Here you will find general information on Player vs Player gameplay. What weapons and spells to use in different situations and also how to counter them.
The Four Eye Stones
The various colored Eye Stones are used for multi-player situations. They are activated from your "consumable" inventory (although they are never consumed), and you may equip them in your quick use  slots to activate there. Do not confuse them with Stones of Ephemeral Eyes which are different, as they revive you to your body form and they are consumed when used.
This stone is obtained from the Maiden In Black after defeating Phalanx and speaking with the Monumental on the third floor of the Nexus. It allows you to leave your Blue Soul Sign when in soul form, letting other players summon you to their worlds in the form of a Blue Phantom.
This stone is obtained from the Maiden In Black after defeating Phalanx and speaking with the Monumental on the third floor of the Nexus. It has two purposes. When a character is in body form, it allows the host to remove Blue Phantoms that had been summoned and send them back to their own worlds, but unlike the Resurrection spell, it does not revive Blue Phantoms back to their body forms.
When a character is in soul form, it allows the guest (or invader) to leave a world to which he's been summoned (or has invaded). Blue Phantoms can use the White Eye Stone without being penalized. However, if a Black Phantom uses a White Eye Stone to leave the host's world, after having invaded using a Black Eye Stone, that Black Phantom character will lose a Soul Level upon returning to his world.
When a Blue Phantom assists in a world but is sent away via the White Eye Stone before the boss fight and is sent away "With Thanks," the Blue Phantom receives a significant bonus (double) in Souls accumulated during the co-op session.
This stone is obtained by killing an enemy Black Phantom (when offline, the first NPC Black Phantom killed will drop it). It allows you to invade another player's game world as a Black Phantom. If you are able to kill the other player, you will regain your body in your own world. If you get killed by the host or a Blue Phantom, there is no penalty, but if you die because of environmental hazards (such as falling off of a cliff), you'll lose a Soul Level upon returning to your world.
This stone is obtained by killing the Maiden In Black instead of allowing her to put the Old One back to sleep at the end of the game. It allows you to put a Red Soul Sign on the ground, letting another player summon you into their world as a Black Phantom for a player-versus-player fight. The loser will lose a soul level, the winner will gain souls equal to that lost Soul Level's cost.
Using Eye Stones
Note there are some regions in each level where the game does not allow using colored eye stones. Try equipping a colored stone in your  use slot, walk around and observe it change from ghosted near an archstone (stone not usable) to un-ghosted (usable) as you move around. Look for messages like "You can summon here", often near the start of a level and just before the boss door, for the most common places to use the stone to ask for/offer help. Also, each level is separated into zones divided by the fog door locations you encountered the first playthrough. A stone sign you place is only good while you are in the same zone of the level, so when you pass the location of a fog door, any stone sign you have left in the previous zone will "fade", and you can place another in the current zone as you play on. You will experience this if you put down a Blue Soul Sign, but instead of waiting around for a summons, just proceed through the level yourself while waiting.
|Soul||Blue Eye Stone||A gift from the Maiden In Black - after defeating first boss||offer yourself to be summoned and help in co-op mode|
|Body||White Eye Stone||A gift from the Maiden In Black - after defeating first boss||dismiss Blue Phantoms you are co-oping with|
|Soul||White Eye Stone||A gift from the Maiden In Black - after defeating first boss||leave another host player's world you are in, if you are a Blue or Black Phantom|
|Soul||Black Eye Stone||Drop from the first NPC Black Phantom you defeat||invade a random host for PvP|
|Soul or Body||Red Eye Stone||Killing the Maiden In Black in the End Game||offer yourself to be summoned for PvP duel with host as a black phantom, when used in body form, you will be transported to the duel in soul form, with the known lower HP values of course, in case you die, you will return to body form, regardless.|
|Soul||Stone of Ephemeral Eyes||- Treasure - throughout game
- Enemy drop - throughout game
- 5 -1/2 - Sold by Filthy Woman
|revive yourself to body form at any time, with full HP and MP only in your own world (not as blue or black phantom)|
Being invaded by a Black Phantom
Signs of an impending invasion
Note: The following only apply if you don't have Blue Phantoms with you.
- While touching an Archstone, using Nexial Binding or a Shard of Archstone, or using the miracle Evacuate, you get the message "You can't return during Multiplayer."
- When equipping the Nexial Binding or Shard of Archstone, the hotkey item window for this item dims and you cannot use it.
- You can't skip a cutscene.* A fog gate from a previously beaten area reappears (e.g. at start of 1-3, 2-2,etc).
- You can't Load Profile or Quit Game using the game menu.
