• This build is rather simple and incredibly fun. With the Tachi in hand you are ready for basically anything. I have dubbed this build Edgelord for the simple fact that everything in this game looks angsty and deviant-arty.  :D

Starting Class 

  • Thief: This will start you off with a dexterity boost, the best starting light armor, and a fast weapon to tide you over for the first couple bosses before the Tachi is available. 

Starting Gift: The Amber Idol offered here is the fastest way to get the Tachi.

Creed: Pick literally whatever. Base it on what you want your buffing element to be. I went with the Iron Ones all the way through for the lightning buff.

Weapon: Requires Minimum Swordfighter 2. Adjust requirements based on the secondary weapon you choose.

  • Tachi: The range of a sword and speed of a dagger combine for a devastating weapon. Focus on stunlocking, or a run and gun strategy in the rare situation where you cannot stunlock an enemy. Use your item buffs for hard fights.
    • Location: Create this through transmutation after reaching Sunken Keep. You will need a base sword, a Retchfeeder Maw from the invisible alien looking creatures that descend from pillars, an Amber Idol (from your starting gift), and some salt. You can even pick up your first Stone Alchemist after the boss in Sunken Keep.
    • Recommended Charm: Stone Charm- This will improve your stunlocking. Pick this up later in the Ziggurat of Dust near the Vertigo Brand puzzle
    • The Tachi upgrades with the King's Order line of materials.
  • Secondary: Go with whatever. I personally recommend something that also scales on dex, and grants dex or willpower bonuses from the associated abilities. At the same time however, there are only like two standard enemies in the game that the Tachi struggles against.

Magic/ Prayers: none for now

Consumables: I only ever use the renewable ones from creed devotion.

  • 3 weapon buffs
  • Use your remaining devotion rewards towards health consumables

Shield: Requires Shield 2*

  • I only include this because of a certain cheap fire themed boss that gave me hell. It is completely optional if you have the patience of a saint.
  • Phoenix Rondache: this has 100% fire resist, and there are a few cheap fire themed bosses. I say cheap, perhaps I am just bad against them.
    • Location: Pick this up in the Castle of Storms, high up in the first room between the two elevators.
  • Silver Shield: this has 100% arcane resist.
    • Location: Pick this up in the Sunken Keep in the top right room above where you received your Vertigo Brand, requiring the Shadowflip Brand to actually get to it.
  • For your purposes these do not really need to be upgraded. If you want to though, they upgrade with the Charred Tome and King's Order material lines, respectively.

Armor: Requires Light Armor 3

  • Frayed Sugegasa: this piece actually improves your stamina recovery, unlike the other pieces which are just aesthetic. This piece is essential to maintaining your speed.
    • Location: After obtaining the Vertigo and Shadow Flip brands, search around the cavern under the Queen of Smiles boss arena. It will have a couple other pieces with it, including the Ragged Hanten.
  • Ragged Hanten
  • Assassin Gauntlets: This can be found in the Castle of Storms once the Hardlight Brand is obtained. The hardlight platform is just above the area where you got the Shadowflip brand.
  • Black Slacks: This can be found in the Pitchwoods above the switch that opens the shortcut just after traversing the disappearing platforms.
  • Strangely enough all of these upgrade with the King's Order line as well.


  • Bloodflower Ring: Increases attack- Pick this up in the Ruined temple to the far left of the Bloodless Prince.
  • Relentless Ring: no melee fatigue- Pick this up in the Red Hall of Cages at the top of the Vertigo Brand room.
    • Melee fatigue results from prolonged melee without visiting a sanctuary or using an associated healing item. It slightly decreases your total stamina until healing.
    • This honestly is a negligible difference in my opinion. Feel free to replace this
  • Wrapped Link: speeds up consecutive rolls- Pick this up in the Village of Smiles.
    • This one is a bit hard to find. Start from the Three Sanctuary. Move up as best you can until you find an enclosed area left of the floating scythe enemy. Further into the area is a bulky looking knight. Exit to his right, then on the next platform down, approach the wall and interact with it using Circle (or whatever it is on your device, interact button) to open a secret path to the ring.
  • Bandaged Ring: reduces wounding- pickup in top left of Festering Banquet
    • Wounding results from strong attacks suffered by player. It will partially reduce max health.

