Elden Ring boss guide: How to beat Malenia, Blade of Miquella

Elden Ring Malenia
Elden Ring Malenia (Image credit: Windows Central)

Elden Ring's bosses are incredibly challenging from start to finish, but none of them are as brutally difficult as Malenia, Blade of Miquella. Located deep within the hidden city of Elphael at the root of the mysterious Haligtree, Malenia is a terrifying boss with high damage, an erratic moveset, and a unique mechanic that often completely nullifies your damage if you don't play carefully.

Even the toughest boss can be defeated, though, and it's entirely possible to take Malenia down once you learn what she's capable of, understand how to avoid her deadliest abilities, and use the right tools in battle. In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about beating Malenia, Blade of Miquella in Elden Ring.

Elden Ring Malenia general tips

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

These general tips will help you prepare for the fight and plan how you're going to take down Malenia.

  • Malenia heals herself when she hits you, so dodging her attacks is crucial. You should always prioritize conserving stamina for dodging and being patient in this fight over trying to rapidly take her down with flurries of attacks. If you don't, you'll likely get hit a lot. Note that Malenia's lifesteal is active in both phases of the battle.
  • Using a shield to block attacks reduces the amount of healing she gets from hitting you. If you're struggling to dodge a particular attack, try and block it with a good shield upgraded to endgame levels to avoid taking damage and healing a large chunk of her health.
  • Malenia doesn't have a lot of poise, so Strength characters can often hit her several times in quick succession. However, all of Malenia's bigger attacks can't be interrupted.
  • Malenia can be staggered when hit with enough attacks. Don't miss this opportunity to either hit her with a critical riposte or attack her several times while she's stunned.
  • Malenia is highly susceptible to Bleed, so using a Dexterity/Arcane build with Blood weapons is very effective. I beat her using fully upgraded Power Stanced Blood Uchigatanas, but other Bleed weapons work well too. Bleeding her removes a huge chunk of her health, which helps counteract her healing quite a bit.
  • The Mimic Tear Spirit Ash Summon is extremely useful in this fight. The Mimic Tear creates a copy of your character that is much tankier when fully upgraded, complete with your armor, weapons, spells, and equipped items. It does awesome damage, can help stagger and bleed Malenia, and will even infinitely drop Warming Stone items that slowly heal both you and it in an area-of-effect if you have them equipped.
  • Keep plenty of Preserving Boluses handy. These items cure Scarlet Rot, which is a poison that Malenia can inflict on you in Phase 2 of her fight. This effect drains your health alarmingly fast and will drain your healing resources rapidly if you don't have Preserving Boluses to cure it. You can craft them with two Dewkissed Herba, a Crystal Cave Moss, and a Sacramental Bud once you get the Armorer's Cookbook [6] from the Siofra River area.

Elden Ring Malenia Phase 1

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The first phase of Malenia's boss fight is incredibly tough, though mastering it will help you prepare for most of Phase 2 as well. Here's everything you need to know about it:

  • Malenia's standard attacks consist of melee combos with fast slashes and sweeps. These are not too tough to dodge, but they can still catch you if you roll too early.
  • Whenever Malenia's prosthetic arm sparks, she will prepare a special attack you need to be ready to dodge. You cannot stun her out of these. If she winds up her sword, she will perform a pair of heavy and slow slashes. If she pulls her sword back, she will perform a deadly thrust. Finally, if her arm sparks but she does not perform either of these tells, she will leap forward at you and launch a rapid four-hit slash combo.
  • Watch out for an attack where Malenia reaches for you with her prosthetic. If this grapple attempt lands, she will throw you into the air and skewer you on her blade. This attack does a ton of damage and will likely kill you instantly.
  • If Malenia hovers in the air, move away and prepare to dodge. She will launch vicious flurries of slashes at you, then wait a second before attacking you with more. This continues until she lands on the ground and finishes the combo with one more move that can knock you down. This move is incredibly dangerous and can easily kill you near-instantly. The key to avoiding it is to stay calm and avoid roll-spamming. Time it so that you dodge as she attacks you again after each pause in her combo. You can also block the initial flurry of attacks with a shield, though she will break your stance if you try to block any more.
  • Attack her frequently between her special moves. Since Malenia has low poise, you can often get in several good hits and stop her from using her standard attacks until she launches one of her uninterruptable ones.
  • After staggering her and landing a riposte, charge up a heavy attack and hit her as she's getting up. She won't be able to avoid this, so enjoy the free damage.

If you dodge her attacks carefully and attack as often as you can, you'll eventually bring her health bar down to zero. Unfortunately, though, Malenia comes back stronger than ever for Phase 2.

Elden Ring Malenia Phase 2

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After Malenia soars into the air and reveals her true form, you'll need to knock her back down and finish her off once and for all. Here's what you need to know about Malenia's second phase.

  • Malenia will begin the phase by trying to crash into you and then creating a massive magical scarlet flower. Dodge her and run away. The impact of her crash hurts a lot and the flower inflicts Scarlet Rot, so make sure you dodge her attack and then get away from her before the flower "blooms."
  • Once the flower goes away, Malenia will attack with the same attacks from Phase 1. There are a few new moves that we'll go over below, but for the most part, her attack patterns are the same.
  • Occasionally Malenia will attempt to hit you with a big swipe, creating a Scarlet Rot explosion afterwards. Dodge both. Both the sword attack and the explosion do a lot of damage, and the last thing you need to deal with is Scarlet Rot poisoning.
  • When Malenia flies into the air, surrounds herself in flower petals, and begins launching swordbearing familiars at you, it's crucial to dodge them. Getting hit by this attack inflicts heavy amounts of Scarlet Rot, even through shields, so carefully time your dodges each time she launches a familiar at you.
  • Malenia's hovering melee flurry attack from Phase 1 inflicts Scarlet Rot in this phase. Dodge it in the same way you did before. If you try using a shield and get Scarlet Rot, use a Preserving Bolus.
  • If Melania repeats her flower move, use the extra time you get to heal up and buff yourself. She stays in the flower for several seconds, providing you with time to catch your breath.
  • Attack Malenia between her special moves frequently, just like in Phase 1. While Malenia's attacks are deadlier in this phase, your attack windows are mostly the same.

This phase is excruciatingly difficult, but keep giving it your best shot and eventually, you'll be able to take Malenia down. If you do, congratulations — you've defeated what is arguably Elden Ring's toughest boss.

Elden Ring is finally here, and it's available for $60 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC. It's one of the best Xbox games you can play right now if you're a fan of challenging RPGs, and we strongly recommend it.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.