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Best Samurai Build in Elden Ring (A Guide)

People love katanas, especially those that watch a lot of anime. Elden Ring, being made by a Japanese company, has katanas and even a Samurai starting class in them. Thus, we’re here to talk about the Samurai class, what it is, the stats to expect, and the best Samurai build archetypes in Elden Ring.

 

What Is the Samurai Class in Elden Ring

Elden Ring Best Samurai Build
Screenshot by Robots

 

The Samurai class is one of the starting classes of Elden Ring that focuses on Dexterity as its primary stat. However, it’s also very balanced stat-wise and absolutely beginner friendly. Players can also go on either Strength or Dexterity when they make their builds, or do something completely different and max out Intelligence or even Arcane. The Samurai class has a lot of build variety, and you can use many weapons with this class, not just katanas.

Read more: Elden Ring PVP guide

 

Starting Stats

These are the stats that Samurai players start with when they start a game in Elden Ring:

  • Level: 9
  • Vigor: 12
  • Mind: 11
  • Endurance: 13
  • Strength: 12
  • Skill: 15
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 8

 

As you can see, the Samurai class has a lot of points in Dexterity, with additional points in Endurance, Mind, Vigor, and Strength. While Dexterity is the main stat of the class, don’t sleep on Strength. It’s another stat that can help any prospective Samurai player later. Mind and Vigor are also stats to keep a close eye on as the former increases the Focus Gauge while the latter increases HP. Given that you’ll be using a lot of Weapon Arts and trading damage with enemies, those two stats are going to be necessary.

Last but not least is Endurance, which increases Equipment Load and the Stamina Bar. You’ll need to level this stat up as well, but putting this at 20 should be enough for the early game. Eventually, once you’ve got your build up and running in the midgame, it might be time to invest in Endurance to increase your Stamina Bar. After all, more stamina equals more attacks, dodges, and more.

All told, there are many weapons in Elden Ring that can be used in a Samurai fashion. We’ll talk more about those when we discuss builds but for now, let’s go over a Samurai Class starting equipment.

 

Starting Equipment

The Samurai starts with a few things like the Land of Reeds armor set for starters. A decent enough armor set that you’ll probably ditch for better armor. However, the Uchigatana is a great weapon to keep even to the late game. The Uchigatana is a great starting weapon due to its good moveset and the Unsheathe Weapon Art, which deals a lot of damage early game. The Samurai also starts with a Longbow and several arrows (Some Fire Arrows) that can deal a good amount of damage if paired with the Longbow’s Mighty Shot Weapon Art.

Do note that both of these Weapon Arts can utterly annihilate your FP Bar, so investing in Mind might be something to go for if you’re doing a Weapon Art-focused build.

 

Strengths and Weaknesses

The Samurai Class is a very balanced class to go for, something that will become very apparent when you play through the game’s early stages. In addition to this, the Uchigatana is one of the better starting weapons in Elden Ring for several reasons. It’s good damage, decent stamina consumption, and Weapon Art Unsheathe. The Longbow is also a great ranged option when starting in the Lands Between It can be essential to many fights so long as you have arrows and FP to use Mighty Shot.

However, do note that your FP Gauge is pretty low, and you have a limited amount of it which runs out pretty quickly. Especially if you use Unsheathe and mighty Shot multiple times in quick succession. In addition to this, builds that require Intelligence, Faith, and Arcane will need more levels due to their low initial stats. Last but not least, you’re slightly less durable compared to some of the starter classes. Thus, it’s usually not recommended to trade hits against hard-hitting enemies and bosses until you placed some points in Vigor or gained better armor.

 

Best Elden Ring Samurai Build Guide

best samurai build elden ring
Photo by Robots

 

Early Game Best Samurai Build For Elden Ring

Surprisingly enough, the gear you’ve gained the moment you start Elden Ring is usually enough to get you through the Early Game. The Uchigatana for example is a hard-hitting starter weapon with a great Weapon Art, and the Longbow is awesome as a ranged option. These 2 weapons should be enough to get you through the starting area until you find any of the other weapons we’ll highlight on this list. You can then add in the appropriate stats to make use of said weapons to specialize your Samurai Build according to preference.

Stats-wise, here’s a basic outline of what stats you should go for when you level up. Do note that you don’t need to follow this, its just a basic outline and you can adjust it when needed:

  • Vigor: 20
  • Mind: 16
  • Endurance: 14
  • Strength: 15
  • Dexterity: 24
  • Intelligence: 12
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 8

 

Once Vigor is at a nice point, it’s usually a good idea to max out Dexterity first. This is because most weapons that Samurai use have Dexterity scaling baked in them. Once this is done, you have a few options: Either go for full Dexterity, add in Intelligence for the Moonveil, or go Bleed with Rivers of Blood. There are other options, but either way, we’ll explore those 4 as these are the most popular.

 

Best Pure Dex Samurai Build In Elden Ring

For those that want to go the way of Dexterity, there are a few options. After all, you can use practically any katana in the game for a Dexterity Build. However, a Pure Dexterity build usually has 2 options: The Dragonscale Blade, and the best one, the Hand of Malenia.

