Out of all the Elden Ring build types, arguably the most underrated is scarlet rot, a status effect that deals damage to your opponents (or yourself) over time. It works a lot like poison, wherein it drains HP steadily, but is actually more powerful since it works faster (though, it doesn’t last as long). Whether you’re playing PvP or PvE, you’ll definitely want to try out a scarlet rot build, especially since it has such high utility. Here, we’ll break down the very best scarlet rot build in Elden Ring, highlighting the weapons, Talismans, gear, and Ash of War you’ll need to deal the most damage.
Rotten Crystal Spear
First, you’ll want to come equipped with a scarlet rot weapon, and one of the best options is the Rotten Crystal Spear. There’s room for experimentation with the weapons you choose since it ultimately comes down to playstyle, but the Rotten Crystal Spear is ideal since it has excellent range, poise, and scales decently with Dexterity. It also has a scarlet rot buildup stat of 55, which is certainly enough to cause lots of damage quickly.
To find the Rotten Crystal Spear, you’ll need to farm the trio of crystal enemies next to the Elphael Inner Wall Site of Grace in Haeligtree.
To make this build incredibly more effective, you’ll want to dual-wield your Rotten Crystal Spear with the Cross-Naginata. You’ll deal far more damage and you’ll be able to take advantage of back-to-back attacks with each weapon.
The other nice thing about the Cross-Naginata is that it features a high degree of range, which will help you win fights. Finally, it scales at an A level with Dexterity if you apply the Keen affinity to it. Make sure you also apply Rot Grease to this weapon so both your armaments inflict scarlet rot buildup.
This weapon is located on a corpse inside the Gael Tunnel.
Raises attack power when something nearby suffers from poison or rot.
You can pretty much equip whatever gear you’d like with this build, but the one piece you shouldn’t skip is the Mushroom Crown. This increases your attack power when attacking an enemy inflicted by rot (or poison), so it’s recommended to equip it.
Find it on a corpse on the southeastern corner of Lake of Rot.
Ash of War: Bloodhound’s Step
Skill that allows the user to become temporarily invisible while dodging at high speed. Moves faster and travels farther than a regular quickstep. This skill can be used to circle around lock-on targets.
With this scarlet rot build, you’ll want to use the Bloodhound’s Step Ash of War, which allows you to temporarily turn invisible after dodging. This can greatly impact the outcome of a particular engagement, catching your opponent off guard.
When it comes to Talismans, there are several viable options, but the ones listed below allow for more consistency when using a scarlet rot build:
- Rotten Winged Sword Insignia — Greatly raises attack power with successive attacks
- Bull-Goat's Talisman — Raises poise
- Kindred of Rot's Exultation — Raises attack power when poisoning or rot occurs in the vicinity
- Viridian Amber Medallion +2 — Boosts maximum stamina
Since you’ll be using multiple weapons with this build, the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia is effective, as it increases attack power with each successive strike. Likewise, you’ll want to improve your poise, which is enhanced by utilizing the Bull-Goat's Talisman. Poise is tied to how quickly you flinch or stagger after being hit, so the higher yours is, the less likely you are to become stunned.
We also highly recommend using Kindred of Rot's Exultation, a Talisman that increases your attack power while an enemy is under the rot effect. Finally, it’s best to have as much stamina as possible so you can dish out more successive attacks. For this, we advise using the Viridian Amber Medallion +2.
Flask of Wondrous Physick
- Leaden Hardtear — Boosts poise
- Greenburst Crystal Tear — Temporarily boosts stamina recovery speed
Once again, poise is an important stat with this build, so we advise using Leaden Hardtear as part of your Flask of Wondrous Physick. This will increase your poise temporarily. In addition, go with the Greenburst Crystal Tear for improved stamina recovery speed. With this build, you’ll want to be as aggressive as possible, which will come easy thanks to the dual-wield spears and high degree of stamina.
- Rotten Breath — Transforms caster into a dragon to spew scarlet rot breath
- Golden Vow — Increases attack and defense for self and allies
You don’t necessarily need to use spells with this build, but if you do, you’ll be even more powerful. For starters, go with the Rotten Breath Incantation, turning you into a dragon to spew scarlet rot onto your foes. Along with that, the trusty Golden Vow is an effective spell since it increases your overall attack and defense. Make sure you use both of these before you begin attacking, to reap the benefits.