With an Elden Ring Poison Build the focus is not on attacking enemies headfirst, but to apply the Poison status effect on them and let it whittle down their health over time. This is primarily meant for players who like to go for a close-range playstyle, but also want to supplement their attacks with a secondary effect that does a lot of the work for them.
However, unlike other status effects like Bleed, Poison is not something you can use again and again in quick succession. Once you apply the effect on an enemy and proc, they continue to take damage as the meter slowly falls back to zero over a short while. During this period, you cannot reapply Poison on the same enemy and it’s better to switch to another type of damage to be really effective. You basically have to layer one type of damage on top of another.
So with this Elden Ring Poison Build guide, we’ll show you the most effective ways to apply Poison on your enemies, and what you should do after that happens. We’ll also guide you on some weapons, armors, and talismans that work best with such a build.
Elden Ring Poison Build Overview
To be completely upfront, there are only a few melee weapons in the entire game that are able to apply Poison by themselves. So you have to either use these exclusively or in the case that you don’t like them, opt to go for some other regular armaments and enhance them with Poison Incantations and Ashes of War.
Any special weapons that do not already have the ‘Poison Build Up’ property, cannot be buffed or have their affinity changed, because these already have access to unique skills that cannot be overwritten by the player.
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So most will probably go for the Incantation route as it allows for much greater freedom in how they build their characters. Ashes of War also allow them to use some of the best Katanas, Greatswords, and Daggers in the entire game and apply the Poison affinity on them whenever they want.
And so when it comes to Poison Incantations specifically, I recommend that players choose a starting class that already has the desired stats. And for the purposes of an Elden Ring Poison Build, that happens to be Faith, so go with either the Prophet or the Confessor for convenience. These have the necessary stats as well as a starting Sacred Seal.
Elden Ring Poison Build Gear
We will now go over all of the gear that we think works best for a build like this, keeping in mind that Poison is only one aspect of the playstyle. Because once you have inflicted an enemy with the status effect, you have to follow up with some sort of attacks. You cannot stand back and wait the entire time as it kills them, it simply takes far too long.
So you want to pick and choose between what type of player you want to be. Are you willing to get up close and deliver melee blows, or are you satisfied with maintaining your distance and peppering foes with projectiles from afar?
And depending on what your answer is, we have a bunch of varied different Weapons, Armor, and Talismans to recommend.
In terms of weapons, the goal is to have something on your character that can effectively apply poison in as little time as possible. And most of the time this comes down to using armaments that use Dexterity and really hit fast like Katanas or Daggers, or ones that allow you to hit from the range like Bows.
If you can make only one of these weapons work as your primary source of damage, then that’s fantastic, you don’t have to do anything more. Otherwise, there’s no shame in carrying an extra armament whose entire purpose is to apply poison. You can switch back and forth between your desired tools instantly at the press of a single button.
Due to the fact that it is an incredibly early game weapon, or a starting one if you choose the Samurai class, I think a lot of people will underestimate the Uchigatana. But it is without a doubt one of the best weapons in the entire game, and its versatility is exceptional.
Players can apply all manner of buffs to it and change its affinity as necessary to suit a variety of different playstyles. In terms of this build, players can use the Poison Armament Incantation on the Uchigatana and allow it to deal damage of the same element with each strike. Alternatively, changing the affinity of the weapon to Poison also allows has the same effect, but with this, the element is always active.
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And on top of this, the armament also constantly maintains its ability to inflict Bleed as well. So as you attack an enemy, you’re essentially building up both meters at the exact same time. If you go with the Uchigatana as your main weapon, you can always keep the pressure on and it will reward you handsomely.
Next up on our Elden Ring Poison Build is the aptly named Venomous Fang, which also happens to resemble the head of a snake. This is a fist weapon that requires 9 points in both Strength and Dexterity to wield, and can be two-handed and then used at staggering speeds to quickly apply Poison to your enemies.
