• In Elden Ring, Defense stat affects damage taken & varies between bosses. Use special weapons for optimal performance.
  • Challenging bosses like Rykard & Mohg have high Defense. Strategic item use crucial for surviving tough fights.
  • Understanding boss mechanics like Godfrey’s two phases & exploiting weaknesses is key to victory in Elden Ring.

In Elden Ring, enemies have a Defense stat that works as part of a formula for how damage is dealt. The higher the defense, the less damage actually goes through to that enemy’s health bar. Knowing how much damage attacks and spells will actually deal can make a huge difference for players wanting to maximize their build.

Defense also serves as a part of the challenge to defeating Elden Ring’s various bosses. Some bosses have significantly higher defense than others, prolonging the fight and adding to the danger that players face when challenging them.


All Elden Ring Bosses (& Best Main Boss Order)

Bosses are powerful enemies that add another layer of challenge to the game. Here’s a complete guide to all enemy bosses in the Elden Ring.

10 Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy

A Two-Phase Boss That Requires A Special Weapon

Elden Ring Lord Rykard Battle

  • Defense: 115
  • Optional Boss

Rykard is the boss of Volcano Manor. Killing him is optional and locks players out of the Volcano Manor questline, so players should take stock of their priorities before they fight him.

The fight happens in two phases: Rykard himself and the God-Devouring Serpent. To deal damage to either, players need to use a special spear called the Serpent-Hunter because it is the only weapon that Rykard does not resist. Fortunately, the Serpent-Hunter deals damage at range, which keeps players relatively safe from the lava that Rykard sits in as well as many of his short-range attacks.

9 Mohg, The Omen

This Version Of Mohg Is a Projection

Elden Ring Mohg Omen

  • Defense: 117
  • Optional boss

Like Morgott, Mohg is a boss that appears twice in the game — once as a projection, and once in the flesh. While both versions are optional bosses, Mohg, The Omen must be defeated to unlock one of the game’s endings.

Mohg, The Omen is a projection of players can fight in the sewers beneath Leyndell. He is a powerful enemy with high defense and many damaging attacks. Using an item called Mohg’s Shackle or fighting alongside Dung Eater are viable strategies to defeat this difficult boss.

8 Commander Niall

Summoning Boss With Two Loyal Knights

Elden Ring Commander Niall

  • Defense: 117
  • Optional boss

Commander Niall guards Castle Sol in the Mountaintops of the Giants. While he is optional, defeating him is the only way to go to the Consecrated Snowfield. As soon as players enter the arena to face him, Commander Niall summons two of his loyal knights to fight alongside him. While they are alive, the commander focuses on buffing their offensive and defensive capabilities.

Once the knights are dead, Commander Niall can hit very hard with both lightning and frost attacks. Players can dodge or parry his attacks and then hit him a few times between Niall’s strikes or they can use Bewitching Branches on the knights to force them to turn on their commander.

7 Fire Giant

Two-Phase Boss With A Powerful Array Of Attacks

Elden Ring Fire Giant standing on snowy incline

  • Defense: 118
  • Required boss

The Fire Giant is a huge, powerful boss found at the Foot of the Forge in the Mountaintops of the Giants. In the first phase, he is fairly mobile despite its size, rolling across the arena to create distance from the player. He will also use its shield to launch waves of snow at the player in a deadly avalanche.

Around half health, the Fire Giant loses his shield and his left arm becomes a weak spot. However, he gains more powerful fire attacks, and staying near his weak spot is almost a guaranteed way to be killed. Staying mobile in the second phase and keeping an eye on stamina is the way to endure this tough boss.

6 Godskin Duo

A Pair Of Individual Bosses That Share A Health Bar

Elden Ring Godskin Duo standing next to each other

  • Defense: 118
  • Required boss

Since the Godskin Apostle and Godskin Noble are both bosses by themselves in earlier parts of the game, the battle against them both can seem unwinnable. If one of the pair is defeated, the other will resurrect him after a brief period of time. This means that players will never get the duo down to a single foe.


