All these general mechanics are things you should know regardless of what weapon, or magic, if any, you decide to use. However, there important facts you should know about what weapon you decide on using to get the most out of them. The principles of using a Large Club
are very different from using a Washing Pole
. Worth noting is that weapons in a class are generally very similar in play-style with a few notable exceptions. Generally, you should you find a class of weapons suits you well, you should try looking at the scaling and determining which one is best for build. With every class of weapon will be parenthetically a note of whether they are good for: Backstabs, Poking, Risky Attacks. Only weapons that a beginner should be looking into are covered here. Included at the end of each of Weapon Outline lies a build that attempts to competitively showcase the Weapon being discussed. These aren't terribly unique builds, but a new player shouldn't be too concerned about originality when learning a new weapon.Straight Swords
(Poking, Risky Attacks)Straight swords
tend to be underused, but they have a great moveset. The weak attack, with one or two hands on it, has incredibly low stamina consumption, and is a great attack to have buffed. It can get a hit off a kick, too, so remember to kick frequently should you be wielding a Straight Sword
. Kicking unlocked to take advantage of the quicker turn-speed will let you get people trying to roll towards you at an angle.
The strong attacks of the Straight Sword fall into 4 separate categories: Sweeping, Intermediate, Poking, Darksword, and Silver Knight Sword. The Sweeping strong attack is used by Broadsword
and Barbed Sword
, and is categorized by doing a few steps forward before doing a horizontal sweep, and the second hit will do another quick sweep. It can be quite devastating when landing, and newer player will often try swinging through the first hit to find themselves staggered with the second hit of the strong attack. Poking is the style used by the ever popular Balder Side Sword
, which continues to find a home in the hands of experienced duelers. The first strong attack does a poke with a step forward, and it has incredible range. The follow up, like the Sweeping sword is the same attack without moving forward. While it has less range than the first strike, only a fool would let themselves get hit again. You can do incredible job of forcing you opponent away from you with the threat of the strong attack; it is one of the most used weapons of casters for good reason. The Intermediate swords include all other swords that are not the Darksword
or Silver Knight Sword
. The one-handed strong attack is a poke, like that of the Balder Side Sword
, but the follow-up strong attack gives a slash that is not really worth using. However, the two-handed strong attack is carbon copy of the Sweeping, and should be used in a similar manner.
The roll attacks of Sweeping swords are a short, swift horizontal slash that has a hitbox of a nice, wide area in front of you. With some practice unlocking, you'll be able to attempt dead-angles with it, too. Be warned that to get a hit requires you to get close to your opponent, and they may try to parry you. Against such opponents, punish their attempt to parry you by strafing behind and getting a backstab. The roll attacks of the Intermediate and Poking depend on how you are wielding it. When one-handed, it is an upward sweep, and should be avoided like the Intermediate's strong attack follow-up. The two-handed is forward poke, that has good range. Be careful not to get too close, or you'll end up getting parried, but you shouldn't need to get close. The attack has very long range, provided you aren't using the Shortsword
's strong attack is not worth using ever, you stand warned. The Silver Knight Sword
has better strong attacks, but is crippled by weight. If you are new to PvP, I urge you to instead get a Balder Side Sword
, as the Silver Knight Sword
is weak option overall. Both have the same roll attacks as the Intermediate. The only jump-attack worth mentioning is that of the Balder Side Sword
, which is a forward poke that'll do considerable damage. It is worth using for a quick, hard strike to punish an attack that missed you're unable to backstab.
The build to showcase the Straight Swords is a Balder Side Sword
& Pyromancy build. This build uses the Heater Shield
, and Hornet Ring
to allow you to land consistently lethal riposte. It also provides a boost to your backstabs, which can be critical to winning a fight. You have the Crown of Dusk
to make your choice selections of Pyromancy more deadly; your spell selection provides very good utility. However, be warned that magical buffs will most likely be the bane of you; the Heater Shield
has low magic resistance, and, when tacked on with your Crown
, you'll find even blocking the attacks problematic. It would be best to learn to dodge effectively, and when to back away safetly. (Read as run) Greatswords
(Pokes, Risky Attacks)
Having one of the more powerful, and varied movesets of many weapons, Greatswords
are a great weapon for beginners to use. The one-handed weak attack of the Greatsword
, while being capable of getting dead-angles, is nothing special. Generally speaking, it should be avoided. However, when an opponent flips away, it might sometimes get a hit for minor damage. A second-hand on the handle makes the Greatsword
much more lethal; it has good forward range, quick swing speed, and a frightening capability to stun-lock. The capability to 56 poise damage per hit means that only people that have 112 poise (almost no one has that much) can take a second hit. It should be noted that many people are trying to toggle-trick (read Poise in Mechanics) and do a parry if you get a stun-lock, and if you should attempt to go for a backstab if you notice them toggle. Normally, they'll roll away or go for a parry, in which case your backstab goes unpunished or succeeds. Baiting with weak attacks to get an opponent to approach might also work on low-level players, but be careful on veterans who will often walk up and parry your “sneak” attack.
Another strong move of the Greatsword
is the running attack. While those nasty veterans will often parry a head-on charge, it is possible to lock-off at few steps before impact. This will lead you to go behind your opponent, and doing a dead-angle attack. You'll get a dead-angle if they also try to strafe behind you. If you remember to roll away after the attack, if it hits or not, you won't get punished. Ideally, you'll will do this roll without lock-on and directly away from your opponent. It might take sometime to understand where your opponent is relative to you if they aren't on your screen, and do to appropriately time the attack so you fling behind (even I fail this sometimes), but it provides a very deadly pseudo-poke.
Roll attacks of the Greatsword
are mediocre, with one notable exception. They provide a reasonable range, with reasonable timing, and the reasonable damage. It should not be relied up, however, as the moveset of the Greatswords
have some pretty shiny gems, and the roll attack is just not spectacular. However, the two-handed roll attack of the Claymore
is very impressive in range. The deadly lunge makes using the roll attack viable. However, do not become reliant upon it; a roll attack requires you to roll, and it can be easy to predict when you attempt to attack. This will lead to a parry by anyone that knows how to.
