Wondering how to beat the Elden Ring Malenia boss fight? The Blade of Miquella is one of Elden Ring‘s hardest bosses, as her lifesteal katana attacks and Scarlet Rot attacks as the Goddess of Rot make incredibly deadly, inflicting a barrage of strikes that heal her while also devastating the player’s health. Though Malenia doesn’t have a huge amount of HP, it hardly matters when she can restore a meaningful percentage of it with every single hit she lands. Don’t worry though – we’ll explain how to beat Malenia, Blade of Miquella and Goddess of Rot boss fight in our guide below, including weaknesses, strategies, tips, cheese methods and rewards.
- The recommended level for Malenia is 120 at least, ideally 125+, with weapons of +23 or more. You can’t really be overleveled for this fight.
How to beat the Malenia boss fight in Elden Ring
To beat the Malenia boss fight in Elden Ring, here’s some strategic tips and tricks:
- Malenia is weak to Fire and Bleed weapons
- Armor up against Slashing, Piercing and Scarlet Rot
- Don’t let her regenerate health
- Don’t block Malenia’s attacks, but try parrying if you’re brave
- Summon very aggressive NPCs and allies
- Back her against the wall in Phase 1
- Trying rolling back through her Waterfowl Dance combo
- Play more defensively in Phase 2
Malenia’s brutal approach and constant aggression, oddly, is best matched by more aggression. This is an enemy who will slash at you whenever given the chance, so by forcing the Blade of Miquella back with your own barrage of attacks, you give her less time to hit back at you and restore life (which we’ll discuss in more detail below).
Things get more complicated when she enters phase 2 and becomes the gruesome, graceful Goddess of Rot, as she has most of the strengths she had before, along with some more, swapping to a more ranged form of combat that’s harder to use against her. Still, there are ways to get past it, and to bring her down properly. We’ll go through some tips below, both things you can do before and during the battle.
Malenia is weak to Fire attacks, Bleed status effects, and weapons
Malenia is most vulnerable to Fire attacks and has less resistance to Bleed attacks than she does to most status effects. This works out fairly nicely, as weapons that specialise in Bleed and Fire tend to be fairly fast-hitting, like whips and the Hookclaws, which builds into the aggressive strategy we’ll outline further on. What you should not be using is Holy damage, Poison or, unsurprisingly, Scarlet Rot. The effectiveness of all these is greatly reduced against her – in fact, Poison and Scarlet Rot are basically nigh-impossible to inflict on a character literally called the Goddess of Rot.
Protect yourself against Slashing, Piercing and Scarlet Rot with armor and consumables
It’s absolutely better to avoid Malenia’s attacks than tank or block them, but it’s nigh-impossible to get through the fight without getting hit at least a few times, so you should prepare for when it happens. Protect against all the sword-based damage you’ll take, as well as Scarlet Rot, a big theme of her attacks in Phase 2. Don’t be limited to armor in your choices either, Preserving Boluses, Cured Meat, the Flame Cleanse Me Incantation and Talismans like the Mottled Necklace and Immunizing Horn Charm will help, especially those that passively resist it rather than forcing you to stop and swallow medicine each time you’re infected.
Don’t let Malenia use her lifesteal health regeneration
Let’s address the vampiric elephant in the room – every single one of Malenia’s attacks allows her to restore a small amount of health if she lands them on any player, character or target. That includes you, your allies, your summoned friends, or Ash Spirits. Malenia doesn’t have much health, but it doesn’t matter when she can restore huge chunks of HP in a rapid barrage of sword swipes. Her health restored also doesn’t relate to the damage inflicted, so building your defence won’t make a difference to her healing power.
Sadly, there is no way that we know of to stop this effect. Even anti-healing items like the Albinuaric Pots or Winged Scythe won’t work, as they’re designed to stop people using Flasks, and this isn’t that. Instead, the best thing you can do, aside from not getting hit, is press on the offensive, which we’ll explain more below.
Blocking attacks has its downsides, but parrying is high-risk/high-reward
While many of Malenia’s sword attacks can be blocked with shields, it’s not a good idea – even if you block her attack entirely, she still gets the health regeneration regardless. Block attacks if you have no other choice, but you’ll usually be staggered into vulnerability – far better to dodge roll and prohibit her healing altogether.
That being said, both the Blade of Miquella and Goddess of Rot can be parried, at least all the standard sword attacks she makes. It has its limitations though – the actual riposte that leaves her vulnerable to counter attacks only triggers on every third parry, and of course if you fail, you take six feet of divine steel to the nose.
Summon aggressive NPCs, allies, players and Spirit Ashes who hit hard and often
Because of Malenia’s habit of restoring HP from every attack she lands, poorly-chosen allies can be more helpful than harmful, as she cuts them to ribbons for free health regeneration. If you are summoning others, you need those who’ll match the aggressive patterns above and deny her the chance to drain them – Tiche, an Elden Ring Mimic Tear with dual-wield weapons, the Warhawk, even the Lone Wolves or just ranged allies who’ll stay out of her sword’s reach can help. And of course, you can always bring in friendly Tarnished, though there’s no NPC summon signs near the arena entrance – it’ll have to be online friends and random friendlies.
In the “Blade of Miquella” Phase 1, back her into a wall and keep attacking
It sounds rough, but we absolutely had our best success against Malenia when we played total aggression, and if we were lucky enough to back her against the arena wall, all the better. With two or more characters hitting her with constant attacks, it doesn’t give her the chance to attack back, as she staggers fairly easily.
And if she positions herself in a way where she’s got her back to the arena wall, that means she can’t do the back-step she always uses to escape such assaults. It means you can effectively lay into her until you run out of stamina – and we’ve cleared literally half her health bar in such a frenzied maelstrom of metal. You’re depending on the luck of the AI to get her there, but the general “aggressive play” strategy is definitely a winner in any scenario.
