Dexterity builds are somewhat looked down upon by the Dark Souls community due to how powerful they can be. These builds typically revolve around reaching a high dexterity value while investing plenty into endurance. It allows players to attack with reckless abandon, but there’s good reason why these builds are so popular.
For PvE, some of the strongest weapons in Dark Souls 3 scale the best with dexterity. As for PvP, many weapon types have incredible movesets that deal large amounts of damage when paired with high dexterity. Here are the seven best PvE and PvP builds for dexterity users in Dark Souls 3. Since most dexterity builds are the same, this guide will focus less on stats and more on weapons and their playstyle.
Strategies involving Dark Souls 3’s PvE and PvP components are endless. So many builds can take players from the Untended Graves to the final boss that it can be difficult to decide which ones are objectively better. Dexterity builds have this problem especially due to their excellent selection of weapons. Rapiers, katanas, greatswords, and even daggers are just a few weapon categories that excel in Dark Souls 3. To help newcomers and veterans alike on their next playthrough, here are four more choices that players should consider when creating their next dexterity build in Dark Souls 3.
Katanas are widely regarded as “cheap” and “overpowered” amongst the community and with good reason. These weapons have fantastic range, great movesets, are easy to obtain, and have either an A or S scaling in dexterity most of the time. Players can obtain the Uchigatana as early as after the first boss and destroy players in PvP.
Any katana is good in PvP and boils down to preference. For those looking for range, use the Washing Pole and run over 60 dexterity alongside high endurance. Those who want more flourish with their playstyle can opt for the Flayed Blade with the Pontiff Eyes and 60 dexterity to demolish players in a few strikes, recovering HP and gaining damage per weapon art attack. Never underestimate the effectiveness of katanas in PvP.
PVP: Any Curved Sword
Excluding the frankly terrible Dancer’s Enchanted Swords, virtually every curved sword in Dark Souls 3 will serve as a solid weapon for PvP fights. Every curved sword has a good moveset, at least a C scaling in dexterity when upgraded, and a deceptively large amount of range.
Using a Lothric Knight Sword or other meta choices will indeed fare better for most players in PvP, yet these weapons are such a good tool for learning how to duel. Their great variety of moves and great range make curved swords one of the most versatile and hard to read weapon archetypes in the game. Curved swords do struggle against great shields and reclusive players, although a few slashes of a bleed-infused dagger should get them to panic.
PVE: Sellsword Twinblades
The “Sellsword Winblades’ are mentioned once again for their incredible damage output in PvE content. Same as in PvP, players will want to invest heavily in dexterity and infuse the Sellsword Twinblades with sharp. These weapons deal some of the highest damage per second out of every weapon in the game for PvE content, and they have an incredibly strong moveset to boot. Better yet, they can be buffed with Carthus Rouge or any element to further enhance their slaying potential. There simply isn’t a better PvE dexterity build and weapon combo.
PVE: Brigand Twindaggers
Daggers are mainly used as parrying tools in the Dark Souls franchise, but players might be surprised to know just how deadly the Brigand Twindaggers are when built around. These daggers have the highest damage per second of any dagger in the game, and they have an incredibly fast moveset. Invest heavily in dexterity, preferably hitting 60 in the stat, then upgrade endurance to take full advantage of this weapon’s multi attacks. Infuse the weapon with sharp for even more damage. It also has the Quickstep weapon art for easy traversal.
PVP: Lothric Knight Sword
Straight swords have always been great in the Dark Souls franchise, but nothing can compare to the Lothric Straight Sword in terms of damage inside of PvP in Dark Souls 3. Capable of an S scaling in dexterity inside of PvP, the Lothric Straight Sword is the perfect weapon to use a dexterity build with.
Scale dexterity as much as possible to see the most benefits from this blade. Its damage output is incredible, reaching 400 AR easily with some investment into dexterity. Since it has a great critical multiplier, use the Hornet Ring alongside it to decimate targets on a parry or backstab. It’s one of the most meta builds and strategies for a reason.
PVE: Old Wolf Curved Sword
Rapid attacks and innate healing make the Old Wolf Curved Sword one of the most fun weapons in the Dark Souls franchise. This weapon has great scaling with dexterity when upgraded, making it a great fit for pure dexterity builds.
Since the weapon attacks so quickly with its weapon art, it pairs well with Pontiff’s Left and Right Eye rings, granting Attack Power and HP with successive attacks. With this combination of stats and rings, the game plays closer to Bloodborne than Dark Souls.
