Elden Ring Guide – Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree Location and Walkthrough

Within Miquella’s Haligtree Legacy Dungeon is a sub-Dungeon known as Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree, which can be explored if the player so chooses. Elden Ring’s Elphael is not only one of the most challenging locations, but it is also home to the most challenging boss in the game. It is designed for high-level players who are nearing the end of the game. This page will contain walkthrough and guide information on how to reach Elphael, as well as information on all of the treasures and items that can be found inside, as well as tips for navigating the dungeon, and instructions on how to defeat the boss of the area.

How to Get to Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree

It is not possible to speak with Elphael until the Miquella’s Haligtree dungeon has been cleared, and Loretta, Knight of the Haligtree, has been vanquished. Leave the arena occupied by her boss and continue straight ahead, descending the ladder, then taking the lift. Following this path will bring you directly to the edge of Elphael. You can get to the lift by crossing the bridge just outside it (there is a Cleanrot Knight here, as well as a Holy Grease x3). You can access the Prayer Room Site of Grace and the beginning of the dungeon by going through the chapel that is located on the other side of the bridge.

Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree Walkthrough

When you leave the Prayer Room through the doorway that is close to the Site of Grace, you will find that you are at the top of a high wall and that there is a path in front of you that leads downward. Be wary of the glowing footsoldiers in front of you because they have the potential to self-detonate and deal significant damage. The knight enemies that lie in wait for you are not significantly more dangerous than anything else we have encountered so far. Take note of the doorway on the left, and enter it to locate some sleeping soldiers as well as rune number 12 (Gold).

Turn around and head back outside before continuing down the stairs. Kill the next sleeping soldier, then turn back to your left and look where you came from; you should now see another door that is open. Proceed inside and up the stairs, eliminating any enemies that get in your way before emerging onto the balcony at the top of the building. First, climb up onto the branch in front of you, where you will find the Smithing Stone [8], and then grab it from the edge of the balcony. If you follow it up, you will be brought to the top of a nearby tower, where you will be able to retrieve the Miquellan Knight Sword. At this point, we do not want to take the ladder down, so let’s walk back up the path until we reach the balcony.

A platform can be found below the balcony, and it contains two more guards. Kill them all and then descend once more onto the staircase below after you’ve finished with them. You will notice a soldier looking out over the railing in this particular location, as well as an object hanging over the railing. You should approach the enemy, but you should be wary of the soldier who is hiding around the bend and waiting to ambush you. When you have eliminated both of them, you are eligible to claim the Lightning Greatbolt x5 reward.

Once you get to the bottom of the stairs and continue straight ahead, you will see a knight guarding the entrance to a modest building. Sneak up behind him and give him a backstab, but watch out for the second foe who is waiting inside the building; he will try to push you over the edge if you’re not careful. Proceed inside the building, where you will find two more enemies resting, in addition to a Smithing Stone [7] in the back corner.

Another sleeping knight can be found on the opposite side of the structure, in addition to a door that requires a Stonesword Key. If you can break through the barrier using a key, the chest inside will contain the Triple Rings of Light spell, which you can claim. Follow the path you just took to get back to the stairs, and then head down. In this area, in addition to meeting two more knights, you will also find a piece of Immunizing White Cured Meat next to an open doorway.

Two Cleanrot Knights are on the other side of this door, but we need to make a small detour first before we can engage them in combat. Proceed back up the stairs to the balcony where we previously retrieved the Lightning Greatbolts and stand there. If you look over the railing, you will find a buttress that has a hole in it that you can climb down into. This will allow you to reach the platform that is located on the ceiling of the room that we were just inspecting. If you jump over to it, another Cleanrot Knight will be lurking around the area waiting for you. Be wary of their golden spear thrust, which deals massive damage and inflicts scarlet rot, as it is relatively simple to defeat these foes if you have a solid shield and Guard Counters at your disposal (dodge roll forward the instant after the spear starts glowing to avoid easily).

