Elden Ring: Best Armor for Strength builds, listed

Who needs fancy spells, elaborate Weapon Arts, or nimble swordplay when you can bonk things with a big stick? There are many ways to play Elden Ring and its DLC, but you can’t beat a straightforward Strength build when you feel like smashing skulls.

Strength builds in Elden Ring and Shadow of the Erdtree have lots of armor choices, so we’ve compiled a list of the best armor pieces for Strength builds from the base game and DLC.

Best armor for Strength builds in Elden Ring

You might only survive a couple more hits in a full set of heavy armor compared to medium or light, but in Shadow of the Erdtree, everything hits like a truck. You need all the defense you can get, especially if you’re playing a Strength build.

Strength characters should focus on heavier, higher-defense armor. As a slow melee attacker, you naturally take more hits than a nimble rogue or spellcaster. All the armor sets on this list offer good defense and Poise, but you’ll need to level Endurance to retain your medium-speed roll while wielding your heavy weapon.

8) Bull-Goat Set

Bull-Goat Set in Elden Ring
Bull-Goat Set. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Bull-Goat Set used to be the highest-defense set in Elden Ring, albeit the heaviest. It’s an ugly hunk of metal with two grotesque horns sprouting from its chest, but its high defense made it the armor of choice for maidenless tank builds in PvP.

Now, in Shadow of the Erdtree, the Bull-Goat Set gets relegated to the bargain bin—and the bottom of this list. There’s a new “heaviest” set in the DLC with roughly the same defense and Poise while being a few points lighter, so you can forget about donning these ugly horns if you want to be the tankiest Tarnished in town.

Still, the Bull-Goat Set is straightforward to acquire in the base game: complete Patches’ questline until he moves to Volcano Manor, then complete his assassination contract by killing Great Horned Tragoth. If you’re playing a tank, the Bull-Goat Set will serve you well in Shadow of the Erdtree until you find something new and shiny, preferably without horns.

Our ratings

Defense: 10/10
Efficiency: 3/10
Sex appeal: 1/10

Stats (via Fextralife)

Weight: 63.0
Poise: 100
Physical negation: 38.5 (38.2 Strike / 35.0 Slash / 35.0 Pierce)
Magic negation: 26.1
Fire negation: 26.5
Lightning negation: 29.0
Holy negation: 25.3

7) Lionel’s Set

Lionel's Set in Elden Ring
Lionel’s Set. Screenshot by Dot Esports

One of the thiccest sets in Elden Ring’s base game is still a great choice for tanky Strength characters, especially if you’re going for a George R. R. Martin cosplay. Its distinctive Don Quixote-style helm gives you a striking silhouette, and the chestpiece even comes with a cape that makes you look like a proper fantasy vigilante.

Defense-wise, Lionel’s Set offers decent stats for its weight—only a bit lower than the Bull-Goat Set while being a whole 12.5 units lighter. There are plenty of new heavy armor sets in the DLC, but you can’t go wrong with this base-game classic.

Our ratings

Defense: 8/10
Efficiency: 5/10
Sex appeal: 8/10

Stats (via Fextralife)

Weight: 50.5
Poise: 86
Physical negation: 33.5 (31.5 Strike / 36.4 Slash / 37.2 Pierce)
Magic negation: 26.5
Fire negation: 28.9
Lightning negation: 25.6
Holy negation: 26.5

6) Commander Gaius’s Set

Commander Gaius's Set in Elden Ring
Commander Gaius’s Set. Screenshot by Dot Esports

One of the hardest Remembrance bosses in the DLC nets you a solid heavy armor set as a reward. Commander Gaius‘ Set is surprisingly light considering how much protection it offers; it’s not that much heavier than medium armor but offers strong defenses and magic negation. The downside is you have to look like a crushed-up trash can.

After beating Gaius, you can buy his armor from Enia in the Roundtable Hold—apart from his pants. He’s an Albinauric, so he doesn’t have legs. You can still get Gaius’ Greaves, but they drop from a wolf-rider just up the hill from Gaius’ boss arena. Fans think this is Gaius’ wife, and to get the pants and complete the set, you have to kill her. Are we the baddies?

Our ratings

Defense: 7/10
Efficiency: 8/10
Sex appeal: 0/10

Stats (via Fextralife)

Weight: 44.3
Poise: 75
Physical negation: 30.7 (29.0 Strike / 35.7 Slash / 34.8 Pierce)
Magic negation: 26.9
Fire negation: 26.4
Lightning negation: 26.4
Holy negation: 26.4

5) General Radahn’s Set

General Radahn's Set in Elden Ring
General Radahn’s Set. Screenshot by Dot Esports

General Radahn’s Set is iconic, effective, and cool as hell. It’s surprisingly light, offers decent Poise for its weight, and its defenses are on par with heavier armor. You can get Radahn’s set very early in the game (as soon as you beat Radahn). It’s a safe and stylish choice that’ll serve you throughout the whole of your whole journey, even through the DLC.

