Other Peoples Work Compiled for Easier Use VERSION 2
Guide by CodeshCodesh | Last updated at 05 Jan 2017 13:38 | Your rating:

Location Bonfire Description
Firelink Shrine
Firelink Shrine From the bonfire, head to the right side of the building via the upper stairwell and enter the castle turret with the spiral staircase. If you have not yet unlocked this gate, the key is sold by the Shrine Handmaiden. From the bridge, drop onto the roof of the Shrine and drop to the lower level of the roof. Follow around to the front and you will find a stairwell leading back into the building. Walk along the beams and exhaust the dialogue from an unseen NPC and continue to the back of the room. Strike the wall and jump down into the newly revealed room to find a chest containing the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring.

Farron Keep
Old Wolf of Farron From the bonfire, leave back toward the swamp and turn left. Ascend the stairs and attack the wall on the left side, which appears to be a filled in arch, adjacent to Crystal Lizard spawn. Behind it is the Dreamchaser's Ashes.

Catacombs of Carthus
Catacombs of Carthus From the bonfire head down the same path as the boulder, then take a left in the room with the rats. Between the candle-lit staircase and the exit at the end of the room is an illusory wall with another staircase that also leads to the same area as the staircase next to it.
Catacombs of Carthus
Abyss Watchers (farron keep bonfire) From the bonfire head into the Catacombs, pass the bridge into the next room, go upstairs where the archer is and find a ladder up here that goes all the way down a long drop. Follow this area until you come into a room with a red eye skeleton/assasin type enemy. There is a filled archway/illusory wall in this room, it leads to pyromancy tome. If you are having trouble locating the wall in this room, look for a broken wall that shows a skeleton archer standing on top of a platform, start hitting the left side (your right) of this wall.
Smouldering Lake Old King's Antechamber In the same room with the Bonfire. It is the only wall not covered in roots. Unveiling the illusion will give you access to a rather long tunnel system which leads to the above area of the room where some big pyromancer demons and an Undead Bone Shard are below. This is an alternative way that gets you to the Estus Shard around here.

Smouldering Lake Old King's Antechamber From the Bonfire, descend the stairs ahead, follow straight into a room with some dead demons and enemies. Continue further and in the next tunnel, and as soon as you hit a wall in front of you, unveil an illusion to the left. It provides area-exclusive access to a Black Knight with an axe equipped.
Smouldering Lake Old King's Antechamber From the bottom area where some big pyromancer demons are, the is a tunnel system that eventually leads you to a small hole in the ground. Ignore that direction and go right instead. Rats are coming your way, and you will enter a room which one is somewhat grassy. Keep walking straight towards the wall, and unveil its illusion. This provides you access to the opposite side of a huge gap, and to Quelana Pyromancy Tome, in front of a since long dead giant spider. Plus an exclusive access to a lava pit of this area, which yields two Weapons, including a White Hair Talisman.

Smouldering Lake Old King's Antechamber From the bonfire, head down stairs and into the hallway with the pyromancers. Head down the tunnel on the lower right with rats, and proceed until you find the giant rat guarding a nest of smaller rats. Strike the wall on the left to unveil the illusion, and access a safe wooden Treasure Chest that yields Large Titanite Shard (3x).

Smouldering Lake Old King's Antechamber Behind the wooden Treasure Chest there at, that yields Large Titanite Shard (3x), is another illusion to be unveiled as well - cameo! Behind it, you can fall down to reach Izalith Staff, and an alternative way to access the lair of many cursing basilisks who dwell there at.
Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
Church of Yorshka From the bonfire, head back the way you came to it, down the stairs and around to the right. Either kill the Pontiff Knight patrol or wait for them to walk along. Follow the path down and up the stair ahead to a platform with a crystal lizard. The railing on the furthest right is an illusion, leading down some stairs and back toward the Central Irithyll fire. Drop down on the left and there will be an Evangelist that drops the spell Dorhy's Gnawing. Opening the nearby gate leads to just before the first set of Pontiff Knights in the zone.
Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
Church of Yorshka From the bonfire, head back the way you came to it, down the stairs to the main street and take a left turn. Follow the street until it ends, and to the right of the Lightning Gem treasure is a huge stone wall. Hit it to find the Magic Clutch Ring on a corpse behind it.

Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
Church of Yorshka From the bonfire, head out through the side exit, then take a left through the tunnel and the dark room beyond, until you arrive at an area next to the lake. Under the stairs you just descended are several arched alcoves. The rightmost alcove has an illusory wall at the back, which hides a small area with a Crystal Lizard who drops a Twinkling Titanite.

Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
Pontiff Sulyvahn From the bonfire, proceed straight through the door, left up the stairs and right through the valley of dead giants and into door at far end. Immediately on left is wall that can be struck to reveal a ladder. Descend the ladder, defeat the enemies to reach Archdeacon McDonnell and join the Aldritch Faithful.

Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
Anor Londo When the spiral staircase is low, descend it and enter the original whereabouts of the Blade of the Darkmoon Covenant. Inside, unveil the illusory wall behind the Gwyn statue on the opposite side. Provides exclusive access to the expected hallway, which yields a valuable item at its end.
(If you do Anri of Astora's dark questline, this illusory wall will be revealed near the end of the quest.)

Lothric Castle
Lothric Castle From the bonfire, go straight through the door leading to the Dragon Barracks bonfire, head left, right, then up the stairs. To your right there should be a door that leads to the base of a tower. There will be a Twin Axe wielding Winged Knight in there ready to drop down on you. After beating him, climb on up the ladder and on the wall near the entrance, to the left of the barrels, there's an illusionary wall.
Lothric Castle
Oceiros From the bonfire, continue forward until you reach the room with the two chests. It is behind the second chest. This leads to the Untended Graves

Cemetery of Ash
Champion Gundyr Inside the unlit Firelink Shrine, there are two illusiory walls that lead to where Irina of Carim is suposed to be (one when you go from Cornyx's location, one from the bonfire's location). Here you can get the Eyes of a Firekeeper.

Grand Archives
Grand Archives One level above the central walkway (where the Crystal Sage relocates to), in the area with two wax priests, several thralls, and a corpse in a corner holding a Titanite Scale. To the right of this corpse is the illusory wall (indicated by metal gates on either side), which hides a Frost Knight (drops Outrider Knight Armor Set) as well as Soul Stream.

This is something of a guide that I've wanted to put together in order to have a complete fashion collection. These are sets that have a couple ways of being obtained, are dropped from NPC invaders, or may be lost until your next NG cycle. The locations of the armors have been simply copied from the wikis. If there's any that I've missed, please let me know.
• Alva Set:
After defeating the invading phantom Alva, Seeker of the Spurned near the Irithyll Dungeon bonfire, his corpse can be found in the Irithyll Dungeon in front of the cell that holds Karla. Do NOT defeat Yhorm before trying to obtain this armor. Alva will not invade afterwards.
• Armor of Thorns Set:
Found on a body by Rosaria's Bed Chamber. You have to have been invaded by and vanquished Kirk on the ground floor of the Cathedral. Do NOT defeat Deacons of the Deep before trying to obtain this armor. Kirk will not invade afterwards.
• Black Set:
Sold by the Shrine Handmaid for 18,000 Souls total after giving her Yuria's Ashes
Found at Yuria's location in Firelink Shrine. Only appears after the Lord of Hollows Questline is completed and she is summoned for the Soul of Cinder fight without dying.
• Black Hand Set:
Sold by the Shrine Handmaiden for 7500 Souls total after defeating Black Hand Kamui in the Grand Archives
• Black Iron Set:
Sold by Shrine Handmaid for 21,500 Souls after defeating Knight Slayer Tsorig in Smouldering Lake.
• Catarina Set:
Dropped by Siegward of Catarina, purchased from Unbreakable Patches or given to you for completing Siegward of Catarina's questline.

• Cornyx's Set:
The Blindfold is found together with Witch's Ring on an altar in the Catacombs of Carthus after climbing down the demolished bridge, right before the first bonfire in the Smouldering Lake area.
The rest of the set is either a drop from Cornyx of the Great Swamp or is found on a corpse in the Undead Settlement next to the cage where Cornyx is originally found.
It only appears if you have defeated the Old Demon King with the assistance of the white phantom Great Swamp Cuculus (who must survive)
• Drakeblood Set:
At Archdragon Peak, the Man-Serpent Summoners will summon several different enemies- one of them wears the Drakeblood set and wields a Drakeblood Greatsword. Get a summoner to summon this enemy, then kill it. He will drop his greatsword.
After killing the Drakeblood armored enemy at Archdragon Peak, return to the shrine in Consumed King's Garden, behind Oceiros' bonfire (where you got the Path of the Dragon gesture). The full armor set will be lootable from the corpse there.
• Elite Knight Set:
Buy from the Shrine Handmaid in Firelink Shrine after completing Anri of Astora's questline (or killing Anri) for 13500 souls.
• Executioner Set:
Buy from the Shrine Handmaid at Firelink Shrine for 18000 souls after killing Horace the Hushed as part of Anri's questline.
• Exile Armor Set:
Buy from Shrine Handmaid in Firelink Shrine for 13,500 souls after defeating the 2 Hostile NPCs just outside Farron Keep in Road of Sacrifices wearing said armor.
• Havel's Set:
In Farron Keep on the bridge above the Old Wolf of Farron bonfire where the Stray Demon spawns, only after you defeat the Havel Knight that is located in Archdragon Peak.
• Karla's Set:
Buy from Shrine Handmaid in Firelink Shrine for 23000 souls after giving her Prisoner Chief's Ashes or by killing Karla.

