The place to discuss Dark Souls II



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*Skip Intro, cut to the important bits*

There are currently 10 Daggers in DkSII: Dagger, Parrying Dagger, Bandit's Knife, Shadow Dagger, Thief Dagger, Broken Thief's Sword, Manikin Knife, Royal Dirk, Mytha's Bent Blade and Black Flamestone Dagger. I'm sure you all knew (most of) this.

But, now, onto what you probably didn't know: Dagger Reach and "classes"

"Weight Class"

Every Dagger has a hidden "weight class" that slightly alters the way it works. These classes are divided into: "Light", "Medium" and "Heavy". The "weight" of these daggers alter the stamina consumption. "Light" daggers consume less stamina, while "Heavy" dagger consume the most stamina per attack. This consumption multiplier applies to all attacks except the rolling attack, which is the same for all daggers. While I cannot give an exact answer, I can give an estimate:

  • With 120 Stamina, I can launch the Power Stance Light Attack: 4 times with Medium Dagger; 5 times with Light Dagger; 3 times with Heavy Dagger. Making estimates (with the naked eye) on my remaining stamina and the consumption, I say that Medium Daggers consume 30 stamina per attack; Light, 27; Heavy, 44.
  • With 120 Stamina, I can launch the 1H Light Attack: 10 times with Medium; 10, with Light; 6 with Heavy. Again, taking estimates based off my stamina bar and consumption rate: 13 stamina per attack with Medium Daggers; 12.6 with Lights; 21.8 with Heavy.

    This is to say, Light Daggers have around 10%-5% reduction in stamina consumption per attack, while Heavy Daggers have a 50%-75% increase in stamina consumption. This may depend on the attack being used, but it is there.

Also, when utilizing Power Stance attacks, the game will use the "weight class" of your right hand dagger. That is to say, if you have a "Heavy" dagger in your left hand and a "Light" dagger in your right, your Power Stance attacks will have a 10%-5% reduction in stamina consumption.

But, this talk of "weight classes" is worthless if I don't tell you which Daggers are which:

- "Light Daggers": Parrying Dagger and Mytha's Bent Blade
- "Heavy Daggers": Royal Dirk and Black Flamestone Dagger
- "Medium Daggers": Everything else

Dagger Reach

Much like in the original, weapons have different reach and daggers are no exception. Here are the reach (hitbox length) of each dagger, in ascending order:

1. Shadow Dagger / Parrying Dagger / Dagger
2. Bandit's Knife
3. Mytha's Bent Blade
4. Thief Dagger / Manikin Knife
5. Broken Thief Sword
6. Royal Dirk
7. Black Flamestone Dagger

As you can see, Mytha's Bent Blade is the longest of the "Light" Daggers and has superior range for its weight (actual in-game weight, listed later). Black Flamestone Dagger is the longest of the "Heavy" daggers -by a longshot- (it has a really notable reach advantage over Royal Dirk and even against some Straight Swords, I would say). The Broken Thief Sword has the longest reach of the "Medium" daggers.

Scaling and Optimization

This section was done for the non-infused paths, so these tests were only done with STR and DEX. The results are as follow (the format is: Name - Damage (40 STR, 16 DEX) - Damage (11 STR, 40 DEX) - Damage (40, 40) - Weight:

Dagger - 167 - 186 - 199 - 0.5
Parrying Dagger - 129 - 155 - 164 - 0.5
Bandit's Knife - 149 - 120 - 149 (Pure STR) - 1.0
Shadow Dagger - 207 - 173 - 218 - 1.5
Thief Dagger - 126 - 113 - 126 (Pure STR) - 0.5
Broken Thief Sword - 164 - 135 - 164 (Pure STR) - 1.0
Manikin Knife - 150 - 146 - 168 - 1.0
Royal Dirk - 204 - 214 - 230 - 2.0
Mytha's Bent Blade - 100 (Presumed) - 159- 159 (Pure DEX) - 0.5
Black Flamestone Dagger - 194 - 167 - 208 - 4.0

Conclusion: For STR builds, the Shadow Dagger has the highest damage outputs, but this weapon requires 16 DEX to utilize, which is the second highest requirement next to Mytha. However, this requirement is only 1 point ahead of Avelyn and still below the requirement for Chariot's Lance and Grand Lance, so it isn't a real problem except for pure STr builds.

