- What Makes An Intelligence/Dexterity Build?
- Stats To Aim For
- Moonveil Katana Build – Still Fantastic Post-Nerf
Pure Intelligence builds have their place in Elden Ring, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dabble in some hybrid builds and have a good time. Intelligence/Dexterity Builds are some of the strongest builds in all of Elden Ring thanks to a staggering number of amazing weapons and spells that tie into them.
Related: Elden Ring Build Guide: Intelligence
Whether you want to run katanas, galaxy-destroying insect wings, or flails made from literal planets, there is something for everyone. Throw in a couple of spells for good measure and you can dominate the battlefield at any range, at any time, and look good whilst doing it.
Updated January 16, 2023 by Ryan Bamsey: It's been almost an entire year since Elden Ring launched, and still the game enjoys a very healthy player base. We've gone ahead and added some more details to this build, as well as some alternative recommendations for those who are sick and tired of seeing Moonveil pop up.
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What Makes An Intelligence/Dexterity Build?
Intelligence/Dexterity builds are hybrid builds that allow players to mess around with more of the Elden Ring toolbox, whilst remaining painfully effective in combat.
Instead of pumping Intelligence to the max and then filling in the rest of your stats, you will be splitting your stats between Intelligence and Dexterity, maximizing your damage at all ranges.
Stats To Aim For
For this build, we will be running with an Intelligence/Dexterity split of 60/50. This puts us close to soft caps for both stats, which will maximize our damage output on any weapon with split scalings.
Because we are going so heavily into split stats, our other stats will take a hit to make up for it. Our Vigor is at 50, but could even be dropped to 45 if you wanted to invest those five points elsewhere. Mind is at 20, which is a tad low, but we can fix that later with equipment such as the Cerulean Amber Medallion.
Finally, Endurance is at around 20 (based on starting class). Since we are using light weapons, our Stamina and Equip Load shouldn’t be impacted too much by this. If you prefer heavier armor whether for the stats or the drip, invest more.
Since we're building towards high numbers in two different offensive stats, Intelligence and Dexterity, exactly how you level up will make a big difference to your gaming experience. This isn't really a factor if you're just re-allocating stats via Rennala, but if you're dedicated to the Intelligence/Dexterity lifestyle from the get-go, you'll want to follow a leveling plan that resembles this:
- Enough Strength to wield the Moonveil Katana, which is 12. Substitute this for whatever main weapon you'll be aiming for.
- Enough Dexterity to wield a decent weapon that scales well with Dexterity, preferably a Katana. The Uchigatana requires only 15 Dexterity.
- Enough Intelligence to cast some spells. 17 Intelligence gets you access to many great low-level spells.
- Get your Vigor up a bit here to become bulkier – at least 20 to survive early bosses, 25 to have a little more breathing room.
- You might take a detour here to boost your Dexterity and Intelligence a little to equip any great Intelligence/Dexterity weapons to serve as a stopgap between the Uchigatana and the Moonveil. Rogier's Rapier infused with sorcery, a Carian Knight's Sword, or Crystal Spear would be good weapons that scale with both stats.
- Now is the time to build your Intelligence to 23 and then keep building it. Moonveil has better scaling with Intelligence than Dexterity, so we pump that up first.
- Build your Intelligence and Vigor alternately, building toward 50 and 40, respectively. Once you hit 40 Vigor, start pumping into Dexterity.
- Get your Intelligence to 60, and then your Dexterity to 50.
- Finish off by topping your Vigor off.
As for Mind, Endurance, and any other stats you might want to boost, do so when you feel they are required. You should start to become aware of when you need little boosts, as you'll either need more equipment weight or need more FP to cast spells.
Moonveil Katana Build – Still Fantastic Post-Nerf
This build focuses on mixing the Moonveil Katana with some of the best spells in the game to make a build capable of downing even the mightiest enemy in close combat or at a distance. This build is fast, deadly, and extremely fun to play.
- Moonveil Katana
- Carian Regal Scepter
The core of his build is the wonderfully powerful Moonveil Katana. This thing deals incredible damage, has the katana moveset (which is amazing), and has one of the best Weapon Arts in the entire game. Not only that, but it has perfect stat scalings, landing on that sweet, sweet, B/B scaling.
These scalings allow us to push its Physical and Magic damage to ludicrous levels and are the reason we have tried to get our Intelligence and Dexterity to those soft caps. The only downside to going split is that our Weapon Art won’t be as powerful as a flat 80 Intelligence build.
