Elden Iron Cleaver Build Guide – Carian Cleaver


In this Elden Ring Iron Cleaver Build Guide, I’ll be showing you my Carian Cleaver build. This is an all-game build that can be used from very early on in the game all the way through to NG+. It has very high damage, and it’s a good hybrid mage build that has very high melee damage.

Elden Ring Iron Cleaver Build Guide – Carian Cleaver

Carian Cleaver is a hybrid Iron Cleaver build that can be used early in the game and ultimately, towards the endgame, including New Game Plus. The Carian Cleaver build highlights high damage of spellcasting and melee attacks. If you’re looking for that balance between casting spells and being effective in melee combat, then this build is for you.

  • Class: Any
  • Flask Spread: Equal Charges
  • Weapon: Iron Cleaver, Carian Regal Scepter
  • Shield: Jellyfish Shield
  • Armor: Carian Knight Helm, Carian Knight Armor, Banished Knight Gauntlets, Banished Knight Greaves
  • Talismans: Ritual Sword Talisman, Axe Talisman, Magic Scorpion Charm
  • Primary Stats: Intelligence, Vigor, Mind
  • Secondary Stats: Endurance, Strength
  • Skills: Royal Knight’s Resolve
  • Spells: Greatblade Phalanx
  • Crystal Tear: Magic-Shrouding Cracked Tear, Spiked Cracked Tear
  • Great Runes: Radahn’s Great Rune

We have over 110 Elden Ring Builds now, for all classes and playstyles. This build is recommended for all levels.

Elden Ring Iron Cleaver Build – Equipment

The weapon that I’m using here is the Iron Cleaver. The Iron Cleaver has a high damage when set to Magic infusion, the highest among all axes. It has phenomenal Strength scaling, with S-scaling if you set it to Heavy, so you could play this as a Strength build if you want to make another version of it.

Iron Cleaver

Iron Cleaver is found early on in the game by farming it in Castle Morne, from the Misbegotten enemies that are wielding it. It might take you some time to farm it, but it’s relatively quick into the game. These aren’t difficult enemies, so it isn’t very hard to farm.


What I love about the Iron Cleaver besides its high damage is its R2 attack, which pulls you forward, then slamming the weapon. It allows you to close the gap, as enemies tend to move out of the way with other charged R2 attacks. With this, even if the enemy jumps backward, you’re going to close the distance and still hit them with it. It takes a bit longer than a normal R2, but it allows you to hit more consistently. You can start your charged R2 from further away, then land it while the enemy is winding up for their attack, usually interrupting them.

I outfitted the Iron Cleaver with Royal Knight’s Resolve because this is going to buff its charged R2 attack to do really high damage. You can pull it off safely because you’ll start charging outside of the enemy’s range.

I’m also using Carian Regal Scepter here because I have very high Intelligence. This is a hybrid build because we have the Iron Cleaver set to Magic infusion. This allows us to cast spells or use our charged R2 strategy with no Royal Knight’s Resolve. You can use any spell you want for this build because of the high Intelligence. However, if you decide to use this build early on in the game, you won’t have the required Intelligence to use this staff. You can use Meteorite Staff or the Academy Glintstone Staff while you’re building up your Intelligence for this weapon.

One spell I highly recommend here is Greatblade Phalanx. You can cast this spell then do your charged R2 attack, triggering it. It will do Stance damage which allows you to stagger enemies more quickly, killing them easily. It’s nice to have this spell iin our build, but it’s expensive FP-wise.

The Jellyfish Shield is a nice addition to this build because it allows you to do block counters. You have very high melee damage, so that gives you another option of things you can do. This build is an all-around build with high melee damage, magic damage, block counters. If you have your staff and axe out, buff with Royal Knight’s Resolve, then switch out your staff for the shield, use its L2, you’ll buff your damage by another 20%. This increases your charged R2 attack and your follow-up attacks will do more damage as long as you have the Jellyfish Shield on your left hand.

Jellyfish Shield

Armor-wise, I have the Carian Knight Helm, Carian Knight Armor, Banished Knight Gauntlets, and Banished Knight Greaves because I like how these armor pieces look for our build. You can use whatever you want for this build, as long as you have 51 Poise so you can tank through regular hits and do your charged R2 attacks without getting interrupted.