For DEX builds, the Royal Dirk has the highest damage output (but suffers from being a "Heavy" dagger). The strongest "medium" dagger, however is the "Dagger". The "Dagger" also has some additional benefits over the Royal Dirk (see "other notes" later on)

For Quality builds, the Royal Dirk has the highest damage output. The "medium" dagger with the highest damage is the Shadow Dagger.

Although not listed, the only dagger for a "Pure" STR build is either the Thief Dagger (which is horrible; explained later) or the Broken Thief Sword (not bad, honestly), since there DEX requirements are far below the double digits that they can be Power Stanced even without double digits DEX.


Irrelevant unless you are looking to play around the 70% burden and even then most Daggers weight light enough that it won't really be a bother, except for 2 unique cases:

(Bandit's Knife / Broken Thief Sword / Manikin Knife) Weight 1.0 unit
Shadow Daggers weights 1.5 units
Royal Dirk weights 2.0 units
Black Flamestone Dagger weights 4.0 units
Everything else weight 0.5 units

As you can see, the Shadow Dagger (strongest "medium" dagger except in DEX builds) is heavy in comparison to other daggers. Black Flamestone and Royal Dirk weight a lot for their dagger category, but they have extended reach to compensate as well as some decent power behind their attacks, which may or may not be worth it depending on how you use it.

Other Notes

  1. Mytha's Bent Blade has a 65% reduction to Bleed build-up on Block (which is only useful if you don't plan on dodging Poison Arrows since the stability is so weak it would ridiculous to block melee attacks)
  2. Shadow Dagger has a stability off 20, whereas the "common" stability of Daggers is 15. This makes it slightly better for blocking, but still impractical
  3. Black Flamestone Dagger has, suprisingly, a stability of 5 (as in, don't block with this. Ever.)
  4. Black Flamestone Dagger deals only 5 Poison Damage (Irrelevant in PvP) as opposed to the "common" 10 that daggers have
  5. Broken Thief Sword, on the other hand, deals 15 poise damage (50% better)
  6. Black Flamestone Dagger and Royal Dirk are unique weapons because their 1H moveset is similar to that of a Straight Sword. However, they still retain their dagger moveset in all other cases, including 2H and Power Stance
  7. Similarly, the Broken Thief Sword has a Straight Sword moveset on its Strong Attacks. The weapon itself shares many similar traits with Straight Swords (Poise damage, moveset, 100 counter) despite being a dagger.
  8. Black Flamestone Dagger has a counter of 130, which means it is on par with the Dagger in terms of damage on counter hits (although I believe the Dagger out-damages it slightly in such cases)
  9. You can parry in the right hand with the Parrying Dagger. This allows parrying while Power Stancing, all the while being a "Light" dagger.
  10. Also, Parrying Dagger has a thrusting sword moveset


Dagger: Decent dagger weapon with the highest counter damage among its class and having some of the highest attacking power despite any build (STR, DEX, STR/DEX). It only suffers from a lack of range, being the shortest of them.

Parrying Dagger: An effective dagger to be paired with other weapons due to its defensive nature. It does not deal much damage, but conserves stamina and can parry. In Quality builds, it is on par or surpass others daggers in power.

Bandit's Knife: Lackluster. It deals pitiful damage and doesn't have neither the reach nor weight to compensate. Its bleed effect is easily beaten by most other weapons.

Shadow Dagger: An excellent weapon with high power in STR builds without having them expend a lot of extra points. Its short points are its reach and slightly larger weight (although STR builds compensate easily with their high VIT)

Thief Dagger: NO! Get rid of it, discard it immediately. It will curse your cursed undead life! Horrible damage and no specialties. Outranged by Metha's, outclassed by Broken Thief Sword (how ironic). Just don't.

