The Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss is one of the most frustrating foes in the game. His tough armour and colossal shield make him difficult to hit, and he has very few openings to exploit.
It’s almost impossible to avoid Crucible Knight as there are numerous variations in the Lands Between. He can fought early on at the Stormhill Evergaol, and also fights alongside Mistbegotten Warrior at Redmane Castle in Caelid. Whichever boss fight is causing you trouble, it will serve you well to learn how to take down these tricky enemies.
Here’s our boss guide of how to beat the Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss.
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How to beat Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss: General tips
Before the specific strategy and attack patterns are covered, here are our Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss fight tips that apply throughout the battle.
Equip a shield with Parry
You can beat Crucible Knight at his own game, and a shield is by far the best opportunity to open him up. If you learn some of his attacks, the Parry ability can bring him to his knees in one go, leaving him open for a riposte. Even if you don’t master this, simply having the shield raised is a good safety measure as most of his attacks are blockable.
Just to be clear, I’m referring to the Parry animation where your character will swing the shield towards the enemy when the button is tapped. This is different to a normal block or guard counter.
Some shields have Parry automatically installed, and some don’t have it at all so make sure you have an appropriate shield with 100 physical defence.
Some bosses are best beaten with aggressive tactics. Crucible Knight is not one of them. Charging in and trying to catch him off guard does not work, as he is too powerful and does not get staggered easily.
Instead, you should bide your time and never initiate an attack. Even if it seems his openings are few and far between, there are a couple of solid ones if you know what to do. We’ll cover this in the strategy below.
Learn the difference between his stomp attacks
It might not be obvious at first, but Crucible Knight’s troublesome AOE stomp attack has two variations, and learning it is crucial to this battle. This attack can stun you and leave you open if hit, but one of them presents a good opportunity even if you haven’t mastered the parry tactic.
The difference comes in his sword – if he stomps with his sword down, then his follow-up combo is unpredictable. If he stomps with his sword up, he’ll virtually always transition into the same three-hit combo that leaves a solid opening to strike back.
If you are struck by the quake attack (it’s not blockable), then you can still get out of there. Hammer the dodge button and there is just enough time to escape before his follow-up.
Keep your distance to heal
Crucible Knight has a nasty habit of using a swing and thrust attack that can cover a lot of ground quickly when you consume a flask. The safest time to heal is when you are on the other side of the battlefield, or by sacrificing an offensive opportunity when he’s missed with one of his own attacks.
In the second phase, he’ll use a flying attack quite regularly which is easy to dodge and usually ends with a long distance opened up. This is your best chance to heal up.
Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss guide: Phase 1
Here are the main attacks and strategy for the first phase of the Crucible Knight boss fight.
Double Downward Slash – This attack comes when Crucible Knight lifts his sword and strikes downwards, before doing exactly the same thing again. He is liable to transition straight into another combo here, so it’s tough to get an opening by dodging it. Instead, this is one of the easiest attacks to Parry. There’s a fair bit of warning so get close to him and use the Parry skill just before he hits you, knocking him down when you pull it off. If you get him on the first one, he won’t get a chance to perform the second.
Thrust Attack – Crucible Knight will pull his sword back before aiming a single, powerful thrust at you. Though it’s a one-off attack, just like the downward combo he will usually switch to another attack immediately afterwards. Again, it can be parried which is your best option to gain an opportunity. Otherwise you should dodge away and be careful as you don’t get much of an opening at all.
Swipe and Thrust – Slightly different to the above, here Crucible Knight will swing horizontally first before another big thrust towards you. You can parry to knock him down, but even dodging these attacks will yield a half-opening where you can safely strike once without taking damage. This is often used when you are healing to cover a significant amount of ground.
Foot stomp (sword down) – Crucible Knight will stomp the ground and send a quake towards you, which can’t be blocked and must be dodged. When his sword is down, he will usually follow up with something else but he doesn’t always do the same thing. The safest bet here is to dodge away from him and get back into a defensive position.
Foot stomp (sword raised) – If his sword is raised as he initiates this attack, then he will always follow this up with a telegraphed combo where he’ll slowly swing downwards before two pretty slow horizontal swings. After finishing the third, he’ll leave a fairly long window to strike back. You can parry these sword strikes but if you are not prepared after dodging the quake, dodge all three attacks and hit him back when he finishes.
Shield Bash – This is another attack that is easy to read and leaves a good chance to counter. Crucible Knight will briefly lower his shield before pushing it up towards you (pictured below). It’s unblockable, and will knock you off your feet if it hits. However, if you dodge to the side there’s an easy opportunity to land a small flurry of hits. You won’t unbalance him so don’t be greedy and retreat once you’ve landed two.
Crucible Knight boss strategy
The important thing here is to bide your time and take advantage of certain attacks. Don’t be afraid to stay fairly close to him with your shield up and get ready to adapt to whichever attack he uses.
