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Best Elden Ring Scarlet Rot build: stats, weapon, armor and talismans

Now it's your time to make them suffer.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring with the Mushroom Crown and two daggers
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogame

The Scarlet Rot build takes advantage of a detrimental effect to slowly deplete the enemy’s health bar in Elden Ring.

The methods to finish enemies off in Elden Ring vary, going from traditionally killing them with powerful blows from a massive hammer to conjuring deadly sorceries to finish off them. But you can always work smarter and not harder by using tools to weaken or damage enemies while you stay safe.

To teach you how to master this dangerous effect, we’ve prepared this guide on the best Scarlet Rot build in Elden Ring. In this piece, we explain the best stats, weapons, armours, and talismans to run with this build.

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How to play with the Scarlet Rot build in Elden Ring

Although it has a unique explanation within the world of Elden Ring on what Scarlet Rot is, gameplay-wise, it works like the Poison effect. Because of that, a build centred around this mechanic focuses on applying and keeping the effect up on enemies to cause damage over time. While this is a less explosive play style, it is not less effective.

Scarlet Rot works in Elden Ring in a similar way to Bleed or other detrimental effects. You inflict Scarlet Rot on an enemy after hitting them enough times with the effect and surpassing their resistance. Like you, the effect kicks in enemies once a bar – which you can’t see – is filled. Your mission with this build is to fill it as quickly as possible.

For you to apply Scarlet Rot to enemies, you’re going to rely on one of the two following weapons, the Antspur Rapier and the Scorpion’s Stinger. You find the former earlier, so the whole idea is to swap them once you find the latter. However, while the Scorpion’s Stinger is the most indicated for the final version of the build, their play style is different. In case you prefer using the quick thrust sequences of Antspur Rapier, there’s no problem.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring showing the Antspur Rapier
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogame

Either weapons allow you to unleash fast sequences of attacks, increasing the chance of triggering the Scarlet Rot effect. Once the poison is ticking and the boss is taking damage over time, you can kite them while you wait for the appropriate moment to reapply the effect. Even though it’s possible to just focus on repeating this process until the boss is dead, this is not the best option. The longer the boss stays alive, the higher the chance of them killing you before the fight is over.

To accelerate the process of killing enemies, we suggest that you choose a secondary Dexterity-based weapon to run, such as the Bloodhound’s Fang, giving priority to the ones that can apply Bleed buildup. Hemorrhage is a great option for a secondary detrimental effect since you can apply it to most major bosses in the game.

One of the downsides of this build is that it depends on many pieces of equipment only found in the late portion of the game. You can’t find weapons which build up Scarlet Rot in the early game. Most spells that you can use to inflict Scarlet Rot also require a considerable investment in stats such as Faith. So, if you want to run this build, consider swapping to it after you have gone through a large portion of the game or in a New Game Plus session.

Scorpion's Stinger screenshot from Elden Ring with the text "Dagger fashioned from a great scorpion's tail, glistening with scarlet rot."
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogame

Another downside is the fact both Antspur Rapier and Scorpion’s Stinger aren’t good options against multiple enemies. At the same time, when it comes to regular enemies, you’re going to kill them before the effect is triggered. Because of that, the Scarlet Rot effect is mostly useful against bosses or large enemies.

Elden Ring best Scarlet Rot stats

Stats in Elden Ring not only regulate the kind of armour sets and weapons you use but also the spells you have access to. The disposition of stats indicated here represents a level 150 character. While it’s important to prioritize the most important stats for the build, take into consideration the moment you’re in the game. Faith and Dexterity might be extremely important for the build, but without some Vigor and Endurance, you can’t do much.

Here are the figures you should aim for this build:

  • Vigor: 50
  • Mind: 30
  • Endurance: 30
  • Strength: 31
  • Dexterity: 60
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Faith: 8
  • Arcane: 8

Even though this build focuses on using Scarlet Rot and a specific stat, you should spend most of your points in Dexterity and Vigor. Most weapons you’ll be running with this build are Dexterity-based, and Vigor determines how much health you have, making them extremely important for general purposes. A good starting class for this build which helps you reach these numbers is the Samurai.

In case you want to use incantations to apply Scarlet Rot, you will have to reallocate at points to Faith. Doing so will likely affect how much damage you cause in combat with the weapons you have. But, if you want to try it out, you can always respec your character in Elden Ring if you don’t enjoy the final result.

