Best Rakshasa’s Great Katana build in Shadow of the Erdtree

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✓ At a Glance
  • Weapons – Rakshasa’s Great Katana with Weed Cutter Ash of War and Finger Seal
  • Stats – Dexterity, Vigor, and Strength
  • Incantations – Golden Vow and Flame, Grant Me Strength
  • Talisman – Shard of Alexander, Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman, Two-Handed Sword Talisman, and Rotten Winged Sword Insignia
  • Armor – Rakshasa set
  • Mixed Physick – Thorny Cracked Tear and Opaline Bubbletear

Other than the inherent fun of slashing mobs with an obnoxiously large curved sword, Rakshasa’s Great Katana is also a potent basis for a seriously powerful build in Shadow of the Erdtree. Despite carrying nearly the same name, it’s counted among a new category of weapons for the expansion dubbed the Great Katanas, alongside weapons like the Dragon-Hunter’s Great Katana and the standard Great Katana.

The beauty of this build is that you can get it up and running as soon as you’ve defeated the Golden Hippo in Shadow Keep, so fairly on in the game. If you’re savvy and know the route, you can even bypass Rellana and make a beeline for the Keep via a Spiritsping behind the Fort of Reprimand that will get you up to Scadu Altus early.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Great Katana build: equipment screen.
Prioritise Dexterity, Vigor, and Strength. Captured by VideoGamer

Stats and attributes

Rakshasa’s Great Katana scales with both dexterity and strength. The main stat focus is on Dexterity with Vigor thrown in to mitigate the walloping you’ll get from the expansion’s mobs and bosses. Around 30 points in Strength will increase damage output nicely. A decent sink into Endurance is worthwhile to ensure you’ve got the stamina to chain attacks and avoid fat rolling. Finally, the 25 points in Faith is to hit the level needed for the Incantations we’ll use. Here’s what you should roughly aim for at level 150:


After this, you’ll want to prioritise Dexterity until you hit the level 60 soft cap, then Strength up to the same cap. Beyond that, any points into Vigor make a huge difference to survivability.


As above, our weapon of choice is the Rakshasa’s Great Katana. Think of it as a longer version of the Rivers of Blood, though without quite the same blood loss silliness. It has 55 blood loss buildup though, a huge reach, and the excellent Weed Cutter skill, which we’ll cover below. You’ll want to upgrade it to +10 to trigger B Dexterity and D Strength scaling.

Rakshasa’s Great Katana stat requirements:

  • Strength 12
  • Dexterity 27
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Great Katana build: realm of shadow map.
Defeat Rakshasa to get the Great Katana. Captured by VideoGamer

You can find Rakshasa’s Great Katana in the Eastern Nameless Mausoleum in lower Scadu Altus (check out our dedicated guide with all steps to reach the area). It’s a bit of a trek to get there as you’ll need to find a secret ladder in Shadow Keep, ride a coffin, and finally make your way across some sketchy cliffs and platforms. And, of course, there’s the weapon’s eponymous mini-boss to beat, Rakshasa. But, there’s one major bonus to getting the weapon: you also get the full armor set we’re using for this build.

Alongside the Katana, you’ll also need to equip a Seal as a secondary weapon. Any Seal will do such as the Finger Seal. We used the Fire Knight’s Seal, but something like the Dragon Communion Seal with its 0 weight is a solid option as well.

Ash of War

No swapping out the Ash of War with Rakshasa’s Great Katana unfortunately, but this really isn’t an issue given the fixed Weed Cutter skill. It’s a Quality Type skill that unleashes horizontal swipes in a scythe-like motion that you can combo until your stamina runs out. But more interestingly, the skill comes with a hidden hyper armor passive buff that prevents interruption and reduces stagger potential, so you can tank hits while chaining Weed Cutter.


Golden VowIncreases attack and defense for self and allies
Flame, Grant Me StrengthRaises physical and fire-affinity attack power

We’re combining two classic build Incantations – Golden Vow and Flame, Grant Me Strength – to get a massive damage buff when they are triggered together. Golden Vow also helps mitigate some of the increase in damage-taken that comes with wearing Rakshasa’s armor set.


Shard of AlexanderGreatly boosts the attack power of skills
Dragoncrest Greatshield TalismanEnormously boosts physical damage negation
Two-Handed Sword TalismanEnhances attacks with two-handed weapons
Rotten Winged Sword InsigniaGreatly raises attack power with successive attacks

The Shard of Alexander gives a buff to the Weed Cutter skill by upping attack power. The Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman acts as another safety net for the damage-received nerf from the armor set. The Two-Handed Sword Talisman offers a boost to the Great Katana’s attack power when held in two hands, which you’ll want to do as often as possible. Finally, the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia will trigger a serious damage boost when chaining the Weed Cutter skill.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Great Katana build: helmet in equipment inventory.
Use the Rakshasa set with the Great Katana. Captured by VideoGamer

Armor and gear

  • Rakshasa Helm
  • Rakshasa Armor
  • Rakshasa Gauntlets
  • Rakshasa Greaves

Other than pairing with Rakshasa’s Great Katana in a visual sense, the Rakshasa set greatly increases damage dealt but also damage taken. It’s a bit of risky play in itself, but backed up by our talisman choices and Golden Vow, the downsides shouldn’t cause you too much trouble. The set’s overall damage negation stats are decent as our resistances. It also has a fairly low equip load requirement despite being a full armor set to keep your Tarnished light and free of the dreaded fat roll.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Great Katana build: mixed physick in equipment menu.
A brew of Thorny Cracked Tear and Opaline Bubbletear. Captured by VideoGamer

Mixed Physick and Great Rune

Our Mixed Physick blend includes the Thorny Cracked Tear to boost damage with consecutive attacks and to synergise with the Weed Cutter skill and Rotten Winged Sword Insignia. Alongside, we have the Opaline Bubbletear to add a bit more survivability to the build when up against tough bosses as it significantly negates damage in Mixed Physick.

For a Great Rune, Radahn’s Great Rune is an obvious choice for its boost to HP, FP, and stamina. But, Morgott’s Great Rune works as well thanks to its massive boosts to maximum HP. Either one will help lower the impact of the Rakshasa armor set.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Great Katana build: Tarnished fighting mobs in Gravesite Plain.
Chain Weed Cutter for devastating results. Captured by VideoGamer.

General combat tips

For general exploration and mobs, simply spam the weed cutter skill for massive chained combos. When moving on to bosses, you’ll want to first proc the Golden Vow and Flame, Grant Me Strength Incantations then chug the Mixed Physick, but otherwise Weed Cutter is the basis of this build and should be abused.

Do watch out as this is a bit of glass cannon build despite trying to make up for its squishiness with the right Talismans, Great Rune, and Mixed Physick Crystal Tears. You should be fairly safe to charge in and combo Weed Cutter and, in most cases, kill the boss before they have a time to deal serious damage. But, for tougher opponents, a slightly more defensive and wary approach is a better option.

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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