The guy who fought Malenia over and over until Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree was announced is back for one last dance

 Elden Ring Malenia.
Credit: Tyler C. / FromSoftware

"I'm going to do something ridiculous every day until [x videogame thing happens]" might be a little pat now⁠—hell, there's probably a sociological paper to be written about gamers performing devotion for companies as if they were implacable deities⁠.

But JPNB on YouTube was a pioneer of the form, fighting secret Elden Ring megaboss Malenia every week (initially every day) over a span of months until we finally got that Shadow of the Erdtree announcement last February. He hung up his spurs after that, but now he's back once more to tango with the Blade of Miquella.

During his original run, JPNB started out trying to fight Malenia every day until we got news of an Elden Ring expansion. As the wait dragged on, that quickly became "every few days" before he settled into a sustainable pace of fighting her once a week with a new, fun, themed build each time. With 11 days to go until the release of Shadow of the Erdtree, JPNB committed to a Malenia sprint as one last hurrah: beating her each day without getting hit and using a fresh idiosyncratic build each time.

I think my favorite so far was his "Arcane Archer," a riff on one of my favorite old Dungeons & Dragons prestige classes with a classico Sherwood Forest archer fit. Bows are abysmal in Elden Ring, so it's particularly impressive to see someone punking the game's hardest boss with archery.

Yesterday's "Gelmir Gunner" was quite good as well, and overall I just appreciate JPNB's virtuosity with the different builds, swapping between three or four weapons and spells on each one in a way that's visually interesting and speaks to a true mastery of Elden Ring's combat.

We've got a few more days of no hit runs to go until Shadow of the Erdtree's release, so you can tune in to JPNB's YouTube channel to see what messed up new builds he cooks up. FromSoftware's Hidetaka Miyazaki has called Shadow of the Erdtree's new weapons as a major selling point of the DLC, so the builds can only get more wild from here.