Elden Ring Draconic Tree Sentinel boss fight

Knowing how to beat the Elden Ring Draconic Tree Sentinel boss fight is a lifesaving bit of information, as this brutish upgrade on the original calvary knight is even worse than before, and marks a chokehold in Elden Ring as he is determined to stop you from getting into Leyndell, Royal Capital. Of course, he’s just the latest in a series of obstinate boss fights, and you’re not going to let yourself be stopped here, surely? We’ll show you here how to beat the Draconic Tree Sentinel boss fight in Elden Ring, including weaknesses, strategies, rewards, the second Draconic Tree Sentinel waiting for you later on, and whether you even have to fight them at all…?

  • The recommended level for the Draconic Tree Sentinel outside Leyndell is 60 at least, ideally 65+ with weapons of +10 or more.

How to beat the Elden Ring Draconic Tree Sentinel

Here’s some basic tips to help you beat the Draconic Tree Sentinel boss fight in Elden Ring:

  1. Exploit weaknesses to Strike, Pierce, Poison and Scarlet Rot.
  2. Defend against Strike and Lightning damage.
  3. Summon ranged minions and NPC helpers.
  4. Use items to bolster stats and stay mobile.
  5. Stay on their shield side and avoid the hammer. 
  6. Move closer in Phase 2 to stop being hit by lightning.
  7. If all else fails, use the Poison Mist easy cheese method.

To beat the Draconic Tree Sentinel boss fight in Elden Ring, players will have to abandon shields, play fast and cautious, and pick their weapons carefully, as the Draconic Tree Sentinel has a lot of resistances and using the wrong kind of gear can leave you chipping away minor amounts of health rather than doing any real damage. This is a boss pretty distinct in their attack patterns and exploits than what we discussed in our Elden Ring Tree Sentinel Boss guide.

The big thing to keep in mind (and we’ll discuss this more momentarily), is that the Draconic Tree Sentinel is a boss where evasion is key. All of their attacks are massive strikes that can stagger shielded players or punch through their defences altogether, leaving them totally vulnerable to the immediate follow-up. You have to prevent yourself from ever being hit at all if possible, rather than vainly attempting to block or negate his strikes.

Exploit their weaknesses to Str/Thr damage, as well as Poison and Scarlet Rot

The Draconic Tree Sentinel is weakest against Strike and Thrusting damage, and struggles to endure Poison and Scarlet Rot status effects. Use these if you can! Rot Grease and Poison Grease are definite boons. Contrarily, the Draconic Tree Sentinel is highly resistant to Fire, Lightning and Slashing Damage, taking far less damage from these sources than others. Those with fiery claws (like we were using), will struggle to break through their armor.

Make sure you’re defended against their Strike and Lightning damage

The Sentinel’s own attacks are a mix of Strike, Lightning and occasional Fire damage. If you’re torn between two armor sets, put on the one most suited against those damage types. Fire damage is the kind they use least often, generally speaking, so it should be your least priority.

Summon ranged minions and NPC helpers where possible

Players can summon two NPCs with summon signs nearby: the Great Horned Tragoth and Millicent, though the latter can only be brought in if players have reached step 8 of the Elden Ring Millicent questline and killed the Godskin Apostle at Dominula Village. 

If you’re using Ashes to summon, you probably want groups of foes or ranged fighters that the Sentinel will struggle to hit. The Sentinel’s powerful attacks can devastate in a single, hard-to-avoid strike, so if you bring in a single melee-focused ally, they’re likely to get squashed before long. The Spirit Jellyfish actually isn’t bad here, as it floats out of reach and applies Poison from a distance.

Use consumables and items to bolster your stats and stay out of their way

As mentioned, the Poison/Rot Grease is a good item here, and try using Godrick’s or Radahn’s Great Rune to bolster your stats and health accordingly. If you’re running short on Rune Arcs, check out our Elden Ring Great Runes and Rune Arc farming guide. And don’t ride Torrent unless you’re trying to back away to heal, and even then be careful about it. Your trusty steed might be fast in a straight line, but he’s atrocious at dodging attacks.

Stay on their shield side in combat and keep your distance from the hammer

As a rule, you want to stay on the Sentinel’s shield side, as their giant hammer always stays on the right-hand side. That’s not to say they can’t hit you with the shield or other attacks, but it’s easier to dodge overall. And as alluded to, the Sentinel’s hammer is devastatingly deadly, but also has a wide range, with a huge shockwave reaching out whenever it hits the ground. You have to put some real distance between you and it to be safe.

It gets worse – the horse can shoot fire out of its mouth, which streaks across the ground as it drops down from rearing. Be careful of the environment – if the fireball hits something, it explodes and damages everything nearby. It’s possible to dodge, only for the fireball to hit a rock behind you and catch you in the blast.

