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How to beat Commander Gaius in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

Boar off.

Commander Gaius rides atop his boar in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Commander Gaius is an optional legend boss in Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. While you don’t need to fight him in order to progress the story, he is one of the major Remembrance bosses you can fight if you’re after powerful and rare weapons or spells.

Gaius fights you while riding on a wild armoured boar in what appears to be an open field area, except you’ll actually find that you’re trapped by fog doors and won’t be able to escape or advance further until he’s defeated. Bosses on mounts are one of the more difficult boss types you’ll face and Gaius is no exception, being fast, brutal, and also a user of gravity spells. This guide will provide the information on how to defeat Commander Gaius in your quest to defeat the expansion’s toughest bosses.

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How to prepare for Commander Gaius boss fight

Commander Gaius can be found just outside the Shadow Keep's Back Gate, by far the most labrythian of Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree’s legacy dungeons, with multiple routes taking you to different sections of the Shadow Realm that seem otherwise inaccessible. The nearest Site of Grace is called 'Shadow Keep, Back Gate'.

Tarnished walking towards gate leading out to Scaduview
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

As a very hard-hitting boss, you’ll want to have your Scadutree Fragment blessings levelled up as much as you can before the fight so that the damage you deal and receive are greatly improved (ironically, defeating him will also open up the way for you to bag a lot of these precious items at the Scaduview Chalice).

It’s possible to summon Torrent for this fight as this is technically an open field area in Scaduview, which would in theory put you on balance against another mounted boss. However, our recommendation is to stay on the ground and summon a Spirit Ash instead. If your Mind stat is high enough, summoning Black Knife Tiche is ideal for this fight, otherwise Mimic Tear is always reliable.

How to beat Commander Gaius

The first time you step out of the back gate of the Shadow Keep, Commander Gaius will approach from a structure from afar on the other side of the Scaduview field. In all likelihood the boss music will be playing for several seconds before you even notice he’s approaching on his boar, and if you turn around, you’ll discover the gate you came out from is now blocked by a fog wall.

While he seems to take his time to approach you, don’t be fooled. Once the fight begins proper and his HP is displayed at the bottom centre of the screen, his boar will raise its front legs, indicating it’s about to charge, and you’ll also see some charging visual effects at the front of the boar to make you better anticipate it. With good timing, this can be dodged by rolling to the side.

Preparing for Commander Gaius as boar charges towards Tarnished
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

The boar is probably the biggest problem if you’re a melee build trying to get close to attack it, as you’re at risk of being hit by its unpredictable movements. Its long splintered tusks may be damaging from the front when it slams its head down at you, but if you’re attacking from behind it can also just let out a kick with its hind legs. Those same hind legs can also allow it to quickly stand and turn towards you before it slams its front legs down on you.

Of course, you shouldn’t ignore Gaius himself as he can attack you with his lance. He’ll usually charge this up with purple lightning energy and after he attacks with a thrust, it will follow with an elemental storm coming down in that area too.

Aside from that spear attack however, most of these attacks are physical, which a shield with 100 physical block can guard against, and you can follow up with a guard counter. He is susceptible to being staggered this way, although this won’t last long so you want to make sure you’re in front of him if this happens so that you can quickly deliver a riposte. Failing that, as with other human enemies, he is vulnerable to bleed damage, so a weapon like Bloodhound’s Fang and a Mimic Tear with the same weapon can do very well to build up the Bleed status.

Boar stands up on hind legs over Tarnished
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Second phase

Once you’ve taken half of his health, Gaius’s second phase begins with him clutching his body, charging more of that gravity energy into himself for a few seconds before it explodes, the force of gravity hitting anyone within range. The boar’s feet are charged with purple electricty coursing through it. In other words, its previous attacks will also deal some gravity damage even if you’re blocking.

Gaius has even more gravity attacks to contend with. On the ground, he will create a black hole that can pull you in, so you want to try and roll out of it each time, because after the third time it does this gravity pull, it will explode and you’ll take some serious damage if you’re still in its AoE.

Commander Gaius creates gravity black hole in field
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

He also has two gravity attacks where his boar takes to the air. The first one, he simply charges back down, hitting anything in its way. For the second one, he flies even higher up then starts making a slow corkscrewing descent while charging up that purple gravity energy until it quickly plunges down and also releases a swirling damaging gravity AoE on impact. You can actually roll forward when he’s making his descent to avoid getting hit by both him and the AoE, but also be within range to punish with your own attacks immediately afterwards.

Magic users can opt for a more drawn-out battle by summoning Torrent and trying to keep your distance on horseback while using ranged spells, as Gaius is weak to holy spells. This can be risky however, as from a distance, Gaius can also attack with ranged gravity spells, summoning then chucking purple glowing rocks at you, and if he does enough damage to knock you off your spectral steed, you’ll also be left vulnerable on the ground where he can potentially finish you off if you can’t get up quickly enough.

Commander Gaius Rewards

Upon defeat, Commander Gaius drops 230,000 runes, while you’ll also be awared with Remembrance of the Wild Boar Rider, which can be consumed to obtain even more runes or given to Finger Reader Enia at the Roundtable Hold in order to obtain a powerful weapon or spell.

'Legend Felled' text display followed by reward below displayed as 'Remembrance of the Wild Boar Rider'
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

More importantly, the way is open to explore the rest of Scaduview, which truth be told is actually quite a small part of the map. But if you continue onwards, you’ll reach the Scadutree Chalice, where you can find a bounty of Scadutree Fragments (five of them!) to further upgrade your blessings level. And that would seemingly be all there is to this part of the Shadow Realm. But there are still more secrets to uncover, such as the hidden path by the 'Shadow Keep, Back Gate' Site of Grace, or what’s lurking beneath Scaduview.

Next boss: Scadutree Avatar

Need more help? Jump back to our list of Shadow of The Erdtree bosses or our Shadow of The Erdtree tips and tricks.

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