Elden Ring boss guide: How to beat Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy
This battle is intimidating, but it's less difficult than it seems once you know what to do.
Elden Ring has a ton of different bosses for players to challenge and overcome, but arguably the strangest boss in the game is Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy. This bizarre serpentine demigod leads the Recusants of Volcano Manor, and between his creepy appearance and devastating attacks, Rykard's boss fight is sure to both frustrate and unsettle many players.
That being said, the process of defeating Rykard is pretty straightforward once you know what to do. Here's a complete guide on everything you need to know about taking Rykard down in Elden Ring.
Elden Ring: Rykard general tips
These general tips and useful pieces of information will help you prepare and plan for your bout with Rykard.
- When you first enter Rykard's arena, immediately pick up the large swordspear to your left. This is the Serpent-Hunter, a Great Spear that you need to use while fighting Rykard. In this boss fight, its attacks create large energy beams that allow you to hit Rykard without having to walk through his pool of fire.
- Dying to leave the arena and then upgrading the Serpent-Hunter is recommended. You can upgrade it using Somber Smithing Stones just like you'd upgrade any other weapon.
- Consider respecing your stats so that you have a lot of Strength and Dexterity. These are the two stats that the Serpent-Hunter's damage scales with, so temporarily using a Strength/Dexterity build will maximize your damage.
- Don't use a shield for this fight; use your Serpent-Hunter with two hands. This boosts your damage, and since many of Rykard's attacks can't be effectively blocked with most shields, using one isn't that helpful anyway.
- Rykard has many fire attacks, so wear fire-resistant armor and/or use the Flamedrake Talisman. These will give you a better chance of surviving.
- Keep some Neutralizing Boluses handy during the fight. This item cures you of poison, which will be helpful if you get poisoned by Rykard. You can obtain them via item crafting by combining Herba, Cave Moss, and Great Dragonfly Heads.
Elden Ring: Rykard Phase 1
During the first phase of the fight, Rykard will simply be called the "God-Devouring Serpent." Here's how to get through Phase 1 without much trouble.
- Stand a good distance away from Rykard's pool of fire and repeatedly light attack with Serpent-Hunter. The beams of energy created by the weapon will hit Rykard every time, and when you combo them one after the other like this, your damage increases exponentially.
- Use the Serpent-Hunter's weapon art to stagger Rykard and make him fall to the ground. When this happens, he will be stunned for several seconds and can be hit with several charged heavy attacks.
- Dodge when Rykard attempts to bite or grab you. Both of these attacks do a lot of damage, so it's important to avoid getting hit by them.
- Dodge or jump when Rykard drills his head into the ground and sends a shockwave towards you. This attack's damage isn't too punishing, but it will kick you up into the air and lock you in one place for several seconds if it hits.
- When Rykard smashes his body into his lava pool to launch fire at you, dodge to avoid it. Fire-resistant gear will reduce the damage you take if you do get hit.
- Occasionally, Rykard will spit a wave of poison that you can avoid by sprinting left or right. If you get poisoned, make sure to use a Neutralizing Bolus so that you don't have to waste healing resources on countering poison damage.
Once the health bar for the God-Devouring Serpent is depleted, Phase 1 will be over and Rykard will reveal his true form for Phase 2.
Elden Ring: Rykard Phase 2
In Phase 2, Rykard gets a massive sword and will use it alongside the standard attacks from Phase 1. Additionally, he also gets some powerful fire magic attacks that you need to avoid. Here's how to weather the storm of attacks and take him down.
- Just like in Phase 1, you need to attack Rykard with Serpent-Hunter between his attack combos. Note that both Rykard's sword and bite attacks are well-telegraphed, so as long as you don't get greedy with your own offense, these moves won't be hard to dodge.
- When Rykard launches red skulls that trail smoke, get away from them or get ready to dodge. Explosions will begin to occur alongside the trail of smoke soon after, starting with where the skull began and ending with where it ended. You can avoid these explosions with dodges.
- When Rykard raises his sword into the air, start sprinting away. This attack creates fire eruptions throughout the arena and dozens of flying red skulls that explode shortly after they run into you. The best way to avoid both of these dangers is to outrun the skull explosions by sprinting, taking care not to run over an area that's visibly about to erupt with fire.
- Rykard will end this attack with an explosive downward strike of his sword that you need to dodge. It won't hit you if you're very far away, but if you're even somewhat close, get ready to dodge just before the sword hits the ground.
- If you need to heal, use the various piles of bones and rocks in the arena as cover. Many of Rykard's attacks are ineffective in these spots, giving you a moment to catch your breath.
And that's it! With enough patient dodging and sprinting, an upgraded Serpent-Hunter, and the stats to use it effectively, you'll be able to take down Rykard in no time.
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.
The successor to Dark Souls
Elden Ring ... oh, Elden Ring!
Elden Ring is FromSoftware's latest fantasy epic, featuring a focus on open-ended design in a universe created by both FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin.
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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.