Ashes of War changes the way how weapons work in Elden Ring and how devastating they can become.
Weapons in Elden Ring introduces a different way to empower your weapons, from how it was in Dark Souls. While earlier FromSoftware titles used the old-fashioned way of using different materials to upgrade weapons, Elden Ring uses Ashes of War.
Ashes of War are special abilities for your weapons that grant significant stat boost as well as unlock special moves and skills. In fact, some are so strong that it makes boss battles a walk in the park. There are quite a number of Ashes of War in Elden Ring, each with its unique advantages. This is one of the most defining gameplay mechanics of Elden Ring, and any player should experiment on their own to enjoy this game to the fullest and find the perfect build for their character.
After the first use, you will not be able to stop looking for more of these special abilities. Initially, you will only find Ashes of War that raise stats like Strength and Dexterity. As you progress, you’ll get more epic and stronger ones, such as letting you perform potent attacks, boost attack power, Magic, etc.
On the other hand, Ashes of War are rather hard to find and not universally usable. This means that each Ash of War can be equipped with specific weapons. However, you can easily replace it with other Ashes of War anytime.
How to use Ashes of War in Elden Ring
To use an Ash of War, you’ll first need the Whetstone Knife. As expected from Elden Ring, the game won’t automatically hand it to you. But you can still get it fairly easily.
Head to the Gatefront Ruins in West Limgrade. You will come up to a chest that contains the knife. The place will also have enemies wandering about, so be ready. After that is done, you’ll see a new section called the ‘Ashes of War’ in your Site of Grace menu. This is where you can upgrade your arsenal. Ashes of War cannot be used on unique weapons such as Hand Malenia.
Alternatively, you can also upgrade weapons with Ashes of War from the Blacksmith Hewg. He is located at Roundtable Hold. Furthermore, he can also duplicate the ones in your inventory. But to do that, you need to provide Lost Ashes of War which are extremely rare items. They are found in measly amounts from Isolated Merchants in Dragonbarrow and Weeping Peninsula and Nomadic Merchants. Additionally, you can occasionally find them as loot.
12 Best Ashes of War in Elden Ring
12. Bloody Slash
Bloody Slash is one of the most op, hence the most popular Ashes of War in the game. It grants you a powerful attack that can overpower even the most challenging bosses, let alone the weaker enemies. The downside is that it drains HP along with your FP. Considering how devastating this Ash of War is, it will hardly bother you if you can manage to keep your health high. This is a must-have.
Bloody Slash is found in Fort Haight, Limgrave. Defeat the Beast Crest Heater, who will be using the ability against you to pick it up as a victory item.
Sepukku is similar to Bloody Slash, but it has a flair because, as the name states, you commit Sepukku (stab yourself), which grants increases your weapon’s attack power and chance to inflict blood loss. The negative side is that you’ll lose your health a bit. Like we said for the Bloody Slash Ash of War, keep your health stats high to use this one effectively. Especially useful in a tank build.
Sepukku can be found late in the game, after defeating the Invisible Scarab near the Freezing Lake’s Site of Grace.
10. Storm Blade
Storm Blade attacks enemies with a giant gust of whirlwind that inflicts damage as well as push them back. Helpful when you are surrounded, trying to escape, or need breathing space from a boss rampaging at you. You can also use this Ash of War to interrupt enemy attacks if you use it at the right time.
Defeat the Grave Warden boss to get this Ash of War. He is found in the Murkwater Catacombs in Limgrade. You can also purchase it from Bernahl at the Warmaster’s Shack for 1800 Runes.
9. Sacred Blade
Sacred Blade is a perfect choice for builds based around Faith. It gives the weapon the Sacred Affinity, and the attack contains holy essence. S cred Blade also lets you shoot a projectile attack. S using this Ash of War gives some flexibility in combat by giving you both short and long-ranged attacks.
