The katana is the perfect weapon to fulfill your samurai fantasies in the Lands Between. Fans of fast, agile gameplay will naturally gravitate toward the katana when starting Elden Ring, as they tend to have long reach and nimble movesets. They’re an excellent choice for Dexterity-focused builds, but can easily be paired with hybrid builds as well.
But which katana is right for you? In today’s article, we’re looking at the five best katanas in Elden Ring, where to find them, and how to use them.
Let’s get started!
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5 Best Katanas in Elden Ring
Let’s jump right into our list of the top five best katanas in Elden Ring, ranked from solid to legendary!
Meteoric Ore Blade
Starting off with one of the heavier blades, the Meteoric Ore Blade differs from other katanas in its Strength/Intelligence damage scaling and its slower moveset. While it may be slower than other katanas, it still can pack a punch and offer a diverse playstyle.
Coming in with a respectable base Physical attack stat of 112, the Meteoric Ore Blade is a dual threat offering an additional base 72 Magic attack stat on top of its Physical attack stat. Its modest attribute requirements include 15 Strength, 14 Dexterity, and 18 Intelligence in order to properly wield. Unlike most katanas, the Meteoric Ore Blade scales damage best with Strength, having a base D grade that reaches C by upgrade +5. It also scales well with Intelligence, starting with a base D grade as well and reaching C by upgrade +9. It only has a base E grade in Dexterity, and only reaches a D grade at upgrade +6.
Where to Find It
This blade is found at the Caelid Waypoint Ruins located in western Caelid. Within these ruins, you’ll find a set of stairs leading underground. The underground chamber at the bottom of these stairs is filled with sarcophagi and prawn miner enemies. It is a dark and tight space, so be cautious, as these enemies can be hard to see. Either deal with the enemies or avoid them and head to the back of this chamber. Here you will find a small room with a chest that contains the Meteoric Ore Blade.
How to Use the Meteoric Ore Blade
Given that its primary damage scaling attribute is Strength, it should come as no surprise that this katana is slower than other weapons of its kind. While that keeps it from ending up at a higher spot on our ranking, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a powerful weapon. It comes with a unique heavy attack that allows you to perform a downward slash that can be charged in order to deal additional poise damage.
Like most katanas, it causes Blood Loss build up with each hit. This is one of the best status effects in the game, making katanas a popular weapon choice in general. The Meteoric Ore Blade adds a bonus 20% damage to gravity enemies and its Weapon Skill, Gravitas, to its arsenal. Gravitas is a powerful skill that has you plunge your sword into the ground, creating a gravity well that draws in enemies, dealing gravity damage in the process.
This is a relatively slow skill to perform compared to the skills of other katanas. To compensate for this aspect, you’ll want to get as much damage as possible out of Gravitas as possible. Try equipping the Shard of Alexander talisman. This talisman boosts the damage of skills by 15%. This bonus damage can be the difference between life and death when using Gravitas on a group of enemies.
For a weapon that can be acquired very early in the game, the Uchigatana is one of the best all-around choices for a katana. It is incredibly versatile and has a long reach, great for dealing with enemies in both PVP and PVE.
The Uchigatana is on the higher end of katanas damage wise with a base Physical attack stat of 115. It has very modest requirements to wield, needing only 11 Strength and 15 Dexterity. As a Dexterity-focused weapon, it has a base D grade in both Strength and Dexterity, but ends up scaling best with Dexterity, reaching C at max level of standard upgrades. Like most katanas, it also has the ability to inflict Blood Loss build up upon hit.
Where to Find It
One of the best things about the Uchigatana is how early in the game you have access to it. It’s the default weapon of the Samurai class. If you know you want to go with a Dexterity build, starting with the Samurai class to have access to the Uchigatana from the get-go is a great idea. Otherwise, you can find it in the Deathtouched Catacombs in Limgrave. This dungeon is found in the northern section of Limgrave, hidden in the side of a ravine on Stormhill. You’ll find the weapon on a body hanging from a balcony surrounded by skeleton archers.
How to Use the Uchigatana
By default, the Uchigatana has the Weapon Skill Unsheathe. This skill has you sheath your sword and hold it in a ready stance. Using either a light or heavy attack will have you unsheathe their sword and deliver a quick slash that deals bonus damage to the enemy’s poise.
The Uchigatana can be equipped with different Ashes of War if Unsheathe doesn’t suit your fancy. We suggest trying it with the Bloody Slash Ash of War. This skill allows you to sacrifice a small portion of your own HP to coat your weapon in blood, dealing significant Blood Loss damage. Combined with the Blood Loss build up passive effect of the Uchigatana, you have the potential to one-shot many early game enemies with this monstrous skill. Make sure to grab this Ash of War from Fort Haight in Limgrave.
To add even more power to your blood-based skills, use the Lord of Blood’s Exultation talisman. This talisman increases your attack power by 20% when enemies take blood loss damage in your vicinity. You won’t be able to acquire this talisman until you reach Leyndell, Royal Capital. However, once you have it, your blood build will be unstoppable as you snowball Blood Loss into attack power.
Hand of Malenia
As expected of one of the game’s hardest bosses, the signature weapon of Malenia, Hand of Miquella, is truly in a class of its own. It would likely top this list if it was obtainable earlier in the game.
The Hand of Malenia has the second highest base Physical attack stat of any katana at 117. It needs a heavy investment in Dexterity in order to make use of it, however. You will need 48 Dexterity in addition to 16 Strength. With a steep Dexterity requirement comes an equally steep Dexterity damage scaling grade. It has a base C grade in Dexterity and a base E grade in Strength. Dexterity is the clear choice for scaling here, as it reaches a B grade by upgrade +3.
