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Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Best Bloodfiend’s Arm Build

Here’s how to get the most out of the Bloodfiend’s Arm weapon, and it doesn’t take much!

The Tarnished wields the Bloodfiend's Arm while standing in the Ancient Ruins of Rauh in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware
UPDATE: The Bloodfiend's Arm was nerfed as a part of Elden Ring's 1.12.3 patch, meaning it no longer causes as much blood loss as it once did. I have edited this guide to reflect that.

Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree expansion has introduced an abundance of new weapons to the game, all of which can be taken back to The Lands Between with you to beat up all manner of enemies. It’s quickly become clear that some of these weapons are much more overpowered than others, and one of those in question is the Bloodfiend’s Arm.

The Bloodfiend’s Arm is a Colossal Weapon that packs a punch with the right build. It dishes out exceptional amounts of flat damage, and can cause plenty of blood loss with a Bleed infusion with ease. Simply put, I can bid a solemn farewell to Rivers of Blood. I have a new favourite weapon now! Without further ado, here’s the best Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Bloodfiend’s Arm build.

Best Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Bloodfiend’s Arm Build

If you’re creating a build around Bloodfiend’s Arm, there are two ways you can take it. The first - and what we’re going to be doing in this build - is by applying a Bleed infusion to the weapon and leveling Arcane, allowing it to trigger an exceptional amount of blood loss. This was 223 previously (with 80 Arcane), but now sits at 203 blood loss following the 1.12.3 patch.

The second is by increasing the weapon’s flat damage as much as possible by using an Occult infusion. Fortunately, the charged heavy attack of Bloodfiend’s Arm can still cause Bleed damage, so our Arcane stat is still vital.

Regardless of which infusion you opt for, the rest of the build is largely the same. Experiment with both and see which one has better results for you. In my experience, the Occult infusion managed to deplete more significant chunks of enemy HP overall than the Bleed infusion did, but I'm personally a Bleed-player through and through, so I'm attempting to maximise that as much as I can in this build.

Anyway, onto the rest of the build!

Elden Ring Bloodfiend’s Arm Build: Stats and Class

Given that this Bloodfiend’s Arm build uses a weapon from Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, this build is intended for those venturing into the DLC for the first time or running through the whole game on New Game Plus. As such, the below recommended stat spread is for a character between Rune Level 150 to 200, and your starting class does not matter. I'd recommend Hero for the Vigor and Strength stat to start out with, though. There's also Bandit with 14 Arcane.

That being said, you can access Bloodfiend’s Arm at the very beginning of the DLC. So, you could by all means use a different Arcane-scaling weapon in the base game (Reduvia into Rivers of Blood is one idea) before later picking this up. Just make sure to aim for plenty of Vigor, enough stats to wield the weapon, and as much Arcane as you can afford.

For your Flask spread, I recommend 10 Crimson and 4 Cerulean, but adjust these as you see fit. This build doesn’t consume all that much FP, as we primarily need it to buff before a boss fight and use our Ash of War. You could opt for as few as 2 Cerulean Flasks, really.

The below are the recommended stats for this build to aim for, but there is plenty of wiggle room with these.

  • Vigor: 60
  • Mind: 20
  • Endurance: 20
  • Strength: 28+
  • Dexterity: 11
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 25
  • Arcane: 60/80

We’re opting to infuse the Bloodfiend’s Arm with a Bleed Ash of War, giving the weapon a C scaling with Strength, B scaling with Strength, and E scaling with Dexterity at +25. For this reason, we’re going to stick to what we need to equip the weapon when it comes to our Strength and Dexterity stat - that’s 28 Strength and 11 Dexterity minimum - and pummel everything else into Arcane so that we can cause as much blood loss as possible.

I highly recommend having 60 Vigor, as this will keep you safe from some of the most fatal attacks in the Realm of Shadow. This can, of course, be lower as you progress through the base game. I then also recommend a minimum of 20 Mind and 20 Endurance so we’ve plenty of FP and Stamina to play around with, but you can always have more if you’ve the Runes to spare.

Intelligence is a stat that we can ignore entirely, and Faith is more of an optional stat. During the base game, Faith is worth neglecting as the Bloodfiend’s Arm can dish out plenty of damage without the use of buff Incantations. As you head off into the Realm of Shadow though, where everything hits like a tonne of bricks, I recommend having 25 Faith so you can use Golden Vow and Flame, Grant Me Strength to buff your attack further. Again, though, this is optional. If you don’t need it, put more Rune Levels into Arcane instead!

I recommend 80 Arcane here as this is our most important stat, but Bloodfiend’s Arm can still perform brilliantly with just 60 Arcane. Either way, you want to reach the 60 Arcane soft cap as soon as you can when wielding this weapon to maximise blood loss. If you can bump that up to 80 Arcane as you approach Rune Level 200 to improve your damage output, even better, but you can always put those Rune Levels into Strength instead (and you should if you're opting for an Occult infusion).

For your Flask of Wondrous Physick, I recommend the Opaline Hardtear so you can tank some damage if needed, as well as the Thorny Cracked Tear which enhances charged attacks. A type of attack we’ll be using plenty of!

