Best Ashes of War in Elden Ring

Want to know what the best Ashes of War are in Elden Ring? Come check out our list.

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The Lands Between of Elden Ring are jam-packed with fun and unique ways to play.

FromSoftware gave players a lot of different ways to engage in combat and defend one’s self aside from simply the weapons and armor one chooses to equip. The Ashes of War system in Elden Ring spices up the combat system in the game by adding skills to armaments. This system used the foundation set up in Dark Souls 3 and was completely overhauled. New skills were added as well as buffs, defensive tactics, and more.

The main difference between Elden Ring and the previous Dark Souls 3 system is that players can now decide what Ashes of War they want on the armament of their choice. In Dark Souls 3, the armament skills were predetermined by the specific weapon. For example, if a player wanted to use the Oath of Sunlight skill, they were forced to use the Sunlight Straight Sword. But in Elden Ring, players can put Golden Vow—the Elden Ring version of Oath of Sunlight—on a large variety of armaments by speaking with Smithing Master Hewg, or at a Site of Grace with a Whetstone Knife, and using the Ash of War on an armament. The revamped Ashes of War system in Elden Ring provides players with a lot more flexibility for a variety of playstyles and builds.

Here are the best Ashes of War in Elden Ring for both offensive and defensive skills, as well as self-buffs that players can apply to themselves. These are in no particular order within their category.

Best offensive Ashes of War

Black Flame Tornado

Obtained after slaying the Godskin Duo in the Crumbling Farum Azula, this incredible Ash of War decimates all enemies in its path. When players use this skill, they raise and spin their weapon above their head while surrounding themselves with black flames. Recently, this skill was buffed and the weapon spinning now has a hitbox.

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This Ash of War has a damage multiplier based on the player’s raw Faith level. So pumping levels into Faith, even past the hard-cap at level 80, is worth it to increase the damage even more. It’s also recommended to use a long-reaching weapon to take advantage of the overhead spin hitbox.

Flaming Strike

The Flaming Strike skill has two parts. It starts with the player throwing an arc of fire at the target and then finishing with a strong lunging sweep. After the follow-up attack, the player’s weapon will be coated in flames for a short duration, providing more damage.

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Players can get this Ash of War by killing a Teardrop Scarab on the southern cliffs in a graveyard behind Redmane Castle. The Ash of War can be applied to any weapon and does very well in player-vs-player scenarios since the initial flame arc stuns the target and the follow-up strike can be used as a roll-catcher.

Thunderbolt

Those looking for a range-based Ash of War should consider the Thunderbolt. It is usable on all melee armaments and will call down a thunderbolt to strike the target. Using this Ash of War will also leave the player’s weapon buffed with lightning.

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Players can obtain this Ash of War by killing the Teardrop Scarab in Leyndell. Starting at the Avenue Balcony Site of Grace, players can go downstairs through the gate and follow the railing and eventually see the Scarab down below. This is not available after the Ashen Capital is triggered. So if players want this skill, they must obtain it before defeating Maliketh, the Black Blade.

Waves of Darkness

This is a strong magical Ash of War that does a lot of damage. The initial slam of the attack does a lot of damage on its own but is also followed up by three waves of darkness that pulsate out radially from the slam, doing even more damage. On top of that, it even has hyper armor on the first hit, which will allow players to take a strong hit and not be staggered. The skill can also take advantage of any weapon’s passive ability on every part of the attack. The Butchering Knife would be a great weapon to combine this with since it heals one percent of the user’s HP per hit.

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Like many Ashes of War, it also has a follow-up heavy attack that players can use. Unfortunately, this Ash of War in particular is currently broken in that the follow-up was never given a hitbox and it simply goes through enemies. The Ash of War is still amazing on its own without this heavy follow-up, but many players hope FromSoftware gives it a hitbox.

Players can get this Ash of War by turning in the Remembrance of the Naturalborn to Enia at the Roundtable Hold and then apply it to a weapon of their choosing.

Prayerful Strike

The Prayerful Strike can be considered an offensively-tactical Ash of War. When players use this weapon skill, they’ll strike their foe with sacred damage and restore a large percentage of their HP and the HP of the allies around them. Through this Ash of War, players can create Vigor based-builds due to the HP restoration of this weapon skill.

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Players can find this Ash of War in the Altus Plateau by the western entrance to Leyndell. There is an invisible Teardrop Scarab that will drop this Ash of War.

Best defensive Ashes of War

Carian Retaliation

Parrying is a great tactic to use against parry-able bosses since it will break their guard and leave them open for a critical attack. In Elden Ring, FromSoftware made some changes to the parry timings and windows for the various types of shields. Some of these windows are tighter than others and as small as five frames, which is challenging to time.