The strong attack of the Greatsword
can be divided into three categories: Sweeping, Unusable, and Moonlight. The most fearsome to new players is most definitely the Moonlight Greatsword
strong attack. The attack fires a projectile that, when one-handed, is easy enough to dodge. It is generally advised not to use it, as it can be roll backstabbed. When two-handed it becomes a very deadly explosion with a sizable area of effect. If it done with a lock-on, you can dodge it easily enough, but, when manually aimed towards the ground, dodging can be frustrating. You'll need some practice to predict where your opponent will land, but it a rewarding skill. It can be thought almost as impossible to dodge when trying to wake-up from a knockdown. Against those veterans, who'll always seem to find a way to ruin your fun, who will try to land a roll backstab you need to remember one thing: to get a backstab, they need to get to your back. This means you'll know where the are going to try to land, so aim at where your back is facing as they try to get up, and you'll land a hit.
The Unusable class of Greatsword
strong attacks includes the Black Knight Sword
, the Flamberge
, the Greatlord Greatsword
, the Greatsword of Artorias
, and the Stone Greatsword
. All of these have a delay and/or a hitbox that make them entirely useless in PvP. Ideally, you won't be using them, but the Flamberge
and Stone Greatsword
can sometimes be applied effectively in PvP. However, new players should stay away from all of these. Worth noting, the Stone Greatsword
does a Tranquil Walk of Peace
effect when two-handed. This might be useful for a caster that has 27 Strength and is unwilling to level Faith
. It requires no attunement slots, and is capable weapon on its weak attacks alone, but is crippled by an insane 18.0 weight. It might be worth considering on some builds, but, generally speaking, is better left in the Bottomless Box.
The Sweeping class of Greatsword
strong attacks are used by the ever popular Claymore
, and its lesser used cousins the Manserpent Greatsword
and Bastard Sword
. When two-handed, the attack covers a huge range with a sizable portion of the hitbox being behind you. If facing who pokes from behind a shield or can be staggered from the attack, you can start-up the attack facing your opponent, then unlock to turn to face the exact opposite direction of your opposition and land a dead-angle. If your opponent is staggered, attack with a weak attack while turning to face your opponent. This will land a stun lock, and toggle-tricks out of it should be dealt with the same way as if you normally got them stunned.
Here is an example Quality-style Claymore
build. The actual usage of the build is pretty straight forward, but it might be worth noting a small trick for the Claymore
one-handed strong attack. If you do a small step at the end of the strong attack, it resets your attack count. This means you can do the deadly poke again, and, if you get very good at this technique, and you stagger someone with the first hit, you can do an exceptionally long range stun-lock. Ultra Greatswords
(Risky Attacks, Backstabs, Pokes)
The largest of the swords, and the slowest, the Ultra Greatsword
is a power-house when it comes to dealing damage, and stunning opponents. This is the bane of new players everywhere, but becomes much harder to use against players capable of roll backstabbing. Once you understand how to backstab effectively, the Ultra Greatswords
become considerably more useful due to the incredible critical damage they are capable of doing. However, these weapons are more than a glorified Bandit's Knife
, and, with practice, you'll be capable of bisecting your opposition no problem.
The weak attack of the Ultra Greatsword
is weak in name only. It deals formidable damage that cannot be afforded to tank, and hits everything in a very wide arc in front of you. The difference between a one-handed swing, and a two-handed one is the swing speed and the ability to get dead-angles. This is a very important difference, however, and, you'll need to judge when to use what type of swing to do the most damage. Either swing is easy to parry, so you cannot try to guard break someone using it, and you must be careful trying to bait someone into coming close as many times they'll be able to parry that, too. While being very easy to parry, it is also easy enough to dead-angle with should you use the one-handed attack. The large sweeping motion, when turned further perpendicular can get dead-angles, and newer players that try to strafe backstab an Ultra Greatsword
user will often force themselves into dead-angles. However, the ability to stagger one-handed is lessened considerably, and you'll find yourself backstabbed if you use it carelessly. You'll need to use the one-handed dead-angle sparingly, but getting the odd hit in will make a world of difference as you bide your time for getting the two-handed attacks in.
The roll attack of the Ultra Greatsword
is a long-ranged poke with your sword. While being slow, and having subpar tracking, learning to use it without lock-on will go a long way to getting hits on opponents that flip around with quick weapons. However, this is like your normal weak attack, and will result in you getting roll backstabbed if you attack recklessly. Another thing to note, is that this attack is incredibly easy to parry, and you'll need to make sure not attack when your opponent is too close, or you'll get something much worse than a backstab. However, you can do a neat little trick to confuse your opponent. After your roll, if you take a tiny step, you'll do your normal attack that is much harder to parry. If you know how to do dead-angles properly with your Ultra Greatsword
, there is nothing stopping you from making your attack unblockable.
Jump attacks from Ultra Greatswords
cover a huge, but thin, line. They have incredible ability to stagger and you'll often flatten players when you land it. However, it has a sizable recover animation, so use it only to punish enemies that are attacking, but miss. When used correctly, it makes for the one of the most powerful, non-critical, attacks in the game, and can change the outcome of a battle. However, while the running attack and the jumping one are superficially similar, never use the running attack; it leaves you so open for a backstab to the point you are guaranteed to receive one no matter what.
The only strong attack worth mentioning in Ultra Greatsword
category is the funnily named Greatsword
. Other weapons, including the Dragon Greatsword
, have very poor tracking, and hitboxes. However, the Greatsword
's strong attack has reasonable tracking and can be manually aimed for devastating effects. Be careful how you use it, though, as backstabs are still possible.
