How to Beat the Tree Sentinel and The Draconic Tree Sentinel in Elden Ring

BY JIM WINDROW

Jim Windrow

Writer and Storywriter

PUBLISHED 2 WEEKS AGO

Throughout your playthrough of Elden Ring, you will encounter several powerful bosses, which will be remarkably difficult to beat. One of the first genuinely arduous bosses to beat is the Tree Sentinel, owing to its ranged attacks and large Areas of Effect. However, the Draconic Tree Sentinel easily trumps its weaker counterpart and proves infinitely more difficult to best.

How to Beat the Tree Sentinel and The Draconic Tree Sentinel in Elden Ring

The Tree Sentinel is a Field Boss found in Limgrave and Lyndell Western Gate. Its varied attacks and defense mechanisms will make your task much harder to complete. The Draconic Tree Sentinel can be found in Capital Outskirts and Crumbling Farum Azula. Its crippling lightning attacks will wreak havoc on your character.

Tree Sentinels Overview

Tree Sentinel Boss
Tree Sentinels can be formidable foes to conquer, especially early in the playthrough.

Hit Points: 

The Tree Sentinel will have 3,200 HP on your first playthrough, while the Draconic Tree Sentinel will have about 11,726 HP on your first playthrough. 

Types of Damage:

The Tree Sentinel deals Standard, Strike, Pierce, Magic, and Fire Damage. The Draconic Tree Sentinel deals only Strike Damage and Lightning Damage during its second phase. 

Weaknesses:

The Tree Sentinel is weak to Lightning, while the Draconic Tree Sentinel is vulnerable to Poison. 

Weapons:

The Tree Sentinel wields a shield and a halberd. On the other hand, the Draconic Tree Sentinel wields a mace and a shield. Both Sentinels can also use the horse as a weapon.

Parrying the boss:

Parrying both Tree Sentinels is possible, but only for stagger, making it unreliable. Relying on parries alone is not a sound strategy.

Main Attack Pattern:

  • Tree Sentinel: Most of the Sentinel’s attacks will be commandeered by its halberd. It will often swing its ax low to the ground, cleaving everything on its side. It might attempt to jab at you with its ax if you are up close and personal. It is fairly common for the Sentinel to also charge and swing at you or leap in the air and slam its halberd on you. It will often attempt to trample you with its horse or reflect your projectiles using its shield, so be wary of that.
  • Draconic Tree Sentinel: During the first phase, the Sentinel will attempt to deal a lot of damage via a powerful swing with its mace, followed by a lunge in the air and a smash with its mace closely followed by a quick swing. It will commandeer its horse to hurl fireballs toward you from a distance and use its shield to reflect any incoming projectiles.

Once you enter the second phase, the Sentinel will summon multiple lightning strikes of different varieties to try and take you down.

Combos:

  • Tree Sentinel: The Tree Sentinel is a highly aggressive boss and will continuously mount attack after attack in the hopes of chipping away as much of your HP as possible. It will alternate between close and ranged attacks, making you vulnerable to attacks.
  • Draconic Tree Sentinel: The Draconic Tree Sentinel will often execute several close-ranged attacks, followed by a ground smash. It is relatively impossible to block its attacks, so your best option is to keep your distance and dodge away from its attacks.

Special Attacks:

