A build contributed by: (Steam) Summon the Night - Soul Level 150 - Intellect/Staff/Fast weapon - Deprived start
Last Updated: 5/08/2014 (Check Changelog at the bottom)
I have switched over to the PC version since its release and have started a stream on Twitch where I hang out with some of my buddies on Skype for PvP and even some crazy adventures in jolly cooperation! Twitch Stream
Hi, I'm SummonTheNight, and I'd just like to share a build that I've had quite a bit of success with. I'm pretty much brand new to the whole PvP scene in the Souls games, so bear with me and try not to laugh too hard at my first attempt at a build! The name is just something I came up with on the spot but is partly because my character looks like a witch, and she is indeed a duelist of sorts :p As far as the build goes, it's pretty straightforward and not too complicated, as there's hardly any (if any) weapon swapping, depending on how much you want to add to it. This is just the very basic version. Also, I realize that right now the community is up in the air about the agreed upon soul level range for NG/NG+, but from what I've heard from polls and whatnot, most of the community wanted this??? Either way, I won't go into too much detail about how much I agree with 150, but because of the existence of dual wielding it seems necessary to raise the bar, otherwise excluding certain specific builds/weapon combinations from viability. If a different soul level is agreed upon in the future, I will definitely come back and revise this build!
Anyway, back to it. My focus was originally melee with magic buffs, but hey, if you're gonna have a high intellect stat, might as well use some powerful spells! You won't need many spell slots, but if you feel like adding more for variety, go ahead and use the Southern Ritual Band (preferably +2, which you can get in NG) and/or the Black Witch Hat. This is not really a glass cannon build, as you will have a lot of health and resistances to work with, making the melee part of combat a bit less scary. On to the stats!
General Character Stats:
Equip load: 60.2
Cast Speed: 204
Stats: (Explanations below)
Lv: Like I said, this is definitely subject to change. And if that happens, I'll be back to revise the build appropriately!
VGR: I've heard some people say that there's little reason to go past 20 because of diminishing returns, but that is just complete nonsense. It's true that you get 20 HP instead of 30 after 20 VGR, but that goes all the way up to 50, and is a difference of up to 600 HP. For survivabilty, it would be silly to pass those 30 points up. This build goes up to 50, but if you want, you can afford to move points around depending on your own preferences.
When stacking health-boosting rings, the largest percentage is calculated first.
At 50 VGR, I have 1975 HP. Add Life Ring +2: 1975 + (1975 * 0.125) = 1975 + 246.875 = 2221.875 (decimal gets ignored on display). Then add Third Dragon Ring +2: 2221 + (2221 * 0.075) = 2221.875 + 166.641 = 2388. With low VIT, and therefore lighter armor, low physical defense, and low poise, this is a massive cushion to work with. It also makes poison a lot less detrimental, if it comes down to that. A great thing about the Uchigatana is the high counter value at 150, so you can utilize this large pool of HP to exchange usually favorable blows if you feel the need.
END: Why 20? Because you've hit the soft cap and only get a 1 point increase in stamina, and I'd much rather have those points in a stat that hasn't diminished so heavily. You don't really need too much stamina anyway, as your one-hander isn't going to deplete your bar very quickly. You do get an increase in physical defense and poise, but it's not enough of an increase to be bothered wasting the points. Also, this build isn't focused around tanking hits while returning blows. If that's your play style, then this is definitely not the build for you.
VIT: You're probably going to laugh at my low VIT stat at only 10, but I have my reasons. First, I still have 60.2 equip load thanks to the Third Dragon Ring, so it's really not that low. Second, I prefer to have long, fast rolls for ease of avoiding attacks and positioning myself, especially since this build has more of a hit-and-run tactic. Third, it's enough for the light armor and equipment that I wear. I have less than 30% total equip load, so I regenerate stamina quite fast. And don't forget that casting spells uses stamina! If you want to wear heavier stuff, you can probably move some points around, but I don't really recommend it.
