Elden Ring: How To Beat Margit, The Fell
Right from the start, Elden Ring sets itself apart from previous FromSoftware titles. You’re immediately given the freedom of the open world, able to explore Limgrave to your heart’s content. Eventually, however, you’ll need to continue along the Golden Path and seek out the first major story boss: Margit, The Fell Omen.
This boss is perhaps one of the toughest ‘first bosses’ of any FromSoftware title, and he serves as a fantastic tool to teach the player about their combat design. Even though he’s the first boss, he can put up a serious challenge. If you’ve been struggling against this boss for too long, or if you’re hoping to get some tips before encountering him for the first time, you’ve come to the right place.
Prepare For Battle
Even if you’ve dealt with some field bosses and minor dungeon bosses, Margit is in another league above them, so you’ll want to make sure you’re ready for the fight ahead. If you’ve collected any Smithing Stones, return to the Church of Elleh to upgrade your weapon of choice. If you haven’t collected the Spirit Calling Bell from Ranni, make sure to visit the Church of Elleh at night time. You can speak with Ranni, who will grant you the ability to summon a Spirit Ash.
You might also consider seeking out the powerful tool, Margit’s Shackle, for the fight ahead. It will allow you to stun Margit twice during Phase One of the fight. Also, just outside of Margit’s boss arena, you will find the summoning sign for Sorcerer Rogier, one of the enigmatic NPCs of Elden Ring. He can be an invaluable ally during the fight with Margit, pulling aggro and allowing you some rest between attacks.
Keep your distance. Many of Margit’s moves are built to be able to flow into one another, but he only has so many moves that act as gap closers to bring him to you. If you’re interested in a slightly less complex fight, consider keeping your distance as much as possible. If you’re a spellcaster, this is a good plan anyway. It might make the fight take a little longer to complete, but it will limit the moves he uses (for the most part), and many of his gap-closing moves have long recovery windows which will allow you some safe hits. More details on those are below.
Margit, The Fell Omen: Phase One
Margit is a tough fight, and not only because he hits hard. He has a deeply complex move set, with multiple weapon combos that can string together at random. This can make it especially difficult to get the feel of the fight. For many players, the best way to learn is to simply throw themselves at the fight over and over, learning Margit’s attacks through trial and error—this is the core of many Elden Ring fights, after all. But, because of Margit’s move complexity, it can take a long time to really recognize when it’s safe to attack. The next sections will break down many of Margit’s attacks, which ones to watch out for, and which ones you can punish.
Phase One: Attacks To Beware
Throwing Light Daggers
Margit will often throw one or two Light Daggers in quick succession. If you’re quick on the buttons, these can be easily dodged, but they can do some decent chip damage if you’re not careful. Your most reliable way to avoid these is to make sure you’re strafing from side to side whenever you and Margit are at a distance. This way, if he begins to throw these daggers, you’re already moving to avoid them without actively trying to do so.
Another variation comes when he throws a single light dagger, then leaps forward for a quick slash of his staff. He generally attempts this if you’re hovering in middle-close range. Be wary after the first light dagger throw for this punishing follow-up attack.
If you end up directly behind him due to a dodge or the angle of one of his attacks, you might be tempted to punish, but it’s better to back away. In this scenario, he will often either spin around, doing some decent damage with his tail, or he’ll swing around with his staff. The staff itself has (as I’m sure you know) some pretty solid range on it, so better to retreat immediately if you find yourself directly behind him (unless he’s recovering from one of his big attacks; more on those below).
Quick Upward Swing Combo
This attack can be frustrating because the first attack doesn’t have much of a wind-up. He immediately swings his staff up from his right side, getting in a quick bit of damage. He then follows up with a slower swing, bringing his staff around his head to swipe again from his right side. This second attack has an odd timing to it, so it will often punish early panic dodging. It takes some getting used to, but watch his hand. As soon as it starts to swing down, dodge.
Another variation of this will begin the quick upward swing, but he’ll instead follow up by summoning a Light Dagger and slashing twice in quick succession. At any point in this fight, you have to always be ready to dodge. Once you see those Light Daggers come out, you’re in for a single quick slash or combo slash from them. Generally, dodging into any attack is best, but with the Light Daggers, you might be better off dodging away from him. You’ll usually end up outside of his range.
