Elden Ring War-Dead Catacombs Guide: How to Beat the Putrid Tree Spirit
Radahn's boss arena is so big that it hides away some catacombs.
Throughout Elden Ring, you're likely going to recruit the help of summons from time to time. When you're facing a tricky fight, summoning your Jellyfish, Glintstone Sorcerer, or Black Knife Tiche can make the different between defeat and victory. However, for them to prove useful throughout your journey, you'll want to collect the best Spirit Ashes, and an abundance of upgrade materials for them.
Fortunately, War-Dead Catacombs in Caelid provides both. Not only can you grab some Spirit Ashes while in this dungeon, but you'll be able to collect some Grave Glovewort and Ghost Glovewort to help you with upgrading them, too. Additionally, if you like using gravity magic, there's a fun spell to be found.
Without further ado, here's how to make your way through War-Dead Catacombs and loot every item, as well as how to beat the dungeon boss, a Putrid Tree Spirit.
War-Dead Catacombs Items
- Grave Violet
- Grave Glovewort
- Ghost Glovewort
- Golden Rune
- Magic Grease
- Silver Pickled Fowl Foot
- Collapsing Stars
- Golden Seed
- Radahn Soldier Ashes
- Redmane Knight Ogha Ashes
How to make your way through War-Dead Catacombs
First things first, the War-Dead Catacombs can only be accessed after you have fought with and felled Starscourge Radahn. While at Radahn's huge boss arena, you'll need to travel to the northernmost corner to locate the catacombs.
Collect the Site of Grace and go down the stairs. You'll come to a room where various spectral figures of Radahn's Soldiers and Cleanrot Knights are fighting each other. Ignore them, try to avoid catching their attention, and go up the stairs on your left.
If you follow the stairs round to another set of stairs, you can collect a piece of Grave Glovewort and then jump down to the lower level. Down here, there's a lot of Scarlet Rot. So, make sure to have Preserving Boluses, plenty of health flasks, or the 'Flame, Cleanse Me' spell to stop you from dying to rot.
There'll be more spectral enemies down here, but also a chest containing the Collapsing Stars spell. If you explore the rest of the room, a Golden Rune can be looted from the corpse in the middle, while a Silver Pickled Fowl Foot can be looted from the corpse in a far corner of the room.
In the corner opposite the corpse that had the Silver Pickled Fowl Foot, you can exit the room. The next room is full of grass, and there will also be some Fanged Imps lurking. At the back of the room, there is more Grave Glovewort.
Go back into the room of rot, and head forward and slightly right towards the set of stairs. Go up these and you'll find yourself in the first room where the spectral knights and soldiers were fighting each other.
The corpse in the middle of the room has x3 Magic Grease to loot, then, go up the stairs to in the far right corner of the room. Watch out for the soldier up here who will try to fire gravity magic projectiles at you, and go down the passage to your left.
Take caution of the soldiers again, and there will be another archer at the end of the passage to take care of. Continue along this route to reach another room with soldiers and Grave Glovewort. From here, continue straight on rather than going along the passage to the right.
At the end of the next room, there'll be another soldier to fell, but also more Grave Glovewort and an abundance of Grave Violet. Now, go back on yourself and to the left, you can jump through a small window and down into another room.
In this room, ascend up the stairs and clear out the Fanged Imps. You'll come to a room with yet another floor of Scarlet Rot, and a spectral Cleanrot Knight. Once they're taken care of, you can loot the corpse in the room of Radahn Soldier Ashes.
Leave the small room and take a left. Once again, you'll find yourself in the first room of the dungeon, and there'll be some more Grave Glovewort. Pull the lever to your left and collect the Grave Violet here.
Next, jump down from the lever and run directly to the end of the room and down the stairs. Through the next door will be the dungeon boss, a Putrid Tree Spirit.
How to beat the Putrid Tree Spirit of War-Dead Catacombs
The Putrid Tree Spirit is one of many grotesque, rotting tree spirit enemies across The Lands Between. If you're low-levelled, you're going to have an especially tough time with this one. Although, you did fell Radahn, so you're capable.
That being said, you don't have multiple summons for this fight, and nor do you have a huge arena to play around in. While the arena is relatively sizeable, the Putrid Tree Spirit is also huge. So, when it takes you a moment to run from one end of the room to the other, keep in mind that the Putrid Tree Spirit can catch up with you and attack ruthlessly with ease.
When it comes to strengths and weaknesses, the Putrid Tree Spirit has a few that you ought to be aware of before battle. First, they have a relatively strong resistance to Magic, Poison, Scarlet Rot, and Bleed damage, and can also absorb 40% of Holy damage. For their weaknesses, however, the spirit has no resistances whatsoever to any physical attacks, and will take 20% additional damage from Fire attacks.
With this in mind, a fight with a Putrid Tree Spirit is going to be a breeze for anyone running a Blackflame build, or anyone who's chosen to focus on a melee build. If your build isn't quite up to scratch for this fight, do not fear, as there are plenty of other approaches to taking the spirit on.
First things first, this spirit will use Scarlet Rot against you, and can even conjure a huge explosion of it that you'll need to dodge. Be sure to equip talismans such as Kindred of Rot's Exultation or use an incantation such as 'Flame, Cleanse Me', to prevent you from becoming victim to the rot.
As for the Putrid Tree Spirit's other abilities, they'll also be prone to breathing fire your way on occasion, much like the Ulcerated Tree Spirit of Fringefolk Hero's Grave. You can flee the fire by running, and then reposition yourself at such an angle so you can attack before the spirit has even finished their move.
The other, more physical-oriented attacks that the Putrid Tree Spirit will try primarly consist of slams, a tail whip, and a grab attack if you're unlucky. Their tail whip attack is as it sounds. If you think you're being clever and sneaky by trying to stay behind the spirit and attack, they've got you figured out. Whenever you spend too long by their back side, they'll perform a tail whip to swiftly move you out of the way. You can dodge through the attack, or flee and reposition.
Another standard attack is when the Putrid Tree Spirit simply uses its own head to slam the ground. You can easily see when they're winding up for the attack, so dodge away to either side to avoid it. The worst attack of them all is one orientation of the multiple swooping, diving attacks that the spirit uses. These are easy enough to dodge and flee from, but if the spirit manages to trap you with its grab attack, it'll try to eat you. This inflicts you heavily with Scarlet Rot, and if the move doesn't kill you, it's a race against time before the rot does.
Like the slam attacks and other swooping dives that the spirit performs, this move requires a timely dodge too. You'll find that for much of this fight, due to the size of the spirit compared to the room and your character, you're going to be doing a lot of running as you try avoid attacks and then subsequently land your own.
As with every troublesome fight that involves a larger-than-life beast, don't forget to summon your trusty Spirit Ashes for some help if needed. These can take a little aggro so that you can deplete some of the Putrid Tree Spirit's health, and sooner or later, you'll have felled the rotting tree.
Once felled, the Putrid Tree Spirit will drop a Golden Seed and Redmane Knight Ogha Spirit Ashes as your reward.
That's it for War-Dead Catacombs, but if you're still hungry for Spirit Ashes and Glovewort, try exploring Road's End Catacombs and Black Knife Catacombs. Alternatively, if you fancy finding something different to do during your time in The Lands Between, our Elden Ring walkthrough is full of ideas.