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

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree is a brutally difficult expansion. So brutal, in fact, that many popular online figures have even given up rather than see it all the way through.

If you’re looking for some help to avoid the same fate, here’s how to defeat one of the most challenging Shadow of the Erdtree bosses, Commander Gaius.

How to defeat Commander Gaius in Shadow of the Erdtree

Commander Gaius is an exceptionally challenging boss. Video by Dot Esports

Commander Gaius is a formidable opponent. He’s fast, and the boar he rides is a boss in and of itself, with both doing enormous amounts of damage even if you level up your Scadutree Blessing a whole lot. To defeat this boss, I would argue that you need to have a Mimic Tear. Though all bosses are made to be beatable in a duel, the Mimic will make your life a whole lot easier. But if you really want to try it, I have some advice for a solo run as well.

Prepare and get as many Scadutree Blessings as possible

Commander Gaius has several attacks that can kill a 60 Vigor player at full HP. A single blow from any of these, and you’re toast. However, you can mitigate the rest of his attacks, which on their own can bring your HP to lower than half instantly, by upgrading your Scadutree Blessing level. Collect the necessary fragments, which you can find in these locations and boost your level as much as possible before tackling this exceptional fight (you’ll get a nice reward if you beat him).

Summon the Mimic as soon as you enter, then dodge the boar

Commander Gaius starts the fight by charging at you as soon as you enter the arena. You will have just enough time to summon the Mimic and then roll away from the boar’s gallop. To effectively dodge this attack, which can take off half of your health, you will need to roll diagonally to the left and forward. Dodging to the side may also work, but Gaius can still hit you with a follow-up strike, while the diagonal escape creates somewhat of a distance between you.

Alternate aggro between yourself and the Mimic

A player and a Mimic fighting Commander Gaius in Shadow of the Erdtree
Gaius should be attacking both you and the Mimic for a successful fight. Screenshot by Dot Esports

This boss hits hard. He will take down the Mimic with relative ease if you don’t alternate and shuffle the aggro between each other. The Mimic’s AI is very well made for confrontational combat, but it doesn’t really dodge much, so it will take all of that massive damage from Gaius constantly and end up dying quickly if you don’t step in. Try to create windows of opportunity where both you and the Mimic can attack Gaius simultaneously and alternate the aggro to make the most out of the Tear.

Use Bleed, Frost, or similarly-infused weapon

Dealing percentage-based damage to Gaius is the way to go as his health bar is enormous. I personally used Bleed to take him down as he appeared not too resistant to it (he’s a human enemy), and the proc went off more than a few times. When both you and the Mimic hit Gaius with bleed-inflicting attacks, he will lose quite a bit of HP each time the bar fills up, making short work of his otherwise large health pool.

Carefully look at his attack telegraphs

Gaius, for what it’s worth, is quite well-telegraphed. After a few tries, you should be able to figure out when to dodge out of the way to avoid all the damage, no matter how relentless he may be. Therefore, you should carefully study his patterns and attacks to mitigate all the damage he might try to throw your way, opening him to bloodthirsty attacks from the Mimic which always loves bashing its head against bosses.

How to beat Commander Gaius without a Mimic

Going for a head-to-head clash with any boss in this DLC is almost always a suicide mission, and Gaius is no exception. His agile and powerful attacks can be devastating, which is by no means alleviated by how relentless he is and how long his attack chains are. Your best bet at beating this boss without a Mimic Tear Ash is to try as many times as you need to learn how to dodge all of his attacks and use the few windows of opportunity you get to stack Bleed or a similar effect for damage bursts.

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