Ancient Dragon-Man Boss Guide – Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree


Down in the Dragon’s Pit, you’ll find a boss that’s half man, half dragon…the Ancient Dragon-Man! You have probably already tussled with this dragon humanoid outside the Dragon’s Pit, but this time he’s stronger. Let’s break down how to beat this scaly foe.


  • When he finishes a jumping slam attack, it’s the best time to counterattack him.
  • He will drink a flask to recover about a quarter of his life. He only does this once.
  • Basically, whenever has a big dragon head, back roll away several times. If he’s in the air and glowing, then side dodge.
  • If you’re a ranged fighter, then attack him as he does his dragon head attacks.
  • He flinches from attacks, so if you hit your first light attack, then spam it.
  • Avoid using shields to defend because of his bleed weapon.
  • Using a strong spirit ash summons make this fight drastically easier.

This isn’t your usual boss fight. It’s more like the invasions you find out in the overworld, and it should be treated like one of those. Memorizing dodges and attack patterns take a back seat to punishing mistakes in these types of fights. Even though he’s using a large weapon, he has some quick attacks, so you’ll want to be wary of those. Wait to attack until he slips up and uses a slam attack or dragon head power, which has a slow recovery time.

Of course, it is a boss fight, which means you can use a spirit ash summons. If you have a strong summons like the Mimic Tear Ashes, this fight becomes significantly easier. You simply have to focus on doing damage when he isn’t targeting you, and avoiding his ranged attacks.

This fight might be easier for melee fighters, or at least those that can parry. However, while usually you can rely on your shield to minimize damage received when you miss a parry, you’ll want to avoid blocking with shields on account of his attacks giving you stacks of bleed. If you get hit too much, then you’ll take a boat-load of damage.

He can be very agile, and hard to hit, but this agility comes at a cost — he staggers easily. With enemies like this, you want to test your attack first with a light attack (often at the end of one of his combos or after a jumping slam attack). If you miss, then you want to dodge before he counters. However, if you land the hit, then he’ll flinch, and you can keep on attacking until he dodges away, or you finish your combo, and you dodge away. Take note that light attacks won’t flinch him if he’s in the middle of a jump slam, or a sprinting slash attack.

elden ring ancient dragon man light attack spam gif
You Like-That-Ancient-Dragon-Man?

While his dragon head attacks are slow, and you can probably score a hit on him, it’s not worth the risk (they chunk your health bar or kill you). Even if he starts one of these attacks right next to you, you should have plenty of time to do several backwards dodges to get out of their range.

If your character specializes in ranged attacks, then this fight will take a certain degree of patience (this guy can really dodge). Whenever you get his aggro, you can simply dodge away from him until either your spirit ash summon gets his attention, or he uses a dragon head attack. There are two dragon head attacks, one where he spews lava, and another where he takes a big chomp at you. The lava has a little more range, but after dodging away, you’ll have plenty of distance and time to attempt a ranged attack.

elden ring ancient dragon man dragon head chomp gif
Beware the chomp

The main threat will be his ranged air slash attack; in this attack he jumps up in the air while glowing red, then slashes in the air — sending a cutting wave at you. It’s a fast maneuver, so it can catch you off guard. It also doesn’t help that he has another move that’s very similar, but it doesn’t send out a ranged wave attack. Still, it’s best to dodge whether you think it’s the ranged version or not.

elden ring ancient dragon man air slash attack v1 gif
Close one

Overall, though, what will make the biggest difference is having a strong melee spirit ashes to get his attention. Solid summoning choices will be something like Black Knife Tiche, or Banished Knight Oleg.

Most of the Ancient Dragon-Man’s attacks are basic attacks derived from his great katana. These are similar attack animations to normal great swords, but maybe a tad faster. His special attacks revolve around being a dragon, imagine that.

  • Great Katana Attacks
    • Jumping Downward Slash – He jumps in the air, and comes down with a powerful slash. He can do this while running at you or standing still. This should be avoided as it does a ton of damage, but it’s also the best time to counter him, as it’s a slow recovery.
    • Piercing Strike – He thrusts his sword directly at you. This is a potentially good time to strike him, but be careful as he can turn it into a combo.
    • Sprinting Slash – If he’s running at you, then he has three options: the jumping downward slash, piercing strike, or this attack, and he does the most often. He runs and slashes from left to right. If you’re close to him after dodging it, then he will transition it into a combo. If you dodge far enough away, though, you can try for a ranged attack.
    • Basic Great Sword Combo – You’ve seen this before. It’s a five swing combo. Don’t get stuck in it, and if you do dodge away.
  • Special Moves
    • Dragon Head Magma – A large, prickly dragon head emerges from his body with magma in its mouth, then spits the magma at you. This attack doesn’t have a lot of range, but it does make a puddle of magma where it lands that you’ll want to avoid.
    • Dragon Head Chomp – A horned dragon head emerges from his body, then take a big chomp in your direction. If you’re two rolls away, then this attack can’t hit you.
    • Air Slash – He jumps in the air and does a circular slash while glowing with red energy. Not the most dangerous attack, but be careful because it could be the ranged type.
    • Air Slash Wave – He jumps in the air and does a circular slash while glowing with red energy, but the slash sends out a wave of cutting red energy. This attack is fast and has good range, be careful.

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Kelson H.
Kelson H.

Kelson is a spud head from out west. He is most happy when holding a milky tea with too much honey and playing a sprawling role playing game or reading a fantasy novel. His video game tastes vary but his main genres are looter shooters, RPGs, and real time strategy games.

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