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Best Elden Ring builds by stat and status effect

You need not be a desperate, maidenless Tarnished with these builds.

Update: Elden Ring has had plenty of updates, so we've updated this list of the best Elden Ring builds with up to date stats and recommendations, including new talismans, gear, and weapons to consider when quelling foes across The Lands Between. We have also added links to our new pages detailing where to find specific items, to help you out.

When it comes to the best Elden Ring builds, you often don't get a shot at the most bodacious builds until later in the game, when your stats reach a certain point and you have access to better weapons. You start off in The Lands Between as a measly, weak Tarnished who likely needs all the help that they can get. Yet, once you give your character the required TLC, you’ll be showing up to NG+ in style.

For a lot of players, you’ll typically find a powerful weapon of sorts (or find that you suck at dodging attacks, like myself) and you’ll craft your build around that. For others, you might have an idea in mind for your character - a powerful mage, a brute-strength slayer, a vampirical leech, or something beyond that. Whatever weapon you’ve become attached to or character you’ve got stored in your head-canon, there’s likely a build for it in Elden Ring.

With that being said, we’ve put together a hub of all our best Elden Ring builds, and recommended various gear to add to your arsenal and get you started with whichever path you plan for your character (or future characters) to go down.

Best Elden Ring Strength build - Colossal Crusher

Connor put together a detailed page for the best Strength build in Elden Ring that has you wielding a colossal weapon across The Lands Between. For this build, you’ll need to put your hard-earned Runes into levelling Strength (duh) to the soft cap of 60, as well as Vigor and Endurance. As for your gear, go about grabbing the following first.

Greatsword - The Greatsword is a colossal weapon that you may recognise for bearing a striking resemblance to Guts’ Greatsword in Berserk. When fully upgraded, it is one of the best Strength weapons for the endgame, and it looks incredibly cool when being used in combat, too. You can grab the weapon relatively early on from Caelid, but you’ll need 31 Strength and 12 Dexterity to be able to use it.

Erdtree’s Favor Talisman - With this talisman boosting your HP, stamina, and equip load simultaneously, it would be a shame to not pick it up. It boosts everything that a Strength user requires.

Arsenal Charm Talisman - This charm will boost your equip load a little more, so you’ll be able to wear heavier armor. Armor is not a top priority for most in Elden Ring, but if you want the utmost protection as you go about slashing at enemies, then this is a must-have.

Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman - This talisman will actually reduce all incoming Physical damage by 20%, so it can make a world of different when getting up close and personal with hard-hitting bosses.

Mentioning armor, you can mainly go for whatever you think is fashionable, as long as you stick to a medium equip load so you can still roll easily. A couple of sets that pair with the Greatsword (and this build) nicely are the Royal Remains Set, which you acquire by defeating Starscourge Radahn, or the Scaled Set which is great at negating ability damage, and can be found during the Volcano Manor questline.

When it comes to Ashes of War, use a Heavy Ash of War to ensure the Greatsword scales better with Strength. Specifically, Ash of War: Stamp (Upward Cut) can be a good choice for an upwards slash attack that can counter the troublesome enemies of the air, such as dragons.

That said, and with thanks to one of our readers, the Greatsword actually does more damage using a Fire Ash of War at lower-levels. So, you may want to consider trying this and switching your weapon to a Heavy Ash of War later in the game.

Best Elden Ring Faith build - Black Flame Monk

Courtesy of Connor again, we have a comprehensive guide to the best Blackflame Faith build in Elden Ring, with an in-depth breakdown of all the stats and gear you need. This build promises to have you burning your way across The Lands Between using a lot more magic than that of a Strength build.

When levelling, you’ll want to focus on getting your Faith to 60, plus plenty of Mind and Vigor primarily. When it comes to your gear, here are some suggestions of what to go about collecting.

Godslayer’s Seal - With this build, you’ll be using godslayer incantations, and this particular seal will give those incantations a boost. The seal can be found in Stormveil Castle relatively early on in the game.

