Elden Ring, the highly anticipated game from FromSoftware, has finally arrived, and it’s packed with expansive gameplay and numerous opportunities for character progression. One such progression element is the Ashes of War, which can significantly enhance your weapons and open up new combat options.
We’ll cover everything you need to know about Ashes of War, including their purposes, how to use them, and where to find the essential Whetstone Knife. Read on to become a master of Elden Ring’s Ashes of War and unleash your character’s full potential.
What are Ashes of War in Elden Ring?
Ashes of War are powerful enchantments that can be found or purchased throughout the world of Elden Ring. When applied to compatible weapons, these enchantments grant unique abilities, called Weapon Arts, and alter the weapon’s scaling through Affinities.
The result is a more versatile and potent arsenal, enabling you to customize your weapons according to your preferred playstyle.
Each Ash of War comes with a unique Weapon Art, which is a special ability that can be activated during combat. These abilities range from powerful attacks to defensive maneuvers, providing additional tactical options in battle.
Using Weapon Arts consumes Focus Points (FP), the blue bar between your health and stamina, so managing your FP wisely is crucial for unleashing these skills effectively.
In addition to Weapon Arts, Ashes of War also grant weapons specific Affinities. Affinities modify the weapon’s scaling, altering how its damage output is affected by your character’s attributes. By choosing the right Affinities for your build, you can optimize your weapons for maximum damage potential.
How to Use Ashes of War: The Whetstone Knife
To begin using Ashes of War, you must first acquire the Whetstone Knife, a vital tool for applying these enchantments. The Whetstone Knife can be found in the Gatefront Ruins in Limgrave. Once you have the Whetstone Knife in your inventory, head to the nearest Site of Grace, where you can rest and equip Ashes of War to your weapons.
Equipping Ashes of War
Resting at a Site of Grace opens up a menu with an Ashes of War option. Select this option to view your available Ashes of War and the weapons they can be applied to. Keep in mind that not all Ashes of War are compatible with every weapon type, so experimentation is key to finding the best combinations.
To equip an Ash of War to a weapon, simply select the desired Ash and weapon from the menu, and the enchantment will be applied. Equipping an Ash of War to a weapon replaces any existing Weapon Art and modifies the weapon’s scaling according to the new Affinity.
Using Weapon Arts in Combat
Once an Ash of War is equipped to a weapon, its associated Weapon Art can be activated in combat by pressing L2 on PlayStation or LT on Xbox. On PC, hold Shift and press right-click. Remember that using Weapon Arts consumes FP, so managing your Focus Points is essential for effective use of these powerful abilities.
It’s also important to note that certain Ashes of War may overwrite others depending on your equipment loadout. For example, if you have a sword equipped with an Ash of War and a shield with the Parry skill, the Parry skill will take precedence. To avoid this, remove the Parry Ash of War from your shield, quickly unequip your shield, or two-hand your weapon.
Understanding Affinities: Balancing Scaling and Damage Types
Affinities are a crucial aspect of Ashes of War, as they determine the weapon’s scaling with your character’s attributes. Different Affinities boost specific stats while reducing others, allowing you to optimize your weapons according to your build. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of the various Affinities and their effects on weapon scaling and damage types.
The Standard Affinity is the default scaling for most weapons, providing balanced scaling across several attributes. This is a solid choice for players who want a versatile weapon without specializing in a particular damage type or stat.
Heavy, Keen, and Quality Affinities
Heavy, Keen, and Quality Affinities focus on improving the scaling of the primary melee attributes: Strength and Dexterity. Heavy boosts Strength scaling at the expense of other attributes, making it ideal for large, powerful weapons. Keen enhances Dexterity scaling, which is perfect for lighter, faster weapons. Finally, Quality balances Strength and Dexterity scaling, providing a well-rounded option for players who want to maximize both attributes.
Magic, Sacred, and Occult Affinities
Magic, Sacred, and Occult Affinities cater to players who invest in Intelligence or Faith attributes. Magic adds Intelligence scaling and splits the weapon’s damage between Physical and Magic types, while Sacred does the same for Faith and Holy damage types. Occult weakens the weapon’s default scaling but adds Arcane scaling and prevents undead enemies from reviving, making it a powerful option against certain foes.
Elemental Affinities: Fire, Flame Art, and Lightning
Fire, Flame Art, and Lightning Affinities add elemental damage to your weapons. Fire splits the weapon’s damage between Physical and Fire types, while Flame Art does the same but also adds Faith scaling. Lightning enhances Dexterity scaling and splits the weapon’s damage between Physical and Lightning types, making it a strong choice for Dexterity-focused characters.
Status Affinities: Poison, Cold, and Blood
Poison, Cold, and Blood Affinities add status effects to your weapons, making them even more dangerous in combat. Poison improves Arcane, Strength, and Dexterity scaling while adding poison build-up to attacks, while Cold increases Intelligence scaling and adds Frostbite build-up. Blood adds Arcane scaling and Bleed build-up to attacks, making it a lethal option for aggressive players.
Whetblade Locations: Expanding Your Affinity Options
While the Whetstone Knife allows you to apply Ashes of War to your weapons, additional Whetblades can be found throughout the world of Elden Ring, each granting new Affinities for your arsenal. By collecting these Whetblades, you can further customize your weapons to suit your preferred playstyle. Below is a list of Whetblade locations:
- Iron Whetblade (Keen/Heavy/Quality): Found in Stormveil Castle, Limgrave. The Whetblade is located behind a Stonesword Key door on the west side of the castle, past a Grafted horror with many arms.
- Glintstone Whetblade (Magic/Cold): Acquired in Raya Lucaria Academy, Liurnia of the Lakes. After defeating the Red Wolf, head west at the courtyard fountain and up the slope to find a corpse on a balcony near some kneeling undead.
- Red-Hot Whetblade (Fire/Flame Art): Located in Redmane Castle, Caelid. From the Chamber Outside the Plaza Site of Grace, run past the flamethrower turrets and take the northwest path towards the tower. Evade the Iron Maiden and enter the tower to find the Whetblade.
- Sanctified Whetblade (Lightning/Sacred): Found in the Fortified Manor, Leyndell, Royal Capital. Climb the dragon’s wing from the Avenue Balcony Site of Grace, then head left and up the wooden balcony to find the Whetblade inside a side-door on an anvil.
- Black Whetblade (Poison/Blood/Occult): Located at Night’s Sacred Ground, Nokron. The Whetblade can be found on a corpse in front of an altar inside the church.
Obtaining More Ashes of War in Elden Ring
Ashes of War can be acquired in various ways throughout Elden Ring, allowing you to continually expand your collection of powerful enchantments. Here are some methods for obtaining Ashes of War:
- Defeat bosses or unique enemies to earn their Ashes of War as rewards.
- Explore hard-to-reach areas guarded by powerful foes, where Ashes of War may be hidden.
- Purchase Ashes of War from certain merchants, such as Bernahl at the Warmaster’s Shack in Limgrave.
- Duplicate your existing Ashes of War by providing Smithing Master Hewg with Lost Ashes of War.
With this comprehensive guide, you now know everything you need to effectively use Ashes of War in Elden Ring. Experiment with different combinations of Weapon Arts and Affinities to create a truly unique and powerful arsenal tailored to your character’s build. Good luck, and may your adventures in the Lands Between be filled with epic victories and unforgettable moments.