Garl Vinland
good garl bad garl

Voiced by: Josh Cohen

Garl Vinland is Maiden Astraea’s loyal bodyguard and companion, and speculatively, a lover as well. He followed Astraea into the Valley to carry out her will of bringing peace to the suffering. He protects her with his life and has gone to great lengths to keep himself and her safe from pillaging adventurers.



2246 (as a Black Phantom)

Found in:

Tendency Events:

  • All world tendencies
    • While Maiden Astraea is still alive, Garl Vinland appears alive in the same location in 5-3, protecting her.
    • He drops the Dark Silver Shield and Dark Silver Armor set when killed during the boss battle.
    • If you kill him before approaching Maiden Astraea, she will commit suicide. Although, she will attack you with the God's Wrath miracle, if you are close enough to her.
    • If you kill Maiden Astraea before killing him, you can either attack and kill him, or simply reload the current game, and he will be dead, leaving his shield and armor at his normal spawning point.
    • See the Maiden Astraea page for more information on killing both of them.
  • Pure White World Tendency (only after the death of Maiden Astraea)
    • Garl Vinland appears as a Black Phantom, as part of the side quest from his sister, Selen Vinland. He will appear regardless of whether you've already spoken to his sister.
    • When you first enter, he will not be there in Black Phantom form. Don't be alarmed; this is intended. Kill regular Garl Vinland and Maiden Astraea as you normally would, return to the nexus and then go back to the Dirty Colossus Archstone. Press on into the cavern and Garl Vinland will be waiting as a Black Phantom along the left pathway.
    • If you should find yourself heading up from the Maiden Astraea archstone to fight BP Garl for whatever reason, be aware that the game seems to have trouble letting you lock on to him him from below while he's in his starting position. Garl's attacks are, however, slow enough that you can sprint past him (on his left as you head up the path) without taking damage. Once you're higher up than him, proceed as normal. As mentioned elsewhere on the page, he's not likely to follow you far… Or, indeed, follow you at all.
    • Black Phantom Garl drops the Bramd and the Crest Of Vinland when killed.
    • Give the Crest Of Vinland to Selen Vinland to complete her side quest, and you'll receive a Ring Of Devout Prayer as a reward.


Garl Vinland has a few tricks up his sleeves, like healing spells and God's Wrath, but you can interrupt it all since he casts spells very slowly. When he changes weapons to use a Talisman, you can attack him aggressively, but after 1 to 3 hits he will change back to Bramd and try to parry. However, if you want a true battle, get around Garl Vinland either by running past him while he is off-balance and knocked back from some hits, or by going around through the plague lake. So long as you are behind the choke-point he tried to maintain, he will become much more aggressive and more likely to parry and riposte you.

Melee Strategies

General Melee

If you take a lot of time or lure him, Garl will not wait at the bottom, but can come partway up the path to meet you. At the point where he will not advance any further, he is close to an overhang above from the cliff face. If you fight him here, you can back up out of his range if you need a break for healing (and will be safe if you survive a Bramd knockdown). Also, because of the overhang, many of his attacks will never hit you and rebound off the wall, so you can get in some free shots while he recovers.

Whilst Garl is under the overhang he will not move much from this position, you can bait him to swing his Bramd and simply roll backwards as soon as he moves and attack him after the blow hits the ground and he starts to recover, he is vulnerable when recovering. Simply use and repeat until he is dead.

Crowd him - ring of the eternal warrior

It is possible to squeeze in between the wall and Garl at the point where he will not advance any further up the path. With you all up in his face, constantly pushing up against him, there really isn't much he can do, if you keep hitting him, which is possible thanks to the ring you wear. I casted warding to be sure, but it was never necessary. Using this strategy, Garl just doesn't know how to react to you, and will fail his Maiden fairly quickly.

Counter with Fire attacks

You're in for the long haul now. Garl is equipped with the Dark Silver Armor set and Bramd, in a narrow choke point so the ideal strategy is to simply wait for Garl to strike, block or dodge, then hit him with a very quick flame based combo. Be careful not to get to close to him and wind up behind him because this can accidentally result in Garl essentially going berserk making him aggressive enough to combo you into Maiden Astraea from the top of the stairs. If this happens you should try your best to side step his swipes, while keeping a fair distance from the Maiden. Ideal spot is at the base of the stairs so you can maneuver but still stay out of the sludge.

Alternatively, you can speed up this process by using Morion Blade + Clever Rat's Ring + Dragon Long Sword + 5. With these setup, you can potentially hit for an average of 500 dmg with R2. You may also consider using the Dragon Mirdan Hammer +5 with an attack rating of 358 does 266 damage on Riposte versus 200 Riposte damage using a Blessed Mirdan Hammer +5 with 400 attack rating (with 50 Faith). 5 consecutive hits (equivalent to 1 full stamina bar with 40 endurance) from a Dragon Mirdan Hammer +5 two-handed could only amount up to 200 damage more or less (compare to 266 dmg w/ single Riposte).

