How to Beat Maliketh, the Black Blade in Elden Ring


Jim Windrow

Writer and Storywriter


Maliketh, the Blade Blade, is a ferocious beast, guardian of the Rune of Death. And, in typical FromSoftware boss design, he is no pushover. Equipped with his Black Blade and an impressive amount of acrobatics, Maliketh is a true jack of all trades. Not only does he jump all over the place while wielding a sword and armor, but he is also a heavy hitter with a decent amount of health points and an amazing soundtrack. 

How to Beat Maliketh, the Black Blade in Elden Ring

Due to his strength, this fearsome opponent can be extremely challenging for many, and without direction, the fight can be an unbearable nightmare. Luckily, this guide is here to read and help you covet Destined Death. 

Maliketh, the Black Blade Overview

Maliketh, the Black Blade
Cower before Maliketh, Marika’s Black Blade.

This fight is divided into two phases, the first being reasonable but the second being very demanding. As tough as this boss can be, it is still an epic, enjoyable fight with lots of replay value.

If you’re a Tarnished who prefers heavy equipment, such as Greatswords or cumbersome armor, you will sadly find this fight quite taxing. Plenty of Maliketh’s attacks follow up with him leaping somewhere else, giving you a tiny amount of time to get a hit in – something that does not come easily for those on the heavier side.

Like any other boss, Maliketh can be fought at any level, although that does not mean it is recommended. Even though you should already be at a high level in the game, consider leveling up a couple of your stats; you will most definitely need it.

Maliketh is not a weak opponent. His fierce, wild attacks will keep most Tarnished pushing their limits, attempting to evade every attack he unleashes. Thankfully, Maliketh is quite squishy. He can be hard to hit, but every attack does lower his health far more than other bosses. He has a feeble 10,620 HP, roughly half the health of most endgame bosses.

Is Maliketh, the Blade Blade mandatory?

Yes, Maliketh, the Black Blade is mandatory, meaning all Tarnished will have no choice but to defeat Maliketh. There is no possible way to advance the main story of Elden Ring unless you manage to kill the Black Blade.

Maliketh, the Black Blade location

Maliketh, the Black Blade in map
Maliketh, the Black Blade location.

Make sure to light the Site of Grace outside the boss arena, or you must run a long way to fight him again.

Maliketh resides inside a small colosseum-shaped building at the end of Crumbling Farum Azula. Upon defeating the previous main boss, Fire Giant, and resting in the Forge of the Giants Site of Grace, you will automatically be transported to the start of the area. The way to Maliketh can be quite confusing the first time, but once you reach the Site of Grace under the big bridge, you reach the last section.

Maliketh, the Blade Blade’s Pre-Fight Strategy

Maliketh, the Black Blade
Get ready to fight Maliketh, and don’t lose your nerves, as scary as it might be.

Fight the Draconic Tree Sentinel guarding the boss area

You might have noticed that outside the entrance to Maliketh’s boss arena, there is also a Draconic Tree Sentinel taking watch. Although he might be annoying to fight, it is recommended to take him out. Otherwise, you risk being hit before the fight, losing a chunk of your HP immediately.

Not only that, but he can hit you even through the boss fog gate, and if you summon a Mimic Tear, it will try to fight the Draconic Tree Sentinel right outside the gate and, of course, end up being killed. Defeat the bothersome guard and move on. You could even use the Runes gained for an extra level-up.

Obtain the Blasphemous Claw tool

Some of Maliketh’s Phase 2 attacks are brutal and sometimes unfair. Thankfully, there is an item you can obtain to make the former attacks much less of a problem. 

The Blasphemous Claw tool can be found by defeating Recusant Bernahl at Crumbling Farum Azula and can be used to parry Maliketh’s Black Blade attack. If parried correctly, Maliketh is stunned, and the player is given a massive window to attack. However, whether you get the timing right is another different thing.

Invest in Vigor and Endurance

Unless you’re the best player in the world, you will 100% need a good amount of health and stamina points. Many of Maliketh’s attacks are made quickly and back-to-back, so a low HP Tarnished can be killed easily. Not only that but because of how many attacks are done in such a short amount of time, it is likely that you will run out of stamina and end up dying. So, ensure you have a reasonable amount of HP and Stamina beforehand.

Equip Bloodhound’s Step

It is not news that Bloodhound’s Step is one of the game’s most powerful Ashes of Wars, but it is still worth mentioning here. Although Bloodhound’s Step is already extremely useful in almost every fight, it is even more beneficial in this fight.

Maliketh’s Black Blade attack can be awfully hard to evade in time, even with a good roll. But by using Bloodhound’s Step, you can avoid it completely, saving you a good amount of health and allowing you to hit Maliketh repeatedly while he finishes his attack. 

Equip fast weapons

As mentioned earlier in the overview section, this fight is much harder for those with heavy weapons. During Maliketh’s first phase, it can be tolerable to use a heavy weapon, but that changes once he enters his second phase, as he will jump around often and leave the player a very tiny amount of time to attack back. While winning the fight with heavy weapons is still possible, it will make it much more difficult. Consider changing to faster weapons, such as katanas or daggers, and get up close and personal with Maliketh.

