The deadliest weapon in Shadow of the Erdtree is a bottle of perfume that can evaporate the DLC's final boss in 13 seconds, thanks to hitbox buffoonery

 A wielder of a Lightning Perfume bottle in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree charges up for a vicious attack.
Credit: FromSoftware

Shadow of the Erdtree's been out for a week, and the theory crafters have already broken it with a bottle of perfume in hand. Yes, really. Turns out, the monstrosities of the Shadowed Lands and beyond are vulnerable to a cologne overdose. Violence has never smelled so good.

As you may have noticed, that is an absolutely unholy amount of damage, even by Elden Ring standards. I shan't embed the video directly here for want of spoilers, since we're still only a week out, but there have been plenty of users levelling this nuclear-grade sniff serum at the DLC's final boss: "All the rage that I have for this guy culminated into this" writes one user, before proceeding to carve through a health bar like an electrified power washer cuts through dirt.

So what the hell's going on here? An unforeseen Ashes of War interaction, that's what.

This info comes courtesy of YouTuber Syrobe, who has the build outlined on his channel. Essentially, the Lightning Perfume Bottle's standard moveset creates a series of explosions that each deal respectable damage with their own unique, individual hitboxes. However, they're all spread out as one might expect.

Enter the Rolling Sparks Ash of War, which can be applied to the Lightning Perfume bottle. In terms of this thing's intended design, it's meant to direct all of your perfume bottle explosions in a line in front of you as a way to add additional range onto an otherwise unwieldy weapon.

Point it at the floor, though, and, uh, every single explosion in that line detonates "instantly and on top of each other". This deals an amount of damage I can only describe as heretical.

To make up for the weapon's otherwise poor scaling, Syrobe recommends stacking a bunch of gear that boosts both your lightning and perfume weapon damage, as well as the Aged One's Exultation talisman and Black Dumpling Hat, which ramp up your damage while suffering from (or, in the case of the talisman, nearby) Madness effects. Self-inflict some madness and you're good to go.

There's also the new Rakshasa Armour set, which gives you increased damage in exchange for taking more punishment—which isn't likely to happen, considering the tens of thousands of pain points you're outputting in a manner of moments.

When it all comes together this allows Syrobe, and dozens like him, to obliterate the game's final boss in about 13 seconds. Having fought the sod myself, I can confirm that a non-lightning perfume bottle attempt takes far more time.

FromSoftware did, however, say that there are balance patches to come for Shadow of the Erdtree, so I'm not sure if this build will survive the coming weeks, as the interaction with Rolling Sparks doesn't exactly seem intended. Still, get your lightning licks in when you can—perfume is the new powergaming.

Erdtree map fragments: Uncover the Land of Shadow
Scadutree fragments: How to level up in Erdtree
Erdtree bosses: A full hit list for the DLC
Leda quest: Track the Erdtree main quest
Sir Ansbach quest: Help the former servant of Mohg
Hornsent quest: Complete the quest for vengeance