Of all the bosses players can fight early in Elden Ring, there are two that stand out for being particularly difficult compared to others in the same area: the Tree Sentinel, and the Crucible Knight. Elden Ring‘s Tree Sentinel is placed there to subtly tell players to come back when they’re stronger, but the Crucible Knight is on a whole other level of difficulty.
The Crucible Knight is found in the Stormhill Evergaol just south of the Stormhill Shack Site of Lost Grace. You know you’re heading the right way when you see a number of stone ball creatures gazing towards the Evergaol. Follow their gaze, and enter the Evergaol to face a boss that some players consider more brutal than Margit or Godrick.
Updated January 4th, 2023 by Russ Boswell: There are a lot of bosses in Elden Ring that can be difficult for players to take down but some are much more imposing than others. Take for example, the Crucible Knight, which is a painfully powerful enemy that can crush players in just a few hits. Players will tangle with this foe a few times, with a particularly powerful version sitting within an evergaol. To better help players beat the Crucible Knight in Elden Ring, the following guide now includes a companion video.
Crucible Knight’s Moveset And Weaknesses
The Crucible Knight looks like a meager foe at first. They don a set of heavy plate armor, a winged helmet, and have a large sword and shield – all things befitting a regular knight in the Lands Between. Soon into the fight players realize this enemy has many more tools to use in the fight than expected – even a “phase two”.
You cannot summon other players for the fight with the Crucible Knight, and Spirit Summons can’t be used either. It’s a one-on-one fight to the death, and the Crucible Knight has a few tricks up its sleeve, like the ability to fly.
Crucible Knight Moveset – Phase One
- Shield Uppercut: The Crucible Knight ducks behind his shield, leans forward, and thrusts his shield upwards towards the player to close a short distance. High damage.
- Slashing Combo: Swings his large sword two to three times, leaving a second of opportunity after the final swing. Medium damage.
- Long-Range Thrust: The Crucible Knight two-hands his weapon and thrusts at the player after a very short wind-up, sometimes used to close distance. High damage.
- Two-Hand Stomp: Two-hands his weapon, raises one leg up, and crashes down to deal AoE damage in a huge area in front that’s hard to dodge. Medium damage, but knocks.
- Two-Hand Heavy Attack: The Crucible Knight charges his sword for a brief second and swings it vertically from either the top or bottom, depending if you are standing or prone. High damage.
Crucible Knight Moveset – Phase Two
- Airborne Swooping Attack: The Crucible Knight sports a pair of angelic wings, raises his weapon as he soars high above the Evergaol, and swiftly cuts through the player’s location. Very high damage and difficult to dodge/block.
- Tail Swipe: Conjures a spectral tail and, with almost no warning, swings it around in two massive 360-degree arcs, which can hit from an impressive distance. Medium damage, but sudden.
Crucible Knight Weaknesses
The Crucible Knight really doesn’t have any noticeable weaknesses. Though he isn’t weak to Physical damage in the slightest, melee players will have an easier experience with this boss as they tend to be more geared to counteract its rapid movement across the battlefield.
If you can get some distance as a Ranged build you can deal some decent chunks of damage to the Crucible knight – it’s just hard to charge or cast anything when you’re avoiding his long-range cleaving stomp, watching for a long-range thrust, preparing for his long-range aerial sweep, or waiting for a long-range, long-windup shield bash.
Strategies For Beating The Crucible Knight
The Crucible Knight is one of the hardest enemies in Elden Ring, that is until you have to fight two at once much later. But it’s not impossible – just like every challenge in Elden Ring, it’s a good idea to leave, level up, and return when you’re stronger and have better equipment. Because the Crucible Knight is so fast to respond to attacks, having high Vigor and good Physical defense absorption is essential if you want to take these nearly-unavoidable retaliatory strikes.
This is the most important thing to keep in mind when fighting the Crucible Knight. For almost every attack you get on them, they will get one on you back if you don’t have the Stamina to block or amazing Dodge timing. Assign plenty of uses to your Crimson Flask over your Cerulean one, and try to get some HP recovery going (such as with the Flask of Wondrous Physick or the Blessing Incantation). It’s not cowardly to leave and come back much later when you can take him down in five or six hits – this is actually recommended as a legitimate strategy by many fans.
Because this boss is so fast to move across the battlefield, and holds his shield up almost all the time, it’s hard to get any meaningful hits with Sorceries, Incantations, or Arrows. Bow users will find the Crucible Knight easier than the other two Ranged archetypes, as their attacks don’t need much of a wind-up at all.
Right before the fight starts, as you leave the inner circle of the Evergaol before the Crucible Knight appears, charge up a powerful spell and cast it right as you cross the threshold to spawn the boss. It’s essentially a free hit, and the more powerful this opener the better. After that, equip a weapon that scales with Int, Faith, or Dex and get ready to Dodge Roll away and cast quick spells when you have an opportunity.
As a melee build, the Crucible Knight gives you a few ways to get good hits in. His regular attacks can be Parried, giving an immediate Riposte opportunity, and his quick slashes are easy to block and follow up with a Guard Counter. If you have the Barricade Ash of War on your shield, you can block almost all of his melee attacks, including the aerial dive which gives you an immediate Guard Counter opportunity upon landing.
For the majority of the fight you will want to run in, poke for some damage, then quickly get out because of how fast to respond he is after being hit. Watch out especially for his ground stomp move, which can knock you prone, can’t be blocked, and opens you up for a one-shot 2H attack immediately after.
Elden Ring is available now for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X|S.
MORE: Complete Guide To Elden Ring: Weapons, Tips, Tricks, Bosses, & Builds