Best Elden Ring Samurai build: How to build a killer magical Samurai

Best Elden Ring Samurai build: How to build a killer magical Samurai
Images via FromSoftware

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


20th Apr 2023 17:40


The best Elden Ring Samurai build so is a powerful, Intelligence-based character that will carve through enemies and bosses alike - so here's exactly what you need to do in order to build it.

Players are given plenty of options for customising their Elden Ring builds in the game through the use of stats and equipment, letting you create something that fits your personal play style. So, if you're looking for a breakdown of how to build your Samurai character in Elden Ring Samurai, we've got you covered.

Not a fan of the Samurai build? For more class builds in Elden Ring, check out the following:

Elden Ring Samurai build: Starting out

Screenshot showing build stats for the Samurai in Elden Ring
Click to enlarge

When beginning your adventure, while picking the Samurai class will get you a good head start on the build, it isn't completely necessary, as you're able to respec your character further down the line.

Picking the Samurai class will let you start with the Uchigatana, which is a key weapon due to its powerful skill and bleed effect. You'll also start off with the Land of Reeds armour, a great medium armour that will last a good several hours before needing to seek out an alternative.

As you begin levels, the main stats to focus on are Dexterity and Vigor.

  • Dexterity is an essential stat due to its scaling ability with your Uchigatana weapon, allowing you to do more damage overall.
  • As the Samurai is a build which is designed to get in the face of enemies, Vigor is key to staying alive in fights.
  • Consider also allocating some of your points into Mind and Endurance for later but only do this every few levels for the time being.

Levelling the Samura build in Elden Ring

Once you reach Dexterity 20 with your Samurai in Elden Ring, you'll then want to switch focus to the Intelligence stat, as it's key to continue building it once you gain the Moonveil Katana.

After you've obtained this weapon, Intelligence and Vigor will be your main stats of focus. Once you've reached level 25, you can also stop levelling Endurance - you'll have more than enough stamina by that point.

As you progress, be sure to continue putting an occasional point into Mind, as this will allow you to make use of the Moonveil skill (more on that later). Now it's just a case of continuing to level in this way until you either finish the game or decide you want to try something different.

Best equipment for Elden Ring Samurai build

Equipment screen in Elden Ring showing items for the Samurai build
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Our Elden Ring Samurai build is designed around a few key pieces of equipment: The Moonveil Katana, a Carian Filigreed Crest, the Assassin's Cerulean Dagger, and a Glintstone Staff of your choosing.

  • For your armour, you'll be able to continue using the Land of Reeds set through most of the game. Upgrading it at a site of Lost Grace will make it tougher, but if you do decide to use something else, we'd suggest sticking with medium or light armour.

Moonveil Katana

The Moonveil Katana is a key component of this build, and the most powerful Katana in the entire game due to its fast attack speed, bleed effect, and the Transient Moonlight skill. In order to obtain it, head to the Gael Tunnel, located on the west side of Caelid, and defeat the Magma Wyrm boss.

It's important to make your way here to earn this weapon as early as you possibly can, but remember that Caelid is a hard region to survive in, so you'll want to be ready.

Transient Moonlight

The Transient Moonlight ability acts similarly to the Uchigatana skill, Unsheathe, where you'll sheathe the blade before quickly pulling it out for a fast and powerful attack. With the Moonveil Katana, however, it also shoots a wave of magic energy in the direction you swing the sword.

You can level it with Somber Smithing Stones, but it can't be infused with Ashes of War - not that you'll want to get rid of Transient Moonlight any time soon. 

Samurai Talismans

To best make use of the Moonveil and its skill with your Samurai build, you'll need two specific Talismans that can be earned within the first twenty or so hours of gameplay:

  • The Carian Filigreed Crest lowers the FP consumption of all skills and can be bought from the blacksmith Iji in front of the Carian Manor by either completing Elden Ring Blaidd's quest or joining with Ranni the Witch. 
  • The second key Talisman is the Assassin's Cerulean Dagger, which can be earned after defeating the Black Knife Assassin in the Black Knife Catacombs in Liurnia. It allows you to restore FP for making critical hits.

Using these Talismans in tandem is extremely powerful, as the Carian Filigreed Crest reduces the cost of Transient Moonlight to 15 FP, and getting a critical hit with the Cerulean Dagger equipped will restore 15 FP, letting you be effective in combat for longer. 

  • Later in the game, there are some other Talismans that are effective for this build, such as the Ancestral Spirit's Horn which lets you restore FP for every kill, and the Stargazer Heirloom which grants +5 Intelligence.

As you'll have high Intelligence for this build, you can make use of many of the game's sorceries too. Most of the fighting you'll be doing is going to be melee combat, so you may not make use of these often, but having some ranged spells can really help in some situations. The Greatblade Phalanx, Loretta's Greatbow, and Gravity Well are all top-tier sorceries you can use, with the latter allowing you to pull enemies close and finish them with Transient Moonlight. 

That's the breakdown of our Elden Ring Samurai build, and you should be able to replicate this build to create your own powerful magical Samurai. If you're struggling to locate all the areas in the game, check our Elden Ring Map fragments guide to unlock the full map.

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