Elden Ring boss Malenia’s Scarlet Rot attack was apparently inspired by a Magic: The Gathering card

Meanwhile, Waterfowl Dance is just anime.

Image via @ZullieTheWitch

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Elden Ring is chock-full of bosses, from the early hurdle of Margit the Fell Omen to the final confrontation. Few are as legendary as Malenia, Blade of Miquella, and now we have a good idea where one of her signature attacks comes from.

We’re not talking about Waterfowl Dance, the anime-inspired flurry of sword slashes. No, it’s Malenia’s deadly yet beautiful Scarlet Aeonia, which spreads Scarlet Rot in a petal-like area of effect. You might know how to defeat Malenia already, but the alleged origin of this rotting attack is still quite interesting.

Soulsborne content creator Zullie The Witch shared the discovery on Twitter. Concept artist Daisuke Satake has talked about director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s design process in the past, referencing old tabletop and card games. As Zullie points out, Scarlet Aeonia looks an awful lot like the Magic: The Gathering card Sunpetal Grove. This inspiration is unconfirmed by FromSoftware, but the resemblance is uncanny. It seems the studio took the Land card and turned it into an iconic, devastating attack.

This is far from Zullie’s first discovery in The Lands Between. They’re primarily a YouTuber, focusing on cut and behind-the-scenes Souls game content. A previous video of theirs demonstrated that the Erdtree is more than five times bigger than the tallest building in the real world — it would even look down on Mt. Everest.