The BEST Elden Ring Rivers of Blood Build

Elden Ring Rivers of Blood Build makes great use of one of the strongest katanas in the game and certain incantations. Read to find out more!

Elden Ring is no doubt FromSoftware’s biggest game as of yet. With all the customization, best weapons, skills, best swords, and much more, gamers can develop any playstyle they want. These playstyles are mostly determined by the sorts of builds that you choose. Some builds suit players who want more sorcery and dexterity and even builds that focus solely on intelligence. However, the Elden Ring Rivers of Blood build focuses on the bleeding effect in the game while utilizing arcane and a few of the best spells in the game. 

Key Takeaways

The Rivers of Blood build in Elden Ring aims to maximize bleed damage by pairing it with complementary gear and items:

  • Primary Weapon: Use the Rivers of Blood, found on the mountaintop of Giants near the Church of Repose.
  • Talismans: Opt for Blesses Dew Talisman, Godskin Swaddling Cloth, Winged Sword Insignia, Erdtree Favor, Marika’s Scarseal, Green Turtle Talisman, and Dragon Communion Seal. These talismans enhance stats like damage, HP, HP regeneration, stamina, and bleed build-up.
  • Incantations: Recommended incantations include Dragonclaw and Rotten Breath.
  • Starting Classes: Consider starting as a Warrior, Samurai, Bandit, or Prophet for the Rivers of Blood build.
  • Playstyle: Embrace a fast and aggressive playstyle to build up the bleed bar, maximizing damage output quickly.

The Rivers of Blood build is a powerful choice for those who enjoy inflicting heavy bleed damage on their foes in the Elden Ring.

Here’s a quick preview of how the River of Blood Build should look in Elden Ring:

Minimum StatsWeaponArmorTalismansIncantationsSeal
- Arcane: 20
- Dexterity: 18
- Faith: 17
- Endurance 13
- Vigor: 12
- Strength: 12
- Mind: 10
- Intelligence:10
Rivers of BloodArmor of choice with a medium load roll- Blessed Dew
- Erdtree Favor
- Godskin Swaddling Cloth
- Winged Sword Insignia
- Marika Scarseal
- Green turtle
- Dragonclaw
- Rotten Breath
Dragon Communion Seal

Rivers Of Blood Build Gear

The Best Status-Afflicting Rivers of Blood Build In Elden Ring.
Elden Ring Rivers of Blood Build Gameplay
Elden Ring – Rivers of Blood Build Showcase
  • Why I Chose This: By incorporating several overpowered status effects into one build, like Scarlet Rot and Bleed, you can fully utilize your arcane-focused build so that you don’t need to rely solely on the Rivers of Blood to dominate the field.

Here is the list of all the gear that I suggest.

  • Rivers of Blood: The main weapon for this build, as the name suggests. Your primary goal is to build bleed damage with the Rivers of Blood.
  • Blessed Dew Talisman: Regenerates health slowly during battle, allowing you to be riskier with your attacks to build up the bleed bar.
  • Godskin Swaddling Cloth: Allows for HP restoration with successive hits.
  • Winged Sword Insignia: Successive attacks increase attack power.
  • Erdtree Favor talisman: Increases stamina and the equip load the player can handle.
  • Marika Scarseal: Good for the early game where you’d need a boost in stats like arcane, faith, and mind.
  • Green Turtle Talisman: Good for stamina recovery, allowing you to perform successive attacks more easily.
  • Dragonclaw and Rotten Breath: These are the main incantation spells you utilize to leverage your arcane stats. They are great starters to deal a good chunk of damage to tough bosses.
  • Dragon Communion Seal: Increases the power of dragon incantations that I will use alongside the Rivers of Blood build.
  • Great for PvP and PvE.
  • Top-tier status-afflicting build.
  • Encourages offensive playstyles.
  • Viable for close-range and long-range engagements.
  • Versatile and reliable.
  • Has several end-game items.
  • Requires leveling up several stats.
  • Somewhat ineffective against mobility-focused builds.

Rivers Of Blood

Elden Rivers of Blood
Rivers of Blood
Attack Power
Physical Magic Fire Lightning Holy Critical
76 0 76 0 0 1000
Guarded Damage Negation
Physical Magic Fire Lightning Holy Guard Boost
36 26 52 26 26 31

As the name suggests, rivers of Blood is your main weapon of choice for this build. The weapon is great for mid-range battles as it has plenty of options for slash and piercing attacks. Additionally, the blade comes with a blood-build-up ability, which you will utilize heavily.


Church of Repose
Elden Ring – Church of Repose Location

Here’s how you can obtain the Rivers of Blood in the Mountain tops of the Giants, near the Church of Repose:

  1. Once you reach the Church of Repose, there will be an NPC there who will attempt to invade you.
  2. Simply engage and defeat him in battle, allowing you to earn the Rivers of Blood.