Elden Ring Bloodfiend’s Arm Build: Weapons

This build consists of just two pieces of gear, the Bloodfiend’s Arm, and the Dragon Communion Seal.

I’ve chosen to opt for the Dragon Communion Seal (which you can find in Fringefolk Hero’s Grave) as it has an S scaling with Arcane at +10. While we’ll only be using this for buffs, this makes it a good back-up for any damage-dealing Incantations you might want to use in battle.

For example, I’m a pretty big fan of Borealis’s Mist and Pest Threads, so I’ll be bringing these along with me for fun seeing as I have the stats for it. By all means bring a couple Incantations that you like with you alongside the two buffs we’re using; you’ve the space for it!

As for the Bloodfiend’s Arm, this has B scaling with Arcane at +25, which will do the job. To get your hands on it, you want to pay a visit to Prospect Town in Gravesite Plain and kill the group of Bloodfiends that are praying at the top of the ruins. The Bloodfiend’s Arm can be picked up here. If you have any trouble, here's our guide on where to find Bloodfiend's Arm.

Elden Ring Bloodfiend’s Arm Build: Ashes of War

For this Bloodfiend’s Arm build, we’re primarily focusing on stacking unfathomable amounts of Bleed on our opponents while also dishing out ridiculous damage with our charged heavy attacks. To do this, and ultimately make the most of our Arcane scaling, we recommend infusing the weapon with a Bleed Ash of War.

Now, you can opt for whatever Ash of War you enjoy using, but if you want to maximise the damage you do with a single attack, I recommend equipping Royal Knight’s Resolve. This Ash of War will buff your next attack by a whopping 80%, provided that you attack within the next 10 seconds.

To then get the most out of it, use the Ash of War before landing a charged heavy attack on an opponent and enjoy seeing their health bar quickly melt away with each hit.

Elden Ring Bloodfiend’s Arm Build: Talismans

There are a few different Talismans you can use for a Bloodfiend’s Arm build, but some of them are much more important than others.

  • Lord of Blood’s Exultation - increases attack when blood loss is nearby.
  • Two-Handed Talisman - enhances attacks with two-handed weapons.
  • Two-Headed Turtle Talisman - greatly increases stamina regeneration rate.
  • Rotten Winged Sword Insignia - greatly increase attack with successive attacks.
  • Dragoncrest Greatshield - greatly negates physical damage.
  • Blade of Mercy - raises attack after critical hits.

The must-haves for this build are Lord of Blood’s Exultation, the Two-Handed Talisman, and the Dragoncrest Greatshield. Having our attack boosted when blood is nearby means we’ll almost constantly have an additional attack buff, and the same goes for the Two-Handed Talisman. Dragoncrest Greatshield allows us to tank more damage than usual, which feels necessary throughout the Realm of Shadow.

The other Talisman I’d highly recommend is the Two-Headed Turtle Talisman, because there’s nothing worse than going to attack or dodge only to flail about because you have no stamina to use. That said, if you’ve better control of your stamina than I do, an additional Talisman for boosting attack - such as the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia or Blade of Mercy - is a good idea.

The equipment needed for a Bloodfiend's Arm build is shown in the player inventory in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
The damage values and blood loss values in this image are from patch 1.11. Blood loss build-up at +25 (with 80 Arcane) after patch 1.12.3 is 203 with a Bleed infusion. | Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

Elden Ring Bloodfiend’s Arm Build: Incantations

This Bloodfiend’s Arm build uses two Incantations. Though, you can forgo these entirely if you feel you simply don’t need additional buffs and save the Faith levels for a different stat.

I do highly recommend having some buffs to use throughout the Realm of Shadow, though, just to give you an extra bit of attack damage against the formidable bosses that FromSoftware has cooked up.

  • Golden Vow - increases attack and defense of self and allies. This is found at Corpse-Stench Shack in Mt. Gelmir.
  • Flame, Grant Me Strength - increases physical and fire-affinity attack power. You can find this behind Fort Gael in Caelid.

These two Incantations give us a nice buff to our attack and defense, and in the Realm of Shadow, you’ll want to take every boost you can get! Golden Vow requires 25 Faith while Flame Grant Me Strength needs just 15 Faith, so you could just use the one Incantation if you’re low on Faith.

Alternatively, pop the Faith Knot Crystal Tear into your Flask of Wondrous Physick and drink it before a tough fight to gain +10 Faith temporarily. This is enough for you to apply buffs before entering a boss arena!

Elden Ring Bloodfiend’s Arm Build: Armour and Gear

There’s only one must-have piece of gear for this build, and that’s the White Mask. Much like the Lord of Blood’s Exultation Talisman, this piece of headgear will increase your attack when blood loss is nearby.

Aside from the White Mask, opt for whatever you think looks cool. I used the Briar set while swinging my Bloodfiend’s Arm about, but you could consider the Black Knight set too. There’s also Rakshasa’s set which increases your attack power, but also increases the damage you take… a risk that could be worth taking if you’re up to the challenge!

For more on Shadow of the Erdtree, take a look at our guides to the best Beast Claws build, best Frost Perfumer build, and the best Dryleaf Arts build.

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