Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree’s Furnace Giant is easy, but it’s a great teaching tool

The Furnace Giant may be easy, but it still teaches a valuable lesson.

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In the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree gameplay trailer, the fearsome Furnace Giant was shown, and it looks like a tough foe. During my recent hands-on with the game though, that turned out to not be the case as this enemy is surprisingly easy to beat.

During my hands-on, I got to experience the DLC’s early parts. From the DLC’s starting point, the Furnace Giant (the Wicker Man-like enemy) is the first major enemy you’ll see if you ride straight as intended.

Upon seeing the Furnace Giant, I thought that it would be another Tree Sentinel moment in that it’s a foe designed to be beaten later on in the Elden Ring DLC. Still, I tried to fight it. Lo and behold, the Furnace Giant didn’t put up much of a fight. It’s not even considered a boss as it doesn’t have a boss health bar.

To be fair, you can get killed by it if you’re not careful as each stomp from its feet will let out a wave of fire that can take a chunk out of your health. While riding Torrent though, you can easily dodge this telegraphed attack by jumping.

The fight boils down to you hitting its legs until it staggers, all while simply avoiding its fire stomp attack. It also has other attacks, but they’re quite slow and easy to read. Soon enough, you’ll be able to beat it and get the Deflecting Hard Tear and the Furnace Visage (which seems to be connected to the Fell God of Fire based on the item description).

While such a fearsome foe being easy may be disappointing to some, I thought it was another great example of FromSoftware using earlier enemies to teach key mechanics.

In the same way that the Tree Sentinel teaches players that they can avoid enemies that are too strong (unless they’re skilled or stubborn enough to beat them) in the open world, the Furnace Giant teaches the value of jumping.

Sure, many bosses in the base game have attacks that can be dodged by jumping, but rolling does a good enough job in most cases. Meanwhile, in my fights against the main DLC bosses, I encountered attacks that players could only seem to avoid by jumping.

If not for the Furnace Giant, I probably would’ve forgotten about jumping to avoid these attacks and simply panic-roll instead. Sure, it’s a small thing, but it shows just how much thought the developers have put into Shadow of the Erdtree. This has gotten me even more excited to discover what else the DLC has to offer.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree will be released on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on June 21, 2024.