ELDEN RING – Arcane/Bleed Guide (PVE)

Guide to PVE Arc / Bleed


After the devs was nerfed powerstance status build up significantly, bleed remains an extremely strong strategy. But a greater emphasis is now placed on your raw damage instead of status procs. Almost all of the best bleed builds (with mohg spear being the outlier) benefit greatly from having access to both milicent’s prosthesis and rotten wing insignia. However this would require NG+ or received from a friend. Until then I would suggest milicent’s prosthesis + normal winged insignia as your next best option.

Unless specified otherwise, you may assume I will be using the following set up for the various builds below.

The staggering ~500% damage buff is what makes strategies based around consecutive hits buff so powerful.

Consecutive Hits Buff Explained

The easiest way to explain this is treating it as a status effect similar to bleed, but the “build up” decays very rapidly.

Number of hits don’t matter. What matters is the type of hits. (E.g. you get a bigger damage buff from crucible tail in 4 hits than stabbing something 10+ times with daggers. Different attack does a different amount of consecutive hits “build up”.)

Each source of consecutive hits buff has 3 levels of buff with increasing potency. When the “build up” gauge fills up completely, you will proc the first level of the buff, which lasts 1.5s

During that 1.5s, if you can fill the gauge again, you will proc the next level of buff, which simultaneously refreshes the duration of previous level of buff. Different layers of buff will stack multiplicatively. (E.g. with Millicent’s prosthesis, first layer is x1.04, second layer is x1.06, and finally third layer is x1.11; at the final layer all 3 buffs will apply simultaneously, giving a total of 1.04 * 1.06 * 1.11 = 1.22 damage multiplier.)

Starting Class

Generally Bandit or Hero, depending on your weapon of choice.

Pure arc (Occult)

I would argue this is the best bleed build overall. You only need minimum str and dex, and pour all of your offensive stats into arcane (up to 80).

Patch 1.07 nerfed seppuku significantly.

  • 80 arc occult scavenger curved sword + seppuku = 528 AR + 156 bleed
  • 50 dex 45 arc blood bandit curved sword + seppuku = 467 AR + 148 bleed

As shown above, occult still results in a higher AR and bleed build up, provided your weapon has innate bleed build up. (Otherwise, occult will not give your weapon passive bleed and in such cases, you are better off with blood affinity.)

Recommended set ups

Powerstance scavenger curved sword, with mainhand endure offhand seppuku.

  • Endure was nerfed in patch 1.07.1 but remains extremely strong. It will last for 3 powerstance attacks or 2 powerstance jump attacks. Not having to worry about getting interrupted is absolutely huge for scaling consecutive hits buff.
  • Overall I would say this remains the best bleed option overall

Uchigatana (or Nagakiba but this has high str dex requirement) + spinning slash.

  • Spinning slash, double slash, sword dance all have similar dps. But Spinning slash in addition does a high amount of poise damage, and poise broken enemies take extra damage plus opportunity to spam even more attacks
  • Nagakiba + spinning slash has a ridiculously huge hit box, making you a death tornado

Cross Naginata with repeating thrust / blood tax

  • Repeating thrust has higher damage, but blood tax has a very significant amount of health drain

Cross Naginata with spectral lance

  • Sniper rifle & great poise damage

Powerstance cross naginata, with mainhand quick step / bloodhound step offhand seppuku

  • Talisman wise I would use spear talisman, lord of blood, dragoncrest greatshield and Greenturtle

Great star with wild strike

Mohg Spear weapon art

  • The skill scales with arc only, and does pure fire damage.
  • Talisman wise I would use shard of alexander, fire scorpion, dragoncrest greatshield and spear talisman

Nagakiba + blood blade

  • The weapon portion of the skill does a lot of bleed build up, and the length of nagakiba will help you land this consistently. It’s not the most spectacular in terms of raw dps however
  • Talisman wise I would run lord of blood, shard of alexander, dragoncrest and last slot is up to you

Powerstance Hoslow’s Petal whip / Thorned whip

  • Only if you find yourself in need of strike damage

(Powerstance) Ripple crescent halberd

  • You cannot change the ash of war on this weapon, but its high arc scaling will scale the effect of certain greases (e.g. sleep, bleed, poison). Spinning slash is a decent skill as well, but it’s faster on a katana / curved sword / straightsword

Example stat allocation that looks to use all of the above options, plus soul stifler:

Faith Arc

You may view this as a side grade from the pure arc builds above. Dragon communion seal has great arcane scaling (at 30 fai 60 arc you have 333 scaling; for comparison 45 fai 45 arc = 336 scaling, and 80 faith erdtree seal = 353 scaling.)

Incantations add a lot of diversity to the build, in particular giving access to all the best buffs such as golden vow, blackflame protection, lords divine fortification etc. You will do good spell damage but keep in mind you still need to meet the faith requirements for your sells.

