Demon’s Souls Builds: Cursed Dragon (PvE Strength)

In this Demon’s Souls Remake Build Guide, I’m going to be covering my Cursed Dragon Build, which is a Strength Build that focuses on killing most enemies in one hit. It’s great for new players or veterans because it can be put together very quickly, and makes more challenging enemies a bit easier. This is a beginner Strength Build, and is not optimized for NG+ and beyond.

Demon’s Souls Builds: Cursed Dragon (PvE Strength)

The Cursed Dragon uses a combination of high Strength and mobility to hit and run mobs of enemies, or outright kill them in one swing. The Dragon Bone Smasher is the weapon I have chosen for this Build, because it can be obtained rather early on in the game, and doesn’t need any upgrades to make it powerful. You can however upgrade it to +5 using Colorless Demon’s Souls, making it hit even harder.

Additionally, you can equip and use the Talisman of Beasts once you get it to cast Curse Weapon for a 50% boost to damage in exchange for 1 HP loss per second, which is not much. This makes your damage per swing extremely high, which is fantastic.


Cursed Dragon Starting Class

The starting Class I chose for this Build is Barbarian because it starts with high Strength, and decent Endurance and Vitality. It has light Armor as well, allowing you to use the Dragon Bone Smasher and a Shield without fat rolling rather easily.

Knight is also a solid choice for this Build as it has higher Intelligence, and is lower Soul Level giving you more points to spend early on. It also begins with the Kite Shield, which is much better than the Wooden Shield.


Cursed Dragon Early Game Tips

The first thing you should realize is that how you are setup at the beginning of the game is not how this Build will play out of after you gain the Dragon Bone Smasher. It’s not a bad idea to play around with the Bastard Sword (once you get it), or farm some Souls and purchase the Claymore. They swing a bit faster than the Dragon Bone Smasher, but it’ll give you a better idea of your playstyle.


Learn Your Moveset

No matter which large weapon you are using, it’s always a good idea to learn the moveset. This is particularly important for this Build, because finding the right attack for each enemy can be the difference between success and death.

A couple of attacks that work really well for this Build are first the default R1 attack while one-handing the weapon. This attack is a straight vertical swing that is excellent for tight spaces where you might bounce of a wall if you attack horizontally.

Second, the running one-handed attack is another vertical strike that attacks more quickly than a normal swing and can be useful against enemies with fast attacking weapons. It allows you to hit them before they can get you, and what’s really nice is that the Dragon Bone Smasher has some splash damage so you don’t always have to hit them directly to still kill them.


And last, the rolling R1 attack while one-handing sweeps the Smasher in a large AoE that can be devastating to groups of enemies. It basically can’t be interrupted once its animation begins which means you should kill everything near the end of your roll, even if you take damage. This attack is probably the best one the Dragon Bone Smasher has, so use it liberally.

Cursed Dragon Stats

The Stats needed for the Cursed Dragon Build are Strength, Endurance, Vitality and some Intelligence. Strength is needed to wield the Dragon Bone Smasher effectively, as well as increase its damage. It also allows you to use better Shields if you wish, as these usually have higher Strength requirements.

Endurance is needed, not so much because each swing with the Smasher costs so much Stamina, but rather to increase your Equip Load. The Barbarian Armor is extremely ineffective at protecting you from damage, so you’ll want to wear something with more protection and still be able to roll normally.

You’ll want a bunch of Vitality because you will often trade damage with this weapon because you come out ahead way more often than not. Having a decent amount of Vitality will give you a cushion so that you are not killed when this happens, and just help keep you alive in general.

And lastly, you’ll need 18 Intelligence in order to even use Curse Weapon, so you’ll aim for that probably before you get to 30 Vitality. Your stat spread should look something like this:

  • Strength: 30
  • Endurance: 20
  • Vitality: 30
  • Intelligence: 18

30 Strength is the minimum requirement needed to wield the Dragon Bone Smasher one-handed, which you will want to do sometimes. You’ll likely get this to 50 in NG+ for increased damage, but the best bang for your buck is easily 30 points. 20 Endurance should let you use the Saint’s Armor Set and a Shield and still roll normally. 30 Vitality is the break point before you start to see diminishing returns, but like Strength you’ll continue to increase this in NG+.

Cursed Dragon Equipment

In this section we’ll take a look at what equipment you’ll need in order to play the Cursed Dragon Build effectively. Keep in mind that you will likely change this up some depending on what section of the game you are on, but this should serve to give you some idea of what setups you’re looking for. First let’s take a look at early game.

Early Game Equipment

At the beginning of the game you’ll want to pick up and equip the Cling Ring as soon as you can to further increase your Health in Soul Form. You’ll likely be in Soul Form a good amount of the time, so this can really help keep you alive.

Be sure to pick up the Ring of Great Strength beneath the Blue Dragon in the Boletarian Palace so that you can use heavier Armor more easily. You probably won’t need this early on, but you’ll likely want to use this and heavier Armors during Boss fights instead of the Regenerator’s Ring.

