First off, good job if you’ve made it this far. Maliketh, the Black Blade is one of the last remaining boss encounters in the Elden Ring story. As a main boss, he must be defeated before you can make your way back to the Erdtree and claim your throne. Maliketh is a tough fight due to his two varying forms, the latter of which is particularly trick to handle. But this guide should help you figure out how to beat Maliketh, the Black Blade, and return Destined Death back to the Lands Between.
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Elden Ring boss guide – How to beat Maliketh, the Black Blade
Maliketh can be found in the Crumbling Farum Azula, an area that also includes the Placidusax boss fight. He represents a major point of no return in the game, and defeating him will alter the game world for good. That is, until you go for an NG+ run. Maliketh begins the battle not as the Black Blade, but as the cloaked Beast Clergyman, whom you may have met in Caelid at one point. That’s right, underneath that clearly deranged consumer of death was a horrifying monster. Who’d have thought?
Elden Ring Maliketh boss fight phase 1: the Beast Clergyman
You start off on a short bridge that leads to an arena with four damaged stone pillars. It’s best to quickly move forward, as the Beast Clergyman will often charge and leave you stuck without much breathing room. Yes, I did fall off the edge. No, I don’t want to talk about it.
If you went through some of the Clergyman’s story earlier in the game, then some of the attacks he uses shouldn’t be a surprise. The Beast Clergyman is strong and agile, and uses incantations like Beast Claw and Stone of Gurranq.
- Melee attacks – the Beast Clergyman holds a large dagger, which he will use in his attacks. He will either stab and follow it up with two swipes, or swipe twice before either doing another swipe or an overhead attack with a long windup time.
- Beast Claw – the Beast Clergyman buries his left hand in the ground, and once removed it will send off a wave of claws in a circle. There is another form of this attack, in which he brings his hand down before sending a group of claws directly toward you.
- Rock toss – He throws rocks toward you in one or two ways. Either he hops around and collects rocks, which he throws upon finish, or he uses something like the Stone of Gurranq and hurls a boulder your way.
- Ground upheaval – The Beast Clergyman buries both hands in the ground and lifts up the rock around him, which he then tosses straight into the air. The stones then fall back down after about three seconds.
Maliketh’s first phase as the Beast Clergyman isn’t too challenging to deal with. Most of his melee attacks are slow with clear windups, so it’s mostly a matter of timing your rolls. He’s more difficult in regards to his abilities and acrobatics. The Beast Clergyman likes to charge and leap around the arena, sometimes even going for a feint before swiftly backing away. His rock tosses are also tough to manage if you’re too close. An overhead attack leaves him vulnerable for a couple seconds. Take advantage of that short timeframe.
My suggestion in this first phase is to mind your distance. Keep him at a medium range: get close enough that he’ll want to attack with his dagger, but far enough that the claws and rocks aren’t too close for comfort. When you see him prepare for a claw, dodge through it and get close. He’s not all that great against melee builds, so jump in and attack as often as possible. His poise can also be broken after enough strikes, so “unga bunga” builds are strong against him. During his ground upheaval move, don’t be too close. The rocks, however, do take a few seconds to fall. So, if you’re feeling risky, go in for a couple swings before dodging.
Elden Ring Maliketh boss fight phase 2: the Black Blade
Maliketh, the Black Blade is a much more challenging fight. Once you get the Clergyman’s health to half, he uses his dagger to stab his hand and remove a sword that holds the Rune of Death. His cloak burns away, revealing a beast with some of the most badass armor you can find in Elden Ring. No, seriously. Maliketh is one of the best-designed characters FromSoftware has made.
- Melee attacks – Maliketh will swing his blade and sometimes follow it up with a second attack or a slow, overhead swing. He’ll also use a whirl attack, which hits twice.
- Blade of Death – Maliketh’s sword glows gold, and if you get it, you’ll lose some of your health bar and take damage over time for about 5-7 seconds.
- Jump and stab explosion – After leaping into the air, Maliketh will drive his sword into the ground, which is followed by a powerful AoE attack. I’ve seen him do this typically after leaping onto a pillar.
- Slash projectiles – Maliketh will leap up and fire off red projectiles from his blade. He may fire just one projectile, but will sometimes fire up to three and then follow up the last attack with a flying slash.
For the most part, dodging Maliketh’s melee attacks is no different than that of the Beast Clergyman. Keep him at medium range, and dodge through most of his swipes. Watch out for the overhead attack, as, once again, it’ll leave him vulnerable for a second or two.
What you need to watch out for the most are his new abilities. His Blade of Death is incredibly damaging. Be the most cautious once you notice his sword glowing yellow, as any attack will knock off part of your life bar as the flame eats away at your health. It’s a similar move as the Blade of Death used by Alecto, the Black Knife Ringleader. It’s also used by the Spirit Summon, Black Knife Tiche. If you have experience with either one, then you know how devastating the move can be.
He also has slash projectiles, which he can fire up to three times before following them with a flying slash attack. Dodge them as you can, and then dodge through the final attack if it comes. If they’re glowing yellow, you can reflect the projectiles back to Maliketh if you have the Blasphemous Claw.
The AoE attack is much easier to dodge. You can predict that it’s coming once Maliketh leaps up and grabs onto a pillar. Just wait for him to start his descent and dodge roll away.
What you get for defeating Maliketh, the Black Blade
Once Maliketh is dealt with, you earn 220,000 Runes and the Remembrance of the Black Blade. The Remembrance can be traded in for Maliketh’s Black Blade, a STR/DEX/FAI Colossal Sword, or the Black Blade Incantation.
With Maliketh finally out of the way, you’ll be sent to Leyndell for the final few confrontations before the end of the game. Best of luck. We’ll have guides for those available as well.