Elden Ring magic players, like Dark Souls before it, can be glass cannons. Tarnished who go for magic builds can cause major damage from afar with the right build and powerful spells. Like many open-world player builds, these require armor, weapons, but most importantly, spells.
As somebody who only plays magic in FromSoftware games, Elden Ring taught me how truly powerful you can be focusing on magic. Last weekend, I finished a 109.5-hour run through Elden Ring and fully realized how magic can make you godlike.
Elden Ring does have some issues with magic armor, but by the endgame, you can very easily wreck your foes. That said, you need to take important steps throughout to get to that power. This is a long-term project that requires multiple questlines finished, certain dungeons explored, specific equipment readied, and certain skills prioritized.
Writer’s Note: Obligatory loot, quest, and everything Elden Ring-related spoilers throughout (including hidden bosses). Furthermore, this guide is primarily written for Intelligence-based players, not Faith.
Step 1: Accept that Elden Ring Magic Players Need Ash Summons to Survive
If this feels shameful to you, get over it. You need your summons. Magic users are so non-physically oriented that they need friends.
Throughout the game, you’ll find a variety of summons that can help you in different ways. They come in groups, duos, but mostly solos. Most of them require a Focus Point (your magic points, or FP) cost, but a small handful demands a blood sacrifice (read HP cost).
Regarding this guide, the Mimic Tear is the biggest one to hunt for, but we’ll address it later. For now, with your occasional companions picked out, let’s talk equipment. Specifically, let’s talk fonts of magic.
Step 2: Hunt Down Glintstone Staffs
Magic fonts (casting sources, like staves and seals) aren’t copious, but not necessarily hard to find. Intelligence-driven players will want staves for their Sorceries, while Faith-based players want Sacred Seals. Seals are much rarer to find than staves.
Staves are more common, especially at the Academy of Raya Lucaria. However, there’s a powerful one waiting early on for players with a death wish. The Dragon Burnt Ruins has a booby-trapped chest that takes you to the Sellia Crystal Tunnels.
Only open that chest if you’re willing to risk probable death for a stick and flying rocks. In-game, the stick is the Meteorite Staff and the rock(s) is the Rock Sling spell. They make a very good stick and rock combo but expect to lose any runes you haven’t used yet.
To further illustrate this rock-stick combo, the Meteorite Staff scales spells to S-tier but only requires an Intelligence of 18 and a Strength of 6. For context on the strength, the lowest starting Strength value of any class is 8. Rock Sling, as a gravity spell, gets boosted damage from the Meteorite Staff as well.
Meteorite Staff does have one drawback: it can’t be improved by a craftsman. Regardless, that set is an excellent combo to use until you find Grandmaster’s equipment.
Step 3: Explore Raya Lucaria, Elden Ring’s Magic Academy
Raya Lucaria focuses on magical studies, and as such, the loot drops are very magically oriented. Magical staves, helms, and robes fall off your fallen foes. Most of these provide decent upgrades to your starting equipment and can be upgraded at the Roundtable Hold.
Specifically, there are some magical headpieces here that give additional stat benefits (mentioned in their flavor texts). Each headpiece weighs more than most magic headpieces and nerfs a different stat for magical buffs. To find them, look for Crystallized Crabs hiding in some odd corners.
Magic users should also be aware that Raya Lucaria is particularly challenging for them. Magicians here are relentless and everything has some sort of magical buff.
Most importantly, go rooftop running. After beating the first boss, the Red Wolf of Radagon, there is a path that leads to the Academy’s rooftops. They’ll take you all the way back to the entrance, but also take you to the hiding place of Azur’s Glintstone Staff.
If you want to thank him in person, go north and go counter-clockwise around Mt. Gelmir, which leads to the next step:
Step 4: Go Through Sellen’s Quest for S-Tier Spells and Armor
Sorceress Sellen, the Graven Witch, has a bone to pick with the Academy of Raya Lucaria. She definitely seems to be hiding the full story, but she’ll lead you to two Primeval Sorceries, exceptionally powerful spells. At first, she just sells Sorceries in Limgrave Ruins, but once you find Comet Azur from wrapping around Mt. Gelmir, she sees your true potential.
Comet Azur is one of three total Primeval Sorceries. You find another one deeper into Sellen’s quest, and they’re both must-haves. Comet Azur shoots a straight laser after charging while the caster holds the button down.
Watch the above clip for a demonstration of the Primeval Sorceries you find.
Also, while not directly quest-related, there is a Grand Master’s Glintstone Staff close to the second Sorcery. As a matter of fact, said staff rests close by to the Meteorite Staff. Wait until you do Sellen’s quest to find this staff, however, because it has a high Intelligence requirement.
Furthermore, the final part of Sellen’s quest makes you choose between attacking and defending Sellen. If you decide to protect her, you can go back to where you found each Sorcery to find their respective Grand Masters’ armor sets.
Speaking of going back to Mt. Gelmir…
Step 5: Beat Mt. Gelmir’s Minor Erdtree’s Ulcerated Tree Spirit
Ulcerated Tree Spirits are corrupted, serpent-like versions of the Erdtree Avatars you find guarding healthy Minor Erdtrees. Like the Avatars by Erdtrees, this one drops a Tear for the Flask of Wondrous Physick. That Tear in question is the Cerulean Hidden Tear.
The Cerulean Hidden Tear is the key to your moment of godlike power. While active (for only fifteen seconds), you don’t spend any FP to cast a spell, meaning your Primeval Sorceries can deal extra damage for free. Once the Flask wears off, you’ll spend FP but you won’t break your current casting.
What’s more, your Mimic Tear, when summoned, can use the Flask of Wondrous Physick if you have it equipped. So when you summon the Mimic Tear with a staff and continuously-casted spells like Comet Azur equipped, it will take advantage of this as well.
Taking all of these pieces together (the Ash Summon, high-powered staff, Primeval Sorceries, etc.), you can deal massive amounts of damage to late-game bosses in less than 30 seconds.
If you want to stop here, that’s fine and understandable. However…
Optional: Find the Meteorite and Meteorite of Astel Sorceries
The straight Meteorite sorcery is your reward for clearing the Royal Grave Evergaol, while the latter is from the Yelough Anix Tunnel. Like Comet Azur, both spells are continuously cast. Unlike Comet Azur, they work wonders for staggering opponents.
Both take the same advantage the Comet Azur and Cerulean Hidden Tear combination does while also easily staggering opponents. When a boss staggers, it collapses and its weak point glows. Find it, and you can deal even more damage.
These aren’t necessarily required sorceries since you’ll have Comet Azur by now, but they’re still wildly helpful.