Elden Ring Best Samurai Build: Gear, Stats & Playstyle

With the help of our Elden Ring Samurai Build guide, we'll show you the best way to utilize your Katanas and the bleed status effect.

It doesn’t matter if you’re completely new to the Soulsborne games or a veteran of the genre; you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Elden Ring Samurai Build. It’s a tried and tested formula that has been utilized in previous FromSoftware games to incredible effect, and it also carries through into this latest game, albeit with a few new unique additions.

Key Takeaways:

  • This Build is written with starting gear in mind, but you can substitute any of the gear mentioned below with a stronger but similar alternative.
  • Uchigatana is one of the few Katanas in the game that can be useful dozens upon dozens of hours into the game.
  • Longbow is an incredibly solid ranged weapon and has a D in Dex scaling at the start.
  • For armor, use the Land of Reeds Armor Set.
  • For Talismans, we have three recommendations. Arrow’s Reach Talisman, Axe Talisman, and Assassin‘s Crimson Dagger.
  • The starting samurai melee armament scales really well with either Strength or Dexterity. You can pick between either of them at the start.
  • As you very fragile when starting off with the game, you want to lure away enemies that aren’t weak from their companions using the Longbow. Then take them on 1-on-1 using the Katana.

This Samurai Build will carry you through a significant chunk of the game without ever making you feel too underpowered or helpless while also giving you the chance to scale your power as you level up. It also helps that some of the starting gear you’ll require for the build can be attained by the Samurai starting class by default, so you don’t really have to do any death runs to acquire the relevant gear. While you are here, make sure to also read our Best Elden Ring Builds.

Samurai Build Guide

Elden Ring Samurai Build
Elden Ring Samurai Build.

So to start with, you should probably pick the Elden Ring Samurai class when you are creating your character. The reason for this is that the Samurai class starts with the Uchigatana as its main melee armaments, which is the weapon that we are looking for in any way for the build. It also really helps that your other weapon is the Longbow, which is a great early game ranged weapon, and the incredibly cool-looking Land of Reeds set is your starting armor.

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You still have a chance if you did not start off as the Samurai class but want to switch to this particular build anyway. You can find an Uchigatana in the optional Deathtouched Catacombs in the north of the Limgrave region, and a Longbow can be purchased from the Twin Maiden Husks NPC at the Roundtable Hold. For reference, this is the area where the first Blacksmith in the game is located.

Samurai Build Gear

Now let’s actually discuss our Elden Ring Samurai Build gear in a bit of detail, starting with the best early melee weapon. Also, keep in mind that this Best Samurai Build is written with starting gear in mind, but you can substitute any of the gear mentioned below with a stronger but similar alternative when you find it. Make sure to our Elden Ring Weapon Tier List for more insights.


early game armor sets and weapons

This is one of the select few Katanas in the game, and it’s an incredibly impressive weapon that can be useful dozens upon dozens of hours into the game. I used my slightly upgraded Uchigatana during my first 50 hours with the game and had almost no trouble taking down bosses with it, both optional and legacy. After that, I switched to the Elden Ring Meteoric Ore Blade.

Part of this is because the Uchigatana possesses the ‘Blood Loss Buildup’ passive effect, which allows you to inflict the Hemorrhage status on enemies. This is basically an alternative name for the Bleeding effect, and it builds up as you repeatedly use weapons or skills with this property to attack enemies. And as soon as the meter fills up completely, the foe in question takes a massive chunk of damage.

This is great because it ensures that if you keep the pressure on in battles, then your aggressiveness will be rewarded with enemies dying quicker. So on top of this being an Elden Ring Samurai Build guide, this is also a primer of the Elden Ring best bleed build in the early game.

The Uchigatana’s ‘Unsheathe’ skill is also an extremely powerful ability that excels both in dealing with single enemies and groups. While two-handing the weapon, you can press the Skill button to assume the stance. From here, pressing the light attack will perform a powerful wide arching slash that can get multiple enemies in one hit.

weapon art for breaking stances
Uchigatana’s ‘Unsheathe’ Skill.

On the other hand, a strong attack will perform an overhead slash that not only deals tremendous damage but is also able to stagger most enemies with a single hit. So as far as staring movesets are concerned, this Katana cannot be beaten.

Also, when you first start off, the Uchigatana has a D in scaling for both Strength and Dexterity. This means that you can put points into either of these stats, and the amount of damage inflicted will not vary all that much. The great thing about Elden Ring, however, is that you can use your Ashes of War to change the Affinity of the weapon to any attribute that suits your fancy.

Elden Ring Samurai Build

So, for example, if you have a lot of points in Strength, then you can choose to apply the Heavy Affinity on the Uchigatana. This will cause its Str scaling to change to an A, allowing you to inflict more damage than it previously would. Similarly, if you have a lot of points invented in Dexterity, you can apply the Keen Affinity to change Dex scaling to an A as well.

