The Best Elden Ring DLC Ash of War Skills Are Breaking Shadow of the Erdtree

The best Ash of War skills in Shadow of the Erdtree make the Elden Ring DLC a little more fun and a lot easier.

Ash of War Elden Ring
Photo: Bandai Namco

While Elden Ring players are hunting for the best weapons in Shadow of the Erdtree, many seem to be overlooking the DLC’s best Ash of War skills. If you don’t normally focus on experimenting with Ashes of War in Elden Ring, you are going to want to change your outlook. Some of the new Ashes of War in Shadow of the Erdtree are proving to be the most overpowered additions to the game.

So while we’ve already taken a look at some of the most powerful builds in Shadow of the Erdtree (some of which include these Ashes of War), these are the weapon skills you want to prioritize acquiring if you’re tired of trying and dying.

Rolling Sparks

Rolling Sparks is by far the best Ash of War in Elden Ring at the moment. In fact, it feels safe to say that this Ash of War is genuinely broken. There is no way it is working anywhere close to intended. 

When applied to a Perfume Bottle, this Ash of War allows you to generate a projectile that deals ticking damage as it moves along. On its own, it’s not impressive. However, when applied to the right Perfume Bottle (ideally, the Lightning Perfume Bottle) and thrown at the feet of an enemy without locking onto them…well, crazy things happen. At the moment, builds that utilize Rolling Sparks are being used to beat Shadow of the Erdtree’s toughest bosses in under one minute with little strategy required. It’s a nuclear weapon that essentially enables Elden Ring’s easy mode setting. Give it a shot if you don’t mind skipping the “intended experience.” 

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Flame Skewer

Flame Skewer is great no matter how you choose to use it. It allows you to engulf your imbued weapon with flames and then perform a dashing uppercut attack that you can follow up with some quicker combo strikes. I highly recommend trying it out on a variety of weapons if you haven’t done so already.

If you apply this Ash of War to the Fire Knight’s Greatsword, though, something magical happens. See, that Greatsword’s considerable base power is further enhanced by any additional Fire effects you apply to it. Flame Skewer (combined with a couple of other applicable buffs) helps turn that sword into one of the highest DPS melee weapons in the game. It’s a fantastic thematic concept that I applaud FromSoftware for exploring even if it is a wee bit busted at the moment. 

Wing Stance

Wing Stance isn’t nearly as versatile or powerful as the other Ashes of War we’re covering on this list. It’s certainly strong, but it doesn’t allow you to just ignore the intended challenges of the game as some other Ashes of War do. In fact, I believe you can only apply Wing Stance to one weapon in the game (Milady). 

However, the interaction between that weapon and this Ash makes all the difference. See, Wing Stance allows you to assume a kind of prepared stance that you can then follow up with a series of quick attacks. It works very well with that weapon’s speed and reach, but when you combine those two components with Talismans that support stance and combo-based attack strategies, you essentially gain a permanent (and sizeable) damage buff. It’s an incredible interaction that certainly makes the game much easier. You can also acquire all the essential pieces fairly early on.

Swift Slash

Swift Slash is an incredible Backhanded Blade Ash of War that allows you to perform a quick dash and slash attack that can be charged up for extra damage. It’s fast, it’s powerful, and it even produces an AoE effect that makes it hard (if not impossible) for many enemies to avoid it. PvE players will likely find it to be a useful tool throughout much of the game.

However, Swift Slash happens to be the most powerful PvP Ash of War in Elden Ring. In fact, if you don’t usually participate in Elden Ring’s PvP, it’s worth checking out the video above that showcases Swift Slash in action just to see how busted it is. An Ash of War that combines that much power, speed, and range of effect, while making you relatively invincible simply should not exist. It won’t be for everyone but it’s worth pointing out if we’re talking about simply busted options. 

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Savage Lion Claw

I think this is the most underrated Ash of War in Elden Ring at the moment. It doesn’t look particularly impressive at a glance. In fact, it’s a variation of an existing Ash of War from the base game. However, a little more time with this one reveals the full extent of its practical power. 

This Ash of War allows you to unleash a devastating series of somersault strikes. Again, not that impressive compared to other Ash of War abilities, but what you need to keep in mind is that Savage Lion Claw can be applied to heavy, Strength-based weapons. It’s rare to find an Ash of War that grants those powerful (yet typically slow) weapons the kind of quick attack that allows you to take advantage of their Poise destroying power without having to deal with their natural downsides.

Palm Blast

Palm Blast single-handedly (get it?) makes the new martial arts weapons in Elden Ring not only viable but shockingly powerful. It is, as the name implies, a forward-thrusting palm strike that comes with a powerful knockback effect. 

That knockback effect makes all the difference. More often than not, you’ll be able to lock enemies in a stun cycle using this Ash of War. Just keep casting it and watch as they are rendered helpless whenever it lands. Against bosses, few things trigger stagger effects quicker than Palm Blast. When combined with the quick strikes that hand-to-hand weapons naturally offer, it’s something to behold. 

Shriek of Sorrow

This Ash of War’s description says that it causes nearby enemies to “flinch,” which is basically a way to say it generates a scream that will temporarily interrupt an enemy’s actions. However, the thing that makes this Ash of War special is the fact that it grants you a damage bonus based on your missing HP. The more HP you’re missing, the more powerful you are. At 30% or less health, it grants you about a whopping 27% damage buff based on current estimates. 

The funny thing is that there are already several other items and abilities in the game that grant you similar damage buffs if you are at low health. In case you’re wondering, those effects do stack. As speedrunners have quickly discovered, staying at a low threshold with the right damage modifiers enabled can grant absurd damage buffs that will allow you to kill many bosses in just a few hits even at low levels. It turns out that being low on health doesn’t matter much if you’re killing everything in record time anyway. 

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The Poison Flower Blooms Twice

Besides having the coolest Ash of War name in the game, The Poison Flower Blooms Twice allows you to perform a jumping, spinning attack that inflicts Scarlet Rot. That’s nice, but the fine print on this Ash of War reveals that a follow-up attack deals “massive damage” to enemies already inflicted with Scarlet Rot or Poison damage. 

Yes, that means using this attack twice on the same enemy triggers a nice damage combo. However, you have to think bigger than that. If you use your weapons or other abilities to inflict Poison or Scarlet Rot on an enemy and then hit them with this, it grants you a massive damage buff (and some nice status effect damage) on every single hit. With the right combo of abilities that allow you to take advantage of that unique effect, this quickly becomes one of the most devastating and reliable Ashes of War in the game.