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I am really having trouble defeating the moth boss in Dark Souls, I am using a melee character and its attacks go right through my shield, how can I best avoid damage?

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Summon Witch Beatrice. She makes easy work of this boss. –  Colin D Jul 3 '13 at 12:24

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I'm assuming you're talking about the Moonlight Butterfly, encountered in Darkroot Garden:

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The Moonlight Butterfly is a slightly annoying boss for melee characters as they cannot damage it until it lands. Strafe along the bridge and roll to dodge its attacks, although it might take several tries before you get used to the timing. Alternately, you could get a shield with high magic resist, such as the Crest Shield.

Summoning Beatrice will also help as she has ranged attacks. You can find Beatrice's summon sign at the bottom of the stairs, hidden by some shrubs.

Whenever it lands, go ahead and two-hand your weapon as it has no attacks when it's on the ground and cannot hurt you.

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I am at quite a low level with pretty basic gear, should I even be fighting this boss at this point in the game? –  Matthew Pigram Jul 3 '13 at 0:55
    
The boss is pretty easy. If you were able to reach it you should be fine with killing it. Just wait it out. It's attacks are pretty slow and easily avoidable. If you get hit just heal up and wait some more. –  Reafexus Jul 3 '13 at 0:56
    
@MatthewPigram The Moonlight Butterfly is a very "low level" boss and can be defeated very early. It just takes a little practice to get the timing down and dodge the attacks instead of trying to block them. –  AdamP Jul 3 '13 at 0:57
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@MatthewPigram If you're having trouble, then grab the Crest Shield. Summon Beatrice and just hide behind the shield. She can take down the Butterfly for you. –  Yuuki Jul 3 '13 at 4:58
    
Omg i didnt know there was a phantom npc before moonlight butterfly ive played through the game countless times and never defeated her! :O –  Nathan Taylor Jul 17 '13 at 22:22

The Moonlight Butterfly's attacks do magic damage, so equip a shield with decent magic block, like the Crest Shield (80% block) or Caduceus Round Shield (65% block).

Note: The Red and White Round Shield and Warrior's Round Shield have the same stats as the Caduceus Round Shield, so you could try one of these as well.

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just edited the title to reflect the name –  Matthew Pigram Jul 3 '13 at 0:44

use lighter armour and time your rolls you will be able to dodge the slower magical attack (the floating spore thing) but the darts and ray are best controlled by blocking with a magic shield I rarely use magic build characters so I don't really take notice of which shields block magic also the best way to deal massive damage is to wield a weapon in two hands and attack when I lands on the side of the bridge and be wary of the AOE blast (watch for the pulsing glow and get away)

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The Moonlight Butterfly is easy to beat if you are well-prepared.

  • Get the Crest Shield by killing Oscar of Astora in the 2nd visit to the Undead Asylum.

This item alone will reduce the damage from Phantom Butterflies' attacks enough for you to merrily tank his blasts with your shield up.

Also,

  • In order to summon Witch Beatrice you must be in human from AND have killed at least one of the giant suits of armour (thus establishing you did not run through the forest)

W.B. owns the Phantom Butterfly, so you just have to not die. If you choose not to summon Witch Beatrice, then focus on damaging it while it lands.

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