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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 fire added.
    • 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  subtly initiate.
    • 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 figuratively tear Laurence to shreds, especially if you've also fortified it with Beasthunter Gems; fast weapons with serrated bonuses such as the Saw Cleaver and Saw Spear are also ideal for dishing out heavy damage 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 withstand 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 potential.
  • Obviously this setup is focused on aggressive attacks and regaining lost health with regain.
  • This boss has 3 phases of combat, first phase similar like Cleric Beast fight, in the second phase it becomes more aggressive, and in the third it employs a lot of area of effect attacks.
  • The method I found is effective with this setup is dodge to his right side when he attacks and stick behind him always and hack and slash. This will prompt him to swipe with his backhand but you can easily dodge towards the hand he's using.
  • The same tactics are used when he changes 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 Pound Rush Crawls towards you, pounding the ground with his hands, alternating with each slam. Left, right, repeat. He delays the last left hand pound slightly. This attack can start at any range but mostly if you are far away from boss. You can outrun him if you have the space. He tracks poorly so circling clockwise helps if he gets too close.
Right Hand Swipe  Swipes with his skinny right hand and gives an enormous opening. You can hit him 5 times 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 Swipe) Swipes with left hand either normally or does a wide horizontal hook. Can perform series of swipe - pause - hook. Best not to try to attack, back up or quickstep.
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

      18 Sep 2018 01:51  

      Tactics that work cross-game cycle and cross-build: Dodge around the arm that attacks, which means watching his arms at all times for those first two phases. Dodge away when he's flailing, because he will attack an impressive 270º radius around him in all phases. When he does his crawling slashing attack in his third phase, I don't even dodge, I hug to the left along his side (this takes a certain rhythm to it) and stay in this mobile "safe zone" between his flailing arms and the lava trail he leaves behind.

      • Anonymous

        16 Sep 2018 12:36  

        This mother*****er always kills me in the 3rd phase with that bull*****slaming attack. He starts to lift his hand so i try to dogde to the rigth/left and then BOOM, he does a fricking 180 and kills me one hit. ***** this guy.

        • Anonymous

          04 Sep 2018 08:10  

          I could not for the life of me survive phase 3 in melee range... so I killed him from range with throwing knives and the Blacksky Eye's magic missiles then buffed up and charged in to finish him off lol

          • Anonymous

            31 Aug 2018 07:20  

            This guy's a pain sure but you HAVE to prep and be patient. Usee fire dmg reduction rune with all dmg reduction rune. Use serrated with phantasm shell and bolt. Use valtr but don't rely on him to save your ass. And use lead elixir to avoid getting stunlocked. That's six advantages right there, the rest is up to you.

            • 30 Jul 2018 21:57  

              "Get to the cathedral and summon Valtr. He is your meat shield, albeit a lousy one." I'm sorry, but we must have played different games. See, the Valtr in my game is a mother*****ing bad ass, and is easily one of the best NPC allies in the franchise. Laurence is a Beast, and takes extra damage from serrated weapons. Valtr uses the Whirligig Saw. The dude can single-handedly tank Ludwig for *****'s sake. MY Valtr didn't come close to death when I tested him out against Laurence. Not to perpetuate the meme, but maybe you really should git gud.

              • Anonymous

                23 Jul 2018 08:38  

                500 blood vials later i finally beat the final boss of bloodborne. hands down toughest boss in the game. i used church pick tricked mode and accursed brew.

                • Anonymous

                  21 Jul 2018 01:41  

                  Probably my least favorite fight in all of Bloodborne. He’s just a fire reskin of the Cleric Beast, with fire AoE attacks, and he’s a perfect example of artificial difficulty. I’ve never had problems with any other boss, I got Ludwig on my 5th try and Lady Maria on my 2nd, but I just can’t with this thing. I’ve only managed to get him to his 2nd stage twice, within at least 20 attemps. If he was at least important to fight in order to learn more about the lore, but noooo, we just get a rune for all that.

