As a hardened Soulsborne veteran, I’ve dealt with all types of non-boss enemies and put them away without much difficulty. From the Undead to Blood-drunk Hunters, there are very few that I fear taking on in battle.
I’ve always enjoyed facing an enemy for the first time and trying to figure out what their gimmick is. There are some that I steer clear of without exception, thanks to their overwhelming power or aforementioned gimmick.
Honestly, this list could be much longer but just so that we’re not here forever and a day, let’s get started!
Revenants (Elden Ring)
These guys just suck. It’s as simple as that.
Any person who has played Elden Ring is familiar with Revenants. Grotesque, vacant creatures whose sole purpose is to send you back to a Site of Grace as fast as humanely possible. No matter what kind of enemy I found myself fighting in Elden Ring, I never felt like I was in any real danger. The Revenants changed that. Disregarding teleporting at will, these mangled monstrosities are incredibly fast, making it a challenge just to follow their movements. They also deal an insane amount of damage, eviscerating most players in just a few swings. The worst thing about Revenants though is their unpredictability. You never want to run at them without a plan but if you hesitate to take the offensive, they will steam-roll you. To help alleviate the problem, I recommend using healing incantations on them or just running for the hills the second you spot one.
Dogs (All Games)
As one of the most prevalent enemies in of all the Soulsborne titles, Dogs don’t tend to differ all that much. At their core, they are a simple enemy that chases you down, snapping at your heels the entire time. Considering their small frame, Dogs are petty fragile and it doesn’t take very much to send them flying, but that’s if you can hit them, to begin with. These guys are built around speed and are easily able to run down any player attempting to avoid their jaws, this also makes these four-legged fiends adept and stunlocking their targets to death. That’s before I even mention the other variations of this enemy, like the Rotten Strays or the Skeleton Dogs. I can only recommend taking the offensive role when it comes to dealing with a man’s(not so)best friend.
Shrine Of Amana Mages (Dark Souls 2)
The Shrine of Amana is not for the faint of heart or of HP. The area is infamous for its seemingly endless supply of mages and their equally as endless projectile sorceries. If that wasn’t bad enough, this area is around 80% water so your walk speed will be slowed. Which makes you easy pickings for the Mages to bombard you with lethal, high-damage spells. Attempting to engage these guys in close combat is a challenge within itself. They always position themselves as far away from everything as possible. Plus, even if you were to get close, another foe would get to you first, turning the fight into an unfavourable 1v3. To avoid being constantly pelted by spells, I’d recommend hiding behind any walls to block the spells. Or just ignore everything and run to the end of the area, whichever one works for you.
Skeletons (All Games)
Skeletons have always been a mainstay in the Soulsborne series, mainly serving as minor enemies that exist solely to hinder the player and be annoying as possible; which they’re very good at. Although many players would consider these sacks of bones to be nothing more than temporary, flimsy foes, if enough of them decide to group on you, things can get pretty dicey. To top it off, Skeletons are resistant to all types of damage apart from Blunt weapons, like Clubs or Maces. Good luck trying to hit these guys with magic or miracles, they are scarily good at gap-closing and are relentless when it comes to chasing. These haunted bones come in a variety of different forms depending on the games they appear in. I recommend carrying a Blunt weapon, just so you can crush Skeletons as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Black Knife Assassins (Elden Ring)
Aside from being extremely agile, Black Knife Assassins are the bane of any player’s existence for one reason. They’re able to turn themselves invisible at will, which as you can imagine, is a whole lot of fun. (For them, not for you)
If you’ve ever played through Elden Ring, I’m sure you’re familiar with that particularly difficult Evergoal in Ordina, Liturgical Town. It was there that I realised how aggressive and unforgiving the Black Knife Assassins truly are. Being constantly attacked from all angles without knowing where they’re coming from is a sensation that transcends fear itself, it also doesn’t help that these silent killers have a unique flowing attack pattern that’s extremely difficult to follow.
Frankly, the Black Knife Assassins would be much higher up on this list if only the Sentry’s Torch didn’t exist. This weapon makes all invisible Black Knife Assassins instantly become visible. You don’t even need to meet the stat requirements to use it.
