Elden Ring bosses and how to beat them

Elden Ring bosses
(Image credit: From Software)

Elden Ring bosses are all over the place. They're tucked into caves, guarding castles, and deep, deep underground. It can be overwhelming when you're starting out, there are so many bosses to choose from. But with some planning and a good strategy during the fight, you can chip away at any boss in the game.

The main bosses are a lot tankier than in other Souls games, and it feels like Elden Ring multiplayer was intended to be a big focus. Your power increase seems a lot slower, too, so some of these bosses can pose a real challenge early on. So if you're ready to face off against the bosses in Elden Ring, here's where to find them and tips to help you survive each encounter.

If you want to avoid spoilers in regards to bosses that are part of Elden Ring's progression or endings, be sure to avoid our 'main' section.

How Elden Ring bosses work

Survive the Lands Between with these Elden Ring guides

Elden Ring storyteller

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring guide: Conquer the Lands Between
Elden Ring map fragmentsReveal the world
Elden Ring weapons: Arm yourself
Elden Ring armor: The best sets
Elden Ring Smithing Stone: Upgrade your gear
Elden Ring Ashes of War: Where to find them
Elden Ring classes: Which to choose

It's not just the main bosses you'll need to contend with—open world bosses are a cool new addition in Elden Ring. You might be wandering through a lake suddenly to have a dragon land on you, Skyrim-style, or be crossing a bridge and have to defeat its horseback-mounted guardian. The fights using your Elden Ring mount, Torrent, give combat a whole new dimension, a little like Sekiro's speed and jumping turned up to 11.

You'll also face bosses within the dungeons scattered throughout the world. The difference between most dungeon bosses and their main game counterparts feels like night and day in terms of health and difficulty. A dungeon might require you to fight a few rooms of enemies to get to a boss, whereas big bads like Godrick need you to assault a fortress and fight an entire army. 

When you're not focused on core progression, you'll spend your time building up souls and strength through dungeons and open world bosses as a way to get stronger for the challenges the main story throws at you. This guide should help you do just that.

And if you just need to know our own estimate of how hard each boss is, we've given each a 🔥 rating, with 🔥 being the easiest, and 🔥🔥🔥 being the hardest.

Elden Ring bosses: location and strategy


Elden Ring boss Margit the Fell Omen

(Image credit: From Software)

Margit, the Fell Omen 

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Reward: Talisman Pouch
Location: After the ballista at the gates to Stormveil Castle
What to bring: Margit's Shackle (purchased from Patches in Murkwater Cave)

His variable attack speed is the most challenging thing about Margit. The windup to his club attack, for instance, is very slow, but then he will suddenly draw a knife of light with his other hand and slash you before jumping away and throwing it at you. These throwing knives can be particularly annoying if you're trying to heal after he has just jumped away. 

At around two-thirds health, he'll enter his second phase. His combos will be longer, and he'll mix in the hammer, throwing knives, and a sword of light. The opportunities for dealing damage are slim since he's so aggressive, and it's best to stay away from his four attack combo. If you're finding it too hard, you can always buy Margit's Shackle from Patches in Murkwater Cave, letting you restrain the boss multiple times. Margit's stance is also very easy to break using jump attacks with heavy weapons or skills such Square Off and Impaling Thrust, letting you perform a critical attack.

Elden Ring boss Godrick the grafted

(Image credit: From Software)

Godrick the Grafted

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Grafted
Location: Stormveil Castle
What to bring: Pure damage weapons, a big one if you want to stagger him.

Watch out for his earthquake attack, where he'll strike an axe into the ground twice, dealing damage in an ever-larger AoE. He'll also create a damaging whirlwind AoE that increases in size three times. When he activates the third, he'll also spin into the air and slam down with his axe. Thankfully, his regular attacks are easy to dodge, and jumping attacks and combat skills can prove effective. 

Once you get him down to around half health, he'll start screaming and chopping at his arm. Take this opportunity to deal as much damage as you can before he enters his second phase. Right at the start of this phase, sprint for his right side to avoid his arc of flame. Now he'll add fire attacks from his new dragon arm, his AoE whirlwind, and he'll add a third slam to his earthquake.  You can summon Nefeli for this fight, but only if you talk to her in a room to the right of the courtyard after you fight the bladed Stormhawks. 