- This one is a bit tricky, but you can prepare if you catch it. If you are fighting on your own then suddenly lag sets in that might be a sign that you will be invaded.
When the Black Phantom invades
When a black phantom invades, another human controlled player has invaded your world and intends to kill you, and the process can be stressful at times. Relax and remember some of these beginner tips:
- Prepare for the fight by equipping yourself. Do you want to be stealthy when you fight, or beefed up on magic? Equip the appropriate rings, armor, weapons, and healing items (Plague and Poison). You may not have time to do any equipping, but if you have progressed substantially in the level, you should have some time.
- Get fully healed and have full MP if you plan on using Magic.
- Decide where you want to fight. Can you use the environment to your advantage? Do you want to hide for a surprise attack? If you are not comfortable fighting where you are, then move. Always try to position yourself so you will see the Black Phantom first.
- Look for Blue Eye Stone signs. A Blue Phantom will greatly improve your chances of survival.
- Have a plan for what you want to do when you get sight the Black Phantom. What is your first action? Warding, God's Wrath, roll?
- Don't let down your defences except to attack or recover Stamina. Have your Shield up and be ready to roll.
- Use target locking to keep your enemy from getting behind you.
- Keep the pressure up, and always stay on your feet.
As you progress through the game and gain more experience with PvP, invasion will become less nerve-wracking. Here are some tips for intermediate players:
- Prepare in the Nexus. You can remember spells like Banish and Warding if you know in advance that you will be entering a new level in body form. Equip Royal Lotus and Widow's Lotus.
- What kind of armor do you want to have available? Get them from Thomas. Heavy armor will weigh you down and slow down your ability to roll. To roll and run quickly, your current equipped weight needs to be 50% or less of your maximum equipped weight.
- Got any cool weapons? A weapon that can apply Poison or Plague might be what you want to fight a Black Phantom with, even though they are relatively feeble weapons against regular Demons. Bring them with you and be ready to equip them when you get invaded. Make sure you test your ability to dodge with your weapon of choice in the Nexus. Enchanted weapons can do tons of damage, and remember that you can buff some weapons with Turpentine or Sticky White Stuff.
- When the Phantom comes, get a good look at them. Are they heavily armored? Do they have a Catalyst in one hand and a Talisman in the other? You can get an idea of how the fight may go down if you can see what they are wearing.
- Don't open any fog gates, unless it is the last one to the boss.
- Don't turn your back during the fight. If your enemy does, backstab them!
- If you get knocked down, be ready to roll when you get up so that you don't get hit again.
- If you get hit first and need to heal, you need to even the score. If your enemy is at full health and you are down, they will pursue you. You have to try to get a hit in so that the enemy feels pressure to heal also.
- If you get the first hit in, get ready to pursue. Try not to give your enemy time to heal. Throw a spell at them or attack them with melee.
- Always take somebody wielding a dagger as their man seriously. The overall damage may not be high but they can prevent you from attacking. Along with that they may get an unexpected back stab causing you an untimely death. Along with that combos such as a catalyst or another weapon. As the dagger can seem unintimidating and cause you to lower your guard epically if they are hiding a better strategy. Despite a later section saying that it is better as a harassment tool remember that it can be used to hide or ready things such as heavy weapons or can open an enemy up for attacks like God's Wrath.
Finally, some tips for you pros:
- Try not to let the Black Phantom get past you in the level, unless you have cleared out the level up to the next fog. You might want to proceed back towards the level's entry point so that you have a space buffer between you and the next unkilled demons.
- Learn to hit Black Phantoms without being locked on. You can save a few precious milliseconds and perhaps get the upper hand in the battle.
- Do you really need a Shield? You might try two handing your weapon or having a catalyst in your off hand. Even a shielded hit can mean doom because of the stamina that gets depleted. If you are good at rolling, you might not need a shield.
- Before the Black Phantom arrives to your location (meaning as soon as you get the invade message) stop what you are doing and distance yourself from enemies. If engaged, quickly kill your target and back away from other enemies. The BP will try to utilize the distraction and damage potential of the level's enemies to overwhelm you, so get away from them! This applies double for especially dangerous enemies like Red Eye Knights, Reapers, or any of the Skeletons.
- Find a vantage point where you can easily see the path of approach. An even better spot is one where you can use the camera to see around an object that obscures you from view e.g. wall at the top of the hill in 4-1 before the first fog gate, corners near the blue dragon's first perch in 1-4 that overlook the walkway.
- This should go without saying: whenever you are stopped for any reason and you are unsure of the BP's location in the level, plant your back facing a wall. The last thing you need is an untimely backstab while you are looking around corners.