Stats And Requirement

Rivers of Blood is an arcane hungry blade as it requires:

  • Arcane: 20
  • Dexterity: 18
  • Strength: 12

Blessed Dew Talisman

Rivers of Blood Build Blessed Dew Talisman Location
Elden Ring – Blessed Dew Talisman location
Description Talisman depicting a drop of Erdtree’s sap 
Weight 0.6
Item Effect Slowly restores HP
Sell Price 1000

The Blessed Dew Talisman is overall a great Talisman for one to have. It will help you recover health amid battle and even in the open world as you move from one encounter to the other.

Elden Blessed Dew
Blessed Dew Talisman

It recovers 2HP/sec, which may seem slow but can give you the edge in battle if you can maintain your distance for long enough. It is also useful in the open world when you do not want to waste one of your flasks. Mostly because upgrading your flasks through Golden Seeds or Sacred Tears can be quite the grind, so you want to save them as much as you can.

Godskin Swaddling Cloth

Elden Ring Spirit Caller's Cave
Elden Ring – Spirit Caller’s Cave Location
Description A Talisman of Sacred cloth of the Godskin Apostles
Weight 0.9
Item Effect Successive Attacks restore HP
Sell Price 1000

Getting to the Godskin Swaddling Cloth is relatively easy. Just make your way over to the Spiritcaller’s cave. Over there, you will have to face the Godskin Noble. If you have progressed far into the game, you may remember this enemy from the Godskin duo fight. But worry not. It is not as hard to beat the Godskin Noble as it was in the Godskin Duo.

Talisman Godskin Swaddling Cloth
Elden Ring – Godskin Swaddling Cloth Talisman

The Godskin Swaddling Cloth complements the Elden Ring Rivers of Blood build, focusing on successive attacks to build up the bleed effect while restoring HP. To activate its effects, you need to land 3-7 successive attacks. When triggered, you have a chance to regenerate 4.5-5% of your health. Importantly, the successive attack counter isn’t limited to a single enemy; you can chain attacks between different enemies to activate the perk. In my opinion, it’s a valuable talisman that encourages a faster and more aggressive playstyle.

Winged Sword Insignia

Description A Talisman depicting a raised prosthetic blade
Weight 1.4
Item Effect Raises Attack power with successive attacks
Sell Price 500

The Winged Sword Insignia is yet another Talisman that works well with the Elden Ring Rivers of Blood playstyle. As I am aiming to be aggressive with successive attacks, it would be desirable to get awarded with more attack power. The additional attack power will make up for some of the stats lacking in strength that went into arcane, faith, or dexterity.

Rivers of Blood Build Stillwater Cave
Elden Ring – Stillwater Cave Location

It is worth noting that the effects are only induced through melee attacks and not ranged attacks like those with a bow. Regardless, the effects of the Talisman stack as you continue to land successive attacks. However, it can also decay over time if you are not attacking fast enough. The sweet spot for activating the Winged Sword Insignia effects is about 3 hits.

Here are the effects according to their stacks:

  • First Stack grants a 3% attack power increase
  • Second Stack Grants 8% attack power increase
  • Third Stack grants a 10% attack power increase
  • The fourth Tier grants a 14% attack power increase

Although there could be more, it is unlikely that you will be able to go beyond the second or third stack that often. In general, it is good for a strong offensive. Of course, if you are looking for pure strength-based items and weapons, then consider reading our 16 Best Elden Ring Strength Weapons guide.

Erdtree’s Favor

Elden Erdtree's Favor Talisman
Erdtree’s Favor
Description A Talisman depicting a special blessing of the Erdtree 
Weight 1.5
Item Effect Slightly raises maximum HP, Stamina, and Equip load
Sell Price 500

The Erdtree’s Favor works great with the Elden Ring Rivers of Blood build in terms of helping you maintain your successive attacks. Not only that but as your stamina may be low due to all the investment into the arcane stats, you would need the extra edge. Therefore, I think it’s best to use the Erdtree Favor to increase your stamina and equip load.

To get the Erdtree’s Favor, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Head to the Fringefolk Hero’s Grave and use two Stonesword keys to get past the imp statue before entering the dungeon.
  2. Once inside, head down until you come across a path leading to a secret area.
  3. There will be some imps that you can run past, finding the item in an altar beyond a fire trap.

However, that is not all that there is to the Erdtree Favor. There are actually three different variants to it that upgrade its stats.

Marika’s Scarseal

Description A Talisman with an eye engraved with an Elden Rune
Weight 0.8
Item Effect Raises attributes, but also increases damage taken
Sell Price 3000

Marika’s Scarseal is an optional Talisman that you might want to utilize early game. The Elden Ring Rivers of Blood build has a high arcane requirement, so getting the stats early on might be hard. Therefore, I recommend that you use Marika’s Scarseal Talisman to raise your mind, intelligence, faith, and arcane.