Elden Ring boss Rennala

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Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon 

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Full Moon Queen
Location: Raya Lucaria Academy
What to bring: Bleed weapons, fast weapons (for stunlock)

In the first phase, she'll float around the ceiling in a shielded cocoon. To bring her down, hit three of the child-like scholars with the glowing aura, and the cocoon will break. Rennala will then fall to the floor, letting you deal damage for a set amount of time. Once she starts to glow, back off very quickly to avoid an AoE explosion. 

In her second phase, Rennala will transport you to a moonlit lake and start firing sorceries at you, beginning with a beam that will one-shot you if you're not careful. Watch out for the crystal shards she summons to rapidly fire at you. Thankfully, she staggers pretty easily in this phase, and bleed is especially good against her. If the fight goes on long enough, she'll create an AoE shockwave around her and summon different enemies, ranging from wolves to a dragon. If you can summon anything to kite the enemies or attack her, it'll make the fight a lot easier. Either way, stay aggressive, and keep closing her down.

Elden Ring boss Radahn

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Starscourge Radahn

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Starscourge
Location: Redmane Castle, Caelid
What to bring: Anything that inflicts scarlet rot at range, or poison if not.

Radahn is a fun boss, but tricky due to his size, aggression, AoE attacks, and unpredictable aggro. When you head through the portal into the boss arena, summon allies using the signs while dodging Radahn's ranged attacks, or using the rubble to block them. Stay at a distance until your allies bring Radahn into melee and he draws his swords. 

Now, get on horseback. If you have poison or ranged, I suggest chipping him down while continuing to summon allies with the signs that re-appear once they die. If you're melee, sprint in on Torrent to make charged attacks against his rear/horse when he concludes combos. Generally maintain distance, though, and allow your allies to distract him.

Once he's half health, he'll disappear and return as a flaming comet. While he's away, run around the hill crest and summon more allies. In this phase he'll conjure four meteors around him. Continue to summon and chip him down when possible, but stay close to the ridge-crest. When he runs away from you, he's gonna send those meteors flying, so use the hillcrest to block them. If you are melee, this fight takes a little while, since it requires some caution in terms of getting hits and not losing Torrent to his seemingly endless attacks. I also don't recommend summoning a friend for this, since it's even harder without a horse.

Elden Ring boss Morgott

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Morgott, the Omen King

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Remembrance of the Omen King
Location: Leyndell, Royal Capital
What to bring: Margit's Shackle

Morgott is one of the hardest bosses in the game. He's extremely quick, deals a lot of damage, and his attacks have very wide arcs. I recommend you summon Melina, and use NPC ashes like Oleg for the first phase in order to split his aggro. At first he'll just swipe with his sword, throw knives, use his hammer, and summon light swords from above you that split the arena into sections. This is the time to get aggressive if you want Melina to live into the second phase, which is extremely helpful. Anytime he turns his back to hurt her, get some hits, then rinse and repeat. Greatshields can also be good in this first phase due to his purely physical damage attacks.

Once his health is down to half, he explodes in an AoE and his sword will gain what looks to be an occult infusion. Continue as before, but now be aware of his longer combos, and particularly, when his sword turns red and he prepares to attack. If he's pulling his sword back to stab, he's going to rush forward to impale you. Otherwise, it's a two-hit attack, but because the first stun locks you, it's likely you'll die if you're hit by either. The key with Morgott is timed aggression and aggro swapping in order to keep your summons alive, while being aware of his big attacks. He can kill you very quickly, but once you get used to his attacks, he shouldn't give you too much trouble. Luckily, Margit's Shackle also works on Morgott, giving you a little help.