What’s funny about this weapon is that even though it already has the capability to inflict our desired status effect by default, you can still change its affinity to Poison at a Site of Grace. This lets the amount of actual Poison Buildup damage it deals increase to a maximum of 95 points at +25.
And although the Venomous Fang can use any Ash of War in the game, the ‘Quickstep’ skill it starts with is pretty decent on its own. It allows players to get close enough to enemies to attack them, and then move away at lightning fast speeds to avoid getting hit themselves.
The Serpentbone Blade is one of the handful of Katanas in Elden Ring, and although it may not be as versatile as something like the Uchigatana, it excels at its own brand of combat. Because on top of being an extremely fast weapon that is capable of inflicting rapid blows on your enemies, the blade also causes Poison Buildup with each hit.
Its unique ‘Double Slash’ skill is also an extremely fast combo of slashes that help tremendously in filling up an enemy’s poison meter. It starts off as one sequence of two different slashes, but pressing the button again allows for up to two more follow-up attacks. This skill looks really similar to the Corpse Piler ability of the Rivers of Blood katana, but obviously without the Bleed and the extended range.
On the downside though, the Serpentbone Blade’s Poison damage cannot be increased any further than the 66 value it starts with at the base level. It also cannot be enchanted with any Incantations and you cannot use Greases on it.
The Serpent Bow is the only ranged weapon in Elden Ring that is able to deal Poison damage without the help of any Enchantments or Greases. So when starting combat, you can pepper a foe with arrows from a distance, allowing you to inflict the status effect without even getting close to them.
Additionally, you can use special ammunition like the Poisonbone and Serpent Arrows to increase the amount of Poison Buildup that occurs per hit. Using these, you can easily get the job done in 3 to 4 hits with this bow.
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Now, unfortunately, the Serpent Bow is meant to be used as an accompaniment to another melee armament in this build. Because as much as players would like otherwise, using primarily bows is simply not an effective way to play the game. You can do it if you really try, but It’s not all that fun in my opinion.
Now I will fully acknowledge that I am cheating a bit by including a Shield in the Weapons category, but considering that it actually performs a powerful attack to inflict Poison on your foes, I think the distinction doesn’t matter all that much.
Basically, this is a special small shield that resembles a coiled-up snake, and for the most part, it functions exactly like you would expect a shield to. But it’s special ‘Viper Bite’ is something truly special, as it allows the snake on the shield to come to life and bite the enemy you are targeting, applying Poison to them.
Players can also expertly incorporate this skill into a stealth playstyle, as they approach enemies while crouched and use the shield to inflict Poison before combat even starts. Using this, they can easily bypass all of the danger they would otherwise have to subject themselves to, and they can still resume combat regularly from that point on.
Sacred Seals in Elden Ring act as catalysts through which Incantations can actually be cast by the player. There are only a handful of them in the entire game, and some within that group further serve to boost specific types of spells.
Poison Incantations fall into the category of the Servants of Rot spells, and unfortunately, there does not exist a Sacred Seal that helps boost this particular class of Incantations. So we simply have to make do with what we have access to.
We’ll outline some of the best Seals for an Elden Ring Poison Build below.
- Erdtree Seal: The Erdtree Seal does not boost any particular class of Incantations, but it is still one of the best in the game. It reaches S rank with the Faith stat at +5, which is earlier than any other Seal.
- Godslayer’s Seal: As the name implies, the purpose of this seal is to specifically boost the capabilities of Godslayer Incantations. But it generally scales really well with Faith as well, reaching S rank at +14.
- Giant’s Seal: The Giant’s Seal reaches S rank in Faith scaling at the +15 upgrade level. And although its specialty is boosting the power of Fire based spells, it can still be used to cast any type of Incantation.
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These choices are all based on our personal preferences. You can choose whatever works best for you.
When it comes to Incantations for an Elden Ring Poison Build, I regret to inform you that there are not a lot of options available to the player. The Servants of Rot class only has 4 different spells, and among them, only 2 are capable of Inflicting Poison.
