Dark Souls 3 INT/LCK Build
An overly min/maxed build for the Sorcerer

The following build takes advantage of the extremely low STR, DEX, and FAI stats for the starting class. Due to low STR/DEX, weapon selection is very small but the build hits very hard.

The starting class must be the sorcerer for this build. You can try using deprived or knight, but you'll need to adjust your soul level or have lower endurance and/or vitality.

Stats

Starting Class: Sorcerer

StatSL 6SL 100SL 125SL 150
VIG 9 27 27 39
ATT 16 30 30 30
END 9 19 24 24
VIT 7 7 7 20
STR 7 7 7 7
DEX 12 12 12 12
INT 16 40 60 60
FAI 7 7 7 7
LCK 12 40 40 40

Note: Equipping a Prisoner's Chain in one of your ring slots allows to reduce VIG, END, and VIT by 5 points each, freeing up a total of 15 points that you can spend elsewhere.

SL 150 offers a little bit of flexiblity, you'll basically have 12 points to spare that should be put into VIT or VIG (VIG is preferred for the additional HP); you could choose to add those points to STR, DEX, and END to open up different weapon options.

If you aren't picky about your armor or your roll weight, you can keep VIT at 7 and still have a full build (but have less physical defense from both stats and armor). If you choose to do this, spend the extra points in VIG (for more health) or END (for more stamina).

Equipment

Weapons

Man-grub's Staff is the center peice of this build, it scales off of both INT and LCK and most spells do about 15% more damage than if were using a traditional staff (Court Sorcerer's Staff).

Due to the extremely low STR and DEX stats, your weapon choices are limited to the dagger, mail breaker, bandit's knife, rapier, cestus, and short bow. Handmaid's Dagger is also an option but since it cannot be buffed or infused, I'd pass on it.

Out of those weapons, the rapier and bandit's knife are ideal for this build. The rapier offers superior range and decent damage with stunlock potential; the bandit's knife already has bleed and has the Quickstep skill.

A short bow is nice for small poke damage without using FP or pulling enemies. A mail breaker is a good third option, the Shield Splitter skill gets around shields and the additional critical strike damage is nice. The short bow is better for PvE (and maybe some really weird PvP situations) and a mail breaker should be better for PvP. Basically, use a mail breaker against shields, otherwise opt for a short bow or no third weapon.

Note: An extra point into STR gets you the short sword or into DEX gets you the scimitar; both of these weapons scale S in INT when crystal-infused.

On the defensive side of things... The cestus is mainly used for parrying; a simple infusion can be placed here if you prefer FP regeneration, but the additional 5 LCK from hollow is slightly better. Dark Hand doesn't weight anything and provides a way to block incoming magic damage, so there's little reason not to have it equipped.

 Slot 1Slot 2Slot 3
Right Hand Rapier (Raw or Crystal) Bandit's Knife (Raw) Mail Breaker (Raw)*
Short Bow*
Left Hand Man-grub's Staff Cestus (Hollow or Simple) Dark Hand

Note: * denotes optional weapons. It might be better to not use a weapon at all.

Raw weapons do two things here: (1) your weapon can still be buffed with Carthus Rouge for bleed damage and (2) allows you to split damage types more effectively. Crystal or simple infusions are an option during PvE or situations you cannot apply a weapon buff.

Armor

Armor is a little dependent on personal preference and your final soul level, but there are some basic principles to follow:

  1. Always keep your equipment load under 70%.
    • Fast roll is under 30% and offers more invincibility frames.
    • The lower your equipment load, the further you roll. Toy with it to figure out what you're comfortable with.

Generally speaking, the Dancer's Set is a good option if you've invested a few points into VIT, otherwise the Shadow Set is pretty good for its weight.

Preferred Armor

Crown of Dusk (Increases sorcery damage by ~10%, but reduces magic absortion by 30)

The crown is fantastic for PvE, but the drawback is a little harsh for PvP when you run into another sorcerer. It's still a good idea to wear since you can swap to a different helm in the event that you find one.

Armor of Thorns (Deals 2 damage per armor when rolling or quickstepping into an enemy)

Due to the lack of armor properties currently in Dark Souls 3, there's little reason to NOT use Armor of Thorns. As mentioned earlier in the article if you never put a point into VIT, you can still carry all of the equipment mentioned in this guide and be under 70% equipment load.

Rings

There's a few different ways to look at rings for this build. First off, 2-3 of the rings are essentially required.

