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Elden Ring Best Dexterity/Arcane build: How do you make a Bleed build?

Bleed is pretty OP in Elden Ring, and here’s how to make a strong build that’s focused on haemorrhaging foes.

Across the vast expanse of The Lands Between, most are in unanimous agreement that Bleed is one of the most powerful afflictions in Elden Ring. Now that the Arcane scaling issue has been fixed, players have put together some truly OP Arcane and Dexterity builds that will inflict devastating amounts of Bleed build-up on their opponents.

Arcane and Dexterity go together like peanut butter and jelly - just in this case the jelly is gross, sticky blood.

For our full list, these are the best Elden Ring builds.

How do you make the best Dexterity/Arcane Build in Elden Ring?

There’s something incredibly satisfying about slashing away at opponents, watching Bleed wreak havoc on their HP bar. However, as you can imagine, with every OP weapon or build comes some controversy that perhaps it's making the game too easy.

You’ll still run into troublesome territory with this build, and some fights will prove challenging no matter your damage output. In this Arcane/Dexterity Bleed build guide, I’ve noted multiple options you can choose from in terms of weapons, talismans, and your gear.

This is so you can experiment with which weapons you have the most fun with, and if you find Rivers of Blood katana to be too cheesy for your liking, there are plenty of other weapons to choose from for an effective, fun Bleed build.

Stats and class for the best Dexterity/Arcane build in Elden Ring

For a badass Bleed build with stacks of damage, you’ll want to primarily focus on putting levels into Arcane, Dexterity, and Vigor. It’s also worth putting some levels into Endurance.

  • Arcane is the bread and butter of this build. Your weapons will scale with it, and you’ll use it to collect and cast Incantations, too. Arcane is also a pretty neat stat to focus on, not just because of the Bleed builds you can create, but also because it raises your Discovery. Whether you’re messing around with this build for your first run, or in New Game+, you’ll be able to find more rare items as you fell enemies.
  • Dexterity is an offensive stat, that focus on fast, swift movements rather than brute strength. As you’re going to be wielding a katana or pole, practicing your jump attacks, and afflicting Bleed build-up on everything you touch, you’re going to want a lot of Dexterity to support this. It also stops you being knocked off your horse by enemies.
  • Vigor is important to any build in Elden Ring. There’s nothing worse than coming up against an enemy who is so easily capable of one-shotting you. With this build, you’ll often be up close and personal with your foes, so you’ll need the extra vigor to compensate for when you do, unfortunately, get hit.
  • For your starting class, I recommend choosing Bandit or Samurai. The Bandit is a good choice due to their starting stats - they have a higher Arcane and Dex stat above all else. On the other hand, the Samurai sees you starting out with the Uchigatana immediately, plus a high Dex stat and some extra points in Endurance.

You also want to have plenty of Mind in this build to make full use of overpowered Ashes of War and magic.

As you approach late game, or even progress past it, the stats you should be aiming for are (assuming Bandit start or respec with Larval Tear):

  • Vigor: 35
  • Mind: 30
  • Endurance: 30
  • Strength: 12
  • Dexterity: 50
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 23
  • Arcane: 45

We want high Dexterity and Arcane as soon as possible, as well as enough Vigor, Mind, and Endurance to support our melee attacks, swift movement, and the magic required from our weapon skills and Incantations. You should focus on putting points into all five of these categories, prioritising Vigor, Arcane, and Dexterity.

Of course, nobody expects you to be going through the whole of the game with 150+ levels, and Elden Ring’s endgame is doable at levels 120-150. Disperse your stats how you see fit with the above values in mind and you can use the above stats as an ultimate target to aim for.

Weapons for the best Dexterity/Arcane build in Elden Ring

With this build being focused on utilising Arcane and Dex to inflict Bleed, you’ve got a few options to choose from, featuring some of Elden Ring's best weapons, and all of them look incredibly cool. Additionally, you’re going to need a Sacred Seal alongside whatever weapon you wield, so that you can cast Incantations during battle.

You won’t necessarily want to use Incantations all the time, so you can have a weapon and the seal assigned to one hand, and switch between dual-wielding and using Incantations.

