How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (2024)

The Leda boss fight in Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC pits you against multiple adversaries, even if you play your cards well and do right by everybody you meet. It might not have the air of spectacle that some of the other DLC boss fights do, but facing several skilled foes at once is no easy feat.

This Elden Ring DLC guide explains how to beat Leda the Needle Knight and her allies, including a full list of allies, their weaknesses, and what to expect from each.

Leda location in Elden Ring DLC

Leda and her allies are waiting for you in the Cleansing Chamber of Enir-Ilim, Shadow of the Erdtree’s final dungeon. The nearest site of grace is just before that point, in the Cleansing Room Antechamber, and you have to initiate this battle by interacting with the red summon sign she leaves on the floor.

Do you have to fight Leda in Elden Ring DLC?

Leda is a mandatory boss, and there’s no way to avoid fighting her. After Miquella’s Great Rune breaks, she thinks more clearly about the people she traveled to the Land of Shadow with and realizes why you’re actually there. There’s no way you can reconcile your character’s desire to become Elden Lord with Leda’s wish to see Miquella achieve that status.

Full Leda allies list

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (1) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Which of the pilgrims who ventured to the Land of Shadow with you end up fighting by Leda’s side depends on choices you make during Shadow of the Erdtree’s NPC quests. If you ignore all the NPCs, you’ll end up facing:

  • Leda
  • Moore
  • Ansbach
  • Hornsent
  • Dryleaf Dane

Redmane Freyja is an outlier here. She only joins Leda if you give her Ansbach’s letter, so she knows what Miquella has in store for Radahn. If she never gets the letter, she’ll join you. You can complete Ansbach’s quest without giving Freyja the letter, though you’ll miss out on her sword and shield.

Dane always fights with Leda. Moore fights with Leda if you tell him to leave his sadness behind. If you don’t want to kill Moore, you’re actually out of luck as far as we can tell. The only way to not fight Moore is to tell him to be sad forever, after which he’ll either disappear or drink Thiollier’s black syrup poison.

Ansbach joins Leda if you don’t give him the Secret Rite Scroll from Shadow Keep. If you do give him the Scroll, you can summon him instead. Completing Thiollier’s quest before burning the Sealing Tree in Rauh Ruins also lets you summon Thiollier against Leda.

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (2) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Determining Hornsent’s allegiance is a bit more complicated. If you summon him against Messmer and didn’t aid him against Leda when Leda invades him in Shadow Keep, he’ll invade you before the Romina boss fight and then join Leda. If you help him against Leda, it seems like he decides you’re the one good Tarnished and sticks around to help you.

I summoned him against Messmer and skipped Leda’s invasion of him completely. He invaded me before Romina and didn’t show up during the Leda fight.

Leda weaknesses and how to prepare

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (3) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Leda and any ally she brings with her share a similar set of weaknesses, which they also share with all human and human-adjacent invading NPCs. They’re all weak to Frostbite and blood loss, and if you’re using the Deadly Poison Perfume Bottles or other poison weapons, you may have some luck whittling their HP down that way as well, though Moore seems to be the exception there.

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (4) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

The tricky part about this fight is that, depending on how you handled NPC quests, you’re dealing with roughly four strong enemies at once. Tempting as it may be to bring magic that targets a wide area to this fight... don’t. You’ll want to keep enemy attention on your Spirit Ash summon and any NPC allies who join you, so stick to single-target attacks and one enemy at a time.

Whatever weapon saw you through to this point will more than likely carry you through the Leda boss fight as well. If you’re running a melee build, consider bringing a standard weapon, such as Milady or the Backhand Blade, infused with Blood or Cold Ashes of War to help exploit weaknesses.

Agile and durable Spirit Ash summons are your best bet for these battles. The Mimic Tear remains one of the best choices, though Ancient Dragon Florissax, the Jolan and Anna Puppets, and Black Knife Tiche are all strong alternatives.

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (5) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Enough Scadutree Fragments to raise your blessing level to 10 or higher should see you through this fight, and you’ll want enough Revered Spirit Ash to hit level eight or higher.

