Achievement Details

Soul & Shade

Complete the Pantheon of the Knight

Soul & Shade-1.2
1 guide

How to unlock the Soul & Shade achievement

  • vSullyvSully907,683
    02 Oct 2018 02 Oct 2018 12 Oct 2018
    6 0 7
    This is the 4th pantheon in the Godmaster content and compared to the rest, it's pretty hard. Particularly the last boss, Soul Vessel.

    You have to face 10 bosses back to back with a Hot Spring and Bench halfway through (you can modify charms at the bench but progress is not saved).

    1. Enraged Guardian
    2. Lost Kin
    3. No Eyes
    4. Traitor Lord
    5. White Defender
    Hot Spring and Bench
    6. Failed Champion
    7. Markoth
    8. Watcher Knight x6
    9. Soul Tyrant
    The Godseeker NPC
    10. Pure Vessel

    The only way to get through this is to practice and master each boss encounter, knowing their attack patterns and when it's safe to counterattack. In the main game it's often fine to flail through bosses and barely survive but to get through this pantheon, you need to defeat bosses with minimal damage taken. Pure Vessel will likely prove to be the most difficult part since he's, in my opinion, the most difficult boss faced thus far.

    Pure Vessel always hits for two damage. His attacks are incredibly fast and there is little time for counterattack.

    From the start, he has four attacks:
    1) Lunging stab: Jump over and pogo him as he goes past, then try to attack once more after landing.
    2) Triple slash: Again, jump over and pogo him, then try to attack once more after landing.
    3) Dagger burst: Jump, then dash through the daggers and attack him.
    4) Slam/pillars: Dash out of the way and find a safe spot. Attack if able.

    Should he block two consecutive attacks he will unleash a sweeping counterattack, so if this is coming, hope to dash through it to avoid damage.

    About halfway through he will start doing a focus attack where circles appear that deal damage after a second or so. Get out of range and try to see what he is doing next. I usually shot a Shade Soul or two at him.

    About 2/3 of the way through it adds another attack where it lashes straight out with some sort of long void tendril. Double jump to stay airborne, ideally toward him to pogo on his head.

    You can go to the Hall of Champions (below the four pantheon entrances) to practice any boss that you've faced before. So you need to get to Pure Vessel in an actual run to unlock him in the Hall. Then practice him until you know his patterns.

    Per Awoo in the comments:
    You CAN fight Pure Vessel without having to reach him in the patheon first.

    When you clear the first three pantheons, you unlock Godseeker mode. This is a game mode (select New Game to enter it) where you start in Godhome with all charms and upgrades, and all bosses except Radience already unlocked in the Hall of Gods. You can just go there right away and practice the Vessel to your heart's content.
    Arcane Insanity and Awoo give some other strategies in the comments as well.

    Here's my successful run:

    Here is a Pure Vessel battle on the Radiant setting:

    Full info can be found on the Hollow Knight wiki.

    Good luck!
    Showing all 7 comments. Leave a comment.
    Arcane InsanityFourth boss is Traitor Lord. Ninth boss is Soul Tyrant. Although a video is helpful, I think some actual advice about Pure Vessel is necessary, just to save people time. A lot of his attacks are hard to dodge on reaction, so knowing his capabilities and giving yourself optimal positioning will lower the threat level. His lunge attack and triple slash attack can be dashed through (much better when using sharp shadow for increased dash distance and damaging the boss). You need to be very aware of whether or not your shadow dash has recharged, as you won't be invincible while dashing if it hasn't recharged.

    So whenever you’ve just dashed and find yourself near Pure Vessel, you’ll often want to strong jump away from him after briefly attacking (don’t neutral jump, as he’ll hit you if he goes up in the air to initiate the sword pillars). If you used the dash to avoid the sword pillar attack or the triple slash, or you’ve seen the boss go in to riposte animation, then there’s no need to jump away if he’s close to you, as your dash will definitely have recharged before he can attack again. If ever the boss is off screen (although that’s kind of scary) it really limits what he can actually hit you with. The only dangers are the semi circle dagger attack, but because you’re far away you’ll have the time to see if you need to jump or stay still to avoid the bottom dagger. And the sword pillar attack, so be expecting him to teleport above you. Everything else will miss entirely apart from maybe the orb attack, but there’s ample time to react to that.

    It’s only really safe to heal once you’ve staggered the boss, and if you’re going to heal during the stagger, only heal once, you’ll likely pay the price if you’re greedy. If using sharp shadow, if you’re about dash distance away from the boss, and he uses the semi circle dagger attack, you can just dash towards him and attack briefly before retreating with a jump. If you end up hitting the boss (intentionally or otherwise) during his riposte stance, the retaliation can be dashed through. Don’t get greedy while spamming magic during his orb attack. Never use more than 2, and only use 1 if you weren’t already in position to avoid the initial orb. Or else he’ll probably nail your ass with a lunge attack. Also if you’re not already in position to avoid the small orbs that follow the large one, try to walk to a position of safety as opposed to dashing (when possible) as it’s best to have your dash saved for whatever follows.

