Pure Strength Build
rating: +16+x

Build summary 3 variations (two for Red/Blue Eyestone Duels, one for Hosting) of a PvP- based Strength Build made to maximize damage potential while maintaining survivability
Recommended starting class(es) Temple Knight | Priest | Priest
Recommended Soul Level 125 | 125 | 135

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

Vitality 45 | 44 | 45
Will/Intelligence 18 | 18 | 24
Endurance 35 | 37 | 40
Strength 66 | 66 | 66
Dexterity ** | ** | **
Magic ** | ** | **
Faith 16 | 16 | 16
Luck ** | ** | **
Recommended equipment

The first variation utilizes the Temple Knight Character Class while the second and third variations use the Priest Character Class. It is possible to make a Hosting variation with starting out as a Temple Knight: SL135 - 50 | 18 | 40 | 66 | 12 | 6 | 16 | 7. It is also possible with either of the first two build variations to drop Endurance to 33 for the minimal Stamina to execute the full Guillotine Axe and Mirdan Hammer combos and invest the saved SLs into Vitality.

Special thanks to EncodedAbyss for helping me test out the weaponry and keep track of the damage values listed in the tables below, under Stat Justification » Strength » Tables.

Note: Sorry if all the blue makes your eyes hurt. Just trying to help out new wiki members like myself understand as much as they can.

Another Note: When I tested my weapons, I had Pure Black Character Tendency and Foe's Ring. I tested on a Host with 75 Vitality and recorded damage values, then compared them to 1050 HP (50 Vitality in Soul Form).


Equipment

Right Hand Primary:

Right Hand Secondary:

Left Hand Primary:

ToB may be switched for any of the below items listed under Equipment » Left Hand Secondary if you find that you do not rebuff CW or cast the other listed Spells often.

Left Hand Secondary:

Rings - Body Form:

Not to be used for dueling vs. Phantoms:

For dueling as a Host:

Rings - Soul Form:

Wear Friend's/ Foe's Ring as appropriate.

Armor:

Weed and Such:

With your choice of:

With your choice of:


Now, Why That Equipment?

Here, I will explain the reasoning behind the equipment choices, including Weapons, Rings, Armor, and Consumables.

The Right Hand Weapons:

 
Dragon Bone Smasher
Your hardest hitting weapon. Against an opponent in full Ancient King's Armor and 50 Vitality, this will OHKO consistently on 1-handed CW  R1s, Direct Hit/ Couter Hit 1-handed or two handed CW R1s, and either 1 or 2-handed buffed or unbuffed BS (When I was testing CW BS, I broke my friend's Second Chance. He was in Body Form with 75 Vitality). The downside is the weight, be sure you can still roll quickly. The moveset is also not the greatest, with slow, easily avoided attacks and long recovery animations, leaving you vulnerable to BS. Attempting to wield this can be a risky choice, but if you master your timing (practice on the 1-1 Dreglings - it really helps) then this weapon possibly has the most potential of any. It is my personal favorite just because of all the "HAHA-I-made-you-skid-across-the-ground-twenty-feet-for-the-win" moments that you get whenever you connect. Very gratifying.

Great Sword
The exact same damage output as GA, but with the move set of DBS. It weighs less than the DBS if you're wondering what its advantages are. It is ideal for pairing with smaller weaponry along with a Shield for added versatility. This is where it really shines vs. DBS, since it has no other distict advantages for this build.

Great Axe 
A devastating weapon that has nearly the damage potential as DBS, but has shorter range. You will be OHKO-ing with Direct Hit/ Counter Hit CW R2s and WR R1s here, and 2-handed un-buffed BS one-shot almost any opposition as well (during testing, it did exactly 1051 damage). It is quite a bit easier to use than Extra Large Swords, namely because of its "Hyperarmor" quality as well as its shorter recovery periods and lethal WR R1 AoE attack.

Crescent Axe
This has more reach than GA, better Stunlock, but less damage output. The beauty with this weapon is the range. This weapon is for those of you who actually swing Large Axes instead of just Ground-pounding your way to victory. Overall, it sacrifices a significant amount of power for much more reliability and combo potential.

Knight Sword
Sickening Stunlocks are why I love this thing. A full combo with CW will deal upwards of 2500 (499 to 566 per swing, five to six hits in one full combo) damage. CW BS will one-shot any opposition with 50 Vitality or less. The main reason for the 37 Endurance was for the full combo from this weapon, though you probably won't need it all. Lowering Endurance to 35 and raising Vitality is fine if you think that you can handle GA, GS, and DBS effectively. Ultimately, one of the best smaller weapon choices for this build, though it does not benefit as much from  CW as the larger weapons do.

Claymore
This thing is unbelievable. Two-shots anything with its amazing CW R1 sweeps. I normally do between 650 and 700 damage per swing with CW active. Direct/ Counter hits can approach 850 damage. I'd go to say that this is a mandatory weapon to keep in your arsenal.

