Maliketh the Black Blade stands in an arena in Elden Ring.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Study the moves of both phases to finish the fight

Maliketh, the Black Blade, is the final challenge in the eerie and ancient land of Crumbling Farum Azula in Elden Ring.

This boss fight tests not only how strong your character and build are, but also your reflexes. Maliketh’s ferocious movements are the gatekeepers preventing you from getting closer to becoming Elden Lord.

In this Elden Ring guide, we cover where you find Maliketh, plus all the preparations you should go through before facing him, and an explanation of (both) phases of the fight.

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Maliketh, The Black Blade location in Elden Ring

A map shows the location of the Maliketh boss fight in Elden Ring.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

You’ll find Maliketh in the Crumbling Farum Azula at the southeast side of a great bridge. The Beside the Great Bridge site of grace is the only one close by. There aren’t prerequisites to enter the fight besides getting to Crumbling Farum Azula and finding the arena. To learn the paths within this area, you can check our Crumbling Farum Azula walkthrough.

Maliketh weaknesses and how to prepare

Exploiting the Maliketh’s weaknesses is the best way to win. To do so, preparing yourself for the fight is key.

Maliketh’s attacks take considerable chunks of your health when you’re underleveled for the fight. In order to survive long enough to learn his moves, we suggest being at least level 120 before the face-off.

One of the best ways for you to cause a lot of damage to Maliketh is with physical attacks. In other words, strong weapons are the best way to go in this encounter. Bleeding also works pretty well against him. If you don’t have a weapon with the capacity to cause Bleed, you should consider using Blood Grease.

In case you want to focus on breaking his posture as a general strategy, then massive weapons are what you will need.

One way of preparing yourself for this fight is by acquiring the Blasphemous Claw. By using this item, you can parry specific attacks and momentarily stun Maliketh in the second phase of the fight.

You get the Blasphemous Claw by defeating Knight Bernahl, who invades you in Farum Azula if you have killed Rykard in Volcano Manor.

How to beat Maliketh in Elden Ring

While you can prepare for the fight with useful consumable or powerful incantations, nothing beats studying the fight and getting used to Maliketh’s movements when it comes to defeating him. The overall strategy that you want to apply to this fight is to take your time, wait for the right window, and attack.

There are two aspects of the arena where you fight Maliketh that you should take into consideration. First, you can fall off it, so avoid getting too close to the edges. Second, the arena has large pillars that you can take advantage of to heal:

A Tarnished stands near pillars in the Maliketh boss fight in Elden Ring.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

For this fight, there aren’t NPCs to summon, but you can evoke Spirit Ashes — a good idea, since they can draw Maliketh’s attention, giving you the chance to hit him.

Maliketh boss fight phase 1: Fast and Furious

Maliketh’s first phase, where he appears as Beast Clergyman, might scare you a little bit because of his quick blows. He is fast, so don’t let his size fool you. However, once you learn his moves and variations, finding the right time to attack him is not that difficult.

One of the attacks Maliketh constantly performs in the first phase is a vertical, top-down attack, which has three variations. In one, he raises his right and thrusts it at you.

A second version of this attack is similar but he follows it up by moving backwards and throwing rocks at you. While you can see him scraping the floor, it’s too difficult to dodge. Since you can’t see whether he is doing the regular or the second version before it happens, the best strategy is to roll to your side and avoid staying in front of him.

A Tarnished faces off against Maliketh boss fight in Elden Ring.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

The third variation of the top-down attack is easier to see, thus easier to avoid. This time, Maliketh raises his right arm even further than normally — you can see his left foot lifting from the ground, like in the screenshot above — and thrusts his knife on the ground. After this attack, he won’t move for a brief period of time, making this the perfect time to hit some blows on him.

From time to time, Maliketh does a sweep attack, slashing whatever is in front of him with his giant knife. Most of the time, he’ll perform two to three sweeps from one side to another. Dodging them is easy but you must roll to the opposite side from which he is attacking.

Maliketh does a sweep attack in Elden Ring.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

In one particular sweep attack, Maliketh sticks the knife on the ground and rotates from right to left. Taking some distance will prevent you from getting hit by his attack. However, this is a great moment to attack him. So, try to get closer to Maliketh and roll — or run — toward the direction indicated in the image below. This is a safe spot from where you can hit him once or twice.

