Best Mage builds in Elden Ring

Making Sir Gideon Ofnir proud, one spell at a time.

Magic is one of the best damage sources in Elden Ring. As of recent patches, sorcery was buffed even further overall, making any magic builds quite powerful all the way up to the end-game.

Magic can be classified into two types:

  • Sorceries, which primarily scale off Intelligence
  • Incantations, which primarily scale off Faith

For a Mage build to work, players need to use either staves or sacred seals to be able to run Intelligence and Faith builds respectively. Most builds can focus on multiple stats at a time, and while they have their place, they do not entirely bring out the full potential of a pure Mage.

As such, we will be listing the best Mage builds below, some of them scaling off Intelligence with the others scaling off Faith. These builds will include weapons as well as armor and talismans that synergize perfectly off the chosen primary stats in the build.

Without further ado, here are the best Intelligence-based Mage builds:

Intelligence Builds

1)  Moonveil Samurai Build

Video via Fextralife

Despite being an Intelligence build, the Moonveil Samurai is based on its namesake Moonveil katana, dealing tons of magic damage with its Transient Moonlight skill.

  • Recommended Level: 50
  • Primary Stats: Intelligence, Vigor
  • Secondary Stats: Dexterity
  • Weapons: Moonveil
  • Armor: Land of Reeds Set
  • Talismans: Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger, Carian Filigreed Crest, Radagon Icon
  • Weapon Skills: Transient Moonlight
  • Spells: Loretta’s Greatbow, Glintstone Pebble, Carian Greatsword

With a primary focus on Intelligence, this build involves players spamming Transient Moonlight with their heavy attack, thus causing repeated stagger and allowing players to land a critical hit on enemies.

For enemies that tend to stay at long range, Lorettas Greatbow is perfect for sniping them at a distance. As they come closer, spamming Glintstone Pebble during their approach will whittle their HP pools down slowly but surely.

Finally, the Carian Greatsword is great for taking out grouped clusters of enemies at once.

2) Cold Blooded Raptor Build

Video via Fextralife

This build is a combination of Intelligence and Strength, relying not only on magic but also procs from status effects like Frostbite and Bleed.

  • Recommended Level: 100
  • Primary Stats: Strength, Intelligence
  • Secondary Stats: Vigor, Mind
  • Weapons: Bloodhound Claws, Sacrificial Axe
  • Armor: Raptor’s Black Feathers, Haima Glintstone Crown, maintain medium equip load
  • Talismans: Lord of Blood’s Exultation, Claw Talisman, Green Turtle Talisman, Winged Sword Insignia
  • Weapon Skills: Royal Knight’s Resolve, Golden Vow
  • Spells: Great Glintstone Shard, Loretta’s Greatbow, Terra Magica, Adula’s Moonblade, Greatblade Phalanx

The strength of this build lies in dual-wielding the Bloodhound Claws and buffing them up with Royal Knights Resolve to boost damage while holding the Sacrificial Axe in the other hand to gain 4FP per kill.

Using these weapons and abilities will proc both Frostbite and Bleed on every hit, leading to taking chunks out of major enemies HP pool, including end-game bosses.

3) Freezing Battlemage Build

Video via Fextralife

A pure Intelligence build that focuses entirely on sorcery to blast its way through swathes of enemies, leaving destruction in its wake with blasts of Glintstone and Frost magic.

  • Recommended Level: 150
  • Primary Stats: Intelligence
  • Secondary Stats: Mind, Vigor
  • Weapons: Lusat’s Glintstone Staff, Carian Glintstone Staff, Jellyfish Shield
  • Armor: Snow Witch Hat, maintain medium equip load
  • Talismans: Graven-School Talisman, Graven-Mass Talisman, Magic Scorpion Charm, Ritual Sword Talisman
  • Weapon Skills: Contagious Fury
  • Spells: Carian Slicer, Adula’s Moonblade, Carian Piercer, Glintstone Icecrag, Freezing Mist

The builds strength works by spamming Carian Slicer as much as possible. If the enemies are numerous, Adulas Moonblade is the best option to deal with them. The Snow Witch Hat increases all frost spell damage by 10 percent, further increasing the damage output of this build.

The Jellyfish Shields Contagious Fury just further adds to the power of this build, with Carian Piercer being strong against most invaders and Glinstone Icecrag being the best ranged option this build has. Freezing Mist is great against enemies that do not move too much, in order to proc Frostbite rapidly.

Equally as strong as Intelligence builds, here are the best Faith-based Mage builds:

Faith Builds

1) Blackflame Apostle Build

Video via Fextralife

This build uses a combination of Faith and Dexterity, using various buffs and the Bleed effect to take down high HP foes quickly.

  • Recommended Level: 50
  • Primary Stats: Faith, Mind
  • Secondary Stats: Vigor, Dexterity
  • Weapons: Any Bleed-based weapon like Uchigatana, Nightrider Flail, Bloodhound’s Fang, Godslayer’s Seal
  • Armor: Any, maintain medium equip load
  • Talismans: Any
  • Weapon Skills: Bloody Slash, Unsheathe
  • Spells: Black Flame, Black Flame Blade, Catch Flame, Bloodflame Blade

The strength of this build lies in using a seal to buff any of the weapons mentioned above with Black Flame Blade or Bloodflame Blade, each having its own benefits.

