Elden Ring: Best summon, where to find it, and why it's so powerful

Luke Albigés - March 4th 2022

Elden Ring has a host of Spirit Ashes to discover, allowing you to summon an AI ally to fight by your side. Some are great, others not so good, but one is just ridiculously strong. Spoilers ahead... you have been warned! Best tap out now if you don't want to see and hear about some late-game content.

If you've looked at the Elden Ring achievements, you'll have seen that there's one for defeating a boss called the Mimic Tear. This slime transforms into a clone of your character for a boss battle against yourself, and it's the easiest boss in the game if you know how to abuse this — just unequip everything before entering the arena and it will copy your naked, unarmed form, leaving you free to re-equip your gear and absolutely wreck yourself. Why do we mention this? Well, the Mimic Tear is also available as a summoned companion, and it's absolutely ridiculous.

Where to find Mimic Tear Ashes

The Mimic Tear Ashes are found in Night's Sacred Ground, a site in Elden Ring's subterranean mid-game location, Nokron, Eternal City. Getting here will take a little work, however, as the location isn't available from the off. To unlock it, you'll first need to take down Starscourge Radahn at Redmane Castle at the southmost point in Caelid. Caelid itself is very dangerous and the castle is no joke (the twin boss battle when you reach the first Grace will put your skills to the test), plus you'll need to progress other quests anyway to make the Radahn boss battle become available — several factors seem to influence this, so your mileage may vary but if the festival is not running when you reach the end of Redmane Castle, you may just need to come back later after doing some other stuff. When you do get in, the Radahn fight itself is brutal (these guides might help you beat it) but when you finally win, one of his stars will crash down to the west, leaving a crater south of Mistwood that leads to a new underground location... yep, it's Nokron.

Make sure you have at least one Stonesword Key before you head down (you'll need it to reach the Mimic Tear Ashes), then make your way through this new area, putting down the Mimic Tear boss before heading north along the aqueduct before heading west past all the beastfolk to find the Ancestral Woods Site of Grace (above). From here, hop down onto the ledges and rooftops below to start working your way through Nokron itself. The route is fairly linear and obvious (bar the part where you need to jump onto a tower steeple/dome on your left to progress), and when you drop through the window into a huge building, keep your eyes peeled for a fog gate and an imp statue. Drop that Stonesword Key into the little guy, slay the single enemy in the room, and pop open the chest to claim your Mimic Tear Ashes. Haul ass back to Roundtable Hold and see Roderika and upgrade this squidgy lad as much as you can, ideally maxing it at +10 as soon as you can to increase its health and damage to the cap. Congratulations! You have now unlocked Easy Mode in Elden Ring.

What does the Mimic Tear summon do?

Anything you can do! Mimic Tear will copy your exact gear set when summoned, and will make use of weapons, spells, skills, and even healing flasks to keep it in the fight longer. The basic gist here is that you get to create a simulacrum of your character so there are two of you in any given fight — extra damage, an additional target for enemies to worry about, and an extra source of status build-up if you run a status build are all obvious benefits to this crazy summon. Given that its form doesn't change once summoned, though, you can do some really cool things with this, depending on your build. Set yourself up in your best cleric gear and have the mimic copy that, then change into your heavy armour and Huge Hitting Stick +18 to play as a tank with your own pocket healer; put on a Scarlet Rot weapon and a bleed skill, have the mimic copy those, then swap your weapon out for a poison one to melt tanky enemies with triple status; if you've not invested much in Endurance, put on a heavy armour set you can barely move in to have the mimic turn into a crazy damage sponge that will just sit there and take it while you go to town. The potential for shenanigans here is ridiculous, but even when you're just using it in its most simple form — summon clone, hit stuff, win — it's still obscenely powerful.

Why is the Mimic Tear summon so good?

If you've used Elden Ring's other summons, you'll know just how fragile they can be, and how ineffectual many are aside from their ability to take the heat off you and let you go hog wild on tough enemies while your friend gets stomped. Mimic Tear hits different. There's a lot to unpack here, so let's break it down.

It's a tank

Mimic Tear has a massive health pool compared to yours, meaning it can just sit there and take a beating. This is especially true if you're wearing sturdier gear when you summon it, so flimsy characters may even want to consider working on their menuing speed to pull off a quick-change as a boss battle begins to give your buddy buffed defences. It even has a flask with which to heal, so enemies will have a tough job putting Ditto down.

It's a distraction

Every hit aimed at your mimic is one that isn't aimed at you, opening up damage windows, opportunities to heal or reapply buffs, or simply time to charge up the mother of all wallops. If you're a fan of ranged builds, this will let you run one without constantly kiting enemies as they chase you down — leave the mimic on the front line and rain down arrows, bolts, or spells from a safe distance.

It doesn't cost FP

Most summons cost FP to bring out, which is either a resource that you don't typically need to focus on too much (melee builds that don't rely on weapon skills) or, if you're a magic user, is the source of all your damage so you can't afford to waste it. Mimic Tear instead costs HP, and a solid chunk of it, but in almost all cases, you'll have time to flask back up to full after summoning, meaning you're effectively getting a clone buddy at the cost of one or two flask uses, which you shouldn't need anyway if you're getting hit half as much.

It goes hard

Mimic Tear doesn't mess about, switching between one-handed and two-handed attacks, pressing opponents, guarding some attacks, using weapon skills (seemingly with more FP to spend than you do, based on how many times I've seen it use certain skills compared to how many times I can do them)... heck, this thing can even land criticals on stunned enemies, and with the right loadout, you can stunlock some bosses to death.

Is there anything bad about Mimic Tear?

To say that it's the best summon in the game would be an understatement — it's borderline broken how good this thing is. Still, it does come packing a few minor foibles, and you'll need to bear these in mind when you use it. First, Mimic Tear's AI can be a bit funky. I've seen it just stand there doing nothing for ages, waste its single heal way too early, loiter in AoE damage, hit enemies with ineffective weapons and abilities when I know it has a counter in its pocket because it's me, and run into pathfinding issues that got it stuck away from a fight... it's usually solid, but even at its best, it's hard to coordinate your attacks with those of an unpredictable ally. Depending on your build, the health cost could feel quite steep, too, but it's worth it. The main thing to watch for, though, is that your clone will transfer status build-up onto you, which can be deadly if you both end up eating an attack that does a big chunk of bleed damage, or if the fool runs off to fight Basilisks and just chills in the death gas until you both die. More often than not, enemies are either stunned or dead before they can get those status attacks off, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on against bosses that use them. Finally, like all spirits, Mimic Tear cannot be used in certain areas or in multiplayer, so don't grow too reliant on your doppelganger having your back.

So there you have it — everything you need to know about the Mimic Tear summon in Elden Ring. Planning on using this thing during your playthrough? Already using it? Hope it will be patched so players have to git gud instead of using this powerful crutch? Let us know!

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