Death Before Dishonor: The Best Builds to Bring to Elden Ring’s Colosseum

The Colosseum awaits! Here's three great ways to humiliate some strangers

If there’s one thing Elden Ring fans love, it’s throwing themselves headlong into PVP matches against complete strangers. Being Invaded is a constant threat in Elden Ring, both by NPCs are real players alike. These invasions are the real boss battles of the Lands Between, and with the coming of the Colosseum, you can see precisely how well you stack up against the hardest challenge Elden Ring has offered yet.

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The Best Builds to Bring to Elden Ring’s Colosseum

But don’t go into it expecting to win with your PvE build. These players are out for blood and won’t hesitate to show you the kinks in your armor. Here are some of the best meta builds to ensure you not only survive, but thrive, in the Colosseum. All of them are made with players who have already completed the game in mind.  

Let Them Bleed

Look, we all know that Hemorrhage is a brutal status effect in Elden Ring. It builds up through repeated strikes and once it’s filled, the target takes damage equal to a percentage of their maximum health. Blood Loss was so brutal that it even garnered a nerf in August, but it still remains very powerful. Here’s how to take advantage of that.

  • Vigor: 60
  • Mind: 30
  • Endurance: 40
  • Strength: 12
  • Dexterity: 60
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 9
  • Arcane: 80

Adjust to what you’re capable of pumping into those stats, but the priority should remain the same. Arcane and Dexterity are the most important components of this build, which will utilize the infamous and controversial Rivers of Blood katana. If you choose to recalibrate some stats, keep your vigor high. You’ll encounter a lot of pure strength builds who won’t hesitate to Health check you.

Your second weapon doesn’t matter as much, but what does matter is that you apply the Ash of War Seppuku skill to it. Seppuku is necessary as it allows you to increase your attack power and increases the amount of blood loss you inflict for 60 seconds. Using it takes 100 + 15% of your max HP.

Seppuku also activates the damage equipment you’ll be using. The first is the Lord of Blood’s Exultation, a Talisman that raises attack power by 20% for 20 seconds when Blood Loss occurs in the vicinity. The second is the White Mask, a mainstay for bleed builds. This will be your helm, and it will increase your attack power by 10% for 20 seconds, once Blood Loss has been inflicted on an enemy or wearer. All of these buffs stack, which makes you a very lethal threat at the start of the match.

The other Talismans and equipment are up to personal taste. But Talismans that are good to consider are Marika’s Soreseal which provides +5 to mind, intelligence, faith, and arcane, but also increases damage taken, Carian Filigreed Crest to lower the FP cost of skills by 25%, or Shard of Alexander which increases the attack of skills by 15%.

The Battlemage

As the title implies, this build focuses on balancing close combat with a few spells and incantations the builds high Faith and Intelligence allows for. This is a complicated build that requires expert timing and resource management. But this combination can devastate an opponent.  

  • Vigor: 60
  • Mind: 30
  • Endurance: 15
  • Strength: 12
  • Dexterity: 24
  • Intelligence: 60
  • Faith: 80
  • Arcane: 9

The Sword of Night and Flame is an excellent sword with the capabilities of either firing a laser at your enemies or sending an arc of fire towards them. In your left hand, you should wield the Meteorite Staff or Prince of Death’s Staff.

By switching between the two weapons when the opportunities arise, you’ll be able to utilize incantations like Ancient Dragon’s Lightning Strike, Black Flame, or sorceries like Carian Slicer and Adula’s Moonblade. A particularly nasty combination is to pair Collapsing Star with Ancient Death Rancor. While these have longer cast times, Collapsing Star will pull your opponent towards you and Ancient Death Rancor will devastate. While this is hard to do in duels, in the larger, free-for-all mode in the Colosseum, you’ll have much more opportunity to pull it off.

Similar to the Bleed Build above, the Talismans best suited to this build are Marika’s Soreseal which provides +5 to mind, intelligence, faith, and arcane, but also increases damage taken, Carian Filigreed Crest to lower the FP cost of skills by 25%, or Shard of Alexander which increases the attack of skills by 15%. Equipment is to your taste, but with your low endurance, you’ll likely only be able to equip light armor. I prefer the Black Knife Armor set, not only because of its stats but because it’s unparalleled in terms of aesthetic.

The Soldier of the Outer Gods

Perhaps I’m biased towards Faith, but it offers some of the best versatility in the game, with its incantations and brutal head bashing with its swordplay.

  • Vigor: 80
  • Mind: 60
  • Endurance: 24
  • Strength: 12
  • Dexterity: 24
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 80
  • Arcane: 9

This build is defined by its use of dual Coded Swords. Coded Swords have pure Faith scaling, hence the 80 in the stat slot, and do pure Holy damage. While this build has no viability in PvE, due to the amount of bosses that resist Holy Damage, it’s excellent in PvP as most of your opponents will have no Holy Damage resistance. That include shields.

In Right and Left Hand Armaments 2 you should equip a Sacred Seal that will allow you to case Incantations. The best equippable one you have is ideal, though it doesn’t matter that much. Equip Catch Flame for a fast, surprisingly strong Incantation that can punish roll spammers or interrupt an animation, Lightning Strike to hit a mid-to-long range opponent, and Black Flame Protection to increase your own physical resistance.

From there, beat your enemy into submission with your twin light sabers while using Incantations when the right opportunity arises. Coded Swords don’t offer as much damage as other weapons, like Great Swords, but they’re excellent for poke damage and slowly whittling away your opponent from both close to mid-range.

Wear what armor best suits you and what your endurance allows. But for Talismans, you should equip the Sacred Scorpion Charm, which raises holy attack at the cost of lowering damage negation. You can reduce the impact of the Scorpion Charm’s negative effect with the Dragoncrest Shield Talisman.

With these builds, you’ll likely find some degree of success in the Colosseum. But use what feels right and don’t be afraid to experiment. With so many opponents to tangle with, especially in the six-player free-for-all mode, now is the perfect time to find out what feels best for you and your play style.

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Daphne Fama
A Staff Writer at Prima Games since 2022, Daphne Fama spends an inordinate amount playing games of all stripes but has a soft spot for horror, FPS, and RPGs. When she’s not gaming, she’s an author and member of the Horror Writers Association with a debut novel coming out in 2025. In a previous life, she was an attorney but found she preferred fiction to contracts and forms