Elden Ring Rykard and Serpent boss fight

The Elden Ring Rykard boss fight against the God-Devouring Serpent and the Lord of Blasphemy beneath Volcano Manor is a tough one, in which players must use a special Serpent-Hunter Great Spear to bring down one of the toughest demigods, shardbearers and abominations in Elden Ring. In Phase 1 players go up against the God-Devouring Serpent, a thrashing monster coughing up toxic bile, and afterwards they’ll need to kill Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy in Phase 2, a crazed lunatic using a barbed sword and fiery magic. It’s a challenge either way, but there are ways around it, ways that’ll feel very familiar to players who fought Yhorm in Dark Souls 3. Either way, here’s how to beat Rykard and the God-Devouring Serpent in Elden Ring, including weaknesses, tips, strategies and cheese methods.

  • To beat the God-Devouring Serpent and Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy boss fight, players should be at least level 65+, and ideally over 70.

How to beat the Rykard and God-Devouring Serpent boss fight in Elden Ring

Here’s some basic tips and tricks to help you beat Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy and the God-Devouring Serpent boss fight.

Click on any of these tips for more information! In the meantime, it’s important to remember that Rykard is an optional boss with a kind of gimmick, coming in two phases of increasing difficulty. If you’re having trouble with Phase 1, the God-Devouring Serpent, you’re going to struggle even more against Rykard himself.

How to get to the Rykard and God-Devouring Serpent boss fight

Elden Ring rykard boss fight god devouring serpent

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

How to beat Malenia, Blade of Miquella in Elden Ring

Elden Ring Malenia boss fight blade miquella goddess rot cheese

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Rykard is a powerful optional boss, but if you’re interested in taking down the toughest optional boss, check out how to beat Malenia in Elden Ring!

There’s actually two different ways to reach Rykard – either by finding the portal to his arena through the legacy dungeon, or by earning an audience with him after ending three assassination contracts for the Volcano Manor family, led by Tanith. Either way, talk to Tanith first (the seated woman with the bodyguard next to the heart in Volcano Manor) and she’ll offer you the Drawing Room Key. 

Here things diverge. If you want to reach via the legacy dungeon, use the key on the door to the right and roll into the wall with the painting to dispel an illusion. This’ll give you access to the dungeon, a long, winding path through a lava-drenched town that includes more than one boss fight and ends in a throne room with a portal, one that’ll take you to Rykard directly.

Alternatively, taking the left door with the key opens up a dining room with an envelope, marking an assassination target. Complete three assassination missions for Tanith, and she’ll be pleased enough to simply teleport you to Rykard herself, skipping the dungeon. The assassination targets are all tough NPCs/mini-boss fights in their own right, though you can use them to access the related Elden Ring Patches questline and get some of the best armor in the game, the Bull-Goat set.

Whichever you do, you’ll be sent to the Audience Pathway Site of Grace, with the arena ahead of you. Make sure you’ve completed the Volcano Manor assassinations and Patches assassinations before fighting! You’ll lose the chance to do so after Rykard is dead. However, if you are ready to club some snakes, head forward and use the tips below.

Pick up the Serpent-Hunter Great Spear at the arena entrance

This is essential – once you enter the arena there’ll be an item just ahead of you, a unique spear weapon called the Serpent-Hunter. The fight itself doesn’t actually start until you move further ahead and approach the Serpent, so use this chance to equip the spear. Alternatively, you can even let yourself die so you can head back to Hewg and upgrade it with some Elden Ring Somber Smithing Stones

The Serpent-Hunter is, as you might expect, a weapon specifically designed to kill this boss fight. When attacking the Serpent and Rykard, energy extends the point into a giant blade, doing much more damage and hitting it from far away. You can use other weapons, but this is the obvious choice.

Use armor and items to defend yourself against Fire and Poison Status

Rykard and the Serpent use fiery attacks, blade weapons and Poison pools to hurt the player, so you should equip armor to handle all of those. Basic physical reduction is the priority, but Fire is a close second. For Poison, get some consumables or special incantations to help you – the Neutralizing Boluses or a Wondrous Flask with the Speckled Hardtear.

Be wary of the lava around the Serpent and Rykard

In both phases, the God-Devouring Serpent and Rykard have a pool of lava about them. It might look at first like they’re simply sitting in an environmental peril, but both of them actually generate this lava, so it follows them as they move about the arena. Admittedly, neither of them are hugely mobile, but it means melee fighters might struggle to reach them without the aid of the Serpent-Hunter.

Teams, allies and NPC Ash summons should space out to avoid getting hit

There are no game-provided NPC summon signs outside the arena, but that doesn’t mean you can’t summon other players or use Ashes to bring in allies. If you do, everybody should keep away from everybody else! Aside from the fact that Rykard’s attacks are wide-reaching and can hit all of you easily, if you all space out around the enemy and attack from different directions, it can throw off the boss in both phases and they’ll spend a lot of time just trying to position themselves to look back and forth at all of you.

