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How to beat Putrescent Knight in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

How to defeat the boss at the bottom of Stone Coffin Fissure.

The Putrescent Knight readies his curved blade in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

The Putrescent Knight is an optional legend boss in Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC that you will encounter if you have explored the very depths of Stone Coffin Fissure, a surprisingly huge cavernous dungeon south of Cerulean Coast. Just how deep does it go? You even have to jump off a ledge and face a very long drop just to fight him.

Typically, any boss that also rides a mount is going to be a lot more trouble than usual, and this rotting skeletal knight very much fits into this category. So it will definitely be worth preparing and exploring more of the Shadow Realm before taking on this boss. If you feel prepared for the challenge, though, then this guide will give you all the information on how to beat the Putrescent Knight so that you can discover what lies at the very end of this fissure.

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How to prepare for the Putrescent Knight boss fight

Putrescent Knight can be found at the end of the underground Stone Coffin Fissure area, all the way by the Site of Grace 'Fissure Depths'. You'll have to jump off the edge of a high cliff and fall much further down in the depths to reach it.

Stone Coffin Fissure is located in the south of Cerulean Coast, but the way there is sealed until Miquella's Great Rune is broken has part of the main story. As such, you'll need to progress the story of Shadow of the Erdtree before you can take on this boss.

A warrior stand on the head of a statue in the Stone Coffin Fissure as they prepare to jump down to face the Putrescent Knight in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
A warrior falls down in the lowest part of Stone Coffin Fissure to face the Putrescent Knight in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Yep, you really have to jump off the head of this statue, and yes, it is a long way down. Luckily, you won't take any fall damage when you reach the bottom.Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Since this is a boss that deals high damage, it’s also one we would recommend fighting once you’ve upgraded the level of your Scadutree Fragment blessings considerably. Ensuring you have armour with high defence, a shield with 100 physical block, as well as the endurance stats so that you can equip them without it being too heavy load on your build will also be helpful. As the boss also uses frost attacks, frost-resistant armour or items that improves frost resistance is also recommended.

You can summon Thiollier as a cooperator for this boss fight once you're in the arena, and you can also summon Spirit Ashes, which is recommended if you want to deal with less pressure. Seeing as you technically have to deal with both the knight and his undead horse, it’s only fair to balance the numbers here.

A warrior summons the NPC Thiollier in the battle against the Putrescent Knight in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Remember that this is an optional boss that you don’t have to fight to progress the story, so don’t feel bad about coming back later after defeating Messmer the Impaler, for example. The main reason you'll need to fight the Putrescent Knight is to progress Thiollier's questline. For this reason, you'll also want to beat the Putrescent Knight before you open the path to Enir-Ilim.

How to beat the Putrescent Knight

After taking a deep plunge off into the Fissure Depths, Putrescent Knight will emerge from the shadows on its undead horse. It always comes from a fair distance though so you have plenty of time if you need to buff yourself with a Flask of Wondrous Physick or summon a spirit ash.

Putrescent Knight wields a large skeletal curved blade that it can grip on both sides. It attacks by swinging the blade down on you while double-handing it, but will hold it with one hand when deciding to swing as a combo. These are all physical damage attacks so can be blocked with a 100 physical block shield and enough stamina.

Putrescent Knight riding horse approaching to attack
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

Were it that easy. Unlike other bosses on mounts, Putrescent Knight can actually dismount from its horse and so after a few of these initial attacks, it will leap in the air and then perform a dive attack on you. It then continues its assault on the ground, double-handing its curved blade to do charging spin attacks, which can also make it tricky to keep up with.

That’s not all though, because the horse can also attack you while its owner is dismounted. Its hind legs may be submerged in some kind of nondescript decaying sludge but it may as well be wheels because the this steed is very fast and can easily knock you down while you’re busy just trying to keep track of Putrescent Knight’s attacks. It’s for that reason you really do want a Spirit Ash around just so you can get a bit of breathing room.

Putrescent Knight dismounted while undead horse emerges from ground
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

It’s better to focus on the knight rather than the horse, because the latter doesn’t take damage, while it also sinks into the marshy ground after it’s charged at you, only to resurface and then charge again. If it doesn’t resurface to attack, then it usually means it’s going to pop up beneath the knight to remount and then repeat the phase above.

As its attacks hit hard, it’s best to play this fight defensively, blocking the attacks with a shield while dodging the horse’s charges. You can deal your heaviest or most powerful attacks afterwards when it has to recover. Beware of keeping your distance as Putrescent Knight can also hurl its curved blade at you like a boomerang.

Putrescent Knight elevated while firing frost flame barrage
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

You do however need to get away from it when the sludge from the horse’s hind starts to elevate the knight high up as it’s about to unleash one of its deadliest attacks. It will fire a barrage of its sludge projectiles at you that burst into blue flames on impact, dealing frost damage. These are hard to dodge and will likely still deal a lot of damage even when blocking, though one wave of these attacks shouldn’t be enough to inflict frostbite on you.

An alternative version is that the knight won’t elevate off the ground as much, but instead spread its sludge around it as an AOE that then ignites into frost flames, which again is your cue to get away. Ultimately, you should keep defensive, using openings to either attack or heal up if you’ve taken massive damage (but resist the urge to heal if the boss is still in a combo or has consecutive waves like the frost flame barrage).

Purtrescent Knight is also susceptible to bleed damage or being staggered, so if you can take the opportunities to land more hits, especially with a spirit ash in tow, this difficult boss can be taken down surprisingly quickly.

Putrescent Knight Rewards

For defeating Putrescent Knight and its horse, you’ll earn 220,000 Runes as well as Remembrance of Putrescence, which you can consume for more runes or exchange with Finger Reader Enia at the Roundtable Hold for new items.

Large 'Legend Felled' text and reward displayed: 'Remembrance of Putrescence'
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

You’ll also be able to proceed deep into what lies at the very end of these depths, a garden of sorts that’s home to St. Trina, who will be important if you are hoping to progress Thiollier’s questline. The question is, will you “imbibe of the nectar”?

Continue to next boss: Death Rite Bird in Charo's Hidden Grave

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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