All Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Bosses, Ranked From Easiest to Hardest


Shadow of the Erdtree has proven to be a worthy continuation of the world introduced by the base game of Elden Ring. Its world is rich with the lore of a dying world, and its bosses are challenging enough to make even the most hardened Soulslike veteran give it their all. As is usually the case though, some bosses are more worthy opponents than others. That’s why we’ve made this list ranking all of the new Shadow of the Erdtree bosses players need to defeat in order to become the one and only Elden Lord.

All Shadow of the Erdtree Bosses, Ranked

Bear in mind that this list is limited to full bosses who are part of the main story quest and have remembrances and those that are only fightable one time as part of side quests. This means certain dungeon bosses and foes in the overworld won’t be on this list due to the fact that they’re technically mini-bosses or basic enemies given a temporary boss treatment. Likewise, reskins of enemies found in the Elden Ring base game have been omitted to keep the focus on the entirely new and novel fights.

Also, bear in mind that we will have to dig into some minor spoilers as to who the bosses are and where they appear in the DLC. Consider this your one and only *Spoiler Warning*.

13. Golden Hippopotamus

Golden Hippo Sprouting Quills in Shadow of the Erdtree (Shadow of the Erdtree bosses ranked)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

Though the Golden Hippopotamus might come off as bombastic and overwhelming at first glance, it’s by far one of the easiest to overcome among the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree bosses.

To be sure, this beast can be a handful when you initially find it. Its charging moves can topple even the sturdiest Tarnished, and its grab move can be hard to differentiate from its other attacks. Likewise, its second phase wherein it unsheathes its quills and unloads Holy attacks against you can make for a chaotic sprint to the finish line of its fight.

And yet, when compared to the other bosses on this list, it’s just not as much of a challenge to take down. Its attack patterns are simple enough to figure out, and its large and lengthy attack animations leave it wide open for punishment. Combine that with the fact that it appears shortly after the DLC’s intended first boss, and there’s little doubt you’ll be able to topple this foe in no time flat.

12. Midra, Lord of Frenzied Flame

Midra Becoming Lord of Frenzied Flame in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

If we’re being honest, Midra seemed a shoo-in to be near the top of our Shadow of the Erdtree bosses rankings at first glance.

The Lord of Frenzied Flame made manifest, this boss holds the power that can bring about the world sought by those corrupted by the flame of madness. His blows can quickly afflict you with Madness, and every swing of his sword seems poised to eviscerate you in no time flat. And never mind the fact that his moves bathe the arena in an inferno, which can distract you from his attack animations.

But in practice, Midra is far from an insurmountable foe. His move set is littered with openings you can exploit to damage him, and it’s noticeably lacking in techniques that force you to dodge with absolutely flawless timing. As such, it’s easy enough to muscle your way through his battle with little more than determination and some boosted Madness defense.

It’s a bit of a bummer, but at least it shows that Melina wouldn’t have had that much trouble with the Tarnished if they chose the Lord of Frenzied Flame ending.

11. Leda and Her Allies

Leda and Allies Kneeling Before Cross of Miquella in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree (Shadow of the Erdtree bosses ranked)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

This Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree boss battle is a bit unexpected, but it at least distinguishes itself as one of the more flexible skirmishes in terms of difficulty.

Right before the final boss, Needle Knight Leda and her allies confront you in order to protect Miquella. Each has a fairly standard move set on par with an invader or human NPC, but they do boast some special techniques thanks to their DLC weapons and armor. Who you take on will likewise vary based on whose side quests you completed and how, resulting in a boss fight that can be easier or harder based on how you played through the expansion.

We opted to rank this fight based on the hardest possible combinations, wherein you’re forced to contend with some of the strongest NPCs in the game all at once; each of which is built as strictly as possible into a specific build or attack type. And while it still might pale in comparison to other fights on this list, it manages to prove itself as a worthy challenge among its peers.

10. Putrescent Knight

Putrescent Knight Reeling up in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

The Putrescent Knight’s ranking on this list is based less on the viciousness of its attacks and more on its insane dedication to a “never stop moving” approach.

As soon as you drop into its boss arena at the bottom of the Fissure, this skeletal rider jumps into action and almost never stops. It’s constantly on its way toward its next position and lets off attacks with surprisingly high consistency. Even in those brief moments where it does stop moving, there’s such a limited window of opportunity that you’re almost assured to whiff your attack; or get nailed by one of its more devastating blows.

Does this mean it’s insurmountable? Hardly. It goes down pretty easily to almost every type of damage, and it’s easy enough to figure out its move set by the third or fourth go-around. However, we’d be remiss not to give credit where credit is due, and to acknowledge that this boss makes for a difficult opponent thanks to its different approach to eliminating you.