Both of these are viable options, but since we’re going for an Elden Ring Samurai Build that prioritizes fast hits and the ability to quickly dodge away from enemy attacks, I do think that Dexterity is the correct choice here. This is by no means the Elden Ring best dex build in the entire game, but I do think that it’s the first step towards one.


best arrows to kill enemies from range

As far as the Longbow is concerned, it’s simply a really solid ranged weapon. It has a D in Dex scaling at the start and can be used from long range to pick off enemies from afar. Its “Mighty Shot” skill is also a great Ash of War that uses up a tiny amount of FP but is capable of dealing large amounts of damage with little to no effort.

As far as ammunition is concerned, regular Arrows are fairly easy to acquire if you have the required Runes. Merchant Kalé in the Church of Elleh, which is a location directly at the beginning of the game, sells these for 20 Runes per unit. It’s not an extremely affordable price at the start of the game when resources are always running low, but it’s affordable enough if you’re regularly farming Runes.

Alternatively, you can also craft Bone Arrows by yourself if you want access to ammunition on the go. The recipe can be acquired by purchasing the Deserter’s Cookbook [1] for 150 Runes from the same vendor as mentioned above. Once you have it, you can use 3x Thin Animal Bones to create Bone Arrows anytime you want from the crafting menu.

Armor And Talismans

Elden Ring Samurai Build
Land of Reeds Armor Set.

The Land of Reeds armor set definitely looks cool, but it’s actually the least important part of this Elden Ring Samurai Build. Anything will do as long as it provides decent physical damage negation and is light.

You want to stay at a maximum of a Medium Load to allow for fast dodging, and investing a few points in Endurance can help increase the weight of the gear you can carry without being encumbered. If you feel really confident in your dodging skill, you can even choose to take off armor until you reach Low Load. This will greatly increase the speed and distance of your dodge rolls but at the cost of basically no damage negation.

As far as Talismans in Elden Ring are concerned, I have three main recommendations for new players. The first of these is the Arrow’s Reach Talisman, which enhances the distance of your ranged weapon’s shots, allowing you to hit enemies from further away. With this equipped, you can snipe enemies from further away and make sure that you kill them before they ever reach you.

Elden Ring Samurai Build

The second is the Axe Talisman, which increases the power of your charged attacks. The Uchigatana, in particular, has great reach and a devastating heavy two-handed attack. So with this Talisman, you can know that each charged blow has a greater chance to stagger.

As a melee build playstyle, Samurai relies heavily on doing consecutive attacks while fighting enemies or bosses in the game. That is why you must acquire and equip the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia talisman, which will be the best talisman for Samura’s playstyle in Elden Ring.

And finally, we have the Assassin‘s Crimson Dagger, which restores health on critical hits. As mentioned before, the Uchigatana has a devastating heavy attack while using the ‘Unsheathe’ skill and a great charged attack, both of which can stagger enemies easily. And when you have the opportunity to gain health from these moments, you should try to avail them as much as possible.

Samurai Build Stats

Elden Ring Samurai Build 66

As mentioned above, the starting samurai melee armament scales really well with either Strength or Dexterity. You can pick between either of them at the start, but as you head into the mid-game, you want to make a choice and really stick to it. A more fluid playstyle dictates that priority should be given to Dex over Str, and I concur on that point. Dex is simply better suited to katanas and their fast slashes.

Both of your starting weapons also have really powerful skills that require FP to use effectively, especially the Uchigatana and its ‘Unsheathe’ skill. So consider investing in the Mind attribute to enhance your FP meter, as to allow you greater uses of these Ashes of War. If you don’t want to waste points by putting them in Mind, you can always allocate more uses to your Flask of Cerulean Tears, but that cuts into your healing stock.

You can circumvent this by really pumping points into Vigor to increase your Hit Points. Now, this is a stat that is basically necessary for any build in the game, but for the Samurai build in particular, you want to have as much as you can get. Because as a player that will be two-handing your weapon a lot of the time, you want to have enough health to take any hits that might land on you. Getting better at dodging is always a great tactic, but having a massive pool of health that can also take the occasional hit never hurts.

Samurai Build Playstyle

Elden Ring Samurai Build
Elden Ring Best Samurai Playstyle.

During the first couple of hours with the game, your character will be extremely fragile, and a few hits can easily kill them. So while playing as an Elden Ring Samurai, you want to utilize some of the strategies we detail below.

First of all, never jump into combat headfirst when you come across a group of enemies. Your health is not so high that you can afford to take hits, so keep your distance and pick off any stragglers you see in range with the Longbow.

If the foe is really weak, then a single use of the ”Mighty Shot’ skill will be enough to finish them off; otherwise, the damage dealt should be enough to bring them down to their last legs. At this point, you can follow up with a second shot that should finally kill them.

