Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
As the final encounter in the Academy of Raya Lucaria, Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon is an odd boss. Much of the fight is not you fighting Rennala herself, but instead her various proxies. You'll need to split your attention between a number of opponents, rather than the usual one, to make it through this fight alive.
This guide will show you how to defeat Rennala. It's certainly not the most difficult boss battle in Elden Ring - assuming you get lucky at times - but you need to know exactly what to do, or Rennala will remain staunchly out of your grasp.
As the head of the Academy of Raya Lucaria, Rennala is located on the Academy grounds, and you'll need to make it through the entirety of the dungeon to reach her. To gain access to one of the Academy's two gates, you'll first need a Glintstone Key, found on the small, rocky island of Glintstone Dragon Smarag. It's just off the west coast of the Academy, and you can fetch the Key without fighting Smarag by sneaking into its nest.
Proceed through the Academy until you fight, and defeat, the Red Wolf of Radagon. This will unlock the remainder of the Academy grounds, and if you search the courtyard beyond there's a fair amount of area left to check. Getting to Rennala from here, however, is pretty simple. Check the cliffs on your right for support beams that connect to the broken bridge suspended over a chasm, then hop down onto them, go up the bridge - be mindful of the big, steel balls that roll down it - and run through the next building. There's an elevator straight ahead, guarded by Moongrum Carian Knight, whom you can rush right past if you'd rather not fight.
At the top of the elevator is Rennala's massive library. The fight takes place in here.
Rennala can barely be said to have a moveset in the first half of this battle, as she's not the one doing the fighting. Rennala will float over the library in a golden bubble, allowing her innumerable students to fight you instead. To pop her bubble and make Rennala vulnerable you'll need to hunt down the students that are surrounded by golden light and are flinging books at you. They're sometimes out in the open, though more often you'll need to search the edges of the area to find them. Killing enough of them will cause Rennala to fall out of her bubble, giving you a limited time to whittle away at her health before she goes back up.
This part of the battle is pretty easy, though there are so many enemies that it can be difficult to know when an attack is incoming. Nevertheless, try not to focus on killing the lesser foes unless they're a) In your way or b) You have help. They move very slowly and are barely worth the effort. The students have the following attacks:
- Some of the students will paw at you. No big deal.
- Some of the students will breathe fire. These spurts of flame are small, and are more of an irritation than anything.
- Some of the students will use their magic to hurl pieces of the room at you. The exploding globes aren't a big problem, but be careful of chandeliers crashing down onto your head.
Once you've depleted Rennala's health bar she will switch tactics, pulling you into a watery realm complete with a massive full moon. Now Rennala becomes more of a traditional boss, and she'll use the following moves to try and take you down:
- Rennala conjures a massive beam attack and tries to run you over with it. You can roll out of the way easily if you see it coming, though keep in mind that it will last for a little while. Getting close to Rennala while she's casting will earn you a few free hits, so long as you don't get hit yourself. Rennala typically begins the second phase with this attack.
- Rennala will float around the area, summoning small blue balls that will slowly home in on you. Though more of a distraction and easily avoided, these balls - in conjunction with other attacks - can be a real pain. Roll or simply move to the left or right to get out of the way.
- Rennala will conjure a line of blue lances that fly at you after a few moments. Give them about a second before you start rolling out of the way.
- Rennala will send her wand out as a boomerang-like projectile, whirling around her defensively. Back off a bit and it shouldn't be a problem.
- Rennala will create a light-blue beam that launches at you at great speeds. It's basically the same attack the Red Wolf of Radagon used, but not quite as fast. Roll, roll, roll.
- Rennala will rise into the air and create a small moon. Once it's ready the moon will slowly home in on you, exploding when it hits the ground. This attack is slow enough that other attacks will probably be headed towards you at the same time, so just keep moving to one side to avoid the area of effect.
- Last, perhaps most dangerous, Rennala will summon a phantasmal defender to help her. These monsters are drawn from other areas of the game and can be quite scary at first, though if you evade them they will disappear after ten seconds or so. Don't bother attacking them, just run.
Your approach to this fight won't change much from build to build, though in general ranged fighters will have an easier time since there are a lot of students and Rennala herself is a bit evasive.
- During the first phase you want to focus entirely on finding the golden students that keep Rennala aloft. You need to kill three students each time to bring Rennala down. Run around the edges of the room to avoid the attacks of the other students, and only come out to the middle to kill a golden student or to attack Rennala when she's down. Don't get too greedy once Rennala is on the ground, as she'll eventually trigger an area of effect attack that can do some serious damage.
- In the second phase you want to stay in Rennala's face as much as possible, as she staggers pretty easily and won't attack as much while she's trying to evade you. Run after her and pummel her whenever you get an opening, only fleeing in earnest if she summons a particularly troublesome spirit beast. You can go back to kicking her butt once her temporary guardian is gone.
The fight against Rennala is much easier if you have some help. Player summons are always welcome, and Ashen Spirits can do a great job keeping both Rennala and her students occupied. Rennala doesn't have a ton of health so you don't need to pressure her for too long before she crumbles.
You'll earn 40,000 Runes, a Remembrance of the Full Moon Queen, and the Great Rune of the Unborn for defeating Rennala. That's two Great Runes down. You'll also gain access to Rennala is an NPC, oddly enough, and she will allow you to both reallocate your stat points and change your look.