Best Backhand Blade build in Shadow of the Erdtree

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✓ At a Glance
  • Weapons – Backhand Blade and Dragon Communion Seal
  • Stats – Dexterity, Vigor, Endurance
  • Incantations – Golden Vow, Flame, Grant Me Strength, and Bloodflame Blade
  • Talisman – Two-Headed Turtle Talisman, Shard of Alexander, Rotten Winged Sword Insignia, and Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman
  • Armor – Solitude Set and Beast Champion Armor
  • Mixed Physick – Thorny Cracked Tear and Greenburst Crystal Tear

If your dex build from the base game isn’t quite up to scratch in the Shadow of the Erdtree, a pivot to a Backhand Blade build, one of the expansion’s new weapons, might be just the ticket. It’s built around the weapon’s Blindspot skill, which introduces a ton of mobility and even some welcome attack-dodging i-frames.

Better yet, you can pick up the Backhand Blade from the very start of the DLC in Gravesite Plain, so no lengthy detours to get the build up and running. The build isn’t as broken as say the Lightning Perfume Bottle build, which melts through bosses. It’s one for those that want to preserve some of the game’s difficulty and get through it in style.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree best Backhand Blade build: equipment menu.

Stats and attributes

The primary stat is, no surprise, Dexterity. Beyond that, you’ll want a sizable amount of levels into Vigor to tank the higher damage output of the enemies in the expansion. Alongside, a decent amount into Endurance is highly recommended due to the stamina cost of the weapon’s skill, which you’ll want to be using an awful lot. Aside from that, sink 25 into Faith to hit the requirements for the buffing Incantations we’ll use. At level 150, aim for roughly the following: 


Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree best Backhand Blade build: Backhand Blade location on the map.
Backhand Blade location in Gravesite Plain. Captured by VideoGamer


As above, the weapon we want for this build is the Backhand Blade. You’ll find it near a coffin in an open-air mausoleum to the north east of the Scorched Ruins in Gravesite Plain. You can get it within a minute or two of loading into the DLC. Instead of just a single sword, it’s actually two, so you’re dual wielding with a single weapon and any affinity or status effects apply to both. Two swords also means meaty R1 combo chains. There’s also a unique sprint R1 attack where your Tarnished will continue sprinting forward after the attack for increased mobility. And, of course, there’s the Blindspot Ash of War that we’ll come to further down.

Backhand Blade stat requirements:

  • Strength 10
  • Dexterity 13

Though not strictly necessary, it’s worth also having a Seal to accompany the Backhand Blade. As it’s only used for basic Incantations, any Seal we’ll do such as the Finger Seal, though the Dragon Communion Seal is always a solid choice due to its 0.0 weight.

Ash of War

The first thing you’ll want to do is set the Blindspot Ash of War’s affinity set to Keen, which pushes the Backhand Blade Dexterity scaling to S. As for the actual in-combat usage, you’re Tarnished will sidestep to one side, avoiding attacks thanks to momentary i-frames, bypassing any guards or shields and hitting an enemy in their weak spot. It consumes a lot of stamina, though, but we can mitigate this with some sensible talisman picks.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree best Backhand Blade build: spell and incantation menu.
Golden Vow, Flame, Grant Me Strength, and Bloodflame Blade. Captured by VideoGamer


Golden VowIncreases attack and defense for self and allies
Flame, Grant Me StrengthRaises physical and fire-affinity attack power
Bloodflame BladeEnchants right-hand armament with bloodflame

Two classics, Golden Vow and Flame, Grant Me Strength, synergise well with the Backhand Blade, giving it a solid attack boost. As this build is very much an up-close-and-personal one due to the agility of the weapon skill, Golden Vow helps as a safety net if things go south, albeit a limited one, but still worth proccing before any big fights. We’ll also use Bloodflame Blade to add some bleed to the build that works well with Blood Grease.


Two-Headed Turtle TalismanGreatly raises stamina recovery speed
Shard of AlexanderGreatly boosts the attack power of skills
Rotten Winged Sword InsigniaGreatly raises attack power with successive attacks
Dragoncrest Greatshield TalismanEnormously boosts physical damage negation

The Two-Headed Turtle Talisman mitigates some of the heavy stamina cost of the Blindspot skill. The Shard of Alexander significantly buffs Blindspot, while the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia will power up R1 combos with an attack buff for successive attacks. The Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman acts as insurance against the hard-hitting enemies, even standard mobs, in Shadow of the Erdtree. Alternatively, you can swap out the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman for the Lord of Blood’s Exultation to give yourself an attack power boost whenever bleed procs from Bloodflame Blade and Blood Grease.

Armor and gear

  • Helm of Solitude
  • Beast Champion Armor
  • Gauntlets of Solitude
  • Greaves of Solitude

No crazy buffs here, just one of the best armor sets in the DLC with some of the best damage negation stats. We’ve also thrown in the Beast Champion Armor due to its high stats as well, though feel free to mix and match based on what you prefer, just avoid a heavy equipment load and fat rolling. Fat rolling saps all the mobility out of the build.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree best Backhand Blade build: Mixed Physick menu.
Thorny Cracked Tear and Greenburst Crystal Tear. Captured by VideoGamer

Mixed Physick and Great Rune

For Mixed Physick, we opt for the Thorny Cracked Tear, which will temporarily boost successive attack power to synergise with the many R1 combos we’ll be dishing out. Our second Mixed Physick is the Greenburst Crystal Tear to alleviate the heavy stamina cost of the Blindspot Ash of War by boosting stamina recovery speed.

In terms of a Great Rune, it’s hard to go wrong with Radahn’s Great Rune, which raises maximum HP, FP, and stamina, all important components of this build. You could alternatively take Morgott’s Great Rune if you’re getting hit a lot as it greatly raises maximum HP.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree best Backhand Blade build: Tarnished in the Realm of Shadow.
Blindspot in action. Captured by VideoGamer

General combat tips

To get this build in optimal shape before a fight, you’ll want to do the following.

  • Use Golden Vow
  • Use Flame, Grant Me Strength
  • Use Bloodflame Blade
  • Use Blood Grease
  • Chug Mixed Physick
  • Top up on HP and FP with the Flask of Crimson Tears and Flask of Cerulean Tears

In fights, you’ll want to alternate between using the Blindspot skill followed by a succession of R1 combos, and using backstep R1 to run rings around enemies and trigger bleed as often as possible. The Blackhand Blade’s charged R2 dishes out big damage as well so weave that into the mix as often as possible. Remember that you can also use Blindspot defensively to avoid enemy attacks as it works a bit like a standard dodge or roll in that it has i-frames. Other than that, the general idea is to hit hard and often, eventually proccing bleed to take big chunks out of enemy health bars.

About the Author

Tom Bardwell

Tom is guides editor here at VideoGamer.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

  • Release Date: June 21, 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
  • Genre(s): Action, RPG
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