When it comes to the Blackflame Faith build, there are a handful of incantations that you’ll have on a rotation. We specifically recommend Blackflame, Blackflame Blade, Scouring Blackflame, Black Flame's Protection, and Noble Presence to get the most out of this build.

Godslayer’s Greatsword - For this build, you can grab this weapon by defeating the Godskin Apostle in the Divine Tower of Caelid. It requires 20 Strength, 22 Dexterity, and 20 Faith and has the unique skill of The Queen’s Black Flame.

Godskin Peeler - Alternatively, you can pick up the Godskin Peeler from another Godskin Apostle fight at Windmill Village in Altus Plateau. With this, you can use the Black Flame Tornado unique skill, and apply an Ash of War to the weapon (Godslayer’s Greatsword cannot be infused with Ashes of War). You need 17 Strength and 22 Dexterity to wield this one, but both weapons are viable choices.

For a more hybrid Faith and Bleed build, players can also consider a weapon like the Wakizashi dagger, Nagakiba or Bloodhound’s Fang with built in blood loss that can provide an additional surge of damage when coated with the Black Flame Blade incantation.

On the other hand, and as you probably already know, armor isn’t all that important in Elden Ring. It’s all about high fashion in The Lands Between. However, there are always a few pieces that can help make a build a little more powerful. More specifically, the Ruler’s Mask is a good addition to any Faith build, as it provides you with an additional Faith level.

Best Elden Ring Intelligence build - Glintstone Wizard

As someone who isn’t the best at dodging or timing my attacks, I initially blasted through Elden Ring with an Intelligence build. I later moved over to Arcane and Bleed after becoming a lot more accustomed to how treacherous The Lands Between can be, but there’s simply no denying that slinging spells is good fun.

I put together a full run-down on the best Intelligence build in Elden Ring, with plenty of choice for your arsenal, but I’ve noted some must-haves for any Mage build below.

Elden Ring's Meteorite Staff is great for gravity magic and early intelligence builds.

Meteorite Staff - This nifty staff can be grabbed early on in the game from Street of Sages Ruins in Caelid, and only needs 6 Strength and 18 Intelligence. This staff is one of the best in the game, even well into the late-game, and also boosts gravity spells like Rock Sling.

If you’re looking to swap your staff for something shinier in the late game, though, pick up the Carian Regal Scepter by defeating Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, and trading her remembrance with Enia at Roundtable Hold. This staff needs a whopping 60 Intelligence (plus 8 Strength and 10 Dexterity) to use, however, but it does boost full-moon spells.

Moonveil Katana - This katana requires 12 Strength, 18 Dexterity, and 23 Intelligence, and is one of the best weapons for an Intelligence build. This is because it causes blood loss, has a C scaling with Intelligence, and has a unique weapon skill (Transient Moonlight) that can deal two different types of attack. Other viable weapons for an Intelligence build, alongside your staff, can include the Wing of Astel, or any daggers and short swords of your choice.

Stargazer Heirloom Talisman - This talisman boosts your Intelligence stats, so can be useful for reaching that 60 Intelligence prerequisite for the Carian Regal Scepter and some of the best spells in Elden Ring.

Radagon Icon Talisman - This talisman can reduce how long it takes to cast sorceries, which comes in clutch when using sorceries that take a hot minute to charge, like Loretta’s Greatbow.

Moon of Nokstella Talisman - This Talisman can increase how many memory slots you have, so you can have more sorceries on rotation simultaneously. This is pretty important for to be able to switch between big, tanky spells like Comet Azur that use three slots, and one slot spells like Glintstone Pebble (both of which I recommend for this build).

I won’t dive into every good spell and why it’s good here - you can check out our dedicated Intelligence build for that - but a handful of spells that you should look into picking up are any Glintstone Sorceries, Stars of Ruin, Full Moon spells, and Rock Sling (a personal favourite).

Elden Ring best status effect builds

We’ve noted some of the best Elden Ring builds and gear for various stats, but what if you’d rather focus on making your character the ultimate flamethrower, or you want to unleash havoc with Scarlet Rot?

Ultimately, these rely on specific stats too, but to help you out, we’ve made some suggestions of what gear to grab to amplify the use of each element, or to simply experiment with it first, be it Bleed, Death, or another affliction.