It’s a good idea to swap out your Wooden Shield for a Heater Shield once you’ve defeated Phalanx, or before even if you can spare the Souls. This way you will have a 100% Physical Protection Shield and you’ll stop taking chip damage when you block normal attacks. It can be purchased from Blacksmith Boldwin in the Nexus for 2000 Souls.

Another really good pick up early on is the Crescent Falchion in the Shrine of Storms. It takes almost no time to acquire, and gives you a strong melee attack that deals Magic Damage. You should look to get this as soon as you can, as it can really help out with Stonefang Tunnel and beyond, since most enemies there are weak to Magic Damage. Just note that you’ll need to place 1 point into Dexterity in order to use it effectively.

Next you’ll want to pick up the Regenerator’s Ring, which can be found near the boss area along a cliff path past the Crystal Lizard. This is a great ring for regenerating your health, and you’ll likely swap between this and the Ring of Giant Strength as needed, and it can help offset the health lost from Curse Weapon.


The Saint’s Armor Set is what I like to use with this Build because it’s light enough to be used with the Dragon Bone Smasher and a Shield and still normally roll with very little investment into Endurance. As you level up more and more and eventually increase Endurance to 40, you can use heavier Armor as long as you stay at or below 50% Equip Load. You can find this Armor in the Valley of Defilement, about half way through this area.

Stonefang Tunnel

Once you’ve gotten the above you’ll head to Stonefang Tunnel, and the first thing you should do while there is unlock the lift to Blacksmith Ed so that you can upgrade your Dragon Bone Smasher once you get it with Colorless Demon’s Souls.

Next you’ll defeat both the Armor Spider and Flamelurker in order to get to the Dragon Bone Smasher. It’s important to note that you need Pure White World Tendency to get this Weapon, so you should consider summoning other players for these Boss fights, as it helps with this. This is especially true if you’ve already died once or twice in Body Form in this area, as you’ll need that extra bit to get there.

The Dragon Bone Smasher is located just inside the Dragon God Boss fight, and you don’t even need to defeat him in order to grab it. Simply run in and forward and then left immediately at the end of the first corridor, past the Crystal Lizard. If you have Pure White World Tendency the rubble will be gone and you can grab the sword. You can then either just die or finish the fight if you wish, but you’ll have the weapon either way.


Mid to Late Game

The Silver Coronet is not a bad Helm to fill out your Armor in order to gain 20% extra MP. It’s not going to be enough to get two casts of Curse Weapon at 18 Intelligence, but if you take the Build over to NG+, or spend some time farming some Souls to boost Intelligence you can get there.

Once you’ve defeated the Penetrator Boss, then you can free Yuria and acquire the Curse Weapon Spell. This will allow you to buff your Weapon with 50% increased damage in exchange for some health. You want to cast this with Talisman of Beasts.

Talisman of Beasts can be acquired in two ways, but the quickest way is by turning your World Tendency in Stonefang Tunnel to Black. This will cause Black Phantom Scirvir, the Wanderer to appear after the Armor Spider Archstone, and if you defeat him then you will obtain this item. Make sure that you do NOT meet the requirements of it in order to lose only 1 HP per second instead of 1% HP per second when casting Curse Weapon.

Final Tips

There are a limited number of Colorless Demon’s Souls you can obtain per playthrough, so you learn how to get these using the Wiki because they aren’t super straight forward. For example, you can gain one by dropping a Talisman of God for Sparkly and reloading the game.

Remember that the Dragon Bone Smasher can be buffed with Pine Resin, Black Pine Resin and Sticky White Slime to further boost your damage per swing before you obtain Curse Weapon. Use these items during Boss fights, or on tough enemies to dispatch them even more quickly.

The Dark Silver Shield makes a good candidate for this Build once you have it later in the game, as it has about the same Guard Break as the Heater Shield, but much better Magic and Fire Resistance. It weighs a bit more, but it’s definitely worth it if you can roll normally with it equipped.

Bring Spice with you when out in an Archstone so that you an replenish your Mana when using Curse Weapon. You won’t need to do this until you’ve acquired it of course, but this will allow you to use it much more often, and not only on Boss fights. You can buy Spice from Patches in the Nexus if you do his questline.

Lastly, remember that the Dragon Bone Smasher has a bit of an AoE at the point of impact if it hits the ground squarely. Learn to anticipate this over time, and use it to your advantage. Some times you don’t need to hit an enemy directly with the blade to kill it, giving the weapon a bit further reach in some cases than you might realize.

Stay tuned for more Demon’s Souls Build Guides, as we explore just what kind of Builds you can make. And be sure to check out the Demon’s Souls Wiki if you have specific questions about the game! As always, you can read our Demon’s Souls Review and Getting Started Guide to get going with the game.


Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.

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One comment on “Demon’s Souls Builds: Cursed Dragon (PvE Strength)”

  1. Matt_W says:

    So, in the remake, the Talisman of Beasts always draws 1% HP/sec, making this build somewhat less attractive.

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