Best Strength/Faith build in Elden Ring explained

The Strength/Faith build will transform your Tarnished from a lowly warrior into a complete juggernaut—whether you get your holy power from the Erdtree or the Beasts. Let’s discuss the best choices to make this dream a reality.

Best options for a Strength and Faith build in Elden Ring

The Strength/Faith build in Elden Ring has huge upsides, including high damage, access to several potent buffs, and great durability—making it a perfect choice for newer players. But it can be punishing, since most weapons with good Strength scaling have slower movesets, so a careful and defensive buildpath is required.

A knight in golden armor is struck by lightning in Elden Ring. He catches it in his palm.
Enough Strength to hit hard, enough Faith to pull off miracles. Screenshot by Dot Esports

These are some stat benchmarks you’ll want to hit as you approach a full-power Strength/Faith build.

  • Vigor: 60
  • Mind: 30
  • Endurance: 30
  • Strength: 60
  • Dexterity: 15
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 45
  • Arcane: 8

While leveling up, prioritize reaching Vigor 40, Strength 40, Faith 40, and Endurance 25. These stats will serve as the baseline for your build’s durability and damage-dealing potential. Elden Ring is not exactly kind to builds which don’t get at least some Vigor, and Strength builds will take hits. Thankfully, you don’t need much Endurance to wear the heavier armors in the game, so long as you’re willing to use a Talisman slot for them.

Tip: Why is our Dexterity so high?

You can almost always safely ignore Dexterity, though some Greatswords require a surprisingly high amount of it. For example, the Blasphemous Blade needs 15—not a high number, but most classes will need a few levels to get there.

For the purposes of this build, we’ll focus more on the Strength side of things by getting our Strength to 60 over the course of our run. Don’t get us wrong—Faith has some great damaging options in Dragon Cult magic and Pyromancy options. But to make use of a good Strength score, we’re going to use Faith for qualifying for buffs, small ranged damage, and crowd clear, alongside the Clawmark Seal.

As you enter the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, you should focus primarily on making sure your Faith, Vigor, and Mind grow ever higher. The DLC is home to several very potent colossal Faith weapons, but you’ll need enough Vigor to survive hits—even with a healthy number of Scadutree Fragments.

Best Strength/Faith weapons

The Blasphemous Blade red greatsword in Elden Ring, shown through the equipment menu.
Thankfully, weapons that scale off of Strength and Faith are in no major shortage. Screenshot by Dot Esports

There are three routes you can go with a Strength/Faith build: Full Strength, Mixed Strength/Faith, or Pure Faith. Of these options, powerful Strength weapons, such as the Heavy Giant-Crusher or Heavy Great Stars, are very reliable, scale incredibly with even moderate Strength scores, and can be freely altered with Ashes of War. But mixed Faith weapons like Ordovis’s Greatsword, Blasphemous Blade, Maliketh’s Black Blade, and the Beastclaw Greathammer can fill equally potent roles without as much flexibility.

Of these options, we ran the Heavy Giant-Crusher Colossal Weapon with Royal Knight’s Resolve for its incredible S Strength scaling and great single-hit damage. For PvP, we recommend getting a Greatsword or Great Hammer—like the Great Stars or Ordovis’s Greatsword—for their faster movesets and slightly better recovery per swing.

For a build that wants to invest more into the Faith side of things, the Blasphemous Blade is an excellent choice. With a B scaling in Faith and C in Strength, this weapon has good swings and the ability to regenerate health from enemy kills. Alongside a Weapon Skill that restores life and can kill several enemies at once, it can serve you well if you’re inching toward the 60 Faith/40 Strength variant.

As for our casting implement, our Seal of choice was the Clawmark Seal. Our build consistently had lower Faith values and thus benefited from the Clawmark’s impressive Strength scaling. A build that wants to invest more into Faith might see better results from the Erdtree Seal, instead.

The Shadow Sunflower Blossom in inventory in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
If you’re tired of Royal Knight’s Resolve, you’ll have a ton of fun. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Once you enter the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, you’ll have your eye on a few new weapons. While the Clawmark Seal remains your best option for casting, weapons like the Shadow Sunfire Blossom, Devonia’s Hammer, and Fire Knight’s Greatsword all offer incredible elemental damage alongside new and powerful Weapon Arts.

The Fire Knight’s Greatsword is especially versatile, able to be altered with Ashes of War while keeping Faith scaling. We recommend farming it from Fire Knights if you want a fascinating Colossal Sword to use for bosses, since this weapon can be changed slightly to best fit the fight. If you’re fighting Messmer, for instance, you might want to go Heavy to lower Fire damage. Most bosses can be hit much harder with a Flame Sword, scaling incredibly with Faith.

