How to Beat Decaying Ekzykes in Elden Ring


Jim Windrow

Writer and Storywriter


In Elden Ring, you face many enemies that are daunting in size. These enemies tend to have a large health pool, do tons of damage, and have attacks with incredible reach. A large portion of these daunting foes are dragons, there are many dragons throughout the Lands Between.

How to Beat Decaying Ekzykes in Elden Ring

Ekzykes is a tough boss with a large health bar, long-range movements, and Scarlet Rot attacks. Fret not, however. This guide will help you prepare for the fight, delving into pre-fight and fight strategies in detail.

Decaying Ekzykes Overview

Decaying Ekzykes
You fight Decaying Ekzykez in the open world, giving you plenty of space to retreat.

Decaying Ekzykez’s attacks have the potential to kill you in one shot, so you must stay on your toes and always be moving, as Ekzykez can be both evasive and aggressive.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know to defeat Decaying Ekzykes.

Elden Ring Decaying Ekzykes’ Location

Decaying Ekzykes can be found in Caelid, following the highway in the south. You will see him resting outside of the Cathedral of Dragon Communion.

Decaying Ekzykes location map
Decaying Ekzykes location.

Is Decaying Ekzykes Optional?

Decaying Ekzykes is a completely optional boss, and you can enter the Cathedral of Dragon Communion without defeating him. 

Pre Fight Strategy

Decaying Ekzykes boss fight
Bring lots of items that alleviate Scarlet Rot.

Since Decaying Ekzykes is found in one of the most dangerous regions on the map, you will want to face off against him at a proper level and with the proper equipment.

What level should I be for Decaying Ekzykes?

Although Caelid can be accessed relatively early in the game, it is recommended that you be at level 60 or above if you want to stand a chance against Ekzykes.

What are Ekzykes’ Weaknesses?

Ekzykes, like many of the other dragons in Elden Ring, is very weak to physical attacks. Weapons that scale primarily off strength and dexterity are highly recommended for this battle.

Also, like many other dragons, Ekzykes has a glaring weakness to any kind of elemental damage. Ironically enough, fire is the element that he is weakest to, so bringing fire spells, arrows, or grease is also highly recommended.

Unlike other dragons though, Ekzykes also has a huge weakness to Bleed damage. Bringing weapons and incantations that cause blood loss buildup is a must for this fight.

Bring Scarlet Rot ailments

As mentioned before, Decaying Ekzykes has the ability to inflict you with Scarlet Rot so it is imperative that you come prepared to counter the status effect.

Bringing items that instantly alleviate the status effect such as Preserving Boluses is a must-have for this battle. additionally, items like Immunizing Cured Meat and the Immunizing Horn Charm talisman will raise your immunity, making it harder for Scarlet Rot to build up.

If you are really looking to raise your immunity, using armor sets and shields that have high immunity stats will help you get there. The Mushroom armor set (found in the Lake of Rot and in Seethewater Cave) and the Ant’s Skull Plate shield (found in a chest within Nokstella) are both excellent picks.

Bring long-range spells

Ekzykes really does not like staying put, so if you are building either faith or intelligence, you will need spells that have long reach.

Make sure you also take advantage of the fact that this fight takes place in the open world and position yourself in a way that you can hit Ekzykes with your spells while staying out of his attack range.

Since Ekzykes tends to fly around a lot, using spells that have homing capabilities will be a great help in this battle. Loretta’s Greatbow, which can be found in Caria Manor after defeating Loretta, is a great spell for this boss.

Make good use of summons

Spirit Ash summons are available for this fight. While they may not do a lot of damage to Ekzykes, they can at least distract him long enough for you to get some hits in. You will want to use Spirit Ashes with large health pools and aggressive movesets. so that Ekzykes is forced to focus attention on them and they can survive Ekzykes’ attacks.

Mimic Tear, found after using a Stonesword key on the imp statue in Night’s Sacred Ground, is always a reliable, tanky choice for a summon. It is mostly recommended for those using a strength build since the mimic having to get up close makes it easier to get the attention of Ekzykes. Heavier armor sets also boost the mimic’s ability to tank attacks.

For those not using a tanky strength build, there are other summons that already come with heavy sets of armor and large health pools. Luthel the Headless, found after defeating the Cemetery Shade in the Tombsward Catacombs, is an excellent example of one. Luthel comes equipped with an ability that lets her teleport allowing her to close the distance that Ekzykes puts between them.

Fight Strategy

Beat Decaying Ekzykes
Use both the terrain and Torrent to your advantage.

There is no mist to traverse in this battle, so walking up to Ekzykes signifies the start of the fight. Here is what you need to do to defeat this boss.

