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A hefty veteran with a fortress of his own, Commander Niall is quite the warrior. Appearing at first as sort of a lazy combatant who prefers to let his men do the work, Niall can quickly rip you to pieces once he's left to handle the battle on his own. Underestimate him at your peril.
This guide will help you defeat Commander Niall in Elden Ring. This fight looks very similar to another one you may have fought earlier in the game, but make no mistake, Niall is much, much tougher.
Commander Niall is the owner of Castle Sol, an out-of-the-way fortress in the north of the Mountaintops of the Giants. Reaching the Mountaintops is quite a feat in and of itself, as you need to make your way to Leyndell, Royal Capital and defeat Morgott the Omen King. Speak to Melina after the fight and you'll receive the Rold Medallion, allowing you to use the Grand Lift of Rold. This will take you to the Mountaintops of the Giants.
Once there, head northeast through the Mountaintops until you find the Freezing Lake Site of Grace. Go north up the cliffs near the Site of Grace, then head west along the cliffs. You'll soon see Castle Sol on your left, seemingly within leaping distance of your horse. Keep following the cliffs until they take you down onto a long snowfield. Gallop east along the snowfield to find the main gate of Castle Sol. Niall is at the end of the dungeon.
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For the first chunk of this fight Niall will do very little, leaving his two knights to fight you. When he does chip in Niall will either buff the knights or provide the occasional poke with his spear. Once you defeat the knights, however, Niall will kick into overtime, and he's suddenly much, much stronger. You can expect the following moves from Niall:
- Niall will stamp his spear down and summon a small whirlwind around him. This is a pretty minor attack that you'll only see early on.
- Niall will summon a whirlwind of snow around him that grows larger and larger, dealing damage to you while obscuring Niall. He'll then unleash attacks that hit at a decently long range, ending his combo with a single-spot lightning strike. Roll far away from him or you're going to get hit by Frostbite very quickly.
- Niall will perform a spear combo that ends with him slamming the ground, generating a small whirlwind. The combo is pretty slow, so stay ahead of it.
- Niall will launch himself across the battlefield at you and try to slash you with his halberd. Niall will usually follow up with a ground-stomping whirlwind. You have about a second to move before Niall slashes when he reaches you.
- Niall will combine his whirling move with his rushing move, first trying to hit you with frost, then trying to impale you. It's a tough move to avoid, but Niall is very slow to recover afterward, giving you ample opportunity to smack him around. Be sure to hold off on attacking until he's winded.
- Niall will form a lightning blade around his leg, pause for a moment, and perform a slicing kick. This one has a short range, but it hurts really, really bad. Avoid at all costs if you see Niall lifting his leg.
Most of Niall's moves will inflict varying degrees of Frostbite, and the chances that you will max out your Frostbite meter once or twice during this fight are very high.
Your immediate thought after playing this fight a few times will probably be to kill one knight, leave the other alive, and focus on Niall. He doesn't seem to become dangerous until after both of his escorts are gone. This is, unfortunately, far from the truth, as Niall will start pulling out his more dangerous moves once he's lost maybe a fourth of his health, leaving you to deal with two very potent attackers.
Your first move, therefore, must be to kill both knights. Focus on the knight with the two swords first, as he's by far the more aggressive of the two, and try to stagger him as quickly as possible. Bring in a summon to hold off the other knight, then help it kill the sword-and-shield fighter. Hopefully you can take out both of them before sustaining too much damage.
Niall will signal his move changes by swirling wind and snow around him in a very wide arc, so pull back and fire on him from a distance. For the most part the rest of the fight should be waged at a range, only getting close to Niall if a) He looks winded or b) You don't have a choice. Even if you're fighting with melee weapons you should do your best to only approach Niall sparingly, waiting until his winds die down, smacking him with a leap attack, then backing off. If you stay near him you will be obliterated by Frostbite in no time. Having a summon still active will help you hit Niall without incurring too much of his wrath.
You'll earn 90,000 Runes and the Veteran's Prosthesis for defeating Commander Niall and his two knights. You'll also open the way to the Haligtree Secret Medallion (Left), which when paired with its other half will allow you to access the hidden half of the Mountaintops of the Giants.