- Black Phantoms can spawn in the level beyond any fog gate you have already opened. Be aware at all times that if you are loitering before a fog gate that you opened previously, the BP can spawn *in front* of you.
Simple But Cheap Tricks:
- If you have acquired the Scraping Spear you can use it against invading Black Phantoms. This works on even the best invading phantoms. Grab the spear and the best shield you can wield and get ready. Once the phantom breaks in lock on and put your shield up. Wait for him to run out of some stamina while he attacks, and afterwards start poking with your Scraping Spear. It wont take much stamina, but make sure to save some to defend yourself if needed. Keep your distance because you most likely have a longer range than he. Then repeat until his weapon is broken and stab him to death with your spear. Even if he kills you, it will cost him about 10K - 30K souls to fix his armor and weapon. To speed the equipment-destroying process, use Acid Cloud in addition.
- If you're using a heavy weapon build like Meat Cleaver or Dragon Bone Smasher, use the other weapon slot for a fast weapon like a Uchigatana +5. If the other person is also using a heavy weapon, trick him by using your heavy weapon in the beginning as well. Once he misses with his weapon, switch to your fast weapon of choice and swing away! It can kill a Black Phantom in seconds. If you know how to Parry with a Uchigatana, then this will almost guarantee an instant kill.
- Hiding from invaders is another good way of fighting them off. If you put both Graverobber's Ring and Thief's Ring on, and have no buff spells or armors with special effects on you, you can easily sneak up on invaders and back stab them. Fast weapons are recommended but if you know how to control a weapon like the Meat Cleaver well enough, then it works great also.
The Mirdan Hammer - For first playthroughs with SL 50-70
- Quite simply one of the best low level, easy to obtain PvP weapons around. If used correctly, it's extremely worthwhile for dealing with or invading as a Black Phantom.
- Pros - Doesn't require any Demon Souls to create. Pretty easy to obtain and upgrade. Very good PvP weapon for the low levels worried about being invaded in their first playthrough.
- Cons - Becomes less effective when you get into the high levels and BPs get better.
- Once upgrades have been completed, carry it whenever you're in 'Body Form' in case you get invaded. For maximum damage and efficiency, trade in your Silver Demon's Soul for either Light Weapon or Cursed Weapon. This added to your Mirdan Hammer will further make you a BP killing machine!
- Your new Mirdan Hammer (fully upgraded or not) will be fairly simply to use. It works best with a light equipment burden that will allow you to roll quickly. Make sure to have a shield with high guard break reduction or Adjudicator's Shield if you're using Cursed Weapon, to counteract the HP loss. Then, simply goad the enemy Black Phantom into throwing an attack at you. Once he does this, make sure he misses by rolling away. Then, immediately roll back toward him, and spam R1. Once you've got a solid hit, at SL 50-60 that will probably knock off 1/3 of a normal players HP. Then, he'll be forced onto the defence. Pretty much, it's an easy ride after that: wait, regain stamina, then spam R1 again. It won't take long until he drops. Also, don't fear if someone has a shield up constantly. Around 2-3 hits from your Mirdan Hammer will knock his shield out of the way. Then simply wait a little to regain stamina, and spam R1 at his open chest!
Invading as a Black Phantom
Before you lay down your Black Eye Stone, be forewarned of the risks to Black Phantoms in other players worlds:
- If you die to anything else but another player as a black phantom, you will lose a soul level.
- If you use a White Eye Stone to return to your own world you will lose a soul as well.
- If you are banished by the host you will also lose a soul level.
- You will lose some of your unspent souls if you die. Try suiciding in the Nexus before going out to invade, you can come back and pick up your bloodstain later.
With that out of the way, let the rewards also be known:
- You get a chance to really ruin someone's day!
- A successful invasion and kill will lower your Character Tendency by 1.
- You will gain souls with a successful kill.
- You will get your body back with a successful kill.
Here are some tips for the invading Black Phantom:
- Equip and heal yourself in your own world before you warp in.
- Roll immediately when you warp in. There is a chance your opponent might be waiting for you at the entry point.
- Examine the situation and apply any protection buffs that you intend to have, such as Second Chance.
- You can move through the level quickly to surprise your opponent.
- You can also move through slowly, examining every nook and proceeding around corners cautiously.
- If Blue Phantoms are present, try to divide and conquer.
- If you can get past the host, you can use Demons to attack the host also (demons will not harm you).
- See "Fun and Trickery" for more advice.
