Perhaps the best attribute to souls games is the ability for players to choose a variety of builds that are still completely viable. Sure, some builds are going to be better than others as the ‘meta’ is established (especially so for PvP), but the base game can certainly be beaten with any build. The only difference between a meta build and a fun build is the damage you’ll be doing, you’ll still have to roll at the correct time for any build. Fun builds may do less damage, but it makes beating the difficult bosses way more satisfying.
Everyone’s definition of fun is different making this list a bit difficult to make. Hence, I created this list of builds in accordance to what I find most fun. If you find spamming Hoarfrost Stomp to be fun then have at it (but you’re lying to yourself and you know it). Without further ado, let’s hop into some of the most fun Elden Ring builds I have come across so far (in no particular order):
Starting out, more experienced players may say this build is no fun. However, the reason for including the faith oriented build is simply to let newer players know that it is genuinely a viable option. If anything, I’d make the case for incantations being overpowered or at least stronger than their intelligence counterparts. Looking at the image above, there are TONS of different incantations available to let you go whichever direction you would like to.
Most notably, faith builds give tarnished access to dragon sorceries that mainly revolve around casting huge lightning bolts. Not only are these incantations visually pleasing as they come from massive dragons found around the in-game world, but they also do a great deal of damage. Personally, my favorite incantation is the Placidusax’s Ruin which can be obtained by defeating Dragonlord Placidusax and turning in the remembrance to the finger reader. This incantation fires a massive yellow laser from a dragon head above the player and can even be cast while jumping to hold yourself in the air for a bit. All in all, a powerful spell that does as much damage as it looks like it should.
This build is not for the faint of heart. It heavily relies on the Spiked Palisade which can be found in Caelid quite early on (see the image above). On top of that, you’ll want to find the Ash of War: Shield Crash which is found in the Lux Ruins after killing a teardrop scarab. In terms of attributes, your main priorities are going to be strength, endurance, and vigor. Endurance is especially important as blocking with a shield takes a huge hit to your stamina.
Outside of that, any talismans that increase stamina such as the Green Turtle Talisman found in Summonwater Village will be a huge help. While you’re not going to be doing that much damage with a shield, the Spiked Palisade causes blood loss buildup which will eventually do percent health damage (borderline necessary for the fire giant). The build is even more fun when it comes to PvP encounters as players struggle to find an opening through the massive door you’re holding in front of you.
Full disclosure, this build is not mine nor is it any good in PvE situations. The build was initially found (I believe) by Syrobe as can be seen by clicking on that link. The build relies on having two Ruptured Crystal Tears in your Flask of Wondoros Physick to literally one shot enemies without killing yourself. The tears can be found by defeating Erdtree avatars in Liurna of the Lakes and the Consecrated Snowfield. However, having only these two tears will not be enough to one shot your enemies. You’ll also need to find the Sacred Scorpion Charm, Ash of War: Royal Knight’s Resolve (on both of your weapons), and Golden Vow.
With proper setup, you should be able to output a total of 7887 damage. Clearly, this is plenty to literally one shot anyone even if they have maxed out vigor.
Sadly, the latest patch of Elden Ring has nerfed Royal Knight’s Resolve to no longer apply to spells (or physick effects). This puts a major nerf on our total damage output with this build to somewhere around 4000 damage. Thankfully, that is still enough to one shot most players as long as they do not roll through the damage frames. All in all, it is a super fun build to troll some players you invade, especially as newer players will not recognize the build-up animation and thus not roll through it.
Fist weapons are super fun to dual wield as it unlocks some cool animations while powerstancing. The main fist weapons that I would consider viable in terms of damage are the Spiked Caestus or the Star Fist. Both of these weapons cause considerable blood loss buildup giving you those satisfying chunks of percent health damage. There really is nothing particularly special about fist weapons in Elden Ring, it is just extremely satisfying pulverizing your enemies like Mike Tyson in his prime.
Thanks to the most recent patch, dual wielding the Grafted Dragon weapon (dropped from killing Godrick the Grafted) is now viable in terms of damage output. Sadly, the only way to obtain two of these weapons is through multiple playthroughs (unless you have a friend drop one). That being said, new game plus players can enjoy the thrill of becoming an even superior version of Godrick as you spew heaps of lava from your hands. Overall, this specific build is a strong candidate for my favorite build within Elden Ring.
Have you ever wanted to become Indiana Jones but fighting dragons rather than mere mortals? With this whip build, you can! The build relies on obtaining two Hoslow’s Petal Whips near Volcano Manor. Sadly, you’ll have to use the same methods of obtaining two of these weapons as the Grafted Dragon mentioned above. Once you do, you’ll be able to power stance these whips for some awesome animations that do a surprising amount of damage. The whips also cause a passive blood loss build up for some big bursts of damage. You’ll want to be putting most of your points into dexterity and arcane for the most damage possible.
It’s going to take you a while to get used to using these whips as their effective distance is a bit wonky. I’d recommend picking up the Ash of War: Bloodhound Step to give you some extra dodging options. Once you are used to the whips, you’ll find yourself doing heaps more damage than you’d expect. If you’re still feeling a bit underwhelmed by the damage, try putting poison on one of the whips to give you even more passive damage. This is especially useful for the tanky bosses you’ll fight later in the game.
Elden Ring has a beautiful world full of endless possibilities. In total, there are 31 different weapon types (with heaps of unique weapons of each type) allowing many different combinations for players. I hope that this list of fun weapon builds will allow you to enjoy your next playthrough even more!
Heading image courtesy of pcgamesn.com