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Elden Ring Maliketh boss fight: how to beat the Beast Clergyman and Maliketh, the Black Blade

How to beat Maliketh, the Black Blade

Malekith, the Black Blade, one of the last required bosses in Elden Ring.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/FromSoftware

Want to know how to beat the Beast Clergyman and Maliketh the Black Blade in Elden Ring? Maliketh the Black Blade is the keeper of Destined Death, and one of the last required bosses in Elden Ring. You’ll meet him atop Crumbling Farum Azula after burning the Erdtree in the final act of the game. Maliketh also presents a crucial point of no return. Once you kill him, Leyndell will be reduced to ash, and most of the city will become inaccessible. Make sure you’ve taken care of every Leyndell quest before taking Maliketh down. Then, follow these tips to take out this difficult endgame boss.

Elden Ring Maliketh, the Black Blade boss fight walkthrough

The fight is split into two phases. In the first, you’ll battle Maliketh’s Beast Clergyman form. If you did Gurranq’s Deathroot quest, much of this phase will be familiar to you. The Clergyman is quick, but he also takes a lot of damage. At around half his health bar, the Clergyman will turn into Maliketh, the Black Blade.

Maliketh is even faster in this phase and can leap across the arena in the blink of an eye. Many of his attacks also fire red-and-black projectiles or create bursts of deathly energy around him. Any hit from this fell magic reduces your maximum health and causes you to take damage over time for a few seconds. There are a few ways to deal with this mechanic, so read on to find our top tips for surviving the Maliketh boss fight. You can also watch our guides editor Ollie defeat Maliketh in the video below.

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How to beat Maliketh, the Black Blade: top tips for success

Here are our top tips for victory in the Maliketh boss fight.

  1. Stay behind the Beast Clergyman
  2. Watch for ground effects in the Clergyman phase
  3. Roll through attacks, not away from them
  4. Use the Crimsonburst Crystal Tear to counter damage over time
  5. Parry Maliketh with the Blasphemous Claw

1. Stay Behind the Beast Clergyman

The Beast Clergyman fights fast and aggressive, with quick projectiles and diving melee attacks. He will charge you earlier than most bosses, making it tricky to even get Spirit Ashes off. However, many of the Beast Clergyman’s attacks have long animations that keep him swinging in a single direction.

If you can roll through the first swing and get behind him, you can get a lot of damage off. Any Spirit Ash summon that can hold his attention will be a big help. The Mimic Tear is always a top option, but anything that can survive his onslaught will do. I recommend sticking to single-entity summons though, as group summons like Giant Rats or Greatshield Soldiers may pull his aggro back towards you.

2. Watch for ground effects in the Clergyman phase

When the Beast Clergyman rears back for a big wind-up, you need to run away from him. He will soon slam down, breaking the ground around him in a manner similar to Godrick’s “Kneel!” attack. You will see broken ground spiral out all around him, but the attack isn’t over.

A second later, the ground will shatter and launch rocks into the air, dealing more damage. These rocks will hover for a moment before dropping down, dealing damage again. Keep track of where the ground is broken, and you can avoid massive damage.

3. Roll through attacks, not away from them

In both phases of this fight, your best bet is often to roll through attacks rather than away from them. We’ve already covered the merits of getting behind the Beast Clergyman, but Maliketh’s attacks really encourage this. He has several quick combos that can easily catch you coming out of a roll unless you go straight through the attack to slide behind him.

This applies to his most dangerous AoE attack too. Maliketh will often jump from a pillar and slam his sword down, creating a swirl of death magic around the sword. If you see this attack coming, try to roll under and past him.

4. Use the Crimsonburst Crystal Tear to counter damage over time

At some point, Maliketh is going to hit you. If you aren’t careful, the damage over time effect of the Black Blade will doom you. We recommend mixing the Crimsonburst Crystal Tear into your Flask of Wondrous Physick to counteract the damage over time. The healing can’t quite keep up with the damage over time effect, but it can be enough to save your life.

5. Parry Maliketh with the Blasphemous Claw

If you completed Knight Bernahl’s questline and repelled his invasion in Crumbling Farum Azula, you will have the Blasphemous Claw in your inventory. This special item has one purpose; parrying Maliketh’s Black Blad attacks. You can equip the Blasphemous Claw to either your consumable bar or pouch.

While the Claw is equipped, Maliketh’s most dangerous attacks will generate a gold-tinge around his sword. Activate the Blasphemous Claw to parry these attacks. The timing is tight, but if you’ve practiced parrying against other enemies you will quickly get the hang of it. If you do, you can basically trivialize the Maliketh phase of this fight.

That’s everything you need to take down the Beast Clergyman and Maliketh, the Black Blade. This is one of the final four required bosses in the game, so if you’re looking to round up all the optional bosses before the end visit our list of all boss locations in Elden Ring. If you’re ready to march on to the final battle, check out our full Elden Ring walkthrough.

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