• Leonhard's Set:
Buy from Shrine Handmaid in Firelink Shrine for 10500 souls after killing Leonhard. He drops the Silver Mask and Crescent Moon Sword upon death.
• Mirrah Chain Set:
On the Irithyll of the Boreal Valley bridge into the city. Can only be found on the bridge after, being invaded by Creighton the Wanderer outside the Church of Yorshka bonfire. (he will only invade if you beat him with Sirris of the Sunless Realms in her quest). Do NOT defeat Pontiff Sullyvahn before trying to obtain this armor. Creighton will not invade afterwards.
• Pale Shade Set:
After angering Yuria (hit her, kill her, kill Yoel, kill Anri's Assassin etc) you need to defeat the Londor Pale Shade invader (you need to be embered and not have defeated the area bosses in order to be invaded) in both Farron Keep (go to Farron Keep bonfire, exit and turn right, by the basilisks) and Irithyll of the Boreal Valley (go to Distant Manor bonfire, go through the sewers he will invade on a stairway near a shortcut), then go back to Firelink Shrine (where Yuria/Yoel were) and the set will be there.
• Sunless Set:
Buy from Shrine Handmaid in Firelink Shrine for 23000 souls upon completing Sirris' questline or sold by Shrine Handmaid after killing Sirris (this prevents you from obtaining the Sunset Armor Set).
• Sunset Armor Set:
To complete Sirris' questline kill Holy Knight Hodrick at the Pit of Hollows in Undead Settlement. The set will be on his corpse.
• Xanthous Set:
Buy Overcoat, Gloves and Trousers from Shrine Handmaid in Firelink Shrine for 24000 souls, after giving her Xanthous Ashes.
Crown dropped by Yellowfinger Heysel at Road of Sacrifices.
1. Have a game plan. Actually, not only have one, but speak it out loud before every match: "I'm going with Ultra Great Sword and I'm going for trades. If the opponent doesn't attack me, I'm going to roll random amount of times and poke him. If the opponent doesn't get caught with rolling attacks, I'm going to fake that I'm out of stamina and go for a surprise attack. If all of the above doesn't work, I'll change my Ultra Great Sword for Straight Sword and try using it." And don't forget to actually use your gameplan! Don't stay in one place with Ultra Great Sword, trying to bate aggression with R1s, only to get punished for 6 times in a row every single time.
2. Make sure your gameplan have reliable source of damage, i.e. parries are not a gameplan, Crystal Soul Spear is not a gameplan and so on. "I'm going to spam running Washing Pole attacks" is a gameplan.
3. Make sure you have not only plan A, but plan B and plan C. Learn to hotswap your setups. If you're using Great Hammers and you see a Washing Pole in your opponent's hands, have something to change to - something fast and usable with shields (like Straight Sword, or Estoc), and don't forget the actual shield! And I'm not talking about Target Shield, I'm talking about Black Knight Shield, or greatshield.
4. Assume that your opponent is god-tier PvPer with 2 000 hrs in the game. Don't make him prove that to you, because if he is good - he will prove it, by defeating you. Treat every opponent as a very good player and you will pay much more attention to your game. And prove yourself that you're better then he is, once proven, relax and go full in.
5. Forget about parries! You will not parry good player, ever. You will get backstabed, Black Flamed in the face and so on, because a good player sees parries from a mile. And we do still assume that every player is better then you. Instead - use your parry tool as a mindgame. Make him think that you are going to parry.
6. If you made a mistake, don't make it twice. You panicked and rolled into Straight Sword? Well, just don't do it again.
7. Actually, don't do everything twice. Be as unpreddictable as you can. And I don't mean "Don't use Washing Pole running R1s twice in a row", I mean to mixup your timings and don't get into the pattern.
8. If your opponent was 2H his weapon and now he is 1H it, he's going for something. Look into your opponent: is it Caestus? He will try to parry (Do you remember that your opponent is still better then you? He will not try, he will parry you, definetly will, every parriable attack that you'll do in front of him, in the open, will be parried, be aware of that). Is it Pyro Flame? Spells incoming. Is it Weapon Art shield? He need a different hitbox/timing to hit you.
9. Learn the spacing and hitboxes, learn how lag works and how to compensate for it, and how to use it to your advantage, learn what breaks your opponent's poise and what not (I mean actually, just test it during the fight), and while you're not sure that you will break his poise, assume that you will not.
10. Always block while running. Trust me, you don't want to pivot. And blocking prevents pivoting and gives you full control of your character.
11. Learn weapon and playstile matches. Like curved sword beats turtles, turtle beats Washing Pole, Washing Pole beats any Ultra Great weapon and so on. Use this knowledge. Nothing bad in changing your setup to counter your opponent.
12. Have 1 source of MAX damage. For me it's a Black Flame, I have 40/40 INT/FTH and all the pyro rings and sage ring (500-700 damage on one Black Flame that can combo into some of my weapon's R1s). All my weapons are backup instruments in terms of damage and mainly used to bait opponents into Black Flame. So, if you want to use your weapons as your main source of damage, go 40/40 STR/DEX, or 66 STR, or 60 DEX (depends on what weapons you want to use), don't thin your stats, thinking that you'll have some advantage by using some spells. You will not, because spells will do no damage and your weapons will do less damage.
OK, 12 tips is enough for now. I will edit it, if I'll come up with more. Also, for any experienced PvP players: write in the comments what tips would you add to this list, I'll edit them in.
1. Remember, everything has a counter in this game! And if you are struggling against anything (like Washing Pole or Carthus Curved Sword for example), take your time thinking about what can counter it, or look for counters in this subreddit and youtube. Try something different and eventually you will succeed! Never give up, skeleton!
2. Have a good finisher. When your opponent is one hit from death, he'll go in a passive mode. And if you're using something slow, there is no way you'll be able to hit him. So, having crossbow, Avelyn, Fire Surge, or even Throving Knives is very advantageous. Or you can switch for some finisher weapon: Washing Pole, Carthus Curved Sword, spear, something fast and with good running attack.

Before we begin, I'd like to clarify that the following will cover primarily weapon buffs and not body buffs. Everything following has a focus on how Buffing affects your weapons.
So, here we are again, friends and community members. It's been long in the making, but with my last ounces of free-time and help from /u/Rhubarbatross, I'm here to give everyone the low-down on buffing, from resins to spells, and perhaps to completely shake your world-view and make you question everything that is holy.
Some credit also goes to /u/Jade_Wind for verifying the Darkmoon Blade information to follow, as neither I nor /u/Rhubarbatross had the time to actually acquire Darkmoon Blade ourselves.
Believe me when I tell you that by the end of this guide, many players are (understandably) going to be upset with me, the game, and themselves. You'll see why in just a moment.

You're Probably Bluffing, but What is Buffing?

Why, I'm glad you asked, inquisitive title font.
"Buffing" is the act of adding, adjusting or otherwise improving the damage of your weapon using resins, bundles, Weapon Arts or spells temporarily. But, I'm sure many of you already knew this part, so I'll leave this section at that.

What Can Buffs Do for You?

Buffs are an incredibly effective way of eking out more damage from your weapons than is normally possible, or giving your weapon special properties. The way they do this is by giving your weapon another type of damage, adding an auxiliary (AUX) effect to your weapon or, in some cases, directly boosting your weapon's AR for a short duration.
The damage you get from buffs is determined largely by the method of buffing. Resins act differently than spells, and Weapon Arts act differently than both (for the most part).
Resins and Bundles
These usually give an added elemental damage type to your weapon for a short duration. Resins will last 60 seconds while bundles will last for about 7 seconds. Resins such as Carthus Rouge and Rotten Pine Resin will add an AUX effect (such as Bleed and Poison, respectively) to your weapon instead.
Disclaimer: It should be noted that many people have researched Carthus Rouge's effects on Bleed AUX and its relation to the Luck (LCK) stat. The current findings from these players suggest that the effects of Carthus Rouge scale with your LCK stat, just like the normal Bleed AUX on your weapon (if it has it).
While I have not had the time to test these findings myself, I theorize that the reason we see this kind of effect may be because Bleed scaling takes effect after the bonus is added to the base Bleed of your weapon. This means that the scaling looks at the total combined Bleed AUX of your weapon's base Bleed (not taking into account LCK) and Carthus Rouge's flat bonus.
My Research-Monkey, er, I mean, /u/Rhubarbatross will help me test this theory in the coming week.
Buff Spells
These are spells, such as miracles, sorceries and pyromancies, that buff your weapon. Typically these spells will add an elemental damage type to your weapon based on the spell. There are exceptions to this, such as the spell Blessed Weapon which adds 7.5% of your weapons physical AR as physical damage. Damage boosting Rings, such as the Young Dragon Ring or Morne's Ring, and the Steady Chant Weapon Art for Staves do not increase the potency of Buff Spells.
A Most buff spells will last 60 seconds (Carthus Flame Arc being an exception at 90 seconds), however this time can be increased by wearing the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring. The normal version will increase the duration by 18 seconds, +1 by 21 seconds and +2 by 24 seconds.
The way these spells calculate how much elemental damage they add to your weapon depends on two factors:
1. The specific spell's "Efficiency," which is akin to how machines process electricity to function and is a static percent dependent on which specific Buff Spell you use
2. Your catalyst's Spell Buff, indicated in your equipment stats page, which is effected by the specific catalyst's scaling and your investment in its scaling stat(s)
Think of Spell Buff as being the maximum amount of damage the Buff Spell can output onto your weapon while your specific spell's Efficiency is how well that spell can output energy without some of it being lost. The equation for finding exactly how much elemental damage will be added to your weapon, then, is: Spell Efficiency % x Spell Buff = Elemental AR Added
So, using this equation in an example: Our Catalyst has 200 Spell Buff, and our spell of choice has an Efficiency of 82%, meaning 82% of that maximum 200 damage will be added to our weapon upon cast. So, upon cast we've added 164 elemental AR to our weapon.
From rigorous testing, /u/Rhubarbatross and I have confirmed beyond a doubt that Spell Buff is indeed a perfect indicator for Buff Spells, meaning "what you see is what you get." The only thing that varies from buff-to-buff is Efficiency, meaning catalysts that have dual scaling with INT/FTH still maintain the same damage output unlike when casting offensive miracles or sorceries with them. So, whatever can get you the absolute highest displayed Spell Buff will be the objectively best catalyst to use for Buff Spells.
Weapon Arts
Some Weapon Arts can also provide buff effects to the weapon they are used with, and in some rare cases can provide buffs to off-hand weapons. Typically the max duration for Weapon Art buffs is 45 seconds. This time cannot be extended by the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring.
There's a 50/50 split (about) of Weapon Arts that grant overall AR bonuses and added elemental damage akin to Buff Spells. These overall AR bonuses tend to be rather low, however in the case of the Sunlight Straight Sword it can be quite useful as it can buff your off-hand weapon's AR as well. The damage added by these bonuses are usually either flat percent's or flat elemental damage (meaning it doesn't scale from the weapon's scaling stats).