    There’s one downside to using sharp shadow in this fight. If sharp shadow causes the boss to stagger, then depending on positioning you can actually take damage from the boss staggering, which is both hilarious and frustrating, but it’s something you’ll have to just put up with if going that route. If you do end up getting hit at any point, try to make the most of the invincibility and get off several hits on the boss. When the boss has about a third of his health left (something like that) he'll start using that god forsaken void tendril attack, so near the end of the fight you'll want to start jumping away whenever the boss is close to you, even if you have your dash charged. You'll either be far enough away that while in the air you can dash away and avoid it entirely, or close enough to dash above him and pogo on his head. Recommended charm setup: Unbreakable Strength, Mark of Pride, Quick Slash, Sharp Shadow.
    Posted by Arcane Insanity on 02 Oct 18 at 20:20
    vSullyI approached Pure Vessel a little differently as you can see in the video. I tried to keep it simple.

    For his lunging attack and triple slash, I would try to jump hit him with downward slashes. For daggers I would jump and dash through them and try to get a hit or two in. These three attacks are the most common so it was really a matter of being able to quickly determine what was coming and then be ready to react accordingly.

    Slam with pillars was easy enough to evade.

    He adds in focus explosions and then arm tendrils about halfway through. For Focus, I'd usually throw a shade soul or two his way while getting out of blast radius and try to keep him on screen so I could see what was coming next. For arm tendrils, I wanted to double jump and dash towards him and try to downward slash his head but I ended up trying to dash away to a safe distance.

    I didn't see any value in dashing through him when I could instead jump over top and get damage in, too. So ultimately it just became a matter of recognizing what was coming and reacting quickly enough with a much tighter window than with other bosses.
    Posted by vSully on 03 Oct 18 at 04:02
    vSullyYeah, focus orbs appear around 50% and tendrils likely at 75%.

    I didn't mean to be argumentative or dismissive. You've made a far more detailed explanation of the encounter than I did. Thanks.

    Can't get your link to load the video, though.
    Posted by vSully on 03 Oct 18 at 14:41
    Arcane InsanityNo problem. I don't know why it won't work for you, I'll give a TA link instead, that should work fine. Sharp shadow setup against pure vessel on radiant difficulty:

    Arcane Insanity playing Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition
    Posted by Arcane Insanity on 03 Oct 18 at 18:55
    AwooOkay, first of all: You CAN fight Pure Vessel without having to reach him in the patheon first.

    When you clear the first three pantheons, you unlock Godseeker mode. This is a game mode (select New Game to enter it) where you start in Godhome with all charms and upgrades, and all bosses except Radience already unlocked in the Hall of Gods. You can just go there right away and practice the Vessel to your heart's content.

    Now, for the actual fight, this is gonna sound a bit crazy, but... don't jump. At all. I've gotten pretty good at this fight, and I don't jump, ever. I use Sharp Shadow, Dashmaster and Sprintmaster to maximize my mobility, and then I dash through all of his attacks. Yes, you do have to be good at reading what he's gonna do, but he really doesn't have a huge amount of attacks. The lunge and triple slash are easy enough to dash through, and the latter usually lets you deal an extra hit to him afterwards. Dashing through his throwing daggers, you always want to hit him once, wait a second to see if he assumes the parry state, and then either hit him again if he doesn't, or wait for him to drop his guard and then get a quick hit in before he moves on.

    The ground pound is a bit annoying with high mobility since it can be hard to make a careful adjustment to your position to avoid the spikes, but you get used to it. A free hit when they go away as well, if you're close enough to him and have soul, an Abyss Shriek is a good option here. The focus attack is no biggie, just back off and throw a shade if you have soul, or get a quick heal in if you need it. Just keep an eye on the boss since he always launches the next attack just before the spheres disappear. If you don't see him, you're usually about to get attacked from above.

    The void tendrils are the hardest thing to deal with. When you get to the point in the fight where he starts using them, always run towards him as soon as he teleports. If he uses the tendrils, simply dash right through him, and claim three or four perfectly free hits on his sorry ass. What makes this hard is the timing, but again it's something you get used to. Even if you do get hit by this attack, you can still get a few good hits in, and he should be near death at this point anyway.

    I simply didn't feel comfortable with jumping around and pogoing all over the place during this, so for me this is a better, though somewhat unorthdox and certainly quite ballsy, strategy.
    Posted by Awoo on 10 Oct 18 at 19:54
    NINja277I agree with Awoo i ahve been using no jumping vs pure vessel and it has been going very well so far , in fact i tend notto even move much as it gives just enough time for shadow dash to recharge.

    the only time i jump is after a dive attack and the knives pop ip from the ground , the clear are on the ground is much smaller thannin the air.

    i have not attempted jumping over him at all but just thought id share what worked for me
    Posted by NINja277 on 11 Oct 18 at 16:11
    NINja277I agree with Awoo i ahve been using no jumping vs pure vessel and it has been going very well so far , in fact i tend notto even move much as it gives just enough time for shadow dash to recharge.

    the only time i jump is after a dive attack and the knives pop ip from the ground , the clear are on the ground is much smaller thannin the air.
    Posted by NINja277 on 11 Oct 18 at 16:21
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