Her Waterfowl Dance katana combo can be avoided, or prevented altogether
Easily her most deadly attack, the Waterfowl Dance is combo attack where Malenia leaps into the air, only to come down in a four-stage barrage of seemingly-unavoidable quick-swipes that manifest as white cut marks in the air around her. This can kill a player from full health even with just a couple of hits, but can just about be avoided if you know the steps. Do this to avoid the Waterfowl Dance katana combo:
- When she rises into the air, run in the exact opposite direction
- Keep running away during the first two barrages
- During the third barrage, roll back through her.
- Do one more roll away from her to escape the final barrage.
It takes a little practice, but this method will help you escape unscathed if you can pull it off. Alternatively, equip the Freezing Pot consumable and throw one at her head when she rises up into the air! It staggers her out of the move altogether, as outlined in this news story about the canny player who discovered it.
Play more carefully against the Phase 2 Goddess of Rot, and don’t get hit by her lotus
When you get Malenia to zero health, a cinematic shows her adapting into the (underdressed) Goddess of Rot, launching you both into Phase 2 of the fight. She gets back 80% of her health (though can restore what’s left with attacks), and starts the fight by dropping to the ground with a huge lotus flower above her, the “Scarlet Aeonia” attack. Flee! This flower explodes for massive damage and creates a short-term mist that does Scarlet Rot damage on everybody inside it. However, this mist does clear before Malenia finishes recovering, giving you a chance to run in and hit her a few times while she’s getting up.
From this point on, Malenia keeps all her old attacks, but now has a couple of ranged ones. Aside from the Aeonia, she can also fire clones of herself as projectiles from the air (roll alternatively left-to-right to avoid), and her Waterfowl Dance attack also inflicts Scarlet Rot, because it wasn’t horrible enough before. Her habit of leaping into the air and flying means it’s harder to stay aggressive and pin her down like phase 1, but the chances will be there – this more of an enhanced form than a total reimagining of the character, after all.
Easy Malenia Cheese method
Luckily there is a method to easily cheese Malenia that currently works (we tested it while writing this), one based around effectively getting out of her reach to a higher section against the game’s wishes. It hasn’t been patched out at time of writing, and though it requires a bit of set-up, it is pretty effective. To do it, you’ll need the following:
- A powerful, highly aggressive summon (Mimic Tear or Tiche, for example)
- The Agheel’s Flame Incantation or comparable “Dragon” spell like Rotten Breath (the damage type is irrelevant when the casting animation is what matters)
- A 100% Damage reduction shield (off-hand)
- Scarlet Rot-resistant items/armor/consumables
- At least a few Cerulean Tear Flasks for FP restoration.
- Any powerful ranged attack, ideally homing, like Swarm of Flies (this is what you’ll be using against Malenia, so make sure you have a lot of uses of it)
Make sure you have all these things equipped before going in. Once you do get inside Malenia’s arena, you’ll have to act fast:
- The moment you enter the arena, trigger your summon. This will act as a distraction to keep Malenia busy while you set up the next steps.
- Run to the West side of the arena where you’ll see this stage of the wall with a horizontal branch across it.
- Jump at the wall, using Agheel’s Flame whenever you’re at the peak of your jump. It’s a little fiddly and might take a couple of attempts, but by jumping from the boulder marked, you can then lever yourself up onto the horizontal branch – and out of Malenia’s reach (mostly).
- From here, target her with your ranged spell and have your shield ready. Keep casting at her to wear her health down.
- Malenia can only hit you with a couple of attacks, but they’re the kind that can be blocked, and your constant barrage of Flies or similar should hurt her far more than she heals from it.
- When Phase 2 triggers, you’ll be brought back down to ground level after the cinematic. However, the “Scarlet Aeonia” lotus bomb she always uses in Phase 2 gives you the chance to set up on the branch again!
- Repeat phase 4. Malenia can hit you with a few more attack patterns this time, so make sure you have your Scarlet Rot recovery and shield ready to compensate.
Eventually you’ll bring her down for good. It might be a little cheap, but frankly, so is that lifesteal effect she has, so we don’t judge for pulling out all the stops on this one.
Malenia rewards and remembrances
Malenia rewards and remembrances
Elden Ring main bosses
If you’ve beat Malenia, you’re probably ready to take the final challenges of the campaign! Check out the Elden Ring main bosses to see who’s left!
Malenia drops a stupendous 480000 Runes, enough for almost any character to get a lot of levels, as well as the Remembrance of the Rot Goddess and Malenia’s Great Rune, which you can find out how to restore in our guide to all Elden Ring Divine Tower locations here. The Remembrance specifically is a potent one, used either to redeem the Hand of Malenia (a katana) or the Scarlet Aeonia, an Incantation that allows you to recreate Malenia’s explosive lotus move.
Of these two, we’d say the Katana is the better one. The Aeonia is pretty powerful against bosses, but terrible in PVP (if that matters to you) as it’s very telegraphed and takes so long to cast that it’s easily evaded by anybody who recognises what’s happening. Meanwhile, the Hand of Malenia requires 48 Dex to use, but it’s got good scaling, damage stats, and inflicts bleed – a solid choice for those who specialise in such things. It even lets you recreate her Waterfowl Dance as a weapon skill – so now you can inflict that horror on other people.
Finally, there’s also the fact that Malenia’s arena now has a huge red lotus flower blooming inside it. This is an integral part of the Elden Ring Millicent questline, used to turn the Unalloyed Gold Needle into Miquella’s Needle (assuming you want to abandon the Three Fingers to prevent one of the gloomier Elden Ring endings).
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