Elden Ring Iron Cleaver Build – Talismans

The talismans I’m using for this Elden Ring Iron Cleaver build are: Ritual Sword Talisman, Axe Talisman, and Magic Scorpion Charm

Ritual Sword Talisman further boosts my charged R2 attack damage and spells when I’m at full health. When you’re playing as a caster, Ritual Sword Talisman is really good because you’re trying not to get hit, ranging enemies down from a distance. You shouldn’t be getting hit as much as a melee character, so this is a way to not only buff your spell damage, but also melee damage.

Ritual Sword Talisman

I’m also using the Axe Talisman here which works great with an axe, who would have thought? This further increases our charged R2 damage. We’re going all out for a Royal Knight’s Resolve charged R2 attack, so this talisman is just going to add more damage to it.

Axe Talisman

We also have the Magic Scorpion Charm to increase our magic damage. Again, a lot of our spells are magic damagae and our weapon damage is primarily magic damage. You’re going to get decent effectiveness on your melee weapon, and it significantly increases our spells, making it work really well with our build.

Magic Scorpion Charm

In the last spot, you can put whatever you want depending on the situation. If you’re fighting a boss and you’re spamming R1 attacks, you can use the Rotten Winged Sword Insignia or Millicent’s Prosthesis to get a damage increase. You could also use Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman to further boost your defense, especially with our set-up. My armor isn’t fully optimized for protection, and you’ll be using the Magic Scorpion Charm, so this gives us decent protection. I also like the Dagger Talisman or Curved Sword Talisman, as you tend to do block counters with this build if you have your shield out.

Elden Ring Iron Cleaver Build – Attributes

The attributes that we have for this Elden Ring Iron Cleaver build are: 50 Vigor, 30 Mind, 28 Endurance, 20 Strength, 14 Dexterity, 80 Intelligence, 7 Faith, and 9 Arcane. You don’t need any Faith or Arcane for this build. If you were to take this build to NG++, you should try incorporating Golden Vow by increasing your Faith to get a bit more damage

You’re going to want at least 50 Vigor at endgame in order to be able to trade hits and not die. You’re going to be increasing this throughout the whole game so that you won’t die to bosses. With this build, you should be staggering bosses and killing enemies pretty quickly, so you don’t need to increase this as quickly as some other builds.

I have 30 Mind here because you cast a lot of spells and buffs, like Royal Knight’s Resolve. You’re going to need a decent amount of FP with this build. It’s not a bad idea to get this up to 25 early on, but you’ll want it to be around 30.

28 Endurance allows me to do a medium roll with the exact set-up I have mentioned earlier. Even changing a talisman could change the exact number, so this will vary depending on which equipment you choose.

You’ll need 15 Strength to use Iron Cleaver, so you’re going to be aiming to get some Strength early on to use it one-handed. Jellyfish Shield requires 20, so getting it up to 20 early on will let you use both in tandem.

14 Dexterity is just there for the Jellyfish Shield’s requirement. If you’re not going to use the Jellyfish Shield, you can reduce your Strength and Dexterity by a bit.

80 Intelligence will increase the damage of our spells and weapon. You can increase this to 99 in NG+, but early on, it’s not very important. You just need to make sure that you meet the requirements for the spells that you want to use, then prioritize Vigor, Mind, Endurance and get the requirements for Strength and Dexterity.

Elden Ring Iron Cleaver Build – Final Tips

For the Flask of Wondrous Physick, I like using the Magic-Shrouding Cracked Tear because this increases magic damage. This will boost your spell damage, charged R2 attacks, regular attacks. It’s going to give us the boost we need in a tough stretch or a boss fight. You can also use Spiked Cracked Tear to increase your charged R2 attack. You can nearly one-shot bosses if you’re fully buffed, especially with Spiked Cracked Tear.

When it comes to Great Runes, I like using Radahn’s Great Rune as it gives us health, stamina, and FP. You could also use Godrick’s Great Rune as you need to increase 6 of the 8 attributes. Godrick’s Great Rune might be the better choice if you get it early on, as it will help you reach the required Strength and Dexterity for this build.

That’s it for our Carian Cleaver Build Guide! As always, let us know if you have questions or other tips in the comments below. We have a ton more builds coming for Elden Ring and Shadow of the Erdtree so stay tuned for those. If you need help finding items, and securing some personal objectives, make sure to check the Elden Ring Map. Happy building!


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