Debatably the hardest type of Skeletons, these enemies make themselves formidable being armor clad and wielding two Katanas dealing huge, quick damage. Nothing can really penetrate their tough armor; even blunt damage is lacking. Luckily their health bars are rather puny, and are slow to turn around making them extremely vulnerable to backstabs. They are the only source of Pure Bladestone in the game.
- Horizontal slashes.
- Right handed piercing thrust.
- Dual katanas slash attack.
- Lunging dual slash attack with knockdown.
All kinds of ranged strategies work well, be it magic or arrows. Damage will be mediocre but eventually they usually go down without a fight. Flame Toss works well on the first playthrough of the game, combined with Thief's Ring. On the rare occasion that they run towards you, Warding or Second Chance are very helpful. They ignore stun from most weapons, particularly small ones, though Dragon Bone Smasher is a weapon that works particularly well, as do large hammers like Meat Cleaver and Bramd, if you can weather the damage.
Parrying tends to be pretty straightforward - wait until they make any kind of attacking movement, there isn't too much timing involved. Occaisonally they do attacks that take longer to come out, and you have to be up close to parry, which can be difficult due to their massive range. Backstabs are usually the most effective methods of takedown, even if they hit you chances are you can still stab them from behind. From there, you can constantly hit them in the back, or even wait between attacks and use another backstab to finish them off. Their turning around is so terribly slow they can't make a comeback from there.
As for melee tactics, using Soul Remains to distract them and then going for a critical hit and finish with several quick strikes works very well on the early Black Skeletons. The best way to do this is as follows: stand back some distance, but within lock-on range. Then run towards them, forcing them to jump and make a killing strike. If you roll at the moment they jump or just run past them while they are in the air, they will miss, and you can turn around for a quick back stab. It's best not to wear the Thief's Ring or use a spell that hides you, because then you have to be closer to make them jump. If this strategy does not work the first time, just back up and try again. Any fast hitting weapon, like a Dagger, soaked in Turpentine or Black Turpentine will work very, very well.
Using a Shield to block his attacks will cause him to get pushed back, at this moment you can hit him once or twice and repeat with another block. This is perhaps the most fail-proof and simple strategy against them.