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

Here's where to find the Blackgaol Knight's precise location and how to defeat him.

The ghostly apparition of the Blackgaol Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

The Blackgaol Knight is one of the first sub-bosses you'll come across in Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, and he's a right old tough nut to crack and take down. Defeating the Blackgaol Knight brings with it a number of great rewards, including the Solitude Armor set and a new weapon, the Greatsword of Solitude, which will set you up very nicely indeed as you continue your adventure into the Shadow Realm.

To help you beat the Blackgaol Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree, read on below for our boss walkthrough guide. You'll find everything from the Blackgaol Knight's exact location, as well as strategy tips to exploit his weaknesses so you can claim his rewards for your own.

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Where to find the Blackgaol Knight - exact location

The Blackgaol Knight is found in the Western Nameless Mausoleum in Gravesite Plain, just a short distance north-west from where you first start in Shadow of the Erdtree. You can also reach it by riding directly west from the Site of Grace 'Scorched Ruins'. Here is the Blackgaol Knight's precise location on the map below:

A map screen showing the location of the Western Nameless Mausoleum in Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

How to beat the Blackgaol Knight - strategy and weaknesses

Unlike other boss fights in Shadow of the Erdtree, the Blackgaol Knight boss fight doesn't allow Spirit Ash summons here, so unless you've got a willing multiplayer partner to help you out, you'll have to face this boss alone to win the day.

The Blackgaol Knight has two weapons at his disposal - a large greatsword, and a crossbow - and he has two main attack phases. In phase one, he'll fire rapid-fire arrows at you in quick succession, while also using his sword in a single-hand. In phase two, he'll put his crossbow away and two-hand his sword for even more powerful attacks.

A warrior runs away from  the Blackgaol Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree.
A warrior approaches  the Blackgaol Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree.
The Blackgaol Knight has two modes of attack: single-hand sword and crossbow (left), and a two-hand sword (right). | Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

The best time to attack the Blackgaol Knight is when he's got his crossbow out during phase one, as it's very difficult to defend against his two-hand greatsword attack, and you'll mostly be spending your time dodging.

His arrow attacks are easily avoided - simply move to the side away from his line of fire and they won't hit you (just don't get caught on one of the candlestands by accident as you move around this tight arena).

A warrior dodges fire arrows from the Blackgaol Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

His single-hand sword swings aren't too devastating - I was able to absorb them with my shield and then counter immediately in retaliation. This strategy worked well as long as I countered on the first hit. If I was too slow, I'd get interrupted by the Blackgaol Knight's second follow-up hit and take damage.

If you simply try to attack him normally, the Blackgaol Knight will roll away and evade you. Your main chance to attack is by defending and countering.

A warrior dodges an attack from  the Blackgaol Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree.
Countering the Blackgaol Knight is the quickest path to victory. | Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

When the Blackgaol Knight puts his crossbow away, you need to play defensively. Dodge roll away from his large sword swings, and keep out of the way when he jumps for a powerful ground smash.

When he charges up for a powerful wave slash attack, dodge to the side to avoid it. The Blackgaol Knight will often follow up this wave slash with another powerful sweep attack, so keep dodge rolling into him to avoid taking damage.

A warrior dodges a large sword slash from the Blackgaol Knight in Shadow of the Erdtree.
This attack can be devastating if you get caught in it. | Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

It's still possible to get a few counters in when he hits you with a two-hand strike, but you'll stand a much better chance of survival by attacking during his single-hand phase.

Be careful, as the Blackgaol Knight will also heal himself when his health gets low, so you'll want to keep up the pressure to avoid him doing this - otherwise you're in for an even longer fight.

If you stay defensive during his two-hand phase and repeat the counter strategy during his single-hand phase, though, you'll eventually emerge victorious.

Blackgaol Knight rewards when defeated

On defeat, the Blackgaol Knight will drop a number of items, including:

  • 70,000 runes
  • Greatsword of Solitude
  • Helm of Solitude
  • Armor of Solitude
  • Gauntlets of Solitude
  • Greaves of Solitude

The Greatsword of Solitude requires 27 Strength and 13 Dexterity to wield effectively, and scales with Strength (B) and Dexterity (E).

Congratulations on beating the Blackgaol Knight! You're now free to leave the Western Nameless Mausoleum and continue your journey toward the first main legacy dungeon in Shadow of the Erdtree, Belurat, Tower Settlement.

Continue to next boss: Furnace Golem

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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