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False Knight Failed Champion

Dialogue Top.png
But... in the end? If strength cannot save you, then what can...?
Dialogue Bottom.png

Failed Champion is a hidden boss in Hollow Knight. It is the Dream variant of the False Knight, faster and tougher than its physical counterpart.

Behaviour and Tactics

Failed Champion's behaviour is very similar to False Knight's, but his attack rate and speed have been increased immensely. Contact damage and physical attacks now deal two Masks of damage, while shockwaves and falling barrels still deal one Mask. In addition, the following attacks have had tweaks:

  • Leap: Failed Champion only uses this attack after the first Phase. This makes Leaping Bludgeon much more common.
  • Slam: The slam is much faster, and the shockwave created from the slam is much larger and taller. Barrels fall from this attack in all Phases.
  • Leaping Bludgeon: The height of the jump is lower. Barrels fall from this attack in all Phases.

Stagger Values
Description: Failed Champion's stagger is based on his health, and Failed Champion is staggered every time the armour health is depleted to 0.

When staggered, he falls back and lands on his chest revealing the head of the Maggot. In addition, Failed Champion also drops barrels when staggered.

Hits: -
Combo: - Combo Time: -

Since Failed Champion does not give SOUL it is advised to keep the Maggots near his body alive as to Dream Nail them for SOUL to start the fight with. (This tactic does not work in Godmaster Icon.png Godhome.) However, if the Knight has both the Grimm Troupe Icon.png Weaversong and Grubsong Charms equipped, they can instead use the Weaverlings to harvest SOUL from False Knight's suit of armor.

Failed Champion's jumps are quick, though it is better to dash underneath him when he jumps so as not to get caught by the mace swing. This is made more effective with Shade Cloak and the Sharp Shadow Charm (for the increased Shadow Dash distance) because Failed Champion is so large.

Using the Grimm Troupe Icon.png Dreamshield Charm can sometimes block the falling barrels caused by most attacks.

It is possible to stay inside a stagger for as long as needed by hitting the armour during a stagger. This resets the stagger timer without damaging the maggot, which gives enough time for a Dream Nail hit or a Focus, especially if the Dream Wielder and Quick Focus Charms are equipped. Repeating this enough allows the Knight to fully restore their health every stagger. Note that Failed Champion's stagger should end by hurting the maggot and not by him getting up on his own, as otherwise, that stagger does not count for progressing the fight. (Please see the Pantheon of the Knight video guide for a visual example of this tactic.)

Desolate Dive/Descending Dark is a great Spell to use throughout the fight because of its invincibility frames and damage. Vengeful Spirit/Shade Soul is also useful. It is a good tactic to use Howling Wraiths/Abyss Shriek when Failed Champion leaps overhead and winds up for a Rage. All Spells are made more damaging by the Shaman Stone Charm.

The Dash Slash and Great Slash Nail Arts are good options for damaging Failed Champion in between attacks.

A very safe strategy is to sit on the left or right wall while charging Super Dash far up enough that Failed Champion cannot reach the Knight, but not far up enough that the Knight does not appear on screen (this may cause problems for the following Charm setup). This allows The Knight to avoid all contact with the boss, and instead only have to worry about the falling barrels (which only deal 1 Mask of damage). Dealing damage while sitting in the corner requires some form of a companion - the options being Grimm Troupe Icon.png Grimmchild, Grimm Troupe Icon.png Weaversong, and Glowing Womb, and also Grubsong for its synergy with Weaversong (and keeping Glowing Womb fueled with SOUL). Granted, this tactic takes a long period of time to pull off, as the companions do not deal a lot of damage. Additional Charms for this strategy can include Grimm Troupe Icon.png Dreamshield to block the barrels and Sprintmaster to increase Weaverling speed and range. Eventually though, Weaversong's spiders might stop spawning. If this happens, it is recommended to use Desolate Dive/Descending Dark since this causes Failed Champion to jump backwards, giving enough time to climb back up.

