How to Beat the Cleanrot Knight Boss – Elden Ring

Found at the end of the Stillwater Cave Dungeon in Liurnia of the Lakes, this boss foreshadows some the Scarlet Rot and enemies you’ll find in Caelid. While players with heavy weapons may find this boss a pushover, the poison in the arena can make it hard to keep your HP up, and the knight has a couple of moves that can really ruin your day if you aren’t ready for them. In this guide, we’ll give both general tips and specific strategies for defeating the Cleanrot Knight.

  • All of the boss’s non-magical moves are easily blocked — they don’t do much stamina damage. Often, blocking will cause the boss to recoil, offering a chance to use a guard counter.
  • Stay on the dry parts of the boss room to avoid being poisoned.
  • The boss can be backstabbed, and staggered for a critical strike.
  • You can dodge many attacks, especially the ranged spells, simply by walking sideways while locked on — this is best done while guarding to be on the safe side

Summons are available for this fight, so take advantage of them.

Ranged characters who aren’t using summons should use Carian Slicer this fight, or other quick spells like Glintstone Pebble. Of course, with summons distracting the boss, you can use your slowest and most powerful spells.

Melee and ranged characters can both use a 100% physical defense shield for this fight — all of the boss’s melee attacks except for the Impale are easily blocked. (The Beast Crest Heater is easy to acquire if you don’t have one) Often, the boss will stagger back after you block their attack — when this happens, you can use a guard counter if you’ve got a melee weapon, or otherwise just cast a spell.

cleanrot knight guard counter gif elden ring 1

Heavy weapon users can two-hand their weapon and interrupt the boss with most attacks. Use jumping attacks after rolling through things like the Impale or the Spectral Sword moves, or whenever you’re certain the boss just finished an attack/combo. You can also backstab this boss if you roll behind it during a combo.

When the boss crosses its weapon and blocks, you can do plenty of damage through its block, but don’t use slow attacks as a melee character — the boss will often use a push attack while blocking, and if it lands, follow it up with the Impale. You’ll need to roll away or past the boss, and doing slow attacks can end up with you getting caught by the Guard Push. Magic and ranged characters can happily attack while the boss blocks.

You don’t have to be poisoned at all during this fight if you don’t want to. Once you enter the boss arena, run left to the first bit of dry land and summon your Spirit Ashes there. Then continue running and hugging the left side of the arena to make it to the dry land further in.

safe spots vs cleanrot knight elden ring
The nearer spot is where you can summon your spirit(s), and the further spot is where you’ll want to actually fight the boss
  • Impale – The boss couches its spear by its side, and the spear begins to glow. The boss then charges, impaling you on its spear if it hits you with it and inflicting the Scarlet Rot status effect. You can’t block this, so roll forward and to either side to avoid — you can easily land a backstab or cast spells if you dodge this attack.
  • Spectral Sword Line – The boss puts its spear behind him, and the tip begins to glow. Then the boss swings its spear forward and upwards, creating a glowing line on the ground towards its target. After a brief delay, spectral swords shoot out from the glowing ground. Moving left or right makes this attack easy to avoid, although you’ll want to roll backwards or to side without the spear if you’re close when the attack begins.
  • Spectral Sword Box – The boss puts its spear on the ground in front of him, then drags it in a line horizontally, causing a rectangle in front of the boss to glow. After a brief delay, spectral swords shoot out from the glowing ground. Also avoided by moving out of the glowing ground, ideally to behind the boss. if you’re melee.
  • Spear Stab – The boss stabs once with its spear. This is sometimes followed by a stab with both weapons, so make sure you’re rolling behind the boss instead of away from it.
  • Sword Swing/Spear Stab – The boss swings horizontally with its sword, then after a few steps, stabs with its spear.
  • Double Sword Slash – The boss swings its sword twice — this looks like the Swing/Stab at first, but both are dodged the same so it doesn’t really matter.
  • Slash/Triple Stab – After one horizontal sword slash, the boss stabs three times with the sword — the third stab is fairly delayed, and will track you, so don’t attack until the final stab finishes.
  • Guard Push – While blocking, you’ll see the boss’ weapons start to glow. Then the boss pushes forward with both weapons, doing huge stamina damage. Blocking this will almost certainly stagger you, and sometimes the boss will follow this with Impale, so always try to roll through or away from this attack.

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Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.

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