If he starts his assault with one of his sword attacks (rather than a stomp or shield attack), this is your chance to parry him. Press the button just before he hits you and don’t try and do it at the exact time you expect the blow. If you get it right, you will always knock him to the floor where you can land your riposte critical hit.
The stomp with the sword lowered is too unpredictable – dodge this backwards and get away from him. If you need to heal, get out of his range and sprint away as he can eat up the ground pretty quickly when you use a flask.
Other than parry opportunities, the attacks to await are the raised-sword stomp and the shield bash, which represent his best openings by far. When he uses the stomp with his sword up, dodge to the side and then get ready to either parry or dodge three more sword attacks before immediately attacking yourself. The same applies to shield bash, which is a one-off attack with no immediate follow-up. Both of these openings should comfortably allow two light attacks.
After reducing him to around half health, he will move onto his second phase.
Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss guide: Phase 2
Crucible Knight will stomp into the ground and be covered in golden energy, signalling his second phase which is a bit more dangerous.
There are two new attacks to watch out for during this phase, along with all of his phase 1 attacks.
Flying Attack – Crucible Knight will glow golden and hover in the air before quickly launching himself towards you. He will travel quite a long way but if you get back to a position near the place he will land, you can actually guard counter this attack and quickly get away before he swings his tail. However, this comes at a cost since the block doesn’t completely negate the damage. The safer bet is to simply dodge to the side and use this lengthy animation as a chance to heal if you need to.
Tail Spin – This is nearly always used after his flying attack if you end up close to him. He’ll also use this generally and sometimes follow it up with a second spin with far more range. You can block this attack but since it’s glowing, it will do you some damage so it’s better to anticipate it and dodge. If he does use the second spin, he takes a little while to recover and gives you a solid opportunity to land a couple of light attacks if you can get close by.
Crucible Knight boss strategy
There isn’t a huge change to the strategy in this phase. If you are feeling more aggressive, back up before he flies at you and guard counter the attack before dodging away. This will cost you a small amount of damage so I wouldn’t blame you for simply evading this attack to the side and waiting for other opportunities.
Apart from this, the only new aspect of your strategy comes with his tail swings. These can come quickly and will do damage even when your shield is up. Limit your attacks to a safe number (generally two light attacks) and dodge the swipe when it comes. If he swipes again straight after, dodge towards Crucible Knight and use this opportunity to hit a couple of times. If he stops after one swipe then get your shield back up and wait for your next opportunity.
The Parry tactic still works perfectly well during this phase, and he seems slightly more aggressive which will increase your number of opportunities to knock him down. Steadily whittle his health down when your chances come and don’t take any unnecessary risks. Even a perfectly executed strategy can be undone with one devastating sword combo.
How to beat Crucible Knight and Mistbegotten Warrior
One of the trickiest boss battles involving a Crucible Knight is in Redmane Castle, where you must also defeat the Mistbegotten Warrior.
The key to this battle specifically is to attack aggressively and take out the Mistbegotten Warrior as quickly as you possibly can. The Crucible Knight will appear after a fixed period of time, which is around 25 seconds into the fight regardless of how much health you have knocked off Mistbegotten Warrior. However, if you stay near the entrance it will take another 15-20 seconds for Crucible Knight to reach you.
As such, you have around 45 seconds to attack Mistbegotten Warrior without interruption. The good news is that he is quite easily knocked back and staggered. Since it’s a two-on-one, you shouldn’t feel bad about summoning some help. The trusty Lone Wolf Ashes are useful for stunlocking, so hammer him with attacks and you’ll soon be able to perform a riposte.
After he is beaten, then you can turn your attention to Crucible Knight uninterrupted and refer to the above strategies. There’s an element of luck here based on how much your summons help you to stunlock Mistbegotten Warrior, but since it’s within the first minute of the battle, there’s not a huge time sacrifice to try again until you nail this part. If you do get cornered by both, run away and lure Mistbegotten Warrior to you first since he is far faster than Crucible Knight.
Rewards for beating Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss
Taking down the Crucible Knight in the Stormhill Evergoal will earn you the Aspects of the Crucible: Tail skill and 2,100 runes.
When you defeat Crucilbe Knight and Mistbegotten Warrior in Caelid (likely faced afterwards), you will snag the Ruins Greatsword and 19,200 runes.
Here are the most important points in our guide of how to beat Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss, recapped:
- Equip a shield that can parry
- Learn to parry his normal sword attacks to knock him down and riposte
- Dodge his shield attack and counter with a couple of quick hits
- If he stomps with his sword up, then dodge towards him and parry or dodge his follow-up sword strikes before attacking
- If he stomps with his sword down, simply dodge and get out of there
- Get a long distance away when you need to consume a flask
- In his second phase, maintain the same strategy but dodge towards him if you see him use a second consecutive tail swing and counter
- During the Redmane Castle boss fight, take out the Mistbegotten Warrior as quickly as possible by aggressively battling him with summon help
Hopefully this boss guide of how to beat the Elden Ring Crucible Knight boss will help you defeat him and advance further in Elden Ring.
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