If you’ve ever played a Souls game, you know that feeling: you’re cruising along, getting a hang of the controls, taking out small-time creatures with increasing ease, when suddenly you run smack dab into some ginormous piece of work that stomps you dead in seconds. You never forget the first time that happens to you in any of these games, and in the brand new Elden Ring, that first boss is (almost always) Margit the Fell Omen.
Margit is tough, maybe the toughest first boss yet in any of these games. He actually makes the next boss look like a pushover. The key to Margit, as it is to most boss battles, is to dodge his flurry of hard-hitting attacks while landing your own in the brief amount of time he’s vulnerable. But Margit is so fast, so damaging, and so damn annoying that it could put you off the whole game. Don’t let it! Whether if Elden Ring is your first Souls game or you’re a grizzled vet, don’t get discouraged; once you can take Margit down, you know you’ll be able to handle the rest of the game—or at least the next few hours of it. If you’re tired of struggling and want some help, though, here are a few tips on how to beat this staff- and ax-slinging son of a gun.
1. Get Jacked
As with most RPGs, the most basic tip you can get is to level up your character as much as you can before facing major challenges. Focus on boosting your attack stats early in the game, and try to buff your main weapon two or three points before engaging this guy. Beefing up your offensive capabilities is no cure-all, but every little bit of extra damage helps.
2. Don’t Lose Your Focus for Even a Second
Margit has a variety of different attacks, and can combine them in unpredictable ways. This is one of those battles where you’ll need to keep a close eye on everything your enemy does so you’ll know exactly when to dodge, strafe, block, or strike. Stay focused and you’ll get a leg up on this fella.
Margit’s main attacks boil down like this. He has a staff that he swings long and slow; it’s not too hard to dodge, but if it does connect it will do major damage. After he uses that staff, you’ll think you have a window to deal a blow; if you try it, stick to a single strike before rolling out of the way, as Margit quickly follows up the staff attack with a swipe of his glowing sword. It’s almost like he was suckering you in with that staff business. Even if you do avoid both his staff and sword, don’t linger near him; he has a deadly tail attack that he’ll whip at you if you’re standing nearby after a combo. As you can see, standing close to Margit is risky, but you can’t rest if you get some distance between you; if you’re far away, he’ll hurl some blades your way. They’re easy to dodge, but keep your head up if trying to heal or pull up an item from a distance.
If you’re able to follow these loose patterns and whittle down his health a bit, he’ll start to lash out with an incredibly deadly hammer. He’ll swing at or leap towards you with that hammer, and if it connects, it could easily knock you cold. The hammer jump especially leaves him open for a quick strike or two, especially if you time a roll where you get close enough to strike immediately after his hammer lands.
3. Seriously: Be Patient
Patience is the key to any Souls games, but this battle requires you to be exceptionally patient very early in the game. Be ready to settle in for a long fight, one where you can only safely hit Margit once per window before having to roll to safety. Get your hit in and then get out of the way. If you’re able to take it slow and don’t get greedy, you’ll be on the road to success.
4. Margit’s Shackle Can Help, But Isn’t Mandatory
There’s a specific item you can find that’ll offer a bit of aid in any fight with Margit. Margit’s Shackle can be found in Murkwater Cave, where you’ll encounter your old From frenemy Patches. If you engage with Patches and deliver enough damage, he’ll beg to surrender to you; if you agree, he’ll open a shop, where he’ll sell Margit’s Shackle for five stacks—sorry, 5000 runes. The shackle can help but won’t come close to guaranteeing victory for you; you can use it twice to lock him in place during the early parts of the battle, letting you deliver a few blows in a row before he breaks free. One he pulls that hammer out the shackle loses its power, though, and even before then you can only use it twice.
5. Use Summons and Spirit Ashes to Distract the Guy
If you can summon another player, or use Spirit Ashes to summon some NPCs, you should certainly do so. They can distract Margit away from you, drawing his attention and his attacks while you take care of business from behind. I’ve never been a major co-op player in these games, but this is one battle where a friend is inordinately useful; this kind of distraction makes Margit a much easier battle.
6. Uh, Don’t Fall
One of the complications of the Margit battle is that it takes place perilously close to the edge of a cliff. Margit, sadly, can’t fall, but you can, and will, if you get forced too close to the edge. So, uh, keep an eye out for that, while you’re busy keeping an eye out for everything else this disgusting sack of filth springs on you throughout the fight.