Last updated on December 24th, 2017
Welcome to our weekly series that features a community submitted Dark Souls 3 build. Dark Souls 3 build crafting is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game and a big reason for its longevity. Who better to turn to when in need of a new idea than your fellow players? To have your build featured on the blog, you may submit your best setups on our forum thread and every week we will select one at random to be featured here. Feel free to discuss and debate the build’s strengths and weaknesses but as always be constructive with your fellow Dark Souls players. This week’s build, “Ice, Wind & Fire” comes from community member announakis and is a Dex/Sorcery focused build.
Dark Souls 3 Build of the Week: Ice, Wind & Fire
Disclaimer: This build is not meant to be crazy efficient (although it can be). It the result of many iterations that made it drift from its original purpose and was eventually totally driven by fashion.
Faith… I have never really played a Faith Build in any of the Souls games. Why? Because I do not like healing since I mostly duel, I do not like buffing weapons since I switch weapons often in a fight… But I wanted my share of Unfaltering Prayer abuse on Lightning Arrow and decorate my swords with beautiful Darkmoon purple hues. So I decided to try a hybrid Faith/Dex.
Only to slowly realize, as I power leveled my character, that I was basically just doing a flaccid Dexterity Build with a few points in Faith to cast Spells, which would not really have any consequence. At this point, I was about to dump the character as many others before it…but instead, I thought I would make a Crystal Chime user with an 18/18 Faith Intelligence to use only utility spells like Tears of Denial and Frost together with a frost weapon. Then I remembered that after trying Friede’s Great Scythe, I was really not impressed, but tried it again…just to love it suddenly. But I hated using Tears of Denial because I felt like I was stealing my win if I ever triggered it and finished standing…
So from a Faith/Dex hybrid, I ended up with this Dex/Sorcery hybrid focusing on Friede’s Scythe. Also, my link to the MugenMonkey page for this build.
Stats & Vitals
- Build Name: Ice, Wind & Fire
- Starting Class & Soul Level: Knight* 120**
- Focus: PvP & PvE
- Main Stats: Knight
- Vigor: 39 (+5)
- Attunement: 14 (Can easily be dropped to 10 to be honest )
- Endurance: 35 (+5)
- Vitality: 16 (+5)
- Strength: 18 (For the tinder one handed )
- Dexterity: 40 (Softcap on Friede’s )
- Intelligence: 28 (Minimum 18)
- Faith: 12 (For Immolation Tinder and Friede’s )
- Luck: 7
*Starting Class is Knight, because luck is the only useless stat in this build.
**The version in the video is lower because I got tired of PvE once I had what I wanted.
Weapons, Armor, Rings & Spells
- Right Hand: Friede’s Great Scythe and Storm Curved Sword
- Left Hand: Manikin Claws* and Immolation Tinder
- Armor (AKA Fashion):
- Rings: Havel’s Ring +3, Ring of Favor +3, Chloranthy Ring +3 and Prisoner’s Chain (Classic melee picks )
- Spells Attuned: Your choice of PvP spells
*Sharp or Simple depending on level of Intelligence.
**So that you look real silvery / blueish shinny! Like a walking icicle! Otherwise the Dancer’s Leggings make your legs ridiculously skinny and ugly.
The idea of the build is pretty straight forward: having good physical damage while pressuring with Frostbite. Every weapon used has specific non-overlapping moveset that should allow dealing with most situations. You can also use fire as an alternative damage source (for PvE mostly), particularly through the Immolation Tinder’s weapon art.
You will use mostly Friede’s Great Scythe in the right hand to damage and the Immolation Tinder in the left to cast Snap Freeze. But using the Storm Curved Sword for shorter reach and faster close quarter combat while retaining the Immolation Tinder for complementary longer reach is totally viable too.
The Manikin Claws are here to remind spammy players that they should think or Dead Angle you before spamming R1s. And a great choice against Ultras: two-handed R1s on the Immolation Tinder should have enough of hyperarmor for you to poise through one-handed R1 of Straight Swords and Spears, but not 2-Handed!
Then you must rely of Elfriede’s Stance R1 and R2 to poise through this. You can poise through a one-handed R1 of an Ultra GS (most likely though, you will eat up the follow-up R1 and lose the trade anyways) but two-handed Ultras will crush you like butter as they should. That is with 17.78 poise of course. You can poise through one-handed R1 of an Ultra GS for days but only once versus a two-handed R1…so be careful with your trades.
Now let’s take a look at strategies with each weapon:
Friede’s Great Scythe
Typical Reapers one-handed moveset is a mix of terrible and great: terrible because locked-on normal R1 tend to simply miss the target even at point-blank, but great because running R1 is a large sweep with lots of reach and a fairly short recovery time. The one-handed R2 is similar and is great against people trying to roll around you like little monkeys.
Also a mix of love and hate: the two-handed R1s come in a series of three large sweeps that look phenomenal but suffer from wonky hitboxes, making them very unreliable on poor latency matches: the hitbox seem to linger much less than what it seems and people can roll through it forever without ever being hit. They are good roll catchers in theory but in practice, for the aforementioned reasons, they are not.