But there is a catch: you will end up taking additional damage. In general, you will get +3 for all the mentioned stats, and your damage negation will decrease by 10%. However, as soon as you level up and have enough stats, you can remove Marika’s Scarseal to strengthen your defense.

You can find Marika’s Scarseal on a corpse at the Siofra River.

Dragon Claw And Rotten Breath

Dragonclaw Incantation for Rivers of Blood Build
Elden Ring – Dragonclaw
Description An Incantation of Dragon Communion that transforms the caster into a dragon to spew scarlet 
FP cost 36 (4)
Item Effect Channel dragon to spew scarlet, not breath 
Slot used 1

Dragon claw and Rotten breath are some of the best incantations that you use alongside the Elden Ring River of Blood build. Usually, builds besides the mainstream melee or dexterity builds utilize incantation or sorcery. With incantations, especially dragon-related abilities, you can give the River of Blood build the extra power it needs to take on the stronger bosses.

Elden Ring Rivers of Blood Build Rotten Breath
Elden Ring – Rotten Breath

Getting Dragon Hearts

Defeat dragon bosses for hearts in the Lands Between. Trade 2 hearts for incantations at the Cathedral or Church of Dragon Communion. Battle Flying Dragon Agheel at Agheel Lake and encounter Decaying Ekzykes near the Cathedral for the required hearts.

Explore an exploit for optimal Rune farming, allowing you to face a stationary dragon, yielding up to 75k Runes and five dragon hearts. For more details, refer to our Elden Ring Fastest Rune Farming Methods And Exploits guide. Enhance your rune farming by equipping the Golden Scarab talisman in the Elden Ring.

Abilities And Requirements

Both the incantations are quite strong, but of course, they have their high arcane requirements.

Here are the minimum stats for Dragonclaw:

  • Intelligence 0
  • Faith 17
  • Arcane 13
  • FP cost 42
  • Stamina cost 50

Furthermore, here’s the stats for Rotten Breath:

  • Intelligence 0
  • Faith 15
  • Arcane 12
  • FP cost 36
  • Stamina cost 48

Dragon Communion Seal

Elden Dragon Communion Seal
Dragon Communion Seal
Attack Power
Physical Magic Fire Lightning Holy Critical
25 0 0 0 0 100
Guarded Damage Negation
Physical Magic Fire Lightning Holy Guard Boost
25 15 15 15 15 15

The last item that you would need to complete the build would be the Dragon Communion Seal. It is essentially a seal that increases the strength of your Dragon incantations. Additionally, it scales with arcane and faith, stats that you will be using quite a lot with the Rivers of Blood build. Furthermore, it also increases the rate at which the bleed effect builds up. You can also upgrade the Dragon Communion Seal with Somber Smithing Stones. All of these factors contribute towards what makes it a great item to have with the Rivers of Blood build.

You can get the Dragon Communion Seal from the Fringe folk Hero’s Grave in a similar manner to the Erdtree’s Favor talisman.

Rivers Of Blood Starting Class And Stats

Elden Ring Rivers of Blood Classes
Elden Ring – Classes

As I mentioned earlier, the Elden Ring Rivers of Blood class is quite similar to an arcane build, which is why I am biased toward the arcane stats. However, you also need a blend of dexterity for the Rivers of Blood weapon itself and to land successive strikes to build up Bleed.

My Experience With Rivers Of Blood Build

Elden Ring Game Hours
Elden Ring Game Hours (Image by eXputer)

After Spending many hours in Elden Ring, I can say that Rivers of Blood is my favorite Bleed Weapon.

Despite being nerfed in subsequent patches, the weapon was initially overpowered in the Elden Ring. In my opinion, it remains a formidable choice, especially with a strong build that maximizes the damage output of its Ash of War ability.

Optimize Rivers of Blood by equipping The Fire Scorpion Charm, Winged Sword Insignia, Marika’s Scarseal, and Radagon’s Soreseal. Choose any armor that avoids heavy load. Crucially, wear Vare’s White Mask to boost attack power upon inflicting Bleed.

That is everything there is to know about the Elden Ring Rivers of Blood build. It is good as it uses melee and some blood incantations, making it a mixture between a dragon build and a blood build. But at its core, I am relying on arcane, so one can also consider it an arcane-heavy build. If you’re looking for other builds to mess around with, check out Elden Ring Dex Build.

Next Article To Read: Elden Ring Pyromancy Build
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Sameer Noman is a Guides Writer on eXputer who’s fascinated by the eSports scene in the gaming industry. You’ll find Sameer grinding away at Valorant or any other FPS game when he’s got the time. He’s got several years of writing experience under his belt, you can find out more about Sameer's gaming journey on his Steam profile. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: BBA || Published 150+ Guides || Mainly Covers Guides

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