ELDEN RING – Pure Faith Caster Guide (PVE)

Guide to Pure Faith Caster

Starting Class

Generally either Prophet or Vagabond; which one is better depends on your choice of weapons and if you want the arcane spells. Prophet starts with 10 faith and can use all of the dragon communion spells with the aid of silver tear mask. Vagabond is a very versatile choice if you intend to re spec out of faith build later on.

Catalyst

Spells is probably the biggest appeal of pure faith builds. Incantation scaling on your seal determines how much damage you deal with your offensive magic. (Only catalysts scale; spells only have minimum stat requirements and do not scale.)

Some catalysts will buff certain spell schools, and as long as you hold it in either of your hands, you will receive the benefit. (E.g. you can equip Erdtree seal on your right hand, and Gravel stone on your left hand. Casting lightning spear with Erdtree seal will gain the full benefit of 15% damage buff from Gravel.) You can equip 2 of the same seals and the passive damage boost will stack multiplicatively. (e.g. 2x giant’s seal = 1.2 * 1.2 = 1.44)

Here are the catalysts to look out for in a pure faith build:

  • Godslayer Seal: highest scaling at <= 68 faith.
  • Erdtree Seal: highest scaling at >= 69 faith

Below is a list of seals and their passive effects:

Staff of guilty: this is a pure faith scaling staff, with 305 sorcery scaling at 80 faith. This is roughly equate to 60 int with Academy glintstone staff. However, you still need to meet the int requirements of your spells.

2x school specific seals vs 1 school specific seal

Here’s a comparison table for your “effective scaling” (scaling of casting seal X any buffs from seal or shield), when casting the specific spell school in question at 80 fai. It’s not an exact science due to existence of flat defence, but should give a rough indication of the relative trade offs.

Dual wielding the Godslayer / Gravel / Giant’s seals only give an extra 2-4% damage as compared to casting with Erdtree.

Spells

There’s no single “best spell”; for the most optimal efficiency, you want to use the right spell for the right situations. Certain spells may be niche, but that does not necessarily equate to bad. That said, there are stand out ones that are significantly better than the rest.

I recommend only equip the spells you need for until you reach next site of grace: extra, unused spells just make cycling through spells you do use slower.

Here’s a breakdown on the spell theoretical damage and FP efficiency at 80 faith with Erdtree, taking lightning spear as the baseline. Note this accounts for Godfrey icon, but ignores damage over time / destined death effects / scorpion charm / wonderous physicks.

Dragon Cult spells

As stupid as this sounds, lightning spear is going to out dps most of the more “fancy” variants.

Lightning strike / honed bolt has very fast chain casts, but overall dps is going to be lower than lightning spear in any realistic situations.

Fortisaxx’s lightning spear is great at melee range, and comes with 300 poise hyper armor.

Frozen Lightning Spear sounds good on paper, but it’s utter garbage if the 2nd hit misses. Hit box is very awkward against any enemy that isn’t long enough. The frostbite build up is also far from impressive. Overall, it’s not my favorite spell.

Ancient dragon lightning strike is a large boss nuke and capable of 1 shot final boss. It DOES NOT benefit from Godfrey icon despite it being a chargeable spell. (I know, it’s ridiculous.)

Placidusax ruin doesn’t benefit from gravel stone seal. It has amazing damage on paper, but in practice it’s just way to slow unless you time the poise break to happen after the 1st beam. Even if you poise break boss first before casting, you are going to get knocked down mid cast.

Fire Monk / Giants Flame spells

Catch Flame is OP by itself, but it’s even more OP with Endure Caestus. You can fit 3 catch flames in the duration of a single endure. Notably this doesn’t get buffed by giants seal.

Giant’s Flame Take Thee is best utilised in conjunction with oil pot, which reduces enemy fire negation by 50% for the next hit. This is enough to 1 shot certain bosses with proper buffs. Endure Caestus is very helpful here.

Flame of the Fell God is mediocre in normal circumstances. However, one gimmicky use case is to cast this then immediately follow up with attacks to proc consecutive hits buff (crucible tail, Marais executioner sword). When the fireball explodes, it will benefit from the consecutive hits buff you now have.

Burn O Flame is another large boss killer. During casting your character is basically laying flat on the ground, which can be an effective way to dodge many boss attacks. Contrary to Ancient Dragon Lightning Strike, it DOES benefit from Godfrey icon.

Godslayer spells

Blackflame is a fantastic spam spell, with decent base damage plus a % based damage over time effect.

Noble Presence is surprisingly not bad. But dps wise, few can compete against catch flame at melee range. The charged version will knock down certain enemies (e.g. humanoid and dogs) and Malenia. Highly recommend using Endure Caestus in conjunction with this.