Playing as a Blue Phantom
When you get summoned in as a Blue Phantom, a Black Phantom may already have invaded. It is not uncommon that a Black Phantom will already be in the game when you are summoned. Prepare as you would prepare for a Black Phantom invasion before you warp into the host's world. Here are some more useful tips:
- Stay near the host. Don't go wandering off to defeat Demons, before you can be sure that the host is safe.
- Try to determine whether or not a Black Phantom is in the game early on. Is the host avoiding tackling new demons? A good sign that a Black Phantom is lurking about.
When the Black Phantom invades
- Follow the host and be ready to move where the host wants to move. Don't go tackling the Black Phantom by yourself. That leaves you and the host susceptible to divide and conquer tactics.
- If you are one Blue Phantom with the host, protect the host as best you can. If you are both moving to a better fighting location, the Blue Phantom should spearhead the movement.
- If you are two blue phantoms, "sandwich" the host to protect his/her front and back.
- Be ready to sacrifice yourself for the host. The session ends if the host is killed, but it can go on if you get killed. If the host is taking a beating while you plan to heal, you need to intervene and save the host at all costs.
- Choose weapons that complement the attack. If you are all carrying dragon weapons and the Black Phantom casts Water Veil, you will not have as much impact as if you had chosen a dragon, crescent, and poison weapon.
- Be aggressive, but cautious. If you see the Black phantom and all rush in prior to a Firestorm, it may mean doom for the entire party. Patiently wait for an opportunity to move in for a melee attack.
- A two pronged melee/ranged attack will almost guarantee doom for a Black Phantom. Ranged attacks inhibit healing and spell casting, and will put the black phantom in a world of hurt.
Laying down a Red Eye Stone
It is widely regarded that the primary function of the Red Eye Stone is one to one duelling.
If you are new to using the Red Eye Stone, be aware that there are certain levels that have become the domain of players who dedicate their entire play time to PVP, and are therefore very skilled. 4-1 is notorious for this, an inexperienced player will find this area very challenging in this respect.
Some players with a less than adequate sense of fair play will try rushing a summoned player. Multiple players may rush the player all at once. Obviously it pays to be alert on entering another players world. If this is happening repeatedly, try having Firestorm, God's Wrath, or any multiple hit attack ready to go when you spawn. Alternatively, resort to using a Stormruler to deal with multiple foes.
It is perfectly acceptable to respond to this kind of tactic with complete inactivity. Take the hit and move on. It is more fun to play with the vast majority of honourable players out there.
What to do with all these hands?
Going two handed may seem to limit your defense, however if you don't have an excess of stamina it may be more useful to rely on rolling than blocking especially against melee heavy opponents, remember most weapons will have a faster rate of attack in both hands and provide a strength bonus.
Specific weapon notes
These are generalizations based on player experiences; see the weapons pages for more detail.
|Scraping Spear||Low damage, but breaks the enemy's armor in three or four hits, making them easier to kill.|
|Stormruler||Low damage, durability, and nonexistent stat scaling, but knocks down the opponent, good for spell-casters|
|Uchigatana||For Dexterity builds. Quick attack and moderate damage with a chance for bleeding. Is somewhat quicker when swinging with the left hand. An upgraded Crescent Uchigatana can inflict high magic damage for magic builds.|
|Rapiers||Short range and relatively low damage. Can attack with a shield up, and use very little stamina. A mercury rapier can quickly apply poison to your opponent.|
|Dagger||For harassing, backstabbing, and the lucky riposte (lucky because of the inevitable lag between two players). Not generally effective for a fight you want to win.|
|Straight Swords||Moderate slash damage with strong pierce attack. Two handing may provide some added benefit. Dragon straight swords can inflict high damage, especially for non strength builds.|
|Large Swords||Fast when held with two hands with good range. Good weapon for roll-slash attacks (this means that you do the regular slash, not the one where you roll the slide the sword on the ground, it is the standing slash). The Large Sword of Moonlight is particularly effective when used by high-Faith builds for its shield-bypass ability.|
|Claymore||A large sword with good range and damage.|
|Dragon Bone Smasher|
|Meat Cleaver||For strength and dexterity builds. The way people use the cleaver is the roll strike. It is so fast and has such range that you are likely to hit someone, so long as you roll correctly and know your distances. The roll strike is basically stabbing the sword into the ground, which produces a small AOE effect. It is nearly instantaneous.|
|Mirdan Hammer||Very large weapon with high range, power, and damage. Fast when held with two hands. Can be countered with the Dragon Bone Smasher|
|Bramd||Heavy and slow. Relatively low damage for its weight. Use only for aesthetics or a challenge.|
|Blueblood Sword||The sword itself is the best raw damage at max stats, beating out the Mirdan Hammer by about twenty or thirty damage points. In terms of speed and range it's fairly balanced and reliable as well.|
|Throwing Knives||Light, fast, and are used as consumables offhand. Good for harassing players when they are trying to eat grass or spice.|
How to counter
Understand first that no set up is invincible, and there are always weaknesses to exploit with every weapon.
