Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – Are You Prepared?
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Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – Are You Prepared?

With just one week left until the release of Shadow of the Erdtree, it’s time to ask yourself: are you ready? Is your character prepared? Is your save file set? Are you ready to dive into the DLC? In this article, we’ll discuss how to ensure you’re fully prepared and what steps you should take in the coming week.

How to Prepare for the Elden Ring DLC

This article is meant to help you get ready to tackle on the challenging content coming with the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion for Elden Ring. You should already be familiar with these tools, but make sure to use our Elden Ring Map and Elden Ring Builds to find everything you need for your run!

Optimize Your Character

First, let’s discuss character level and the recommended level for your character. During the recent play sessions, characters were set at level 150 to play the demo, suggesting that the developers recommend this level for the area. The DLC’s difficulty is comparable to the end game of Elden Ring, similar to areas like the Mountaintops of the Giants or Miquella’s Haligtree. These beginning areas of the DLC will likely match this difficulty and become more challenging as you progress. Therefore, your character should be around level 150.

Additionally, enemies in the DLC hit significantly harder than those in the base game. The Scadutree Fragments, which increase both your damage protection and output, will gradually reduce the damage you take from enemies. However, initially, without these fragments, you will take substantial damage from even regular foes. Hence, having a good health pool is crucial at the beginning. Aim for at least 50 or 60 vigor or consider using a talisman that boosts your HP. Do not neglect your vigor; ensure it is sufficient and that your character level is high enough to manage end game content effectively.

Stock Up On Flasks

Next, ensure you have a substantial number of Golden Seeds and Sacred Tears, and that you’ve used them at Sites of Grace to upgrade both the number and effectiveness of your flasks. Entering the DLC with too few flasks puts you at a significant disadvantage, regardless of your character level. Even at levels 200 or 250, having only five flasks will make the experience much more difficult. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a good number of flasks that are significantly upgraded, though they don’t need to be maxed out. Personally, I have mine upgraded to about 90-95%, which is sufficient for an average player like me.

To ensure you’re well-prepared, check our Elden Ring map for the locations of Golden Seeds and Sacred Tears. If you need a few more before starting the DLC, use the map to easily find and collect them, saving you a lot of time and effort.

Unlock Talisman Pouches

Next, you’ll want to obtain Talisman Pouches. You start the game with only one Talisman Slot and unlock more as you progress. Here’s how you get them:

  1. Defeat Margit, the Fell Omen: This gives you a second Talisman Slot.
  2. Obtain two Great Runes and speak to Finger Reader Enia: Defeating bosses like Godrick the Grafted and Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, and then talking to Enia, will grant you a third Talisman Slot.
  3. Defeat Godfrey, First Elden Lord: Located at the end of the Leyndell, Royal Capital, this boss gives you the fourth Talisman Slot.

These steps mean you’ll need to be well into the game to have all four Talisman Slots. While you can enter the DLC with fewer slots, having all of them helps, especially if you’re a bit under-leveled or have fewer flasks. Ensure you have all Talisman Slots for the best experience.

If you’re using an existing character that has already completed the game, this won’t be an issue.

Upgrade Your Arsenal

Now, consider upgrade materials and Bell Bearings. Ensure your primary weapon, whether it’s a melee weapon or talisman, is maxed out to maximize your damage output. Additionally, have a stockpile of upgrade materials ready for any new equipment you find, such as weapons or shields.

Make sure you have collected the necessary Bell Bearings to purchase upgrade materials. If you can’t remember their locations, check our wiki for details. It’s a good idea to farm and purchase a surplus of these materials in advance. This way, if you discover a new weapon you want to upgrade quickly, you’ll be prepared.

Being ready with upgrade materials will save you the frustration of having to farm them later. Prepare ahead of time so you can immediately enhance any new gear you find in the DLC.

Conquer Key Bosses

Next is defeating Starscourge Radahn and Mogh, Lord of Blood, to access the DLC through Mohgwyn Palace. If you haven’t done this yet, you’ll need to before entering the DLC. If your character is near endgame or has already completed the game, you’ve likely already defeated these bosses.

Mogh can be particularly challenging to reach if you don’t follow the invasion route via White Mask Varre’s quest line. The details of this quest are on the wiki, so you can refer to it to expedite the process for a new character.

