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Elden Ring: Dragonlord Placidusax

Dragonlord Placidusax is an optional boss in the game Elden Ring.

Location

Placidusax is a massive two-headed dragon that can be found in the Broken Farum Azul. The nearest place of grace is the vicinity of the great bridge. To reach it, you need to take the elevator down from the place of grace, exit the temple, and find a pointed cliff opposite the entrance. Jumping off it and overcoming the rocks hanging in the air, you need to get to the hanging wreckage of the building and find the only unoccupied opening. As soon as the player stands on it, the option to “Lie down” appears.

Combat Phases

First Phase

When entering the arena with the boss, the dragon hangs in the air with its wings folded into a cocoon. As long as the player doesn’t get close to it or try to deal damage, the dragon won’t be active. In the first phase the dragon will always be on the ground, alternating between the following abilities:

  • Chain of Lightning – red marks begin to appear on the ground all over the arena, into which a sheaf of lightning strikes after a few seconds. It’s best to dodge the attack at the last moment, as the AOE is more than it seems.
  • Dragon’s roar – the boss releases yellow flame either in front of him at medium distance or, if the player is standing close to him, around himself at close range. The flame stays on the ground for about 0.5-1 seconds. The attack easily kills a character with a low balance parameter, because the first time the strike will be made and you will fall down, but the second time it will be very difficult to dodge.
  • Paw Punch – the boss moves one of his front paws back and after the red claws appear on them, makes a sweeping blow. (Distinctly reminiscent of the “Claws of Bloody Flame” prayer). It’s best to dodge in the opposite direction from the blow.
  • Tail Strike – If you stand too long from behind, the dragon will wrap its tail and make a quick turn with its entire body.
  • Thunder Spear – The dragon creates a huge lightning spear, then plunges it into the ground. At this point, absolutely all sounds disappear and the boss theme pauses. The spear explodes after 2-3 seconds in a huge radius, instantly killing characters with low survivability. It’s better not to risk it, and just move away to a safe distance (you’ll see the size of the blast right on the floor).
  • Wing Strike – strikes a character with its wing if that character stands at the side at some distance from the dragon. It is not used if the player is standing at point-blank range.

Second Phase

The second phase begins when the boss loses about 50% health. The dragon soars over the arena and dissolves. After a while the boss appears in the sky like a massive thundercloud, and then hits the player in a swift fall (like Radan). Damage and damage resistance do not change from the phase change, but the boss generally becomes more aggressive and more mobile. From time to time the boss uses the same attacks as in the first phase, but a large list of new ones is added

  • Hit in the fall – the boss disappears from the arena and after a while a moving cloud appears in the sky in the form of a fog with lightning, from which a dragon flies out and dives on the player (like Radan in phase three). The best way to dodge is to stay at the paw without claws and roll to the left/right of the boss carcass.
  • Paw strike with return – the same strike as in phase one, but after a short pause the boss strikes in the opposite direction.
  • Teleportation – the dragon vaporizes and teleports away from the player, immediately after appearing uses “Paw Punch” or “Paw Punch with Return”.
  • Rage of the Placidusax – the boss raises its head and after a short period of time a yellow beam erupts from both its heads (remotely reminiscent of the Midir Darkness Eater’s attack). The attack covers a huge area in front of the dragon, but barely reaches behind it, so your goal is to get to the boss as quickly as possible (Ashes of War: Footsteps of the Seeker helps a lot).

Tactics

You can use ashes and summon phantoms in combat with the dragon. Resistance and absorption do not change depending on the phase. It is impossible to parry the boss, but it is possible to knock down the balance and inflict a critical blow. Recommended level 100+, sharpening 20+ (8+ for legendary weapons).

Standard Tactics

Placidusax’s attacks are fast and strong, but there’s enough time in between that you can easily strike. Attempts to hit him in the head, are rare and unreliable. The safest place to do damage is at the base of his tail, near his hind legs, behind his wings. This puts you in the position of avoiding a wing strike and not triggering his tail strikes. Unlike other dragons, he has no rear leg attacks that you have to worry about.

When the fight starts, you need to quickly shorten your distance to the boss. He will cause large lightning bolts around the arena, but they don’t get in the way and don’t require dodging. Unlike the lightning strikes used by the previous bosses, instead of small direct strikes the lightning that Placidusax summons is a large area strike, and you can pay attention to their overall size by maneuvering closer. It will trigger a second wave of these lightning bolts about the time you are within range. When red indicators appear, you should move quickly, not only to get away from the attack, but also to give yourself more time to attack. Between each hit you can safely take 1-4 hits before you need to run over again, depending on the speed of your weapon. For colossal weapon users, you only have time for one heavy attack/jump before you need to run over for the next lightning strike. After three lightning chain casts, the boss will stop using them for a while.

After that, the boss has several different moves for the first half of the fight, all of which are relatively simple and triggered depending on your location in relation to him.

