Elden Ring’s DLC isn’t as difficult if you just run away

Is Shadow of the Erdtree too hard? I thought it might be when I first started. The Blackgaol Knight kicked my ass immediately, and I couldn’t even go walking in the forest without a beastman ripping me to shreds. Then I remembered the strategy that got me through so much of the Lands Between: just run away.

You’re not imagining things. Shadow of the Erdtree’s difficulty is a step above Elden Ring, with enemies strong enough to make your level 100+ character feel like a feeble baby. It might even be hard to remember feeling this vulnerable, but that’s definitely how it was the first time you played Elden Ring! Just like the Lands Between, the Land of Shadow is also scary and violent, and sometimes it’s really just telling you to fuck off.

The thing is, running away won’t just be more fun that dying over and over again; it’s also how you get stronger! Specifically, by exploring the Realm of Shadow and finding Scadutree Fragments and Revered Sacred Ashes. These boons, which boost your stats and the stats of your Ashes respectively, are key to overcoming your inherent weakness in the shadow realm. Critically, you can find tons of these boosts simply by exploring.

It’s possible to find 10 Scadutree Fragments without fighting a single boss in the DLC, which will give you a significant boost to your attacks and even more importantly, your defense. Leveling up the old fashioned way with runes is still worth doing, but the stat boost from Scadutree Fragments is much larger and more worthwhile in the Land of Shadow.

It’s also worth remembering how useful exploration is for simply finding new weapons, talismans, and armor sets. Rellana’s devastating Twin Moon attack can be more easily overcome by finding a talisman that gives your magic resistance a huge boost, but you’ll have to leave her castle domain to find it.

Yes, the Land of Shadow is an oppressive and dangerous place, but by uncovering its secrets, you can overcome it. And if you still need a little help, you can always check out our detailed boss guides!