Despite that, spellcasters might find this fight a little easier if conducted from a good distance. The Sentinel has ranged attacks, but they’re not as lethal as his melee strikes. Staying out of hammer range is always good. If you’re melee focused and have big weapons, try to use jumping heavy attacks. Though you can’t get a critical attack off it, you can stagger the Draconic Tree Sentinel and use that as a follow-up for more free hits, or to back away and heal.

Switch to a closer, quicker fight in Phase 2 to stop being hit by lightning bolts

At half health, the Sentinel begins phase 2, imbuing their attacks with Lightning damage and gaining new moves. You’ll need to be even more careful now, as their hammer attacks radiate electricity across the usual shockwave for further damage.

The Sentinel also gains a lot more ranged moves at this point, some of which are more lethal than others. In fact, whereas in phase 1 it was safer to stay distant, now you want to get into a mid-range back-and-forth, hitting them without getting so far away that they use his fatal ranged moves. 

Once in phase 2, the range on many of the Draconic Tree Sentinel’s attacks becomes so broad that you often can’t roll out of them. Instead, you need to time the invincibility frames of your dodge to match the instant that they hit you. It’s not easy, but it’s the best chance you have.

If all else fails, use the Poison Mist easy cheese method

With the right items, the Draconic Tree Sentinel can be cheesed – and frankly with a boss this mean-spirited, we don’t blame you. The one widely-used community method we’ve found that still seems to work at time of writing is one involving Poison Mist, an Incantation obtained by killing one of the Teardrop Scarabs at Castle Morne. 

Once you have the spell, equip it (it only requires Faith of 12), along with a Seal, and sneak up behind the Tree Sentinel without alerting or attacking them. Then simply cast Poison Mist at their horse’s rear – aside from the obvious potential for demeaning fart jokes, it’ll poison and damage the Draconic Tree Sentinel without alerting them. Then simply keep doing this and watching the Sentinel’s health drain while they do nothing but wonder why they feel so sickly.

Eventually they should die, but if you’re having trouble stealthing up behind them, you can also distract the Sentinel with an Ash summon, sneak into place, quit and come back into the game. Now the Sentinel will be de-alerted, your spirit will have vanished, and you’ll be set up for the mist cheese.

Elden Ring draconic tree sentinel boss fight how to beat

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

There’s a second Draconic Tree Sentinel in Crumbling Farum Azula, a location far further in the game near the finale of Elden Ring. This Draconic Tree Sentinel is more of a mini-boss, a bulked-up foe who just happens to be present on the road leading to the actual boss of the area, Maliketh (who we’ve addressed in our how to beat Maliketh in Elden Ring guide). Fortunately, most of what we’ve said about the Altus Plateau Draconic Tree Sentinel applies to this one too, though it’s much harder to stealth around them for the cheese method.

Alternatively, there is another option to cheese this one (sort of): start at the Dragon Temple Altar Site of Grace, climb the curving stairs to the South, then take the immediate East corridor before finally turning left to see a large hole in the side of the building. You can look out of it – and see the Draconic Tree Sentinel down below! Start plugging them with arrows, but be careful – they can still hit you with certain ranged attacks even from this distance. Get ready to roll to safety if they try, but without having to worry about melee attacks, it should be a lot easier (if a little tedious).

Draconic Tree Sentinel rewards

Elden Ring draconic tree sentinel boss fight how to beat

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Sadly the Draconic Tree Sentinel doesn’t drop any Remembrances, but killing the one guarding the door to Leyndell will get you 50000 Runes, as well as the Dragon Greatclaw and Dragonclaw Shield, the same high-strength requirement Colossal Weapon and Greatshield that were being used against you a moment ago.

Meanwhile, the Sentinel in Farum Azula drops 28000 Runes, as well as the Malformed Dragon Armor set. It’s a decent set, if a slightly odd-looking one, that justifies its weight with simple, solid defensive stats.

Do you have to beat the Draconic Tree Sentinel?

Elden Ring draconic tree sentinel boss fight how to beat

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring main bosses

Elden Ring Margit fell omen boss fight

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

This cavalry crusader might not be mandatory, but if you want to know who is, check out all the Elden Ring main bosses!

Technically, no, you do not have to beat or kill the Draconic Tree Sentinel… but also, yes, you probably do. Getting into Leyndell is a mandatory part of the game’s plot that can’t be avoided, and the primary way inside is through the Draconic Tree Sentinel and the North gate. The only alternative way to get inside is through Fia’s questline – yes, Fia of the notorious Elden Ring hug debuff.

As part of Fia’s questline, you’ll end up going through Nokron and killing a boss called the Valiant Gargoyle, which’ll allow you to float in a coffin into an area called Deeproot Depths. Here you’ll meet Fia again, and she’ll be sitting next to a portal. If you’ve killed two “Shardbearer” enemies (aka, Godrick, Rennala, Radahn, Rykard), this portal will be active, and will take you to Leyndell directly. However, Fia’s questline is also pretty rough, and is definitely not some low-effort alternative to killing the Draconic Tree Sentinel: both of these will tax your skills pretty substantially.

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