Hard-hitting but slow-moving, Greatswords have been a staple of FromSoftware games since the original Dark Souls. Many players find themselves drawn to these weapons for their ability to deal heavy damage and stagger their enemies with only a few hits. With the variety of weapon skills, and the new addition of interchangeable skills via Ashes of War, there are a wide variety of playstyles to consider when building a character around this subset of weapons.
While they may be slow to swing, there’s nothing cooler than cleaving your enemies with a huge sword. So what are the best Greatswords in Elden Ring? In this guide, we’re breaking down the top five best Elden Ring Greatswords, where to find them, and how to take advantage of all they have to offer.
Let’s take a look!
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Elden Ring’s 5 Best Greatswords, Ranked
We’ve got the five best Greatswords in Elden Ring listed from our least to most favorite.
Banished Knight’s Greatsword
The Banished Knight’s Greatsword is an excellent all-around weapon for those working on a quality build. Its high Physical attack stats and ability to be imbued with Ashes of War makes it a very versatile weapon.
This Greatsword boasts a base Physical attack stat of 142, the second highest of any Greatsword. To wield this weapon, you’re going to need 17 Strength and 9 Dexterity — a pretty reasonable requirement for a weapon of this power. It makes our ranking due to its high damage stats combined with its relatively low barrier to entry.
Additionally, the Banished Knight’s Greatsword has a D grade in damage scaling for both Strength and Dexterity. This means it benefits from investments in both Strength and Dexterity stats, which you likely have already been doing if you are focusing on a quality build.
Where to Find It
This Greatsword can be found relatively early on in the game. It has a chance to drop from a defeated Banished Knight, which you will first encounter in Stormveil Castle. While these enemies can be tough, the reward is worth it.
If you’ve been investing in Strength regularly up to this point in the game, you most likely already meet the requirements to wield it. It’s a worthwhile pickup if you have the perseverance to farm these enemies. If you don’t quite meet the Strength requirements, farming these enemies is a good way to earn the runes necessary to level up and reach the 17 Strength threshold.
How to Use the Banished Knight’s Greatsword
The Banished Knight’s Greatsword comes with Stamp (Upward Cut) as its default skill. This skill has a twofold effect of bracing and absorbing an enemy hit, then striking upward in retaliation. While this skill is decent, the ability to infuse this Greatsword with Ashes of War means we have a range of better options we can use with it.
We suggest using the Lion’s Claw Ash of War, which allows you to perform a somersault that deals heavy damage with the ability to stagger or break the enemy’s stance when it connects. This Ash of War is especially useful on the Banished Knight’s Greatsword because it provides the Heavy affinity to the weapon, making the damage scaling with Strength even higher. To find this Ash of War, you must defeat the Lion Guardian in Fort Gael located in western Caelid. While this foe is fearsome, the reward is well worth it.
Dark Moon Greatsword
If you’ve played previous FromSoftware games, you might already be familiar with this weapon — it’s appeared in one form or another in almost every FromSoftware game. This staple weapon is almost always worth your time, as it tends to be one of the stronger weapons in the games it has appeared in. Its appearance in Elden Ring as the Dark Moon Greatsword is no different.
With a base Physical attack of 82 combined with a base Magic attack of 98, the Dark Moon Greatsword is the perfect choice for players who are playing a Strength/Intelligence hybrid build. It has a D grade in damage scaling for both Strength and Dexterity, which is bolstered by a C grade in damage scaling for Intelligence.
This Greatsword was made for high Intelligence builds who are tired of casting Sorceries. As such, it has a pretty hefty Intelligence requirement of 38 to wield it properly, in addition to the 16 Strength and 11 Dexterity needed. But once you meet those requirements, you’ll have a weapon that can deal massive magic damage with the bonus benefit of causing frost build-up on your enemies.
Where to Find It
Acquiring the Dark Moon Greatsword can be quite the task as it is the reward for completing Ranni the Witch’s questline. While fascinating from a story perspective, Ranni’s questline is quite long and complex, meaning it will take some time and patience if your goal is grabbing the Dark Moon Greatsword.
The good news is this gives you some time to level up your Intelligence so you can make use of the Greatsword as soon as you get it. The Greatsword can be found below the Cathedral of Manus Celes after defeating Astel, Naturalborn of the Void.
How to Use the Dark Moon Greatsword
The Dark Moon Greatsword comes with its own unique skill — Moonlight Greatsword, named after the form this weapon took in the Dark Souls trilogy. This skill adds 65 Magic damage and 15 Frost build up to the Greatsword when used. It also allows the player to fire a magic projectile when using the heavy attack button.
What makes this Greatsword so useful, aside from the high magic damage potential, is the frost build-up. Building up Frost and inflicting Frostbite on your enemies can help players deal with particularly challenging enemies by adding that extra layer of damage from the status effect.
To take full advantage of Frost’s potential, try dual-wielding the Dark Moon Greatsword with another weapon that inflicts Frost build up, like the Helphen’s Steeple Greatsword or Death’s Poker and watch how fast your enemies get Frostbite.