The Most Efficient Table You'll Ever See

Get it? Because we're going to list the Efficiency of Buff Spells, as well as listing the flat bonuses granted by the other buffing methods, here.
For clarity, when I say "of AR" next to a percentage listed in the "Efficiency" column, I mean that percentage is based on your weapon's Attack Rating and not on your Catalyst's Spell Buff.

Sorcery Buffs
Spell Name FP Cost Efficiency
Magic Weapon 25 79%
Great Magic Weapon 35 89%
Crystal Magic Weapon 45 100%
Miracle Buffs
Spell Name FP Cost Efficiency
Dark Blade 35 85%
Lightning Blade 50 95%
Darkmoon Blade 50 95%
Blessed Weapon 35 7.5% of AR1
Sacred Oath 65 10% of AR1
Deep Protection 25 5% of AR1
Pyromancy Buffs
Spell Name FP Cost Efficiency
Carthus Flame Arc 30 83%
Power Within 35 20% of AR2
Carthus Beacon 35 7.5% - 15% of AR1
Resin and Bundle Buffs
Resin/Bundle Name Effects Added
Charcoal Pine Resin Adds 85 Fire Damage
Charcoal Pine Bundle Adds 110 Fire Damage
Gold Pine Resin Adds 95 Lightning Damage
Gold Pine Bundle Adds 120 Lightning Damage
Human Pine Resin Adds 95 Dark Damage
Pale Pine Resin Adds 90 Magic Damage
Carthus Rouge Adds (an estimated) 35 Bleed AUX
Rotten Pine Resin Adds 45 Poison AUX

Weapon Art Buffs
Weapon Art FP Cost Buff Effects
Bloodlust 10 30% AR Bonus2
Ember 25 Adds 80 Fire Damage3
Falling Bolt (D. Swordspear) 20 Adds 80 Lightning Damage3
Feast Bell 24 Adds estimated 24 base Bleed AUX1
Flame of Lorian 10/18 Adds 80 Fire Damage3
Frost 15 Adds 30 Frostbite AUX4
Oath of Sunlight 40 10% AR Bonus1
Profaned Flame 10 Adds 80 Fire Damage3
Sharpen (G. Machete) 20 10% AR Bonus1
Sharpen (B. Knife) 18 5% AR Bonus1
Stance of Judgement 19/22 Adds 80 Magic Damage3
Warcry Varies Generally is a 5% - 10% AR Buff5
1. These buffs typically come with other added benefits such as HP regen, which is dependent on the method of buffing.
2. These buffs generally come with some kind of drawback, such as HP deterioration, which is dependent on the method of buffing.
3. These buffs are added benefits to offensive Weapon Arts. You won't get the buff effects unless you execute the attack, first.
4. During the Buff animation, a small radial surge of Frostbite is emitted that can build up Frostbite on an opponent fairly quickly.
5. There are many variations of Warcry among weapons that share this Art, and each weapon has a semi-unique modified R2 attack to go with its AR increase, which I have not seen surpass 10%.

Terminology: Poise Health = PH Poise Damage = PD Poise Stat = PS Hyper Armor = HA
Poise Health: Poise Health is a fixed value that all players have that is set to 100 by default. Think of it as an invisible Health bar that affects your ability to be staggered out of an animation.
When PH drops to 0, you will be staggered out of animations that have Hyper Armor. Upon dropping to 0, PH will instantly refill to 100. It will also instantly refill after 30 seconds of taking no damage.
Poise Damage: All weapons deal varying amounts of Poise Damage. Depending on the weapon and type of attack, you will deal PD to your opponents PH upon a successful hit. PD is always being accounted for, even when you're standing still.
Hyper Armor: Hyper Armor is essentially the games way of saying your PH is in effect. Normally, your character isn't taking into account that it has a value (PH) preventing it from being staggered. However, your character is aware of your PH when you're in a HA animation, such as an UGS R1. This is why you can be staggered on every hit while standing still or swinging R1's with a Straight Sword.
HA also adds a multiplier to your PH depending on the weapon and attack used. For example: a Claymore 2HR1 will multiply your current PH by 1.5. So, if you had 100 PH and swung your Claymore this way, your PH would be 150 for the remainder of the animation. After your animation, the multiplier is dropped. Any PD taken while the multiplier was active remains on your PH after it has returned to it's pre-multiplier state.
Important: Not all HA attacks have multipliers that benefit your PH. Some multipliers are neutral and some are even detrimental to your PH (all Curved Greatswords seem to have 0.5 and 0.75 multipliers on their attacks). It's actually important to know this, so you don't overestimate how much PH you actually have during an HA swing.
Poise Stat: Your Poise Stat is a way of mitigating the PD you take from attacks. We're not entirely certain how the mitigation is calculated, however we do know that higher PS reduces PD. In this respect, PS is actually an important stat for HA weapon users to capitalize on, especially if you're using Curved Greatswords.

• Whips cannot be parried, regardless of the attack.
• Running and Rolling R1 : Can be parried on every weapon except Whips
• Running R2 / Jumping attack : Cannot be parried on any weapon

Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Neck Swipe : Can be parried

Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Champion's Charge (Gundyr's Halberd) : Can be parried
• Champion's Charge follow-up R2 (Gundyr's Halberd) : Can be parried
• Punitive Flame (Immolation Tinder) : Can be parried
• Spin Sweep (Lucerne, Black Knight Glaive) : Cannot be parried, follow-up R2 cannot be parried either
• Charge (Halberd) : Can be parried
• Chain Spin and follow-up R2 (Winged Knight Halberd) : Cannot be parried

Pikes and Spears
Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• L1 (Drang Twinspears) : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Charge : Can be parried
• Lightning Charge (Dragonslayer Spear) : Can be parried
• Kindled Charge (Gargoyle Flame Spear) : Can be parried
• Kindled Charge follow-up R2 (Gargoyle Flame Spear) : Can be parried
• Shield Splitter (Arstor's Spear) : Can be parried
• Spin Sweep (Partizan) : Cannot be parried

Great Hammers
Normal and Strong Attacks:
• Pickaxe : Behaves like a hammer, 1H and 2H R1 & R2 can all be parried
• 1H R1 and R2: Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Cannot be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Spin Bash and follow-up R2 (Spiked Mace) : Cannot be parried
• Warcry follow-up R2s (Great Club, Large Club) : Cannot be parried (1H and 2H)
• Molten Perseverance follow-up R2 (Old King Great Hammer) : Cannot be parried
• Kindled Flurry and follow-up R2 (Gargoyle Flame Hammer) : Cannot be parried

Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Spin Bash (Drang Hammers) : Cannot be parried
• Warcry follow-up R2s (Club, Reinforced Club) : Can be parried

Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Cannot be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Falling Bolt (Dragonslayer Greataxe) : Can be parried
• Demonic Flare (Demon's Greataxe) : Cannot be parried
• Warcry 2H Follow-up R2s (Black Knight Greataxe) : Cannot be parried
• Warcry 1H Follow-up R2s (Black Knight Greataxe) : Can be parried (Except the very 1st hit)

Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Warcry Follow-up R2s : Can be parried
• Warcry Follow-up Charged R2s : Can be parried ( ? )
• Chain Spin and follow-up R2 (Winged Knight Twinaxes) : Can be parried (both)

Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Onislayer (Onikiri and Ubadachi) : Cannot be parried
• Darkdrift : Can be parried
• Hold follow-up R1 : Can be parried
• Bloodlust : Can be parried

Thrusting Swords
Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Stance Follow-up R1 (Rapier, Crystal Sage's Rapier) : Can be parried
• Stance Follow-up R2 (Rapier, Crystal Sage's Rapier) : Can be parried
• Shield Splitter (Estoc, Irithyll Rapier) : Can be parried
• Ricard's Lunge and Press (Ricard's Rapier) : Can be parried

Curved Greatswords
Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 : Can be parried
• 2H R2 : Cannot be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Spin Slash & follow-up R2 (Murakumo, Exile Greatsword, Carthus Curved Greatsword) : Cannot be parried
• Wolf Leap (Old Wolf Curved Sword) : Cannot be parried

Curved Swords
Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• L1 (Dancer's Sword, Warden Twinblades, Sellsword Twinblades) : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Spin Slash : Cannot be parried
• Spin Slash follow-up R2 : Cannot be parried
• Tornado (Storm Curved Sword) : Cannot be parried
• Tornado follow-up R2 (Storm Curved Sword) : Cannot be parried
• Dancer's Grace and follow-up R2 (Dancer's Enchanted Swords) : Can be parried
• Crescent Blade (Crescent Moon Sword) : Cannot be parried
• Frost Blade and follow-up R2 (Pontiff Knight Curved Sword) : Cannot be parried
• Chained Dance (Painting Guardian's Curved Sword) : Cannot be parried

Ultra Greatswords
Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Cannot be parried
• L1 (Farron Greatsword) : Can be parried (including follow-ups L1)
Weapon Skills:
• Stomp : Cannot be parried
• Charge (Astora's Greatsword) : Can be parried
• Flame of Lorian (Lorian's Greatsword) : Cannot be parried
• Profaned Flame (Profaned Greatsword) : Cannot be parried

Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Stance follow-up R1 : Can be parried
• Stance follow-up R2 : Can be parried
• Stomp (Executioner's Greatsword) : Cannot be parried
• Stance of Judgement R1 (Greatsword of Judgement) : Can be parried
• Stance of Judgement R2 (Greatsword of Judgement) : Can be parried
• Storm King (Stom Ruler) : Can be parried
• Wolf Sword R1 (Wolf Knight's Greatsword) : Can be parried
• Wolf Sword R2 (Wolf Knight's Greatsword) : Cannot be parried
• Moonlight Vortex (Moonlight Greatsword) : Can be parried
• Ember (Firelink Greatsword) : Can be parried
• Sacred Light and Flame (Twin Princes' Greatsword) : Can be parried
• Wrath of the Gods (Wolnir's Holy Sword) : Can be parried

Straight Swords
Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• L1 (Gotthard Twinswords) : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Stance R1 : Can be parried
• Stance R2 : Can be parried
• Spin Slash (Gotthard Twinswords) : Cannot be parried
• Spin Slash follow-up R2s (Gotthard Twinswords) : Can be parried (both)
• Sacred Lothric Light (Lothric's Holy Sword) : Can be parried
• Stomp (Dark Sword) : Cannot be parried

Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• L1 (Brigand's Twindaggers) : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Unleash Dragon (Tailbone Short Sword) : Can be parried
• Blind Spot (Handmaid's Dagger, Corvian Greatknife) : Can be parried
• Shield Splitter (Mail Breaker) : Can be parried