For a more detailed guide on various spells, please refer to this guide.

In exchange, you are giving up around 9 – 10% of your weapon damage.

Example stat allocation:

Dex Arc

Powerstance godskin peeler, with mainhand endure offhand seppuku

  • Spam jump attacks
  • You can offhand Elenora instead in the absence of a 2nd peeler, but it’s slightly less optimal

Rivers of blood

  • It’s a weapon art stick. You don’t need to powerstance this.
  • Patch 1.07 has made this weapon great again in PvE. But you should always aim to land the weapon part of the skill for maximum damage.

Elenora poleblade (weapon art)

Brass shield + Bloody Helice

  • Talisman wise I would use spear talisman, greatshield talisman, green turtle and lord of blood

Powerstance noble’s slender sword

Powerstance bandit’s curved sword

Example stat allocation (you can opt for 50 arc with RoB / Elenora):

Str Arc

Note you can 2h your weapon for 1.5x str modifier, which means you should avoid investing str past 54 (unless you are very high level). This gives you room for targeting 45 arcane if you want to hit the bleed build up soft cap.

2h gargoyle twinblade with Endure

  • 2h charged heavy attack does 4 hits, with the final hit having significantly higher motion value (50 + 50 + 50 + 165) which is ideal for consecutive hits buff. Endure also lasts exactly the duration of this attack, meaning you can keep the buff going for as long as you have stamina.

Marais executioner sword

  • The most consistent 1 shot build in the game.
  • The most basic set up would be shard of alexander, godfrey icon, millicent’s prosthesis, rotten winged insignia, bloodboil, rallying standard, thorn cracked tear and magic cracked tear, spellblade set (yes this does buff the magic portion of the damage)
  • If you want to go that extra mile: White Mask + Lord of Blood’s Exaltation (trigger with Seppuku), Mushroom Crown + Kindred of Rot (trigger with fetid pot), Black Dumpling (trigger with Frenzyflame stone / Howl of Shabriri), terra magica, soul stifler, red-feathered branchedsword + twinkite shield

Fingerprint greatshield + Mohg spear / Powerstance Mohg spear

  • Talisman wise I’d use some combination of shard of alexander, lord of blood, spear, green turtle, claw, fire scorpion, greatjar’s arsenal
  • The powerstance crouch poke and jump attack are both very strong

Powerstance broadsword

Example stat allocation:

Non-arc Bleed Builds

Heavy Grave scythe + spinning weapon + bloodflame (or blackflame) blade

  • Yet another build that takes advantage of the broken consecutive hits buff

Heavy greatstar + Eruption + bloodflame blade

  • The lingering lava will inherit the bloodflame buff, giving a significant amount of bleed build up. Each tick of the lava will also heal you for 1% of hp. Pair this with golden vow + blackflame protection + opaline hard tear + dragoncrest greatshield + the 450 poise hyper armor from the skill results in a trading machine
  • Talisman wise I would use shard of alexander, dragoncrest, greenburst and lord of blood

Standard Endure Caestus + bloodflame blade + fire’s deadly sin + Zamor Ice storm sorcery + snow witch hat

  • Ice Storm does high frostbite buildup over time, which makes it very effective when paired with Fire’s Deadly Sin + Standard Caestus with Endure + bloodflame blade. Endure offers the much needed protection when casting ice storm at melee range, and since your weapon is buffed with bloodflame, fires deadly sin will cause bleed build up as well. This does need 19 faith and 10 arc however, so you might as well grab golden vow too. Rest of your stats can go to int.

Weapons / Skills for Buffs or Utility

Misricorde: great backstab / reposite damage.

Commander’s Standard: the skill gives a stronger, but shorter, buff than golden vow. This is pretty much always desirable on any build that doesn’t have 25 faith. You will need 16 str 14 dex for the skill, however.

Winged greathorn: this has the strongest defence shredding debuff, reducing enemy negation by 30%. The skill creates an area of effect that lasts 10s, and once the debuff is inflicted on the enemy, it will last another 60s after enemy leaves the area. You need 20 str 20 dex however, which is a non trivial amount of stat investment. I’d say it’s worth it for a lv150 build, provided you can be bothered enough to use this skill.

Twinkite shield: +5% attack and +10% defence when <= 20% of max hp. Often used in low hp one shot builds.


PvE poise break points are 51 and 101, but you can’t reliably poise through a lot of boss attacks even with maximum possible armor poise (133). If you are after negation then this post has suggestions for best armor combinations for each given weight.

The stand out ones are white mask and Raptors black feather. Silvertear mask gives +8 arc but the physical damage penalty is not worth it if using weapons. However it is ideal if you want to focus on your spells for the fight, since the debuff does not apply to physical spells.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6980 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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