Get your Wonderous Physick and pour one out for the Mimic Tear Ashes — the incredibly powerful summon has finally been nerfed. Following patch 1.03, developer FromSoftware decreased the damage done by this potent copycat and altered the Mimic’s behavior in battle. This was most likely to stop it from utterly embarrassing any boss it came up against. While the Mimic is still fine, players will be looking for the next best summon in the game to aid them against Elden Ring‘s toughest foes.
Despite the numerous summons available, Black Knife Tiche stands out among the crowd of ghostly companions. Obtainable about mid-way through the game, she will take a lot of work to unlock but is well worth the effort. If you’re looking to fill that Mimic-sized hole in your heart, here’s how to get one of the best summons in the game:
How to Get Black Knife Tiche
1. Complete (Most of) Ranni’s Questline
What, did you think this was going to be easy? Your first step to unlocking Black Knife Tiche is to essentially complete the entirety of Ranni’s side quest. This is because you will need to access the Moonlight Altar Site of Grace, which is only available at the end of Ranni’s quest, so get ready to spend some time serving this four-armed witch.
If you haven’t completed Ranni’s questline, I recommend using Youtuber Gamerpillar’s walkthrough as it shows you every step for unlocking this specific area. It will take some time, so do not expect to finish this quest in a single sitting. You’ll need to deal with multiple tough bosses before you gain access to the hidden, southern portion of Liurnia.
2. Go to Ringleader’s Evergaol
Once you arrive at the Moonlight Altar, head northwest towards the Ringleader’s Evergaol (shown above). You can tell when you’re close because there will be a bunch of those weird rock worms and a big grey metal plate in the ground. You won’t run into many enemies along the way there, though, as most of the scary dragons are located in the southwest corner of this region.
Once you arrive, approach the middle circle and interact with it. You will be prompted to go into the Evergaol, so accept this to get transported into the boss arena.
3. Defeat Alecto, Black Knife Ringleader
You will need to defeat Alecto, Black Knife Ringleader by yourself without summons or co-op partners. Alecto is remarkably fast, able to quickly close the gap between you and her in a matter of seconds. She also hits like a truck, as her fast swinging combos are capable of killing you in a few hits. During the fight, she will constantly use her speed to her advantage, pressuring you with a relentless barrage of swipes until you’re killed. Additionally, she can launch a curved, fiery projectile that deals damage over time on top of the amount it chunks from your health bar. This assassin can also do a rather large, circular AoE (Area of Effect) move where she strikes in all different directions with her flaming blade.
Fighting Alecto is all about patience, as she has a few moves that leave her wide open to counterattacks. The first is an overhead helmsplitter, where she leaps up into the air and drives her blade into the ground. You can easily dodge this by rolling to either side. The second move is a grab, where Alecto lunges out with her hand outstretched in an attempt to grab you for an instant kill. Again, rolling backward easily causes her to miss and gives you a chance to strike her.
Finally, her AoE attack will leave her open for a moment after it concludes. However, this one can be a bit harder to capitalize on since dodging it should be your priority. Alecto is also not great against Frostbite builds or Strength weapons since you can break her poise with a few well-timed hits. If you’re a mage like myself, forgo any slow casting spells — you will almost never have the time to actually use them in the fight. Instead, focus on spells like Glintblade Phalanx, Greatblade Phalanx, and Carian Phalanx, as they not only reduce her poise but can also serve as solid, passive damage dealers. Carian Slicer is also a solid option for those not using weapons like Moonveil or Wings of Astel.
After defeating Alecto, you will be rewarded the Black Knife Tiche summon to use and upgrade.
Why Black Knife Tiche?
What makes Black Knife Tiche so great is that she offers a solid mix of offensive capabilities with surprisingly high survivability. While she isn’t a tank like the Banished Knight or Greatshield Soldier Ashes, her nimble movements make her quite tricky to kill. Black Knife Tiche employs a hit-and-run strategy, dipping in to deal a chunk of damage before nimbly dashing backward when the boss would typically counterattack. Black Knife Tiche will also use that red flame projectile, which does percentage damage. She is an absolute beast against bosses with big health bars.
Her one downside is she costs 132 FP to summon, which can be a bit tricky to manage for non-magic builds. However, she is absolutely worth the effort for any mage because she excels at drawing the attention of bosses away from you. Yes, she isn’t broken like the Mimic was, but Black Knife Tiche is a terrific summon that more than pulls her weight in fights. I cannot recommend her enough.