Death Rite Bird (Elden Ring)
These things are terrifying, not only for their appearance but because of how insanely powerful they are. The chances of running into a Death Rite Bird aren’t very high but when you do, you’ll know about it. These undead enemies are extremely aggressive, making it exceedingly difficult to escape from them; especially since they have numerous long-reaching attacks and spells with incredible tracking. Death Rite Birds tend to apply for the Frostbite status along with every attack they perform on top of some extra magic damage, which means that you’ll suffer a monumental amount of damage if you get too many times in a row. The only way to defeat this monstrosity is by abusing its one weakness: Holy-based attacks. Thanks to this, Faith builds won’t find this enemy particularly difficult but as for everybody else, I recommend using some Holy Water Pots and bringing your A-game.
As you can probably guess from the name, the Headless are well, headless.
They’re easily identifiable by their pale, white bodies and swirling dark aura that surrounds them constantly. If you choose to take on the Headless in battle, you’ll quickly come to realise that your sword will inflict no damage on them. Coating your blade in Divine Confetti is the only way to defeat the Headless but that’s if their fog doesn’t catch you first. This smog prevents sprinting and dashing, making you a sitting duck for the Headless’s Terror-based attacks. The smoke which will instantly kill Sekiro if he stands in it for too long.
Whilst all of the Headless battles demand a high level of skill, timing and awareness, the most difficult one takes place entirely underwater, adding a new element of difficulty to an already arduous affair. The only benefit to these Soulsborne enemies is that you don’t have to fight them so I recommend not engaging these undead giants unless you have at least 2 Divine Confetti and a keen eye for timing your sword swings.
Basilisks (DS1/DS2/DS3 & Elden Ring)
I wholly despise Basilisks. Especially their large, unsettling false eyes. the way they skitter and jump towards you and the incessant croaking sound they constantly make.
In terms of strength and difficulty, these Soulsborne enemies are pathetic; I don’t think I’ve ever been physically hit by one before and they’re fairly fragile. No, the Basilisk excels at spewing a strange smoke that builds up their target’s Curse gauge rapidly if they’re caught in the fog. Once the gauge is full, you’ll be killed instantly before losing all of your souls. Now, this isn’t much of an issue with just a single Basilisk, but these enemies tend to live in packs. This means that you’ll almost always be surrounded by these big-eyed monstrosities and trapped within their deathly smog, making your chances of instant death rise by the second. I only have one word of advice for dealing with this loathsome enemy and that’s to eliminate them the second you spot one. Don’t let them get away and never assume that there’s just one.
Dragon Knights (Dark Souls 2)
Entering the Dragon Shrine for the first time, you’ll spot many Dragon Knights, yet they aren’t aggressive towards you at all, quite the opposite.
These Soulsborne enemies operate using a unique system, revolving around having duels. You’ll come against a Drakekeeper, who is a massive warrior in all-black armour. The area will be flanked by loads of Dragon Knights, who will not move whilst your battle with Drakekeeper ensues. If you emerge victorious, you’re allowed to progress through the area without any issues.
Be aware though, the Dragon Knights will chase you across the entirety of the Dragon Shrine map if you disrespect the rules of the duel by ignoring the Drakekeeper and fleeing from the battle. They are relentless and every single one will join the chase to take you down. Even a single knight can defeat you in two hits, let alone another thirty or so scattered through the area. To put it simply, respect the rules of the duel and you won’t have to worry about being chased 2/4/7.
Watchdog Of The Old Lords (Bloodborne)
Don’t be fooled by its place on this list. This Soulsborne enemy is an absolute nightmare to deal with. Truly a fitting boss for this gothic, horror RPG.
This monster is rather notorious in Bloodborne, especially within the Chalice Dungeons. It exists within a particular Chalice Dungeon that reduces your HP by half for the entire duration of your expedition. Despite its large size, the Watchdog can move alarmingly quickly, requiring persistent dodging and timing to avoid death. Considering that this mutt is constantly engulfed in flame, fire-based attacks will have no effect on it.
Above all of that, this monster is relentless. It barely gives you a chance to get your bearings as it chases you around its small boss arena. So to beat it, you have to become just as aggressive; if you hesitate you’ll almost definitely lose. By ‘breaking’ the Watchdog’s legs, the beast will take increased damage.
To be honest, this list could unironically go all the way up to a hundred. Aside from that though, I can fully appreciate how each enemy on this list varies from another. In the beginning, each foe on this list seems extremely difficult or unfair to fight at first, but the more you encounter them the faster you learn their movesets and specialties.
But even then they still can’t be taken lightly…