how to beat lichdragon fortissax elden ring featured image
Game: Elden Ring
Content Type: Gaming Guides



The final step in Fia’s questline, defeating the Lichdragon Fortissax is no easy task. He’s big, he’s got lightning, and he drops lightning infused with deathblight mist almost as an afterthought. In this guide, we’ll explain how to find Fortissax, and then cover strategies and tactics for taking him down.


In order to enter the Deathbed Dream and face Fortissax, you’ll need to do a few easy steps (that are part of Fia’s questline), and a few harder ones (that are part of Ranni’s questline):

  • Fia’s Quest
    1. Rest at a site of grace on the Altus Plateau.
    2. Be held by her in Roundtable Hold a couple of times, until you can “Speak in secret” with her.
    3. Accept the Weathered Dagger, and bring it to D, Hunter of Dead.
    4. Go to the room past Roderika that was previously closed to find Fia — speak with her there and she’ll disappear.
  • Ranni’s Quest

With the above tasks completed, you can go to the Deeproot Depths and make your way to the end of the area, where you’ll face Fia’s Champions. Defeating them will allow you to speak to Fia at the northern end of the boss arena. Let her hold you, and speak with her in secret repeatedly, until she gives you a Radiant Baldachin’s Blessing. Then speak with her once more, and when she starts repeating herself, you can go rest at the nearby site of grace.

Go back to Fia and be held by her once more and “Talk in secret” a final time. She’ll tell you that this is goodbye — go rest at the site of grace again, and this time when you return to Fia, she’ll be asleep. Touching her will give you the option to Enter the Deathbed Dream — select YES to be taken to the fight with Fortissax.

  • Fortissax is moderately resistant to everything except Piercing damage, but is especially resistant to Holy and Lightning damage.
  • Equipping the Boltdrake Talisman, Pearldrake Talisman, and armor with good Lightning resistance helps to mitigate much of this boss’s damage.
  • Standing behind the boss makes it easy to avoid most damage, as long as you continue moving to avoid the constant lightning discharges — the tail swipe is easily blocked for minimal chip damage (zero if you have a 100% physical defense shield).
  • Latenna the Albinauric is a strong summon in this fight, as Fortissax doesn’t like to target her — as long as you hit the boss every so often, Latenna should get to free-fire for the entire fight.

Before entering the Deathbed Dream, you’ll want to do three or four things:

  • Visit Spirit Tuner Roderika in Roundtable Hold and upgrade Latenna as much as possible. If you’ve acquired the Ghost-Glovewort Picker’s Bell Bearings [1] and [2], you easily get her to at least +6, assuming you’ve got enough runes on your person and in your inventory (in the form of Golden Runes).
  • Equip armor and talismans with high Lightning resistance, and equip a shield with strong Lightning resistance as well. The Marred Wooden Shield and the Candletree Wooden Shield both offer decent protection from lightning, and you should have one of them at this point in the game.
  • [If you’re using a melee weapon with Holy or Lightning damage] Apply a different affinity or swap to a different weapon if you want to be able to do meaningful damage to the boss.
  • Prepare any/all of the following consumables and spells: Crab or Prawn, Lightningproof Dried Liver, Lightning Fortification, Golden Lightning Fortification

When you hug Fia and enter the Deathbed Dream, you’ll be transported to a similar room with a trippy backdrop, and you’ll be back at the entrance to the boss arena. Immediately summon Latenna, use consumables, and start sprinting towards the boss (the boss roars and gives you plenty of time to summon/eat). Your goal for this fight is just to stay alive and keep Fortissax’s attention away from Latenna while she does all the damage. You can certainly attack when it’s safe, but primarily you’ll be holding block and avoiding the boss’s attacks — you should only feel forced to attack if the boss turns its attention to Latenna, in which case you need to attack the boss in order to get aggro.

The best way to stay safe is to stand directly under the boss, close to the tail — this makes the camera a bit wonky, so you can try it both with and without locking on. I personally preferred to stay locked onto Fortissax’s head, but you may find it more comfortable to target his body, or even unlock the camera entirely. While under the boss, you should generally be holding block and moving. If you find yourself in front of the boss, roll through attacks instead of blocking and make your way back to the start of the boss’s tail.

fortissax best time to attack gif elden ring
When you don’t have lightning on you, and Fortissax is mid-animation on another attack, you can safely attack him — be ready to roll back towards his tail if you choose to be aggressive, however

If you’ve avoided an attack, you can safely attack Fortissax’s feet a couple of times, and then revert to your defensive posture. During the Lighting Strikes (indicated by yellow electricity on the ground) and Flame Breath attacks, if you’re already near his legs, you can just attack him nonstop during these moves, as long as none of the lightning indicators are near you.

As mentioned above, holding block when not attacking or regaining stamina is very helpful, as it means if you don’t see an attack coming, you’ll still mitigate some of the damage. If you find yourself in front of the boss, run back under the boss while holding block, and try to roll towards the boss if you see one of his Swipe or Bite attacks coming — the claw attacks in particular cannot be safely blocked without a greatshield. The other attacks are slow enough that you should be able to get back behind Fortissax during their windups. While behind the boss, he will often do a Tail Whip and then turn towards you — this can be safely blocked, and then you can run back behind him as usual.

You’ll often see red electricity on your character (you get this from being close to Fortissax), which indicates a Lightning Discharge is coming soon — as long as you move in a straight line, this will miss, with no need for you to roll. The rest of the Phase 1 attacks should be no danger to you as long as you stay near the boss’s butt — the biggest challenge will be staying there as the boss hops and flies around. The Lightning Spear sees Fortissax creating a lightning spear, and slamming it into the ground. This does damage near its point of impact (which won’t matter if you’re where you should be), and create waves of electricity that spread outward. You can avoid the lightning waves by moving out of their path, or by jumping over them.

fortissax strategy gif elden ring
Fortissax won’t let you stay near his tail without a fight, so you’ll need to be moving constantly to keep yourself in the optimal defensive position

At ~50% HP, Phase 2 adds a move and modifies another — Lightning Spear gains a spear, and Lightning Glaive is added. The glaive attack involves the boss flying high into the air, summoning a huge lightning glaive, and then swooping down onto his target. Roll towards the boss at the very last second to dodge this attack, and hold block while you wait in case you dodge too late. This move (and others where he flies into the air) are also a great opportunity to heal, assuming you’re confident in your ability to roll through the attack — if you aren’t, running towards the boss is generally safer, as it can cause the attack to miss completely.

The two other fun ways to die in this fight are standing too long in Death Blight clouds that the Lightning Strikes leave behind, or getting caught by Fortissax’s Flame Breath. As long as you’re sticking close to the boss, the regular flame breath attack should be easy to avoid by staying (or running) underneath the boss. Sometimes, Fortissax will fly into the air before breathing fire — try to run and stay under him, but if he’s too far away, you’ll need to try to run to one side or away, depending on the angle. As for the death blight, if you struggle to avoid the clouds, equip the Prince of Death’s Cyst or Pustule (the former can be acquired in Deeproot Depths).

We hope this guide on Lichdragon Fortissax was helpful! If you found another easy way to defeat this boss, or if you have any questions, just let us know in the comments below.


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