However, the good news is that both of these Incantations are incredibly effective at what they do. So since the goal is to poison foes as quickly as possible, that is easily accomplished with these in your loadout.
We’ll go over both of them in a bit more detail below.
This Incantation serves to apply a Poison buff to your weapons, allowing you to build the meter with each blow you land. This is the basis for any Poison Build, as it allows you to essentially buff any weapon that you choose as long as it does not have special skills that cannot be overwritten. So for example, this does not work on special armaments like the Sword of Night and Flame.
Another thing to note is that the Incantation does not stack on top of weapons that already have the Poison affinity. Because while you can use buffs on weapons that have regular affinities like Keen or Heavy, armaments with elemental affinities like Flame or Poison are not able to be enchanted.
If you don’t want to apply a buff on your weapon, you can always choose to directly spray a Poison Mist on your enemies with the help of this Incantation. And yes, this is literally a large cloud of Poison that constantly damages enemies within it. Overall, this is the most effective way of applying the status effect in the game.
You can use this Incantation in rapid succession and even cast it while moving. This gives you a massive edge when it comes to casting because a lot of other spells in the game effectively ground you in place as you cast them.
Ashes of War
To make up for the incredibly poor selection of Servant of Rot Incantations, Elden Ring also has 2 different Poison Ashes of War that serve as excellent skills for the player to use. Their effects are not anything unique, and they even share properties with the Incantations we’ve mentioned earlier. But they are useful and so they’ve earned a mention on this Elden Ring Poison Build.
These are also what you require to be able to apply the Poison affinity onto your weapons, but you do have to first locate the Black Whetblade key item in order to do so.
Not to be confused with the spell of the exact same name, this Ash of War is actually a mixture of both the ‘Poisonous Mist’ and the ‘Poison Armament’ Incantations. It allows you to swing your sword forward, letting out a thick cloud of Poison mist right in front of you. On top of this, your armament also gets buffed with the element, although for a much shorter time than the actual ‘Poison Armament’ spell would. And although this Ash of War has the abilities of two different Incantations, it never really does either of their jobs fully.
The best thing about this Ash of War however is that it can be used on nearly any regular weapon in the game, with the exception of Claws, Fists, and Whips. So you can use it on arms such as the Bloodhound’s Fang, and deal both Bleed and Poison damage.
Poison Moth Flight
The Poison Moth Flight is a devastating attack that is capable of applying Poison to most enemies in a single blow. While using it the player pulls back the weapon and applies the element to the blade, and then follows that animation up with a single powerful attack.
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So unlike the previous Ash of War, this one is actually its own unique skill and deals much more damage. It also is capable of inflicting our desired effect in a flash. But unlike Poison Mist, it has a significantly higher charge time which makes it a bit hard to use in the heat of combat. Using it in stealth, then following up with regular attacks is much more suited for this.
So as I’ve mentioned before, the goal of this Elden Ring Poison Build is to apply the status effect on your enemies and then back off to let it perform its magic. What you decide to do after this has taken effect, completely depends on whether you’re a melee character or a spellcaster.
A melee fighter should opt to go for heavy armor so that when they get in close to attack, they are able to take the blows without dying in one or two hits. However, if the player is confident in their ability to dodge, then a medium armor set also works brilliantly.
If you’re a magic user, I still think that you should go with medium armor at the least. Light armor sets are not worth it for builds like this, where you have to close the distance between you and your enemies regularly. It’s better if you don’t die from a stray attack in the process of poisoning your targets.
Raging Wolf Set
At this point in time, I have added the Raging Wolf Set as a recommended armor in nearly every single one of my Build guides. This is because, on top of being really cool looking, it has decent enough stats that it can easily carry you through the entire game. Its negation is decent against both Physical and Elemental damage types, with the only weak spot being protection from lightning.
