ELDEN RING – Straight Sword Weapon Guide (PVP)

Guide to Straight Sword

Straight swords are some of the best weapons in PvP, and positioned in the S-tier of weapons overall when used in a powerstance (PS SS). Most of their moveset is fast, but still barely reactable. When paired, they can deal tremendous damage in a very short amount of time, offering some of the highest DPS in the game.

Straight Sword Tier-List and Comparison

The following comparisons are all made with 60 stats of investment starting with a wretch character. The R1 Damage is an approximation which assumes 140 defence and 30% damage negation for all damage types, with no buffs applied to the weapon.

Note: In the AR column, a damage type is underlined if it makes up the vast majority of the damage

Weapon1H R2Optimal StatsAttack Rating (AR)1H R1 DmgWeight
SCoded SwordPoke70 FTH529 holy3062.5
ANoble’s Slender SwordPoke70 DEXKeen 527 / Lightning 553254 / 2633.5
Carian Knight’s SwordBlock-Hit32 STR 48 INT599 physical+magic2874.0
Golden EpitaphPoke20 STR 20 DEX 50 FTH594 physical+holy2833.5
BMiquellan Knight’s SwordDash39 STR 35 DEX 16 FTH579 physical+holy2573.0
Warhawk’s Talon2 Slashes70 DEXKeen 502 / Lightning 553254 / 2633.0
LongswordPoke70 DEXKeen 513 / Lightning 585261 / 2833.5
Lordsworn’s Straight SwordPoke70 STRHeavy 509 / Fire 572259 / 2653.5
Rotten Crystal SwordPoke58 STR 22 INT605 physical+magic2754.5
Crystal SwordPoke59 STR 21 INT631 physical+magic2914.5
BroadswordHorizontal70 STRHeavy 548 / Fire 603284 / 2854.0
CSword of Night and FlamePoke12 STR 12 DEX50 INT 26 FTH662 physical+magic+fire2744.0
Lazuli Glintstone SwordBlock-Hit37 STR 43 INT601 physical+magic2783.5
Regalia of EochaidPoke12 STR 23 DEX 55 ARC605 physical+magic2765.5
Sword of St. TrinaPoke22 STR 54 DEX 14 INT521 physical+magic2243.0
DOrnamental Straight SwordPoke70 DEX460 physical2273.0
EShort SwordPoke70 DEXKeen 493 / Lightning 553249 / 2633.0
Cane SwordPoke70 DEXKeen 442 / Lightning 496216 / 2262.5
FWeathered Straight SwordPoke70 DEXKeen 467 / Lightning 534232 / 2513.0

Note: Broadsword and Lordsworn’s Straight Sword are listed as STR weapons because they do more damage with Heavy than Keen. However, on 70 DEX with lightning infusion, they have 619 and 586 AR respectively, which is the same AR as with fire infusion on 70 STR. With lightning damage being better than fire damage*, they actually work better as DEX weapons when it comes to affinity damage.

* Fire defence scales with VIG, lightning defence only scales with RL, which leads to lightning defence being the lowest defence at RL 125 (127 lightning def. vs. 186 fire def. at 60 VIG, RL 125) Also, lightning gets an environmental boost from rain, and is more effective against shields.

Weapon Hitbox Range Comparison

Weapon Range Data for Straight Swords in Elden Ring

Discussion

Coded Sword

The coded sword is very special because it deals pure holy damage. Pure damage is better than split damage in general, and affinity damage is better than physical damage. Coded sword is the second-longest and effectively the highest-damage straight sword in the game, while having some of the lowest weight requirements.

It is used on a pure faith build, giving the user access to Black Flame’s Protection and other extremely powerful buffs. Should someone cast (Lord’s) Divine Fortification, you can simply swap to other flame-infused straight swords and cast Black Flame’s Protection. This ensures that no matter who buffs in what way, you will always have the highest damage when starting with Coded Swords.

Its weapon art is too slow to be used competitively, making it ideal as an offhand weapon. In many situations, powerstanced straight swords (PS SS) don’t need a weapon art, making it fine to use in both hands anyways. Another weakness is that its jump attack damage is not affected by claw talisman. However, most damage in high-skill fights will result from L1 and not JL1, making this less of an issue.

Note: Holyproof Dried Liver would normally be an excellent protection against Codeds, but it is banned in ladder matches due to a bug which gives it 35% holy damage negation instead of 15%.

Noble’s Slender Sword

The longest straight sword, infusible, and has very high damage on DEX builds. Overall, the best straight sword without any unusual properties.

