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Elden Ring: How To Defeat All Dragons

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  • All Dragons Overview
  • All Dragons' Attacks
  • Battle Strategies

There are a total of 13 dragon bosses in Elden Ring, but when you have George R. R. Martin involved, that's perhaps to be expected. With dragons of varying designs and new attack moves, there seems to be no shortage of creativity shown through these terrifying foes.

We have covered how to defeat the more formidable dragons in the behemoth Dragonlord Placidusax and the empress of dragons, Lichdragon Fortissax, but there is a glaring absence when it comes to other dragon bosses. To help, we've created a detailed guide for five more challenging dragon bosses found in The Lands Between.

All Dragons Overview

  • Liurnia of the Lakes
  • Southern Caelid
  • Farum's Greatbridge, Greyoll's Dragonbarrow
  • 1st Location: Three Sisters, Liurnia of the Lakes; 2nd Location: Moonlight Altar
  • Mountaintops of the Giants
OptionalYes (except for Smarag and Adula)
SummonsSpirit Ashes and Players
  • Smarag: 14,000 Runes; Dragon Heart
  • Ekzykes: 38,000 Runes; Dragon Heart
  • Greyll: 80,000 Runes; Dragon Heart
  • Adula: 120,000 Runes; 3 Dragon Hearts
  • Borealis: 100,000 Runes; Dragon Heart
Weak To
  • Physical Damage
  • Elemental Damage

The five dragon bosses mentioned above are Glintstone Dragon Smarag; Decaying Ekzykes; Flying Dragon Greyll; Glintstone Dragon Adula; and Borealis, The Freezing Fog. With the exception of Smarag, the rest of the dragon bosses are optional. Found in Liurnia, Smarag guards the Academy Glintstone Key, which is important in order for you to access Raya Lucaria and defeat the main bosses there.

Decaying Ekzykes in southern Caelid stands out from the rest of the bosses, spewing Scarlet Rot in place of dragonfire. Meanwhile, the moveset of Flying Dragon Greyll, found at Farum's Greatbridge in Greyoll's Dragonbarrow, is very similar to that of Flying Dragon Agheel in Limgrave.

Glintstone Dragon Adula, which appears similar to Ancient Dragon Lansseax, pops up in one location before disappearing to another. After defeating Royal Knight Loretta at Caria Manor, you'll first encounter Adula at the Three Sisters, part of the Royal Moongazing Grounds. You'll find her at Moonlight Altar for the final fight, but know that you have to defeat Astel, Naturalborn of the Void to reach the Moonlight Altar. You can simply gallop past Adula to the Cathedral of Manus Celes to finish Ranni's questline.

Lastly, Borealis, The Freezing Fog is located at a frozen lake in the Mountaintops of the Giants. This dragon is ice personified, shooting out frozen breath that can quickly one-shot you. The First Church of Marika Site of Grace is the best starting point to get to Borealis.

All Dragons' Attacks

When looking at all these dragons, you can glean that they share similar, basic attacks. However, it is the distinctive new tricks between each of them that must be looked at if you want to be as prepared as possible.

When fighting dragons, always stay on horseback and equip Golden Rowa/Rowa Fruits to heal Torrent.

All Dragons Basic Attacks

Tail Sweep Attack

A basic attack that all dragons have, they will lift one foot and perform a sweep with their tail.

Counter: Deal a couple of hits to its legs before galloping away on horseback. This tail sweep will be one of its go-to attacks.

Foot Stomp Attack

The dragon will lift one foot and slam it onto the ground.

Counter: Switch to the other side of the dragon, or gallop away.

Ground Slam Attack

The dragon will fly up into the air, before slamming back down onto the ground.

Counter: Gallop as far away as possible before it slams to the ground.

Basic Fire Breath Attack

Most dragon bosses spew basic fire breath, both airborne and from the ground.

Counter: Gallop to the other end of the arena to escape from this attack's range.

Bite Attack

The dragon will open its jaw wide and swoop in diagonally for a bite.

Counter: The best you can do is gallop away in the opposite direction on Torrent.

Wing Smash Attack

The dragon boss will smash one of its wings forward.

Counter: Simply gallop into its underbelly, or gallop the other way.

Glintstone Dragon Smarag Special Attacks

Glintstone Breath Attack

Smarag emits glintstone flames, giving you Viserion vibes.

Counter: Simply gallop away from the range of the glintstone breath.

