Elden Ring has a bunch of spirit ashes, ethereal summons you can call forth to aid you in battle. Some, like Banished Knight Oleg, are highly effective damage dealers, capable of wiping out even the toughest of bosses. Others, hm, not so much — looking at you, spirit jellyfish ashes. While each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and I’ve found plenty to experiment with, for my money none are nowhere near as loyal or as awesome as the lone wolf ashes. This ghostly wolf pack has become my favourite summon, and a solid example of a Tarnished’s best friend existing even in the Lands Between.
The lone wolf summon is probably the earliest you’ll come across while exploring FromSoft’s latest game. Found at the Church of Elleh, a derelict structure and one of the first churches you’ll hit in the Limgrave region, the blue-skinned Renna will teach you how to summon spirits after you get the ethereal steed Torrent. Talk to her and she’ll hand you both the Spirit Calling Bell, a vital item for beckoning ghostly spirits, and the lone wolf ashes. Seriously, you can’t miss it — unless you’re one of the many folks speedrunning the game. But if you do happen to gloss over it, you can also buy the spirit ashes from the Twin Maiden Husks at the Roundtable Hold.
This spirit ashes isn’t particularly powerful, though. The wolf trio does moderate damage, even after levelling up, and can’t serve as a tank in any way because of their relatively low health pool. But what they lack in overall damage output, they make up for in acting as a solid distraction during fights. Call them up and watch as the spectral wolfies leap, gnash, and circle their prey, picking them apart limb from limb as you just hang in the background. It’s satisfying while also giving you room to breathe and plan your next move.
However, my favourite thing about the lone wolf spirit ashes is their loyalty. Sure, all the summons follow you after they’ve been called upon. But there’s something especially endearing about watching these big-arse phantom wolves strut around behind you, looking for the next target to sink their fangs into. They also seemingly attack as a team, coordinating strikes to keep enemies at bay. These wolves are helpful nearly all the time and they’re always at your side, even as they eventually get picked off one by one.
I’ve grown so attached that I’ve even unofficially named them after real good doggos in Tim Burton films: Persephone and Sparky from Frankenweenie, and Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s just a bummer you can’t pet them or teach them tricks. Then again, they are ghosts. I guess interacting with them would be impossible, but maybe there’s an in-game item for that.