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

Laurence is the only strictly optional boss in the DLC, as defeating him does not advance the story of the DLC.

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 breaks his legs and falls down (watch out) 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 third 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 third 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 equipped. 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 completed 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 1:st and 2:nd phase

Attack Name Attack Description & Counter
Sticky left hand fist pound Laurence screams a high pitched scream and pounds his large left fist in to the ground in front of him, causing splash damage and the fist gets stuck. About 3 seconds later the fist explodes and Laurence returns to his nominal position.
Counter: When you hear the high pitched scream, back off somewhat to Laurence's left (your right). After the explosion you have a small counter window. Run for his large left arm. If you are too slow he typically jumps backwards but he might also counter so be careful.
Non-sticky left hand fist pound

Laurence screams a medium pitched scream and pounds his large left fist in front of him, causing splash damage. After a brief while he retracts the hand.
Counter: After avoiding the initial fist pound and its splash damage, run in and hit the fist once.

Two hand grab

Laurence pulls both hands backwards and contemplates his life choices before swiftly closing them together trying to grab you. This grab tracks you. If he manages to grab you, he lifts you up and inflicts tons of damage before throwing you into the ground.
Counter: If you see him pull back, back off a bit and let him grab nothing. Afterwards you have a perfect opportunity to do a heavy over the head attack hitting his head. If he has received enough head damage, his skull will crack, allowing you to perform a visceral attack.

One hand grab

Laurence emits a low pitched scream and performs a grab attack with his left hand. The grab attack has a short wind-up but has also has a short reach. Might be followed up with a right hand grab.
Counter: After the grab there is a short window for an attack but it is high risk, especially after the first grab as you don't know if another will follow.

High Jump

If you are far away from Laurence he will jump up high in the air and try to land on top of you which is an instant kill.
Counter: Run forwards or backwards depending on your distance to Laurence as he launches himself. Short distance = forward, Long distance backwards. If you want to be on the safe side, try to do a roll as Laurence lands. If you are close enough but avoided getting hit you have the opportunity to get in a hit.

Three fist pound Laurence pounds his right and left fists quickly in succession into the ground and finishes of with a slow two handed first pound. All of these have splash damage, especially the last. Ensure you maintain proper distance You can roll through the first ones with good timing but best practice is just to back off as soon as you see them coming.
Counter: After Laurence has finished with the double fist whammy you have a perfect opportunity to put in some hard hits to his head. If he has received enough damage to his head his skull will crack allowing you to perform a visceral attack.
Back swipe

If you are behind Laurence he will perform a back swipe with his right hand and may follow up with a swipe with his left hand. These can be rolled through if you get the timing down.
Counter: If you are brave roll through the swiped and continue hitting him.

Four hand arm swipe

Laurence will swipe with his right, left, right and left arm in front of him.
Counter: After the final swipe his left arm will linger for a bit allowing you to run in and hit it once if you have maintained the proper distance.
Note: In the second phase this move is very similar to another move where he instead of performing his last left swipe instead crashes forward. His legs are in different positions but it is hard to see the difference without experience. In the second phase it may be a better strategy to back off.

Four hand arm swipe with collapse (2:nd phase only)

Similar to the the four hand arm swipe above but instead of the finishing swipe Laurence collapses forward, flails around with his arms and collapses once again.
Counter: If you maintain the proper distance just wait until his final collapse and then run forwards and hit him

One hand arm swipe (1:st phase only?)

Laurence screeches and swipes one of his arms, might be followed up with a swipe with the other arm.
Counter: After the swipe(s) are completed Laurence is passive for some time allowing you to get in a hit or two.

Dash (2:nd phase only)

Laurence backs off into a corner and locks onto you and starts to run against you. After some time he will jump and swipe against you. If he connects this swipe it will shave off a lot of your health.
Counter: Be prepared and maintain a proper distance. Once he performs the jump swipe and you are close enough you can roll through it and potentially get in a hit.

Forward jump (2:nd phase only)

Laurence performs a forward jump and tries to flatten you.
Counter: If you are close enough as he initiates the jump roll forward. You will then be behind him allowing for some hits. Watch out for his counter swipes he likely will initiate. If you are far away roll backwards otherwise you will roll into him as he lands.

 


Moveset without legs (crawling) 3:rd phase

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 

  

  

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    • Anonymous

      28 Jul 2021 10:05  

      What an awful boss. They really thought they could just put the cleric beast in a new location just to put fire all over the place and make us pay for it

      • Anonymous

        28 Jul 2021 02:04  

        Holy ****, I finally beat this *****ass. I found some strategies to share. If you have around 30 vit, he can one shot you, so i recommend farming in mergos’s loft: middle for around 45 vit. Also, play this boss like a dark souls boss. Don’t be overly aggressive, especially in his second phase. His attacks can hit around him, so i suggest dodging back for some of them, especially his ground slam in his second phase. Try to summon Valtr if you can, just make sure to have the impurity rune equipped. He helps a lot.

        Tl;dr: Use bolt paper, and be passive. Level Vit up to 45 ish. Bait punishable attacks.

        • Anonymous

          15 Jun 2021 01:07  

          this boss is absolute bullshit ... I haven't died as many times in the whole game as I did on this idiot

          • Anonymous

            11 Jun 2021 22:24  

            Was about to beat him first try, then, i was about to deal the final blow when i got staggered and died. Couldn’t see his health bar anymore. Saddest moment of my whole play through

            • Anonymous

              25 May 2021 03:41  

              People say this is a reskin even though he has an entirely new music, second phase and some new moves in the first phase

              • Anonymous

                18 Feb 2021 14:18  

                I got summoned and saw some guy 1 shot Laurence (or kill him so quick that it was all masked by lag), Is that even possible? I was lvl 60 and there was one other cooperator before me, neither of us got a single hit on the boss. Is there some kind of exploit, or are there hackers in Bloodborne?

                • Anonymous

                  18 Feb 2021 11:25  

                  Just how much health does he have in ng plus?? I can't remember him being particularly hard on my arcane character, but this time around all my attacks just tickle or at best, annoy him o__O

                  • Anonymous

                    14 Feb 2021 06:04  

                    I must've took it for granted, but don't you think that statue of the bearded man with the mitre similar to Willem's on the elevator to the Research Hall could be Laurence before he became a beast? It looks too distinct to be a random dude, especially since we never see anyone else with that sort of headwear in the Healing Church.

                    • Anonymous

                      11 Feb 2021 12:39  

                      Just beat him after at least 10 tries at level 56 with 1550 hp. Make sure to dodge towards his big arm, and slash his behind a few times. Lava face is basically circling around him to bait lava spew or his forward lunges where you get in and slash a few times at his sides. Beat him with 10% hp and 0 vials left, so I basically face tanked a few hits while trying to rally with mercy blade combo. He's annoying, but you can beat him for sure. This is just what I did, not exactly a flawless strategy by any means.

                      • Anonymous

                        30 Jan 2021 01:07  

                        "Laurence" is your ass, is just Cleric Beast on fire with a lot of HP and damage. I remember when I went to play Bloodborne people told me about this guy and I was really excited to face him, when I saw it was just a repeated boss I was so disappointed. Even the battle arena is repeated...

                        • Anonymous

                          25 Jan 2021 03:24  

                          For the life of me I cannot beat this ****er. I just got him down to 1 hit left and his ****ing lava killed me.

                          • Anonymous

                            21 Jan 2021 20:17  

                            There's something about this guy...I beat Ludwig and Maria on my first try but I have lost to this dude eight times now. Can't seem to dodge any of his attacks :(

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