As the name implies, an Elden Ring Black Flame Build involves a type of character that incorporates the use of Black Flame spells into their fighting style. And as you may know, these fall into the category of Godslayer Incantations, which effectively makes this playstyle a type of Faith build as well.
Players might have already encountered a handful of enemies using these Incantations in the game, namely the Godskin Apostles that serve as optional mini-bosses in multiple locations on the map. These are really tough foes, and their spell attacks also have a unique property where they not only hurt you on impact but also continue to inflict damage over time. This is the true power of the Black Flames.
And these are exactly the types of Incantations we’ll show you how to acquire and use in this article. We’ll also recommend some of the best Weapons, Armor, and Talismans that go with these best spells.
Elden Ring Black Flame Build Overview
Now since this is a build that utilizes Faith as its main stat, you’re going to want to choose a starting class that has this at the highest possible value. And when we take a look at the ten different ones that are available to us, the obvious choices are the Confessor and the Prophet, which have 14 and 16 Faith respectively. These classes also have the added benefit of starting off with a Sacred Seal, which are the catalysts through which Incantations are actually cast.
And once again, your choice of starting class does not lock you out of any potential Elden Ring builds you may want to utilize in the long run. You can choose to respec and redistribute your stats however you want once you get a few hours into the game.
The Confessor and the Prophet are simply the most suited to create an effective Faith build early on in the game. And even though the Finger Seal they both start with is the weakest Seal in the entire game, it’s the only one you’ll have access to until you defeat Margit, the Fell Omen, and reach the Roundtable Hold. This is also the safe area where the first Blacksmith can be found and where you can upgrade this seal.
Elden Ring Black Flame Build Gear
We are now going to go over our recommended Weapons, Incantations, Sacred Seals, Armor Sets, and Talismans for this Build. Most of the items mentioned below are based on our personal experiences with the game, and should not be taken as indisputable choices. You can pick and use whatever works best for you.
It should also be mentioned that Black Flame build is not primarily centered around offensive spell casting. Attack Incantations are only one half of the equation, with the second half revolving around buffs that improve your character’s abilities and enhance their weapons attacks.
So with that all said and done, let’s start with the weapons.
So there are two different types of weapons that work well for this playstyle. The first of these are able to be buffed up using spells like the Black Flame Blade, but they may also require you to invest points in other stats like Dexterity and Strength. The second type of armaments actually scale with Faith but are not able to be enhanced with magical effects.
You don’t necessarily have to use weapons that scale with Faith to get the most out of this Elden Ring Black Flame Build, but there are a handful of amazing armaments that utilize this stat as their primary attribute and are extremely powerful to boot with special skills that only they possess. But again, you cannot buff them with your Incantations.
We’re going to go over a few different choices that we think work best for this build, and actually show you where you can find them in the world.
The Bloodhound’s Fang is one of the best swords under the Curved Greatswords category that you can acquire in the game, and it’s a weapon that can be useful throughout your entire playthrough if you keep upgrading it along the way. But it does require players to put 18 points into Dexterity and 17 points in Strength to wield. It also starts off with D in Strength scaling and C in Dexterity scaling, which then changes to C and B rank respectively at +7. So as you might have noticed, you have to invest a lot of points into one of these stats to get the most out of it.
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But this is absolutely worth it because, on top of being one of the handful of unique weapons in Elden Ring that can be buffed with magic and grease, the Bloodhound’s Fang also possesses the Bleed Buildup property, which is excellent for blood build in Elden Ring. So regardless of how you choose to use this in combat, it will allow you to cause the Hemorrhage status effect and shave off a chunk of your enemy’s health.
Players can also acquire this weapon extremely early on in the Limgrave region of the game. All they have to do is Defeat Bloodhound Knight Darriwil in the Forlon Hound Evergaol and he will drop this Greatsword.
If Twinblades are more your style, then you cannot go wrong with the Godskin Peeler, which is arguably one of the best weapons of its type. To start with, you require 17 Strength and 22 Dexterity to be able to wield this properly. It also only has a C in Dexterity scaling, which improves to a B at the +25 upgrade level. If you change its affinity to Keen, however, then it begins Dex scaling at C rank, which then improves to an A at +20.
This armament also has a fast moveset, and although you can put whatever Incantation you want onto it, the Black Flame Blade works fantastically for this build. It also has a unique skill known as the ‘Black Flame Tornado,’ which lets your character spin the weapon overhead and then slam it into the ground for an area-of-effect vortex. This not only launches your foes into the air and damages them in the process, but it also hurts them over time.
