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Elden Ring Samurai Bow Build – Samurai Sniper

In this Elden Ring Samurai Bow Build guide, I will be showcasing my Samurai Sniper build. This versatile build is effective throughout the entire game and centers around the Nagakiba, one of my favorite weapons in Elden Ring, paired with the Albinauric Bow. We recently covered the Albinauric Bow in our bows video, and I will explain why it is integral to this build and why it excels in Elden Ring.

Elden Ring Samurai Bow Build – Samurai Sniper

In this Elden Ring Samurai Build Guide, I’ll be showing you my Albinauric Bow and Nagakiba build. This is an All-Game build that takes place after level 150. If you’ve been looking for a Dex build that works great for the entire game then you might want to check this build-out.

We have over 110 Elden Ring builds. Each one is meticulously crafted to offer unique playstyles, strategies, and experiences, ensuring there’s something for every adventurer in the Lands Between. Whether you seek the raw power of heavy weapons, the finesse of spellcasting, or the versatility of hybrid builds, our collection has you covered. Explore the depths of the game’s mechanics and unleash your full potential with our diverse array of builds.

Beginner BuildsLevel 50 BuildsLevel 100 BuildsLevel 150 BuildsLevel 150-200 BuildsAll Game Builds
ArcherMagic ArcherGolden EyeBloody BowmanBlack ArrowSamurai Sniper 

Elden Ring Samurai Bow Build – Equipment

The concept for this build emerged while I was testing bows for the bows video. I discovered that when using Barrage to hit enemy heads, it actually outperformed Mighty Shot, despite having a lower damage multiplier. Headshots inherently deal more damage, leading me to ponder how to utilize Barrage effectively to replace Mighty Shot for one-shot kills. During this process, I realized you can aim and use Mighty Shot simultaneously. When you hit an enemy’s head while aiming with Mighty Shot, you benefit from both the headshot damage and the Mighty Shot multiplier, allowing you to decimate enemies with minimal arrows.

Thus, Mighty Shot became a key component of our Albinauric Bow. The Albinauric Bow is ideal for this build due to its superior dexterity scaling, and in Elden Ring, lightning arrows also increase in damage with higher dexterity. Consequently, higher dexterity significantly boosts lightning arrow damage, making this bow a perfect match. Even with a lower attack rating, focusing on dexterity yields higher overall damage with lightning arrows compared to strength.

The Albinauric Bow’s dexterity scaling complements the lightning arrows and the lightning Nagakiba, creating a cohesive and powerful dexterity and lightning-themed build. The Ash of War on the Nagakiba is Lightning Slash, which enhances the weapon with lightning damage, further boosting its attack power. This synergy results in substantial damage output with each strike, optimizing both melee and ranged combat.

What I particularly appreciate about this build, and why it’s an excellent choice for exploring Shadow of the Erdtree, is its balance between combat and exploration. The bow allows you to eliminate enemies from a distance, facilitating safer exploration. Although exploration in Elden Ring is now second nature to me, having a ranged option that can one-shot enemies will be invaluable when navigating the unknown territories of Shadow of the Erdtree. This makes exploration more manageable, even if the build is slightly less efficient in boss fights compared to others I’ve created.

Additionally, I use the Erdtree Seal for its Golden Vow buff, which further enhances our damage. While I don’t frequently rely on this, it’s useful for boosting arrow damage and general attack power in challenging encounters. Initially, you won’t focus on faith; this aspect is more relevant towards the end of your first playthrough or the beginning of New Game Plus to maximize damage potential.

At 80 dexterity, there’s limited room for growth in damage due to diminishing returns on lightning scaling. Since strength scaling is inadequate and the bow’s effectiveness plateaus after 80 dexterity, the natural progression is to invest in faith. This allows access to Golden Vow, further increasing both arrow and weapon damage, enhancing the overall build’s efficiency.

For armor, I use the Okina Mask to boost dexterity. As a result, my dexterity stat is at 83, but I recommend setting your base dexterity to 77, so it totals 80 with the mask.

My armor setup includes the Ronin’s Armor chest piece, Redmane Gauntlets, and Ronin’s Greaves. This combination, along with the Bull-Goat Talisman, provides sufficient poise to withstand a hit.

While this specific armor is chosen for its aesthetics, fitting the samurai theme perfectly and earning 10 out of 10 style points, it’s not mandatory. If you’re aiming to min-max the build, you could opt for armor that naturally provides 51 poise. This would allow you to use a different talisman, optimizing the build further.

