Elden Ring has some of the coolest, as well as the hardest bosses in recent video game history. Players new to the Souls genre will be tearing their hair out here, but some bosses can be nerve-wracking even for seasoned Souls fans. One of these bosses is Malenia, Blade of Miquella. She quickly gained notoriety in the community and rightfully so – she is easily the hardest boss in Elden Ring.
To make sure you don't bite into your controller in pure rage, we'll explain everything you need to know about the Malenia boss fight. In this guide, we will show you how and where to start the fight, what Malenia's strengths and weaknesses are, and how you can defeat her.
Before you start into the Malenia fight, you should make sure to have your healing flask fully upgraded:
Where Is Malenia In Elden Ring?
Malenia is located at the root of Miquella’s Haligtree, which is hidden in the Consecrated Snowfield. She is a surprisingly easy boss to miss, since Haligtree is a hidden area that is actually located behind a secret portal in another hidden area. Wonderful. This obviously means, that the fight is optional. But it is one of the biggest challenges in the game and a super cool fight, so you will want to do it.
To get to Malenia, you need both halves of the Haligtree Secret Medallion. You can find one half in the Village of the Albinaurics in Liurnia, and the other in Castle Sol in Mountaintops of the Giants. After you have the whole medallion, use it at the Grand Lift of Rold to get to the Consecrated Snowfield. In the far north of the area, you will find Ordina, Liturgical Town. You will have to go into the evergaol and solve a puzzle. Light four torches, one close to the entrance of the town and three on the rooftops. Afterwards, climb the big stairs, go through the portal there and voilà – you're at the Haligtree.
You can find a detailed breakdown of the route in this article:
From here, you need to make your way through two areas, which should be pretty straightforward. These areas are tough, so be warned. Progress through the Haligtree until you reach the "Haligtree Roots" Site of Grace, which is right in front of Malenia's arena.
What Are Malenia's Strengths & Weaknesses?
Malenia is immune to the status effects Death and Madness and has a high resistance to poison and rot. But she is vulnerable to bleed and frostbite. For normal damage types, she will absorb holy damage, but is especially vulnerable to fire damage. So focus on bleed, frostbite and fire damage, as she has relatively low resistances for them. Here we have listed all resistances and absorption rates for you:
Absorption shows the percentage of damage that Malenia will absorb, the resistance number indicates the amount of buildup you need to inflict on her to trigger the effect. So like we said, you should focus on fire damage, with bleed and frostbite for status effects.
So, before you get into this fight and struggle more than a baby at its first swimming lesson, you should get a bleed build going. We got the right guides for you:
- Elden Ring Guide: Where To Find The Rivers of Blood
- Elden Ring Guide: How To Find The Swarm Of Flies Incantation
How To Beat Malenia: Phase 1
Malenia has two phases, which are very similar as you will see soon. Phase 1 is already a tough cracker: she is extremely fast, has tons of health, will cover the entire arena within a second and can kill you with one special attack. Oh, and she also heals herself with every hit! Yeah, we were not joking when we said she is one of the toughest fights in the game. You will most likely die a lot before you get the best of her. But that's ok, we will help you get there.
In phase 1, Malenia only has melee attacks. Her sword is very long, but if you have ranged attacks and keep your distance, you can chip away her health that way. But like we said, she is extremely fast, so keep your eyes on her and her movements. When you get her below 75% HP, she will start doing the so-called Waterfowl Dance, a nasty, horrible attack that has cost us a lot of lives. If I was allowed to swear, I would do it right now. This three-hit-swirl-combo is super hard to dodge, happens very quickly and once you get caught in it, it will be an almost guaranteed death. But, don't worry too much – people have found a way to dodge this particular attack. Watch this short tutorial and practice this move, getting good at it will make this fight so much easier.
Like we said earlier, Malenia is only really weak against bleed and frostbite. So we strongly recommend using weapons that cause those effects. You could go for something like the Icerind Hatchet or Hoarfrost Stomp, but the absolute meta-weapon for this fight is the Rivers of Blood katana. Sure, it is somewhat "cheap", but that doesn't matter – this is the toughest fight in the game, and you want to beat her, right? So get that weapon, we can show you how. Upgrade the weapon as far as you can and use the weapon skill (L2/LT) as much as you can. It will rinse her health, seriously. Keep dodging the Waterfowl Dance, hit her with the blood, and once her life bar is empty, phase 2 will start. This is where the real pain begins...
Tips for Phase 1:
- We don't really recommend summoning a spirit ash for this fight, except if you use a Rivers of Blood. If that's the case, get your Mimic Tear out for double the fun!
- Did you know that bleed scales with arcane? Neat! If you're going for a bleed build, consider re-specing and putting more points into that stat.
How To Beat Malenia: Phase 2
Once you deplete Malenia's health bar, a cool cutscene will trigger, and she will turn into the Goddess of Rot. And yes, that means what it sounds like – in addition to her other BS, she will now also inflict you with rot. To prevent this being too much of a problem, make sure you stock up on Preserving Boluses before the fight and equip them in your inventory.
Before you get too concerned with that, you need to run. As soon as the phase starts, Malenia will charge you and trigger an AoE attack. Roll once before she lands and run away from her. She will stay stationary for a while, so that's a perfect time to land some ranged attacks. She has new and more varied attacks, so you need to be even more careful in this phase.
All of our advice from phase 1 still counts, even more now. She is faster, stronger and overall nastier. That also means, that her most dangerous attack is still the Waterfowl Dance, albeit a stronger version. Learning how to dodge it is absolutely key for phase 2. Otherwise, keep afflicting her with bleed and keep being quick on your feet, and you should get her down... eventually.
Tips for Phase 2:
- Make sure to always have your health topped up to 100%. You should also consider using a Rune Arc with a Great Rune that gives you more HP. Her attacks are even deadlier in this phase and can kill you more easily.
- If you struggle and never manage to get her down, just summon Let Me Solo Her.
What Do You Get From Beating Malenia?
As a reward for defeating Malenia, you get 360,000 runes, Malenia's Great Rune and the Remembrance of the Rot Goddess. The Remembrance of the Rot Goddess can be exchanged for either her sword, called Hand of Malenia, or the Scarlet Aeonia incantation in the Roundtable Hold. You can activate the rune at the Isolated Divine Tower, and has a very cool effect:
A Great Rune of the shardbearer Malenia. The blessing of this half-rotted rune reduces the healing power of Flask of Crimson Tears.
And yet, due to the infusion of Malenia's spirit of resistance. attacks made immediately after receiving damage will partially recover HP.