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Elden Ring Dark Moon Greatsword Build Guide – Moonlight Crusader

In this Elden Ring Dark Moon Greatsword Build, I’ll showcase the Moonlight Crusader build, which is a level 150 version of the Dark Moon Spellblade build that sort of takes that build and progresses it even further.

Elden Ring Dark Moon Greatsword Build Guide: Moonlight Crusader

An Intelligence Build that uses the Dark Moon Greatsword and spells to range down enemies from a distance.

  • Class: Any
  • Flask Spread: Mostly HP some FP
  • Weapon: Dark Moon Greatsword & Carian Regal Scepter
  • Shield: None
  • Armor: Heaviest you can wear and still medium roll
  • Talismans: Shard of Alexander, Godfrey Icon, Magic Scorpion Charm & Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman
  • Primary Stats: Intelligence
  • Secondary Stats: Vigor & Mind
  • Skills: Moonlight Greatsword
  • Spells: Ranni’s Dark Moon, Greatblade Phalanx, Terra Magica & Comet

We have over 110 Elden Ring Builds now, for all classes and playstyles. This build is recommended for Level 150.

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Moonlight Crusader: Stats & Equipment

So obviously with this build, we are going to be using the Dark Moon Greatsword, no surprise there, and in this build, we’re focused on optimizing our damage with not only this sword but also how to get the most damage out of spells as well, because you will be using spells with this build, particularly ones that have very high Intelligence costs, because they will increase the amount of magic damage you do.

So talking a little bit about the Dark Moon Greatsword, first of all, this weapon has very good in-scaling at max level, and it has decent Strength and Dexterity scaling. They’re not incredible. But here’s the thing, your Strength and Dexterity scaling are roughly the same as your Intelligence scaling after you hit about 50 or so Intelligence. So up to 50 Intelligence, you’re getting way more damage, magic damage, out of Intelligence than you would be Strength or Dexterity increasing your physical damage.

So you’d minimally, minimally want at least 50 Intelligence if you’re using this weapon, you know, at this part of the game. But after that point, it doesn’t really matter which three of those stats you increase, you’re going to get about the same amount of damage. The difference is Strength and Dexterity will give you physical damage, and Intelligence will give you magic damage. But there are a couple of reasons, in my opinion, that you want to keep increasing Intelligence over Strength and Dexterity. And firstly, is because the Moonlight Greatsword ability is 100% magic damage.

And the damage of that, you know, the charged R2 or R2 attack when you buff the greatsword will be increased by your Intelligence, but not Strength or Dexterity. So continuing to increase that is going to keep increasing that attack. And secondly, it’s going to increase the damage of your magic spells that you use as well. So you’re going to get a double whammy out of that. And I feel like that’s really the reason to lean into Intelligence if you’re using this weapon. Obviously, going forward, if you take this weapon higher, meaning like if you take the spell to 200 or beyond, you’ll probably continue to increase Strength and Dexterity from this point, because you get better bang for your buck than you will with Intelligence. And that will increase your physical damage, but your Moonlight Greatsword damage will probably continue to, you know, plateau there, and it won’t be as effective throughout the game.

However, one of the really good things about that R2 attack or the charged R2 attack is the staggered damage that it deals. This is something we talked about in the Dark Moon Spellblade video, is that between, you know, the charged R2 attack with that weapon at ranged, and between something like Carian Greatblade, you can stagger enemies like almost instantaneously when the two attacks collide at the same time. And you’re going to continue to use that moving forward, even if the damage is a little bit, you know, plateaued.

Moving on to the staff that we’re using for this build, we’re using the Carian Regal Scepter here. And that’s because it’s basically the best all-around staff in the game. If you’re not specializing in one school of magic, besides Lusat’s Glintstone Staff, which, as you know, increases your FP cost by 50%, which isn’t worth it in my opinion.

But also because we’re using Ranni’s Dark Moon, this spell will be increased in damage from using this staff. And it’s not a spell that you use all the time, but when you are using it, you are going to get the benefit of that. When it comes to the armor you’re going to use for this build, you’re not going to have a ton of protection because you just don’t have points in Endurance in order to afford very high equip weight. And because you’re going to be casting spells or using your Moonlight Greatsword at range, you’re going to be trying to stay out of melee range as much as possible. So you don’t need a ton of protection. But you could use the Snow Witch Hat in order to increase the damage of Ranni’s Dark Moon.

I don’t like that the Moonlight Greatsword clips through the hat, which is probably why I’m not using it. But if you’re talking about actually min-maxing, that’s probably the best way to go. But also the Spellblade set is very good for this because it will increase the damage that Moonlight Greatsword does when you’re using those R2s and charged R2 attacks 2% per piece roughly. So if you really wanted to optimize it, you could go all Spellblade. I’ve kind of mixed and matched fashion with a little bit of the Spellblade set in order to kind of look cool while also increasing the damage that I do a little bit. Just make sure that whatever you’re doing, you’re medium rolling and that you have as much protection as you can get and still medium roll.

Moonlight Crusader: Talismans

When it comes to talismans for this build, I have Shard of Alexander, Godfrey Icon, Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman, and the Magic Scorpion Charm.

