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Elden Ring Death Sorcery Build Guide – Death Mage

In this Elden Ring Death Sorcery Build Guide, I’m going to be showing you my Death Mage build. This is a NG+ build that’s an evolution of the Death Knight build, or the Deathblade build, that focuses on the use of death spells.

The reason that I made this build a NG+ build is not only to show you the evolution of this build, and how it progresses into NG+, but also to finally be able to actually use the Prince of Death’s staff more effectively than something like the Carian Regal Scepter, because the sorcery scaling actually surpasses the Carian Regal Scepter, but not until you have extremely high stats

Note that this build has been updated for the 1.07 version of the game.

Elden Ring Death Sorcery Build Guide – Death Mage

A mage build that focuses on the use of Death Sorceries and the Prince of Death Staff.

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Elden Ring Death Sorcery Build Guide – Equipment

Focusing on the Prince of Death’s staff here, the sorcery scaling on this staff is the highest in the game if you hit 80 in both Faith and Intelligence, but if you have 80 Intelligence, you have 373 sorcery scaling with the Carian Regal Scepter. You need 80 Intelligence and 58 Faith in order to have 374 sorcery scaling with the Prince of Death’s staff. That is a lot.

The Prince of Death’s staff gets more and more effective after it passes the 50 breakpoint, so you don’t get very good scaling with the Prince of Death’s staff at lower attributes, but as you get further and further past 50, you get better and better sorcery scaling, and it’s better to take one attribute higher than the other early on as you’re leveling up, because again, as you get above that 50 point, you start getting more and more sorcery scaling for each point spent, regardless of whether it’s Faith or Intelligence.

So you want to take one stat higher if you can, and then bring up the other one afterward. So in summary, there’s no real reason to use the Prince of Death’s staff unless you reach this point, because you’d be better off casting with the Carian Regal Scepter at 80 Intelligence and putting the Prince of Death’s staff in your left hand and getting the 10% damage boost to death sorceries and casting with the Carian Regal Scepter than you would be casting with the Prince of Death’s staff until you reach this point.

And that is an incredible stat investment to reach, which is again why this is a NG+ build, because you still have to have mine and you still have to have Vigor, etc. So that’s a lot of attribute points to spend. Now you’ll probably notice that I’m at 74 Intelligence and 58 Faith if you’re looking over my stats, and that’s because if you use the Twinsage Glintstone Crown, which gives you 6 Intelligence, you’ll hit that 80 mark and that frees up 6 levels for you.

And since levels come a lot slower at this point, that’s a lot of levels to gain and I recommend using that if you don’t care about fashion. I on the other hand care about fashion and it’s all about fashion with this build, so I’m a little bit lower and it would be better for me to use the Carian Regal Scepter at this point, but I’m okay taking a little hit to my damage to look a little bit fashionably better. If you’re just talking about min-maxing, you would use the Twinsage Glintstone Crown here to free up 6 levels.

Besides that, we were using the Sword of Night and Flame, no surprise here, we used this in our other build and we don’t really, we’re not really building around this weapon in this build. We’re focusing more on the magic, which is why this is a Death Mage build, than we are some sort of hybrid where we’re using the Sword of Night and Flame and spells as much.

Before I was using the Ancient Death Rancor to set up the Night Comet ability of this weapon, but in this build, I’m just focusing on casting spells effectively and using the Sword of Night and Flame sporadically or when I need a melee because Rancorcall and Ancient Death Rancor are terrible point blank. They fly over the target, hit the ground, trying to come back to get them and you need a way to attack effectively and since you’re not using the Carian Regal Scepter, which had Spinning Weapon, which was very, very good in close range, you need some sort of melee capability and that’s where the Sword of Night and Flame comes in here.

We are also using the Golden Order Seal here. We didn’t upgrade it because there’s no real point. The spells that I’m using with it are just Golden Vow and Flame, Grant Me Strength. That’s to further increase the damage of your spells and give you more protection Flame, Grant Me Strength is here because we do have one fire spell in this build that we’re using and that’s for using it when enemies are weak to fire or maybe resistant to magic to give you another damage type, but it’s only going to affect that spell or when you’re attacking in melee, so you’re not going to use it all that often.

