A Tarnished stands on a cliff wearing Vagabond armor in Elden Ring.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Best Vagabond build in Elden Ring

None shall stand in your way.

Conquering the Lands Between takes more than just a typical warrior to conquer. The Vagabond is the bulkiest start in Elden Ring, well-equipped to handle the horrors of the game. Let’s talk about how to make the most of them.

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This Vagabond build guide is designed to be best for an Elden Ring player looking to explore many different options. More focused versions of the Vagabond, like a Strength/Faith or Unga Bunga variant, can work for a more dedicated idea.

Best stats for a Vagabond build in Elden Ring

A Tarnished swings their Nightrider Glaive in Elden Ring.
Wearing all of this heavy armor is hard work. Screenshot by Dot Esports

This build assumes you start as a Vagabond class, though any class can get here eventually. The stats given are for a level 150 build.

  • Vigor: 60
  • Mind: 15
  • Endurance: 29
  • Strength: 60
  • Dexterity: 40
  • Intelligence: Nine
  • Faith: Nine
  • Arcane: Seven

The Vagabond begins play with pretty even physical stats between Strength and Dexterity, as well as very high Vigor. To keep to this versatile theme, one of your first goals should be to get to 60 Vigor. This is the soft cap for Health in Elden Ring—after this point, every Vigor point grants you fewer and fewer Health. You can wait until the last few regions of the game to reach this point if you’d like, but getting to 40 Vigor early can make bosses a lot more manageable.

For the purposes of this build, you should focus on Strength more than Dexterity. While both are viable offensive stats, Strength scales most Halberds’ damage better. However, 40 Dexterity still lets you wield a significant number of weapons in the game that focus on Dexterity and it is high enough to let you use the Quality affinity without an issue. You can use a Heavy Gargoyle’s Halberd one moment and then swap to a Quality Warhawk’s Talon the next.

Tip: A Prayer Heavy Variant

If you want to focus on either Strength or Dexterity, we recommend putting the rest of your points into Faith. It allows you to cast Incantations, including powerful buffs and healing spells. Most of them synergize quite well with weapon damage.

The only other stats for a Vagabond are Mind and Endurance. 15 Mind allows you to more readily use Weapon Skills, while 29 Endurance is excellent for wearing heavier armor. With Talismans, you can even wear the heaviest pieces in the game.

Best weapons for a Vagabond build in Elden Ring

The Nightrider Glaive item in the menus of Elden Ring.
Halberds are slow, but their range and good damage make them easy to use. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Weapons are a Vagabond’s bread and butter, so you should expect to have a handful under your belt. For day-to-day, you want a Heavy Nightrider Glaive with Sword Dance and a Quality Warhawk’s Talon with Seppuku. For heavy damage, you can bring a Heavy Giant-Crusher or a Grafted Blade Greatsword to hit really hard. Then, for defense, you can make a Great Turtle Shell work for two-handing situations and an Eclipse Crest Greatshield for when you actually need to block.

The Nightrider Glaive is one of the few long-reach options that gets S scaling in Strength. You can get quite impressive numbers out of this spear as a result while keeping your enemies far away. The Warhawk’s Talon has a unique Heavy attack, boasting a quick double-swipe that hits harder than the standard option for Straight Swords. If you choose to run Seppuku, you can also apply Bleed twice. Heavier weapons, like the Giant-Crusher or Grafted Blade Greatsword, should be traded out only when fighting a slow enemy since their weight is overwhelming otherwise.

Tip: Try Things Out

We highly recommend testing out most weapons you come across to see if any match your playstyle. The only weapons you can’t use with this build are ones with incredible Dexterity or casting stat requirements. Everything else is on the table.

The Eclipse Crest Greatshield in the menus of Elden Ring.
This is one of the most effective shields in the game. Screenshot by Dot Esports

You can basically wear any shield in the game, so you should use some of the ones with special effects. The Eclipse Crest Greatshield, for example, gives a big bump to Immunity, Robustness, and Focus, which helps to resist most status effects in the game. These only apply while the shield is in hand, so swapping does leave you more vulnerable.

Alternatively, the Great Turtle Shell gives Stamina regeneration while equipped—even when put on your back to two-hand another weapon—so you can use that as an alternative when a boss is showing weakness.

You may also want a ranged weapon. The only really good option for this style of build is the Lion’s Greatbow with pre-purchased Radahn’s Spears. This can hit quite hard but also weighs a ton, so you may need to swap it around.

Best armor for a Vagabond build in Elden Ring

The Knight Armor item in the menus of Elden Ring
Extremely basic-looking but just as efficient. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Honestly, if you’re looking for good armor, you’re just going to look one step up from your original set. The Knight Armor has great poise for its weight and weighs just enough to, with the Talismans you wear, get within Medium Load. If you decide to only use one Shield, you can get away with slightly heavier sets, such as the Fire Monk or Briar Set.

Replacing the helm is a reasonable idea. There are a handful of them in Elden Ring that boost stats—the Okina Mask, for example, if you want a bit more Dexterity. If you like boosting your already impressive Strength, you can get the Omensmirk Mask from Leyndell.

Best Talismans for a Vagabond build in Elden Ring

The Great Jar's Arsenal item in the menus of Elden Ring.
If you want to hold all of this equipment, you’ll need a hand. Screenshot by Dot Esports

If you want the best Talismans for a Vagabond, you need to wait until later in the game. The best options for this class are very defensive. There aren’t many generic damage options for basic weapon users, so you’ll need to use your Talismans and heavy armor to stay alive. It’s a battle of attrition.

  • Erdtree’s Favor +2: This Talisman, acquired very late into Elden Ring, grants about four percent HP, 10 percent Stamina, and 10 percent equip load. All things you want as a Vagabond, so head across the Ashen Capital bridge when you get there to complete your build. Until then, a Radagon’s Soreseal or Erdtree’s Favor +1 work fine.
  • Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman: This Talisman provides a 20 percent bonus to physical defenses, further improving how well you take hits. While you don’t get this until you reach the bottom of the Haligtree, you also want to swap this out constantly for any Dragoncrest or Drake Talisman that hard-counters an upcoming boss—for example, the Flamedrake Talisman against the Fire Giant.
  • Ritual Sword Talisman: The only damage Talisman you’ll be using, the Ritual Sword Talisman, is a 10 percent damage buff as long as your health is full. Drink your Crimson Tear Flasks liberally. You get this once you climb Altus Plateau and explore Lux Ruins.
  • Great-Jar’s Arsenal: The final Weight Limit Talisman, the Great-Jar’s Arsenal boosts your Equip Load by nearly 20 percent. If you want to wear the heaviest armor or wield multiple weapons, this is a must-have. You earn this by clearing The Great-Jar’s challenge in Dragonbarrow.

For PvP, consider trading the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman for the Bull Goat’s Talisman, which further boosts your Poise by 33 percent to round out your Vagabond build in Elden Ring.

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Jason Toro-McCue
Contributing writer and member of the RPG beat. Professional writer of five years for sites and apps, including Nerds + Scoundrels and BigBrain. D&D and TTRPG fanatic, perpetual Fighter main in every game he plays.