Parry and Riposte

This strategy works only if you're confident in your ability to parry. Grab a small shield (Knight's Shield +10 or Dark Silver Shield +5 preferably) and a weapon that gets good riposte damage (dagger, blunt weapon, etc). Walk close enough to Garl so that he prepares to strike. Time your parry well and, as long as he one hands the Bramd, you can Parry and Riposte him. It will take a few ripostes, especially if you mess up. Second Chance or Warding can save you if he hits you; just roll away, heal and put them back on. The great thing about this strategy is that it's impossible for him to riposte you, since you never attack him. Just practice the timing, because the Bramd has a big windup. Remember to get out of there if he two hands it as that makes it impossible to parry (or at least, really, really hard). Northern Regalia at Pure Black/White CT will take him down in a few hits. This works on his Black Phantom version too.


This works on both of Garls forms. For your first play through bring your strongest straight sword (Dragon Broad Sword for instance). Do not use a heavy weapon as he stays under that ledge most of the time. Lock on so you can strafe without altering your camera angle. You can use your shield if you like but you shouldn't need to with good timing. Walk right up to him as close as you can get and as soon as he starts making the attack motion shield and walk back. Hopefully if timed correctly he will miss you completely and hit the ground. Do your R2 attack that lunges your sword forward into him. If done correctly he will try to attack you again. Just rinse and repeat this same motion. If you don't shield you can keep this going forever as your stamina will just replenish as you walk around between attacks.

Turtle with Shield/Knockback weapon

Use a strong shield and spear combo. Block and then retaliate until he dies. You can also simply bait him to attack, then combo him after you dodge by backing up. If you're strong enough, the Meat Cleaver works well, too, because you'll knock him down with almost every hit. His Dark Silver Shield will block most magic-based attacks, so save your magic for the Warding spell.


Any quick, short-ranged weapon should do the trick (Baby's Nail for instance). Position yourself slightly to the right, closer to the cliff. Do the usual dodge and counter. It's easier with a quick weapon since if you're good at it, you can hit him out of his attacks. Sometimes Garl will swing twice instead of once. His tracking will lead him slightly towards the cliff. You can use this time to get around to the back side of him. This may take a couple of tries. If Garl strays too far (not too difficult to get a backstab that pushes him that far if you did what was described), he'll try to walk back to his original position with disregard to you. As long as you can prevent him from walking back to his original position, you can keep on striking him. Pushing: tapping forward and attack with most non-curved blade weapons will help keep him from walking back.

Team Backstab

Weird way of fighting Garl but very effective. Let two melee based characters destroy Garl with little effort. The down side is one player has to make it through the plague babies. When entering the fog, backstab the worshippers and then move onto the left hand side where you would face Garl. Have one person fall down onto the little island and one stay on the cliff. Garl will be backed by Maiden Astraea’s. The person on the cliff can make his/her way down and lure him to meet him on the island. Then the unlucky group member can race through the annoying bog and get up behind him (getting behind him is the hardest part of this plan). Now Garl is trapped in between two people. Whoever is behind him can backstab and he should turn to face who backstabbed him opening his back to the other player. Just repeat this until dead.


If you have already acquired the Blind from the Black Phantom Selen Vinland in 5-2, equip it along with a strong shield. Lure Garl towards you, but stay near the edge of his aggro radius so you can retreat if necessary. When he gets close enough unleash with the Blind; it will ignore his shield and swings quick enough that he shouldn't get an attack off. The stun from the Blind is just enough to last until the next swing, so once you stop attacking back away immediately (while blocking for safety) since Garl will usually try to attack. If you kept backing away his attack should miss, and while he recovers from his attack you can launch another assault if your stamina has replenished. If you do take a hit retreat until he backs off and heal. Second Chance is also helpful in case you make a mistake.

Magic Strategies

Fire Magic

It's easy to kill Garl with Flame Toss, because the Dark Silver Shield only has 70% FireCut. Ready the Kris Blade to boost magic power, this will do 20 damage per Flame Toss. Just continuously cast from lock on range.

You can boost the fire damage to 40 damage per hit if you hit him immediately after his hammer strikes the ground. Achieving this takes some timing. Get yourself to the bottom of the stairs and wait for him to approach you. You need to begin casting the spell at the same time he begins swinging his weapon down at you, so get ready to dodge back before he swings. If you time this right, your Flame Toss should hit him directly in the head for 40 damage, thus saving you MP and time.

Alternative Fire Magic

It is easy enough to take out Garl Vinland with a magic character, and multiple spells that will get the job done. The first strategy which is perhaps the safest is to get your magic attack as high as you can and then lock on him and just use Fire Spray, the Dark Silver Shield he has absorbs all physical/magic damage, but not all fire, so some will get through (although not much), and he will not retaliate at all so you can just keep doing this. He will try to heal himself when his health gets low, at which point you can switch to a bow and interrupt him each time he tries to cast his miracle, and finish him off that way.

