The medieval menace known as the flail is an underutilized weapon class. Taking on the appearance of a ball-and-chain attached to a handle, these weapons may seem clunky or difficult to use, but include little known features that make them stand out against Elden Ring’s myriad of weapons. In addition to dealing passive Blood Loss build-up, flails are unparryable and do not bounce off of shields like other weapons. This makes them incredibly useful for PVP combat, as well as PVE combat against shield-wielding enemies. Some flails are definitely better than others — naturally, if you choose to use them, you’ll want to know what the best flail is in Elden Ring.
5 Best Flails in Elden Ring
We’ll be breaking down the 5 best flails in Elden Ring, where to find them, and some tips on how to use them most effectively.
The most basic weapon in its class, the standard Flail is blank canvas waiting to be enhanced by ashes of war. It gets the job done and its relative ease of use and early game location make it a great choice for dipping your toes into flail usage in Elden Ring.
The standard Flail has a pretty basic stat distribution. It has 109 base Physical attack and requires 10 Strength and 18 Dexterity to wield. Damage scales pretty evenly, with a base D grade in both Strength and Dexterity. At max Standard upgrade, Dexterity is slightly more favorable, as it reaches a C. However, you can change the affinity to better suit your preferred primary attacking attribute.
Where to Find It
The Flail can be found very early in the game, making it a great starting weapon. On the eastern edge of the Gatefront Ruins, you will find a carriage guarded by Godrick’s soldiers. Check the back of this carriage to find a chest containing the Flail. You can also acquire this weapon late in the game by talking to Brother Corhyn in Leyndell, Ashen Capital if you’ve been following Goldmask’s questline. However, by this point in the game, the Flail is pretty obsolete. Since it can be acquired so early, it’s best to just pick it up at the Gatefront Ruins.
How to Use the Flail
As a pretty basic weapon, the Flail makes a great starter or backup weapon. It can be infused with ashes of war, which makes it quite versatile. The relatively balanced damage scaling also makes it easy to adapt to the type of build you are going for. We recommend changing the weapon affinity to Quality. This affinity changes the damage scaling to a B in both Strength and Dexterity. A good ash of war that grants this affinity is Royal Knights Resolve. The skill associated with this ash of war boosts the user’s next attack by 80%. With the flail’s inability to be parried, this is almost a guaranteed boosted hit.
Since it has an almost guaranteed chance to hit, the Dagger Talisman is a great choice to use with the Flail. This talisman boosts the weapon’s crit damage by 17%. If you want your crits to do even more damage, you can substitute Royal Knight’s Resolve for Determination. The two skills function similarly, with the key difference being that Determination grants a 60% damage boost and a 20% crit damage boost to your next hit. Depending on your play style, you may prefer one option over the other.
The Hammer Talisman is also a good option for taking down shielded enemies, as it increases Stamina damage against blocking enemies by 20%. Since attacks with flails don’t bounce off of shields, this talisman is great for helping break through an enemy’s guard.
A solid entry in the Dexterity user’s arsenal, the Nightrider Flail intimidates enemies with its triple spike balls. It has great Physical attack and fantastic Dexterity scaling.
The Nightrider Flail has the highest base Physical attack of all flails at 112. It requires a bit more Dexterity investment than other flails, needing 24 Dexterity in addition to 10 Strength to wield. In return, Dexterity receives the best damage scaling, with a base C grade that reaches a B by max Standard upgrade. Strength has reduced scaling, with a base E grade that does not change with upgrades.
Where to Find It
You can grab this weapon fairly early in the game if you’re a bit daring. Head south of Limgrave to the Weeping Peninsula. Rest at the Castle Morne Rampart site of grace and change the time to night. This will spawn the Night’s Cavalry field boss. You will need to defeat this boss for it to drop its flail. The best strategy is to mount Torrent and trade horseback hits with the boss until it falls. Doing so will net you the Nightrider Flail.