Both Radahn and Mogh are among the tougher bosses in Elden Ring. If you can defeat them, your build is likely strong enough for the DLC. If you struggle significantly against these bosses, you might also struggle in the DLC. Use these battles as a litmus test to evaluate your build. If you can barely defeat Mogh and Radahn, you might need to make adjustments. While learning the movesets of bosses can improve your performance, the ability to handle these fights indicates whether your build is ready for the DLC.

Build Your Build

This leads to the next point: ensuring your build is fully prepared. Make sure you have all the talismans, spells, or incantations you need. Essentially, have everything ready for your build. One crucial recommendation for the DLC is to include a ranged option. Whether you usually play melee or ranged, having at least one ranged attack method is highly advisable.

Many experienced players, myself included, can anticipate enemy positions and easily handle them after hundreds or even thousands of hours of gameplay. However, when exploring a new area, you might encounter enemies in elevated positions or at a distance who can attack you from afar. Without a ranged option, you won’t be able to retaliate effectively. Ensure you have a ranged attack in your arsenal, whether it’s spells, a bow, or throwing items, so you can deal with distant enemies even if your primary build is melee-focused.

Consider Stance Damage

Another important point is that builds focusing on stance damage might not be as effective early in the DLC. In New Game Plus and subsequent cycles, enemies have larger health pools and deal more damage, making it feel like starting the game anew. Initially, I theorized that stance damage would be a good strategy, but its effectiveness heavily relies on knowing the stance values of bosses.

These stance values (e.g., 80, 90, 110) allow you to calculate how many hits are needed to stagger a boss using specific Ash of War or weapon skills. However, this information won’t be available immediately and could take a week or two to gather and update on the wiki. Without this data, stance damage builds might not be fully optimized at the start of the DLC. Bosses may have higher stance values, potentially making this strategy less effective.

This doesn’t mean stance damage builds are bad or won’t work, but you might need to adjust your build once you have more information about the enemies. Be prepared to tweak your approach as you learn how many hits it takes to stagger different enemies.

Be Respec Ready

Another important preparation step is stocking up on Larval Tears before entering the DLC. Larval Tears allow you to respec your character at Rennala. As you encounter new and intriguing weapons in the DLC, you might want to try them out. However, you may not meet the stat requirements or your current build might not be optimized for them. For example, if your points are mainly in intelligence but the new weapon scales with strength, you’ll need to respec to use it effectively.

Ensure you have a good supply of Larval Tears. You can find their locations on our map or wiki. Having plenty of Larval Tears on hand will allow you to respec and experiment with new weapons as you find them, ensuring you can adapt your build to take full advantage of the DLC’s offerings. This will help you enjoy the game more and make the most of the new content.

Save Your Saves

Finally, once you’ve prepared your character for the DLC—reached level 150, collected all Golden Seeds, Sacred Tears, Talismans, upgrade materials, defeated the necessary bosses, and optimized your build—consider backing up your save. Regardless of the platform, having a backup is beneficial. On PC, you can manually copy your save file to a folder on your desktop. For PlayStation, use a USB drive, and for Xbox, follow the console’s backup process.

Backing up your save allows you to replay the DLC without going through the entire game again. Whether you missed something, messed up an NPC quest line, or simply want to experience the DLC with a different build, a save backup lets you start from your prepared point. This saves time and effort, making it easier to enjoy the DLC multiple times.

That concludes our guide on preparing for the Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree. By now, hopefully, most of you have completed or are nearing completion of these preparations, with just a week remaining or final tasks to wrap up. It would be disappointing to eagerly await the DLC’s release only to realize your character hasn’t defeated Mogh or Radahn, preventing you from diving in right away. Ensure you complete these steps ahead of time so that when Shadow of the Erdtree launches, you’re ready to jump straight into the action.

If there are any tips I missed or aspects I overlooked, please share them in the comments. Feel free to ask any questions as well; I’ll do my best to answer them. We have more Elden Ring content planned leading up to the DLC’s release on the 21st, so stay tuned. I’m considering various ideas for Shadow of the Erdtree DLC content, but if you have suggestions, please share them below. Your feedback is appreciated!

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2 responses to “Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – Are You Prepared?”

  1. So my build right now is a Faith/Str build that utilizes beastial incantations and the blasphemous blade. Based on what I’ve seen from your and FromSoftwares footage, it looks like Fire damage won’t be nearly as effective in the DLC… Can you confirm this?

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