So what I’ve done for my fashion here with my armor is I’m using Fia’s armor set, which is just the hood and her body piece, and then I put the Spellblade set as my gloves and legs and that gives me an extra 4% damage roughly to the Night Comet ability of Sword of Night and Flame. Again, we’re not building for that specifically, but I thought why not add some damage to it? You cannot see these armor pieces underneath those two other armor pieces anyway, so why not get the extra damage if you’re going to do that? You can use whatever you want here, maybe heavier armor for more protection if you’d like, but I thought that was a great use of those pieces.

Elden Ring Death Sorcery Build Guide – Talismans

So when it comes to the talismans I’m using for this build, I have the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman, I have the Graven-Mass Talisman, I have the Magic Scorpion Charm and Fire Scorpion Charms, and I have Ritual Sword Talisman.

The Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman just gives you better protection, physical protection. We have very light armor with this setup and that’ll allow you to take some hits in NG+ and not die. I really, really like this talisman. If you’re comfortable at dodging and you’re not worried about getting hit, you can swap this out for something else like Shard of Alexander if you want, because you will be using the abilities of the Sword of Night and Flame periodically. But I honestly like the extra protection. I do make mistakes and this helps keep me alive.

The Graven-Mass Talisman is going to increase the damage of your spells. This includes Rancor, Ancient Death Rancor, and Rykard’s Rancor, so they’re all going to get boosted by that. And Magic Scorpion Charm is the one that I usually default to, because Rancorcall and Ancient Death Rancor are both magic damage and I like Night Comet better than the other ability of the Sword of Night and Flame. And it’ll also add damage to your regular attacks with your weapons, since it does some magic damage, though not a lot. You can swap this to the Fire Scorpion Charm when you’re using Rykard’s Rancor in order to boost the damage of that.

Finally, the Ritual Sword Talisman not only increases the damage of your spells when you’re at full health, but your regular attacks and the Sword of Night and Flame‘s abilities as well. So this is an all-around good one as long as you can keep your health topped off. And as I mentioned, Shard of Alexander is good if you plan to use the weapon ability of Sword of Night and Flame or either of their abilities regularly. There are some fights where it just makes more sense, and you can use those there if you want. Swap out something for that if you want. Maybe Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman or whatever.

Elden Ring Death Sorcery Build Guide – Spells & Gameplay

Let’s move on to the spells of this build. We have Rancorcall, Ancient Death Rancor, and Explosive Ghostflame, as well as a new one, Rykard’s Rancor. All of the death spells were buffed with patch 1.07, and Rancorcall and Ancient Death Rancor have had their FP costs reduced, as well as the tracking on their skulls track further or longer. So this means they’re going to be even more effective in combat, and they weren’t super expensive to begin with, just making them even more deadly.

So you’re going to be using Rancorcall to basically take out the trash enemies in the game. This spell now costs 12 FP, which is ridiculously cheap, and you can usually one-shot most enemies with it, and if you charge it, you can absolutely one-shot them. So you’re going to be using this as it’s more mana efficient, and you don’t have a ton of FP at this point in the game, the way the build is set up. So that’s what you’re going to use on regular enemies.

Ancient Death Rancor is for more challenging enemies and for bosses. It does more damage, it does more stagger buildup, meaning that you can stagger enemies easily with it. If you lock onto an enemy that has like a body part, for instance like a dragon’s head or something like that, you can easily stagger them with repeated casts of this if you can get them. Trolls or something like that is another option, or like the giant, fire giant, is another good one. But you’re going to use this for that if you’re standing inside the Terra Magicka when you’re casting this spell, you’re absolutely going to deal tons of damage, and again, you can charge this for extra damage as well.