Fist Weapons
Normal and Strong Attacks:
• 1H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• 2H R1 and R2 : Can be parried
• L1 : Can be parried
Weapon Skills:
• Leaping Slash (Claw) : Cannot be parried
• Flame Whirlwind (Demon's Fist) : Cannot be parried
• Flame Whirlwind follow-up R2 (Demon's Fist) : Can be parried

Speckled Stoneplate Ring +1 - It's hard to miss the Speckled Stoneplate Ring +1 if you go after the Giant Crystal Lizard in the Cemetery of Ash. It's on a corpse right at the top of the incline.
If you've never been here, go back to the tutorial area and head down the path with the orange message that says "Turn back."
Wolf Ring +2 - After you kill Iudex Gundyr, open the large double doors leading out to the graveyard in front of Firelink Shrine. Head through the doorway and turn around. The ring will be on a corpse slumped up against the wall on the right.
If you can't find it, remember that +2 rings won't show up until NG++ (Journey 3).
Fleshbite Ring +1 - The Fleshbite Ring +1 will require some finesse in jumping. From the Tower on the Wall bonfire at the High Wall of Lothric, descend to the floor with two thieves and walk outside. Descend the ladder onto the roof of the building with the dark blob hollow and make your way towards the other ladder — the one with the lamp sitting at the top.
From here, you can see the Fleshbite Ring +1 on the roof across from you. Line up your jump between the ladder and the lamp and you should make it. Waltz over to the corpse for your reward.
Ring of the Evil Eye +2 - Head back to where you found the Fleshbite Ring +1. Instead of jumping the gap, slide down the ladder and enter the building with the Lothric Spear Knight. Pass him and descend into the room with the Estus Shard on an anvil.
To the right of the staircase where you find the Cell Key hides the Ring of the Evil Eye +2. It's behind a couple of barrels where the prism stone is sitting in the screenshot below
Mortician’s Ashes - Location Found: Undead Settlement
Walkthrough: Travel to the Dilapidated Bridge Bonfire and head forward, past the giant enemy with the saw weapon. You should spot the cemetery ahead where the giant who resides in the settlement’s castle throws his spears. Head inside the gate and look for the ashes on a corpse next to a tree just left of the gate, near the wooden house.
Poisonbite Ring +1 - From the Dilapidated Bridge bonfire in the Undead Settlement, head forth into the graveyard near the White Birch Tree. Hiding behind a well between the Cleric's set and some umbral ash is the Poisonbite Ring +1.
Life Ring +1 - From the church in the Undead Settlement, take the elevator up and roll off onto a wooden platform about halfway up. You should hear the vocal pondering of Siegward as you ride past, if you've been following his quest.
From the wooden platform, head out onto the balcony and look behind the last pillar on the right to find the Life Ring +1.
Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +2 - After fighting the Fire Demon with Siegward, head up onto the roof of the building the two Evangelists are in. Near Flynn's Ring you can fall down onto the roof of a hut. Drop to loot the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +2
Dreamchaser’s Ashes - Location Found: Road of Sacrifices
Walkthrough: Travel to the Old Wolf of Farron Bonfire and head outside, taking the stairs up. Now turn left as soon as you reach the top and hit the wall with your sword to discover an illusory wall which opens the way to this set of ashes, resting near the edge of a window ledge.
Chloranthy Ring +2 - From the Road of Sacrifices bonfire, head forth down the path. Kill the enemy mage and look down. There is a ledge on the left you can drop down to that holds a corpse coveting the Cloranthy Ring +2. A pair of Brigand Twindaggerssits on the ledge right below it.
Farron Coal - Infusion types: Heavy, Sharp, Poison
You can find this coal in the Road of Sacrifices. Spawn at the Halfway Fortress bonfire, then go down the road. When you reach the swamp, turn right and go all the way to the wall. Go through the door and turn left. Follow the corridor, past the Black Knight. The coal is on a pile of rubble at the end of the corridor
Lingering Dragoncrest Ring +1 - From the Crucifixion Woods bonfire, drop down into the shallow water near the giant crab enemy. You can pick up the Grass Crest Shield near a tree here.
Head forward into the water and pick up the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring +1. Be wary, though; the giant crab will attack you if you're not using stealth spells like I am in the screenshot
Sage’s Coal - Infusion types: Crystal, Blessed, Deep
This coal is in the Road of Sacrifice as well. Teleport to the Farron Keep bonfire, go into the swamp and head left, following the wall. You’ll see a tower at a certain point, guarded by a single Darkwraith. Defeat him and enter the tower. The coal will be on a corpse inside.
Paladin’s Ashes - Location Found: Cathedral of the Deep
Walkthrough: Head down the stairs that lead into the Cathedral of the Deep area, and turn right at the bottom just before you reach it. You should spot a narrow path ahead. Follow the path to reveal a hidden corpse that you can loot to grab these Ashes.
Ring of the Evil Eye +1 - The Ring of the Evil Eye +1 is hidden behind the statue just before the Deacons of the Deep boss in the Cathedral of the Deep. Be sure to deal with the enemies nearby before grabbing it.

Ring of Favor +2 - The Ring of Favor +2 is on the roof of the Cathedral of the Deep. From the Cleansing Chapel bonfire, turn around and take the shortcut on the left. Head into the room on the left and take the elevator up. Wrap around the outside of the tower and climb up the ladder.
Drop down onto the rafters below and climb to the top. On the left is a great axe-wielding hollow guarding the Ring of Favor +2.
Magic Stoneplate Ring +1 - From the Farron Keep bonfire, head out into the poison swamp and turn right. Trudge along until you come to an area dense with curse frogs. Kill them off safely and grab the Magic Stoneplate Ring +1 from a corpse slumped against a tree.
Dark Stoneplate Ring +2 - The Dark Stoneplate Ring +2 is hiding behind a wall near the Keep Ruins bonfire. Behind the bonfire and across the bridge burns one of the 3 flames of Farron Keep. Follow the wall along the back to find a corpse slumped against a grave coveting your reward.
Wolf Ring +1 - The Wolf Ring +1 is just outside near the Keep Ruins bonfire. Just head out towards the stone gate and head around the left side of the building
Ring of Steel Protection +2 - The Ring of Steel Protection +2 is near the entrance of the Catacombs of Carthus. From the Abyss Watchers bonfire, head down the stairs and across the expansive bridge. On the left you'll see a pillar with a corpse holding the Ring of Steel Protection +2.
Thunder Stoneplate Ring +1 - After passing the first rolling ball of corpses, head down the corridor. On the right you'll find an alcove littered in pots (some of them trapped). Near the front of the alcove is the Thunder Stoneplate Ring +1. It's just in front of the Carthus Milkring.
Grave Warden's Ashes - Location – (Catacombs of Carthus)
From Catacombs of Carthus Bonfire, A pit in the southeast and a staircase near the Bonfire both lead down to the lower tier. Here after killing the enemies look for stairs which leads up to the northern side of the upper tier. Although this is a dangerous area and doesn’t take you deeper into the catacombs, you find some interesting items, Grave Warden’s Ashes up here.
Flame Stoneplate Ring +2 - From the Demon Ruins bonfire in Smouldering Lake, head down into the large room with fireball casters. Run down the stairs and take a right. Head down the hall straight ahead of you and whack the illusory wall at the end. Kill the Black Knight guarding the Black Knight Sword and grab the Flame Stoneplate Ring +2 hiding around the corner.
Bloodbite Ring +1 - The Bloodbite Ring +1 is around the right side of the mechanical ballista at the top of Smouldering Lake.
From the Demon Ruins bonfire, head back into the room with fireball casters and run down the stairs. Hang a right and this time duck into the hall on the right. Take the first right up the stairs and kill the 3 rats in the room.
Continue down the hall and head down the large staircase. Kill the Curse Frogs and continue down the hall. Head up the stairs and take care of the Black Knight across the bridge. Continue up the ladder and follow the path until you reach the enormous ballista and the Bloodbite Ring +1
Easterner’s Ashes - Location Found: Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
Walkthrough: After defeating Pontiff Sulyvahn, head across the courtyard and up the stairs, making your way through the arch furthest to your right. Climb all the way up, and then jump to the ledge below once you near the top. You should spot a nearby corpse shining brightly with a white glow. Interact with it to claim these ashes, but beware of the Silver Knights who can attack you from above using Great Bows.
Excrement-covered Ashes - Location Found: Irithyll of the Boreal Valley
Walkthrough: Make your way to the river in Irithyll and search for the entrance to the sewers that you have to use to progress into the fight with Pontiff Sulyvahn. Be wary of the monsters in here, and look in a small alcove directly across from the stairs that lead to the Pontiff fight to find these ashes on a corpse resting in the shin-high water.
Giant’s Coal - Infusion types: Lightning, Chaos, Simple You’ll find this one in Irithyll. Spawn at the Anor Londo bonfire and go up the stairs. Turn left when you get to the top (watch out for the Silver Knights) and enter the tower. You’ll see a dead giant on the tower floor, holding the coal in his hands.
Chloranthy Ring +1 - The Chloranthy Ring +1 is hidden behind the pedestal where the Ring of the Sun's Firstborn is displayed.
From the Church of Yorshka bonfire, head back out and follow the left path into a building. Drop down from the break in the railing and kill the Fire Witch. Head up the stairs and turn right. Around the pedestal on the left lies the Chloranthy Ring +1.
Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +1 - The Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +1 is sitting on a ledge just past the the house full of ghost hollows in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley.
From the Church of Yorshka bonfire, head down the stairs into the graveyard and turn left. Head right into the room full of ghostly hollows. Head through the opening on the other side and carefully drop down to the ledge below to nab the Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +1.
Wood Grain Ring +2 - From the Distant Manor bonfire in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, head up the stairs and through the sewers crowded with spider monsters. Climb the stairs, cross the kitchen, and ascend into a room crowded with paintings and 3 Silver Knights.
Head outside and turn around. The Wood Grain Ring +2 is around the left side of the building.
Ring of Favor +1 - The Ring of Favor +1 is on the upper floor of the Pontiff Sulyvahn boss room.
From the bonfire, head out into the courtyard and turn left up the stairs. Duck into the corridor on the left of the Giant Courtyard and head out the door on the other side. Climb the stairs and turn right, dashing through the doorway.
Cross the bridge here and head straight to find a corpse with the Ring of Favor +1.
Havel's Ring +2 - Have's Ring +2 is hiding among the rafters of the Prison Tower.
From the Anor Londo bonfire, head back onto the rotating mechanism. Don't turn it, but head down the stairs. You should see a bonfire atop the tower across the way. Walk straight, into the air, and follow the invisible path towards the tower. When you near the bonfire, roll off towards it and light it.
Carefully drop down the rafters of the tower. Havels Ring +2 is on the ledge right below The Painting Guardian set.
Prisoner Chief Ashes - Location Found: Irithyll Dungeon
Walkthrough: In order to get these Ashes, you’ll need to acquire the Jailer’s Key Ring. First travel to the church that is surrounded by poisonous water near the Profaned Capital. Climb up onto the roof and look for a set of stairs that will lead back towards the Dungeon. Follow the stairs to find the key ring at the end of a corridor.
Now you need to travel back to the Irithyll Dungeon Bonfire and drop down off the edge of the platform nearby. From here head to the right, follow the corridor to the last cell on the end. Use the key to open the door and grab these Ashes off the corpse sitting in the chair inside.
Profaned Coal - Infusion types: Dark, Blood, Hollow This one is hidden deep in Irithyll Dungeon. Go to the lower part, where all the prison cells are. You should get to the room with a dozen or so masked enemies with branding irons. The coal is in one of the unlocked cells, the one with the crawling monsters.
Slab: Siegward's Quest – Dungeon - During the Siegward's questline you will save the Siegward in the Irithyl Dungeon. As a reward he will give you a slab
Xanthous Ashes - Location Found: Irithyll Dungeon
Walkthrough: To find these Ashes you will need to make your way to the lowest level of the Dungeon, the place where all the Jailers reside, and then keep to your left, traveling all the way to the end of the area. Open up the cell with the two corpses and grab this set of Ashes off the one closest to the door.

Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +1 - The Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +1 is sitting on a ledge next to the elevator near the Irithyll Dungeon bonfire.
From the room with the Giant, drop down to the bottom floor with the rats and duck into the doorway. Take the elevator up and roll off to loot the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring +1.
Magic Stoneplate Ring +2 - From the Profane Capital bonfire, slide down the indoor ladder and drop out the crack in the wall. Head right down the stairs and grab the Magic Stoneplate Ring +2 at the bottom.
Flame Stoneplate Ring +1 - Climb the ladder against the church surrounded by toxic swamp in the Profane Capital. Walk along the roof to the front of the building. Carefully drop down onto the ledge below and pick up the Flame Stoneplate Ring +1.
Wood Grain Ring +1 - The Wood Grain Ring +1 is in the toxic swamp behind the elevator at the entrance to The Consumed King's Garden.
Instead of heading straight into Lothric Castle From the Dancer of the Boreal Valley fight, take a left.
Sage Ring +2 - On the elevator that brings you down to The Consumed King's Garden, roll off to the ledge early. Head outside and turn right, dropping onto the staircase below. Turn left and roll across the gap onto the adjacent staircase to pick up the Sage Ring +2
Life Ring +3 - After the Champion Gundyr fight in the Untended Graves, you'll find the Life Ring +3 behind Holy King Lothric's throne in Dark Firelink Shrine.
This is the only +3 ring in Dark Souls 3, yet it is still found in NG++ (Journey 3).
Ring of Steel Protection +1 - Upon entering Dark Firelink Shrine in The Untended Graves, head right up the stairs and check the right side of the tower to grab the Ring of Steel Protection +1.
Hollow’s Ashes - Location Found: Untended Graves
Walkthrough: Make your way through the Untended Graves, past Champion Gundyr, and into Dark Firelink Shrine. Head through the main area, down to where Andre the Blacksmith usually works, and then down the left hand stairs. Turn left at the bottom and follow the corridor ahead all the way to the back corner to find these ashes resting on a corpse in the corner where Yoel of Londor usually resides.

Slab: Crow merchant - Gained by trading the Bonfire Fragment (Infinite Homeward Bone) with the crow merchant. You will find the merchant near the nest of the Firelink Shrine. Don't worry about losing the fragment as this will carry over to your NG+.
Life Ring +2 - This is the only +2 ring you can pick up in NG+ (Journey 2).
From the Dragon Barracks bonfire in Lothric Castle, head up the stairs and across the bridge. Duck into the dark room on the right and climb the ladder here. Take a left, heading back outside and head forward to the overlook of a crystal lizard.
Carefully drop down onto the ledge below and pick up the Life Ring +2.
Dark Stoneplate Ring +1 - The Dark Stoneplate Ring +1 is found near theBraille Divine Tome of Lothric.
From the Dragon Barracks bonfire, head up the stairs and across the bridge. Enter through the iron gate and head up the stairs. Head outside and turn left. Drop to the ledge below from the crack in the railing and kill the dark blob in the wyvern's claw.
Head inside the building and walk right out onto the balcony where the Dark Stoneplate Ring +1 sits.
Thunder Stoneplate Ring +2 - From in front of the Dragonslayer Armor boss room, enter the church to the right and veer left out onto the balcony with the Red Tearstone Ring. Drop down onto the roof from the crack in the railing and head right to find the Thunder Stoneplate Ring +2.
Lingering Dragoncrest Ring +2
Head to the roof of the Grand Archives with 3 golden Winged Knights. Kill them and head up the stairs. Follow the balcony around and enter the alcove to find the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring +2 on the corpse inside.
Sage Ring +1 - From the roof of the Grand Archives with the 3 golden Winged Knights, head inside at the base of the tower and drop down onto the rafters inside. Down on the stone rafters you'll find the Sage Ring+1

Slab: Grand Archives – Bookshelf - Located in the Grand Archives behind a bookshelf. It's not a simple case of going to the bookshelf, you will need to dip your head in wax and then pull a lever later in the level to unlock it. The location of the lever is overlooking the bookshelf - once pulled you can watch it descend.
The actual slab is located directly across from the huge wax dipping station. There's a little thief hanging on a bookshelf next to the slab.
Slab: Angelic Knights - Gained by killing the three Angelic Knights before the Lorian and Lothric boss fight.
Slab: Lothric Elevator - Located by the elevator before the Lorian and Lothric bossfight. Players should note that there are two elevators - one goes up to the boss while the other takes you down to the slab
Slab: Handmaiden - Can be purchased from the Handmaiden after killing the Lorian and Lothric
Havel's Ring +1 - Havel's Ring +1 is found in Archdragon Peak on the path to the Twinkling Dragon Torso Stone.
From the Great Belfry bonfire, go left down the stairs and head up the path past the 3 large serpent men. On the other side of the building to the right is Havel's Ring +1.
Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +2 - Ring the bell near the Great Belfry bonfire and kill the Nameless King. The Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +2 is found in the area you're teleported to after the fight.
From the Nameless King bonfire, head straight down the path. The Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +2 is found up the set of stairs on the right just before the Dragonslayer set.
Dragon Chasers Ashes - Location – (Archdragon Peak)
From the Great Belfry Bonfire a way leads you out to a courtyard with Rock Lizards and Serpent-men. Take upper path, eliminate all enemies. To the east of a broken building you find Dragon Chaser’s Ashes. They’re on a ledge beside the ruins.
Slab: Dragon Shrine area - Located by Havel the Rock and the large dead dragon in the dragon shrine area. You will find this area just after the third bonfire you come across.
Slab: Nameless King - Located after the Nameless King boss battle.

I've been seeing a lot of questions about invading (and PvP in general) pop up on the sub lately and I wanted to consolidate all of my personal tips into one, neat post I can link for people, much like my Poise: for Dummies post. So, here is my guide for invasions in Dark Souls 3, largely based on recent frequently asked questions.

Methods to Start the Madness

There are certain methods to perform invasions that you can choose from, some covenant specific (covenant's explained further down) and some not. Some people may already be aware of the methods you can use to invade another persons world, and if you are you may want to skip this section and start with Knowing your Opponent below.
The methods to perform invasions are as follows:
1. Using a Cracked Red Eye Orb in an invade-able area. These Cracked Red Eye Orbs are one-time use.
2. Using a Red Eye Orb in an invade-able area.
3. Equipping an auto-summon covenant emblem while waiting in a particular area, known as that covenant's territory. You know when you're able to be auto-summoned to invade when the covenant emblem near your Health Bar is flashing.
NOTE: Cracked Red Eye Orbs and the Red Eye Orb are practically the same method of invasion. The only difference is that the Cracked version breaks after use.


Covenants function like "gangs" for invaders. Everyone wants to be a part of something, and you'll typically be rewarded for doing stuff for your crew. In this case, you'll usually be rewarded for off-ing some poor sap in another dimension, and usually you'll be rewarded with dismembered body parts. This all depends on what covenant you decide to invade for, though.
These aren't the only rewards, however. You can turn in these covenant items to the leaders of your corresponding covenant to earn real rewards like weapons or spells. For every covenant, you'll earn your first reward by turning in 10 covenant items, and you'll earn your second (and last) reward by turning in another 20 covenant items.
We'll break down each covenant individually, and I'll order them by auto-summon or Red Eye Orb invasion:

• Watchdogs of Farron: One of the first auto-summon covenants you'll find in Lothric. The Old Wolf of Farron is the "leader" of this covenant, and it can be found atop the highest tower in the Farron Swamp. Their covenant item is the Wolf's Blood Sword Grass. Equipping their emblem will allow you to auto-summon into a Host's world if they are in the Crucifixion Woods to invade. Watchdogs need only kill Hosts to obtain their covenant items.
• Aldrich Faithful: Probably the last auto-summon covenant you'll find in Lothric. Archdeacon McDonnell is the "leader" of this covenant, and it is found behind an illusory wall and down a long ladder past the Pontiff Courtyard. Their covenant item is the Human Dregs. Equipping their emblem allows you to auto-summon into a Host's world if they are in Anor Londo to invade. Faithfuls need only kill Hosts to obtain their covenant items.
• Blue Sentinels: Another of the first auto-summon covenants you'll find in Lothric. Horace the Hushed will give you the covenant emblem at the Road of Sacrifices bonfire, however the "leader" of the covenant is Company Captain Yorshka, who can be found across an invisible bridge in Anor Londo. Their covenant item is the Proof of Concord Kept. Equipping their emblem will allow you to auto-summon into someone's world to defend a Host from invaders. The auto-summoning can happen in any area, and will sometimes transport you to different areas to defend a Host. Sentinels need to kill invaders to earn their covenant items, and killing a Rosaria's Finger will earn them a Proof of Concord Well Kept, equivalent to two Proofs of Concord Kept.
• Blades of the Darkmoon: Practically exactly like the Blue Sentinels. Company Captain Yorshka will make you a Blade of the Darkmoon once you have learned the Darkmoon Loyalty gesture by following Sirris of the Sunless Realms' quest line. The covenant item is still Proof of Concord Kept and Proof of Concord Well Kept.
Red Eye Orb Invasions
• Rosaria's Fingers: The primary invasion covenant in Lothric. Rosaria, Mother of Rebirth, is the covenant "leader" and can be found in the Cathedral of the Deep. Their covenant item is the Pale Tongue. Rosaria's Fingers need only kill a Host to earn a Pale Tongue. If a Rosaria Finger kills a Blue Sentinel or Blade of the Darkmoon, they will earn a Forked Pale Tongue, equivalent to two Pale Tongues.
• Mound-Makers: Supposed to be the "unpredictable" invading covenant in Lothric. They are allied to nobody, not even their own covenant, meaning they can choose to help or hinder a Host's progress through the game (even though technically Rosaria's Fingers can do the same thing…). Holy Knight Hodrick will give you the covenant emblem in the Pit of Hollows under the Undead Settlement, but the "leader" is the altar found in the Pit of Hollows. I recommend looking up a guide on how to get this covenant emblem, as you cannot obtain it until far later in the game if the Curse Rotted Greatwood has already been defeated. Their covenant item is the Vertebra Shackle. Mound Makers must kill all currently summoned phantoms (at the time of invading) or the Host to earn a Vertebra Shackle. If the Host has zero phantoms summoned at the time of invading, and the Host summons a phantom after you've entered his/her world, you may choose to kill the summoned phantom or the Host for a Vertebra Shackle.
• Warriors of Sunlight: Yes, even Sunbro's can be invaders apparently. Their "leader" is the broken statue of Gwyn's Firstborn found in Lothric Castle. Their covenant item is the Sun Medallion. Invading Sunbro's act much like Rosaria's Fingers in that they need only kill a Host to obtain a Sun Medallion. Solaire would be disgraced.
NOTE: Using a Red Eye Orb while any of the Auto-Summon covenant emblems are equipped will default in you invading as a Rosaria's Finger. This same rule is applied to the only non-summoning covenant, Way of Blue, as well.

Knowing your Opponent

When you're invading, it's important to know who you'll be invading. Thanks to how invasions work, we can actually predict how powerful our opponents will be within a set range of our own SL. There are a few equations we need to examine to determine where our SL range will be. For the following equations, C represents the Invader's level (your level, essentially) and E represents the Host's level (the poor sap).
1. For invading as a Dark Spirit, the equation is: Max SL Host; C + 20 + (C x 0.1), Min SL Host; C - (C x 0.1)
2. For invading as a Mound Maker, the equation is: Max SL Host; C + 20 + (C x 0.15), Min SL Host; C - (C x 0.1)
3. For invading in Auto-Summon Covenants, the equation is: Max SL Invader; E + (E x 0.1), Min SL Invader; E - 20 - (E x 0.2)
The Auto-Summon formula is a bit different, as it takes into account the Host's Soul Level to determine matchmaking first, rather than the Watchdog's or Aldrich Faithful's. Think of this as a kind of "reverse invading" where the Hosts are invading the Watchdog's world, for instance. For example, Hosts moving through the Crucifixion Woods at SL40 will experience Watchdog invaders who are between SL28 and SL44 based on the formula above.
From these equations we can find a good SL range we want to invade in depending on the Covenant of our choice. For all the covenants, you will be more often than not invading players with a higher Soul Level than you. It would seem, though, that the Auto-Summon covenants have it the worst.
In addition to the SL range, there is also Weapon Upgrade Level (WUL) range that works in tandem with SL range. WUL range is a range based on the highest Upgrade Level of a weapon your character owns. It is not limited to weapons in your inventory or that you have equipped. This means it doesn't matter if you have a +2 weapon currently equipped, your range is based on that +3 weapon in your inventory since it's the highest.
WUL ranges vary depending on what level your weapon is at. From 0 to +4, you can match with someone who is between -2 and +2 of your WUL. From +5 to +7, you can match with someone who is between -2 and +3 of your WUL, and from +8 to +10 you can match with someone who is -3 to +2 of your WUL. As a side-note, keeping this in mind having a +7 weapon puts you at a disadvantage against most players in that range, as the range would be exactly the same as if you had a +8 weapon.
If you want to read more on SL and WUL range, this post has a more in-depth explanation of the concepts above.
Why does all this matter? Well, you wouldn't want to run into an invasion expecting everyone to be on equal footing as you, just to be slapped with 400 damage from some guy's Claymore, would you? It's important that you learn to manipulate your SL and WUL ranges to put those odds better in your favor. For example, if you don't want to deal with +5 weapons when you're, say, SL30, don't upgrade your weapon past +2. This way, you'll take less damage from your opponents attacks, thereby mitigating the amount of estus you'll be likely to use during the fight.
NOTE: Rings from higher NG cycles do not affect WUL range. You can have a Chloranthy Ring +2 without upgrading any of your weapons and your WUL range will be un-upgraded to +2 weapons.
NOTE: If you're having troubles with a particular host (say, you keep invading the same gank squad for example) this is likely because that host has used a Dried Finger in their world. Dried Fingers put the hosts world on a higher priority for invasions when used in exchange for allowing more phantom summons and more invaders into their world. Many people try to use this mechanic to lock invaders into invading their world more often than not so they can ambush the invader.
If you find yourself invading the same gank squad over and over and do not wish to invade that person anymore, blocking communications with them on Steam/PSN/Xbox Live should prevent you from interacting with them in multiplayer as well. This should allow you to invade other players as normal.

I have confirmed as of 10/5/2016 that the above method to avoid re-matching with certain players in PvP does in fact work on Steam.

Your build and You

Now that we've established the importance of SL range and WUL range, we can start thinking about our builds. Just like all games, if you want to be as successful as possible in invasions you'll want to optimize your build for the SL and WUL range of your choice.
Now, when it comes to actually building a character, the sky's the limit for most SL and WUL ranges. Invasion builds aren't as restricting as Duel builds, as most Duel builds are in the SL120 range, where Quality is the dominant build and even the slightest mistakes can cost you the match. Invading can be a lot more forgiving, unless you want to invade near the dueling meta.
Before you actually start your build, though, you want to plan it out. Here are some things to keep in mind during this planning phase:
1. What SL and WUL range do you want to invade at?
2. What is your preferred play-style? Do you like melee? Do you prefer faster or slower weapons? Are you reactive or aggressive? etc.
3. What weapons do you like or want to use? (It's important to note I said weapons and not weapon. More on that further down.)
4. What area will you be invading in? Are there any parts of that environment you could use to your advantage (i.e. mob spawns, cliffs, etc)?
5. What kind of consumable items will you bring?
It's important to consider these things while planning out your build. SL and WUL range gives us a goal to work towards. Analyzing how you like to play can give us some insight to what you're comfortable doing, and to what you need to avoid doing too often during the invasion. Knowing where you want to invade can help when you need to take advantage of the environment to gain the upper hand in an invasion. Knowing what consumables you want to take can also bolster your advantage in the invasion.
Weapon preference is especially important to take note of. If you're like me, you probably used a single weapon for a long time during PvE (or PvP duels) and are simply the master with it. Well, that's not going to fly in an invasion. You need to have at least one backup weapon. The last thing you want to be in an invasion is a one-trick pony.
If you're not sure what kind of weapon you want as a backup, a general rule of thumb is to pick a weapon that off-sets your preferred weapon's disadvantages. For example; your main weapon is the Claymore. It has a relatively slow attack speed and can be parried on every attack. Ignoring stats and optimal scaling for now, a possible backup weapon would be something like the Sellsword Twinblades, which have medium-fast attacks and an un-parriable L2 attack.
Now, with all of these things considered, let's walk through a build that I use to invade.

My Own Invader Analysis

I want to invade as a Watchdog of Farron to get the covenant rewards. This means I'll likely want to stay in a SL and WUL range that's plausible for the Farron area. Typically, the SL and WUL range for the Farron area (Crucifixion Woods, Cathedral of the Deep, Farron Swamp) is between SL20 un-upgraded to SL50 +5. That being the case, the optimal SL and WUL to invade people at here would be SL30 +2. It gives me the lowest possible enemy levels to fight with while giving me enough breathing room to really flesh out a build.
Now, my play-style is kind of a mix between passive and aggressive. I generally try not to stick to either side for too long. Other than that, I usually use melee weapons with no real preference for a particular weapon.
This being the case, it's probably best that I have weapons that can be both passive and aggressive depending on the situation. I personally chose the Exile Greatsword and Sellsword Twinblades. Both weapons can be obtained by naturally running through the Crucifixion Woods, and they off-set each others' weaknesses really well while both being DEX weapons. My actual stat investments would primarily be DEX with enough VIG to get 800 HP. That, coupled with 101 flat defense and 20% physical absorption would give me a good amount of survivability when trying to Hyper Armor through opponents' attacks.
As for ring choice, I chose rings that would benefit my survivability the most, since I have very limited estus this early in the game (naturally, anyway). I use the Estus Ring for better recovery (heals nearly 500 HP with +2 Estus Flasks), Chloranthy Ring for better stamina management, Life Ring for a little extra HP, and Havel's Ring so I can use my gear without any VIT investment (as the Exile Greatsword is friggin' heavy).
As for the area I wanted to invade, I already knew Crucifixion Woods like the back of my hand. Because I know the map inside and out, picking my consumables was easy. I used Green Blossoms for better stamina regen, Poison Pine Resin in case Hosts try to escape to the Poison swamp, Throwing Knives for a finishing blow if necessary, and Firebombs for some distance pressure.
I encourage anyone who wants to invade to go through a similar process to what I listed here. I guarantee you'll see more success by following that procedure.