Ranged fighters and spellcasters need to pick their attacks for distance

Fighting Rykard and the Serpent with magic instead of the Serpent Hunter is perfectly valid – it’s a strategy that arguably sacrifices offensive power for safety and control, depending on your build – but pick your spells carefully. Rykard’s incredibly long reach means you need to be very far away to actually be out of his range, so far that some spells may not hit at all. Check your arsenal for magic with a long range if you’re going this route, otherwise be prepared to be on the defence near-constantly.

In Phase 1, play aggressively and try a shield for safety

Assuming you’ve equipped the Serpent-Hunter, the Phase 1 fight against the God-Devouring Serpent allows you to play a little more aggro than normal, as it staggers fairly easily under the weapon’s unique skill (a highly-powerful, if slow combo of strikes). Quickly switch between a 100% protection shield and two-handing the spear for maximum effectiveness – as always, dodging is the better option, but the Serpent’s long time between attacks means you can recover a lot of stamina between them if you need to.

Attack the Serpent until it loses all its health, and you’ll get a cinematic that shows Rykard come to the fore and take over the snake’s carcass, dragging a sword out of its mouth. 

In Phase 2, play defensively and agile against Rykard

The Phase 2 fight against Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy is very different. Rykard is harder to stagger, at least by our experience, and brings forth numerous spells and effects to hound the player, including trails of fire that move randomly through the air, descending meteor skulls, all the while attacking with sword strikes. Now is the time to drop the shield and play with dodges, using the brief pauses between attacks to do quick jabs with the Serpent-Hunter. Keep your distance too – Rykard will try to follow you a little more, and has a jump that allows him to close the distance with a fiery blast on landing.

Keep one eye open for what’s around you and what’s going to hurt

Phase 2 in particular is a rough experience, with Rykard summoning various fiery magics, but the key here is never to get tunnel vision on the boss. Rykard and the Serpent will use poison and lava underfoot, bring in spells from angles, and both have powerful strikes that create long-reaching line effects through the ground, doing massive damage to whatever is ahead of them. Don’t lose focus on the situation, and be prepared to dodge peril from any angle.

Easy Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy and God-Devouring Serpent cheese method

Elden Ring rykard boss fight god devouring serpent

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

The easiest Rykard cheese method we found for him and the God-Devouring Serpent is based around taking his primary weakness – the Serpent-Hunter Great Spear – and maximising its potential with a few basic steps. It’s not a proper exploit and players will still have to be careful, but this can make the fight a lot easier if you’re willing to go through a few hoops first.

  1. Retrieve the Serpent-Hunter Great Spear from the arena (let yourself be killed to take it back out with you).
  2. Find and equip the Elden Ring Mimic Tear Ashes.
  3. Upgrade the Serpent-Hunter with Hewg at the Roundtable Hold. If you need more Somber Stones, try using our Elden Ring Bell Bearing locations guide.
  4. Increase your Max FP with levels, the Cerulean Medallion talisman, or equip the Carian Filligreed Crest to lower Skill costs.
  5. Equip the Talismans obtained through the Elden Ring Alexander questline to boost Skill damage. 
  6. It’s not mandatory, but if you’re really having trouble, use our Elden Ring respec and Larval Tears page to boost your Strength Attribute, as it’s what the Serpent-Hunter scales with. 
  7. Head back into the boss fight with only your armor, the Talismans and the Serpent-Hunter equipped, nothing else!
  8. Before the fight starts properly, summon the Mimic Tear. It’ll appear with its own Serpent-Hunter, and no other weapons to swap to.
  9. Use the Serpent-Hunter weapon Skill, “Great Serpent Hunt”, as much as possible! The combined efforts of you and your Mimic both piling on the God-Devouring Serpent and Rykard should be devastating, regularly staggering them and doing massive damage.

Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy and God-Devouring Serpent rewards and remembrances

Elden Ring rykard boss fight god devouring serpent

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Once you’ve killed Rykard and the Serpent, you’ll get some pretty great rewards – 100,000 Runes, Rykard’s Great Rune (outlined in our Elden Ring Great Runes and Rune Arc farming page), and the Remembrance of the Blasphemous, which can be taken back to the Roundtable Hold for one of two potential prizes:

  • Blasphemous Blade (Greatsword): Scales to Strength, Faith and Dexterity. Deals additional Fire damage, and restores a small amount of health to the wielder for each enemy killed. Its skill, Taker’s Flames, does a powerful Fire strike with significant lifesteal.
  • Rykard’s Rancor (Sorcery): Requires 40 Intelligence and 18 Faith. Costs 35 FP. Creates a looping trail of fire that leaves explosions in its wake, lasting for a long time.

Both of these can be valuable, though clearly both reflect very different builds. As a rule, the Rancor works well in PVP and boss fights, hounding opponents even while you’ve moved onto something else, while the Blade’s health restoration makes it great for general exploration, restoring your HP for every enemy you cut down. There’s no bad option here, pick whichever one you think works for you.

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