Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree: Messmer the Impaler boss guide

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In this Elden Ring DLC: Shadow of the Erdtree (SoTE) Messmer the Impaler guide, you will find all the tips and tricks you need to defeat this boss.

Shadow of the Erdtree: Messmer the Impaler boss guide

Many Elden Ring fans agree that Messmer the Impaler is one of the tougher bosses in the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. However, every challenge has a solution. So, let’s explore how you can defeat this formidable foe. Special thanks to Fextralife for his Messmer the Impaler boss guide, which has helped us overcome this challenging adversary and create this guide.

Quick tip:

If you’re unsure whether to assist Hornsent or Leda, choose Hornsent. Upon entering the boss arena, you can summon Hornsent for extra support if you didn’t kill him and aided him earlier in Shadowkeep. His summon sign will be on the right side of the arena. Summoning him is essential for progressing his quest line, and he will help in battle by providing distraction and extra damage. After defeating the boss, Hornsent will appear in the arena, revealing more about his story.

Elden Ring Messmer the Impaler guide: General advice

Messmer the Impaler guide for phase 1

At the beginning of the fight with Messmer, he may initiate several moves, including:

Messmer’s jumping explosion

The jumping explosion is relatively easy to dodge during the first phase of the fight with Messmer. To avoid this attack, wait for the moment when he shines a white flash before leaping down. Time your dodge precisely to avoid the initial impact. After dodging, pause briefly and then dodge again to evade the aftershock explosion. This creates an opening for you to deal damage.

Messmer’s grab

When Messmer raises his hand into the air and starts pursuing you, there are two effective strategies to evade his grab attack. You can either retreat until he misses the grab, then counter with a jump attack, or dodge through his reach and follow up with a few strikes. Precise timing is crucial in dodging Messmer’s grab. Be careful, one misstep can result in instant defeat at this game stage.

Messmer’s basic combos

Messmer the Impaler has three basic combos as follows:

Messmer’s first basic combo

Begin by dodging the initial two strikes in quick succession. Afterward, anticipate a brief delay before dodging the upward thrust of his flame spear. Time your dodge with a slight delay for the sweeping attack that follows. Wait again for the next upward thrust. For his falling spear attack, position yourself behind him. It’s crucial to distinguish this combo from its special attack variant, which summons additional spears after the falling spear attack. To see more information from Messmer’s special attacks, be sure to scroll down further!

Messmer’s second basic combo

To handle this sequence, first dodge the flame spell by moving backward. If you’re too close to move backward, dodge to the right to avoid damage. Next, dodge toward him to evade the thrust, then wait for a delay after the dash before dodging into the following thrust. Finally, dodge in any direction to avoid the flame spear 360. For optimal positioning, dodge into him to stay close and land a hit after this combo.

If Messmer follows with a flame swipe into a backward 360, dodge backward to avoid the flame spell and then dodge into the 360 to counter with some damage.

Messmer’s third basic combo

If you can dodge his other combos, this one won’t be a problem. First, dodge into the dashing thrust. Then, dodge the flame spell to the right, followed by dodging into the next thrust. Finally, dodge in any direction to avoid the 360 spear attack. Successfully evading this combo will give you an opportunity to land a hit.

Messmer’s special attacks

Messmer the Impaler has two special attacks:

Messmer’s first special attacks

Dodge towards him during the initial 360 spins, then dodge the next two attacks just as you would in his basic combos.

Messmer’s second special attacks

Move left and towards Messmer to evade the sweeping 360 attacks. Then dodge into Messmer and stay close during his thrust attacks. While there’s an ideal spot to avoid all damage, even if you don’t find it, moving in close should reduce harm. Afterward, dodge the falling spear attack and steer clear of the summoned ground spears.

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Messmer the Impaler guide for phase 2

Around 50% HP, Messmer transitions into phase 2: Base Serpent. During this phase, Messmer employs longer-range snake attacks. He initiates with an enhanced version of his phase 1 explosion attack, which now lacks the previous white flash cue. To evade this, time your roll as the snake head disappears from the screen, then ensure another roll to dodge the aftershock.

After he’s done with his basic combos, attack, but make sure to dodge immediately afterward. Messmer adds an extra thrust attack at the end of his combos, so if you’re not careful, it may be the fall of your Tarnished. This thrust attack has a significant delay, so after dealing damage, promptly roll to avoid its rush.

Messmer the Impaler new attacks in phase 2

During phase 2 of Messmer’s fight, he introduces several new attacks. One involves him flipping backward, then dashing forward with sweeps, followed by a swift retreat. This sequence offers limited opportunities for counterattacks. However, if you’re willing to take the risk, you can attempt to dodge towards the spot where he dashes, potentially allowing you to land a few hits as he recovers.

Another attack in phase 2 involves Messmer transforming into a snake and executing a three-hit combo, with each strike having a slight delay and allowing dodging in any direction. When the snake’s head falls to the ground, attack it. You can also time your hit to attack both Messmer and the snake head at the same time when he returns to his humanoid form for double damage.

As for Messmer’s snake summon, a portal materializes behind him and a snake swiftly lunges at you before dissipating. This may not be a challenge for you as you can easily avoid it by dodging to the sides. However, damaging him after this may be difficult since it’s a super long-range attack.

In his final attack, Messmer summons miasma across the floor. If he’s not visible in the center of the miasma, he’s charging up for a singular ranged snake attack. Dodging this allows you to strike him and the snake simultaneously, doubling the damage. However, if he’s at the center, this becomes his deadliest move. It begins with an explosion that inflicts substantial damage if you’re too close. So, run.

The attack sequence begins with Messmer launching a single ranged snake, followed by a delayed second snake, and then a rapid double bite from the third snake. After this onslaught, Messmer swiftly follows up with a falling spear attack, accompanied by summoning spears from the floor. If you want to do it the hard way, try dodging all of them. However, if your character’s build leans towards resilience rather than agility, or if you’re just not a dodging person, then run. Hold your shield up and use Flasks to stay alive. If you manage to dodge the final strike of this combo, it opens up an opportunity for a significant counterattack, similar to phase one.

Messmer stands out as one of the more challenging bosses in the Elden Ring DLC: Shadow of the Erdtree. If you don’t succeed on your first attempt, don’t be disheartened. Like in other Soulslike games, practice, practice, and practice. Take the time to understand his attack patterns, avoid panic dodging, and capitalize on opportunities for fully charged attacks. When opportunities are limited, opt for quick, light attacks instead, but always prioritize your safety over risking unnecessary weapon swinging. With patience and determination, you’ll improve and eventually overcome Messmer’s formidable challenge.

Messmer the Impaler rewards

Defeating Messmer, you’ll get the following rewards:


We hope that this Messmer the Impaler guide has been able to aid you in your battle against him in Elden Ring DLC: Shadow of the Erdtree.

Once again, special thanks to Fextralife for his video as it lays the groundwork for this guide! If you want to see it in full, be sure to check it out here:

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