Guillotine Axe
Slightly shorter reach than KS but slightly higher damage. It also weighs twice as much. I don't use it very much - I prefer the more versatile move set of KS. The Stunlocking is also noticeably better.

Battle Axe
The much more attractive version of Guillotine Axe, falling short of it by a mere 7 base AR. Not to mention it weighs less than half as much, allowing it to be effectively paired with a Shield and heavy off-hand weapon. Also be aware of it's uniqueness. I've beaten quite a few players with dual Battle Axes. Very funny. 

Mirdan Hammer
Devastating Stunlock. Rips through shields. Great range. The only solid counter for it is a setup Parry » Riposte. Watch out. (Normally to avoid this, I simply delay my second strike in an R1 chain to offset the Setup Parry and catch the enemy off guard. If you notice that the enemy is spamming L2, then go ahead and show them that there actually are consequences for spamming buttons. BS them.) Many people conider this to be a noob weapon, simply because it is easy to win with. Well, if you haven't noticed, this game is about tactics. Everything has an advantage and disadvantage. The people who complain about this weapon simply aren't avid Parriers. 

Baby's Nail
If you feel like being mean, give your opponent the Plague. It can actually be quite effective since Plague penalizes Stamina regeneration. It isn't the best weapon of choice, since most prepared PvPers will carry around Widow's Lotus/ Dark Moon Grass. Just keep that in mind (however, it is a good way to pressure your opponent to stop and heal. This can give you a free BS if you are paying attention).

The Left Hand:

Talisman of Beasts
The one and only. You'll need to have this equipped to cast Curse Weapon/ Second Chance. It's great to have it equipped, though if you find yourself not needing to rebuff with CW, you may switch it out for one of the weapons listed under Equipment » Left Hand Secondary. This way you can switch between, say, Iron Knuckles and Adjudicator's Shield to adapt quickly to a new situation. If you do this, be wary of your Equipment Burden.

Iron Knuckles
Underrated and overlooked, it is one of the most useful tools I have discovered as of yet. The fast jabs and decent Stunlock work miracles against faster weapons (think Dex builds). When paired with a DBS in the right hand, this is deadly. Namely because of this: A 1-handed CW DBS scores Counter Hit bonuses when played correctly (intercepting attacks with the Hyperarmored WR R1). A 1-handed CW R1 from a DBS multiplied by Counter Hit bonuses will deal very close to 1000-1020 damage (that number is an accurate estimate from many instances in regular PvP that I have witnessed. I did not get that number from testing.) Since the average build has 1050 HP, this attack will leave said average build with ~50 remaining HP. With Iron Knuckles, those 30-50 crucial points of HP can be knocked off with a single jab, thus rendering your following DBS swing to OHKO your opponent. If you use the DBS 1-handed moveset often, Iron Knuckles can be a very helpful off-hand tool. Definitely worth considering.

Dark Silver Shield
Great against builds that inflict Magic Damage, best if used with KS or Guillotine Axe. This is also good for setup Parries against pole-arms (Knight's Shield works just as well under certain circumstances). Note that you will find yourself using this much more often that Knight's Shield because of its 100% Magic Damage resistance (compared to Knight's Shield's 30% Magic Damage resistance). 

Adjudicator's Shield
Works fantastic with this build, as it negates and reverses the HP drain from Curse Weapon. I don't recommend using it against Faith Builds, since you'll just be at a disadvantage as far as HP regen goes.

Knight's Shield
A hefty Guard Break Reduction is where this becomes attractive. It will only effectively block Physical Damage, making it ideal for mirror matches. Not so helpful against Spellswords and Pure Mages… reserve DSS for them.

Morion Blade
This works especially well with this build - it takes advantage of the slight HP drain from Curse Weapon and uses it to keep you < 30% HP for a longer amount of time (assuming you don't get hit). I wouldn't use the actual weapon to attack with, for those of you who might be wondering. NOTE: Hypermode isn't allowed in some tournaments and is widely known for rewarding poor play. I encourage you to challenge yourself by using Adjudicator's Shield or other off-and equipment. Personally, I prefer Iron Knuckles to piss people off by jamming their combos with jabs. Very entertaining and quite effective when paired with a 1-handed Cursed DBS.

The Rings:

NOTE: When playing in Body Form and fighting Phantoms, it is suggested and recommended that you do not wear any rings (excluding RoHS/ RoGS/ RoMN/ RoDP/ Ronin's/ Cat's/ Accursed/ Rings of Resistances since they have no direct effect in battle). This is because BPs have no free ring slots (both slots are taken to equal you in power as a Host). The ring setups below are for PvEing in Body Form.

Clever Rat's Ring
Arguably the best Ring in the game. It grants Hypermode to the wearer (Damage is increased by 50% when HP is < 30%). Works phenomenally with Dull Rat's Ring.

