Bleed is one of the most powerful mechanics in Elden Ring, and the basis for one of the game’s best builds. To effectively use Bleed weapons, all you have to do is attack your opponent with several hits in a row, and they’ll suddenly suffer a massive blow when the Hemorrhage effect gets triggered. While most smaller enemies get killed long before the effect comes into play, Bleed is especially great against Elden Ring’s bosses, since they take plenty of punishment to defeat.
To help you outfit your character for the perfect Bleed build, we put together some of the best options for Bleed weapons, Ashes of War, and Talismans, and how to get them.
The best weapons for a Bleed build
It may be surprising, but the best weapon for a Bleed build is the Uchigatana, the starting weapon of the Samurai class, and it’s even better if you can get two of them. One Uchigatana can be found on a corpse inside the Deathtouched Catacombs in Limgrave, but starting as the Samurai is the only way to get a second one on your own.
If you didn’t happen to start as the Samurai, your next-best Bleed option is basically any other Katana. (When you have weapons of the same type in each hand, you can use Power Stance.) The Moonveil is a good early option, with a very powerful Ash of War ability. The Rivers of Blood Katana is also great, but you’ll have to get pretty far into the game before you can get it. Rivers of Blood comes from defeating Bloody Finger Okina, who will attack you at the Church of Repose in the Mountaintops of the Giants.
How to get the right Ash of War
Any normal weapon can be turned into a Bleed weapon if you apply a Blood Ash of War, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all great options. Weapons with quick attack speed — like the Hookclaws from Stormveil castle — are normally the best options, since it allows you to stack up Bleed fast. But the very beast weapons are katanas.
Ideally, you’ll want to equip both of your Uchigatanas with the Seppuku Ash of War. This ability will cause you to stab your own stomach, coating your sword in blood and increasing inflicted blood loss and attack damage, while also hurting you in the process.
This Ash of War can be found near the Freezing Lake site of grace in the Mountains of the Giants and is dropped by an invisible beetle at the lake’s edge. To apply this Ash to both swords, you’ll need to duplicate it using a Lost Ashes of War, which can be found in various places or purchased from the Isolated Merchant on the Weeping Peninsula.
If you want to get a strong Bleed build going, but you’re a little too early for the Seppuku Ash of War, you can substitute in the slightly inferior Blood Slash. This one can be found in Limgrave at Fort Haight. Just head to the top of the castle and kill the Beast Crest Heater Knight, then loot it off of him. Bloody Slash will also give you additional Bleed damage for your Uchigatanas, but it won’t give you as much blood or damage as the Seppuku Ash of War.
How to use the Seppuku Ash of War
This may sound silly, but Seppuku is a little complicated. While you can just use one of them, the secret trick to this build is activating it on both your katanas at the same time. To do this, you’ll have to start by two-handing your left katana, and then using Seppuku. After that, switch back to Power Stance and use Seppuku for your right-hand weapon — without putting the left-hand one away. Now you should have two empowered katanas and quite a bit of missing health.
The best Talismans for a Bleed build
The only Talisman that’s directly related to this build is Lord of Blood’s Exultation, which increases your attack power when blood loss occurs nearby. This Talisman can be obtained by killing Esgar, Priest of Blood inside the Leyndell Catacombs.
Stats for a Bleed build
Mostly you’ll want to stack Dexterity, but having a lot of endurance and health doesn’t hurt. The Dexterity stat is directly tied to your damage scaling, while Endurance assures that you can get in plenty of hits to stack Bleed on bosses as quickly as possible.