Elden Ring, like most Souls games, often rewards you for finding the most effective way to defeat its difficult bosses, whether through overpowered builds or cheap, cheesy strategies. But when those same tactics get turned on other players, things can get ugly fast.
Carian Retaliation is an Ash of War skill that, when applied to small and medium shields, lets you parry enemy spells and gain three floating daggers of your own that then automatically target the enemy after a short period of time. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.
In reality, crafty Elden Ring players are using the skill to parry their own spells, either conjured normally or via consumables like Glintstone Scraps. This gives them an easily spammable attack that scales with the shield’s upgrade level to deal scary damage to regular mobs, bosses, and fellow Tarnished alike.
Scarier still is the fact that Carian Retaliation seems to be bugged during online play. While players can see opponents use the skill and the daggers it creates, the subsequent attack is invisible, making it very hard to avoid even if you know what to expect.
A quick search of the Elden Ring subreddit shows a community in turmoil, with many players calling for Carian Retaliation to be fixed and/or nerfed by the developers. And seeing as FromSoftware removed a similar self-activation technique in the game’s recent 1.03 patch, it’s not far-fetched to assume those calls will be answered at some point.
In any case, Carian Retaliation is something folks will just need to deal with for the time being. Next time you’re online and see an invading player running toward you with a trio of magical knives hovering above their head, maybe consider disguising yourself as an NPC until they get bored and leave.