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How to Beat the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella in "Elden Ring"

A hulking, draconic, likely-undead guardian, the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella is one tough customer. With a massive range and lots of bulk to throw around, the Dragonkin Soldier is more than capable of wiping you out with one or two hits. It'll take some careful attacks to bring this big guy down.

This guide will help you defeat the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella. First, though, you need to find it, and that's a chore in and of itself.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

Finding the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella

The Dragonkin Soldier is located on the Ainsel River, deep below the planet's surface, and you'll need to find a very particular elevator before you can reach it. It's inside the Ainsel River Well, which is found on the eastern side of the Liurnia of the Lakes region, just north of the Eastern Tableland Site of Grace. If you follow the cliffs north from the entrance of Liurnia of the Lakes you'll eventually come across it, off on its own and guarded by a massive stone defender (who is easier to take down than you might think).

Descending into the Ainsel River Well Depths will bring you into a sizable colony of Giant Ants, and you'll need to fight through their tunnels for a while. These twist-turny passages seem more daunting than they are, and regardless of the path you take you'll eventually wind up at the Uhl Palace Ruins. This place is infested with slow-moving soldiers that you can safely run by.

Whether you go through the front entrance of the Uhl Palace Ruins or use the secret path on the right you'll wind up in a wide area with a massive, sniping bug hovering over a temple. It will try to blast you whenever you're in sight, so use the pillars in the area to take cover between blasts and make your way to the west side of the area. Down in the water you'll find a passage to the Ainsel River Downstream Site of Grace. This is the closest you'll get to the Dragonkin Soldier's den. Keep fighting downriver, past more Giant Ants, to find the boss fog.


Dragonkin Soldier's Moveset

The first half of the Dragonkin Soldier's battle is exclusively melee, and you'll spend a lot of time dodging its fists. You can expect the following attacks:

  • The Dragonkin Soldier swipes at you with its hands. It can do this up to three times. Rolling under them, towards the Dragonkin Soldier, will save you from eating dirt. This will also bring the Dragonkin Soldier's face close to you, giving you a chance to whack it on the chin.
  • The Dragonkin Soldier can try to smack you, and if it misses - and you're close enough - it will backhand you. Don't stop moving until it stops moving.
  • The Dragonkin Soldier reaches at you with its left hand. It will then claw back along the ground, hitting you again if you don't roll out of the way. Don't assume that you're safe if you're beneath the brute.
  • The Dragonkin Soldier pounds the ground, creating a shockwave that can send you flying. Get out of the way, simple as that. Occasionally the Dragonkin Soldier will pound the ground several times, so keep an eye on it arms for a few seconds to make sure it's not about to throw a tantrum.
  • The Dragonkin Soldier again pounds the ground, but creates an additional shockwave when pulling its hand back out. Don't approach until its arm is free.
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Once the Dragonkin Soldier's health is roughly halfway gone it will switch tactics, leaping away from you and creating a huge ball of electricity around itself for a few seconds. Once this happens it will become a more elusive target, using attacks that keep it out of your range. You can expect the following:

  • The Dragonkin Soldier will hurl lighting bolts at the water, generating a sort of static field that erupts and damages you after a few seconds. Immediately roll away from the sparks. You'll suffer Frostbite buildup if you get hit.
  • If you're under it the Dragonkin Soldier will blast the water around itself for a significant amount of damage. Don't spend too much time lingering around its undersides in this phase unless you know you can deal a fatal blow.
  • The Dragonkin Soldier will fly into the air and try to divebomb you with lances made of electricity. Wait for it to get right over you then roll out of the way.

In addition to all of the above, the Dragonkin Soldier's normal attacks will now, typically, be a combination of electric and cold in nature, and will quickly build up Frostbite status if you get hit. The Frostbite is more than enough to rip you apart when added onto its normal damage, so you want to spend as little time in this phase as possible.


Beating the Dragonkin Soldier

The Dragonkin Soldier is much faster than it looks, and unlike many larger enemies you usually won't have the time or opportunity to attack it from behind. If you're using a melee weapon your best bet is to lock onto one of the legs, wait for it to attack, roll forward through its attack, get in one or two hits, and then roll away again before the Dragonkin Soldier can pound you into the ground. Depending on the nature of the attack you can also smack the Dragonkin Soldier's arms when they come into range. Ranged or magic fighters should just do their best to avoid the Dragonkin Soldier's attacks and remain at a distance, targeting and blasting the head.

Once the Dragonkin Soldier's tactics change you'll have to change up your approach as well, and melee fighters will have a tougher time with this second phase. All you can do is switch to a ranged weapon to do damage - a bow or Firebombs do nicely - or wait for the Dragonkin Soldier to change back to its melee attacks. Try to get in as much damage as you can on the first phase so you have less of the second phase to deal with.

If you're having trouble with this fight then Spirit Ashes can go a long way towards leveling the playing field. Bring out some Wolves or Skeletons and they will distract the Dragonkin Soldier, giving you time to lash out at its legs. It can do very little to attack you when you're behind it.

(Want to end this fight easily? Wait for the Dragonkin Soldier to attack, then roll under its ribcage and target one of its legs. If you get lucky - or just happen to position yourself correctly - you'll get caught behind its leg, and you'll be dragged along harmlessly behind the Dragonkin Soldier. This will allow you to repeatedly smack the big lizard's leg, and it will go crazy trying to get at you... and fail. Do enough damage and you can avoid the second phase altogether, though if it does start to generate electricity, get out of there fast.)

You'll receive 12,000 Runes and the Frozen Lightning Spear Incantation for defeating the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella. If you check beneath the throne of the enormous skeletal figure that watches the battle you'll also find a chest containing a Great Ghost Glovewort.

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