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Of every challenging boss fight FromSoftware has thrown at players over the years, I don’t think I’ve seen one inspire more groaning than the Malenia fight near the end of Elden Ring. She has basically everything that makes a fight hard in Souls games. She hits incredibly hard, dashes toward players who try to run from attacks, and won’t be staggered by your meager hits. At least, not with conventional attacks. A month after release, an Elden Ring player has discovered the easiest counter we’ve seen so far for one of her deadliest attacks: a pot.
Light spoilers for Malenia’s boss fight below.
The strategy shared by Reddit user toxicBird7, which has amassed over 12,000 upvotes and a bunch of those Reddit award thingies, is shockingly simple. Her Waterfowl Dance attack, the spinny-sword-slashy combo she does a lot in her first phase, can actually be canceled out completely by throwing a Freezing Pot. Watch the strategy in action below:
If you’re like me and spent the last 100 hours of Elden Ring mostly ignoring ritual pot throwables, worry not. toxicBird’s helpful video also covers where to find the recipe needed to craft the Freezing Pot. You’ll need the Glintstone Craftsman’s Cookbook (6) to unlock the recipe, which can be found in a side room in Caria Manor.
Once you have the recipe, all you’ll need are ritual pots (the bigger version of cracked pots) and a specific flower called rimed crystal buds that grow in the Mountaintops of the Giants.
The video covers where to find these too—you’ll find a cluster of crystal buds near some big pillars close to the Inner Consecrated Snowfield site of grace. Since ritual pots are reusable, all you’ll need to make more later are rimed crystal buds. The catch, as toxicBird points out, is that a single Frozen Pot will only stun Malenia twice before her resistance increases. After that you’ll need to throw two, which is harder but possible.
The good news is that, depending on your attack power, twice might be all you need to get past her first phase. You can deal a lot of damage in that time, even more when you don’t have to worry about dodging Waterfowl Dance. I wish my friend had known about this strategy before I watched him lose to Malenia about 70 times (at least half of them as a direct result of Waterfowl Dance).