  • Dragon Communion Seal - With this build's Incantations primarily being dragon ones, this seal is your go-to, as it buffs all dragon communion incantations by 15%. It also increases the build-up of status effects cause by spells, and the seal scales with Arcane.
  • Rivers of Blood - The Rivers of Blood katana is one of my favourites, with its skill - Corpse Piler - being a repeat slash attack that can inflict a huge Bleed build-up on enemies. You can grab this by defeating Bloody Finger Okina outside the Church of Repose in the southeast of the Mountaintops of the Giants.
  • Blood Uchigatana - If you’re starting as a Samurai, you’ll already have the Uchigatana, but it can also be easily acquired from the Deathtouched Catacombs in Limgrave. The Uchigatana causes Bleed build-up passively, but if you infuse it with a Bleed Ash of War, such as Bloody Slash, it’ll cause even more blood loss.
  • Godskin Peeler - The Godskin Peeler will need to be scaled with Dexterity in this build, and requires a little strength to wield (Radagon’s Soreseal will help in a pinch), and it probably gains the second top-spot after Rivers of Blood for me. The twinblade doesn’t cause Bleed initially, but is arguably one of the most powerful weapons in the game regardless with its skill, Black Flame Tornado, and can be infused with a Blood Ash of War.
  • Eleonara’s Poleblade - This twinblade puts on a good show, that’s for sure. With its skill, Bloodblade Dance, you can perform a tornado-like attack of slashes and deal plenty of Bleed damage. Its downfall is that it can’t be infused with an Ash of War, but it’s still a strong choice due to its unique attacks, Bleed and Fire damage, and its ability to stagger enemies.
  • Blood Nagakiba - Similarly to the Uchigatana, the Nagakiba is all the more powerful when infused with a blood Ash of War. It will cause bleed passively as is, but with an Ash of War, this can be doubled. If you’re wielding the Uchigatana, this is a great choice for a dual-wield.
  • Serpent-God’s Blood Curved Sword - This is at the bottom of all weapon options because it’s perhaps the last weapon I’d go for, but if you’re committed to more of a challenge and have extra points to apply to Strength, the Serpent-God’s Blood Curved Sword could work for you. It scales with Strength and Dexterity, so if your Dex stats are low, this isn’t worth bothering with. When infused with a Blood Ash of War and upgraded, however, the weapon can scale with Arcane.
  • Mohgwyn's Sacred Spear - This is probably better suited for a New Game Plus run, since you obtain it by trading Mohg's Remembrance after defeating the Lord of Blood, but it's an excellent weapon either way. The spear deals normal and fire damage, has a high chance of landing critical hits, and comes with a deadly skill, Bloodborn Ritual. The skill stabs three times and creates blood explosions, then coats your weapon with Bloodflame, which can even damage enemies behind walls.

Ash of War for the best Dexterity/Arcane build in Elden Ring

This wouldn’t be a Bleed build without making mention to various Ashes of War that’ll buff the Bleed build-up caused by your weapons. Here are a few viable options for you to choose from that can be applied to katanas, spears, and most swords.

When infusing a weapon with any of the below Blood Ashes of War, bear in mind that once a weapon has the Blood affinity, they will then scale using Arcane primarily. All other scaling types will be decreased!

  • Ash of War: Bloody Slash - The Bloody Slash Ash of War sees you coat your weapon in your blood before performing a bloody slash on foes. This particular Ash of War has short to medium range AoE, but can deal rather high damage at a lower level. I’d recommend switching to Blood Blade or Seppuku as you advance further into Elden Ring, though.
  • Ash of War: Blood Blade - When using this Ash of War, you will wound yourself to coat your weapon with blood. Then, a blood blade will be launched at your opponent causing Bleed build-up, and this can be used repeatedly for some catastrophic damage. Bloody Slash may deal more damage than this, which can you leave you confused, but Blood Blade will cause more Bleed build-up overall.
  • Ash of War: Seppuku - This is perhaps one of the more popular choices for a Bleed build, and if you’ve ever seen someone stabbing themselves repeatedly before a boss fight or some PvP, this is why. When using Seppuku, you will plunge your weapon into yourself, covering it in blood and also losing some HP. This will greatly increase your attack power and ability to inflict Bleed build-up for up to 60 seconds.

Talismans for the best Dexterity/Arcane build in Elden Ring

Talismans, and which ones you equip, are often situational. With a Bleed build, there are a handful of Talismans that are significantly more useful than others, and some that you might want to use on the rare occasion that you need them.