Elden Ring Player Accidentally Cheeses Godskin Noble

A fortuitous turn of events makes an otherwise imposing boss in Elden Ring nothing but a short detour on the player’s path to the Tower of Liurnia.

The good news is that the Godskin Duo share a health bar, which means that any damage dealt to either foe is progress towards victory. Using the structures in the arena to separate the Duo, gain a few seconds to heal, or to cast a spell like Borealis’s Mist can make the differenece between victory and defeat.

5 Maliketh, The Black Blade

Queen Marika’s Shadow-Bound Beast


  • Defense: 120
  • Required boss

At the end of Crumbling Farum Azula, players find Beast Clergy Gurranq past a bridge guarded by a Draconic Tree Sentinel. After whittling down his health bar, a cut scene begins in which Gurranq calls upon Death to be his blade and then he stabs himself. This activates a transformation process where the Beast Clergyman’s true form is revealed to be Maliketh, The Black Blade.

With high Defense and quick, strong attacks, Maliketh is generally considered one of the hardest bosses in the game. Players can parry his attacks only by using a unique item called the Blasphemous Claw. Having this makes the fight much easier than it is otherwise.

4 Godfrey, First Elden Lord

Two-Phase Fight Against The First Elden Lord

Elden Ring Godfrey The First Elden Lord

  • Defense: 120
  • Required boss

Formerly known as the great warrior Hoarah Loux, Godfrey ascended to the title of Elden Lord when he became consort to Queen Marika. Once players have completed Crumbling Farum Azula, they must return to the base of the Erdtree where they previously killed Morgott and face Godfrey.

Players have to defeat him in two phases. In the first phase, Godfrey fights with a slow but powerful great axe. In the second phase, Godfrey assumes his original name and chooses to fight with his bare hands. As with any boss, learning his move set in both forms is the path to victory. Fortunately, while his Defense is very high, Godfrey does not regain any health between phases which makes the fight shorter and easier.

3 Dragonlord Placidusax

The Two-Headed Lightning Dragon Is A Powerful Boss

elden ring user sheds dragonlord placidusax with spell

  • Defense: 121
  • Optional boss

Players encounter many deadly foes in a dangerous late-game area called Crumbling Farum Azula. Among these is Dragonlord Placidusax, a dragon that used to serve as Elden Lord. Like many other high-Defense bosses, defeating Placidusax is not required for completing the game’s story.

The two-headed dragon is a deadly foe with many fast and hard-hitting attacks. Fortunately, there is a relatively long period of time between attacks, where players can hit him and whittle his health down with what damage they can deal through his high Defense.

2 Loretta, Knight Of The Haligtree

She Guards The Way To The Haligtree

elden ring loretta

  • Defense: 122
  • Optional boss

Loretta, Knight of the Haligtree is a Carian knight who eventually decided that the Haligtree was the best hope of finding a home for the Albinaurics. Players find her near Haligtree Town Plaza, and must defeat her to proceed onward towars Malenia.


Elden Ring: The Purpose of the Haligtree Explained

Most fans know Elden Ring’s Haligtree is home to one of the game’s most difficult bosses, but not everyone is aware of the Haligtree’s purpose.

Loretta is a mounted knight who uses a combination of spells and weapon attacks. She is essentially a stronger version of Royal Knight Loretta, a boss that is encountered in Liurnia. Parrying her attacks and spells is the best way to stay alive against this speedy, defensible foe.

1 Mohg, Lord of Blood

The True Form Of The Powerful Omen

Elden Ring Mohg Boss Lunging At Player

  • Defense: 122
  • Optional boss

Players can find the true version of Mohg deep underground in Mohgywn Palace. Like his other appearance, fighting Mohg is not required for completing the game’s story. Since he is a Shardbearer, however, players can technically progress into the capitol by defeating him to gain their second Shard.

Mohg, Lord of Blood is a tough boss to defeat and players need to use a special item called Mohg’s Shackle to do so. With higher Defense than any other boss in the game and a range of powerful attacks, he is one of the most dangerous foes in the game.

elden ring cover

Elden Ring
February 25, 2022


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