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Elden Ring keeps us on our toes. There’s something new and deadly around every corner — and sometimes above you or directly below you. Just trying to stay alive while exploring the deadly world of the Lands Between can be a nerve-wracking experience, and the best players still wince in aggravation when recalling these encounters. We’re not talking about the biggest, baddest boss fights. We’re putting a special focus on the monsters that drove us insane.
Some of the enemies in Elden Ring are abject examples of cruelty. The twisted minds of From Software have created enemies designed specifically to ruin your good mood. We can’t even list them all here — Runebears are one of the early enemies that blindside new players with insane aggression. Then there are the hidden hands that burrow underground and ambush Tarnished trying to grab a shiny treasure. Archers are naturally one of the worst, with their ability to snipe you dead with pinpoint accuracy from aggravating ranges. And those are the relatively normal enemies.
These are the worst of the worst, the evilest enemies we encountered in all of Elden Ring.
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#1. Hero’s Grave Chariots
Hero’s Grave are trap-filled dungeons that fill us with existential dread. The traps? Those aren’t so bad. The difficult enemy encounters? That’s manageable. No, the worst part of any Hero’s Tomb dungeon are the chariots. Because chariots have a mind of their own.
Chariots are fast-moving traps that cover entire lanes of pathway, forcing you to duck into alcoves and sprint to avoid them as they sweep up and down the pathways of the tomb. The worst part? They seemingly have a mind of their own, so they’ll change patterns as you progress through the dungeon. They’re mostly invincible (save for traps you can trigger to destroy them at the end) and can kill you in a single hit. And what is with the enormous, janky hitboxes on these things?!
The devious Patches returns in Elden Ring, and he’s just as bad as he’s ever been. Patches can be helpful, sort of, but he still goes out of his way to backstab you at every opportunity. In Limgrave, he’ll try to trick you into using a teleport trap chest. In Liurnia, he’ll suggest getting captured by another enemy on our list — let’s just say it is very bad to follow his suggestion. In Mt. Gelmir, he’ll wait for you to approach a ledge marked with Rainbow Stones, then push you off. Patches is still pulling the same old tricks. And he’ll never stop as long as From Software keeps making these games.
Even when he’s helpful, Patches isn’t helpful. In Volcano Manor, Patches will send you on a hunt — and he’s surprised when you get back. Patches just won’t stop stabbing us in the back.
An early enemy of Stormveil Castle that caused an instant explosion of aggravation right after release. The Warhawks wear swords on their talons and know how to use them. They flap around, striking and floating just out-of-reach. They’re also just patently absurd. They look ridiculous!
Flying around and swiping at you with swords isn’t enough. Some of the Warhawks carry explosive barrels — this is the kind of patented absurdity we’ve come to expect from Miyazaki and From Software. Unlike the goats that roll around like wheels, these Warharks just keep destroying us.
#4. Raya Lucaria Abductor Virgin
At the bottom of Raya Lucaria Academy, there is a creepy “Abductor Virgin” machine. These machines are found all throughout the academy grounds in Liurnia of the Lakes, and Patches is the one to point you to them — Patches says, if you’re captured by an Abductor Virgin at the bottom of the academy, you’ll be taken to the base of the Erdtree. That’s your goal.
What Patches doesn’t tell you is that this creature teleports you to an underground inquisition torture chamber with seemingly no escape. Many players have been duped and suddenly worry escape is impossible. The only way out seems to be through two of these Abductor Virgins that serve as the boss of this exclusive little area. You can simply run by them, but that doesn’t make this trap any less devious. Getting players to fear their character is now trapped forever? That’s extremely evil.
#5. Royal Revenants
This mess of undead limbs rarely appears, but always leaves an impression. The remains are an amalgam of corpses in a spider-like combo. It attacks rapidly and unpredictably, giving end-game players a lot of trouble in the end-game areas. They turn invisible when retreating, burrowing into the ground and popping back up to spit poison or leave behind a toxic trap. These things are so tough, most players don’t bother fighting them in melee range. Just run past them or shoot them from far away.
The only effective way to fight them is with healing. Healing magic deals extreme damage to the grafted revenants, making your life so much easier while exploring the inner walls of Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree. Most of the time, I’ll just run right by these things.
#6. Preceptor Miriam
This NPC invader is so evil, we wrote an entire guide detailing exactly how to deal with them. They’re pure, distilled annoyance for melee builds. Instead of standing to fight, Miriam is always retreating. They teleport away, unleashing volleys of magic projectiles while shielding themselves behind spectral enemies. And they will just never stop retreating. When you first arrive at the Carian Study Hall, Miriam can kill your Tarnished in seconds with magic. The only good thing about Miriam is returning later to get revenge.
