The Royal Rat Vanguard is fought in the Grave of Saints, past the second bonfire.
This location is also very useful to farm souls before killing the boss, as the smaller rats continue to spawn and grant a fair amount of souls each. It should be noted that killing the boss will stop rats from spawning in the area as when the boss was alive.
The Royal Rat Vanguard has a very similar appearance and size to the rest of the rats fought in the room. However, it has a prominent crest of hair on its back.
Upon entering the fog gate to this room, there will be no health bar at the bottom of the screen, nor seemingly any enemies. Shortly after, though, many normal rats will attack the player. They are easy to kill, but can swarm the player easily and stunlock them. The indestructible rat statues in this room also block movement. It is best to keep moving to avoid being trapped, and only stopping to attack so that each attack can damage multiple enemies. They can cause poison buildup with their attacks, so bringing Poison Moss, Dragon Charms, or Common Fruit will help greatly.
Although the normal rats spawn endlessly, after killing 10 rats, the boss' health gauge will finally appear, and the boss will fall into the room. It looks very similar to the rest of the rats though can be found in the crowd by looking for a rat that's slightly bigger than the rest and has a mane over its body. It does not have much health, though, and is thus easily killed with a powerful weapon. The other rats spawn endlessly but killing multiple rats in one go can give you some momentary breathing room.
It is a good idea to keep a close eye on the Vanguard once spotted, as this can help with finding it amongst the melee. The actual boss does much more damage and can cause more poison buildup than the rest of the rats.
If the player has access to either Firestorm or another high-damage AoE spell, it is highly recommended that they attune it for use during the fight. A long-range weapon can be used to attack the Vanguard from a distance but the player must keep an eye on the positions of the remaining rats at all times. A good example of an AoE spell to use is Soul Appease, as it will almost always one shot all the rats present in the arena, making the boss battle incredibly easy.
Also, if the player possesses the Ring of the Evil Eye (A +1 version is obtained in the deep pit) this fight becomes easier as you can kill the rats and regain health rapidly if you have a high enough damage weapon.
Once The Vanguard is defeated, the remaining rats exit from the arena.
The boss itself and the normal rats share the same attacks.
- Rearing Bite: The rat rears back and bites. Inflicts poison buildup.
- Lunging Bite: The rat leaps forward and bites. Inflicts poison buildup.
|Can be Backstabbed||Can be Parried|
These stats have been estimated through various formulae, and as such, may not be precise.
Royal Rat Vanguard Soul
- Since the player will likely be killing a lot of rats it's best to be prepared if the player's weapon breaks as the durability will be worn down rather quickly
- By using a Bonfire Ascetic on the Grave of Saints bonfire, Grave Entrance, the Royal Rat Vanguard can be respawned.