How to get and use Hand-to-Hand martial arts in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

Shadow of the Erdtree does a lot to mix up Elden Ring’s basic gameplay. One of the best additions is a new way to throw down against monsters with Hand-to-Hand martial arts, a new weapon category. While they seem like fist weapons at a glance, you’ll not regret trying them out.

Hand-to-Hand martial arts are only available in the DLC expansion to Elden Ring, Shadow of the Erdtree. You cannot get this weapon type in base game.

How to get Hand-to-Hand martial arts in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

The map for the short Hand-to-Hand Martial Arts quest in Elden Ring.
You need the missive to challenge the master. Screenshot by Dot Esports

If you want Hand-to-Hand martial arts, you must first get to the Scadu Atlus. Usually, this is by heading through the Castle Ensis and defeating Rellana, though there are a few other side paths you can take. Visit the Highroad Cross Site of Grace for a note and gesture, then head east to the Moorth Ruins Site of Grace to see the monk in question ready to brawl with you. Emote at him with the “May the Best Win” gesture and you’ll be teleported into a duel with Dryleaf Dane.

Directly behind the castle, you’ll find the Highroad Cross Site of Grace with a few NPC friends and an item, the Monk’s Missive. This missive also gives you a gesture, “May the Best Win,” which is required for the quest. The Missive directs you to go east, where a Monk will stand against you. You’ll need to challenge him without using words. And, while you can swing on him, he’ll simply fade away without flinching. You actually need to walk up to him and use the gesture he teaches you, “May the Best Win.” If you do this close enough, Dryleaf Dane teleports you to an arena to duel him.

He’s a relatively low-poise fight, though watch out for his returning discs and unique moveset. He can armor through anything while he prepares a Palm Blast, but doesn’t do significant damage—as long as you have enough Scaudutree Fragments, that is. Once he’s defeated, head back to the bonfire. A message on the ground confirms Dryleaf Dane is just fine. Pick up his hat and the Dryleaf Arts item from the ground.

How to use Hand-to-Hand martial arts in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

A Tarnished holds their fist together in a show of discipline in Elden Ring.
May you too continue to train, sensei. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Now that Dryleaf thinks you’re ready, you can start using Hand-to-Hand martial arts by equipping Dryleaf Arts as your main weapon. You can dual-wield this weapon by hitting the two-hand button, unlocking the entire moveset. Hand-to-Hand martial arts is a tiny bit slower than standard Fist weapons, but comes with much more impressive range and stagger pressure. It also comes with the powerful Palm Blast, a weapon skill that gives you a ton of Poise before unleashing a large detonated burst.

Dryleaf Arts is a surprisingly versatile weapon, partially due to the potency of Palm Blast. You can build skills with the Godfrey Icon and Alexander’s Shard to deal massive damage with your skill. Alternatively, your Light attacks are fast enough to use Millicent’s Talismans—the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia or Millicent’s Prosthesis—to build up damage quickly.

Dryleaf Arts are also a standard weapon, meaning you can augment it to scale with whatever stat you’d like. For example, we made it a Heavy weapon, and it got to A Strength scaling by +25. This makes it work great for Quality builds or as a quick weapon option in any toolkit.

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