  • Tree Sentinel:
    • Horse Bash: If the Sentinel senses you lurking around its right side, it will body-check you with its horse.
    • Shield Bash: If the Sentinel senses you lurking around its left side, it will barge you with its shield.
    • Halberd Combo: When within range, the Sentinel will perform several attacks with its halberd in quick succession.
    • Jump Attack: The Tree Sentinel will randomly leap off the ground and slam its shield on the ground, causing an AoE attack.
    • Golden Retaliation: If you are hurling projectiles and spells towards the Sentinel, it will try to reflect them towards you using its “Golden Power”-enchanted shield.
  • Draconic Tree Sentinel:
    • Insta-Mace: With no recognizable wind-up, the Sentinel’s Insta-Mace attack proves rather difficult to predict and dodge, making it highly effective.
    • Smite: If you are close and personal to the Sentinel for a long time, it will react by furiously slamming its mace on the ground.
    • Horse Stomp: If you face the Sentinel head-on, it will rear its horseback and attempt to stomp on you. It will sometimes pair the attack with a mace swing as a follow-up.
    • Fireball: Fireballs will be hurled at you during your battle with the Sentinel. The horse will launch a fireball toward you if you keep your distance. However, if you are within striking range, it will light up the ground around you.
    • Shield Swipe: The Sentinel will use different variations of this attack, depending on your positioning relative to it. If you are directly in front of it, the Sentinel will swipe its shield forward, remain stationary or leap away. If you are behind the Sentinel, it will swipe its shield backward. What is special about this move is the incredible reach of the shield, exclusive to the Draconic Tree Sentinel.
    • Lightning Storm (Second Phase): During the second phase, the Sentinel will raise its shield for a few seconds and then swipe it sideways, summoning a random field of lightning strikes with rather large hitboxes.
    • Targeted Lightning (Second Phase): If you are outside the Sentinel’s reach, it will raise its shield for a few seconds and then slam it down on the ground, sending a targeted lightning strike down on you.
    • Thunderous Smite (Second Phase): This attack is near-identical to the first phase smite attack. The difference between the two is the enormous attack radius of the Thunderous Strike— nearly three times the size of its counterpart.
    • Lightning Wave (Second Phase): The Sentinel will place his mace on the ground behind him and then furiously drag it forward, launching a massive wave of lightning. Sustaining damage from this attack will almost certainly spell the end of your run.

Pre-fight Preparation

Fight Tree Sentinel
Torrent will make the fight much easier, especially if you’re using a ranged build.
  • Tree Sentinel:
    • Level Up Your Character Before Embarking on This Boss Fight: Seeing as the Tree Sentinel can be encountered relatively early on during your run, it would be wise to avoid it, as it is optional, and return to it once you have leveled up your character. 
    • Use a Ranged Build: The Tree Sentinel’s devastating melee attacks should be enough of a deterrent for you to avoid going the melee route. If you are confident in your ability to take it down with a melee build, you are more than welcome to do so. It is not impossible.
    • Casters Should Get as Many Flask Upgrades as Possible: If you are relying on sorcery, you will want to top up your magic points or mana, as you will need a fair bit of it to take down the Tree Sentinel.
    • Equip a Good Shield: while avoiding the Sentinel’s attacks should be a top priority, sometimes they are unavoidable. Therefore, a decent shield can prove dividends against the Sentinel’s erratic attacks.
  • Draconic Tree Sentinel
    • Melee Players Should not Equip a Shield: Seeing as the Draconic Tree Sentinel’s attacks cannot be blocked consistently, you will have little to no use for a shield. It would be much wiser to free up space for a two-handed weapon.
    • Melee Players Should Equip the Strongest Two-Handed Weapon at Their Disposal: You will stand a much better chance of staggering the Draconic Tree Sentinel using a powerful two-handed weapon.
    • Strike a Balance Between Physical and Lightning Defence Armour: You will need good protection from the Sentinel’s devastating first phase attacks and second phase lightning strikes.