Homing Soul Arrow

A quicker and easier ways to defeat him is to utilize the Homing Soul Arrow spell. Set it up so that you do as much magic damage as you can, then stand a bit in front of him, but still so that he will not attack you. Then just cast Homing Soul Arrow and quickly run right at him, the trick is to get him to lower his shield and start to wind up for an attack right when your five soul arrows target him. If you do it right, all five will connect for fairly good damage, plus they will stun him, giving you a chance to retreat out of his range. If you are too far away when you cast or start running up to him too late, the soul arrows will hit his shield and do no damage.

Also when using this strategy, often he will not try to heal himself unless you are taking too long between volleys, but if he does, you can finish him off with a bow.

Firestorm: Avoiding Garl

You will need five magic slots for this. Cast Warding and walk up to him, hit him a bit so he moves and you can roll by him. Then sprint as fast as you can down the pathway to the maiden. He will be right after you and you will get stuck in the swamp, so hurry! As soon as you are next to her cast Firestorm. One hit should take her out. Garl will not attack you after this. You can talk to him and go back to the Nexus. When you return he will be gone and his armor will be at the place you saw him first.

Firestorm: Confronting Garl

For this to work, your going to need a lot of spice, and the Firestorm spell. Go around the walk way, and use Firestorm to get him to fall down, and he should retreat to the maiden.
Now all you have to do is lure him up the pathway around the side, use Firestorm, he will fall down, then retreat back up the path, mana up. Whilst he is walking back to the maiden, lure him back, and repeat. If you can get him to advance before he reaches the maiden, he shouldn't heal, and eventually he'll die.

Poison Cloud & Death Cloud: Black Phantom Garl only

The easiest (and cheapest) way to defeat Black Phantom Garl Vinland is to approach him at his spawning point on the left cliff, and cast the Poison Cloud spell (Death Cloud will work if you can get him to lower his guard while he is in the cloud) from just within lock-on range (he won't attack unless you get close enough for him to hit you). As with any boss or Black Phantom susceptible to poison, you'll have to cast the spell several times (905 damage points per casting, at 5 points per second). As his hit points get low (somewhere around 25%), he'll attempt to cast healing spells. When he does, he lets down his guard and his motions are very slow, so you can hit him with an arrow or bolt from point-blank range and interrupt the spell. Stay locked onto him and shoot him each time he attempts to cast the spell. Meanwhile, the poison and your shots are slowly killing him. Repeat until he dies, and you'll never get hit. This method does not work on Garl when he is alive, in regular body form (during the Maiden Astraea battle). In NG++ Garl won't even try to heal himself (bug?), so 4 Poison Cloud or 1 Death Cloud cast(s) should do the work.


Make sure your equip burden is low, and equip a large sword with significant knockback (tested with Dragon Bone Smasher) and Soulsucker. Approach him from the right, dodging his attacks until he completes an overhead swing. Quickly strike him, and he should fly back into the wall. While he is down run to him and initiate Soulsucker. The attack animation should finish right after he gets up, and before he initiates another attack. You leave with either a 15 second battle and double souls, or a look of shock as he parries your 20lb sword and murders you.

Soulsucker and Second Chance

The strategy above may work with a great risk. Many times, Soulsucker would take a while to finish and by the time it's done either you're dead or both of you are. In case you die at the same time, Garl will still be alive when you get back to where he is. In order to prevent this from happening, you can do the following:

  1. equip a Talisman Of Beasts or any catalyst on your left hand
  2. equip your knockback weapon on your right hand
  3. cast Second Chance, this way even if both of you die at the same time, one of you has two lives
  4. wait for him to strike, then dodge, then strike hard (R2) with your knockback weapon so that he won't fly away from you and just get knocked down in front of you (having to run after him takes away most of the precious time for Soulsucking)
  5. as soon as he's down, initiate Soulsucker

As stated above, he'll most likely recover before Soulsucker is done using this strategy. He will strike you dead if your stats are not enough to take it but then you'll get revived by miracle.


This strategy is by far the least mana consuming out of all of them (single-cast wise), and yet the most amusing. As soon as you get in to the caverns, backstab the worshippers off the cliff and then face Garl Vinland. Hit him with your melee weapon once or twice, until he attacks. When he does, roll away, then towards him, with Ignite and a catalyst (preferrably Insanity) equipped and keep igniting. The cast is fast enough for him to get stunned in the middle of his attack, and with only an 18 mana consumption, you're able to do quite a bit of damage before he does.

Acid Cloud/Scraping Spear

Garl Vinland's equipment is all capable of being worn down with the Scraping Spear and/or the Acid Cloud spell. After some time dedicated to lower his equipment health he is laughably easy. He takes a great amount of damage and even on New Game ++ he couldn't do more than 300 damage (tested with Black Leather Armor, SL120[state significant stats]). This makes the fight laughably easy.

Does character tendency affect him showing up in BP form?

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License