Given how God of War Ragnarok begins, it is surprising to see that we are now venturing alongside Freya. Who would have seen that one coming? This is the first section of The Reckoning quest line; which will take our heroes across all of Vanaheim. Get ready to face a ton of bosses—and mid-bosses—in the course of this quest. But worry not, there is a bounty of treasure to go alongside them.
We begin our journey with Atreus waking up on the wrong side of the wrong bed. Which is to say, that he is back in Midgard. You are going to need to fight a bunch of Draugrs before you are eventually accompanied by a somewhat surly Kratos. However, just as you are polishing off these frozen foes, you will be rudely interrupted by a Valkyrie. That’s right, this guide is kicking off with a boss fight!
Boss Battle: Vanadis
Vanadis has two primary modes of attack: she will either rush you with slashing attacks with her sword, or dash away and shoot at your with her bow. She can close the distance relatively quickly, but as long as you are sharp with your parrys, you should be able to consistently deal with her melee attacks while also doing damage and dishing out stun. She does also have an unblockable plunging attack, but these are extremely telegraphed, and you should be able to roll away with ease.
The game will forcibly shift your special from Fury to Valor. Maybe it is just us, but we don’t think Valor heals enough to justify losing the stun and damage that fury does (alongside healing). We would go straight to the menu and switch it back. But hey, maybe you see more use in it than us.
Her ranged attacks are similarly parryable, and are telegraphed, so they shouldn’t cause too many problems either. However, when you parry her arrow, after you send it back to her, she will send it back again. Just parry the follow-up arrow as well! Once you get the rhythm of these attacks down and get your parry timing locked in, you should be able to move past this first phase without too many issues. Once you have taken around half of her health, she will transition into her second phase.
In her second phase, Vanadis gets an attack that spits poison all around her. This attack is a total pain. It will shoot the poison out to wherever Kratos is. So, your best way to avoid it is to be up close to her as a rule of thumb, and start rolling backward once you see her starting this attack. As long as you keep on her, be sharp with your parrys, and be extra cautious when you see her preparing to use her poison attack, you should be able to defeat her. It is all about getting the timing of those parrys down.
The Southern Wilds
After a brief cutscene, we will arrive in Vanaheim. As you follow the main path forward, you will find a treasure chest tucked away on your right and a raven on your left. Grab the chest, then hustle over the the raven circling the pond. Keep your feet planted, and use the roots in the background as a point of reference as you adjust your axe throws. You’ll get him.
You are going to see chests that are entangled with a magic root. You will be able to open them soon enough, but not quite yet.
You will push through a narrow space between a wall and a bunch of overgrown roots. Carry forward, open a door, and you will be in an area lined with ruins. There are poisonous plants here that inflate when you get close to them. Make sure to take them out with your axe. When you enter into the open section of the ruins, there will be a treasure chest to your right. Continue to the left side, you will see a hole in the wall. There is a legendary chest in here! Continue along until you are stranding on one of those cracked slabs. You are about to be rushed by a group of enemies.
You will now have a fight with the Legion type of enemy. These green goons are very weak, but they come in large numbers. They do have an unblockable leaping attack, but it is pretty slow. Keeping your distance and performing crowd control with your axe is a good way to approach them. However, if they all bunch together, a Blades of Chaos combo or two can clean them all out.
There are too many of those poisonous plants for us to warn you about each one, but we will try to give you a heads-up for the tricker ones.
Once you clear out the Legion enemies, there will be a treasure chest wedged in one of the structures to the right of where they came. But there is one of those poisonous plants in there, so take it out first! Head to where the Legion enemies came from, hop up to the platform above (it will be on your left), and then circle around on the rooftops of the ruin structures until you are facing that cracked slab from above. Now, crash through it and claim the Kvasir Poem.
Climb back up to the roof, and take a right. There is a chest containing crafting goods. Head back to the spot where you leapt down from previously, and cross the bridge this time. You will be ambushed by a handful of Gulons. These guys aren’t particularly strong, but they are fast, and they attack in groups. Picking them off with your axe at a distance will be pretty effective here. Once you clear out the Gulons, head back to where you entered this area. There is a cave to your left that leads to a treasure chest.
Continue forward, and you will run into a Nornir Chest. The first target is on your left, throw your axe to spin it so that the rune that looks like a C is showing. The next target is to the right of the chest, burn the brambles blocking it, then turn it so that the rune that looks like an N is showing. The final target is back where you entered this area. Backtrack, look up, and you will see it. It is also covered in brambles, but you can’t reach them with your Blades of Chaos. Thankfully, the brambles carry over to the left. Burn them there and the fire will carry to the target. Turn the target so that the rune that looks like an R is showing. Now open then chest and get your Horn of Blood Mead.
Now, continue on the main path, and burn the brambles to your left. You will find another chest here. Follow the main path forward, and you will run headfirst into a Wulver. When you fought the last, you were the more agile, range focused, Atreus. Playing as Kratos you may want to take a more parry-intensive, stun damage-based approach. Once you pound the first one down to around half of its health, a second will pop up. This is a good time to use your Spartan Rage.
Once you finish them off, Brock will get yanked away, and you will need to pursue him. After a few cutscenes, you will end up in Freyr’s Camp. There isn’t much to do in Freyr’s Camp. Though there is some lore text. There is a treasure chest across the water, but you quite simply do not have the tools to get to it yet. Now, you will be off on the main path again, venture into the wilds. You will cross over a bridge, travel through a cave, and enter into the woods again. Follow the left-most wall, and you will find a treasure chest with Honed Metal inside.
Back on the main path, follow Freya as she flies around. You will come up to a point where a poison plant on the wall to you left will explode. After you climb the nearby ledges, take a right. There is a treasure chest here. Keep following the main path, grapple across a few gaps, and crawl in through a tunnel. You will enter into a giant clearing and face off against the colossal Forest Ancient.
Boss Fight: Forest Ancient
The Forest Ancient is two things: very simple to comprehend from a strategy perspective, and powerful enough that you will probably still die to it a couple of times. This behemoth has, basically, three attacks. It will fire a direct beam of fire, it will also shoot rocks at you, and it will sweep that beam of fire across the screen horizontally.
Before the Forest Ancient fires the beam of light at you, you will be given plenty of notice. The main way you are going to beat it is by throwing the rocks it leaves behind from its rock shooting attack back at it. The most difficult to deal with attack is the Forest Giant’s sweeping beam attack. You can roll through it, but the timing can be rough. The best way to deal with this attack is to hide behind the giant tree. In general, that giant tree should be a big part of your strategy here.
You can toss your axe at its exposed chest just before it lets any of its attacks rip. This does good damage, but you need to have your axe charged and ready to go the moment it reveals its chest. If you mess up the timing, you are going to get roasted.
Halfway through the encounter Legion enemies will start fighting you as well. Engage them when you have cover from the Forest Ancient (back to the tree again). The Forest Ancient hits hard, and its moves can be alarmingly quick. However, with the aid of that tree, you should get him within a few attempts.
The Forest Ancient’s attacks will kill the Legion enemies running around. So if you see an opportunity to lead them into one of them, it isn’t a bad idea.
Once you finish off the Forest Ancient you will be ready to move onto The Eastern Barri Woods. But that is for another guide.