Lords of the Fallen brings a ton of different takes on the traditional soulslike formula with its classes, life-and-death cycle, and overall exploration. It also has a few unique takes on combat, and it shows with its Soulflaying and Withering mechanics. This is a slightly different implementation of our (not-so) beloved grey health, and here’s how those two work in and against your favor in Lords of the Fallen.
Wither and Soulflaying in Lords of the Fallen Explained
One of the most unique pieces of equipment in Lords of the Fallen is the mysterious Umbral Lamp, which possesses a mysterious power over the souls of the dead and the living. Not only does it let you roam the Umbral realm without being actually dead, but it also gives you access to a combat technique known as Soulflaying.
Soulflaying is executed by targeting an enemy with the Umbral Lamp and holding RT/R2/Right Mouse Button (depending on your platform). The lamp will draw your target’ soul, temporarily stunning it and exposing it to your attacks. The main target is also pulled to where its soul was drawn after a few seconds. All damage you dealt to its soul will be dealt to them as Withered health. Dealing one more direct hit to the target will finally damage it for real.
While it makes usage of the Umbral Lamp, you don’t need to enter Umbral to Soulflay. Just having a spare charge is enough. Some bigger enemies are immune to Soulflaying.
Withered health is the classical grey health you probably have an idea of how it works. When you successfully block (not parry) an attack, part of your health turns grey and you can heal it by damaging enemies enough times. Taking direct damage results in actually losing your grey health, and the same mechanics work for Soulflayed enemies. Your own health will naturally get withered over time while in Umbral, which is another of its disadvantages.
While this can be viewed as simply “damage with extra steps”, Soulflaying can be extremely powerful as it basically gives you a free combo on your opponent, making it a perfect finishing tool or an easy way to take out a specific enemy among the pack. It’s also one of the few ways to wither your opponent. Just be careful with its extended animation lock as it could lead to your downfall. Some bosses (usually humanoid enemies) can also be Soulflayed.
Your maximum number of Soulflayings is indicated on the screen and will replenish after resting in a Vestige. You can increase this number by upgrading your Umbral Lamp, but this will take you some extra playtime.