The long-awaited Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree has finally been announced, and on top of sending the game's hungry community into a frenzy, the news brought bittersweet relief to a player who'd been fighting Malenia with a different build "every week til DLC news."
Community legend JPNB started a YouTube series on May 7, 2022. "Beating Malenia with a different build everyday until DLC is announced" has evolved slightly over time, with a few mods and other bosses coming into play in some installments, not to mention episodes becoming weekly, but the core concept has remained the same: absolutely clowning on the hardest boss in Elden Ring in creative ways.
There's a huge gap between JPNB's first video, which features a simple Rivers of Blood build, and their most recent episode, which describes a Quality and Faith build styled after an "Elden Gravelord." You've got to get creative when coming up with 62 different builds, and JPNB gets into almost D&D-style role-playing with several characters. One of my favorites is episode 32's Vampire Knight, "an Arcane/Faith/Quality build focused on... attacks that have a red colored effect."
"To do this stuff, I keep a backup save at Rennala before I fight Malenia or other end bosses in order to easily respec," JPNB explains in their YouTube description. I'm sure Let Me Solo Her, a famous Elden Ring player known for carrying others through Malenia's fight, is proud.
As JPNB told PC Gamer (opens in new tab), he has "a spreadsheet full of planned but never completed builds" that may never see the light of day – at least not in the same format, now that Elden Ring DLC news has indeed come. JPNB previously told Kotaku (opens in new tab) that some of his builds were based on students from his fifth grade teaching career – a student who does nothing but call shots in group projects inspired a Summon-focused build, for instance.
"I had found out that I was gonna be a father and doing this series has actually been therapeutic," JPNB said to PC Gamer, "because I'd been going through some self doubt about whether or not I'd be a good dad – accomplishing a difficult feat every week was one of the things that helped block out those intrusive thoughts."
I have a feeling we'll hear from JPNB again in some way, and plenty of other Elden Ring players are still doing absurd things even as we speak. Just weeks ago, somebody cashed in a billion Runes after eating 300 chicken feet, and wouldn't you know it, they're still farming.
Celebrate a year of Elden Ring with our 12 favorite features in The Lands Between, including plenty of other diehard fans taking on absurd custom challenges.