Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
A massive, fantastical beast from the stars, Astel, Naturalborn of the Void should look familiar to you. Taking on the same general shape as a Malformed Star but much more active and deadly, Astel will attempt to bombard you from an extremely long distance, then eat you close up. It's a harsh, epic battle, and it is a surprising way to end off the grim slog through the Lake of Rot.
This guide will help you defeat Astel, Naturalborn of the Void. It's a great fight, and it's a bit easier than it seems. Indeed, the trip to Astel is probably harder than beating Astel itself.
Reaching Astel is quite a journey. To get to its boss lair you must complete the majority of Ranni the Witch's questline. This involves meeting her at Ranni's Rise, behind Caria Manor, embarking on a quest to Nokron, Eternal City, and using a teleporter in the nearby Renna's Rise to jump to Ainsel River Main. From here you can go through Nokstella, Eternal City to find a path to the Lake of Rot. Quite a trip.
Once you reach the Lake of Rot you can find Astel on the south end of the lake, more or less straight across from where you started. Run through the mire (you'll want Flasks if you don't find ways to summon islands to walk on, as Scarlet Rot is a terrible status ailment) and you'll find a temple on the other side. Past another Site of Grace and down some ledges you'll find a westbound path to an inner temple. Take a left before going up these steps to find the edge of a waterfall. Check the coffins at the edge of the waterfall and they will transport you to the area outside Astel's arena.
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A multifaceted opponent, Astel uses a combination of close-range and extreme-long-range attacks to try and get rid of you. The long range attacks cause a bit more trouble, so unless you have no choice you'll probably spend a lot of this fight trying to catch up with Astel and dealing with the close-ranged stuff instead. You can expect to see the following attacks from Astel:
- Astel will charge up a beam in its jaws, then after a few seconds launch it at you. Astel will do this immediately after you enter the battlefield, and occasionally thereafter when you're far enough away. It doesn't hurt as much as you'd think, and blocking is a decent way to get past the extremely-quick speed of the projectile.
- Astel will raise its tail into the air and slam it down at you. There's plenty of time to roll out of the way, though the extreme range of this attack can be deceptive. Moving a bit towards the right side as you're running towards Astel will sometimes avoid this attack, though you're better off just rolling forward. Be prepared for the occasional second tail strike after the first.
- Astel will raise its claw and swipe at you. This leaves behind a ribbon of purple mist which will shortly erupt in explosions. If you dodge towards Astel you'll avoid the explosions.
- Astel will clank its pincers together, then drive to chew on you. This quick attack doesn't do a ton of damage but it happens so suddenly that you might get caught anyway. Be ready to roll whenever you hear Astel's pincers clink.
- Astel will channel some energy into its pincers, then dart its head forward and try to gnaw on you. Roll around the head to avoid the pincers and smash its neck a few times.
- Astel will rise into the air a bit, creating three energy balls under one arm, then slam the balls into the ground, releasing shockwaves. There will be three shockwaves that get ever bigger, though if you're more or less in the middle you won't get hit by them. Roll over the first one and towards the epicenter to avoid damage if you're near the middle, otherwise roll away from the shockwaves before they widen too much. If Astel does this with both arms there will be four shockwaves instead of three, leading to a wider area of effect.
- Astel will stop and gather energy, and the air will waver around its body, electricity crackling here and there as rocks rise from the ground. A few moments later it will trigger a gravity attack that will raise you into the air, then slam you into the ground for heavy damage. As soon as the air begins to distort you need to get away from Astel, then wait out the rest of the attack. This is a good opportunity for pinging Astel from afar if you have a ranged weapon.
- Astel will gather energy into a ball above its body, then teleport. Anything under or near Astel as it teleports will take damage. Occasionally when Astel disappears it will reappear in the sky above you, then sweep down and try to grab you in its pincers. This is a deadly attack, so keep an eye on the skies for a few moments whenever Astel teleports to make sure it's not right overhead.
- The air around Astel will begin to shimmer, and a few seconds later a barrage of meteors will rain down on you from seemingly all directions. This attack is a lot scarier looking than it actually is, and you can avoid the meteors simply by running to the left or right until the shower ends.
This battle is not as tough as it looks. Though Astel is enormous and intimidating, it telegraphs its moves well enough that you should see all of them coming with plenty of time to spare. It's also a little on the slow side at times, giving you the chance to get in several hits before you need to dodge. This can give you the edge in bringing the beast down.
In most cases you want to get nice and close to Astel. Many of its moves cannot hit you within a certain range, and you'll often be quite safe when you're snugged up against its astral carapace, wailing away on its segmented body. The primary exceptions here are Astel's area of effect attacks, which you can avoid by rolling out of the way. The trickiest attack to avoid is its triple shockwave slam, though as long as you're locked onto Astel you can typically see this coming and run out of Astel's way. Ranged and melee combatants alike benefit from keeping nice and close to Astel. Attack Astel's bony face for maximum effect.
This is a great battle for summoning in help, though you're better off using Spirit Ashes over other players. Astel's health and defenses seem to rise quite a bit in multiplayer, and it is generally easier to kill if you fight with single-player allies. Get something buff that can weather Astel's attacks, such as the Kaiden Sellsword, Ancestral Follower, or Mimic Tear, and the two of you can stagger Astel without too much trouble.
You'll earn 80,000 Runes and the Remembrance of the Naturalborn for defeating Astel, Naturalborn of the Void.