Dull Rat's Ring
Works the same as Clever Rat's Ring, except it reduces all Damage the wearer takes by 50% when HP is < 30%.

Eternal Warrior's Ring
Works nice with the armor provided to negate the Stamina regen penalty that your full set of Armor inflicts. Increases Stamina regen rate by ~ 8/sec.

Ring of Magical Nature
It can replace CRR/DRR/ EWR when dueling as a Host. With 24 Int and RoMN, you can use the Warding-Curse Weapon combo. This is ideal for flattening any opposition inflicting pure Physical Damage.

Ring of Great Strength
This is ideal for playing in Body Form since it allows the wearer to carry around a 50% higher Equipment Burden. This means that you will be able to combine, say, Dragon Bone Smasher, Great Axe, Knight's Shield, and Talisman of Beasts while still rolling quickly. Without RoGS, this would not be possible due to Overburdening.

Friend's/ Foe's Ring
Increases damage as a Blue/ Black Phantom respectively by 20%. This makes it ideal for dueling as a Phantom. Most people will choose this over CRR or EWR because of its consistent Damage increase. Highly recommended.

Cling Ring
Increases maximum HP in Soul Form significantly. Mandatory for serious PvP, unless you're making a Glass Cannon build (in which case, you'd want CRR and Friend's/ Foe's Ring with Morion Blade). Also note that the increased HP granted from Cling Ring also is filtered via World Tendency/ Character Tendency max HP changes.

The Armor:

NOTE: I played around with different Armor sets and found that this was a very appealing setup as far as looks go. Be aware that you may have to remove the Mirdan Scale completely to keep your ability to roll normally. Also, the Venerable Sage's Hood, Shaman's Armbands, and Shaman's Tabi are not available to females. I'd recommend you start as a male, but if you do start as a female, replace the Shaman's clothing with Black Leather pieces, and replace the Venerable Sage's Hood with the Fluted Helmet.

Venerable Sage's Hood
Mainly to look epic. It also has a nice little bonus to Magic Defense, but not significantly.

Mirdan Scale/ Bare
"Bare" as in no chest piece. This is mostly to reduce Equipment Burden for heavier weaponry to be equipped. Mirdan Scale provides exceptional Physical Defense in exchange for high Equipment Weight.

Shaman's Armbands
Completely for looks. Low-weight, I might add. With 35 Endurance and a 20 pound milkbone, you're going to want light Armor. Black Leather Gloves can be used for an increase in Poison Resistance or if you're a female, but they don't look as original.

Shaman's Tabi
Same as above. Can be swapped for Black Leather Boots if you feel like it or need to due to the evil sexist Armor system.

The Weed and Such:

Dark Moon Grass
Great to have, requires duping or a lifetime of farming in 5-1. I choose duping. It's effectiveness scales with your HP, and since it cures all Status Ailnments, it will fully heal you even if you are inflicted with Poison and/or Plague. 

Old Spice
Can be bought from the Royal Mistress in 3-1 or farmed from the Mind Flayers/ Depraved Shamans. Recommended that you dupe it, but not mandatory.

Secret Throwing Dagger/ Kunai
Fantastic for interrupting heals. Can be substituted with a Kunai for less damage but a chance of inflicting Poison. Either one will serve its purpose well.

Sticky White Stuff
Excellent rebuff or something to cut through Warding. A nice alternative to Curse Weapon if you prefer to use Warding and a Cloud instead of it.

Black Turpentine
Same as the former, but it has a shorter duration and more damage added. I wouldn't recommend putting both Sticky White Stuff and Black Turpentine as Hotkey items at the same time - it'll just get you confused when you don't need to be.

Recommended spells/miracles

Spells and Miracles

Spells:

Miracles:


Now, Why Those Spells and Miracles?

Here I will explain the reasoning behind the Spells and Miracles.

The Spells:

Curse Weapon
By far the best Spell for this build. With your Cracked ToB (meaning that you do not meet the stat requirements) it will only drain your HP by 1/sec while still giving you that huge 50% Damage increase for 60 secs.

Warding
With RoMN and 24 Intelligence in the Hosting variation, this can be paired with Curse Weapon to absolutely annihilate any build that deals pure Physical Damage. Best if used after SC is broken (as opposed to be used at the start of a duel), since it can not be cast while SC is active.

Poison Cloud
Is a useful Spell to be used along with Warding or with Curse Weapon in the Hosting variation if you for some reason do not want to take up a Ring Slot for RoMN. Best used when you need some breathing room for Grass/ Spice, need to put pressure on your opponent in a battle of attrition.

Acid Cloud
A nice tool against jumpers, though it can only be used in the Hosting variation (in which case you probably will not need any extra offense vs. a jumper having blues with you and all.)

