Best Elden Ring build guide

Looking for Elden Ring build ideas?

The sheer number of weapons, Ashes of War, and how you can combine them provide much more build potential than any previous FromSoftware game. Because Ashes of War and their kinship are not dependent on enhancement gems, you can be a lot more playful in how you build your character, swapping them out and tweaking your weapon scaling on a whim.

When you take into account the ridiculous amount of Elden Ring armor sets in the game, there’s huge potential for both character creation and playing any type of Tarnish you want. You can have a built-in mind from the start or choose to do it as you progress and level up to use the cool Elden Ring weapons you’ll discover as you travel through the Lands Between. Anyway, in this guide, I’ll cover some basic tips for building your character, explain why the Wretch class is still the best, and show you our favorite Elden Ring builds, as well as what you need to use them yourself.

Character Creation

How to create an Elden Ring build for your character

The first thing to consider when creating a build is what you find fun and how you can push that into damage. It’s usually best to start with the Wretch class if you’re not sure what you want, as this will give you a clean slate that you can level in any direction. Since Rogue also has the first level, buying these initial levels will be much cheaper than otherwise. This makes him the most flexible of the Elden Ring classes.

The second thing to pay attention to is statistics. One of the best things about Elden Ring is that you can change stats much more easily than in any of the Souls games. As you can see in our Elden Ring specialization guide, you take Larval Tear and redistribute your attributes based on your starting class – another reason Rogues’ balanced starting stat line is so good. This means you can change your build on the fly once you defeat Rennala.

If you want to play exclusively in melee combat, stat distribution is not difficult since it depends entirely on the scaling of the desired weapon. However, if you want to be a melee/caster hybrid, find a weapon that scales really well and matches your desired stat distribution. For example, the Darkmoon greatsword pairs very well with intelligence but doesn’t require high strength or dexterity, making it a great choice for a sorcerer.

If you’re more interested in spells, the Staff of the Avatar is great for scaling Faith and power. For something faster, Cipher Pata or Coded Sword only requires Faith to use and also has a large Faith scaling. If you’re only going to use spells and not weapons. You’re better off using a staff or sacred seal. Magic in Elden Ring is much easier to create because most of the best spell items enhance a certain type of spell. There are so many options for witchcraft and spells: Karian sword, Brilliant stone, Stonedigger, Death, Crystalline, Fundamentalist, Godslayer, Bestial. It is best to experiment and discover your favorite magical lore.

Our favorite builds

However, here are some fun themed builds we came up with that show how it works and might give you some ideas for your own:

Best Elden Ring Confessor Build

Crucible Knight Captain

  • Starting class: Confessor
  • Weapon: Tree of Siluria, Golden Halberd, Staff of the Avatar, Golden Epitaph, Greatsword of Ordovis, Black Blade of the Gargoyle
  • Casting: claw print
  • Armor: Crucible wood or Crucible ax set
  • Attribute priority: Strength/Faith/Stamina/Intelligence
  • Ashes of War: Sacred Blade, Golden Oath, Oath of Invincibility (when using a shield)
  • Spells: Crucible Aspects: Tail, Crucible Aspects: Horns, Crucible Aspects: Breath, Beast Claw, Beast Sling

Crucible Knights are one of the coolest mini-bosses in Elden Ring. They are devout warriors who can use the spells of the Aspects of the Crucible to sprout gigantic tails and strike opponents, launch themselves into the air or shoulder them from a distance. This build focuses on the Silurian Crucible Knight found in Deeproot Depths, but there are plenty of early game options that will work here, like the Golden Halberd or the Wood Spear if you choose to focus on agility.

The most important thing is that you choose a weapon that also scales with faith. In terms of casting, Talon Seal is based on strength and faith and also enhances bestial spells. They deal physical damage and are generally pretty good at stunning enemies so you can land a critical hit. This is definitely a later build of the game, as the first set of Crucible armor we know of is in the Tomb of the Hero Auriza near Lindell. However, you can get Aspects of the Crucible very early, with the Tail Spell located in Storm Hill Evergaol.

Best Elden Ring Prisoner Build

Carian Battle Mage

  • Starting class: A prisoner
  • Weapon: Darkmoon Greatsword, Moonshroud, Trollknight Sword, Sword of Night and Flame, Crystal Sword
  • Casting: Meteorite Staff, Glitterstone Carian Staff
  • Armor: Battlemage set
  • Attribute priority: Strength/Intelligence/Int/Agility
  • Spells: Carian Impaler, Carian Greatsword, Mulled Pebble

This is your sword and magic build, very similar to Crucible Knight above, but with intelligence scaling and a little more emphasis on casting spells. There is many great intelligence scaling weapons in Elden Ring, and they are one of the best in the game. The Moonveil katana, for example, can shoot a wave of magic, and the Sword of Night and Flame has become popular for its beam attack.