If you like the idea of dealing magic damage but have more of a Dexterity build going, then Death’s Poker may be the best choice for you.
Coming in with a respectable 123 base Physical attack stat complimented by a base 36 Magic attack stat, Death’s Poker deals out pierce damage with its wide swings making it a great option for keeping your enemies at a distance.
To wield this Greatsword, you will need 15 Strength, 17 Dexterity, and only 11 Intelligence, making it significantly easier to wield than the Dark Moon Greatsword at the cost of lower magic damage. As such, it scales best with Dexterity with D grades for damage scaling in both Dexterity and Strength, in addition to an E grade in Intelligence.
Where to Find It
Death’s Poker can be claimed by defeating a Death Rite Bird boss in southern Caelid at night, just to the southeast of the Southern Aeonia Swamp Bank site of grace. This boss, and Caelid in general, can be a dangerous place for those who are unprepared so we recommend waiting until you are at least Level 30 before attempting to grab this weapon.
How to Use Death’s Poker
While a good weapon for a Dexterity/Intelligence hybrid build in its own right, the real claim to fame of this Greatsword is its unique weapon skill — Ghostflame Ignition. This skill allows the player to perform a thrust with the sword that ends with ghost flames engulfing its tip.
Enemies caught in the flame take damage over time, and the lingering flame can be burst in one of two ways depending on the player’s follow-up attack. A horizontal slash spreads the flame along the ground, damaging grounded enemies in front of the player, while a downward strike causes the flame to explode, dealing damage to any enemy in range. The ghost flames inflict frost build-up in addition to the base frost build-up Death’s Poker inflicts without having used Ghostflame Ignition.
Sacred Relic Sword
The Sacred Relic Sword is an incredible Faith-based weapon that suits a hybrid Faith/Dexterity-centric build.
This Greatsword has a base Physical attack of 118 and a base Holy attack of 76. It requires a bit of an investment in both Dexterity and Faith to wield, needing a Dexterity stat of 24 and Faith stat of 22, but it scales damage with a D grade in both of those stats.
It also requires a modest 14 Strength to use and scales damage with Strength at a grade of E. Overall, this is a very powerful, unique Greatsword. However, don’t expect to use this weapon on your first playthrough.
Where to Find It
In order to acquire the Sacred Relic Sword, you must trade the Elden Remembrance to Enia, the Finger Reader in Roundtable Hold. The only problem is that the Elden Remembrance is the Remembrance you obtain by defeating the final boss of the game. As such, this weapon is recommended primarily for postgame PVP or a New Game + run.
How to Use the Sacred Relic Sword
As you can probably tell, this Greatsword is excellent for dealing Holy damage. This is especially true when you look at its unique weapon skill — Wave of Gold. This skill allows the player to cast a wave of golden, holy aura that damages enemies in its path. The range and width of the wave is quite large, making it excellent for dealing with hordes of enemies.
If you are looking for a fast, efficient way to farm runes, take the Sacred Relic Sword over to Mohgwyn Palace. Just past the Palace Approach Ledge-Road site of grace you will encounter a large group of unassuming Albinaurics. Use Wave of Gold to take them all out in one go and reap your rune reward.
The gnarly Blasphemous Blade only just tops the Sacred Relic Sword for the best Faith-based (and best overall) Greatsword in the game.
This gruesome blade has a base Physical attack stat of 121 and a base Fire attack stat of 78. A great weapon for Strength/Faith hybrid builds, it requires 22 Strength, 21 Faith, and 15 Dexterity to wield. It also scales damage with a grade of D across those three stats.
Where to Find It
To get the Blasphemous Blade, you’ll have to progress far enough in the game to reach the Altus Plateau region and head west towards Mt. Gelmir and the Volcano Manor. Completing this area will see you facing off with Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy.
Upon his defeat, you will receive the Remembrance of the Blasphemous which you can take to Enia, the Finger Reader at Roundtable Hold and exchange for the Greatsword that belonged to Rykard — the Blasphemous Blade.
How to Use the Blasphemous Blade
What makes this weapon so powerful is, you guessed it, the unique weapon skill — Taker’s Flames. This skill heals 10% of your max HP plus a base 150 HP upon each hit of an enemy. Combine this with the bonus Fire damage the sword deals and you have a weapon with the potential to make you a juggernaut of a Tarnished.
As an added bonus, this sword heals 4% of max HP plus a base 40 HP on hit when held without even having to use Taker’s Flames. We recommend equipping the Fire Scorpion Charm when using the Blasphemous Blade in order to boost the Fire damage output of Taker’s Flame. It can be found in Fort Laiedd on the western side of Mt. Gelmir. Use these two in conjunction to become a fire-spewing, health-taking behemoth!
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What’s your favorite Greatsword? Comment below and let us know how you would rank Elden Ring’s Greatswords. Let us know if you would like to see more Elden Ring weapons ranked and subscribe to our newsletter for more Elden Ring content!