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How to Beat the Beast Clergyman and Maliketh, the Black Blade in "Elden Ring"

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

As the final bosses of Crumbling Farum Azula, the Beast Clergyman and Maliketh the Black Blade are a painful pair. Coming one after the other, the Clergyman and the Black Blade will quickly whittle down your health with their slices and magic, forcing you to use your strongest moves to kill them as fast as you can. This battle is going to be a tough one, make no mistake, and you'll need lots of practice before you grasp victory.

This guide will help you defeat the Beast Clergyman and Maliketh the Black Blade in Elden Ring. It's only fitting that two of the game's last bosses would be this difficult... and it's crazy that this fight still isn't the hardest one in the game.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

Finding the Beast Clergyman and Maliketh

In order to reach this battle, you must complete the majority of Elden Ring. This means acquiring two Great Runes, completing Leyndell, Royal Capital, making your way to the Mountaintops of the Giants, finding the Forge of the Giants, speaking to Melina at the Site of Grace at the Forge, and agreeing to commit a 'cardinal sin'.

All of this will warp you to Crumbling Farum Azula, a massive dungeon off the coast of Leyndell. Once there you'll need to complete the entirety of the dungeon (aside from one optional boss) and make your way to the Beside the Great Bridge Site of Grace. Run up the Great Bridge, past the Draconic Tree Sentinel, and you'll find the Beast Clergyman behind the boss fog.

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Beast Clergyman's Moveset

The Beast Clergyman is an enemy you can fight elsewhere in Elden Ring, so you may already be familiar with his attacks. This creature is highly mobile, and uses a knife to try and gut you. You can expect the following attacks from the Beast Clergyman:

  • The Clergyman will try to hit you with a series of dagger swipes. The Clergyman's long arms give these a longer range than the dagger suggests. If you're close enough you can roll forward and completely avoid two or three swipes, allowing you to get in several of your own.
  • The Clergyman shoves his claw into the ground, rips out a boulder, and hurls it at you. Roll to avoid it or get behind a pillar. The Clergyman may also hurl a spray of spikes, which have a wider range but can be dealt with in the same way.
  • The Clergyman shoves his claw into the ground, then heaves a shockwave of claw swipes your way. Rolling to the side or towards the Clergyman will help you soar through the shockwave. Depending on how far away you are this can be directed in a cone or sent outwards from the Clergyman in a 360 degree spread.
  • The Clergyman slams his fist into the ground, creating a series of cracks around him. Standing on one of these cracks for too long will ensure that you get hit by a boulder a few moments later as the Clergyman rips the ground up. Back away, and stay back until the boulders have gone up and dropped again.
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Maliketh's Moveset

Halfway through the fight, you'll have to face off against Maliketh instead, and he changes his attack patterns to something faster and far deadlier than the Beast Clergyman's. You can expect the following moves from Maliketh:

  • Maliketh with perform combos with his massive blade. They're a little on the slow side, and not that difficult to dodge through, though the timing can throw you off if you roll too quickly. They also have a very long range, considering how they look. Roll through them and get to Maliketh so his sword swings won't reach you.
  • Maliketh will spin around the arena in tight arcs. Get behind a pillar to prevent him from moving towards you, or roll through the spins as best you can.
  • Maliketh will perform a sword combo that ends in a ground stab. The stab will erupt into an area of effect attack after a few seconds. Get as far from Maliketh as you can to avoid the eruption.
  • Maliketh will plunge his blade into the ground. An area of effect attack will go off in front of him about a second later, slicing anyone inside it dozens of times. Get out of the way if Maliketh crouches after landing.
  • Maliketh will flip into the air, swing his sword, and send a shockwave blade at you. This moves with great speed, so if you don't think you can block it do your best to roll out of the way. Getting behind the pillars will also block the shockwave. Maliketh may perform this move multiple times in succession, remaining in the air as he does. If he fires off three shockwaves he'll end the chain by rocketing towards you and slicing at your legs. Be ready to roll even if you're behind a pillar. The slice comes less than a second after the last projectile.
  • Maliketh will perform a sword combo, then flip away from you. As he does he will launch a shockwave slice your way. The slice is very difficult to avoid if you aren't already rolling.
  • Maliketh will roar, staggering everyone around him. This attack does very little besides set you on edge and give Maliketh a chance to jump away and set up for something else.

In addition to Maliketh's many deadly moves, his sword swipes will inflict a small amount of extra drain on top when you take damage. Be ready for that if your health is already low.

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Beating the Beast Clergyman and Maliketh

This fight is nasty, but compared to a lot of boss battles, it should also go by pretty quickly. The two bosses share a single health bar, and as soon as the Beast Clergyman hits half of his health Maliketh comes out to play. You'll have maybe a second to heal up before Maliketh goes on the offensive.

The key here, especially if you decide to call in a summon, is to get through the first half of the battle as quickly as you can. The Beast Clergyman is dangerous, but he's nowhere near as bad as Maliketh. If you're fighting at a range you can use the pillars to keep the Clergyman at bay most of the time while firing off spells or arrows. If you're using melee, stay relatively close to the Clergyman and circle around him to avoid his attacks, nailing him in the side, or, if he tries to hit you with his knife, in the stomach. The Clergyman doesn't have that many moves so you'll get used to their tells quickly. Shields work well in this phase.

Once you reach Maliketh the battle becomes much harder, as Maliketh bounces off of pillars and flips in the air while launching attacks at you. If you're fighting at a range you want to continue to use the pillars as cover, emerging briefly to launch a few more attacks at Maliketh whenever he's finished one of his own. Try not to get caught out in the open.

If you're fighting with a melee weapon, by contrast, you want to stick close to Maliketh most of the time. Not only because you need to be close to hit him, mind, but because staying under him will ensure that a lot of his attacks will sail right over your head, and then he'll land near you and be vulnerable to attack. Sticking close also compels Maliketh to use sword slices rather than shockwaves, and his three-part shockwave that ends in a slice is incredibly difficult to survive.

The big plus side to Maliketh is that he doesn't have much health, and he staggers pretty easily after taking a few strong hits. You absolutely want to stab Maliketh in his weak point on his face if he gets staggered. For this reason summons work well in this fight, though you need to make sure it gets through the first half against the Beast Clergyman without too much damage. Your summon will not last long against Maliketh, so make sure every hit you deliver against the beast counts heavily towards that precious stagger.

You'll earn 220,000 Runes and the Remembrance of the Black Blade for defeating Maliketh, the Black Blade. You'll also progress to the final phase of Elden Ring, and one section of the world will change significantly.

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