Elden Ring Build Guide: Intelligence

Quick Links

  • What Is An Intelligence Build
  • Stats To Aim For
  • Death Sorcery Build – Bullet Hell
  • Frost Mage Build – Ice, Ice Baby

So you want to be a wizard and blast your enemies with a barrage of spells and hope they turn to ash before they get to you? Then boy, do we have a build for you – pure Intelligence. You will be filling the screen with death and destruction before turning tail and running for your life – such is the way of the Elden Ring wizard.

We will be focusing on two builds for this guide, covering the unusual Hex mage and the brutally effective Frost mage. Death from afar – death from above – death from a winter's breeze – we have you covered. Grab your staff and let’s get to it.

What Is An Intelligence Build

Intelligence builds are all about having the right tool for the job. You will be casting spells as your primary source of damage, and that damage will be devastating. You will still have some options for close-range engagements, but for the most part, you are standing back and using magic.

Stats To Aim For

Because Death and Frost wizards are so different in terms of build, we have two sets of stats to use as a guide.

Death

StatsValue
Vigor40
Mind25
Endurance10
Strength8
Dexterity17
Intelligence60
Faith60
Arcane9

As you can see with a Death mage, you are going to want to have a mix of both Intelligence and Faith. This is a massive drain on your stats which means you are going to be lacking in other areas – specifically Endurance and Vigor.

Most armor will be too heavy for you to wear effectively, and you won’t be able to spam as effectively as other classes. This is made up for by the sheer number of projectiles on screen at once.

Frost

StatsValue
Vigor55
Mind25
Endurance25
Strength16
Dexterity12
Intelligence80
Faith7
Arcane9

This build is much more balanced but still manages to have amazing damage stats. We are aiming for 80 Intelligence and anywhere between 55-60 Vigor. We can take a hit, and we can dish it out in equal measure.

In addition, we also have a bunch of Endurance, which will let us use some heavier armors – which is always a good thing. This is rounded out with some Strength investment, so we can use one of the best weapons in the game – the Dark Moon Greatsword.

Death Sorcery Build – Bullet Hell

Overview

If you want a mage build that is completely different from the meta, then going for the Death magic is the way to go. It requires heavy investment in both Intelligence and Faith, and some late-game spells and equipment – it’s going to take a while to get to full power, but once you do, you are a force to be reckoned with.

Weapons

Being a mage, your primary source of damage will be spells. This means you need a rocking Staff. For Death magic, you will want to use the Prince Of Death’s Staff. This thing scales off both Intelligence and Faith and gives a boost to all Death sorcery. It’s a natural fit for the build.

For close-range encounters, the Wing Of Astel is the way to go. This sword has a fantastic moveset, its Charge Heavy is a ranged projectile, and its Weapon Art is an exploding nebula that can deal thousands of damage per cast. It’s an all-around amazing weapon.

Main Spells

  • Ancient Death Rancor
  • Glintstone Pebble
  • Loretta’s Mastery
  • Terra Magicka

Ancient Death Rancor is the focus of this build. This spell launches a barrage of slow-moving homing skulls at your targetted enemy, and each skull explodes on contact. This spell can be charged and deals pretty respectable damage once the build is fully constructed.

What makes Ancient Death Rancor so good, however, is the amount of stagger it inflicts. Many enemies and bosses can be staggered into oblivion, allowing you to deal incredible damage without having to worry about retaliation.

Your go-to spell for regular enemies and exploring will be Glintstone Pebble. As a spell, it deals great damage, has a decent range, can be cast quickly, and is very cheap. It’s a brilliant cantrip to have as a fallback.

Loretta’s Mastery is your utility pick. You use this to snipe enemies from a distance. It deals a lot of single target damage at a range no other spells can dream of reaching. If you don’t want to deal with something in a fair fight, snipe it from across the world. Simple as that.

Terra Magicka is your buff. It places a rune on the ground, and as long as you are standing on this rune, all your Magic damage is increased by 35%. This buff is not to be underestimated, and you should start every encounter by casting this first.

Talismans

Talismans are pretty simple for this build. You want to boost your Intelligence, Faith, and damage. For this, you will want to equip Marika’s Sorseal for a +5 to all your Magic-based stats. Combo this with Stargazer Heirloom and Two-Fingers Heirloom to add +5 to Intelligence and Faith.

