Light Weapon Meat Cleaver Build
rating: +8+x

Build summary 2 variations of a PvP-honed Meat Cleaver Build utilizing Light Weapon: Red/ Blue Eye Stone Phantom | Host
Recommended starting class(es) Temple Knight, Knight
Recommended Soul Level 127 | 136

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

Vitality 45 | 45
Will/Intelligence 15 | 15
Endurance 35 | 40
Strength 26 | 26
Dexterity 30 | 30
Magic 30 | 30
Faith 20 | 24
Luck ** | **
Recommended equipment

Note: This build is similar to Astrichthyes' LW Cleaver (SL127-142) as far as stat spread is concerned. The concept of this build is slightly different. I'd encourage you to rate up his build if you like this one as well, since his was quite the inspiration.

Another Note: Pay no attention to my other MC build pages, as this has a more revised stat spread.


Equipment

Right Hand Primary:

  • Meat Cleaver - Yes, we are using the Meat Cleaver. It has an "S" rating in stat scaling for both Strength and Dexterity modifiers, plus an "A" rating in stat scaling with Faith, hence the odd stat spread. Add this to the 30 Mag hardcap for Light Weapon, and you have invested points into every damage stat. This build is based around using this weapon to maximum power and the best stat efficiency.

Right Hand Secondary:

  • Quality/ Moon Mirdan Hammer+5 - Combined with Light Weapon, Quality MH will deal around 550 damage per jab. NOTE: Only use Moon weaponry on Mages! Your Quality/Sharp weapons will out-damage your Moon weapons on any build besides Mages due to Split Damage (the Magic Damage dealt by your Moon weapons is what makes Mages prone to them.)
  • Quality/ Moon Claymore+5 - Even more damaging than Mirdan Hammer, it has an insane horizontal reach that stops Running Backstabs cold, but watch out for Rolling Backstabs. Best played defensively.
  • Quality/ Moon Knight Sword+5 - It's sprinting R1 and Stunlock make up for its short reach. Quality deals damage in the low 500s when two-handing and when buffed with Light Weapon, providing for an excess of 2000 damage per stamina bar.
  • Quality/ Moon Kilij+5 - Sickeningly fast and next to impossible to Backstab. Matched with MC, it creates incredible versatility in attack style, making it impossible for your opponent to trump your weapon setup. Three swift slashes will crack SC on most Phantom builds.
  • Sharp/ Moon Uchigatana+5 - great for one-handing or for pairing up with another Uchi in the off-hand. Can be a nice dexterous option, with Quality boasting 298 AR at 26 Strength and 30 Dexterity.
  • Sharp/ Crescent Estoc+5 - A nice choice if you are good at BS/Riposte since it will do exceptional damage with either.
  • Hiltless+5 - Slightly higher damage that Sharp Uchi (about 10 AR more) but it drains your HP slightly with each hit that you connect with (this includes when lag sets in and you don't actually do damage to your opponent).
  • Penetrating Sword+5 - Definitely not the most effective weapon of choice, but it is a fun alternative to the everyday meta. You have the stat requirements for it, as well as the stats to bring out the most of it, as shown in m0ose's "The Defiler." It can be a real challenge to actually win with it against Cursed Claymores and Hiltlesses, but it is quite fun to use and to read praise mail from your opponents about how amazing you look.
  • Northern Regalia - Arguably the best backup weapon for builds that rely heavily on buffs, since it has 135 + 135 Physical AR and 135 + 135 Magical AR when CT is PB or PW.
  • Stormruler - One of my personal favorites, it allows for a near-instant rebuff or heal. Don't abuse it to cow or recast SC as you will be: a) jumped, b) whited out, or c) left by your blues and rated a D. I only use it as a secondary for rebuffing with LW.
  • Baby's Nail+5 - I normally switch to this when my buff on my Meat Cleaver wears off. The Plague Status Ailment that it inflicts will kill the opponent's Stamina regeneration, allowing you more opportunities to re-buff.

