You first encounter this dragon guarding Ranni’s Rise in Liurnia’s Three Sisters, but it flies away after taking enough damage. When found again on the Moonlight Altar, Adula will stay and fight, letting you claim its spell, three(!) hearts, and a whole bunch of runes — assuming you can defeat it. Fortunately, you’ve got this guide to make that part easy.
Adula is resistant to all elemental damage, but especially magic damage — Intelligence builds will want to infuse their weapon with Cold instead of Magic damage.
Since this fight is on horseback, you can equip strong (and ideally magic-resistant) armor without worrying about equip load — same goes for your weapon choice(s).
If you’re willing to be patient, you can avoid all damage by simply riding at the dragon and through its legs every time it resets after an attack (although you’ll have to go wide to the left if it starts a breath attack).
You should always be tapping the sprint button when attempting to avoid attacks or approach Adula.
The cheese for this boss involves the use of the Night Maiden’s Mist sorcery. The sorcery itself is easy to obtain, and you may already have it if you have been to Caelid and progressed Gowry‘s and Milicent‘s quests. If you haven’t, check out our Caelid walkthrough to go through their quests until Gowry starts selling sorceries. And if you’re not playing a sorcery focused character, the sorcery itself only requires 14 Intelligence, which you can get by either going through Rebirth and re-allocating stats, or simply equipping items that increase Intelligence such as Twinsage Glintstone Crown or Godrick’s Great Rune.
Now for the strategy itself, we’ll be using the ruined cathedral that can be found behind the dragon. Staying inside will allow you to be safe from all of the dragon’s attacks, with one exception being Adula’s Moonblade attack. All that’s left now is to use the Night Maiden’s Mist sorcery and watch the dragon’s health slowly go down.
While Adula might end up flying around and repositioning, you can still throw the Night Maiden’s Mist over the wall or window by aiming the camera upwards. The only difficulty could be Adula’s Moonblade attack, which you can avoid by remaining mounted up while the mist is damaging the boss, and either running towards or away from the boss whenever Adula flies up.
Spirit summons are available for this fight, but since dragons can fly, melee summons won’t be much use here. Latenna is a good choice, since she’ll be able to consistently DPS the whole fight, and she doesn’t get one-shot by the boss’s magic. Adula always appears in front of the Cathedral of Manus Celes when you get close enough, and then takes the time to do a nice long roar — make sure you’re taking full advantage of the time Adula is appearing/roaring to get free damage in.
Once the fight starts, you’ll want to follow the same basic pattern the whole time: Ride fast and directly at Adula, aiming to pass through the dragon’s legs, attacking as you do so. You can sometimes land an attack on Adula’s head, but your main source of damage will be attacking the legs and/or wings — you’ll therefore want to be locked on to either the right or left back leg. Ranged characters can temporarily lock onto Adula’s head as they approach and try to land spells on the dragon’s face, but this makes it harder to sprint through and can be risky.
Moveset (How to not get hit)
Adula has a Tail Sweep, a Bite, and a Stomp attack, so you can’t hang out behind the dragon forever. Feel free to get a few extra hits in once you do the initial sprint past the dragon’s face, but then you’ll want to get far enough away to avoid its melee attacks.
If Adula starts to do a Magic Breath attack, you’ll instead need to ride to the left, around Adula’s right wing. Get all the way past the wing and to the legs before you start attacking. Of course, if you’re already very close when this attack begins, you can simply ride through Adula’s legs and sit there attacking while the breath attack finishes.
Adula will also sometimes do a breath attack while flying — riding far to the left (of Adula’s flight path) is still the correct way to avoid this.
The hardest attack to avoid is definitely the Seeking Crystal Burst spell, because it has excellent tracking. You’ll know it’s coming when Adula opens its jaws wide and forms a crystal mass (as in the GIF below). It seems like the only way to avoid it is to be behind cover, so try to always be aware of nearby rocks or walls so you can be ready to hide from this spell.
Adula’s Moonblade attack is the most damaging attack besides the flame breath, and is much harder to avoid. You’ll only see it while Adula is flapping in the air, so you should be able to prepare for it, and if you’re following the strategy, you should already be moving towards Adula. Spam dash and try to get underneath Adula’s path, and keep going — sometimes Adula does another attack with the sword after landing, so don’t turn around to attack right after the initial swoop misses.
In addition to the moves covered in the GIFs above, Adula will sometimes make a Hard Landing — you’ll want to tap sprint as the dragon lands to avoid getting hit by this. However, despite the presence of this attack, your best bet is to try and stay mostly underneath Adula when the dragon is flying, since this makes it easier to avoid the Moonblade. Just start sprinting underneath/past Adula once they start moving downwards.