Shovel Knight Boss Tips and Strategy Guide

By   /   Jul 6, 2014

Don’t let the simplicity of the graphics fool you – Shovel Knight is a challenging and fun game that reawakens some of the classic side-scroller adventures many of us have taken in the past. Shovel Knight’s biggest challenges come when facing the bosses towards the end of the stages, and also facing those illusive foes that can appear randomly or need to be found.

Shovel Knight Boss Tips

Needless to say, the boss encounters are exciting, challenging, and can also be fairly frustrating if you’re walking in unprepared. This guide will help you get through all the bosses in the game, whether they are stage bosses or ones encountered in the overworld map.

The Black Knight
The Black Knight is a complete darkened mirror image of the Shovel Knight. He is the first boss of the game, and you face him in The Plains. The Black Knight’s movement and abilities are similar to yours, except for a few additional attacks that may surprise you.

One such attack is when he charges at you with his shovel, while there is also one projectile blast attack. He’ll also occasionally do leaps several times in which he’ll jump to the side, then attempt a downward shovel slash on you.

The Black Knight is fairly easy since it’s the first boss. You just need to watch his moves and learn the patterns, then attack whenever he misses with his moves. Attack him before he launches his projectile blast to disrupt it as well.

Continue this and he should be down in no time.

Specter Knight
The Specter Knight is the boss of The Lich Yard stage. This scythe-wielding agile foe will test your shoveling skills quite a bit, as he has plenty of health and a lot of tricks up his sleeve.

At first, the Specter Knight will attempt to throw his scythe in an arc, then teleport to the opposite side to catch the scythe. He will also have a move in which he will attempt to charge at you with his scythe. Once you have taken a small chunk of his health, he will begin spawning skeletons to fight beside him.

They can be quite a nuisance, so avoid getting hit from them and continue focusing on the boss. When most of his health is gone, he will reduce the lights, making it very difficult to spot yourself.

You’ll have to use visual memory to know your position in relation to the Specter Knight, and avoid his attacks (and attack him) accordingly.

The best time to attack him is right after he teleports to grab his scythe, and also when he is aimlessly floating around. Just be careful during the last stages of the battle as recklessness in the dark can easily make an otherwise successful battle turn into a defeat.

King Knight
The King Knight is the boss of the Pridemoor Keep. This fancy golden-armored king is quite the leaper. He’ll hop around the entire area, which can get fairly annoying. The best way to counter this is to hop with him and try to pogo jump off of him.

His more lethal moves include a dash attack which is followed by him readying his scepter, and also a trumpet move with deadly confetti. Avoid these attacks at all cost, and counter his hoping with your own bit of agility. This should eventually allow you to defeat the King Knight.

Treasure Knight
Big Daddy! The Treasure Knight is the boss in The Iron Whale stage, and he has a big, mean looking harpoon attached to his arm. Thanks to this augmentation, he’ll be able to launch himself all over the arena despite his bulky stature.

He’ll toss his harpoon at you and also try to get uncomfortably close himself, and will also try to counter your aerial maneuvers by launching his weapon towards you. Hopefully you’ve managed to collect a few relics, in which case you should have multiple ways of attacking him without compromising your defenses.

At very low health, the Treasure Knight will throw a chest in the center. Don’t be fooled by this treasure, as it will turn into a whirlpool, and he’ll start throwing bombs into the twisting horror. This is a perfect recipe for your destruction, so avoid it at all costs, and use your relics to make this fight easier.

Plague Knight
The Plague Knight is the main boss in the Explodatorium stage. This guy likes to keep his distance and throw flasks of potions here and there, making a mess and setting the entire place on far. In that start the entire arena will be filled with rocks – the Plague Knight will start throwing his potions, which will explode the rocks and also start fires that will travel towards the edges.

The best way to attack him is to attempt pogo jumps and side attacks, meaning you’ll need to use your aerial skills. He will also transform certain blocks into purple flasks – these blocks will create decent-sized explosions whenever a potion is thrown by the Plague Knight at them, so avoid standing there at all costs.

In the later stages of the battle, he will also turn several blocks close to each other into purple ones and throw a potion at one of them, causing a massive chain reaction that can do large amounts of area damage. Hopefully you have some defensive relics with you to make life easier.

Apart from these ranged attacks, there is little the Plague Knight offers. He’s weak against aerial assaults and has little threat when you’re up close.

OPTIONAL BOSS – Mr. Hat
If you want to fight Mr. Hat, you’ll have to go to the Armor Outpost and enter the Hat Shop. You’ll find three guys there who don’t have enough money to buy a hat. Give each one of them 1000 Gold, after which they’ll leave.

The owner of the shop, Mr. Hat, will become fixated on your ‘helmet’, so much that he’ll want to fight you for it.

Mr. Hat has two different styles, based on the type of helmet/hat he is wearing. This can be a bit hard to deal with if you don’t really know his pattern.

One hat is a black helmet with a spike, anis d he’ll wield a sword while wearing it, with a stance specifically meant to negate and counter your pogo attacks. He will also have a melee slash attack, and will throw additional swords in the air that will chase you around.