The Miracles:

Second Chance
It is probably the most used Miracle in Demon's Souls. It automatically grants you half of your total HP instantly after what should have been death. Don't ever leave the house without it.


Gameplay tips and progression

Gameplay Progression

If you're new to Demon's Souls, you can click on the links to the different levels. They include maps of the levels, and have helped me greatly. This section provides a specific step-by-step progressive plan through the game to get your build going ASAP.

I. Complete Boletaria Palace and freeing Prince Ostrava. Getting Phalanx out of the way will most likely bring you to Pure White World Tendency if you start the game online.

II. Return to 1-1 and loot the dragon's nest of the Ring of Great Strength, 2 Shards of Archstone and the Purple Flame Shield. These will be of great use in many different situations early on in the game. Sometimes the dragons will still be there, waiting for their next victim. A suicide mission would be worth it, just make sure that you are in Soul Form (dying in body form will draw World Tendency towards black).

III. Head off to 1-2 and grab the Winged Spear in the middle of the first section of the Lord's Path. This will help you quite a bit. Head back to the Nexus for now, there is no real point in completely finishing this level right now. Instead get your  Strength to 22 and go to Stonefang Tunnel. If you have enough stones gathered up already, feel free to upgrade your PFS, just not too high.

IV. You'll find some Sticky White Stuff as a treasure early on here (the link will show you exactly). Head back to the Nexus and dupe this. Once you've got a decent amount on hand, head back to 2-1 and rid it of those Miners with your Winged Spear, then exterminate that pesky Armor Spider, using your Sticky White Stuff and your weapon of choice. Once you've gotten him out of the way, use up the Souls that you have allocated from the Demon you have slain. Invest Souls mainly into Strength and Endurance for now,or until you reach however much you're comfortable with. Investing into Vitality is an option as well, though I prefer the extra Stamina.

V. Gather some friends together and take to Shrine of Storms, looting the Crescent Falchion+1 treasure and the Adjudicator's Shield, then defeating Adjudicator. You should have quite a few Souls gathered up just from this one level, so go ahead and have a little chitchat  with the Maiden in Black about Souls and vessels and strength and mending the world. Invest more points into Vitality and Endurance.

VI. Head back to 1-2 after a little Soul Farming in 4-2 with the bow and arrows you will have found in 4-1 if you can wield it. Use melee if unable. Buy yourself a Claymore from the Dregling Merchant, and free Ostrava once again. You will receive some Dark Moon Grass for this. Make your back to the Nexus and upgrade your Claymore to a +3 with the stones that you will have looted on your ore spree in 2-1. Do not upgrade it past this yet. Dupe your Dark Moon Grass, it will be necessary for PvP later on. Using it now will just make the PvE part of the game just too easy, consider this.

VII. Here you have two options:

  • Go to 2-2, Flamelurker's lair. Grab the Great Axe here before you put out his flame (you might need some help from Blues, so contact some friends) and head off to Dragon God, where you will find the Dragon Bone Smasher. Might as well kill the boss while you're there. Have fun and don't let him see you. Now with the Souls you have from these two bosses, up your Strength to 30 and your Endurance until you can effectively wield DBS. Remember: Taking off Armor > raising Endurance too high. Now that you have this thing, bring it to Scirvir for him to ooh and ahh at before he thanks you with a Pure Greystone. Make sure you can carry this 10 pound ball of metal. 
  • Farm some Greystone in 2-1 from the Miners and Rock Worms. It is recommended that you do this after the former option - farming Rock Worms will be much easier heading away from the Flamelurker Archstone instead of the Armor Spider Archstone. It won't take long to get quite a few Shards and Chunks here. I'd also recommend that you have the Ring of Herculean Strength equipped, so that your farming doesn't become pointless.

Once you've gathered up enough Greystone, go ahead and ugrade your Claymore along the said path as much as possible, +5 if you can. (duping your Greystone Shards, Chunks, and Pures can be cheap, but it works and I feel it pointless to spend hours farming stones.)

VIII. Storm 4-2 with your insane physical power, completely ignoring the Reaper's high MagDef. Free Saint Urbain and slay the Old Hero. Find the saint back in the Nexus and learn Second Chance using Old Hero's Soul. Talk to the Candle Maiden once again, and get your Faith to 16 for the two Miracle Slots. Farm if necessary.

IX. Set your sights on Tower of Latria, but it isn't mandatory to complete this yet. Just go far enough in to grab the Black Leather and Fluted armor sets. Annihilate the Mind Flayers with your Crushing Claymore - one or two hits will kill them. The two Armor Sets that you have come here for will help you a lot by maximizing your defenses while still rolling quickly instead of running around naked with that gargantuan dog bone of destruction (you look like a crazy person, trust me, and that is a good thing, but we still need your defenses to be good). It would be even better if you could get a friend to dupe this for you, along with the Venerable Sage's Hood to look epic. (Though usually, I'll just kill Freke while I'm in  3-1 for the hood. Too lazy to get PWWT in Latria. That's right, I murder old men for their clothes in this game.)

