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Three Builds To Help You Through Elden Ring’s Shadow Of The Erdtree Expansion

To aid you on your journey through the Realm of Shadow.

If you’ve played Elden Ring, you know that FROMSOFTWARE doesn’t mess around when it comes to difficulty. This sentiment rings even truer in their expansions, which almost always up the ante when it comes to challenge. Regular enemies pose new threats, boss designs grow more complex, and environmental navigation becomes a challenge of its own. Shadow of the Erdtree continues this trend, offering up some of the most challenging fights Elden Ring has to offer.

To compensate, FROMSOFTWARE have also given players some shiny new tools to play with that we’ve made some builds for to help you on your journey. These weapons are acquired from different parts of Shadow of the Erdtree’s core progression, but each offers something unique within the sandbox.

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While Rellana borrows a lot of design inspiration from Dark Souls III’s Pontiff Sulyvahn, it’s hard to deny that dual swords aligned with different elements is a sweet design. As one of Shadow of the Erdtree’s early bosses, Rellana serves as a stop gap between the early regions of the Realm of Shadow, and the later ones. Being a member of Carian Royalty who’s fallen to Messmer’s machinations, Rellana combines her innate affinity for lunar magics with Messmer’s flame to infuse her blades with opposing forces.

As one of two potential items from Rellana’s Remembrance, Rellana’s Twinblade is unlocked as early as you manage to defeat her – that is to say as early as the first major boss you face. It makes for an effective source of magic, fire, and physical damage, serving as an agile jack-of-all-trades. It’s myriad traits do come at a cost, though, requiring a minimum of 13 Strength, 16 Intelligence, 16 Dexterity, and 16 Faith. It’s quite the spread, but it also continues to scale with all four stats, so there’s a few directions that you can take the weapon when it comes to builds.

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If you lean into Intelligence, it’s going to deal more magic damage and allow you to also lean into various Sorceries. Faith on the other hand will do the inverse, bolstering the weapon’s fire damage and improving the efficacy of your Incantations. Making use of both Intelligence and Faith is also completely viable, as Rellana’s Twinblade’s Ash of War is a stance that imbues the swords with their magic types, allowing you to access quick and lethal combos for swift dispatch. Either way, make sure you put a good chunk of points in Dexterity for that juicy scaling.

The only real issue with focusing on Rellana’s Twinblade, is that they need to be two-handed to get most out of them. Having access to both swords significantly heightens your damage output but comes at the cost of a shield. Spells and Incantations can alleviate this somewhat, but this weapon leans more into aggressive play as opposed to turtling up.

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As the poster boy for Shadow of the Erdtree, there’s a lot of eyes on Messmer The Impaler. He’s one of the later bosses in the expansion, but his Remembrance allows you to take his own spear so that you can become the impaler. It’s a very strong weapon to use for the remainder of your journey, with a ranged charged heavy attack, intrinsic fire damage, and heavy dexterity scaling.


Spear of the Impaler is a bit more palatable when it comes to the required stat spread for efficient use, requiring 14 Strength, 35 Dexterity, and 18 Faith. It’s clear to see which direction you take your character in from there. Invest heavily into Dexterity and Faith to boost the physical and fire damage properties of the weapon. Putting a healthy number of points into Faith will also bolster your Incantations and Spear of the Impaler’s intrinsic Ash of War.

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This Ash of War allows you to perform a sweeping combo with a large area-of-effect, culminating in a fiery blast that surrounds the player with molten spears. It’s great at dealing with large groups of enemies, and absolutely melts bosses with low fire resistance. The aforementioned charged heavy attack is also incredibly handy. Having an explosive and fiery ranged attack that doesn’t cost any FP is an invaluable tool in any part of Elden Ring.

You can pair Spear of the Impaler with any off-hand item you’d like, whether it be a shield, another weapon, or you opt to stick with two-handing it for the extra damage. It’s an incredibly versatile weapon with great stats and scaling across the board, boasting tools that most other weapons wish they had in their arsenal.

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Perhaps the most eye-catching weapon we’ve seen in the trailers thus far, is Dane’s Footwork. This late-game weapon is in the brand-new hand-to-hand weapon category, excelling at quick and nimble strikes that allow you to overwhelm weaker enemies and dart in and out of danger in boss fights. A low attribute requirement and overall weight makes Dane’s Footwork an incredibly versatile weapon for any build, but most importantly, it’s just so damn fun to use.

While I won’t spoil exactly how you get Dane’s Footwork, I will say that it comes very late in the main progression of Shadow of the Erdtree and is unmissable. While it seems like something of an entry level weapon given its stat requirements, the inverse way to look at this is how it allows you to invest points in other stats and use Dane’s Footwork as a secondary weapon. 8 Strength and 8 Dexterity is all you need to get the most out of Dane’s Footwork, with scaling in both of those stats to keep it viable for builds that lean towards either.

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I personally feel its most valuable in a strength build, paired with a colossal type weapons so you can swap to and from different weapon types depending on the situation. Shadow of the Erdtree’s bosses and weapons vary wildly in combat speeds, so having multiple weapons to accommodate for different scenarios is really handy. The speed at which you can deal out damage and reposition with Dane’s Footwork is unparalleled.

It’s intrinsic Art of War is a chargeable palm blast, dealing heavy damage to poise as well as health, leading to frequent critical hits. Paired with a colossal weapon of any type, you can make frequent use of the palm blast to set enemies up for big damage with your colossal weapon. It’s a fun gameplay loop that feels novel given most builds struggle to accommodate two weapon types. Dane’s Footwork’s flexible scaling with two main stats and its low weight make it a perfect fit for this kind of playstyle, and is ridiculously fun to use.