ATN: At 25 ATN, I get a base 5 spell slots, which is plenty for the bare bones spells that you'll want to carry for this build. Add the Witch's hat to that and 6 is all you'll ever need. Once again, if you need more spell slots, there's always room for the Southern Ritual Band +2, which gives you a whopping THREE more slots. Something else important about this stat that you don't want to forget is cast speed. Between the Clear Bluestone Ring +2, Lion Mage Robe, Lion Mage Cuffs, and your ATN stat, you've got a great casting speed for PvP. The faster your spell casts are, the easier it is to surprise your opponent and/or throw off their timing. Last but not least, this stat increases your Agility, but not enough past this point to warrant more focus. You'll get all the other Agility you need from ADP.
STR: I only have 10 points because I'm not planning on scaling any weapons, and that's the minimum requirement for the Uchigatana. This stat is subject to change depending on what weapon you plan on using.
DEX: Once again, this is the minimum requirement for the Uchigatana, and since I made it a Magic weapon for the purpose of this build, it's DEX scaling goes down enough that it wouldn't be very smart to put points into to slightly raise damage. Your weapon enchant is going to be the biggest factor in your damage. If you need more for your choice of weapon, this is subject to change.
ADP: This is an interesting stat because it does a lot of useful things. For resistances, I think this is a good number without going too overboard. Your magic defense is going to be high when combined with certain light armor, so you'll be great against other sorcerers. Poise isn't important here, and you don't get enough for it to matter. The focus of this build is to be nimble and dodge attacks. And even if you do find yourself getting locked up a bit, you've got a massive health bar that will almost always outlast their stamina or until you escape (providing you still had a decent amount left). Biggest thing here is agility. The amount of agility that you can get from this stat doesn't actually diminish at 26 with the 25 ATN, but it should be plenty.
INT: This build is focused around INT as the stat you will rely on for damage, so this is quite important. I highly recommend that you keep this stat at 40. After 40, you hit some heavy diminishing returns. From 40-50, you only gain an alternating 1 and 2 increase to your Magic BNS, from 140 to 155. Your Crystal Magic Weapon should make your weapon attacks hit like a truck and cut through low magic resist shields like butter.
FTH: For the purpose of this build, you do not need to put any points into faith. If you want to use hexes, I highly recommend that you just use Skeptic's Spices to lower the FTH requirement on the spells. I know that this won't increase your Dark BNS at all, but don't put points into this, or you're going into a realm that is beyond this build's scope. After that, it's all on you whether or not it's effective.
Remember, this is my personal preference and a combination of aesthetics and practicality. If you don't like this look, well obviously you don't have to follow it exactly. But hey, this is the Witch Duelist!
If you're looking for any of the following pieces of equipment, just simply type their names into Google and you will easily find links to this site and others with info on how to find them. If you're still having trouble, just send me an e-mail or PSN message.
As for the Southern Ritual Band +2, I got it from Scorpioness Najka after using a bonfire ascetic at the Shaded Ruins. Remember that bonfire ascetics essentially set that area to NG+. But be careful! It gets a lot harder (especially for certain builds) and there's NO way to reverse the effect. If you decide to go to NG+, that area will become NG++ and be even harder. You have been warned!
Crystal Soul Spear can be acquired by trading Old Paledrake Soul with Straid of Olaphis. In order to get this soul, use a Bonfire Ascetic at Brightstone Cove Tseldora's Lower Brightstone Cove bonfire and defeat Duke's Dear Freja. You can do this any number of times. I recommend getting 2-3 to have a decent number of casts for Crystal Soul Spear. Note that you can also trade this soul to Ornifex to get the Moonlight Greatsword, known as MLGS. It is an extremely powerful weapon for INT builds, and is generally looked down upon in the community due to its ridiculously powerful nature in general and the lack of skill required to wield it effectively. I recommend you stay away from Major League Greatsword unless you don't mind being shunned by much of the player base.
Head: Black Witch Hat +5 (Adds an extra spell slot for utility, very light, and I...just like it :p)
The same good fellow who suggested me Staff of Amana also informed me that there is a head slot called Hexer's Hood that doesn't require any FTH, unlike Saint's Hood. It will increase the amount of spell casts for each of your equipped spells by 1. So if you have 2 Crystal Soul Spears attuned, you will have a total of 6 [(2+1) + (2+1)] instead of 4. It's a great alternative to the BWH that I use if you just want more of certain spells. Personally, I just love the BWH's look and utility, so I'm gonna stick with that, but the Hexer's Hood is quite good!
