Blackgaol Knight Boss Guide – Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

  • Rewards: Greatsword of Solitude, Helm of Solitude, Armor of Solitude, Gauntless of Solitude, Greaves of Solitude, rune v2 elden ring currency 70,000
  • Summons Available: No
  • Boss Location: Gravesite Plain, Western Nameless Mausoleum

One of the first enemies you are likely to find in Shadow of the Erdtree is the Blackgaol Knight. Armed with a repeating crossbow and the Greatsword of Solitude, this early opponent sets the tone for the Realm of Shadow right. And now, let’s see how to beat him.

  • Backing up will usually let you avoid Blackgaol Knight’s deadly jump attacks, and can prevent him from doing a follow-up attack after using his Solitary Moon Slash.
  • Shields are very effective against the Blackgaol Knight, as is parrying. This can open him up to brutal crit damage.
  • Be careful if you are able to knock the Knight out of the air and onto the ground; he can recover with a roll and attack.
  • After taking out about 1/2 of his health, the Blackgaol Knight will drink from a Crimson Flask and heal about 1/4 of his health bar.

The core strategy for taking on the Blackgaol Knight is all about getting in hits where you can. It is normal to say “don’t be greedy,” but is especially true here: for every string of attacks, you can get should get a single good hit in, and then back away again. You can start this early, since the Blackgaol Knight will start every fight with a Crossbow Barrage, which you can run left or right to dodge and then immediately punish after the last bolt is fired.

If you are using melee, the trick will be to keep your distance where you want it. At medium-range, you will ensure the Blackgaol Knight approaches you, letting you prepare to dodge, block, or parry, get an attack in, and then back away again. This does open you up for the Solitary Moon Slash, where the Blackgaol Knight will swing his sword down and shoot a projectile from his sword at you. The initial attack isn’t too hard to avoid, but if you are close he will follow up with a spinning slash that has very tricky timing.

solitary moon slashh

The Knight deals a lot of damage, so trading blows isn’t ideal here. Instead, being patient and letting the Knight act first will give you the best openings. That said, if you have a weapon with enough reach, you can jump attack the Knight and always get the first hit in, but you have to begin the attack as the Knight is coming at you and before he readies a strike.

Doing so is the most reliable way to knock the Knight out of the air after his jump attacks, putting him on the ground. When he is there, you should be careful, though; he can dodge-roll from the ground and counterattack quickly, meaning you should be careful about using heavy attacks while he is down.

jump counter

What you should also watch out for in close quarters is his combos: most of his attacks can be followed up quickly by a slash, but he will only perform them if you are still close to him. You can use this to your advantage for parry timings especially.

If you use ranged attacks, you will be at a big advantage here: the Knight’s two ranged attacks are extremely easy to dodge. As stated before, you can dodge the crossbow barrage simply by running to the left or right. As for the Solitary Moon Slash, it is simple to dodge from a distance when the blade comes down (or by running to the left or right), and since you’ll be keeping your distance he won’t follow up much.

  • Crossbow Barrage – The Knight cocks his crossbow, and then fires an initial shot, followed by a steadily-increasing barrage of arrows. Run to either side to avoid being hit, and then punish as he is vulnerable after.
  • Solitary Moon Slash – The Knight will raise his sword above his head, and then slash down, firing a wave along the arc of his blade. Roll to the sides to avoid, or block the attack. This attack is only done when the knight is wielding the greatsword with both hands.
    • Follow-Up Spin: If you are close to the Knight after this, he will follow it up with a spinning slash, which you can dodge or block after a small delay and punish.
  • Jump Attack – The Knight will leap into the air and try to bring the blade down on you. You can dodge to the side to avoid this, or block it. With a good vertical hit or jump attack of your own, you can also knock him out of the air. Careful when punishing him on the ground; he can roll away.
  • Slashing Combo – The Knight slashed to the right, which you can dodge toward or away from him or block. If you remain close, he will follow it up immediately with a slash in the opposite direction.
  • Running Overhead Swipe – The Knight will run at you and swing his sword overhead, allowing you to dodge to the side or into him. You can also parry this attack. He can follow this up with more overhead swings, and underhand swing up, or by going into his combo, all of which can be dodged in any direction, blocked, or parried. The Knight can do this with his greatsword in either grip.

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Graves is an avid writer, web designer, and gamer, with more ideas than he could hope to achieve in a lifetime. But, armed with a mug of coffee and an overactive imagination, he'll try. When he isn't working on a creative project, he is painting miniatures, reading cheesy sci-fi novels, or making music.

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