To acquire this armament, you first have to find the two halves of the Dectus Medallion and reach the Altus Plateau. From here, you can make your way to the Windmill Village in the northern part of the region and defeat a Godskin Apostle mini-boss. Your reward for killing this foe is the Godskin Peeler.
While not suited to everyone, the Godslayer’s Greatsword is a colossal weapon that is capable of dealing tremendous amounts of damage in a short period of time. The downside to this is that it has a relatively slow moveset, like most colossal weapons, and it has high stat requirements necessary to equip it. We’re looking at 20 points in both Strength and Faith, as well as an additional 22 points in Dexterity simply to wield it. It also scales primarily with Dex, reaching B rank at +10.
But all of this is worth it for access to the ‘The Queen’s Black Flame’ skill, which is unique only to this weapon. It’s a three-move combo where the character swings the sword in massive arcs, dealing Black Flame damage to everyone in front of them. It also has the added benefit of dealing damage over time, like most offensive Incantations in our Elden Ring Black Flame build. This is also one of the entries on the list that cannot be buffed.
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The Godslayer’s Greatsword can be found in the Divine Tower of Caelid, in the chest behind the room where you fight a Godskin Apostle mini-boss. You can technically get this weapon within the first few hours of the game, but it’s not going to be easy.
The next weapon on this list is the Winged Scythe, which is perfect for players who prefer to have a longer reach in combat. It requires 16 points in both Strength and Dexterity, and an additional 24 points in Faith to wield. At the start, it also has pretty bad scaling with all three stats, but after upgrading a bit you can improve the scaling of both Faith and Dexterity to C rank at +5 and +9 respectively.
This armament also possesses the Bleed Buildup attribute, which is phenomenal on its own. But it also has the Angel’s Wings skill, which lets you jump into the air and deliver two massive slashes. Not only is this special attack excellent for crowd control, but it also stops enemies hit by it from using recovery items. So it’s great for situations where you want to stop your opponents from using their flasks.
The Winged Scythe can be found early on in the game by heading to the Weeping Peninsula in the south of the world map. While here, look for the Tombsward Ruins and the weapon can be found in a chest inside.
If you don’t want to invest any points in secondary stats like Strength or Dexterity, then the Coded Sword is perfect for you. It only requires 20 points in Faith to wield, and it starts off with a B rank in scaling. Once you get it to +6, the scaling changes to A and stays there for the rest of its upgrades.
This armament does not cause any physical damage at all and instead deals pure Holy damage with each attack, making it perfect for playstyles like the Elden Ring Black Flame Build. This sword is also one of the only two weapons in the game that possesses the ‘Unblockable Blade’ skill. With this, all attacks deal damage to your enemies even if they are blocking.
To get the Coded Sword, you first have to fight your way through the Leyndell, the Royal Capital area and reach the Fortified Manor near the end. Enter this building, and explore some of the rooms until you find the weapon. I’m being purposely vague about the exact location of the armament because I don’t want to spoil one of the game’s most interesting surprises.
The Blasphemous Blade is an absolute powerhouse for a Greatsword build playstyle that can clear out an entire room in a few seconds. It requires 22 Strength, 15 Dexterity, and 21 Faith to wield, but after that initial investment, you can solely focus on Faith since that’s its primary scaling stat. It starts out at D rank, then improves to a C at +3, and then finally hits B rank at +10.
As a special weapon, it cannot be buffed up in any way. It also cannot have any Ashes of War applied to it, and you absolutely cannot change its affinity. But honestly speaking, you don’t want to do any of this, because the ‘Taker’s Flames’ skill is powerful enough on its own. When using this, the character slams the sword into the ground and sends forth a wave of flames that decimate anything in their path. The range of this attack is also excellent, allowing you to hit multiple enemies at the same time.
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To get the weapon, you will have to play through a decent chunk of the game and reach Volcano Manor. Now fight and defeat Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, and you can then exchange his remembrance at the roundtable for the Blasphemous Blade.
Black Flame Build Sacred Seals
You cannot cast effective or high-damaging Incantations without first having the best Sacred Seal equipped on your character. And although the game has a handful of different seals you can acquire, some are more suited for particular types of spells than others.
- Godslayer’s Seal: This is one of the best seals in the entire game, and its purpose is to specifically boost the powers of Godslayer Incantations. It also scales really well with Faith, reaching S rank at +14.