Skill Requirements

  • Swordfighter 2: can equip Tachi
  • Light Armor 3: can equip recommended armor, adjust if you are not feeling my style
  • Shield 2*: recommended, as it will save you some frustration in a few spots

Stat Reccomendations

  • 50 Dexterity: The softcap (point where your skill points stop making a huge difference) for scaling weapons in the game. Dex is your attack stat.
  • 30 Willpower: This is a good target for both longevity stamina wise, as well as item find rates conveniently enough. Willpower increases max stamina.
  • 18 Endurance: This is the minimum endurance required to put you at 25% equip load based on the equipment I have suggested. That fast roll  at 25% will be a godsend, so aim for it. Adjust based on the armor you personally choose. One point in endurance translates to 1.5 additional points in equip load. I am unsure of the base equip load however. You exceed 25% with your shield out, as a heads up.

Skill Tree Progression Route

  1. Start with your skill nodes. They are essential and provide stat points too, which will alter how many stat nodes you need to get anyways.
    1. Sword 2
    2. Shield 2 if you are going to get it at all
    3. Light Armor 3
  2. Next work on your stats
    1. Reach your optimal endurance first. This will allow for quick rolling, fast running, and better jumps.
    2. Now balance your Dex and Willpower increases. Keep them neck and neck until both are 30, then just keep going with Dex up to 50.

General Progression

I recommend defeating the Unspeakable Deep for a significant salt boost and some rare materials. Fight him with nothing on and your dagger one handed. All of his attacks are signaled by him raising or lowering his body, at which point you just need to roll behind him, hit him twice with your dagger, then prepare to dodge again. This is more a test of patience than skill, as this guy is as tanky as they come for where you are in the game.

Use your dagger until you get your Tachi. Anything else is kind of a waste of energy. Use the Rogue's Set until you have the replacement armors. Use the Fused Metal Ring from the falling platforms in the Village of Smiles until your endurance is in check. Use the Brightcoral Ring from the upper left corner of the watching woods until your willpower is in check. Use the Bloodflower Charm from the Village of Smiles, after the boss, until you get the Stone Charm.

New Game + Considerations

  • Enemies hit harder and take more hits, the former of which is a larger concern. Here we begin making you a bit more survivable.
  • First upgrade your Light Armor skill to 4 so you can equip the Bloodbrow Cuirass and Grieves obtained in a cave between the Dome of the Forgotten and the Ziggurat of Dust. This set has impressive defenses and will be the difference between bosses one shotting you and three shotting you. That's actually huge.
    • These two items also upgrade with the King's Order Line.
  • Upgrade your endurance so you are back to 25% equip again. I think it is at about 50. (I know that's a substantial difference, I'm sorry)
  • Unlock Level 1 Prayers in your skill tree, then equip the Mend Prayer you found ages ago in the Festering Banquet near the locked door. Mend heals you, but more importantly it reduces wounding. Wounding is pretty crazy in NG+. Do this BEFORE the Tree of Men. I hate that ***** tree.
  • From there I just increased Willpower to 50. This is not really necessary, but more attacks before retreating is always nice.

Good luck!

    • Anonymous

      20 Jan 2017 00:58  

      Fantastic build, I'm playing it right now. I rushed willpower first using the assassin line, bosses are a cinch when you can land five or so hits before a rolling dodge. Gave me easy drops, too. I picked up a maw off my second retchfeeder and had the Tachi at level 5 with all my ingredients as soon as I transmuted it.

      It could be interesting to note that this build can transition (somewhat awkwardly) into a spellsword-type magical edgelord: there's a katana with the same speed and reach as the Tachi, Shikeimaru, which scales at S level with magic and D with dex.

      • Anonymous

        dont use dagger all the way18 Sep 2016 15:33  

        I Like this build, but i prefer to swap dagger for kureimora uintil i get the tachi,Good build tho

        • Anonymous

          Good29 Aug 2016 04:58  

          I used to love dagger but that is too short and weak. Tachi is perfect replacement for dagger for good. Thank you for letting me know.

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