Elden Ring's Mimic Tear Nerf Makes No Sense

Elden Ring's latest update dropped this week, and with it came a swath of buffs and nerfs for different tools. Most of the changes were pretty agreeable with some builds that were 100% busted getting fixed or nerfed, but one change stood out in particular: The Mimic Tear nerf. It was – and probably will still be – a strong Spirit Ash companion to be summoned in all sorts of situations, but if it didn't affect anyone but the player using it, why bother nerfing it?

The notes pertaining to the Mimic Tear nerf were brief while still giving enough to be frustrated about. The update "decreased the damage of spirit summoned when using the item Mimic Tear Ash and changed the spirit's behavior pattern," and while that last part is a bit less clear, the decreased damage part is an unmistakable nerf.

Was the Mimic Tear summon actually strong enough to warrant a nerf? Sure it was – every Elden Ring player who's been on forums and looked up potential builds will have heard of the Mimic Tear Ashes by now, and based on the commentary so far surrounding the Elden Ring update, some people had only just recently gotten their hands on the Spirit Ashes and obtained enough health to use it.

But as anyone who's used it will know, it was effectively a single-player item since it and other Spirit Ashes can't be used in multiplayer settings under any circumstances. That means nobody was getting one-shotted by a Mimic Tear when they invaded another player, and nobody was using Mimic Tears to defend against invaders.

Anti-Mimic Tear players in favor of the nerf have suggested that it made the game too easy and trivialized boss fights, but unless your name is Malenia, Blade of Miquella or Starscourge Radahn, who cares? One could argue that it made farming Runes easy in situations where the Mimic Tear could be summoned outside of a boss fight, but new Rune-farming locations show up all the time, so it's hard to imagine that was a consideration. FromSoftware's followers have always been very vocal about how others played the games with cries of what's OP and what's overrated (often because the idea that an easier route exists somehow seems to dilute one's own sense of accomplishment) but of all the builds in Elden Ring to gripe about, applauding a PvE nerf seems picky even by SoulsBorne standards. 

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To the update's credit, it did take care of some more egregious problems with Elden Ring's builds such as insta-death invaders and a shield that doubled as a ray gun, but those smart changes only make the Mimic Tear nerf stand out even more. Players will still find ways to use the Mimic Tear to their benefit, and if not, they should have plenty of Grave Gloveworts and Ghost Gloveworts to upgrade other Spirit Ashes enough to take the Mimic Tear's place. It's still an unusually pointed part of the game to target regardless.

The argument of whether single-player weapons, abilities, and other tools should be nerfed in any game isn't a new one by any means, but it's especially frustrating in a game like Elden Ring where you're given the freedom to play your way only to find your build could need readjusting after an update drops. This nerf won't break builds since it simply duplicated what you already had, but if you need to pursue more drastic changes after future updates, let's hope you have a Larval Tear handy.