Required Rings

Ring of Favor (Increases HP by 3%/4%/5%, stamina by 10%/11%/12%, and equipment load by 5%/6%/7%)

This ring does everything. A miniature Life Ring combined with a mini Havel's Ring. It's also the only ring in the game that increases stamina.

Sage Ring (Increases casting speed by 30/35/40 DEX)

Another must have for caster builds, especially since this is not an INT/DEX build. The increase in casting speed is extremely noticable. It's hard enough to hit moving targets with sorcery as it is.

Bellowing Dragoncrest Ring (Increases sorcery damage by 20%)

Increases your sorcery damage by 20% with no drawback. The only time you might not want to run this ring is when your sorceries are hitting for more than 50% of your enemy's total health, but less than about 75%; if it's going to take two casts to kill them anyways, the 20% doesn't make much of a difference.

Optional Rings

Cloranthy Ring (Raises stamina regeneration by 7/8/9 per second)

Better stamina regeneration means less time between attacks, dodges, and casts. More useful against mobile enemies (including players), but still kind of nice to have. Since this build doesn't use the Grass Cress Shield, this might be the best choice for optional rings.

Young Dragon Ring (Increases sorcery damage by 12%)

Bellowing Dragoncrest Ring stacks with this ring, so it's an extra 12% damage with no drawback. As with the other ring, make sure you aren't hitting too hard (> 50% and < 75%), otherwise opt for a different ring.

Carthus Milk Ring (Increases DEX by 3 and obscures rolling)

A PvP ring that's mainly used for hiding the direction that you roll. It increases your DEX by 3, so it gives you a few extra weapon choices if you decide to use it.

Hornet Ring (Increases critical strike damage by 30%)

If you find yourself parrying more often than casting spells (especially if you're using a Mailbreaker), the Hornet Ring is an outstanding choice since it offers 30% more damage with no drawback.

Build Altering Rings

The next couple of rings allow to spend some of your stat points in different places. They are decent as a fourth ring, but aren't recommended due to the drawbacks of using them.

Darkmoon Ring - 2 additional attunement slots.

The Darkmoon Ring allows you to have 18 ATT instead of 30 ATT. The smaller FP pool will end up being a problem though, it reduces your FP by almost 100 (233 at 30 ATT vs 136 at 18 ATT).

Prisoner's Chain - Increases VGR, END, and VIT by 5, but increases damage taken by 10%.

Prisoner's Chain opens up 15 additional stat points if you're willing to take the increased damage. Useful when fighting high physical damage builds (PvE) but ends up being a problem against split damage (resin, buffs, spells).

Situational Rings

The following rings are nice to have in certain situations.

Silvercat Ring (Removes fall damage)

Since the fourth ring is swappable, the Silvercat Ring is nice to have when you plan on taking fall damage. Fall damage is rather common in PvE and can lead to some very funny situations in PvP.

Knight's Ring (Increases STR by 5)

This ring is mainly used for when you want to use a shield (Silver Eagle Kite Shield and Kite Shield are both low STR 100% block shields), but also does open the build up to using other weapons if you want to wear it 100% of the time.

Notable Rings

Magic Clutch Ring (Increases magic attack damage by 15% but increases incoming damage by 10%)

Don't wear it. You already have access to two other damage rings that have no drawbacks and a helm that increases damage by another 10% with a much smaller drawback.

Havel's Ring (Increases equipment load by 15%/17%/18%)

Since the increase in equipment load is percentage, Havel's Ring is generally more useful on high VIT builds.

Wolf Ring (Increases poise by 12.5%/17.5%/20%)

The Wolf Ring runs into the same problem that Havel's Ring does. It's a percent increase instead of a flat increase, you need to run high poise armor to see any benefit from this ring.

Ring of Steel Protection (Decreases incoming physical damage by 10%/13%/15%)

Unlike Havel's Ring and Wolf Ring, this ring decreases physical damage before applying armor or other damage mitigation stats.

Items

You'll want to have the following items assigned to your quick bar.

Estus Flask (Increases HP by 250-600)

Estus Flask is a given. Not much of a need for more comment here, but stick to even numbers when invading or being summoned (the game always rounds down except at 1).

Ashen Estus Flask (Increases FP by 80-200)

Since the build makes heavy use of FP, having a few Ashen Estus Flask is nice. Anywhere between 1-5 is good, but stick to the odd numbers if you plan on joining other people's worlds.