Blood spells

Swarm of flies is rather mediocre to be honest. There’s easier ways to proc bleed.

Bloodflame talons is good, but not nearly good enough to compete against catch flame. The bleed build up is not enough to justify the dps sacrifice and the delayed activation.

Beast spells

Stone of Gurranq is good. Good dps, good FP efficiency, ranged + spammable, with good poise damage on top. It ticks every boxes.

Servants of Rot spells

Pest Thread has exceptionally good dps in theory. However, the damage fluctuates significantly depending on how many hits you land. On average though, this remains the best physical dps spell, plus phenomenal tracking and fast cast speed.

Scarlet Aeonia: spell is useable now, and good at proc scarlet rot. The spell comes with 450 poise hyper armor. I’m just personally not a huge fan of hanging back and wait for Rot damage to tick away boss HP.

Dragon communion spells

Both Claw and Maw are fantastic in terms of dps, efficiency and poise breaking. Maw is better overall. Notably both have exceptionally powerful hyper armor, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting staggered out of casting.

Greyoll’s Roar is a good debuff. Reduces target(s) damage by 0.85x and damage negation by -10%.

I have mixed feelings towards dragon breaths. They are decent, but far from spectacular in boss fights, and expensive FP wise.

Theodorix’s Magma is a buggy one: you can jump cancel into this for instant casting (e.g. jump cast catch flame then immediately follow with the breath), or cast flame cleanse me on horseback then follow up into infinite chain cast theodorix’s magma (while leaving behind a trail of visual glitches).

One interesting combo is terra magica -> Dragonice / Freeze pot -> Samarag’s Glintstone breath. The damage is good, but there’s easier ways to achieve better dps without jumping through this many hoops. Aside from this, it is a source of magic damage, and having more elements at your disposal is never a bad thing.

Rot breath is good for proc scarlet rot.

Notably named variant does not have a higher status build up.

In general, dragon breath is a good AoE tool against groups of mobs. Raw damage wise magma breath >> glintstone breath > dragonfire > dragonice > rotten breath.

Aspect of the crucible spells

Crucible horn will knock down humanoid enemies, and good for closing distance.

Crucible tail is the only spell that is good at proccing consecutive hits buff. Good base damage and FP efficient, 450 poise, very good poise damage and top it off with consecutive hits buff will take your dps over the roof. Don’t forget crucible armor set which buffs the crucible incants by 4% a piece.

Frenzied flame spells

The flame of frenzy has decent dps and extremely FP efficient.

Frenzied burst: sniper rifle. Not much else to say really.

Unendurable Frenzy does a little less damage than flame of frenzy (charged). Has an annoyingly long finish animation. To be completely honest, I’m not the biggest fan of this spell.

Other offensive spells

Black blade is somewhat underwhelming as a dps option. However it is not a bad idea as an opener due to the destined death effect, reducing enemy max health by 10%. Currently it has a bug that prevents you from chain casting if using the seal on left hand.

Wrath of gold has less dps and slower compared to noble presence, but bigger AoE. It can knock down certain enemies (humanoid and dogs for example), and Malenia. Unlike Noble Prescence, charging Wrath of Gold does not improve its knock down capabilities. Highly recommend using Endure Caestus in conjunction.

Buffs / Debuffs

I will list out the most valuable stackable buffs.

  • Flame, Grant me strength / Howl of Shabriri
  • Golden vow
  • Black Flame protection and its elemental equivalents
  • Greyoll’s Roar

Heals

Heal spells are slower than flasks. However this downside is by in large negated by Endure Caestus, which gives you the much needed protection during casting.

Spells for horseback

I’ll first admit my experience with horseback combat is very limited. That said, here’s a few that I enjoyed so far:

  • Beastial sling
  • Lightning spear / Lightning strike / Honed bolt
  • Ancient dragon lightning strike
  • Wrath of gold
  • Stone of Gurrang
  • Blackflame
  • Giant flame take thee
  • Unnamed dragon breaths
  • Pest thread

Weapons

Weapon arts don’t necessarily scale the same way as the weapon itself. I will mention some hybrid weapons whose skill still do great damage with the minimal requirement on str dex.

Weapon art sticks

Roughly in order of dps descending, for their best use case scenarios

Envoy Longhorn: Buffed by Envoy’s crown and skill scales from faith only. Yet another big boss shredder but this time with holy damage.

Uchi + spinning slash: This scales off AR. Consecutive hits = amazing dps, and skill also does high poise damage. Unshethe works too if you rather not go down the consecutive hits route (but of course not nearly as broken in terms of dps).

