Elden Ring DLC: How to beat Commander Gaius in Shadow of the Erdtree

 Elden Ring.
Credit: Windows Central

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Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree
Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring DLC review
How to start the DLC
Scadutree Fragment locations
Revered Spirit Ash locations
Hand-to-hand martial arts
Best Elden Ring builds

While exploring the rafters within the gigantic Shadow Keep Legacy Dungeon in the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, sharp-eyed Tarnished will likely notice that there's an opening in the central tower's north side that leads to an exterior platform. There they'll find an elevator; riding it down will take them to another, which then leads to a hidden back gate and a large plateau called Scaduview.

There's some great treasure to get there, but before you can claim it, you'll need to defeat Commander Gaius — a powerful gravity magic-wielding battlemage that rides an armored boar. The fight with Gaius is a tough one and has a few awkward moves you'll have to deal with, so to help you beat him, I've put together a boss guide below that goes over everything you need to know about the bout in-depth.

Commander Gaius general tips

Elden Ring
Elden Ring

These general tips will help you prepare for your battle with Commander Gaius in Elden Ring.

  • Make sure you've picked up all the Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ashes from  the areas you've explored so far, as these will give you and your spirit summons improved damage and damage reduction.

  • Black Knife Tiche is one of the best Spirit Ashes for this fight. She's very agile and evasive so she does a good job avoiding Gaius' attacks, and she contributes great damage, too.

  • Do NOT use Torrent, even though the game lets you. Gaius' boar is capable of outrunning your trusty steed, and he'll often die in just one or two hits, leaving you completely exposed to the boss for several seconds as you're trying to recover from falling off him.

  • Gaius exclusively deals Physical damage, so use things like the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman or Boiled Crab consumables to boost your resistance to it. On top of that, wear the heaviest armor you can while still keeping a Medium Load so you can effectively dodge.

  • Consider using one of the best shields as well, especially if you're on a Strength build and can wield a greatshield. Having one will be handy for a particularly tricky attack Gaius will likely do several times during the fight.

  • Gaius is susceptible to non-Madness status effects, especially Bleed and Frostbite. Try inflicting these with spells, weapon buffs, or throwables, as well as weapons that either cause status effect buildup naturally or do so thanks to an infusion you chose.

  • Jumping attacks can stance break Commander Gaius fairly quickly, allowing you to land a critical hit. This is best done on Strength-style builds that can wield heavier weapons effectively.

Boss guide: How to beat Commander Gaius

Elden Ring
Elden Ring
  • Gaius will always open the fight by rearing his mount up and then charging directly at you; you have to roll through or to the side of the charge to avoid it. The timing here is extremely tight, so be ready to dodge right as his boar runs into you.

    • Gaius may perform this move again at any time during the rest of the battle. It's telegraphed by the boar rearing up and facing you directly.

    • A fully upgraded shield with 100% Physical damage negation can also be used to block this attack safely, though you'll lose a lot of Stamina doing this.

  • Gaius frequently attacks by chaining sword slashes with headbutts and slams from his boar, with combos often ending with a stab. Roll through the sword swipes and thrusts, and dodge into the direction the boar is attacking from when avoiding its headbutts. When it rears up into the air above you, dodge to the side so you don't get crushed when it slams back down to the ground. Make sure you get some of your own damage in each time Gaius finishes a combo.

  • If Gaius' sword glows purple and he waves it around, rocks will come from the ground and fly towards you shortly after. Roll in any direction to avoid damage.

  • If Gaius' sword glows purple and he pulls his arm back, he's preparing to either go for an upwards thrust with it or launch a gravity projectile at you with a stabbing motion. Both attacks can be avoided with a well-timed forward dodge.

  • In general, try to stick to the side or rear of the boar, which forces Gaius to turn frequently and makes it easier to go on the offensive. Essentially, you want to avoid being directly in front of the boss as much as you can.

  • The boar may attempt to kick you while you're behind it, so watch for that whenever you're in that position. The hitbox of the move is forgiving, but the attack itself comes out very quickly, making it hard to react to. Do your best to watch the boar's legs whenever you're behind it.

Commander Gaius Phase 2

Elden Ring
Elden Ring

At roughly half HP, Commander Gaius and his boar will start to glow with purple lightning before he throws his arms outwards with a small area-of-effect explosion, telegraphing the start of Phase 2. In this phase, Gaius gains a handful of deadly new gravity attacks; here's how to deal with them and achieve victory.

  • Gaius will open Phase 2 with a new attack that involves flying into the air with his boar — yes, you read that right — and performing a very delayed slam into you that then creates a circle of damaging expanding gravity magic around the impact zone. Dodge forwards a short moment after the boar starts fully spiraling through the air to avoid being hit; if you roll away, you might get clipped by the gravity magic.

  • Another new move sees Gaius hold his sword high in the air, then point it at you to launch a small gravity well towards your location that can pull you in three times before it explodes unless you roll through its pulses. If you roll out of the well's area-of-effect early, you won't even have to worry about its pulses and eventual detonation.

  • Gaius and his boar may also jump into the air before immediately trying to fly into you. This is best dodged by rolling forward into the attack, or to the side if it's coming in at an angle.

  • It's worth noting the rock sling attack from Phase 1 has additional stones in Phase 2, making it harder to fully dodge. Time your roll so that it  just as the first rocks are about to hit you.

Overall, I'd say Commander Gaius is one of the DLC's easier bosses, though he is by no means easy; in fact, I'd argue he's harder than many of the fights from Elden Ring's base game. Still, he has more generous openings for counter-attacks than several other Shadow of the Erdtree bosses do, and if you take advantage of them well you'll beat him surprisingly fast.

Once Commander Gaius falls, you'll get his Remembrance, as well as access to a lovely reward: five Scadutree Fragments on the ground to the north next to a landmark called the Scadutree Chalice.

The Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is finally here, and it makes one of the best Xbox games and best PC games of all time even better. It's out now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Windows PC for $39.99.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $34.89 at CDKeys (Xbox)

Shadow of the Erdtree is Elden Ring at its most refined, with the base game's overly formulaic elements cut away and some of FromSoftware's best boss fights. The result is a 40-hour-long masterpiece of a DLC that's an absolute must-play for any Soulsborne fan.

Also see: Shadow of the Erdtree (PC, $37.09) | Deluxe Edition (PC, $90.89)

Collector's Edition: Bandai Namco Store (€249.99)View Deal