Carian Knight’s Sword

Slightly shorter than the Noble’s Slender, and roughly the same effective damage. It has a unique R2 which starts by blocking and then strikes. This can be used as a quasi-shield-poke to block opponent moves and strike back in one go. Out of all straight sword R2s, this is by far the best. Unfortunately, it has the Carian Grandeur weapon art, which is largely useless in PvP.

Golden Epitaph

This sword has outstanding range and outstanding damage. It is slightly worse in both regards compared to other A-tier swords, but it is a very good choice nonetheless. It has a buffing weapon art which adds 25 holy damage, and increases all damage by 5% for 60 seconds, making it one of the highest damage swords when buffed.

Miquellan Knight’s Sword

One of the longest straight swords, but has comparably low damage. However, with the Sacred Blade buff applied to it, the added 90 holy damage compensates for this. This buff was also improved in 1.07, and now lasts 40 seconds instead of 20. The sword also has a unique R2 with considerable travel distance when charged.

Warhawk’s Talon

Identical to Noble’s Slender Sword in damage with optimal stats, but significantly shorter and 0.5 weight lighter. The only reason to prefer this weapon over Noble’s Slender is the unique R2, which strikes twice and has some roll-catching potential.

Longsword

Similar to Warhawk’s Talon, but sacrificing a fair amount of range in exchange for slightly higher AR. It also lacks a unique R2.

Lordsworn’s Straight Sword

Similar to Broadsword, but slightly lighter, less damaging, and longer. Usually, the greater damage of the Broadsword is preferred.

Rotten Crystal Sword

High-damage and decently long straight sword. What makes it special is the innate 50 scarlet rot buildup, or 100 in a powerstance. You can also use drawstring rot grease on another mainhand weapon for 63 rot buildup instead of 50. The scarlet rot buildup can be of major utility on higher latencies, as it is easier to apply due to phantom hits. It has the Spinning Slash weapon art, which is among the best for straight swords and excellent at building up status.

Crystal Sword

Very similar to Rotten Crystal Sword, but the 50 rot buildup is traded for slightly higher damage, which is usually not a good trade. It is the highest AR straight sword after the Sword of N&F, and will deal much more effective damage.

Broadsword

The highest-damage infusible straight sword. While it is primarily a STR weapon, it will scale well with any affinity infusion, making it useful for any build. It is a very short straight sword compared to other higher-tier options, and CR1 and R2 are not thrusts, dealing no pierce damage. It is best used as an offhand weapon, if at all.

Sword of Night and Flame

This sword requires an awkward INT/FTH build and has a deceptively high AR. The effective damage is very low, because it goes through split damage calculation for three different damage types. In terms of range and damage, it is extremely similar to Rotten Crystal Sword, but it has no status buildup, making it clearly worse.

Lazuli Glintstone Sword

Among the shortest straight swords, and similar in effective damage to Crystal Sword. It also requires a more awkward split between STR and INT. It has a Block-Hit unique R2, just like Carian Knight’s Sword, which can be very useful.

Regalia of Eochaid

Shorter and less damaging than Crystal Sword. It is also the heaviest straight sword and has a more situational weapon art, which can theoretically one-shot an opponent under the right conditions. Still, the AR is among the highest of all straight swords and it is an excellent option for ARC builds.

Sword of St. Trina

This straight sword is among the shortest and has poor damage. What makes it good is that it has 65 innate sleep buildup, or 130 when paired. This means that you can sleep an opponent in 3-4 hits depending on whether they use Clarifying Horn Charm. You don’t even need to hit them per-se, a phantom hit is enough to build up sleep, making this weapon absolutely devastating at higher latency. When you manage to proc sleep on them, you can punish this with L1 L1, simultaneously dealing large damage and buildup up sleep for the next proc. You can also (hard-)swap to another weapon like Stormhawk Axe to inflict damage.

However, managing to put a knowledgeable opponent who uses Clarifying Charm and boluses to sleep can be very difficult, especially since the 1.07 nerf to status buildup in powerstances. If you never manage to proc the sleep, you are left with very short and very low damage straight swords.

Ornamental Straight Sword

Lowest physical damage than most straight swords, and short range. However, it has a buffing weapon art which adds 85 holy damage. It also has the special property of giving you a paired moveset when two-handing it. This paired moveset is similar to the PS SS moveset, but has a running R2 and R2 which thrusts with both swords, dealing pierce damage. It also has a JR1 which is the jump attack of PS thrusting swords. Overall, the low damage is somewhat compensated by the thrusting moveset.

It also gives you a PS SS moveset at only 3 weight in total, even lower than PS Codeds at 5 weight units.

