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|Elden Ring **CHALLENGED**|
YES INDEED, gather round young bumfires this is my tale
Remain in Light
Every boss I fight can *only* be attacked using a weapon skill assigned with an Ash of War. L1, R1 and R2 are banned.
Only L2 is allowed (*unless* this has a skill-specific follow-up with R1 or R2, in which case fair game).
No inherent weapon skills are allowed! Only Ashes of War found as drops or obtained in the game can be used to determine a weapon skill! If a weapon can't be modified with Ashes of War, it's a no-go!
No strict rule on summons, but I will avoid them unless otherwise noted.
And now the best part - **each Ash of War can only be used on one boss** ! That's it - after a victory, it goes off the weapon and into the item box. Byebye!
The GOAL is to complete the game (i.e. kill the Elden Beast) but uh something something MaleniaMohgAstel extra bonus points yeah okay
More Songs About Buildings and Food
I literally never use Ashes of War for anything usually, and since this EPIC QUEST requires me to make us of, uh, almost every viable one of them and a few outside choices, consider this an extended questly REVIEW for your own Elden Ringing needs and strats. Some good strats have emerged so far - and some terrible ones. So uh without further ado lfg listisjams? Bosses are in roughly the order they were killed
Downward Is Heavenward
AoW: Impaling Thrust
What it do: Big normal stab attack with decent poise damage and a sexy animation
My early game was a pretty rushed experience running around Limgrave and grabbing as many viable ashes as possible - I wanted a fair fight against Margit, which meant not overlevelling and not deliberately using a trash ash against him on the conservative save-the-best-for-endgame ethos that would guide literally all bosses hereafter.
Impaling Thrust isn't exactly op, but as its speed and power were both roughly equivalent to fighting with R2 only, I'd say it's viable for the majority of bosses in general. It certainly felt balanced for Margit - he put up a good fight and I had to watch his openings more carefully than usual, but he went down without any major issues.
Strategy rating: 6/10. Good ash, but the whole point of a first compulsory boss is to confirm you know how to use R1 properly. Fighting Margit without it felt wrong somehow.
AoW: Spinning Strikes
What it do: helicopter spear go whirr around your head
I... still don't know how good/bad this ash is lol. I found my character was a little underlevelled after Margit, and with no bosses to kill (was not risking wasting ashes this early on) and no inclination to farm, I took the easy way out and slaughtered sad dad Edgar for his Banished Knight's Halberd +8. As a surprise freebie, this came with the Strikes ash already slapped on (default for this weapon is Charge Ahead or whatever).
I'd heard a minimum of outright positive things about this ash, so figured I'd hold onto my strongest options (Unsheathe and Wild Strikes at this point) and see what it could do. Poor Godfrey got royally shredded - he gives you so many openings that this spin-to-win ash had a lot of scope against him. Is it secretly underrated, or was this just a lucky pairing on an overlevelled weapon? Uh...
Strategy rating: 7/10. This was a high risk/decent reward ash, and Godfrey left himself open too often. Very easy to get greedy, but once I had a clear sense of how much I could get away with, this was a neat fit
Crystalian (Liurnia Mine)
AoW: Ground Slam
What it do: hit ground mak earthquak
Given the high probability of having to upgrade alternative weapons in the game, the smithing stone store you get from this guy was a must. This ash would have been entirely useless against literally any other boss om the list in an evenly levelled fight but uh yep, pretty sure the whole thing was over in 3-4 hits RIP
Strategy rating: 10/10 ngl this was the only point where I felt I'd straight up insulted the game
|6||Spangle Call Lilli Line|
Red Wolf of Radagon
AoW: Spinning Slash
What it do: it is a slash in a semicircle in front of you!!!