- Erdtree Seal: The Erdtree Seal is not used to boost any particular type of Incantations. But it is a great Sacred Seal in general and reaches S rank with the Faith stat at +5.
- Giant’s Seal: While its main focus is on increasing the effectiveness of Fire Giant and Fire Monk Incantations, it can still be used with all other Incantations effectively. It reaches S rank in Faith scaling at +15.
These three are the ones we feel work best for this build. But depending on what other types of spells you like to use, you can substitute seals however you want.
Black Flame Incantations
Now we finally get to talk about some of the best Incantations you’ll use in this Elden Ring Black Flame Build and how they work in combat.
There are a lot of other Incantations in the game that you can mix and match to utilize with this Build, but the ones we’ll discuss below specifically relate to the use of Black Flame. All of these require varying amounts of Faith to work, with the lowest required value being 15, and the absolute highest being 42.
Black Flame Blade
This Incantation is the simplest spell in the build, and it works by enchanting your right-hand armament with a buff of Black Flame. Not only does this enhance the damage of your chosen weapon, but enemies hit by it continue to lose health over time for a few brief seconds.
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With a 15 FP cost, this Incantation is not expensive to use if you have a massive FP pool, and it also has a pretty quick casting time. But on the downside, it only lasts for around six seconds and you’re meant to cast this again and again during fights, which will absolutely run you dry. This may not be worth it for a lot of players, but those who properly learn to use it will see a lot of results.
The Black Flame is a variation of your standard fireball, with the only notable visual difference being that the color is different. But unlike the regular Flame Sling, the Black Flame lingers on its target after a while and deals damage over time. It’s basically the signature effect of this class of Incantation.
It also costs 15 FP, and it can also be charged by holding down the cast button to increase the size of the projectile, as well as the damage it inflicts. And finally, charging also causes the spell to explode on impact, increasing its area of effect.
Scouring Black Flame
Unlike the Black Flame, which is a concentrated projectile that is launched directly at an enemy, the Scouring Black Flame Incantation is a wide-sweeping blanket of flames that hit everything within its area of effect. It’s excellent for crowd control, even if it does not deal an excessive amount of damage to every target.
The Incantation costs 27 FP to use, and it can also be charged to increase the range of the flames as well. Be warned though, its casting time can prove to be a bit of a hazard. It’s not too long, but it certainly isn’t quick enough to be used in a hectic fight. Also, consider learning the extent of its range and use it only from a distance.
Black Flame’s Protection
For those players who like to get right into the heart of melee build playstyle, the Black Flame’s Protection can prove to be extremely useful. When you use this spell, it increases your physical damage defense by around 35%, allowing you to take much more punishment than you regularly would. It also costs 30 FP to use.
The effect also lasts for a decent 70 seconds, but the downside is that your Flask of Crimson Tears also heals 20% less health during this time. And while this is a bummer, overall the benefits of the Incantation outweigh the drawbacks for an Elden Ring Black Flame Build.
If you ever find yourself surrounded by enemies, then the Noble Presence Incantation can help you get out of that bind. It’s essentially a shockwave that deals damage to enemies in a 360-degree radius around you. It also has the added benefit of knocking foes back.
And if you charge the spell, not only does it deal more damage, it also launches your enemies up into the air. Now, this Incantation is really powerful, but the tradeoff is that you have to get really close to your enemies for it to have any effect and it costs 20 FP per use.
Black Flame Ritual
At 42 required Faith, this Incantation has the single highest perquisites for any spell on this list. But at 24 FP per cast, the focus it consumes is not nearly the highest.
Its function is that it conjures up a circle of Black Flame pillars around the caster, which damage anyone that happens to walk into them. Of course, the caster themselves is immune to this damage. And if you take a moment to charge the spell, the size of the circle increases.
When it comes to Armor sets, there really isn’t a list we could give you that would really help with an Elden Ring Black Flame Build. Your choice of armor depends solely on your personal playstyle, and whether you like to get in close range to attack with melee weapons, or stay at a distance and chuck spells at your foes.
The best advice we could give you is to go with your gut feeling and pick whatever feels right to you. Are you good at dodging? Well, then you should go with a lightweight set that facilitates fast rolling. Are you prone to getting hit? Maybe consider investing in some heavy plate armor and shields that can endure the damage. Again, whatever you choose has to work for you alone. Do not simply pick a set because we’re telling you it’s good, pick it because it’s effective for your playstyle.
