The best Black Flame build is one of the more offensive builds, and the best faith build in Elden Ring, allowing you to deal huge damage over time to high-health enemies thanks to the particular traits of black flame damage. For those who like to stay up close and personal, burning away bosses with consistent damage, the Black Flame build is for you.
This build requires an early investment into faith, and a few critical items and top-tier incantations to get rolling. However, once you’ve got your hands on the key pieces of kit, this build allows for a surprising amount of variety and personalization for each and every player.
Best Black Flame Starting Class and Stats
There are three stats that you should prioritise with a black flame build. These are Mind, Faith, and Vigor.
Mind is crucial for this build due to the sheer amount of spells you’ll be casting. Your primary source of magical damage - black flame blade - is a short-duration weapon buff that’ll have to be quick-casted consistently in boss fights. As such, a high mind stat will provide the FP needed to stay up close and dealing damage, rather than backing out and chugging for a FP refill.
Faith is also crucial. To start using Black Flame Blade you’ll need at least 17 faith, while Black Flame requires 20 and the Godslayer’s Seal requires a whopping 27. Not only that, but all your Black Flame incantations scale with faith. What this all means is that faith will be your primary dump stat, a focus early on as you rush to reach those aforementioned milestones and where you’ll invest your level ups later on for more damage.
Finally, vigor is hugely important. As you’re going to be up close and in melee range with this Black Flame build, you’re going to want a healthy investment in vigor to save yourself from being oneshot in fights. Especially since Endurance isn’t a crucial stat here, you won’t be able to rely on heavy armor or greatshields.
Secondary stats to focus on include Endurance, to open up more armor options, and Intelligence, as some Faith weapons and Incantations require INT as well. If you want to throw Dragon Incantations in the mix, plan on investing at least 10 points in Arcane.
It's also worth noting you'll eventually get diminishing returns from your stats. Faith and Intelligence start dropping off after level 50. For Mind, you'll get roughly 120 FP between levels 30 and 50, and a further 70 FP between 50 and 60. Don't bother leveling Mind after 60, as the drop in returns makes it a bit of a waste.
We recommend starting as a Prophet if you want to go for a Black Flame build. The reason being is the early allocation of points into faith that you’ll need later on, as well as the catch flame incantation being immediately available. This is a great filly incantation that can chew through enemies in the early game around Limgrave super easily.
By level 30, your stats should be close to the following (assuming Prophet start):
- Vigor: 18
- Mind: 20
- Endurance: 8
- Strength: 11
- Dexterity: 10
- Intelligence: 7
- Faith: 27
- Arcane: 10
From there, add strength and dex as you need it if you come across a weapon you want to use for the rest of the game. Buff up Vigor, Mind, and Faith as your primary options, and sail smoothly into the late game with a powerful build.
Best Black Flame Weapons and Talismans
You can equip a number of strong weapons to the black flame build in Elden Ring, but here are a few that stand out.
The main weapon you’ll want is the Godslayer’s Seal. This requires four points in Strength and 27 in Faith, and boosts all godslayer incantations. These include all your Black Flame spells, and as such make this handy little seal a cornerstone for this build.
When it comes to primary melee weapons, there are two trains of thought. You can either go all in on the black flame with weapons like the Godslayer’s greatsword found in the Caelid divine tower or the Godskin Peeler from the godskin apostle boss in the Volcano Manor. This provides more opportunity for you to deal big damage and apply the Black Flame debuff, and would lead to a “true Black Flame build”.
Alternatively, you can lean towards a hybrid black flame / bleed build. The reason for doing this is simple, both bleed and black flame do percentage health damage. Since you’re already going to be attacking all the time to keep the black flame debuff on enemies, having a weapon like the Wakizashi dagger or Bloodhound’s Fang with built in blood loss can provide an additional surge of damage.
Angel's Scythe is another strong choice, as it causes bloodloss buildup and deals both physical and Holy damage.
We recommend experimenting with both to see what you prefer. Early game, secure the godslayer’s seal and black flame blade and mess around with your blood loss weapon of choice. Bear in mind that not all enemies actually can bleed in Elden Ring, so you’ll want to rely on black flame incantations either way.
As for talismans, the Green Turtle talisman is a brilliant option across many builds including this one. As you’ll be on the offensive, having a higher stamina regen rate is key when wanting to keep the pressure up.
You can also use talismans like the Ancestral Spirit’s Horn to recover some of that lost FP from enemies as you make your way through the game. In boss fights, swap this out for other universally great talismans like the Crimson Amber Medallion or other options that boost your HP or healing.
Finally, as an incantation-focused build, the Faithful's Canvas Talisman is a great pick. This simply boosts the effectiveness of your incantations, so will provide additional power to your black flame incantations.
Best Black Flame Spells and Incantations
This build uses no spells, instead using a core set of two or three incantations that make up the core of the build’s playstyle. These are, as mentioned above, Black Flame blade and Black Flame.
However, as you progress through the game you may come across other useful Black Flame incantations that can be used to great effect. Scouring Black Flame from Dominula, Windmill Village is a brilliant incantation for clearing out packs of enemies or hitting multiple strong foes at once.
Noble Presence, acquired from defeating the Godskin noble in Volcano Manor, is not so great. However, it’s a great PvP incantation that can catch enemies trying to sneak around you for backstabs or roll into your for quick damage. Knock ‘em up and out with this situational incantation.
Best Black Flame Armor
While the armor you use isn’t hugely important, there are a few pieces of strong armor that can make a slight difference for this black flame build.
The first is the Ruler’s Mask. You can find this by the Abandoned Coffin site of grace in the Atlas Plateau. Simply make your way up the hill, and you’ll find this mask resting on a corpse on the left side of the pile up of coffins carriages.
Alternatively, if you feel confident in your ability to dodge attacks, the Incantation Scarab is a good option for a head piece. This is your reward from the Homing Instinct Painting puzzle, found in the Artist’s Shack in Limgrave.
What's the best Ash of War for a Black Flame Build in Elden Ring?
While not hugely important, your Ash of War can provide slight boosts that can mean the difference between a clutch boss kill or a crushing defeat. War Cry is a great option, as the boost to attack power is always handy.
If you’re going for a hybrid Black Flame / bleed build, something with multiple hits like the repeating thrust is a good choice too, as it can build up the blood loss bar quickly. However, these are limited by your weapon choice, so be sure to look into what options your particular weapon has available.
That wraps up our Elden Ring Black Flame faith build! For more Elden Ring guides, check out our pieces on the best armor for mages and melee classes, as well as our guide on how to respec in case you want to shift into this Black Flame build right now!