  • Lord of Blood’s Exultation - This is the talisman that you should have equipped all of the time while running this build. Lord of Blood’s Exultation will raise your attack power by 20% for 20 seconds whenever a nearby player or foe is inflicted with Bleed. Considering this build revolves around Bleed and stacking as much of it as possible, you’re going to be around blood loss regularly.
  • Radagon’s Soreseal - This talisman will greatly increase your stats across Vigor, Dexterity, Endurance, and Strength, but at the cost of you taking 10% more physical damage from enemies. With plenty of HP flasks, this shouldn’t prove too much of an issue.
  • Radagon Icon - This talisman will come in clutch most of the time, as it reduces the time it takes to cast sorceries. If you know that you’re going to be spamming your Incantations during a particularly tricky fight, equip this.
  • Marika’s Soreseal - Marika’s Soreseal functions similarly to Radagon’s Soreseal, affecting different stats. The talisman will increase Mind, Intelligence, Faith and Arcane by +5, but you will also take 15% more damage from enemies. I don’t recommend equipping both Soreseals simultaneously, but if you’re short on points for Faith and are committed to casting Ekzyke’s Decay (mentioned below), this can be viable.
  • Rotten Winged Sword Insignia - The Rotten Winged Sword Insignia raises your attack power with successive attacks, so proves vital in this build where you'll be playing offensively with your weapon a lot of the time. This is an upgrade of the Winged Sword Insignia talisman, which you could also use if you haven’t grabbed the Rotten version yet.
  • Claw Talisman - The Claw Talisman is simple; it enhances jump attacks. With this build in particular, I found myself jumping and slashing enemies regularly. So, this talisman proved to make those jump attacks a tad more powerful.
  • Shard of Alexander - The Shard of Alexander talisman will greatly boost the attack power of your skills, and if you’re using a weapon such as the Rivers of Blood katana (with the Corpse Piler skill), this talisman will make it all the more powerful. Not that it needs to be any more powerful than it already is.

Magic for the best Dexterity/Arcane build in Elden Ring

While you’re probably going to focus on using your weapons to inflict damage and defeat enemies, magic is important too. With points plunged into Arcane, there are a handful of Incantations that you’ll find to be rather useful in this build, primarily Dragon Incantations.

To purchase Dragon Incantations and unlock new ones, you’ll need to go about slaying dragons, acquiring their hearts, and visiting both the Church and Cathedral of Dragon Communion. We detail where to find them all here.

  • Ekzyke’s Decay - I like this one because you almost turn into a dragon temporarily. Almost. Ekzyke’s Decay will summon a dragon that then breathes scarlet rot at targets. The spell deals physical damage, magic damage, and scarlet rot, so you can’t go wrong with it. You can also use Rotten Breath for a similar outcome if you don’t wish to put as many points into Faith.
  • Swarm of Flies - This spell will fire a swarm of bloodflies at your target, dealing plenty of Bleed build-up. You can fire this at a mob before finishing them off with a weapon, and vice versa.
  • Greyoll’s Roar - If you’ve got Radagon’s Soreseal equipped, teaming it with this Incantation can be helpful. Greyoll’s Roar can be used against enemies to debuff them, reduce their attack power by around 20%, and temporarily increase your own attack power, too.
  • Bloodboon - This spell, also from Mohg's Remembrance, creates a searing slash of blood and sets the ground on fire, dealing two rounds of damage and continuing to harm all who stand in the flames.

Gear for the best Dexterity/Arcane build in Elden Ring

Armour isn’t incredibly important (for the most-part) in Elden Ring. So, provided that you can med-roll and have some protection upon your back, you can be as high fashion as you’d like. There are a few suggestions for pieces of armour that’ll benefit your attack power and Bleed build-up, though.

  • White Mask - I know I said armour is your own choice, but this head piece is perhaps the only item I’d suggest that you need for a Bleed build. Varre’s Mask can be acquired by defeating him (well, an enemy taking on the appearance of him) as an Invader by Mohgwyn Palace, and the mask will raise your attack power whenever blood loss is in the vicinity.
  • Royal Remains Set - I’m naming this set solely because I think parts of it look cool with this build, and it’s passive ability can come in clutch too. The armour can passively regenerate HP whenever your HP is reduced - albeit, I barely noticed this, but again, the gauntlets and greaves look particularly cool teamed with Raptor’s Black Feathers. You can grab this set in Roundtable Hold after fighting with Invader, Ensha of the Royal Remains.
  • Raptor’s Black Feathers - This piece enhances your jump attacks, and can be found in Sage’s Cave behind an illusory wall.

For more Elden Ring builds, take a look at our Intelligence build and our Strength build. Alternatively, we have a comprehensive guide to The Lands Between in our Elden Ring walkthrough.

About the Author

Kelsey Raynor avatar

Kelsey Raynor

Guides Writer

Kelsey’s passion for gaming began with Resident Evil, and she’s been a horror fanatic ever since. When she is not scoping out new ways to scare herself silly, she can be found trying to climb ranks in Valorant.

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