Note: This weapon is a loophole and does not count as a PS SS, allowing you to ignore the 65 poise limit

Short Sword

The shortest straight sword, and still lower damage than Noble’s Slender Sword. There is no reason to ever use this weapon.

Cane Sword

Lighter and longer-ranged than Short Sword, but significantly lower damage.

Weathered Straight Sword

Shorter than Cane Sword and lower damage than Short Sword, combining the worst of the two.

Moveset Data and Discussion

There are three movesets to discuss: two-handed (2H), one-handed (1H), and powerstanced (PS). The following tables refer to the data for Noble’s Slender Sword. The data for other straight swords may slightly vary, but is very similar in most cases.

Two-Handed

MovePvP Poise DmgAttack Motion Value
R187.75103
R2148.5130
R2 (Talon)77.625 + 77.62580 + 110
R2 Charged445.5165
R2 Charged (Talon)141.875 + 300.37580 + 135
Running R1 (RR1)87.75110
Running R2 (RR2)148.5125
Rolling/Crouch R1 (CR1)87.7595
Jump R1 (JR1)131.625112
Jump R2 (JR2)297132
Backstep R1 (BR1)87.7595
Guard Counter445.5130

This moveset offers basically nothing over the 1H moveset. R1 is a shorter-range vertical slash, akin to some greatswords. It has almost no additional poise damage, and straight swords are best played in a powerstance anyways.

One-Handed

MovePvP Poise DmgAttack Motion Value
R167.5100
R2135125
R2 (Talon)67.5 + 67.575 + 105
R2 Charged405160
R2 Charged (Talon)135 + 27075 + 130
Running R1 (RR1)67.5105
Running R2 (RR2)135120
Rolling/Crouch R1 (CR1)67.590
Jump R1 (JR1)101.25107
Jump R2 (JR2)270127
Backstep R1 (BR1)67.590
Guard Counter405125

The R1 is a fairly high-ranged horizontal slash. CR1 is very fast thrust on almost all straight swords, and R2 is a slower thrust for most. The unique R2s have been discussed above.

Overall, this moveset is very risky to use due to the low poise damage. The only guaranteed poise breaks in ladders are on RR2, R2, and JR2, but those attacks are slow. JR2 can still be a good option for inflicting high poise damage quickly, such as to break the hyper-armour of the Mogh Spear.

With the exception of some unique R2s, the CR1 for a very fast roll-catch, and JR2 for high poise damage, you should prefer the PS moveset in 99% of situations.

Powerstanced

MovePvP Poise DmgAttack Motion Value
L140.5 + 40.592 + 92
Running L1 (RL1)40.5 + 40.5100 + 95
Rolling/Crouch L1 (CL1)40.5 + 40.585 + 85
Jump L1 (JL1)101.25 + 101.25105 + 105
Backstep L1 (BL1)40.5 + 40.585 + 85

The powerstanced moveset is insanely powerful due to two moves in particular: L1 and JL1. Most of the moveset still suffers from low poise damage, but the high and quickly inflicted damage make it unfavourable for your opponent to poise-trade anyways.

L1 strikes with both straight swords simultaneously. L1 1 is the best move of the chain, because it has a massive travel distance, allowing you to reach much further than one would expect for straight swords. L1 3 is the only move in the four-move-chain which strikes separately, in the form of two thrusts, and is widely considered the worst move of the chain. In most engagements, you will only use L1 1 and L1 2.

CL1 is a very weak move, as it has none of the travel distance of L1 1 and also lower motion values. This results in a major vulnerability for straight swords after they have rolled. Alternatives to CL1 include:

  • Using CR1 for greater range
  • Waiting until you can use L1 1 again
  • Jumping out of a roll and using JL1
  • Backstepping out of a roll to use BL1

JL1 is a god-tier move. It has greater motion values than L1, is a guaranteed poise break in ladder matches, is extremely fast and has a favourable X-shaped hitbox, proceeds into L1 2, has a very low recovery, and all of that in the form of a jump attack. The only notable downside is that if you press L1 very early, the JL1 might go over the heads of crouching opponents. Height differences in the terrain can significantly weaken this move, and it can hit rather late during neutral jumps.

BL1 has low motion values, but the travel distance and pierce damage compared to CL1 compensate for these issues. A circular quickstep around opponents followed by BL1 will roll-catch many panic rolls.

Summary

All movesets suffer from low poise damage, but the PS moveset excellently compensates for this with high damage. L1 1 and JL1 are by far the strongest moves in the moveset, and you can win many rounds by using nothing but these two.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7137 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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