How to Beat the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella – Elden Ring

Found in Ainsel River (South) beneath Liurnia of the Lakes, this boss is as big as they come, and can be pretty intimidating. Luckily, he isn’t as tough as he looks — in this guide, we’ll give general tips as well as some specific strategies for dealing with him.

Rewards: Frozen Lightning Spear, Great Ghost Glovewort (found in a chest in the boss arena)
Summons Available: Yes

  • By standing by the boss’ knee and doing jumping attacks, you can sometimes hit both his arm and his leg, doing double damage.
  • If you manage to stagger the boss, he’ll lie flat on the ground — run to his right eye (it should be glowing orange) and use a light attack to do a critical hit.
  • When the boss begins phase 2, he’ll put both hands on the ground and electricity will start to show up around him. If you’re in melee range when this begins, you have time for two jumping attacks before you have to run away.

Try to summon a ranged Spirit, and if you’re summoning another player, try to pick one that looks like they’re a spellcaster or ranged weapon user. His attacks are actually much harder to anticipate and dodge if there’s another melee player aggroing him, and you may struggle to do damage without taking any.

Although it can be tempting to stand behind him and make him miss most of his attacks, it’s hard to tell what he’s doing when you’re behind him. Instead, lock on to his left leg (you’re right), and stand just far enough back that you can see what he’s doing. Roll towards his leg to dodge attacks, and when he’s finished with his attack or combo, do a jumping attack while standing by his knee, in an attempt to hit his arm and leg at the same time. He’ll usually turn to face you, and you can repeat.

dragonkin nokstella melee strategy gif elden ring

If for whatever reason you aren’t close enough to end up near his leg when you roll, don’t be greedy! Simply run towards his leg, keeping an eye on him, and roll through his next move(s) — only attack immediately after dodging his attacks. Also, while his left leg is the safer side to be on, be flexible and attack from the other side if the situation calls for it. If you aren’t certain whether a combo is finished, again, err on the safe side and be patient rather than attacking.

Try to summon a melee Spirit, and if you’re summoning another player, try to pick one that looks like they’re a melee user. This way, you won’t have to worry as much about dodging, and can focus on getting that DPS out.

This boss doesn’t have a lot of gap closers, so you should try to stand in front of him, just within range, and then dodge backwards when he begins a combo. As long as it isn’t the long-range Underhand Scoop + Drag, you should then be able to safely fire off spells while he completes his attack. He does have the gap-closer that follows his roar, so watch for that. You’ll also have to do more dodging in Phase 2 (he has a ranged attack and additional gap-closers), but the same strategy still applies.

This doesn’t work every time, but you can try to stand behind his left knee, in the crook of his leg. Sometimes, you’ll be able to stand here attacking, and when he moves, you’ll move with him. This can let you beat phase 1 without moving or taking damage.

After every attack/combo this boss does, there’s enough time to do a jumping attack or whatever attack you prefer.

  • Right Hand Sweep – The boss lifts his right hand, then sweeps right-to-left with it.
  • RIght Hand Slam – The boss raises his right hand over his shoulder, then slams it onto the ground
  • Ground Slam – The boss raises both hands into the air, palms down, and then slams then onto the ground. He usually does this twice, but can sometimes do it a third time, so don’t punish until it’s obvious he’s stopped.
  • Underhand Scoop + Drag – The boss pulls his left hand backwards, palm facing towards you, then scoops in your direction. After a delay, he drags his handback towards his body. Roll through this — if you end up behind him, you can punish twice here, attacking after his initial scoop and continuing to attack while he drags his hand back. Otherwise, attack once and then roll through the drag-back.
  • Ground Eruption – The boss raises his hand high in the air and slams it down, plunging it deep into the ground. After a delay, he rips his hand out of the ground, doing serious AOE damage around where his hand was. (He looks like this when he’s getting ready to pull his hand out). You can attack him after his initial attack, but then you need to get a decent distance from his hand before he pulls it out — you can punish after he rips his hand out too. Note that he can do this attack with either hand.
  • Roar ‘n Crawl – His only real gap-closer in phase 1. The boss puts both hands on the ground, then he roars — stunning nearby foes — and then crawls towards his target. Run away from him when you see him set his hands on the ground, and then roll through him to one side (rather than under him) when he’s about to reach you while crawling.

The boss retains all of his Phase 1 moves.

  • Lightning Bolts – The boss throws lightning bolts at the ground near you — after a delay, the ground will become electrified and you’ll get frostbite buildup and take damage. You can avoid this attack by running perpendicular to the boss (run horizontally while facing him) and you shouldn’t take any damage. If it looks like you aren’t going to make it out of the electric field, you can roll, but don’t roll constantly or you’ll run out of stamina.
  • Lightning Slam – The boss raises his right hand high above him, with a lightning bolt in it. After a significant delay, he slams it into the ground. You can roll as he slams it into the ground to avoid all damage.
  • Flying Dive – The boss flies into the air briefly, then dives straight at you. Roll through this and try to run after him and do some damage. Don’t be greedy — if he gets too far away, you’ll have to just wait for his next attack.
  • Crawling Approach – The boss slams his right hand into the ground, sparking lightning, and then crawls towards you. Try to roll just as he’s passing you to avoid taking damage, and try to roll past him to either side rather than under him.

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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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