No fancy bullshit here - this boss is fast and has low healthy, so I was happy to pick up a modestly decent AoW and use it in as close a fashion as I could to standard R1 spam wherever openings appeared. Took a few shots to nail the timings, but I soon rang the the death kennel for ginger doge lfg
Strategy rating: 5/10 this is literally the same as every fight you've ever had with this boss, just slightly clunkier. Nothing beats R1.
|7||Life Without Buildings|
Any Other City
AoW: Charge Forth
What it do: drop your spear to waist height, point it forward and GO GO GO
Rennala was uhhh a little scary on paper, since it was still early enough for me to be worried about FP - didn't want to sacrifice too many flasks to FP restoring flasks, but her minions in Phase 1 obviously ate up a ton of my bar (especially since Ashes of War aren't really the ones for dps, meaning that it took me on average THREE tries to kill her phase 1 form - that's 9 hits on her minions and about the same on herself!)
I chose Charge Forth purely because it has a lowish FP cost and I didn't expect its long animation to be viable against harder bosses. I therefore can't take credit for coming up with THE PERFECT COUNTER to Rennala, but holy fuck this melted her.
First up, since the ash involves a physical attack, you can still use it for decreased damage even at zero FP (not exactly an issue for the minions) - so no need to waste any cerulean tears before phase 2. More importantly though, in phase 2 this ash knocks Rennala flat EACH AND EVERY TIME it makes impact, meaning that she was essentially perma-stunlocked and the harder part of the fight turned into a straight cakewalk as soon as I landed the first blow. Saw this ash as a liability at first (and still do for other fights), but it was so effective for this strat that I'd consider it canon to any version of this run anyone tries from now on)
Strategy rating: 10/10 this should be the only way to fight Rennala
What it do: get bow shoot arrow fast go many arrow short time
Uh yeah no apologies for this one, I cheesed the hell out of Radahn with a mix of poison and bog standard arrows and the hardest part of this fight was getting on and off my horse. He's the only boss in ER where the (NPC) summoning element feels balanced and well-integrated - love the pressure he puts you under when you have to resummon your army, and he holds his own against them to the point that it never feels like a cheese as long as you take every opportunity you get to dish out your own damage - boy did I. Died early on from a stupid mistake on my first try, melted him on the second.
Strategy rating: 8/10. Barrage's and speed were a great counter to Radahn, can't rate any higher given that I used summons, but I'd be down to try soloing him with this strat in a future run
Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
AoW: Mighty Shot
What it do: shoot an arrow it is mighty
Cheesiest shit of all time lfg. Fighting this guy on foot with anything other than the fastest ashes in the game was an absolute no-go (though in hindsight, I might have tried Hoarfrost Stomp on him hmm). Both bows in general and poison very specifically become decreasingly useful as the game progresses, so this seemed an opportunity to put the second of the two viable bow ashes to good use. I think I got it the right way round with this for Draconicboi and Barrage for Radahn - Mighty Shot is a great ash for sniping, and with the range extension talisman, I pulled off a solid hitjob here. Onwards onwards
Strategy rating: 7/10. Not the most efficient, but certainly effective and low risk. I used regular arrows for extra damage instead of relying purely on poison - fight wasn't boring as such
Royal Knight Loretta
AoW: Spinning Weapon
What it do: hold your weapon directly in front of you and make it rotate like a propeller
Loretta was yet another minor boss where I didn't want to waste a serious ash, and Spinning Weapon has trivial enough reputation that I figured I'd get rid of it. This fight was... fine. I know her moveset fairly well and there are plenty of openings, so while this wasn't exactly a great strategy, the fight posed little issue. Don't remember much about it.
Strategy rating: 5/10. No great merit to this skill, no great inconvenience. Was just glad this skill was useful for anything at all.
Night's Cavalry (Liurnia South)
What it do: magical blue stabby stabby into the ground, creating a low damage 360 degree AoE attack (with extra damage if close to the epicentre) and pulling all enemies caught by the blast closer to you
OKAY SO a lot of people rag on this ash/gravity magic in general for being a situational gimmick spell, and my response is YES but have you ever tried taking on the entirety of Fort Faroth with it at level 30 (do this! it's tricky but a whole lot of fun, felt like I was playing Skyrim or some shit - one of the freshest moments of the playthrough). Yeah!
