A Tarnished prepares to stab at a Albinauric with a Nagakiba in Elden Ring.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

The best Nagakiba build in Elden Ring

All you need is something long and sharp.

A gigantic katana might sound like the perfect weapon to conquer The Lands Between, and that’s because it is. The Nagakiba is a very strong weapon for both PvE and PvP in Elden Ring, making it ideal for a variety of builds. Let’s touch on what makes the Nagakiba shine by itself.

Recommended Videos

Best stats for the Nagakiba in Elden Ring

A Tarnished swings their Nagakiba vertically in Elden Ring while wearing the White Mask.
Mastery of the blade needs a ton of Dexterity, apparently. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Nagakiba primarily scales with Dexterity, and its best affinities prefer Dexterity and Arcane. So, this build is a Dexterity/Arcane build, with a focus on Dexterity. We recommend starting as a Samurai, though any starting class can get to this point by the endgame. This build is level 150, which is around where you end the main story of Elden Ring.

  • Vigor: 60
  • Mind: 21
  • Endurance: 13
  • Strength: 18
  • Dexterity: 60
  • Intelligence: Nine
  • Faith: 12
  • Arcane: 36

Two stats hit their soft caps in this build. Vigor is an essential stat for the late-game in Elden Ring to prevent one-shots and allow for better recovery. Dexterity is your primary damage stat and the one the Nagakiba prefers. These two are your core attributes for the build.

The next highest stat, Arcane, synergizes with this build’s gameplan for killing bosses: Bleed. You can boost the Nagakiba’s innate bleed with the Blood Affinity to reach surprising heights with investment into the Arcane stat. However, there are a few other milestones you want to hit before pumping Arcane. Mainly:

  • 18 Strength to wield the Nagakiba in one hand.
  • 21 Mind for enough FP to cast your weapon skills and Incantations.
  • 12 Faith to cast Bloodflame Blade and Swarm of Flies.

After this point, your levels should go into Arcane to further boost your Blood and Occult Affinity options.

Tip: A little more faith

Getting to 17 Faith allows you to cast all of the Blood Incantations in Elden Ring. However, instead of getting there through levels, you can get there just by activating Godrick’s Great Rune.

Best weapons to use with the Nagakiba in Elden Ring

The Nagakiba Katana in Elden Ring.
Blood Nagakibas deal absurd damage and bleed every two hits. It’s a great combo. Screenshot by Dot Esports

While the main weapon of choice for the Nagakiba build is the large katana itself, your off-hand weapons are just as important. Use a Great Turtle Shell for Stamina regeneration and blocking damage, as well as the Dragon Communion Seal to make use of your Arcane.

The Nagakiba is a very long-ranged Katana weapon with a small amount of innate bleed. To make use of this quality, you will use two different Affinities during your run. Against most bosses, the Blood Nagakiba is your main weapon, preferably with the Seppuku Ash of War. Your high Arcane and the Nagakiba’s base bleed makes enemies pop hemorrhage constantly. And you don’t do bad damage overall, thanks to the weapon’s B Dexterity scaling.

However, for bosses like the Elden Beast that are immune to Bleed, you want to swap to Keen. Keen only offers A Dexterity scaling for the Nagakiba, but deals more damage overall. It’s big loss in DPS, but against enemies immune to bleeding, it’ll have to do.

Your backup tools are here to make combat easier. The Great Turtle Shell is a terrible shield but an amazing Stamina regeneration tool. With your Strength, you can use it to block hits in an emergency, but it usually just sits on your back. The Dragon Communion Seal scales excellently with Arcane, making it the best option for your low-faith build. It also lets you cast some Dragon spells at a higher potency, which is fun and effective.

Best armor for the Nagakiba in Elden Ring

The White Mask helmet in Elden Ring.
Because your damage wasn’t high enough yet. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Nagakiba and Great Turtle shell are quite heavy, meaning your best armor is relatively light, like the Land of Reeds Set. The only thing you really want to wear is the White Mask, a powerful helm that boosts the damage you deal whenever an enemy bleeds near you. With an Equip Load this light, you can wear whatever else you’d like.

The Ronin armor is likely the best armor for this build, but it requires the death of Bloody Finger Yura. This might not happen until later on, so feel free to wear the basic Samurai Armor, the White Reed Armor, and similar light sets. The White Mask is the most important part, and you get it by slaying invaders around the blood-filled lake next to the Mohgwyn Dynasty Mausoleum. That extra 10 percent damage when something bleeds is way too good to pass up if you want this build to work for you.

Best spells for the Nagakiba in Elden Ring

The Swarm of Flies incantation in Elden Ring.
One of the most unique spells in the game, and one that gives bloody dividends. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Nagakiba has just enough Faith and Arcane to use two very strong blood-based spells—Bloodflame Blade and Swarm of Flies. These options give you a ranged option as well as a valid way to deal solid fire damage. Bloodflame Blade conflicts with Seppuku, so only use it if you can’t lose health for any reason.

In addition, using some strong buff spells at low Faith costs is a good idea. Bestial Vitality, for example, is efficient healing for its FP cost. The Fortification spells can make specific fights easier, like Divine Fortification, which is especially effective against the final boss.

Best Talismans for the Nagakiba in Elden Ring

The Lord of Blood's Exultation Talisman in Elden Ring.
Bleed has one of the best Talismans in the game working for it. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Nagakiba can benefit from some of the best damage-boosting Talismans in Elden Ring, making it a force to be reckoned with. Having said that, it’s important to pair your high damage with some defense, so you don’t get killed early on in fights or staggered to death.

  • Lord of Blood’s Exultation: Found in the depths of the Subterranean Shunning-Grounds, this Talisman grants a 20 percent boost to damage whenever bleeding happens nearby. That includes your own, and also includes the damage you take from Seppuku. This makes Seppuku worth using on a Keen Nagakiba, even against a bleed-immune boss.
  • Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman: Most PvE and PvP builds do primarily physical damage. This Haligtree staple buffs your physical defense by 20 percent, which is a nice boon for a build that otherwise hits itself quite often.
  • Rotten Winged Sword Insignia: A potent Talisman that rewards multiple hits by boosting damage by up to 13 percent. Bleed builds prefer fast attacks, so this Talisman rewards you for playing correctly with a massive damage boost. You get it by reaching the end of Millicent’s questline, if you choose to fight her sisters.
  • Erdtree’s Favor +2: This Talisman provides the tiniest boost to Health, but nearly 10 percent to Stamina and Equip Load. This lets you get more poise and land more attacks before tiring yourself out, though you need to cross the Ashen Capital for it.

Dot Esports is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article The best Confessor build guide in Elden Ring
Player with the Confessor armor set approaching the Margitt boss fight in Elden Ring
Read Article The best Starscourge Greatsword build in Elden Ring
Starscourge Radhan in Elden Ring
Read Article Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree story trailer gives glimpse at Miquella, Messmer, and more
An Elden Ring character with massive spikes coming out of their back.
Related Content
Read Article The best Confessor build guide in Elden Ring
Player with the Confessor armor set approaching the Margitt boss fight in Elden Ring
Read Article The best Starscourge Greatsword build in Elden Ring
Starscourge Radhan in Elden Ring
Read Article Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree story trailer gives glimpse at Miquella, Messmer, and more
An Elden Ring character with massive spikes coming out of their back.
Author
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.