Left Hand Primary:

  • Insanity Catalyst - Use for Light Weapon. This is half of the reason behind the 15 Intelligence: Insanity Catalyst halves your total MP, providing you with just enough to get by Light Weapon's 50 MP demand.
  • Talisman of Beasts/ Talisman of God - Use for Second Chance. The other reason why you will need 100 MP. Use Talisman of God when casting scaling Miracles in body form.

Left Hand Secondary:

  • Morion Blade - For offensive styles, it grants Hypermode when HP < 30%. Light Weapon + Meat Cleaver + Hypermode = well over enough damage per hit to OHKO most opposition. It is debatable as to whether or not this is a cheap option, due to its rewards for poor play. Please, don't Hyper-Spawn. It wastes 70% of your HP and is reserved for jumpers, from what I have experienced.
  • Adjudicator's Shield+5 - For defensive styles, it regenerates HP at a substantial rate. Works better than Hypermode because it encourages the HP regen you receive from MC, whereas Hypermode works against it (it relies on your HP to stay at the 30% threshold).
  • Dark Silver Shield+5 - Either wear this on your back when fighting against builds that inflict Magic Damage, or pair it with your Quality Knight Sword+5. Avoid Turtling as this will not help your cause. Paired with MC, it can also be used to its full potential by abusing Parries.
  • Sharp/ Moon Uchigatana+5 - Works best when paired with another in the right hand, or a Hiltless in the right hand. It can be used for Pushlocks as well, which can turn the tides in a duel if the adversary does not know how to escape.

Rings - Body Form:

NOTE: When playing in Body Form and fighting Phantoms, it is suggested and recommended that you do not wear any rings (excluding RoHS since it has 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 + Dull Rat's Ring - Hypermode can be lethal if used properly, and Dull Rat's Ring complements it by neutralizing half of the damage you take when your HP < 30%.
  • Clever Rat's Ring + Eternal Warrior's Ring - Increased Stamina regeneration, you can sprint your way out of a jumper's clutches, and if he manages to get you, he will have sealed his own fate with Clever Rat's Ring.

Rings - Soul Form:

  • Friend's Ring/ Foe's Ring + Cling Ring - Use when you are a Blue/ Black Phantom to enjoy the benefit of 20% more damage.
  • Clever Rat's Ring + Cling Ring - For more experienced players. Works twice as well with Morion Blade added.

Armor - Males:

  • Ancient King's Set - With nothing minimal but Stamina regeneration penalty, this set is ideal for PvP. Some pieces may need to be switched out depending on your arms setup. (You will probably have to sub in some Black Leather to make do with your equipment burden. I'd recommend swapping the headpiece for Assassin's Mask, as it has no Stamina regen penalty, whereas the other pieces of the set do penalize it slightly.)

Armor - Females:

  • Binded Cross - The female version of the Ancient King's Set. Looks horrific with Meat Cleaver.
  • Dull Gold Set - If you can afford the weight and Stamina regeneration penalty, this set has higher defenses than the Binded Cross. Will definitely have to sub in some Black Leather or even parts of Binded Cross.

Consumables:

  • Dark Moon Grass - If you don't want to dupe, you can farm Full Moon Grass from the three Red Eye Knights guarding Penetrator's lair.
  • Old Spice - If you don't want to dupe, you're out of luck unless you'd like to spend the rest of your life in Latria and 5-2.
  • Secret Throwing Dagger - Great for interrupting heals and finishing people off with a sliver of health. Don't use it for anything else lest you enjoy being Backstabbed.

Recommended spells/miracles

Spells and Miracles

Spells:

  • Light Weapon - This build was designed to use it. So use it. With Insanity Catalyst, it will bring Meat Cleaver's Damage from 411 - 432 (two-handed) to 679 - 690. Light Weapon should also be used with all Quality/Sharp weapons in your arsenal as well as Penetrating Sword and Hiltless.