Spear / Shield
These guys like to turtle up and poke you whenever you get in range, playing safe to wear you down. Whether they use a Scraping Spear or an actual viable damage spear, they are really more annoying than dangerous. Their poke while guarding is ironically their weakest attack so don't be afraid of it; it also drains their stamina faster than just blocking attacks alone, so go all out on their shield when they get defensive. Two hand your straight swords, katanas, large swords, pole-arms, "great" weapons or maces and smash away on their shield. For daggers or curved swords, stick with one hand instead to get fast hits and wear them down. When they guard break, free hits. Repeat until dead. Take note that blunt weapons drain more stamina, and range is your friend.
Hard counter(s): Meat Cleaver (2H), Mirdan Hammer (2H).
Absolute counter(s): Large Sword of Moonlight
When guarding with a spear you do the same amount of damage and waste the same amount of stamina as when not guarding. Also 2 handing any weapon that doesn't attack fast enough is a horrible idea, because then they can go in for a quick poke. Furthermore, if they have a Purple Flame Shield +10 or Tower Shield +5, you most likely won't get past their guard. The Mirdan Hammer attacks fast and depending on the shield can break through guards easily. Also its has good attack power so it's definitely a good choice for a spear/shield.
Straight swords are a balance of all the other weapons, with moderate damage, speed, range and stamina usage. A straight sword user can swing fast enough to lock you in for 5 or 6 hits and know that if they get you with all of them it will hurt bad. The proper counter to a straight sword is any weapon with an advantage in one of these areas. You can use daggers to hit faster, open with the rolling or running stab attack and stun lock them. Pole Arms can strike outside their range. The very large weapons have better range and can knockdown on hit, stopping them short and making them play defensive. Ideally you do not want to use weapons that are similar because you have no advantage, so try not to use two handed swords, curved swords, or other straight swords against them. Katanas are an exception because of their excellent thrust attacks.
Hard counter(s): Great Swords, Pole Arms, Meat Cleaver
You won't see much of these except for sneaky backstabbing types, but they can be difficult to get around in a straight up fight if the other guy is aggressive. Paired with a great shield, daggers are mean when trading hits back and forth, even more so if it's enchanted or does magical damage. They are so quick they'll often interrupt everything you try to do, including healing. So how do you get around the speed of the dagger? Out-range it. Spears, Pole arms, and two handed swords can punish dagger users if they fail to close the distance before you hit. Curved swords, Katanas, Straight Swords, and "Great" weapons are not recommended here. The first three must get to close to the dagger; the latter are fairly slow and unless in the hands of a veteran user the dagger will interrupt them everytime they try to attack. Dodging is a very good defense when using a dagger.
Hard counter(s):Pole Arms, Claymore
Sort of like a cross between daggers and straight swords. They are fast and tend to interrupt a lot, but sport heavier damage and slightly better reach. The trade-off is more stamina usage. They also make you bleed quite easily and can be relied upon to inflict it regularly. In two hands they can hurt badly if you get caught in a combo. Curved swords are dangerous to anybody with any setup, just like straight swords, but the bleed cutting your healing in half makes them worse. Use the same tactic as against straight swords: use a bigger weapon and punish them more than they punish you.
Hard counter(s): Great Swords, Pole Arms, Meat Cleaver
The straight swords' big brother. Two handed swords boast bigger damage and range for a penalty in stamina use. Their attacks feature more sweeping area coverage as well, making them harder to avoid. Even one hit can hurt, as the Northern Regalia will show you, but they *can* catch you in a four hit combo if you take one full on the face, so be aware that getting caught usually means death. One thing you don't have to fear from them is knockdown power, however, if you feel brave go ahead and trade blows with a faster weapon to interrupt them. An alternative is to out-gun them and use a "great" weapon to punish them with high damage and knockdown with big range.
This is one weapon that pole arms actually do *not* have a distinct advantage against, as a two handed sword hits so much harder they make up for the slight range difference. If the two handed sword is a Claymore, then the Pole Arm is actually pretty much even due to the Claymore's monster attack range. Katana can also do pretty well against them, as they have decent opening thrusts and are faster with comparable damage output. Despite solid match-ups against the majority of other weapon types, Large Swords slow swings leave the wielder prone to parries.