After you have defeated the Cleanrot Knight and the nearby soldier, you will be able to freely loot the chest that is located within the room that the Cleanrot Knight just exited, which will reward you with the Cleanrot Knight Finlay Ashes. After leaving the room, turn to the left and you will see another buttress that can be accessed by climbing up on the roof. Climb the buttress to access the ledge above, which leads to another room that contains a chest. To obtain a Somber Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone, open the chest and loot its contents.

You’ll find a body with yet another Seedbed Curse if you leave this room and make your way to the end of the ledge where it ends. You can get to the ledge on the other side of the Cleanrot Knight room from where you entered it earlier by descending onto the large branch that is located behind the body that is sitting in the chair and then following that branch down (you will also find Old Fang x5 here). You can easily get the drop on the large group of guards that patrols this area if you approach it from this side.

You can now enter the room with the Cleanrot Knights from the back, giving you an easy opportunity to backstab both of them and drawing them out into a one-on-one fight. After they have both been eliminated, you will be able to retrieve the Smithing Stone [7] from within the room and the Golden Rune [10] from the balcony that is attached to the room.

From this vantage point, the way forward is barred by an extensive number of turrets, a number of formidable knights, and an Erdtree Avatar. You can try to simply rush through the Site of Grace that is just beyond this point, but there is an easier way to get through here. It was close to that giant branch that we discovered the Old Fangs earlier, so let’s go back there. You will see a buttress that has a path that descends to a platform that is located on the opposite side of the gap. You will find yourself on another rooftop once you have jumped onto the buttress and crossed over to it. This rooftop is occupied by a group of plant enemies. Ignore them completely and head to the left side of this platform to access the staircase below. From there, you can drop down to the level below.

It’s likely that some of your foes from inside the building who were standing on the same floor as you will see you now and come out onto the stairs. After dispatching them, climb the stairs to the upper level, where you will come face to face with the soldiers who are manning some of the turrets mentioned earlier. After you have eliminated them and the soldier off to the right who is holding a torch, you will be able to retrieve the Smithing Stone [8] from the ledge close to the turrets and the Haligtree Soldier Ashes from the altar in the area.

You will find another large buttress that hangs over the courtyard with the Erdtree Avatar below you just beyond the turrets. As you make your way up the buttress, you will notice a ledge off to your right. After making a running jump from the buttress to reach the ledge, proceed inside the connected tower to reach a small room that contains a Haligtree Knight Helmet. If you look down from the nearby ledge, you can see the Elphael Inner Wall Site of Grace below you. After making your way down carefully, activate the Site, and grab the Smithing Stone [6] that’s nearby.

Right now, we are going to have to deal with a situation that is very challenging. The aforementioned Erdtree Avatar and his thugs are waiting for us outside the door, facing in the direction that we came. No matter how you choose to engage him in combat, you won’t have a lot of room to move around, and you’ll also have to contend with two formidable Haligtree knights at the same time. Even though there isn’t really a great way to go about this, you can at least use an Ash Summon to create a distraction for your opponent. You can pull the enemies back, past the Site of Grace, and into the narrow hallway beyond where the Erdtree Avatar cannot fit if you are really having trouble winning the battle. You will then be able to go back and engage the Avatar in a one-on-one battle after you have finished off the two knights. You will receive a Lord’s Rune as a reward for killing this Avatar.

Once all three of the enemies have been eliminated, you will be able to eliminate the two guards who are stationed in the turrets in front of the Avatar. At this point, you will be able to retrieve the item that was hidden in the bushes next to where the Avatar was standing, which is a Sacramental Bud, as well as the items that were laid out on the bridge in front of the turrets, which are an Arteria Leaf and a Golden Run

Now that we have eliminated one Erdtree Avatar, we might as well take a diversion to eliminate the other one that is in the area. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that it is guarding the tops of the castle walls. Teleport to the Site of Grace’s Prayer Room and then exit the building through the door. Once you have eliminated the four guards standing in your path, proceed to the right and search for the buttress that leads to one of the nearby towers. You can see the Erdtree Avatar walking around the castle if you climb up onto the buttress and then cross over to the tower. After that, you can use the tower to reach the wall of the castle.