In terms of casting, you’ll need the Elden Ring meteor staff due to its absurd intellect scaling and melee sorcery like Carian Greatsword and Piercer. Glintstone Pebble is also a very economical long-range spell. In terms of armor, the battlemage set you can get in the Altus Plateau really matches the aesthetic, and the Haima Glintstone crown increases intelligence and strength in exchange for a bit less FP.

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Best Elden Ring Gang Buildings

Killer with black knife

  • Starting class: Bandit
  • Weapon: Misericord, Reduvia, Scorpion’s Sting
  • Armor: Black knife set
  • Attribute priority: Agility/Strength/Arcane/Stamina
  • Ashes of War: Blood Blade, Blood Strike, Poison Moth Flight, Toxic Mist, Spinning Strike, Haste, Piercing Thrust, Repeated Thrust, Parry

It’s more of your classic agility-based dagger, but with the same good bleeding as in Elden Ring, daggers are extremely strong in the early game. You can get the Reduvia almost immediately in the Darkwater Cave dungeon, and it’s a great weapon against many bosses in the Elden Ring. Misericorde is also very good and has a high critical hit rate. You can find it in the armory of Stormvale Castle.

The best thing about this build is that you can advance it however you want in terms of Ashes of War, favoring bleed, poison, pure agility, or even something like scarlet rot if you choose to go with the Scorpion’s Stinger dagger. In any case, the essence is the same – fast attacks that increase the status to deal damage. If you prefer Agility, Bleeding, and Poison, you can also switch to a lot of great katanas like Rivers of Blood and Serpentbone Blade. You can’t get the Black Knife armor set until the end of the game, but many other light sets can be used until then.

Ancestral Hunter

  • Starting class: Bandit
  • Weapon: Longbow, Shortbow, Pulley Bow, Horn Bow, Serpentine Bow, Erdtree Bow, Spear, Pike
  • Armor: Radiant Horn Bandage, Fur Robe
  • Attribute priority: Agility/Strength/Intelligence
  • Ashes of War: Power Shot, Multi-Shot

Being able to use a bow on horseback has completely changed the game for archers, making them a pretty good class to take on a lot of bosses in the open world. There are many bows with different scaling, which somewhat compensates for the fact that most Ashes of War cannot be used with them. Eritrea’s Bow, for example, adds a faith bar, and the Serpent’s Bow adds one for arcane. You can even deal magic damage with a horn bow.

The key to this build is Agility and Strength for increased damage, as well as Intelligence for increasing the number of times you can unleash your skill. You might later want to upgrade to a longbow like Radan’s Lionbow, but it can’t be used while mounted. There are also some fun ranged options in Jar Cannon and Hand Ballista, although they require a lot of strength to wield. For your melee option, I recommend a spear or pike so you can keep your distance. As for armor and armor, anything light will do, but for a sense of the hunting spirit, I chose the Radiant Horned Armband and Fur Robe that you get from the Ancestral Warriors in the Siofra River.

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Blood Lord

  • Starting class: Bandit
  • Weapon: Reduvia, Winged Scythe, Blood Spiral, Blood Rivers, Wheel of Giza, Great Stars
  • Casting: Raging Flame Seal, Fingerprint
  • Armor: Sanguine noble set
  • Attribute priority: Agility/Arcane/Faith/Intelligence
  • Ashes of War: Blood Blade, Blood Strike
  • Spells: Swarm of Flies, Bloodflame Claws, Blood Boon, Bloodflame Blade

Elden Ring has a lot of great bleeding weapons, whether you want to go with strength or agility. Reduvia, Bloody Helice, and Rivers of Blood are all hard dex weapons, but for strength, there are also Great Stars and Wheel Ghiza, which can’t help but resemble the Whirligig Saw from Bloodborne.

Most bleed spells are only available in the later stages of the game, so you’ll focus on dealing damage with your weapons first. I recommend dexterous bleed weapons, as they hit much faster and gain bleed status faster than weapons with slow strength. Reduvia is a great early game choice, as are Hook Claws or Forked Imp Tongue Dagger if you’re lucky enough to drop it. You can even get bleed shields if you want a bit more protection, like Corrupted Wooden Shield in Stormveil and Spiked Shield in Calysus.

If you want to use these blood-based spells later in the game, you also need to fortify your faith. If you do, I recommend using the Weeping Peninsula Wingscythe as it is one of the few Faith Bleed weapons in the game. Developing faith will also allow you to add some other spells to your build, such as heal or status heal.

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