Elden Ring best Scarlet Rot weapons

As mentioned before, there aren’t many weapons capable of inflicting Scarlet Rot buildup. While the best weapon for this build is the Scorpion’s Stinger, you should run a secondary weapon to attack enemies while the Scarlet Rot effect is up.

For the final version of this build, you might want to run a twinblade such as Eleonora’s Poleblade, the Rivers of Blood katana, or the Reduvia dagger. The first you earn by defeating Eleonora, Violet Bloody Finger at the Second Church of Marika, while the second is the reward you receive by defeating Bloody Finger Okina at the Church of Repose in the Mountaintops of the Giants region. But if you want the Reduvia dagger, you can get it by progressing through the Bloody Finger Yura’s quest.

Reduvia screenshot from Elden Ring with the text "Jagged dagger with a distinctive curved blade. Used by the noble servants of the Lord of Blood."
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogame

In the early stage of this build, while you’re still exploring Limgrave, there is no Scarlet Rot weapon to use. Instead, you should go with the Uchigatana, which you start with as a Samurai or can grab in the Deathtouched Catacombs located in Stormhill. Another option is the Bloodhound’s Fang, a curved greatsword that you earn after defeating Bloodhound Knight Darriwil in Limgrave. Both are great Bleed weapons that can carry you until you properly start to find the items for this build.

In midgame, after you have reached Altus Plateau, you can finally get the Antspur Rapier. This weapon drops by Maleigh Marais, Shaded Castle Castellan, an enemy who is west of the Shaded Castle in the north region of Altus Plateau. Defeat her to get your first Scarlet Rot weapon.

Now, to finally put your hand on the Scorpion’s Stinger, you need to get to the Lake of Rot, a place you can access more easily by progressing through Ranni’s quest and defeating Starscourge Radahn. If you’re in a New Game Plus session, it’s possible to get this weapon again and wield two of them in battle.

Elden Ring best Scarlet Rot armor

While armour sets in Elden Ring aren’t the most important items to make builds work, there are some pieces that you should consider running for their passive abilities. For this build, this is especially true when talking about the Mushroom Crown. This helm piece hardly fits in most sets visually speaking. However, by wearing it, you receive a damage buff whenever Poison or Rot effects are triggered in the local. Considering you will always be facing enemies who are under the effect of Rot, this hat offers you an almost nonstop buff.

When it comes to the other pieces, there isn’t the most optimal combination. Look for pieces that give you at least a good Poise but keep the equipment load in the medium level, to dodge enemies’ attacks with ease. A solid option for early and midgame is the Royal Remains set, which increases survivability due to its passive that heals you if you’re low health.

Character screenshot from Elden Ring showing the Mushroom Crown
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogame

A good piece of equipment to run in this build is the Coil Shield, a small and considerably light shield. The reason why we want to use the Coil Shield is not for defence though. This exotic shield has a skill called Viper Bite, which inflicts enemies with Deadly Poison. By starting a fight with this shield, you make sure to always have the Mushroom Crown passive up.

Elden Ring best Scarlet Rot talismans

When it comes to talismans, this build requires you to have a specific one. Not having it with you doesn’t necessarily make the build stop working, but the potential it has is reduced considerably.

The most important talisman for this build is the Kindred of Rot’s Exultation. You get this talisman after defeating the Kindred of Rot bosses in the Seethewater Cave, in Mt. Gelmir. This talisman has the same effect as the Mushroom Crown, raising your attack power when Poison or Rot is triggered around the area you are in, but they stack, raising even more your damage.

Kindred of Rot's Exultation screenshot from Elden Ring with the text "A talisman depicting the exultation of pests. Raises attack power when poisoning or rot occurs in the vicinity."
Image credit: FromSoftware/Eurogame

A second good option to run with this build is the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia, which increases your attack power based on the number of hits you land. Since the weapons suggested for this build are not heavy, it’s mostly likely that you’re going to land at least two hits when you attack an enemy. You earn this talisman during Millicent’s questline.

The third possible talisman for this build is the Lord of Blood’s Exultation. Consider it a version of the Kindred of Rot’s Exultation but instead of activating with Rot or Poison, the Lord of Blood’s Exultation’s effect is triggered when blood loss occurs. In case you’re running a secondary weapon capable of Bleed buildup, this is a great buff to have.

Next build: Quality build

Need more help? Jump back to our list of Elden Ring builds or our Elden Ring walkthrough.

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