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Laurence, The First Vicar

laurence_the_first_vicar.jpg
General Info
hp.jpg blood_echoes.jpg Location Drops
21,242 29,500 Hunter's Nightmare Beast's Embrace (100%)
Defenses
physical_DEF.jpg VS_blunt.jpg VS_thrust.jpg --
148 178 148 --
blood_DEF.jpg arcane_DEF.jpg fire_atk.jpg bolt_DEF.jpg
148 200 744 200
slow_poison_RES.jpg rapid_poison_RES.jpg VS_beasts.jpg VS_kin.jpg
999 999 Yes No



Laurence, The First Vicar (初代教区長ローレンス Shodai kyōku-chō Rōrensu lit. "Laurence, The First Vicar") is a Boss in Bloodborne. He was added with The Old Hunters DLC.


"I tell you, I will not forget our adage."

"Fear the old blood."

Laurence, The First Vicar General Information

Initially the boss room is accessible very early to get the Eye Pendant key item from Laurence's hand, whose body is inactive on the altar. The arena itself is exactly the same as the one in Vicar Amelia's fight.
Once Laurence's Skull is acquired, coming back to the arena and approaching his body will initiate a cutscene, after which the boss and the player will be put into set positions and the fight starts.
This fight has three phases:

  • Phase 1:
    • Laurence will look and behave very similarly to the the Cleric Beast, having a similar set of moves, but with added fire.
    • He will have the same breakable body parts, with the head also being an opening for a visceral attack.
  • Phase 2:
    • After reaching about 70% health the second phase will be subtly initiated.
    • Laurence will suddenly gain new attacks, both from the Cleric Beast and his own.
    • Becomes far more aggressive.
  • Phase 3:
    • Around 40% health the third phase is initiated as Laurence loses his legs and now crawls on the floor.
    • He will now continually leave lava behind him, leaking from his lower body, and gain a completely new set of moves.
    • None of the body parts can be broken in this stage.

 

Location

 

Drops

 

Strategy

  • Valtr can be summoned for this fight if you have the Impurity rune memorized. His "lamp" is located before the staircase that leads to the boss. Please be mindful that summoning help increases the health of enemies so if your summon does not do enough damage they are just making the fight harder for you. That being said, summons can provide an excellent distraction for the boss while you attack from behind.
  • Very similar fight to the Cleric Beast fight from the main game. Stick to its back and attack a few times before backing off. In the second phase Laurence's legs will break and he will continue to fight crawling. The fire spitting can be easily dodged. Watch out for a swift forward crawling attack while Laurence slashes several times in front of him. Facing him, circle him clockwise and try to get to his side to avoid being comboed by the attack. Magic like Executioner's Gloves can make the second phase easier.

 

Key Strategies


Target Laurence's head with pistols or the Piercing Rifle to stagger him, then follow through with a visceral attack. Staggering him work in exactly the same manner as with the original Cleric Beast; he will eventually repair the damage to his head, allowing you to injure it and stagger him again. You can also injure Laurence's limbs, but unlike most other bosses this will only stun him temporarily and does not actually increase the damage he receives. The Whirligig Saw's transformed L2 attack will quite literally tear Laurence to shred, especially if you've also set it with Beasthunter gems; fast weapons with serrated bonuses such as the Saw Cleaver and Saw Spear are also ideal for dishing out heavy damaghe as quickly as possible. If you're having trouble with the lava stunlocking you to death during Phase 2, try using a Lead Elixir - it'll give you enough super armor to walk through the flames without flinching, though you'll need to keep a close eye on your HP. The Loch Shield will absorb the impact and most of the damage from his AoE's, though it is NOT effective for blocking the actual physical swings themselves.

