Bayle The Dread Shadow Erdtree
Screenshot: PC Invasion

How to defeat Bayle the Dread in Shadow of The Erdtree

Curse You, Bayle!

Bayle the Dread is considered to be one of the hardest bosses to beat in Shadow of The Erdtree, and I think I agree. This massive dragon is the bane of one NPCs life, and will quickly become yours too. Here is how I managed to get the best of Bayle.

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How to beat Bayle the Dread

The secret to beating Bayle the Dread in Shadow of The Erdtree is by going through the steps of the quest surrounding it. However, as always, they’re very vague, and unless you know where they are, you’re never going to find them.

Talk to Igon

Igon is an NPC with some of the best voice lines in Shadow of The Erdtree. You will find him lying on the ground beside the Pillar Path Waypoint Site of Grace in Gravesite Plain. If you’re at the Site of Grace you’ll be able to hear him wailing away. Head on over to him and have a quick chat to activate his quest.

Igon Bayle The Dread Shadow Of The Erdtree
Screenshot: PC Invasion

From here, make your way down the path to the south. You’ll know you’re on the right path by all the beheaded dragon statues lining the road. But beware. You will be invaded by Ancient Dragon-Man along the way. He isn’t too much of a problem, so clear him out and continue.

You will eventually reach Dragon Pit, which is the entrance to the Jagged Peak area of the map that contains Bayle the Dread. You will have to navigate this dungeon to make your way out the other side, fighting a boss along the way.

Dragon’s Pit Walkthrough

Enter into the Dragon’s Pit and continue down the corridor until you drop from a ledge. Here, double back to collect a Smithing Stone 1. Turn back around and continue, taking a left and following the tunnel down.

You will come to a ledge, leading to an open room with an altar on the left. Pick up the Shadow Realm Rune here and either drop down behind it, losing a little health, or take the path to the right of it, like some kind of a wimp.

Dragons Pit Bayle The Dread Shadow Erdtree
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In the room you now find yourself in, you can either head up the slope to fight a Magma Wyrm or skip it by taking the left. If you choose to fight the Magma Wyrm, you will receive a Dragon Heart and Dragon Stone. I recommend this fight for the loot.

If you head down the slope, you will end up at the huge chalice. You can also access this by dropping through a gap in the Magma Wyrm room. They end up at the same place. Head towards the chalice and take a minute to gaze down into the abyss below.

Take a leap of faith, and drop down the hole. The fall is long, but you won’t take any damage. You will find yourself at the boss fight location for the Dragon’s Pit and one step closer to facing Bayle the Dread in Shadow of the Erdtree. Before you enter, turn around and grab the Smithing Stone 4 from the corpse.

Dragon Hunter Great Katana Shadow Of The Erdtree
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It’s Ancient Dragon-Man once again, with his very silly name. He will use huge sweeping strikes with his weapon, so time your rolls well and he won’t pose a challenge. Be aware, he has high bleed damage on his weapon. Take your time, and use his huge cooldowns to make your moves. Once he is out of the way, you will receive the Dragon Hunter’s Great Katana.

Exit out the doors, and you will find yourself on the mountainside.

A choice of weapons

I used the Dragon Hunters Great Katana for the rest of the Bayle the Dread quest in Shadow of The Erdtree. It is very well designed for hitting dragons right in the face. The special move, as you have witnessed, is sweeping and far-reaching. It is incredibly effective at hitting the distant body and head of the dragons.

However, before you go spending your Smithing Stones, give something else a try. You will have plenty of other Dragons to fight on the way to Bayle the Dread boss fight in Shadow of The Erdtree.

Ascending Jagged Peak

Hop on your horse for this one. It is a long journey, and there are a lot of jumps to be made. Start progressing along the mountain. The route is pretty linear, but be careful of the edges. Continue until you reach the area with three sleeping dragons. If you want to test your build, give it a go here. You can summon too, to make it a little easier. If not, just continue through them, heading to the left, under the arched rocks.

