Best weapons in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree’s early game

Souhardya Choudhury
Tarnished in front of the Scadutree.

Collecting the best weapons in Elden Ring has always been one of the biggest selling points of the RPG, and the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is no different. FromSoftware introduced a bunch of new weapons in the expansion, and a lot of them are up for grabs right at the beginning.

However, keep in mind that not all weapons just lying around in a chest or hidden in the open world, as some of them can only be found after defeating a boss. So without further ado, here are the best early-game weapons to try out in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.

Best weapons & locations

Backhand Blade

The Backhand Blade is one of the most useful weapons to find early in Shadow of the Erdtree as it is found right in the starting area and has some of the most fluid animations in the game. However, if you want to build your character around it, make sure that you have some decent Poise stats.

Backhand Blade location in Elden Ring DLC
You can find the Backhand Blade right at the beginning.

How to get:

To get the Backhand Blade, simply head north of the Scorched Ruins Site of Grace until you reach a rather small altar with certain yellow enemies around it. You don’t need to fight them as you can just grab the weapon and run off before they even try to attack you.


Attack PowerGuarded Damage Negation
Critical (AP) / Guard Boost10015

Scaling & requirements:

  • Strength: D, Level 10
  • Dexterity: D, Level 13
Backhand Blade Elden Ring
You can upgrade the Backhand Blade up to +25.

Best build & playstyle:

As mentioned earlier, Poise is a crucial stat for this blade as you might be interrupted and staggered in between your combo. The Bull-Goat’s Talisman is the perfect companion as it reduces Poise damage taken while increasing the base stat at the same time.

For attribute scaling, the Backhand Blade scales with both Strength and Dexterity, so make sure that you are upgrading them regularly. You can also infuse it with your favorite Ash of War to make it more suitable to your own style.

Great Katana

The Great Katana is exactly what it sounds like, a massive Katana in Elden Ring. It’s part of the Great Katana weapon type, a brand-new family introduced in the DLC. If you were a fan of the “Unga Bunga” Strength builds of the base game, then it will be the perfect match for you.

It causes 55 blood loss buildup while having Strength and Dexterity scaling, and you can even infuse it with your preferred Ash of War.

Great Katana location in Elden Ring
Do not wake up the Ghostflame Dragon while you get the Katana to avoid the fight.

How to get:

To get the Great Katana in Shadow of the Erdtree, simply head west from the Greatbridge, North Site of Grace, until you reach a lake with a sleeping black dragon. It’s the Ghostflame Dragon and it’s not advised to confront at this stage of the game, so simply grab the weapon and run off without waking it up.


Attack PowerGuarded Damage Negation
Critical (AP) / Guard Boost10035

Scaling & requirements:

  • Strength: D, Level 14
  • Dexterity: D, Level 18
Great Katana stats in Elden Ring
The Great Katana is perfect for Strength users.

Best build & playstyle:

The Great Katana screams Strength, so that’s where most of your skill points should be going. Additionally, the Two-Handed Sword Talisman, a new one in the DLC, will be perfect for this weapon as you cut through enemy lines like butter.

You can also dual-wield it with another Strength weapon of your choice to increase Poise damage on enemies, while having the upper hand in most boss fights. However, keep in mind that your attacks will be slow, so make up for that with your timely dodges.


The Milady belongs to another new weapon type in the DLC called Light Greatswords, and these have faster attacks than regular Greatswords but a bit slower than Katanas. It has some impressive stats all along the board, while also having the ability to be infused with new Ashes of War.

Milady location in Elden Ring
Milady is located inside Castle Ensis.

How to get:

You can get the Milady in Castle Ensis, which is located across the bridge. Before you enter the castle, you will encounter a giant ready to kill you the moment you step in, so run past it to the left and take the stairs up.

Now, all you have to do is stick left and head up the watchtower with the help of the stairs on the outer walls, and then simply get the chest that has Milady. There will be a bunch of enemies in this area, but you can get through without any confrontation if you have swift feet.

Milady in Elden Ring
Head over to the top of the watchtower right at the entrance of the castle.


Attack PowerGuarded Damage Negation
Critical (AP) / Guard Boost10036

Scaling & requirements:

  • Strength: D, Level 12
  • Dexterity: D, Level 17
Milady stats in Elden Ring
Milady is a great weapon for Dexterity enthusiasts.

Best build & playstyle:

Just like all the new weapon types in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, this weapon also has no special elements attached to it and can be infused with any Ash of War of choice. Considering it’s scaling it would be better to stick to Dexterity for this one.

The Rotten Winged Sword Insignia is a must for this weapon as it will increase Attack Power with every successive hit, so make sure that you have completed Milicent’s quest in the base game to get the Talisman.