Try to avoid his attacks and stay on the ground – only counter him when he attempts slash attacks or after you have successfully dodged his flying swords. It’s advised not to use pogo attacks on him when he is wearing his black helmet.

His second hat is a maroon colored cap. When he wears it, he’ll now utilize explosives and flying discs. You can pogo on these discs to dodge his attacks and take him on during this mode of his.

Once you have defeated him he’ll give you 5000 Gold and leave you alone. Nice way to earn yourself a 2000 Gold profit.

RANDOM ENCOUNTER – Reize
Reize is a randomly encountered boss who will appear in the overworld map after you’ve defeated Treasure Knight. He’s a cocky looking teenager who comes armed with two big boomerangs, which he’ll toss about.

These boomerangs will ricochet around the arena, and while they do Reize himself will get busy jumping and attempting to dive-kick you. The best way to hurt him is to attack him midway his dive-kicks with a well-timed attack, or to cleverly avoid the kick and instantly counter with a couple of attacks. Make sure you’re avoiding the boomerangs though.

When he’s low on health, he’ll go ultra-defensive and conjure a fire shield. You need to punch through this shield to start hurting him again. Once he’s defeated, you’ll get some gold and also Music Sheet 13.

RANDOM ENCOUNTER – Baz
Baz, like Reize, is a randomly encountered boss in the overworld map. He’s a big, muscular guy who utilizes a large and lengthy whip as his weapon. This whip gives him both a lot of agility and excellent reach.

He’ll lash at you with his whip from distance and also block pogo attacks. He will also go into Pitfall mode and swing about with his whip, making him all that more difficult to track. Keep at him until he lowers his guard and lets in a few attacks from you. He is also quite susceptible to carefully executed attacks while he’s swinging about.

However, once he’s done swinging, he’ll slam on the ground creating a shockwave that can stun you and leave you open to some deadly attacks. At lower health Baz will start absorbing lightning strikes at him and unleash them towards you from himself.

It’s quite difficult to pogo attack him during this duration because of the lightning strikes, so tread carefully till he leaves an opening for you to attack him.

Once he’s down, you’ll get lots of blue gems as reward.

Mole Knight
The Mole Knight is the main boss of the Lost City stage. This is one furious, fast, and aggressive fire-mole.

His expertise are to dig underground and attempt to ambush you from behind. It can be quite difficult to deal with this nuisance early on, but once you become accustomed to it, you can time your pogo attacks to hit him hard whenever he comes out of the ground.

When he lands on the ground, he’ll skid here and there and leave out sparks that can hurt you. Try to take yourself in the air and bounce off of him whenever he stops. Since he’s a fire element boss, he’ll at times dive into the ground and emerge out with only his helmet, after which he will toss lava at you.

Try to land in a few hits at his helmet whenever he comes out, since there are only three specific places in which he will. He’ll also launch individual blocks and columns of blocks at you which you will need to dig through before they come crashing down.

As the fight continues, the Mole Knight will become faster and faster, making it more difficult to hit him. Keep yourself composed and attack him whenever he becomes slightly stationary.

Polar Knight
The Vikings reside in the north, and looks like they’re hungry for some Shovel Knight blood. The Polar Knight is a classic Viking-styled boss who wields a snow shovel as a weapon. This can only mean one thing: he’ll be shoveling lots of snow towards you.

You can jump off of these snow balls or pogo them, and make your way to the Polar Knight to land a few pogo attacks till he starts blocking with his shovel, and will also counterattack that can catch you off-guard.

He also has a special leap attack in which he’ll dive down with his shovel, revealing ice spikes, after which he’ll further dig to create more of them.

Once a large part of the area is covered with ice, it will start snowing icicles. Just avoid these and try to be on the offensive as much as you can, since the Polar Knight tries to do too much in a short time and can compromise himself.

Tinker Knight
This tiny little guy will be throwing wrenches at you while you chomp away portions of his limited health. Just avoid the wrench and hack away at him till he loses it all. Simple? Not quite.

Once tiny Tinker falls, the floor will as well, and you’ll be in a new area, this time facing the tiny knight while he’s controlling a giant robot. As soon as the battle begins, the robot will start shooting rockets from his silo.

In case you didn’t notice, his head is the weak spot, and you’ll have to make way to it by jumping on his arm and then his shoulder. Do so, then unleash a series of pogo attacks on him, while avoiding the rockets.

Just avoid the rockets and bombs from his cannon, and keep attacking his head. Having the Anchor Relic really helps whenever you drop down and have to get back up to his head. Overall a fairly easy fight if you ask me.

Propeller Knight
The Propeller Knight is the main boss of the Flying Machine stage. He has a blade propeller on his helmet that allows him to fly, and a super-pointy rapier as the main weapon. This weapon is really tough to counter because of how long it is, and how good the boss is at using it against you whenever he lunges at you, where the rapier will often outreach your shovel.

