Maliketh, the Black Blade is one of the toughest bosses in Elden Ring. He’s fast, hard-hitting, and virtually everything you can expect from a game made by FromSoftware, and finally beating him is as gratifying as it can be.
Maliketh, the Black Blade has two phases. You first fight him as the Beast Clergyman. Once his health drops to about 50%, he then transforms into his real form: Maliketh, the Black Blade.
With that in mind, before you can deal with Maliketh himself, you’ll first need to deal with his first form.
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Defeating the Beast Clergyman
The Beast Clergyman, although Maliketh’s repressed form, is still highly dangerous. A few of his moves can be tricky to read at times. He is also very fast and moves around a lot.
To know how to defeat this boss, you’ll need to be familiar with all of his attacks. Here’s every attack he does during the fight up until he transforms into his true form.
The Beast Clergyman has a couple of melee attacks you should watch out for.
He has an attack where he swipes his weapon from side to side in front of him. Dodge into him to avoid getting damaged. Be prepared as he often follows this up with another attack.
He will also thrust his weapon towards you. Once again, dodge into him and be prepared in case he follows it up with another attack.
Another one of his melee attacks is when he swipes his weapon toward you once. This attack winds longer than his other melee attacks. In case you dodge too early, quickly dodge once more to have a chance of avoiding the hit.
He has one attack where he slams his weapon to his right and drags it forward before slashing at you. Dodge towards him just before he performs the slash. Land a hit or two, then prepare for his next attack.
As you can surmise here, do your best to dodge into him during all of his attacks. Once you notice that he’s not following up an attack, sneak a hit or two.
Stone of Gurranq
The Clergyman will slam an arm to the ground and pick up a massive chunk of rock to throw at you. This attack has a long wind so you’ll be able to see exactly when he’ll throw the stone at you. Dodge towards him.
He’ll slam his arm to the ground. He’ll then pull it out and flings it towards your direction, sending shockwaves that travel outwards. Dodge into the Beast Clergyman to avoid them.
Remember to dodge not when slams his arm but when he flings it. He’ll also occasionally move forward just a little bit before flinging his arm, so watch out for that.
This attack is when he picks up rocks from the ground and quickly flings it towards you. Unlike the Beast Claw and the Stone of Gurranq attacks, this one can be very fast, so you’ll need to react quickly as well. Dodge into him again to avoid getting damaged.
This one is when the Beast Clergyman holds his weapon in his mouth and puts both hands on the ground. In a few moments, he’ll then bring up massive chunks of rocks that crash back to the ground after a few seconds.
When he does this attack, run as far away from him as possible. You’ll also be able to see which areas on the ground the Beast Clergyman will send up, so be mindful in case you don’t get far enough from him.
As soon as you’ve depleted 50% of his health, a cutscene will play out. It’ll then be time to fight Maliketh, the Black Blade.
Defeating Maliketh, The Black Blade
FromSoft truly has a way of making bosses bigger, yet also making them more agile. This is the case with Maliketh. During the second phase of this fight, Maliketh is much more agile and unpredictable than his Beast Clergyman form.
Here are Maliketh’s attacks. Familiarize yourself with them.
This is the first attack Maliketh will do during the second phase. He’ll flip in your direction before slashing his sword at you. He’ll often follow this up with another slash or with an overhead slam. Dodge into him once again and attack when Maliketh is open.
Maliketh will jump in the air and land on his sword. This is then followed up by a small explosion as he flips backward.
If you’re close to Maliketh, you’ll need to dodge twice. First when he lands, and the second for when the sword explodes.
Maliketh will jump and cling to a pillar, then plunge towards you, slamming his sword to the ground. Oftentimes, he simply jumps up before slamming down. The ground beneath will then crumble and shake as he draws his sword back.
One key hint for you that he’s about to do this attack is when his sword glows bright for a few seconds before he slams to the ground.
For this attack, you’ll want to dodge twice again, similar to his explosion attack.
Maliketh will also often spin, slashing his sword twice in a row. Get close to him and dodge during the first attack. If you time it right, you won’t be in the range of his sword when he does the second swipe. Attack accordingly.
Maliketh will also roar sometimes during the fight. While this doesn’t deal any damage, it will knock you back. Dodge away to avoid getting knocked back. You can also bring up your shield as he roars, if you’re using one, to avoid getting knocked back.
The Black Blade
This is when Maliketh flips into the air and slashes his sword at you. Projectile blades will then be hurled in your direction.
You’ll want to dodge after he slashes his sword to account for the projectiles’ travel time from him to you. Take note that Maliketh will slash twice or thrice.
He will always follow this attack with another, either with an Explosion attack or a double swipe. Don’t let your guard down after his slashes. Attack only when the follow-up attack is over.
Aside from these, he also has a couple of slow-moving melee attacks. When he does any of these, simply dodge into him and attack once or twice. These are great opportunities to land hits on him.
This is Maliketh’s most dangerous attack. You’ll know he’s about to do this when he swings his sword over and around him before plunging it to the ground. This is then followed by swirls of blades across and around Maliketh’s sword.
You’ll want to keep dodging into him during this entire attack. Then, just before he sends the blades whirling around the sword, be sure you’re positioned behind Maliketh. The blades won’t reach here. Then, attack him once or twice before being on the defensive again.
He also has a short variation of this attack wherein he jumps and lands on his sword before performing the Destined Death animation. Once again, dodge inwards and stick to his back to attack from there.
Maliketh’s attacks have an effect where it reduces your total HP by about 10%. Your health will also deplete continuously in a short span of time. You’ll know an attack has this buff when his sword glows red before and during the attack.
Other Tips To Defeat Maliketh, the Black Blade
If you can, you’ll want to stay as close to Maliketh as possible during both phases. Stick close to him and dodge into him. The only time you should be running away from him is when he does the AOE attack during the first phase of the fight.
Maliketh during both phases is susceptible to both Hemorrhage and Frostbite.
You can also summon Spirit Ashes during this fight should you please. It’s recommended that you use any of the Legendary Spirit Ashes in this fight, like Black Knife Tiche or Mimic Tear.
If you need to heal during this fight, run up to one of the pillars around the arena and position yourself so that a pillar is standing between you and Maliketh.
Maliketh during his second phase can be parried with the Blasphemous Claw. However, the only attacks you can parry are the final hits of his Black Blade attack. This can be tricky to master. Unless you really want to parry him, you’re better off dodging his attacks instead.
Punish Maliketh as often as you can by taking advantage of his openings. The boss is tough, yes — one of the hardest bosses in the game, in fact. You may even need to re-do this fight multiple times. With persistence and familiarity, you’ll finally be able to defeat this towering creature.