Grave Warden Duelist is an optional boss in the Murkwater Catacombs. The boss has a wide area of effect attack and does a lot of stamina damage, making blocking quite difficult. It also possesses many punishable moves for players to take advantage of, provided they know when it’s safe to attack.

How to beat the Grave Warden Duelist in Murkwater Catacombs

When first encountering Grave Warden Duelist, the boss is open for a quick hit by ranged characters. They will take their hood off and charge in to attack.

Moves – Overhead Slam

The boss uses an overhead slam attack using both of their hammers. This attack has a short windup recognized by the Grave Warden raising both of its hammers in the air. This can be done at the end of combos or on its own.

Attacking and Dodging – Overhead Slam

Ranged characters can simply sprint away during the windup of this attack to deal damage. Melee characters can roll as the attack starts to come down. Rolling into the attack or behind the boss gives players enough time for a few attacks.

Moves – Grab and Slow Slam

Grave Warden Duelist has two separate single attacks in its grab and slow slam attacks. The grab can easily be seen at the boss will hunch itself over before moving forward with its hand out. The slow slam attack can be seen by the boss holding it hammer up before jutting forward, sometimes sprinting, and smashing the ground.

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Attacking and Dodging – Grab and Slow Slam

Both of these attacks are simple for ranged players as they are telegraphed well and only require a little distance before it is safe to attack. Melee players can roll through or to the side of the grab and slow slam, responding with a roll attack. The boss has little downtime before it will attack again.

Moves – Four Hit Combo

Grave Warden’s most commonly used attack is a four hit combo involving two swings and ends with an area of effect chain swing into a jumping slam. The first attack involves the boss jumping forward to attack, telegraphed by them raising their hammer up. This is only just one variation of this combo.

Attacking and Dodging – Four Hit Combo

Dodging as the initial swing comes out and sprinting backward is when the opening is available for ranged characters. Melee characters will have to roll each swing and can stand behind the boss during the chain swinging animation for some extra hits. The final slam will need to be rolled and by rolling into the slam, players can avoid damage and be close enough to get as many hits as they can.

Moves – Alternate Four Hit Combo

Beginning the combo with an overhead slam, Grave Warden will follow this attack up with two chain swings, its area of effect swing, and then its jumping slam. The boss will often mix and match moves that it opens up its four hit combo with but will always end the same. The large area of effect swing, followed by a jumping slam will always end these combos out.

Attacking and Dodging – Alternate Four Hit Combo

When locked into a combo animation, players can safely attack the boss as most of its moves do not track. For ranged players, they can begin attacking as early as the chain swings, provided there is enough distance. Melee players can attack during the chain swings as well, but only from behind.

Moves – Five Hit Combo

Despite having so many swings, Grave Warden Duelist’s easiest combo is easy to avoid and see coming. The start of the combo is the same as the four hit combo but has the boss continue to swing horizontally with its hammers. This can be ended prematurely if the player moves too far away.

Attacking and Dodging – Five Hit Combo

Players caught in this combo in a corner or against the wall will have to time their rolls as the hammer begins its swinging arc. Otherwise, the move is straightforward and ranged players can take advantage of its long animation. Melee players will have to wait for the combo to end before they can attack.

Moves – Braggart’s Roar

The weapon skill of the boss’s weapon is called Braggart’s Roar and will raise the attack, defense, and Stamina recovery speed of anyone that uses it. Grave Warden will attempt to buff itself with this move after getting to around 50 percent of its HP. It can be recognized by the red aura around the boss.

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Backstabs and Parries

The player can use their Critical Hits to great effectiveness during this fight. All the overhead attacks of Grave Warden Duelist can be parried and the boss can be backstabbed. The parry window is very generous and can be initiated as soon as the animation for the swing starts to come out.

Using Shields

Players guarding with their shields will still need to roll through many of Grave Warden Duelist’s attacks. This is because of the amount of Stamina damage their attacks deal that will cause a guard break. Even with high Stamina, the repeated attacks, overhead attacks, and

Additional Resources

Spirit Summoning is an easy way of dividing aggro on this boss and is an effective tool in getting multiple backstabs. If players don’t have some of the higher FP required Summons, using group summons like the Lone Wolf Ashes or the Skeletal Militia will divide the aggro of the boss even further. This gives plenty of time to heal or attack as needed.

Upgrading weapons is a good call for the fight and players can farm Smithing Stones from enemies or by exploring locations. Godrick Soldiers have a reasonable drop rate for them and can be farmed at by the Church of Elleh Site of Grace. They can also be found in Limgrave Tunnels.

For more Elden Ring guides, check out Where to farm Smithing Stones 1 in Elden Ring on Pro Game Guides.

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