For our spell casting, we are running the Carian Regal Scepter which is the best staff in the game, and the reason we have pushed our Intelligence slightly higher than our Dexterity. Alternatively, you could run Lusat’s Staff for slightly more damage, at the cost of a 50 percent boost in the cost of your spells.
- Glintstone Pebble
- Rock Throw
- Comet Azur
- Loretta’s Great Bow
- Terra Magica
Glintstone Pebble is our go-to cantrip and basic enemy killer. It has great damage, a low cost, and is endlessly spammable. You could swap this for something like Glintstone Icecrag, or Glintstone Cometshard if you wanted a bit more damage.
Rock Throw is our first utility spell and is one that will carry you through most large-enemy encounters. It deals great physical damage (not magic), it staggers just about everything, and when targeting large enemies and bosses, it will quickly open them up for a Critical Hit. Cheap and effective.
Loretta’s Greatbow is another utility spell. You won’t be using this in combat at all simply because it takes too long to cast. It’s also very inefficient in terms of FP consumption. All of that being said, it’s the longest-ranged spell in all of Elden Ring, making it ideal for sniping enemies you don’t want to fight.
Comet Azur is our cheese spell. Many, many bosses in Elden Ring can be killed simply by casting Comet Azur and watching their health melt. It can stagger, it deals ludicrous damage, and with the right Flask, it can be cast for free. Very useful to have in your toolkit.
The final spell to consider would be Terra Magica, which is truly outstanding. It will increase all of your Magic damage (including weapons that deal Magic damage) by 35 percent providing you are standing on the glyph it conjures. You can start just about any fight by casting this and you’ll be golden.
Related: Elden Ring Build Guide: Dexterity
- Graven Mass Talisman
- Magic Scorpion Charm
- Erdtree’s Favour
- Dragoncrest Greatshield/Peardrake
We have statted ourselves to take maximum advantage of the Moonveil Katana, but that doesn’t mean we can’t push ourselves even further equipping some powerful talismans. Firstly, the Graven Mass Talisman increases the damage of all spells, which is an almost auto-include.
Following on from that is the Magic Scorpion Charm which increases all Magic damage (including weapons!). This boost is very much welcome in all areas of combat.
Erdtree’s Favor will bump up our HP, FP, Stamina, and Equip Load, which makes up for our lower stat investments. If you are fine with your base resources, then you could swap this for Radagon’s/Marika’s Soreseal or the Prosthesis-Wearer Heirloom.
The Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman and Pearldrake Talisman massively increase our Damage Reduction, and equipping one and then swapping out when needed can make this build very hard to kill.
- Queen’s Crescent Crown (Optional)
- Okina Mask (Optional)
As is always the case, you want to have as much Damage Reduction and Poise as you can, whilst still keeping to a Medium Roll. If you want to bump up your stats, then the Queen’s Crescent Crown or Okina Mask is the way to go.
Flask Of Wondrous Physick
- Cerulean Hidden
The three main Tears for this build are the Cerulean Hidden Tear, Magic-Shrouding Tear, and Dexterity-Knot Tear. You will want to swap out the Cerulean Hidden Tear for basic exploration and slot it in when you are fighting bosses that require Comet Azur.
Magic-Shrouding and Dexterity-Knot are here to boost the build’s damage. Dexterity Knot brings our Dexterity to 60 for three minutes, which is the soft cap. Magic-Shrouding increases all of our magic damage (including weapons) for three minutes. When combined with our Talismans and Terra Magica, our damage will skyrocket.
The build outlined above is just one build for an Intelligence/Dexterity player, but there are alternatives you can use to suit your tastes.
- Any weapon, as long as it has good scaling with Intelligence and, to a lesser extent, Dexterity, will work really well for you. Along with the weapons listed in the Leveling Plan above, consider the following weapons:
- The Rotten Crystal Sword has bad scaling with Dexterity but good scaling with Intelligence and inflicts Scarlet Rot.
- The Noble's Straight Sword is an early, but rare drop that, when infused with sorcery via a Whetstone, works really well.
- Loretta's War Sickle requires more investment in Strength but is a very fun weapon to use.
- The Wing of Astel is a curved greatsword, providing a satisfying, chunky moveset while still being a Dexterity/Intelligence weapon.
- This build assumes that your playstyle is an even mix of spellcasting and melee combat. While this is very viable, you may want to lean more one way or another. A spellcaster should do fine with this build's leveling plan, but a more melee-focused player would want to pump their Dexterity high first and foremost, making Intelligence the secondary offensive stat.