The Three Cardinal Rules of Invasions

Below are the three rules you absolutely must adhere to when invading if you want to increase your chances at success. These relate to some of the things we've already gone over above, so think of this as a simplified guideline to invasions.
1. Come to an invasion prepared. I cannot stress this one enough. Being in a comfortable SL range, as well as having appropriate rings and stat investment are vital if you want to be successful in invasions. Also, a lot of people seem to completely disregard all the useful consumable items in the game for no good reason. Things such as Green Blossoms, Resins (including Poison Pine Resin), Undead Hunter Charms, etc. All of these consumable items can give invaders a much needed edge during an invasion and should never be overlooked.
2. Know where you're invading, in and out. I recommend killing every mob in the area you plan to invade in to get a good grasp of where everything is laid out. You should be familiar with every mob spawn location (and preferably item locations, as well) to be prepared to utilize/avoid mobs during your invasion. In addition to gaining a better understand of the level design, clearing the map makes it easier to obtain your souls for when you inevitably die during your first few invasions.
3. Focus more on not being hit than hitting the other guys. This is the one rule that I hope everyone takes with them from this post. Your goal as an invader is to kill the Host, however you won't be killing anything if you end up dead first. Especially when fighting multiple opponents, don't overextend. Look carefully for safe openings and exploit them. If your opponents aren't giving you any safe openings, then either wait a little longer while dodging their attacks or back off and get into a better position where your opponents open up their "formation" a bit more. Your invasion will last a long time, but you have a much higher chance of success if you can get any sort of damage on your opponents without taking some yourself.


So, you're all probably thinking "wait, Regis, we never asked for an in-depth dueling guide. Why are you making a guide for something everyone's pretty familiar with at this point in the game's life cycle?" Well, inquisitive readers, the answer is simple: I like helping people, and even if there is a majority in the community that knows what dueling is there are still a minority that do not.
I am here to help that minority with some starting tips and information on Dueling, the Soul Level Metas (SLM), and much more. So, to those of you who are new to Dark Souls, welcome and I hope you find this guide on PvP Dueling in Dark Souls III helpful!

Understanding the Meta

For those of you who are new to a multiplayer community, it is important to know what the term "Meta" means in a player-to-player gaming context.
"Meta," in the context of gaming, means: the widespread use of a strategy/tactic, including but not limited to item use, character statistics, weapon choice, etc. For example; the current Meta build in Dark Souls III is the "Quality Build," whereby users allocate the majority of their stat points into STR and DEX to make optimal use of weapons infused with a Refined Infusion Gem.
Meta can be applied to a variety of in-game concepts, then, to denote things that are commonly accepted or used by the community at large. There are meta ranges for Soul Level (for matchmaking purposes) known as the Soul Level Metas (SLM), there are meta weapons such as the Carthus Curved Sword or Washing Pole, and there are even meta builds such as Quality or Melee/Pyromancer.
Soul Level Metas
It's important to know what the current SLM's are in order to prepare yourself for Dueling. Knowing what SLM you want to participate in will make your character creation process much easier and may also provide insight to what other people are using in their SLM. Each SLM is different based on what weapons/builds are more commonly used in each.
• SLM120: The primary Dueling meta currently in Dark Souls III. This meta was established near the beginning of the game's life cycle, and as such has come under a recent debate of whether this level of dueling is healthy for the game's multiplayer. The majority of builds you will see playing in this meta are "Quality," "DMB Spellsword," "Bleed" and "Melee/Pyromancer."
• SLM80: One of the secondary metas in Dark Souls III. SLM80 is typically not as populated as SLM120, however there is still a large community of Duelists who play in this range. This is also near the end range of the Invasion SLM, so building a multipurpose character is a bit easier if you don't only participate in dueling. There are a wide range of builds in this SLM, and it's difficult for me to determine what is played more, however there do seem to be many players with "Bleed" based builds, scaled lower to fit the meta.
• SLM150: The other secondary dueling meta. As far as I'm aware, there are less people populating this range than SLM80 due to the heavy soul investment for reaching this level, coupled with the fact that the majority of the community have stayed at SLM120. There is still action here, however it is scarce. I'm not fully aware if there's an established meta build in SLM150, however from my limited experience here I think it's safe to say "Quality" and "Quality/DMB" are the most prevalent.
• SLM200+: This is a sort of tertiary meta for Dark Souls III. I haven't yet competed in this meta myself and am only aware of other people who have claimed to compete here. From what those people have mentioned, matchmaking here is about the same as SLM150. Since I lack any firsthand experience with this meta, I cannot say what builds are most prevalent. If you plan on dueling in this meta, you'll be mostly flying blind.

Set Your Signs to "Summon"

Duels in Dark Souls III are initiated by one player (the Host) activating the Red Summon Sign, created by another player using the "Red Sign Soapstone" in an area that permits its use, to summon a player into their world. Players can obtain a Red Sign Soapstone from the non-hostile Man-Grub outside of Rosaria's Bed Chamber in the Cathedral of the Deep.
Once a player has set their red sign down in an area, they must wait for a Host to summon them to their world to fight. When summoned via red sign, you retain your Embered status and its bonus to HP unlike when invading.
You can be summoned via red sign as the following Covenants, and also earn that covenant's items by accomplishing the covenant's win condition:
• Rosaria's Finger
• Mound-Maker
• Warrior of Sunlight
For more general information on Covenants, I recommend reading the Selling Your Soul to an (Essentially) Lifeless Husk section in my Invading: For Dummies guide. Keep in mind that summoning conditions for red summon signs are not the same as summoning conditions for invading. This is typically irrelevant in the context of dueling, however, as you will typically be sticking to a SLM.

Location, Location, Location
In addition to SLM's, there are particular areas in which people lay down their summon signs in order to duel. The main area that people lay their challenge signs down is the "Pontiff Courtyard," or the area just after the Pontiff Sulyvhan boss arena. There are other locales that people set their signs down at, such as the "High Wall of Lothric Bonfire," however the general consensus is that there aren't very many areas in the game tailored for dueling.
I encourage players, though, to organize duel zones apart from these areas from time-to-time. Doing so could provide a very entertaining fight. Imagine dueling amidst the trees in the Crucifixion Woods, for example. There are plenty of interesting areas to fight in, however for most "serious" dueling it's better to stay in either the High Wall area or the Pontiff area.
NOTE: If you are summoned to a fight club (where a Host has used a Dried Finger to open up their world for multiple people to fight in) and are spectating other fighters, try and keep a reasonable distance from the battle. Certain target-based attacks as well as the lock-on system can be disrupted by the presence of other players in the vicinity, thereby being able to really screw with a duel in progress. Keep a distance of at least 10 paces from the fighting area at all times.

Dueling Etiquette

Unlike during an invasion, duels are honor-bound challenges between two (or sometimes more, see further down) players. This being the case, it's not very fun if your opponent decides to summon you into a gank squad or something, so the Souls community decided to agree upon some "unspoken rules" for duelists to follow in order to make dueling PvP a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
The following are the generally accepted etiquette for dueling:
• No using Estus, or other healing items such as Divine Blessings, during a match. An exception to this rule is the use of healing or healing-over-time miracles such as "Bountiful Sunlight."
• The use of Ashen Estus Flasks to restore FP is acceptable.
• The match begins after both players have gestured to each other. Attacking your opponent before or during a gesture is looked down upon.
• Any type of buffing may take place before the beginning gesture. This is a free period to allow players whose builds may rely on buffs to start at 100% efficiency. Duel Charming or attacking people during this buff period or during opening gestures is looked down upon. Note that "Ready Spells" such as Affinity or Homing Soulmass do not count as buffs but as attacks. If you try readying these spells during the Buff Period, be ready to be attacked by your opponent.
• The use of consumable items such as Throwing Knives, Kukri, Firebombs, etc. is acceptable. Other consumables, such as the Moss Clumps, may also be used. Green Blossoms are considered buffs, and are allowed to be used during the Buff Period.
• After the duel has officially begun, you are not obligated to allow your opponents time to re-apply buffs like in the Buff Period. You are also not obligated to allow your opponents time to cast healing miracles or use Ashen Estus.
• If a player gestures their surrender (via non-challenging gestures such as "Curl Up") the opponent must cease attacking and acknowledge their surrender. Not doing so is looked down upon. Gesturing a surrender and then attacking the opponent is also looked down upon. If you gesture a surrender, you may either indicate that you would like a rematch (by drinking Estus to recover health typically) or remove yourself from your opponent's world (via Black Crystal, jumping off a cliff or, my personal favorite, harakiri via Bloodlust).
• If you are summoned to a fight club, do not attack anyone until you are challenged directly by a player or another player acknowledges your challenge. Doing so will typically result in the entire fight club ganking you.
• If your opponent gestures that they want a 2v2, 2v1, 1v2, etc. duel you may choose to accept their suggestion by gesturing back or reject it by removing yourself from their world. In multiple opponent situations etiquette remains the same.
It is highly recommended that everyone participating in duels follows these rules of etiquette to make dueling PvP a more enjoyable experience for everyone. However, these rules cannot be reliably upheld by any enforcement within the game and as such do not need to be followed. If you don't care about the consequences (of which there are not many), you may choose to completely ignore dueling etiquette.
But seriously, please use proper etiquette…

Building Your Character

Building your character for dueling goes through a much different process than building an invasion character (for those who have read my Invasions: For Dummies guide). You do not need to plan for limited Estus use or surviving a war of attrition. Instead, building a Dueling character is much more simplified.

Consider This, First
The first thing you should consider before making your build is "what SLM do I want to compete in?" SLM's are treated kind of like weight classes in Dark Souls III. Depending on the SLM you choose to compete in, you may want to adjust your build so you're not at a disadvantage against the current meta builds in that SLM.
So, before planning your character choose a SLM you would like to participate in. Remember, you're not locked into a single SLM. I would encourage people to create characters for each SLM, personally, however I know doing such a thing requires a lot of time investment.
Starting Your Build
This part may be somewhat similar to the build section in Invasions: For Dummies since we're doing some of the same stuff.
Taking into consideration the SLM you wish to participate in, keep in mind about what builds you'll be fighting most of the time and see if you can't make small adjustments to fight those builds more effectively. Don't try and make a character specifically to fight the meta in your chosen SLM, though. You will have more trouble trying to do this than building a character you like.
Keeping the current meta in mind, though, your next step is to analyze aspects about yourself to apply to your character:
• What play-style do you like? Are you an aggressive or passive player? Maybe a little of both?
• What weapon(s) do you like or want to use?
• What type of build do you want to use? DEX based? STR based? Miracles? Sorceries?
And of course, the most important thing to consider when creating a duelist character:
What will your character look like?
After taking the time to answer the questions above to the best of your ability you can start the in-depth planning of your build.