Entertaining as Gravitas was throughout the early game, its damage and optimum range are far too low to be viable against serious bosses, so I decided to use it on this horse bozo in exchange for the very much op Ice Spear AoW he drops. I was overlevelled for him at this point, but it still took a few tries - all I had to do was duck his flail and blast (it just next to) his horse's arse, and next thing anyone knew there was blue magical gunk everywhere and the boi was on the ground. Took a bit longer than usual obviously, but as deliberately inefficient strats with (I'm so sorry baby) throwaway ashes go, this was pretty painless.
Strategy rating: 4/10. Although the gravitational force of the spell was a modestly smart counter to the boss' mobility, this is a stupid fucking way to fight a cavalry boss when in any other scenario you can just get your own horse. Still very fun, no regrets.
Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions
AoW: Storm Stomp
What it do: you stomp the ground and it makes a gust! Which deals the world's lowest ever AoE damage lfg
This one was hysterical. No shame about it - I went into this fight unarmed and naked so that I could cheese the Mimic and put one of my otherwise totally inviable garbage ashes to good use. Although the Mimic Tear is optional, I wanted him out the way so that a) I could carry on with Ranni's quest and offload one of my slow ashes onto Astel and b) I could pick up the Black Whetblade in case I needed bleed weapons later on.
This was by far the longest fight I've ever had with him, and also the lowest risk - the biggest issue with this fight wasn't so much his damage (his fists literally made no impact on my health bar) and more the risk of running out of FP. Watching him play hopscotch as I windquaked his unclad arse was an, uh, unique experience that has probably boosted my love for this boss as a whole. Get you a game that lets you footfart your naked clone to death.
Strategy rating: 1/10 for practicality, 10/10 for meme value
Crystal Castles II
Godfrey Golden Spirit Boi
AoW: Glintstone Pebble
What it do: shoot magic pleb spell dart
Am I running out of cheese uh uh uh shit. Conserving worthwhile ashes that don't leave me open to an immediate counterattack from heavy bosses who can dish it out quicksharp and have tiny openings (UGH this game and its entire second half) is taking its TOLL on my integrity.
Strategy rating: 7/10. Half of you have probably done this already. It's viable and easy and very fucking boring and it stucks
Velocity : Design : Comfort
Godskin Apostle (Caelid Divine Tower)
AoW: Hoarfrost Stomp
What it do: you stomp the ground and a frosty pattern sweeps ahead of you at an arc of approx 90ish degrees. Inflicts frostbite buildup and then explodes for AoE damage
Ngl this was a massive error - firstly in that the reason I took on this totally optional boss in the first place was that I misremembered it as dropping the Black Flame Tornado AoW (you get this from the Godskin Duo), secondly because I did not even have a concrete plan for what to do with Black Flame Tornado if I did get it, and thirdly because I underestimated how useful Hoarfrost Stomp would be and kinda wasted it on this boss.
As some of y'all will remember, Hoarfrost Stomp used to be the gamebreaking AoW speed runners were using soon after release, but then Fromsoft nerfed it into the ground - poise damage and damage damage are small fry now, the point that I assumed it would be inviable for endgame bosses and saw the Apostle (whose moveset isn't exactly prohibitive for a solo run) as a fair trade - I initially tried to get "liability" slow cast AoWs like Storm Assault and Loretta's Slash out of the way on him, but he was able to counterattack too quickly for this to work without waiting for uncommon openings.
Hoarfrost Stomp actually worked like a charm - it wasn't exactly the fastest for dps, but its fast cast speed, relatively safe casting distance, low FP cost and wide AoE area easily made up for this - the Apostle often tried to dodge it, only to land on the edge of its range, and phase two (where he tends to stay still and power up diva attacks) was hardly an issue. I wonder if this was actually the ash to use for Morgott - he moves around way more, sure, but his low hp wouldn't be able to handle the stomp. As it was, I traded a highly convenient ash for a nice but not nearly as convenient 95k runes. Meh.
