With Mimic Tear nerfed, Elden Ring’s new best spirit summon is Lhutel the Headless
FromSoftware isn’t playing around, and so just a few weeks after its initial release Elden Ring now already has its first major patch. Patch update 1.03 brings new NPCs, expanded quest lines, and quality-of-life improvements - plus the expected slew of balance changes, one of which shakes up a fan favorite ability.
We’re talking, of course, about the Mimic Tear Ashes summon - an incredibly powerful summon that allows you to sacrifice a portion of your HP in order to summon an AI-controlled clone of your Tarnished. Depending on your character build, stats and attributes, and gear, this AI companion could be next-level powerful and make many boss fights utterly trivial. And FromSoftware wasn’t having it, so it’s been nerfed.
Specifically, the patch notes specify that the Mimic Tear Ash has had its damage decreased, and its behavior patterns adjusted. Ultimately, it’s less powerful than it was, which begs a question: what’s the next best Spirit Summon?
Well, lemme tell you a little about a headless Knight called Lhutel the Headless.
Why Lhutel the Headless is the best spirit summon in Elden Ring
For our money, with Mimic Tear Nerfed, the mantle of the best spirit ashes summon has to pass to Lhutel the Headless, who was already pretty amazing and a major contender for the crown anyway.
Lhutel has it all. She has a large shield and will actively block, and fights with a spear that she uses both as melee and throws when at range. She can teleport around the battleground to get closer to and close in on enemies. Oh, and that spear she fights with? It builds up the Instant Death status effect on enemies if it hits them frequently enough.
The thing that makes Lhutel special as a summon is the breadth of her utility. She’s great at dealing damage, but is also incredibly tanky, meaning that mages and other more squishy character classes can summon her and hide behind her during battle. She’s heavily armored, so she’s quite survivable, and can teleport out of trouble if she’s ever at risk of getting overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
In the lore of Elden Ring, Lhutel was a knight who led the headless beings that guard the walking mausoleums, the mysterious buildings that can be used to clone boss remembrance items. Of the six Legendary Spirit Ashes in the game, she’s one of the least ‘famous’ in the lore - but undoubtedly one of the most powerful.
So, how do you get Lhutel the Headless? Well, here’s an even better piece of news: unlike the Mimic Tear, this summon is available from early in the game!
Specifically, Lhutel’s Ashes drop from the Cemetery Shade boss that’s found in the Tombsword Catacombs, which is found in the Weeping Peninsula area found just south of Limgrave - as pictured above. You can ride to this area from the moment you get Torrent right at the start of the game.
The Tombsword Catacombs aren’t a terribly difficult dungeon. It’s entirely populated with skeletons, so you just have to remember to hit their corpses after they’re downed to ensure they stay dead.
The standard catacombs pattern applies here - work through the dungeon to pull the boss door lever, then go back to the site of grace, rest, then book it right to the boss door.
Inside you’ll find the Cemetery Shade, which isn’t a very difficult boss at all. Be careful not to get caught into its successive attacks, which can stunlock you - but once you get an opening, you’ll wreck this boss, as it’s very susceptible to damage. If you have ranged abilities via arrows or magic, summoning something like the wolves and standing back to cast/shoot can see this boss defeated in a handful of seconds.
Once the boss is defeated, it drops Lhutel the Headless’ ashes. As a legendary summon, you’ll be able to later upgrade it with Grave Glovewort items, so long as you've helped Roderika and thus unlocked Spirit Summon upgrades. At higher levels, she definitely feels like one of the best summons in the game.