An Elden Ring player dodges one of Maliketh’s sweep attacks in the boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Maliketh might use the throwing move even if it’s not preceded by a top-down attack. The basic version is similar to the one we’ve already mentioned. He scrapes the ground and throws spikes of rock at you. In another version, he takes a larger rock, holds it above his head, and throws it at you.

Because of how slow the animation is, dodging the second version is way easier. In both cases, Maliketh might try to bait you by getting the rocks but holding them a little longer. Pay attention and roll toward him or to the sides in any of these scenarios.

The last type of attacks that you need to escape from in the first phase are Maliketh’s AoE moves. During the fight, Maliketh might raise his left arm and perform two attacks. If you’re close to him, he will probably use a circular attack in which blades move toward all directions around the point where his hand was.

Maliketh preps an AOE attack in an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

But, in case you are a little bit far from him, he will send four blades in your direction. While it’s possible to avoid the blades in both scenarios by jumping at the right moment, the most safe option is to get away from him and stand in a safe spot.

Maliketh performs an AOE attack in an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

The third type of AoE attack is the easiest to escape from. With this attack, he explores part of the ground around here and after some time the debris comes down. You can get hit when the explosion happens or by the debris. Run away from where he is and pay attention to the ground to know where it is safe. Luckily, you will know that Maliketh is about to use it because he stands up, puts his knife in his mouth, and charges up for a bit.

Maliketh performs an AOE attack during an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Once you’ve made it through the first phase, it’s on to the hard part. After you reduce Beat Clergyman’s health bar to half, a short cutscene will play, marking the transition of phases.

Maliketh boss fight Phase 2: Slow but still furious

Now, you will face Maliketh, the Black Blade. He has a new set of moves and deadlier magical attacks with his Black Blade.

If you got the Blasphemous Claw, this is the moment to use it. You can parry some of his Black Blade moves by using the item at the right moment. You will know when he is about to use these abilities because his sword will emit a yellow glow.

Throughout the whole phase, if you’re hit by the Black Blade abilities — which use black fire — your total HP is temporarily reduced and the fire stays on you, causing damage over time. Avoiding these attack should be your main concern while learning the fight.

Maliketh always starts the second phase by jumping at you and performing three large sweep attacks. Dodge to the sides, hit him a few times, and get far from here. Unlike the first phase, this time Maliketh has fewer moves for you to learn. He regularly uses basic frontal and sweep attacks that aren’t too much of a challenge. These are the best windows you have to attack him.

Maliketh performs a sweeping attack in an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

The first move you should get used to is the initial sweeping sequence, which is all horizontal slashes, and its variation, which begins with a horizontal attack, then Maliketh jumps in the air and performs a sequence of vertical slashes. Rolling to the sides is the best way to prevent getting hit by these attacks but distancing yourself from him is also a valid option.

The third version of the sweep attack is similar to the first one, but, this time, Maliketh does two 360º attacks around him. Doding them is not difficult, but it takes time to get used to the three attacks and identify which one he is about to use.

Maliketh performs a sweeping blade attack in an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

One of Maliketh’s new moves is a jump attack in which he sticks the swords on the ground and a magical explosion happens around it. This is a little tricky to avoid since timing the dodge is difficult when he is in the air. Wait until he is almost landing, otherwise the sword will hit you. After that, get out of where he is to avoid the follow-up.

Maliketh performs a jump attack during an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

A variation of this attack is when he jumps to a pillar before jumping at you.

Maliketh stands on a pillar during an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

In addition to all these moves, Maliketh also attacks you using his Black Blade. The first type is a sequence of magical slash attacks performed in the air. He shoots blades of black fire at you. Time your dodge based on the glowing emitted by his sword. In the first variation, Maliketh shoots two blades then jumps at you, sticking his sword on the ground which is followed up by an area magical attack around it.

Maliketh uses his sword during an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

The other variation is when he shoots three blades and finalizes with a horizontal slash attack. For this last one, you should also pay attention to the glowing light from the sword to know when to dodge.

While his sword is burning with black fire, he might also perform a sequence of slashes and finish it sticking the sword on the ground followed up — once more! — by an explosion.

Maliketh sticks his sword in the ground during an Elden Ring boss fight.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

While there aren’t as many windows for you to attack Maliketh in this phase, take advantage of periods between his attacks or after he finishes a sequence to hit him.

With that done, you can now visit Leyndell, Ashen Capital and make your way to the final boss run of the game, which includes Sir Gideon Ofnir, Hoarah Loux, Radagon, and the Elden Beast.

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