The Hand of Malenia is an obvious choice for a Dexterity build due to its high scaling in Dexterity. When maxed, it has a B in Dexterity stat scaling which is pretty high. Might not be an S, but given the sheer tomfoolery of Waterfowl Dance and the amount of damage it inflicts — well, it stacks up pretty quickly.

Stats-wise, here’s a basic outline of what a pure Dexterity build looks like. A few things to note is that this is assuming you’re going for endgame and assumes you chose Samurai as your starting class:

  • Vigor: 40
  • Mind: 40
  • Endurance: 40
  • Strength: 18
  • Dexterity: 60
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 8

 

A lot of people would usually recommend going for 80 Dexterity to get to the soft cap, which is also a good option. However, the extra 20 levels to get to 80 Dexterity might be served in other stats. Either way, you’ll need to have a lot of Vigor and Mind due to hit trades and Weapon Art usage.

 

What Talismans and Great Runes to Use?

Talisman-wise, Radagon’s Soreseal is a great one since it increases Vigor, Endurance, Strength, and Dexterity by 5. This will effectively grant you 20 levels for free, but increases the damage you take by 15%. Other Talisman options include Millicent’s Prosthetics and Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger for FP regen with critical hits. The Ancestral Spirit’s Horn does the same thing as the Cerulean Dagger but when defeating enemies, the Carian Filigreed Crest reduces FP consumption.

Other options include the Shard of Alexander, which increases skill damage. The Rotten Winged Sword Insignia which increases attack power with successive attacks, and the Bull-Goat’s Talisman which increases Poise.

In terms of Great Runes, Godrick’s is usually a good option to go for due to the +5 to all attributes. Radahn’s might be great as well due to the additional HP, FP, and Stamina, and Rykard’s also heals some HP every time an enemy dies, which increases survivability. Of these 3 Great Runes, it’s usually recommended to take Godrick’s as it reduces the runes needed to invest in levels.

 

Best Int Samurai Build in Elden Ring

Surprisingly, Intelligence can also be used in a Samurai build for one very good reason: The Moonveil. This weapon was considered to be one of the strongest ever weapons to touch Elden Ring due to the high Poise damage of its Weapon Art. It’s been nerfed, yes, but the power of the Moonveil is still going strong. In the case of Moonveil, you don’t use Dexterity that much since it scales better with Intelligence. This opens up a lot of options and spells, giving this build a lot of versatility.

Once you get the Moonveil up to snuff, the build pretty much opens itself to the player. They can add in various spells, Cold/Magic infused weaponry (Uchigatana recommended), and other magic-related shenanigans. Overall, Intelligence Samurai is one of the more powerful builds on this list, probably surpassed only by the Bleed Build.

Stats-wise, here’s a basic outline of what an Intelligence build looks like. A few things to note is that this is assuming you’re going for endgame and assumes you chose Samurai as your starting class:

  • Vigor: 40
  • Mind: 40
  • Endurance: 40
  • Strength: 18
  • Dexterity: 18
  • Intelligence: 60
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 8

 

What Talismans and Great Runes to Use?

Unlike the Dexterity Build, Marika’s Soreseal is the Talisman of choice due to the increase in Mind, Intelligence, Faith, and Arcane. Like Radagon’s Soreseal, this gives the player an extra 20 levels for free with the same debuff. Talisman-wise, the build follows a similar trend: The Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger, Ancestral Spirit’s Horn, the Carian Filigreed Crest, and the Shard of Alexander. If you’re using spells in addition to the Moonveil, then the Graven-Mass Talisman might be a good idea, as it increases spell potency.

Great Runes-wise, following the same route as the Dexterity Build, is ideal. This means Godrick’s, and Radahn’s Great Runes is a good idea. However, Rykard’s Great Rune is probably not a good fit for this build due to the emphasis on mid to long-range if you’re using spells. If you’re going melee, then Rykard’s Great Rune might be a good idea to take.

 

Best Bleed Samurai Build in Elden Ring

Last but not least is the infamous Bleed Samurai, of which only 1 weapon is needed: Rivers of Blood. This build puts more emphasis on doing a metric ton of bleed procs. Thus, increasing Blood Loss buildup is a better option compared to leveling up Dexterity. To do this, players need to level up Arcane, as weird as it sounds.

In addition to the Blood Loss buildup, Rivers of Blood deals fire damage as well, which adds even more damage output to the weapon. Combine this with its Weapon Art Corpse Piler, and you can see some frankly ridiculous damage piling up.

Overall, Rivers of Blood is one of the stronger weapons we have on this list due to its obscene Bleed potential and great Weapon Art. However, this build makes constant use of the Focus Point Bar, which means that when the FP bar runs out, you’re pretty much screwed. This can be mitigated by putting in points in Mind as well as Talisman usage. We’ll talk about those below.

First, let’s talk about the stats you’ll need to go for a Rivers of Blood build. Do note that just like the previous 3 builds this will assume that you took Samurai as your starting class:

  • Vigor: 40
  • Mind: 50
  • Endurance: 25
  • Strength: 12
  • Dexterity: 25
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 60

 

As you can probably tell, the build’s emphasis goes on Arcane scaling rather than Dexterity. This is because the weapon’s Bleed build is dependent on Arcane’s ability to induce Bleed procs faster. As per usual, Great Runes and Talismans can reduce the number of Runes needed to level up your stats to this level. So let’s talk about those.

