Elden Ring: How To Defeat Commander O’Neil

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  • Commander O'Neil Overview
  • Commander O'Neil Attacks
  • Strategies
  • General Tips

Commander O'Neil is a Great Enemy in Elden Ring. Located in the Swamps of Aoenia in Caelid, the boss stands endlessly in the Inner Aoenia, waiting for the fight with you. Upon entering the massive arena, the boss will do its summon animation, and the fight will commence. The fight can be tricky, especially with the boss summoning Spirits to help him.

As the area outside the boss arena is accessible during the fight, you can run away from the fight or take the fight to the swamps. However, keep in mind that you will be afflicted with Scarlet Rot if you decide to stay long enough in the swamps. Here is all you need to know about Commander O'Neil.

Commander O'Neil Overview

Commander O'Neil Overview
LocationSwamp of Aeonia, Caelid
SummonsPlayers and Spirit Ash
  • 12,000 Runes
  • Commander's Standard
  • Unalloyed Gold Needle
Weak To
  • Physical Thrust Damage
  • Magic

Commander O'Neil is located in Swamp of Aeonia inside Caelid. Fighting the boss is optional and will not affect any endings in the game whatsoever. Defeating the boss will get you the Commander's Standard (Halberd), which has a ridiculous reach and high damage output. You will also get the Unalloyed Gold Needle, which is a key item required for Millicent's questline.

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Commander O'Neil Attacks

The boss has a number of attacks, most of which revolve around summoning spirits and casting buffs for them.

Commander O'Neil Attacks

Summon Crossbowman/ Greataxe Soldier

The boss summons five Spirits at the start of the fight, who are scattered in the boss arena. Some of these enemy spirits have crossbows while the rest hold swords. After losing 50 percent health, the boss summons three soldiers who carry Greataxe.

Counter: The boss performs no attack in this animation, so you can get free hits.

Offense Spirit Buff

Commander O'Neil swings his Halberd and casts a buff increasing the Spirit's Attack. You can identify this buff by seeing the boss radiate red circles around him.

Counter: The boss performs no attack in this animation, so you can get free hits.

Defense Spirit Buff

The boss swings his Halberd and casts a buff increasing the Spirit's Defense. You can identify this buff by seeing the boss radiate white circles around him.

Counter: The boss performs no attack in this animation, so you can get free hits.

Halberd Swipe

Commander O'Neil swipes his halberd to perform a horizontal attack at the player. He can do this multiple times.

Counter: Roll towards where the attack is coming from to get to his rear.

Halberd Thrust

The boss thrusts his halberd at the player.

Counter: Roll either side to avoid the attack.

Rot Tornado

Commander O'Neil kneels and causes the wind to circulate around him. He starts swinging his halberd, causing a massive tornado that deals serious damage and applies Scarlet Rot at an alarming rate.

Counter: The attack has a very long startup, which allows you to run away from the boss as far away as possible. On Torrent, this is much easier.

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There are two main strategies for this fight:

Melee Strategy

For the melee strategy, it would be best to stay aggressive throughout the fight. As soon as the fight starts, the boss will summons five Spirits that will shoot arrows at you. Try to get multiple hits whenever the boss is summoning or buffing the spirits. After the Spirits are here, change your focus on them and take them out as soon as you can. Doing so will allow you to fight the boss one on one.

You can use Torrent to move around the arena, staying away from the boss and focusing on the Spirits scattered in different areas of the arena. After that, go back to the boss and fight him as you would any boss. Torrent can also allow you to easily avoid O'Neil's Rot Tornado, which is his deadliest attack.

Parry is an extremely good option in this fight. The boss has slow attacks that can be easily parried if you have the shield for it. Do remember that not all shields can parry. Some have the prebuilt Skill in them, while for others, you will have to place the Ash of War in them manually.

Ranged Strategy

For the ranged strategy, going Mage build is really good. As the boss does not have a strong resistance against Magic having high damaging Sorceries like Rock Sling or Comet Azur can be useful in this fight. The boss does not have any attacks that can close the distance between you. This is advantageous for a mage class as you can ride on Torrent and use Sorceries to chip down his health bar.

As the arena has no limit, you can lure out the Spirits to focus them down first and then take on the boss. After the boss loses 50 percent, he will summon three Greataxe-wielding Spirits. He will then try to buff them with offense and defense buffs. You will have to take them out first as they can become annoying and can deal serious damage to you.

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General Tips

  • Be Level 50 or Higher.
  • Make use of the massive boss arena.
  • Do not go into the Scarlet Rot Swamps.
  • Try not to take on multiple spirits at the same time.

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