By the end, I was doing a riposte on every black knight that I came across. I made a chaos halberd and was wearing black knight armor, and I absolutely destroyed those black knights in the Kiln of the First Flame. Upgrading your equipment in that game is very satisfying. It took me a while to upgrade my grass crest shield, but by the time it was +10, it was awesome. Same goes for the +10 lightning winged spear.
I tried killing that giant drake on new game+, and fuck, even the dragonslayer bow was doing fuck all for damage. I just gave up. It took only a handful of dragonslayer arrows in the regular game