Elden Ring: Best Zweihander Build

Zweihander has been a classic weapon in FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series. This gigantic, colossal sword has made its way to Elden Ring and has become a fan favorite among Soulsborne enthusiasts. However, if you are new to the Souls games, you may be unaware of Zweihander, missing out on one of the best Strength weapons in Elden Ring.

In this guide, we will help you create the best Zweihander build in Elden Ring. We will discuss the stats to level up, optimal Ashes of War, the best talismans, and more. Whether you are an early-game player or focused on PvP, this guide will benefit anyone curious about Zweihander. Let’s dive right into it!

Elden Ring Zweihander Guide

How to Get Zweihander in Elden Ring

Zweihander is one of the easiest weapons to obtain in Elden Ring, and you can acquire it right after starting the game. All you have to do is go to Weeping Peninsula, located in the south of Limgrave. Once you are there, travel to the southwest beach of Weeping Peninsula and search for an Isolated Merchant’s Shack. You can see the location marked in the image above.

Once you arrive, talk to the Isolated Merchant inside the Isolated Merchant’s Shack. He will sell you Zweihander for 3,500 runes. You can accumulate this amount of runes in the early game by robbing graves and exploring dungeons. If you don’t have enough runes right now, be sure to activate the Site of Grace near the Isolated Shack and return once you have enough runes to purchase Zweihander.

Zweihander Stats and Scaling

To wield Zweihander, you will need 19 points in Strength and 11 points in Dexterity. Most classes won’t be able to use Zweihander right away. Warriors, Prisoners, Vagabonds, and Samurai can use Zweihander without leveling any stats if they two-hand it, as the Strength requirement gets halved when two-handing a weapon.

At max level +25, you get a D scaling in Strength and C scaling in Dexterity. You can always use Whetblades with Ashes of War to change the scaling and affinity of Zweihander.

Which Stats Should You Level Up for Zweihander?

Honestly, the answer depends on your playstyle. Usually, the best way to play Zweihander is by going for the Heavy affinity, which gives it an A scaling in Strength and removes the scaling from Dexterity. With this setup, you can simply focus on leveling up your Strength stat.

If you are going for a Strength-only build, we recommend leveling up Vigor to 25-30 in the early game and then putting all your points into Strength. In the mid-game, you should aim to upgrade Vigor to 40 and Strength to 50-60. Finally, in the end-game, focus on Vigor at 50-60 and Strength at 80. Feel free to allocate a few points to Faith if you want to cast incantations.

Here are some hybrid builds you can consider instead of pure Strength, along with the stats you should focus on:

  • Strength-Dexterity build for Keen and Quality affinity: Focus on both Strength and Dexterity.
  • Strength-Dexterity build for Lightning: Focus on Dexterity.
  • Strength-Intelligence build for Magic and Cold affinity: Focus on Intelligence first, then Strength and Dexterity.
  • Strength-Faith build for Flame and Holy affinity: Focus on Faith to increase Flame/Holy damage, then Strength.
  • Strength-Arcane build for Poison affinity: Focus on Strength and Dexterity, but add a few points to Arcane.
  • Strength-Arcane build for Bleed affinity: Focus on Strength and Dexterity, but add Arcane only to increase Bleed buildup.
  • Strength-Arcane build for Occult affinity: Focus on Arcane to increase Bleed and Poison buildup.

Best Talismans for Zweihander

Talismans are crucial for any Elden Ring build. Depending on your playstyle, you have a wide variety of talismans available for Zweihander. We highly recommend using the Green Turtle Talisman regardless of your build because using Zweihander can drain your stamina quickly. This talisman significantly boosts stamina recovery.

After the Green Turtle Talisman, Erdtree’s Favor and Bull-Goat’s Talisman are decent picks as well. Erdtree’s Favor boosts HP, Stamina, and Equip load, while Bull-Goat’s Talisman will prevent you from getting staggered mid-attack if you don’t have enough Poise from your armor set.

Other than these, you can use the following talismans for a Zweihander build in Elden Ring:

  • Axe Talisman – Boosts Charged Attack damage.
  • Twinblade Talisman – Boosts damage of the final hit of a chain attack.
  • Claw Talisman – Boosts Jump Attack damage.
  • Warrior Jar Shard or Shard of Alexander – Buffs Ashes of War (skill) damage.
  • Ritual Sword Talisman – Buffs Attack by 10% when HP is at maximum.
  • Lord of Blood’s Exultation – Buffs Attack when Blood Loss happens nearby (great for Bleed builds).

Best Ashes of War for Zweihander

Here are my personal picks for the best ashes of war for Zweihander in Elden Ring:

Best Ashes of War for Strength and Dexterity Builds:

  • Stamp (Upward Cut) – Default Ashes of War.
  • Stamp (Sweep) – Works great with Blood affinity.
  • Lion’s Claw – Massive Poise damage.
  • Bloodhound’s Step – Recommended if you struggle with dodging attacks.
  • Thunderbolt – Good for dealing with enemies weak to Lightning damage.
  • Lightning Slash – Grants Lightning infusion.

Best Ashes of War for Strength-Faith Builds:

  • Flame of the Redmanes – Amazing Poise and Fire damage.
  • Sacred Blade – Decent option for Holy Damage.

Best Ashes of War for Strength-Intelligence Builds:

  • Chilling Mist – Best for Frost buildup.
  • Waves of Darkness – One of the best Ashes of War for PVP.

Best Ashes of War for Strength-Arcane Builds:

  • Poisonous Mist – Zweihander’s long reach can easily inflict Poison with a few hits.

With this, we wrap up our Elden Ring Zweihander guide. Hopefully, this guide will help you build Zweihander and make the most out of this amazing weapon. Zweihander’s unique R2 poke attack is great for dealing with PVP enemies who keep running. This weapon also has access to a wide variety of affinities and Ashes of War, making it a great choice for almost all build types.

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