Stat Allocation
Typically you'll want your stat allocation to fall inside your preferred play-style and build as well as the SLM you're planning to fight in. So, if you like using heavy weapons such as Greatswords or Greataxes, perhaps a STR oriented build would suit you best. If this is the case, you would be making a heavy investment in STR, and perhaps an equal investment in VIG to take advantage of the Hyper Armor on heavy weapons. Remember to keep your total stat investment at least somewhat close to the Soul Level of your chosen SLM.
Another important thing to remember for allocating stats is to start building from a Class that has investments in the stats you want already. So, if you want to build a (typically any form of) Pyromancer you'll usually want to start with the Pyromancer class since it has a very high investment in both INT and FTH. Sometimes choosing your starting Class isn't so black and white, however, as depending on the SLM you're participating in it could be more efficient to start with a Knight for that "Spellsword" build you're making instead of something more obvious like the Cleric. Always use the Mugenmonkey Class Optimizer and character planner (their site can be found in the sidebar of this sub) to determine the most efficient way to build your character.
In addition, stat allocation should follow the theme of your build as closely as possible. Spreading your stats out in too many places may result in a "Sub-Optimal Build," or a build that doesn't fulfill its intended purpose optimally. An example of such a build could be a Pyromancer who has 20/20/20/20 STR/DEX/INT/FTH. This person has clearly attempted to create a Melee/Pyromancer, but has spread their stats too thinly across all the primary damage stats. This person wouldn't be able to use their melee weapons or their Pyromancy spells optimally, and have therefore created a Sub-Optimal build.
It is very easy to avoid creating Sub-Optimal builds. All one must do is remember to have a specific goal in mind, or an intended purpose for your build. If you're making a Melee/Pyromancer like the person above, for example, you will still need to determine which takes precedence: Melee attacks or Pyromancy spells. Even if the build is meant to be hybridized, you will still have to focus on one aspect more than the other when building your character. The aspect that you choose not to focus on as much then becomes your supporting aspect and should be built up specifically to support your primary aspect.
An Optimal Melee/Pyromancer would likely have a 30/30 investment in INT/FTH so their Pyromancy spells still hit pretty hard, and then they would have a STR or DEX based weapon as their supporting aspect, making a moderate investment in either STR or DEX. Investing in both is typically not optimal since you already have a hefty investment in your INT/FTH. However, it is possible to invest in higher STR or DEX for this particular build by sacrificing VIG, END or ATT, but doing this is not recommended as your build will still become either Sub-Optimal or become a "Glass Cannon" type build, which not many people can manage well. A good rule of thumb to avoid Sub-Optimal building is "There are no Jacks-of-all-trades in Dark Souls III."
Weapon Choice
This is also largely dependent on the type of build you are trying to create, as well as your play-style and the SLM you wish to compete in. If you want a STR build, heavy weapons are typically best to use. If you like DEX, perhaps you'll like some of the twin weapons like the Sellsword Twinblades. Is INT your thing? Well, you might be able to make Sorcery work for you (and if not there are INT scaling melee weapons, too). Or perhaps you like FTH? Hurling lightning and/or healing yourself constantly could be up your alley.
Weapon choice is largely up to personal preference, but there is something to be said about weapon comparison in Dark Souls III. In a way, Dark Souls III acts sort of like a large game of rock-paper-scissors in regards to weapon balance. Some players will have a much easier time fighting opponents with certain weapons than others, and this is due to the fact that some weapons have objective advantages over others.
Spears, for example, are typically easier to use against short weapons like Daggers or Hammers. Ultra-Greatswords are usually better used against quick weapons that deal low-moderate damage per hit, as their Hyper Armor allows them to trade blows with tinier weapons. Typically you'll find that most weapons have an objective weakness or resistance to others based on their mechanics. It's important to remember this so you know when you're going to have to play extra cautiously against particular weapons.
However, in some instances you will find some weapons that have more objectively defined resistances than weaknesses to other weapons. These weapons are generally considered "Overpowered" by the community and can cause serious problems for multiplayer matches. Currently the Carthus Curved Sword (CCS) stands at the top of the list of these "Overpowered" weapons as it has too many objective advantages when fighting against a variety of other weapons. In the majority of match-ups, even against weapons that should logically have a bigger advantage (such as Spears) the CCS will give the player using it an advantage over the player who isn't using it.
I personally recommend that if you're starting out dueling and choose the SLM120 to participate in that you should be extra cautious of players using the below weapons:
• Carthus Curved Sword
• Gotthards Twinswords
• Washing Pole
• Sellsword Twinblades (usually only if you see them buff with Darkmoon Blade, otherwise you should be fine)
• Astora Greatsword (Currently overpowered because of a "broken" rolling attack mechanic specific to this weapon)
These weapons are heavily established as the current meta weapons in SLM120, so you will likely see people using them more so than other weapons.
When selecting your weapon be sure it's a weapon you are/can be comfortable using for your build and think about perhaps incorporating a back-up weapon or two in case you need to switch up your attack strategy a little bit during your duel. You'd be surprised how well carrying a pocket Yhorm's Great Machete can benefit you if you're using a Dark Sword. Carrying back-up weapons can also help if you find yourself matched against your weapon's natural enemy, too.
An Example Build Process
Let's say I want to participate in SLM80 duels. Knowing SLM80, I could use a variety of builds with effective results without having to worry about countering the meta builds found in SLM80. This being the case I'll have a bit more freedom when crafting my build.
I'm typically a mix between passive and aggressive play-styles, switching between both quite frequently as the situation dictates. I'm not partial to any weapons in particular, but for this build I'll be looking at the Greatsword class as well as Sorcery catalysts. After all, in the SLM80 a variety of builds can be used more effectively than in higher SLM's due to a lack of extreme stat investment capability and low base defenses.
The type of build that would best fit Sorcery is something INT based, however since I'm branching out to Greatswords for a melee weapon I would be best off finding a way to split my investment in STR and INT while maintaining a decent damage with both weapon categories. This build, then, could be regarded as a "STR/INT Battle Mage." I would use the Sorceries to support my melee attacks and take advantage of the Greatsword class's ability to Hyper Armor through some attacks. This build has a strong blend of passive and aggressive capability; It's perfect for the type of player I am.
So, I now know what type of build I want to make and have a rough idea of how I might use it, I need to choose my weapon and catalyst. For this build, I chose the Court Sorcerer Staff as my catalyst because it has the best scaling among all the other staves in the game for INT. For my Greatsword, I chose the Greatsword of Judgement because it too has a decent INT scaling, as well as a decent STR scaling. Plus, the Greatsword of Judgement has an excellent self-buff that can really dish out some damage in SLM80.
With these things in mind, my stat allocation would look something like this:
Starting Class: Knight

VIG: 25
ATT: 18
END: 20
VIT: 15
STR: 25
DEX: 15
INT: 35
FTH: 9
LCK: 7
Ring selection would offset some of the obvious disadvantages, such as low ATT (since Greatsword of Judgement's Weapon Art costs A LOT of ATT, using the Farron Ring may be an option here), low VIG, low END (could also consider bringing Green Blossoms for better stamina recovery), etc. This build, though, can dish out just over 600 AR on a SL80 character, which is absolutely absurd. It is kind of glass cannon-y, but since we're in SLM80 we can make up for the lack of HP with a Life Ring +1, giving us just over 1300 embered HP, which is pretty good for SLM80 fighting. It gives me just enough HP to make use of my Greatsword's Hyper Armor, too.
Since the Greatsword of Judgement isn't a dual weapon, it can benefit from the 1.5x STR multiplier when I'm two-handing it, meaning instead of 25 STR, I actually have 37 STR. Since this was the case, I invested a bit more into INT to try and get as much out of my sorceries as possible while not over-investing and making the build Sub-Optimal. After all, the Sorcery spells are here to support my Greatsword, not stand on equal footing with it. This build has taken full advantage of the stats I'm allowed and because of that I can call it an Optimized build.
Hopefully this process has served as a good example of how you may build a character for your preferred SLM. Remember, building will vary between SLM's. This build is typically only effective in an SLM80 environment. You will have to tailor your build somewhat to compete in the SLM of your choosing.

PARRYING IS NOT A WEAPON. Do not become a parry-happy spammer and rely on parries to do all of your damage because this will get you killed very quickly. Parries are a punish tool for opponents that spam, are easy to read, or are using easily parried weapons. Let’s break parrying into three types: prediction, reaction, and setup parries.
Prediction parries are exactly how it sounds, predicting when your opponent will attack and throwing out a parry in advance. These are most common These parries should be attempted when you can read your opponent and they play very regularly (i.e. always throw out an r1 after rolling toward you).
Reaction parries are the hardest parries to land, depending on the weapon you are fighting. Reaction parrying is seeing your opponent start to swing, and throwing out a parry in time to land it on them. This type of parrying can only be done on certain weapons that have a long enough wind-up to be able to react in time. The easiest weapons that I have found to reaction parry against are the great lance, one-handed ultra greatswords, one-handed great hammers, and one handed greataxes.
Set-up parries are the easiest to land, as long as you aren't playing against a very skilled player. Setup parrying is eating a couple hits, and throwing out a parry as soon as you are no longer stunlocked to catch their next r1 attack. These work best on straight sword r1 spammers as it is a bulletproof method to punish their spam. Like reaction parries, these can only be done on certain weapons. Straight swords, spears, and I believe curved swords can be setup parried on the third r1. NEVER swing three times with any of these weapon classes against someone if they have a parry tool out.
If, while learning to parry, your shield or caestus gets hit but you don't land the parry, this is known as a partial. In this case, you were very close to landing the parry, but the timing was slightly off. You don't take full damage from the attack, but your stamina gets drained.
When it comes to PvP (or invaders and NPCs) you obviously cannot parry every single attack that your enemy does. To start, ALL jumping attacks cannot be parried. Whips cannot be parried. Two-handed ultra greatswords, great hammers, and greataxes (r1s and r2s) cannot be parried. Two-handed curved greatsword (r2s) cannot be parried. All rolling and running attacks can be parried (and are quite easy to parry). Every other regular moveset can be parried.
It is good to note that PvE parrying is not the same as PvP parrying. Due to latency, a PvP parry must be slightly sooner than one that would land on PvE.


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