Close melee tactic

  • This boss deals fire and physical damage so i'd recommend using the Charred Hunter set which has very good fire resistance. Level 40 vitality should be enough to whitstand 2-3 hits with this attire.
  • For runes i use Guidance (rally potential +20%), Fading Lake (fire reduction +5%), Clockwise Metamorphosis (max HP +10%) and using Hunter Axe for its great regain points.
  • Obviously this setup is focusing on aggressive attacking and regaining loss health with regain.
  • The boss has 3 phases of combat, first phase similar like Cleric Beast fight, 2nd phase it becomes more aggressive, and third it employs a lot of area of effect attacks.
  • The method I found is effective with this setup is dodge to its right side when he attacks and stick behind him always and hack and slash. This will prompt him to swipe with its backhand but easily dodge towards the hand he's using.
  • The same tactics is used when it change to phase 2
  • It will come to phase 3 when it loses its leg and lava coming out of its body. Now its attacks will mostly focused in front of him, so it's clear you'll need to keep to its side and hurt him while cycling every time he moves.
  • Things to note is dodge to his right if he's attacking with right hand, same goes for left hand (weak spot).

 

Phase 1/Phase 2 Dodge/Melee - Phase 3 Lure and Run

  • Start off with as much fire and physical damage you can get via bloodgems. Suit up in best physical/fire defense gear.
  • I was in NG+, around level 170, +10 Whirligig, and doing about 585 per R1 double handed attack. Buffed with phantasm shell or bolt paper about 750.
  • Lock on for the first phase and treat it much like the cleric beast fight. Dodge his attacks by dashing back and then on his final swing while he recovers, dash up to him and get 2 good hits in. I noticed that on any attacks where he leaves his left arm (your right) open after an attack, a good R2 attack can stagger leading to a visceral attack for about 3000 damage.
  • When he backs you into a corner dodge under his last swipe to get around him and back to open space to back up. I always dashed around to his left side (your right). I found dodging towards his big arm easier.

 

Phase 3 - 40% health

  • Things get a bit more complicated when he loses his legs. Try to save all your bullets and most vials for this phase.
  • Make sure your Blacksky Eye is equiped. You can whittle down health with good shots from this. I found I was dealing just over 100 damage per hit. If you have all 20 bullets, 2000 ain't bad for whats essentially free hits (if you can connect them all)
  • I died countless times to Laurence in this phase being backed into a corner and trying to dash out once getting pinned by Laurence and his lava pool. While he is spitting lava or thrashing in the arena unload the Blacksky Eye on him, make sure you are close enough that your shots connect.
  • (1) Wait to attack with your weapon until after he is done with his sequence of crawling slashes. I think they come in 5 slashes or 6 slashes. You can usually get a hit when he recovers his last slash with his big arm. Don't get greedy. I'd stick to one hit max.
  • (2) There is a none fire slash that he does where he doesn't crawl, He will curl his big arm around his head while recovering and this is the safest time to attack.
  • At some point he will start crawling towards you and you will get backed into a corner, but there is an easier way to get around this than it seems. When he starts his slashing crawl, get into a far corner of the room so as to guide him to the corner. Once, he is getting closer, unlock and run a wide arc around him as far from his arms as you can manage. Then book it to the other end of the arena and wait for your openings to attack him. (2) is much less risky than (1), but you get less opportunities. Laurence seems to favor (1).
  • I died countless times to him in phase 2 until I thought to play more of a defense game. His attack have so much range and hit so hard, I think its a pretty good route to take.
  • Hope that helps out. I hope that you slaughter Laurence with a little more confidence. Happy hunting.

