Elden Ring boss guide: How to beat Maliketh, the Black Blade

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

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

One of Elden Ring's toughest boss fights is Maliketh, the Black Blade, an agile warrior that uses his high speed and mobility to try to overwhelm you with rapid flurries of attacks. Both phases of his boss fight are difficult for different reasons, making the battle a ruthless test of your ability to adapt.

With that said, once you understand each phase of the fight and how to counter Maliketh's moves, the battle becomes much easier, and you should be able to take him down without too much difficulty. Here's our complete guide to everything you need to know about defeating Maliketh in Elden Ring.

Elden Ring: Maliketh general tips

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

These general tips will help you prepare and plan for your bout with Maliketh, as well as give you an idea of what to expect from the encounter.

  • It's possible to fall into the narrow chasms located near the arena's entrance, so watch your step. It's highly recommended to sprint into the room a fair amount before actually engaging Maliketh.
  • Having a good upgraded medium shield or greatshield on hand can be helpful for Phase 1. While Maliketh's attacks will still do some Holy chip damage through your shield, being able to block most of the damage from his rapid attack combos if you're struggling to dodge is beneficial.
  • Maliketh is highly susceptible to Bleed and Scarlet Rot, so use weapons, spells, or items that inflict these statuses if you can. You'll score a ton of bonus damage against him this way, making the fight go much faster.
  • The Mimic Tear Spirit Ash Summon is excellent in this fight. When upgraded, the Mimic Tear can tank many of Maliketh's hits, deal solid damage, and distract him so that you have extra opportunities to hit him yourself.
  • Alternatively, summoning other players is also a good idea. This will give Maliketh more health, but skilled players will likely be able to dodge more successfully than a Mimic Tear summon will. This is especially important for sorcerers who benefit greatly from someone who can survive a long time in melee combat, taking the boss' aggro.
  • Wear the heaviest armor you can, but avoid having a Heavy Load. Maliketh does a lot of damage, so having good protection is valuable. However, you need to be able to effectively dodge, which you can't do if you have a Heavy Load.
  • Maliketh's attacks deal damage over time in Phase 2, so giving yourself passive health regeneration is a useful way to counter this. We recommend equipping the Icon Shield or the Blessed Dew Talisman (or both).

Elden Ring: Maliketh Phase 1

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

In Phase 1, Maliketh takes the form of a Beast Clergyman, similar to the Gurranq NPC that you give Deathroot to in the Bestial Sanctum in Dragonbarrow. Here are some tips and strategies that will help you beat this phase.

  • Maliketh mainly attacks with rapid slashes and thrusts from his dagger in this phase, so don't get greedy. You'll usually only have time to land a hit or two before he starts attacking you again.
  • At a distance, Maliketh will hurl rocks at you or create magic claws that rapidly tear through the ground towards you. Be ready to dodge. Don't try to block these ranged attacks, as they're likely to instantly break your guard.
  • Watch out for an attack where Maliketh drags his dagger through the ground before uppercutting you with it. This move does high damage and is crucial to avoid.
  • Whenever Maliketh digs his claws into the ground, he will then launch several boulders into the air that rain down on you. Pay attention to where the boulders are going to land and make sure to dodge out of the way if necessary.
  • When Maliketh moves away from you and drags his claw through the ground, he will throw a volley of sharp stones at you shortly after. Be ready to dodge this. It's preferable to dodge towards Maliketh when he throws these stones so that you can get in melee range again.
  • Use the large pillars in the arena as temporary cover if you need to heal or are struggling to avoid Maliketh's projectiles. Maliketh will get around these to get at you rather quickly, but their cover gives you just enough time to heal up if needed.

Once Maliketh's health reaches 50%, a cutscene will play and Maliketh will imbue himself with the power of the Death Rune, signaling the start of the second phase.

Elden Ring: Maliketh Phase 2

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

In his second phase, Maliketh uses a large greatsword and becomes more agile. Here's how to complete the second phase and finish Maliketh off.

  • In this phase, Maliketh's attacks are slower and more telegraphed, but they also do more damage and have an additional damage over time effect. Make sure you dodge them, because they're very punishing. Blocking with a shield in this phase is not recommended.
  • When Maliketh jumps into the air, he will blast energy projectiles towards you. Make sure you dodge them. These projectiles hit hard and apply Maliketh's damage over time, so it's important to avoid them.
  • If Maliketh stabs his sword into the ground, roll away from him. An area of effect attack will occur near Maliketh soon after.
  • If Maliketh begins roaring, move away from him. This roar will knock you down and render you immobile for a few seconds, which can leave you open to Maliketh's follow-up attacks.
  • It's possible to stagger Maliketh in this phase if you hit him with enough attacks. Make sure you take this opportunity to land a critical hit against him, dealing massive bonus damage.
  • Just like you could in Phase 1, you can use the arena's pillars for temporary cover. Maliketh will get around them even faster in this phase, though, so heal up and get out of there.

And that's it. Keep up the pressure against Maliketh and make sure you carefully avoid his moves, and you'll come out on top.

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 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.