Elden Ring: How To Defeat Commander O’Neil

Commander O'Neil
Commander O'Neil

NOTE: not to be confused with Commander Niall.

Commander O’Neil is a boss in Elden Ring that can pose quite the challenge for players who like to go in alone.

To find Commander O’Neil, you’ll need to head to the Inner Aeonia Site of Grace in Caelid.

site of grace location
Site of Grace location

From the Site of Grace, head southeast into a part of the swamp surrounded by dead trees. Inside, Commander O’Neil awaits your challenge.

O'Neil Location
O’Neil Location

O’Neil is standing alone in the middle of the dry patch of swamp. When you approach, he’ll begin to wave his staff around as he summons the first wave of reinforcements. True to his name, Commander O’Neil commands squads of summoned troops who will aid him in his fight against you. These troops are the main issue when fighting against O’Neil and should be your first priority in your fight.

If you came up from the Inner Aeonia Site of Grace, the best thing to do is keep O’Neil in the right part of your screen and watch as the summons begin to spawn. The two closest summons can easily be killed before they have any time to react and O’Neil starts moving.

Now, your biggest advantage is just how slowly O’Neil moves. You want to lure him down away from the summons he spawned in. He will walk after you but he won’t sprint. He only has one speed, so just make sure you are watching out for any incoming arrows.

Once he is a safe distance away from his allies, sprint away from him and take the rest of the summons out. He won’t spawn anymore until he only has about one-third of his health left.

Randomly, O’Neil can give his summons additional buffs like damage boosts and damage negation, however, both are temporary and if you find they’re too much to handle, you can wait them out by kiting O’Neil around the arena.

Commander O'Neil
Commander O’Neil

Commander O’Neil himself only has a few moves. If you are close to him, his standard attack is often 4 distinct swipes starting from his right side and alternating. If you see he’s going to follow up with a fourth consecutive swing, you can bet that he’ll be using a move that will leave him open for you.

This can look two ways: the first is a standard downward swing that will leave him open for several seconds originating from his right side and the second is a devastating blood-loss attack. The blood-loss attack is illustrated by O’Neil swinging his staff around creating a giant gust of wind that begins to curl around him until he swings his weapon down. He won’t overextend when he brings it down, so if you stay just a little out of reach when he swings, you’ll have more than enough time to counterattack as he is open for a couple seconds.

Of course, you need to be patient. O’Neil will often stop his consecutive attacks short if you wander too far away or he might even go right into his blood-loss attack which means you get to counterattack sooner if you are positioned correctly.

Commander O'Neil
Commander O’Neil

Watch out for his more devastating blood-loss move. It’s signified by O’Neil crouching down almost in the fetal position while a massive scarlet gust of wind swirls around him. Get away as fast as you can as this move attacks multiple times, has a giant damage radius, and can kill if you get stuck in it.

When the big attack finishes, O’Neil will be vulnerable for longer than usual, but you’ll also be further away. Don’t worry if you can’t follow up after this move: It doesn’t happen often so you shouldn’t have to rely on it to whittle down his health too much.

When he’s down to one-third health, he will begin swinging his staff around to summon more troops. Now, you can get a few free hits in while he summons. Once he stops moving, back off and begin looking for the three ax-wielding troops that spawned in.

Commander O'Neil
Commander O’Neil

These guys will follow you around, so it’s best to kite them away from O’Neil and hit them when they miss a swing. If you’re having trouble with the timing, feel free to use a summon here as the ax troops can be relentless. Once they’re dispatched, continue fighting O’Neil as you were before until you finally defeat him.

For your troubles, you’ll be rewarded with 12,000 runes, the Commander’s Standard, and the Unalloyed Gold Needle, which you need to take to Serge Gowry.

Elden Ring is available on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X & S, and Xbox One.

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