Now here’s a boss fight that tries to get you comfortable with its first phase, before completely turning the tables on you in its second phase. Vordt of the Boreal Valley is a castle watchdog (watcharmor?) that stands between you and the Undead Settlement.
Vordt’s first phase is fairly easy to deal with. He will swipe at you once with his mace – a move that can be easy countered by blocking with a shield, or rolling through it – and, if you’re a distance away from him, he’ll pound the mace into the ground to try to get you with an AoE attack. The trick to getting past his first phase is to stick as close to him as possible. Once you dodge Vordt’s first swipe, stay near his hind legs and start attacking his back. Vordt will continue trying to swipe the area in front of him, so stay safe at his back and you’ll be fine.
Once you get him down to 50% of his health, Vordt will pause for a moment and start to spew out frost from his body. When this happens, get in a couple of hits, but make sure you have enough stamina left to roll away. Within seconds of entering his second phase, Vordt will perform a butt rush where he leaps backwards, so if you’re caught getting too many hits in during the transition, that butt slam will take off half your health bar.
In this phase, Vordt has three moves that you need to watch out for. The first is his charging attack. You’ll be able to tell when he’s about to charge by looking out for sparks on his body, and the winding back of his legs. He’ll usually do three charges each time, so make sure you’re locked on to him and be ready to dodge at the very last second.
The next attack you need to watch out for is his swiping move. Instead of only swiping once, like in his first phase, Vordt will swipe twice, with the follow-up being a little delayed. Whenever he swipes, make sure to dodge away from him and wait for that second swipe before going in for your attack.
The final attack, and the most important one, occurs when Vordt stops in his tracks and begins sucking in ice through his mouth. If you let him complete this attack, he’ll fill the area with ice and you’ll be inflicted with Frostbite immediately. Frostbite is a new status ailment in Dark Souls III that depletes your stamina bar and significantly slows down your stamina regen rate. You do not need that in your life. Whenever Vordt starts sucking in ice, just sprint towards him and hit him. One attack will knock him out of the ice-sucking animation and the battle will resume as per normal.
The hardest part of this fight is avoiding getting Frostbitten. During the second phase, in particular, all of his attacks will build up your Frostbite meter (in addition to taking off a chunk of your health), so I’d advise dodging his moves instead of blocking with a shield. Since you’ll be doing away with the shield, it’d also be a good idea to two-hand your weapon so you can deal more damage, and end the fight quickly.