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Best Spirit Ashes In Elden Ring | Column from the Editor

Spirit Ash Summons were one of the shiny new toys Elden Ring brought to the table upon release. These are situationally usable allies, typically costing the player a little bit of HP or FP to summon. Predictably, some Spirits are better than others. Today’s piece will take a look at the Top 5 Spirit Ash Summons

The Mimic Tear and Black Knife Tiche Spirits were excluded from this list, given that they have dramatically outperformed all other options and, to keep the list interesting, we will just assume they transcend this discussion.

These Spirits have been judged using both general logic and direct testing. Each Spirit’s usefulness was evaluated by having them help fight Malenia, Blade of Miquella, the hardest boss fight in the game. They were all then tasked with attempting to solo Dominula Village’s Godskin Apostle on New Game Plus. Results won’t always be referenced, but will be brought up when relevant. To see footage of the fights with the Godskin Apostle, see here

5. Omenkiller Rollo

Imagine the Capra Demon from Dark Souls 1, then imagine he gets much stronger weapons and the ability to breathe fire. Rollo is this dream brought to the big screen, as he will absolutely shred whatever you point at. His fighting style is barbaric, and given his large size, he has a tendency to straight up bully virtually any enemy which isn’t a mini boss or boss.

Rollo wields two Great Omenkiller Cleavers, which come with Bleed build up. Not only can he pack quite the punch himself, but he can help players with their own bleed builds by making it easier to proc this effect against enemies- if they don’t just get toppled over completely from his constant assaults, that is.

The cherry on top that makes Rollo even more effective than it might seem on paper is his fire breathing attack. The maneuver itself actually does little damage, but in performing it, Rollo will quickly back up and away from his target. This can allow him to potentially evade retaliation, enhancing his survivability. Combine this with his excellent poise, and you’ve got a powerhouse who can stick around for quite awhile. Roll with Rollo and you won’t be disappointed.

4. Blackflame Monk Amon

Amon barely edged out Rollo because his performance in trying to solo the Godskin Apostle was slightly more successful. Otherwise, many of the same things which can be said about Rollo can be said here. Amon can notably generate ‘burst DPS’ a bit more consistently if he uses two different Blackflame attacks in rapid succession. The main tradeoff is that he gets staggered a bit more easily.

Amon’s claim to fame is wielding multiple Godslayer incantations. These incantations apply a damage-over-time which is percentage based, not flat. In other words, they will do more damage the higher the enemy’s max HP total is. This bodes very well for boss fights, which typically involve large health bars.

While Amon may not be the tankiest or the most mobile, he is aggressive in close quarters with his Scimitar, which he will often buff with the Blackflame Blade incantation. The only two other Spirits with access to Blackflame attacks are the Mimic Tear and Black Knife Tiche, which exemplifies how powerful the mechanic is given that both of them were banned from this list. Give Amon a go!

3. Greatshield Soldiers

It may seem laughable that a meandering group of Hollow lookalikes who don’t even have conventional weapons would appear on this list. However, the Greatshield Soldiers actually noticeably outperformed Rollo and Amon against the Godskin Apostle, which was enough to make up their numerous deficiencies against Malenia that make them suboptimal against her.

The Greatshield Soldiers are one of a handful of ‘man-at-arms’ Spirits in the game. They separate themselves from the pack with their shields and numbers. There are five of them, and these guys keep their shields up practically all the time, giving them unmatched survivability. They even have a unique taunt mechanic they can use to draw aggro away from the player, being the only Spirit apart from Mimic Tear capable of this. As such, they are absolutely immaculate selections for fragile spellcaster builds or level 1 challenge runs who want a few seconds to heal or apply a buff of some kind.

They don’t do much immediate damage, but the Greatshield Soldiers are basically immortal in most fights and can help distract the boss for the player frequently. Any player struggling with a boss who isn’t a collossal enemy such as Fire Giant, Elden Beast or a self-healing boss like Malenia is encouraged to give these guys a shot.

2. Lhutel the Headless

Lhutel was seemingly built for the task of soloing stuff, because she was the only Spirit to even come close to actually defeating the Godskin Apostle. The previous picks for our list were able to get into apostle’s second phase with a bit of health to spare, but it briefly looked like Lhutel had a shot at winning the whole thing before some nasty RNG doomed her. Sporting solid ranged options, being aggressive with her spear up close, having a greatshield to periodically absorb blows, and her signature invisibility mechanic all made this possible.

Lhutel boasts an unidentifiable spear. It does inflict Deathblight build up, but this is almost always irrelevant given that the extreme majority of enemies are immune to this status. She can throw her spear and then warp it back to her hand for continued use. As previously mentioned, she also comes with a trademark Mausoleum Knight teleport, which is what she will frequently use to avoid attacks from whatever she is fighting. She will occasionally just disappear and reappear in a random location- this is huge for trying to solo a boss, as the boss will almost always return to attacking the player after she teleports, giving her free hits until an adjustment is made.

Sadly, where Lhutel’s teleport mechanic is a strength when she is fighting alone, it is somewhat of a weakness in difficult boss fights where the player is fighting with her. Every time she teleports, she loses any aggro she had on the boss, inevitably meaning they will return to attacking the player at a potentially inopportune, random time. This is the only thing keeping her from our #1 spot today, as she is otherwise flawless in combat and stands out as the best of all the ‘Knight’ Spirits.

Honorable mentions

Redmane Knight Ogha, because he is arguably one of the best summons to help fight Malenia in the game- when using ranged weapons. Keep her out of his personal space.

The Nox Swordstress and Night Maiden Duo, because they take aggro for each other like a group of real players, do decent damage and have outstanding mobility- too bad they aren’t just a bit bulkier for how often they get guard broken.

Latenna the Albinauric, because she will absolutely shred anything you point at. She has more effective range than any Spirit in the game by a mile. It’s a pity then, that she is designed to be completely stationary with the health pool of an infant. Hope you’re good at taking and keeping aggro!

1. Dung Eater

When people talk about how Spirits break Elden Ring and make the game easy, Mimic Tear or Black Knife Tiche typically are brought up, but Dung Eater is often not far behind. Dung Eater is flawless, bringing forth unmatched offensive firepower, the ability to take a handful of hits, and he can even debuff the enemy and buff the player by proxy. He has a ranged attack with aggressive tracking and to top it all off, he can inflict Bleed with the devastatingly powerful Sword of Milos, his signature armament.

The Dung Eater’s weapon, as stated, is the Sword of Milos. Not only does this weapon just do great damage on its own and inflict Bleed, but it gives both the player and Dung Eater a small amount of FP with each kill recorded- it doesn’t even have to be specifically with the sword, any kill will do. The Shriek of Milos significantly debuffs nearby enemies’ damage absorption, meaning the player will find their damage output steadily increasing in Dung Eater’s presence.

Doing loads of damage, having the bulk to tank a handful of hits, buffing the player and providing a nice per-kill boost all make Dung Eater by far the strongest Spirit discussed today. It’s just as well, because the process to obtain him is frustratingly tedious. Whether solo or supporting the player, Dung Eater can do either on a top tier level.

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