The here for the Ultra Greatsword
features the Demon Great Machete
, and has some Pyromancy on the side. Typically speaking, you'll want to be two-handed except for a few rare parts of the fight; you have only your bare-hands to parry with, and no usable weapons if you don't use both hands on your Machete
. and make the most of the very large base damage of the weapon. Curved Swords
The Curved Swords
are an underused, but powerful, Dexterity weapon. They have very fast swing speed, and make a great vehicle for dealing buff damage. The main attraction the Curved Swords
is its safe, but short-ranged, weak attack with the various strong attacks being useless. The two exceptions to this are the Shotel
and the Painting Guardian Sword
. The reason that the Curved Sword
is considered a poking tool rather than risky attack is that the attacks, if done without incredible lag, cannot be punished by a backstab. However, one must still worry about parrying, so awareness of when to back-off is the key to the successful use of your Curved Sword
. Unlike other weapons that can kick a parry attempting opponent, the Curved Sword
instead does a bizarre little cartwheel. To make up for this, it is suggested you carry a Great Combustion
or go a backstab. The opponent will learn to either make blind parries, stop trying to parry, or die.
The weak attack of the Curved Sword
is a quick, horizontal sweep in front of you that, while not doing considerable poise damage, will stun-lock anyone foolish enough to think they can tank it. Not only that, it is also incredibly fast so many people that rely on the block followed with a parry will consistently fail. This is your cue to get a backstab. There is almost no reason to use your Curved Sword
in one-hand, and you should be two-handing it for increased damage and swing speed. The trick for successfully using the weapon is to get continuous hits, while preventing your opponent from parrying.
There are a two main ways to combo into the deadly weak attack: from the rolling or running attack. The roll attack is an intricate little dance that gets hit, and comes with the predictability of all roll attacks. However, it is very fast so you may feel a bit safer on relying upon it. You should try dodging past an attack with your invincibility frames then let loose on your opponent. The running attack entrance is similar to the roll attack, but does more damage proportional to the risk.
, and Furysword
all have strong attacks that are strictly inferior to the weak attack of the Curved Sword. However, both the Shotel
and Painting Guardian Sword
have special strong attacks that are situational usable. The Shotel
's strong attack is an unblockable strike. It can be quite fearsome, but can be a bit predictable and slow. Don't rely on it, but use occasionally to get some additional damage. The Painting Guardian Sword
does an elaborate, little dance that doesn't do too much damage, but does an absurd amount of hits only kept in check by its short-range. If you use it while magically buffed, it'll do an incredible amount of damage rivaled only by the Ricard's Rapier
. Practice is necessary to use it correctly, but it is a rewarding skill. Curved swords
also have a jumping attack worth using should the opportunity present itself. It does a wide sweep in front of your landing area, and makes for a good damage.
Here is a build that features the Falchion
, and the ability to cast some devastating Pyromancy. It's a straight forward build that features a small little trick to get the most out of the Curved Swords
. Since you are unable to kick with the Falchion
, instead you'll use Great Combustion
to punish parry attempts, and to do some poise damage. If your opponent is not staggered by the Great Combustion
, and still tries to attack you, you stand a much higher chance of landing a stun-lock, which is where the Curved Swords
The legendary Katana
of the glorious Nippon is the absolute bane of people who have no idea of what the mechanics of PvP are. Fast attacks, long-ranged pokes, and a bleed build-up, it is understandably a weapon to be feared if you don't yet know how to use your favourite weapon. It is one of the easier weapons to learn how to use, and you can make your own little Samurai with it. The swing speed makes the Katana
a very good weapon to carry a buff with, but damage is normally a bit low without one. You'll also find that when you get into PvP, the fearsome attack-speed becomes less useful as chained attacks will often get parried or at least partial parried, and bleed stops being a death-sentence and more of a nuisance as you can roll out of it almost unfailingly.
The weak attack of the Katana
is a quick, forward slash that is a very safe move. Ideally, you'll be two-handing the sword to help make up for the low damage. However, it is important to get close to your opponent as the range, even with the Washing Pole
, is deceptively close. Holding up your shield for the approach is often a necessity with a cautious player, but, with an aggressive roller, you shouldn't be too afraid to throw a shot out. It is a very safe move, and doesn't cost too much stamina. However, don't use it as license to swing wildly, or you'll find you self out of stamina. Remember to use the kick if you find someone trying to parry your attack. While they might still dodge the follow-up weak attack, they have to back away as parry attempts from the distance they are pushed to will fail consistently.
The running attack of the Katana
actually carries some real risk if you spam it, but it is still a fairly same move. It has a very good range as it is it uses the full length of the sword and some forward motion to cover a huge distance. It won't hit a wide arc, but it can lay effective pressure. Be warned that you'll find yourself parried if you get too close, and that the setup to the attack is really noticeable. The damage isn't incredible, but the safety of the move warrants it being done exclusively two-handed. This move should be used to tack on damage.
The weak attack of the Katana
is a bit on the low damage, and you'll want to get as many hits as possible when your opponent makes a mistake. While you can do the running poke, you'll find your opponent not so open to getting hit to it after a while, and they'll get a roll backstab eventually if that is your only manoeuvre. To be able to get more hits going against the larger weapons, you can pre-emptively roll through an attack and land the roll attack. You would be doing this unlocked and you would land at their side. If you do it right, and they attack you with lock-on, you'll find that their follow-up attack will miss. You would continue through and use your weak attack to tack on damage.