                  • Anonymous

                    12 Jul 2018 06:47  

                    Anyone else have an issue where, if he grabs you to slam you into the ground, your controls get locked to where no matter what direction you move the joystick in you run forward?

                    • Anonymous

                      08 Jul 2018 15:34  

                      Just some quick comparisons to emphasize how truly gigantic his health is.
                      For example, Yhorm in Ds3 has 27k health, but you're supposed to kill him with a weapon that does it in 5 hits. Laurence doesn't have a quick kill gimmick and has 21k. Oof.

                      • Anonymous

                        20 Jun 2018 10:56  

                        I found that Simon’s Bowblade made this fight so much easier than any other weapon and I didn’t even do the bowblade strategy listed in this wiki. The bowblade’s normal attacks are deceptively quick and don’t take up much stamina. So for the first two phases I just dodged in, got in two or three hits. and then dodged back to recharge stamina.

                        Then when he reached his third phase all I had to do was keep my distance and do charged R2 shots with the bow. His third phase is way more dangerous up close than it is far away. So there’s no need to worry about his stun locking crawl or having attacks interrupted by stepping into a lava puddle. All I needed to do is dodge the occasional lava spew. I had plenty of time in the world to land charged shots and empty my quicksilver bullet supply into him until he died.

                        • Anonymous

                          02 Jun 2018 15:19  

                          Okay i see the strategies but do you have one for ng+2? I just want the damn beast rune without making a new character and getting the beast claw again

                          • Anonymous

                            29 May 2018 18:17  

                            I'd just lie to say I f#ck!n hate this m&therf%cker. What a f@ck!n p!ece of sh$t3. I'm so p!ss3d right now. I don't remember a more annoying fight in Demon's Souls, Dark Souls or Dark Souls 2. Possibily, Dark Souls 2. That one had quite a few annoying battles. But, Laurence, jesus christ, dude. Anyway, just wanted to vent out the frustration. On my way to my tenth attempt, but first I'll just chill. Again, f#ck you, Laurence, you bloody b@st@rd!!!

                            • Anonymous

                              17 Apr 2018 21:49  

                              My tactic was moonblade shot in the head and stagger.In third phase he is slowly and distance attacks save youre life.

                              • Anonymous

                                11 Mar 2018 18:10  

                                NG+5, A Call From Beyond with 90 in Arcane deals about 2000 damage per hit on Laurence (sometime more and sometime less). Using this strategy, you trigger the first and the second phase quickly (I suggest equipping Clawmark rune to get the best for your visceral attack). However, you must take your distance, learning the right time to use it. If not, you'll die. Besides, I noticed new moves from Laurence during the fight than literally surprised me. When I was on NG or NG+, this boss wasn't so terrible (ok he was a tough guy, but manageable). But from NG+2 to now (NG+5), he becomes by far more aggressive. Neither Ludwig or the Orphan are so difficult. I have no doubts: Laurence is the toughest boss of Bloodborne.

                                • Anonymous

                                  21 Feb 2018 00:44  

                                  Hmmm, this guy doesn't seem to be too hard. This is my first time playing any souls game, Ng, and I beat him on my second try. Maybe I got good RnG, maybe I was just lucky, but I literally just ran at him with the whirligig saw and kept hacking at him the entire time. Barely any of his attacks hit me. And when he goes paraplegic on you, just keep on running to the left (after locking on) and the weird charge will literally NEVER hit you. He just sorta circles around you pooping fiery magma. The only attack you have to watch out for is the fire breath, but even that doesn't do that much damage either. Apparently he becomes a lot harder in Ng+, or at least I'm hoping so. Hope that helps!

                                  • Anonymous

                                    09 Feb 2018 12:50  

                                    The true "BOSS" of Bloodborne. The real Lord of the Nightmare. Fighting against this bas...rd in NG+, NG++ ect... is goddamn hard!

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