How to Use the Nightrider Flail
With the Nightrider Flail’s great Dexterity scaling, it would be a shame not to take full advantage of the damage a Dexterity weapon like it can do. By default, it has the Weapon Skill Spinning Chain, which has the user spin the flail before slamming it into the target for powerful attack. This skill is fine, but we can infuse the Nightrider Flail with ashes of war, so our options are expanded. When set to the Keen affinity, the Nightrider Flail gains an A in Dexterity damage scaling. This is optimal for dealing the most damage as a Dexterity weapon. A great ash of war to achieve this affinity with is Bloodhound’s Step. In addition to providing the Keen affinity, the Bloodhound’s Step Skill allows the user to temporarily turn invisible while performing a dodge. This skill is excellent at getting behind enemies and gaining the advantage in battle.
To ensure your Dexterity is the highest it can be, make sure to equip the Prosthesis-Wearer Heirloom talisman. This talisman increases your Dexterity by 5, increasing the damage done with the Nightrider Flail. Another great talisman to use is the Lord of Blood’s Exultation. Since you deal passive Blood Loss buildup with each hit, you can take advantage of this talisman’s ability to boost your attack power whenever Blood Loss occurs in your vicinity to supercharge your attacks.
The Chainlink Flail acts as a Strength-based alternative to the Nightrider Flail. This powerful flail has fantastic Strength scaling and can break enemy guards with ease. We consider it the best flail in Elden Ring for those who didn’t spec into Dexterity or Intelligence.
With a base Physical attack slightly lower than the Nightrider Flail at 109, this flail may seem less powerful in comparison. But it evens out with a lower cost to wield. The Chainlink Flail needs 18 Strength and 12 Dexterity in order to wield. It has a base C grade in Strength scaling that reaches a B by max Standard upgrade. Scaling in Dexterity is reduced, with an E grade that remains constant throughout upgrades.
Where to Find It
Pumpkin Head enemies carry the Chainlink Flail and have a chance to drop it when defeated. The earliest place you can find one carrying this weapon is outside of Fort Haight in eastern Limgrave. It has a 4% drop rate from these enemies, so it may take some time to farm before it drops. You can rest at the nearby Fort Haight West site of grace to reset the spawns until you get the flail to drop.
How to Use the Chainlink Flail
Your play style with the Chainlink Flail will revolve around maximizing Strength scaling to deal heavy hits and break enemy guards. In order to achieve this, you will want to set the weapon’s affinity to Heavy. Doing so changes its damage scaling to an A in Strength, but eliminates scaling with Dexterity. A great ash of war that grants the Heavy affinity is War Cry. The Weapon Skill War Cry buffs your attack by 7.5% while increasing your Strength by +5. It also allows you to charge your heavy attack for the duration of the skill’s effect. Use this skill to become an unblockable monster as you swing your flail through enemy defenses.
To boost your Strength scaling even further, consider equipping the Starscourge Heirloom talisman. This talisman increases your Strength by +5. Add an additional +5 from War Cry, and you’ve significantly increased your Strength scaling capabilities without having to invest any additional points into Strength. Since this flail also deals passive Blood Loss Buildup, the Lord of Blood’s Exultation talisman is once again a solid addition to this build.
A grotesque weapon with heads replacing spiked balls, this flail is perfect for a Dexterity/Intelligence hybrid build. It adds Magic damage on top of great Dexterity scaling to create a terrifying combo. If you’re looking for a macabre weapon to beat and disrespect your foes, then the Family Heads is the best flail for you in Elden Ring.
Base damage for the Family Heads is split between 87 Physical attack and 56 Magic attack. You will need 8 Strength, 18 Dexterity, and 16 Intelligence in order to wield it. Damage scales best with Dexterity, with a base C grade that reaches a B by upgrade +3. It also has decent damage scaling in both Strength and Intelligence, with a base E in both that reaches a D by upgrade +4.
Where to Find It
The Family Heads are dropped by defeating Necromancer Garris within Sage’s Cave in the Altus Plateau region. You can find Sage’s Cave in the western portion of the region near Mt. Gelmir, just to the southwest of the Wyndham Ruins, below the cliff. Necromancer Garris is hidden behind an illusory wall, so he can be easy to miss. Defeat this boss and he will drop the Family Heads.