There are two different strong attacks: Standard, and Unusable. The Standard strong attack is used both by the Washing Pole
, and the Uchigatana
, and is very useful overall. When one-handed, it does a mimicry of the running attack. It is much more unexpected, but is more vulnerable to roll backstabs because of the stationary start-up. It should be used carefully in combination with the running attack, to add on more damage through pokes. The two-handed strong attack has a noticeable start-up, but has surprising range to go with it. It should be avoided, though, as it is very easy to dodge and roll backstab. In fact, all the other strong attacks should be avoided due to the start-up time that telegraphs the move way in advance. The Chaos Blade
both fail to cover enough distance, or do enough damage to make the attack worth while. It does not mean that the attack is useless as it can be used to try to get hit when your opponent is waking up from a backstab, but against more experienced players that is actually a invitation to get backstabbed. The jump attack of the Katana
is useless, however, and should be avoided at all costs.
here features the Chaos Blade
as the main weapon with a standard load of Pyromancies on the side. This is a very straight forward build, and the actual use of it should be fairly intuitive. You should be using the Composite Bow
over your Chaos Blade
when you can safely use it; although the 20 damage is small, the self inflicted wounds will add up if you are reckless. Curved Greatswords
(Risky Attack, Backstabs)
The large, arcing slashes of the Curved Greatsword
are reminiscent of the pendulums you'll see in Sens Fortress. While you might have some trouble landing the blows, your opponents will drop to the ground whether or not they try to block. The Curved Greatswords
are one of the best weapons for getting dead-angle attacks because of the attack arcs covering a large distance behind you. Once you get a sense for judging distance, this weapon becomes much more useful as, when trying to learn it, you'll be finding yourself wasting stamina with poorly chosen attacks. You'll find yourself frustrated at the slow attacks constantly hitting the air where you opponent was a second before.
However, the weak attack attack of the Curved Greatsword
is nothing to scoff at once you understand how to use it effectively. You should never use it with lock-on, but manually aim it. The weak attack has slow swing speed, and requires some prediction to hit your opponent. This is what makes the weapon very good against gangs of phantoms who'll often be very predictable, but you'll need to step up the game in duels where being hard to predict is a necessity. However, so long the opponent is close you'll be able to damage even if they block; by turning away in the correct manner you'll get a dead-angle attack. A bit of practice will go a long way to using a Curved Greatsword
. Just remember to aim in response to what they are going to do, not what they are doing, as accounting for the start-up animation is the biggest hurdle to using getting kills.
The roll attack is essentially requires the same skill set to use effectively as the weak attack. You'll want to predict where you opponent is going to be, but it is considerably easier to get a dead-angle attack with it. You'll notice the huge back-swing of the attack that's all viable for landing the attack. However, if all you do is dead-angle attacks with it, you'll find yourself with a sword sticking out of you. The fact you turn your back makes you very vulnerable, and you should be careful not to use the attack too much as going for the unblockable hit every time makes you exceedingly predictable. This attack is best used against weapons that can attack from behind the shield; they won't be able to get the backstab if you do it right, even if they see it coming, should they decide to poke. Your roll invulnerability will even let you go through the attack, making this weapon an excellent anti-turtle weapon.
The running attack of the Curved Greatsword
either useful or practically useless depending on how many hands you have on the weapon. The two-handed attack is an example of what makes an attack useless; it is telegraphed extraordinarily well by the little hop before the attack, it hits a narrow area, and has huge swing commitment. The one-handed attack does have a similar telegraph, and swing commitment, but has an incredible hitbox that makes dodging to the side very difficult. With opponents that cannot, or will not risk, parrying the attack, and try to roll away, a good trick is to wait for them to try to roll away then attack. If timed right, you'll hit them as they exit the roll for a fair amount of damage. The jump attack has is a similar set of properties to the running attack, but requires no start up. However, it is more vulnerable to backstabs. It should be used as a surprise attack for large damage, and when you can predict that you'll opponent will be staggered or won't punish.
The strong attack of the Curved Greatsword
isn't worth mentioning except for the Gravelord Sword
. The normal strong attack of Sever
and the Murakumo
forces you to go forward in a single direction, and is well telegraphed. This is a big no as your movements are set for a solid second which is enough to guarantee a backstab. However, the Gravelord Sword
doesn't force you to move, but it does have a start-up time. This means you shouldn't use if you opponent is too close, but it has a good range to make up for it. Ideally, you would use it unlocked to score a definite hit, but the tracking is good enough that you can't be blamed for using it with lock-on.
The following here features the incredibly deadly Gravelord Greatsword
, along with some light Pyromancy. The most important thing you can do with this build is to understand that the deceptively fast swing-speed of your weapon is still slow; the Gravelord Greatsword
will require a gentle touch to use effectively and the low Dexterity Pyromancy won't provide the quick hits you'll find yourself wanting. You also rest on a large pile of health, so don't be afraid to trade blows with your one-handed running attack early on. You'll find yourself out-damaging all, but the largest weapons. Piercing Swords
These swords are easily one of the most frustrating weapons for new players that cannot backstab could possibly face. Depending on how aggressive your opponent is, you'll find harming them nigh-impossible as they'll hide behind their shield. While that aspect isn't too hard to pick up, it is much harder to use it to get kills against the ever-present threat of good players. Instead, you'll find the most successful use of Piercing Sword
will come from the situational application of the varied moveset of the Piercing Sword
; every attack has a purpose.
The weak attack of the Piercing Sword
is a poke with step forward. It is safe attack that goes fast, but fails to combo well. The low damage even if you two-hand the weapon means that it'll not be game deciding very often. However, the low stamina cost means that you'll shouldn't be afraid to try to tack on damage whenever you see your opponent open. The rolling attack is quite similar to the weak attack in that it is fast, safe, and has an inability to combo. It should be used for the exact same reason that you would normally use the weak attack. This weapon, along with Spears
, are unique that the weak attack can be executed when blocking. It does root in place which opens you to backstabs, but it is a fairly quick to execute. This means, unless you become predictable, it'll be a great way to deal damage to someone who gets too close for comfort. There isn't a secret to using the weak attack effectively, it just requires a gut feeling for when your opponent won't decide to attack; often you'll notice players, even good ones, not doing an attack for a whole variety of reasons. Most times it will be because they are out of stamina, or want to try to bait you into a false sense of security. The more you play, the better you'll know when your opponent is out, or close to it, of stamina, and you'll be able to get all that extra damage tacked on.
