I spent 3 hours and 50 attempts trying to beat this boss. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun along the way.
Table of Contents
First Off, Some Statements
- This is my attempt to offer some guidance for my favorite boss fight so far. I understand that some attacks are infuriating, but I loved the challenge.
- I am very much a FromSoftware rookie having only played half of Dark Souls 3 with a friend prior.
- I love Elden Ring and I get my ass kicked by almost every enemy in the game and I push through each challenge best I can.
- I completely understand why people quit this fight and find it incredibly frustrating and demoralizing. I found this fight incredibly difficult but it never stopped being fun for me.
- I don’t like using Mimic but this fight it felt crucial and I completely adapted my battle tactics to ensure I got every advantage from the Mimic.
- I attempted this fight around 50 times in 3 hours.
Video Breakdown and Battle Tactics
0:07: While summoning my mimic I watched Melenia and saw she started her approach simply walking and expected unbreakable strikes (this is in no way a proven method but it was what I experienced)
0:21: Mimics can be very dumb. Sometimes they will use a consumable right infront of the boss and you just have to be patient and wait for them to apply the usual things. However, sometimes they will charge and apply no buffs.
0:32: As soon as she staggered I rushed in to do continuous fast strikes with the mimic as to stack the bleed and frost as much as possible. Usually a full combo like that would proc one or both. If one of them doesn’t proc, I try and keep the aggression and cancel her bladestorm or flying quick charge ability which could only be cancelled by status procs.
1:34: Since I was able to finish stage 1 with incredibly high mimic health I wanted to press forward as soon as possible while the mimic could still tank. The first stage 2 blade storm is usually an instant kill for the mimic.
1:50: I took the critical hit since my mimic had just fallen and knew I wouldn’t have their extra damage and didn’t want to risk the boss healing on the vulnerable mimic.
1:58: This was an incredibly foolish gambit that worked. I saw the frost proc and pushed forward to force the bleed proc, in the process I cancelled her second blossom bomb. With the mimic still having enough health for a few more attacks, and Melenia not using her blade storm, victory was achieved.
Personal Experience and Related Tips
Disclaimer: This information unfortunately is mostly applicable for Samurai using my weapon gear and most importantly using mimics. However, I encourage looking over this information and take what you can from it.
This fight is incredibly chaotic from NPC action choice. The difference between a good run and a bad run for me was dependent on three key moments every time:
How the boss walked towards me at the start of the fight:
Depending on how the boss approached me, I knew she would open with a different attack. I would always try and open with an Unsheathe and if I knew her opener would be non-breakable strikes I would wait for my mimic to strike first. Getting early momentum from your opener is very important for keeping tempo and completing the first stage with your mimic having around half health. The amount of damage the mimic can deal during the second stage initial landing in the rot field is incredible.
What opening actions my mimic took before engaging:
As soon as you summon your ashes, the boss stops running full speed at you. You have an incredible amount of time to prep before engaging when utilizing the mimic. I learned to never engage her unless my mimic was also going in for an attack. If I engage early and she starts dashing away from my mimic, I am in a bad situation.
How my mimic followed up the first stance break:
Knowing when to take a critical hit is incredibly important for this fight. If you know your mimic can’t follow up with you for huge combo damage, take the critical. Sometimes the best way to ensure a good outcome is to mitigate what the boss can be doing. By taking the critical hit, my mimic could heal or recover stamina and ready an attack.
The best runs I had were when I could go all out with fast attacks with my mimic during the first stance break. This would usually proc bleed and frost leading to a huge chunk of damage. Don’t end your momentum when the stun finishes. Most of Melenia’s attacks can be cancelled, even the bladestorm of death from status procs. If you can keep up the pressure by staying in her face with your mimic, do it. HOWEVER, be the first one to disengage. When Melenia takes huge damage she will often try and immediately bladestorm. I always try and make distance before my stamina runs out so mimic tanks the bladestorm.
Once you’ve finished your full combo, just try and setup for another. Always keep notes on your mimic. Sometimes even if the mimic seems ready to full combo after a stance break they may choose to heal or buff. Only if it’s still safe should you try and rush a critical after hesitating to see if the mimic is going to follow up. Also, mimics can use critical hits.
- Class: Samurai
- level: 114
- Vigor: 35
- Mind: 22
- Endurance: 32
- Strength: 18
- Decterity: 46
- Intelligence: 10
- Faith: 13
- Arcane: 20
- 9 Crimson Flasks +7
- 3 Cerulean Flasks +7
- Flask of Wondrous Physick with:
- Stonebarb Cracked Tear:
- Temporarily makes stance break easier.
- Opaline Hardtear:
- Temporarily boosts all damage negation.
Weapon: Uchigatana +23
Using the Unsheathe findable ash of war to apply Cold modifier, this was a GAME CHANGER.
Ashes: Mimic Tear Ashes +10
Consumables: I ran out of personal uses but I had Pickled Turtle Neck for mimic stamina recovery boost and Exalted Flesh for mimic damage increase.
(To clarify, the victorious run I used no extra consumable buffs on myself.)
- Helmet: Okina Mask
- Chest: Radahn’s Lion Armor
- Arms: Radahn’s Gauntlets
- Legs: Radahn’s Greaves
The goal was to have as much physical protection as I could at the time.
- Carian Filigreed Crest:
- Lowers FP consumed by skills.
- Pearldrake Talisman:
- Boosts non-physical damage negation
- Erdtree’s Favor +1:
- Raises maximum HP, stamina and equip load.
- Gold Scarab:
- Brings in the money.
(Yes, I was greedy. Yes it probably cost me an hour… but I got those runes – total of 576,000.)