Ever since my esteemed colleague Collin MacGregor turned me onto the fact that poison mist could be used to cheese certain strong foes in Elden Ring, I’ve been positively hooked on the incantation. It’s a beautiful, all-purpose, non-aggro spell that suits my cowardly (you might say, “cheese-friendly”) playstyle so perfectly, because it allows you to sneak up on an enemy, puff poison at them while they stand there, unaware (it doesn’t cause any immediate damage, just the lovely, life-draining status effect), and like, do your taxes or something while it gets rid of the annoying foe.
Hunting the Mist
If you need to grab the incantation, I’ll refer you to Collin’s excellent guide! It’s easy to grab: you just need to find the scarab in the Weeping Peninsula region, near the Castle Morne Rampart sight of grace. The spell requires 12 faith to use, and once you have it equipped, you can start stealth-killing any enemies you can sneak up behind!
I first tried this on the Draconic Tree Sentinel from Collin’s guide (it worked perfectly), and I’ve since used it on other unsuspecting foes, like the bro waiting near the shortcut in Leyndell. I truly hope the developers never patch this out (in fact, I wish I could use it against everyone), but for now, it’s such a wonderful cheese and a godsend for those of us who just want to play Elden Ring as a funky immersive platformer. All twelve of us!
Beyond the Cheese: Managing Crowds
Poison mist is great for doing damage to (or weakening/softening up) a group of enemies. Sure, maybe that’s obvious, but it’s also one of my favorite bits of Elden Ring: the way elemental damage works is almost immersive-sim adjacent. I’ve been rocking my other favorite incantation, Rotten Breath (a dragon incantation, it does damage and confers the scarlet rot effect, a poison of a sort in its own right) to deal with crowds, and also to soften up boss enemies.
My go-to tactic is to drizzle some poison on a crowd while backing up, then think about 1. Running away or 2. Actually fighting things with my sword if my chances look good and they’ve taken appreciable poison damage. I am the furthest thing from a skilled player of these games, so, the toxic effect really, really helps me get to grips with what I’m facing and gives me a little cushion for all my… absolutely whiffed sword slashes. I’m getting better after 78 hours in-game… but I still need the help.
Creating Beautiful Art
No, Elden Ring does not have a built-in photo mode. Perhaps it should: but that doesn’t stop people, including myself, from taking iconic portraits of its batshit creatures, landscapes, and outfits. My go-to is the “character faces the camera before a dramatic landscape” that would suit a mid-80s metal album cover, and it is a delight. Poison mist allows one to confer a gorgeous, nauseating green cloud and funky particle effect to all of that. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with reds and greens (like a fucked up Christmas scheme) in, say, the Lake of Rot, by adding that verdant mist to my snaps. Majestic!
You can also… I’m just saying… make a lot of solid, meme-able “who farted” jokes here. Especially if you are crouched in stealth mode, wasting away a mini-boss. And you have a puerile sense of humor.
Elden Ring is, after all, a very flexible experience. It contains multitudes! High art, low art, combat, and the ability to cheese and run and enjoy your very best life as a horse girl.