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Hogwarts Legacy's Boss Battles Ranked

"Hogwarts Legacy" hit the market in February 2023 amidst swirling controversies from the franchise's creator, JK Rowling. On its own merits as an action RPG, though, "Hogwarts Legacy" received a generally warm reception, with critics apt to praise the game's immersive elements.

While exploration on the hilt of a flying broomstick is a tempting draw for "Hogwarts Legacy," perhaps most enticing is the promise of a fully customizable, combat-ready wizard. The combat fluidity of the game, combined with its extensive customization options, makes "Hogwarts Legacy" mechanically interesting. At least some fans see it that way — others, it turns out, have less favorable opinions of the combat system.

Boss battles are an RPG's best friend, and they are aplenty in "Hogwarts Legacy." Crafting a winning strategy against the Soulslike bosses of "Hogwarts Legacy" is a thrill. Some fans of the game have even made an "Elden Ring" mod so that "Hogwarts Legacy's" RPG elements can shine outside the shadow of its controversy. Both games, after all, share memorable experiences of learning all the in-and-outs of their respective boss battles. In ranking the boss battles of "Hogwarts Legacy," the difficulty of combat mechanics is the primary consideration, alongside secondary consideration given to uniqueness.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

11. Trolls (Armored, Mountain, Fortified)

Games with an emphasis on boss battles need solid introductory challenges. Players should not jump into a game and expect to immediately take down the big baddie. Instead, a gentle warm-up for the game's more layered combat systems should pave the way toward more formidable challenges. Troll fights in "Hogwarts Legacy" serve as boss fight appetizers.

In Hogsmeade, at the start of the game, the player encounters their first boss fight with an Armored Troll. With only rudimentary magic and gear available, the Armored Troll is still a breeze. The fight consists of a simple pattern of basic attacks between dodges. The Armored Troll, and each other Troll, for that matter, only have a few lumbering and telegraphed attack patterns. Once the player gets the hang of dodging the Troll's giant swings, then keeping a distance from it does the trick.

The Mountain Troll fight adds a boulder-hurling mechanic. Throw the boulder back at it to make it vulnerable. Crossing paths with the Fortified Trolls toward the end game is the most challenging of the lot for a simple reason: two are in a small space. Advanced maneuvers, like using the Flipendo spell after the Troll slams its club on the ground, send it back into the Troll's face for extra damage. Stringing together dodges and using the Troll's slow speed against it makes quick work of these mini-bosses.

10. The Absconder

As the threat of the side-quest "Absconder Encounter," the Absconder strikes fear into all players with arachnophobia. A giant spider hiding out in a den full of eggs, this boss is surprisingly one of the easiest to face down in the game. The path to The Absconder's lair requires players to slay and, thus, gain mastery over spiders. So, players won't have to learn many new mechanics when the Infamous Foe battle begins with The Absconder.

The Absconder itself lacks offensive variety. It oscillates between making consecutive deadly lunges and preparing itself for those lunges with a three-part ground slam. Dodging each of its lunges is essential for survival. On the other hand, its three-part ground slam is its most vulnerable state. Players with the Descendo spell have an easier time with the Absconder because casting it just before the third ground slam causes The Absconder's extra momentum to carry its head into the ground. With its head stuck in the mud for a few seconds, players can fully unleash their offensive firepower. The only challenging aspect of this fight is the copious amounts of spider minions chasing the player around on Hard difficulty. More dodging and using Descendo on The Absconder deals with the additional test. Overall, The Absconder succeeds in being a creepy crawly, but it fails to challenge players as much as other bosses.

9. Cassandra Mason

The player confronts Cassandra Mason after they uncover her villainous plot in a PlayStation-exclusive side quest. Namely, she's been deceiving people into her shop so that Fastidio could trap them in his chest. A boss encountered relatively late in the story, Cassandra Mason's fight does not quite stack up to "Hogwarts Legacy's" other late-game heavy hitters. At the start of it, the player's companion, Ruth Singer, knocks out under a stunning spell. As a result, the boss fight turns into a tightly-confined duel outside Mason's shop.