Chest: Lion Mage Robe +10 (Gives you some extra casting speed, very light, has good resistances, and looks great with the rest of the outfit!)
Hands: Lion Mage Cuffs +10 (Gives you some extra casting speed, very light, has good resistances, and is barely visible with the chest! Not that there was much there to begin with...)
Legs: Black Witch Trousers +5 (Some might say I'm pervin' with this one, but hey, it's extremely light with good resistances, and it's part of the Black Witch set :p ...ok, let's face it, it's for distracting my opponents.)
Ring 1: Third Dragon Ring (This ring is great. It gives you a very useful chunk of stamina, decent amount of health, and increases your equip burden by quite a bit. I would not switch this ring out for any reason.)
Ring 2: Clear Bluestone Ring +2 (You can get this ring in NG using a Bonfire Ascetic at Undead Lockaway in Huntsman's Copse and defeating Skeleton Lords. I wouldn't take off this ring for any reason. It's got a massive boost in spell casting speed at 55%!!!)
Ring 3: Life Ring +2 (I prefer the Life Ring +2 over other defensive rings, simply because you never what you're going to face, and having more health is a safer bet than putting all your eggs in one basket. But you can definitely go with something else if you feel like it. Southern Ritual Band +2 gives you three attunement slots, so that's definitely a viable option if you want a plethora of spells. These last two ring slots are pretty much up to you.
Ring 4: Chloranthy Ring +2 (You can get this ring in NG using a Bonfire Ascetic at Undead Purgatory, then return to the Chariot Executioner's fog gate at the bridge. Discovery courtesy of a friend of mine :) Thanks! Some might say that the increase in stamina regeneration is negligible, but I disagree. I mean, this isn't a super important ring for the build, and you could probably go with a Stone Ring or something if you really think you need the poise reduction [from my experience, I don't think so], but this has been in my equipment and it's been working out pretty well. Even casting spells you still use plenty of stamina, and it's also more important considering you'll be devoid of a shield and rolling around all the time to avoid attacks. It's a bit necessary for the hit-and-run tactics that this build favors. Of course, switching this ring out for something else isn't going to completely nullify the build. It's just one of my play style preferences.
Right Weapon 1: Magic Uchigatana +10 (A few of the reasons I chose the Uchigatana are: One, the running R1 (light) attack is fast with pretty good reach, tracks well, is somewhat difficult to avoid, and is perfect for setting up sequential hits. Two, the high counter damage means that exchanges will greatly punish your opponent. Three, I just like it. You can use whatever weapon you like, but preferably something fast. You should be using the Magic enchantment because it's your highest bonus scaling with INT. Fire is not recommended, because you aren't going to benefit from the 30% magic damage boost from Crystal Magic Weapon.)
Right Weapon 2: Empty (Do what you want with empty slots, but keep the focus of the build in mind. And don't be afraid to move things around depending on your comfort zone!)
Right Weapon 3: Empty
Left Weapon 1: Magic Staff of Amana +10 (Scales very well at S and will enhance your spell damage the most. Though the casting speed is a bit low, the damage boost is worth it. Credit goes to a kind soul who contacted me on the PSN and offered suggestions. Thank you!)
Left Weapon 2: Pyromancy Flame +10 (This is optional in case you want to incorporate some cool pyromancy. I would stick with fast spells or situational utility, like Flash Sweat against fire magic and weapons. And please, for the love of all that is Dark Souls, do not use Iron Flesh. It completely undermines the purpose of this build and will only hinder you.)
Left Weapon 3: Empty
Spells: Here are the essentials - Crystal Magic Weapon, Homing Crystal Soulmass, Crystal Soul Spear, and Soul Greatsword. Crytal Magic Weapon is gonna make your hits hurt. You're going to wreck their day with just a few solid hits. Homing Crystal Soulmass is a great way to enter a fight, and a perfect opportunity to find an opening if you can time it. Crystal Soul Spear is just a very powerful spell with decent tracking. It's somewhat difficult to avoid given the right circumstances, and a clean hit will chunk your opponent, guaranteed. Soul Greatsword is somewhat situational, but it hits hard if you managed to land a clean strike. It's also pretty fast and it's sometimes difficult to time the dodge, especially with a fast casting speed.