Carthus Rouge (Applies +45 bleed damage to right-hand weapon for 60 seconds)

The bread and butter for LCK builds, this applies bleed damage to your weapon. Carthus Rouge is why your weapons are infused as hollow and not crystal. Make sure you have these at all time (you can buy them from the Shrine Handmaid after getting Grave Warden's Ashes from Catacombs of Carthus).

PvP Items

Green Blossom (Increases stamina regeneration by 5)

Another PvP staple, green blossoms increase your stamina regeneration for a short period of time. Not 100% necessary, but really nice to have.

Duel Charm (Removes magic buffs)

By no means required, but still nice to have. Duel Charms are kind of a troll item because it negates specific parts of certain builds. They are in the game, so don't feel bad about using them.

Undead Hunter Charm (Prevent Estus Flask recovery)

Chugging during PvP is annoying, but it's another one of those, "it's in the game, so you should do it" things. Undead Hunter Charms prevent that, so if you don't like long fights, they are good to have (especially when invading because the host has 2x flasks).

Spells

With 30 ATT, this build has 5 available spell slots.

For PvE, Great Soul Arrow, Soul Stream, Conceal Body, and Spook will be your most used spells. If you want to buff your weapon with Crystal Magic Weapon, sub out Spook.

For PvP, use Great Soul Arrow, Farron Flash Sword, Homing Crystal Soulmass, and either Soul Stream or Crystal Magic Weapon and Conceal Body/Chameleon.

Damage Spells

Great Soul Arrow (1 slot)

The staple sorcery spell of Dark Souls 3, Great Soul Arrow is the main spell you'll cast through out the game.

Farron Flash Sword (1 slot)

Hits hard and hits through walls while casting relatively quickly.

Homing Crystal Soulmass (1 slot)

All of the homing spells allow you to set up your spells. You'll normally want to turn away from your opponent, cast Homing Crystal Soulmass, then start the cast for either Crystal Soul Spear or Soul Stream and turn into your opponent (also known as dead angling).

Crystal Soul Spear (1 slot)

Basically, a harder hitting version of Great Soul Arrow for a much higher FP cost.

Soul Stream (2 slots)

Mainly in this guide for style points, Soul Stream is one of the coolest spells in Dark Souls 3. On of the biggest uses for this in PvP is that it will at least knock down your opponent if you manage to hit with it (and you can set up a backstab or Crystal Soul Spear while they are trying to stand up).

Weapon Buffs

Weapon buffs aren't as useful for this build because Carthus Rouge is your go to weapon buff, but having a spell that buffs your weapon is nice for additional magic damage and more importantly, reusablity.

Crystal Magic Weapon (1 slot)

Adds a decent amount of magic damage to your weapon.

Utility Spells

Utility spells are very useful situational spells. 

Conceal Body (1 slot)

Very useful in PvE, it resets aggro and allows you to move past enemies for 20 seconds.

Spook (1 slot)

A solid substitute for the Cat Ring, Spook allows you to move silently and reduces fall damage.

Chameleon (1 slot)

This is a 100% troll spell, but probably my favorite spell in the Dark Souls series. If you have the patience (or help from other people), you can set up some extremely funny ganks.

Gameplay

You'll mainly be using a rapier in your right hand and Man-grub Staff in the left hand. Switch to the Bandit's Knife against greatshield users or most bosses as bleed is effective against both. High amounts of stamina and stamina regen will allow you to break other shields rather easily by spamming the rapier's quick attack.

Use Crystal Homing Soulmass to help set up your stronger spells (Crystal Soul Spear or Soul Stream). Farron Flash Sword is great for close combat, but drains your stamina quickly so be sure to keep an eye on your green bar.

A video might be coming soon. If you are using this build and made your own video, contact us and you might get featured here.

Closing Thoughts

This is definately an advanced build for the sorcerer, but I'm happy that there's a viable sorcerer build that doesn't touch four of the class' starting stats. Being able to keep VIT, STR, DEX, and FAI at extremely low levels is remarkable.

Change Log

  • [2016/05/02] Changed hollow infusions to raw infusions. Hollow infusions weren't providing reasonable scaling.
Corey Docken

Corey Docken

Corey has been playing video games all of his life. He learned how to use grid references playing The Legend of Zelda on NES and spent way too much running in front of a TV as a child. He loves the Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dark Souls, and Civilization series and is stil trying to get over the loss of Fable.

Published on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 2:36 PM.
Last updated on Friday, April 29th, 2016 at 3:51 AM.