 

Hit n' run tactic

  • Keep enough distance that no matter what the boss does he can't hit you with his first move. Don't hang around too far though. If he does the high jump attack you were too far. The plan is to fish out his close range combos and wait in the distance for him to finish
  • Once Laurence has complited his moves run attack with heavy hitting weapon. If you have time do running R2
  • Immediately after your attack get back to the same distance you were before
  • When above 70% health Laurence is pretty passive after his combos so hit and run is easy
  • After health bar drops below 70% boss starts to fall around and gets more aggressive after finishing a combo. It is safest to hit and run after combos like "two punches to the floor + heavy smash" and "heavy left hand smash + out of the ground pull"
  • After he loses his legs just stay in front of him and hit and run mostly when he uses his weak hand swipe. Don't go in when he swipes with his better hand but if he punches the floor with it you can hit it after the explosion

 

No-lock, controlled panic strategy

  • Extensive observation has indicated the worst place to be around Laurence is the 180-degree arc in front of him (I died probably fifty times to him over three days). And while being a bit behind him is somewhat safer, he can still swipe you from there--and if you're locked on and close enough to hit him, the arc on his attacks is enough to hit you. If you're having trouble evading while locked onto him, forego the lock and run past him on his opening attack and get behind him and to his right. He'll have to turn to hit you, usually, and you can roll past his knees, getting into the safe zone behind him. He'll try to turn, but you can stay behind him most of the time, and evade him more easily there.
  • When he flurries attacks, keep rolling to the right to stay behind him and with a touch of practice on timing, you should evade his long attack series. Just try not to get against a wall or corner if you can help it, it makes the camera become unhelpful.
  • Your choice moments to attack are his three-hit ground slam (he starts off by punching the ground with his skinny arm, then the large one, then doubles up), his two-handed grab move, and if you can attack him enough, any time he's bleeding out, restoring his limbs or fallen over (which he will do if you're attacking his legs/hips, which are the handiest targets from behind.) If you're feeling daring, his explosive palm slam move also provides an opportunity for a hit or two when he's coming out of it--just don't get too close to him before the explosion happens.
  • Always, always, always leave yourself a stamina margin. Don't get greedy, he has a lot of health and won't go down quickly. Don't use more than one-half to two-thirds of your stamina attacking him. Leave yourself some to escape him--you can outrun him if you need to heal.
  • It helps to have a weapon with a bit of reach on it. The Threaded cane, the Moonlight Sword, whatever works. It'll help tag him sometimes when your spacing is a bit off.
  • Once he's visibly under 50% of his health, I found it useful to disengage, lock onto his head, and try to shoot him into being open to a visceral attack. If you get it at the right point of his life bar, you can shorten phase 3 significantly.
  • Once he's in phase 3, then you lock onto him--but only when you mean to attack him or he's crawling. Still stay on his right side and try your level best to stay there. Attack after he attacks with his skinny arm--I used the normal-form Strong Attacks of the Moonlight Sword (a straight thrust with a good bit of reach and good speed for as long as it reaches) to get him once or twice when he gave an opening. Still leave a margin, and don't be afraid to break lock and run well away from him to heal and try to bait him into spewing lava so you can approach him again.

 

"Ranger of Old" Strategy

Preparation: This strategy requires the use of Simon's Bowblade, primarily the use of its bow form. You'll want some degree of Bloodtinge investment (25-30. 50 is ideal.) If you have high skill, Clawmark Runes are an excellent supplement for this strategy.