Greatsword of Solitude

We’re now making our way to the weapons that require you to defeat an enemy, as the Greatsword of Solitude is only available to those who have defeated the Blackgaol Knight boss. Keep in mind that despite being the first boss you’ll likely face in the DLC, it’s a pretty difficult fight.

Blackgaol Knight location in Elden Ring
You’ll have to defeat the Blackgaol Knight to get all the rewards.

To find the Blackgaol Knight, simply head over to the Western Nameless Mausoleum, located west of the Scorched Ruins Site of Grace.

How to defeat Blackgaol Knight:

The best way to defeat Blackgaol Knight is by keeping a distance and striking the moment he leaves an opening. It’s easier said than done because this boss does an enormous amount of damage, so it’s advised that you find some Scadutree Fragments for yourself to power up.

He has enormous Poise as well, so make sure that you are using a rather large weapon to stagger him as frequently as possible, and capitalize on all those small openings.

Blackgaol Knight rewards in Elden Ring
Once you defeat the boss, you’ll get his entire loadout.


Attack PowerGuarded Damage Negation
Critical (AP) / Guard Boost10053

Scaling & requirements:

  • Strength: B, Level 27
  • Dexterity: E, Level 13
Greatsword of Solitude stats in Elden Ring
This weapon is one of the best Greatswords in early game.

Best build & playstyle:

It’s a pure Strength-based Greatsword in Elden Ring, so all you have to do is level up your Strength and you are good to go. It resembles the base game’s Greatsword and is likely inspired by Guts’ sword from Berserk, so jump attacks and poise damage are the key here.

So the Claw Talisman and Bull-Goat’s Talisman are the best choices for this weapon, alongside, of course, Radagon’s Soreseal.

Black Steel Greathammer

The Black Steel Greathamer is again, exactly what it sounds like. However, it’s one of the best Strength weapons in the early parts of Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, along with the Greatsword of Solitude. Alongside physical damage, it also has Holy damage that is really handy in the early stages of the DLC.

Black Steel Greathammer location in Elden Ring
You can get the Black Steel Greathammer after defeating the knight in the church.

How to get:

To get this weapon, head over to the Church of Consolation, located southeast of the Scorched Ruins Site of Grace. Once you reach this region, you will have to defeat the black knight to get the Great Hammer.


Attack PowerGuarded Damage Negation
Critical (AP) / Guard Boost10047

Scaling & requirements:

  • Strength: B, Level 27
  • Dexterity: E, Level 13
  • Faith: D, Level 17
Black Steel Greathammer stats
This weapon is great for breaking enemy Poise quickly.

Best build & playstyle:

The Two Fingers Heirloom Talisman can be a great choice for this weapon as it boosts Faith, while the Claw Talisman and Bull-Goat’s Talisman will be great for jump attacks and Poise damage.

Overall, make sure that you level up your Strength and Faith as much as possible, as these are the primary stats for turning this Great Hammer into a defense-breaking powerhouse. Additionally, it does Holy damage, so for undead enemies, like the ones in Farum Azula, this is the perfect option.

Bloodfiend’s Arm

The Bloodfiend’s Arm is one of the best Strength Arcane weapons in the game, with the right Ashes of War and Bleed affinity, it can do more than 200 blood loss build-up and cause some serious stagger damage, even on bosses who seem to be unstaggerable at first.

Cliffroad Terminus Site of Grace
Prospect Town is quite close to Cliffroad Terminus.

How to get:

The only way to get this weapon is by waiting for a drop from the Bloodfiend enemies that are scattered around the Shadow Realm. However, the best place to farm them is Prospect Town, located south of Cliffroad Terminus Site of Grace.

Simply head over to the location and defeat every Bloodfiend you find, and you should be able to get the weapon once the last enemy is killed.


Attack PowerGuarded Damage Negation
Critical (AP) / Guard Boost10051

Scaling & requirements:

  • Strength: D, Level 28
  • Dexterity: E, Level 11
  • Arcane: D, Level 16
Bloodfiend's Arm in Elden Ring
The Bloodfiend’s Arm can be turned into the best bleed weapon in the game.

Best build & playstyle

The best build for this build would of course be Strength-Arcane with Bleed affinity and Occult Ashes of War. This way, it will have a massive blood loss build-up and will also be great for dealing heavy amounts of damage to almost every enemy in the game.

For Talismans, make sure you run with the Lord of Blood’s Exultation as it will increase your Attack Power whenever your enemy bleeds. Alongside this, you can use the Two-Headed Green Turtle Talisman as it will boost your Stamina recovery rate as this weapon uses up a bunch of it with every charged attack.

There are a massive number of other weapons that are left to be discovered in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, so make sure that you explore the vast Shadow Realm and get all the collectibles you can get before facing off against the powerful bosses.