Do not bring heavy armor

This fight contains many back-to-back attacks, and you must roll many times. If your rolls are heavy, you cannot evade any attacks, take too much damage, and inevitably fail and die. Equip lighter armor, or take a weapon or two out of your inventory.

Equip a good, great shield

Albeit not entirely necessary, equipping a great shield could prove useful against this boss. It can help block some of his ranged attacks that usually deal a decent amount of damage, allowing you to use fewer Flasks of Crimson Tears.

Avoid Holy and Frost weapons

Maliketh has a high resistance to both Holy and Frost weapons, meaning that if you currently have a Holy / Frost weapon equipped, you’ll deal much less damage than you could with any other type of weapon. Some examples of Holy and Frost weapons are the Darkmoon Greatsword (sorry, Ranni!), the Icerind Hatchet, the Golden Order Greatsword, and the Golden Epitath.

Fight Strategy

Maliketh, the Black Blade  fight
Remember to keep calm if you are hit by one of his health-draining attacks.

Run further into the arena before fighting or summoning

Upon starting this fight, you will only have the chance to summon an Ash in peace during your first attempt. Still, after that, Maliketh will run straight toward you and usually manage to injure you if you summon Ashes right after entering.

Even if you manage to survive, chances are you will be knocked off the arena, and again, even if you manage to keep your balance, your Ashes can also regrettably be knocked off. It is far more convenient to run up behind a pillar and do what you must instead of risking it all initially.

Roll into his ranged attacks, not away from them

Maliketh has numerous ranged attacks which cause a high amount of damage. These are generally easy to avoid and highly telegraphed, but accidentally rolling backward and hitting them is common. Try remembering to roll towards the attacks instead of away from them to avoid this. You can also roll to the left or right, but rolling forward is generally better.

Use jump and heavy attacks

This boss has a low poise, so he can be staggered more easily than other bosses. Use heavy jump attacks when you can repeatedly stagger him; if lucky, you can cause extra damage before he gets to Phase 2.

Run towards him when Phase 2 starts

Once Phase 2 starts, Maliketh will stand still in the middle of the arena for a split second and leap up in the air to attack the player. To avoid being hit, run up to him, follow him using the camera, and roll if needed. After he attacks, you can get a hit or two in. 

Make use of the pillars in the arena when needed

If you need to heal or apply buffs, do not, under any circumstance, do it in the open. Maliketh likes using his ranged attacks on the player when stuck in an animation lock. Therefore, try to use the pillars around the room to avoid being hit by him.

Stay focused on the trajectory of his flying slashes

If you are not using any Ashes, move on to the next tip.

Once Maliketh performs his flying swipe attack, where he shoots red blades at you, he will sometimes shoot towards your Ashes first but then shoot his last sword toward you. If you are not paying full attention, you can sometimes not react in time and be hit by the attack, so stay focused when he performs this move.

Use the massive boss arena to your advantage

Similarly, if you need a break from all the rolling and evading or just need to relocate, disengage from Maliketh and run away. Make Maliketh come directly to you instead of him pushing you into a tight fighting spot.

Do not have the camera lock on at all times

Maliketh is constantly jumping, leaping, and borderline flying. Elden Ring’s lock-on system is by no means perfect, and due to all the moving around by Maliketh, it can completely mess up your sense of view and, in return, confuse you. Only lock on to Maliketh when he is in front of you, not in the air.

Use the Blasphemous Claw tool if you are confident

It’s time to make use of the Blasphemous Claw. If you’re unfamiliar with parrying, it might be better to hold off on it, as it could backfire. If you feel confident in your skills, look for when Maliketh’s sword glows gold and use it to parry him. This will give you a huge amount of time to slice Maliketh up. The Blasphemous Claw also has unlimited uses, so go crazy with it when you can.

Try to lure him away from the edges of the arena

This should be obvious but keep him away from the arena’s edges. His attacks can potentially slam you off the edge and anticlimactically end your run.

Run behind him when necessary

One of Maliketh’s more devastating attacks, Destined Death, will have him leaping into the air and stabbing the ground before it explodes and create sword strikes, which not only do a set amount of damage but quickly drain your health. However, this attack is weak; it can be avoided entirely if you go behind him. Use Bloodhound’s Step to evade the attack, then punish him from behind.

Avoid getting greedy, no matter what

Near the end of the fight, getting greedy and attacking more than you can afford is very easy. This usually ends up paying off with most bosses, but Maliketh is capable of flipping this in his favor. Instead of letting greed get to you, be patient, wait until a proper opening presents itself, and get the final blow in.


  • 220,000 Runes
  • Remembrance of the Black Blade: It can be cashed in with Enia at the Roundtable Hold for the colossal sword Maliketh’s Black Blade or Black Blade Incantation.

As tough of a battle as this is, you can make it reasonably possible by following these strategies. Good luck fighting against destined death.

If you have any more suggestions for this grandiose fight, please share them in the comments section below.

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