  • Come alone. Additional summons will only serve to make landing the shots you need much harder and make Laurence far more unpredictable.
  • Make sure that you have Simon's Bowblade in bow form when initiating the fight and lock on to the upper portion of Laurence's body (the white dot should be able to line up with his head with positioning and timing).
  • Stay close enough that he does not pounce, but just out of reach of his strong arm. You want to bait out the overhead palm smash followed up by the lift and explosion. When you see him beginning the palm smash, dash backwards out of range of the AoE while staying as centered in front of him as well as you can. Initiate a charged R2 just as his hand is lifted off the ground, if timed correctly, his head should lower directly into the arrow's path just as the arrow is released.
  • After enough times (two for this player on NG++ with a +9 bowblade at 50 bloodtinge and three +27% attack bloodgems) he will stagger. Do not hesitate: give him a taste of the strongest attack you have. If you're pure Bloodtinge, this would likely be usage of the Chikage, or just use a few charged shots while he's immobile if you want to keep away. A strength-oriented build will want to simply use the biggest and baddest attack they've got with their best weapon. An arcane build will likely be hitting it with either their strongest spell or the Holy Moonlight Sword. A skill build will simply want to visceral him.
  • After the first stagger, you will want to do one of two things: either one, stay at about the same range and wait for the head to regenerate or take a few swings to punish him after his attacks if you feel confident enough to dodge any counters Laurence might employ. Eventually his head will regenerate.
  • Rinse and repeat this method until he starts crawling around. At this point, you're not going to be going for visceral attacks any more, just damage. If you've followed well in the last stage, you should still have plenty of blood vials and some extra bullets. You're going to need them.
  • Stay to the outside of his weak arm at a slight distance, dodging attempts to counter as needed.
  • Keep pumping him with arrows, but watch out for when he attempts to charge. If you're standing outside his weak arm, he shouldn't be able to hit you. Just dodge before his weak hand strikes the ground every time to avoid being damaged by the resulting AoE. Don't worry about him managing to maneuver the charge into you, his turning ability is terrible at this stage. Just stay to his side.
  • Whatever you do: do NOT let him get you in front of him. If he charges you while you're in front of him, don't panic. Calmly, but quickly dodge perpendicular to the left of his path in time with each "step" until you're outside his turning radius.

 

"Fireproof Coward" Strategy

  • First, make sure you buff your fire resistance as high as you can with your clothes. Harrowed hat and the Yamamura gear worked for me. Bring a weapon geared against beasts and some fire paper. I used a +10 Saw Cleaver on a Strength build.
  • Get to the cathedral and summon Valtr. He is your meat shield, albeit a lousy one.
  • When the fight starts, Valtr should draw aggro pretty quickly. Circle around Laurence and punish his hind legs. Back off when he notices you or you run out of stamina.
  • The goal for the first phase is to wear Laurence down and keep Valtr alive. Hit his back, then back off and heal when things get dangerous. Valtr will generally keep Laurence distracted enough that you can get away with this. Try to keep at least 10 blood vials available for part two of the fight.
  • For the second phase, your goal is again to stay on Laurence's backside. Not directly behind him, but off at a slight angle so that you're only getting stunlocked by his flaming diarrhea half the time. The damage you'll take will be minimal with the right gear, and you'll spend your attacks punishing him. For Saw Cleaver the longer second form is more effective here.
  • If Laurence is swinging at nothing or Valtr you're fine. If he tags you even once, back off quickly and heal. Make sure you keep your distance until your health is back up, then wait for Laurence to commit himself and dive around to his side.
  • Valtr will die at some point, but if Laurence is down by 2/3 of his health you should be fine.
  • I had 47 in HP and was around level 105-115 when I beat Laurence on a first playthrough, so your mileage may vary.

 

Videos

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Moveset with legs

Attack Name Attack Description & Counter
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Moveset without legs (crawling)

Attack Name Attack Description & Counter
Crawling Stomp Rush Crawls towards you and stomps the ground with his hands in turns. Left Right and so on. He delays the last left hand stomp slightly. This attack can start at any range but mostly if you are far away from boss. You can out run him if you have room to back up. He turns poorly so circling clockwise helps if he gets too close.
Right Hand Swipe (the skinny hand) Swipes with his skinny right hand and gives an enormous opening. You can hit him 5 seconds or more for free.
Left Hand Smash Punches the ground creating a small AoE blast. Heavily telegraphed and easy to dodge. Hit the hand after the explosion
Left Hand Swipe (+ Left Hand Wide Swipe Swipes with left hand either normally or does a wide horizontal hook. Can do series of swipe - pause - hook. Best not to try attack back and only dodge.
Lava Spit Spits lava at you that stays on the ground for a while. Dodge behind him and swing away.
Lava Charge Charges at you, leaving a trail of lava behind him. Either stop locking on and run away, or stand close to him and strafe left or right, which causes you to manipulate his movement and force him to run around you in a circle.

