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Godrick the boss of Stormveil Castle in Elden Ring Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

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Elden Ring guide: Godrick the Grafted boss fight

How to beat Stormveil Castle’s boss, defeat a shardbearer and claim your first Great Rune

While Margit the Fell Omen is the first truly challenging boss who most Elden Ring players will face, Godrick the Grafted is equally tough — if not more. For Tarnished who have made their way to the boss of Stormveil Castle’s location and need a little help with his weakness, we’ve put together this Godrick guide to defeating Elden Ring’s first shardbearer and claiming a Great Rune’s power for yourself.

Table of contents

Preparing for Godrick
Learn Godrick’s attacks
Get help

Preparing for Godrick

If you followed our earlier guides for beating Tree Sentinel and Margit the Fell Omen, you’re well on your way to being prepared for Godrick the Grafted. Either way, you’ve hopefully explored around Limgrave and found a decent weapon or two, not to mention some armor that gives you slightly more protection than the tighty whiteys with which you may have begun the game.

Make sure you go into Godrick the Grafted with a comfortable loadout. You should know the ins and outs of your gear, from your weapon’s two-handed move set to exactly how many spells or incantations you can pop off before running out of stamina.

Explore Stormveil

Obviously, if you’ve made it to Godrick, then you’ve explored Stormveil Castle, up to a point. But this Legacy Dungeon is brimming with secret nooks and crannies filled with items that might help you. We recommend a couple of items:

Depending on your current loadout, you’re also likely to find upgrades for your armament and armor slots here, too, not to mention all the runes you’ll accrue from continuously exploring.

Get the Flamedrake Talisman

Elden Ring’s map showing the location of Groveside Cave, where you can get smithing stones
Get the Flamedrake Talisman here, in Groveside Cave, to protect you against Godrick’s fire attacks.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

If you missed it before arriving at Stormveil Castle, it’s worth heading back to West Limgrave to grab the Flamedrake Talisman, which provides extra fire defense — useful in Godrick’s second phase. You can find it in the Groveside Cave, a short and easy dungeon found directly north of the Church of Elleh.

Upgrade your weapon(s)

Weapon upgrading is a system that’s easy to ignore for new players, but Soulsborne vets know exactly how crucial it is. Leveling up your armaments increases the damage they do, and it can also affect their scaling, which determines how much bonus damage your stats add on top of each weapon’s base damage.

At Elden Ring’s start, you can upgrade weapons to +3 at the smithing table in the Church of Elleh, near the Santa-looking merchant. To go higher, you have to visit Hewg, the blacksmith in the Roundable Hold.

For any upgrades, you’ll need a small quantity of runes and various qualities of smithing stones, the latter of which can be found commonly, especially in dungeons set in mines. Or, if you’re using a named, unique weapon, you’ll need the slightly rarer somber smithing stones. Either way, you should upgrade your favorite weapon as high as you can currently manage before facing Godrick.

Limgrave Tunnels smithing stone farming map location
Limgrave Tunnels, where you can collect a shocking number of smithing stones, circled on the West Limgrave map.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

You can also visit Limgrave Tunnels, which is a smithing stone mine available in West Limgrave. Limgrave Tunnels is south of Gatefront Ruins and the Agheel Lake North site of grace.

Elden Ring’s map showing the location of Raya Lucaria Crystal Tunnel, where you can get smithing stones
Raya Lucaria Crystal Tunnel is full of smithing stones.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can even venture beyond Limgrave to Lake Liurnia by skirting around the castle on its eastern side. Head to a dungeon called Raya Lucaria Crystal Tunnel near the lake’s north edge. It’s full of smithing stones, and more importantly, if you defeat the boss there, you’ll receive an item that you can give to the husk merchant in Roundtable Hold, enabling you to buy an infinite number of low level smithing stones there.

Check your inventory

With its crafting system, Elden Ring has more consumable items than any past Souls game. Veteran players might be used to ignoring these, but that would be a mistake in Elden Ring. Your inventory is filled with useful items, especially if you’ve spent time exploring before challenging Godrick.

Look for things like warming stones, which heal any players who stand in their aura; raw meat dumplings, which can provide some last ditch health recovery if you runs out of flasks during the fight; and fire pots, which you can make using the item crafting kit from Kalé, the Church of Elleh merchant, and might provide that extra bit of damage that you need to finish Godrick off.

Add those things and anything else useful to your equipment hotbar, and practice scrolling through to find the item you need in a pinch.

Learn Godrick’s attacks

If Godrick’s attacks seem impossibly tricky to avoid, don’t worry: It’s not just you.

