If you have played Elden Ring for longer than an hour, you will notice the overwhelming amount of dragon enemies on the map. From young dragons withering away with the Scarlet Rot, to the iconic colossal-sized white dragon snoozing in Greyoll’s Dragonbarrow, there are a handful of these mythical beasts around The Land’s Between.
Nevertheless, in terms of a scare factor, Borealis, the Freezing Fog takes the cake for the chilling entrance it makes. At this point in the game, most Tarnished are used to bosses suddenly starting in open areas. However, this fight, in particular, stands out due to the unexpected cold mist manifesting around the player, and the fearsome roar erupting from inside the fog.
Borealis, the Freezing Fog Overview
If you were expecting anything new in this dragon boss fight, prepare to be half disappointed.
Apart from his adrenaline-filled sudden arrival and introduction with his freezing fog, Borealis is just another Elden Ring dragon, with most of his moveset relying on everything the past dragons have used on the player already. So, if you have already gone through some of the dragon boss fights, you already have an advantage in this fight.
However, even if Borealis is lackluster in the unique moveset category, he makes up for his recycled attacks by having an extremely high damage output. Some of his attacks can be very hard to identify until the last second when it is too late to react.
Borealis can be fought at a low level (although, by the time you are in this area, you should be high level) since again, this is just another repeated dragon fight with a couple of OP moves thrown in. Even so, buckle up and be ready to groan, as this fight can be a bit unfair.
Is Borealis, the Freezing Fog mandatory?
No, Borealis, the Freezing Fog is not mandatory. Although he stands between you and the path necessary to advance Elden Ring’s main story, you can ride past the frozen beast using Torrent, your spectral steed. For some players, it might even be more trouble than it’s worth to defeat Borealis.
Borealis, the Freezing Fog Location
This boss in particular is quite hard to miss, as it will appear no matter what on your way to the Forge of the Giants.
Upon making your way to Mountaintop of the Giants, from the Zamor Ruins Site of Grace, make your way North through Zamor Ruins. You’ll end up at a stone bridge with some Fire worshippers. Fight them if you want. Cross the stone bridge, but once you reach the halfway mark, be careful, as there will be a Giant Archer who can knock you out of Torrent and potentially kill you or knock you off the bridge completely. He’s fairly easy to dodge, just time your Torrent sprints or jumps correctly. Once you’ve crossed completely, keep heading north until you find the Freezing Lake Site of Grace. From there, hop on your horse and head over to the frozen lake itself, and prepare to fight.
Attempting to fight Borealis unprepared will result in a death screen, as most fights do in Elden Ring. Even though Borealis is an optional boss, some of his moves are as deadly as the main bosses. Here are some tips to help you secure a stable early fight with a higher chance of victory:
Do not bring piercing or slashing weapons
Borealis has a natural resistance to piercing and slashing weapons, such as Katanas, Swords, Greatswords, Curved Swords, Rapiers, etc. If you’re using one of these, it might be a better idea to switch up your weapons.
Do bring striking weapons
On the other hand, Borealis is weak to striking weapons, such as Whips, Shields, Hammers, Flails, etc. If you’re using one of these already, you are on the right path.
Equip Bleed or Scarlet Rot weapons
As you know, Bleed and Scarlet Rot are one of the most effective status ailments in the game. Due to Borealis’s big health pool, it is worth bringing a weapon that can take large portions of his HP. One weapon worth mentioning is the Reduvia, a Bleed dagger that can be obtained early in the game by doing Hunter Yura’s questline.
Fight him during the day
As you start up this fight, you will be covered in fog, and have your sense of sight crippled. Although this does not last forever, it is enough time to put you in a bad spot. If you choose to do this fight during the nighttime, it will only make things harder. His freezing breath can also be hard to see during the nighttime.
Don’t begin fighting him until the fog dissipates
At the start of the battle, you are very vulnerable, as you will not be able to see anything due to the fog created by Borealis. Your best move is to ride away and wait until it goes away.
Bring Thawfrost Boluses to clear Frostbite
Although Frostbite can be evaded with little to no effort, it can end a good run if inflicted. Bring along some Thawfrost Boluses and put them in your quick spot in case of emergencies.
Summon spirit ashes before going in
If you are using spirit ashes, you’re in luck. Before entering the fight itself, the game allows you to summon spirit ashes, which will then follow you into the fight. Make sure you don’t wander too far away before starting the fight, however, as the spirit ashes could disappear.
Start the fight while riding Torrent
Use Torrent to your advantage! If you start the fight against Borealis on your feet, it will be far easier for him to instantly kill you. Ride Torrent instead and use his speed to avoid any freezing breath.
Stay under his feet
Like with any other dragon, make sure you stay under him and deal damage with any melee weapons. This is far more potent in terms of damage and can break his stance.
Attack his blind spots
The most obvious weak spot is under Borealis’s body, where you can smack him until he is felled. His head also serves as a good target, since it takes a lot of damage, and can help stagger him.
Break his stance using heavy attacks
If you’re able to get under him, you will have many chances to do heavy attacks on his feet and every once in a while directly at his head. If you follow our strategy to use striking weapons, it will be easier than normal to break his stance, allowing you to get many free hits on him.
Keep a close eye on his roars
Borealis will perform a normal Ice Roar, but afterward, will create a huge Frostbite inducing area of effect attack. In order to identify this in time, keep an eye on his movement after the first roar. If he begins to look at the sky without roaring, leave as fast as possible. This move can be fatal and will most likely leave you in a vulnerable spot even if you survive.
Be careful of his teleporting skills
This is a bug, of course, but Borealis tends to teleport once he reaches a certain part of the Freezing Lake. Be careful, as this can put him in a better position and potentially cost your life. If you want to avoid this, try keeping him in the same spot for the whole fight.
Use Torrent to your advantage
As mentioned in the pre-fight strategy, this fight allows you to use Torrent! Use him to your advantage, as you can quickly evade many deadly attacks by just riding away. In the worst case scenario, Torrent can also take the damage for you.
Be wary of other enemies in the area
Although Jellyfish aren’t usually something to care about, in this fight there are many out in the open, and hurting them by accident could happen. This will turn them hostile towards you, interrupting your fight.
Borealis, the Freezing Fog Rewards
Upon defeating the ice dragon, you will receive the following:
- Dragon Heart
- 100,000 Runes
- Borealis’s Mist: A dragon incantation that deals cold damage by spewing icy breath from above.
Although these drops aren’t as legendary as some of the other bosses in the game, it is still worth something, and during your first playthrough, 100,000 Runes can make a huge difference.
After reading this guide, you should be well informed about Borealis, the Freezing Fog in its entirety, and should be ready to face off against this epic enemy. Or, well, at least until it teleports away.
What did you think of this fight? Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section.