If you're remotely familiar with any FromSoftware titles, you'll know that there is typically a wide range of enemies lurking in every area waiting for you to challenge them, and Elden Ring is no exception. For the most part, enemies that notice you - much like the Tree Sentinel - will charge at you immediately.
The Tree Sentinel is an optional boss that you'll run into as soon as you enter Limgrave. They're clad in gold armour with a huge Golden Halberd that they'll swing at you with. To put it simply, this is one boss you should probably avoid early-game and return back to, but who doesn't like attempting a challenge while we explore The Land Between?
If you're planning on trying to fell the Tree Sentinel right away, here are some tips and tricks for facing them in Elden Ring.
The majority of players will likely engage in melee combat, and as with every boss around Elden Ring, there is a strategy you can follow once you're capable of dodging at the perfect time and familiar with the Tree Sentinel's attacks.
In the first phase of the fight, the Tree Sentinel will primarily use wide, sweeping attacks with his Halberd. These deal a significant amount of damage, so be sure to get comfortable with dodging or parrying to avoid any incoming damage.
In phase two of the fight, which starts once the Tree Sentinel is at approximately 50% HP, he will start using shield attacks and closing the gap between you and him while doing so. Dodging perfectly here is even more crucial than before.
You'll notice that the Tree Sentinel has a charging attack which forces him to break posture as his horse gets on its hind legs, and he positions his Halberd. Position yourself around this, and go in for the attack while he is vulnerable afterward.
When it comes to facing the Tree Sentinel in ranged combat, you'll need to position yourself out of the Tree Sentinel's reach - look at nearby ruins - and casually chip away using arrows and magic.
The issue here, for magic users, is that the Tree Sentinel has a counterattack which allows him to use his shield to absorb any spells you may have cast. Not only this, but the Tree Sentinel can then recast the same spell right back at you. So, take caution with magic and utilise what other combat means you have to hand, if possible.
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Mounted Combat Strategy
Perhaps the most favoured strategy for this fight, because things feel that slightest bit less difficult, is by continuing on to get the Spectral Steed Whistle from Melina, so you can summon your horse, Torrent. From this point, you can then try to fight the Tree Sentinel while mounted.
Because this knight is so large and agile, trying to combat him while on Torrent gives us more of an advantage against him, as it evens the playing ground in terms of agility and speed. The general strategy for mounted combat is to approach the Tree Sentinel, and attempt to land a few hits as you ride past him. Obviously, this is all while avoiding incoming attacks.
Only approach the Tree Sentinel on horseback to land your hits when the knight breaks his posture or is briefly cooling down.
Come Back Later Strategy
The 'come back later' strategy is essentially no strategy at all. The Tree Sentinel is an incredibly difficult boss, and it is generally advised that most players should consider avoiding him. Players can sneak past the knight and advance with the story, and return at a later point with better gear to take on the Tree Sentinel.
Of course, everyone likes a challenge, and felling any enemy in Elden Ring feels incredibly rewarding. However, sometimes, it is simply better to return when your character is in a better position; this boss might be one of them, and that's okay.