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Parry and Riposte

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Riposte NPC

The player riposting an Undead Assassin

The Parry and Riposte is a form of critical attack in Dark Souls.


Players may perform a parry and riposte by first positioning themselves directly in front of a parryable enemy. As the enemy attacks, players may parry with their left-handed weapon or shield (the left-handed strong attack), deflecting their attack, and thus executing the parry. Enemies are momentarily stunned after this. Immediately after, the player can perform a light attack to execute a riposte (see below). 

Parrying does not always succeed, and requires precise timing. A parry that is executed too early or too late will grant the player some super armor, as well as some damage reduction from the attack that the player attempted to parry, but will not cause the opponent to be stunned or vulnerable to riposting. This type of parrying is often known as "partial parrying". Unlike full parries, partial parries can be used against almost any attack encountered in the game. Rarely, it is possible to both do a successful parry and still take damage. Parrying most often succeeds when the player is standing very close to his or her opponent, and on relatively even ground.

There are three different speeds of parrying. Certain weapons, such as Thrusting Swords and Curved Swords, have a very fast parrying speed (thus, requiring more precision from the player), standard shields have a medium parrying speed, and certain specialized weapons and shields (such as the Parrying Dagger and the Target Shield) have a longer parrying animation. Weapons and shields that parry quickly have the advantage of allowing the player to recover from a failed parry more quickly, but weapons and shields that have a longer parry animation have a larger window of time in which their parries can be successful.

Most humanoid enemies can be parried. Most enemies that can be backstabbed can also be parried. Almost every enemy that can be parried can also be riposted. The Berenike Knights are the only exception to this rule. Multiple enemies attacking simultaneously close to one another can be parried at once, but only one of them can be riposted.

Almost every small and medium shields can parry, with some exceptions. Many weapons (when equipped on the left hand) can parry too. Weapons and shields that can parry are listed below.

Weapons That Can ParryEdit


Riposte Player

A phantom riposting another player

The riposte is a special attack executed directly after a parry, an execution move that deals extremely high damage (even more damage than a backstab). Ripostes deal high damage based on the base damage of the weapon and its critical rate. Certain weapon types, such as daggers, have higher critical rates than other weapons. Thrusting Swords have a hidden modifier that allow them to deal more damage with ripostes than what their critical rate and damage statistics would suggest. Wearing the Hornet Ring increases the damage dealt by ripostes, and (in some cases) changes the animation. 

After executing a parry successfully, players have about one second to do the Riposte. During this time, they can also move or switch weapons, and still execute the Riposte successfully. 

Ripostes cannot be interrupted. While in the motion of riposting, both the perpetrator and the victim are granted invincibility frames and cannot take further damage except for damage-over time effects such as being poisoned, under the effects of toxic, or while using Power Within.

Shields cannot perform ripostes. Although most weapons can riposte, there are some exceptions, as listed below.

Weapons that cannot RiposteEdit

*Can riposte in Dark Souls II.

Related VideosEdit

Dark Souls - Expert's Guide to Parrying14:19

Dark Souls - Expert's Guide to Parrying

Information on parrying and riposting monsters

Dark Souls PvP Parry Instruction14:06

Dark Souls PvP Parry Instruction.

Information on parrying and riposting other players

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