Best armor for Strength/Faith builds

The Haligtree Knight Helm in Elden Ring, framed in the Equipment Menu.
One of the few helmets which buff a stat. Screenshot by Dot Esports

We recommend Medium to Heavy Armor for a Strength/Faith build. Even while wielding faster weapons like Greatswords, Longswords, or other options, you’re still going to leave yourself open to attack if you need to re-up buffs during fights or dedicate yourself to high-commitment skills. Even so, your 25 Endurance can easily boost your Armor score to a comfortable high, including the Haligtree Knight Helm for a plus-two to your Faith.

The build requires Heavy Armor, since we use a Colossal Weapon. In both PvE and PvP, having that extra armor score means the difference between getting flattened by an attack or staggering away. Most similarly-weighted armor grants similar defensive qualities in Elden Ring, so we recommend gearing up until you get to Med. Load—the Carian Knight set, for example, served us well until we had the Endurance to wear heavier armors.

The only specific piece we’d recommend for a build would by the Haligtree Knight Helm, a Medium Armor piece with a small Faith bump built-in. This can get you over some Faith milestones before you invest levels into the stat—perfect for our Strength-loving self.

A Tarnished wears the Rakshasa armor in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Risky business, but eight percent damage is eight percent damage. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Shadow of the Erdtree DLC offers few armor pieces for this build. The Rakshasa Set can be nice for a glass cannon approach, and the Horned Warrior Helm offers a plus-five to Strength while reducing focus. Similarly, the Divine Beast Head reduces focus and healing, but grants a plus-four in both Strength and Dexterity, letting you hit stat minimums you’d otherwise need to spend tons of levels on.

Best Incantations for Strength/Faith builds

A knight with a massive hammer hurls a rock towards a wall in Elden Ring.
We’ve got the power of rocks on our side. Screenshot by Dot Esports

We recommend the following spells for a Strength/Faith build using a Clawmark Seal:

  • Bestial Sling
  • Stone of Gurranq
  • Gurranq’s Beast Claw
  • Blessing of the Erdtree/Bestial Vitality
  • Flame, Grant Me Strength
  • Dragonbolt Blessing

Bestial spells gain a large boost when used with the Clawmark Seal, but even then, these options aren’t hugely damaging. Our weapon will consistently out-class these Incantations without massive Faith investment, and the Erdtree Seal. That said, Bestial Sling is a very fast, shotgun-like Incantation that staggers most enemies, including Invaders. Stone of Gurranq is a ranged option that scales with Strength, while Blessing of the Erdtree or Bestial Vitality can keep you alive during boss fights—the former being much more expensive but healing faster. Gurranq’s Beast Claw is fun, but usually only useful for room clears—bring them to tight-knit encounters with a lot of enemies and unequip for boss fights.

Flame, Grant me Strength and Dragonbolt Blessing are your primary buffs—one for damage, and the other for resisting small hits and status effects. Both of these buffs are great for different reasons, but you aren’t able to stack them: choose them based on if you need to kill a boss quickly or survive their assault.

Shadow of the Erdtree has plenty of new Incantations to work with, but few that specifically improve this build. Play around with low-faith options like Aspects of the Crucible: Thorns and Bloom, Wrath From Afar, and Multilayered Ring of Light. Divine Bird Feathers can be a niche coverage option during PvP.

Best Talismans for Strength/Faith builds

A series of four trinkets in Elden Ring, designed for a Strength and Faith build type.
A mixture of offense and defense is important for a build like this. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The following Talismans work best for Strength/Faith builds in Elden Ring:

  • Erdtree Favor +2: A defensive choice, boosting Health by four percent, but Stamina and Carrying Capacity by 10 and eight percent, respectively.
  • Ritual Sword Talisman (Lux Ruins): Grants a 10 percent damage boost while at full health, easily achieved through Faith’s multiple healing spells.
  • Claw Talisman (Stormveil Castle): 15 percent bonus to jump attacks, which works great for Colossal weapons or Royal Knight’s Resolve builds. Replace this for PvP, since the boost is halved against players.
  • Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman (Drainage Channel, Haligtree): 20 percent physical damage reduction.

Depending on your preferred weapon, you may want to replace a defensive Talisman with a Carian Filigreed Crest to reduce the cost of your Skills significantly. If you’re doing that, the Shard of Alexander can also help your skills be more effective. Lastly, the Great-Jar’s Arsenal can be very useful if you want to wear the heaviest armor in the game.

The Two-Handed Sword Talisman in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
For easier, more methodical jump attacks. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Shadow of the Erdtree adds two new options to consider. Check out the following:

  • Twin Sword Talisman (Temple Town Ruins): 15 percent boost when two handing? That lets you catch up with dual wielding while keeping you more agile and able to block.
  • Verdigris Discus (Ancient Rauh Ruins): This Talisman boosts defense when you’re in Heavy Load or Overloaded. By a whopping 10 percent. If you want to, you can very safely get rid of your defensive options and fat-roll to victory.

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