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How to Beat the Draconic Tree Sentinel 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 guardian of Lyndell, Royal Capital, the Draconic Tree Sentinel is a boss you've already seen buffed up to new heights of power. A mighty warrior on an equally mighty steed, the Draconic Tree Sentinel is more than capable of knocking back any intruders who dare to reach its hallowed post. It's not the most diverse enemy you've met, but it's still pretty danged tough.

This guide will help you defeat the Draconic Tree Sentinel. It's not an easy fight, but it's compulsory, so get in as much practice as you need to take the guy down.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

Finding the Draconic Tree Sentinel

The Draconic Tree Sentinel is stationed in the north of the Capital Outskirts. To reach the Outskirts, you'll need to get to the Altus Plateau, then head for the massive stairs that are just down the road from the Grand Lift of Dectus. Fight your way up the stairs (or maybe just gallop up, as there are an unreasonable number of enemies in your way) to reach the Outer Wall Phantom Tree Site of Grace. You're now within the walls.

To find the Draconic Tree Sentinel all you have to do now is follow the path north, then skirt through a blasted battlefield and up past the leafless Minor Erdtree. At the end of this hilly path is a boss gate, though the Sentinel is guarding the gate rather than waiting on the other side. Let the battle begin!


Draconic Tree Sentinel's Moveset

The Draconic Tree Sentinel is similar to the normal Tree Sentinel in that it spends its whole time on horseback, galloping around the battle area and trying to smack you with its enormous weapon. This higher-class Tree Sentinel has more up its sleeves than just melee attacks, however. You can expect the following moves from the Draconic Tree Sentinel:

  • The Sentinel will ride at you and try to squash you flat with its weapon. Pretty basic stuff, and a little on the slow side, though the impact radius of the blow has a greater range than you might expect. Roll away when the hammer starts to descend.
  • The Sentinel will try to backhand you with its shield. This only happens if you're on the Sentinel's left side when it decides to attack. Not a terribly powerful move, but it can catch you unawares.
  • The Sentinel's horse rears up and it will try to crush you. You should see this one coming with plenty of time to spare.
  • The Sentinel's horse spits a fireball at you. A fairly painful attack in its own right, but this is primarily a pain because the horse often waits until you're using a Flask. You may wind up with even less health than before. Wait for the Sentinel to be somehow distracted before trying to heal.
  • The Sentinel raises its shield, and after a few seconds it will call down lightning to blast you. This attack is instantaneous when it goes off, and you'll have almost no warning that it will, so you just have to master the timing. Your best bet is to try to dodge just before the Sentinel's shield is about to dip. Though this is largely an attack the Sentinel will use in the second phase you'll occasionally see it happen during the first phase as well.

Halfway through the fight, the Draconic Tree Sentinel will begin to crackle with red electricity, and the fight will become more difficult. The Sentinel is now a bit more aggressive, and its attacks with its hammer will be suffused with extra electrical damage. It gains two new attacks:

  • The Sentinel will occasionally summon down an area of effect blast of lightning. You'll have a few seconds of electricity dancing along the ground before it goes off, so get away from the Sentinel as quickly as possible.
  • The Sentinel will drag its hammer in the ground, then, after a few seconds, fling a cone-shaped burst of lightning your way. The Sentinel will follow this up with a powerful, close-range ground slam. You shouldn't see this combination too often.

Beating the Draconic Tree Sentinel

This is a battle that practically begs to be fought on horseback. There's lots of room for maneuvering, and your horse is just fast enough to avoid the Sentinel's attacks as long as you point it in the right direction and keep your pedal on the gas. Zip past the Sentinel, whack it once, swing around it, whack it again, and escape. Turn and repeat. If you're moving quickly enough you'll be past the Sentinel before it can hit you with anything. Being on a horse also allows you to escape the Sentinel's lightning attack more easily, as putting on a burst of speed just before the Sentinel's shield dips will save you every time. (Bear in mind, though, that if you get hit by the lightning while on the horse you seem to take more damage than usual.)

If you have to fight on foot - and it'll probably happen once your horse gets taken out - the battle becomes harder, but not impossible. Your greatest enemy now is the Sentinel's fireballs, which it can launch rapidly and whenever you decide to heal. Standard procedure otherwise: Wait for the Sentinel to attack, lash out, get away from the boss, and repeat. The Sentinel's attacks do a ton of damage and are extremely difficult to block, so you'll need to be patient. If you're feeling gutsy you can leap at the Sentinel while he's attacking with his hammer and get in a smack of your own without taking damage, though if you mess this up you'll go flying.

Spirit help in this fight is great. Most of the Sentinel's attacks strike at a single spot, so getting a big gang of spirits to rush him from all angles can distract the Sentinel long enough for you to dish out some damage. Your spirits probably won't last long into the second phase, unfortunately, so be prepared to endure the second half on your own. If you don't mind the extra health you can also bring in Great Horned Tragoth, whose summon sign is on the path leading up to the Draconic Sentinel.

You'll get 50,000 Runes, the Dragon Greatclaw, and the Dragonclaw Shield for defeating the Draconic Tree Sentinel. You'll also gain access to the Capital Rampart, and all of the areas beyond.