This time, we have a great deal more room to engage in combat with the Avatar; however, you still need to be careful not to let him knock you off the walls of the castle. Follow the standard playbook in this situation, which is to dodge roll through his obvious close combat attacks, hit him once or twice, and then retreat. When he casts his Scarlet Rot spell, you should immediately flee the area and perform a running strafe to avoid being hit by his homing magic spells.

If you keep your attacks from becoming overly greedy, you will eventually be able to claim victory and receive your reward, which is a Rotten Staff. You can find some Aeonian Butterflies, a Numen’s Rune, and a Somber Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone if you walk along the bridge in the right direction.

If you continue to walk along the walls of the castle, you will eventually come to a set of stairs that will take you into a small building containing a Crystallian. To defeat the Crystalian, you will need to use a blunt weapon; alternatively, you can just rush into her room, grab the Somber Smithing Stone [9] that is there, and then flee the area.

You should leave the building using the back entrance and then re-enter via the stairs. If you look over the handrail of the staircase, you will see a ledge on the other side of the structure that you can jump to. You can get to a connected buttress from this ledge, and from there you can descend to a platform that has a doorway on it.

Inside is a gloomy room that houses another Seedbed Curse and looks out onto another room that is inhabited by Crystallians. After ensuring that you are armed with a weapon that can inflict blunt damage, descend to their level and get ready to do battle with the Crystallians. It is strongly recommended that you make use of an Ash Summon here, and the Ash Mimic is the ideal choice because it is certain to deal blunt damage along with you. Also, keep in mind that you can turn the tables on them! After you have eliminated all of the Crystallians in their room, you will be able to loot the items there, which include a Somber Smithing Stone [9] and a Pickled Turtle Neck.

After leaving the room, you will find that you are at the bottom of the castle walls, on a long street. To begin, you need to back up and take the street in a southerly direction. In this area, you will come across several of those powerful abominations that can teleport at will. If you look for the glowing flames that are on the ground, you can figure out where they are going to appear. To make things a little bit simpler for you, your Ash summon ought to be able to stick with you throughout the entirety of this zone. You will find one of them close to a modest structure that has a torch placed in front of it. When you’ve finished with the abomination, check the building’s interior to find three bottles of Beast Blood.

As you continue to travel south on the street, you should run into two more abominations as well as a body containing four Aeonian Butterflies before reaching a dead end that contains a door that requires a Stonesword Key. First, obtain the Golden Rune [12] from the dead body lying outside the door. Next, employ a key to open the door and dispel the barrier. Finally, obtain Marika’s Soreseal from the altar located inside the room.

Make a U-turn and head in the northern direction. Immediately after passing the structure that houses the Crystallians, you will see a small building on your right that contains a Lord’s Rune. Immediately after that, you will see a ladder, which we are going to ignore for the time being (though some of the soldiers at the top of the ladder may notice the fighting and climb down). After climbing the ladder, there is a turn to the left that takes you into a small courtyard. In this courtyard, there is one more abomination, a Smithing Stone [8], and another ladder that leads back to the location where we fought the first Erdtree Avatar.

Now that we have the Smithing Stone in our possession, we can return to the ladder and proceed to climb it. You’ll find a small room with a couple of soldiers and two Cleanrot Knights in this area of the dungeon. You can run and descend the ladder to draw them to the street below if you don’t want to fight them in this confined space if you don’t want to engage in combat with them (in this way you can use your Ash Summon again as well). After you have defeated all of the knights in the room, you are free to take the items that are there, which include two Warming Stones and fifteen Spiritflame Arrows.

We are finally prepared to move on to the next area now that we have those items in our possession; therefore, please return to the Elphael Inner Wall Site of Grace and get some rest.

Elphael Inner Wall

Proceed down the stairs that are located close to the Site of Grace and enter the corridor that can be found below. You will find a chest that is guarded by a few Crystalians if you climb up on top of the enormous root that is located to your left. It is recommended that you simply run in, grab the Rotten Crystal Sword from the chest, and then immediately run back to the Site of Grace to reset the zone. Fighting them is somewhat annoying.

Turn around and go back into the hallway; this time, turn left. Continue past the roots and make your way to the end of the hall; there, concealed behind a massive goblet, you will find a Hero’s Rune [5]. You need to go back up the stairs and climb the giant root that is leading to the entrance of the hole in the wall.