X. Go back to 4-1 and get that Talisman of God, then trade it for a Colorless Demon's Soul with Sparkly the Crow. Now dupe it! Use these newly acquired Demon's Souls to upgrade your DBS with Blacksmith Ed. Get it to a +5 if you want the game to be too easy. Get it to a +2 or +3 to keep levels interesting.

XI. Beat 1-2, 1-3, save Biorr and Yuria. Nothing really else to say about it. Just do it. Biorr will assist you in tackling Penetrator, and Yuria will teach you the much-needed spell Curse Weapon for his [Demon's Soul. Now get your Intelligence to 18 so that you can actually make use of it. Farm Souls if you must.

XII. It really becomes more free play here. Feel free to head off to 5-2 for the Shaman's Clothes. You can go get the [Talisman of Beasts from [Black Phantom Scrivir, get your Character Tendency to Pure White and take the Friend's Ring from the fat baby, Farm some more Souls from 4-2, go on a murderous rampage through the Nexus, killing all the innocent people who have done their best to help you (for the Foe's Ring, of course), increase your weaponry arsenal beyond DBS, Crushing Great Axe and Claymore (Crushing Knight Sword and Mirdan Hammer are what you should aim for), or maybe just go take a nap. The main goals is to acquire all the equipment I listed and get your stats equal to the provided ones. 


Now, Why Those Stats?

Why did you follow my advice and make this build? Here I will provide justifications for the stats.

Vitality:

i would not recommend going lower than 44 to 45 Vitality, as I have learned that quite a few weapons will be able to kill you with one BS, and you will only survive two hits from some weapons whereas with 44 or 45, you would survive 3.  Note that the main reason that Vitality is such an odd number is to keep the SL at 125. If you feel the need to increase it to 50 just so that it starts with a 5 and ends in a 0, be my guest. I did the same thing (50 | 18 | 33 | 66 | 8 | 6 | 16 | 7 ~ SL125).

Intelligence:

18 is just enough for 3 Spell Slots. You'll need all of them for Curse Weapon. There is no point in going higher than 18 - you'll just be wasting SL's, and this build is already slightly higher of a SL than other Strength Builds. The excpetion: the Hosting variant. when Hosting, you'll want your SL between 130 and 135. Since you have no real dumping stats worth investing points in after SL125 besides Endurance, go ahead and put 6 SLs into Int. It can be helpful to have the extra Spell Slot for things like Acid Cloud vs. Jumpers or Poison Cloud to give you a little breathing room in battles. Another advantage of having Int at 24 in Body Form is to be able to use it in tandem with Ring of Magical Nature. This will give you a total of five Spell Slots, allowing you to effectively use the Warding-Curse Weapon combo. This will completely turn the tides in a battle against any standard Dex or Strength build. Not to mention that it is great for clearing out 4-1 to prepare for Hosting.

Endurance:

37 is the bare minimum to execute the full combo with your KS. It also gives you a decent Stamina pool for those larger weapons that soak it all up. This build is not for button spammers. This stat may be lowered to 35 as shown in the second variation to invest a SL into Vitality and gain access to Mirdan Hammer and Crescent Axe. A third possible variation is 33 Endurance and 47/48 Vitality (depending on Character Class; 47 for Temple Knight and 48 for Priest) for the full combo from Guillotine/ Battle Axe and a larger Vitality pool. This is the one I am currently using and it's working pretty well. The only downside is a small Stamina pool for the larger weaponry. Not recommended that you start with this variation as it is harder to use your full arsenal effectively.

Strength:

66 will be = to 99 when 2-handing any weaponry due to the 1.5x damage multiplier that applies when 2-handing the weapon. With Crushing weaponry, this applies in the most profound form, as it scales with a 3rd level "S" Rating in Strength. It is pointless to go beyond 66 as it maximizes damage potential for almost all of your weapons when 2-handed.  Let's compare the advantages 66 Strength has over 50, since I know this has been bugging you. With 50 Strength the following will occur nearly all of the time, whereas with 66, the following will be avoided nearly all of the time:

  • Direct Hits from your 2-handed Cursed Great Axe WD R1 and R2 won't OHKO.
  • 2 hits from an unbuffed axe Great Axe (R1 » R2) will not KO.
  • The full combo from a 2-handed unbuffed axe Great Axe will fail to crack SC and kill.
  • 1-handed Cursed Knight Sword BS will OHKO less opponents (it will still OHKO some of the time but not as often.)
  • 2-handed unbuffed Knight Sword combo R1 » R2 » R2 will fail to crack SC.
  • 2-handed Cursed DBS R1s will not OHKO.
  • 1-handed unbuffed DBS crack SC with two R1s.
  • 2-handed Cursed Claymore will not guarantee a cracked SC with two hits.