Elden Ring Samurai Bow Build – Talismans

Arrow's Sting Talisman raises attack power of arrows and bolts by 10%

Other talismans I use for this build include the Arrow’s Sting Talisman to further boost arrow damage,

Ritual Sword Talisman raises attack power by 10% when HP is at maximum

the Ritual Sword Talisman to increase damage when at full health,

Shard of Alexander greatly boosts the attack power of Skills by 15%
Warrior Jar Shard boosts the attack power of Skills by 10%

and either the Shard of Alexander or Warrior Jar Shard, depending on your progress in the game, to enhance the damage of Mighty Shot and Lightning Slash.

Arrow's Reach Talisman increases the range of bows and a few other attacks by 65%

I don’t use the Arrow’s Reach Talisman because the default range of 50 on my bow, coupled with the added range from Mighty Shot, is sufficient. However, if you’re not crafting arrows with Flight Pinions, you might want to consider it. I highly recommend farming Flight Pinions to craft lightning arrows with extended range, as arrows without them won’t travel as far.

A notable aspect of this build is the absence of purchasable lightning arrows. This is likely because lightning arrows scale with dexterity, and since every bow in Elden Ring scales with dexterity, these arrows potentially offer the highest damage per shot. While status effect arrows are a different consideration, for raw damage, dexterity-scaling lightning arrows are superior. Strength-scaling arrows are rare or nonexistent, giving dexterity-based builds a significant advantage in terms of arrow damage.

  • Vigor: Aim for at least 50 vigor to withstand damage without dying. Since you’ll be attacking from range, you might be tempted to lower this, but for the DLC, 50 vigor is advisable.
  • Mind: Set at 25 to effectively use Golden Vow, Mighty Shot, and Lightning Slash. Golden Vow is resource-intensive, so if you frequently use it to boost your damage, consider increasing your mind. For early game, 15-20 mind is sufficient, with a gradual increase as you start using Golden Vow more frequently.
  • Endurance: 25 is adequate. You won’t deplete stamina rapidly with this build, as Mighty Shot and Lightning Slash are not stamina-heavy. Ensure you can medium roll with your chosen armor.
  • Strength: Set at 12, which is enough to two-hand the Nagakiba. If you prefer one-handing it, increase strength to 18. This adjustment depends on your playstyle and comfort.
  • Dexterity: Set at 77, and with the Okina Mask, it becomes 80. This maximizes damage for your bow and lightning Nagakiba. Further dexterity points yield minimal returns, so consider investing in faith.
  • Faith: Set at 25 to gain Golden Vow which enhances damage in the late game or New Game Plus.
  • Intelligence and Arcane: No investment needed. Any points in intelligence are likely from starting as an astrologer. If you began with a different class, your overall level might be lower, improving your stat distribution.

This attribute setup ensures a balance between survivability, stamina management, and maximizing damage output for both ranged and melee attacks.

Elden Ring Samurai Bow Build – Final Tips

Greenburst Crystal Tear
Lightning-Shrouding Cracked Tear

When choosing a Flask of Wondrous Physick, consider your priorities. I personally favor stamina recovery, which aids in sustained combat. Alternatively, early in the game, you might opt for dexterity to increase damage output, or the Lightning-Shrouding Cracked Tear for enhanced lightning damage if you’ve focused on lightning setups. Combining both options to maximize damage is also a viable strategy. Stamina recovery is generally a safe choice that complements many builds and is often my default selection.

For great runes, your choices will likely center around Godrick’s or Radahn’s. The decision hinges on whether you require six stats, including strength for one-handing or two-handing weapons. Opting for Godrick’s becomes more compelling if you need 18 strength for one-handing. Otherwise, Radahn’s offers strong benefits with its boosts to FP, HP, and stamina, aligning well with builds focusing on faith, dexterity, strength, endurance, mind, and vigor.

That concludes our Samurai Sniper build. I hope you find it appealing. This build blends aspects of both bow-focused and samurai-themed gameplay, making it a natural evolution from my earlier samurai build introduced in Elden Ring. With its emphasis on dexterity and lightning, it proves effective. If you lack the late-game Albinauric Bow, the Longbow serves as a solid alternative early on, transitioning seamlessly once you acquire the Albinauric Bow later in your journey. As always, let us know if you have questions or other tips in the comments below. We have a ton more builds coming for Elden Ring and Shadow of the Erdtree so stay tuned for those. If you need help finding the spells, items, or equipment in this build, and securing some personal objectives, make sure to check the Elden Ring Map.

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