Miracles:

  • Second Chance - Must I explain? That's right! I don't. Damn, you're good. Obviously, use your Talisman of Beasts.
  • Heal/ Antidote - Use one of these in the Hosting variation of the build when you have more Spice than Grass between battles to ready yourself for the next one. Not fantastic for using in the heat of battle due to slow casting.

Gameplay tips and progression

Gameplay Strategy

Here I will provide you with some tips and strategies to acquire the Meat Cleaver ASAP and use it with efficiency. To make things simple, I will list step-by-step instructions on how I recommend playing through different levels:

The Basics

1. Complete Boletaria Palace (1-1). Rescue Prince Ariona Allant (Ostrava) as you will need him later on. Buy a Club from the Dregling Merchant. You will need it for later on. Cut the two chains you will encounter on the second staircase and get the Old Spice as well as the Jade Hair Ornament and Old Raggedy Robes. Dupe the Old Spice when you return to the Nexus if you plan on duping. Grab the Shards of Archstone that you will find on the side-path near the dragon's nest. To make things easier with Phalanx, grab the 4 Turpentine you'll find after pulling the lever to open Phalanx's room and turning left.

2. If you've started the game online, you may be able to raid the dragon's nest (sometimes I will still do it while they are there, trying to incinerate me.) The two items that will be of top priority to grab if the dragons are still there will be Purple Flame Shield and Ring of Great Strength. Obtaining these items is optional. Return to the Nexus and invest all the Souls you have accumulated into Strength. Cap this at 22 for now.

3. If your World Tendency is at Pure White and you have started the game as a female (I'd recommend it because your final armor is easily obtainable) then return to 1-1 after having defeated Phalanx. The gate on your left when spawning from Boletaria Palace Archstone should be open. Be wary of the Black Phantom Dreglings, as with your low Vitality, they can be lethal in swarms. Try to get them to spawn one by one. After you've cleared them out, draw out Executioner Miralda from her lair. Simply Powerpush her down her own pit, and reload your game. Her Armor and Ring should be in a little flame at her spawning point. Grab this and wear as much as you can, making sure that you can still roll quickly.

4. Begin 1-2, rescue Prince Ostrava and receive his gift of Dark Moon Grass. If you are planning on duping, dupe this once you've completed 1-2. In the middle of the first section of the Lord's Path you will find a Winged Spear. Grab this and block the Red Dragon's flames with your Purple Flame Shield, and you will survive. Now continue running. On your way, get the Wooden Catalyst on the second tower; you will need this for later on (you'll be using it frequently in the mean time as well).

5. If you'd like to, you may Soul Farm at this point using the Tower Knight Archstone as a spawning point, killing the two Blue-eye Knights for around 450 Souls each. Using these souls, buy a Claymore from the Dregling Merchant in 1-2. This will help you with boss fights in the next world as opposed to using the Winged Spear.

6. If you have souls left over (or why not farm some more?) use them to learn the Spell Enchant Weapon from that grumpy annoying magician in the Nexus. This will have immense effectiveness on the enemies you will encounter in your next level.

7. Forge on to Stonefang Tunnel. Farm the first Crystal Lizard that you encounter. This will be enough ore to either upgrade your PFS, Claymore or Winged Spear depending on what type of stone you received. DO NOT upgrade Claymore to higher than +3.

8. Complete Stonefang Tunnel (this should be a complete breeze with Winged Spear, PFS and Enchant Weapon). Make sure to activate the elevator that leads to Blacksmith Ed.

9. Go to 4-1 (you could actually do this before you do 2-1) and grab the Crescent Falchion+1 guarded by the [http://demonssouls.wikidot.com/black-skeleton Black Katana
Skeleton]. It isn't recommended to complete this level yet, as it will do you no good.

10. 2-2 up next. Flamelurker will be the easiest boss you can imagine if you are nimble, have your PFS upgraded to at least +2 (I would avoid investing many stones into this as it will serve you little good after this level.) Make sure to enchant your Claymore if you decide to use this instead of the Crescent Falchion+1.

