Those of you who have been steadily progressing through Bloodborne may have already noticed a pattern by now. The bosses don’t get easier. In fact, they become more complex. Bloodborne does a good job of not just making every successive challenger more aggressive. Instead, each new boss forces you to think on your toes as you adapt to situations and figure out just what the heck you’re supposed to do. This couldn’t be more true than the predicaments you face in your fight with the Shadow of Yharnam.
You’ve probably already figured out by the featured image that you aren’t fighting just one enemy during this boss fight. You are actually fighting three very different, very powerful bosses at once. To make matters worse, you don’t have much wiggle room as you dance around each Shadow of Yharnam, looking for an opening, because the fight takes place in a relatively small room with a few obstacles in the way. Oh, and if you think this is gonna be a one-by-one affair like with the Witch of Hemwick, think again.
The Shadows of Yharnam come in three types. The first is melee fighter with a large katana. This guy is fast and powerful. He will spend the majority of the fight trying to get up close in personal for a little one-on-one time. The second is similar in that he also brandishes a large blade, but he also carries a candle that he uses to blow flames at you, and he’s a bit more laid back than the other sword bearer. The third and final Shadow of Yharnam is a sort of mage-like individual. This one will hang back at all times throwing fire balls at you every chance he gets.
Keeping with the spirit of the threes, the Shadow of Yharnam boss fight has three phases. The first one has you facing the three beasts in their normal forms. The second, triggered by eliminating a third of the entire group’s health causes each Shadow of Yharnam to undergo a transformation that makes them stronger and, if you could believe it, uglier. The final phase is triggered once two of the Shadows are dead, and this provides the last man standing with a powerful ability that it will use to try kill you as quickly as possible.
As far as which moves to watch out for, that’s something you shouldn’t really concern yourself with until the second phase. You want to dodge absolutely everything during the first phase, especially since you’re going to try and focus on a sole Shadow of Yharnam. Move in for an attack, swing once or twice, then immediately go back on the defensive. The Shadows of Yharnam take a considerable amount of damage from even your basic attacks, so no need to get greedy, you’re going to want to save your Blood Vials for later.
Speaking of Blood Vials, no other item is really necessary for the Shadow of Yharnam boss fight. Throwables will prove to be pretty useless since you’ll almost never find yourself at a standstill. And since fire doesn’t affect these guys as well as it does any other boss or beast, you’re better off saving your Molotov Cocktails. If you happen to have Bolt Paper, that will prove useful for some extra damage dealing, but don’t stress yourself out too much if you can’t afford any.
Now that you have yourself situated, it’s time to strategize. So who do you go for first? The second and third phase provides a damage buff, and increased move set for any surviving Shadow of Yharnam. For that reason you’ll want to get rid of the ranged fighter as soon as humanly possible. His fireballs have a slight homing ability to them, so those are definitely something you don’t want to deal with once the heat gets turned up.
You’re going to want to focus on this one as much as possible. Once about 20% of their combined health is gone, the second phase is triggered. This means you can come pretty close to eliminating the ranged Shadow of Yharnam before the second phase begins. Once it does start, stay locked on to the ranged one. All three will start convulsing as snakes come out of their bodies. Use this opportunity to quickly dispatch the mage so you can move on to more pressing matters.