Screenshot by Siliconera

How to Defeat Messmer the Impaler in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

Messmer the Impaler in the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC will beat you so many times in a row you’ll need to just sit in silence for a bit. However, let’s go over every possible way you can pull out a win against one of the series toughest bosses.

Recommended Videos

First things first, prepare. Messmer the Impaler is leagues above the previous bosses you’ve likely faced in the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. He deals massive amounts of damage, he’s lightning fast, and he’s got a list of moves a mile long.

Image via From Software

How do I beat the boss Messmer the Impaler in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree?

Bring a ton of physical damage negation. Everything you can to boost it will help. Also, he deals copious amounts of fire damage. Therefore, you’ll want to add some fire damage negation in to your kit too.

As for weapons, he’s got a little bit of a weakness to Frostbite. If you can manage enough frost build up to proc it then he’ll take a nice little chunk of damage. Additionally, some sort of Spirit Ash is crucial. I had the Mimic Tear and I recommend you use it. Mimic Tear pulling his attention sometimes was the only way I could get a chance to breath.

Also, remember that there are likely lots of Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ash you’ve yet to find. You can also go try to gather more of those to give yourself and your Spirit Ash a little more power.

Finally, there is an NPC summon for this fight, Hornsent. However, I’m not 100% sure what triggers him to be there. I don’t recall seeing his summon sign my first several attempts, but it’s possible I looked over it. If he’s not showing up for you I’d try talking to all the NPCs again and see if anything changes.

He’s not outside the fog gate, he’s actually inside the arena. This means I had to find a second while my Mimic Tear distracted Messmer to summon him. He’s useful enough in battle, doesn’t do a ton of damage but he does pull aggro. Anything to stop Messmer from attacking you for a second is a godsend.

Once you’re ready, it’s time to face the music.

Screenshot by Siliconera

Messmer the Impaler Phase One

Messmer will start the battle one of two ways. Best case scenario he runs straight at you and launches into a spear combo. However, most of the time he opts for his other opening gambit. Messmer leaps into the air gathering a huge fireball and then dives straight at you. This attack is easy to dodge, but the fireball’s explosion is delayed. It will hit you right as your roll is ending unless your timing is perfect.

Precise dodging is the name of the game here. Messmer is fast. I mean fast fast. Also, All of his ground spear combos are long and his reach is even longer. It’s entirely possible to dodge every attack and still get hit on his final lunge because of his range.

He also has a plethora of fire attacks. He can send fireballs at you, or just spray fire everywhere. Also, the “impaler” name comes into play by summoning flaming skewers at the end of several combos. This can also hit you just after your dodge roll finishes if your timing is off.

Probably the worst tool in his kit is his grab attack. Messmer engulfs his hand in flame and lunges at you. If you don’t dodge it he will proceed to do a very long animation where he sets you on fire and impales you. This move killed me from full health every time. However, If you’re bulkier or had better fire resistance you might survive it.

Messmer will stay on you non-stop the entire fight. Unless you have Hornsent or a Spirit Ash with you, just pray for an opening to get a strike in. Better to be patient than dead. More than once he attacked me so aggressively that it seemed like one combo was moving into the next like some sort of competitive fighting game player.

As I said before, you can proc Frostbite on him to a little success. It’s not massive damage but it’s definitely noticeable on the health bar when it happens. He can also be staggered, but only for about a second. This gives you a small window to perform a backstab.

But, it gets worse.

Elden Ring DLC Messmer
Screenshot by Siliconera

Messmer the Impaler Phase Two

At half health Messmer will transform into Base Serpent Messmer in the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, merging with his snake.

If you thought Messmer was fast before, this is borderline Ultra Instinct. Hopefully your Spirit Ash and Hornsent are still alive, because without them at this point you can barely even see the screen because of all the attacks coming at you.

In addition to more powerful versions of his old kit, he can now summon giant snakes. The first move he does is have one of the snakes tower in the air then lunge down on you, exploding fire right after it strikes.

He’ll pepper in lightning quick snake strikes with his spear and fire attacks. The snakes usually attack in threes, saving the last strike for a massive bite. He can also use the snake attacks to cover massive space almost instantly.

He’s so quick and aggressive here that even with other people pulling aggro he can almost keep up with attacking all of you at once. Opportunities for hits become even rarer, but be patient and learn the patterns. He is still susceptible to staggering and frostbite in this phase.

Even more so than the previous phase, you simply have no room for error on your dodges. His move set is massive and it can be difficult to successfully memorize everything so perfectly, but it’s possible. All you need is one good run.

Elden Ring DLC Messmer
Screenshot by Siliconera

After losing to Messmer dozens of times I did something I’ve never done before. I recorded my fights and started watching them back and studying. Yes, I was watching tape like some sort of quarterback.

But, it did eventually work. I was able to learn how to time dodges and in general which moves I struggled with most. I needed to do that, rely heavily on Hornsent and Miracle Tear, and get a lucky run to finally beat him. But, he went down and if you focus on learning his many attacks and patterns he will for you too.

Elden Ring is available on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC, and the Shadow of Erdtree DLC appears on June 21, 2024. 

Siliconera is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Cory Dinkel
Cory Dinkel
Cory Dinkel is a freelance writer for Siliconera since 2023. An award-winning digital journalist, he has worked for local and national news outlets for nearly a decade. His favorite genre is the JRPG and he will not be taking questions during his "There is Not a Love Triangle in Final Fantasy VII" speech.