PVP: Sellsword Twinblades
Known as the “Sellsword Winblades” by many, these blades make for a top-tier PvE choice and a great PvP option. The moveset for the Sellsword Twinblades emphasizes multi attacks that punish greedy players and those that time their dodges poorly. The weapon art is great at zoning as well, although be prepared for greatswords to retaliate during the animation. As with most dexterity builds, 60 dexterity and a sharp infusion is the build of choice here. Pontiff’s Eye rings are also a great choice for this build since these weapons attack so quickly.
PVP: Astora Greatsword
Nearly every build in Dark Souls 3 can turn the Astora Greatsword into a powerhouse thanks to its ultralight weight and great scaling. When sharpened, this sword grants +2 Attack Rating when past the soft cap of 40 dexterity, meaning this weapon hits like a truck when used alongside a dexterity build. It has a great mix of thrusts and slash attacks for PvP as well. Few weapons can round off a dexterity build for PvP as well as the Astora Greatsword.
Most community members regard the Claymore as a low-skill weapon that only noobs use. While it is true that newer players typically gravitate towards the Claymore, that is for good reason. It can be earned in the first hour of a playthrough, has a fantastic moveset, and scales well with virtually any build—dexterity included.
Infuse the Claymore with a Sharp Gem to achieve an A scaling in dexterity. A high dexterity stat allows the Claymore to safely one-shot most enemies in NG+ and beyond. In-built hyperarmor also allows this weapon to shine when the player gets swarmed by half a dozen enemies, making this a great all-rounder for PvE and even PvP—although its wide swings make it better for dealing with PvE combatants.
PVE: Onikiri And Ubadachi
For PvE, arguably the best dexterity katana option in Dark Souls 3 is the Onikiri and Ubadachi. Not only do they gain an A scaling in dexterity when sharpened, but they also have an innate bleed that makes these weapons decimate most bosses. They are obtained rather late in the game at Lothric Castle, but any katana will do until players obtain this wicked combo.
It doesn’t get hit as hard by the dexterity soft cap as most weapons do, which makes it a great choice for dexterity builds. Alternatively, players can sacrifice some dexterity and place it into luck, infusing the blades with hollow to make a bleed build instead. Dexterity builds with 60 or more in the stat typically deal more damage in PvE, however.
PVP: Crow Quills
Part rapier and part claw, the Crow Quills are devastating weapons that have an S scaling in dexterity when infused with sharp. These weapons have a solid moveset that can prod attacks from opponents and heavily punish with its quill projectiles or ability to chain attacks into each other. It’s a difficult weapon to master due to its combo potential, but a Crow Quill build with high dexterity in the hands of a skilled player is a terrifying sight in PvP. The Hornet Ring also pairs well with this weapon, provided the player is good at parrying enemies.
The Murakumo is a top-tier dexterity weapon when wielded by a skilled player. Don’t be fooled by its large size; the Murakumo is a weapon built around dexterity builds. A +10 Sharp Murakumo has an S scaling in dexterity with a base AR of 244. With enough dexterity, this weapon can easily two-shot most opponents. It also has a solid amount of hyperarmor to give players a chance to counter-attack during a gank.
Better than its damage is its moveset. As a curved greatsword, the Murakumo has a great mix of diagonal sweeps and roll-catching attacks that will keep any opponent on their toes. Mix the Murakumo’s main attacks with its spinning weapon art for a fun time.
Damage output is the Murakumo’s strong suit in PvE. Featuring an S scaling in dexterity with a +10 Sharp infusion, this weapon can output enough damage to take down tougher PvE enemies in a couple of swings.
A solid amount of hyper armor provided by the Murakumo makes it good against a small horde of enemies, especially useful when coupled with its spinning weapon art. Any build that plans to obtain 20 strength and at least 40 dexterity should give the Murakumo a shot. Its main downsides are its rather high strength requirement, its weight of 11, and only being obtainable around half-way through a playthrough.
PVE: Astora Greatsword
This build was mentioned earlier in the PvP category, but the Astora Greatsword is even more of a powerhouse in PvE that deserves its own mention. Due to this weapon’s incredible scaling and ease-of-use, it lends itself well to clearing out hordes of foes or tougher mobs in PvE.
Invest in 60 dexterity and, if possible, obtain 15 faith to take advantage of Blessed Weapon which grants even more damage. A sharp-infused Astora Greatsword trivializes most of Dark Souls 3’s PvE content.