Strategy rating: 7/10. Took a bit of patience and demanded high familiarity with his moveset, but this was low risk and reliable damage. Would recommend - just not for this challenge run.
Morgott, King of the Gnomes
AoW: Spectral Lance
What it do: you throw a ghost javelin. damage is not good, but range and poise reduction are big
AoW #2: Poisonous Mist
What it do: you make a cloud - it is mist! poison.
Ugggggggggggggh up until now this run had felt more like a fun gimmick than a masochistic challenge, but holy shit did this turn the tables.
As the game's final midway hurdle, Morgott basically takes a highly versatile moveset, a ridiculous level of mobility and an aggressive af AI, balances it with a relatively modest healthbar, and asks the player if they're able to deal a LOT of damage very quickly. Those who answer in the affirmative (ie anyone with a well-levelled weapon and access to both R1 and R2 buttons) will find him a brisk skill check - anyone else gets to find out why this fight is designed as anything but an endurance gauntlet. Morgott spams too much too fast to favour attritional strats, and his relentlessness, combo spam, and absolute paucity of meaningful openings all mark the first major case of ER's tendency to actively require split aggro for a balanced fight (aka summon or die). This is a running theme for most of its iconic lategame fights and is single handedly responsible for the mediocrity of its boss roster compared to any of the three FromSoft games that precede it. Ugh.
As a cocky boi weighing up a strategy, I had to make a decision here - treat Morgott as a serious threat and sacrifice a precious dps-oriented ash like Unsheathe or Double Slash (or a still more precious big hitter like Lion's Claw or Flaming Slash), or make the most of his not unreasonable health bar and ensure I had all the right tools at my disposal for the Fire Giant and Godskin Duo (both SCARY fights for this run - don't even start on Malekith, Malenia, Mogh or Godfrey 2). I chose to suffer here so that I'd suffer just a tiny bit less later on.
I initially tried to face Morgott with slow melee ashes like Storm Assault and Loretta's Slash, but these were far too unreliable - the guy's openings are crazy tight and he was able to counter me practically every hit. Ranged combat it was - I tried Glintblade Phalanx, which essentially turned the fight into a dodge simulator, but this didn't do enough damage and I couldn't cope with the bullshit he dishes out in phase 2. I liked how reliably Glintblade Phalanx staggered him though, so I switched to Spectral Lance (which has solid poise damage and iirc the longest range of any spell ash) and used Poisonous Mist on a dagger in my second slot to make up for the spell's damage. Morgott both staggers and poisons fairly easily, so with a little attention I was able to wait until he got close before landing the staggering hit and use the opportunity to seethe at him with my misty misty dagger and also the majority of my irl pores
To say this was torturous would be the world's rankest understatement, and I have already suffered too much for this shit to learn a new language or accidentally break a record over it. Fuck. I haven't had this frustrating a time on a Souls game since the Blood-starved Beast forced me to unlearn all my DS1/2 vet turtle reflexes and I ragequit Bloodborne for multiple months. On paper, my strat is just about viable, but it requires you to maintain control of boss distance and the flow of combat more often than not. I got it to work reliably for Phase 1, and THANK FUCK because Phase 2 melted me over and over for well over 4 hrs. Aggression has a lot to do with it, but the simple fact that Phase 2 Morgott is far more prone to dodge ranged attacks put paid to any advantage I might otherwise have been able to maintain. Even at level 75(ish) and with the Banished Knight's Halberd at +16, my odds of getting him below 75% health were less than 1 in 5. My final battle had me scoring a lucky stagger at just above the 75% mark and layering on poison just in time to make sure the fight was winnable as a survival challenge - even then, he spammed me on the ropes for the entirety of his remaining 20%, drained my entire healing supply and was easily capable of one-hitting me at the last. I stood my ground and used one last spear to headshot him just before the poison ran its course. If he had killed me before it landed, I probably would have caved and summoned Melina. Fuck.
