Elden Ring DLC: How to beat Putrescent Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Putrescent Knight hero image
(Image credit: Windows Central)

It's time to take down another challenging foe. 

The Shadow of the Erdtree DLC brings a massive expansion to FromSoftware and Bandai Namco's 2022 action role-playing game Elden Ring, and there's myriad new opponents to take on, including some powerful bosses. One of the more out-of-the-way enemies you can challenge is the Putrescent Knight. While not required, this haunting duel does stand between you and some intriguing rewards. 

It won't be easy though. With a roster of powerful moves and a trusty steed, the Putrescent Knight is going to put up one doozy of a fight. Having conquered this foe, I've gathered what you need to know in one place. Here's my boss guide on how to beat the Putrescent Knight in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree. 

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Standard Edition

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Standard Edition

Miquella's mysteries continue as Tarnished players head to the Land of Shadow, a mysterious realm filled with new monsters and powerful magic. This expansion is launching over two years after the release of the original game, bringing fantastic bosses to fight and weapons to obtain.

Buy for Xbox at: Best Buy | CDKeys | Xbox
Buy for PC at:
CDKeys (Steam) | GreenManGaming (Steam)

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Putrescent Knight: General Tips

Defeat the slime knight and his horse. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Before diving into the fight, it's worth going through some basic preparation. The Putrescent Knight is a decent ways into the DLC, as you first have to navigate to the Cerulean Coast, then go to its southernmost point and delve through the Stone Coffin Fissure before finally taking a leap into the abyss below, where this slimy knight and his gunge-ridden steed await. 

Below, I've rounded up some general preparation tidbits you should know before heading into the fight.

  • Make sure you have plenty of Scadutree fragment upgrades and Revered Spirit Ash Blessing upgrades: I personally beat the Putrescent Knight with a level 8 Scadutree fragment upgrade, and a level 5 Revered Spirit Ash upgrade. You have a bit of wiggle room, but I'd aim for around those tiers to make sure you can deal enough damage and not be killed instantly.
  • Make sure you have the Mimic Tear or another top-tier summon: This should go without saying, but bring either the Mimic Tear or another highly-recommend Spirit Ash, like Black Knife Tiche. 
  • The Putrescent Knight is resistant to Frostbite: Don't go in expecting to use Frosbite to deal massive chunks of damage. If that's your main melee strategy, choose another weapon. I personally used the Sword of Night and Flame, but you could also go with the Blasphemous Blade or many, many other weapons.
  • Magic users should focus on flame: This is simple enough. As the Putrescent Knight isn't resistant to flame damage, any magic abilities that dish out fire are handy here.
  • The Putrescent Knight also deals Frostbite buildup: A handful of attacks, including one particularly nasty move, will deal Frostbite buildup if it connects, so make sure you've got high resistance and some neutralizing Boluses on hand.
  • You can block the knight's melee moves, but it's better to dodge: A melee build using a shield can block the knight's attacks without worrying about any chip damage, but the sheer amount of stamina damage you'll suffer (and the rapid nature of the knight's moveset) means it's probably better to try dodging, especially during attacks when the knight and its horse separate.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Putrescent Knight Boss Guide

When you see this happen, get ready. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Now that you're prepared, it's time to actually fight this thing. Here's the moves you need to look out for, and how to react appropriately. 

  • The Putrescent Knight starts the battle by charging you from across the arena: This means you have a critical few seconds to summon your Spirit Ashes and use your Mixed Physick (if relevant).
  • At medium-to-close range, the Putrescent Knight will often open up by throwing its bone weapon like a boomerang: This attack does a small to moderate chunk of damage, and it is repeated from time to time throughout the fight. It's easy to roll under and avoid this attack, but because it only happens at closer range, you only have a moment to reach when you see the blade hurled in your direction. 
  • The knight will charge you on horseback and slash from side to side: These attacks can be blocked or dodged, and if you're quick, you can get in a hit or two immediately after the knight swings.
  • From time to time, the Putrescent Knight will jump off its horse and slam its weapon down on you: This move has a long windup as the knight hurls through the air, but you need to roll or block it, because this attack does massive damage.
  • IMMEDIATELY after the above attack, the knight will charge you on the ground, and its horse will charge you twice: Following the leaping attack detailed above, resist the urge to get an attack in, because the Putrescent Knight will charge you while spinning on the grind like Darth Sidious in Revenge of the Sith. This will be combined with the knight's horse charging you. These attacks can be blocked, but you're better off dodging.
  • Finally, when the above combo ends, start hitting the knight: After the attack sequence is complete, you'll have a couple of moments where the knight mounts its horse again. This is the perfect time to attack without retribution.
  • At about 60% health, the Putrescent Knight unleashes its most dangerous attack: Once you've whittled the knight's health down to about 60% (give or take a sliver) the Knight summons a cliff of slime under its horse, raising its arms and launching waves of blue fire across the arena floor. There are three waves of fire, each of which deals a chunk of damage but more dangerously, inflicts a hefty bit of Frostbite buildup. To survive this, you have to roll forward through each wave of fire. If your timing is even slightly off, you'll be hit and likely staggered.
  • After this has happened, the Putrescent Knight uses a new move where it launches a wave of blue flame forward: Unlike the previous version, this attack only goes in one direction, so you can roll away from the flame instead of having to roll forward through it.

A poignant fight

I really enjoyed this boss fight. The atmosphere leading up to it and the beautiful arena's art direction combined with the Putrescent Knight's unique appearance make for a fight that I'm not going to forget. It's definitely challenging, but once you understand the knight's moves, you're going to have a much easier time getting through. 

In our review of Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, my colleague Brendan Lowry writes that it is a "game-sized masterpiece of an expansion that will keep players enthralled for upwards of 40 hours, with its new map home to an enjoyable character-driven narrative, a diverse collection of treasures, and countless secrets to discover."

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree is now available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4, meaning one of the best Xbox games and best PC games is now even better.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.