 Essentially, the AR difference is slim, but the reality advantages in PvP that 66 Strength has over 50 are noticeable. If you prefer to keep this stat at 34 or 50 and gouge your Vitality to be able to withstand more hits (I prefer to dodge and not get hit at all, as opposed to getting hit and being able to take it) then you should not use this build. Below is a table of the recorded damage outputs from certain weapons R1 and R2 strikes, 1-handed, 2-handed, 1-handed, 2-handed, with Curse Weapon, and without Curse Weapon tested against a Host with 75 Vitality in full Ancient King's Armor (note that not everyone whom you encounter will be wearing this, so their defenses will most likely by slightly less). Take not of the numbers in bold, as they are crucial advantages that you will have over a 50 Strength build, listed above.

When One-Handing Weapons
Weapon Name R1 Damage R2 Damage BS Damage CW R1 Damage CW R2 Damage CW BS Damage
Crushing Knight Sword 196 374 752 294 557 1071
Crushing Mirdan Hammer 244 288 878 366 432 1318
Crushing Claymore 290 414 898 435 621 1347
Crushing Crescent Axe 337 497 844 506 745 1266
Crushing Great Axe 407 573 982 610 859 1473
Dragon Bone Smasher 524 457 1227 794 692 ~1600
When Two-Handing Weapons
Weapon Name R1 Damage R2 Damage BS Damage CW R1 Damage CW R2 Damage CW BS Damage
Crushing Knight Sword 303 347 800 499 566 1146
Crushing hammer Mirdan Hammer 373 326 966 562 489 1448
Crushing Claymore 381 510 986 573 764 1480
Crushing Crescent Axe 493 589 927 739 886 1390
Crushing Great Axe 555 664 1051 833 1002 1573
Dragon Bone Smasher 701 930 1338 1051 1396 ~1800

Dexterity:

12 is the minimum for the stat requirements for hammer Mirdan Hammer and Crescent Axe. If you prefer to save 1 SL and go with the Priest Character Class (8 Dexterity but 8 Magic and 8 Luck) then I hope you will not miss these two weapons.

Magic:

No reason to up this. Leave it as base, whether it be 6 or 8 depending on your starting class.

Faith:

16 allows for 2 Miracle Slots, and both will be used for SC.

Luck:

No reason to up this. Leave it as base, whether it be 7 or 8 depending on your starting class.


Match  Ups

Here I will discuss what I have found out about facing different opponents.

Faith Builds:

They have great HP Regeneration and usually high Vitality, but they don't hit hard. They usually are passive when fighting and wade out until your buff wears off. Try Stunlocking them or give them some huge Burst Damage to nullify their tendency to completely heal low-damaging attacks. Try to keep your weapon buffed at all times, and avoid using Sticky White Stuff, as it will have little effect on them due to high MagDef. Black Turp is the way to go. Might even try to Plague them with Baby's Nail to stop their  HP regeneration completely and cut down on their Stamina regen. Poison Cloud works nicely as well to follow a BS/ Riposte.

Blueblood Sword Builds:

sword BBS builds are extremely buff-reliant and have low versatility. Only the Blueblood Sword is effective, and only when it is buffed. Try to be passive until their buff wears out, and you will be out-damaging with just about any weapon. Try avoiding the use of Guillotine Axe or Knight Sword as these are just worse versions of their weapon. Instead try outreaching them with your Claymore. BBS Builds usually have a shield on their off-hand. If this is the case, go ahead and tear through it with Mirdan Hammer or Great Axe, but watch out for those Parries. Another variation of a BBS setup is to have an off-hand Uchi. If this is the case, I would recommend using Great Axe, as they will be unable to interrupt your attacks with their quick strikes. Regardless of setup, I would recommend wearing DSS on your back because of this build's heavy reliance on Magic Damage.

Dexterity Builds:

I am going to break this down by weapon due to the many different options that these builds have:

Katanas
Perhaps the most popular PvP weapons (They've become worn out and overused making the variety much lesser at ~SL120 than it should be if you ask me), it can really pack a punch. Kats have great reach, high Burst Damage with pokes, the ability to Pushlock, and have very quick attacks. The two choices for fighting the dominant chunk of the meta that I see most plausible are using the Great/ Crescent Axe to counter their partial reliance on intercepting your attacks, or using the Claymore to outreach and out-damage them while still maintaining the ability to strike quickly. I usually beat them with Clay more so than Great/ Crescent Axe for that reason. Avoid the use of your Guillotine Axe and Knight Sword here as well: you will be outreached and slower.

Kilij
A horridly swift weapon that will usually kill in two to three hits if Cursed. The best choice in these match ups is a weapon with longer reach, such as Great Sword or DBS. I've beaten quite a few Kilij users with DBS just because of its huge reach and fairly quick running attacks. 