Glintstone Comet Attack

Instead of glintstone breath, Smarag stands still and opens its jaw wide, gathering all of its power to spew a glintstone comet attack.

Counter: As before, gallop away in the opposite direction of this attack.

Decaying Ekzykes Special Attacks

Scarlet Rot Breath Attack

Ekzykes unleashes scarlet rot instead of fire.

Counter: You won't be able to consume Preserving Boluses in time without being one-shotted, so your best bet is to gallop as far away as possible.

Scarlet Rot Fog Attack

Ekzykes will rear its head up and start spewing a fountain of scarlet rot, which fogs up a large area of the arena.

Counter: Gallop as far away from the range of this attack.

Foot Stomp Scarlet Rot Attack

When Ekzykes stomps his foot, it results in a burst of scarlet rot.

Counter: Divert Torrent to the other side of Ekzykes to avoid this attack.

Scarlet Rot Shower Scream Attack

Ekzykes will let out a scream, which causes a shower of scarlet rot to spew from his mouth.

Counter: Simply stay out of range of the scarlet rot.

Glintstone Dragon Adula Special Attacks

Adula's Moonblade Attack

Adula summons a sword in her mouth before proceeding with a downward sweep. This unleashes a huge AoE attack that deals Frostbite.

Counter: The best bet would be positioning yourself behind Adula when this attack happens.

Shard Projectile Attack

Adula unleashes an azure star from its mouth, and projectile shards will slam into you and one-shot you.

Counter: It is best to use your environment to your advantage. Hide behind rocks or behind the walls of Cathedral Manus Celes.

Borealis, The Freezing Fog Special Attacks

Ice Breath Attack

Borealis unleashes a devastating ice breath attack that deals Frostbite damage.

Counter: Gallop as far away from this range of attack.

Borealis' Scream Attack

Borealis performs a scream that deals Frostbite damage and drains your HP.

Counter: As soon as you see Borealis' neck extend and her jaw open, gallop away.

Foot Stomp Ice Spew Attack

Like Ekzykes, Borealis lifts and stomps her foot, resulting in a small burst of ice.

Counter: Prance away as soon as you see her foot lift.

Battle Strategies

There are two main strategies when it comes to defeating all the dragons found in The Lands Between. As mentioned before, it is recommended to fight dragons while on Torrent, as it makes for quick getaways from far-reaching dragon fire. Of course, some dragons have different vulnerabilities from others, which we will examine further below to make you as prepared as possible.

Melee Strategy

All of these dragons are susceptible to physical attacks, especially those with Pierce/Bleed damage. So, using any katanas such as Uchigatana or Moonveil Katana is sufficient to deal damage to these dragons, as well as Bloodhound's Fang scaled up to +10 for higher-level dragons like Adula and Borealis.

Out of all the dragons, you will likely find Flying Dragon Greyll the easiest to defeat, since his move set is entirely copy-pasted from Flying Dragon Agheel. For the other dragons, however, they definitely have new tricks up their sleeves. Smarag and Adula have Glintstone Breath, with the former having a Comet attack that is easily dodged. However, Adula's Moonblade and projectile attack are extremely deadly, and we recommend using your environment to dodge attacks.

Ekzykes' scarlet rot has the ability to one-shot you before you can whip out any Preserving Boluses, so don't bother doing that — just focus on galloping away. Borealis' scream and ice fog also have the power of one-shotting you, so it's all about inflicting a few hits and knowing when to run.

If you are considering using a Spirit Ash, we recommend using Lhutel the Headless +10 for her phasing abilities. Or, if you are a tank, definitely use Mimic Tear for extra support. You also can't go wrong with Opaline Bubbletear to increase your defences.

Ranged Strategy

For ranged combatants, spells and sorceries that deal tons of physical damage is the way to go. Of course, using Rock Sling, Night Comet, Cannon of Haima and Comet Azur is best. Ekzykes is particularly weak to Fire damage, so using Catch Flame, Roiling Magma, or Rykard's Rancor. You can use the latter spells for Borealis as well.

If you're fighting Adula and have run out of Cerulean Flasks, then quickly gallop into the Cathedral of Manus Celes behind her. There are tons of Starlight Shards in there that you can use to replenish your FP. You can even cheese Adula from your position inside the cathedral, spamming Rock Sling or Comet Azur at her. Of course, using Opaline Bubbletear is recommended. We also suggest the same Spirit Ash summons as for melee combatants.

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