Alternatively, if the enemies aren’t so weak that you can kill them with one or two arrows, you can use the Longbow to lure them away from their companions.

This way, you have the opportunity to take them on one by one without getting swarmed. And as they move closer to you, the Katana comes out.

As your close-range melee weapon, the Uchigatana should only be used in combat against one enemy at a time until you get better at using it. Its generally long reach and devastating attacks allow for a lot of flexibility, and the focus should always be on either staggering quickly or inflicting the Hemorrhage status for a lot of damage with powerful timed hits.

To have quick access to the ‘Unsheathe’ skill, you can wield the Uchigatana two-handed, but this leaves you open to take a lot of damage if you get hit. Shields really don’t go with this Elden Ring Best Samurai Build since parrying is not a large part of it. But one method you can utilize is using a shield without an associated skill of its own.

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This makes it so that when you press the Skill button, the game automatically uses the Ash of War of the weapon in your other hand instead. And in this situation, that happens to be the ‘Unsheathe’ skill.

And that’s all there is to our Elden Ring Best Samurai Build. While you’re here, why not also check out our Elden Ring Moonlight Greatsword location guide.

What is Samurai Class in Elden Ring?

The Samurai is one of the best characters in the game. It provides the players with a plethora of choices in terms of weapons and attributes. The samurai class also has high dexterity, endurance, and strength. These features make it a perfect starting class for both veterans and new players.

If you decide to go for the Samurai build in Elden Ring, you will start the game at level 9. You will also have access to different weapons from the start of the game. These weapons include an Uchigatana Katana, Longbow, Normal and Fire Arrows, and a Red Thorn Roundshield.

Additionally, you also get access to the Land of Reeds armor set. This set can make the early section of the game easy to traverse. You can also regularly upgrade your weapons, attributes, and armor as you progress in the game. These upgrades if done properly can help you play the game from start to finish using the Samurai build.  

 Benefits of Using the Samurai Class

The Samurai class offers the players a plethora of benefits that make it a perfect starting class. These benefits include;

  • The Samurai Class offers you great versatility from the start. You can use the Katana or the Longbow as they are both great for killing enemies in the starting portion of the game.
  • The Samurai Class has amazing base stats when compared with other classes. For instance, the Vigor, Endurance, Strength, Mind, and Dexterity stats are in the double digits from the very start.
  • The Samurai Class starts at Level 9. This high level provides you with a great launching pad for your journey through the game.

It is an amazing class for new players as you get to learn about the major weapon types from the start. You have access to a shield, a bow, and a Katana. This weapon choice will help you choose the best weapon for your playstyle from an early stage.

Other Available Samurai Builds

Other viable Samurai Builds are also available in Elden Ring in addition to the one mentioned above. All these builds focus on different stats, spells, skills, and weapons and help you get the most out of the Samurai Class. These builds allow you to complete the entire game using the Samurai Class. They include;

Rivers of Blood Build

This Elden Ring Samurai Build makes use of the Rivers of Blood Katana to inflict bleed damage to all enemies and bosses. This Build makes use of the Arcane, Vigor, and Endurance stats. These stats are the prime focus in the Rivers of Blood build and are prioritized.

In terms of weapons, you can use Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear, Medium Shield, and the Dragon Communion Seal with the Katana. You can also use the White Mask armor as it pairs extremely well with this build. You can also use the Shard of Alexander and Lord of Blood’s Exultation talismans.

Finally, you need to upgrade the Golden Vow spell as it considerably upgrades your outgoing damage. You will also acquire the Bloodboon Ritual and Corpse Piler skills as they buff your weapons. You can learn more about this build in our Elden Ring Rivers of Blood Build guide.

Moonveil Crit Build

This build makes use of the Moonveil as its primary weapon. It is one of the most powerful weapons in the game and has been featured in our Elden Ring Weapons Tier List. This build focuses on the Intelligence, Dexterity, Arcane, and Vigor stats. You can pair up the Moonveil Katana with the Black Knife, the White Reed, or the Land of Reeds armor sets.

In terms of Talismans, you can use the Carian Filigreed Crest and the Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger. These talismans help you replenish your FP and lower its spell cost.

As this build focuses on dealing damage through spells, you can use Loretta’s Greatbow, Carian Greatsword, and the Glintstone Pebble spells. All these spells use FP to conjure weapons and deal damage. You can follow our Elden Ring Moonveil Katana Build to learn more about this particular Samurai Build.

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Huzaifah Durrani

As an RPG fanatic, Huzaifah is probably Immersed in yet another playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas or Elden Ring. He will also help you complete game quests, and stay familiar with the latest game releases. You can also find his articles on Gearnuke & Twinfinite.

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