If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Elden Ring Best Ashes of War: How to use Ashes of War, Whetstone Knife location

Ashes of War in Elden Ring are powerful special moves which bind to your equipment. Here's how to equip them.

There's nothing that can turn the tide of a battle quite like the best Ashes of War in Elden Ring.

Ashes of War in Elden Ring are powerful special moves which bind to your equipment. Think of them as a better version of Dark Souls 3's Weapon Arts. After you equip them, you can call on their secret technique in battle.

Some of the best Ashes of War like Bloody Slash and Hoarfrost Stomp can make all the difference in Elden Ring's most difficult fights, and it's well worth seeking them out.

Dwindling flame has always had power in FromSoftware games, whether it's the end of the Age of Fire in Dark Souls or here in Elden Ring, where you could say the knowledge of these battle-forged techniques are the ashes left by wars long since finished.

Here, we explain some of the best Ashes of War in Elden Ring, how to use them and duplicate them, and where to find the Whetstone Knife.

How to use Ashes of War in Elden Ring

To use an Ash of War in Elden Ring, you need to either press or hold L2 on PlayStation, or LT on Xbox, depending on the technique. On PC, hold Shift and press right-click. Ashes of War draw on your Focus Points (FP) to cast, so remember to use that blue bar wisely.

Certain Ash of War skills set you up for a boosted follow-up attack. In those instances, you'll need to press your heavy attack button right after you activate the skill. So, press R2/RT. There is a pretty big risk-reward element to Ashes of War since their animation times can be sluggish. You have to weigh up the undeniable power of your equipped special move versus the time it takes to use, then hope you don’t get hit while you’re winding up.

When used correctly though, Ashes of War are a vital tool in your Elden Ring arsenal that can be used on mobs and bosses alike.

You also need to remember that Ashes of War can only be used with a single weapon equipped - i.e. a sword in your right hand and nothing in your left. If your Ash of War is greyed out or not working, get rid of your shield and try again.

For this reason, it’s also recommended that if you’re relying on Ashes of War that you brush up on how to two hand weapons effectively to maximise damage, because you may as well benefit from the free damage bonus.

Ashes of War must first be equipped from a Site of Grace where you will find the menu option towards the bottom of the list. Not all Ashes of War can be equipped to every kind of weapon however, so you will need to experiment with different weapon types to see what’s worth switching up your playstyle for.

For example, Ash of War: Repeating Thrust needs a weapon you can actually thrust - like a sword or spear - while the attack-buffing Ash of War: Determination can be used with hammers and axes.

You will need the Whetstone Knife to be able to equip an Ash of War at any Site of Grace, and we explain where you can find this below!

Whetstone Knife location in Elden Ring

The Whetstone Knife can be acquired very early on in Elden Ring. It is found near the Gatefront Ruins in Limgrave, shown above. Start at the Church of Elleh Site of Grace and head north-east, simply following the road.

There's another Site of Grace nearby, too, towards the gate in the north: Gatefront. So, you may want to activate it before duking it out with everyone at the ruins. The chest you need is found in an underground chamber in the camp so slightly south of here, you can't miss it. It's your choice whether to head straight for it, or clear everyone out first.

Inside the chest, you'll find the Whetstone Knife, as well as the Ash of War: Storm Stomp.

All Ash of War types and affinities in Elden Ring

There are thirteen different affinities that an Ash of War can infuse your weapon with. I've noted all of them and their scaling type below.

  • Standard - These Ashes of War scale with the original weapon scaling, and no special effect is applied.
  • Keen - Increases Dexterity scaling, but decrease Strength scaling and base damage.
  • Quality - Balances Strength and Dexterity scaling while decreasing base damage.
  • Lightning - Adds lightning damage, increase Dexterity scaling, but decrease Strength scaling and base damage.
  • Magic - Adds magic damage and increase Intelligence scaling, while reducing Strength/Dexterity scaling and base damage.
  • Sacred - Adds Holy Damage and Faith scaling, but will decrease physical damage and damage negation.
  • Heavy - Increases Strength scaling, but will decrease all other scaling types.
  • Fire - Adds fire damage and increases Strength scaling, but will decrease all other scaling types.
  • Flame Art - Adds flame damage and Faith scaling, but will decrease default scaling types.
  • Occult - Adds Arcane scaling, but will decrease all other scaling types.
  • Poison - Increases Arcane, Strength, and Dexterity scaling, and adds poison build-up to attacks.
  • Cold - Increases Intelligence scaling and adds Frostbite build-up to attacks, but will decrease all other scaling types.
  • Blood - Adds Arcane scaling and Bleed build-up attacks, but will decrease all other scaling types.

