Young "Paladin" (SL 60-80)
rating: -1+x

Build summary Low-to-Mid level Faith PVP build
Recommended starting class(es) Temple Knight (Female preferable)
Recommended Soul Level 60-(80)

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

Vitality 25 (29)
Will/Intelligence 15
Endurance 33 (35)
Strength 18(20)
Dexterity 12
Magic 6*
Faith 24 (36)
Luck 7
Recommended equipment

Weapons: Blessed Weapons. Preferred: Great Axe, Claymore, Knight Sword and Mirdan Hammer. May also include Guillotine Axe and Great Sword. If you want to one-hand a large sword at SL 60, you could either switch 2 points over from endurance or you could opt to go with a Blessed Bastard Sword instead of a Claymore (or both, if you don't mind endless faintstone farming, or duping). It's weaker, but it weighs 1lb less (you can wear better equipment) and requires only 18 str. Note: you could include the LSoM in this list. I'm not a big fan of it, but at these levels, you see more turtles than at SL 120. You could always have LSoM as a backup. Personally, I prefer the blessed MH for turtles. The magic damage will get through all the big shields and, although the DSS will block it all, you can break through that one's guard quickly enough. Just watch out for parries (don't spam R1).

Talisman: Talisman of Beasts. If you must use God's Wrath for anything but knockdown, go with Talisman of God instead.

Shield: Adjudicator's, Dark Silver or Knight's shield. Each has its pros and cons. Because I recommend mostly 2handing weapons, Adjudicator's or Dark Silver are better. Dark Silver ups your heightened magic defense even more and Adjudicator's will stack with your weapon for better regen. If you prefer a shield-out one-handed approach, you might as well take advantage of the Knight's Shield's highest guard break for a parrying shield. (Your better natural magic defense means you won't hurt as much as other builds when magic gets through the shield.) If you must turtle, you can go for the Steel Shield. Indeed, I recommend picking it up in 2-1 for PVE purposes: it can make the fight against Flamelurker easier because of its higher starting guard break (even steel shield+0 plus crescent falchion +1 = fairly easy win).

Armor: Although I call this build a "paladin," I don't recommend the paladin look, for practicality's sake. I like Binded, mixed with Ragged and Black Leather as needed according to your weapons. You can get decent defense overall, balancing stamina regeneration, fire defense and poison and plague defense. Combined with the faith build's natural magic defense, this setup helps cover your bases. The one downside is that none of the equipment is very slash-proof, unlike ancient king's or dull gold armor. Experiment.

Soul form: Cling ring + Friend's or Foe's ring.
Body form: I like Eternal Warrior's and Dull rat's, but you could use Regen ring or Ring of Magical Dullness or Fire resistance (in that order of preference). Dull Rat's can help make it just that much harder to finish you off before you've regenerated back to a safe zone. With your lower vitality, it's good to squeeze out what you can. Regen's benefits just stack with all the other regeneration. Magical Dullness just adds to your already superior magic defense, and Fire resistance is more like patching a small hole in your defenses.

Recommended spells/miracles

*Spells: (*you must up magic to 10 and delevel) I recommend picking up Warding and Poison and Death Cloud. You can also pick up the spells you can buy while you're at it. You can get spells and delevel fairly easily by leveling up only vitality and 4 Magic at first and then deleveling after beating 1-2 and all of world 5 (low-level BP invade in 2-1 or 4-1 and jump off cliff. 2-1 is "safer" if you are going for the Friend's ring without duping - if the host dies before you jump, your CT goes down and you have more work to do later).

Miracles: Second Chance, Evacuate, God's Wrath, Cure. Cure is not super useful, but it can be nice to fill that third slot at SL 60 (at SL80, you can add Evac, or ditch both for God's Wrath.) Get Cure from the Leechmonger Soul in NG+ (get poison cloud in NG). Cure is not very useful in the heat of battle, but it could save on widow's lotuses between battles, for example. Or after a knockdown, if done right. Speaking of knockdown, God's Wrath can be a useful tool after losing second chance. Just roll back and cast it. Enemy will likely charge thinking you are trying to get in a 2nd chance and get knocked down. Now you can quick use an old spice and cast 2nd chance or just grass. It doesn't even need to be powerful to work for that purpose (you can do it with the cracked ToB just fine).