Elden Ring boss Rykard

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Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy

Difficulty: 🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Blasphemous
Location: Volcano Manor, Mt. Gelmir
What to bring: Serpent Hunter

This big snake is basically the final evolution of the Yhorm fight from Dark Souls 3, or Storm King from Demon Souls—a massive boss that's all about using a specific weapon to take them down. You grab the Serpent Hunter spear just past the fog door in the boss arena, and it's a must for this fight, unless you want a real slogfest while constantly getting burnt by lava. Chip down the serpent and maintain distance, while you watch out for its lunges, poison spewing, and are careful of not backing up against the arena wall.

When Rykard appears in the second phase, he'll use a sword, with slow three hit combos, and a fast repeating stab. He has massive reach, so be sure to dodge all of these. At about half health, he'll raise his sword in the air and summon skulls that will track you and explode, so it's time to run, or switch to a weapon with Bloodhound Step to evade them. Once this phase is over, it should be pretty easy to finish him off, just watch out for the occasional snake-head attacks from the first phase that Rykard throws into the mix, and the big charged slash that breaks the ground.

Elden Ring boss cutscene for the Fire Giant

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Fire Giant

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Fire Giant
Location: East Mountaintops of the Giants
What to bring: As much damage as you can muster

You'll want to be on Torrent for the entirety of this fight. The Fire Giant is massive and his attacks cover a wide area, but they don't often hit the same spot he's in. That means that your goal for this fight is to stay underneath him and attack the foot you can target. Occasionally he'll send of fire orbs to pursue you and explode, or use an AoE that makes pillars of fire burst from the ground. If you're focused on his feet, also watch out for his attack where he suddenly backsteps and brings down his weapon where he was standing.

In the second phase, the giant is on his knees. The safest place to deal damage is behind his legs, but if you do this he will frequently reposition by rolling. A more dangerous alternative is baiting his attacks then hitting his hands. Watch out for his flaming pillar AoE and when he erupts like a volcano. You can avoid the second one by hiding under his legs. This isn't a super tough fight, but it's main difficulty is how tanky the giant is.

Elden Ring boss Malekith

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Maliketh, the Black Blade

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Black Blade
Location: Farum Azula
What to bring: Mimic Tear ashes

For the first phase, you want to find opportunities to get close to the Beast Clergyman. He'll frequently use Bestial incantations to hurl boulders and stone fragments at you. Also watch out for his fast slashing combos. The safest way to deal with him is by using your summon to split aggro and dealing as much damage as quickly as possible. You really don't want this phase to drag on and become attritional, since Malekith himself is far harder.

Malekith is a real pain due to his aggression and speed. Most of his plunging attacks have an exploding AoE, he'll jump into the air to fire projectiles at you, and any time he hits, you'll take damage over time. Having your summon for this phase is pretty vital, since that aggro split will give you opportunities to attack. He moves a lot, but if you can predict where he's going to land, that'll also give you some opportunities. In general, attacking from the side or rear is better than facing him head on.

Elden Ring boss Godfrey

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Hoarah Loux, Warrior

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of Hoarah Loux
Location: Leyndell, Ashen Capital
What to bring: Lightning

As with Morgott, you already got a chance to fight the first stage of this boss in the Erdtree Sanctuary in Leyndell. The only real difference with the live version is that he will start stomping when he gets below a certain health level, and that's really a theme for this fight. You can avoid most of these AoE earthquakes by jumping, and that will let you stay close-ish to deal damage, though you'll have to learn the timings.

Once you get him down to about half HP, he basically turns into a wrestler. This phase is kind of the opposite of what he was before, as now he'll be fast, will combo for days, and try to grab you so he can perform some fancy wrestling moves. Luckily, he's kind of a glass cannon. Cautiously find opportunities to deal damage at the end of his combos, after he tries to grab you, and after you jump his many stomps.

Elden Ring boss Radagon

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Radagon of the Golden Order

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Reward: Elden Remembrance
Location: Leyndell, Ashen Capital
What to bring: Resistance to Holy damage, possibly a light equip load

The final boss of Elden Ring is basically two fights stacked on top of each other. The first, Radagon, is a divine blacksmith with powerful AoE attacks that deal Holy damage. He also has deceptive speed, zooming towards you to swing his hammer, and teleporting around the battlefield to create explosions. I greatly recommend bringing Holyproof Dried Liver, or the Lord's Divine Fortification incantation, as this reduces a good deal of Radagon's damage potential.

