Here’s the best Bandit build in Elden Ring including weapons, spells & talismans

Here’s the best Bandit build in Elden Ring including weapons, spells & talismans
Images via FromSoftware

Written by 

Tarran Stockton

Last updated 

11th Apr 2024 12:10

Contents

There's plenty of build variety to be had in Elden Ring, and choosing the Bandit class can lead to some of the best builds the game has to offer, especially if you want to make the most of the powerful bleed damage.

More specifically, I'll teach you how to create an Arcane blood god using one of Elden Ring's most under-appreciated stats - the Arcane stat. If that sounds fun to you, keep reading!

Starting out & levelling up

The starting stats of the Bandit class in Elden Ring
Click to enlarge

The starting stats for the Bandit class in Elden Ring are:

  • Level: 5
  • Vigor: 10
  • Mind: 11
  • Endurance: 10
  • Strength: 9
  • Dexterity: 13
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 14

Choosing the Bandit class in Elden Ring will start you at level five, with your highest stats being Arcane, Dexterity, and Mind. You'll start thin in terms of equipment, with a dagger, short bow, some arrows, and a buckler shield, meaning you have limited options. We'll remedy that quickly. 

Levelling the Bandit can be a tall order as the Arcane stat is one of the weaker stats during the early portion of the game, and it takes a while to start being effective. While Arcane will be your main stat later on, at the outset of the game focusing on your Dexterity, Mind, and Vigor is the better choice and will allow you to survive until you can get weapons that utilise Arcane.

At that point, you'll want to dump points into the Arcane stat often, and utilising the respec option at the Academy of Raya Lucaria is a good idea to get the most out of all your levels. 

Best Bandit weapons in Elden Ring

Early game weapons

There are many good quality weapons for this build, and you'll want to prioritise those with bleed effects to get the most out of it.

A good early weapon to go for is the Uchigatana, a katana that'll serve you well for many hours. It can be found in the Deathtouched Catacombs, which is located in Limgrave near the bridge to the north with the Pumpkin Head on it.

The Reduvia in Elden Ring
Click to enlarge

You could also grab Reduvia, an Arcane dagger that bleeds enemies and can send out projectiles to trigger bleeding from afar. You'll get this weapon by defeating the invader outside the cave Patches is in. It's along a riverbed passage to the north from the lake where you fight Flying Dragon Agheel.

You may also want to grab the Dragon Communion Seal, which is located in the Fringefolk Hero's Grave in Limgrave. You can enter this from the first site of grace in the game, but it requires two Stonesword keys. This will allow you to use magic, such as incantations, and is especially good with dragon-based spells.

I should note, however, that dragon incantations and the Dragon Communion Seal scale with Arcane, rather than most Seals which scale with Faith.

Late game weapons

A good unique weapon you can obtain is Eleonora's Poleblade. It's located later on in the Altus Plateau region, but it's a game-changer thanks to its power potential. Eleonora's Poleblade is a twin-blade weapon that requires 21 Dexterity and 19 Arcane and can be earned by defeating Eleonora, Violet Bloody Finger at the Second Church of Marika. 

Another two endgame weapon options are the Rivers of Blood and Mohgywn's Sacred Spear. The first is a katana weapon that requires 18 Dexterity and 20 Arcane, and it can be found by defeating Bloody Finger Okina near the Church of Repose in the Mountaintops of the Giants region.

The Sacred Spear requires you to defeat the boss Mohg, Lord of Blood to gain the Remembrance of the Blood Lord, which can be traded in at the Roundtable Hold. It requires 26 Strength, 14 Dexterity, and 27 Arcane to wield, and it can be improved further with specific talismans which I'll explain later.

Best Bandit armour in Elden Ring

Early game armour

One of the better armour choices for the start of the game is the Samurai-themed Land of Reeds set. It's got a great balance of physical and magical defence and will last you until you get the next set of armour which is key to improving this build.

To get this armour set, you can purchase it from the Isolated Merchant in the Dragonbarrow area of Caelid, costing you only 1500 runes in full. 

Late game armour

The War Surgeon set is the next armour set you'll want to track down. The set's helmet, called the White Mask, is the only necessary piece for this build due to its passive effect, so you can swap out the rest if you desire.

The War Surgeon Set in Elden Ring
Click to enlarge

The helmet will allow you to deal more damage for 20 seconds whenever you inflict blood loss on an enemy, allowing it to combo well with the above weapons. The full set can be found by defeating the Nameless White Mask invaders in the Mohgywn Dynasty Mausoleum, but you have to kill them before killing Mohg, or they'll be unavailable.  

Best talismans & spells for an Arcane build

Talismans

  • Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman
  • Lord of Blood's Exultation
  • Marika's Soreseal
  • Winged Sword Insignia

There are a few talismans that boost this build, specifically making Mohgywn's Sacred Spear's skill more powerful and increasing your weapon's bleed damage.

One of the first you can track down is the Winged Sword Insignia, which raises the attack power of successive hits. This can be found in the Stillwater Cave after defeating the boss, which is located on the southern side of Liurnia.

The Lord of Blood's Exultation talisman in Elden Ring
Click to enlarge

The Lord of Blood's Exultation is another key talisman that can be found by defeating a boss called Esgar in the Leyndell Catacombs. When worn, this increases the attack power of your attacks after inflicting blood loss and also stacks with the White Mask. 

The next two talismans can be found in a late-game dungeon called Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree. The first of these is the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman which we've covered in our Elden Ring legendary talismans guide. Still, in short, this talisman will enormously boost your physical damage negation. There are weaker versions of this talisman throughout the game too.

Marika's Soreseal is another good choice as it increases all your magic-based stats by +5 while decreasing your received damage by 15%. 

Spells

  • Bloodflame Talons
  • Rotten Breath
  • Swarm of Flies

There are a couple of spells that cap off the build and use bleed effects. The Swarm of Flies spell is a solid choice that deals a lot of damage and will let you increase your power thanks to its bleed. Bloodflame Talons is another great spell choice that deals fire damage.

The Swarm of Flies incantation in Elden Ring
Click to enlarge

If you're using the Dragon Communion Seal, I'd recommend Rotten Breath, though this incantation is less about bleed effects and more about inflicting Scarlet Rot. It's extremely powerful though.

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If you don't think the Bandit is the class for you, Elden Ring has a variety of other classes to choose from, including:

For more on Elden Ring, be sure to check our Elden Ring homepage and if you want to get one of the game's alternative endings, take a look at how to finish the Elden Ring Fia quest.

Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.

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