The Cleric Beast can easily overwhelm players, despite being the first boss. This guide will teach players the best strategies to defeating this boss.
The first boss players are likely to find in Bloodborne is the Cleric Beast. In line with the other creatures the player has encountered up to this point, the Cleric Beast is a huge, lycanthropic monster with a massive arm. Though it is the first boss, as Bloodborne has thoroughly taught the player by this point in the game, the Cleric Beast can easily overpower players—especially new ones.
The Cleric Beast is found on a bridge once meant to lead to the Healing Church, though that shortcut has now been blocked in Bloodborne. While it is not a mandatory boss, players will want to slay this beast for the blood echoes it will give. The more blood echoes, the stronger the player can become, and they will need that strength if they wish to take on the next boss, Father Gascoigne.
Though it is large, the Cleric Beast is has a lot of mobility. Its speed and damage force the player to adopt a combat style that plays just as mobile and aggressive as the boss. While the Cleric Beast may be a daunting first boss, knowing its patterns and weaknesses will help players slaughter the prey.
How to Beat the Cleric Beast in Bloodborne
One of the first things players should note about fighting the Cleric Beast is the arena in which it fights and the camera. The arena is a bridge, meaning it is long and somewhat narrow. The Cleric Beast can take up about a third to a half of the bridge’s width. This is enough for the player to maneuver around, but it is tight enough that the game can feel like it is straining to use the first-person camera in Bloodborne, making fights even more difficult. The player can lock on to enemies, so the camera faces them. While locking on enemies can be very helpful, players will find it can make fights difficult and disorientating when using the feature in smaller spaces. When the player is close to the enemy, and the lock on point is above the player, it often results in a confusing low angle. If the player is being pressed against a wall by the enemy, the camera can make it difficult to get out when pinned. For these reasons, it is often a good practice that the player only locks on when they have some distance between them and the Cleric Beast. Controlling the camera manually can also help the player be more in control of the fight.
For the Cleric Beast itself, the player wants to do as much damage as possible to its limbs. Doing enough damage to an arm or leg will cause that limb to bleed and stagger the Cleric Beast. Staggering the boss will leave it open for more attacks (preferably on another limb) or give the player enough time to heal. The fastest way to cause a limb to bleed is to use charge attacks. Any of the three beginning weapons will be effective here, though the Bloodborne’s Saw Cleaver may be best for beginners, as it has a nice balance of speed and strength. The player should look out for when the Cleric Beast heals a limb. The healing animation causes a red aura to appear around its body, which the beast then absorbs. Paying attention to when the boss heals will let the player know which limbs should be attacked and which are already bleeding.
This strategy of charge attacking the limbs requires the player to be close to the Cleric Beast constantly. This is why the player keeping the camera unlocked is beneficial. This can be scary since the player will be more vulnerable to its attacks. However, staying behind the boss will make it harder to hit the player. The player can also play a little riskier and pay attention to the Cleric Beast’s arms. Though the beast is not like the other bosses of Dark Souls, the wind-up and cues for its attacks are very obvious and relatively slow. If the player knows the timing, they can roll through the swipes.
As the fight progresses, the Cleric Beast will become more aggressive, and the player may find it harder to get in close to deal consistent damage. A strategy the player can use in tandem with the previous tactic is to use their sidearm. Putting space between them and the boss, the player can lock onto the Cleric Beast’s head and shoot it with the sidearm. This is more effective with the pistol, but the blunderbuss will work too. Shooting its head enough times will leave it vulnerable for a visceral attack, indicated by a pronounced sound cue. A visceral attack is a move new Bloodborne players may not know about. If the player presses themselves against the beast and attacks within the short window, the enemy gets vulnerable. A special animation will indicate where the Hunter digs its hand into the beast and does massive damage. Like the limbs, Visceral attacks will cause the Cleric Beast’s head to bleed. The player will not be able to stagger the beast again until it has healed its head, just as it can with its limbs. When the player sees the head has been healed, they can shoot the beast again and go for another visceral attack.
Nearing the end of the fight, the Cleric Beast will make it harder and harder for the player to get in and attack its limbs. When the beast is at its most aggressive, the player needs to use the length of the bridge not to get cornered. Backing away from the beast and keeping it at the center of the bridge as much as possible will help the player avoid its attacks. The player can use this strategy to stall and wait for the Cleric Beast to heal its head again, or it can use some Molotov cocktails for extra damage. By this point, the Cleric Beast’s health should be low as the Cleric Beast happens to be weak to fire. If the player has run out of quicksilver bullets or wants to end the fight quicker, they can throw a few Molotov cocktails at it. With this tactic, the boss will be defeated and the player will be rewarded with lots of blood echoes, and a new lantern will be made available so the player may return to Bloodborne’s Hunter’s Dream.
Bloodborne is currently available for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
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