Gameplay tips and progression

STATS EXPLAINED: Vitality is a bit on the low side, I know, but that is made up for by the natural regeneration of your equipment. Endurance is sort of high for the SL, but it has to be if you want to use Great Axe effectively. (Believe me, it's worth it.) You could go lower, like to 30, if you want to up Vit more. I like 35 endurance even better, but at SL 60, it's hard to justify lowballing Vitality even more, so you might go as low as 20 faith if you feel like getting more swings and rolls out of the axe (and wearing better equipment). As explained above, 18 Str is enough to 2-hand the big weapons and one-hand the knight's sword. You can up it to 20 Str, however, and it might be worth it at SL80 for greater diversity. If you don't care, however, leave it at 18 and up vitality, endurance or faith the extra 2 points.

GETTING MAGIC BEFORE DELEVELING: If you want to do deleveling as I suggested it (without Meph or soulsucker), I recommend keeping a low level. Just level up Vit and 4 magic at the beginning until you get your spells from 1-2 and world 5: [QUICK GUIDE: 1-2 and World 5 are doable even at low levels if you snag the dragon long sword from 2-2. Level up the sword with what you find in the level and it should be fairly easy. 5-2 sometimes poses the most problems for folks, but you can keep the poison at bay with a regen ring you find in the swamp at the beginning of the level and the blessed mace you can grab from 5-1 (for overkill, grab the adjudicator's shield from 4-1 as well). Avoid everything and just run through the swamp out of sight. You just have to come near monsters to go through the first and second fog gate, but you can get around them for the most part. Thief's ring should be your second ring. After the second gate, get back into the swamp until the platform near the boss. You can come back to beat the Meatcleaver BP for chunks. Vinland isn't too bad once you have his rhythm. Use R2 with the dragon sword when he whiffs.]

GETTING FOE'S AND FRIEND'S RING IN NG WITHOUT DUPING: I recommend going for both the friend's and foe's ring. You can snag both with a little care if you play your cards right during your first run-through. After you're done deleveling, level up as normal and beat all the Named BPs when you're comfortable doing so (and get all the primeval Demons if you don't want to CDS-farm in 4-1). If you beat 3-3 online, you can skip the hardest one. Once done, get the Firend's ring. BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER, UP YOUR FAITH TO 20 AND GET THE FREE PURE FAINTSTONE FROM URBAIN'S FOLLOWER. Now proceed to lower your CT by killing a few people: Freke's apprentice, Urbain's two buddies and, if he's still alive, the blue guy. You can also kill a few hosts as a BP or try being the bad guy in 3-3 a few times. If you need to off someone else, you can always kill Blige (stock up on Kunai first) easily enough, or any of the other NPC merchants (not patches, though b/c you want the CDS you get during the quest). Now follow the Mephistopheles quest as normal. Make sure your Magic and Miracles are in order before killing Urbain and Yuria. (Warding or Death Cloud and 2nd Chance plus Evac is a good combination] Once you get the Foe's ring and kill Meph, take her mask and farm CDSs in 4-1.

FARMING FAINTSTONES: You need 128 shards, 48 chunks and 5 pures to max out the Great Axe, Claymore, Knight's Sword and Mirdan Hammer. Although, if you stay at SL60, you don't need to max them out to have a fair fight. (You could just max out the MH for when you fight scrapers with tower shields or when you are jumped and stick with +3 weps or so for the others.) In general, when farming lizards, I usually use the R2 attack with the crescent falchion: R2, pause, R2, pause, R2, pause (so you don't run out of stamina). ON 5-3, however, I have a different technique. With the thief's ring equipped, sidle along the path to the crystal lizard in 5-3 until you can just barely shoot over the fence. Shoot. It will run off, but if you stay still, it will come back slowly. You'll have to shoot several times. Speed up the process by using hyper mode: clever rat's ring and Morion if you got it. Once you collect the stones, just reload and repeat (you'll start at the beginning of 5-3 each time). Just farm what you can in NG and do the rest in NG+ after two things change: (1) you can soulsuck in 4-2 (using the ring of magical nature for an extra slot) for lots of souls (shards cost 10,000 if you buy them) and (2) you can get the LSoS from the Old Hero's soul in 4-2 for better drops. Once you have 20 faith, you get a free Pure every new game from Urbain's follower, so that makes it a bit easier. You also get 4 chunks in 5-2 (3 from MC BP and one in shanty town). Or, I guess you can dupe the blessed weapons. (I don't, but I'm a bit weird.)


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