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How to Beat Erdtree Burial Watchdogs in "Elden Ring"

Tasked with keeping an eye on the treasures of a variety of Catacombs throughout the Lands Between, Erdtree Burial Watchdogs are some of the simpler bosses in Elden Ring. That doesn't necessarily make them easy to fight, especially if you're new to Souls games, but you'll learn their patterns much more quickly than the average boss.

This guide will help you defeat Erdtree Burial Watchdogs in Elden Ring. It shouldn't take too many tries before you can bring one of these stony pooches down.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

Finding Erdtree Burial Watchdogs

Erdtree Burial Watchdogs are located in a variety of Catacombs spread throughout Elden Ring. These mini dungeons are usually short and will gift you with some form of nifty, Ash-related item for your trouble, though you'll need to defeat the Watchdog before you can claim said item. You can find Erdtree Burial Watchdogs in the following places:

  • Stormfoot Catacombs in Limgrave. Head south along the road from the Gatefront Ruins, along the edge of the western bluffs. Follow the cliff's edge until you reach the edge of the grassy lands, where it descends down to a beach. The Stormfoot Catacombs are built into the cliff near this descent. You'll earn 1,300 Runes and the Noble Sorcerer Ashes for defeating this Watchdog.
  • Impaler's Catacombs in the Weeping Peninsula. Check the cliffs just to the east of the main road leading south into the Weeping Peninsula, near the bridge back to Limgrave. You can get up here via a Spirit Spring near the Castle Morne Rampart Site of Grace. Head north after leaping up and you can turn right at a fallen hunk of stonework to find a path full of tombstones. At the end of it is the door to the Catacombs. You'll earn 2,400 Runes and the Demi-Human Ashes for defeating this Watchdog. This one is guarded by several Imps, so take them out first.
  • Cliffbottom Catacombs in Liurnia of the Lakes. Get up onto the cliffs on the east side of the region and follow them north. Near the Liurnia Highway North Site of Grace you'll find a path leading back south, along the edge of the cliffs. These Catacombs are down this path. You'll earn 3,200 Runes and the Kaiden Sellsword Ashes for defeating this Watchdog. It has a staff rather than a sword, and will create wider shockwaves when it slams the ground, so be especially careful when it takes to the air.
  • Wyndham Catacombs on Mt. Galmir. You'll find these within the Wyndham Ruins, just south of the huge climb of cliffs that take you up to Volcano Manor. You'll earn 12,000 Runes and the Glovewart Picker's Bell-Bearing [1] for defeating this Watchdog.
  • Minor Erdtree Catacombs in Caelid. Found more or less right beside the Minor Erdtree in Caelid, down the road from the Smouldering Church on the border between Limgrave and Caelid. You can reach this road by heading to the northeast of Limgrave, past Summonwater Village. You'll earn 7,400 Runes and the Mad Pumpkin Head Ashes for defeating these Watchdogs, because, yes, there are two of them. One has a sword, one has a staff. Split them up and whittle their health down one-at-a-time.

Erdtree Burial Watchdog Moveset

Unlike a lot of bosses - most bosses, really - Erdtree Burial Watchdogs usually attacks with single, quick strikes rather than a string of combo variations. Once the Watchdog is done attacking it's usually not going to attack again for several seconds, making this an ideal boss for practicing your combat techniques. You'll see the following moves fighting one of these Watchdogs:

  • A standard sword swipe. Once the Watchdog is in range it will do this if you see no other signs of movement. Roll to avoid or block.
  • A simple, three-part combo. The Watchdog will swipe twice and stab at you. You can roll out of range without too much trouble. Don't try to absorb this attack with a shield at lower levels or you'll get staggered.
  • An overhead chop. The Watchdog rises onto its legs, tracks you, and slams its sword down into the ground. You can run around the Watchdog while it's doing this and smack it once its attack misses.
  • A 360 degree sweep. The Watchdog will clank its sword onto the ground, wait a second, then draw a vicious circle around itself. Anything in range will be sent flying. Roll away immediately when the sword touches the ground. The Watchdog will also occasionally perform a roughly 180 degree swipe if you're attacking from the side.
  • A ground-pounding drop. The Watchdog rises into the air, waits for half a second, then drops down to the ground with an explosive impact. This hurts quite a bit if you're standing underneath the thing, so get clear as soon as it begins to levitate.
  • A tracked drop. As before the Watchdog rises into the air, but it will try to settle over you before dropping. The Watchdog may do this five or six times in succession before stopping. You can get a hit in each time it drops, though don't try for more than one.
  • Fire breath. The Watchdog will track your movements as it spews a stream of fire from its mouth. This move has a significant range, especially given that you fight Watchdogs in relatively tight quarters. Lock onto the Watchdog and quickly circle to the left or right until it's done with its fire attack. If you have enough of a head start you can get in an attack or two while circling.
  • A tail smack. If you're behind the Watchdog and attacking it will swivel its head around, then wallop you with its tail. You have half a second after its head turns to get out of the way, or throw up a shield.

Beating an Erdtree Burial Watchdog

Erdtree Burial Watchdogs follow the classic Souls credo of attacking and then pausing. During the pause you need to attack, though Watchdogs are fast enough that you shouldn't attack more than once. Wait for the attack to come, block or avoid it, unleash a strike of your own, and immediately back off. Watchdogs look slow, but their attack speed is deceptively quick. Try to get greedy and they will knock you flat.

Melee attackers will have a more dangerous battle against Watchdogs. Ranged attackers need only keep away from the Watchdog and fire off a projectile whenever they're in the clear. In either case, you should never try to attack until after the Watchdog has attempted an attack of its own. You'll usually get smacked down.

It's pretty common for players to come to the rescue outside a Watchdog's boss door, especially early in the game, so you shouldn't be wanting for help with an Erdtree Burial Watchdog. If there are no players available - or if you'd rather fight without multiplayer aid - some of the Watchdogs allow for Spirit Ash summons. Single, beefier warriors will do better in these fights than mobs, though Watchdogs are simple enough opponents that you shouldn't have trouble taking one down with help regardless.

You'll get different rewards for defeating each Erdtree Burial Watchdog. The rewards are noted with their locations above.

Battle Variations

The various Watchdogs get successively harder, and you'll need to watch out for little 'improvements' that make the battles more interesting:

  • The Watchdog in the Impaler's Catacombs has four Imps guarding it. You'll want help to keep them at bay. The Watchdog also has three faces rather than one, and can spew fire in a cone rather than a line.