Explosive Ghostflame has been seriously buffed in this patch. It was actually not initially in my Death Mage build because it wasn’t super effective, but now the initial frostbite buildup has increased from 50 to 130 with the explosion, and the frostbite buildup has increased from 20 to 30 in particular. While enemies are standing in the fire, as well as the damage of the spell has been increased, the stamina damage done to enemies guarding has increased, the residual ghost flame area on the ground has increased the range, and the damage detection time of the lingering ghost flame has been reduced, meaning that the ticks in the ghost flame tick faster, resulting in more damage.

That makes this spell super, super viable now. It’s great in packs of enemies or under dragons or big enemies, near big enemies where you’re going to get that explosion and then follow-up ticks while they’re standing inside it. Things like the Godskin Duo come to mind where you can hit one of them and the other one can be standing in the fire. Just a strong spell. Now the downside to it is that it has a rather long cast time. You can’t use it very, very easily in a lot of scenarios. It’s going to be very, very situational, but it’s going to give you a good AOE option that’s absolutely deadly.

Rykard’s Rancor is a new addition here. This actually does fire damage whereas Explosive Ghostflame does magic damage, and so does Death Rancor and Rancorcall. It’s a good fire damage option for this build because maybe some enemies resist magic or maybe some enemies are just weak to fire. It’s really good on big targets or like the Erdtrees that are weak to fire. And what it does is it just casts like a trail of a skull that goes forward and then it ticks explosions where that skull trail has been after a bit of a delay.

You can just spam this so that the explosions just keep stacking. And it’s a very good option for AOE if you’re not going to use Explosive Ghostflame or you don’t have time to cast Explosive Ghostflame. This can be cast from horseback as well whereas Explosive Ghostflame cannot. And it just gives you another good option. If you’re using this one though, you can also use Flame, Grant Me Strength to further boost its damage and you can swap out the Magic Scorpion Charm for the Fire Scorpion Charm if a particular fight calls for it.

Besides these, we have Terra Magica to boost our magic damage. Usually, you cast this at the beginning of a fight or before you aggro a tough enemy in the field so that when you’re spamming spells like Ancient Death Rancor, it’s going to hit even harder. You have Golden Vow with this build also. There’s no reason not to use it. You meet the requirements for it. That’s going to boost your damage and your defenses, which is great. And as I mentioned, Flame, Grant Me Strength is there to buff Rykard’s Rancor when you’re using it, but it can also buff the damage of your Sword of Night and Flame as well.

Another thing I want to mention is that the Sword of Night and Flame was buffed in this patch as well. So its damage is much higher now. So that’s even more effective in this build. I decided not to incorporate Tibia’s Summons into this build after doing testing, even though it was also buffed in the patch. And that’s really because I couldn’t make it effective. It would seem like it would be a great option against turtling enemies, enemies that hide behind a shield because a lot of them come from behind allowing you to hit them in the back. 

However, enemies just block it anyway. The direction doesn’t seem to matter there. And if enemies move even the slightest bit forward while you’re using it, it misses 90% of the time and it has a very long cast time as well. So it’s just not that good, even with its buff. So unless they increase the cast speed of this, so you can get it off more quickly, or unless the actual summons move quicker to the target, I don’t see this being viable in many builds.

So for my stats for this build at level 166, I have 41 Vigor, 30 Mind, 9 Endurance, 12 Strength, 12 Dexterity, 74 Intelligence, 58 Faith, and 9 Arcane