How to Use the Family Heads
This weapon really shines when used as a melee weapon in a Dexterity/Intelligence hybrid build. Although it primarily scales with Dexterity, it has a unique Weapon Skill that contributes to its magic-damaging capabilities. That skill, Familial Rancor, has the user wave the Family Heads to summon a cluster of vengeful, spectral skulls that will lock onto and chase down enemies. This is a great skill for dealing with enemies at a distance, since most flails lack any sort of ranged capabilities. It can also be helpful in PVP situations, since the skulls will chase down retreating opponents.
If you’re looking to raise the Magic potency of the Family Heads, consider using the Stargazer Heirloom talisman to raise your Intelligence by +5. Other good talismans to consider are the Radagon Icon and Shard of Alexander. The Radagon Icon shortens the time it takes to cast spells, making casting Familial Rancor faster. The Shard of Alexander boosts the power of skills by 15%, so you can power up the damage done by Familial Rancor. Unlike other flails, the Family Heads does not deal Blood Loss buildup. However, the Magic damage it gets instead is a worthy trade off.
A bonus tidbit: The Family Heads may be a reference to the Dark Souls boss Pinwheel. This classic boss notably has three heads, each wearing a mask. When defeated, it will drop one of its masks, either the Mask of the Mother, Mask of the Father, or Mask of the Child. In other words — a family of heads.
Our top pick for the best flail in Elden Ring is the Bastard’s Stars. A fitting name, given its source and appearance. Similarly to the Family Heads, this planetary pummeler works best on a Dexterity and Intelligence hybrid build. However, the Bastard’s Stars leans far more towards the Intelligence side of things, making it a fantastic melee option for magic users.
The Bastard’s Stars has its base attack stats split between 65 Physical attack and 78 Magic attack. It needs 8 Strength, 22 Dexterity, and 22 Intelligence to wield. While this is a bit more of an investment than other flails, it is an investment that is well worth it. Damage scales best with Intelligence, with a base C grade that reaches a B by upgrade +3. Dexterity also has good damage scaling with a base D grade that reaches a C by upgrade +9. Scaling is reduced for Strength, with a base E grade that remains constant throughout upgrades.
Where to Find It
To acquire this weapon, you will have to follow Ranni the Witch’s questline to its completion and defeat Astel, Naturalborn of the Void. Looking like a cosmic horror straight out of Bloodborne, this boss is located below the Grand Cloister reached by trudging through the Lake of Rot. It may take some time to complete this questline and reach Astel, but the payoff is worth the time and effort for the best flail in Elden Ring. After you defeat Astel, it will drop the Remembrance of the Naturalborn. You can trade this Remembrance for the Bastard’s Stars from Enia in Roundtable Hold.
How to Use the Bastard’s Stars
Aside from its great Intelligence scaling, the Bastard’s Stars has a few other tricks up its sleeve that make it such an awesome weapon. For starters, it has the unique Weapon Skill Nebula. This skill has the user perform a sweeping strike that leaves a cloud of stars in its wake. After a brief period, the cloud explodes, dealing Magic damage to enemies caught in the blast. The arcing pattern of this skill gives the Bastard’s Stars a much wider attack range than other flails, further securing its place as the best flail in Elden Ring. It can also catch opponents off guard with the delay between slash and explosion. Additionally, the Bastard’s Stars deals 20% more damage to Gravity type enemies. There are a handful of bosses that fall into this category, making this a great weapon to use when tackling them.
For optimal damage output, we recommend using the Magic Scorpion Charm talisman to increase your Magic damage by 12%. You can get an additional damage scaling bonus with the Stargazer Heirloom, as it gives +5 to Intelligence. The Shard of Alexander is also a beneficial talisman to use, since it will give a 15% boost in power to Nebula. The Bastard’s Stars also cannot inflict Blood Loss buildup, but once again, its Magic capabilities more than make up for this.
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