This root will take you outside and to the edge of a cliff that looks out over a stagnant swamp (yes, another one). Once you have reached the ground below, you will immediately come face to face with a pest warrior. As you make your way down the cliff towards the swamp, you should keep an eye out to your left, where you will see another pest warrior standing in the rot and guarding an item. As you travel through the swamp in search of the Rot Grease and to eliminate the vermin, it is likely that you will become infected with Scarlet Rot.

You are free to descend into the enormous swamp that lies below you now. While you are in this swamp, you will be required to walk at a slower pace than normal, and there are a number of larger pest warriors as well as smaller pest enemies hiding beneath the surface. Rolling over and over again may give the impression that it is faster than walking, but it actually makes you more vulnerable to being attacked. In addition to this, you will need to deal with the damage and accumulation caused by the Scarlet Rot, so you should try to make your way through the swamp as quickly as you can.

You are in luck because there aren’t a lot of items in the area, which means you can make a beeline for the opposite side. Maintain your position close to the ledge on the right side as you make your way across, and once you reach the other side, descend until you are standing on the branch there. You will need to work your way to the end of this branch before you can use it to get to the one underneath it. If you climb the second branch, you will arrive on the cliff that is on the opposite side of the swamp from where you started.

If you are infected with Scarlet Rot, you will want to immediately run into the open doorway on the wall ahead of you. After that, you will want to drop down the ladder to the left and then run down there aqueduct, which is where you will find the Drainage Channel Site of Grace. Get some rest, and then we’ll climb back up the cliffside to retrieve some more items, beginning with the Golden Rune [11] that’s close to the top of the ladder.

After leaving the building, turn left and immediately climb the hill on your right. After you have finished off the pest warrior at this location, turn to the left and you will see a large branch that leads to another platform on the other side of the gorge.

This is a large platform that is roughly circular in shape and has raised ledges all around the edges. In the middle, there is a swamp. The only thing that can be found on the platform is a single item that is positioned in the middle of the rot. If you make any attempt to approach the item, the ground will begin to shake, and a Tree Spirit that has been infected with Scarlet Rot will emerge to fight you. Because the swamp on this platform does not cause as much Scarlet Rot as the one on the previous platform and does not cause you to be forced to walk, it is very possible to fight the Tree Spirit while standing in it. Thankfully, it does not cause as much Scarlet Rot as the swamp on the previous platform. If, however, you would rather avoid the rot entirely, there is a good amount of space around the edges where you can fight as well (just make sure not to let the Spirit push you over the edge).

The same tactics as before should be used here. Maintain your position directly below the Spirit’s middle, right about where its arms are touching the ground. Keep an eye out for the Spirit’s heavily telegraphed slam and tail whip attacks, and be sure to dodge roll away when it tries to grab you in its mouth. The Spirit’s attacks are fairly easy to predict. When the Spirit reaches about half of its health, it will begin to glow and will let off an explosion, so make sure you get out of the way before you get caught in it. Defeat the Spirit to obtain a Golden Seed, and while you are there, grab the rare item that can be found in the swamp: a Great Grave Glovewort.

We have finished everything that needed to be done in this region with the defeat of the Tree Spirit. You should get ready to move forward and then warp back to the Site of Grace at the Drainage Channel.

Drainage Channel

When you emerge from the Drainage Channel through the exit that is located close to the Site of Grace, you will find that you have been transported to a large branch that is suspended over the outskirts of the Brace. Continue walking along the branch until you reach its terminal point, which is suspended above a buttress.

You can drop down from this buttress to another branch on the left, which provides access to another buttress, which provides access to another branch, which provides access to another buttress, which provides access to another branch, which provides access to the roof of a tall chapel.

It should be clear to you that the roof of the chapel has a few holes in it. If you look down into them, you should be able to see some ceiling beams beneath them. First make your way down carefully onto one of the beams, and then follow the beams around to the back of the chapel. You should come across a ledge that has a chest and several troublesome foes perched on it. You can obtain the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman by dropping down onto the ledge, killing the enemies there, and then looting the chest.

