How to beat Malenia in Elden Ring

Elden RingFrom Software

Malenia is an optional boss in Elden Ring and beating her is a serious challenge. Here’s how to defeat Malenia in Elden Ring. 

While not a mandatory boss in Elden Ring, Malenia is an important one due to her status as a demigod and a shardholder. The daughter of gods Marika and Radagon, Malenia has never been bested in combat, unlike many of the game’s other boss characters, who are still recovering from past defeats. Malenia is also the source of the Scarlet Rot which has blighted The Lands Between and even consumed portions of it.

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Finding Malenia is a challenge in itself, but once you do, you’ve then got the difficult task of fighting her to the death. Be warned, Malenia is one of the hardest and most frustrating bosses in Elden Ring, and maybe in the entire Souls series. However, she’s not impossible and can be overcome with skill and patience.


An image of the Malenia hand in an Elden Ring cutsceneFromSoftware
Malenia is one of the last demigods you’ll face in Elden Ring.

Where to find Malenia

Malenia can be found at the base of Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree. Her boss arena is located down the stairs from the Haligtree Roots Site of Grace. The area is just off the Consecrated Snowfield which can be accessed from the Lift of Rold once you’ve acquired both pieces of the Haligtree Secret Medallion.

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You’ll need to press left on the d-pad to select ‘Hoist secret Medallion’ once you arrive at the Lift of Rold. Remember, in order to obtain both Medallion pieces, you’ll need to have defeated Commander Niall at Castle Sol.

Niall is a very tough boss, so if he gave you trouble, prepare for an even bigger challenge when you come face to face with Malenia. For an in-depth guide on finding Malenia and solving the Ordina, Liturgical Town puzzle, check out our Hand of Malenia Katana guide.

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Once you enter the Haligtree, work your way down, past the Loretta boss, and into the city of Elphael. This is also where you’ll find the conclusion to the Millicent quest too. Once you’ve made it across the roots and rooftops to the chapel, take the elevator down to face this incredibly tough boss.

Malenia elden ringFrom Software
Malenia was used on a lot of promotional material.

How to defeat the Malenia Elden Ring

Like the Fire Giant and Starscourge Radahn, Malenia will test even seasoned Souls players. There’s a reason she’s never been beaten in combat, but all records are made to be broken.

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The first piece of advice when fighting Malenia is to not get greedy with your attacks. If you do she’ll punish you for it and put you on the back foot – or catch you in a combo that results in death. Keep an eye on your stamina and don’t get hit by her when it’s low.

Take some time to back off and refill, then go back in for an attack. If you have any talismans that increase your stamina or its regen, then equip them. This will increase your maneuverability and allow you to escape her when you need to.

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Melee strategy

Using a shield is a good way to block her attacks. While she does plenty of damage, her attacks are light and are therefore usually blockable. On the other hand, Malenia doesn’t have much poise, so she can be staggered and is vulnerable to two-handed strikes. Therefore, it may pay to not use the shield and learn to dodge her instead.

Use whichever strategy you find easiest, but for us, we shouldered our shield and relied on dodging her moves. We found this method gave us more chance of staggering her and hitting critical attacks, which shortened the fight in our favor. In truth, dodging her is better than tanking her, especially in her second phase.

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Be aware though, Malenia’s strikes on you can heal her. So dodging her is the best way to avoid this, she can’t sap your health if she isn’t hitting you. Remember, she can also sap the health of other players and your Spirit Summons. The Mimic Tear is a great help during this fight, especially if you’re both sporting bleed weapons, but she can use it as a constant source of healing. So, be warned.

Malenia’s weaknesses

Malenia’s main weakness is Bleed damage, so Blood weapons (like Katanas) will hurt her more than most. If you’re a strength build though, infuse your weapon with bleed damage when you can. If need be, complete Dung Eater’s quest for his sword that inflicts bleed.

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If you’re a dexterity build, then River’s of Blood is the way forward. This can be found from defeating Okina in the Church of Repose in the Mountaintops of the Giant’s region. He will invade when you enter the church and is an aggressive NPC, but he can be taken down with some cautious play.

elden ring charactersFrom Software
Malenia before her epic showdown with her brother, Radahn.

Ranged and magic strategy

If you’ve got to Malenia with your ranged / magic build then by now you’ll know the drill. Strike and avoid. The only thing is, Malenia is especially quick and can cover a lot of ground, which can bring an end to you in an instant.

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Therefore, take the above advice about stamina and make sure you can comfortably escape her and counterattack. Bait her if necessary, let her move in for the kill then run like the wind. Again, don’t get greedy with your attacks. If you do she’ll be upon you and you’ll lose another health flask.

Don’t try to block if you’re a glass cannon, just dodge and take potshots where you can. If you can strike her with bleed damage then do, but don’t bother with Scarlet Rot in this fight. She’s patient zero after all.

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Speaking of Scarlet Rot, Malenia will almost certainly use it against you. This is like poison, but way more aggressive. Make sure you boost your immunity before this battle begins, and have some cures in your pouch ready to go.

Malenia Elden Ring boss cutsceneFromSoftware
Malenia is one of the toughest bosses in Elden Ring.

Malenia phase 2

After reducing her health to zero, Malenia will enter phase 2 with a brand new bar of health. She will be in full god-mode now and will summon a big flower to splash Scarlet Rot onto you the second the fight begins. Our advice is to run backwards as quickly as you can as this can one-shot you if you’re not alert. Run back when the AOE damage has subsided, but be warned, she’ll do this attack again at some point.

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Most of her attacks and combos will be the same as phase 1, so if she jumps in the air or her weapon gleams, get ready to dodge. She telegraphs this move well, but that doesn’t stop it being deadly if it connects.

She’ll now infuse more attacks with Scarlet Rot due to the flowers that appear around her. Repeat your strategy from phase 1, just be more mindful of this status effect and cure it when you need to. Back off and let the rot dissipate if that works for you.

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Do bear in mind that Malenia does more damage in this phase than the other, so you’ll need to be sharper than ever. Once she falls, give yourself a pat on the back. This might be one of the hardest bosses in any Souls game ever.

If you’re finding it tough, don’t be afraid of summoning some help from other players, just remember this will buff her health. We’d also recommend entering the fight and just learning to avoid her attacks. You don’t need to beat her, just learn her patterns and when to dodge. This will help you when you do come to fight her properly.

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Don’t forget, once you’ve defeated her, Malenia’s katana – Hand of Malenia can be obtained at the Roundtable Hold.

So, that’s how you defeat Malenia in Elden Ring. Make sure you check out our Elden Ring page for all the latest news and guides. 

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