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How to beat the Black Knife Assassin in Elden Ring

This assassin is one of the fastest opponents in the game, but can be dealt with if you keep a few things in mind.

elden ring player fighting black knife assassin boss
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

The Black Knife Assassin in Elden Ring is an optional boss in the Black Knife Catacombs.

This Elden Ring foe is significantly stronger than his colleague in the Deathtouched Catacombs, and hides behind a hidden wall in the catacombs where you have to drop down to the lever that opens the door to the actual boss of the dungeon.

The assassin is so damn fast that it is difficult to understand his animations at first. But let's do our best and go for it. So, with that in mind, here's how to beat the Black Knife Assassin in Elden Ring.

How to beat the Black Knife Assassin in Elden Ring

Firstly, it is very difficult to block all of his attacks. Not only do they take up a lot of stamina, but they are also hard to keep in check due to the high frequency of blows.

elden ring black knife assassin boss jump attack
Jump attack. The classic. | Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

If your weapon is not too sluggish and slow, you can get a defence counter through (which makes blocking worthwhile again), but it will probably take some time before you get his whirling, dancing attacks under control.

Don't try the defence counter in the middle of a combo, because he will continue unimpressed and your blow will miss him.

elden ring player battling black knife assassin in catacombs
It's not easy to land hits on him. | Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Your best chance to strike comes at the moment when he performs the jump attack and rams his weapon into the ground. You have as much time to hit him as he needs to get back into position. And fortunately, he is knocked back with every hit.

Although he can be interrupted in his animations with a hit, many of his movements occur too quickly for a safe timing window to be identified (this is usually the case at the end of a sweeping animation).

He often jumps somewhere else immediately after a blow and if your weapon is too slow, you'll hit thin air. What's more, he will immediately switch to the next attack during the animation and give you a bad time.

elden ring player caught by black knife assassin attack
This attack is extremely nasty: it grabs you and pierces you in an animation without you being able to defend yourself. | Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

For melee fighters, it is advisable to grab the weapon with two hands and stab him if you have the chance. The knockback animations ensure that he can't get out of it so quickly. This allows you to hit him several times in succession.

Then dodge him again until he makes the jump, and keep repeating the above strategy until he's defeated.

Your reward for defeating him is 1600 runes, Assassin's Cerulean Dagger and the Black Knifeprint (for Rogier and Fia's quests).

That's all for now! If you're looking for more Elden Ring boss help, check out our pages showing you how to beat Mohg the Omen or, if you're further along in the story, how to beat Astel Naturalborn of the Void.

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