There are many different ways to play and interact with the world in Elden Ring. Players have near-limitless options when it comes to how they’ll go about attacking enemies and dealing damage. Many of these are melee-based combat styles, but FromSoftware did an amazing job creating a deep pool of ranged-based sorceries, incantations, and more.
Many of the sorceries in Elden Ring are based on Glintstone magic. They often launch a shiny star-like projectile toward the enemy that deals magic damage. But there is a class of sorceries in particular that goes against the standard sorcery status quo.
Aberrant Sorceries, or Thorn Sorceries, are a class of spells that are based on the ability to summon thorns to deal their damage. Right now, there are only two Aberrant Sorceries in the game. But based on previous patch updates and likely future DLC, there is plenty of potential for FromSoftware to add to this class of sorceries.
Here’s how to get the Briars of Punishment sorcery in Elden Ring and what you need to know about where it falls within the sorcery and magic meta.
Briars of Punishment
Briars of Punishment is an Aberrant Sorcery in Elden Ring that deals damage by launching thorns out at the target. When players use this sorcery, they will damage themselves and slightly build up the caster’s blood loss meter.
The sorcery requires 21 Faith to cast, which calls into question its sorcery categorization. But the item description reads “An aberrant sorcery… Theirs are the sorceries most reviled by the academy.” Additionally, players must use a staff to cast this spell, as opposed to using a sacred seal for Faith-based incantations.
Because of the staff requirement to use this sorcery, players can take advantage of some of the various staffs in the game. Since the spell is a sorcery, it scales off of the player’s Intelligence. Players should focus on using staves with Intelligence scaling to increase the damage as much as possible.
Due to the blood loss nature of these spells, players will also want to increase their Arcane stat to take advantage of the large percentage-based damage that blood loss does when it procs.
The two staves recommended for an Aberrant Sorcery build are the Staff of the Guilty in the off-hand and the Albinauric Staff to maximize blood loss procs.
Holding the Staff of the Guilty in the player’s off-hand will still give the passive boost to Aberrant sorceries. The Albinauric staff, when reinforced to +25, will have an S-scaling in Arcane and a very respectable B-scaling in Intelligence.
Where to find it
The Briars of Punishment is found in the Mountaintops of the Giants, making it a somewhat late-game sorcery.
As players enter the Mountaintops of the Giants from the Grand Lift of Rold, they will make their way up the mountain trail past the Zamor Ruins.
After rounding the bend, players will see a long and large wall that acts as a bridge to cross. Before crossing the bridge, the sorcery can be found off to the side on a rock underneath a tree.
The closest Site of Grace is the Giant’s Mountaintop Catacombs, but if players have not discovered those, the Zamor Ruins is the next closest fast travel location.
Is it any good?
When FromSoftware released Patch 1.04, it adjusted many different spells, incantations, and other magic-based forms of attack. The Briars of Punishment sorcery was on that list and received a welcome adjustment to its recovery time and blood loss buildup.
The largest downside to the spell, its damage output and cast time, was not addressed and players still have a long animation to go through to cast it. On a positive note, though, they received an A+ for their animation and what they look like.
Over at RageGamingVideos, they do a great job of showcasing the potentialy of these two spells in combination with the off-hand Staff of the Guilty and main-hand Albinauric Staff. Here, they also maximize the blood loss potential of these two spells.
It can be seen in the video that the Briars of Sin does more blood loss build up than the Briars of Punishment. But the Briars of Punishment gives players a spell to cast from a distance and also accumulate blood loss buildup.