The Sacred Blade Ash of War is located on the northern side of the Third Church of Maria. S arch for Teardrop Scarabs, kill them, and quickly pick up the loot, or it might go away, as for all Teardrop Scarabs. You will find the Sacred Blade here as loot.
8. Hoarfrost Stomp
It is one of the best Ash of War in Elden Ring. It can be equipped with any melee weapons, and furthermore, it is powerful enough to defeat multiple foes fast. Hoarfrost Stomp allows players to perform an icy stomp that sends out an ice wave. It interrupts enemies from making their move in addition to dealing considerable damage from a distance. It can also be used successively, perfect for enemies with a significant health bar or bosses.
Go to Lakes of Liurnia and look for an invisible Teardrop Scarab at a small pond. Defeat it to get the Hoarfrost Stomp as loot pickup.
7. Carian Greatsword
The Carian Greatsword turns your sword into a powerful magical greatsword—an ideal pick for mobility-focused players who occasionally need to deal severe damage.
Carian Greatsword is not only mighty but also easy to get. You can buy it from Sorcerer Rogier at Stormviel Castle or Roundtable Hold for 2,500 Runes. Another alternative is to exchange it from Twin Maiden Husks at the Roundtable Hold using Rogier’s Bell Bearing.
6. Lightning Ram
Lightning Ram adds lightning damage as you roll forward, dealing damage to anyone in front of you. Another ideal choice for mobility-focused players as they can dodge the attack at the same time. Every time you use this, it drains both FP and stamina. After FP drains out completely, you can use a toned-down version of Lightning Ram.
It is found as a loot drop when you kill the Teardrop Scarab at Atlus Plateau, south of Sainted Hero’s Grave.
Quickstep is one of the two Ash of War on this list that does not inflict any damage on enemies. But it lets you easily evade enemy attacks and jump on them from behind for extra damage. Furthermore, it can be used on all melee weapons, so it’s worth a shot. With quickstep, you can quickly dodge by strafing left or right and hence attack enemies from the back. It is much faster than the standard dodge roll.
Buy Quickstep from Bernhal for 800 Runes. Located at the Warmaster’s Shack.
4. Mighty Shot
Might Shot Ash of War is the ultimate ranged attack ability. Equip this on light bows and longbows and shoot a fast arrow that does devastating damage to even the tankiest enemies. It pierces through all types of defenses easily.
You can get the Mighty Shot as default ability with a Longbow and can also loot it after killing a Teardrop Scarab somewhere between Limgrave to Weeping Peninsula.
Thunderbolt is a simple Ash of War. Call down deadly bolts of lightning that sometimes feel overpowered. Use it in succession to call down a barrage of heavy-hitting thunderbolts to quickly vanquish foes. Furthermore, it grants lightning affinity to your melee weapons; this Ash of War is only equipable on them.
Defeat a Teardrop Scarab in Leyendell of the Royal Capital to obtain it.
2. Phantom Slash
Phantom Slash is a cool Ash of War to use in Elden Ring. Instead of attacking yourself with any special skill, you will summon a phantom that attacks enemies with a heavy-hitting Great Axe. It lets you fight from a distance. Only Equipable on Twinblades and Polearms.
Pick up Phantom Slash from the corpse of a Night Cavalry after you defeat it in Forbidden Lands.
1. Bloodhound’s Step
Bloodhounds Step is a league above the Quickstep Ash of War. Using this, you become temporarily invisible and also dodge at high speed and a larger distance. Your movement speed and quickstep distance are also increased. Use this to quickly dodge and move away from any and all types of enemies; The ones with large hitboxes, sizes, annoying bosses, or a group.
Swiftly get around enemies to attack from behind or dodge and counter-attack with extreme speed. They won’t know what hit them. We recommend this one on every boss battle. You’ll get nothing to lose as it is usable on all melee weapons. It will change how you play the game.
It is a bit tough to get than most others here, yet it is worth the effort. Defeat a Night Cavalry at the bridge in front of Lenne’s Rise. Be well prepared and defeat this mini-boss to pick up this Ash of War.