The early areas of Elden Ring place plenty of bosses in your way that you simply aren’t ready to take on yet. The tricky Tree Sentinel is the first one, but the Crucible Knight might be the hardest optional boss in the game’s first hours. He is one of the bosses throughout the world trapped in an Evergaol. Here’s how to beat the Elden Ring Crucible Knight.
If you’re ready to take on the challenge and haven’t yet stumbled on the Crucible Knight, he can be found within the Stormhill Evergaol. The closest Site of Grace to his location is Stormhill Shack, where you first find the Spirit Tuner NPC Roderika.
From the Site of Grace, you will want to cross the road that leads to Stormveil Castle and turn to go south. On your map, Evergaol locations are marked with a small gray disk representing the battlefield. When you begin to see stone serpent monsters with glowing purple heads, you know you are approaching the Crucible Knight Evergaol. I marked its location on the map below.
How to Beat the Elden Ring Crucible Knight
The Crucible Knight is reminiscent of memorable duels from the Dark Souls trilogy, like Artorias and the Fume Knight. Wielding a large sword and giant shield, Crucible Knight is almost as tough as these big bads as well, but he does have weaknesses that can be easily exploited.
The Crucible Knight’s shield blocks both physical and magic attacks but is vulnerable to both as well. He is also weak to lightning damage, so now is the time to use any lightning spells or fortified weapons. I certainly made good use of both.
Since this is an Evergoal fight, it’s a 1v1 battle; you can’t summon help of any kind. However, the fight is tuned with this in mind, so take advantage of it.
Crucible Knight’s Attacks
The one thing to note is that Crucible Knight doesn’t have much range. You can always run away to heal or dodge frantically if need be. In the first phase of the fight, he won’t rush you; it’s all about weaving in and out and outrunning the Crucible Knight. This will change, but only slightly, in the second half of the fight.
Attack 1: Horizontal Combo
A common move I see coming from the Crucible Knight is a basic horizontal sword swing combo. This is usually two or three strikes, with the last one always leaving a window open to get in some damage.
Attack 2: Thrust
If any attack is going to take you down while healing, it’s the Crucible Knight thrust. This is an extremely long-range thrust that has a short wind-up time. This move got us the most in early attempts in the boss fight, so it is the early one to prioritize learning how to avoid.
Attack 3: Shield Bash
If you are up close trading blows with Crucible Knight, watch out for this move that will stagger you. You will know to avoid this uppercut when Crucible Knight holds his shield close and begins running at you. This is another attack that leaves Crucible Knight wide open after he’s done.
Attack 4: Vertical Swing
Watch out for vertical swipes, as well as horizontal ones. Crucible Knight will either lift his sword up and swing down or briefly touch the ground with the sword before swiping up. In both cases, dodging to the left is the best move in order to not get hit and stay as close as possible.
Attack 5: Seismic Wave
The last move the boss will do in phase one is a stomp where he sends out a shockwave that will break Poise and stagger you. Dodge to the side or backwards to get out of the range of the Seismic Wave. In my experience, the Crucible Knight will follow up with three more hits and in this state, avoiding them all is a near impossibility.
Phase 2, Attack 1: Airborne swoop
After you get the Crucible Knight below half health, he will sprout angel wings. In this attack, he sweeps high up in the air and brings himself down in a stabbing lunge that deals heavy damage. You will want to avoid the impulse to dodge too early while Crucible Knight is still in the air. Once the downward sweep begins, that is your cue to dodge.
If you think to be clever and rush in during the period after he’s finished this attack, the Crucible Knight will lash out with another new move.
Phase 2, Attack 2: Tail Whip
This procs when you rush the Crucible Knight after his airborne swoop, and it becomes increasingly prevalent in other movesets as the second half of the fight progresses. The Crucible Knight will whip his dragon tail, doing a mild amount of damage but potentially staggering you. As you get closer to the end of the fight, he will add a larger, stronger follow up. Dodge back twice consecutively to avoid this potentially run-killing combo.
Victory over the Crucible Knight is sweet, especially when you realize the reward is an Incantation that lets you take a move from the boss you just defeated, Mega-Man style. Aspects of the Crucible: Tail gives you the ability to perform the same tail whips you just avoided if you have enough Faith.
And that’s how you beat the Elden Ring Crucible Knight. If you’re having trouble taking on bosses, try using our guide to finding crucial items like Bell Bearings or our tips articles on how to perform techniques like the Guard Counter. Weapons like the Sword of Night and Flame can be helpful, too. Boss guides, explanations for hidden mechanics, and more can all be found on our Elden Ring tips page.