Where to Find It
Unfortunately, this sword is locked behind one of the toughest late-game bosses you’ll face in the Lands Between. Malenia, Hand of Miquella is infamous for her fast, fluid, and powerful attacks on top of her ability to heal herself with each hit. This is a tough boss to take down, but doing so nets you an incredible weapon. Once you’ve defeated her, take the Remembrance of the Rot Goddess to Enia in Roundtable Hold and exchange it for the Hand of Malenia.
How to Use the Hand of Malenia
Malenia is such a tough boss because of her ability to deal insane amounts of damage with her graceful, dancing blade attacks. Luckily, obtaining the Hand of Malenia allows you to use those same attacks via its Weapon Skill, Waterfowl Dance. This skill allows you to unleash a flurry of graceful slashes that can be chained together with multiple inputs. It is an incredibly useful skill because it has a wide area of effect and allows you to close distances on the battlefield. With the additional Blood Loss build up the katana inflicts, hitting a target with multiple slashes from Waterfowl Dance is almost guaranteed to cause Blood Loss.
To take full advantage of the flurry of hits this sword can pull off, try equipping the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia talisman. This talisman boosts your attack power with each successive hit. It has three tiers of increases starting at 6%, then 8%, and finally 12%. Each tier is activated after three successive hits and tiers decay after a period of time. Using this talisman in conjunction with Waterfowl Dance means you will quickly reach that 12% damage buff.
The runner-up for our list of the best katanas in Elden Ring is the Moonveil. The ideal weapon for a Dexterity/Intelligence hybrid build, the Moonveil boasts fantastic base damage on top of efficient damage scaling and a unique Weapon Skill.
The base Physical attack stat of the Moonveil is only 73, however, its base Magic attack stat is 87. The combo of these two damage types makes the total damage output of the Moonveil not only balanced, but exceedingly powerful. To use this katana, you will need 12 Strength, 18 Dexterity, and 23 Intelligence. It tends to scale best with Intelligence but it scales well with Dexterity, too. It has a base E grade in Strength, a base D grade in Dexterity, and a base C grade in Intelligence. As it levels up, it reaches a B grade in both Dexterity and Intelligence by max upgrade.
Where to Find It
Moonveil is acquired in Gael Tunnel in western Caelid, near the border with Limgrave. You will have to make your way through this tunnel and reach the boss at the end. This boss, a Magma Wyrm, can be tough if it is early in the game that you venture into Caelid. If you have been investing in Intelligence and have sorceries to use, you should be able to take down this boss relatively quickly. Do so and it will drop the Moonveil.
How to Use the Moonveil
In addition to its balanced yet strong damage output, the Moonveil also comes with an awesome Weapon Skill. This skill, Transient Moonlight, allows you to sheathe the blade and then fire either a horizontal or vertical projectile of magic. This may seem like a basic skill, however, it launches very quickly and can easily be weaved into an attack combo. It also deals significant poise damage, making it a versatile way to finish a combo.
All of the previously mentioned talismans pair well with this katana. However, we also suggest using the Carian Filigreed Crest talisman. This talisman reduces the FP cost of skills by 25%. Use this talisman to help reduce the cost of using Transient Moonlight so you can keep using it longer without having to waste a charge of your Cerulean Tear flask.
Rivers of Blood
Topping our list of the best katanas in Elden Ring is Rivers of Blood. This weapon takes full advantage of the katana class’s signature Blood Loss build up passive ability. Rivers of Blood utilizes a unique hybrid of Dexterity and Arcane to create one of the deadliest combos in the game.
Once again, we have a weapon that splits its damage between two different types. This time, it splits evenly between a 76 base Physical attack stat and a 76 base Fire attack stat. Overall, it has pretty reasonable requirements to wield, needing just 12 Strength, 18 Dexterity, and 20 Arcane. The stand out here is Arcane, as one would not typically invest too much in Arcane unless they need it to meet the requirements of a specific weapon such as Rivers of Blood. In terms of damage scaling, while it maintains a D grade in Arcane through each upgrade, the Fire damage that scales with the Arcane stat is comparable to the D grade in Dexterity that reaches a B by max upgrade.
Where to Find It
Rivers of Blood can be found by defeating the invader Bloody Finger Okina. Okina is an NPC invader that will invade your game near the Church of Repose in the eastern region of the Mountaintops of the Giants. This is a pretty late game area, and as such, it can be a tough encounter. Despite this difficult late game duel, it is still well worth your time to tough it out and grab this weapon. It makes for an excellent late game and PVP weapon.
How to Use Rivers of Blood
As its name implies, this katana thrives in a build focused on the Blood Loss mechanic. Like most katanas, it has the passive ability to inflict Blood Loss buildup on enemies. Its Weapon Skill, Corpse Piler, deals three successive cross-slash attacks. Each slash leaves a trail of blood that inflicts additional Blood Loss build up. It also deals significant Physical and Fire damage with each hit. This is an incredibly powerful attack that really showcases just how quickly the Blood Loss status can decimate enemies in this game.
The previously mentioned talismans: Rotten Winged Sword Insignia, Carian Filigreed Crest, and Lord of Blood’s Exultation are all essential for getting the most out of this katana. Building attack damage with each successive hit with the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia and then dealing Blood Loss, thus activating the additional power boost from the Lord of Blood’s Exultation makes this a monster combination. Keep your FP consumption in check with the Carian Filigreed Crest and you have what is likely the ultimate katana build!
Join the High Ground
That’s it for our list of the best katanas in Elden Ring — thanks for reading! Are you ready to inflict pain on your enemies with these crazy fast katanas? Let us know your choice of weapon and any build tips you have in the comments below. And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with all things Elden Ring!
Related Reading: Elden Ring Weapons Roundups