 

Notes & Trivia

  • He seems to be weakest to Physical, then Arcane, then Bolt (the difference isn't huge though) and very resistant to fire.
  • Beasts have been strung up and put to the torch all over Yarnham, which suggests that possibly Laurence met the same fate when he came to turn.
  • It could be that he resides in the nightmare trapped and smoldering, much like the blood drunk hunters who are trapped hunting.
  • Laurence was the first Cleric Beast ever, as according to Laurence's Skull.
  • Beast Laurence was destined to reunite with his human skull, but it's unknown if he attacks out of rage or despair or simple mindless aggression.

 

Gallery

Laurence, The First Vicar

Waking Skull Search 

  

  

Blazing Giant    

     




    • Anonymous

      06 Sep 2017 07:05  

      then book it to the other end of the Arena? seriously who writes these things. I cannot keep count of how many times I have cringed reading stuff that was written here.

      • Anonymous

        31 Aug 2017 18:45  

        I used to think the Orphan was the best boss to end the DLC with, but it feels more appropriate taking on Laurence last. After everything you've learned about the Old Hunters, and of the secrets of the Nightmare and of the Great Ones, it seems right to return to Laurence with full knowledge of his sins. Like the Orphan, this fight is about putting Laurence out of his misery, and the OST perfectly portrays this as it transitions from his brutish first phase to the dirge-like climax of his second. It's a good way to say goodbye to an astounding addition to an already incredible game.

        BTW:

        Music: 10
        Sound effects: 7
        Voices: 9

        • Anonymous

          25 Aug 2017 10:10  

          This boss would be so much more bearable if his screaming didn't sound like a mix between a horse getting stomped in the stomach and pig getting pounded in the butt. I have to turn off the sound after 30min or so before I get a headache, which is only a few fights because I'm on NG+4; he has the hp of a steel I beam; and he has the aoe of an atomic bomb. Two good strategies are to get in a hit and dip if you have a hard-hitting, heavy weapon or bait and punish his slams and grabs if you have quicker close-range weapons. Both ways are so tedious, and I hardly ever have the patience, or get grazed by a swipe ghostbox.

          • Anonymous

            28 Jul 2017 18:16  

            Whenever he raises his arm for the ground slam + fire AoE, I just chuck my Accursed Brew at his face. With good arcane scaling, it can take out close to 900 of his HP, plus it opens him up for a visceral on the spot. As for weapons, the Whirligig Saw is ideal, since he's still a beast and therefore weak to serration, and the blunt nature of the weapon seems to help with breaking limbs.

            Overall, the fight necessitates that you memorize each and every one of his attack animations, the most important discrepancy being between his walking series of southpaws, his most common attack patterns. If he keeps his left arm (the smaller, less hairy, inanimate arm) off the ground, stay back and wait for him to raise his large claw for the fifth swing, at which point you should dash in and strike just as the attack ends, likely hitting either his attacking arm or his face. If the left arm IS on the ground, he's going to belly-flop and lunge, which has incredible range and tracking. In this case, you'll want to dodge through the attack and to the right, playing limbo with his attacking arm, then beat his ass quite literally for one whole second before dodging back to avoid his revenge swipe.

            Probably the most lethal attack is his surprise belly-flop, which doesn't have much in the way of a warning animation and can easily one-shot players on NG+3 and above. Laurence leaps forward and completely stretches out his legs and his long arm, landing flat on his stomach to maximize his range, possibly turning the entire length of the cathedral into one giant hitbox. I would say to dodge to the right, but the attack is so quick, you'll probably get squished anyway. I've managed to dodge and get hit just by his foot, where you'd imagine the least of his weight to be distributed, but even that manages to obliterate me at full health. Thankfully he only does this attack very rarely, but god damn is it nigh-impossible to avoid.