Best Elden Ring Bleed build

Bleed in Elden Ring is arguably one of the strongest effects to afflict an enemy with. With a build that amplifies the build-up of blood loss, you can cause devastating damage to whoever may cross your path in The Lands Between.

For a strong Bleed build, check out our best Arcane/Dexterity build in Elden Ring. Alternatively, if you’re looking to experiment a little before a respec into Arcane, here are a few items to try.

Elden Ring's Rivers of Blood Katana is incredibly OP.

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. It requires to 11 Strength and 15 Dexterity, so is very suitable to use throughout the early-game.

Rivers of Blood Katana - This katana comes with a little controversy, as many think it could be overpowered as a weapon. I agree, Rivers of Blood feels a little cheesy, but for anyone messing around with Bleed for the first time, it’s worth playing with this katana to see if Bleed is your ball park. If you’re anything like me, you’ll see the damage this katana can cause, and you’ll probably never look back. It's exceptional during the mid-late game. For something strong but a little less cheesy, there's also Eleonara's Poleblade and Mohgwyn's Sacred Spear to consider.

Ash of War: Bloody Slash - One way of experimenting with Bleed without having a full build behind you is to try out the various Blood Ashes of War. Bloody Slash is arguably best for those who are lower-levelled, as it deals a nice amount of damage. Later, however, you’ll probably want to pick up Blood Blade, Blood Tax or Seppuku.

Lord of Blood’s Exultation Talisman - This talisman is a must-have for any Bleed build, and it’s worth seeking out regardless of which build you go for. Lord of Blood’s Exultation raises your attack power by 20% for 20 seconds whenever blood loss is nearby. With a Bleed build, or even while experimenting with a Bleed weapon, this talisman can aid with making attacks all the more powerful at crucial moments.

Best Elden Ring Scarlet Rot build

There’s no denying that Scarlet Rot is pretty powerful (and rather annoying) across The Lands Between. Believe me, I will never spend a moment longer than I need to in Caelid because of it, and don’t get me started on the Lake of Rot.

Creating an Elden Ring build focused solely on Scarlet Rot doesn’t offer much choice, but it is still possible. I recommend picking up the following weapons, spells, and gear, then you’re on your way. On top of that, you'll want to plunge points into Vigor, Faith, and Dexterity mainly, with some in Arcane for our incantations. You can experiment with this depending on your weapons of choice, though.

Antspur Rapier - The Antspur Rapier is a thrusting sword in Elden Ring that is dropped by Maleigh Marais outside The Shaded Castle. The weapon causes Scarlet Rot build-up on enemies and some bosses, and it scales with Strength and Dexterity, requiring 10 Strength and 20 Dexterity to wield. The default skill, Impaling Thrust, breaks through enemy shields and covering a small stretch of ground between you and the enemy, making it highly useful.

Scorpion’s Stinger - If you aren’t afraid to try to take on The Lands Between using a dagger, then the Scorpion’s Stinger has lower prerequisites than the Antspur Rapier. It requires 6 Strength and 12 Dexterity. The downfall here is that you need to venture to the Lake of Rot to get it… and nobody wants to go there.

Scarlet Aeonia - This incantation can be acquired from Finger Reader Enia at Roundtable Hold after defeating Malenia, Blade of Miquella, and acquiring her remembrance. Much like one of the bosses' signature moves, the spell conjures up a flower that then causes an explosion of Scarlet Rot once it blooms.

Ekzyke’s Decay - This incantation is an upgrade to the Rotten Breath incantation, but there’s no reason to not grab both. Ekzyke’s Decay can be purchased from the Cathedral of Dragon Communion in Caelid using Dragon Hearts (see all dragon locations here.) When used, the incantation summons a Scarlet Rot breathing dragon that can be super fun to play around with.

Remember that you’ll also need to grab a Sacred Seal to use incantations - the basic Finger Seal can be bought from the Twin Maiden Husks in Roundtable Hold, or you can use the Dragon Communion Seal (boosts dragon incantations like Ekzyke’s Decay) which can be looted from Fringefolk Hero’s Grave.