The running attack of Piercing Swords
is wonderful two-hit attack, that will do respectable damage when both parts connect. It is actually quite safe, and is worth getting some practice to be effective with. The attack is quick enough that'll be hard for your opponent to parry, provided you use some spacial awareness and not begin the attack in front of their shield, but it does come with swing commitment. Not only that, it is fairly predictable, and it's safety to backstabs will become nil if your opponent goes for the roll backstab the moment before you attack. Even if the lack ability to predict exactly when you are going to start, if they wield larger weapons they can hit you as you move inextricably forward. However, the weapons that are the most deadly to the running attack are also vulnerable to parries; Greatswords
, and Halberds
are weapons that you'll you need to learn to parry effectively, anyways. The jump attack is a forward poke is surprisingly viable, but underused. It should be used like the running attack, and comes with the exact same benefits and risks.
Strong attacks of Piercing Swords
are all unique, but fall into two camps: Improved Weak Attack and Combo. The Improved Weak Attack, used by the Rapier
, and Estoc
, is exactly what the title suggests; it covers more distance, and does more damage than the simple weak attack at the cost of more stamina, and increased risk. If used to punish attacks in a larger area, you'll find the damage tacked on will go a long way to getting the fight ending parry or backstab. The two-handed attack of the Estoc
comes with too large a swing commitment to truly be viable outside of the odd surprise strike. Be careful not use this a total substitute for the weak attack, as it is possible for your opponent to predict when you are going to try the attack to land a preemptive roll backstab. This means that right before your attack, they'll roll towards you as you're about to do the Strong Attack, and the increased swing commitment will prevent you from escaping in time. Combo moves are actually open to the traditional roll backstab, but are capable of much more damage as compensation. These multi-hit strong attacks are used by Ricard's
and Velka's Rapier
, and are quite risky to use. Both telegraph the attack well, but do have speed, and range to make the strong attack worth while. The Ricard's Rapier
strong attack is absolutely lethal when buffed, but has an unrivaled stamina cost, and inability to string together all 6 hits. Instead you'll find yourself using faultily the the initial 2 that comes from the first press of the button, and not continuing to avoid a roll backstab. To actually land the incredible damage that this weapon buffed promises, you'll need to land a parry. Rather than do the riposte, you'll go for the strong attack. Ricard's offers versatility; you could land insane damage when buffed, or land a very respectable riposte when not. Velka's Rapier
, while flashy, is (even) less practical than the Ricard's
for being tough to land and not very damaging.Piercing Swords
benefit incredibly well from buffs, so it deserves a special mention here. When using a magical buff, such as Crystal Magic Weapon
, Sunlight Blade
, or the omnipresent Darkmoon Blade
, you place upon yourself a timer to be effective. During the minute of effectiveness, your every hit does the buffed damage, regardless of the modifiers of your normal Attack Rating will have for the hit. This means that your running attack will do double buff damage if both hits land. However, not only will your opponent suspect this, but he merely needs wait for the threat to pass. Your shield poke will have a hard time getting traction to be doing damage; the now fearsome damage, combined with safety, means that you'll find yourself having a wide berth. Although your damage might be doubled, you'll often find yourself doing less than if you used a simple elemental. However, you'll have with you the ability to cast a whole bunch of spells that'll help prevent a simple turtle. Homing Soulmass
and Wrath of the Gods
are great at breaking a guard, but it is a still a tough battle to do damage against a careful opponent.
Here is the build that'll be used to feature the ever prominent Piercing Sword
. It uses the Estoc
, and some light Pyromancies to do damage. Generally speaking, you'll find the most important thing in your control will be actually dealing damage to your opponent. The only single-hit, non-critical attack you have is your Great Combustion
, so you'll need to learn how to do your criticals as well as possible.Without excuse, you should be able to setup parry, at the very least, all major weapon groups you will encounter, and how to space appropriately for a backstab. Axes and Hammers
The much maligned small Strength weapons find a home in nobodies hand, for many reasons. They all posses stagger, mediocre damage, slow swing speed, and an awful tendency to be parried. However, these weapons are still viable with a lot of practice, and a bit of guts. However, it must be said that this weapon can only do Risky Attacks. You'll need back-up weapons to take full advantage of what the weapon does provide: an attack that punishes foolish play. The only stand-alone weapon in both classes is the Hand Axe
, which has a fast enough attack to not be punished by roll backstab. When deciding whether or not to actually use either the Axe
, or Hammer
, you must understand that no successful build can come from the exclusive use of them.
The weak attack of the Small Strength Weapons differ slightly between an Axe
, or Hammer
. With the Axe
, you'll have a small chop directly in front of you. Comparatively, a Hammer
will do a small swing covering the same area. They are the exact same in functionality, however, and both have an awful stagger animation. This means you'll need to be very careful when deciding to attack, as a poor decision will result in a backstab. You must attack when you are certain an enemy will be in a certain location, and doing so unlocked will go a long way to smashing skulls with your chosen weapon. Two-handing for the weak attack is a necessity, the mediocre damage requires it. However, you must also be aware of when an enemy is only getting close to try to parry you. Even if they miss the intuitive window, they'll still get a partial parry for almost no damage. You'll need to learn backstab punish such an attempt, or keep a Great Combustion
to dissuade attempts. If you are unable to do this, you must remember to kick! It'll stagger your opponents, and create distance enough to not worry about an immediate parry. Should you ever get continuous hits, you'll find that you'll often stagger an opponent. Do not look a gift horse in the mouth, they'll be just as surprised as you. Take advantage of the surprise and continue the attack, that is how you actually do damage with this weapon. Be forewarned of people that'll toggle trick out of the stunlock and parry your attack. You should always respond to toggle-to-parry attempt with a backstab the moment the try to toggle.
While the weak attack requires a very fine touch to use effectively, no amount of sensitivity can redeem the roll attack or the running attack. The low damage, stunning capability, swing commitment, and predictability combine to make one of the worst attacks in game. The gambit of using this qualifies as high risk, low reward.
