Here's the best Elden Ring Samurai build including talismans & weapons

Here's the best Elden Ring Samurai build including talismans & weapons
Images via FromSoftware

Written by 

Tarran Stockton

Last updated 

9th Apr 2024 15:16


The Elden Ring Samurai is one of the best classes for starting due to its equipment and stats, but it doesn't take much to go further and make one of the most powerful builds in the game.

You'll have tonnes of ways to customize your character and what they can achieve during an Elden Ring playthrough, and with little guidance, you can easily make a strong character. However, getting to the next level and fine-tuning your build so it's perfect is harder.

Follow along below for a build based on my time playing Samurai during the game.

Stats & levelling

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

As you begin gaining 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

Once you reach Dexterity 20 with your Samurai in Elden Ring, I suggest you then 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 - as I had 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 weapons for a Samurai build

When it comes to fighting with our Samurai build, you'll want to focus on getting one weapon: the Moonveil Katana. This will eventually replace your Uchigatana, and I found it to be one of the strongest Dex weapons when playing due to its size and ability.

Equipment screen in Elden Ring showing items for the Samurai build
Click to enlarge

Moonveil Katana

The Moonveil Katana is a key component of this build, and one of the most powerful Katanas in the entire game due to its fast attack speed, bleed effect, and the Transient Moonlight skill. 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 prepared.

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. 

Rivers of Blood

An alternative to the Moonveil Katana and many people's pick for the outright best weapon in the game is the Rivers of Blood katana.

You can't get this until much later in the game when you reach the Mountaintops of the Giants, where you can fight Bloody Finger Okina to pick it up.

While it's powerful, it scales with Arcane instead of Intelligence, so it's worth respeccing if you do decide to go down this route.

Best armor for a Samurai build

For your armour, you'll be able to continue using the Land of Reeds set through most of the game (the default Samurai class armour).

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.

The White Reed Armour Set in Elden Ring with the Okina Mask and Rivers of Blood katana
Click to enlarge

There are some late-game alternatives you can use though, such as the Black Knife set, Malenia set, Spellblade set, or the White Reed set.

Best talismans for a Samurai build

The Talismans are what complete the Samurai build, giving you the final boosts you need to make the most of your equipment.

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 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

The Carian Filigreed Crest talisman in Elden Ring
Click to enlarge

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. 

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There are plenty of other builds to try in Elden Ring if the Samurai isn't for you, including:

Check out our Elden Ring homepage for more guides. We've also covered how to farm Runes, all endings explained, and where to find all Legendary Armaments and Talismans.

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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