The two-handed R2 is…meh. You can however follow with a special R2 after an R1, creating a large sweep followed by another stronger one slightly delayed that usually gets people, especially crazy rollers because of the delay. But head on R2, apart from getting the dagger quickstep spammers is not great. The running R2 is actually pretty good, despite looking like having a very small hitbox, it does connect very reliably.
In the end, the two-handed moveset fits greatly the need for large sweeps with PvE in mind, but not so much in PvP somehow. The other Reapers like the Corvian have a far superior two-handed movest IMO for PvP. Well, Farron Greatsword would be totally OP if the hitbox was what it looks like to be honest so yeah…BALANCE I guess.
Blocking looks awesome but beware, it has only 20 stability so use it only to run buffer on your attacks, but not to actually block except very small weapons.
The Weapon Art is what makes this weapon truly superior to the rest of the class. Elfriede’s Stance. Wow. The trick is to play mind games with your opponent: all players are probably aware of the stance’s deadly L1 combo etc…so when they see you adopt the stance they either:
- Roll away like crazy
- Have good poise and a big fucking sword and they rush you to tear you to shreds.
So you must be smart and keep them on there toes by assuming more or less randomly the stance, so they lower their guard and eat up the big combo when you feel like you can punish.
- Stance R1 does the whirlwind of death…the first 2 hits cannot be blocked, the second and later ones can…
- Stance R2 cannot be blocked, does massive frost build up and damage with the explosion. Fantastic deathtrap but also great to use in conjunction with Stance R1:
- Stance R2 into R1 is fast, seamless and efficient to catch the roll that the R2 usually triggers (you know the “oh crap lets get out before it blows!)
Storm Curved Sword
Curved swords are fantastic PvP weapons because they are extremely fast and usually have unparryable spins to win weapon arts. This one does not make exception. But before you say anything, I know that the Pontiff Knight Curved Sword would have been a much better choice for the build, but I do not like the look nor the Falchion moveset. Plus with this one, I get an additional useless element to the build, i.e. the wind ^_^.
Similar to a Shotel and a Scimitar rather than a Falchion, the one-handed R1 is very similar to its 2-handed counterpart. The R2 is fancy but I am not a specialist with it and cannot really speak for any outstanding feature on this move. And the running R1 is also similar in both one and two-handed stances.
The fancy part comes from the Weapon Art. The first spin is rather slow and requires an R1 before it to combo but it can also be used to alternate between parryable and unparryable swings if your opponent seems susceptible to pull off a parry. But, I prefer to use it as a bait to initiate a surprise reverse running R1…It works wonders!
The fire in the build. It is there to cast Snap Freeze mainly, but also happens to be a decent damage dealer scaling OK on dexterity and pretty great on Intelligence. And of course, it belongs to these weapons which cap their damage on very high level builds (40 Str, 40 Dex, 60 Intl), but does well enough already.
In the left hand, this weapon can be used to threaten, with a rather long reach, to punish evasive rolls away from you as well as other things. I love using it to cast Farron Flashsword because it has an insanely long reach. You can see how powerful it can be on a high level mage, but on this build, with low intelligence and no sorcery ring equipped, the damage is very poor. Still, it is very fast, has insane reach and can throw the opponent off with weird tempo and chip damage.
Two-handing the weapon has value because the running R1s are very good (like all Halberds) with very short recovery time. And really good at chasing players by chaining reverse backstep with R1. The R1 has also some decent hyperarmor allowing you to poise through a few attacks as already described earlier.
I usually like the Claw better than the Manikin Claws because I used to find quickstep wonky especially on those (but has always been great on daggers though) and because of the superb combo you can do with Onislayer WA. But since I stopped playing the game for about 6 months, I am not sure when this happened and things have changed quite dramatically. Now, you can recover from an L1 with a quickstep really fast, making this weapon a blast for a hit and run tactic because the running L1 is a beast, the rolling R1 is amazing and the quickstep make them impossible to punish you afterwards.
Of course, there are other ways to keep the same weapons with different stats or include different weapons without betraying the spirit of the build:
- 14 attunement can be dropped to 10 because the only really useful Spell is Snap Freeze. In addition, an R1 stance on Friede’s Great Scythe does not use FPs. But having an extra slot for Hidden Body or whatnot in PvE is always useful.
- You can replace the Immolation Tinder by a more normal and lighter Catalyst and include the Twin Princes’ Greatsword for the fire, for example, boosting strength to 22 to one-hand it in the process.
- Ideally, you would want to replace the Storm Curvedsword by either the Irithyl Rapier or straight sword or the Pontiff Knight Curved Sword for additional means of building up frost, but of cours, you lose the “Wind”.
- You can also boost Faith to 18 to be able to use the Dragonslayer Swordspear, for example, replacing the Wind with Lightning. You would have to make some space in your equipment load by replacing the Immolation Tinder with a lighter Catalyst, losing fire in the process .T_T
- Another fantastic weapon, would be the Greatsword of Judgement. You would lose the elemental aspects of things, but there is a very good symbiosis between Friede’s and Judgment because of their magic scaling.
If you made it till there, you deserve a medal!
Thoughts on this Dark Souls 3 build? Get the discussion going in the comments. Have a Dark Souls 3 build that you think is grossly incandescent? Show us what you’ve got by submitting it in this thread!