Broken Thief Sword: While the damage isn't all too splendid, the Broken Thief Sword still has the advantage of being the "Pure" STR build only dagger option while not sacrificing a lot of damage (It ranks 5th in damage on a 40/16 build, if the DEX was reduced to 10, it would be ranked ranked 1st due to lack of competition, it would remain 1st in damage output until 12 DEX, when the Black Flamestone Dagger may be used).

Manikin Knife: Outlcassed by the Broken Thief Sword except in Quality, at which point it is now outclassed by nearly half of the dagger class weapons. It would only serve under really tight burden restrictions where you want a decently long dagger.

Royal Dirk: Best dagger for dealing damage in general, with an effective range. The biggest issue it has is the "Heavy" classification and the fact you need to 2H for the Dagger moveset. Still, it is pretty good for quick, powerful hits.

Mytha's Bent Blade: Lacking in the sense it is a DEX weapon with bad damage. This weapon, however, possess range and Poison which puts it in for different uses.

Black Flamestone Dagger: This weapon exchanges part of its power in exchange for tremendous reach. It suffers from the same drawbacks as Royal Dirk, as well as only being useful in STR or Quality builds due to lack of power in DEX builds, as well as some really big weight on it, but its reach is amazing in comparison to every other dagger, which lets it net in consistent counters with its speed, dealing more damage. If one can afford the extra weight, it isn't a bad weapon at all.

*Cue outro, skip the outro, end thread*



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Nice work. Though since daggers all seem to have a hidden critical damage modifier, have you tested whether it is the same on all daggers? Or is this dependent on the counter stat. The lances having 160 counter makes me doubt that a little.
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Battle Tested

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Nice read. I'll keep a lot of this in mind. I've been having trouble figuring out which dagger is worthy of my time and it seems I'm half and half on Shadow and Black flamestone ( black flamestone looks more gnarly so I met set my eyes on it)


Chosen Undead

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lightning black flamestone with slb is pretty nasty, btw i heard that mytha's does poison and TOXIC, anyone have confirmation on this?
current builds:
Guido, level 75 corvian great scythe luck build.
Cindry, Level 100 pure faith build.
Jura, level 70 leo halberd build.
Next: Poise stacker was meh, just a str build now.



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I can confirm Mytha's TOXIC infliction, not sure what triggers it though. If you need to upgrade or if you need a minimum poison bonus before it kicks in. I just know I seem to get Poison and Toxic bars when I get Criticaled by Mytha's

Speaking of Criticals I'm surprised so much research went into daggers WITHOUT a comparison in critical performance, as that's the main thing I'm looking for in a dagger (I've been using Royal Dirk, but according to this I'll be better off with Blackstone if the weight doesn't mess up my load... which it shouldn't.) And even though I've been using Royal Dirk I'm pretty sure the dagger has stronger criticals



Best Bro of Pharis

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I really shouldn't have called the dagger-lead-designer names during developement now, should I?

Seriously, thanks for all the effort you put into this, your community appreciates it!

As I was saying all along, "The Dagger" is the best in it's class for my purposes. Haven't replaced it since I started out (as an Explorer). With one far reaching weapon in the off-hand, it's your perfect dirty little ace up the sleeve. Great scaling, crazy crit damage, good for taking out smaller critters in your immediate surrounding (it may not reach far, but it slashes relatively whide) and all at only 0.5 - CALL 555-DAGGER and ORDER NOW!
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I saw a guy one of those popular Youtube players (sorry I can't remember any names) claiming Mytha's had the strongest criticals of all the daggers.

No idea if he's actually tested that though.



Best Bro of Pharis

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Actually, that would make the math of crits even weirder than we first assumed; given the Dagger deals vastly more physical damage at the same (dex-focused) stats, and has the same numerical crit modifier.

I'm not doubting him or you, I'm just saying.
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First Warden

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Really nice work! Time to make a quality dagger build :D

I'm sad about what they did with Bandit's Knife, though. It used to be my favorite weapon in the first game, 90% of my starts were as a Thief and I even took the lovely knife all the way to the Four Kings.



Fire Keeper

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So... how do we add all of this wonderful info to relevant wiki pages?
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