Your final Talisman should be Godfrey’s Icon, which increases the damage of all charged spells. This, combined with Terra Magicka, will buff your Ancient Death Rancor and Loretta’s Mastery, as well as any other charged spells.

Armor

Due to the lack of Endurance, you will be forced to wear pretty light armor. This is the biggest drawback to this build, so get ready to dodge. Remember that Marika’s Soreseal increases all damage taken by 15 percent. Either wear the heaviest kit you can whilst Medium Rolling or aim for the Light Roll.

Flask Of Wondrous Physick

You will want to mix your flask with the Intelligence-Knot and Faith-Knot Crystal Tears. This will increase your Intelligence and Faith to 80 for 3 minutes. This is the hard cap for both these stats and will bring this build to its full potential.

Frost Mage Build – Ice, Ice Baby

Overview

Where the Death Mage is all about glass-cannon stagger damage, the Frost Mage is much more well-rounded and can deal incredible amounts of burst damage. This is your standard mage, with a few extra toys thrown in for good measure.

Weapons

For your staff, you want to bring the Carian Royal Scepter. This is the best staff in the game, and unlike something like Lusat’s Staff, has no downsides. Not only that, it gives us a nice 10 percent damage boost to Moon sorceries, which we will be using frequently.

For your weapon, the Dark Moon Greatsword is the way to go. This weapon deals incredible amounts of damage per swing, scales off of Intelligence, and its Weapon Art buffs its damage even further and coats it in Frost. Not only that, it turns its Charged Heavy Attack into a powerful ice wave that deals thousands of damage.

Main Spells

  • Ranni’s Darkmoon
  • Glintstone Icecrag
  • Adula’s Moonblade
  • Terra Magicka

The beating heart of this build is Frost magic, and Ranni’s Darkmoon is what will fuel this build and bring it to full power. Not only does this spell deal incredible damage, but it absorbs hostile spells, has amazing tracking, and decreases enemy Magic Resistance by 10 percent.

When combined with Frostbite, which reduces Resistance by a further 20%, Ranni’s Dark Moon is a staggeringly powerful debuff and should be your opener when fighting anything beefy. Adding to its utility is the large AOE explosion on contact, making it great for clearing crowds.

Icecrag is our workhorse. This is for killing weaker enemies and stacking Frostbite. Most enemies will be afflicted by Frostbite in a single Dark Moon/Icecrag combo, making it very effective. Its range is quite short, but it’s incredibly cheap to throw out.

Adula’s Moonblade is our nuke. This spell hits three times per swing on larger enemies, with each hit dealing around 1000 damage. Not to mention it can proc Frostbite devilishly quickly, letting you burst some of the scariest enemies down in a single cast. This has a wide AOE too, making it amazing at killing large groups of enemies.

The final piece to this puzzle is Terra Magicka. The 35 percent boost to all Magic damage is too good to pass up, especially when you are dealing 30 percent more damage on all enemies thanks to Ranni’s Dark Moon and Frostbite.

Talismans

For Talismans, you want to boost your magic damage, and the best way to do this is with the Graven Mass Talisman, which increases all Sorcery damage by 8 percent. Combine this with the Magic Scorpion Charm for another 15 percent boost to all Magic damage, and you’re good to go.

Your last two Talismans should be Radagon’s Icon, which reduces the cast time of all spells, and Godfrey’s Icon, which increases all your Charged attacks. The latter Talisman is purely to buff your Dark Moon Greatsword, as its Charged R2 benefits from this greatly. You could also bring the Axe Talisman instead of Radagon’s Icon to further increase this damage.

Armor

For armor, you want as much defense as possible whilst still landing a Medium Roll. The only armor piece that is a must-take is the Snow Witch Hat. This hat increases all Frost magic damage by 10 percent, which is a nice boost.

Flask Of Wondrous Physick

For Tears, you want the Magic-Shrouding Tear to increase all your Magic damage for three minutes, as well as the Cerulean Hidden Tear for infinite FP for 15 seconds. This will let you cast your expensive spells at the start of the fight, as well as increase the damage of all your spells – again.

With all of these buffs, you will be hitting for thousands of damage with each spell cast, and nothing in Elden Ring can stand up to the sustained death-dealing the Frost Mage can dish out.

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