Strong attacks fall into a few different categories: Improved Weak Attack, Jump, and Unique. Jump is generally more useful than Improved Weak Attack, but fails to possess any dual stat scaling weapons. The attack used by the Club
, its Reinforced
brother, and the Giant Blacksmith Hammer
, is a good sized jump (who knew?), and does posses a follow-up strike that should be done exclusively unlocked. The ease of pulling a jump attack with a single button press is not be underestimated, and you'll find yourself punishing all sorts of failed attacks by your opponent that were previously considered safe. However, as with all jump attacks, you'll need to be careful not be backstabbed if you fail to get the hit. This means you should be fairly cautious when using it. The follow-up will rarely even have a chance to land, but don't hesitate should the opponent provide the chance. While this attack can be parried, do not expect to be. The Improved Weak Attack takes all the things of the weak attack that is already difficult to use effectively, and exaggerates them. All the weapons that are not Jumping, Golem Ax
, Butcher's Knife
, and Gargoyle Tail Axe
, use the Improved Weak Attack as their strong attack. Generally speaking, using it is a gambit that can occasionally pay-off. However, caution should be exercised when using it; while the damage and stagger ability might have been increased, so has the intuitiveness of the parry window, and the stagger should you miss. The option to use it is better than not being able to, but, ideally, you should be using the normal jump attack in its stead.
The Butcher's Knife
strong attack is either very useful or very useless; it depends on how many hands you have on it. The two-handed ground pound has a very noticeable start-up, and a failure to hit is ghastly mistake. This move, while neat-looking, should be avoided. A small trick you can do, however, is to use the attacked unlock to punish a failed backstab attempt. While the attack does have impressive stagger, it simply shouldn't be used. The one-handed strong attack is a forward rush, which can be used effectively as it is surprisingly safe for a forced movement attack. Although continuous use will result in a roll backstab, the odd charge as they roll away will sometimes land a hit the moment the exit the roll. The attack is also does not consume a considerable amount of stamina, so if you are being cautious as you should be, then the odd charge will come in handy for doing more damage. The Gargoyle Tail Axe
strong attack provides a very mediocre ability to dead-angle, while simply wielding it provides a massive resistance boost. It is the only Axe that scales better with Dexterity instead of Strength, so a fine touch is an obvious requirement to successful usage. You'll notice that it telegraphs very well for little benefit; the dead-angle not only requires a touch that even veteran's will fail a large amount of the time. Ideally, you would not use it unless you have to. The Golem Axe
has a very good strong attack, if a bit weak on damage. When two-handed, it does a ground pound in a similar manner as the Butcher's Knife
. The same advice of generally avoiding its use is true here as well. However, the one-handed attack fires a blade of wind with an nasty knock-back effect that can be used for great effect. Although you may have trouble hitting targets that are flipping all over the place, and learning to hit unlocked can be tough. A few tricks can be done to improve your odds of hitting; if you turn away, then lock-on right before it fires, it'll have better tracking. You should be doing the strong attack far enough away that backstabs won't actually be a risk.
The build for Axes
is a buffed Butcher's Knife here. This build is very straight forward, except for the fact you should avoid rapidly casting Wrath of the Gods
; you don't have the Dexterity to provide the speed for spam. An important decision when using this build is to choose what buff to use. While Darkmoon Blade
will provide higher damage, many opponents have higher Magic defence. You should be able to tell from your opponent's gear which buff to choose. Fortunately, it isn't as hard you might sound. Just look at how much light armour your opponent is wearing, and, if you see 2 or more pieces, you should start off with Sunlight Blade
(Risky Attacks, Backstabs)
The larger version of the Axe tends to be much better than the pitiable wood-chopping tool. When roaming Lordran, you might occasionally meet someone lugging around the Great Axe
, but they'll often only go for a devastating backstab. While backstabbing will get you some wins, it won't get you many. Instead, you'll even more success if you actually use the weapon for more than a glorified +5 Lightning Rapier
. Some principles do carry over from the smaller Axe; patience, practice, and punishing will by the three words you live by should you decide to use a Great Axe
. You mustn't think that you can win against anyone that is worth winning against with repetitive, and mindless button pressing. You'll need to be repetitive, and use some brains!
The weak attack of the Great Axe
is far from being weak. The overhead smash covers an alright range in front of it, but won't win a range-war against anything but some of the smaller Straight Swords
. The attack itself does incredible damage, both in health and poise. The one-handed attack, while being unable to stun-lock, gives you the invaluable ability to parry. The weak attack itself is quite capable, but slow enough that you won't get hits without the ability to predict your opponent attack. Ideally, you'll punish a weak attack of your opponent's with your swing, and stagger them. Depending on the upgrade path of your weapon, +15 for best results, you'll be able to stun-lock your opponent if you are two-handing. The infamous Black Knight Great Axe
has the same properties as the normal Great Axe
weak attack if you two-hand it, provided you place aside the cosmetic changes. However, the one-handed attack is a functionally different attack; it attacks in a very wide sweep, and has a nasty habit of getting an opponent as they end their roll. While it might look like it is very good for getting a dead-angle attack, the first sweep is total garbage for it. The follow-up attack is quite capable at being unblockable. A common application of this bizarre property is to punish an attempt to setup parry; they'll block the first hit and their parry attempt will be met with a dead-angle.
The roll attack of the Great Axe
is a powerful tool, and can get a dead-angle even easier than the second one-handed attack of the Black Axe
. The attack actually does a full rotation hitbox, and it is very intuitive once you figure out what a dead-angle actually is. It does not have a considerable motion, and the attack does have a small delay to hitting the area behind it. Roll backstabs will be your bane should you abuse it, but it can provide that elusive final hit against a turtle.
