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ER Shadow of the Erdtree Lightning Milady build

Strike down Milady's foes with thunder and lightning with this Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree build!

The Tarnished casting a lightning bolt using Milady in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Are you the last living gentleman in the Lands Between? Well, fedoras at the ready, because Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC has the perfect weapon for you to prove chivalry isn’t dead: Milady.

Milady is dextrous, Milady is long. Milady is cheesy, Milady is strong.

This Milady build is a cheese strategy PvE build that revolves around using a fully upgraded Milady equipped with the Ash of War: Thunderbolt to enhance its Dexterity scaling, give it a useful elemental damage type and a very overpowered ranged attack.

It’s a natural fit for players coming into the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC maining the best Bleed build with a Rivers of Blood katana because it functions almost identically, just with Arcane switched for Strength and a greater focus on maintaining distance instead of spamming Bleed status.

The Lightning Milady build is great for any boss you can summon a Spirit Ash while fighting. It allows you to pretty much bypass the fight, learning just the basics of their attacks without messing about with tight dodging and over-the-top twitch reflexes.

I found it particularly useful for pushing through the relentless pressure and massive damage of Rellana, Twin Moon Knight, as well as the frustrating rush attacks of Commander Gaius.

But you can also use it to battle through regular mobs if you wish. Milady has a decent two-handed moveset with a strong sprinting poke on R1 and a fast R2 combo. Combine that with a very versatile damage type in Lightning and the block-busting, range-spamming potential of the Ash of War and you’re a tricky customer to deal with in most circumstances.

I wouldn’t recommend this build for PvP or single-target humanoid fights where you can’t summon (such as the Blackgaol Knight). This is because regular-sized humanoid and human opponents can roll through Thunderbolt quite easily.

Milady Build Stats and starting class

  • Starting Class: Samurai
  • Level: 150
  • Vigor: 60
  • Mind: 22
  • Endurance: 22
  • Strength: 40
  • Dexterity: 60
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 8

We’ve specced this Milady build out to Level 150 because that’s the recommended level for the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. We’ve also pumped the Vigor to 60 because, if you hadn’t noticed, a lot of the enemies in Shadow of the Erdtree hit extremely hard, and if you’re on your first playthrough then baddies will be hitting you a lot.

You can move 10 points into Strength if you want, or spread them into Faith or Intelligence to give you some Magic or Incantation options if you wish, but I wouldn’t go into the Shadow Lands with less than 50 Vigor, really.

The starting class of Samurai isn’t required, it’s just the most popular so I’ve assumed you’ll be using it.

The soft cap for stats in Elden Ring (where more points give a much lower benefit) is 60, which is why the Dexterity is set to that.

22 Mind and 22 Endurance feel like a sweet spot for melee and Ash of War hybrid builds, and are what’s recommended on many similar archetypes.

Milady Build Ash of War, Talismans and Armor

Ash of War:

To get the Thunderbolt Ash of War that’s vital to the success of this build, make your way to the Avenue Balcony Site of Grace in the middle of Leyndell in the Lands Between. Go down the stairs next to the Site of Grace, through the door at the bottom and turn left. Over the side of the balcony, there’s a Scarab below you. Defeat this Scarab and you get the Thunderbolt Ash of War. I've embedded a third-party video from Axiom below in case you're not sure where I mean.

Watch on YouTube


As for Talismans, there’s only one must-have: the Two-headed Turtle Talisman. This massively boosts your stamina recovery, which is necessary for panic rolling and spamming Ashes of War. On top of that, I’m well aware that many players won’t have access to the very best equipment, so I’ll say to use whatever Prosthesis Heirloom you can get where that’s the first from Milicent’s quest or the stronger one at the end. Then whatever Dragoncrest Shield talisman you can get your hands on, depending on where you character is in the base game. Finally, choose one from whatever you have access to from the Spelldrake Talisman +3, Crimson Amber Medallion +3, Cerulean Amber Medallion +3. All three of these are relatively easily accessible in the Fog Rift Catacombs, Scorpion River Catacombs and under the bridge of Castle Ensis.


Let your fashion sense be your guide, but the general rule is to maximise poise while remaining at medium load. One piece I’d recommend though is the Fire Knight Helm from the Specimen Storehouse because it boosts HP, Stamina and equip load for basically free while still having decent protection. This allows you to get over 61 Poise at medium load which will let you tank a hit from most types of mobs which aren’t like, y’know, a huge giant.

Milady build strategy

You can keep most regular mobs at arm’s length using the Thunderbolt Ash of War, if you think they’re worth the FP. Then, when you think you’re in-range for a swift knockout, you can use the sprinting, two-handed R1 to poke through an enemy’s guard and hopefully interrupt their attack.

If you think they’re in possession of stronger Poise, or you have time for a follow-up, you can chain this into the R2 attack for a fast and far-reaching double-swipe that should clean out most regular mobs. Otherwise it’s a solid rinse-and-repeat combo you can use to wear all but the toughest foes.

The Tarnished using Milady to summon a lightning bolt in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

When it comes to bosses, this is where the Ash of War really comes into its own. As you enter the arena, summon your most robust Spirit Ash, either the Mimic Tear or Greatshield Soldiers come to mind, and let them absorb the aggro of the boss.

Stand at the edge of your range and spam your Ash of War, which has more reach than you might think - certainly enough to avoid harm for all but the biggest boss moves.

Next, refill your FP with Cerulean Tears when empty, but you often don’t need more than 3 flasks. Whenever you notice you’ve dealt too much damage and the boss has set their sights on you, stop attacking immediately and take evasive action. Wait for your summons to retake the aggro and start the process again.

This works surprisingly well, to the point where summons might even get nerfed, but enjoy it while it lasts!

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