11. You should have quite a decent amount of Souls accumulated at this point. Split them into Vitality, Endurance, and Dexterity, with most invested into Endurance. Stamina is your most valued asset.

12. Now that you are well-prepared, head off to 4-1. You might as well throw away your Winged Spear. Use your Claymore, Crescent Falchion, and PFS here. Grab the Adjudicator's Shield along the way. It will be guarded by a second Black Katana Skeleton. Adjudicator itself is quite an easy boss to defeat. Simply drop down to the bottom floor as you enter the room, and circle him in a counterclockwise dircetion, attacking before he turns and makes a squeaky noise. Collect his Swollen Demon's Soul.

13. Once you've returned to the Nexus, invest all of your Souls into Faith and Strength, or until you reach 26 Strength (depending on which variation you will be using) and 16 Faith. Soul Farm if you must.

14. Now that you have 26 Strength, 12 Dexterity, and 16 Faith, bring that Club that you bought from the Dregling Merchant to 2-1. Forge… the Meat Cleaver!

Getting Ready For PvP

1. Now that you've gotten your basic setup, there are two options that you have:

  • Dupe/ Farm Stones of Ephermal Eyes, and suicide in 2-2 until you get it to Pure Black World Tendency (PBWT). Take the normal shortcut that you would to reach Flamelurker, but stop at Scirvir's cave and fight his Black Phantom. BRING YOUR PFS. The only spells he uses are ones that inflict fire damage, so two-hand your Purple Flame Shield, and wade out until he runs himself dry of MP. Now you may tap into your epic pwnage tanks to melee him. Once he has been thoroughly annihilated, reap your rewards: the Talisman of Beasts.
  • Complete 4-2, mangling those Reapers with your sickening Physical Damage. Use Soul Remains if necessary. Make sure to rescue Saint Urbain from the pit. As for Old Hero, simply attack him with an Enchanted Meat Cleaver using your Sprinting/ Back-hop R1 (you won't have time to combo before he roars). Repeat until dead. Grab the Hero Demon's Souls and return to the Nexus. Go to Saint Urbain and learn the Miracle Second Chance

Should you decide to complete one of the above two options, the other should be done right after.

2. Defeat Storm King. Just grab Storm Ruler as quickly as possible, equip it, run into the eroded castle, and swing away at the Storm Beasts and Storm King. Collect your Pure Cloudstone and Storm Demon's Soul (you'll only need the Demon's Soul.) Upon returning to the Nexus, buy a Short Sword from Blacksmith Boldwin. Invest all spare Hardstone into crafting a Short Sword+8 and then Morion Blade.

3. In defeating Storm King, you've essentially completed two tasks in one motion: forging Morion Blade and unlocking the large door used to advance from the Tower Knight boss room. Complete 1-3, making sure to go back and rescuing Biorr and Yuria along the way. When coming across the second Fat Official near the gate, open it and rescue Ostrava once more. Beware, there are formidable foes that he is dealing with. The best way to deal with the Red-Eye Knights is to Backstab them while they're distracted by Ostrava. Then talk to him to collect your Pure Clearstone. I recommend duping all types of Clearstone for this build. This level like all others in World 1 is pure Physical and Fire Damage. Consider investing points into Dexterity and Vitality. When fighting Penetrator, try not to swing your Meat Cleaver wildly when Biorr and Penetrator are in close combat - you might turn Biorr into an enemy.

4. Here is where things get drawn out. You're going to have to complete all of World 3, Tower of Latria. Your goal is to obtain Yellow Demon's Soul, so getting a friend to dupe it for you will make things a lot simpler for you. In this case, the only goal you must fulfill in 3-1 will be to rescue Sage Freke. You'll need the Special Key found behind the Fool's Idol Dregling who begs you not to kill him (KILL HIM). Might as well beat Fool's Idol while you're at it. Not mandatory.

5. Upon returning to the Nexus, invest your Souls into Intelligence until you reach 15. Now go to Sage Freke and use Penetrator Demon's Soul to Learn and Memorize Light Weapon.

