Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is home to the most annoying mounted boss I've ever fought, but it can be cheesed thanks to the boss you had to defeat to play the DLC

Elden Ring Mohg
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

If you've been diving into Elden Ring's enormous Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, chances are that you've already encountered some tough bosses who've given you a run for your money. Depending on where you've got up to, you might have found a particularly challenging mounted boss with a speedy charge attack and a deadly spear, who, frankly, is an absolute nightmare. Thankfully, there's a really handy way to cheese the fight. 

Before we get into it, be warned that there are minor spoilers ahead for the name and location of the boss in question, so if you don't want to see that, perhaps consider scrolling away now. Otherwise, if you want to know how to kick this thing's butt, stick around. 

Drum roll please, it's Commander Gaius. Found at the back gate of Shadow Keep, this dude does not let up – he rides into battle on an enormous boar which can deal huge damage with its charge attacks, kicks, and tusk swings, and the guy himself has a massive lance and can sling magic attacks to damage you from a distance. Although you can ride around on Torrent during the fight, he's actually slower than the boar, so it's still hard to dodge his moves, and to boot, if you attempt to summon any Spirit Ashes at the start of the fight, you're more than likely going to get charged straight into the fog gate, where you'll get stuck and be doomed to die. 

Reddit is full of threads of players struggling with the boar-riding brute, and if you're one of them, then you might want to try this strategy demonstrated by Twitter user @atmvmta, which makes use of Moghwyn's Sacred Spear and its weapon skill, Bloodboon Ritual. If you're playing the DLC, you should already have access to this as it's obtained by trading the Remembrance dropped by Mohg, Lord of Blood (one of the two big foes who must be defeated to start Shadow of the Erdtree) with Enia at the Roundtable Hold. If you've already used it on something else, you can duplicate the Remembrance at a Walking Mausoleum, or a Remembrance Duplication Coffin in the Realm of Shadow. The weapon itself requires 24 Strength, 14 Dexterity, and 27 Arcane to wield.

Assuming you've got the weapon and are ready to go, you'll want to start the fight with Commander Gaius by immediately running to your left and around the wall, which you'll see will dip in slightly. By carefully luring Gaius there and then moving back around the other side of the wall, and positioning yourself in the corner like in the clip above, you can get him stuck trying to attack you through the wall, where you'll be safe from most of his moves. Then, you can start unleashing Mohg's signature move, Bloodboon Ritual, which can reach Gaius from where you're standing and gradually deplete his health. You don't have to chant 'nihil' while you do it, but I certainly won't judge you if you do.

Again, it's worth noting that Commander Gaius is an optional boss, so you don't have to beat him to progress with Shadow of the Erdtree, but if you're fed up with him and just want to send him packing, this is a solid option. Cheesy? Yes. Effective? Also yes.

Be sure to check out our guide on how to get to every Shadow of the Erdtree region and area on the map to help you explore the Realm of Shadow.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.