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Draconic Tree Sentinel Elden Ring boss Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

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Elden Ring boss guide: Draconic Tree Sentinel

Chop the Capital’s door guy down to size

There’s one enemy standing between you and Elden Ring’s Capital city of Leyndell. Unfortunately, that enemy is an even tougher version of the Tree Sentinel, one that summons deadly red lightning and shoots fireballs from its horse’s mouth. Luckily, we put together this Draconic Tree Sentinal boss guide to get you through this final obstacle so you can explore the Capital in peace.

Table of contents

Preparing for the fight
Learn the Draconic Tree Sentinel fight

Preparing for the fight

You’ve come a long way since fighting the likes of Margit the Fell Omen and Godrick the Grafted, and if you’re standing at the capital’s doorstep, you likely spent dozens of hours exploring Limgrave and Liurnia. But after finally reaching the Altus Plateau, you shouldn’t beeline for Leyndell, tempting as its golden spires might appear. Instead, spend some time exploring the area around it.

Gearing up in Altus Plateau

First off, you want your healing Flasks to be as effective as possible at this point, so make sure to grab all the Golden Seeds and Sacred Tears you can find in Altus Plateau. Without venturing too far and encroaching onto Mt. Gelmir to the west, you can grab two Sacred Tears in Altus Plateau at the following locations:

  • Second Church of Marika, on the western edge (accessible from the north)
  • Stormcaller Church, near the Rampartside Path site of grace

Meanwhile, Golden Seeds can be found in the following locations:

  1. Beside the Erdtree Gazing Hill site of grace
  2. Roadside East of 1
  3. Inside the Capital wall past the two Tree Sentinels
  4. North of 3
  5. Near the road heading north from 4, outside the Capital wall
  6. Near the Minor Erdtree (watch out for the wormface enemies)
Altus flask upgrades Elden Ring Draconic Tree Sentinel Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

With your flasks upgraded, you’ll want to grab the Arsenal Charm +1 from the Altus Tunnel dungeon, which you can see on your map — it’s a roundish discoloration just south of the Altus Plateau Minor Erdtree. In addition, if you somehow missed the extra Margit fight on your way to the Draconic Tree Sentinel, follow the road north/northeast from the Outer Wall Phantom Tree site of grace and fight the boss again for the Viridian Amber Medallion +1. These two talismans raise your maximum equip load and maximum stamina, respectively, and should be useful no matter what kind of build you’re running.

Lastly, you’ll likely want to use a shield for the battle with Draconic Tree Sentinel. Look for one in your inventory that has high fire and lightning damage reduction while maintaining the 100% physical damage reduction stat. A good candidate that you’ve likely picked up incidentally by this point is the Brass Shield. If you don’t have it yet, you can farm for one by killing the soldiers in Limgrave and Raya Lucaria who are visibly carrying one. The drop rate appears to be somewhat low, so if you’d like to temporarily increase your item discovery stat, grab the Missionary’s Cookbook (3) from a corpse in the Smoldering Church, which you can reach by following the road northeast from Summonwater Village in northeast Limgrave (north of the Mistwood and the Third Church of Marika). Then you can craft Silver-Pickled Fowl Foot, which increases item discovery for a short time.

You’ll also want to beef up your defenses for this fight. Magic users can employ the Scholar’s Shield spell, which improves your guardian ability, letting less damage through your shield while also reducing stamina use. On the other hand, faith users might want to cast the Flame Fortification and Lightning Fortification incantations — both purchaseable from Brother Corhyn at his Altus Plateau location, north of the Altus Highway Junction site of grace. Then, if you have two extra Stonesword Keys, head to the Old Altus Tunnel dungeon, north of the Erdtree-Gazing Hill site of grace, and grab the Boltdrake Talisman +1 for increased lightning defense.

Learn the Draconic Tree Sentinel fight

The battle with Draconic Tree Sentinel outside the Capital includes two phases.

Draconic Tree Sentinel Phase 1

During the initial confrontation, the boss’s moves are somewhat similar to the attacks used by the first Tree Sentinel you encountered in Elden Ring, all the way back at the First Step site of grace in Limgrave. Check out our previous Tree Sentinel boss guide if you need a refresher.

Granted, this much tougher version of the Tree Sentinel wields different armaments, and as such, has several new attacks and abilities.

Familiarize yourself with the cadence with which he swings his massive hammer. Like many Elden Ring bosses, there’s often a long delay between when he raises the weapon and when he actually swings it. A good rule of thumb for this boss (and many others) is to wait to dodge-roll until he begins the actual attack animation — avoid panic rolling during the wind-up, which wastes stamina and leaves you vulnerable.

Here are some general recommendations for the Draconic Tree Sentinel boss fight:

  • Draconic Tree Sentinel is much harder to stay close to than previous Tree Sentinels, thanks to the wide impact damage his hammer does. More than in previous fights, you’ll want to dodge in and get one or two hits off, then back away and prepare for his next salvo.
  • In addition, Draconic Tree Sentinel loves to have his horse shoot fireballs at you whenever you back off to try to heal, so it’s much more difficult to take a breather and chug some flasks. When you need to heal, you’ll want to get enough distance to bait the fireball attack, dodge it, and then drink your healing juice before he can fire off another one. That said, if you’re already near the boss when he rears up on his horse to let a fireball loose, it’s relatively easy to dodge toward him and get an attack in.
  • Although you can summon your horse for this fight, doing so isn’t advisable — the boss’s lightning attacks will make quick work of Torrent and you.

Draconic Tree Sentinel Phase 2

The boss’s second phase is where you likely need the most help.

When he gets to around 50% health, Draconic Tree Sentinel will imbue his massive club with deadly red lightning. You can get a few hits in during his animation, when he’s vulnerable for a second or two, but you’ll want to quickly get some distance. During this phase, Draconic Tree Sentinel’s attacks have a much larger area-of-effect thanks to their explosive lightning damage.

In addition, the boss gains two dangerous lightning-based attacks.

  • Area lightning: The Draconic Tree Sentinel summons lightning to strike the ground in a wide area around him. This is easy to see coming when he swipes his shield through the air and lightning spots appear on the ground, and equally easy to avoid by simply backing away and getting some distance. It’s a great opportunity to heal or cast a defensive incantation.
  • Lightning strike: This attack is much more problematic and will likely cause you no shortage of deaths until you learn how to dodge it. You can tell when it’s coming — the boss raises his shield into the air, but the telltale crackling red spots won’t appear all over the ground surrounding him. When that happens, you know the precise lightning strike is coming. The secret to dodging it is to wait until the exact moment he moves his arm downward. Time it correctly, and the bolt will just miss you.

Summons with summons

Just like with other boss fights in Elden Ring, you can summon help by opening your multiplayer menu and using the Furlcalling Finger Remedy item to enable you to see other players’ summon signs. And don’t forget that you can use the Tarnished’s Furled Finger item to place your own summon sign, allowing you to help other players beat the boss in their own world, while getting to practice the fight without risking your runes.

With a summoning pool effigy and a stake of Marika close by the boss, summoning help or offering your own help for Draconic Tree Sentinel is easy. In addition, you’ll find a summon sign for the NPC helper Great Horned Tragoth nearby. He has tons of health and will spend his time fighting the boss up-close, which is particularly helpful if you’re a magic user who’s more comfortable hurling spells from a distance. However, keep in mind that the more players or NPCs you summon for the fight, the more health the boss has. With that in mind, you might want to opt for a Spirit Ash instead — using one doesn’t increase the boss’ health.

With these strategies, the Draconic Tree Sentinel should be felled in no time, giving you access to the Capital City Leyndell at last.

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