How to beat Leda the Needle Knight in Elden RIng DLC

Leda joins the fight after a few minutes, usually once at least one of her allies has died. Leda’s attacks haven’t changed since she appeared as a helper against Rellana or in any of the Needle Knight’s subsequent invasions. She uses a series of thrusting attacks with her sword, occasionally calls down a disc of holy light to smite foes in front of her, and will summon a wider disc of holy light around her. That one spins and deals repeated damage to anyone caught in it.

Dodge backwards away from her holy attacks, and parry or evade her sword strikes as you would with any invading NPC or human character.

How to beat Dryleaf Dane

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (6) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Dryleaf Dane also hasn’t changed since you first fought him in Moorth Ruins. He uses his special Dryleaf punch and kick moves, which can stagger you and interrupt your attacks, and he’ll occasionally stop to sling some holy-aligned Incantations at you. The casting time for these is long enough for you to attack and interrupt him with your weapon or your own spells. Dane is a fast fellow and often evades your hits, but he seems to have a harder time avoiding jump attacks, especially if he’s just finished a combo of his own.

How to beat Redmane Freyja

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (7) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Freyja is extremely powerful, though she’s slow and can be overwhelmed with heavy spells and weapons. Her attacks include a basic overhead sword attack, a jumping attack, and a few straightforward sword slashes, all of which you can evade by dodging in any direction. She’s prone to being staggered if you hit her with a Greatsword or Colossal Weapon, and you can land two hits before she finally dodges away. Evade her next attack, then start the process again.

The biggest issue with Freyja is her shield skill. The shield emits a roar that staggers you, before Freyja rushes in with a slam attack. The range is pretty long, and she tends to use it when you’re casting a spell or preparing a skill. A more straightforward approach with weapon attacks or long-distance spells is best for Freyja.

How to beat Ansbach

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (8) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Ansbach fights with a large scythe that builds the blood loss meter quickly, and he’s agile despite his age. However, he’s also prone to being staggered like Freyja, so a good strategy for him is to dodge forward to evade his scythe strikes and attack with your own weapon. He’ll also create a horizontal slash of bloodflame similar to Mohg, so don’t stay too close to him for long.

If you’re casting spells, use Incantations or Sorceries with a long reach – Gavel of Haima and Glintstone Icecrag, for example, or Spira and Golden Arcs – should keep you safe while dealing enough damage to end this fight quickly.

How to beat Moore

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (9) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Moore is the most dangerous of Leda’s allies, despite only having a few attacks. He’ll guard with his shield, dodge to evade, and occasionally rush you, which is all pretty passive and normal. Once every 15 seconds or so, he’ll also throw a rot bomb that instantly causes Scarlet Rot and takes a big chunk out of your HP bar. Keep Neutralizing Boluses on hand, and consider defeating him first. The actual process of defeating him is comparatively straightforward. Overwhelm him with physical attacks or continue casting quick, powerful spells to bring him down quickly.

How to beat Hornsent

How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (10) Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Hornsent’s attacks overwhelm you quickly and build the blood loss meter with every strike. Siding with Leda against him and defeating him before Romina is a good idea. If he does show up, though, you’ll want to dodge forward to evade his sword flurry attacks and follow up with a counter of your own. Heavy weapons interrupt his combos, and if you’re casting spells, make sure to use spells with short casting times.

Once the battle ends, you can scavenge the bodies of your erstwhile traveling companions to get their weapons, armor, and Moore’s Bell Bearing. NPCs who joined you will be available for the final mandatory boss fight, and they give up their goods after that.

Looking for more Shadow of the Erdtree guides? Check out our guides on new Elden Ring DLC weapons, armor, bosses, map fragments, sites of grace, and talismans. We’ve also got location guides on where to find Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ashes, and an interactive Elden Ring DLC map.

  1. Polygon
  2. Elden Ring DLC guides
  3. Interactive map
  4. What to do first
  5. DLC map fragment locations
  6. Scadutree Fragments
How to beat Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (2024)

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