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Bestiary
Leaders of the Mantis tribe and its finest warriors. They bear thin nail-lances and attack with blinding speed.

The mantis tribe and the bugs of old Hallownest have no love for each other. The Mantises outlived their rivals though, and their civilisation still stands.
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Behaviour and Tactics

It is recommended to initiate this boss fight after at least one Nail upgrade.

The Mantis Lords will not initiate battle until The Knight challenges them. At this point, a steel cage will prevent escape from the arena, with spiked pits to the left and right of the cage.

The battle begins against a single Mantis Lord. They'll execute one of three attacks, disappearing in a blur after each attack. The player must react quickly to dodge the attack, then strike the Mantis Lord before it vanishes.

  • Dash: A Mantis Lord will drop onto either side of the arena and they will charge across the arena, leading with their spear. This attack covers the entirety of the ground of the arena. Mantis Lords only do this attack when they are on the ground.
  • Drop: A Mantis Lord will appear overhead, tracking The Knight for a brief moment before dropping straight down with their spear.
  • Boomerang: A Mantis Lord will appear holding onto a wall and will throw a spinning blade like a boomerang. The spinning blade will travel in one of two possible patterns:
    • A wide arc that reaches the opposite end of the arena before returning
    • A shorter arc that reaches the middle of the arena before returning

As the Mantis Lord loses health, the attacks become faster and faster. The best moment to heal is during the Boomerang attack, as it is easiest to dodge and takes the longest time to complete. As is the case with most bosses, the Quick Focus charm is immensely helpful, despite its high cost.

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Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Mantis Lords

Hollow Knight Boss Discussion - Mantis Lords

Mantis Lords Boss Guide Video

Once the first Mantis Lord has been defeated, it will return to its throne. At this point, the two remaining ones will engage in tandem. The battle remains fundamentally the same, but the attacks come far more frequently and the patterns of the spinning blades change.

Once one of the two Lords goes down, the remainder of the battle becomes significantly easier, but since there is no visible difference between the two, it's impossible to focus on one over the other.

Keeping to one side of the stage or the other keeps the fight more consistent, as the Mantis Lord farther from the Knight will typically stick to the Boomerang attack and the closer one will use the melee strikes.

Dreamshield can also block the boomerangs.


Dream Nail Dialogue
  • ...At last a true challenger...
  • ...Honour from one of its kind...
  • This one shows promise...

Locations

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Trivia

  • Quirrel suggests upgrading the Nail before the fight.
  • Looking closely, there is a fourth broken throne in the room. The previous occupant of the throne is possibly the Traitor Lord.
  • The Mantis Lords are one of few bosses to have multiple entities attack the player. The others being the God Tamer and the Watcher Knight.
  • A lore tablet in the Mantis Village reveals that the Mantis Lords had some kind of deal with Hallownest, and that their end of the deal is to prevent the beasts of Deepnest from emerging. A gate opens from their throne room that connects to the Deepnest and a massive pile of dead beasts is seen nearby, with the Mantis Lords' nails sticking out of them.
  • The gates that fall down from the ceiling in the fight actually "fall down" from a rather thin floor. You can follow the gates up after the fight and find out that they simply just travel over all the scenery and ground all the way until you reach the next section. (this has since been changed)
  • The Mantis Lords are among the few bosses that don't die once they've been beaten. Others include, Dung Defender, Hornet, Zote the Mighty, Grimm, and the God Tamer (if her mount is defeated first).
  • After the Lifeblood update all the Mantis Lords now emit a mustard yellow gas of possibly mushroom spores.