The strong attacks of Great Axes
are all varied, but not all useful. The Black Knight Great Axe
should never be used for its fancy attacks. Not only will you be backstabbed for certain with the one-handed attack, the parry window is absurdly intuitive to the point they can spam their attempts and almost certainly get it should you try to two-hand it. The Demon Great Axe
when two-handed is just as useless with the telegraphed raise and subsequent stagger. The one-handed version is almost as useless against someone who has seen it before, they'll never fall for the baited knock-up attack after their first experience with it. The stamina cost of two strong-attacks in a row is also a strike against trying to bait an opponent. Both moves will fall victim to roll backstabs should they try to be used. The Dragon King Axe
, while more useful, is another strong attack on the trash heap. The two-handed AoE blast is quite easy to roll through, especially with noticeable raise above the head. The one-handed strong attack is useful, and operates as an Improved Weak Attack. You should use it sparingly, but it can make a devastating mix-up against a parry attempt. The real Great Axe
uses an Improved Weak Attack. This move can be used effectively to counter setup parry attempts, but should generally be avoided; if you know the opponent is going to try to parry, then you should go for the backstab rather than try the Improved Weak Attack. Generally speaking, you'll want to avoid using this move in all, but the most esoteric circumstances.
The here made to showcase the Great Axe
. You need to have patience when using this build, your weapon is slow. You must not believe that you "have to attack", or "this is a risk I must take". Spend your time to take only sure shots, and don't be afraid to just slowly back away from your opponent for most of the fight; even with the simplest, fastest weapons, your opponent will eventually make a mistake, and you'll need to have a cool head to take advantage of it. The longer the fight lasts, the more likely your opponent will get flusted; don't be afraid to let the fight go on for a long time. You must be like your weapon: slow, but powerful. Don't try to use it in a way it wasn't meant for. You can also switch out the Great Axe
for a Black Knight Greatsword
if you don't like the moveset. Great Hammers
(Risky Attacks, Backstabs)
Nothing beats the feeling of beating your opponent with a really big stick. No edge necessary to smash your opponent into a pulp when using a Great Hammer
. However, you'll need to have a calm demeanor to use one effectively; the barbarian rage will not get you very far. One of the biggest problems you'll have when using any of the larger Strength weapons is that you'll find yourself roll backstabbed a fair bit. This will be especially prevalent with a Great Hammer
, as with no doubt, you'll want to use the incredible two-handed roll attack that is so very predictable. You can actually negate many of the poor roll backstab attacks with the Armour of Thorns
chest piece. Remember that damage at same moment as a backstab will negate the backstab damage, and this holds true for the roll damage that the Thorn Set
provides. However, this will only stop bad attempts; if you are predictable, then your opponent will still get their knife in your back. You could try using a different piece of the Thorn Set
to deal with roll backstabs, but Chest
is by far the most consistently successful at stopping them.
The weak attack of a Great Hammer
is nothing to write home about. While it is quite capable in terms of damage, it's very slow and totally incapable of a stun-lock. However, it is quite devastating when it does hit. The correct use of the weak attack is timing it to hit targets you know will roll away from you. It'll take some practice, in terms of actually developing the timing, and ability to read your opponent, but it will dramatically improve your chances of victory if you can land even a single weak attack every fight. However, the attack comes with substantial risk, and if you try to get that one, crucial hit too often, you'll find yourself backstabbed by total amateurs. The only attack you'll have more trouble landing than this is the running attack, which simply should never, ever be used. That attack telegraphs so well, that it seems to be a wake-up call,a and the stagger afterwards is matched only by the Zweihander
However, the roll attacks make up for the awful running attack in spades, and wanting to use it so often is why the weapon needed a special mention of the Thorn Chest
. When one-handed, the roll attack is the same as the Great Axe
, but with a weapon that provides as much range as the Black Knight Great Axe
, or more. It possesses a similar capability to score dead-angles, which means that you'll get it some of the time against players not expecting. You'll need to be aware of the attacks delay when hitting the area directly behind it, and that the it'll telegraphs better than the equivalent move on the Great Axe
as there is less reason to use the vanilla weak attack. The two-handed roll attack is what makes the Great Hammer
so special; it is an almost impossible to parry attack with an insane phantom range. Not only that, it will stagger anyone should it hit. It will take priority over almost any attack should you opponent try to trade blows, and will deal the damage that you expect the giant hunk of metal/wood/stone to do. This attack would make the Great Hammer
arguably useful, even if it possessed nothing else. You'll expect to miss often should you only spam the attack, but three hits is often all it will take to get a kill. There is not a gigantic secret to the successful use of the attack, other than carry a back-up weapon; you'll find yourself roll backstabbed eventually, even if you wear all the Thorn Set
The strong attacks are a mixed bag of bad-stuff when it comes to Great Hammers
. The best, undoubtedly is the strong attack of the Large Club
, while the worst is used by Smough's Hammer
. While the Giant Club
possesses another unique strong attack, the rest use an Improved Weak Attack. They shouldn't ever be used except to smash someone who will try to parry your weak attack, for whatever reason, but those people are ones you can defeat easily enough. The area of effect blast that Grant
uses, is also unusable as it telegraphs extremely well, and can be rolled through for a guaranteed backstab. The two-handed smash of the Large Club
is just as useless as the rest of them, but the one-handed attack is actually quite useful. It covers a fair amount of distance, while attacking a wide area in front of it. It is also a bit frightening to parry, so you shouldn't worry too much about that. While normally forced movement is bad, in this case it forces you forward at an incredible rate; essentially acting as range rather than movement. However, you are still vulnerable to roll backstabs, so some prediction is required for the successful use of it. Ideally, you'll attack as they start to move away so that you arrive in the correct location for the swing. The jump attack of the Great Hammers
are absolutely devastating, and make up for the crappy strong attacks. They have incredible ability to stagger and you'll often flatten players when you land it. However, it has a sizable recover animation, so use it only to punish enemies that are attacking, but miss. When used correctly, it makes for the one of the most powerful, non-critical, attacks in the game, and can change the outcome of a battle.