Her first phase doesn't offer much more challenge than any random wizard. Damage-heavy combos work well to burn through the more manageable first portion of the fight. The second phase gets a bit more tricky. On top of her normal spellcasting, she occasionally teleports around the field while hurling three rocks at the player. Dodging the first two rocks into sending the third rock back at her works wonders. Lastly, the third phase dramatically increases the rapidity of Mason's teleportations. Whereas she repositioned a few times in the second phase, the third phase has her swiftly darting everywhere across the small dueling arena. Players must keep their heads on a swivel and play whack-a-mole to vanquish Cassandra Mason's third phase.

8. Death

Sneaking around the Deathly Hallows under the Disillusionment spell is one of the most memorable parts of "Hogwarts Legacy." When the art style turns black and white, it truly feels like transporting into another world. At the end of the quest chain, players confront Death itself. Well, not exactly. Death doesn't fight the player. Instead, it hovers around the battlefield summoning its minions to do combat.

While the visuals of the fight are striking — look at that giant Grim Reaper haunting the arena! — the mechanics of this boss fight are more common. In its first phase, Death summons some Armored Trolls one at a time as well as some Death's Shadows. Dealing with the Trolls one by one should be easy enough. Ignoring Death's Shadows can work, since protecting oneself from their far-and-few-between attacks is simple. The difficulty ramps up in the second phase, with Trolls spawning simultaneously on top of a mix of Death's Shadows and Death's Mongrels. At this point in the quest chain, players should be familiar with the patterns of dealing with each enemy. Consequentially, the fight's mechanics lacks both challenge and uniqueness. Which, considering the extraordinary artistic qualities of the fight, is a letdown.

7. Theophilus Harlow

A murderous and unapologetic bully, Theophilus Harlow is one of the bosses in "Hogwarts Legacy" that feels extra good to best. After learning about his history with the Rookwood Gang and following his path of familial tormenting, the player and Natsai Onai get to end Victor Rookwood's right-hand man.

Harlow fights with an aggressive approach that players must respect if they expect to succeed. Often, the best defense is a good offense. As such, defeating Theophilus Harlow comes down to using crowd control spells like Accio and Leviosa to keep juggling Harlow in the air. As a result, his attack patterns disrupt, and his shields-down grants a window of vulnerability for the player to attack. The actual difficulty of Harlow's fight comes in with his assistant minions. Ashwinder Soldiers are not too imposing, but dealing with them as soon as they join the fight helps the player stay focused on what wins the battle — disrupting Harlow as much as possible. With tons of open space on the battlefield to toss him around, dealing with Theophilus Harlow and his minions can be a piece of cake.

6. Pensive Guardian

The Pensive Guardian stands out as an imposing boss — a gigantic, magic-infused robot wielding weapons and spells. It is one of the only bosses from "Hogwarts Legacy" that would not look totally out of place in a Soulsborne game. In any case, players face off against the Pensive Guardian twice throughout the Keepers' Trials. However, not many mechanical differences exist between the two fights. As such, the winning strategy for both Pensive Guardian fights does not change.

Namely, in true Soulslike fashion, dodging the Pensive Guardian's powerful but telegraphed attack sequences is necessary. It presents its weakness when it charges up a colored orb attack. If players damage the Pensive Guardian with the corresponding magic color (use purple magic on the purple orb), it stuns and takes increased damage for a short period. Simply rinsing and repeating this process accomplishes victory. While the Pensive Guardian appears like one of the most intimidating bosses, it becomes easier once its code cracks for the player.

5. Fastidio's Monster

A Poltergeist that gets his own PlayStation-exclusive quest line, "Minding Your Own Business," Fastidio offers one of the most unique fights in the whole game. Players do not fight against Fastidio, though. Instead, they fight against Fastidio's Monster, a magically-condensed furniture abomination resembling a type of clockwork Troll.

In terms of fighting Fastidio's Monster, it most closely resembles dealing with a Troll. Only its short range holds back its voracious offensive capabilities. Like the Trolls, Absconder, and Pensive Guardian, this boss's landed attacks destroy the player. The monster's first phase only requires figuring out its attack patterns. Its second phase introduces Mannequin minions that clog up the battlefield more than anything else. Fastidio's Monster fight becomes genuinely unique in its third phase. On top of regular attacks and summoned minions, the third phase flips the camera upside down. That's right. The whole third phase operates with an upside-down perspective. Instead of besting crazy boss mechanics, players need to best their sense of vertigo to beat Fastidio's Monster.