9. Divine Beast Dancing Lion

Dancing Lion Staring at Player in Shadow of the Erdtree (Shadow of the Erdtree bosses ranked)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

The Divine Beast Dancing Lion boss is one that you’re funneled toward as the first boss in the game, but don’t let that fool you it’s a proper introduction to how tricky the Shadow of the Erdtree bosses can be.

At a base level, this fleet-footed deity can be difficult to track and hit. It’s constantly zooming around the arena, and it hits you with the force of a runaway semi-truck. Even if you manage to stay within its range, there’s a non-zero chance that you’ll miss it entirely due to its wonky hitbox.

All the while, it’ll drop elemental blasts on and around you based on which dance it’s performing. One minute might require you to dodge and account for lightning blasts from above; the next, you’ll need to deal with entire sections of the arena being frozen over by frost blasts; and the next, you’ll be at the mercy of gusts of wind which rip through your defenses.

It’s a spectacle of a brawl, and we can’t blame you if you get distracted by everything happening in the fight. Once you manage to get past all this though, his attack patterns are easy enough to deal with that you shouldn’t get hung up on him for long. It’ll give you a better idea of what the DLC’s boss fights have in store for you.

8. Metyr, Mother of Fingers

Player Approaching Metyr in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

Metyr falls square in the middle of our Shadow of the Erdtree bosses rankings for a few key reasons. On one hand, she’s undeniably obtuse in terms of how you can approach her. If you try to attack her from the sides, you’re begging to be pulverized by her many fingers and the attacks they can let off. The front and back are just as treacherous though, as you can get blasted by magic energy or flicked away with enough force to shatter your bones in an instant.

On the other hand, she’s only difficult so long as you can’t get into position to attack her. Once you get in close enough to her, it’s a cinch to let off a nice string of blows, polishing off a quarter of her health bar in seconds flat. This isn’t something you can do in rapid succession mind you, but it still goes a long way in making her feel surmountable.

As a result of these factors, she’s right in the middle of the game’s bosses in terms of difficulty. It won’t be easy to beat her on the first few tries, but it never feels like her remembrance is eternally out of your reach.

7. Romina, Saint of the Bud

Player Approaching Romina in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree (Shadow of the Erdtree bosses ranked)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

Romina is, to put it bluntly, not a boss you’d expect to make it this high on a list of difficult Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree bosses.

Her move set is fairly easy to predict, and only a few are so difficult to dodge that they regularly result in a hit. She leaves herself open to punishment across both of her phases too, which means it’s not hard to damage her at regular intervals.

All of these things are undeniably true, but so is the fact that she wields Scarlet Rot with deadly efficiency. And thanks to this, her theoretically simple boss fight becomes ten times harder. It’s a race against the clock as soon as you’re infected, and her easy-to-dodge combos become frustratingly long as your life trickles away. Every second wasted dodging is one that could force the fight to drag out, and it’s pretty common for a run to end because you ran out of healing items.

It just goes to show that not every boss needs to hit as hard and fast as possible; some just need to run out the clock.

6. Commander Gaius

Player Approaching Gaius in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

Did you find the Night’s Cavalry boss fights difficult to deal with? If so, you’re in for a bad time with Commander Gaius.

Mounted atop an armored boar and replete with Gravity Magic-based attacks, this hidden foe is a nightmare to take on. He rarely leaves himself open while you’re nearby, and he can zoom from one end of the arena to the other in no time flat. His hitbox is also nightmarishly awkward, which means you can feel like you dodged out of the way of his blows only to be sent flying by an errant tusk or spear attack.

Fortunately, he’s far from insurmountable. You can take him down either on foot or with Torrent’s help, and once you lock him into a good pattern, you can shave off his health in meaty chunks. Still, though, the chances of you getting hung up on him for a few solid hours isn’t a small one, which is why he ranks where he does in our ranking of the Shadow of the Erdtree bosses.

5. Scadutree Avatar

Scadutree Posing With Scadu Tree Behind it in Shadow of the Erdtree (Shadow of the Erdtree bosses ranked)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

The Scadutree Avatar is deceptively difficult, and not just because its name would have you believe it’s just as much of a cookie-cutter boss as its Erdtree Avatar counterparts.

A gauntlet of three phases against three different Avatars, the fight is one which acts more as a resource management test. Using too many of your healing items and spells too early can spell disaster, while using too few can compromise a promising run.

