Hunting for the Bloodhound Step? Elden Ring has some pretty wild Ashes of War, letting you do anything from conjure magical seeking swords to doing a somersault and slamming your weapon down on foes. But in terms of utility, there is one ash of war in-particular that is above and beyond all others. That is Bloodhound's Step.
At various points in the game you'll have found yourself facing off against Bloodhound Knights, and one of the hardest things about them is that they can vanish in a cloud of smoke and re-appear right next to you. Well, that's what Bloodhound's Step does. It's basically a better version of quickstep but can also be used as a means of traversal, letting you zoom through poison swamps, for example.
With later bosses like Malenia, it's the go-to way to avoid her infamous Waterfowl Dance attack, which is what kills most people in that boss fight. The only slight drawback is that to get the Bloodhound's Step ash of war, you're going to have to fight a tanky Night's Cavalry boss. If you don't want to fight it, however, you can also get the Bloodhound Claws by defeating the Bloodhound Knight behind the secret wall in Volcano Manor, which also have the skill attached.
Bloodhound Step Ash of War: Stats and description
Weapon types: All melee armaments
FP usage: 5
Here's the in-game description for Bloodhound Step:
Skill that allows the user to become temporarily invisible while dodging at high speed. Moves faster and travels farther than a regular quickstep. This skill can be used to circle around lock-on targets.
By holding a direction on the analog stick as you activate Bloodhound Step, you can control the direction of the dash. It's effective at dodging through enemy attacks with the right timing.
Bloodhound Step Ash of War: Location
To track down Bloodhound Step, you'll need to venture to northeast Caelid, a treacherous part of the map if you're early in the game. You need to make your way to the Lenne's Rise site of grace, located just east of the great bridge that leads to Bestial Sanctum. Its proximity to the Bestial Sanctum actually makes Lenne's Rise easy to get to if you thoroughly explore the much safer Limgrave, as there's a sending gate that will teleport you straight there.
To find the sending gate, head north into the ravine from the Third Church of Marika site of grace, and walk east for a brief distance until the ravine dead-ends. You'll find the sending gate right in front of you.
Once you teleport to the Bestial Sanctum, head south across the great bridge, watching out for the dragon, and head east to find the Lenne's rise site of grace. Once there, rest and advance the time to night. The Night's Cavalry boss will appear on the smaller bridge directly north.
Bloodhound Step Ash of War: How to defeat the Night's Cavalry boss
This Night's Cavalry boss is tough: at least in terms of HP, it's much stronger than Godrick. It also hits hard, so you're in for a tough fight if you want to stand toe-to-toe with this Night's Cavalry. Thankfully there's an easier way.
While at the Lenne's Rise site of grace, use the item crafting menu to make some Poison Pots or Poisonbone Darts if you have either recipe and the necessary components. These aren't strictly needed, but will help speed things along. You should also craft some Neutralizing Boluses if you have the means, and equip your best armor and talismans with the immunity stat. Cured Immunizing Meat can also help boost your immunity for a time.
With your new poison items equipped to your inventory, ride up to the Night's Cavalry boss and pelt it with one or two items, then sprint up the hill to the north. This trail is peppered with poison traps and small enemies that jump out at you. The enemies themselves are easy to dodge, but you actually want to set off the traps with the Night's Cavalry hot on your heels. Your goal is to get the Night's Cavalry boss poisoned, because then its health will keep ticking down. Make sure to dodge its attacks as you ride up the hill. If you have armor with decent immunity, you can likely avoid being poisoned yourself, but pop a Neutralizing Boluses if you do get poisoned.
Once you reach the top of the hill, the Night's Cavalry boss will either turn around or respawn at the bridge, but it'll keep its poison status. Ride back down, hit it with another poison pot, and repeat the cat-and-mouse chase up the hill. Eventually the poison will wear it down and it'll die, rewarding you with 40,000 runes and Bloodhound Step.
You might not actually have to wait long for the poison to finish doing its work: I'd only taken off half the Night's Cavalry boss's health when it just randomly died on me, and I've read accounts of the same thing happening to other players. Respawning with the poison status applied may cause the boss to die instantly. But even if it doesn't, the poison will eventually do its work.
This isn't necessarily the only way to beat this boss without a drag-out fight:
- You can also climb onto the tree that juts out over the bridge and attack the boss with ranged weapons or magic spells to whittle down his health.
- You can probably kite him off the bridge and to his death with the right moves (this is definitely possible with the Night's Cavalry in Limgrave).
- If you're feeling daring you can also parry the Night's Cavalry for an instant dismount.
But the poison method is definitely effective if you don't mind fighting dirty. This is a FromSoftware game: anything goes.