4. Solomon Sallow

The Sallow family's side-quest series are some of the darkest and most compelling in "Hogwarts Legacy." Sebastian Sallow's mission to cure his sister's curse at any cost brings him and the player in direct conflict with his uncle, Solomon Sallow.

Sallow's boss fight is particularly challenging due to the sheer number of Inferius minions swarming the claustrophobic battlefield at any point. Inferi are easy to take out independently, but dealing with packs of them wave after wave is mentally taxing. Fighting Sallow himself is similar to other wizard duels where Crowd Control (CC) spells set up devastating offensive combos. However, finding time to pull off extended combos between thwarting Sallow's attacks and thinning out his minions is rough. As such, Area of Effect (AoE) spells like Bombarda acquires enough space to throw damage at the boss.

Besting Sallow allows the player to learn the iconic Avada Kedavra spell, so there is no small reward for this challenging fight. That choice, paired with the player's option to turn in Sebastian for using Avada Kedavra on his uncle, puts great dramatic weight on this boss fight. All in all, Solomon Sallow's fight demands a well-thought gameplan on top of refined dueling skills, making him one of the best bosses in the game.

3. Victor Rookwood

As one of the two main antagonists of "Hogwarts Legacy," Victor Rookwood's boss fight does not disappoint. After declining his offer of an alliance, he kidnaps the player and duels them with his cronies in Hogsmeade.

Other boss fights that use supporting minions do not compare to the difficulty level of Victor Rookwood's minions. In fact, Victor Rookwood does not even join the boss fight until the final wave of Ashfinders. Dealing with the initial waves of Ashfinders is tough, but once Victor joins the fight, the player can stop focusing all their attention on them. Instead, Victor is vulnerable to Stupefy after the player successfully casts a Protego spell. Once stupefied, the player can unleash whatever Ancient Magic they still have leftover from the minion fight to drain Victor of his health. Particuarly, thrown debris and called lightning strikes perform well against this dark wizard boss. Ultimately, the boss fight with Victor Rookwood is a war of attrition where players must utilize their resources as efficiently as possible to succeed.

2. Graphorn

The magical creature sought after in San Bakar's trials, the Graphorn is a massive chimera with bad intentions. According to the game's lore, Graphorns have an aggressive nature that requires fighting them in order to tame them. That aggressive nature certainly translates well through its boss-fight mechanics.

The Graphorn fight plays out like a combination of the most challenging aspects of The Absconder and Troll fights. Graphorns hit like an absolute truck, similar to the brutal punishment dished out by Trolls. Graphorns also lunge with lightning-quick speed resembling The Absoconder. Not only does it pounce quickly, but its lunges follow the player across the battlefield if the player dodges too early. And it never really stops lunging. Its second phase makes the Graphorn even more aggressive. In combination, the Graphorn fight thus feels like constantly dodging bullets while squeaking out a little bit of time to throw out a single offensive spell. Combat tools such as Mandrakes assist mightily in creating space and time for offensive combinations to flow. Taming a Graphorn after defeating one and flying on its back is ample reward for such a challenging task.

1. Ranrok Dragon

Ranrok, the main villain of "Hogwarts Legacy," becomes a transmogrified dragon and provides the best boss fight at the end of the game. Before fighting Ranrok Dragon, players should max out their levels and carry as many Wiggenweld Potions as possible.

The 4-phase fight with Ranrok Dragon requires players to color-match their magic with his protective barriers, similar to the Pensive Guardian boss battle. His defensive shroud resets during each phase and grows by one orb in each of his four stages. Consequently, mastering this color-matching mechanic is the only way the player will ever damage Ranrok Dragon. Even when Ranrok Dragon is made vulnerable, the player's most potent weapon, Unforgivable Curses, is rendered useless. Being the Harbinger of Death apparently reduces the effects of "death" spells. Who would have thought? Regarding firepower, Ranrok Dragon has some of the game's most mighty, unblockable magic attacks. Dodging out of the way of his multi-angled attacks is a must.

What separates Ranrok Dragon from the rest of the boss fights on this list is how he tests all of the player's basic and advanced skills. Players must rely on more than one aspect of the game they have well practiced. Ranrok Dragon requires defensive mastery with dodging and varied offensive abilities without Unforgivable Curses. As such, Ranrok Dragon deserves to top the boss battles list.