Strategy rating: 2/10. Will give this strat on point each for a) being somewhat original, and b) somehow ultimately working, but if you ever try this run, ignore everything I've said and Lion's Claw this bitch the moment you encounter him. This was not worth it. PAIN.
AoW: Wild Strikes
What it do: swing your weapon round and round and round many times, huge hyperarmour, low FP cost big damage
Soooo while not quite in the same category of FEAR as those to come, the Fire Giant had been hanging over me this whole run as the biggest endurance test I was likely to face - which is scary because longer fights need more heals, but also more FP restores, so I was ready for some serious flask pressure. The Fire Giant leaves some of the easiest openings in the game in phase 1, but phase 2 requires something fast enough to get away with dive bombing him over and over. Hmm
The reality of it was not nearly as bad as I worried - after an unsuccessful trial with Stormcaller (doesn't have the right damage), I beefed up the Lordsworn Greatsword and slapped on a community fav AoW that I have literally never even thought of using before because lol that flailing animation do be goofy. Phase 1 was a pushover - my worries about not being to attack from horseback quickly dissipated as soon as I realised how easy it is to dodge him from the ground, and after a little practice to hone my intuition and reflexes as to where and when his hovering fireballs were likely to explode, I found myself coasting through this in 1-2 mins a try. Wild Strikes just doesn't let up, and he leaves himself open for so long that I got some insane combos out of him.
Phase 2 is always a nightmare with this boi, but I realised how to play it more aggressive than usual (turns out you can just hug him when he goes volcano mode, if you're smart enough to dodge the firestorm he casts beforehand - which is much easier if you're not on horseback, ie a smaller target). I had my weapon on bleed affinity, so this was all about maintaining pressure for the occasional big burst of damage. Required fluid switching between horseback and foot, and I died a few times from cockiness and poor judgement of distance, but he went down without too much stress
Strategy rating: 6/10. Would actively recommend this for Phase 1; not the most practical for Phase 2 - other than his punishable volcano window, horseback + R1 is still the way for this
Astel Borne Plutonium Methhead
AoW: Stamp (Sweep)
What it do: stamp the ground, go into power mode, do a sweeping forward slash
I've always considered Astel the easiest of the late game bosses (including Loretta, though maybe ignoring Gideon), so I went for a solid-damage slowish-use AoW that I didn't think enjoyed any specific advantage against anyone - I was right, and this restored a very welcome measure of difficulty to an encounter I'm used by now to breezing through.
Astel is best fought with a dps build, which this strat was decidedly the opposite of. Whoops. Landing hits was possible, but I had to be on constant tenterhooks to dodge whatever magic-based counter he had lined up (his huge gravity AoE was a constant fear, though I got pretty sharp at dodging this - rings of darkness, not so much). My stamina bar was a struggle at points, maintaining pressure on him was rough given how easily he punished even the slightest botched timings (that stamp wind-up is agonising!) and I ended up a LOT of damage for what proved a battle of attrition. High pressure! High thrills! I won after a few shots simply because he leaves too many punishable openings, but this gave me more of a workout than I expected and I'm glad for it.
Strategy: 4/10. If you're gonna fight Astel heavy-style, use a stronger or faster option (Lion's Claw would completely flip the table). Stamp was the worst of all worlds, but can't say I regret it.
|18||Water From Your Eyes|
AoW: Storm Blade
What it do: shoot a blast of wind from moderate range. Then another. And another. It is an air gun
This guy seems neither particularly regarded nor feared by the community, but shit fucking damn he almost singled handedly killed my last challenge run (Do Not Ever Pick Up An Item -mode) and I find his lightning a pain to deal with. Easy with fast weapons, not so much with slow ones - his openings are many, but almost always brief. Conversely, I've always found the difficulty of the knight posers he summons at the start a tad overstated.
