FromSoftware Games has a long history of gimmick bosses. The God-Devouring Serpent/Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy in Elden Ring may just be one of their best ones. The boss is gimmicky indeed, but he’s still challenging for all the right reasons.
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Preparing for the God-Devouring Serpent/Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy Fight
When you step into the arena, the first thing you will notice, aside from the towering serpent in the distance, is the spear to your left. This is the weapon you’ll want to use for this fight.
If you want to make the boss fight easier for yourself, you can quit the game and continue once more from the main menu. This will send you back outside the boss room. You can then head back to the Roundtable Hold to upgrade the Serpent-Hunter Great Spear and make it more powerful.
This weapon is upgraded using Somber Smithing Stones, which means it will be fairly easy to get max its level out.
It’s also recommended to use the Mimic Tear Spirit Ash for this boss fight. Having two of you wielding the Serpent-Hunter Great Spear will make the battle significantly easier.
The God-Devouring Serpent
The God-Devouring Serpent is this boss fight’s first phase. He will mostly flail around and swipe his body at you during this phase. He’ll occasionally also spew poison at you and cause magma from below to splash around.
Don’t forget to equip the Serpent-Hunter Great Spear before entering the boss room. Once inside, summon your Mimic Tear right away. Approach the Serpent and prepare to hit him with the Great Spear once or twice.
The Serpent will either begin with three consecutive swipes or with a grab attack. Either way, dodge these and hit him with the Great Spear once you’re open.
Make sure to string your attacks. Don’t settle with the light attacks. Perform heavy attacks and jump attacks as well. The Great Spear’s skill is powerful and is capable of staggering the Serpent, so be sure to make use of this.
One of the Serpent’s attacks is when he shakes and raises his head to the sky. He will follow this with a plunge to the ground which will cause magma from underneath you to erupt. This attack is very difficult to dodge and deals a high amount of damage.
The best way to avoid this attack is by performing your skill on him while he shakes and raises his head. This will cause him to stagger and cancel out the attack.
Keep at it and you’ll eventually deplete his health bar. Now it’s on to the second phase of the fight.
Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy
After an awesome cutscene, you’ll now need to fight a sword-wielding Rykard. He’ll still employ the same attack and he’ll have new ones too. For starters, he’ll make use of his sword. His sword combo comes in three attacks.
He’ll first swipe his sword from left to right, then from right to left, and ends with a forward thrust. With the second attack of the combo, he’ll first slam the sword to the ground before swiping it horizontally. You’re going to want to dodge during the swipe, not during the slam.
Rykard will also occasionally plunge his sword to the ground about three times consecutively. He’ll sometimes strike the ground one last time and cause the ground to erupt when he pulls his sword up. You’ll want to be away from this as the eruption will cause damage to you.
While most of Rykard’s melee attacks are easy enough to predict and dodge away from, it’s his AOE attacks you’ll really want to watch out for.
Rykard will often leap in a certain direction. He’ll then cause magma to erupt in multiple directions when he lands. This attack is also very manageable. Dodge away from the balls of magma just as they’re about to hit you.
Rykard’s most dangerous attack is when he calls upon floating blazing skulls. These skulls will fly towards you, exploding when they’re close enough. These skulls are numerous. This makes it insanely difficult to avoid getting damaged while the attack is still going on.
Rykard will signal the beginning of this attack by raising his sword in the air. During which, attack Rykard with everything you’ve got. In fact, while this attack is going on, attack Rykard as much as you can, as often as you can.
Dodge, attack, rinse and repeat. The battle should be over in a few minutes as long as you’re able to keep attacking him.
Other Tactics to Remember
During the fight’s second phase, it’s better if you let the boss keep his focus on the Mimic Tear. The Mimic will be aggressive on its own, which means it’ll be easy to distract Rykard. He will attack the last person who attacked him. That said, if Rykard focuses on you, wait for the Mimic to attack him again. Once he turns his attention away from you, hit him with everything you’ve got.
Make use of the Great Spear’s skill. I’ve mentioned this already but it’s useful just beyond canceling Rykard’s magma attack. Keep at it. With an upgraded Serpent-Hunter Great Spear, defeating Rykard will be challenging but doable.