Elden Ring update means you can't cheese the hardest boss any more

Elden Ring Malenia
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring update v1.03 has landed and it's a mixed bag, depending on how far you've progressed. But if you've been putting off tackling the toughest boss in the game, things really aren't going your way today.

Though she has many names, Malenia is more commonly known as 'gah!', 'nooooo!' or '[insert profanity here]!'. The hardest boss in Elden Ring, players have been using Mimic Tear to cheese their way through the fight. But that battle is going to be a lot more brutal now that the summon has been nerfed.    

There are a ton of YouTube videos on the Mimic Tear strategy, and you can check out one example above, courtesy of Idicus. The summon conjures up a doppelganger of your character that has exactly the same loadout and skills as you do. Think of it as a disposable clone whose coattails you'll be riding to victory. 

Obviously, a large part of this particular cheese depends on the items you have equipped. But with a twin by your side, you can stagger the living daylights out of Malenia, as well as serve up a target that isn't you. 

Now that the Elden Ring patch notes v1.03 have dropped, that tactic has gone straight out of the window. The damage the summoned spirit metes out has been reduced, and has also "changed the spirit's behavior pattern'" I very much doubt Fromsoftware has decided to make it more intuitive to give you a break. 

The difficulty is going to ramp up on an already tricky fight, so look forward to that. There are some additional tweaks that have been rolled out that may rain on your parade for different reasons altogether; but there are some positives too!


You can read the full patch notes for Elden Ring update v1.03 below, but there are some pretty big points of interest outside of the Mimic Tear nerf. 

First up is a fix for the Death Blight build that's been terrorising players in PvP. The tl;dr version is that the Fire’s Deadly Sin incantation was having an unintended effect when paired with the Eclipse Shotel. The result? You died. The patch has fixed this now, so the sight of an invader casting the incantation doesn't mean insta death.

The next big and very welcome addition to the game is a bunch of new quest phases for NPCs. So let's hope you've not killed off Diallos, Nepheli Loux, Kenneth Haight, or Gatekeeper Gostoc. Some redditors have already slaughtered Ken for his golden seed and aren't too happy about it. Let this be a lesson to you to be nice to NPCs (unless they're really asking for it).

Another nifty update is the "function to record an icon and the name of an NPC on the map when you encounter that NPC."

You can peruse the full breakdown below, but those are the highlights you should be aware of that could have the biggest effect on your playthrough. 

Elden Ring 1.03 patch notes

Additional Elements Added

  • Added a function to record an icon and the name of an NPC on the map when you encounter that NPC.
  • Added NPC Jar-Bairn.
  • Added new quest phases for the following NPCs: Diallos/ Nepheli Loux/ Kenneth Haight/ Gatekeeper Gostoc.
  • Added some summonable NPCs in multiple situations.
  • Increased the number of patterns of objects player can imitate when using Mimic’s Veil.
  • Added night background music for some open field area.

Bug Fixed

  • Fixed a bug that prevented summoned NPCs from taking damage in some boss battles.
  • Fixed a bug that sometime prevented the player from obtaining item after boss battle.
  • Fixed a bug that causes dialogue to be skipped when talking to NPCs and using custom key configurations.
  • Fixed a bug that causes the player to freeze when riding.
  • Fixed a bug that causes arcane to scale incorrectly for some weapons.
  • In situation where the player cannot obtain more than 2 talisman pouches, added talisman pouch to Twin Maiden Husks shop line up.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the user from warping to sites of grace from the map at the end of the game.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the player from moving to the next area after the battle with the Fire Giant.
  • Fixed a bug which causes some weapons to have incorrect scaling after strengthening.
  • Fixed a bug which causes some weapons to not use stat scaling.
  • Fixed hang-ups in certain occasions.
  • Fixed a bug which incorrectly displays multiplayer area boundary when playing online.
  • Fixed a bug that allows player to activate Erdtree Greatshield’s weapon skill without absorbing an attack using a special combination of item and incantation.
  • Fixed a bug which causes Fire’s Deadly Sin incantation to have different effect.
  • Fixed a bug with the Ash of War, Determination and Royal Knight's Resolve, where the damage buff will also apply to other weapons without that skill.
  • Adjusted the visual effect of Unseen Form spell.
  • Deleted the Ragged armor set from the game which was mistakenly obtainable in previous patch.
  • Fixed a bug that causes some hostile NPCs to drop Furlcalling Finger Remedy.
  • Fixed a bug that causes incorrect sound effect to play in some situations.
  • Fixed a bug which causes visual animation and hitboxes to not be displayed correctly on some maps.
  • Fixed bugs which causes incorrect visual and behavior for some enemies.
  • Fixed a bug that causes incorrect stat parameter for some armor.
  • Text fixes.
  • Other performance improvement and bug fixes.

Balance Changes

  • Increased the drop rate of Smithing Stone for some enemies.
  • Added Smithing Stone to some early game shop line up.
  • Increased shield’s effectiveness.
  • Increased the damage for all offensive cracked pot items.
  • Increased the damage for the following items: Spark Aromatic/Poison Spraymist.
  • Increased the effect duration for the following items: Uplifting Aromatic/ Ironjar Aromatic.
  • Increased HP healing for Torrent when using the following items: Rowa Raisin/ Sweet Raisin/ Frozen Raisin
  • Reduced FP consumption and increased the damage of the following sorceries: Glintstone Cometshard/ Comet/ Night Comet
  • Increased the damage of the following sorceries: Gravity Well/ Collapsing Stars/ Crystal Barrage
  • Decreased FP consumption of the following sorceries: Star Shower/ Rock Blaster/ Gavel of Haima/ Founding Rain of Stars/ Stars of Ruin/Greatblade Phalanx/Magic Downpour/ Loretta’s Greatbow/ Loretta’s Mastery/ Carian Greatsword/ Carian Piercer/ Shard Spiral
  • Raised projectile speed and range of Great Glintstone Shard
  • Decreased Ash of War, Hoarfrost Stomp's damage and increase cast time.
  • Increased Ash of War, Bloody Slash's self-inflict damage while slightly lowering the damage and increasing the cast time.
  • Decreased weapon skill, Sword of Night and Flame’s damage.
  • Increased FP consumption and lower duration of Ash of War, Barricade Shield.
  • Changed FP consumption timing of Ash of War, Prelate’s Charge.
  • Decreased the damage of spirit summoned when using the item Mimic Tear Ash and changed the spirit’s behavior pattern.
  • Other enemy and weapon balance changes
Shabana Arif
News Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Shabana has been writing about games for almost a decade now, as well as covering tech, politics, food, and other random tidbits at Gizmodo UK. She's stepped outside of news every now and then to write game guides, and always appreciates a DM if she's helped get you out of a pickle. During her time freelancing, you may have spotted her words at VG24/7, GamesRadar, and IGN. She's also held the position of news editor at Gizmodo UK, T3, and The Sun Online.