War Scythe
This build's Mirdan Hammer, often called the Noobstick because it's just that easy to win with it. Try to go for Parries if you find that they are being overaggressive or use your Crescent/ Great Axe to nullify their famous Stunlock if you play right while out-damaging them per swing. Claymore can also be a good choice here, boasting an exceeding range, especially horizontally.  

Estoc
It has unbelieveable Phantom Range. This means that it will be harder to predict the perimiter of your opponents attack range. Other than this, the only thing you will have to look out for is the WR R1. It is the most instantaneous move in the game except maybe a Fist weapon Parry. The sheer speed of this attack can catch the most defensive players of guard if the Estoc wielder is roll hungry. Try using a shield on them. EWGF showed me how to Blind Parry the WR R1… It is tricky. Just like you'd parry a Katana WD R1, aim to Parry the wielder's hand rather than the tip of their weapon. The good thing about Blind Parrying the Estoc is that whiffs don't spell doom, unlike whiffing a Blind Parry vs. Kat WD R1 or something of similar nature. Overall, the best weapon choices vs. Estoc are a sword and board setup, or Great Axe to eat up their shield. Mirdan Hammer is just too risky, since it is vulnerable to Parries. One riposte from Estoc can mean death of SC cracked if you're lucky. 

Flamberge
 I hardly ever encounter the Flamberge, but if you ever come across one, please use the Claymore. You will outreach and out-damage while maintaining the exact same move set and speed. It's just better. If you don't feel like picking on your adversary this way, feel free to practice strategies and maneuvers on them. They are anything but lethal if you know what you're doing.

Spellsword Builds:

These include DBS Mages. I'll break it down into two categories:

Dragon Bone Smasher Mage
Usually, more skilled players will use this, as it can be very effective against any build with proper timing. Go ahead and use your own DBS on them if you'd like.  I can assure you that you will be doing more damage, but watch out for those Wake-up Fireballs (Your DBS will significantly increase your FireDef, so this might keep you alive longer in a heated fight). Another option here is using your Great/Crescent Axe to cancel out the DBS' Knockdown/Knockback effects due to Hyperarmored attacks (it really comes in handy in quite a few situations doesn't it?) The one advantage that this build boast the most of is range. You will have to stay nimble to avoid their Fireballs, and keep your guard up when in close quarters. Another option against these guys is to go with a lighter, quicker weapon like Guillotine Axe or Knight Sword, and work your way up really close to them to unleash devastating Stunlocks. This can be a little tricky, but it is doable.

Original Spellsword
The original variation of the Spellsword invests points into Dexterity rather than Strength. I'd say that this allows for quite a bit more versatility than the former. Usually, you'll see them with dual Kats, which makes it hard to tell the difference between them and a pure Dex Build at the start of the fight. Try keeping in close quarters to nullify their range advantage via Magic, but still be wary of their Moon/ Crescent weapons. I suppose Crescent Axe would be a good choice to take the Spellsword on with, since it boasts excessive range and hits hard. There is no real distinct advantage that you have in these duels, except that you have more melee capability. Always keep that DSS equipped when battling Spellswords. It will block all Magic Damage and increase your MagDef for when you do get hit.

Pure Mage Builds:

Keep close to these ones. Don't let them make much space between the two of you or you will already be at a disadvantage. Some sure signs of a Pure Mage are the Crazy Hat and Kris Blade. Make sure to have DSS equipped here. One thing that really helps is that Mages usually have a smaller Vitality pool than other builds. Keep them on the move and drain their miniscule Stamina bar. 9 times out of 10 you will OHKO or break SC with a heavy hitting buffed weapon like Great Axe. Most BS's from your weapons un-buffed will do this as well. The only thing you will really have to watch out for if you manage to wiggle your way into close combat is the Ignite. Lag makes this ten times worse by increasing its range and sometimes staggering you from farther away. In some cases, this will deal 1000+ damage… Beware.

Northern Regalia Builds:

Immense Vitality pool, sometimes maxed out. Your tendency to OHKO will be canceled out here. (Still, some weapons like Great Sword and DBS can kill on BS.) Claymore is recommended because, just like in a match up against a Flamberge, you will outreach. Be careful of activating Hypermode on NR builds - chances are they will kill you before you kill them. The one advantage that you distinctly have is versatility. Northern Regalia is just about the only weapon that these guys can use effectively. Stunlocks work okay, but sometimes not even the full combo will kill. You'll have to be rather experienced to top these ones. 

Strength Builds:

Most other Strength builds have a larger Vitality pool than you (anywhere from 50 - 70) but lack that ability to one-shot with some popular weaponry. All the same, your ability to one-shot will be null and void in some match ups here as well due to the high HP. They will most likely have the same weapons as you, so all I can say as far as weaponry is may the most skilled warrior win. 


