Commander O’Neil is a field boss you’ll encounter while exploring Elden Ring. It’s also necessary to defeat him to progress the questline of an NPC named Millicent. He’s a challenging boss, but fighting and defeating him is very rewarding.
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Where to Find Commander O’Neil
Commander O’Neil can be found at the heart of the Swamp of Aeonia in Caelid. Refer to the map below to know his exact location.
There are three Sites of Grace nearby, but don’t worry about that since there’s a Stake of Marika outside Commander O’Neil’s boss room.
You may also want to talk to Gowry before fighting Commander O’Neil, for the reason that we’ll get to later on. You can find him at his shack south of Sellia, Town of Sorcery.
How to Defeat Commander O’Neil
Commander O’Neil is hard-hitting. What makes the fight considerably bearable is the fact that his attacks are well-telegraphed and you can summon an NPC during this fight.
As long as you’ve spoken to Gowry before fighting Commander O’Neil, you’ll be able to summon Pollyanna, Adopted Daughter. You’ll find her summon sign close to the Inner Aeonia Site of Grace.
Whether you want her to fight with you or not is up to you. However, it is recommended that you do to level the playing field since Commander O’Neil will summon multiple phantom guards at the beginning of the fight and once his health reaches 50%.
Other Quick Tips for the Fight
Commander O’Neil isn’t particularly weak to any element or status effect, but his resistances aren’t too great either. This means you’re free to use whichever effect or element you want. However, the sole exception to this is Scarlet Rot, to which he is completely immune.
You’re also allowed to ride Torrent during this fight, as well as summon Spirit Ashes. Feel free to use them at your leisure.
If ever you feel overwhelmed and want to heal up or gather yourself, run as far away from him as possible. Commander O’Neil is a slow-moving boss. He also won’t bother closing in on you if you’re far away from him.
Commander O’Neil’s Attacks
The following are the attacks Commander O’Neil will use for the duration of the fight.
- Spirit Summons
As mentioned above, Commander O’Neil will summon spirits twice during the fight. At the beginning of the fight, he will summon 5 Exile Crossbowmen. Be sure to deal with these summons immediately before bothering with Commander O’Neil. Since he walks very slowly, you’ll have a wide window to deal with the summons before he can even get to your position.
Once his health drops below 50%, he’ll then summon 3 Axe Soldiers. These soldiers are stronger and faster than Commander O’Neil’s previous summons. Once again, deal with them first before resuming your focus on O’Neil.
This is when utilizing Pollyanna becomes extremely useful. When she’s in the field, she’ll mainly focus on Commander O’Neil. This gives you the opportunity to focus on the summons without having to worry about the main boss.
- Glory, Fame!
Commander O’Neil will only do this spell once his summons are still standing. This spell has two variations. One is a buff that makes the summons’ attacks stronger, and the other makes their defense higher. This spell is long-winding, which means it’s just more window of opportunity for you to deal with the summons.
- Scarlet Rot Whirlwind
Perhaps Commander O’Neil’s most powerful attack, he will swing his spear around, causing a gust of Scarlet Rot to whirl around him. The area of effect of this attack is very wide, so you’ll want to run as far away from him as possible when he does this attack.
He telegraphs this attack by kneeling first, then the wind around him will begin to whirl. Once you see this, waste no time running away from him.
- Melee Attacks
Commander O’Neil will also use his spear to perform melee attacks on you. These attacks hit hard, but they’re also slow. He always telegraphs them clearly before he moves in to attack.
He also occasionally strings his melee attacks and ends them with a ground slam that sends a small gust of Scarlet Rot around him, so be sure to watch out for that as well.
When he’s about to perform his melee attacks on you, keep your eye on his spear and dodge accordingly. Given how slow he can be, if you’re wielding a weapon with a fast attack speed, you can sneak in one attack in between his.
Once defeated, you’ll receive the Commander’s Standard Halberd, 12,000 Runes (on your first playthrough), and the Unalloyed Gold Needle.