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How to beat Bayle the Dread in ER Shadow of the Erdtree

Having trouble with this vile dragon? Here’s some help beating Bayle the Dread in Shadow of the Erdtree.

The player stands just outside the arena of boss, Bayle the Dread, in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree is packed with formidable foes, but none are quite as brutal as Bayle the Dread. Considering you’re here, you probably agree; Bayle the Dread hits hard, and during the fight with him, he is incredibly unforgiving. It can be hard to catch a breath without a summon to hand, and even then, Bayle boasts plenty of AoE moves.

Using the help and tools that Shadow of the Erdtree kits you out with prior to this fight does make things more manageable, however. That, and simply knowing what to expect from the vile opponent. So without further ado, here’s how to beat Bayle the Dread in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.

There are spoilers ahead for Bayle the Dread’s fight, Igon’s quest, and the Dragon Priestess’ quest.

How to beat Bayle the Dread in ER Shadow of the Erdtree

First things first, you’ll want to track Bayle the Dread down in Shadow of the Erdtree if you haven’t already. He’s found at the summit of Jagged Peak, which is easily climbed by following the linear path east of Dragon’s Pit Terminus.

The route from the Jagged Peak Drake to Bayle the Dread is labelled on the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree map
Here’s where you’ll find Bayle. Though, we recommend meeting Igon and the Dragon Priestess before this fight. | Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

Before running off to Bayle’s arena, we recommend starting Igon’s quest and beating the Jagged Peak Drake along the way to Bayle’s arena, as this then gives you access to his summon during the fight.

You’ll also likely want to pay a visit to the Grand Altar of Dragon Communion south of Dragon’s Pit Terminus, as the Priestess here can additionally kit you out with an Ancient Dragon’s Blessing. This is a consumable that uses FP to negate all damage types for a time, and it is very useful during the fight with Bayle.

I also recommend equipping a Boltdrake and Flamedrake Talisman if you have them, as well as Crimson Seed Talisman if your Vigor is any lower than 60. In my experience, Bayle was capable of one-shotting me with his most fatal attacks at 58 Vigor. When I added Crimson Seed Talisman+3 to my build, however, I could survive those attacks and found the fight more forgiving, so it’s worth giving a whirl if you’re struggling.

Remember the Ancient Dragon Man at Dragon’s Pit? He also drops a damn good weapon for this fight: the Ancient Dragon Hunter’s Great Katana. This is an anti-dragon weapon, and the Weapon Skill can take off decent chunks of Bayle’s health compared to the other weapons I was trying to use: Rivers of Blood and Bloodhound’s Fang.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about how to beat Bayle the Dread.

Bayle the Dread Phase 1

Bayle the Dread’s first phase typically lasts until he is between 50-60% HP, and during this portion of the fight, it’s much easier to dance around his attacks than later on.

If you completed the first few steps of Igon’s quest and beat the Jagged Peak Drake, his summon sign will be on the floor in Bayle’s arena. And because he is available inside the arena, his HP will be infinite for the fight, and him being present doesn’t bolster Bayle’s health pool.

So, there are really no cons when it comes to summoning Igon. You also need to summon him to fully complete his quest and get his gear, so we recommend doing so. Though, the decision to summon is up to you.

As for Bayle the Dread’s moveset during this portion of the fight, you have a lot to keep track of. First and foremost, he’s likely to spit lightning breath at you upon entering the arena if you try to summon Spirit Ashes instantly; these are easily dodged by . Alternatively, he can immediately dive in and attack you with a sweep of his wing or a stomp. So, we recommend summoning Igon as quickly as possible and preparing to dodge - or sprint.

It’s also important to bear in mind that Bayle takes the most damage when you attack his head, so aim to do so. Attacking his body and tail, however, still works.

Aside from lightning breath, and him crashing down on you with his wings or feet, you’ll also need to watch out for his tail. Even if it looks like he is locked onto Igon, Bayle can still spin around quickly and smack you about with his tail.

There are also two particularly brutal attacks to look out for. Without lots of Vigor and damage mitigation from Talismans or wherever else, these two attacks can easily end the fight. First, look out for when Bayle runs at you with his mouth open. He’ll quickly swoop in to bite you, and if he catches you, prepare to start the fight over. He’ll munch on you before spitting you out if you manage to live through it, though.

The next brutal attack is when Bayle goes up into the air and flies over you. He’ll imminently crash his whole body down onto you, knocking you down. And if you survive it, you have a really short window to get to safety and heal before he attacks again.

Bayle the Dread Phase 2

As Bayle the Dread enters a very fiery second phase, this is when we recommend using the Ancient Dragon’s Blessing if you can catch a moment to do so. Additionally, if you want to use Spirit Ashes for the fight, we also recommend summoning them during Bayle’s second phase, or just before it.

The transition into his second phase will see Bayle stand still and create fiery marks on the ground. You want to run away before this attack finishes, as the fiery marks will explode and rupture the ground, dealing devastating damage.

After the transition, Bayle is even more mobile, and utilizes even more lightning breath. You can expect him to conjure spectral wings and begin flying around the arena multiple times during this phase. When this happens, you’ll want to dodge the flaming projectiles he casts at you and prepare for him to dive at you when he’s done. This can be easily missed by dodging into him.

Similarly, Bayle can fly up and spit lightning breath at you, which seems a lot like the prior attack. Though, rather than swooping in at you, he can catch you off guard by instead firing a beam of lightning breath at you, so watch out and always be prepared to dodge into him or to the side of his lightning breath attacks. Just don’t do what I did and start dodging early out of sheer panic… It doesn’t end well.

When Bayle swoops in on you, you can easily get in one or two hits following his attack. While I often found it hard to target his head given the risk of lightning breath and bite attacks, I found that being underneath him and attacking was fruitful for the most part. It can be hard to keep an eye on what attack Bayle is lining up next while wailing away at him from beneath him, so be cautious and run back if you ever see signs of lightning.

If you find yourself being beaten to a complete pulp by Bayle the Dread, that’s okay. He’s one of the hardest bosses in Shadow of the Erdtree and is best left until later in your run when you have more Shadow Realm Blessing upgrades, so don’t worry about leaving him for now and coming back later.

What to do after beating Bayle the Dread in ER Shadow of the Erdtree

Once you finally beat Bayle the Dread in Shadow of the Erdtree, congratulations are in order. He’s no easy feat! You’ll receive Bayle’s Heart as a reward which you can trade for one of two Incantations at the Grand Altar of Dragon Communion: Bayle’s Flame Lightning or Bayle’s Tyranny.

The rewards that can be received from Bayle's Heart at the Grand Altar of Dragon Communion in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree are shown
Which one will you choose? | Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

While here, you’ll notice the Dragon Priestess is gone. Behind, she leaves the Priestess Heart which can turn you into a dragon while unrobed, and the Flowerstone Gavel weapon which is an impressive anti-dragon hammer.

Be sure to revisit Igon where you fought the Jagged Peak Drake, too. You will be able to collect his gear, Greatbow, and Bell Bearing. That’s it for Bayle, Igon, the Priestess, and all-things dragons for now!

For more on Shadow of the Erdtree, take a look at our guide on how to beat Rellana, or how to skip Rellana entirely if you fancy. We’ve also a guide for another of the DLC’s tougher bosses, Commander Gaius.

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