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How To Access Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree Expansion

It's time to venture into the Realm of Shadow.

If you haven’t ventured into any of FROMSOFTWARE’s DLC offerings before, you might be confused in regards to how to access Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree expansion. It isn’t just something you can launch into from the main menu or a Site of Grace, there are a few requirements you need to hit before venturing into the Realm of Shadow.

HOW DO I ACCESS THE SHADOW OF THE ERDTREE?

To access Shadow of the Erdtree and reach the Realm of Shadow, you have to interact with the withered arm reaching out of the cocoon at the back of Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum. If you’ve beaten Mohg, Lord of Blood, you can just teleport to the nearest Site of Grace and be on your way. If you haven’t, you’ll need to reach Mohgwyn Palace and fell the Lord of Blood. A guide for how to get there and beat the boss can be found below.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO ACCESS SHADOW OF THE ERDTREE?

In order to access Shadow of the Erdtree, you need to have beaten two bosses. The first is Starscourge Radahn, who’s part of the golden path as one of the demigod Shardbearers. The second is Mohg, Lord of Blood, an entirely optional late-game boss who can be accessed a bit earlier if you so wish. It’s important to note that Mohg can technically be fought twice, but only the one in Mohgwyn Palace is required to access the new content.

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WHERE IS STARSCOURGE RADAHN AND HOW DO I BEAT HIM?

Starscourge Radahn is found in the Caelid region in the southeast portion of the map, specifically at Redmane Castle on an island in Caelid’s southeast. If you head straight to Redmane Castle on a fresh save, it’ll be populated with enemies but you won’t be able to fight Radahn himself. Only once you’ve progressed through the main plot will the Radahn Festival be triggered. There are a few things that set this off, but the most consistent is activating a Site of Grace on the Altus Plateau which can be reached after the Liurnia of the Lakes region.

If you go to Redmane Castle during the festival, you meet with other NPCs who wish to partake in the festival. This is key, because these NPCs are paramount to your success in besting Starscourge Radahn, and the fight is designed around you making use of them.

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The number one piece of advice I can give when it comes to toppling Starscourge Radahn is to stay mounted for as much of the fight as possible. Starscourge Radahn has far-reaching attacks that require a keen eye and quick reflexes to dodge efficiently. You should also make use of the summons of the battlefield, all of which can be summoned again if they die.

Another good rule of thumb for any boss in Elden Ring is not to get greedy. All it takes is overstaying your welcome to sneak in an extra hit or two for a boss to knock chunks off your health bar as you struggle to get some distance between you and them. A lot of Starscourge Radahn’s attacks also have area-of-effect properties, so staying away from whoever he’s focusing on is also a way to avoid some stray hits.

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As far as weaknesses go, Starscourge Radahn is incredibly weak to Scarlet Rot. By using the Rotten Breath Incantation or the Antspur Rapier, you can quickly build-up Scarlet Rot to diminish his health bar. Despite his size, Starscourge Radahn’s poise can also be broken to open him up for a critical hit, so landing the odd jump attack here and there will pay off. In terms of what he brings to the table, it’s mainly physical damage, with a few magic attacks thrown in, especially in his second phase, so make sure to setup your resistances accordingly.

WHERE IS MOHG, LORD OF BLOOD AND HOW DO I BEAT HIM?

Unlike Starscourge Radahn, Mohg, Lord of Blood is found in an entirely optional area that you can access one of two ways. The most common way to access Mohgwyn Palace (but also the latest), is through a Waygate Teleporter in the Consecrated Snowfield to the northwest of the Yelough Anix Ruins.

PRE-ORDER THE ELDEN RING: SHADOW OF THE ERDTREE EDITION HERE OR THE ELDEN RING: SHADOW OF THE ERDTREE COLLECTOR’S EDITION HERE.

If you’ve yet to unlock the Consecrated Snowfield, which is an optional area itself, you’ll need to find both halves of the Secret Haligtree Medallion and use them at the Grand Lift of Rold. One half is found by speaking to a hidden NPC, near the graveyard in the Village of the Albinaurics underneath the southwest mountain in Liurnia of the Lakes. The other half is found in Castle Sol, located in the north of the Mountaintops of the Giants. You’ll have to best the Commander Niall boss fight, who’s pretty straight forward once you take his Spirit Ashes out of the mix.

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The second way you can get to Mohgwyn Palace, is by completing Varre’s questline. This questline starts at the beginning of the game when you first arrive in Limgrave, awarding you with a Pureblood Knight’s Medal upon completion. This will instantly teleport you to Mohgwyn Palace when you use it in your inventory, but be wary of the strength of enemies versus your own, as you’ll likely be under levelled.

Once you’ve made it to Mohgwyn Palace and have ascended to the Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum, you can finally challenge Mohg, Lord of Blood. To make this fight much more manageable, there are two items that will aid you greatly in the first half of the fight.

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The first, is Mohg’s Shackle, which is a reusable item that can bind Mohg twice during his first phase. It can be found in Leyndell’s Subterranean Shunning-Grounds, guarded by 2 Giant Crayfish.

The more non-negotiable item is the Purifying Crystal Tear. This Crystal Tear can be mixed into your Physick to negate all blood loss from Mohg’s curse as he moves into phase 2. Not only does this item prevent any damage from the curse, it also gives you a window to attack and build-up status effects. It can be found at the Second Church of Marika in Altus Plateau by defeating Eleonora, Violet Bloody Finger.

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In terms of strategy, make smart use of Mohg’s Shackle to create long openings for you to get free hits in. Always start your combos with a heavy jump attack to whittle down his poise for an eventual critical hit. Make sure not to stand in his blood rain attacks, and remember he will always put a stack of his blood curse on you when you deal enough damage, giving you a short window for your own free hits.

Once you’ve got the first phase on lock, the second becomes more of a problem. Not only does Mohg’s Shackle no longer work, but Mohg also gains a new suite of moves, and his attacks become imbued with fiery blood that can build-up your own blood loss. He’ll more frequently cover the arena with his area-of-effect attacks that do damage over time, so proper positioning and patience is key to winning this fight of attrition.

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Bleed is your best friend here when it comes to applying status effects on Mohg. It allows you to build-up to big chunks of damage multiple times in the fight, and can accelerate the first phase quite a bit. The infamous Rivers of Blood katana is a great fit for this fight as a result, allowing for agile quick hits and strong bleed build-up with its intrinsic Ash of War. Make sure to also bring gear and consumables to mitigate your own blood loss during the fight to avoid taking large chunks of damage.

The big key here, again, is not to get greedy for extra hits. Only go for one or two during small windows, and prioritise jump attacks if you can fit them in. Landing staggers on Mohg will lead to big critical damage and make the fight much faster overall. If you’re using the Rivers of Blood katana, try to only use the first hit of its Ash of War, as the rest of the combos is very committal. Try to be aware of the fiery blood he spreads on the arena, and you’ll get it in no time!

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Once you’ve bested Mohg, you can interact with the hand reaching out of the cocoon at the back of the room. Doing so will whisk you away to the Realm of Shadow proper, starting the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion.