The Hardest Elden Ring DLC Bosses Ranked

Midra Lord of the Frenzied Flame Boss

The original Elden Ring had some hard bosses, sure, but the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC takes things a step further. In this excellent new expansion by FromSoftware, you get to explore the evocative and dreary Shadow Realm, all while you bang your head against a handful of bosses that make Malenia look like a tutorial fight. The hardest Elden Ring DLC bosses take no prisoners, barely give you time to breathe, and will challenge you to “git gud” in ways you probably weren’t expecting. You can’t just throw out Mimic Tear and pray – Shadow of the Erdtree simply doesn’t care. While most of the boss fights in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree are worthy of a headache, let’s take a look at the bosses that are seemingly designed to piss us off, ranked in order of difficulty. Spoilers ahead!

The Hardest Elden Ring DLC Bosses Ranked

8. Blackgaol Knight

The Blackgaol Knight is likely the first boss you’ll encounter in Shadow of the Erdtree, as this boss rests in the Western Nameless Mausoleum, right by the first site of grace in the Shadow Realm. As such, there’s a good chance you won’t have picked up any essential Scadutree Fragments yet, making this fight a brutal introduction to the DLC.

This chonky knight rarely staggers from melee attacks, so it’s tough to find openings for safe damage. His rapid-fire, flaming crossbow attack is also hellish, at least until you learn how to dodge it. This fight is also a forced solo encounter, meaning that you won’t be able to rely on an overpowered summon to carry you. In truth, there’s nothing remarkable about the Blackgaol Knight in terms of his kit or appearance, he’s just a punishing, plain ‘ol pain in the ass.

7. Golden Hippopotamus

There are a few bosses in the Shadow of the Erdtree that feel dumb and unfair, and the Golden Hippopotamus firmly falls in that category. This fat, obnoxious beast guards the entrance to the all-important Shadow Keep dungeon, so there’s no way you can avoid it. As this monstrosity rampages around the arena with its ridiculously large head (which has a suspicious hitbox, to say the least), you’ll constantly take cheap hits while fighting with the camera.

Golden Hippopotamus Elden Ring DLC Boss

Things only get worse in the boss’ second phase, where it transforms into a demented Super Saiyan-styled knockoff of Sonic the Hedgehog, bouncing around the boss room and spraying golden needles with reckless abandon. To not sugarcoat the situation, the Golden Hippopotamus isn’t a rewarding fight, it’s just cheap and kind of sucks.

6. Scadutree Avatar

At the base of the Scadutree, accessed from sprawling Shadow Keep, you can find the Scaudtree Avatar, another great contender for the hardest boss in Shadow of the Erdtree. Covered in thorns and constantly vying for your demise, this botanical horror looks and acts like a cracked-out sunflower. Not only is it big, but it’s also wickedly fast, so you’ll often need to adjust your strategy mid-fight.

Scadutree Avatar Elden Ring DLC Boss

When you try to keep your distance, the Scaudtree Avatar pelts you with thorns and other homing spells, and if you’re up close, you’ll contend with awkward vine smacks and hard-to-dodge area of effect abilities. To top it all off, the Scaudtree Avatar has three phases, resurrecting itself twice just to mock your efforts. Although this boss fight borders on feeling unfair at times, I can forgive some of the bullshit since it’s so memorable and unique.

5. Metyr, Mother of Fingers

Metyr, the Mother of Fingers, is arguably the most important boss when it comes to lore implications in Shadow of the Erdtree. You can find her after completing the Manus Metyr quest line, tucked under a chapel in the Scadu Altus. This bulking, eldritch monster is a mass of fatal fingers, giving Metyr all manner of attack options.

Metyr Mother of Fingers Elden Ring DLC Boss

Despite her size, Metyr flies around the arena by utilizing gravity magic, quickly closing the gap to attack you up close, or zoning you out with huge bursts of magic. Not only is she hard to track, but Metyr also spawns pesky hand enemies, which throw yet another factor of frustration into the fight. Compared to some of the others on this list, Metyr is reasonable to manage, but she’s still tough enough to warrant a spot on our list of the hardest Elden Ring DLC bosses.

4. Commander Gaius

The Golden Hippopotamus might be annoying, but the award for the worst boss in Shadow of the Erdtree definitely goes to Commander Gaius. This pile of garbage is also found around the back of the Shadow Keep, and riding his boar into battle, he stands out for all the wrong reasons. It seems like the boss fight was designed to be done on horseback, but it’s a challenge just to stay on your mount due to Commander Gaius’ never-ending aggression.