A strong summon is recommended, such as the +10 Mimic Tear, since splitting aggro makes it safer to attack him. A lot of his AoE attacks, like the hammer strikes and lightning bolts, require precise dodging, so a light equip load can make things easier, and the reduction in resistance doesn't matter so much if you're using some kind of Holy damage reduction. 

Once Radagon dies, you'll have to face the Elden Beast. This part of the fight is arguably a lot simpler than Radagon, since the beast's sword swings, exploding clouds, and the arcs of the light it fires are well telegraphed, and easier to dodge. I found the best way to deal melee damage was to get in close around its middle, since it doesn't have much to protect against this other than the occasional fire attack or to reposition. 

The other attacks to be aware of are when it flies into air to summon a ring around you that can be jumped before dodging the following explosion. Also be aware of it summoning Holy missiles similar to the Erdtree Avatars. Simply sprint to one side when you see it summoning and the missiles will fall behind you.


(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Mohg, Lord of Blood

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Blood Lord
Location: Mohgwyn Palace, Siofra River. Get there through the portal on the south-westerly edge of the Consecrated Snowfield.
What to bring: Bleed, Mohg's Shackle

In the same way that Margit prepares you for Morgott, Mohg the Omen in the Cathedral of the Forsaken is good practice for the real deal. You can also find Mohg's Shackle in the Subterranean Shunning-Grounds in the pit with the giant crayfish, which makes this fight a little easier. Mohg, despite his name and attacks, is actually susceptible to bleed. The first phase is very similar to Mohg the Omen, but once you get him down to around half HP, he'll cast three red rings around you, before chanting "Nihil" three times.

Each time Mohg chants Nihil, you'll get bloodloss, so either heal in time with his chanting or use the Purifying Crystal Tear in your Flask of Wondrous Physick to nullify the curse. You get this by defeating Violet Bloody Finger Eleonora in the Second Church of Marika on the Altus Plateau, which is part of Yura's questline. Now, Mohg will have wings and throw a few flying attacks into the mix. This is the time to shackle him and go to town with your bleed weapons.

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Dragonlord Placidusax 

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Dragonlord
Location: Farum Azula. Descend along the cliff before the elevator up to Malekith, then lie down in the open grave.

This is one of the toughest fights in the game. Placidusax has wide attacks that basically require you to be right next to him to get any damage in. You also have to watch out for lightning strikes throughout the arena. Once you reduce his health enough, he will take off and disappear. Look out for the lightning wreathed fog to spot where he'll emerge from, and get ready to dodge his flying swipe attack. An NPC summon is definitely recommended for this fight, as it will help you distract his aggro so you can deal damage. 

The Elden Ring Malenia boss cutscene

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Malenia, Blade of Miquella

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Rot Goddess
Location: Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree
Items to bring: Bleed, Frost, Bloodhound's Step, or maybe a greatshield

I know our scale only goes up to three, but Malenia is arguably the toughest boss ever featured in a FromSoftware game. We go into more depth in our dedicated guide, but safe to say, her strength is due to two main factors: she heals herself when she hits you, even if hitting a shield, and she has one attack that can be almost impossible to deal with depending on whether you have high endurance and a greatshield, or where you're standing. 

The best bet for beating her is either trading aggro between you with magic, letting you maintain a distance, or ganging up on her with two other summons and stunlocking her into oblivion. Bleed and Frost are very good, as is anything that knocks her off her feet, such as some strength weapon skills, and magic like Comet Azur. Also make sure to bring an incantation or consumable to remove Scarlet Rot for the second phase.

Astel, Naturalborn of the Void 

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Naturalborn
Location: Lake of Rot. Get cozy in a coffin and take a ride to meet a big bug.
What to bring: A big weapon to smack him in the head with.

You can actually fight Astel in multiple locations, but the true Astel appears towards the end of Ranni's quest, past the Lake of Rot, in the depths of Ainsel River. Astel feels very similar to the Fallingstar Beast bosses, using lots of AoE gravity attacks, and creating clouds of stars that explode after a delay. Your best bet is to smack him in the head with jumping attacks in order to stagger him, letting you deal a critical strike. Usually with beast bosses, it's a good idea to stick around their middle, but Astel's AoE attacks mean this is a terrible idea.

