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Elden Ring: Limgrave Tree Sentinel Boss Battle Guide

It's not easy, but it's doable.

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If you have any familiarity with From Software games, you know you can expect no shortage of dangerous enemies as you journey through Elden Ring. What you might not be expecting, however, is to run into the extremely difficult Tree Sentinel overworld boss roaming right outside the exit of the tutorial area. But upon emerging from underground and seeing Limgrave for the first time, you'll likely immediately notice this giant on horseback wielding a massive halberd and shield.

If you've given Limgrave's Tree Sentinel any attempts directly after leaving the tutorial area, you may have noticed he hits exceptionally hard and you likely don't. He's most certainly a challenging foe that is best fought after you've managed to upgrade your weapons and stats a bit, but that doesn't mean he's literally impossible during your first encounter. Besides, defeating him will earn you his Golden Halberd, so the sooner the better if that's a weapon you'd like to wield. Let's take a look at a few tips to help you along.

Study his moveset

Every boss in the game is likely to require that you take a few steps back and study their attack patterns and movement, and the Tree Sentinel is a great opportunity to learn that. This is a perfect introduction to the game's dodging and spacing requirements that will no doubt test the mettle of many new players and franchise veterans alike.

The Tree Sentinel has two phases. His first phase contains mostly halberd attacks with wide reach that can hit you at close and medium range with ease. When he enters his second phase--which begins around 50% health--he begins incorporating a handful of hard-hitting AOE shield attacks, sometimes actually jumping towards you to close the gap. This can result in a devastating blow if you're unable to dodge it perfectly.

Look out for the Tree Sentinel's charging attack--which features a wind-up period wherein his horse raises its legs and the Tree Sentinel holds his halberd at a downward angle--as it can obliterate most characters in the beginning of the game. Additionally, he can reflect magical attacks back at you using his shield, making it a bit more challenging than you might expect to fight him with spellcasting.

Fighting on horseback could provide an advantage

If you can quickly adapt to the feel of horseback combat, it may help you tremendously by taking a few minutes at the start of Limgrave to seek out Melina and obtain your steed Torrent. Doing so allows you to match the Tree Sentinel's agility and make the fight considerably easier.

The relentless Tree Sentinel
The relentless Tree Sentinel

Because this hulking boss is so agile and doesn't take a lot of time between attacks, your goal is simple: Keep your distance when he's winding up and mid-attack, but then rush in when he's nearing the end of an attack string to land a few R1 attacks before backing off again. This will be even easier if you're using a magic class, as you can attack the Tree Sentinel at range while simply dodging out of the way with Torrent relatively easily any time he begins moving in too close--though read the final tip for some important information regarding this approach.

Try a shield if you fight him melee

If you opt not to get Torrent before taking on the Tree Sentinel, you may struggle as you'll have limited options for keeping your distance from his variety of wide swings and horse stomps. Your best bet is to make use of a shield to absorb the majority of his attacks. You'll no doubt have limited stamina and may only be able to tank one or two hits before needing to recover, but it sure beats taking a halberd to the face and dying.

The Tree Sentinel can be parried, too, though a poorly-timed attempt is very likely to get you killed at such a low level. If you can manage to get that timing down, though, the stun that it provides grants you a decent period of time for landing R2 hits or weapon skills for big damage. Just don't get greedy--he always comes back with a vengeance.

Magic gives you space, but it's not all good news

Using sorcery or incantations against the Tree Sentinel grants you the ability to stay more mobile and potentially maintain a solid distance between the two of you. There are even some places around the map in the surrounding area that allow you to take some height, which can help you get off an FP flask or reassess the situation a bit. But rest assured that he'll eventually find his way up to most spots to remind you that you're never truly safe.

The most important part of this fight as a magic user is remembering that the Tree Sentinel's shield can reflect your spells back at you. These spells come back at you and hit extraordinarily hard, so poor timing and awareness when casting will never produce a positive outcome. If you're firing projectiles of any sort at him and you see his shield begin to glow, quit attacking for a brief period until it stops. Once it's back to normal, you can resume your barrage of magic attacks.

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