The Kindred of Rot's Exultation Talisman works perfectly with this build, as it increases attack power whenever there's rot (or poison) nearby. You can grab this one off the Kindred of Rot in Altus Plateau's Seethewater Cave.

Rotten Stray Spirit Ashes - Dogs in all forms in Elden Ring are typically a pain, and these Rotten Stray Spirit Ashes can prove to be a pain for your enemy for a change. These ashes summon a stray dog who is agile, fast, and corrupted by Scarlet Rot.

Be sure to have a back-up to hand for those enemies immune to Scarlet Rot, though, and be prepared for the fact that there are a lot of enemies who won’t be affected by it.

Best Elden Ring Poison build

Unlike Scarlet Rot, there are a hell of a lot more weapons to choose from when opting for a Poison build in Elden Ring. While there are only two Poison Ashes of War, these are more than enough to turn almost any weapon into a Poison inflicting weapon.

Poison Ashes of War will increase the Strength, Dexterity, and Arcane scaling of any weapon that they’re applied to. So, in this build, we recommend picking a weapon that can be infused with an Ash of War, building around that, and then funnelling additional levels into Dexterity. You’ll also be casting incantations in this build, so you’ll want to put some levels into Faith, too.

The Ash of War I’d recommend is Poison Moth Flight, which is dropped by Night’s Cavalry in Caelid, and therefore isn’t too tricky to grab early. Infuse your chosen sword, katana, or dagger with this, and you’ll be able to poison enemies with a single slash. The highlight of this particular Ash of War, however, is that it will deal additional poison damage to enemies who are already afflicted.

You’ll also want to grab a Sacred Seal to cast incantations with, and the best one for the job with this build is the Erdtree Seal which has an incredible scaling with Faith. However, it does require 40 Faith to use, so the Finger Seal is an easily-accessed option to use until then.

What incantations should you then use? Well, there’s only two Poison afflicting spells to choose from. Fortunately, they’re both pretty good. Poison Mist requires 12 Strength and is as it sounds; it releases a poisonous cloud that will poison all enemies who wander near it. On the other hand, there’s Poison Armament. This spell enchants whatever armament is in your right hand with Poison, and thus, any enemies you attack will incur Poison build-up.

A must-have in terms of Talismans has to be Kindred of Rot’s Exultation, which raises your attack power whenever a nearby enemy is affected by Poison or Scarlet Rot, and with this build, you’d hope that’s regularly.

As for armor, go with whatever suits you, but I do recommend the Mushroom Crown. This piece of headgear will allow you to deal 10% more damage whenever a nearby enemy is poisoned, adding to the additional attack power the Kindred of Rot’s Exultation talisman will provide you with.

Best Elden Ring Fire build

For a cracking Fire build, I refer you back to our Blackflame build. This is a Faith build that focuses on the use of Black Flame sorceries that you’ll be accustomed to seeing from any Godskin boss.

Without a doubt, this is one of the better builds that incorporates the use of Fire, but if you’re looking for something a little more fiery, I recommend following our Blackflame build loosely, while experimenting with other armaments. Here are some recommendations!

Elden Ring's Blasphemous Blade looks cool too, while packing a punch.

Serpent God's Curved Sword and/or Blasphemous Blade - We talk in depth about how to grab each of these in our guide to Elden Ring’s best weapons. The Serpent God’s Curved Sword can further be infused with a Fire Ash of War, while the Blasphemous Blade can’t, but has a unique skill of its own: Taker’s Flames.

Let’s say you just picked up the Serpent God’s Curved Sword, which Ash of War should you use? There are two to pick from: Flaming Strike and Flame of the Redmanes. Flaming Strike coats your weapon in fire before attacking with a ferocious, fiery strike, as you’d expect. Meanwhile, Flame of the Redmanes conjures up a burst of flames in front of you, in a rather wide arc.

If you’re looking to engage in pyromancy further with the use of sorceries, grab a Sacred Seal and some fire incantations. The Finger Seal is easily accessible from the beginning of the game, but later down the line, it’s worth grabbing the Dragon Communion Seal for this build. What would a fire build be without some form of dragon incantations?