Working out a strat for this was a bit muddy - I gave Stormcaller a shot at first, but while it trivialised the summons (recommended!), it was to slow to punish him reliably and too low damaging to end the fight fast enough. I then tried Raptor of the Mists as a wildcard (disastrous) and then grabbing the Greatsword from Caelid and seeing what it could do with Stamp (Upward Slash). This was epic! I was able to dominate the early fight - enough to realise that of the two summoned knights, only dual swords guy is dangerous (his partner is a turtling little chickenshit and can be largely ignored). If you leave one knight alive, Niall won't go until lightning mode until he hits half health (and getting him there becomes a breeze because he plays very defensive). Stamp was a bit slow to damage him and then dodge reliably, but my hits were so big that it wasn't an issue trading damage.
I could probably have won this way after just one or tries, but then I realise that Stamp was a pretty viable AoW for a whole load of bosses, and that Niall was one of the last bosses in the game with AI incapable of dodging, so my conservative brain took over, my macho Stamp ash got replaced with a cowardly wind bullet, and I ended up cheesing Niall to his grave.
This was not the hardest, especially with the strat of lolling only one summon, but it wasn't much fun either. Damage was reliable and cheap, but pretty slow too, and although the range allowed for risk-free hits, Niall pretty much exclusively attacked me via jump attacks, so a lot of tight dodge timings were needed. Not the most satisfying victory, but at least this ash got some good use.
Strategy rating: 5/10. Weird blend of easy and inconvenient. The fast cast time was pretty great, but it wasn't an enjoyable fight. Viable if you ever need a cheese for this fight, but I'd honestly just use a bow or normal magic
Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?
AoW: Bloody Slash
What it do: a bloody fuckin slash
From this point, we are cracking out the big guns, and oooh baby, Bloody Slash is S-tier. Got me a sexy snakey Nagakiba to use it on, and with a measely 15 ARC (the only stat is scales off), I was doing 1200 damage a hit - that's 6 hits per Godskin Flunky. Here we fucking go...
Needless to say, this fight is still one of the hardest in the game - one small mistake can end it all at any given point, especially given that every use of Bloody Slash requires a not insignificant chunk of your own HP (though it somewhat makes up for this with a miniscule FP cost - I only needed one cerulean flask for this whole fight). Bloody Slash has good but not luxurious range, and I was trading damage for pretty much the whole fight - there was some proper anime-style MESS going down there. It was a race... AGAINST TIME!
Bottom line is that I did top much damage for this to be the hardest version of this fight - haven't found it so manageable without summons since I tried it with Comet Azur. Over 50% of my deaths were in the first 20 seconds as I tried to hit a ballsy opening - the majority of the others were when I had killed the Apostle and went toe to toe with the Noble (who I've never had cause to master in the same way). I kept going - it was just a matter of time...
Strategy: 8/10. Can't rate any higher given how careful you have to be with the AoW health, drain, but the damage and FP off this thing were godlike. Mix this AoW with jump attacks and you'll make short work of these bunks
Malekith the Black Blade
AoW: Lion's Claw
What it do: forward flip that finishes with a vertical weapon slam. more practical than it has any right to be, insane hyperarmour
Okay, so this on paper was bloody scary, but bearing in mind that a) I had access to regular weapon reinforcement up to +24 thanks to the smithing stone dropped by the Duo and b) I was siting on something like 6 Larval Tears, this is where I was really able to start hacking the game. Up comes the Greatsword, down go the smithing stones, away goes my ragtag build (up til now it had been Vigor an Strength first, Mind and Dex second, and a lot of stray points plugged into Int and Arc to help proc bleed or frostbite), and one respec later, my character is an absolute monster of a strength build with above-average FP pool. From this point onwards, my defence (inherent defence stats scale HIGH with strength) is high enough to trade hits with most bosses, and my hits are doing huge damage.
