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Soulsborne: To Wield Or Not To Wield? Part 4 | Column from the Editor

Not much of an intro is needed here, as this series is fairly straightforward. Let’s take another look at some under the radar weapons that are either worth wielding, or are better left in the storage chest or discarded.

Demon’s Souls

Wield: Large Sword of Searching

The fact that this game’s community sleeps on this thing is baffling. Not only does this weapon do fairly solid damage along with being easy to obtain, but it’s a premiere weapon to use when a farming tool is desired. As the name of the weapon implies, it doubles the usual chances of an item drop taking place when killing an enemy with it. Simply put, though tedious, there are a number of popular strategies or weapons across the game that require specific upgrade materials to achieve, and this often results in farming being necessary. With the Large Sword of Searching, you can effectively cut in half any amount of farming you’ll ever have to do. Again, the weapon as a combat tool is half decent too, so it’s not just a niche novel tool. Deploy and enjoy!

Do Not Wield: Blueblood Sword

Funny enough, when the Demon’s Souls remake first hit the market, this weapon was extremely broken. Taking advantage of an exploit could cause the player to manipulate their Luck stat enough to the point where this weapon would just do stupid amounts of damage, doing silly things like one-shotting Tower Knight through his shield or one shooting Adjudicator without having to knock him down or use a ranged weapon. Given that such an exploit has been long since patched, the Blueblood Sword is unfortunately a terrible weapon. Funny enough, it is actually directly outclassed by today’s pick for a wield worthy weapon, the Large Sword of Searching. The Blueblood Sword uniquely scales off of Luck. The problem with this is that, in order to make a build around it, the player will need to fully commit to it with zero flexibility whatsoever. The weapon isn’t particularly easy to get, and having to go in with a crappy starter weapon because your stats don’t fit anything better since you’ve put levels into Luck makes it even harder. Simply put, this weapon isn’t worth the baggage and doesn’t have a niche in this game other than being something to do a challenge run with.

Dark Souls 1

Wield: Painted Guardian Sword

This weapon in the hands of a dexterity based build absolutely destroys anything that dares come within melee distance. It’s extremely fast, inflicts Blood Loss and comes with incredibly strong scaling. In fact, sorcery based builds can make good use of this as well, as when infused with Enchanted, it gains an S scaling in intelligence in exchange for dexterity, while retaining its aforementioned qualities. It may be a bit on the short side, but it’s extremely fast to wield and makes finding windows to deal damage more rewarding.

Do Not Wield: Avelynn

At first glance, you might see that this weapon fires bolts in three round burst fashion and think it’s quite good. After all, given the slow paced nature of Dark Souls 1, this should be fairly easy to wield, you’d assume? Think again. Yes, the Avelynn has better damage output than other crossbows. That’s still not enough to make up for how absurdly cumbersome it is to wield, especially given that it has noticeably less range than other crossbows. If used anywhere remotely resembling striking distance, especially in PvP, you are going to likely get punished very hard. Considering that the majority of bosses don’t stagger, using this weapon basically assures you’ll be trading blows. It isn’t anywhere near strong enough to make such a trade beneficial, despite being the strongest crossbow damage wise.

Dark Souls 2

Wield: Craftsman Hammer

Based on the game’s lore, this hammer wasn’t even intended by Steady Hand McDuff to be wielded as a weapon, yet here we are. The Craftsman Hammer has a lot going for it: it has a solid moveset, decent range, deals decent damage, and is upgraded by Twinkling Titanite and thus rarely has to compete with other weapons for this investment by the player. Finally, the biggest thing this weapon has going for it is that it deals Strike damage, which a majority of this game’s bosses have little to no resistance against. As such, the Craftsman Hammer is a solid pick for just about any build.

Do Not Wield: Chaos Rapier

Unfortunately, this weapon appears in this category despite being actually quite good, even being arguably great. It appears here for one simple reason: it is entirely and utterly outclassed by just having a regular Rapier in every way. The Rapier has more elemental flexibility, costs less to buy, demands less of a prerequisite for stats to use, and therefore fits more builds and is more flexible as a result. The Rapier is well known for being arguably the best weapon in the game period, and as it’s available almost right at the beginning of the game, there is little to no room for this weapon to succeed off its own merit. What a shame.

Dark Souls 3

Wield: Zweihander

Before Elden Ring and crouch pokes, there was Dark Souls 3 and roll pokes. This is largely why the Zweihander is an underrated contender in this game, as it has an entirely different moveset from its fellow Ultra Greatswords that involves multiple different thrusting attacks. Though this weapon does less damage than its competition, it’s much lighter and has this better moveset to distinguish itself. Some big name bosses such as Darkeater Midir or Soul of Cinder have less resistance to Pierce than other physical forms of damage, meaning the Zweihander actually generally pulls ahead in UGS damage output against them while maintaining its other advantages as well. A worthwhile weapon to use, even if it seems to have been drowned amidst the sea of incredible Ultra Greatswords.

Do Not Wield: Lothric’s Holy Sword

Right away, the biggest offense about this weapon is that it’s a so-called ‘holy sword’ that deals absolutely zero elemental damage whatsoever. This isn’t just poking fun at the weapon: it deals lackluster damage and doesn’t have much going for it apart from its weapon art. Even then, the weapon art is merely decent and doesn’t justify using this over many better straight swords, or fast weapons in general. To top it off, it comes with a nasty set of stat requirements that don’t even enhance the weapon to meet. The only use for this weapon is to combine it with Lorian’s Greatsword to get the Twin Prince Greatsword. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and forget it exists.

Elden Ring

Wield: Ghiza’s Wheel

This weapon looks gnarly as hell, and that’s simply because it is. Its stats don’t tell the full story, as they’re relatively mediocre. The Ash of War is what really carries this weapon, the Spinning Wheel. If you can get an enemy to stand still for just a few seconds, this Ash of War can just destroy their health bar with the damage it does and how rapidly it causes Blood Loss. The player can simultaneously move and use the Ash of War too, giving an ever so slight amount of flexibility too. Finally, with a decent greataxe-esque moveset, this weapon is worth using for strength build players who want to try something new.

Do Not Wield: Dragonscale Blade

Though the recent Patch 1.07 did provide this weapon with a substantial buff, it’s still not enough to be worth using. This is the only katana in the game lacking innate status build up or elemental damage, yet it also cannot have its Ash of War changed and is therefore doomed to have those two things remain as is. The only way this can temporarily be changed is through using the weapon’s mediocre Ash of War, Ice Lightning Sword. This causes the user to imbue the weapon with Frost and Lightning, slam it down, then retain this buff briefly. The buff doesn’t last long enough and it’s simply too cumbersome to consistently apply against the more difficult bosses you’ll want to be buffing against in the first place. Simply put, other katanas can get the same value while being much less unwieldy. To add insult to injury, the Dragonscale Blade is tied with the Serpentbone Blade, Uchigatana and Rivers of Blood for being the shortest among its class, yet the latter two have plenty going for them to make up for it. If you were looking for a fun, effective katana to try out, do yourself a favor and keep looking.

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