It's also worth noting that certain special weapons come with unique Ashes of War, which cannot be changed, or transferred to a different weapon. They're effectively part of their special moves, and often powerful.

How to duplicate Ashes of War in Elden Ring

If you really like a certain Ash of War, you can duplicate it so that it can be used with multiple weapons. Any blacksmith will be able to do this for you, but you're going to need Lost Ashes of War - which is what they're going to use for that process.

Lost Ashes of War are a rare resource, but you will earn and find them as you explore he Lands Between. They're also sold by some Merchants for a hefty price. We recommend being very selective with what to use Lost Ashes of War on, and have noted a few Merchants that you can buy them from below.

  • Liurnia's Isolated Merchant - This Merchant can be round by the Main Academy Gate near Raya Lucaria Academy, and they will sell Lost Ashes of War for 4000 Runes.
  • Weeping Peninsula's Isolated Merchant - This Merchant sells Lost Ashes of War for 3000 Runes, and can be found at the west-most shack in Weeping Peninsula.
  • Ainsel River's Nomadic Merchant - The Merchant at Ainsel River will sell Lost Ashes of War for 3000 Runes.

Where to find Ashes of War in Elden Ring

There are plenty of Ashes of War in Elden Ring, and not all of them are acquired in the same way. Some are exclusive to certain bosses, and you'll earn those when you defeat said bosses. Others are simple drops from enemies, or the Scarabs that scurry away when they spot you.

You'll also come across a many just laying around, and there's even a certain NPC that will sell you a few unique Ashes of War. So keep exploring to expand your library. We have, however, noted some of the best Ashes of War and where you can find them below - just beware of light spoilers from this point onwards.

What are the best Ashes of War in Elden Ring?

Best early game Ashes of War in Elden Ring

Because of their undisputed power, you will want to track down some of the best Ashes of War early on in your Elden Ring adventure.

Here are some of the most powerful Ashes of War that you can unlock in Limgrave and the immediate surrounding areas as you start out in The Lands Between.

  • Storm Blade

This is one you can pick up early at the Warmaster's Shack, but it remains useful throughout the game thanks to its range. The skill lets you fire off a whirlwind blast similar to the ones the Stormveil knights use in the castle, and best of all, it only costs about a thousand Runes.

  • Unsheathe

The Uchigatana and Nagakiba's bundled Ash of War, Unsheathe, is a great example of a good special move right at the start of the game.

You either have the Uchigatana as your starting weapon if you're a Samurai, or can find it at the Deathtouched Catacombs next to Saintbridge north of Stormhill Shack.

While it takes a little time to wind up, the leaping slash is fast, strong, and great for closing distance on difficult foes.

The Nagakiba, on the other hand, is dropped by Bloody Finger Hunter Yura. You will encounter them either north of Murkwater Cave, or by the camp at the Seaside Ruins Site of Grace.

  • Wild Strikes

Sometimes you just need to whack something until it falls down. So when haste is the name of the game, you need Wild Strikes.

To get this Ash of War, you need to kill the treasure dungbeetle at the bottom of the approach to Stormveil Castle.

  • Bloody Slash

Reminiscent of some of the most powerful attacks in another FromSoftware game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the Bloody Slash consumes a small amount of your own HP to throw out a huge, far-reaching and massively damaging attack.

While the steps needed to get this technique might seem daunting at the start of the game, it's actually a bit easier than you might think thanks to Spirit Summons.

From The First Step, you need to go east and take back Fort Haight on the coast. You can run past most of the enemies, but have to defeat the knight on top of the ramparts who uses Bloody Slash himself.

With him vanquished, you claim the technique for yourself.

  • Stormcaller

Just before you face the big man himself, you can grab an Ash of War used liberally by Godrick the Grafted, Stormcaller.

With it, you throw out a damaging ring of wind around yourself which can be useful when mobbed or to interrupt attacks.

This Ash of War is location between the Liftside Chamber and Secluded Cell Sites of Grace on the north side of Stormveil Castle, where you kill another treasure dungbeetle.