At this time you might want to quickly try and attempt a pogo attack, but you should be careful as the boss can start up the bladed propellers on his helmet and set off for a fly-by. He will also tilt his head to either blow you off the stage or suck you into an attack, so make sure you are ready to jump and attempt pogo attacks whenever he does so.

Towards the end of the battle, Propeller Knight will call in an aerial strike! No fair! An airship will come and bombard the place with bombs and what-not. Avoid these at all cost and use them to execute pogo attacks if necessary.

RANDOM ENCOUNTER – The Black Knight
The Black Knight, the first of the many bosses you faced, can be encountered for a second time on the world map while you are defeating the Polar Knight, Tinker Knight, and Propeller Knight.

This time around, he’ll be faster and stronger, and hell-bent on revenge. He’ll have a large pogo leap compared to before, and will have this frustrating ability to guess your attacks and dodge them with ease.

He will launch shovel beams towards you as well, which you can reflect back at him, but he also has the ability to do the same. In addition, he will also throw bombs toward you, which you can toss back towards him.

All you really have to do is learn his new set of skills and adapt accordingly. It might be a bit intimidating first, but once you get the hang of his new abilities, they can be fairly easy to counter. Keep at it till he is defeated and once again forced to flee.

RANDOM ENCOUNTER – Phantom Striker
The Phantom Striker is a wandering traveler who appears in the world map once you’ve defeated the Polar Knight, Tinker Knight, and Propeller Knight.

The boss himself is no joke – he’s a mysterious looking entity with a spiky helmet and a terrifyingly long, sharp rapier that can outmatch your shovel’s reach. He’ll lunge at you with his weapon quite often, and the best way to avoid it is to pogo and attempt to counter him.

The Phantom Striker also has some elemental tricks up his sleeve. He will raise his rapier and summon lightning bolts. At this time he’ll be able to ward off your attacks, and will also launch three bolts towards you in rapid succession.

He’ll teleport as well, and will continue to harass you with bolts. Avoid him during this entire section of the fight till you teleports back, after which you can attack once again.

Towards the end of the fight he’ll summon a strong wind that will greatly hinder your movement. Using your shovel becomes nearly impossible here since he’ll be unaffected by this wind. Use your relics at this point to attack him from distance.

Hopefully after a tough battle you’ll come out victorious, in which case the Phantom Striker will reward you with money and leave.

The Black Knight (third round)
Yup, it’s the Black Knight again, and this time he’s taking the aid of the Enchantress to become empowered, and take revenge for his (possibly) double humiliation. This final encounter against your long-term rival will take place in the Tower of Fate: Entrance.

This time around the Black Knight is even better at dodging your attacks than he was during the second encounter. He’ll also have this special teleporting skill thanks to the Enchantress, which will allow him to get out of danger before you can deal too much damage.

His projectile attacks have also been buffed as he’ll shoot multiple beams while teleporting around.

In addition to these enhancements, the Black Knight gets a strange ability to sprout wings and fly around the arena. This is actually a good time for you to unleash some deadliness from your end, though you should move away when he raises his shovel to the sky and calls hellfire upon you. He will also go towards these fireballs and attempt to strike and explode them, which can cause lots of damage

Of course, he still has his vulnerabilities, and you should always look to exploit them whenever you can. You’ve come so far anyway, and there have been tougher bosses than this desperado who is so eager to prove himself better than you. Once you’ve defeated him, he’ll allow you entrance inside the Tower of Fate.

FINAL BOSS – The Enchantress
The Enchantress is the final boss of the game, fought in the last of the three Tower of Fate stages. Right when the battle starts, you’ll notice the blocks underneath you are rather volatile. Any kind of attack will result in them exploding, including your shovel attacks.

The Enchantress on the other hand will be constantly harassing you with bolts from all over the place. You can deflect these projectiles back towards her if you aim correctly. These bolts will also penetrate the platform on which you’re standing, and the Enchantress will occasionally go underneath and shoot holes through the platform.

This can make things difficult, but try to remain focus and not be overly aggressive in your assaults. Keep avoiding her attacks and hitting her till her health is down. Now it’s time for a cutscene, and then the second phase of the battle.

You have your friend with you this time around, and he’ll help boost you to the head of the final boss. She’ll be shooting these orbs with a strange downward motion, which you should avoid. Pogo off of your ally’s shield and attack her head several time.

She’ll also launch a devastating ray of those orbs for around 3-4 seconds. During this time get behind your ally and his shield should absorb the rays, preventing you from taking damage. The boss will also occasionally plummet down and completely destroy one of several partitions that are making up the ground.

This can be quite dangerous and can catch you off-guard, so make sure you’re nowhere near the area or you’ll end up falling. Towards the end you’ll only be left with a few partitions to jump about on.

With the assistance of your friend, you should be able to prevail in this battle. Just make sure you are utilizing his shield in the best possible ways, both offensively and defensively, while also avoiding falling into the gaps the boss creates.

When she’s about to be finished, she’ll launch a few homing attacks towards you. Stay out of their reach, and when your companion puts the shield up, utilize the opportunity and unleash a set of pogo attacks to finish her off.

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