Tarnished Looking up at Scadutree in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Key Art
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco

Best Build for Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

Build the best Tarnished for the task at hand.

Elden Ring is already a difficult enough game, but its DLC Shadow of the Erdtree cranks that challenge up to the next level. As such, we figured we’d give you a leg up by laying out the best build you can use during your time in the Shadow Realm.

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Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree DLC Best Build: Best Stat Distribution, Gear, & More

View of Character Stats in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

Before going any further, we should note outright that you need to clear the majority of the base game of Elden Ring before you attempt to make the build described below.

While shadow of the Erdtree does offer its own scaling system and makes it somewhat viable to go in at a mid-game level, you will feel that progress gap more and more as you progress. Likewise, there’s a higher chance that you won’t be able to get some of the gear listed below if you aren’t far enough in the game and don’t have access to every area.

Take some time to advance the base story until you’re at least past Maliketh and are at least to Level 120. After that, head over to Rennala so that you can respec your character using a Larval Tear.

What Is the Best Build Gimmick for Shadow of the Erdtree? Explained

As for what your build will center around, it should come as no surprise to most anyone who has played the game before. You’re going to want to spec your character according to a Bleed build.

This is due to two big factors. The first is the beefiness of the DLC bosses’ health pools. Several of the Great Enemies in the Shadow Realm boast health bars on par with the base game’s toughest foes, and trying to take them on with basic attacks alone can make their battles lengthy ordeals. But with Bleed and Blood Loss in the mix, you can melt their health bars so long as you maintain pressure and mitigate a lot of the struggle inherent to their fights.

The second factor is just how many of the bosses are vulnerable to Bleed buildup. Whereas Fire, Magic, and Frostbite weapons can also give you a leg-up against some specific bosses, Bleed is viable against the vast majority of the foes you meet in the expansion. as such, you won’t have to worry about retooling your character for each and every foe you come across.

Best Bleed Build Weapons

View of Moonveil Katana in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree (Best Build Guide)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

To that end, you’ll want to nab a good Bleed weapon that suits your playstyle best in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree and craft you’re build off of it.

Luckily, there are a wide variety of weapons that can inflict the Bleed status in the game. Some are tied exclusively to Dexterity builds, but others can be used by nearly pure Intelligence builds, Faith builds, and Strength builds respectively.

We’ve listed some of the best, along with their stat requirements, down below.

Weapon NameStat RequirementsScaling Stat Ratings (Before Being Upgraded)Blood Loss BuildupWhere to Find
Rivers of BloodSTR: 12
DEX: 18
ARC: 20
STR: E
DEX: D
ARC: D
50Dropped by Bloody Finger Okina in the Church of Repose. Church is found in the Eastern Region of the Mountaintops of the Giants (snowy region in the Northeastern part of the world map).
Moonveil KatanaSTR: 12
DEX: 18
INT: 23
STR: E
DEX: D
INT: C
50Dropped by the Magma Wyrm boss in the Caelid Gael Tunnel dungeon (on the leftside edge of Caelid and south of the Rotview Balcony Site of Grace).
Winged ScytheSTR: 16
DEX: 16
FAI: 24
STR: E
DEX: D
FAI: D
55Found in a chest in the Tombsward Ruins in Limgrave. (Ruins are on the southernmost landmass on the world map, and to the northeast of the Weeping Evergaol).
Mohgwyn’s Sacred SpearSTR: 24
DEX: 14
ARC: 27
STR: D
DEX: E
ARC: D
55After defeating Mohgwyn, exchange his Rememberance of the Blood Lord to the Finger Crone Enia at the Roundtable Hold.
Bloodhound’s FangSTR: 18
DEX: 17
STR: D
DEX: C
55Defeat the Bloodhound Knight Darriwil in the Forlorn Hound Evergaol (Evergaol is located to the south of the Waypoint Ruins in Limgrave).
Great StarsSTR: 22
DEX: 12
STR: D
DEX: D
55Can obtain two for dual wielding. The first is located in a carriage being pulled by giants in the Altus Plateau, on the road southwest of the Road of Iniquity Side Path Site of Grace. The other is dropped by Magnus the Beast Claw, who can be invaded and defeated via an invasion sign in the Writheblood Ruins in the Altus Plateau.
Star FistSTR: 12
DEX: 8
STR: D
DEX: E
45Found on the left side of the coliseum in the Leyndell Royal Capital. Quickest way to reach it is to go to the West Capital Rampart Site of Grace and then proceed along the left side of the building.

Best Shadow of the Erdtree Bleed Build Stat Distribution

View of Stat Distribution in Level Up Screen in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

With all of that said, you’ll want to distribute your stats accordingly for your new Bleed build.

As stated above, there are a variety of weapons that can deal Bleed buildup to enemies in the game, and most any of them can be viable whether you’re a strict Dexterity build, a bulky Strength build, or even a spell-slinging Intelligence build.

However, there are still some stats you’ll want to prioritize in order to accommodate the largest spread of Bleed weapons those being Dexterity or Strength. Both are tied to the usage requirements for some of the best Bleed weapons in the game, and said weapons scale off of these stats for some impressive bonuses to your total damage output. The rest of your points can then go into Vigor, Endurance, and whatever other stat you might want to use to personalize your build.

When all is said and done, your stat distribution should look something like this before you use your last few points as you see fit:

  • Vigor: 30
  • Mind: 10
  • Endurance: 30
  • Strength: 20 – 50 (Should be based on weapon you want to use)
  • Dexterity: 20 – 50 (Should be based on weapon you want to use)
  • Intelligence: 10* (Can be boosted in place of Strength stat if using the Moonveil Katana)
  • Faith: 10* (Can be boosted in place of Strength stat if using the Winged Scythe)
  • Arcane: 10* (Can be boosted if you go with weapons that scale off of Arcane like Rivers of Blood and Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear)

Best Shadow of the Erdtree Bleed Build Armor and Talismans

View of Lord of Blood's Exultation Talisman in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree (Best Build Guide)
Image Credit: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

Finally, there’s the armor and Talismans you’ll want to use to have the best Shadow of the Erdtree experience possible with your Bleed build.

In general, it’s best to wear armor that grants you good coverage against a wide range of damage types without hampering your speed. We found the Crucible Armor set and the Dung Eater Armor sets to be highly viable across all of the weapons we listed above.

As for Talismans, only one stood out as a necessity for this particular type of build; that being the Lord of Blood’s Exultation Talisman. Dropped by Esgar, Priest of Blood upon defeat in the Leyndell Catacombs beneath the Royal Capital, it raises your attack power anytime Blood Loss occurs in your vicinity. When paired with a Bleed Build, this can result in a regular damage increase for your character.

The rest of your slots can be filled with whatever you find to be the most useful in the moment. You might want to equip some damage reducing Talismans like the Flame Drake Talisman line during your fight with Messmer; or, you might want to bolster your stats with Talismans like Radagon’s Soreseal or the Erdtree’s Favor.

And that covers everything you need to know about the best build for Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree. For more helpful info and tips, check out our guides on where to find some early Scadutree Fragments and how to turn on the Recent Items tab in your inventory.


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Keenan McCall
Keenan has been a nerd from an early age, watching anime and playing games for as long as I can remember. Since obtaining a bachelor's degree in journalism back in 2017, he has written thousands of articles covering gaming, animation, and entertainment topics galore.