How To Defeat The Blackgaol Knight In Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

How To Defeat The Blackgaol Knight In Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

There’s a place called prison and a place called gaol….

Stepping foot into the Realm of Shadow in Shadow of the Erdtree will present players with a hell of a lot of options. In one direction, there’s a church with a knight with a comically large mace, in another a giant sentient Wicker Man, in another, there’s a dank swamp with even danker soldiers. And then there’s you, more than likely still trying to get your Elden Ring sea legs back, trying to figure out where to go, until you wind up a little ways west of a burned down shanty town, through a nest of birds, headed down into a mausoleum where certain death is waiting with his best friend, his crossbow. As it turns out, though, the Blackgaol Knight is the only thing standing between you and some of the best bits of armor for your early travels. Guess you might as well kill him. Here’s how.

The Blackgaol Knight’s Abilities

The second you step into the Knight’s chambers, he’ll say hi with a machine-gun barrage of fire arrows that can whittle your health down to nothing real quick if you’re not careful. That’s generally his go-to whenever you’re out of stabbing range, but even when you’re in range, he’ll occasionally charge up his Greatsword and fire a devastating wave of energy, followed up by a deadly and delayed sweeping slash. Thankfully, aside from two moves that will absolutely disrespect your life bar, he’s your run-of-the-mill knight battle, taking random swipes at you with his Greatsword in one- or two-hander modes, occasionally going for a kamikaze flying attack when he’s feeling fancy. He’d be kind of a pushover if only all of his attacks didn’t hit like a ten-ton hammer.

Strategy: Defeating The Blackgaol Knight

So, fun twist, this is a boss fight where you can’t actually summon any Spirit Ashes. You are utterly on your own for this one. How delightful.

Anyway, once you enter the boss room, lock onto him, and run to the left or right, circling closer to the Knight while he fires his barrage of arrows. If you’re lucky, you’ll escape unscathed, but taking one or two arrows at the end of the barrage isn’t the end of the world. When he’s done firing, he’s open for a few seconds while he reloads. The Knight is particularly vulnerable to magic, so now’s your cue to fire at will, magic users, though, as usual, you’re better served keeping a safe distance. For melee builds, your openings are plentiful, but short. Pick a weapon with a nice balance of power and speed that you can cancel out of easily, but don’t get greedy.

Once you’re close enough, the Knight will get into melee mode with his Greatsword. While in one-handed mode (sword slung over one shoulder), his attacks are quick, but a nimble player can dodge around him pretty easily for backstabs, and it’s not hard for magic users to stay out of striking distance, as long as you don’t fire anything with too much charge time. For tanky players, if your poise is high enough with a decent Greatshield, the Knight’s one-handed attacks will bounce right off your shield, leaving him wide open to get slapped around for a hit or two. Eventually, he’ll roll out of harm’s way, and you do not want to be mid-swing when that happens. Again, don’t get greedy. His aerial attack is devastating, but leaves him wide open for a backstab if you dodge it right.

Two-handed mode is where things get more dangerous, though, as he’s prone to long combo strings that never end where you want them to, and do a serious number on your stamina if you try to block him with a shield. More than that, he’ll often break his combo by going directly into his wave attack. The wave is easily dodged; the follow-up attack is not, thanks to some odd timing, but it’s not impossible. The trick here is distance: staying far enough away to avoid his combos, but close enough to punish him when he stands still. The wind-up for his wave attack *seems* like a good time to lay the smackdown, and if you’re close enough to him, you might get lucky where it’s one of the times he doesn’t go for the follow-up swipe, but it’s still a dangerous risk.

Once you’ve done enough damage, he’ll pull a Flask of Crimson Tears. That’s annoying, but 1), he’s wide open when it happens, and 2), he can only do it once. Patience and persistence are the order of the day here.

Is it worth it, though? Is it worth it, though? Well, the rewards are the Solitude Armour Set, and the Greatsword of Solitude, all utterly invaluable in the early goings in the Realm of Shadow. So, yeah. Worth it. So, yeah. Worth it.

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