  • So Vigor is a lot lower than I would like it to be for this build. But again, even at level 166, in order to want to be able to use the Prince of Death’s staff more effectively than Carian Regal Scepter, you have to invest all those points into Intelligence and Faith. So we simply don’t have the points for Vigor here. You shouldn’t be getting hit that much with this build because you can kill just about anything at range in one shot. So it’s acceptable for this point of the game, but eventually, you’ll want to increase this up to 50 or even 60 just to make sure that you don’t die. You do have the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman slotted and you do have Golden Vow. So you have a little bit better protection than some other builds, but you still want to get more health if you can. 
  • Mind is not exactly as high as we want either because we have to invest so heavily into those other attributes. It’s a bit lower. You can get away with 30 here because your spells are not that expensive. And you do have a melee option if you want to save FP and you can skew a lot of your flasks to the FP side, but you’ll probably eventually want to take this up to like 35 or 40 just to give you a little bit more room to cast before you need to chug a blue flask.
  • Endurance is at nine here. We don’t need any Endurance for this build. It doesn’t cost a lot of FP to spam these spells, so it’s just not super necessary for you. Also, we don’t have the points. So you’re going to kind of be stuck with relatively light armor while using this build. Again, it’s a mage build, so that’s not super bad. 
  • Intelligence is at 74 here instead of 80 because if you’re using the Twinsage Glintstone Crown, this will put this at 80 for you and free up a couple of levels. Otherwise, you’d have to be around Level 172 to get the stat spread for this, which is quite high.
  • Faith is at 58 here. You want to continue to increase this after you get your Vigor and Mind up a little bit. You want to take this up to 80 at some point, just like Intelligence, and that’ll get you very, very good sorcery scaling. What I like about this build is it’s sort of future-proof. After all, you still have 22 points you can put into Faith to get very, very good sorcery scaling because you’re going to gain 50 or 60 more sorcery scaling in those 22 points, which is incredible for this point of the game. Usually, when you’re making a one-stat mage build, like if you’re using Faith only or using Intelligence only, you’re sort of peaking at the end of the new game or your very first playthrough.

Then when you get a NG+, there isn’t really a lot of ways to increase your damage because between 80 and 99, you simply don’t gain that much scaling on your sorcery or your incantation scaling. 

You’re a sorcerer in particular and you’re not playing Faith, you don’t usually have access to Golden Vow or Flame, Grant Me Strength. So you don’t even have those buffs. So there isn’t any way for you to get more damage. But with this build, you’re going to continue to increase your damage throughout NG+, which is fantastic.

Elden Ring Death Sorcery Build Guide – Final Tips

And just a couple of final tips before I wrap up this build guide, you can use two Swords of Night and Flame. And you’ll probably see some of that or I’ve seen some of that in the gameplay that I’m showing here because of the NG+ you can get a second one by going to carry a manner pretty quickly and grabbing one and then upgrading it. You’ll be able to dual-wield two of these if you want. And it’s an absolute blast to do. It’s not part of the mage build specifically, but I just wanted to illustrate that you can do this. And if you want to throw it onto your build, there’s no reason really you can’t have it and just use it in certain circumstances. 

But I do want to say that if you’re going to use dual wields with this weapon, you should use the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia or Winged Sword Insignia and Millicent’s Prosthesis to get that attack power charge up as you hit over and over, which will just really increase the damage of these weapons. You can easily get over like 1100 attack rating with two straight swords each, which is absolutely incredible. So if you want to play that way, you can. I just wanted to mention that here. It’s not necessarily how I’m playing in this build because it’s more mage-focused, but you absolutely can do that in NG+ if you want.

If you’re using the Flask of Wondrous Physick here, I recommend using either the Magic-Shrouding Cracked Tear by default or the Greenburst Crystal Tear for stamina recovery. Or you can use like both magic and fire and that will increase in your tears and that will increase your regular attack damage because you do both those damage types on your weapon. It’ll allow you to use either one of the weapon skills effectively or any either of your spells records rank or does fire damage. So you could switch back and forth as necessary. Well, that buffs up and not have to worry about like, oh, I didn’t have my flask set correctly. So that’s another good option.

If you’re using a great rune, I recommend using Godrick’s Great Rune because this is a very stat-hungry build or using Radahn’s Great Rune because once you hit the certain breakpoints for these weapons, like you don’t need any more Strength, Dexterity, Endurance or Arcane. So half the attributes kind of be wasted. I mean, you get some more melee damage out of Strength and Dexterity, but it’s not a super big deal. But Radahn’s gives you more FP, more health, more stamina. All those things are effective for this build. So either of those are good choices. That’s it for this build, As always, let us know if you have questions or other tips in the comments below. We have a ton more builds coming for Elden Ring and Shadow of the Erdtree so stay tuned for those. If you need help finding the spells, items, or equipment in this build, and securing some personal objectives, make sure to check the Elden Ring Map.

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