Placidusax has two different striking attacks, which he will often use when he grows long red lightning claws on his hands. When he raises his left hand (his right hand when facing him), he will deliver a broad horizontal strike, which is easily avoided by rolling in the direction the claw is coming from. When he raises his right hand (your left hand when facing him), he will drop the claw vertically down into the ground and cause a small explosion of lightning on impact. This, too, can easily be avoided with one dodge by rolling over to him. The blast is small enough and fast enough, so you don’t have to worry about it hitting you too soon.

The dragon also has a couple of fire-breathing moves that you need to pay attention to. It will bounce back a short distance and then both heads will release flames into the ground in front of it and in a semicircle around it. Fortunately, the distance the flame travels is very short, and in most cases the distance he will jump away from you will be longer than his flame will eventually travel. Just wait for the flames to dissipate and then run back. He will also breathe flames to your left or right, depending on which flank you attack from. If you position yourself next to his hind legs, you can control the position of his tail so you can roll under it to the other side while the boss is doing a tail strike, which will allow you to deal a significant amount of damage to the boss.

Two other notable physical attacks that can be triggered depending on position: if you are on his side next to his wings, he will hit the ground with his wing and then ram it outward, dealing massive physical damage; and if you are too far from his body next to his tail, he will twist and whip horizontally with his tail.

As soon as the boss loses about 50% of his health, he will rise into the air and disappear, signaling a phase change. Thunderclouds will form somewhere in the air and you should rotate the camera to look around for them, as Placidusax dematerializes from them in a quick dive attack on you trying to hit you with his claws. Though it looks more threatening, one roll forward against the direction of the fall will avoid damage. This is followed by several attacks in which he quickly disappears and reappears in succession, each time performing a claw attack. You can grab the target when he appears for the first attack, and the grip will remain on him even when he disappears for all subsequent attacks, saving you from having to guess where he will appear. Claw attacks in the second phase now have a second part, where he will drag his claws back in the opposite direction. However, the timing doesn’t change; you just have to roll twice now, instead of once. If you’re feeling brave, you can roll to his armpit, avoiding the first claw strike, with the second part of the strike misses you, allowing you to make a quick strike or two before he disappears. As part of this disappearing/appearing phase, he can also make a new attack when he makes a short flight/lunge with his claws out; essentially a childish version of the dive he made to open the phase. As with his other attacks, a single throw underneath him and toward him is enough to avoid damage.

At any point before the end of the fight he can start doing the whole above sequence again, so just be on your guard and be ready to start dodging when he dissolves. The hardest part is that he can summon lightning from the first phase, performing a dive attack and disappearing/appearing in stages. You’ll have to rotate the camera to find where he’s going to dive from, and you’ll have to run to avoid getting hit by the lightning. The attacks themselves aren’t too hard to avoid, but the large amount of visual clutter can make it difficult to see what’s going on.

The flame dragon also gets an upgrade in the second half, and both heads can suddenly turn their fire into laser beams that slash the arena back and forth, doing massive damage if they hit you. If you’re not near him when this starts, it’s best to try to move far enough to one side that you only have to worry about dodging one laser. If you are close to him, you can quickly run under the lasers and have a few seconds of free time to attack him. Just be careful with the lasers at the end of this attack, as he returns them both to his body. Even if you are not close enough to use the gap at the beginning of the attack, at the end of the attack he spends a couple of seconds shooting lasers into the sky and roaring, allowing you a couple of free hits.

The last new attack you may encounter in the second half is the explosive spear. Placidusax will summon a large spear/six of lightning and shove it into the ground, causing a large red circle to appear before a powerful explosion occurs. However, this move seems like a show-off, since you have a few seconds to run away from it before it actually explodes, even if you don’t notice the spear until it’s already in the ground. The attack also has a sound design, which will give you a very obvious signal that you need to move away.

In addition to the new additions, the boss can also use any attack from phase one, so be mindful of positioning and you’ll easily get through the fight. His moves leave plenty of opportunity for free hits without having to make your own windows, so unless you get greedy, you should get through the fight without too much trouble.

TACTICS #1. Radan’s Bow

You will need:

  • Radan’s Bow+10.
  • Radan’s Spears 30
  • 80 Strength, 30+ Fortitude, 20+ Dexterity, 20+ Intelligence
  • Arrow Talisman, Alexander Shard, Karian Filigree Emblem, Ritual Sword Talisman
  • Damage Enhancing Consumables
  • Ashes of False Tear (Optional, if you choose to use it, restore your xp to max to make Ritual Sword Talisman work again)

The tactic is to focus on maximum damage from Luke Radan’s special move. With this tactic, you can kill the boss in just 7-8 skills and Placidusax won’t be able to do anything to the player. With a little luck you can kill the boss without even moving it to the second phase. This tactic should be taken as a speedrun of the boss so as not to have any problems at all on it. To make things even easier it’s possible to use Flame of the Redheads on Placidusax, you’ll knock out his stance and get a huge window to use Luke Radan’s special move. You can also add a lot of side-buffs to this tactic, like the Commander’s Standard skill.

Notes

In addition to his two active heads, Placidusax has three decapitated necks. Placidusax is probably a reference to Tiamat in the Dungeons & Dragons universe.

What do you think?

Written by gameology

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