Meat Cleaver Build
rating: +3+x

Build summary A balanced STR/DEX build that exploits the power of the Meat Cleaver.
Recommended starting class(es) Temple Knight, Knight
Recommended Soul Level

Recommended stats (Leave at default (**) if not raised)

Vitality 40
Will/Intelligence 18
Endurance 40
Strength 30
Dexterity 40
Magic 10
Faith 16
Luck 7
Recommended equipment
  • Meat Cleaver
  • Viscous Compound Long Bow +5
  • Adjudicator's Shield +5
  • Talisman of Beasts
Recommended spells/miracles
  • Cursed Weapon
  • One-Time Revival
Gameplay tips and progression

After beating Phalanx, level up Vitality and Endurance until you're comfortable (around 18-20 each), then tackle 4-1. Start leveling up Strength and occasionally Faith. Next, beat 2-1 and 2-2 and get the Meat Cleaver (using Red Hot Demon's Soul at Ed's with the Club found in 2-2 near Patches and the Swollen Demon's Soul from the Adjudicator).

Then level up until you have the stats to wield the Meat Cleaver. With the base requirements the Meat Cleaver can be quite demanding: 26 Strength (or 18 if you solely use it 2-handed), 12 Dexterity, and 16 Faith.

Level up Str and Dex as your main stats, with occasional Vit, End and Fth as well. You should soon be able to use the White Bow or Viscous Compound Long Bow which will make up for your lack of ranged attacks. Eventually you should aim for 18 Will so that you can use One-Time Revival and Cursed Weapon.

Using the Meat Cleaver
The first thing to understand about the Meat Cleaver is its length. Being one of the longest swinging weapons in the game, this can work both for and against you. While you'll enjoy the the additional reach, different tactics are required when you find yourself in narrow corridors and areas with low ceilings. To do so, you must then understand the Meat Cleaver's move set.


R1 > R1 > R1
The basic 3-hit combo. Attack animations cannot be interrupted, the first two attacks stuns the target and the last hit sends the target flying. Each step of the combo can be slightly delayed. Beware of narrow corridors. Completing the combo will fully deplete your Stamina.
R2; Sprint R1; Backstep R1
Knocks opponents down, face-first where they stood. Recovery animation can be cancelled into a Rolling R1 (or regular roll).
Rolling R1
Area-of-effect attack.
Partially blocks incoming attacks. Pushes target, breaking guard but the recovery animation is so slow targets are able to recover in time to resume blocking. Do not use.


Does not chain into any combos. Sends targets flying.
R2; Sprint R1; Backstep R1
Similar to two-handed variation.
Rolling R1
Low wide-angle sweep. Very long recovery animation
Similar to two-handed variation.


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