Count on delay

Besides his massive repertoire of potential moves, the main thing that makes the grafted lord so difficult to fight is the huge amount of delay baked into most of his combos. That unnatural pause after Godrick raises a weapon, before he brings it crashing down on your head, makes this dude a massive wall for a lot of players. But it is possible, through patience and lots of practice, to get familiar enough with his patterns to reliably dodge or block most of them.

Combo swipes

The main thing to pay attention to is how many swipes each combo comprises, from the whirling tornado that’s often followed up with a single jumping overhead slam, to the ground attack that includes two (first phase) or three (second phase) separate damage moments, to the five move combo that always ends in two overhead slashes.

Damage before phase 2

Avoiding Godrick’s attacks gets much more difficult during the fight’s second phase, after the boss gruesomely gains a new set of abilities. There’s a prime damage opportunity as he’s doing the long animation that leads into the mid-fight cutscene, although you should try to attack him from behind so as to avoid his final downward chop.

Run behind some fire attacks

During phase 2, you should particularly watch out for Godrick’s fire attacks. The initial burst of flame covers much of the battlefield, so you should either run backward all the way to the door through which you entered, or, if possible, run behind him so you can get some attacks in while he’s spraying in the other direction. If you’re stuck in front of him during a fire attack, it is possible, albeit difficult, to dodge through the flames.

His overhead fire eruption, at least, is fairly easy to avoid, as the fireballs tend to land in a small cone in front of him, and they move slowly enough for you to get out of the way. And during phase 2, he’ll usually follow up the tornado attack with two jets of swirling, burning wind, which you should learn to dodge, or block if your shield has high fire damage negation.

Avoid other fire attacks

Meanwhile, it can be tempting to try to sidestep him to get some hits in while he’s doing the slow-walking fire vomit, but he can turn surprisingly quickly to engulf you no matter where you’re standing, so it’s best to simply get some distance and use that opportunity to heal.

Lastly, if you have summoned help during the fight, don’t bother attacking Godrick should he pick someone up in the dragon’s jaws, as he’s immune during the animation, which ends with massive jets of fire spraying out over the ground — so go ahead and run away while your friend gets chewed on.

Don’t be greedy

As we mentioned in our guide to beating the Tree Sentinel, one of the gravest mistakes that new and veteran players alike make in FromSoftware games is to try and get in as many hits as they can when they see an opening in a boss’s attack patterns. In Godrick’s case, it will usually end with you being engulfed in flames, or at the very least, taking a bit of damage from the boss’s close range tornado attack.

Try to get just one or two hits off at a time — depending on the speed of your weapon — and then get some distance and prepare to dodge or block the next attack. Two-handed jump attacks can be extra helpful, as they let you maximize damage with each swipe, and they’ll do extra damage if you snagged the Clawmark Talisman we mentioned above.

Use summons

Soulsborne elitists may tell you that summoning friends to help is a cheap tactic, but they’re wrong. Summoning co-op help has been a feature since the very beginning in 2009’s Demon’s Souls, and not only is there no shame in it, but it can actually make bosses significantly more fun. Although having more players in the fight does increase the boss’s health to compensate, engaging in jolly cooperation with your buddies can let you heal more frequently, since they can draw the boss’s attention away from you.

You can summon human players who are around your level by opening the multiplayer menu and using the Furlcalling Finger Remedy item (don’t ask us why it’s called that). After the corresponding icon appears under your stamina bar, you can see other players’ summon signs on the ground, and you should find some near the Secluded Cell site of grace, as well as near the Godrick’s fog door.

If you have friends who are a significantly different level from you, you can still summon them by using the same multiplayer password, and Elden Ring will simply handicap them down to your level. And even if you don’t want to bother with all of that, if nothing else, you’ll definitely want to summon the NPC helper Nepheli Loux, who you can find nearby the Secluded Cell site of grace. Chances are she won’t make it all the way through the fight, but when you’re up against a foe this tough, why not take all the help you can get?

Spirit Jellyfish Ashes

On a similar note, go ahead and use your Spirit Jellyfish ash summon alongside Nepheli if you’re not going to summon another player to help. (If you missed grabbing this, head to Church of Elleh at night to get the spirit-calling bell, and then to the Stormhill Shack site of grace just south of Stormveil Castle and speak to the woman inside several times.) The Jellyfish distract Godrick and can infect him with poison, which is a weakness of his, making them a huge help.

With these tips and strategies, you should be able to take this weirdo out and claim his Great Rune for yourself. Just don’t forget to activate it at the castle’s divine tower after you’re done.