As for incantations, there’s a lot to choose from that’ll scorch foes. From the Church of Dragon Communion, you can get Agheel’s Flame, Magma Breath, Dragonfire, and Theodorix’s Magma. Some are much easier to grab than others, and have lower requirements, but they all function similarly; they spew fire at your target.

Don’t forget about the legendary Incantation either - Flame of the Fell God - which will summon an aggressive fiery comet that explodes on contact, leaving fire across the area behind it. This one works a treat when it comes to fighting a boss in a large arena - smaller arenas are a little riskier, however.

When it comes to talismans, you’ll want to pick up the Faithful's Canvas talisman to boost the effectiveness of your incantations. There’s also the Fire Scorpion Charm which raises your fire attack at the cost of lower damage negation, and the Godfrey Icon, which can further boost your charged incantations and skills.

Best Elden Ring Frost build

When the Frostbite meter for your enemy is full, they will instantly start incurring damage from the bitter cold, and many saw how powerful this could be as speed runners ran amok using Hoarfrost Stomp (until it was nerfed).

Frost is best played in conjunction with another status effect. For example, combining it with fire or bleed can be particularly powerful. You’ll want to have a little Arcane to use Frost incantations to your hearts content, but from that point onwards, it’s up to you whether you’d rather than focus on a Frostmage build and level Intelligence, or a Frozen Bleed build that will focus on Dexterity.

Whether you want to give your enemies Frostbite using melee tricks or magic spells, here are a few pieces of gear I recommend.

Elden Ring's Hoarfrost Stomp is crucial to any frost build.

I’ve already mentioned it, so I’ll start with it: Hoarfrost Stomp is an Ash of War with a large AoE, high damage output, and obviously, it can quickly inflict Frostbite. It would feel wrong to run any Frost-focused build without it, so be sure to grab it from the Teardrop Scarab southeast of Caria Manor. Another Ash of War that you can consider using is Chilling Mist. Pair this with a compatible weapon of your choosing and that weapon will, in essence, become a Frost weapon.

Alternatively, beyond the realm of Ashes of War and into the realm of sorceries, there is the Frozen Armament incantation that can be used to enchant any weapon with Frost damage too.

Other sorceries to consider are Freezing Mist, which functions similarly to the Chilling Mist Ash of War, and Adula’s Moonblade, which conjures a frozen greatsword that performs a sweeping attack. This attack launches frozen projectiles at a target, building up Frost.

What about weapons? Well, the Clayman’s Harpoon, Twinned Knights Swords, or Godskin Peeler are all viable options when dealing out frost damage. The Clayman’s Harpoon will deal both physical and magic damage, which is pretty useful considering a Frost build is going to regularly utilise both types of damage, and will have Talismans to reflect as much. This weapon also scales relatively well with Dexterity, which you’ll be putting plenty of levels into.

The Godskin Peeler might not be your first choice, either, but it has a better Dexterity scaling than the Clayman’s Harpoon while still dealing physical and magic damage. It’s downfall, however, is that you cannot infuse it with either the Frozen Armament or Chilling Mist Ash of War.

Mentioning Talismans, I’m probably repeating myself here a bit now, as the same talismans come in clutch for most builds pivoted around status effects. The Godfrey Icon talisman will boost your charged attacks and sorceries, while the Faithful’s Canvas talisman will boost incantations specifically.

Additionally, the Carian Filigreed Crest talisman will lower how much FP is used by your weapons skills, while the Shard of Alexander will boost your damage output when using skills. Last, but not least, the Magic Scorpion Charm will raise the power of your magic attacks, but it will lower your negation of incoming magic attacks; this isn’t so bad if you’re attacking at range for a particular fight.

Intelligence builds have an added advantage with frost builds, with high-powered spells like Glintstone Icecrag and Ranni's Dark Moon.

That’s all for the best builds in Elden Ring, for now. We’ll be sure to update this space as and when new discoveries are made in The Lands Between. For more, take a look at our Elden Ring walkthrough for some help with handling each boss and quest.

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