Bloodflame Blade increases the chance of Bleed procs on the target, leading to rapid blood-loss buildup over time. Black Flame Blade is great to use against targets not affected by Bleed since the Black Flame effects end up doing damage over time to the targets max HP.

As far as the other spells go, Catch Flame is a great choice for a melee range burst of fire damage while Black Flame is great against enemies that maintain a distance from the player.

2) Hellfire Herald Build

Video via Fextralife

Utilizing both fire and holy damage, this dual-wielding Greatsword build deals massive damage with its large swings and jump-based attacks.

  • Recommended Level: 100
  • Primary Stats: Faith, Vigor
  • Secondary Stats: Endurance
  • Weapons: 2x Iron Greatsword
  • Armor: Raptors Black Feathers, maintain medium equip load
  • Talismans: Claw Talisman
  • Weapon Skills: Royal Knights Resolve
  • Spells: Golden Vow, Flame, Grant Me Strength, Blessing’s Boon

The strength of this build lies in buffing both Iron Greatswords with Royal Knights Resolve, which sets them both with Flame Art or Sacred depending on the enemies fought.

The majority of the damage dealt is via jump attacks that are further boosted by the Claw Talisman and the Raptors Black Feathers, while Golden Vow increases both attack damage and defenses. Flame, Grant Me Strength further increases damage output by buffing all fire and physical damage dealt.

With Blessings Boon keeping the player alive through most skirmishes, this build should sustain the player well into the end-game.

3) Crusader Build

Video via Fextralife

A perfect end-game hybrid build that utilizes the full potential of Faith while mixing it up with Block Counters to demolish just about any enemy at this stage of the game.

  • Recommended Level: 150
  • Primary Stats: Faith, Vigor
  • Secondary Stats: Mind
  • Weapons: Gargoyle’s Greatsword, Erdtree Seal, Brass Shield
  • Armor: Haligtree Knights Helm, maintain medium equip load
  • Talismans: Curved Sword Talisman, Flock’s Canvas Talisman, Shard of Alexander, Sacred Scorpion Charm/Fire Scorpion Charm
  • Weapon Skills: Barricade Shield, Sword Dance
  • Spells: Golden Vow, Blessing of the Erdtree, Elden Stars, Lightning Spear, Black Flame, Black Blade, Black Flame’s Protection

Starting off with Golden Vow to buff this already powerful build sends its damage output to the pinnacle of what Faith builds can accomplish, buffing both attack and defense.

This build involves baiting enemies attacks while retaliating with Sword Dance and Block Counters after absorbing hits with the Brass Shield. Barricade Shield further boosts defense, especially against stronger enemies and bosses.

Gargoyles Greatsword is essential to this build due to it being the only Greatsword with a B scaling in Faith that also allows for swapping out its weapon skill. Due to this, other Ashes of War can be applied to this weapon depending on the situation and the types of enemies encountered.

As far as spellcasting goes, there are a lot of choices available. Elden Stars is fantastic with the high Faith scaling of this build, especially for starting boss fights before drawing in the boss aggro. Following this initial burst with Lightning Spear ensures a consistent barrage of damage. Once the enemies get closer, switching to Black Flame will further maintain the aggression and even eliminate most threats by this point, save for the strongest of enemies and the bosses themselves.

Adding Black Blade to the build also makes it an amazing boss killer as well, reducing the overall max HP by 10 percent, while Black Flames Protection allows players to tank through their damage due to the physical damage negation aspect.

Special Mention

Elementalist Build

Video via Fextralife

This build is a combination of Intelligence and Faith, using both stats to their fullest potential to unleash a barrage of the best Sorceries and Incantations.

  • Recommended Level: 150
  • Primary Stats: Intelligence, Faith
  • Secondary Stats: Vigor, Mind
  • Weapons: Prince of Deaths Staff, Golden Order Seal
  • Armor: Any, maintain medium equip load
  • Talismans: Green Turtle Talisman, Marika’s Soreseal, Ritual Sword Talisman, Primal Glintstone Blade
  • Weapon Skills: None
  • Spells: Stone of Gurranq, Lightning Spear, Black Flame, Catch Flame, Great Glintstone Shard, Triple Rings of Light, Golden Vow

The optimal way to make this build work is to use the seal to cast Golden Vow, increasing both spell damage and resistances, then using the staff to deal damage using an ideal spell from the repertoire for each occasion.

Being an Elementalist, this build provides access to most damage types:

  • Stone of Gurranq for physical damage
  • Black Fame for fire damage
  • Lightning Spear for lightning damage
  • Great Glintstone Shard for raw magic damage
  • Triple Rings of Light for holy damage

Different enemies are weak to different types of damage and this build should be able to handle just about anything the game throws at the player!

Choosing a build is up to player preference. None of these builds are stronger or weaker than the other: everything is left up to whatever suits the player at that level range and specific point in time.

All credits for the builds go to the minds at Fextralife.

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