6. Forge the Insanity Catalyst from your Wooden Catalyst using Yellow Demon's Soul. Forge your Claymore into a Quality Claymore+5. You now have your basic PvP setup: RH1 - Meat Cleaver RH2 - Quality Claymore+5 LH1 - Talisman of Beasts/ Insanity Catalyst LH2 - Morion Blade. Acquire and Upgrade all other recommended equipment in whatever order you'd like.


What Happens When I Fight That Guy…?

Here, I will address the advantages and disadvantages that this build possesses against other builds and how I have discovered is the best way to cope with both your strengths and weaknesses.

Blueblood Sword Builds

A tricky match-up for most others, the BBS has quite a surprising reach. Outreach them. Though you are slower, you can return their Stunlock while dealing more damage per swing. Stay nimble and do not let your Stamina run low in a fight with these guys especially. Your Groundpound can be especially helpful to offset their pattern. Bait them and fish for Ripostes.

Faith Builds

Their high Magic Defense provides a solid barrier against Light Weapon. Try using one of your faster weapons on these guys, such as your Claymore or Midran Hammer. If they pull out a Great Axe, go with Meat Cleaver and strike when you know that you have the opportunity to outreach.

Mage Builds

These prove much easier to defeat than others. Light Weapon is especially effective due to their low Magic Defense, and your substantial amount of Faith is efficient in keeping you alive longer against their Spells. Be sure to equip Dark Silver Shield+5. Compliment the Meat Cleaver with Knight Sword perhaps, to actually be able to block/strike effectively with DSS.

Dexterity Builds

  • Dual Katanas - Here is where the interruptibility of Meat Cleaver comes in handy. If you see them running up for a poke, roll out of the way and counter with a Groundpound if they go for another strike. If you notice them making their way toward you by Rolls and not Sprints, prepare to trade hits. R2 works best here for a OHKO or SC breaker. One thing you will have to watch out for is their speed. There are frames at the very start of your attacks that can be interrupted, so timing is key against experienced players. Just be wary of their pokes, and you should be fine.
  • Estocs - A very tricky match up here. Your attacks are quite susceptible to BS, and Estocs will capitalize on this. It will be an even harder fight if the Estoc is paired with a DSS, as you cannot tear through this with Magic Damage. Your best bet here is to outreach them, and try to drain their Stamina if they turtle. Mirdan Hammer is recommended as a secondary option in this fight, as it eats up shields as if they were nothing. If you so chose to use this strategy, be careful of parries, and delay your swings to offset your own pattern. This will reduce your chances of being parried greatly. Or, if you notice that your adversary is spamming L2, go ahead and BS them.

