and before long his Heretic Heart will be yours for the taking.
Hopefully this gave you some helpful tips for taking on the Cult of the Lamb Darkwood bosses. For more on the game and its mechanics, feel free to check out our Cult of the Lamb guide hub. We've got guides on a variety of topics there, including what the best weapons are and how to clear every questline.