Focus on attacking his face when you can. He will snap at you, and try to grab you with his pincers, but keep dodging and smacking his skull to stagger him. Also watch out for him teleporting around the arena, and the very occasional teleportation grab attack that he has.

Regal Ancestor Spirit

Difficulty: 🔥
Reward: Remembrance of the Regal Ancestor
Location: Nokron, Eternal City. Light the beacons and head to the temple.
What to bring: Holy or fire damage.

This fight is very similar to the Ancestor Spirit in Siofra River, but a little harder due to the fact that this boss can heal. During the fight, the stag will summon spirit animals around the arena, then when it gets below a certain damage threshold, kill them to heal itself. This makes the fight a little longer, but it's still not especially tough. The spirit's breath attacks are easy to dodge, and you mainly just have to keep away from its horns. 

Commander Niall

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Reward: Veteran's Prosthesis
Location: Castle Sol, Mountaintops of the Giants.

Niall is a tough one. He summons two banished knights that will make it hard to hit hit him. You'll want to take out the knights one by one, focusing first on the aggressive dual-wielder, then the shield knight. Luckily Niall is less aggressive when his guards are alive, and will mainly buff them with his standard, letting you deal with them in relative peace. Once both are down, Niall will enter his more aggressive phase, creating a giant frost AoE before whacking out his lightning leg and jumping at you. Now is the best time to use your spirit ash summon.

The best time to hit Niall is after his lightning leg jump if you can get behind him when he lands. He also has an attack where he unleashes three waves of frost before he comes zooming at you, but this attack leaves him stunned, letting you get some hits in, or a stagger if you're using jump attacks. When you're behind him, be wary of his lightning leg, since he'll back-kick at you and it requires some very precise dodging to evade. This fight is a lot easier if you bring sorceries or ranged for the second phase, since without his AoE attacks, Niall is less fearsome.

Loretta, Knight of the Haligtree

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Loretta's War Sickle, Loretta's Mastery
Location: Haligtree Village, Consecrated Snowfield

You'll first fight a spirit version of Loretta in the Caria Manor, and the actual Loretta boss at the Haligtree is extremely similar. The key differences are that her second phase sorceries are more powerful, and that she jump casts some of them. Rather than just using the Loretta's Greatbow sorcery, she'll use Loretta's Mastery, which fires far more projectiles. 

She'll also use the two hit Loretta's Slash ash of war that you get from her in the Caria Manor. Like all mounted bosses, you can wait for her to jump attack, then roll behind her to hit, though be aware of the occasional kick from the horse. If you defeated Loretta in Caria, this boss really shouldn't give you much trouble, since you just have to be a little more on your toes in terms of dodging the sorceries.

Elemer of the Briar

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Marais Executioner's Sword, Briar Greatshield
Location: Shaded Castle, Mt. Gelmir

You can actually fight Elemer of the Briar long before you find him in the Shaded Castle, though in these fights he's called the Bell Bearing Hunter. The first encounter with the Bell Bearing Hunter is at the Warmaster's Shack on Stormhill at nighttime, though you'll have to rest at the grace again and enter the shack to summon him. These fights act as a great practice for dodging his floating sword attacks and sudden charges, and you even get special bell bearings for them.

Elemer of the Briar in the Shaded Castle is the peak form of the boss, but since he's just a single entity, bringing a strong upgraded spirit ash duelist like Bolg will help you split his aggro and deal with him pretty quick. As you'd imagine from the guy wrapped in thorns, bleed isn't very good in this fight, so you'll want to bring as much pure physical damage as you can. Strength-users should also be able to stagger him pretty quick with some heavy jump attacks.

Open world

(Image credit: From Software)

Tree Sentinel

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Rewards: Golden Halberd (Limgrave), Erdtree Greatshield (Altus Plateau)
Locations: West Limgrave, Altus Plateau.

