Elden Ring's PvP has been busted open by players who have discovered an Elden Ring build that's nearly unstoppable. Using a specific weapon and spell, these players are able to repeatedly stack a debuff on enemies that instantly kills them, and what's worse: if done correctly, it can lock you in animations so that you never die unless you force quit the game.
Those utilizing the 'Deathblight' build are taking advantage of two powerful items: the Eclipse Shotel weapon and the Fire's Deadly Sin incantation. The Eclipse Shotel's Ash of War move called Death Flare that inflicts the death effect on enemies. The death ailment presents like a normal poison meter that builds up over repeat exposure, but once it fills up, it instantly kills you with a gruesome animation where your character is impaled by thorns. Non-PvP players will have probably encountered this with certain PvE enemies like the basilisks.
In a pairing that's likely unintentional, combining the Eclipse Shotel's Death Flare attack with the Fire's Deadly Sin spell—which normally lights yourself on fire—creates a persistent death AoE for as long as the Incantation lasts. In this state, players only need to stand near enemies to rapidly inflict Deathblight.
The result of this nasty combination has been a number of players invading other people's worlds to chase them down until they die with almost no recourse. Reddit user TeenyTinyWyvern posted a video where they get hit by this attack and the enemy players combo it into a backstab animation over and over again for almost a full minute. According to Teeny, the only way out was to get them to stop doing it or close the game.
the_horrendous_state_of_invasion_pvp_warning from r/Eldenring
"Keep in mind: The only reason I was able to get out of this is because another invader showed up and took their attention," they wrote.
A few of us at PC Gamer have also had our butts kicked by this Deathblight build and ones similar to it. Apparently the build also works with Bleed and Frostbite, and can even affect friendly summons. Nothing about it seems fair, and it's unclear if FromSoftware is aware of the exploit. The build has been around since close to the game's release. If you plan on PvPing, know that you could run into someone doing this and be forced to take the loss or ALT-F4 your game.
Elden Ring guide: Conquer the Lands Between
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Elden Ring map fragments: Reveal the world
Elden Ring weapons: Arm yourself
Elden Ring armor: The best sets