Every boss battle in Elden Ring can be a challenging affair that requires the player to study and learn attack patterns. Dark Souls games have always had tough-as-nails boss battles, but the Shardbearers of Elden Ring are a cut above. You’ll need to beat a handful of Shardbearers as part of the main story, and they’re some of the most challenging battles in the game. Among these is the horrifying Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, who can be found tucked away deep in the bowels of Volcano Manor. Here’s everything you need to know about finding and defeating Rykard in Elden Ring.
How to find Volcano Manor and Rykard in Elden Ring
Volcano Manor is a Legacy Dungeon found at the end of Mt. Gelmir, which is the area to the West of the Altus Plateau. Follow the path to the West of Altus, climbing up the ladders and paths as you find them. Eventually, you’ll come to a giant crater on top of a mountain, which holds the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast. This can be a tough fight as the boss has high speed and defense, but you can actually simply ride past the boss and jump over to the next area, which is where you’ll find Volcano Manor. Beat the enemies outside then head in and rest at the Site of Grace.
Now that you’re in Volcano Manor you have two options for finding Rykard, either explore the manor to find the teleporter to the boss arena or follow the manor questlines and complete a string of invasions. Either way, you’ll need to talk to Tanith, the NPC to the right of the Site of Grace, and agree to join Volcano Manor. After this, you’ll get the Drawing Room key. Head to the hallway on the right side and unlock all the rooms you can, then head into the second room on the left to talk to a variety of NPCs, and find your first invasion assignment on the table. Reading the letter will put a red mark on your map, which is where you’ll go and find the NPC you need to invade.
If you want to follow this questline through, simply complete each assignment, then come back to Volcano Manor for a reward and your next assignment. Do note, however, that the other NPCs in the manor can also give you assignments. You’ll also need to have followed the main story until you’ve at least reached the Mountaintops of Giants area. Once you’ve completed every invasion, Tanith will tell you the lord of the manor wants to meet you, and she’ll instantly teleport you to Rykard’s boss arena.
Exploring is your second option. Head to the hallway on the right and into the first room on your right. There’s a secret passage on the right side of the wall straight ahead, so hit the panel and head into the passage, using a torch or a lantern to light the way.
Once you emerge from the tunnel you’ll find a Site of Grace and a door leading out into a town buried by magma. There are a few alternate paths but everything in the next area ultimately leads to a small cliff with two cage-like lifts.
Taking the lift on the left side will carry you up to the other side of a bridge and the entrance to a new building. Use the lever to open a path back to the Site of Grace, then head into the new building and prepare for a boss battle. The Godskin Noble boss likes to get up in your face with fast attacks, but there’s an easy trick for this fight. Equip a blood weapon as it’ll cause massive damage, then summon a strong melee spirit that can distract the boss. After defeating the Godskin Noble, you’re finally in the last phase before getting to Rykard.
Take the lift on the right side of the room then go out to the balcony and jump down into the magma on the left side.
Follow the path around until you reach the end, and can jump down onto another path. Be warned, there are quite a few lizards and poison enemies ahead. Keep following the path through an open window.
Continue up the stairs, down a hallway, and to a set of closed doors, which lead into a throne room. Kill all the enemies in the throne room, then head out the door on the left to find the teleporter that takes you to Rykard.
Rykard phase one strategy
Whichever route you chose, you’ve finally arrived at the boss arena of the God-Devouring Serpent, which is only the first phase of the fight. At the entrance of the arena, you’ll see a glowing item stuck in a corpse, and it’s absolutely vital you pick it up, as it’s a weapon that’s the key to winning the battle. This is the Serpent Hunter weapon, and equipping it in this particular battle lets you send out ranged shockwaves that hit the boss. With that in mind, here are a few other setup tips for the battle.
- Head to Roundtable Hold and upgrade the Serpent Hunter weapon to at least +4.
- Equip a ranged summon spirit like Glintstone Sorcerer or Latenna the Albinauric. Melee spirits will die almost immediately.
- Equip fire resistance talismans and health talismans
The first phase of the fight is extremely easy with your new weapon. Get within a moderate distance of the boss and attack, making sure to pause when the boss attacks. The Serpent Hunter weapon has a three-hit combo, and if you get the third hit off it does extra damage. Alternatively, if you have a lot of fire damage negation you can simply stand in the fire right underneath the boss, and avoid most of its attacks that way.
The only attacks the boss has in this phase consist of quick melee attacks, and one where the serpent’s head grabs the ground and tips it up. There’s also a third attack where the boss grabs you and causes massive damage, so just make sure to dodge the serpent head. You should only need 8-12 hits to bring the serpent down and start the second phase.
Rykard phase two strategy
The second phase is where things get really intense, as Rykard reveals he’s been the serpent all along. The boss now mainly attacks with his sword as well as serpent head strikes. Your strategy is going to be exactly the same in the second phase, but there are two specific attacks you’ll need to watch out for. The first has Rykard jumping up into the air before he thunders back down causing a ton of damage to anything directly beneath him. When he launches this attack make sure you back off and get out of range.
The other more deadly attack sees Rykard summon dozens of crimson skulls that hone in and hit you. At this point, it’s generally a better idea to focus on dodging, and the skulls will dissipate if they run into an obstacle, like a pillar. Make sure all of the skulls are gone before you try and heal as you don’t want to get smacked by one mid flask sip. Keep hacking away with your Serpent Hunter and dodging attacks, and Rykart will fall before too long. Like with every other boss in Elden Ring, if you simply can’t beat Rykard don’t be afraid to go explore elsewhere and come back once you’re leveled.