Before diving into the strategy necessary for sending the Pthumerian Elder to a timely grave, we have to pay homage to the single coolest weapon in all of Bloodborne. The Pthumerian Elder wields a staff with a flaming tip that morphs into both a crossbow and a larger blade, and this is exactly as badass as it sounds. It might seem easy to get wrapped up in the awesomeness of this particular fight, but playing a passive role in any battle is a great way to get yourself killed. Luckily for you, the fight against the Pthumerian Elder isn’t as hard as it may initially seem, especially when you consider the intriguing sense of rhythm that arises from well-timed dodges and melee attacks.
There are two things to keep in mind during this battle: the Pthumerian Elder’s highly telegraphed attacks have a high area-of-effect and he teleports constantly. Because of these two facts, keeping yourself locked on at all times is going to prove to be invaluable, as the quick-steps that come from locking on will enable you to get closer to the Pthumerian Elder after quickly escaping his attacks. The general strategy you have to employ to defeat this boss is to dash over to the Elder, attack him a couple of times, dodge his next attack, and repeat the process over and over again. Despite having a very powerful fire-based weapon, Fire Paper is definitely highly effective against the Pthumerian Elder. If you’re looking to beat the Pthumerian Elder a bit faster, having the Old Hunter Bone in one of your Quick Equip slots will give you the opportunity to get close to him much quicker (this goes for pretty much every boss fight – this item is invaluable).
It might seem a bit simple to say that this entire fight consists of simply dodging and attacking as much as you can before your enemy warps away, but that’s exactly what you have to do to succeed. There’s a number of little nuances that you’ll have to pay attention to (i.e. projectile attacks vs. physical attacks), but if you move as much as possible while taking your time with your attacks, you’ll wind up winning.