How to beat or cheese Messmer the Impaler in Elden Ring DLC

messmer elden ring

Messmer acts as the poster boss for the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC and he has the strength to back it up, but strategies and cheese tactics can make beating him a breeze. 

FromSoftware DLCs have a reputation for being tougher than the base games, and many Elden Ring players agree. One of the main bosses and of the DLC is Messmer the Impaler, a demigod who utilizes fire and snakes, but not in the way his sibling Rykard did.

Waiting in the Shadow Keep, Messmer the Impaler is a mandatory boss to progress in the Land of Shadows’ main quest. His quick and powerful attacks make him hard to beat, but the demigod, like other bosses, has weaknesses players can utilize. If all else fails, Messmer can also be cheesed using a solid strategy requiring patience and a lot of stabbing.

How to beat the Messmer the Impaler in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree?

Players can defeat Messmer the Impaler by exploiting his weakness to bleed and frostbite.

Like every mandatory boss in the DLC, Messmer has two phases that players must be aware of. The first phase has him attacking with his spear and flames, while the second sees him turn into a giant snake for some attacks. While it’s essential to memorize his combos to defeat him, most of his attacks require players to roll in to be effectively avoided.

Messmer introduction screenshot

While Messmer resists lightning and fire, he is weak to bleed and frostbite. Bleed buildup is extremely powerful in Elden Ring, and the DLC didn’t change that. While it’s a viable or preferred strategy on almost every boss, including others in the Elden Ring DLC, it’s strong on Messmer to the point of being cheese.

Blood Grease or weapons like the Rivers of Blood can inflict huge damage and repeatedly pop his bleed quickly. Add the Stonebarb Cracked Tear into a Wondrous Physick and players can easily stagger Messmer to get some critical attacks.

Making matters easier is that there are two possible NPC summons that can be done inside the boss arena. These are particularly helpful as they subvert the HP boost that bosses get after the player summons help. The summon icons are found on either side of the entryway inside the boss arena

Those who spoke with Hornsent at the Highroad Cross site of grace can summon him, assuming he’s still alive. Instead of his summon sign being outside the arena, players must locate it while fighting Messmer in his battle area. Those who killed the Hornsent have another option in Count Ymir’s sidekick, Swordhand of Night Jolan. If the player has started Ymir’s questline but hasn’t finished it, Jolan’s summon sign appears in the arena.

Add a Mimic Tear or similar Spirit Ash summon to the fray and players have two meatshields that can help distract Messmer as they proc hemorrhages through bleed buildup.

Base Serpent Messmer

Messmer’s second phase begins when his health drops to 50%, at which a cutscene plays. The boss doesn’t wait for the player to catch their breath and instantly charges with a downward slam attack in his snake form that causes an explosion. While Messmer has a couple of new moves in this phase, the same strategy as the first phase should work, especially if Hornsent and the player’s Spirit Ash summon are still alive. 

Messmer the Impaler in Shadow of the Erdtree story trailer for Elden Ring

This phase’s most dangerous attack is when multiple snakes charge at the player in a seemingly unavoidable onslaught of attacks. If Messmer’s isn’t focused on one of the summons, players can avoid this by running. Despite looking massive, the attack has limited range. 

How to cheese Messmer in the Elden Ring DLC

Players can cheese Messmer by stacking instances of bleed buildup.

First, players must acquire a spear with bleed buildup and pair it with a heavy greatshield. The Cross Naginata spear and Fingerprint Stone Shield are both good options, but players can choose what they’re comfortable with. The spear should be well-leveled and have a blood-related Ash of War like Seppuku to increase Bleed buildup. Having armor with fire negation is a huge plus, as that’s how Messmer deals most of his dangerous attacks. 

How the player should fight Messmer in Elden Ring

When it comes to talismans, use the Green Turtle Talisman, Great-Jar’s Arsenal, Viridian Amber Medallion, and the Flamedrake Talisman. Finally, the player should add the Greenburst Crystal Tear and Leaden Hardtear in their Wondrous Physick for increased stamina and poise. Summoning the Mimic Tear and one of the NPCs is great, as they can all contribute to bleed buildup. 

The heavy greatshield, bloody Cross Naginata, and summons give the player incredible defensive options. The summons divert Messmer’s offense while the heavy greatshield lets players tank him while the summons deal bleed damage.

This strategy works for both phases. While most of his attacks can be blocked, those that cause fire explosions must be dodged as they’re unblockable.

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Written by Hannan Mundia

Hannan Mundia has been playing video games since he was just three years old. He loves everything about gaming, from RPGs to first-person shooters. He has sunk countless hours into Bethesda's popular RPGs, but his favorite game remains Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. His writing has also been featured on Fandom Spot, and you can follow him on Twitter / X at @zombiezomz.

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