PSA: Shadow of the Erdtree’s Scadutree Blessings Are the Answer to Elden Ring DLC’s Difficulty

Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC has only been out for a few days, and many players are already finding that their character — who became the Elden Lord of the Lands Between — is barely a match for the first chakram blade-wielding weirdo you can run into. These early punishing fights are merely a prelude for the raw aggression of the DLC bosses, who are able to turn you into a bloody smear on the ground with just a few attacks. Even worse, this difficulty ramp-up spares no one — regardless of your level, the weapons you wield, or the armor you equip.

The key to salvation in the Realm of Shadow lies within a brand new Shadow Realm Blessing system, but if you aren’t paying attention you may just miss out on how it works.

With a bit of exploring, you’re likely to find at least one Scadutree Fragment, which gives a short tooltip:

It can be easy to overlook this tip in the thick of battle or when distracted by distant points of interest, but it’s safe to say Shadow of the Erdtree may be underselling just how important your Scadutree Blessing really is. Simply put, it can quickly become the difference between victory and defeat in almost every encounter, and it’s barely even comparable to Elden Ring’s normal leveling system.

The reason for this is because Shadow of the Erdtree has to account for a wide variety of players looking for a challenge in this DLC realm: Fights have to be difficult enough for a level 500 player on New Game+ 7, but also winnable for someone who just beat Mohg for the first time the other day. The solution: Make everything hit extremely hard, with incredibly high health pools, but introduce a new item to rapidly raise your own abilities to deal and negate damage.

Using just one Scadutree Fragment to increase your Shadow Realm Blessing to Level 1 will raise your armaments damage AND your damage negation to all sources by around 5%, and there are many more fragments to find just in the first region alone.

That's a nice health bar you've got, would be a shame if someone removed it.
That’s a nice health bar you’ve got, would be a shame if someone removed it.

As a test case, let’s use an early enemy many players are likely to get a rude awakening from: The Blackgaol Knight of the Nameless Western Mausoleum. His Greatsword of Solitude seems to hit harder than the Radagon himself, and leave players wondering if any amount of leveling up can even the odds.

For my level 162 character with 50 Vigor and 50 Strength, my Blasphemous Blade had 795 attack power; and my armor and other stats were giving me 157 Defense Power with 44.355% physical damage negation as a multiplier.

Facing down the Blackgaol Knight, my basic one-handed swing was only dealing 398 damage to his 525, which I was only able to meet with a jumping attack that did 550. His did… a lot more.

However, with just one Scadutree Blessing level, my attack power was boosted to 834, and my physical damage negation to 47.004%. This increase had me dealing 416 while only taking 496 in return, which was roughly a 4.9% increase in damage given and 5.5% damage taken.

Even if that sounds small — I then grabbed every Scadutree Fragment in the Gravesite Plain, raising my Scadutree Blessing to Level 4. Now my attack power shot up to 954 and damage negation to 53.629%, which meant my hits were now doing 20% more damage that were hitting harder than the Blackgaol Knight’s, which was reduced by around 17.3%!

As you can see from the table above, each blessing can increase your powers by a substantial amount, and with a maximum of 20 Scadutree Blessings that you can obtain over the course of the game, you’ll be dealing a LOT more damage by the end than when you first entered the Realm of Shadow.

But what about regular leveling? My table also includes spending enough Runes to put four points in Strength vs four Scadutree Blessings. At 50+ Strength, the returns barely resulted in a measly percent of damage increased, and the flat Defense Power increase instead of damage negation from all sources meant I was losing roughly the same amount of HP per hit. This is an important aspect to note, because it means since all players will be in and endgame setting, you can’t overcome bosses just by spending runes. However, it’s still worth adding a few points here and there anyway, especially to increase your HP pool with Vigor, add more stamina with Endurance, or hit a requirement to equip a new weapon.

So where can you find more Scadutree Fragments? You can check our guide to track down every last Scadutree Fragment, but if you prefer to explore on your own, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Scadutree Fragments most often appear in front of statues of Marika, like those found in churches or soldier camps.
  • You’re also guaranteed to find one at every Cross of Miquella that the demigod has left behind marking their journey to important locations in the Shadow Realm.
  • Certain areas like ruins or destroyed towns can sometimes include a Shadow Undead holding a sparkling pot. Rush them down before they run away and you can gain treasure that sometimes includes a Scadutree Fragment.
  • Progression in Shadow of the Erdtree is rarely permanently gated by a boss. If you find yourself lacking power, try looking for alternate paths to new regions where you can find more Scadutree Fragments.
  • Similar to these fragments, you can also find Revered Spirit Ash in front of large headless corpse altars or from Shadow Undead pot holders. The Revered Spirit Ash Blessing will increase the power of your Spirit Ash Summons similar to how the Scadutree Fragments boost your own.

Once you feel strong enough to take on the toughest challenges, there’s plenty more to do, and we have it all catalogued in our full Shadow of the Erdtree Guide.

Brendan Graeber is a senior guides writer for IGN, and is still hard at work discovering every last secret in Elden Ring. You can find him on Twitter/X @Ragga_Fragga

This post was originally published on IGN

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