Magma blade: This is a quality faith weapon with str being the best scaling. Bulk of the skill damage scales from AR. 2handing, 53 str 27 dex 20 fai = 522 AR. Min str dex, 76 fai = 408 AR. Extremely fast and powerful weapon art.

Sacred Ring of Light: Skill scales with faith only. A well rounded, spammable ash of war.

Golden Order Greatsword: Skill scales with faith only. Good damage but arguably on the slower end of the spectrum.

Magma guillotine: Str faith weapon with bulk of the skill damage scales from AR. 2handing 53 Str 18 dex 29 fai = 727 AR. Min str dex, 69 fai = 605 AR. Skill has super armor (impossible to get staggered while airborne) but some defensive buffs are recommended.

Blackflame tornado: Skill scales on faith only. It does a lot of damage but has long animation and lack hyper armor. The actual dps isn’t as impressive as some may want to believe.

Malikeths blackblade: This is a str faith weapon with skill scales off AR. 2handing, 53 str 12 dex 35 fai is 879 AR. Min str dex, 50 fai = 769 AR. The skill is somewhat slow but does good damage. Skill comes with 500 poise hyper armor but I would recommend using some defensive buffs alongside this.

Godslayer greatsword: Mostly a quality faith weapon with dex being the best scaling. Skill scales with AR. It’s on the slow end of the spectrum, but hits hard and has % based damage over time effect. It has a faster moveset than other collosal swords. 2handing, 29 str 51 dex 20 fai = 702 AR. Min str dex, 64 fai = 603 AR.

Blasphamous Blade: Skill scales on Pure faith. Ranged, spammable weapon art with good damage. Also has heal on hit effect which is nice. If you are unsure which weapon to use, it is hard to go wrong with this one.

Marika’s Hammer: Mostly a strength weapon. Skill scales on AR. Decent damage and stagger, with super armor while airborne. 2handing 53 str 27 dex 20 fai = 578 AR. Min str dex, 74 fai = 456 AR.

Eruption + Greatstar: Weapon swing scales with AR but lava damage scales with strength. What makes this combination so great is the 500 poise hyper armor + every tick of the lava also heals for 1% of your hp. You can also choose to go with a physical affinity (or standard) and apply bloodflame blade for a glorious amount of bleed build up. Stack up Golden Vow + Blackflame protection (or elemental equivalent) + Dragoncrest greatshield (or elemental equivalent) + shard of alexander + Crimson amber + Green turtle + Opaline hardtear + fire cracked / greenburst tear (+ lord of blood and white mask if using bloodflame blade), and you can literally out trade the most aggressive bosses like Malenia.

Prayerful Strike + butchering knife: Scales with AR. On hit this heals you for 30% of maximum hp. You can make yourself nigh unkillable with Golden Vow + Blackflame protection (or elemental equivalent) + Dragoncrest greatshield (or elemental equivalent) + Ritual shield + shard of alexander + bullgoat talisman / Crimson amber + Opaline hardtear + holy cracked / greenburst tear.

Golden Land: The darts scale off Faith and the follow up swing scales with AR. The darts are basically sniper rifles and can travel beyond lock on range. One interesting gimmick is you can buff the darts with bloodflame / blackflame blade, at the expense of a lower raw damage on the darts.

Weapons

You can use any non-unique weapon effectively by setting them to Flame Art or Sacred affinity, so its AR scales with your Faith. (Just make sure you meet the minimal str/dex requirements.) Endure + consecutive hits buff remains an exceptionally strong option for melee in general. As a rule of thumb, any ash of war that hits enemy with your weapon probably scales with AR.

Below are some general recommendations.

  • Coded sword / broad sword
  • Claymore
  • Zweihander
  • Cleanrot knight’s sword
  • Godskin sticher
  • Bandit curved sword (While both the ground and jump powerstance attacks are amazing, jump has a bit higher dps with raptors black feather armor)
  • Uchigatana / Nagakiba

Gargoyle’s twinblade (2h charged R2 is very strong with consecutive hits buff, and can be chained together with endure with 0 down time for as long as your stamina lasts. Jump powerstance attack is also very strong but perhaps too demanding in terms of str dex and weight.)

  • Banished Knights Halberd
  • Butchering Knife
  • Pike / Cross Naginata
  • Large club (with cragblade buff, the charged R2 shreds boss poise)

Weapons / skills for utility

Caestus + Endure: Fist / claw weapons have the fastest endure animation. Great in conjunction with catch flame or healing spells.