Screengrab via FromSoftware

The different parry Ashes of War change the parry windows and timings for these shields. Carian Retaliation greatly increases the parry window for any type of shield to a generous 13 frames with a seven-frame start-up. Additionally, the player’s shield can now parry sorceries and convert them into a Greatblade Phalanx to counterattack, the Carian Retaliation aspect.

Players can purchase this Ash of War for 3,000 Runes from Pidia, Carian Servant, in the Caria Manor. He can be reached from the Three Sisters area after defeating Royal Knight Loretta

Barricade Shield

While Barricade Shield was nerfed in a previous patch, it still remains one of the strongest defensive Ashes of War. When players use Barricade Shield, they focus their energy into their shield to block strong blows. It lasts for five seconds and increases the player’s guard boost by 40 percent.

Screengrab via FromSoftware

The Great Turtle Shell comes with this Ash of War already on it. But you can obtain this Ash of War by defeating the Night’s Cavalry in the Weeping Peninsula.

Endure

Those looking to become a tank and withstand any attack should look into the Endure Ash of War. When players use this skill, they’ll brace for an incoming attack and receive a temporary buff in their poise and damage negation. It gives roughly a 45-percent increase to all resistances for about two seconds and is usable on any melee armament and infuses them with the heavy affinity.

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Players can purchase this Ash of War from Knight Bernahl at the Warmaster’s Shack in Limgrave or the Volcano Manor for 600 Runes. If Bernahl has been killed, players can purchase Endure from the Twin Maiden Husks after turning in Bernahl’s Bell Bearing.

Bloodhound’s Step

Players looking for a more mobile and agile Ash of War can use Bloodhound’s Step. This is an upgraded version of Quickstep where the player shuffles and slides across the ground to evade attacks. The Bloodhound’s Step moves faster and travels further than Quickstep and can be used to circle around an enemy. Additionally, players are temporarily invisible while using it and can apply it to any melee armament.

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Players can obtain this Ash of War by defeating the Knight’s Cavalry in front of Lenne’s Rise in the Dragonbarrow.

Raptor of the Mists

While this is a more niche Ash of War, Raptor of the Mists has various uses. This skill effectively provides another attack evasion option for players. During this Ash of War, players will duck into a low stance. If an attack lands, players will be launched in the air by “avian wings” providing a quick escape and damage evasion. Once in the air, players can execute a jump attack to counter, which can also be boosted by Raptor’s Black Feathers and the Claw Talisman.

Those looking for this Ash of War must assist Bloody Finger Hunter Yura in besting his target in the Academy of Raya Lucaria to obtain it.

Honorable mentions (Buffs)

Seppuku

Bleed builds run rampant around the Lands Between. Seppuku allows players to turn any weapon into a hemorrhaging machine. When players infuse their weapon with the Seppuku Ash of War, they can also select another affinity to make it even stronger. Blood loss buildup is influenced by a player’s Arcane stat. Therefore, it’s advantageous to invest a lot of levels into Arcane and infuse the weapon with the Occult affinity to grant it Arcane-Scaling and increase its damage output. Weapons that naturally cause bleed are great as well since the Seppuku skill can stack with it.

Players can obtain Seppuku by killing an invisible Teardrop Scarab in the Mountaintops of the Giants on the frozen lake where Borealis the Freezing Fog is.

Royal Knight’s Resolve

Royal Knight’s Resolve received a nerf in Patch 1.03 but is still strong. When players use this, their next attack with that weapon will be greatly powered up. While the Ash of War can be applied to all melee weapons, it’s in the player’s best interest to use it with large or colossal weapons because it only affects the single next hit.

Players can find this Ash of War on a corpse in the Volcano Manor. Starting from the way-gate that leads to the Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy boss fight, players can double back and walk up the stairs instead. They’ll come across a Stonesword Key gate that unlocks a room with hanging cages. At the bottom of the large room, players should go toward the room with a fireplace. In front of that fireplace is a corpse with the Ash of War.

Golden Vow

While many know of Golden Vow as an incantation, it is also an Ash of War that can be put on a weapon. When players use this, they buff their weapon with sacred affinity and grant the player, and those around them, with the Golden Vow buff, increasing attack power and defense. This buff is not as strong as the incantation. But unlike the incantation, it does not require the 25 Faith to use.

Players can obtain this Ash of War by killing a mounted Godrick Knight in Limgrave. This knight is above the Deathtouched catacombs and northwest of the Warmaster’s Shack.