This is all easier said and done though. Each Avatar has its own variations of the same move set, and contending with them requires carefully timed dodges and attacks in order to come out alive. One wrong move can result in your being pounded into the ground, flung across the arena, or caught in a blast of Holy energy that’d put the Elden Beast to shame.

Round all this off with fire being one of the only weaknesses you can exploit, and it’s easy to see how this surly sunflower made it into the top five of our most difficult Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree bosses.

4. Bayle the Dread

 Bayle Pouncing at Player in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

Bayle the Dread’s boss fight is everything you wished the dragon boss fights would be like in the base game.

Almost as soon as the fight starts, you need to be on your toes to deal with this wounded behemoth’s attacks. he dives at you with the bone jutting out of his tattered wing and razes half the battlefield in lightning-imbued blasts at regular intervals. Almost every part of him is resistant to damage, and his few weak points are so hard to get a beat on that it’s usually best to avoid going for them, lest you get pulverized in the process.

Phase two of the fight only builds upon this. Bayle replaces his mutilated wings with ones made of lightning and then proceeds to carpet-bomb the arena with enough blasts to level a city. He doubles his aggression and narrows your windows of opportunity nearly to closing.

It’s everything that a battle with an ancient mythological beast should be. Rest assured that this is the hardest boss you can find outside of the main story missions, and only the top three on this list could hope to be more difficult challenges.

3. Messmer the Impaler

Messmer Holding Flame in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree (Shadow of the Erdtree bosses ranked)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

Much like his siblings, Messmer the Impaler is an imposing opponent on the battlefield; so much so that he easily could have taken the top spot on most any other boss difficulty ranking list.

At any given moment, he’s just as likely to run you through with his lance as he is to bathe the battlefield in his particular brand of Flame damage. He barely ever leaves you with room to breathe, and most of his attacks hound you with blow after blow until your Stamina is nearly drained from panic rolling.

Before you assume this is manageable enough, we’ve got bad news for you. He switches up almost his entire move set during his second phase. Predictable combos are replaced with haphazard AoE attacks by giant serpents. His combos become frenzied dives across the battlefield, and that’s when he’s not dropping fire bombs on you in a literal scorched earth gambit.

He’s a suitably overwhelming force. If not for the sheer fact that he never feels impossible to beat, he could have easily clawed his way to the very top of our Shadow of the Erdtree bosses rankings.

2. Rellana, Twin Moon Knight

Rellana Posing With Fire and Magic Blades in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree (Shadow of the Erdtree bosses ranked)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

While many might argue for Messmer being the second most difficult of the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree bosses, Rellana stands out as the more frustratingly flexible of the two bosses.

A lightning-fast foe who can wield both Magic and Fire-based attacks, this Twin Moon Knight can rip through the health and stamina of any build. Your fights with her are tense and frantic, with even one wrong move capable of spelling your doom. Every bit of damage dealt to her counts, and every dodge is a roll of the dice if you don’t perfectly dodge back or away from her seemingly endless combos.

Things only get more tense in the second phase, too. After she douses her blades in magic and flame respectively, she starts unleashing AoE attacks which stretch across the entire arena. Failing to dodge through or jump over them properly means instant death, or being one hit away from your demise as soon as the dust settles.

All this is to say that Rellana’s a terror on the battlefield, and her boss fight remains one of the most memorably hard to overcome even so many hours and days later.

1. Radahn, Consort of Miquella

Radahn Holding Blades in the Air in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree (Shadow of the Erdtree bosses ranked)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

The revived Radahn is, without question, the hardest boss in the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, if not in the entire Elden Ring mythology and beyond.

Tanky as all get-out and capable of smearing you across the wall in two seconds flat, this resurrected demigod doesn’t mess around. Every fight with him is one where he’s out for your life, and he’s willing to take it by any means necessary. That means ground pound AoEs, Gravity magic-fueled homing attacks, and impossibly sweeping sword swings sent in your direction at all times, with upsettingly narrow dodging windows to escape them.

And that’s just the first phase. After you chip away at the first third of his health bar, Miquella swoops in to give him a power-up and unlock his other abilities. These range from sonic speed strikes to an orbital strike of Holy damage, and his grab becomes one that can insta-kill you if it hits you twice. Fat chance of seeing that happen though, as the sheer spectacle of it all is liable to distract you long enough for one of Radahn’s attacks to pound you into dust.

Even with every possible power-up and the maximum level, this fight tests the abilities of even the most dedicated Souls-like veteran, forcing you to memorize his patterns exactly and respond with a very limited set of retaliations. It’s the undisputed champion in terms of difficult FromSoftware bosses, and isn’t likely to be dethroned anytime soon.

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