We can descend to the ledges on either the left or the right side of the chapel if we start from here. We are going to move over to the right side of the screen. You can find a Nascent Butterfly on the outside balcony of this room if you go through the doorway that is located on this ledge.

Enter the chapel once more, and when you reach the bottom of the building, you will find a few more pest warriors waiting for you there. You will find an Aeonian Butterfly on the balcony on the left side of the chapel, which you can access by stepping out onto the left side of this room. There is also an elevator here that will take you down to the bottom of the Haligtree, where you will find the boss door and the Haligtree Roots Site of Grace. There is also a second elevator here that will take you back up to a tower close to the Prayer Room Site of Grace. You are free to go down and rest if you like, but there is still some more exploring around this chapel that we need to do.

When you leave the building through the front door, you will find that you are in the middle of a very long pitch. To begin, lead the way to the left and proceed down the slope that is covered in gravestones. As you make your way down the hill, you will come across a few more of the pest enemies; therefore, it is important that you eliminate them as you go so that you are not forced to deal with an excessive number of their projectile swarms. Because there are so many of them, it is not a bad idea to sneak up on them and get the drop on them rather than just running in like you normally would.

Three of the pest warriors and a few of the smaller pests can be seen worshipping at a makeshift altar located about halfway down the hill. Also present are a few of the larger pests. You will want to approach in the most covert manner possible and begin by eliminating the three lesser pests, if that is at all possible. After that, you should shift your focus to the nearest pest warrior and attempt to eliminate them before they have a chance to stand up. If you find yourself surrounded, just head back up the hill as quickly as you can. They tend to move at a pace that is somewhat sluggish, which makes it feasible to divide them in this manner. If you want to play it safe, just stay in shield and wait for their attacks to bounce off of it before you counter them. Another thing to keep in mind is that these foes are extremely vulnerable to being defeated by a Guard Counter.

After you have vanquished every one of them, you will be able to retrieve the Numen’s Rune from the stone altar in front of which they were offering worship. Use the same strategies detailed above to defeat the pest warriors that are located in the next small area further down the hill, then claim the Ghost-Glovewort Picker’s Bell Bearing [3] that they were guarding. This area is located just a little further down the hill.

You should make your way back up to the chapel so that we can investigate the other side of the building. On this side, there is a larger field that is occupied by a variety of Halitree Knights from across the kingdom. First things first, be on the lookout for the formidable knight who is hiding behind the chapel. It is best to take care of him first because as soon as you come around the corner, he will attempt to ambush you. Proceed onward to the group of knights who are currently slumbering close to the chapel in their graves. Be prepared to face at least two or three more foes, as the sounds of the conflict are likely to attract the attention of other nearby knights. Keep in mind that you always have the option to retreat in order to break up the pack, but you still need to keep an eye on your foes because some of them have ranged magic attacks. If you don’t mind being a little bit cheesy, you can also make use of the nearby ledge to throw them off their game, as when they drop down from it, they will get stuck in an animation. This will throw them off their game and give you an advantage over them.

You must eliminate these knights before continuing your descent down the hill. You will discover a Hero’s Rune [5] at the base of a large tree close to the edge of the cliff, as well as three Arteria Leaves on a body that is located in the middle of a large puddle. Be wary of the combination of ranged and close-quarters assaults that these additional two knights are able to launch against you because one of them is armed with an impressive bow.

If you continue your exploration further down the hill, you will not find any more one-of-a-kind items; however, there is a large supply of Miquella’s Lily if you find that you need it, as well as some additional knights. If none of that is important to you, then you should return to the chapel and take the lift down to the Haligtree Roots. Check the side room where there is a giant flower with an item sitting in front of it. This room is off to the side. Taking possession of the item will grant you the Traveler’s Armor Set. Now that we have everything in our possession, the time has come… Prepare yourself for the fight ahead by getting some rest at the Site of Grace…

Malenia, Blade of Miquella Boss Fight

At long last, we face the final adversary of the Haligtree: Malenia, Blade of Miquella, quite possibly the most cunning creation that FromSoft has developed to this point. Malenia has all the typical hallmarks of a challenging boss, such as high damage, an oppressive attack pattern, and tricky combos. However, the aspect of Malenia that truly differentiates her from other bosses is her one-of-a-kind lifesteal mechanic, which gives her health back on every hit, even when you block it. Because of this, you cannot simply conceal yourself behind your shield and wait for an opportunity to strike; otherwise, she will take back all of the damage you deal. This has the potential to turn the fight into a drawn-out, time-consuming war of attrition; however, the more effective strategy would be to simply damage race her with the most powerful weapon you can locate.

