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Elden Ring Build Guide: Dexterity

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  • What Is A Dexterity Build
  • Stats To Aim For
  • Universal Katana Build
  • Urumi Build – Whip It, Whip It Good
  • Bloodhound’s Fang – Slamma Jamma Dex Build

Sometimes you want to embrace your inner weeb and go all out – just this once – in Elden Ring. Dexterity builds are fast, they are deadly, and despite not rocking the raw damage numbers of a Giant Crusher, can still chunk the unsuspecting with their various katanas, curved swords, and whips. These builds are for the tricksters.

What makes Dexterity builds so appealing is the vast quantity of weapons that FromSoftware has thrown into the game that are viable for you. Katanas in particular are incredibly strong this time around thanks to an amazing moveset, solid damage, and fast attacks. Whilst we were writing this guide, you will be mastering the blade, and by the time you are done reading, we’ll surely be asking for your help.

What Is A Dexterity Build

Dexterity builds are the polar opposite of Strength builds. Instead of slow, ponderous attacks supported by infinite poise and ludicrous armor, you focus on rapid attacks, swift movement, in some cases – status ailments. You won’t be killing bosses in a single hit, but you will be able to tear them apart with grace and finesse.

Stats To Aim For

StatsValue
Vigor60
Mind20
Endurance26
Strength18
Dexterity80
Intelligence9
Faith8
Arcane8

As a Dexterity user, you will want to hit the hard cap for Dexterity pretty darn quickly. We won’t be investing in many other offensive areas, so we won’t be hurting for points. You want to aim for 80 and then stop.

Your second most important stat will be Vigor. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, you are going to take a hit. What you don’t want to do is neglect your HP and get one shot. 60 Vigor is the target, but you could drop it as low as 50 if you wanted to invest points elsewhere.

Mind and Endurance are your resource stats, and both are very important. Mind determines your FP, and Endurance manages your Stamina – among other things. Endurance will be your dump stat. Any spare points you have, go into here. Mind on the other hand needs to be around 20, so you can use your Weapon Arts without having to constantly sip on your Flask.

We’ve put 18 points in Strength, and this is purely so we have some leeway with what weapons we can use. If you are dead set on a lighter weapon, like an Uchigatana, then drop this stat to meet that weapon’s requirements and invest the extra points into Endurance or Mind.

Universal Katana Build

Overview

If you’ve played Elden Ring for any length of time, you know how effective katanas are. Not only that, but they are a lot of fun to mess around with, and you have a bunch of katanas to choose from when deciding your build. Whether you want to use a katana and shield, two katanas, or two-hand a single katana, this build has you covered.

Weapons

Of all the katanas in the game, the Uchigatana, Nagakiba, and Hand Of Malenia are the best for pure Dexterity builds. The Uchigatana is a starting weapon, with a second obtainable within minutes of starting the game. This is a fantastic weapon, arguably one of the best in the entire game. Fast, high damage, and amazing scaling – it’s the full package. You’d want to make it a Keen Uchigatana to fully benefit from your Dexterity.

The Nagakiba deals slightly less damage, but in exchange for smaller numbers, it has a much longer range. The Nagakiba is almost twice as long as the Uchigatana, and this makes it fantastic for staying at a safe distance and clipping enemies with the tip. The downside to the Nagakiba is the Strength requirement of 18, but it’s well worth it if you want to have a bit of reach. Again, make this a Keen Nagakiba and you are good to go.

Finally, the Hand of Malenia. This weapon is a very late-game weapon, and it’s locked behind one of the hardest bosses in the entire game – possibly the entire Soulsborne series. It has the highest damage of all katanas, it has great scaling, and it has a range comparable to the Nagakiba. It also has a flashy Weapon Art that can shred single enemies and even bosses if timed well.

The downsides to the Hand Of Malenia? Despite its high base damage, it doesn’t have the best scaling – which is both surprising and disappointing. With only a B scaling in Dexterity, it won’t be benefiting anywhere near as much as your Keen Uchigatana or Keen Nagakiba. Add to this the lack of customization options, and the Hand Of Malenia is great but restrictive.

Ashes Of War

For your Ashes Of War, you have plenty of choices to make your katanas sing. Blood Slash, despite its 1.03 nerf, is still devastatingly powerful and is a perfect fit for your Uchigatana as it extends your range significantly. The katana default, Unsheathe, is also fantastic since it’s fast, has two attack options, and deals great damage to boot.

If you want to be a bit more defensive, then Bloodhound Step can turn you into a dodging god, and Parry could lead to some devastating counter-based gameplay. If you are running two Katanas, then you should put Bloodhound/Parry on your offhand to give you extra options in combat.

If you wanted to push the Bleed damage on your katanas, then Seppuku can drastically increase your damage output at the cost of HP.