If you get knocked off your steed, Gaius suffocates you with attacks, making it nearly impossible to recall your mount or heal effectively. The large, sweeping attacks of the boar are hell to dodge, and even if you find a moment to breathe, Gaius will likely pull you back into battle with a gravity spell. There’s nothing satisfying about this boss fight. Commander Gaius feels poorly designed, unfair, and left a terrible taste in my mouth. He might not be the hardest boss in the Elden Ring DLC, but Commander Gaius is the worst and I would not be upset if he was removed from the game entirely.

3. Relanna, Twin Moon Knight

Relanna, the Twin Moon Knight is the boss of Castle Ensis, which blocks your direct path toward the Shadow Keep. As one of the most fiendish Carian Knights in existence, Relanna excels in speedy melee combat, utilizing her dual-wielded swords to unleash devastating combos with a magical flourish. She might not have as much sorcery skill as her older sister, Renalla, but Relanna more than makes up for it with her dexterity and constant offense.

Relanna Twin Moon Knight Elden Ring DLC Boss

Defeating Relanna is a much easier task if you bring a summon along for the ride, as this boss’ crux is her unyielding assault of sword strikes, which are both ridiculously hard to read and never seem to end. Dodging or blocking her basic attack combos quickly drains your stamina, making it hard to effectively punish or deal damage. If you manage to survive for a minute or so, you’re rewarded with Relanna’s second phase, where her blades are imbued with elemental damage, and massive moon spells are lobbed at your head. Relanna is a hell of a skill check in Shadow of the Erdtree and if you don’t come prepared, expect to lose many lives and a bit of sanity, too.

2. Messmer, the Impaler

Sitting atop the Shadow Keep, forlorn but fully ready to kick your ass, Messmer, the Impaler is one of the boss fights that will go down in FromSoftware history, not just for its difficulty, but for its spectacle as well. As one of the very few bosses that is actually required to beat the DLC, there’s no way around Messmer, so you just have to face him head-on. If you take your time and explore Shadow of the Erdtree, you should be significantly upgraded by the time you encounter Messmer, but those who rush in blindly are in for an even ruder awakening.

Messmer the Impaler Boss Elden RIng DLC

Messmer lives up to his full title and spends most of the fight bouncing around his throne room, trying to impale you with his super long spear. His combos are fast and in-your-face, made more difficult by awkward delays between strikes. Summons aren’t wholly beneficial in this fight either, as Messmer switches up his focus mid-combo, leaving you very little time to react. Trying to zone out Messmer is a death sentence as well, so it’s more advantageous to take the offensive, but that becomes more challenging in his second phase. Plucking out his eye and calling down the wrath of the Abyssal Serpent, Messmer erupts with a few new attacks, summoning massive snakes that can delete your health bar in seconds. It’s a good thing that this boss fight is so spectacular and stylish, because there’s a good chance you’ll get stuck on it for an hour or two.

1. Radahn, Consort of Miquella

After trudging your way through the final zone of Shadow of the Erdtree, Enir-Ilim, the only thing left to conquer is the final boss. To many players’ surprise, that final boss is against none other than Radahn, who we previously fought in the base game. This time, however, Radahn is in prime fighting condition, and he has no intention of taking things easy. The fight against Radahn is arguably twice as tough as Malenia, to put things into perspective, except it’s much more unpredictable and infinitely more frustrating.

Radahn Promised Consort Elden Ring DLC Boss

In his first form, dubbed “Radahn, the Promised Consort”, this boss pounces on you from the very start of the fight, leaving almost no room for error. With his intimidating, colossal swords, Radahn throws out long-running combos that can dice you up in seconds if you’re not careful. His meteoric magic spells, sprawling AoEs, and ground-sweep attacks are all painful to deal with, but after a few dozen tries, you should be able to handle his first phase. That said, there’s a reason this entry is titled “Radahn, Consort of Miquella”, as the second phase of this boss is the real kick in the groin.

Radahn Consort of Miquella Boss Elden Ring

Before long, Miquella will swoop in, and by catching a piggyback ride on Radahn, he infuses a hellfire of holy attacks into the mix. Radahn is now faster, most of his attacks are accompanied by holy damage, and his new combos are both devastating and basically impossible to read. Getting grabbed by this boss twice in a row is also 100% death, unless you find a specific item in the overworld, adding another element of stress. While you can use a summon to make this fight a bit easier, there’s no complete freebie win with Radahn. You can’t zone him out, you can’t go toe-to-toe with his second phase safely, and you can’t rely on elemental damage either. Radahn, Consort of Miquella is the final skill check of Elden Ring, and is so insanely difficult, that it will likely be remembered as one of the hardest bosses in any FromSoftware game, ever. At the very least, Radahn is the hardest Elden Ring DLC boss by a major margin. If you’re able to beat this boss, the entire Dark Souls series and Bloodborne will be a walk in the park by comparison.

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I’m a lifelong gamer and an overall media junkie. I also watch an unhealthy amount of movies and try to spread as much love into the world as I can. Hope you enjoyed the content!

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