Black Knife Assassin Boss Guide: How to Beat the Black Knife Assassin in Elden Ring
The Black Knife Assassin may not be the strongest enemy in Elden Ring, but his ability to turn invisible (at least when you fight him in the Sage's Cave) can make him one of the more frustrating to battle, particularly if you aren't wearing armor heavy enough to maintain poise through his attacks.
There are several ways to take out the Black Knife Assassin. Here are all our tips and tricks for making it through the fight.
How to See the Black Knife Assassin: Where to Find the Sentry's Torch
The most obvious way to make fighting the Black Knife Assassin easier is to make him visible. To do that, you'll need to collect the Sentry's Torch, a magic torch that reveals invisible enemies. Simply wielding the torch in your off hand while you fight the Assassin will make him visible.
Of course, acquiring the torch is easier said than done. You can only get it by buying it from the Hermit Merchant at the Hermit Merchant's Shack, which you won't be able to reach until you've progressed significantly through the Altus Plateau region.
You'll find it by following the road east from the Bridge of Iniquity, circling the valley that holds a Minor Erdtree at its center, but then keeping to the path as it stretches further east. The Hermit Merchant's Shack is just northeast of a great gate you'll pass through along the path, and the torch itself costs only 7,000 Runes.
How to Beat the Black Knife Assassin
Truth be told, if you've made it far enough in Elden Ring to buy the Sentry's Torch, you're likely strong enough to kill the Black Knife Assassin without it. There are a few approaches you can use here.
The first is to wear heavy armor and poise your way through the Assassin's attacks, then responding with attacks of your own before he can dodge away. It doesn't take much to stagger him, so you should be able to get a decent punish in before he runs. Your one worry in this approach is his backstab attack, which is a grab that bypasses your poise.
To avoid this, you can employ one of two strategies, each of which works on its own to defeat the Assassin. First, you can watch and listen for the Assassin's footsteps in the water. This is an imperfect method of tracking him, but it's certainly better than nothing. Second, you can summon some Ashes to take the aggro from you, giving you a chance to punish the Assassin when he attacks your Ashes.
Mix and match these strategies and you'll have killed the Black Knife Assassin in no time.
If you're looking for help with other bosses, check out our guides on Dragonlord Placidusax, Starscourge Radahn, Rennala or the Crucible Knight.