Talismans

For Talismans, you have a bunch worthy of consideration. Lord Of Blood's Exultation will turn your Bleed damage into a damage boost, Great Jar’s Arsenal will allow you to use heavier armor, and Green Turtle will boost your Stamina regen. Erdtree’s Favour is a fantastic Talisman that boosts HP, Stamina, and Equid Load, which is almost too good to pass up.

f you are running Jump Attacks, consider Claw. On a similar note, if you are going for long combos, then something like Winged Sword will give you a nice boost too. Finally, Shard Of Alexander will buff your Weapon Arts nicely.

Armor

For armor, you want to run the heaviest armor you can, whilst still maintaining a Medium Roll. You could also try and aim for a Light Roll if you wanted more I-Frames but less damage reduction.

If you are relying on your Bleed or using Seppuku, then the White Mask is a fantastic headpiece that will give you a damage boost that stacks with the Lord Of Blood’s Exultation. If you are going to use a lot of Jump Attacks, then using Raptor’s Black Feathers chest armor is a must.

Flask Of Wondrous Physick

Just about any combination of Tears will work for this build, but we enjoy the combination of Stonebarb Cracked Tear and Dexterity-Knot Crystal Tear. Stonebarb increases your stagger, which is very nice on katanas as their lack of stagger is one of their biggest weaknesses. The Dexterity-Knot will push your Dexterity to 90 and increase your damage as a result.

Urumi Build – Whip It, Whip It Good

Overview

Whips are massively overlooked in Elden Ring, which is a real shame since they are surprisingly good. The Urumi in particular is outstanding, and this is due to its phenomenal moveset, stackable buffs, and hilariously high damage. If you want to run something a little different, then the Urumi build is for you

Weapons

There is only one weapon that can work with this build, and that is the Urumi. Other whips simply wouldn’t work here since we are building towards the Urumi’s unique strengths – its Charged Heavy Attack. Oh, and it has an S scaling in Dexterity when turned into a Keen Urumi.

What makes this attack so interesting, is that the Urumi becomes a spear, and thrusts out for incredible range and damage. This can not only catch out PVE enemies, but it can also catch players in PVP. The attack is staggeringly fast, deals more damage than you could ever possibly imagine for a whip, and can be buffed to make it even better.

If you wanted to run a second whip, then Hoslow’s Petal Whip makes for a fine off-hand whip for dual-wielding.

Ashes Of War

One of the downsides to whips, in general, is that there aren’t many Ashes Of War that work with them. This means we can’t customize the Urumi as much as other weapons. That being said, we can still be creative. Of the limited pool at our disposal, Bloodhound Step is likely the best. This is essentially a hyper roll that gives an incredible amount of mobility. This Weapon Art is amazing.

Talismans

The usual suspects should be considered here. Erdtree’s Favour and Green Turtle are all-around great picks, for example. The big winner for this build, however, is the Axe Talisman. This Talisman will boost your Charge Attacks substantially, making that spicy R2 on the Urumi even more powerful. A must-take Talisman.

Armor

As per usual, you want to run the heaviest armor you can whilst aiming for a Light or Medium roll based on preference. If you want to look especially dapper, however, then Hoslow’s Armor looks fantastic on any whip user.

Flask Of Wondrous Physick

The two Tears you need for this build are the Dexterity-Knot Crystal Tear to boost your Dexterity to 90 (which is even better thanks to that S Scaling on the Urumi) and the Spiked Cracked Tear. The Spiked Cracked Tear will boost your Charge Attacks, further enhancing Urumi’s incredible R2.

Bloodhound’s Fang – Slamma Jamma Dex Build

Overview

If you want to swing something a bit heavier – with a bit more oomph – then this build is for you. What the Bloodhound’s Fang misses in speed it makes up for in raw damage and a brilliant Weapon Art.

Weapons

The Bloodhound’s Fang is a brilliant weapon that will deal more damage per swing than any other weapon on this list. It comes with a decent B Scaling in Dexterity, great base damage, and the wonderful Curve Greatsword moveset. Topping it all off is its amazing Weapon Art that combines Bloodhound Step with a devastatingly powerful attack that can, and will, strike for 1000+ damage.

Talismans

Talismans are a bit more important for this weapon as it requires a higher investment in Stamina to swing. Erdtree’s Favor and Green Turtle will help mitigate this cost nicely. Winged Sword will give you a nice boost to your damage if you are landing plenty of successive attacks. The big winner is the Shard Of Alexander, however, as this will boost your Weapon Art making it even better.

Armor

As is always the case, run armor that lets you Medium or Light Roll based on preference whilst maintaining the highest amount of Damage Reduction possible. Blaidd’s armor is pretty great for this role and looks amazing to boot.

Flask Of Wondrous Physick

As is always the case, Dexterity-Knot Crystal Tear works wonders on this weapon. However, consider combining it with the Strength-Knot Crystal Tear. Bloodhound’s Fang has a C scaling in Strength, and that Strength boost can help push your damage that bit further.

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