Jagged Peak Bayle The Dread Shadow Of The Erdtree
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Again, the route is linear, with two Spiritsprings to make use of. Honestly, at this point, it is just FromSoftware flexing their creativity, so take in the view, and enjoy. It’s all about to become rather Dragon-y. Use the Foot of The Dragons Peak Site of Grace just after the wooden bridge and get ready for your first dragon fight.

This is a great place to test your build against a dragon because if you can’t beat this first one, you’re screwed.

You will notice two Dragons fighting. Leave them alone, waiting until at least one is dead. Then, you need to take down the second one. This is a simple dragon without too many moves. However, although I was able to summon my Ash at the beginning, the dragon actually flew out of range of the summon area, canceling it. I didn’t struggle to take it down using the Dragon Hunter’s Great Katana, though.

Fighting Dragons Shadow Erdtree
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Once you have taken the remaining dragon down, listen out for that wailing voice. Head east to find Igon, who will give you his furled finger to use when you meet Bayle the Dread. Make sure you talk to him, or you won’t be able to summon him.

Continue, dodging the rolling boulders and using the Spiritsprings to come up against another Dragon.

Ancient Dragon Senessax

You can skip this fight if you want, but I recommend giving it a go. This is a good bit of practice before you face off against Bayle the Dread in Shadow of the Erdtree. It is weak to Peircing, and you can summon it for the fight. Don’t stress if you die; there is a Statue of Marika right there.

Senessax Shadow Of The Erdtree
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Defeat Ancient Dragon Senessax and exit the arena via the north. Ascending yet further up the mountain towards the final boss fight. You will climb through the mountain, finding the Jagged Peak Mountainside Site of Grace. You can use this before heading on. There will be a lot of lightning to dodge on the way up. However, I never got hit by it, so don’t worry too much.

The climb will take you past many dead dragons’ bodies and up a lot of Spiritsprings. Finally, after a long climb, you will come up to the final Site of Grace.

How to beat Bayle the Dread

As I said, I suggest using the Dragon Hunter’s Great Katana, but each to their own. There are a few methods for killing Bayle the Dread, one using stealth and the other going head-on.

How to cheese Bayle the Dread with poison

This is simply exploiting the game’s stealth and poison mechanics. You will need Unseen Form, Poison Mist, and Assassins Gambit.

Cast Unseen Form and Assassin Gambit before you enter the fight arena. Doing so will ensure that Bayle the Dread can’t see you. Circle around behind the dragon, making sure neither of the spells wears off. You can get right up behind it, close to its tail, and then stop casting them.

Cheese Bayle The Dread
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Once in this position and crouched, repeatedly cast Poison Mist. It will very, very slowly wear down Bayle the Dread’s health, eventually killing it. This method is very slow and very boring, but it will work.

How to cheese Bayle the Dread with bleed

Bleed is your friend with Bayle the Dread. Using the Katana picked up earlier will allow you to use its special to get a good ranged attack even when the Dragon is above you. I suggest using your mimic tear and doubling up the attack.

As soon as you enter the arena, dodge roll under the first attack to where Igons gold summons sign is. Then dodge roll the second attack to give yourself time for your Ash summon. Then try to get as close to the tail as possible.

Igon isn’t going to do much but shout, but he will draw fire from the dragon. Allow your Ash and Igon to distract you while you let loose with your Katanas bleed special attack.

When you finally nail it and kill Bayle the Dread, you will receive 490,000 runes and the Heart of Bayle, which is used later in Igon’s questline. Both of the results are incantations to do with Bayle itself. The questline is well worth pursuing, especially with how hard the final boss is in Shadow of the Erdtree. If you’re struggling with any of the other quests, check out our guide hub for all the tips and tricks.

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Leo Gillick
Leo is a Freelance Writer for PC Invasion. He has a degree in English Literature and Film Studies and more hours buried into videogames than he cares to admit. He has worked extensively in the Videogame and Travel writing industry but, as they say, get a job doing something you love and you'll never work a day in your life. He uses his writing as a means to support indefinite global travel with the current five year plan seeing him through Latin America.