Don’t dread this wolf
The Dreadwolf is one of the stronger bosses in Octopath Traveler 2. It is located in the depths of the Infernal Castle, which boasts a danger level of 55. In other words, the Dreadwolf is balanced around parties that have already cleared each character’s final chapter. If you aren’t prepared for this fight, even hours of level grinding won’t save you. That said, this encounter is very easy to cheese with one strategy in particular.
Note: if you’re trying to fight the Dreadwolf, you know that the Infernal Castle requires Partitio, Temenos, Ochette, and Agnea to enter (up to one of these can be excluded). That said, you do not need to use this party to fight the Dreadwolf. Once you gain access to the Infernal Castle, feel free to leave and switch to your party of choice before returning. You can climb up and down the broken bridge whenever you need to.
The Dreadwolf’s mechanics
The Dreadwolf has 155,000 HP. It is weak to spears, axes, bows, fire, and wind. I recorded no weakness shuffling in this battle. It will occasionally lock off its vulnerabilities when it summons two War Wolves to the field. These summoned monsters are weak to swords, daggers, bows, and fire. In other words, your universal damage types are bows and fire magic. The War Wolves thankfully only have 10,000 HP, so a few powerful attacks will take them out even before their shields diminish.
Mechanically, the Dreadwolf is predominately a physical attacker. It has one magic spell in Frigid Flurry, but that’s it. The battle is relatively straightforward up to the first shield break, but things start to get dicey afterwards. In addition to possibly summoning War Wolves again, the Dreadwolf will use Heightened Senses. My testing indicates this causes Dreadwolf to counter boosted attacks with Vengeful Fang. These attacks will miss Dreadwolf during this phase as well, so make sure you aren’t wasting turns getting counterattacked.
If Dreadwolf lingers on the battlefield too long, it will eventually charge up Mortal Fang. This will inflict multiple physical hits on your entire party, likely knocking everyone out if you aren’t mitigating attacks. This can be nearly impossible to recover from, so try to whittle away at its shield points steadily to avoid this attack completely. Of course, one particular setup will completely nerf Mortal Fang even if it does fire off.
The strategy to counter Dreadwolf
Like every boss in Octopath Traveler 2, you can potentially cheese this encounter in one shield break. The Dreadwolf is very light on mechanics up to this point, and a powerful barrage of attacks can easily clear 155,000 HP. For me, an Armsmaster Hikari handily surpassed this threshold, especially when characters like Castti or Partitio can feed him BP for consistently strong attacks. The Cleric’s Aelfric’s Blessing is also a huge boon to your main damage dealer.
That said, if you aren’t interested in totally game-breaking damage, I have two words for you: Arcanist Partitio. If you haven’t unlocked Arcanist yet, check out our guide here. In short, the Acanist’s Seal of Diffusion uniquely allows its respective caster to spread moves that normally target the user to the full party. Since Partitio natively has the Merchant class, he can combine Seal of Diffusion with Sidestep. Have Partitio spam boosted Sidesteps as much as possible, as stacks will deplete with each hit your party members dodge.
This strategy is already good in many battles, but it absolutely breaks the Dreadwolf. The only attack your party members can’t dodge is Frigid Flurry, but this occurs infrequently enough for a healer to easily cover. Even Mortal Fang can be ignored as long as you have enough Sidestep stacks on your party. If you’re having trouble with this fight, I can’t recommend this combination enough. Otherwise, as usual, lean into your best strategies to succeed. The more damage you push at the beginning of the fight, the better.
You can capture the Dreadwolf with Ochette
As usual, the Dreadwolf qualifies as a miniboss that can respawn in its respective area upon defeat. This allows Ochette to capture the Dreadwolf during a rematch, which grants access to the move True Mortal Fang. When summoned, this will deal four dagger attacks to the entire enemy party.
It’s honestly an impressively strong attack, averaging about 20,000 damage total in my testing. That said, this has the usual miniboss stipulations of requiring a full boost gauge and only working once per fight. You’ll have to decide if the Dreadwolf is worth that cost. If so, happy farming!