Besides these spells, go ahead and incorporate your own taste. These are just what I deem essential to the build, and to most sorcerers in general. They are powerful spells in all situations.
An important note: In order to wield Crystal Soul Spear, which has an INT requirement of 53, you need to use 13 Simpleton's Spices on it. This will lower the requirement for all instances of the spell. If you are having trouble acquiring that many spices, a quick Google search of the item will net you some very useful information on how to get some!
Hit and run. What more can I say? You're not very durable against physical attacks, and your health bar is there for cushioning unavoidable damage and dodge mistakes. You shouldn't be rushing in and fighting toe-to-toe with anyone. Before the fight starts, don't forget to buff your weapon with Crystal Magic Weapon, and remember to NEVER switch that weapon away unless you want to lose the buff. It's going to be soooo important in the fight, and chances are you won't have an opportunity to eat an item to restore uses and rebuff safely. Try and use Homing Crystal Soulmass at a safe distance during the fight (and before) whenever you can. It's a great spell with decent damage that puts pressure on the opponent, who either has to dodge the masses when you get close, leaving themselves vulnerable to well-timed attacks, or risk blocking and getting their guard broken. Crystal Soul Spear is an extremely powerful, fast-moving projectile that can sometimes be difficult to dodge. It also has splash damage, so if you hit something near your target, it's going to still deal damage. I've been hit through stair railings and such, and a clean hit will decimate health bars. It's good to use this in accompaniment with your Homing Crystal Soulmass, as they will have trouble avoiding the sheer number of projectiles hurtling towards their face at different timings. If they fail to dodge any of them, they're in for a nasty surprise (I've killed many people outright with just those two spells). For this spell I recommend keeping at a medium distance to shorten their reaction time, perhaps waiting until they start to do something that takes away control from their character, like beginning to cast a spell (be careful here), swinging their weapon out of range, or consuming an item. Don't try to save your spell casts, though. The main reason this build is effective for me, is that I use my spells to initiate the fight and get in some free damage before I move in for the kill. It's unlikely that you will simply defeat your opponent with spells if they are good, and they might take advantage of your timidness if you aren't aggressive enough with your buff.
Use your Crystal Magic Weapon to it's fullest! That's the reason why this build works! It does tons of damage and will make your foes curse its very existence. Heavy armor? No problem. Shield? Maybe a great shield, but that's where you change tactics and bash their guard. And don't forget to two-hand your weapon for most occasions! If you're using the Uchigatana, poke at them with dashing R1 (light) attacks. If they're using a shield, chances are they will attempt to just block, but because of the sheer amount of magic damage that you can do, some of it will get through. Afterwards, roll away and back off to look for another opportunity to strike some free damage. If you managed to stagger them, continue your assault with repeated light attacks until they break free. When they start to get low, they will most likely panic. This is where you need to be cautious because they will sometimes think about being more aggressive (a bit too late) seeing as their defensive strategy is failing, but at the same time you need to keep within close proximity and force them into making a bad move. Remember, your hits with CMW are huge. If they're low and you have the health to spare, don't be too afraid of exchanging damage. Chances are they are going to lose every single time and be that much closer to death.
Hope you enjoyed checking out my Witch Duelist build. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me an invite to chat on Steam (PC): Summon the Night. I welcome and encourage constructive criticism, as I am far from perfect in game knowledge.
- Updated contact info
- Replaced Chloranthy Ring +1 with Chloranthy Ring +2
- Updated stats and explanations
- Updated gear explanations
- Replaced Soul Spear with Crystal Soul Spear
- Added general stats
- Replaced Clear Bluestone Ring +1 with Clear Bluestone Ring +2
- Replaced Olenford's Staff +5 with Staff of Amana +10
- Added Hexer's Hood as suggestion under Head gear