But with all that said, I do have some sets for you to consider.
Raging Wolf Set
If you feel comfortable dodging away from attacks as opposed to blocking, then you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Raging Wolf Set. This is a simple medium armor that has decent physical damage reduction all around, even if it doesn’t excel at anything. Magical defense is also okay, with the only exception being Lightning. It does not do well with that particular element, so maybe avoid taking it into fights with bosses that deal Lightning damage.
Other than that, the set is extremely versatile. You can use it at long range while casting Incantations, and you can use it when engaged in melee combat. You won’t be able to take a lot of hits, but at least you won’t die outright. And finally, the armor looks really impressive. It’s hands down one of the coolest looking sets in the game.
Haligtree Knight Set
The Haligtree Knight Set is another medium armor set that has decent damage reduction overall. It’s heavier than the Raging Wolf armor, but it also has slightly better damage reduction in both the magical and physical departments. But none of these still justify using this over the other in our Elden Ring Black Flame Build.
What makes it worth using in my opinion is the Helmet specifically. It flat out gives the player +2 to their Faith stat, which is honestly not a lot. But if you’ve been investing in secondary stats like Strength and Dexterity alongside your Faith, then the small boost is extremely welcome. Combine this with some Talismans that also increase your Faith, and you’ve got a good thing going here.
Crucible Tree Set
Let’s suppose that you’re not good at dodging and you always take a bunch of hits when entering combat. There’s nothing wrong with that, but why not try and use an armor set that ensures that you don’t drop dead from those hits immediately. And in this situation, you cannot go wrong with the extremely cool Crucible Tree Set.
This is a heavy armor, so it has high physical damage reduction. Magic defense is also decent, but the armor also has additional benefits that let it stand apart from the rest. When the whole set is equipped, the player get a flat 15% increase to their damage output. And if you’re a melee player, this is an amazing boost for your attacks.
In Elden Ring, Talismans are unique items that can be equipped to give your character a number of different bonuses. These ranges all the way from simple increases to your HP, FP, and Stamina, all the way to more radical effects like massively increased stats.
And there are quite a number of these Talismans in the game, so we’re here to show you some of the best talismans for an Elden Ring Black Flame Build.
Flock’s Canvas Talisman
As a caster, anything that can help you increase the power of your spells is a must-have item. And in terms of Talismans, the Flock’s Canvas Talisman fills that role perfectly by increasing the potency of all your Incantations by 8%.
This boost is great on its own, but it can also stack with other Talismans like the Faithful’s Canvas to enhance your Incantations further. This item is absolutely essential for Black Flame build, especially if you prioritize magic over melee.
Different spells in Elden Ring have different casting times, and some of the absolute best ones in the game have fairly long casting animations. So to speed up that entire process of casting, I recommend having the Radagon Icon equipped on your character.
This is a simple Talisman, but it acts to exclusively decrease the time it takes you to cast a spell. And as a result, you can use Incantations more regularly, and stack them on top of one another in a short period of time. This is great not only for this build but for most Arcane and Intelligence Builds as well.
As you make your way into the mid and end-game, leveling up keeps getting more and more expensive with each passing hour. And allocating a few points to a particular stat basically becomes impractical. So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Talisman that could give us a much-needed increase in our attributes on a whim?
Well, Marika’s Soreseal does exactly that, by giving you +5 points for your Faith, Mind, Intelligence, and Arcane stats. To be clear, this is an additional 20 levels worth of stats from one item. And the only cost you have to pay is to endure +15% damage from all sources, which is an incredibly reasonable tradeoff in my book.
Elden Ring Black Flame Build Playstyle
As I’ve previously mentioned a number of times in this article, Black Flames have the unique property of inflicting damage over time after the initial attack has already connected. And this is a trait shared by both Incantations, as well as Ashes of War that make use of these flames.
So one of your primary strategies with this build should be to attack your enemies and then let the damage over time deplete as much of their health as possible. So when you use a spell or a melee attack, make sure to give it time to fully take effect. You might not have to waste that extra FP or put yourself in danger by getting close to your foes, the Black Flames will keep working by themselves and might actually perform the killing blow for you.
Some players might not find this method all that satisfying, but that’s something you should be willing to endure for Black Flame Build. Bosses in Elden Ring hit harder and faster than they have in any FromSoft game before, so casters should use whatever advantage they have available to them.
This has been our Elden Ring Black Flame Build Guide. While you’re here, why not also check out other Elden Ring Builds.