Here is the suggested build for learning to use the Great Club
class of weapons effectively. Worth noting is that many of the attacks that are total garbage on the Great Club
can be used in certain circumstances. If you want to learn how to use this weapon effectively, don't be afraid to lose. You need to learn every situation that you should be using the running attack for, the various strong attacks, or when to trade weak attacks. If this is going to be your weapon, you need to learn how to use all of it.Spears
(Pokes, Risky Attacks)
The deadly Spear
is something really special. Before we go much further, the basic Spear
is an irremediable choice; for almost no more weight you can have a weapon with almost twice the range should you really want to use spears. Why wouldn't you want to use a Spear
with the incredible range it brings? Suddenly, you'll find yourself in control of a battle even against a veteran. However, the veteran will still get the win if you are new to Spears
, as you'll need to maintain control constantly to win with the sword-on-a-stick. What does control of a battle mean? A Spear
possesses extraordinary range, and some quick speed, which provides an unparalleled ability to avoid punishment; the impunity that Spears
bring is control. However, the play-style you'll have draws a characteristic breath that can be discovered. An experienced player will find yours during the match, and be able to preemptively attack to defeat you.
The weak attack of the Spear
is a long-ranged jab with speed on par of a Piercing Sword
. As far as weak attacks go, it is one of the best. You'll need to use it a lot, however, as the damage is a bit weak. Unlike many weapons, you can expect to break guards, and reap benefits with the weak attack. The range is long enough that you shouldn't expect to get parried, provided you keep your distance, and low enough in terms of stamina cost to be able to get that extra hit after they stagger. Mind you, don't try to break the guard on the rarely seen Greatshield
; those have enough stability to block your attacks with a sliver of stamina. The one-handed version, while having more range, is weaker than the two-handed attack. Against all, but other spears, you should be two-handing for the attack. You may have noticed that the spear can be used a poke from behind the shield. However, this attack roots you in place, and leaves you very open to backstabs. Ideally, you'll avoid using this attack except as a rare punishment to someone who tries to attack your block. Even then, it is best to be careful, as only a fool would try bashing on a Spear
-user's shield without aiming for a dead-angle attack. In this case, you should either roll away, or go for a mediocre backstab. Someone who approaches you with your shield is most likely making a bet that you'll do the poke, and actually doing it is a great way to lose the control you need to maintain. The roll attack of the Spear
is functionally equivalent to the weak attack, except for a few differences; the invulnerability of the roll that can allow you to dodge an attack, makes your own attack more predictable, and a bit slower.
The running attack of the Spear
is an incredibly far-reaching attack and very few weapons can trade with it. Not only do you have the full length of the Spear
, you also have a forward running motion to make all, but the most silly attacks, threaten a hit. This attack should not be used exclusively, as you can be roll backstabbed if they know the attack is coming, but instead tack on damage to your opponent if they try to cast. It can also be used sparingly to try to punish an incautious player who'll never keep their shield up. However, it does not go fluidly into the weak attack, and, as a consequence, the range will be useless against a player who keeps a shield up. Do go wild on people that can't block, and see how they react, but you should stop if they learn to go for the backstab. If you see them dodging consistently to the side, try waiting for the roll to almost end to attack; you might still fail to hit your target, but it increases your chance to score a hit. The jump attack of the Spear
, underused for no reason, fills a similar niche. While it a bit harder to connect, and with a slight increase in risk of a backstab, the sudden jump does more damage. Should you find your opponent constantly rolling directly away from you, try out the jumping attack. With some practice, you'll get the timing down right to score another hit.
The strong attack of the Spears
cover a wide spectrum of potential cases: from being totally useless, to incredibly useful. There is a general family shared among the Spear
, Winged Spear
, and Moonlight Butterfly Horn
, but, other than that, the rest are all unique. The Shared strong attack of the true the Winged Spear
and the Moonlight Butterfly Horn
is a forward thrust that uses the full length of the Spear. The amount of hands you have on it will only change the damage, the attacks are essentially identical. It cannot be advised to use it, other than to punish your opponent for missing with a slow weapon if they are out of range of your weak attack. The motions of the Shared strong attack telegraph too well for the attack to hit anyone, but the stationary. The rarely used Partizan
possesses an useful sweep that can do something no other Spear can: the strong attack of the Partizan can be used to dead-angle. This helps maintain control even against a cautious player, who will block many of your attempts to attack as they try to discover what makes, and breaks your style of play. However, using the Partizan
for a dead-angle does leave you open for backstabs. Do not expect careless use of the attack to go unpunished, opponents are always on edge when fighting one of the most 'annoying' weapons, and they'll be aiming no doubt for a backstab. The capability to backstab is roughly the same no matter how many hands you'll use, and you won't stagger anyone wearing armor anyways, so don't be afraid to use it if you know you have the opportunity. The Silver Knight Spear
has possibly the best strong attacks of any spear. When one-handed, it does a full circle sweep, then a particular smash that has particular habit of doing weird death animations on your opponent should they be killed by it. It is particularly slow, and the follow-up attack should always be done unlocked. However, the attack telegraphs too well to be outstandingly useful. However, the two-handed strong attack is something good with the slightly more range the weak attack, and more damage. It makes the perfect counter to an attempted charge. Even though the attack telegraphs pretty well, the attack itself is quick enough to get anyone who is paying full attention to you. The Demon Spear
, the Dragonslayer Spear
, the Channeler's Trident
, and the Pike
all have arguably useless strong attacks. They should be avoided, as it will never land against all but the newest players.
The suggested build for learning Spears is here. It uses the Moonlight Butterfly Horn
as the main weapon of choice. This exceptional weapon does all magic damage, and can do chip damage very well. The mobility, and range of the Horn
precludes blocking, and parrying in general, but you shouldn't shy away from getting the occasional poke hit, or parry attempt. This build features some Pyromancies, and Great Combustion
should be used to provide more substantial damage than what your spear will provide.
Last edited by roanispe on Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:55 am; edited 17 times in total (Reason for editing : Updating builds; Modernizing Format)