You can tackle the Tree Sentinel either with Torrent or on foot. If you are on horseback, this is a cautious fight, as you wait for him to attack and rush in to smack his shield side. If on foot, stick close to him and move to his shield side whenever he rears. Use jump attacks, Square Off, or Impaling Thrust to stagger him. Once he's down to half HP, he'll start using shield attacks, making it dangerous to stay close to him. Bait out his attacks at a distance, and chip him down with more jump attacks and skills. In the Altus Plateau you'll find two Tree Sentinels together, but it's advisable to bait and fight them seperately.

Night's Cavalry  

Difficulty: 🔥
Rewards: Nightrider Glaive (North Liurnia), Nightrider Flail (Weeping Peninsula), Night's Cavalry set (Consecrated Snowfield), and Ashes of War.
Locations: East Limgrave, Weeping Peninsula, Caelid, Dragonbarrow, North Liurnia, South Liurnia, Forbidden Lands, Altus Plateau, Consecrated Snowfield.

The Night's Cavalry are similar to the Tree Sentinels except a little faster, and these horsemen can be parried from their saddles, or you can kill their mount. During the night, you'll find them throughout the Lands Between, and they wield glaives or flails.  You can even fight two at once in the Consecrated Snowfield. 

As with Tree Sentinels, the right side is their weakest, though watch out for the horse's side barge. Generally the mount dies before the rider, so deal as much damage as you can before they get up and resummon their steed. Their rewards include their weapons, armor set, and some very valuable Ashes of War like the Bloodhound Leap that you get from the Dragonbarrow variant.

(Image credit: From Software)

Tibia Mariners

Difficulty: 🔥
Rewards: Deathroot, undead summoning ashes and spell, and Helphen's Steeple greatsword.
Locations: East Limgrave, East Liurnia, Mt. Gelmir, West Mountaintops of the Giants.

These undead boatmen turn up throughout the Lands Between, and are harder with each encounter, but the easiest is in Summonwater Village, and can be beaten with Torrent. He only has three attacks: holding his staff up in the air for a very slow AoE shockwave, tilting his boat to splash down and damage you with water, or throwing water at you using his staff. 

Because of your speed, you can outmanoeuvre the skeletons he summons, just be wary of the one with the scythe at the back of the village who summons skulls that home in on you. There's no real rush with this boss, so just take your time and chip the boatman down. 


Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Rewards: Dragon Hearts
Locations: West Limgrave, Dragonbarrow, Caelid, Liurnia, Mountaintops of the Giants, Mt. Gelmir. 

There are lots of dragons scattered throughout the Lands Between. Killing each will grant you with a dragon heart, and unlock some incantations you can purchase from the Dragon Communion Altars in Caelid or West Limgrave. Most dragons have pretty similar movesets, the primary difference being the type of fire they breathe. Agheel and Greyll both breathe flame, for example, while Ekzykes breathes Scarlet Rot, and Smarag and Adula breathe magic. 

The key to these fights is staying mounted, hitting their head when you can, and if not, attacking their wings. Most dragons have tail spins, will bite behind them, or jump into the air to breathe fire down on you, so be ready to ride away or jump to avoid fire at a moments notice. If they do reposition, close them down quickly so they can't flame you. The lightning dragons, such as Lansseax in the Altus Plateau, are more melee focused so are easier to fight on foot. The same rules still apply, though.

(Image credit: From Software)

Draconic Tree Sentinel

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Rewards: Dragon Greatclaw and Dragonclaw shield (Leyndell), Malformed armor set (Farum Azula)
Location: Leyndell, Farum Azula.

The mounted boss to end all mounted bosses. These guys are tough due their powerful AoE attacks and the lightning they call down from the sky in the second phase. I recommend summoning a friend and fighting on foot to split his aggression. In terms of attacks, watch out for the horse spitting flames at you, and in the second phase, when they call down lightning from the sky. The key to dodging this is rolling just as his shield reaches the bottom of its dippin movement. If you insist on fighting horseback, deal damage on the shield side, since they can't get at you with his hammer, and jump to avoid the AoEs. When they run at you, they are going to jump and slam their hammer down.

Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Rewards: Fallingstar Beast Jaw (Mt. Gelmir)
Locations: Mt. Gelmir, and a smaller one in the Altus Plateau.

Torrent helps a lot with these bosses simply because it moves semi-erratically and needs to be hit on its back or on its head. Get ready for a long fight where you need to capitalize on the moments where the beast misses its close-range attacks. Watch out for its electric spikes that it summons with its pincers; you can run away in a straight line to avoid it. 


Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Rewards: Gargoyle's Black Blade and Gargoyle's Black Halberd (Dragonbarrow), Gargoyle's Black Axe and Gargoyle's Black Blades (Forbidden Lands)
Location: Leyndell, Dragonbarrow, Forbidden Lands.

Though these giant stone gargoyles all come in different flavours, they are basically the same as the Valiant Gargoyle boss you fight in the Siofra Aqueduct. The key to beating them is staying close to their legs to deal damage, and if they make distance, dodging their combo to close them down again. There are only two types or gargoyle: twinblade/axe and sword/halberd, and they share the same moveset no matter what.

For sword/halberd you'll want to watch out for quick stabs, and the gargoyle slamming the sword into the ground to create a targeted shockwave. Once it draws its halberd it can create an AoE hurricane around itself. For the twinblade/axe variant, I usually find it best just to wait until it switches to axe, since those attacks are far slower and easy to deal with. Both types also have flying attacks, but these usually have a long windup, so can be evaded with ease.

Dungeon and Evergaol

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Bloodhound Knights

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Bloodhound's Fang greatsword (Forlorn Hound Evergaol), Bloodhound Knight set (Gelmir Hero's Grave), Bloodhound Claws (Volcano Manor)
Location: Forlorn Hound's Evergaol, Lakeside Crystal Cave, Volcano Manor, Gelmir Hero's Grave.

These Artorias-esque bestial swordsmen don't have too much health, but are super aggressive. They combo for days, so it's best to stay at a distance and get hits in when they finish. Look out for when use Bloodhound's Step to vanish and re-appear next to you, and when they scrape their claws along the ground to uppercut you, followed up by a quick overhead slash. 

They also have a jump attack with pretty deceptive range, so it's best to stay well back. If you speak to Blaidd at the Mistwood Ruins, you can summon him for the first Bloodhound Knight you encounter at the Forlorn Hound's Evergaol. As with any fast-moving boss, like the Cemetary Shade, it's a great idea to summon a group of spirits to confuse their aggro and inhibit their movements, though you'll have to get aggressive if you don't want them to quickly get killed. 

Crucible Knights

Difficulty: 🔥🔥🔥
Aspects of the Crucible incantations, Siluria's Spear (Deeproot Depths), Ordovis's Greatsword (Auriza Hero's Grave)
Location: Stormhill Evergaol, Siofra Aqueduct, Redmane Castle, Stormveil Castle, Road's End Catacombs, Auriza Hero's Grave, Deeproot Depths, Leyndell, Mt. Gelmir, Farum Azula

Crucible Knights are found throughout the Lands Between and they suck, honestly. There is no boss, except perhaps Margit, that features such excessively long attack delays, making them a real pain to fight at times. Crucible Knights come in two variants: sword and shield, or spear.

The sword variant's worst attacks are the super delayed shield attack and the ground-breaking stomp, which you have to dodge late for in order to not get caught.  They also have a deceptive running slash or stab that makes healing rather difficult unless you get some distance. The spear variant is a little easier to deal with, but will still fire holy projectiles from a distance with their spear. Some Crucible Knights, like the one in Mount Gelmir that appears if you kill Tanith, use unique Aspects of the Crucible during their second phase.

Generally, the sword and shield variant will grow wings and swoop at you, while the spear version will jump into the air and drop down on top of you, both of which can be dodged. It's easier to tackle the spear version from a distance due to lack of shield, but sadly the best way to kill the sword and shield Crucible Knight is just to learn to dodge his attacks and hit him at the end of comboes. You can find the first in the Stormhill evergaol in West Limgrave, and that boss is good practice for all the Crucible Knights you'll face in the game.

