Best Elden Ring DLC Builds: The Most Broken Builds In Shadow of the Erdtree (2024)

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The best Elden Ring builds will help you break the seemingly impossible Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

It’s only been a week since the release of the Elden Ring‘s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, but players have already discovered incredible new character builds that turn one of the hardest games in recent memory into something you might have a chance of beating.

In fact, the builds we’ll discuss today aren’t just the best builds in Elden Ring. They are all legitimately broken in ways that allow you to pretty much ignore most of the game’s intended mechanics. They are in a class of their own at the moment, and I highly recommend trying them before they are inevitably nerfed.

Lightning Perfume Bottle Nuclear Bomb Build

Primary Stats: Faith (60+), Dexterity

Secondary Stats: Vigor (60+), Endurance/Mind

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Weapons: Lightning Perfume Bottle (with Rolling Sparks Ash of War)

Armor: Rakshasa’s Armor Set

Talismans: Shard of Alexander, Perfumer’s Talisman, Lightning Scorpion Charm

If you’re looking for something entirely new, you’ll be happy to know that the best build in Elden Ring revolves around one of Shadow of the Erdtree’s best new weapons, Perfume Bottles. Specifically, you’ll be using the Lightning Perfume Bottle to maximize the damage of this build.

Actually, what makes this build legitimately broken at the moment is the new Ash of War, Rolling Sparks. When you cast Rolling Sparks normally, it simply sends out a projectile based on your Perfume Bottle’s effect that deals ticking damage to whatever it strikes. It’s nice, but it’s certainly not overpowered.

However, if you aim that Ash of War’s projectile at an enemy’s feet (preferably a large enemy’s feet while you’re not locked on to them), it basically turns that effect into a bomb that deals all of that ticking damage at once. When that happens, you will kill lesser enemies outright or take off a third, half, or more of a boss’ health bar with a single cast. Imagine bringing a Fat Man nuke launcher from the Fallout series into Elden Ring. That’s about what it feels like to play this build.

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Well, almost. While Lightning Perfume Bottle can deal amounts of damage that were clearly never intended by gods, mankind, or FromSoftware, it can be awkward to use this build from time to time. You’re effectively turning yourself into a glass canon, which means your defenses will be incredibly low. Furthermore, the slower cast time of the Ash of War can cause problems in fights against faster enemies out in the world. Against larger bosses who struggle to get out of the way of the bombs you’ll be launching, though, it’s basically a cheat code.

The build itself is rather simple. After you infuse your Lightning Bottles and Rolling Sparks, you will want to prioritize acquiring armor and Talismans that increase your damage, often at the cost of your defenses. Again, that playstyle will get you in trouble from time to time, but it tends not to matter much when you’re killing everything in just a few shots anyway.In fact, YouTuber Syrobe (who is credited wiht discovering this build) took down the DLC’s final and hardest boss in just 30 seconds using a version of this setup. That simply should not be possible.

You can enhance this build further by using some tricks involving the synergy between certain status effects (specifically, Madness), but it’s not strictly necessary to make this work. If you want that extra damage, though, there are always buffs out there that will give it to you.

Also, you can technically make this strategy work with some of the other Perfume Bottles in the game since Rolling Sparks does much of the work. The reason most people go with Lightning is due to the nature of that effect, the number of enemies that are weak to it (or boast no notable resistance to it), and the increased number of ways you can buff Lightning relative to other Perfume Bottle effects. Frost is your second-best option, and Fire would be nice if so many enemies weren’t resistant to it. Poison, meanwhile, seems like a somewhat fun gimmick at the moment and little more than that.

Bloodfiend’s Arm Bleeding Bonk Build

Primary Stats: Arcane (60+), Vigor

Secondary Stats: Strength, Endurance

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Weapons: Bloodfiend’s Arm+25 (with Bleeding Cragblade Ash of War)

Armor: White Mask and your choices

Talismans: Dragoncrest Greatshield, Lord of Blood’s Exultation, Two-Handed Sword Talisman, Axe Talisman

This build revolves around Bloodfiend’s Arm, which brings two qualities to the party that happen to be very powerful in Shadow of the Erdtree.

The first is raw, Strength-based power. Some of the best builds in the DLC at the moment are getting through its toughest challenges simply by using powerful two-handed attacks to deal massive damage and trigger the staggers that few enemies in the game can prevent. Bonking your way through Shadow of the Erdtre with a massive club or sword is often an ideal strategy.

What makes Bloodfiend’s Arm better than the other Strength weapons is its Bleed capabilities. When fully upgraded and infused with a Bleed effect, Bloodfiend’s Arm is capable of triggering massive Bleed damage faster than anything we’ve seen in Elden Ring up until this point. Mind you, Bleed builds have been some of the most powerful and popular builds in Elden Ring since the game was released, and this one still puts them to shame.

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Because of the way this weapon scales with Arcane (the most important Bleed stat) and because its Heavy Attack skill naturally generates a Bleed-based AoE effect, you’re able to use it to just Heavy Attack your way to victory. Even if you are fighting the rare enemy that can shrug off Bleed damage, this thing is more than powerful enough to stagger or kill them without having to alter your strategy.

The most important parts of this build involve raising your Arcane rating and properly upgrading this weapon. After that, you’re largely focusing on increasing the raw damage of this weapon and its Bleed damage through your gear. Honestly, though, you’ve got a lot of flexibility with this build. You can even incorporate some spells into this rotation if you start getting bored of bashing everything over the head.Even better, you can make a viable version of this build at the start of the DLC if you have the right upgrade resources, which means it can carry you through the entire game.