And the worst part? If you defeat Miriam’s first standard encounter, you’ve just wasted your time — Miriam is guarding a dead end. Then you’ll have to fight them again in the Inverted Carian Study Hall, where they’re even more annoying. Instead of fighting on safe walkways with railings, you’ll have to fight on bridges over bottomless pits. At least they’ll (rarely) roll right off the ledge accidentally in the second fight. If you’re lucky.
#7. Silver Tears
While exploring the Eternal City, the Tarnished encounter a peculiar rolling ball trap. We’ve all seen these before in video games. But this one is different. After dropping down and rolling toward the player… this giant metal orb changes directions, chasing you around the room and crushing you if you get close. This is the Silver Tear, a shape-shifting enemy that takes the form of a big iron ball.
Trying to fight these things is annoying due to their weird hitbox. They have Chariot syndrome. Just standing close to a Silver Tear orb will send your Tarnished flying. They’re not too tough to kill with a ranged weapon — and they’re so awkwardly shaped, you can lure them into a doorway to get stuck. Doesn’t make these things any less devious.
We all hate Basilisks. These gross, poison-spewing nuisances reappear completely intact from Dark Souls. They look exactly the same, but they don’t quite work exactly the same. Instead of applying a deadly Curse to players, the Basilisks of Elden Ring cause the Death Blight status effect. When your “Death” meter fills completely, you die instantly. They tend to hang out in groups, and in the worst places in the game. You’ll find them in the disgusting sewers of Lleyndell or in the Lake of Rot. Exactly the opposite of where you want to fight enemies that spew hard-to-avoid clouds of instakill poison.
There is one way to get rid of Basilisks. The Beast-Repellant Torch works at keeping Basilisks at bay. You can purchase it from the Isolated Merchant’s Shack in Dragonbarrow, Caelid. At least something will keep these things off you.
#9. Depraved Perfumers
The Depraved Perfumers of the Shaded Castle are some of the cruelest regular enemies in the game. They’re strong, lightning-fast opponents that spritz deadly perfume all over — and when you’re trudging through the poison-flooded Shaded Castle, there’s not much room to safely maneuver. Even worse? These guys can heal themselves.
And even worse, all their perfume attacks go right through your shield. They spritz perfume, then ignite it — the explosion is so fast and huge, you’re bound to get rocked by it a few times. They’re fast, hard to kill, and have an annoying ability that’s dangerous close to an explosive spray from a Basilisk. That’s what makes these guys one of the evilest enemies in Elden Ring.
#10. Tree Sentinel Duo
The hardest “boss” in Elden Ring isn’t really a boss at all. These two lummox knights guard Lleyndell, Royal Capitol’s main entrance. Almost all of us are going to ignore these guys and use the north entrance instead. Tree Sentinels are heavy mounted knights that are pretty tough solo. Combine two of them and they’re almost impossible, especially at your level when you first arrive in Altus Plateau.
Just getting to the pair is a pain. A gauntlet of enemies guards the steps to Lleyndell, with these guys serving as the main attraction. While you’re focusing on one, the other will roll over you like a wrecking ball. Your typical Elden Ring player clenches their teeth just thinking about these guys. Thankfully they’re totally optional, and not quite as evil as the last two entries on our list.
#11. Ordina, Liturgical Town Black Knife Assassins
The second most-cruel enemies in Elden Ring. The invisible assassins of Ordina, Liturgical Town are an endless nightmare. After passing through an Evergaol gate, you’ll enter an alternate version of the town that is completely populated by sniping rooftop lurkers and invisible assassins that can quickly kill with ambush attacks. The Black Knife Assassins only appear briefly when attacked or after attacking you, and they retreat rapidly, hiding in the fog and preparing to strike again. There are so many of them, you’re better off just avoiding the ground altogether.
Seriously, these guys are pure evil. And they’re not even the worst enemies in Elden Right. There’s one creature that’s the true epitome of cruelty.
#12. Brace of the Haligtree Ulcerated Tree Spirit
This is it. The most aggravatingly awful enemy of Elden Ring. The most Miyazaki of Miyazaki bad guys. The twisted Ulcerated Tree Spirits are some of the most dangerous, chaotic creatures you’ll ever face — what if you have to fight one of those nightmares in a tiny room that’s flooded with knee-deep Scarlet Rot sludge. This creature must be destroyed to complete Millicent’s questline.
There’s also a Dragonkin Soldier miniboss in the Lake of Rot — but that thing is totally optional. The only reason it exists is to piss players off. The Haligtree Ulcerated Tree Spirit is Miyazaki’s worst impulses. We have an infinite poison swamp, with a twisted poison monster writhing around inside, and you have to kill it while getting supremely poisoned. Everything awful about Elden Ring rolled up in one obnoxious encounter.
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