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which staff is the best ?
For pure sorcery, the Staff of Wisdom is the best. For utility, the Black Witch Staff (as it can cast Hexes, Miracles, and Sorcery. For Hexing, you'll want the Sunset Staff.

Keep in mind that this doesn't take into account casting speed, stamina consumption, and the like. Play around with them, and see what fits best for you.
I use my staves in my offhand, and occasionally when trying to cast a bunch of spells I somehow do a shield-bash motion with my staff, moving it from right to left. I'm having trouble recreating it, but I've accidentally done it at least a dozen times. I'm curious if anyone else has a clue what I'm talking about, and if they know what it is and how to do it. It seems like a parry to me, but the wiki says catalysts can't do that; Is it a bug, perhaps?

In the mean time, I'll be continuing my own experiments, but I'm having little to no luck so far.
You might be tapping the left joystick forward when you do it, which causes that.

Tested it, that's almost definitely the issue.
Guard break
You do the melee attack with your staff.
How do you even get to use them if your not a sorcerer
1. find the staff
2. find a spell
3. increase your INT
4. equip the staff and the spell
5. ???
6. profit
Some proper amounts of INT and ATT, and/or spices
This guy is obviously a feable curse one
What is in your oppinion the best staff ?
Sunset Staff for Dark, Staff of Wisdom for Magic and Witchtree Branch for balance.
Again, the Retainers’Staff is missing from both this and the all weapons page, it is dropped by the sorcerers in the Ivory Crown DLC (confirmed drop on regular NG)
To the people asking below:

There are no "best staffs", but that's not to say there aren't better staves than others for doing particular things. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. It all depends on your preferences and play-style. Do you want fast-casting but less power? Slow casting but incredible power? Versatility? etc. Look at the statistics and properties of each staff yourself, and make an informed choice.

Personally, I like Sunset for Hexes and Staff of Wisdom for Sorceries. If I'm playing a melee hybrid then it's Black Witch Staff since it can cast everything, including Miracles. It also has great stats and decent scaling to boot.
There's always going to be people asking what the best weapon/item is in a video game and too few realize that complex games like Dark Souls aren't as straight forward as that.
There are "best staffs." And that is Sunset Staff for Hexes and Staff of Wisdom for Sorceries. Period. Best means which beats overall all the others. Everybody starts with Sunset Staff though. Just saying.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could enchant staff of wisdom with a magic stone so the spells were physical damage and could scale with Ring of blades