The downside of this build is that you still need to be able to operate within melee range effectively enough to use its slow attacks. You can mitigate the danger through Scadutree Blessing upgrades and some armor/flask tricks, but you certainly won’t be invincible. Still, there’s just little in the game that can top the raw damage this generates.

The Invincible Tank Build

Primary Stats: Vigor (60+), Endurance

Secondary Stats: Strength, Faith

Weapons: A shield with the highest possible guard rating (with Barricade Shield Ash of War) and your weapon of choice

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Armor: Your choice based on defensive needs

Talismans: Two-Headed Turtle Talisman, Pearl Shield Talisman, Great Jar’s Arsenal, Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman (can be flexed for additional offense or health)

Additional Items: Boiled Crab, Opaline Hard Tear, Golden Vow, Bloodsucking Cracked Tear

The builds I previously mentioned deal absurdly high damage, but they come with one downside: you can still die while using them. Well, meet the build that does not have that problem.

See, Shadow of the Erdtree introduced a variety of weapons, items, buffs, and Talismans that greatly improved the viability of the tanking strategies that sometimes were overlooked in the base game. That’s lovely, but it appears that a slight overcorrection may have occurred during that…balancing process.I won’t go so far as to say that those changes result in a build that makes you entirely unkillable, but those changes do make it so that you are incredibly unlikely to die unless you are committed to doing so.

There are a lot of ways to approach this build, but the recommendations above will maximize your defenses and damage resistance. The heart of this strategy is actually the Talismans as well as the items you’ll be using rather than any of the specific gear. When combined, those items grant the kind of damage negation and health boosts that I refuse to believe the developers strictly intended to make possible.

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If you really want to shrug off death, though, be sure to equip one of your powerful new shield options and some kind of one-handed poking weapon with good reach. With all of these pieces combined, you’ll be able to just block any incoming damage, deal retaliation damage from the safety of your veritable shell, and pretty much ignore all of the game’s intended mechanics.Just keep that shield up, poke away at the enemies, and watch as your Health and Stamina either drain slowly or not at all.

The considerable trade-off to this approach is this build’s notable lack of damage. No, you probably won’t die using this build, but it will take you a while to kill most things. So, once you get your defenses to the point where you are nearly invincible, the idea is to start slowly removing defensive pieces and begin replacing them with more generous damage-dealing options. Those can include spells, Colossal weapons, and even armor that grant you additional attack at the cost of increased incoming damage that you’ll likely still be able to shrug off anyway.

Generally speaking, your Talismans and buffs will be the last things to go in a more defensive-minded strategy. However, if you’d prefer to play Elden Ring and probably not die (at least not in combat)…well, there you go.

Tower Of Impenetrable Thorns Build

Primary Stats: Arcane (70+), Vigor

Secondary Stats: Faith (25+), Endurance

Weapons: Maternal Staff and Staff of the Guilty

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Armor: White Mask

Talismans: Lord of Blood’s Exultation, Graven-Mass Talisman. Beloved Stardust and Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman are recommended.

I previously called Impenetrable Thorns one of the best new spells in Shadow of the Erdtree, but I now realize I drastically undersold the power of this ability. At the moment, it seems to be the only new spell in Shadow of the Erdtree that you can properly build an incredibly powerful character around. That’s just what the aforementioned Syrobe has done with this incredible setup.

This build is designed to maximize both the raw damage and Bleed damage of the Impenetrable Thorns sorcery. Pure power aside, the thing that makes that spell so special is the strange way it triggers its damage effects all at once if you cast it while you’re near (almost next to) an enemy. Much like the Lightning Perfume Bottle, that interaction turns what is supposed to be a certain kind of spell into a hard-hitting bomb that destroys nearby targets.

I struggle to think of another spell in Elden Ring that deals this much damage as consistently with so little set-up required. Yes, you need to be closer to the target to get the full benefits, but it turns out that’s not hard in the case of the game’s various boss fights and generally aggressive enemies.

This build works best when you combine two specific staffs: the Maternal Staff and the Staff of the Guilty. The former offers insane buffs to your Bleed and overall damage, while the latter uniquely buffs the damage of the thorn attack you’ll be relying on. You can also swap a Seal into your off-hand if you’d like to take advantage of buffs like Golden Vow, but that’s optional and largely only advisable if you need extra defense. You’ll be doing plenty of damage.

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For your armor, White Mask once again proves to be irreplaceable. The other armor is up to you, though I tend to recommend going with proper resistance armor in this build rather than caster gear as you will need to be getting in close during most fights.

Your Talismans, meanwhile offer a little extra damage but are largely there to offer utility benefits. Lord of Blood’s Exultation is a must-have item, and I’d argue that Graven-Mass Talisman is not far behind. You have a lot of flexibility with the other two slots, though, depending on what you need. I’d recommend focusing on defenses later on and then considering things like extra damage and cast speed once you level up your Scadutre Blessing Level.

Ultimately, though, those staffs, the right stats, and Impenetrable Thorns will do so much of the heavy lifting. This is another build that will almost certainly be “fixed” soon, so take advantage of it while you can.

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Best Elden Ring DLC Builds: The Most Broken Builds In Shadow of the Erdtree (2024)

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