Some Setups to Try

These are just a few setups for you to try out that I have found useful.

Young Warrior:

RH1 - Crushing Claymore+5
RH2 - Crushing Mirdan Hammer+5
LH2 - Talisman of Beasts
Left Hand Secondary - Adjudicator's Shield+5/ Morion Blade
A powerful setup relying on quick strikes and supreme range to flatten foes. You might get a little hate mail because of Mirdan Hammer, but I believe that if a weapon or strategy is effective, then it should be allowed (unless it is game-breaking like RFS or Scraping Spear). Besides, Mirdan Hammer has a significant disadvantage: Parries. That's why you have Claymore. If you notice your opponent parrying a lot, switch out to Claymore to avoid this entirely. You will have no problem with those silly Hiltlesses with the monster range from both of your weapons, as well as the dominating lengthwise range from Claymore. Overall the easiest of these setups to use effectively.

Dragon Bone Slayer:

RH1 - Dragon Bone Smasher+5
RH2 - Crushing Great Axe+5/ Crushing Claymore+5
LH1 - Talisman of Beasts
LH2 - Crushing Iron Knuckles+5/ Adjudicator's Shield+5
This setup was inspired by my friend Oscilet. It combines your hardest-hitting weapon with your choice of a lethal long-range sword or a combo-capable heavy-hitting axe. The Great Axe is my choice in this setup, since it is less similar in playing style to DBS than Claymore is. You will have to remove the chest piece completely to keep yourself rolling quickly (this looks cool anyways, so I don't mind the slight defense drop.) One thing you will have to watch out for here is BS. Both Great Axe and DBS are quite susceptible to this, so if you feel that this disadvantage outweighs the un-interruptibility and harder hits, go ahead and switch out the axe for Claymore - I can assure you that you will not be BSed as often. Overall, this variation takes more skill to use than the others, but can be the most effective of them if used properly.

Wretched Knight:

RH1 - Baby's Nail+5 
RH2 - Crushing Great Axe+5/Crushing Great Sword+5
LH1 - Talisman of Beasts
LH2 - Adjudicator's Shield+5
A rather strategic setup, it takes full advantage of Baby's Nail, and if you can manage to inflict your adversary with the Plague, you're home free. Adjudicator's Shield makes the Plague twice as worse - you regenerate HP while they lose it! Since Plague inflicts a penalty on Stamina regen, opposing Backstabs will not be as common after you have drained your own Stamina bar by swinging GA/GS around. Also note that this setup would actually work better with a Faith build and a Blessed Great Axe for the added regen. However, it has worked great for me with this Strength build.

The War Pig:

RH1 - Crushing Great Axe+5/ Crushing Crescent Axe+5
RH2 - Crushing Battle Axe+5/ Crushing Guillotine Axe+5
LH1 - Talisman of Beasts
LH2 - Knight's Shield+10/ Dark Silver Shield+5
A tricky variation to master. You are mainly utilizing axes, which have a very limited moveset in exchange for higher damage and Direct Hit bonus multipliers entering the equation much more often. Out of the above listed items, my personal preference is the Great Axe for high Burst Damage, the Battle Axe for attractiveness and uniqueness along with low weight, and the Knight's Shield or Dark Silver Shield, depending on the situation.

Boletarian Swordmaster:

RH1 - Crushing Knight Sword+5
RH2 - Crushing Great Sword+5
LH1 - Talisman of Beasts
LH2 - Knight's Shield+10/ Dark Silver Shield+5
A versatile setup utilizing the profound range of the Great Sword and the agility and Stunlock of the Knight Sword. Both work well with a 1 or 2-handed grip, which is why they are both complimented well with Knight's Shield (to stick with the theme) or DSS. Mirdan Scale will have to be substituted with something slightly lighter such as the Fluted Set (or if you find that you are not actually Blocking/Parrying with your DSS, then go ahead and feel free to use Morion Blade instead - you will not exceed 50% Equipment Burden while wearing your full epic armor set).


Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Massive Burst Damage from just about anything you decide to annihilate your enemy with
  • Knockdown/Knockback effects can be used effectively
  • Versatile set of weaponry
  • No Split Damage
  • All weapons used can be buffed (excluding Baby's Nail)
  • OHKOs are popular from several weapons
  • High base Physical Damage

Cons:

  • Relies on buffs to merely tickle people in Warding fat suits
  • No Magic Damage (aside from SWS)
  • Purely melee
  • Many weapons used are slow-moving and can prove rather hard to handle effectively
  • Partial reliance on buffs to be advantageous compared to a 50 Strength build

I hope I have helped to convince some of you fellow Demon slayers to try this build out, I've played with it for most of the time I have been PvPing, which might not be saying a lot since I'm pretty new compared to some of you out there. I'm open to criticism, anything to help me improve. Please comment, tell me what you think. Thank you!

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