The Beastpriest was a fairly reliable win as such - most of my hits did end up as damage trades, but with a little aggression I was able to end his part of the fight quickly. Lion's Claw has deceptively fast speed and decent range, and given that I was doing 1k damage a hit, the main challenge here was less survival than using too many flasks on stupid mistakes. Malekith himself is obviously one of the hardest fights in the game - you go hard on him, end the fight as soon as possible or die, and often die anyway because his speed and ranged attack are both obscene and landing hits is never a given. It took me a few shots to work out what the right windows to CONNECT my attacks were, but once I got there he melted. Two hits and he staggered, one more and he was on the ropes, one more - endgame. Phew.
Strategy rating: 7/10. This AoW is so good that I can't not recommend it, but I don't think it had any specific advantage against the Beast. There's no easy strat for Malekith, but taking him on with this ash alone is definitely an option you should consider if struggling - just make sure you use a thicc weapon
Pits Are the Pits (25 Gold = Rare = Debris...
Loretta Knight of the Haligtree
AoW: Flame of the Redmanes
What it do: big frontal arc flame AoE
This was another fun fight! Loretta has a very balanced moveset but just isn't strong enough to give most players at this point in the game a run for their money - similar to the Carian Manor version, I played this as a dodge-heavy battle of attrition and ended up appreciating the design more than usual.
The original plan was to finally get rid of Stormcaller here, but going close quarters against a highly mobile boss turned out to be a no-go given the low damage output. Flame of the Redmanes (previously a terror of PvE, but since nerfed into the floor similarly to Hoarfrost Stomp) was another ash I'd been looking to get rid of, and since fire damage scales with strength for whatever reason, I figured it was time to make use of my hulk build while it lasted. The results were pretty good tbh - 500ish damage a hit, and solid range. I suffered at first from playing the fight too conservatively, but Loretta has many more punishable openings that I initially realised - after a few touch and go runs, I was keeping her on constant pressure through the first half and holding my own through the second. Her moveset is pretty easy to learn, but this was as much about knowing how long her cast times were as knowing where to dodge. Good fight, felt my skills were thoroughly but fairly tested.
Strategy rating: 6/10. Flame of the Redmanes allows you to keep a safe distance at points and can be used often enough to maintain great pressure if you know what you're doing, but the skill floor here is quite high and the damage is low enough that you've got to be able to hold out confidently. Viable but not necessarily recommended
Harnessed The Storm
Gideon High Priest of the Incels
What it do: make a whirlwind AoE around your character, doing recurrent damage and staggering any humanoids within its reach
Not gonna lie, I had no long-term plan for this guy, and Stormcaller was a last minute improvisation when I remembered he existed. I've gone on a lot about this ash a lot throughout this list because I think it's underrated and almost viable for a lot of significant boss encounters - two big reasons for this! First, its dps is excellent for an AoE ash, and its FP cost is pretty low, but more importantly, it's a rare AoE that does pure physical damage and hits repeatedly. This means that whatever scaling, status or type adjustments you make to your weapon apply directly to the AoW damage - as opposed to the majority of AoWs, which scale off a) your base damage and b) whatever stats would normally determine their damage type. This meant that if I was using it on the Nagakiba (which has inherent bleed buildup) with the cold affinity, I would proc both haemorrhage and frostbite just by standing next to whichever enemy!
This was less useful against large foes with generous openings than I'd hoped (ctrl+f Stormcaller for unsuccessful attempts), but using it on my Greatsword with blood affinity against an enemy as flimsy as Gideon meant that I could stunlock trap him like a rat whenever I got close to him and shred his health at a pace of my choosing. His AI is very hyperactive and oh boi does he love to dodge when I spam this (this offers next to no actual protection if I'm close enough but is highly gratifying to watch), so this fight was mainly a matter of watching him run away and then closing the gap as quickly as I could. Get him against a wall, and oof. Ouch. Poor guy.
