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God of War: Ragnarok

Nidhogg Boss Fight in Vanaheim

Jarrod Garripoli

This page will detail how to defeat Nidhogg in Vanaheim in God of War Ragnarok.

Nidhogg will appear out of nowhere to fight you at the end of Vanaheim

How to Defeat Nidhogg in God of War Ragnarok

You will fight Nidhogg at the end of the main story quest, The Reckoning. Outside of optional content, you will pretty much fight Nidhogg at the end of Vanaheim. This is definitely a challenging fight, as not only is it long, but Nidhogg has a lot of moves across four different phases. Luckily, you will have checkpoints after every phase, in case you happen to perish during the boss battle.

Nidhogg Boss Battle - Phase 1

The first phase will have Nidhogg sticking out a portion of its body from a portal. Ranged attacks aren’t going to do much of damage here, so you will have to get up close and personal with the beast. Before talking specific strategies, let’s take a look at its attacks:

Claw Shockwave

Nidhogg’s claw will flash a red circle, then it will launch a shockwave straight at your current position. This is fairly easy to dodge, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it too much. As the battle goes on, though, it will start doing two to three of these in a row, so keep that in mind.

Lunging Combo

Nidhogg will attempt to bite you by lunging forward with its body, with it happening twice. Both of the attacks will be normal ones, so as long as you can tell it’s happening, then you can simply block them both.

Claw Swipe

Nidhogg will simply swipe its claw in front of it, from one side to the other. As this is a normal attack, you can block it without having to worry about anything. In later portions of the fight, it will sometimes follow up by doing a second one with its other claw.

Lunging Bite

You will sometimes see a yellow circle appear around Nidhogg’s head, with it attempting a lunging bite, similar to the combo one above. The only difference is that this is a guard breaking one, so you will need to be careful. However, it’s likely that the Nighodd will not be able to get another attack off in time to capitalize on your guard breaking. Also, during the second phase, you will sometimes see this following the Claw Swipes above.

Claw Slam

A yellow circle will appear around Nidhogg’s one claw and it will slam it on the ground in front of it. Note that there’s no shockwave or anything, but this happen does happen fairly fast, so you sometimes have no time to prepare for it. Also, the yellow circle means it will break your guard if you’re blocking.

Bifrost Puddle

Nidhogg will have a red circle appear around its head, with a puddle of Bifrost appearing in front of it. You should hang back and wait for this puddle to dissipate before going back in, as you can’t really do anything about it.

You will want to avoid being too greedy with the number of attacks here, which is a general tip for the majority of bosses in this game. Quickly get into melee range, hit Nidhogg a few times, then get back just as quickly before you end up getting hit. Outside of the two unblockable attacks (those are easy enough to avoid/dodge, too), the rest can be blocked or parried. Do note that some of the attacks do come out rather fast, so as long as you pay attention and just block after every few attacks of your own, you should be fine.

Nidhogg Boss Battle - Phase 2

Once you get about a bar and a half off of Nidhogg’s health, you will see it get stunned and can use R3 to initiate a short cutscene, moving into the second phase of the battle. Nidhogg will start doing extended versions of its previous moves, like two Claw Swipes instead of just one, as well as chaining some of those attacks one after another. For example, it can do the Lunging Bite attack after a Claw Swipe, as well as the Shockwave after other moves. Just be mindful of this, as well as the one new move, and you should be more than fine.

Tail Slam/Double Ring Attack

The one new move during the second phase will have Nidhogg slam its tail into the ground (unblockable), then start charging its tail for a follow-up attack. The follow-up will have the double blue rings, which means you need to double tap L1 to break it. If you don’t get to it in time, then it will unleash a shockwave that will cause quite a bit of damage.

Nidhogg Boss Battle - Phase 3

The third phase will take place after removing around three bars of the boss’ health. There will be a cutscene that will have Freya regaining her normal form and joining you, with her cutscene attacks taking out another bar of health. Nidhogg will use this phase by wrapping its body around the two big pillars in the arena. There will be a number of new attacks here, as well as Freya using some of her mechanics here. You will want to pay attention to Freya at certain points, since you will need to do specific actions to keep the battle progressing.

She will shoot arrows to make big pink-colored bubbles appear on the one pillar, where you will need to toss your Leviathan Axe at them. The second pillar will be similar, except you will need to use your Blades of Chaos to inflict Burn (hold L2, then use R2). The rest of the phase will take place on the ground, until there’s about one bar of health left, which is when you can initiate another Stun Grab and move onto the final phase.

Tail Laser

Nidhogg will produce a laser from its tail, which is Bifrost, and do a sweeping attack from one side of the arena, to the other. You can dodge underneath it, if you time the roll correctly. As the battle continues on, it will add another laser sweep to this, so you will need to dodge two in a row. It will always follow up the sweeping ones with a vertical laser, which can break your guard. Considering these are Bifrost, it’s best to avoid blocking them, since that still goes through your guard.

Teleport Tail Stab

Nidhogg will open a realm tear and proceed to try and stab you with its tail. These are unblockable and when you first start Phase 3, there will be two attempts. As the fight goes on longer, Nidhogg will begin adding a third Tail Stab. The angle at which it tries this move will differ from each stab attempt, so you might need to adjust which way you dodge.

Boulder Spit

Whenever Nidhogg hops down from one of the pillars, it will inhale a large amount through a realm tear before closing it. As soon as it closes, Nidhogg will then spit out a large boulder that will be unblockable. You shouldn’t really have any trouble dodging this attack, since the boulder will always be telegraphed by the inhalation. There will be a variation of this attack as Nidhogg gets pretty low on health, usually after you get it to stop positioning on the pillars. Instead of a large boulder, it will spit out a bunch of debris. You can just block this attack, and should block it, since you will be unable to dodge it, due to the wide range of it.

Bifrost Orbs

This is an attack that will only happen twice during this phase, since it precedes when you have to do the predetermined action with Freya’s sigil arrows. Nidhogg will shoot three Bifrost orbs at you, which are able to be parried, but the ailment will still be applied if you try this, so dodge them.

Nidhogg Boss Battle - Phase 4

The final phase doesn’t really introduce any new moves, but will come whenever you do a Stun Grab when it has one bar of health left. It will begin getting a bit desperate with its attacks, doing everything it can to try and kill you. For example, it can do up to four Claw Shockwaves in a row, and can follow up the Boulder Spit (the smaller debris one) with some unblockable Bifrost-induced roars that can really hurt. However, this phase won’t last very long, as Freya will shoot a Sigil Arrow at its stomach on a second attempt, giving you your cue to toss your axe at it. This will stun the boss, giving you free reign to attack it. You will likely do enough damage to trigger the final Stun Grab, leading to the defeat of Nidhogg.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Platforms,
    PS4, PS5
  • Genre
    Action Adventure, Fighting, Hack-n-slash
  • Guide Release
    5 November 2022
  • Last Updated
    9 January 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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God of War Ragnarök is an action-adventure game developed by Santa Monica Studio released on November 9th, 2022. Follow Kratos, and his teenage son Atreus as they journey through the Nine Realms to prevent Ragnarök from occurring. As you progress through the story, you’ll uncover many secrets left by the Giants regarding the impending doom that awaits them.

This guide offers information on all the essential aspects of the game, including:

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