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But apart from that, it’s an incredibly solid set for an Elden Ring Poison Build, for both melee and magical playstyles. And although it can easily take damage, the focus should still be on dodge rolling over tanking. So make sure to pump some points into your Endurance stats.
Crucible Tree Set
If you are not confident in your ability to dodge roll away from attacks in time, then maybe you should consider investing in some heavy armor like the Crucible Tree Set. It’s one of the best sets in the entire game, and it can easily take a lot of punishment and still leave you standing.
But of course, this comes with the catch that its weight will easily put you at a heavy load by itself, especially if you haven’t put points into Endurance. And if you go with heavy weapons as well like some of the best swords such as greatswords, then it’s extremely easy to get over-encumbered. So consider Rune farming and leveling up before you put this on.
If you consider yourself to be a skilled player, then you should obviously ignore my warning to avoid light armor and try on the Mushroom Set. It’s one of the more exotic looking sets in the entire game, and it resembles a cluster of Fungi growing all over the player’s body. Now by itself, the Mushroom Set is pretty decent looking, but the key here is an alternative headpiece.
You see, the Mushroom Crown is technically a part of this set, but it is found in a completely different location than the rest of the pieces. It also replaces the regular helm of the set, but in return, you deal an extra 10% damage when an enemy near you is Poisoned. So as you infect enemies, your attacks also hurt them more.
Elden Ring features a robust collection of Talismans that greatly help players tweak their playstyles to their personal liking. Some of these simply raise your core stats, while others are capable of enhancing how powerful your skills are, or how quickly you cast spells.
There are some of the best Talismans in the game, but we’re now going to highlight some that work really well for an Elden Ring Poison Build.
Both Sorceries and Incantations have incredibly varied cast times in the game, and sometimes it’s nice to be able to skip those along. And for exactly those situations, we have the Radagon Icon.
In terms of this build, this allows you to deploy both the Poison Armament and Poison Mist Incantations much faster than usual. A faster cast time for the Mist in particular means that you can cover more area and Poison larger groups of enemies at a time.
Flock’s Canvas Talisman
As a Poison user, you want to be able to inflict your chosen status effect on your enemies as soon as possible. The quicker this happens, the quicker your foes start losing their health. So what better item to recommend for such a build, than the Flock’s Canvas Talisman.
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This works by increasing the potency of all your Incantations by a massive 8%. And in terms of Poison spells, this means that they cause buildup much faster than usual. The entire thing is pretty straightforward, and the only thing of note is that the Talisman does not work for support spells.
Kindred of Rot’s Exultation
Now, this is a Talisman custom-built for an Elden Ring Poison Build, and should be the first priority for all players looking to utilize this playstyle. It increases your attack power by a whopping 20% for any enemy in your vicinity that happens to be poisoned.
It also only lasts for 20 seconds, but that doesn’t matter because you can quickly re-apply Poison in a heartbeat. So as you attack enemies and build up their meter, you essentially use them to give yourself a boost to your damage. It’s honestly perfect for Poison users.
Your first and primary goal with this playstyle is to Poison your enemies before you attempt anything else. Do not jump into combat with the goal of killing them, simply focus on building up the Poison bar so that the damage over time can start taking effect. Once this has been accomplished, then you can focus on either attacking your targets from a distance or staying up close to finish the job.
If you are a melee user and your main weapon is not Poison compatible, then consider investing in another secondary armament that is. This will allow you to apply the status effect, and then you can immediately switch to your damage-dealing weapon. Magic users follow the same tactic, but instead of items, they have to switch out their currently equipped Incantations.
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You can also choose to take a more stealthy approach to Poison. Maybe grab a bow with some Poison arrows and snipe your targets from away. By the time they run up to you, the task will already have been accomplished.
There really are a lot of different ways you can go here, it all depends on what type of player you choose to be.
This has been our Elden Ring Poison Build Guide. While you’re here, why not also check out other Elden Ring Builds.