Want to make the sick commander become utterly flummoxed? Completely baffled? Perhaps even entirely befuddled? Try being the cavalry!
This is my personal strategy for pretty much cheesing Commander O’Niell, although results may vary depending on your build.
So, you came to this guide probably because – like me – you got super annoyed fighting this guy, luckily I got a few tips. I’ll note this before you get too excited, I was using a +5 Uchigatana for the fight with 15 STR and 18 DEX – I picked Samurai because I liked the stats and sword – so I was able to do this faster than expected. This will be a slow burn regardless of what you use.
You don’t need a lot of things, first of all you need Torrent. That is a requirement, so is the second thing you’ll need – a melee weapon. I used my +5 Uchigatana but I was also going to try my +2 Meteor Blade, both inflict bleed but no status effect is needed, just helps out. You can use spells and incantations if you want but I suggest homing stuff, ashes can also help for the beginning portion but I wouldn’t use them for reasons that will be evident soon.
This guy is honestly pretty slow, he has some good reach with his polearm and it hits pretty hard but overall you can avoid it pretty easy by just moving continuously. He can swing his polearm in usually two different ways: overhead and horizontal. If he swings overhead, just move to the side, if he swings horizontal then move away. Be wary, sometimes he’ll try to combo swings, testing showed he would stop mid combo if I moved far enough away but otherwise he’ll strike four times before giving an overhead strike. He can also do various kinds of thrusts with the polearm, it can sometimes be a stronger stab that can knock you off Torrent – not always, I may just have been unlucky – but the tracking isn’t particularly great on it, just keep moving. He can use a storm stomp attack that is like what Banished Knights but it will also make a very short lived burst of scarlet rot cloud – when the wind vanishes it should be safe. Sometimes, he will gather up scarlet rot dust while spinning his polearm in the air, run past where the clouds seem to be spawning, it should be clear when you are safe but I did this. He will summon ashes twice – or at least he only did it twice for me – that are different kinds of Exiles. The first wave of Exiles are seemingly regular ones with crossbows and swords that total five in number, the second wave is instead three with axes – functionally they are absolutely no different to regular Exiles. While ANY of his ashes are on the field, expect the Commander to be buffing them: white means they get a defense buff (roughly halving damage I did), red increases damage I believe but I don’t know for sure.
You should bring your summons either now or you can choose to save them for later, regardless of what you do – only approach when you’re comfortable starting the fight. Ideally you should be on Torrent already but mount our loyal stead now before charging him down while he summons the first wave of Exiles, take this time to get a good strike or even a few if you want but be ready to start riding around. Focus on taking out the Exiles as fast as possible, I used my Meteor Staff and Rock Sling to soften them up before riding by but otherwise just make passes hitting them with your melee weapon until you’ve killed them all. Now, make passes with Torrent and hit him when you feel safe to do so, avoid strikes by dodging and don’t get greedy when you can avoid it. Although ashes can be useful, I don’t recommend them because of how reliant this strategy is on circling the Commander, it gets only MORE frustrating otherwise since it increases the risk of getting hit. Keep making passes on him until he summons again, here you can either take them out or just avoid them as well but I’d suggest taking them out to avoid risking your life. Depending on how fast you can keep hitting him, you’ll manage to build up a status effect on him: Bleed can be useful but I will admit that it is just a burst of damage. Poison is great for damaging him without even touching him, not sure how weak he is however. Scarlet Rot is probably useless but you can try it if you want. Frost I can’t say anything on since I haven’t found any frost stuff.
I don’t make guides often but this guy angered me enough that I wanted to try helping other people with his fight. This may not be the most honorable way to beat him but it works. Kind regards!
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