Elden Ring‘s Commander Niall are no joke. He is accompanied by two spectral knights and can use lightning magic to create unpredictable patterns that can send you reeling. We are here to help.
This Commander Niall guide will show you how to defend yourself and mount a safe (ish) offense. We’ll also show you how Niall’s weaknesses can be exploited.
PREPARE FOR THE COMMANDER NIALL FIGHT
Let’s be clear: This boss fight was designed to help you. It is up to you whether that help comes in the form of other players or your Spirit Ash. You’re at a disadvantage if you decide to fight Commander Niall and his knights alone.
This is the beginning of a lot of preparation that you can do to make this fight easier. You’ll need to increase your lightning defense. You can find the Boltdrake Tiglan +1 in the Old Altus Tunnel.
The Old Altus Tunnel at Mt. Gelmir is home to the Boltdrake Talisman.
Faithcasters may also use the incantation Lightning Fortification. You can purchase it from Brother Corhyn on Altus Plateau (see our guide for Corhyn’s quest to find the exact steps, location, and details).
Near the Dragon Temple Lift site, you will find the Ancient Dragon Apostle’s Recipebook.
If you are more into crafting, the Lightningproof Dried Liver recipe can be found in Ancient Dragon Apostle’s Cookbook . It is located in Crumbling Farum Azula across the treacherous floating ruin west of the Dragon Temple lift Site of Grace.
The Stalwart Horn Charm (talisman), is available in northeastern Liurnia.
Many of Niall’s attacks can cause frost buildup in addition to lightning damage. You can combat this by increasing your Robustness score as much as possible. To achieve this, locate the Stalwart Horn charm on a Liurnia corpse through a small hole in tall rock formations southwest of the Mausoleum Compound site of Grace.
Spellcasters will find Comet Azur (obtained at Mt. Gelmir (consult our guide to Sellen’s quest) is paired with Terra Magica in the Academy Crystal Cave Dungeon in Liurnia and the Cerulean Hidden Tear dropped by the Ulcerated tree Spirit at the Mt. Gelmir Minor Erdtree for their Flask of Wondrous Physick.
Cast Terra Magica, chug your flask, then spam the laser at Niall as soon as you enter arena. You can reduce his health to less than half before the fight actually begins.
To turn Niall’s knights against you, you can use the Bewitching branch. Five of these can be purchased at the Liurnia Nomadic Merchant, and three more near the Church of Pilgrimage.
You can make them if you have the Fevor’s Cookbook . Crafting them is a challenge as the recipe requires Miquella’s Lily and Sacramental Buds. For more information, visit their respective Wiki pages.
The Rivers of Blood katana can be claimed at the Church of Repose, Mountaintops of the Giants.
Niall, like many bosses is also vulnerable to certain status effects. Even though blood loss doesn’t affect spectral knights, it can be a great help. It’s a good idea to grab the Rivers of Bloodkatana, which can be found near the Church of Repose NPC invasion.
The Lake of Rot contains the Nomadic Warriors’ Cookbook.
Scarlet rot can also be used. Faithcasters can also use the reliable Rotten Breath spell. All others will be content throwing Rot Pots. These can be made with Nomadic Warrior’s Cookbook . It is located in the Lake of Rot. If you have not been there, take a look at Polygon’s guide to Ranni’s questline. It’s quite a trek.
Finally, make sure to stock up on Rune Arcs in order to get the sweet stat bonuses that they can give. To get more, you can place your summon sign at Niall’s boss gate. You will be helping other players and earning Rune Arcs, , and getting practice with Niall.
LEARN THE COMANDER NIALL FIGHT
Due to the large areas of effect and fast animations, Niall’s attacks are quite brutal. Once you understand his patterns, Niall’s combos are easy to spot and avoid. This guide will highlight the best attacks and what moves to avoid.
You’ll have to deal with the two Spectral knights that Commander Niall summons in your first phase. You can begin things by running to Niall’s aid as soon as your enter the arena. This will allow you to backstab the dual-wielding knight who is far more difficult to deal with.
You can dodge from there and do whatever you need to face Niall’s summons. This usually means that something can hit them from afar or stagger them. Spellcasters are more successful here. We found Carian Greatsword to be very effective against them in our latest playthrough.
All Ashes of War that you have are certain to be effective.
This is when Niall will walk slowly around the battlefield. He will only attack if you are too close.
After both knights have died, Niall will enter his second stage. He’ll do it if his health reaches about 50%. It might seem appealing to keep one knight alive to allow Niall to spend more time in the easier phase. However, keeping a knight alive is difficult. You’ll have to master phase 2, so it’s best to get on with it.
Niall’s transition into phase 2 is marked with a series large overhead swings accompanied by a swirling effect of ice that causes frostbite to you if it falls within its radius. This should serve as a warning to all: Do not be near Niall’s frost wind abilities.
You can group the boss’s attacks during this phase into one of these categories:
- Melee swings. Niall swings his weapon in predictable patterns. You should become familiar with the timings so you can reliably dodge, block or parry most of these.
- Lightning attacks. These are Niall’s prosthetic right limb, and can cause serious problems due to the large area-of-effect. We’ll be discussing them in detail.
- Frost powers. If Niall doesn’t strike you with lightning, he’s likely to frost-stomp on you. These are his most irritating attacks. They’re almost impossible to avoid if you catch him with one up close. You can learn to anticipate frosty moments and keep your distance from it by studying them.
Niall usually begins phase 2 by performing a Lightning jump attack. You can see the moment he stops as his right leg lights up with lightning. It’s simple to dodge and is always followed by at most one and sometimes two melee attacks. This is the most consistent attack opportunity in the fight. Dodge the lightning slam and dodge the melee(s), then hit the ground.
Niall can use a variety of attacks once you are close enough. Niall often follows his leap up with either an frost whip or a close range lightning stomp. You want the lightning. When you hear his leg crackle, jump over it. You’ll avoid most damage by jumping just before his leg falls. Avoid if your position is so that his stomp will catch and trap you in the air. This attack opportunity is for you.
Another story is the frost whirlwind. One rule of thumb is: Avoid being too close to Niall if you do not hear him make a lightning stomp. A frost whirlwind is on the horizon.
This is the time to distance yourself from your boss and wait for his next move. Repeat the process until he does another lightning leap.
However, if Niall swings his Halberd in a circle over his head, be prepared to dodge his lunge attack. You can get a lot of distance from this, so timing is important. It’s not his actual lunge that causes injury, but the swing of his weapon a few frames after it reaches you. You can practice to avoid it, as the timing is predictable.
This frost whirlwind is often followed by a lunge. You should dodge him or run away after he does it. You’ll want to keep your distance as he will often follow this combo with an overhead swirl, a wide halberd swing and an overhead swirl. This leaves him vulnerable. This is your third attack chance.
Watch out for Niall’s sudden pause and gathering of cold winds around him. He is about to unleash his largest area attack, a massive snowflake.
Run away, and then wait for the Commander to complete his combo. It ends with a dash towards your direction. The Commander will take a swing and then he’ll go crazy. He gets so tired from it that he falls to the ground trying to catch his breath. This is the best attack chance in fight and can allow you to create entire combos.
That’s all. These rhythms will make Niall a whizz in no time. He will drop the Veteran’s Prosthesis fist weapons.
Continue past the boss room, and then up the elevator until you find the Haligtree Secret Medallion. You’re now on your way to Eldenring’s most difficult secret zone.