Use Torrent to engage and evade

Since this fight takes place in the open world, you are allowed to summon Torrent while fighting Ekzykes. Like in many other dragon battles, Torrent can be used as a great way to both attack and retreat.

Going under or behind Ekzykes while using Torrent is a great way to make use of charged attacks as charge attacks on horseback hit twice, once on the windup and another hit on the release.

Torrent is also very useful for getting out of range of Ekzykes’ long-range breath attacks as well as following Ekzykes as he moves around. The terrain in this fight can also be used to your advantage as you can hide behind rocks or even gain a high ground advantage on Ekzykes.

Be careful that you do not get too far away from where you encounter Ekzykes as he can spawn back at the encounter area if he tries to follow you too far from it.

Don’t lock on to Ekzykes

At this point in the game, you are more than likely accustomed to locking on to your enemies. However, locking onto Ekzykes will do more harm than good for you in this battle. Ekzykes. like most dragons, Ekzykes has many locations on his body that you can lock on to, but also like many dragons it makes it harder to pay attention to the rest of his attacks.

The recommended strategy is to move around attacking different parts of his body while paying attention to what moves he might do next. 

Focus your attacks on Ekzykes’ head

Another one of Ekzykez’s weaknesses is his head. Landing blows on his head will do double the damage of a hit on any other part of his body. 

It may not always be possible to land a hit on Ekzykez’s head, you should be taking full advantage of it but when it is. Hitting both parts of your mounted charged heavy attack on Ekzykes’ head will deal devastating damage to him.

Stay at a long distance and fire off spells

If you’re using any sort of spellcaster build, it is recommended that you let your summon be a shield while you maintain your distance and melt Ekzykes’ health bar with powerful spells.

Use spells that have homing capabilities and short casting times, as both you and Ekzykes will be constantly moving throughout this fight. Also, sorceries like Loretta’s Greatbow or Stars of Ruin are both excellent for this battle. Loretta’s Greatbow can be fully charged for maximum damage or you can choose to not charge it up for a quicker fire.

Stars of Ruin also works like Loretta’s Greatbow in terms of charging it up to maximize damage, unlike Loretta’s Greatbow, Stars of Ruin fires off multiple homing projectiles.

Maneuvering around Ekzykes’ attacks

Decaying Ekzykes’ moveset consists of various attacks with wide hitboxes. Combine those attacks with the added Scarlet Rot to his dragon breath and roar, and you might find yourself having a hard time finding openings to attack. To defeat Ekzykes, you will need to understand how his moveset works.

Be careful of the usual stomps, tail whips, and charging attacks — a staple of any dragon’s moveset in this game. Ekzykes does differ from the usual dragon moveset, not only by having a breath that inflicts Scarlet Rot, but by bringing another unique attack into the mix.

Brace yourself for that unique attack as soon as he starts hovering above the ground. Try to get as far away as possible before he stomps back down. Upon landing, Ekzykes will cover a large area with Scarlet Rot, leaving an aftereffect for some time.

If you are afflicted by the Scarlet Rot, hide behind one of the many rocks around the area and use one of the many ailments you brought along.

How do I cheese Decaying Ekzykes?

When approaching him at his starting location, you can easily inflict some damage using a long-range spell. Once you have grabbed his attention, quickly mount Torrent and look for your cheesing spot.

Your spot can be any of the rocks around the battlefield. Just make sure to choose that the dragon is not too far from your spells’ range. Once you have found your favorite spot, stand on top of it and start launching either Fire or Bleed spells.

Be careful though; Ekzykes can still use his Rotten Breath and charge attacks. Whenever Ekzykes starts spewing Rotten Breath at you, take cover behind your trusty rock. If Ekzykes chooses to charge at you, it’s time for you to find another rock.

After you have drained a third of his health bar, he will start using Rotten Wind. Depending on how far you are from him, you can either just hide behind your rock or mount Torrent for a quick getaway. We recommend always mounting Torrent, just to be safe.

When the Scarlet Rot finally subsides, go back to your position and start firing off your spells again. Once you have drained another third of his health, he will bring out Rotten Wind once again. You know the drill. Repeat the suggested steps until you finally bring him down.


After Decaying Ekzykes is defeated, you will be rewarded with the following items:

  • 38,000 Runes: on your first playthrough.
  • 1 Dragon Heart: Dragon Hearts can be used at the Cathedral of Dragon Communion to obtain Dragon Incantations.
  • Ekzykes’ Decay: An upgraded version of the Rotten Breath incantation that does more damage and builds up Scarlet Rot at a faster rate.

We hope that by using the many items and strategies provided in this guide, you will overcome this great enemy. It is most important that you remain patient and try different approaches. If we missed anything in this guide or if you want to share your experience with Decaying Ekzykes, please leave a comment down below!  

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