Ready? Okay. Now is the time to fight. The first thing that should be brought to your attention is the fact that Malenia does not really rush across the battlefield very frequently. Because she does not possess any projectile attacks, if you do not get close to her, she will most likely just slowly walk towards you until you approach her. This will continue as long as you do not get close to her. If you are in need of some rest or healing, you can use this to your advantage at any time.

When you do decide to approach her, it is essential to determine which of her attacks can be easily countered; the following are some things you should be on the lookout for:

Simply avoiding or blocking her basic sword attacks is the best course of action. She will typically follow up a series of two to three wide swings with a jumping slam attack or sweeping kick that inflicts significant stamina damage on shields. There is a chance to Guard Counter here; however, due to the unpredictability of her combos, I would advise against taking advantage of this opportunity.

When you see her long blade slide backwards up her hand, it indicates that she is about to perform a short dash, followed by a multiple-hit combo. It is recommended that you simply block the first three blows and then roll towards her to avoid the fourth blow. She has the option to continue the combo with either a jumping slam or a delayed wide swing from this position. Both are illegal, but you have to be quick to read her body language in order to determine which one she is going to be preparing for (jump vs. stay on ground).

You can tell that she is about to unleash one of her kicks whenever you see her doing a spinning jump. You SHOULD NOT try to block this attack, or your guard might get broken. Instead, you should roll towards her and immediately try to punish her with a few hits when you get close enough. Be quick about it though! If you linger for too long, she will extend into a different combo finisher, which has the potential to take you by surprise.

If she pulls back on her blade while keeping it pointed in your direction, she is preparing to do a quick thrust from a long range. Simply roll away when she dashes in, and then hit her two or three times as she is regaining her posture. This is one of the moves that can be punished with the least amount of effort (there is an alternate version of this where she jumps into the air before dashing, but the dodge and punish are the same).

ON THE OTHER HAND, if she pulls her blade back while keeping it pointed upward and away from her, she is about to do a short-range uppercut that will be followed by an aerial slam. This is also highly punishable; to avoid the slam, simply roll into the initial uppercut and strafe around her in order to get out of its range. You should hit her in the back two or three times.

If she gets into her stance with the blade pointed horizontally (but not pointed at you), she is about to dash in with a powerful double slash. Lastly, if she gets into her stance with the blade pointed vertically, she is about to strike. Before you punish, you should first dodge in and then strafe to avoid the second attack.

If, on the other hand, she pulls her empty back, she will be about to execute the dash grab, which is one of her deadliest moves. If you want to avoid being grabbed, you should roll away IMMEDIATELY after she starts moving. This attack deals a significant amount of damage, but just like the other dashes, it can be avoided by taking two or three hits instead.

Her Waterfowl Dance is the one attack that we are desperately hoping to avoid at all costs. This is the move where the Barricade Shield is absolutely necessary for us. She will signal this move by lifting into the air and curling up into a sort of foetal position for a moment, and then she will fly towards you and slash at you rapidly. As soon as you notice that she is floating, you should immediately activate Barricade to prevent the entire initial wave of attacks from reaching you. After this, she will take a brief break, then unleash another set of attacks, then take another brief break, then unleash yet another set of attacks, followed by a single area slash. You need to dodge roll INTO her as she begins the next set of slashes so that you can avoid the second and third flurries that she will throw at you. This is not an easy task to complete, but after some practise you should be able to get the timing down to where it is consistent. Make it a point to wait to punish her until AFTER the final area slash has been completed before you rush in to attack her.