Strategy rating: 9/10. There are probably faster and safer ways to end this fight, but this was extremely entertaining and it's an easy enough battle that you don't need any more of an upper hand. Basically the Mimic Tear boss strat on crack. I feel sadistic. It fucks.
|lfg updates imminent |
|1. Get wax cutter |
1. Get blasphemous blade
|that is not challenge ! that is build !|
|Did they ever nerf the dodge ash? I abused the fuck out of that on my playthrough… haven’t touched it since I beat it but I’ll go back when the dlc hits|
|they gave the standard quickstep ash a nerf in a recent patch - dunno about the bloodhound one (never used it, and since both are useless for this run i never checked)|
|Errrr bloodhound step|
|was it really that useful outside of, like, the malenia fight?|
|This is a music website |
|nice touch on no unique ashes of war. the Rings of Light from the Halo Scythe carried me through so many fights|
|This is masochistic as fuck proud of you |
|"Errrr bloodhound step"|
lol yeah I can't imagine playing the game without all the based weapon arts
|This all sounds miserable |
|Post the list when you have beaten elden beast with only r2. |
|tbh this has mostly been fun af - has made the game fresh for me and given me ideas for future plays. 5/11/12/14 were particular highlights|
next update however will be absolute piss
|Good luck this sounds masochistic, particularly if you do malania/mohg, and even then godskin duo and maliketh = yuck|
|I ran it through with the biggest 2h sword I could find and bloodhound step and the shit was sweet ¯_(ツ)_/¯ |
|update: 15. masochism now in fucking session.|
|Godfrey Golden Spirit Boi|
Boss name needs changing to this official like
|What do AoW damage scale with? The weapon base damage plus a particular stat?|
|VERY good question, mainly because It Fucking Depends. some only scale with base damage (fuck you, Spectral Lance), but most scale of stats. iirc Glintstone Pebble etc will scale with your weapon + INT only, whereas attacks that are essentially 'normal' attacks from your weapon should scale with whatever it already scales with. but it depends on the ash lol fml. so far, damage hasn't been that much of a priority - speed, range FP cost and poise damage (in that order) are what pull their weight, quite rare to find an ash that doesn't deal viable damage otherwise|
affinities are interesting too, because they usually do apply to otherwise physical AoW attacks (e.g. you can go cold and then use Stormcaller as a mini Zamor Ice Storm)
|I see. I do not envy you lol the faff of having to work out what’s viable and what stats to pump points into is giving me vicarious anxiety help. Then again some of the descriptions so far make this sound not entirely terrible hmm. I wanna do an ER challenge run i just need to figure out what. |
Feel like it’s one of the hardest FS to do something dumb like this on due to length but then there’s so much content : build versatility/items that it’s suited to wacky shit like this which helps. Hmm.
|ER gives you so much more to work with than most from games, but the lategame bosses not being optimised for solo fights reaaaaaaally sets it back compared to all the others lol. I honestly don't anticipate the late game being *that* much harder than it would otherwise, just really feeling a midway pinch atm.|
Other challenge I'd consider trying would be Shabriri's Woe talisman + summon damage only vs. bosses (possibly with the same rule as this for not reusing a summon)
|fun read, godspeed|
|Good luck on fucking Maliketh lmao|
Bitch chain combos at mach 9. Better off going hand to hand with a silverback gorilla irl than to face off Maliketh without a busted weapon art
it is time for Maliketh, and based on what i tested yesterday, this is gonna be fun
|Oooooh boi you gonna die|
Maliketh always flummoxed me I could never get the positioning down and then panic rolled and then died
|dragonlord placidusax when? is there an AoW that can actually deal enough damage to get through that chonk before no FP flasks and deth?|
|everyone is playing baldurs gate now get with the times|
|Double Slash is secretly op for this run - isn't rated particularly highly in AoW discourse because it's basically a fancy R1 replacement (with v low FP) cost, but that is exactly what you need for a boss like Placidusax. Saving it for Malenia atm because it + Nagakiba + cold infusion is basically as close as I'm gonna get to replacing Rivers of Blood with her, so am gonna have to play with options there. Got my Elden Beast and Godfrey strats pretty much figured at this point, not sure about Mohg or Radagon though |
of course this FULL RANKING OF ASHES list fucking drops the moment i've basically wrapped the run s m d h
basically done with this, will final_update soon as i've downed Malenia