The build is fundamentally a 40ADP focusing on evasion, pokes, parrying and situational awareness. If you learned anything from reading this then please rate
- Curved Dragon Greatsword +5 (This is mainly used for minor stun locking and the R2 knockdown. Could easily be swapped out)
- Bow of choice minding weight (I use Lightining Short Bow +10)
- Poison Parrying Dagger +10
- Defender's Shield +5 (Also, another very swappable slot. Even infusions could play a major role here)
- Mad Warrior Mask +5
- Agdayne's Black Robe +5
- Engraved Gauntlets +5
- Havel's Leggings +5
- Royal Soldier's Ring +2, Ring of Giants +2, Chloranthy Ring +2, Third Dragon Ring, Bracing Knuckle Ring +2 (recommended)
This build is a non-spell user however if you wanted to throw in some pyromancy you could wear gear that adds attunement slots.
-This build is incomplete. I have not optimized the armor or shield for this build and its more about how it looks. I will clean this up going forward.
We’re building around evasion, poke and parry tactics. I'll break down some common scenarios but keep in mind this is the thinking mans PVP build. You must be able to read your opponent and what they are capable of and know how to dodge or prevent the attack the best you can. Builds always change and as they do so must you. I hope that instead of copying this build directly you learn from it’s foundations and find my favorite part about this game. Close, tactical, adrenaline fueled PVP duels.
"Demoralize your opponent, for when he is enraged he will not account for his actions"
- Maintaining stamina and proper distancing is key here. Avoid full stamina drain at all costs. Save 10%-25% of your total stamina for rolling emergencies. You want to be close enough that you can poke or roll in and strike yet far enough away that you can evade a stun lock or being cornered by spells.
- Getting in close enough allows you to poke with the parrying dagger. It pokes fast, uses very little stamina, has poison and will interrupt some attacks and spells depending on your opponents poise and weapon type. Most people will avoid the poison at all costs so they will back off from an L1 spam. If they don’t the poison hit can be devastating forcing them to try and heal allowing you a great opening. Keep in mind it takes A LOT of pokes to inflict poison so trying to poison the enemy isn’t really an objective. It’s to intimidate and if you do get it off then easy pickings for you.
- The good thing about L1 spam is you’ve used very little stamina and your opponent has backed off allowing for a CDGS R2 Windscar knocking them on their ass and giving you time and stamina regen to move up on them and do it again and/or intimidate. Its important to let them pull back far enough for the windscar to be effective as a skilled player will back up enough to bait you into using it and then rolling toward you evading the blast and getting a clear shot for stun lock or worse. Long range weapon users especially. Don’t spam the R2 too much (unless they are getting wrecked every time) and save it for those key situations. (Like ring outs!) Keep in mind your opponent may be unaware of the special ability so showing it off too early gives them more time to adjust. Even players who are aware of it tend to forget or screw up if you don’t use it for a bit. People may think you have exhausted the weapons durability so you won’t use windscar to avoid breakage. However, with the knuckle ring +2 you can get a large number of R2s before having to use a repair powder or quick switch to a new weapon. The knockdown effect of the special attack is nice and gives you time and spacing which is going to net you the win more times then not. However, the true tactic here is to trick your opponent into believing you rely on this attack so you can rush them and get a stun lock. You want them to know you can go into stun locking after a knockdown so do it at least once if you can. I prefer to just push my character into them as they back up. This allows a multitude of scenarios involving stamina. They might be out, in which case they panic. They might think you’re out, remind them youre not. This shows your stamina dominance further compounding your demoralization. Most people assume that you’ll go for the stand up stun lock and will roll immediately.
- If you spam R1 they will dodge and get a clear shot while you’re recovering your swing. Since the CDGS can only get a maximum 4-hit stun lock which results in full stamina drain. This isn’t really effective as a lot of people I’ve faced will survive it and they get a clean shot at a stun lock which will probably kill you outright. What you want is to be knocking them down to maintain a large stamina advantage.
- They can’t turtle because shoulder push/riposte and poison dagger spam, they cant back up too much because windscar. So, they are forced to attack, hopefully in a panic or rage. If they spam attacks you’re in a prime spot to parry and get a huge critical. If you suck at parrying then practice. If they are using heavy weapons then pull out the shield and do your best to stay clear. Avoid using your shield. It is a stamina pit for this build and will cause the opponent to rush you because they are more familiar with it. Dodging will net you more stamina in the long run as you’re not taking any damage and your getting the distance to recover stamina where as blocking is only a stamina drain and doesn’t guarantee you 100% protection, especially against shoulder push.
- Also, we are avoiding all two-handing as it limits your poke and parry and also triggers a majority of people to rush you as you cant block and you’re probably looking to hit. This is also why I run a defender shield over blossom because if I have the shield out I want to be blocking 100% physical and I’m not two-handing so shield on your back isn’t in effect.
- Simply put, having parrying dagger out is more intimidating. Intimidation is a large factor in this build. Knowing its poison as well makes that better which causes them generally to stay back.
- Again don’t show your cards too early. If you miss a bunch of parries they will attack more often. Conversely blowing parries on purpose can bait them into attacking for a real parry. Having shield out can bait for attacks and a quick swap to dagger for a parry as well.
- Now if they use spells, and they will use spells, this is where your 40 ADP starts to shine. Not only can you dodge every spell with proper timing but you can do it fast and be in their face before they have time to register that you just rolled through 2 great soul arrows and crystal homing soul mass at the same time.
- Seeing them cast means 2 things.
- if in range then poke or strike to interrupt spell casting.
- if out of range or want to play smarter, wait for the spell to materialize and then dodge towards them. Rolling into them forces them back, causes panic and limits there ability to cast another spell effectively. If they have AOE attacks like Force then stay back and poke with arrows and windscar as being in their face will cause them to spam these and it will put you behind in the stamina bar showdown. I tend to try and run down their available casting by baiting them into the attack.
- Now always keep in mind that doing the same thing repeatedly will cause a smart opponent to adjust but the same is true for a reverse psychology approach of attempting to bait the enemy into reacting a specific way.
- Situation awareness is key. When you enter the menu your character stands in relaxed manner. Recognize this in your opponent. Use it against them. Locking on has a similar effect. People recognize you’re locked on and use it to force your movements. Learn to not have to rely on locking and use it situationally, like for stun locking. Especially when aiming your windscar. It’s like a shotgun, shoot for where they’re going to be not where they are, thus don’t always lock on.
- Now I know a lot of the community will disagree with this but frankly fuck them. I use flask. I use flask a lot. Nothing makes someone rush you quite like sipping your flask. Having 40 ADP makes you flask faster. Healing items are part of PVP. It’s nice having a duel where both parties are testing their builds straight out. However, if you do not expect the enemy to behave dishonorably YOU WILL LOSE. No matter how honorably someone fights if they are in a panic they will do whatever to win. Why not start the fight with that mentality ensuring your defense? Regardless of your opinion, I flask. It adds more to the encounter and is an available feature thus I exercise its use. On a side note of that I highly suggest Dragon Charm for all those poison users out there. It takes awhile to use this item so I assume most overlook it for PVP. What I have found is if you can get enough time to pop the charm then your poison problem is over and even if they get a stun lock in during your recovery animation you will eat those hits due to the high HP recovery from the charm. Projectiles like daggers and urns are fantastic for this build as well. I haven’t personally tested dung pies to see if their toxic builds with the poison dagger strikes but regardless, another great item. Using consumables and projectiles makes this build so much more frightening. Again, we are building around evasion, distraction and panic. Throwing shit at your enemy just seems so appropriate as well. Check back for updates.