Strength Builds

  • Dragon Bone Smasher - One of the few weapons you do not want to trade hits with in general. Its monstrous damage output is unmatched, and it has a few Hyperarmor moves to boot. Focus the fight on luring them to attack and draining their Stamina. Wait for Backstab opportunities (namely Rolling BS) and fish for Ripostes with DSS, as DBS is exceptionally prone to Parries. It is possible to potentially out-damage DBS when trading hits, but you must time your attack to land after DBS hits you. This way, your opponent will become Stunned whether or not they threw you a Hyperarmor attack. From here, you can Stunlock them into oblivion. It takes practice, but it is quite effective.
  • Other Large Axes/ Hammers - Against Great Axes, use your reach and R1>R2 combos to flatten them as they try making their way into striking distance. Against Crescent Axes, simply trade hits if the opposition is willing to. You will out-damage them AND outreach them. If you know yourself, you will know this enemy and how they operate. Feel free to practice techniques on C-Axe users. Against other Meat Cleavers, play offensively while you have Light Weapon going, as you will out-damage other Meat Cleavers who use Curse Weapon. Once your buff wears off, take every rational attempt to light it again, preferably while the other guy starts to munch on some grass at a great distance. Without Light Weapon, you may be dealing less damage than other Meat Cleaver builds. If you do not have the chance to re-light, switch to Knight Sword or Mirdan Hammer for the advantage of speed.
  • Mirdan Hammer - The Noobstick has met its match. If the opponent plays this fight poorly, you will have no trouble mopping the floor with them. I will further divide this weapon into two sections.
    • R1 Spamhammer: Easy. Fish for Ripostes; they won't be hard to find. Setup Parries will kill them in seconds. To mix it up a little (and confuse their spamming finger as well), you have the lovely option of returning Stunlock using Hyperarmor and kill them nine times out of ten with the R1>R1>R1 spam of your own.
    • Experienced Hammer User: Not so easy. Setup Parries will be next to useless if they know how to punish them (and by "Experienced Hammer User" I mean that they do in fact know how to punish Setup Parries.) Instead, test them a few times by raising your shield and tricking them into thinking that you are going for a Setup Parry. Only, you aren't. You are testing their reaction to your raised shield. Chances are, they will: A) Delay their second R1 in hopes that this will make you whiff on Parry. B) Throw a Hyperarmor R2 your way for the same intention. C) Be smart and go for a BS the second after they throw their first R1. The first two responses are more common, so simply absorbing both hits with your shield is safe if you roll away right afterwards. If they do indeed go for a BS, your raised shield will probably protect you from any damage, but an even better response to this is to roll away, avoiding the BS. As for the issue with Hyperarmoring through their combos… An experienced MH user will fish for Roll BS's more often than try to get as many hits in on you as possible before they are Stunlocked to nothingness. When facing proficient Roll BSers, try a R1>WR R1 combo to hit them through or right after their roll.

Now Why Those Stats?

The various stats provided will be explained here.

Vitality

This should be a given as 45 Vitality provides you with the standard amount for PvP.

Intelligence

15 Intelligence provides you with 100 MP, needed to cast Second Chance and Light Weapon using Insanity Catalyst (it halves MP).

Endurance

40 Endurance is like 45 Vitality: standard for PvP. This caps Stamina, gives you your fair share of Equipment weight, and provides better defenses against Plague and Poison. It is possible to lower this to 38 or even 35 if you think that you can handle the low Stamina. Dump the extra SLs into Strength - it will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Strength

26 Strength allows you to one-hand the MC, which might not seem useful at first. However, the real gain here is the ability to Riposte consistently (as opposed to inconsistently trying to switch to two hands before Riposting.) DR hardly even kicks in anyways, and investing the 6 extra points into any other damage stat would only increase your AR by ~5.

Dexterity

Dexterity is capped at 30, because after that the gains you receive from it are lesser than the gains from Faith or Magic.

Magic

Light Weapon scales with this stat obviously, but DR (Diminishing Returns) kicks in after 30 in punishing amounts. I would not recommend raising this past 30.

Faith

The higher the base Magic Damage of your weapon, the more powerful Light Weapon will be. This is what makes Blueblood Sword users so deadly. Meat Cleaver has an "A" rank in scaling with Faith, which increases its Magic Damage in return. Faith encounters DR around 20, but invest 4 SLs and get it to 24 (just enough for the extra miracle slot).

Luck

This stat should never be raised on any build with the exception of the BBS. If you haven't realized, this is not a BBS build.


Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • High-damage when buffed
  • Amazing Stunlock. The 1-2-3 combo will land 90% of the time if the first hit connects, and will kill 90% of Phantoms it connects to
  • Hyperarmor allows you to trade hits and come out on the winning end of an unbalanced tradeoff
  • Extreme range
  • More weapon versatility than most builds
  • Knockback attacks allow you rebuff/heal time
  • It looks awesomesauce-worthy o_O

Cons:

  • Low unbuffed damage
  • Prone to Backstabs if wielded with poor Stamina usage
  • Slow attack animations leave you vulnerable to hit and run styles
  • Hypermode is not as plausible due to HP regen from MC
  • Can be rather difficult to pressure dexterous opponents

Well, thanks for wasting the last fifteen minutes of your time reading this. Hope some of you people out there enjoy the Meat Cleaver as much as I do.

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