Slight counter(s): "Great" Weapons, Katanas, Pole Arms, Rapiers.
Hard counter(s): "Parrying Shields.
The curved sword answer to two handed swords. Katana sport higher damage than a straight sword and added bleed, but they otherwise are quite similar. With one exception: thrust attacks. The katana's thrust attack is deceptively far reaching and hits hard; think dagger's 2H running/rolling attack on steroids. Katanas are not difficult to use against *every* other weapon and they have a lot going for them if you utilize the thrust well. You can overpower and out-range smaller weapons and poke at larger ones to with thrusts to make an opening. Deadly in the right hands but they have no distinct advantages over other weapon types except a bit of damage. The long range on the thrust attack nullifies the advantage that Great Swords and the Meat Cleaver hold (massive range/knock down but slow).
Hard counter(s):Pole Arms
You have noticed the trend haven't you? These bad boys seem to counter every other weapon in some way, and everybody + their brother uses one online. Pole Arms are seriously bad mothers. They combine good range, speed and stamina usage all in a moderate damage package that spears cry for. Pole arms share the second highest range in the game shared with great swords (second only to a 2H spear) and can combo like a straight sword, while doing better damage to boot. They can reach out and touch someone, and then stunlock that someone into oblivion. The Mirdan Hammer is especially nasty because as a blunt weapon it does extra stamina damage to shield guards, and a full 5 hits will break open any shield with a full 40 Endurance.
So how can one win outside the lucky backstab or environmental tactics with spells and such? Crush them. That's right, your only real answer to the awesomeness of a pole arm is the equal awesomeness in a "great" weapon. With the same range, better damage but slower swings, great weapons have the one key to defeating the pole arm…knockdown. It stops anybody flat with a direct hit and gives you a breather to heal, back off, or pressure, instead of standing there getting whacked in the face stupidly. Ultimately the greater speed of the pole arm will allow it to win out in some fights, but massive damage and knockdown work just as much in your favor, making a pretty dead even fight with proper skill.
Even Counter(s): Great Sword, Parrying Shields.
Slight Counter(s):Great Axe, Meat Cleaver
Big. Slow. Heavy. Ungodly reach. Huge damage. Pretty much sums up great swords. They are ridiculously slow and huge stamina hogs (only 2 full swings per bar, the third puts you in the negative, OUCH). They do have unrivaled damage and coverage though. The huge sweep area of the running 2H attack is difficult to avoid and will send targets flying, leaving you plenty of space.
Their disadvantages are their major downfalls as well. They are so slow as to be predictable, and a missed or blocked strike has plenty of time to be punished horribly (think backstabs) The huge stamina use also neuters the damage output by a large amount; if the guy fails to immediately follow up and kill with his 2nd strike it is unlikely he ever will kill a competent dodger/healer.
Great swords can be slammed hard by almost anything provided they miss, but the every landed strike is a guaranteed knockdown or knock-back, which gives a lot of control of a fight on open ground to the great sword user. This lets them hold their own against most weapons but the faster ones especially are very dangerous when they get aggressive. Katanas and daggers are especially dangerous/annoying respectively. Katana can poke in with thrusts and then deal horrific damage up close; if a dagger gets close you wont be doing much of anything except trying to run. Great swords, especially the Dragon Bone Smasher, really exemplify a high risk/high reward play style.
Hard counter(s):Daggers, Katanas, Pole Arms, Rapiers.
Ah ha! So here is the redeeming side of the "great" weapons. The Great Axe trades a bit of range (roughly only two handed sword range now) for better damage, stamina usage, better damage output, and better moves all around in general. The Meat Cleaver, which shares this move-set even has a slight range boost thus making it the all around best "great" weapon of all eventually. The Great Sword is massively gimped by both its speed and stamina usage. The Great Axe rectifies both at once, and does better damage to boot.
Its 1-2-3 R1 combo in two hands deals monster damage and the last hit blows enemies backwards. Its R2 attacks flatten foes, and in two hands the rolling attack is one of the best moves of any weapon, with good area coverage, excellent mobility and high attack speed. Overall it can deal with any other weapon very well in the right hands and has no distinct weaknesses that can't be covered somewhere in its moveset, just like the Pole Arms. This makes it equally hard to counter. The Great Axe trades speed for damage, so faster weapons have a better chance to capitalize on mistakes.
Even counter(s): Pole Arms, Katanas.
