Elden Ring: How to defeat the Guardian of the Dragon Tree

Elden Ring – Dragon Tree Guardian © From Software

The Dragon Tree Guardian is the most dangerous version of one of the early bosses on the Elden Ring. Defeating him requires more skill.

The Tree Warden is one of the first enemies you come across in the Elden Ring, and the Dragon version is its fearsome cousin. Without any preparation, you will likely be defeated instantly. After acquiring Stormwind mount, the chances are better, because then you can dodge the violent twists of Tree Warden.

Tree rangers are among the fiercest opponents in the Inter-Land Zone. Throughout the overall story, the Guardians realized that in order to take on the dragons in battle, they must become part of the dragon themselves, and this is where the Dragon Tree Warden comes in.

How to defeat the Dragon Tree Guardian in the Elden Ring

Dragon Tree Keeper – Attack and Move Combo: Phase 1

The Dragon Tree Warden of all the novels is a frightening confrontation compared to the regular Tree Warden. He enjoys using fireballs to damage opponents at close and medium range, and uses his shield and hammer for very fast blows to outsmart his opponents.

Hammer attack, hammer smash, rush

Dragon Tree Warden uses a variety of close range attacks with his hammer that deal a massive amount of damage in his combo. The lunge is used to close the space and start the combo. The dribbling along with his massive shield should help avoid the combo.

Hammer attack is a massive overhead hit that deals massive damage to anything left of it. The hammer blow is a more lethal version of the hammer attack, as it hardly builds up and comes from practically nowhere. As such, sticking to his right side, the side of the shield, is a good practice to make sure he uses these attacks as little as possible.

goalkeeper kick

This AOE attack was alerted by raising Warden’s horse while holding his hammer aloft. After a long delay, he swung the hammer downward, causing damage to anyone nearby. You can dodge the attack by rolling into the attack, but it’s much easier to run so far that you’re out of range.

horse stomp

You should also beware of the horse the Dragon Tree Guardian is riding on. The horse withdraws and lunges forward facing the opponent. This attack has a very high hit rate, which makes dribbling extremely difficult. It is therefore recommended that one try to get behind the horse by running or backing out of reach.


One of the most nasty attacks that Dragon Tree Warden can use is the fireball, which is mostly used when trying to heal. To heal, you must wait for the horse to release a fireball and then heal before it fires another ball. To avoid the fireballs, roll to the side and engage towards the side of the guard’s shield.

shield attacks

The Dragon Tree Warden can also use a variety of shield attacks if you are careful with the huge hammer and stick to his right side. This includes:

  • Forward Strike: The defender raises his shield back and thrusts forward. This can be repelled by a well-timed roll. However, one must realize that the Guardian will sometimes use this blow to jump away and reposition in front of the player.
  • Backflip: This shield attack has a longer range than the others, but other than that it’s basically the same as the forward slash. Just be aware that the shield is coming from a different direction.
  • Shield Slam: Instead of swinging forward or backward, the Dragon Tree Guardian strikes the shield vertically at the opponent. This can be done in several ways: slams can sometimes be performed twice in a row or with significant delays. To be on the safe side, always assume the bouncer will use this attack twice, and prepare to roll at the right moment, just as the shield is being dropped.

Dragon Tree Keeper – Attack and Move Combo: Phase 2

lightning strike

The second stage features several lightning-based attacks that are reminiscent of ancient lightning dragons. The Lightning Bolt’s attack begins like one of his shield flips. When it swung sideways, several lightning bolts would strike at random points in the boss’s square with a large hit area. The safest way to deal with this is to completely retreat and attack again once the lightning has stopped.

lightning wave

Dragon Tree Warden swings his weapon forward, unleashing a massive wave of lightning that pursues the enemy for a long distance. The only way to avoid this is to roll through the wave at just the right moment. It’s also worth noting that this attack is usually followed by a Thunderous Tormentor.

ground bolt

Dragon Tree Guardian launches an attack similar to Shield Bash, but when the shield falls, lightning strikes where the opponent is standing. To dodge, you must stand directly under the shield or dodge just as his shield falls.

thunder torment

A more dangerous version of Sentinel Strike, which adds random waves of lightning from an AOE attack. This means that it is very difficult to escape from the attack range.

of interest:
The Elden Ring: Where to find the outer crack

Strategies to fight the Dragon Tree Guardian

Focus on staying on the side of the Dragon Tree Warden to avoid hammer attacks. When it comes to how best to deal damage, the Guardian is pretty weak against the effects of blood spills and putrefaction.

It can also be killed without getting into combat if you want to take advantage of the fight by sneaking up on it from behind and using the Poison Mist a few times over the course of about 15 minutes. This will gradually reduce his health until he eventually drops.

by Torge Christianen

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