Hollow Knight – How to Defeat the White Defender

An In-depth guide on how to defeat the White Defender in a more manageable way.

Other Hollow Knight Guides:


With the addition of Hidden Dreams to the game, there were also added 2 of the most difficult bosses of the game, Grey Prince Zote and the White Defender.

Meanwhile Prince Zote focuses on more unpredictable but easer to dodge moves, White defender prefers more predictable but harder to dodge attacks, Especially when all of his dungs are on the screen, Making the movement on the arena very difficult. Combine this with his ability to increase his damage after each defeat and you got one hell of a boss.

Luckily there’s a way to make this fight a bit more easer by abusing the way some of his attacks are programmed.

Well, without further delay let’s begin!

The Base Strategy

This strategy will be based mainly on 2 facts:

  • The possibility to avoid most attacks (especially the Dungs) By sticking to one of the two walls of the arena.
  • The power of the Grubberfly’s Elegy charm to attack the White Defender and his dungs from far away when at full life.

In fact standing next to one of the walls of the arena you can avoid most of his attacks and thus making the fight much easer by having to manage only one side of the battle, meanwhile the grubberfly charm will allow to damage him without the need to take unnecessary damage.

As you would have guessed you’re (obviously) not completely invincible while doing that as there are still a couple or more of sneaky attacks that can still easily screw you, but i’ll get on that later.

The Build


  • Grubberfly’s Elegy 
  • Quick Slash 
  • Fragile Strength 
  • Quick Dash/ (overcharged) 

As explained above, meanwhile the Grubberfly’s Elegy is the only mandatory charm that you’ll need, Quick Slash is extremely useful due to his capacity to, not only almost double your dps, but also for his ability to spamming the ranged attacks, allowing you to handle the various dungs that will come at you without worring to be precise. Fragile Strength it’s just for that sweet bonus damage.
if you feel confident enough to not get hit (or you are at the highest levels of difficulty, where in any case you will die in one strike) you can add the quick Dash for movement bonus.


  • Shade Cloak 
  • Monarch Wings

Even if none of them is “necessary” to beat this boss they’re are extremely recommended, especially the Shade Cloak, allowing to dodge the few attacks able to reach you while doing this strategy.


  • Howling Wraiths / Abyss Shriek

Not required but still recommended for his ability to inflict high ammount of damage while he’s in the air.

The In-depht Strategy

Now that you have all necessary for this fight i should make clear what can and what can not reach you while doing this strategy.

I will refer the moves of the White Defender using the official names (i will not explain what each one attack does, you can go look for yourself in the Wiki Page.

What CAN’T reach you

  • Dung Leap.
  • Dung Toss (melee damage): Sometimes he will get very close to you, but never enough to damage you with is melee range. 

What can OCCASIONALLY reach you

  • Dung Eruption: It’s rare, but sometimes he can re-emerge just below where you are. In that case just dash away from him, give his some strakes (or even better just Abyss Shriek him for massive amount of damage), then just stick to the opposite wall. 
  • Dung Slam: This one is VERY rare (it managed to happen only 2 times for me) and also the hardest to dodge.
    If it happens your only salvation is by dashing in the direction of the wall you’re sticked, by doing this you should get enough invulnerablity frames to avoid it. 

What CAN reach you

  • Dung Toss: Even if this strategy is supposed to take care of this attack, sometimes some dungs will come in a perfect diagonal trajectory that they can hit you but you can not hit them by standing still. In this case you can do 2 things: 1) Simply jump and hit them with a nail beam. 2) If the White Difender is launching others dungs close to you (meaning that jumping is a suicide), as for the Dung Slam, you can dash Towards the wall you are attacked and use the invulnerabity frames to dodge it.
  • Bouncing Beetle: just do as you would with the dungs while kepping the boss away from you, then just double jump when he slash the ground (in this situation i suggest to move around the arena).
  • Zeal: His most powerfull attack which he uses between phase 1 & 2. In this case i highly recommend to not stick to the walls and instead just dashing in the room to avoid it.

Here’s a better explained way:

  • When he inks into the ground dash to one side of the arena and then to the another. 
  • When he is about to come out try to stay next to him (not too close obviously) and wait for him to sink again. 
  • At this point you just need do to dash in a direction and wait for him to come out (as long that there’s space it doesn’t matter in what direction you dash, because you can either find yourself alongside him or far from him (in this case just dash next to him again and repeat) 
  • Repeat all of that for 6 times. 

After that you will enter his second phase, which is identic to the 1° but just harder. Good luck!


Since I mentioned it at the beginning I could think about making a guide on how to beat Grey Prince Zote, but honesty i can’t of any way to make that battle a little easer, In addition to the fact that I would not know what advice to give you over than “Git Gud” or “Descending Dark when you see Bullsh*t incoming”…i’ll will think about it.

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