Godmaster Icon.png Godmaster Content

Statue False Knight.png

Failed Champion

Hall of Gods text: "I protect the weak in the heart of the crossroads"
"Baleful god of regrets"

Pantheon Pantheon of the Knight, 6th boss
Health Attuned difficulty 360*3
Ascended difficulty 600*3
Radiant difficulty
Arena changes The arena is larger than in the base game, no difficulty differences. He does not fall through the floor prior to defeat.


During the fight
Dream Nailed Randomly:
  • I'm braver than all of you!
  • I'm the strongest now!
  • This great shell...It belongs to me!

After the fight
Spirit after defeating Failed Champion I wanted it.... the strength to protect the others...

When I saw that Knight... sleeping... safe in his big armoured shell...

It wasn't madness that drove me to it... I just wanted it...

But... in the end? If strength cannot save you, then what can...?


Returning to False Knight's arena shows that his body has been moved. To find Failed Champion, there is a breakable wall just above where his arena was, where two Maggots can be found mourning over False Knight's dead body. Using the Dream Nail on the body grants entrance to the Failed Champion fight.



Achievement Strength.png {S} Strength
Defeat the Failed Champion


  1. Maggot Dream Nail dialogue: "Wake up, brother! Help me!"
  2. Reddit AMA comment by Team Cherry.
Compendium Broken Vessel Idle.png
Main Game CrawlidVengeflyVengefly KingGruzzerGruz MotherTiktikAspid HunterAspid MotherAspid HatchlingGoamWandering HuskHusk HornheadLeaping HuskHusk BullyHusk WarriorHusk GuardEntombed HuskFalse Knight (Failed Champion) • MaggotMenderbugLifeseedBaldurElder Baldur

MosscreepMossflyMosskinVolatile MosskinFool EaterSquitObbleGulkaMaskflyMoss ChargerMassive Moss ChargerMoss KnightMossy VagabondDurandooDurandaAluba

Charged LumaflyUomaOomaUumuu

AmbloomFunglingFungoonSporgFungified HuskShrumelingShrumal WarriorShrumal OgreMantis YouthMantis WarriorMantis Lords

Husk SentryHeavy SentryWinged SentryLance SentryMistakeFollySoul TwisterSoul WarriorSoul Master (Tyrant) • Husk DandyCowardly HuskGluttonous HuskGorgeous HuskGreat Husk SentryWatcher KnightCollector

BelflyPilflipHwurmpBluggsacDung DefenderFlukefeyFlukemonFlukemarm

ShardmiteGlimbackCrystal HunterCrystal CrawlerHusk MinerCrystallised HuskCrystal Guardian (Enraged)

Furious VengeflyVolatile GruzzerViolent HuskSlobbering Husk

DirtcarverCarver HatcherGarpedeCorpse CreeperDeeplingDeephunterLittle WeaverStalking DevoutNosk

Shadow CreeperLesser MawlekMawlurkBrooding MawlekLightseedInfected BalloonBroken Vessel (Lost Kin)

BooflyPrimal AspidHopperGreat HopperGrub MimicHivelingHive SoldierHive GuardianHusk Hive

Spiny HuskLoodleMantis PetraMantis TraitorTraitor Lord

Sharp BaldurArmoured SquitBattle ObbleOblobblesShielded FoolSturdy FoolWinged FoolHeavy FoolDeath LoodleVolt TwisterZoteGod Tamer

XeroGorbElder HuMarmuNo EyesGalienMarkoth

WingmouldRoyal RetainerKingsmouldSiblingVoid Tendrils

Hornet (ProtectorSentinel) • Hollow KnightRadianceShadeHunter's Mark

Hidden Dreams Icon.png Hidden Dreams Grey Prince ZoteWinged ZotelingHopping ZotelingVolatile ZotelingWhite Defender

Grimm Troupe Icon.png The Grimm Troupe Grimmkin NoviceGrimmkin MasterGrimmkin NightmareGrimmNightmare KingSeal of Binding

Lifeblood Icon.png Lifeblood Hive Knight

Godmaster Icon.png Godmaster FlukemungaPale LurkerSisters of BattleWinged NoskNailmasters Oro & MatoPaintmaster SheoGreat Nailsage SlyPure VesselAbsolute RadianceVoid IdolWeathered Mask