Mortal Shell Build Guide: Harros, The Vassal

In this Mortal Shell Guide we’re going to be taking a look at the Harros, The Vassal Shell, which is the first Shell players will acquire within the game. I’ll be providing tips on which Skills to take, which Weapons work best with this Shell, and who should be using this Shell in their first playthrough based on its playstyle. If you’ve been wondering if this is the Shell for you, or how to best utilize it, read on to find out.

Mortal Shell Build Guide: Harros, The Vassal

Harros, the Vassal is the first Shell you’ll find in Mortal Shell, laying to left at the fork that is just after the long tunnel you come out of. It’ll cost you 250 Tar to reveal his name, Stats and his Skills, and this should be the first thing you do after acquiring him. This can be done by Sester Genessa inside the broken keep in Fallgrim.

Harros, the Vassal’s Stats

Harros has average Durability, average Stamina and can hold up to 4 bars of Resolve at once. Since Resolve is used to perform parries and special attacks with Weapons, this makes him a good Shell if you like to Parry often or use these special attacks, since only one other Shell can hold as much or more Resolve at a time (Solomon).

His Durability is the second lowest, meaning he can take some hits before he is knocked out of his Shell, but not as much as Solomon or Eredrim. If you like being somewhere between light and heavy armor, then this is a good choice of Shell for you.

Harros’ Stamina is the second highest in the game (behind Tiel), and is the same as Solomon’s, which means that he’ll be able to attack a good amount before having to replenish his Stamina. This allows him to use just about any Weapon in the game effectively, but he has little margin for error when using heavier weapons. However, he possesses a Skill that replenishes his Stamina nearly instantly while Hardened, making Stamina management much easier for him than Solomon.

Which Harros Skills to Take

Once the Skill tree is unlocked you’ll get to see just which Skills he possesses, and looking over them you’ll notice immediately that Harros’ speciality is Hardening. A good number of his Skills deal with this mechanic, and it is one of the most important mechanics in Mortal Shell, making him a very good choice for any player that relies on Hardening a lot during combat (which should be most).


Accretion of Endurance – Accretion of Endurance is arguably the best Skill in Mortal Shell, as it allows you to regain Stamina nearly instantly when Hardened, which is something you will be doing a ton during combat. This Skill will allow for much better Stamina management when playing Harros, which is one of his only weaknesses, making him into a powerhouse of a Shell. I strongly advise saving up for this Skill first, as it will drastically improve your combat prowess and change the way you play this Shell.

Accretion of Resolve
– If Accretion of Endurance is the best Skill for Harros, then Accretion of Resolve is second on the list. The combat loop of Mortal Shell is largely: Running Attack, R1, R2, Harden, R1, roll away and wait for Harden to come off of cooldown and repeat. This Skill reduces the time it takes to for this to happen, speeding up combat encounters. Less down time, means more shing shing.

Accretion of Inheritance
– Accretion of Inheritance is a nice to have Skill, though it isn’t mandatory. However, it is better than some others, which is why I placed it third on my list. It allows you to tank hits for a longer period of time after your Hardening has been broken. If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t take damage sometimes when 2 or more enemies hit you nearly at the same time, it’s because you have i-frames for a short time after you take the first hit while Hardened. This Skill increases that time, which will help protect you in gang bang scenarios.

Recollection of Death
– Recollection of Death is a great Skill to take on any Shell because it allows you to regain “Last Chance” if you’ve lost it, which means you can be knocked out of your Shell once more before actually dying. By the time you grab this Skill you likely won’t need it as much as you once did, but it still comes in handy because mistakes get made. Take this one 4th to get some use out of it in the latter half of the game.

The remaining Skills you can take in any order you wish, and they are not nearly as good as they would seem. Glimpses drop very rarely in most cases, you almost never Harden mid air, and you don’t really ever need to kick anything. But do make sure you get them all, and then speak with Sester Genessa afterwards, as she becomes a merchant that sells some items that you will 100% want!

Which Weapons to Use with Harros

Because Harros has an average amount of Stamina, you can use any of the games 4 Weapons with him effectively, and this becomes even more true once you’ve gained Accretion of Endurance. However, the Hallowed Sword is arguably the best Weapon to use with him for a few of reasons.

First, you will gain this Weapon and this Shell near the very beginning of the game, giving you time to master both of them, creating a natural synergy. Second, it uses less Stamina to wield than the Smoldering Mace or Martyr’s Blade, which makes Stamina management much easier. And Third, Harros has 4 bars of Resolve, and when the Hallowed Sword is outfitted with the Mechanical Spike it has one of the best Weapon Abilities in Mortal Shell. This allows you to use this Ability twice when at full Resolve, which can be devastating to hard to kill enemies and Bosses since they are usually staggered when struck as well, allowing you to get in more attacks after using it.

I strongly recommend avoiding the Martyr’s Blade and the Smoldering Mace until you’ve unlocked Accretion of Knowledge, which helps with Stamina management. If you aren’t a fan of the Hallowed Sword, then try out the Hammer and Chisel to see if you like using them. The downside is that they don’t build Resolve quite as quickly as the Hallowed Sword, though they do attack faster and use less Stamina per swing.

Final Thoughts

Harros is, in my opinion, the best overall Shell in the game and it’s one that I can recommend whole-heartedly to any player, whether they are new to souls-like games or die hard veterans. When combined with the Hallowed Sword he is a force to be reckoned with, particularly after he’s gained a couple of his outstanding Skills and the Mechanical Spike.

You can make short work of Bosses and Mini-Bosses if you charge up your Resolve to full before taking them on, which is not hard to do, as enemies around the map are abundant. You’ll also want to be sure to keep Moonshine on you, because you can replenish Resolve in combat with it, allowing you to get even more uses of the Mechanical Spike.

If you liked this article, be sure to check out our other guides on the other 3 Shells, as well as our Getting Started Guide and Boss Guides. And, if you need help figuring something else out, like the location of certain items, be sure to stop by the Official Wiki and get the help you need!


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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