Elden Ring: Best Weapons After Patch 1.03 and 1.04
Even though Elden Ring’s 1.03 patch nerfed some popular weapons and strategies, the update also buffed several underpowered armaments.
Even though Elden Ring is a very polished title, the game didn’t ship in a state that completely satisfied its developers. The team at FromSoftware has been hard at work improving and balancing the experience, and the most recent attempt has revitalized several weapons that were victims of a coding oversight.
Update 1.03 is full of quality of life improvements, a new quest line, as well as nerfs. Players can now track NPCs via new map markers, but the Mimic Tear Spirit Ash is significantly less useful. However, the most important change is that weapons now properly scale with Arcane. While the stat increases the odds of finding good items, as well as resistance to Holy and Death, it was also supposed to make certain weapons more powerful. However, a bug prevented these weapons from scaling properly. Update 1.03 fixed the stat, so Arcane weapons are now viable if not downright overpowered. One could probably argue that many of these armaments are now the best items in the game.
Here are some weapons in Elden Ring you should consider using thanks to Update 1.03. However, use them fast; FromSoftware might try to nerf them in the future the way 1.03 nerfed the Sword of Night and Flame.
Rivers of Blood
Ask any Elden Ring player who favors katanas and bleed damage, and most if not all will claim the Rivers of Blood weapon benefited from the patch more than any other weapon, and it’s hard to disagree.
Before Update 1.03, Rivers of Blood was a semi-decent physical/fire-damage weapon that was quick and reliably built up the bleed debuff. And Rivers of Blood’s Ash of War, Corpse Piler, delivered a flurry of hits that built up even more blood loss. However, the Arcane scaling bug meant the weapon’s raw damage output was broken, but that’s been fixed.
Now, Rivers of Blood is arguably the strongest katana in Elden Ring. The fixed scaling adds a ton of damage to each swing, and Arcane piles on even more damage to Corpse Piler — not even shields can stop that Ash of War’s destructive advance.
Before Update 1.03, Eleonara’s Poleblade earned the nickname “the Darth Maul sword” because players could use the weapon’s Ash of War, Bloodblade Dance, to flip around the battlefield like the Sith namesake. However, because Eleonara’s Poleblade scales with Arcane, the weapon looked cool but wasn’t too useful. That’s no longer the case.
Thanks to the new patch, Eleonara’s Poleblade is a great crowd control tool. The weapon is as fast as ever, and it still sports some excellent bleed buildup. Since the Arcane stat now properly increases damage, players can spin around with Eleonara’s Poleblade and clear out bunched-together enemies, or at least leave them on the brink of death.
Moreover, the update turned Bloodblade Dance into a veritable blender. Not only does the skill now dish out a flurry of quick, damaging attacks that stack bleed buildup, the user is nigh-unstaggerable and has some iframes to boot. While this means players might take a few hits while using Bloodblade Dance, odds are they can now deliver more damage than they receive.
Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear
The majority of Ashes of War deal damage in front of the player, but if you absolutely have to destroy everything around you in a 10-foot radius, you now can do so with Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear.
While Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear isn’t as fast as the Rivers of Blood or Eleonara’s Poleblade, it still has some decent range. However, this spear truly shines thanks to its Ash of War, Bloodboon Ritual. While this skill has a fairly long windup, when cast, it creates three AOE explosions, each of which heavily damages enemies. However, that’s not the best part. Bloodboon Ritual is virtually uninterruptible and powers through most attacks, and it also coats Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear in bloodflame, so subsequent spear pokes build up bleed damage.
Thanks to Update 1.03’s proper Arcane scaling, Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear can now nuke squads of enemies, especially thanks to Bloodboon Ritual.
Morgott’s Cursed Sword
Rivers of Blood is a great weapon for players who want to deal both physical and fire damage, but what if an enemy is resistant to fire? The katana doesn’t pick one damage type or the other, but Morgott’s Cursed Sword does.
Morgott’s Cursed Sword is one of Elden Ring’s many boss weapons. Despite being a greatsword, this cane-like armament sports decent speed and, thanks to fixed Arcane scaling, great damage. The sword also has decent bleed buildup (a running theme for Arcane weapons, honestly) and adds the fire element with its Cursed-Blood Slice Ash of War.
Whenever this skill swings through the air, Cursed-Blood Slice leaves a lingering arc that explodes one second later. Not only does this delayed attack deal extra damage, it can also interrupt opponents so they can’t punish players. Plus, Cursed-Blood Slice can be used twice in a row for a total of four attacks that, thanks to Update 1.03, turn most enemies into corpses.
Granted, Morgott’s Cursed Sword is a bit on the slower side, especially while using Cursed-Blood Slice, but the resulting damage more than makes up for it.
Many Ashes of War deliver sheer damage thanks to a huge windup that leaves users vulnerable. However, Bloody Helice is a notable exception. Update 1.03 has transformed this weapon into a must-own item for players who want to dance around opponents.
Bloody Helice always sported decent speed, but now it has damage output to match. Each attack hits like a truck, but the Bloody Helice’s ace in the hole is its Ash of War, Dynast’s Finesse. This skill opens with a lengthy back step that provides iframes and follows up with a strong lunge. Plus, players can combo that attack into a powerful slash. If activated right before an enemy attack, Dynast’s Finesse lets users harmlessly glide away and counter with a devastating pierce. And yes, each hit with Bloody Helice deals bleed damage.
Since Bloody Helice is a primarily thrusting tool with a defensive Ash of War, the weapon takes a bit more skill to use than others on this list. A poorly-timed Dynast’s Finesse will miss (or worse, send players off a cliff), but with some practice, Bloody Helice is a dextrous player’s best friend.
Daggers are a risky proposition in Elden Ring. On one hand, they are the fastest weapons in the game, but on the other hand, they have the least range. Reduvia dares to be different, and that challenge pays off in Update 1.03.
Reduvia is the only dagger in Elden Ring that scales with Arcane, so prior to the patch, it had questionable damage. Now, the weapon is as deadly as it looks. Since Reduvia deals bleed damage, players can quickly build up the debuff thanks to the weapon’s speed. Moreover, Reduvia overcomes the dagger’s inherent range shortcoming with its Ash of War, Reduvia Blood Blade. True to its name, this skill fires a projectile of weaponized blood that gives Reduvia a projectile attack. At only 6 FP per use, this Ash of War can be spammed like a machine gun, and each hit builds up bleed damage.
Since New Game+ resets items, players who pick up Reduvia in one playthrough can collect another and then power stance them for double the damage and bleed buildup. Thanks to Update 1.03, that strategy is as overpowered as it sounds.