Phase One: Attacks To Punish
Now that we’ve covered his most hazardous Phase One Attacks, it’s time to dig into the attacks which allow you time to safely strike back.
Long Wind-up Overhead Swing
This attack is one of Margit’s favorites, and it comes in two forms that basically depend on how far away you are from Margit when the attack goes off.
First Form: Up Close
When he begins this long wind-up, holding his staff back over his head, you’ll be tempted to dodge. Be careful of this. This attack has an excruciatingly long wind-up to throw players off their rhythm. If you dodge right when the attack starts, you might end up dodging three times before the attack actually lands, seriously depleting your stamina bar. If you’re up close, you actually have enough time during this wind-up to get an attack in, but only if you’re really ready for it. Otherwise, get ready to dodge. You should have a small attack window after this move is finished to get some hits in before he recovers.
Second Form: At Range
This attack is pretty much the same as the previous one, but at the end of the wind-up, he’ll rush forward before slamming his staff down. A bit easier on dodge timing since the swing comes quickly after he rushes forward, but good to be aware of it. This attack will also immediately transition into another spin and swing. After dodging the follow-up swing, you’ll have a safe window to get some attacks in before he resets.
Leap Into Staff Ground Slam
This move has a fairly long and recognizable wind-up wherein Margit leaps into the air, holding his staff like a spear pointed at the ground. Dodge as he’s coming down, and you’ll have a sizeable window to get in several attacks before he recovers. He will sometimes shift into this move after a Light Dagger throw, but regardless of when it happens, it’s safe to punish after.
Single-Hand Ground Stab
This move doesn’t happen too frequently, but it’s another safe one. Margit rears back with his staff, holding it almost like a cane, and jabs it into the ground at you. If you can dodge the strike, he has a decent recovery time, so it’s safe to get in a couple of attacks.
Note: if he does the single-hand ground slam as part of another attack string, do not punish him right away; if you do, he will quickly transition into Light Dagger attacks. But, if you wait until you see his left hand up in the air, you’ll know he’s in recovery mode; you’re safe to attack at that point.
Margit, The Fell Omen: Phase Two
Phase Two will begin when Margit summons a massive light hammer. He will also begin summoning a Light Sword in several attacks as well, creating an even wider variety of moves to watch for. Phase Two is marked by an increase in aggression with Margit stringing more attack combos together. He will continue to use every move found in Phase One of the fight, as well as add some new, more deadly variations to his repertoire. Note that if you’re using Margit’s Shackle during the fight, it will no longer be effective during phase Two.
Phase Two: Attacks To Beware
Light Sword Three-Hit Combo
In Phase Two, he begins summoning a Light Sword which he uses as part of his more aggressive combos. This move is tricky, as it can just be a single attack or transition into a devastating three-hit combo. He summons a Light Sword and thrusts forward. Sometimes, this will be the end of the attack, but more often than not, he will transition into a quick cross-body sword slash and then a staff jab into the ground. Additionally, he will sometimes transition from this three-hit combo into a follow-up two-hit Light Dagger attack.
Do not risk attacking when Margit stabs forward with his Light Sword.
Sword & Staff Four-Strike Combo
This attack is a doozy, and can quickly spell the end of your run. He summons his Light Sword in his left hand and draws it back to his right side. He will then proceed to swing a sword, and staff, then spin around, following up with another sword and staff combo, all coming from his right side (your left). The timing on this one can be brutal, and it’s better not to get caught in it at all, but if you recognize it and can’t get away, dodge into his right side. You’ll have a better chance of dodging at least some of the attacks as long as you’re dodging into them. If you dodge to his left, you’ll likely get caught by everyone.
Phase Two: Additional Attack To Punish
Many of Margit’s move strings come with multiple contingencies. One moment, it might simply be a three-hit combo, but the next time he uses it, he might string another two or three hits into the mix just to keep you on your toes. Because of this, many of his attacks that appear safe are only safe sometimes. Since Phase Two uses all moves from Phase One, the safe moves from Phase One still apply.