Hard counter(s): NONE
Specific: Large Sword of Moonlight
How do you deal with a weapon you can never block? This is quite simple really. No matter how good the Large Sword of Moonlight build is, its damage output still sucks, and it's still not very fast. Outgunning it is the best route, but choosing a faster weapon to stun lock them works just as good. A Great Axe will absolutely kill it. Equally as effective is the Dagger, as Large Sword of Moonlight won't do crap if it can never swing! Try to stay out of the area of katana/straight swords/two handed swords as they are too similar in terms of damage output/speed (no distinct advantages) and remember, you can't ever block to throw off the Large Sword of Moonlight rhythm like he can to you.
Slight Counter(s):Curved Swords, Pole Arms
Hard Counter(s): Great Axe, Dagger
Non scaling spells
Most melee players will rely on defensive spells that doesn't scale with stats, like Second Chance and Warding. Any spare spell slots are usually used for an offensive support spell, like Poison Cloud or Death Cloud. Cursed Weapon are also favored by Strength and Dexterity builds to boost damage, and Cloak is often used by invaders looking for a sneaky backstab.
Stat scaling spells
Spellsword builds and Mages use more offensive spells, but they also have the magic stats for them to be effective. Firestorm, Homing Soul Arrow and Fire Spray are some examples. They will often wear items that boosts spell damage as well, Kris Blade, Ring of Magical Sharpness and Monk's Head Collar are popular.
Specific spell notes
|Cursed Weapon||Very useful and is used often to add damage. It may make the difference from killing the person in three blows to killing the person in two.|
|Second Chance||This restores your HP to 50% of your full HP after your HP has gone down to zero (which normally means you die). Along with Warding, one of the best buffs to have.|
|Fireball||Splash damage where the ball hits|
|Fire Spray||Low damage, but the ability to continuously spray your enemy can prevent them from healing.|
|Firestorm||Big fire around the caster. Can inflict very high damage if the enemy does not quickly get out of the fire.|
|God's Wrath||An invisible wave of damage that knocks enemies down and causes damage. Goes through walls, which makes it a good miracle if you are hiding and a Black Phantom approaches without seeing you.|
|Soul Ray||Offensive spell. A ray of light towards the enemy. Moderate damage.|
|Homing Soul Arrow||Relatively high damage.|
|Anti Magic Field||Prevents any magic spells from being cast by anyone and subdues wardings and magic based weapon buffs. Still allows for miracles to be cast, and prevents the caster of Anti Magic Field from having any other miracle based buffs (Second Chance or Regeneration). Combined with Dark Silver Shield, this is the anti-magic user trump card. Unfortunately, the miracle is worthless against melee or melee/faith combatants, as they won't be casting any magic spells. This spell generally causes a lot of lag.|
|Warding||Can be better than Second Chance if the Phantom's ability to flee or drag out the fight is limited by cramped spaces.|
|Acid Cloud||A cloud of acid that will damage armor similar to scraping spear. A good way to even the score if someone pulls out a Scraping Spear.|
|Banish||Will banish nearby Black Phantoms; they will lose one soul level. Good for those battles you just cant seem to win. Useful when you want to farm online, without being bothered by Black Phantoms.|
|Cloak||Makes it harder for opposing Players to see you.|
|Hidden Soul||Makes it harder for Black Phantoms to see you.|
|Tower Shield||Fully upgraded boasts the highest guard break reduction available in the game. Very heavy and weak to magic. For those who do not plan to roll.|
|Adjudicator's Shield||Regenerates HP, with moderate magic resistance, but has low guard break reduction and lousy fire resistance. Good to have on your back if you are two handing, because it will still regenerate HP.|
|Steel Shield||High guard break reduction, moderate weight. Ideal for Dexterity based builds.|
|Purple Flame Shield||Equivalent to Steel Shield in guard break reduction, but with much better fire resistance. Lower durability, higher weight and requires more strength than the Steel Shield.|
|Dark Silver Shield||Excellent magic protection, but lower guard break reduction than other shields. You could stagger or fall if your stamina is not high enough. Awesome against weapons that will do magic damage, or pure Magic. A fully upgraded Dark Silver Shield boasts a moderate guard break reduction, with the ability to Parry, making it an excellent choice in PVP. Weight is also on the low end, leaving you some room to put better armor on instead of relying on a shield with higher guard break reduction.|
|Knight's Shield||Low Strength requirements and high guard break reduction, with the ability to Parry.|
For most players, light armor is preferable to heavy, so that you don't move like a turtle. Put on the most armor that you can while still being able to roll quickly. The ring of great strength is an excellent choice for PVP, since it means that you can wear slightly heavier armor and perhaps gain the upper hand.
|The Venerable Sage's set||Low weight. Excellent magic defense. Superior to the Saint set due to lower weight.||Male only.|
|The Ancient King's set||Low weight. No stamina regen penalty. Excellent fire defense.||Male only.|
|The Saint's set||Equivalent to Venerable Sage's set, but weighs more.||Male only.|
|The Binded Cross set||Low weight. No stamina regen penalty. Good fire defense.||Female only.|
|Dark Silver set||High weight. High stamina regen penalty. Good physical and best magic defense.||Male only.|
|Dull Gold Armor||Medium weight and some stamina regen penalty, but overall a very good defense considering the weight and stamina penalties.