Keeping all of this information in mind, your mission is to simply emerge victorious from the battle of attrition. You should try to take as few hits as possible, and you should make sure that you are punishing her more than she is protecting herself from. You can hasten the completion of this process by employing one of the weapons described above. Using Rivers of Blood, for instance, enables you to perform combos of three to five hits even when you are out of melee range, dealing massive damage and Bleed. Your high damage output will mean that the fight will go more quickly, and there will be fewer opportunities for her to heal herself during that time. However, you will still need to keep an eye out for her dash attacks and flurry. Just check that you have plenty of mind flasks and FP flasks so that you can keep up the assault.

You will eventually become an expert at defeating Malenia if you put in the necessary amount of work and effort. Unfortuitously, this is just the beginning of things…

Malenia, Goddess of Rot Boss Fight

There will indeed be a continuation of this conflict into a second phase. As if the previous phase hadn’t been challenging enough, now we have to contend with a Malenia that is more aggressive, moves faster, and has more powerful attacks. Oh, and naturally, she possesses the ability to inflict Scarlet Rot as well.

She will always begin the fight with the same attack, which consists of an aerial dive that transitions into a massive area of effect blast that inflicts the Scarlet Rot condition. You have just enough time left to down one flask and beef up your defences before she makes her move. As soon as you see her make her move, roll towards her, and then immediately start running away as quickly as you can to avoid being hit by the explosion. You are going to get hit at least once, but that should not be a problem for you. When she does this, a giant flower will bloom around her, and anyone who gets too close to it will take constant damage from it.

This is an excellent opportunity to heal yourself or consume any items that grant an additional damage bonus that you might have. As soon as you see the flower’s colour beginning to fade, rush in and begin your assault. You ought to be able to land three or four blows before she reacts, which will typically take the form of a spinning kick. You can roll in and get in another hit or two if you see the kick coming, but she likes to follow it up with a jump into slam attack, which now leaves a delayed explosion on the ground that will prevent an easy punishment. If you see the kick coming, you can roll in and get in another hit or two.

From this point on, things are going to get very messy. Her combos have undergone some minor adjustments, and she is now much more aggressive than she was in the previous phase. Because she is so lethal, you probably won’t have much time to practise the new moves before she kills you. This is because she is so dangerous. Instead, I suggest a straightforward tactic: you should flee the scene. You are slower than Malenia, but if you keep running away from her and avoid dodging any dashes that she may attempt, you can eventually trick her into performing a less than ideal attack for you.

The ones we are most interested in seeing from her are her basic dashes through the air. She will launch herself into the air at a great height, pause for a second, and then dash towards you with an attack that is simple to avoid and that you can punish with two or three counterattacks. If, however, she points the sword TOWARD you while she is in the air, she will immediately land, pivot, and then immediately execute another grounded dash attack. As long as you can anticipate its arrival, you should have no trouble avoiding it, and it can be countered in the same way as any other dash.

Her doppelganger attack is yet another straightforward method of punishment. She will float to a great height, then unleash a swarm of doppelgangers, each of which will launch an individual assault. Before Malenia herself flies towards you and attacks with a thrust, you will be attacked by the doppelgangers approximately five times. Since these attacks do not steal your life, you can easily block them with Barricade. This attack can be punished in a manner analogous to that of the grounded dash, but you need to be careful because she will occasionally chain this directly into a SECOND dash attack, which can also be easily dodge rolled prior to punishing it.

Last but not least, she will occasionally use the blooming flower attack that she learned at the beginning of the fight. Because of how incredibly slow it is and how simple it is to punish, this is probably the best attack you will see. This allows you to take a second to heal or buff yourself, and then you can hit her with everything you’ve got.

In a manner analogous to the first phase, ranged weapon abilities, such as those featured on Moonveil or the Sword of Night and Flame, are extremely useful in this phase. They give you the ability to deal damage to the attacks I’ve described above without ever putting you in any real danger to begin with. You just need enough patience and luck to wear her down before she can catch you with her upgraded Waterfowl Dance or grab attack. All you really need is enough patience and luck.

In exchange for defeating Malenia, you will receive the Great Rune of Malenia, the Remembrance of the Rot Goddess (which will allow you to craft her incredible sword), and the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing that you have prevailed over FromSoft’s most difficult test to date. Congratulations!