how to get through black knife catacombs
If you have worked with the wizard Rogier in his series of quests, you will eventually discover a dungeon that contains an important item: the black knife imprint. This item is proof positive of a ritual that stole a death shard and is important knowledge. However, to find this item, you need to navigate the Black Knife Catacombs, a dungeon with a very interesting completion path. Here’s how to find and complete the Black Knife Catacombs in the Elden Ring.
Preparation and location of the dungeon
This dungeon is full of traps and respawning enemies, so you can spend all the runes you have on hand to avoid casualties. Also, we recommend upgrading the Ashes ally you want to use the most – Kaiden Sellsword is a good choice, but you can’t go wrong with Wolves. Finally, make sure your weapon is leveled as high as possible.
To locate the dungeon, head to the Great Erdtree in the Liurnia Lake area – the dungeon is on the cliff to the east of the tree, as shown in the image below. Head over to Grace’s site and prepare to dive deep into this dungeon.
Before you reach the Summoning Pool, you’ll encounter what is likely to be your first skeletal enemy in the Elden Ring. Skeletons in Souls games tend to “respawn” if they are not actually defeated: after the skeleton crumbles, its corpse will glow bright blue, and it will re-form after a few seconds. Hit the corpse again to make sure it stays dead.
start your search
Head south and start running past the skeletons that are forming. Your target is a Tomb Guardian: a white-robed humanoid carrying a blue torch, as pictured above. These entities respawn skeletons indefinitely, even if you hit their corpses. However, once you kill the Gravekeeper, all of his minions will also perish. You will find your first gravekeeper in the room with the falling blades. After dispatching him, he returns to the hallway you came from and opens the Stonesword key door. This room contains two skeleton enemies and the Axe of Rossus, an intelligence scaling ax that can summon your own army of skeletons.
Go back to the falling leaves room and wait for the middle leaf to drop down. Once it’s on the ground, stand on it and carry it up to the alcove above. Keep your guard up while driving the sword as skeleton archers will shoot at you all the time. Kill this Gravekeeper before going back and exploring the path at the end of the Hall of Blades.
the deeper you go
As you enter the next room, watch out for the skeleton lurking in a corner to the right. Then head down the ladder, but only after you’ve prepared yourself for a couple of tough fights – two giant crabs reside in these sewers and they hit pretty hard. Head to the right side of the room first to spawn the first crab and take care of it the best you can. Tightening the back can help avoid attacks. Once you’ve collected the item, head back to the main room to spawn the second crab. Defeat him and return to the room with the falling blades.
Make your way down the hall after riding one of the blades. Walk past the two archer skeletons and around the corner, being very careful to avoid the sword skeleton to your right. Run straight for the Gravekeeper and destroy it with a jump attack; this will also take out the skeletons behind you. When you enter the next chamber, watch out for the Archer Skeleton on the right and the Sword Skeleton on the left. These do not have an associated Gravekeeper, so treat them as you normally would. Don’t jump into the hole to your right just yet, as we have a hidden boss to deal with first.
Boss: The Black Knife Assassin
Head west towards the dead end and hit it with your weapon. For once, there is a hidden door here that leads to the boss room. We recommend summoning D, Hunter of the Dead, for this fight – he’s a great distraction that does some good damage. The Assassin is very mobile, so finding the right opportunity to attack can be daunting. The biggest threat to watch out for is his grab attack. This attack has a short narration, so keep an eye out for him swinging his left arm and looking at you. Dodge to the sides and counter, and try to let D attack right after so you can get more jump attacks. Your reward for defeating this enemy is Black Knifeprint and Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger.
Finish: Shadow Graveyard
Go back to the room with the hole and go down. You will now be back in the sewers, but on the other side where the lever is. Watch out for the skeleton in the corner, it will come to life when you pull the lever. Once you’ve looted the place, you’re done with the dungeon and ready to fight the (real) boss: Cemetery Shade.
This boss is as fast as the Black Knife Assassin but more fragile. The shadow appears next to three skeletons that can be easily defeated. Aside from the rapidly spinning blade attack, the key mechanic to avoid is the green pin attack. This will immobilize you for several seconds, allowing Shade to finish you off with a single combo. We recommend bringing your strongest ash summon to distract the Shadow while dealing with the skeletons or vice versa. Your reward for defeating Graveyard Shadow is Ashes of the Wizard Twinsage and Deathroot.