Excellent Magic defense. The head and chest pieces are by all measures superior to the plate set.
The leg and arm pieces offer better magic, but less physical defense than the plate set.
|Eternal Warrior's Ring||For increased stamina regeneration.|
|Ring of Great Strength||Raises equipment weight by 50%. For higher defense without sacrificing mobility.|
|Regenerator's Ring||Heals you. 4HP/sec.|
|Cling Ring||Raises max HP in Soul Form. Usually worn by either Phantom for more hitpoints.|
|Graverobber's Ring||Makes you very hard to see for Black Phantoms (if you have any sort of "aura" (magic buff), you can still be seen).|
|Thief's Ring||Makes you hard to see (if you have any sort of "aura" (magic buff), you can still be seen).|
|Friend's Ring||Increases damage by 20% as a Blue Phantom|
|Foe's Ring||Increases damage by 20% as a Black Phantom|
|Clever Rat's Ring||When HP is <30%, increases attack power by 50% (Stacks with Morion Blade, works with Spells, Bows, and Melee)|
|Dull Rat's Ring||Reduces all damage taken by 50% when HP is <30%.|
Fun and Trickery
- Black Phantoms will often use trickery or mobility to their advantage since they know they will be at a disadvantage in a straight up fight. If you can move at full speed in heavy armor, you may surprise your opponent when he guesses you are slow and tries to run.
- Some Black Phantoms (especially if you have some Blue Phantoms with you) will not even engage you, and just run past you. Their intent is to use the level's Demons to kill you. The greatest (and saddest) example of this is when sword-wielding Black Phantoms use the no-damage shield break pushing attack to sloooowly push enemies towards you. Counter this by killing all the enemies between you and the nearest fog gate.
- Be very aware that the Black Phantom starts behind you and will want to get farther in the level so he can set up a trap. Either wait at a choke point with good mobility and a weapon/spell that is not easy to run around, and/or be sure that any dangerous enemies that might be used against you are already dead.
- You know those Soul Remains that you never used before? Here's your chance! If you get far enough in a level you can use the remains to draw the enemies into places your foe wouldn't expect. Lure them to corners and small areas so you can easily gang up.
- One of the better strategies against an honorable player is to help them kill demons. You build up their trust and act as an additional blue phantom in a sense, just don't hit them. Not yet. Once you reach an excellent time, betray them! Stab them in the back with your best dagger/sword and go to town! If done right, you can kill them before they even have a chance to react.
- This is a very mean trick: Invade the world 4-2 and then hide behind the column on the right, just below the white bow. Use the thief's ring to get invisible and than wait for someone come searching for you. As soon as the host shows up, if he's close enough to the cliff edge: god's wrath. Sayonara :)
Have you ever been invaded by a naked Black Phantom intending to take you down with his fists?
- Bows are nearly useless, unless it is for fun or sneak attacks. Note that flinching from a bow may be useful for making an enemy stop midstride and can trap them, such as in area 1-2 with the dragon, and from there you can safely harass an enemy if they are far enough away. Also hyper mode paired with the white bow and white arrows CAN allow you to on shot an opponent, just ONE arrow!
- Fists are for Fun, not for serious use. Unless you are a Blue Phantom or in a team against Black Phantoms, don't plan to use your fists other then to beat on people less experienced then you.
- Hardcore players don't use armor, either for aesthetic use, to free up equip weight, or to just look pro. If you are not planning to use armor, be sure of the disadvantages when doing so: You can die in one hit by a very strong weapon.
- If you are being invaded, you might be lucky enough to do the following: Wear the Graverobber's Ring or Thief's Ring) and cast Cloak. You will be invisible to the invading Black Phantom as long as you are a certain distance from him/her and do not have any auras/buffs that reveal your position (such as but not limited to, Second Chance, weapons with regen bonuses, most of the other rings. checkout the Stealth page.
- Most of the time, when you invade, the host will respond by summoning a Blue Phantom to help him/her out. If you see where he went to summon the Blue Phantom, wait near the spawn point. Once the Blue Phantom shows up, they wont have time to react. BAM! Black Phantom in their back.