(Image credit: From Software)

Erdtree Burial Watchdogs

Difficulty: 🔥
Noble Sorcerer Ashes (Stormfoot Catacombs), Demi-Human Ashes (Impaler's Catacombs), Kaiden Sellsword Ashes (Cliffbottom Catacombs), Glovewort Picker's Bell-bearing (Wyndham Catacombs), Mad Pumpkin Head Ashes (Minor Erdtree Catacombs), Watchdog's Greatsword (Giant-Conquering Hero's Grave)
Location: Stormfoot Catacombs, Impaler's Catacombs, Wyndham Catacombs, Cliffbottom Catacombs, Minor Erdtree Catacombs, Giant-Conquering Hero's Grave

You'll find many Erdtree Watchdogs throughout the game and though they aren't fearsome by themselves, they can be when other enemies are involved. In the Impaler's Catacombs, you'll have to fight Imps at the same time, so a summon or some spirit ashes are strongly recommended to keep the boss occupied while you deal with them. The Minor Erdtree Catacombs feature a duo of watchdogs, but you can actually make them fight each other by throwing four glintstone darts at one of them.

Later versions such as the one in Cliffbottom Catacombs also use sorcery, and the makes the AoE from the plunging attack even harder to avoid. If there's one attack you should learn to dodge, it's this one, since they all have it and it's always troublesome. The key is waiting for them to reach the top of their rise, and then dodging after a short delay.

Grave Warden Duelists

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Banished Knight Engvall Ashes (Murkwater Catacombs), Putrid Corpse Ashes (Gaol Cave), Soldjars of Fortune Ashes (Auriza Side-tomb, Rotten Gravekeeper Cloak (Consecrated Snowfield Catacombs), Battle Hammer, Duelist Greataxe and Duelist set (Leyndell) Rotten Duelist set and Rotten Duelist Greataxe (Consecrated Snowfield)
Location: Murkwater Catacombs, Gaol Cave, Auriza Side-Tomb, Consecrated Snowfield Catacombs, Consecrated Snowfield

As with most Elden Ring bosses, these warriors eventually show up as enemies in Leyndell and the Consecrated Snowfield, letting you farm their weapons and armor sets. However, to start off, you'll face them as bosses. There are two main variants: dual-wielding battle hammers, and the greataxe. There's also a version that deals scarlet rot later in the game. 

Their combos are relatively easy to avoid, and you can split their aggro with summons. The main thing you need to be wary of are their grab attacks, and when they use the chains on their weapons to perform massive AoE sweeps. Still, they can staggered using heavy jump attacks, and you can actually backstab them, which makes things a whole lot easier.

Elden Ring bosses

(Image credit: From Software)

Ulcerated Tree Spirits

Difficulty: 🔥🔥
Reward: Oleg ashes (Fringefolk Hero's Grave), Glovewort Picker's Bell-Bearing (Giant's Mountaintop Catacombs), Leaden Hardtear and Cerulean Hidden Tear (Mt. Gelmir) and all others drop a Golden Seed.
Location: Fringefolk Hero's Grave, Stormveil Castle, Altus Plateau, Mt. Gelmir, Giant's Mountaintop Catacombs, Lake of Rot, Haligtree.

Though these giant tree snakes turn up later in the game as enemies, the boss variants mainly exist in dungeons, and it's possible to encounter the first right at the start of the game in the Fringefolk Hero's Grave dungeon. Luckily, their attacks remain the same throughout the game. The one main to be aware of usually starts occuring when the Tree Spirit is at half-health, and it'll make some noises before exploding in an AoE. The range on the AoE isn't too bad, but pillars of fire will also erupt from the floor, so make sure to avoid the lights that appear showing where they'll be.

Other than that, most of its attacks are tail swipes. When it curls its head into its left side, it's also going to lunge at you. Heavy jump attacks and skills are pretty effective so you can stagger it before whacking it in the head with a couple of charged attacks. Its side might also seem like an inviting target, but beware of downward stomps from its paw. Maintain distance to avoid the AoE, then run in and jump attack or use a skill to get those staggers. Rinse and repeat.

Sean Martin
Guides Writer

Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.