Our ratings

Defense: 7/10
Efficiency: 7/10
Sex appeal: 10/10

Stats (via Fextralife)

Weight: 41.6
Poise: 72
Physical negation: 35.5 (34.9 Strike / 29.2 Slash / 33.5 Pierce)
Magic negation: 26.5
Fire negation: 27.6
Lightning negation: 24.9
Holy negation: 26.5

4) Verdigris Set

Elden Ring character wearing the Verdigris Set and wielding Rabbath's Cannon.
Verdigris Set. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Go home, Bull-Goat—the new heaviest, most protective armor in Elden Ring is here. The Verdigris Set offers identical Poise and very similar defenses to the Bull-Goat Set (but with higher Slash negation than Strike), and it’s 1.4 units lighter. That isn’t a big difference, but it does push the Bull-Goat Set off its throne as the “best” defensive armor set in Elden Ring.

Get the Verdigris Set by completing Moore’s quest or by killing him after he invades you. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing armor set in the DLC, but it’s better than the Bull-Goat, I’m not complaining.

Our ratings

Defense: 10/10
Efficiency: 2/10
Sex appeal: 5/10

Stats (via Fextralife)

Weight: 61.6
Poise: 100
Physical negation: 38.5 (33.9 Strike / 37.2 Slash / 35.5 Pierce)
Magic negation: 26.5
Fire negation: 26.3
Lightning negation: 28.3
Holy negation: 26.2

3) Veteran’s Set

Veteran's Set in Elden Ring
Veteran’s Set. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Veteran’s Set still stands out as one of the most striking heavy sets in the game. Its billowing fur cape perfectly fits the aesthetic of a metal-bound commander of a cold, isolated castle, and its defenses are nothing to scoff at, either. It only weighs 45 units but provides a Physical negation rating of 35.5, which is only 3 lower than the Verdigris and Bull-Goat Sets.

Get it from Enia at the Roundtable Hold after beating Commander Niall in Castle Sol. He’s one of the toughest minor boss fights in the base game, and it’s technically optional, but you need to kill Niall to get to the Haligtree.

Our ratings

Defense: 8/10
Efficiency: 7/10
Sex appeal: 8/10

Stats (via Fextralife)

Weight: 45
Poise: 80
Physical negation: 35.5 (32.7 Strike / 35.5 Slash / 33.5 Pierce)
Magic negation: 26.5
Fire negation: 27.6
Lightning negation: 25.3
Holy negation: 26.1

2) Young Lion’s Set

Young Lion's Set in Elden Ring DLC
Young Lion’s Set. Screenshot by Dot Esports

You get this bright-red variant of Radahn’s set after beating Promised Consort Radahn in Shadow of the Erdtree. It’s a stunning new version of Radahn’s armor from his younger years but with omen horns growing from the seams.

It doesn’t offer as much defense as the base-game General Radahn’s set, but it’s much lighter, making it one of the best sets in Elden Ring—especially for Strength characters. Redditor AphoticFlash ranked all armor pieces in Elden Ring based on Poise, defense, and weight, and concluded that the Young Lion’s Set is the most efficient armor set in the game. With armor this light, you might be able to get away with a bit less Endurance, so you can invest more into other stats—like Strength, for better bonking.

Our ratings

Defense: 7/10
Efficiency: 10/10
Sex appeal: 8/10

Stats (via Fextralife)

Weight: 35.7
Poise: 67
Physical negation: 32.3 (28.3 Strike / 32.3 Slash / 32.3 Pierce)
Magic negation: 24.6
Fire negation: 25.4
Lightning negation: 22.7
Holy negation: 25.4

1) Solitude Set

Solitude Set in Elden Ring DLC
Solitude Set. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Solitude Set is hands-down my favorite set in Elden Ring. The best part is it’s accessible as soon as you start the DLC, and it offers excellent defenses and very high Poise. It’s heavy—not as heavy as the Bull-Goat or Verdigris Sets, but heavy enough to warrant substantial Endurance investment or the Great Jar’s Talisman. But the weight is well worth it when you get to wander the Land of Shadow as a decked-out iron juggernaut.

To get the armor set, you just need to beat the boss in the Western Nameless Mausoleum in Gravesite Plain. You can head straight there as soon as you start Shadow of the Erdtree, but the boss might give you a bit of trouble. If you’re struggling, check out our guide on how to beat the Blackgaol Knight in Elden Ring’s DLC.

Our ratings

Defense: 9/10
Efficiency: 8/10
Sex appeal: 10/10

Stats (via Fextralife)

Weight: 57.1
Poise: 96
Physical negation: 35.6 (33.9 Strike / 35.0 Slash / 33.6 Pierce)
Magic negation: 26.2
Fire negation: 28.3
Lightning negation: 26.5
Holy negation: 27.1

Next, check out our comprehensive guide to all 50 Scadutree Fragments in Shadow of the Erdtree, or the best builds to beat Elden Ring’s DLC.

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