Fight Strategy

Draconic Tree Sentinel fight
Melee players should know when to dodge into or dodge away from attacks, while ranged players should maintain a safe distance.
  • Tree Sentinel:
    • Melee Strategy:
      • Be Mindful of Which Side You are Attacking the Sentinel From: The side you’re attacking will dictate which weapon the Sentinel will use, giving you an idea of what kind of attack to expect from the boss.
      • Bait the Boss into a Shield Attack: Seeing as the Tree Sentinel’s shield attacks are more predictable and easier to dodge than its halberd attacks, it would be best to stick to the left-hand side of the Sentinel and counter its shield attacks.
      • Be Aggressive but Not Greedy: You should actively seek an opportunity to strike. However, once that opportunity presents, you should limit yourself to one or two attacks and then fall back. Otherwise, you risk being countered.
      • Dodge Into Halberd Attacks but Dodge Away from Shield Attacks: After every Halberd Attack, the Tree Sentinel is left vulnerable to an attack for a second or two, giving you enough time to make a quick jab at it and fall back immediately. The same cannot be said for the Shield Attacks.
      • Prioritize Your Safety: Once the Sentinel sustains enough damage, it will start a chain of jumping attacks with massive AoE. Therefore, you should refrain from attacking if you sense any chance of a jumping attack and create distance between you and the Tree Sentinel.
      • Cheesy Platform Tactic: Once you enter the arena, venture off to the right-hand side, where you’ll find a chain of rocks with a platform embedded into the ground. Make your way up the rocks and onto the platform, where you’ll be out of the Tree Sentinel’s reach but close enough to hit it. From there, you can keep striking the Sentinel until it perishes. 
    • Ranged Strategy:
      • Keep Your Distance: Maintain a good distance between you and the Tree Sentinel, as its attacks cover a wide area and could spell the end of your run if you’re not careful.
      • Make Good Use of Your Shield: If you ever find yourself in the Tree Sentinel’s range, run away while having your shield up to block any incoming attacks.
      • Pay Close Attention to the Sentinel’s Shield: The Tree Sentinel’s shield can reflect projectiles your way, which will carry devastating damage if they connect. Therefore, you should refrain from shooting your projectiles if you see its shield turn golden.
      • Cheesy Platform Tactic: Like the melee platform tactic, you need to locate and scale the platform on the right-hand side of the arena, where you’ll be out of the Sentinel’s reach. You can continuously shoot projectiles at the Sentinel until it perishes.
  • Draconic Tree Sentinel:
    • Melee Strategy:
      • Keep to the Left Side of The Sentinel: while on the left-hand side of the Sentinel, it will attack with a slow shield bash, which is easy to dodge, does minimal damage, and opens the door for a counter.
      • Do Not Be Greedy: Don’t be egregious once you find room to attack. Strike the Sentinel once or twice, then fall back. Otherwise, you’ll be severely punished.
      • Keep Out of Its Range: Due to the Sentinel’s massive AoE attacks, you’ll need to be a fair distance away from the boss to avoid any run-ending damage. Your best bet is to strike straight after an attack and fall back instantly.
      • Coat your weapon with the Poisonous Mist Ash of War: Coating your melee weapon with the Poisonous Mist Ash of War will capitalize on the Draconic Tree Sentinel’s weakness to poison, allowing you to chip away at its health much quicker.
      • Cheesy Poison Mist Tactic: For this tactic, you will need to keep your distance and sneakily make your way around the Sentinel, then stealthily approach his rear and release your Poison Mist. Keep casting the poison until the Sentinel meets its demise.
    • Ranged Strategy:
      • Use Your Poison Spells: Poison spells, such as Poison Mist, will chip away at the Sentinel’s health fairly rapidly due to its weakness to poison.
      • Spam Your Spells: Unlike the Tree Sentinel encountered in Limgrave, the Draconic Tree Sentinel cannot reflect your projectiles, ridding you of the need to perfectly time your shots and casts.
      • Keep Your Distance: It is important to stay out of the Sentinel’s range, especially during its first phase. Make sure to fall back as soon as you find yourself in the Sentinel’s range.
      • Hold Your Shield Up When Running Away: When running away from the Sentinel, you should hold your shield up to block any incoming attacks from the Sentinel while your back is turned.

Rewards

  • Tree Sentinel:
    • Upon defeating the Tree Sentinel, you will be rewarded with 3,200 Runes on your first playthrough. You will also receive the Tree Sentinel’s very own Golden Halberd, which is quite the addition to your arsenal early on in the game.
    • Finally, you will receive a Holy Ground Effect, a useful skill that creates an AoE where you can heal over a certain amount of time.
  • Draconic Tree Sentinel:
    • Upon defeating the Draconic Tree Sentinel, you’ll be rewarded with 50,000 Runes on your first playthrough—quite the jump from its weaker counterpart. The Draconic Tree Sentinel’s Dragon Greatclaw will also be added to your arsenal, proving to be a highly effective weapon once enchanted and upgraded.
    • Finally, you will become the proud new owner of the Draconic Tree Sentinel’s Dragonclaw Shield, which comes with lightning attacks.

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