 

What Talismans and Great Runes to Use?

Marika’s Soreseal is again the Talisman to go for because it increases Arcane by 5. Other than this Talisman, the Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger, Ancestral Spirit’s Horn, the Carian Filigreed Crest, and the Shard of Alexander are the best choices to go for. A weird choice would be the Lord of Blood’s Exultation due to increasing attack power when near an enemy with Blood Loss. However, it does make a weird sort of sense as you’ll be inflicting the debuff left, right, and center.

Great Runes wise, Godrick’s, and Radahn’s Great Runes are still good options for any player. Rykard’s will also be a good idea due to the room-clearing capabilities of Rivers of Blood.

 

What Is the Best Samurai Build for Elden Ring PVE and PVP?

Bleed
Screenshot by Robots

 

If we’re being honest here, there’s no best Samurai build in Elden Ring. There’s also no best build, period. Each build has its strengths and weaknesses depending on the current situation, and some builds will perform better at certain points. However, the competition for the best Samurai Build for PvE and PvP has two contenders: The Intelligence Samurai with Moonveil, and the Bleed Samurai with Rivers of Blood.

This is mostly because of a few things: The Moonveil is an incredibly dangerous weapon: with its Weapon Art taking huge chunks of Poise from enemies. Combined with other spells like Glintstone Phalanx and well, expect your enemy’s stance to break, allowing you to swing to your heart’s content. For those that dual-wield an additional Uchigatana with Cold infusion, this can lead to additional time to add in Bleed and Frostbite procs.

Meanwhile, the Bleed Build can get pretty nuts with a maxed-out Arcane Stat and Rivers of Blood. The sheer potential damage when the Bleed procs start coming in is hilariously broken. At least for some people. There are going to be enemies that wouldn’t be affected by Bleed, which tanks this weapon’s usage in PvE settings. In PvP, expect to see players raging at you due to your Corpse Piler taking chunks of their HP every time your Bleed procs.

Long story short, the INT Samurai is great for PvE shenanigans due to its stance-breaking capabilities. It’s good at PvP as well, but not as much as the Blood Samurai build, as Bleed is broken there.

 

Best Weapons for Samurai Characters

Now that we’ve gone over the best builds, let’s go over the best weapons to use for Samurai characters in Elden Ring. We’ll start with the base weapons, all the way to the most powerful ones. Let’s begin:

 

Uchigatana

Uchitagana
Screenshot by Robots

 

The Uchigatana is a very good weapon that can carry a player to the midgame. This is because of its good scaling in Dexterity when maxed out, especially if you put a Keen Affinity to it. However, the Uchigatana is also a very versatile weapon in that players can place almost any affinity to it and it’ll still work. The Intelligence Samurai build for example makes use of a Cold Affinity Uchigatana that can deliver Frostbite in addition to Bleed. A nasty combination.

 

Nagakiba

Nagakiba
Screenshot by Robots

 

The Nagakiba is a more powerful Uchigatana with extra Blood Loss Buildup. For those that want an upgrade, the Nagakiba is a good choice. However, this is more of a 1.5 version rather than the 2.0 that the other weapons on this list are. All told, the Nagakiba is a ferocious weapon with a longer range compared to the Uchigatana, which some consider a good reason to get this weapon from Yura.

 

Moonveil

Moonveil
Photo by Robots

 

The Moonveil katana is widely considered to be one of the crème del a crème of katana weapons in Elden Ring. For good reason. Back in its heyday, the Moonveil can stance break anyone with just 2 or 3 hits of its Weapon Art. Now, that isn’t the case, as it takes around 3 to 5 hits before the enemy gets staggered. Still, when combined with spells that have stagger potential, the Moonveil can be a formidable weapon.

 

Rivers of Blood

Rivers of Blood
Screenshot by Robots

 

Next on this list is the Rivers of Blood, widely considered to be the best Katana weapon in the game. Well, it has stiff competition. Rivers of Blood can be considered the absolute pinnacle of the Katana weapon class. However, it scales more with Arcane, which makes it a more hybrid kind of build when compared to the next entry on this list. Still, for those that want to run the area red with the blood of their enemies, the Rivers of Blood is a great way to do so.

 

Hand of Malenia

Hand of Malenia
Screenshot by Robots

 

Last but not least is the Hand of Malenia, which is an absolute beast when it comes to damage, range, and overall lethality. Obtained by defeating Malenia, Blade of Miquella, this katana’s range is the least of an enemy’s worries.

Once Waterfowl Dance is used, it’s pretty reasonable that your opponent is straight-up screwed if they don’t run away fast enough, or dodge perfectly. This weapon is widely considered to be a better katana to go for when doing a Full Dexterity Build. However, the fact that it can only be obtained by killing one of the game’s hardest bosses makes it a luxury weapon.

Albert de Venecia

Albert de Venecia

I love playing video games on either console or mobile platforms. I also collect action figures of superheroes and robots.

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