  • Glintblade Phalanx

Glintblade Phalanx is an incredibly powerful Ash of War that can fortunately be acquired relatively early in Elden Ring, but you're going to have to take on a few tough fights first.

This Ash of War will summon multiple Glintblade daggers around your character's head, and these will fire at your targeted enemies with relatively good tracking. This is great for a melee build, as the Glintblades can keep your enemy staggered just long enough for you to chug that Flask.

To get Glintblade Phalanx, you will need to have defeated Godrick the Grafted at Stormveil Castle. Then, you can speak with Sorcerer Rogier at Roundtable Hold, where you will then receive Rogier's Rapier, which already has Glintblade Phalanx infused.

Alternatively, you can purchase the Ash of War a little later down the line. When or if you acquire the Royal House Scroll, if you give the item to either Sorceress Sellen or Miriel Pastor of Vows, you will then be able to purchase Glintblade Phalanx from whomever you give it to.

  • Sacred Blade

Finally, for when you're dealing with Elden Ring's most corrupted and evil foes, Holy damage is a great help.

The Sacred Blade Ash of War imbues your weapon with Faith damage and makes it fire out a damaging projectile, similar to Margit the Fell Omen's large dagger.

It can be found just to the southeast of Summonwater Village, which is east of Saintbridge and Stormveil Castle. As with a few of the other Ashes of War, you need to kill a dungbeetle there.

Best late game Ashes of War in Elden Ring

If you're looking for some mighty mid and late game Ashes of War in Elden Ring, these should definitely be on your radar. This is in addition to those noted above, but choose whatever works best for your build!

  • Hoarfrost Stomp

So good that it was nerfed by a post-launch patch, the Hoarfrost Stomp is still a great Ash of War to add to your arsenal.

As you might expect, it smashes out a frozen barriage in a relatively wide area that's good for stunning enemies and interrupting their attacks.

To get the Hoarfrost Stomp Ash of War, travel to the Main Gate Site of Grace at Caria Manor and head east.

There you find a small pond with a ghostly trail running around. Slash the scarab at the front of the trail and the Hoarfrost Stomp is yours.

  • Prelate's Charge

This is a fun one that ignites a flame at the end of your weapon and sees you charge around, setting everything on fire. It's great for fire damage, obviously, but it also creates a not-insignificant obstacle between you and your foes.

The only trouble is you can only get Prelate's Charge in the Forbidden Lands, the little stretch of land between the capital and Mountaintops of the Giants. The scarab is on a tree near the Fire Monk camp.

  • Taker's Flames

The signature skill on the Blasphemous Blade - which you get from Praetor Rykard's Remembrance - is as powerful as they come.

Your character raises their weapon above their head and unleashes a huge pillar of flame that deals high damage in a very wide area with a long reach to top it off.

  • Night-and-Flame Stance

The Sword of Night and Flame is found at Caria Manor - we show you how to get it in our Elden Ring best weapons page - and it has a fantastic unique ability.

This sword does not have one skill, but two, where the light attack spurts out a huge jet of magic and the heavy attack envelops foes in a massive wall of flame. Highly recommended.

  • Lightning Ram

This rather bizarre skill lets you curl up and roll around like the rams in the Lands Between, with the added bonus that you electrify anything you touch. It's one you can use repeatedly, assuming you have the FP, so it's surprisingly good at dealing consistent damage.

The scarab for this one is southeast of Sainted Hero's Grave and east of Stormcaller Church.

  • Seppuku

The Seppuku Ash of War is as something you'll need to get your hands on if you're going for a Bleed build. Seppuku will have your character stab themselves multiple times, at the cost of your HP, but will greatly boost your attack power.

This Ash of War can be found in the Mountaintops of Giants, and can be acquired from a scarab near the Freezing Lake Site of Grace.

There's more magic and mystery to discover in The Lands Between with our Elden Ring guide.

About the Author

James Billcliffe avatar

James Billcliffe

Guides Editor

James suffers so you don't have to. Whether it's raging so hard at Sekiro that he bit his own hand, or confronting a 20-year fear of zombies to complete Resident Evil 2 eight times, he creates guides and reviews for the biggest blockbuster games.

Support VG247

You give us money, we give you an ad-free reading experience, merch discounts, a newsletter every month, and elite status amongst your friends.

See more information

Comments

More On Elden Ring

Latest Articles

VG247 logo

Buy our t-shirts, yeah

They're far more stylish than your average video game website tat.

VG247 Merch