            For the final phase, wait for him to start his crawling attack, and carefully dodge inward to the left side, behind his smaller arm. He struggles to turn while doing this attack, so simply keep close to his side while avoiding his anterior attacks and his posterior secretions (ew lol), and when he calms down, give him one good whack before retreating, as he'll probably pull a circular swing. Again, if he raises his arm for a ground slam, get back immediately, because he's still got his near-perfect tracking despite having no legs. Rush in and aim for his head after each attack. Mind that if you linger for a combo, he'll probably swipe without warning and potentially one-shot you, as always.

            • Anonymous

              28 Jul 2017 17:46  

              I used to save the Orphan for the last fight of the DLC, but I realized it feels so much more appropriate to discover the secret of the Nightmare, release the child of Kos, then return to Laurence with full knowledge of the blasphemies committed by the Healing Church. Not to mention that OST... If only I could turn the music volume up to 11.

              • Anonymous

                27 Jul 2017 11:27  

                I'm slowly losing my sanity, i'm currently at my 78th attempt against laurence,on ng+10 with a char that has 99 in vitality 60 in endurance and 50 in everything else, every single attack in his crawling phase still oneshots me, pls help

                • Anonymous

                  09 Jul 2017 22:37  

                  Not big into trophies, but he's the last thing in my way of grtting 100%. Putting so much time into trying to beat him on ng ++++. It is not much fun.

                  • Anonymous

                    05 Jul 2017 15:18  

                    i cant *****ing beat him im level 215 on ng+4 and he just keeps beating the***** out of me can someone help??

                    • Anonymous

                      23 Jun 2017 20:34  

                      Man this is hard, am lvl174 on ng++, using saw cleaver but just can't quite do it. Have made it to the legless phase a few times but the number of times I've been done over by an attack that does 80-85% of my Vitality is truly horrific. Will be glad to get him out of the way

                      • Anonymous

                        15 Jun 2017 01:19  

                        Beat this guy in NG+ 2nd try, honestly it is a pretty boring boss fight, just waiting for his small number of attacks that are punishable and backing off with his huge health bar. Very satisfying feeling beating him though. Personally I'd reccomend using a saw spear/ cleaver or the church pick.

                        • Anonymous

                          02 Jun 2017 16:17  

                          just beat him for the first time, used +8 transformed holy moonlight sword with 30 strength, 30 skill and 40 arcane, used tiny tonitrus and exicutioners gloves when he started to crawl, finished with 0 blood vials, 0 bullets and less than a third of my health

                          • Anonymous

                            19 May 2017 14:10  

                            Pure arcane build with call from beyond. I destroyed him, dealing between 2000 and 2800 damage per shot. Takes 2 minutes to kill him, pretty easy.

                            • Anonymous

                              15 May 2017 03:37  

                              This boss is so annoying. I think I would've beaten it by now if the c**t would stop screaming in my f**king ears.

                              • Anonymous

                                13 May 2017 02:17  

                                He does insane damage coupled with the fact that the boss room he's in enable so him to trap you spelling certain doom for you makes this my least favorite boss in Bloodborne, second being Cleric Beast for obvious reasons.

                                • Anonymous

                                  25 Feb 2017 02:15  

                                  I really like this boss, and I feel like he's an excellent how-to for a soulsborne boss copy. First phase uses familiar movements, but with a new element in the mix (the fire AoE). Second phase still largely has familiar movements, but with some new moves mixed in there, and still with the fire AoE. And then the third phase is completely new.

                                  However, I really hate how his lava staggers. I get that lava is really deadly, but I'd rather have it deal extremely high damage with no stagger than the current weird stagger locking that it does.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    21 Feb 2017 19:49  

                                    I don't know of anyone has mentioned or noticed this, but where you fight Laurence isn't the Grand Cathedral.

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