Black Knife: Skill scales on faith only. An easy way to apply destined death effect at start of a fight and take off 10% of boss health.

Misricorde: Great backstab / reposite damage.

Sword of Milos / Sacrifical Axe: Restores 4 / 5 FP per kill. Does not need to upgrade the weapon or meet stat requirements for this effect. Nice to have for explorations, but not worth if it forces you into higher endurance / need an extra cast to kill after losing offhand damage buff.

Jellyfish shield: Skill gives 20% buff to all damage for 30s. Shield requires 20 str 14 dex to 1h, or 14 str 14 dex to 2h. Also 8 weight. Buff is lost if you swap off the shield or 2h your other weapon; i.e. locks you out of weapon arts.

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

Shield in general: Having a shield in your inventory is never a bad idea. Simply pick whichever shield that you can equip with your str stat, and the higher the guard boost stat, the better. If I have 16 str on my character, I tend to default to brass shield.

Talisman

Offensive talismans for spells: Flock’s Canvas, scorpion charm*, Godfrey icon, faithful’s canvas, green turtle, ritual sword

Offensive talismans for skills: Shard of alexander, scorpion charm*, green turtle, ritual sword

Offensive talismans for weapon moveset: Rotten winged sword insignia, Milicent’s prosthesis, claw talisman, axe talisman, spear talisman*, dagger talisman

Defensive talismans: Dragoncrest greatshield (and its elemental equivalents XXXdrake talisman), Bullgoat’s talisman*, greatshield talisman

Nice to have but low priority: Radagon’s Soreseal (recommend remove this once you reach 40 vigor), Crimson Amber, Erdtree’s Favour, Greatjar’s Arsenal, Radagon Icon*

Sounds useful but very unnecessary: Godskin Swaddling cloth, Carian Filigreed Crest, old lord’s talisman, Ancestral Spirit Horn, Taker’s Cameo, Moon of Nokstella, Primal Glintstone Blade

As a side note, any build can take advantage of the following gear to boost their damage further, and then replace them once the damage buff is triggered. These are typically used in a one shot set up (e.g. Ancient Dragon Lightning Strike, Burn O flame, Giant’s flame take thee), alongside Red-feathered Branchedsword.

White Mask + Lord of Blood’s Exaltation (trigger with Seppuku), Mushroom Crown + Kindred of Rot (trigger with fetid pot), Black Dumpling (trigger with Howl of Shabriri)

Scorpion charm: Increases the corresponding elemental damage by 12% and reduces your physical damage negation by 10%. My philosophy is: if you don’t feel you can take advantage of ritual sword, then maybe think twice before equipping scorpion charms.

Spear Talisman: Damage bonus only applies to the Pierce damage component of the attack, and does not benefit the elemental component.

Bullgoat’s Talisman: This talisman works by reducing incoming poise damage. As such, this benefits your hyper armor moves greatly. I do not recommend using this talisman for the sole purpose of raising your passive armor poise.

Radagon Icon: Gives 30 vdex for calculating cast speed. Cast speed does not benefit the chain casting component. Overall I believe cast speed is not something you are interested in for PvE (Unless you have already maxed every other stat of interest.).

Armor

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).

The stand out ones are Haligtree Knight helm, crucible set, Raptors black feather, commoner’s garb, okina mask, Radiant gold mask and envoy crown

Flask of Wonderous Physicks

Generally speaking, I recommend Fire / Lightning / Holy cracked tear + Opaline hard tear. Greenburst is a more offensive alternative to Opaline hard tear.

Thorny / spiked / stonebarb tear are great for consecutive hits / charged heavy attack / poise breaking.

Stats

Early game prioritise 40 vigor and meeting the minimal stat requirements on your spells / weapons. A lv150 may look like:

  • 60 vigor
  • 20-30 mind (treat 38 mind as the hard cap, which is what a maxed cerulean flask will heal for)
  • Minimal Endurance needed for mid roll (without equipping more weapons than is necessary). As a ball-park figure, somewhere between 8 – 16 should more than suffice for most weapon choices.
  • Minimal str and dex for weapon of choice (notably 16 str 15 dex is needed to use both blasphemous blade and envoy longhorn, 17 str for ordovis gs, 16 dex for halo scythe, swordspear, 20 dex for cross naginata, butchering knife, 21 dex for golden order gs, 22 dex for godslayer gs, treespear)
  • 80 fai (or 78 with Haligtree Knight helm)
  • Base int / arc (any arc requirement on spells can be met using silvertear mask, whose damage penalty does not apply to spells)

This is a generic example to use a wide selection of weapons. But please optimise your stats and talisman based on your specific needs as discussed above.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6970 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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