So the Magic Scorpion Charm is going to increase your magic damage by 10% and it’s going to reduce your resistances. If you don’t have this one, I would suggest using something like the Ritual Sword Talisman instead. But since all the spells are using deal magic damage, and as I mentioned, Moonlight Greatsword does 100% magic damage, you get a lot of benefits out of this one. The problem is, again, we have very little protection.

This reduces our protection, which is why we slot the Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman. Supplement that and get us some decent protection. Godfrey Icon will increase the damage of charged R2 Moonlight Greatsword attacks, as well as any charged spell. If you use Comet, for instance, or any other spell like Loretta’s Greatbow that’s charged, you’ll get a 15% increase in damage on those. You do use the charged R2 attacks on Moonlight Greatsword a lot, and you will use them on Comet or other spells that you want to use sometimes as well.

And lastly, we have Shard of Alexander. This increases the damage of Moonlight Greatsword, either the regular R2 or charged R2. Both of these will be increased by Shard of Alexander. And you’re going to use this ability a ton. Like, the whole reason to use this weapon is to use this ability. So this is a really good talisman to have.

Moonlight Crusader: Spells & Gameplay

So generally speaking, when I’m running around doing areas of the game, I’ll use the Moonlight Greatsword ability to charge up the weapon. This buff lasts about a minute or so, if I’m not mistaken. This increases your magic damage and allows you to do the, you know, wave that shoots out with R2 or charged R2 attacks. And you could just go around one-shotting most regular enemies with this. Be warned that, you know, the charged R2 does a lot more stagger damage than the regular R2. But sometimes, like, if an enemy is being really aggressive and coming at you, you don’t have time to get that full charge off. You just let it go and attack the enemy anyway. And a lot of times you can stagger them with a hit, depending on what kind of enemy they are.

A lot of bosses, especially late-game bosses, are very aggressive, making it hard to get the fully charged R2 off in a lot of scenarios. So you’re probably going to be doing a lot more regular R2s with this than you are charged R2s in a lot of cases. So just keep that in mind. You also want to supplement this with other spells, you know, using, like, Comet or Great Glintstone Shard or something, when, you know, enemies are out of reach or you can’t hit them.

The Moonlight Greatsword has terrible, like, up-and-down vertical problems. Like, if there’s any sort of stairs or any sort of incline, it does not handle this very well, generally. So if you’re trying to fight an enemy that’s above you or below you at all, I would recommend using some sort of spell to deal with them, rather than the Moonlight Greatsword, because it just doesn’t handle this well in 99% of the cases. And much like the Dark Moon Spellblade build, one of the best combos with this build is putting up Greatblade Phalanx and doing your charged R2 Moonlight Greatsword into an enemy, particularly a boss or a difficult enemy, to stagger them instantly or almost stagger them instantly.

You can usually then stagger them with another R2 or another cast of Greatblade Phalanx. This combo is absolutely deadly, and you should get familiar with using it as much as you can. And a way the boss fights go sometimes is I’ll go through the boss fog, I’ll drop Terra Magica, because this increases your damage by 25% of your magic damage. This applies to Moonlight Greatsword, obviously, as well as your spells. I’ll drop that, I’ll throw up Greatblade Phalanx really quick, and then I’ll cast Ranni’s Dark Moon, which will then hit for very good damage into the enemy, and it’ll debuff them, allowing for you to deal increased magic damage to that enemy.

And then also, if you hit, you know, set this Frostbite status effect between Ranni’s Dark Moon and Moonlight Greatsword, they’ll have even less damage absorption for a little while, and then your magic damage attacks will hit for even more damage. Learning when to use Terra Magica and when to use Ranni’s Dark Moon in boss fights is very, very important. You obviously want to lead with these if you can, but sometimes you just won’t have an opening or an enemy is really aggressive. But if you can get set up with these, fights go a lot smoother.

Moonlight Crusader: Attributes Recommendations

So when it comes to stats I have for this build, I have 50 Vigor, 35 Mind, 13 Endurance, 16 Strength, 12 Dexterity, 80 Intelligence, 14 Faith, and 9 Arcane. 50 Vigor is there to give you a good-sized health pool. You don’t have a ton of protection with this build. We can get away with 50 points here, so we take it.

5 Mind is there because you’re going to use a lot of FP between your spells and Moonlight Greatsword. Moonlight Greatsword, although it’s expensive as an ability, lasts for a very long period of time, so you don’t need a ton of FP just to use that ability, but you will need it if you plan on casting any sort of spells at all. Endurance is very low for this build because we just don’t have the points for it, and you don’t really get hit a lot. Like, you’re staying out of melee range as much as possible, so you don’t need, like, the best protection armor ever. 16 Strength is there to meet the requirements to one-hand the Dark Moon Greatsword, and 12 Dexterity is there because that’s my starting class Dexterity. 80 Intelligence is there not only to get the most out of Moonlight Greatsword, but also to increase your spell damage so that you have very, very high, you know, sorcery scaling and that your spells hit like a truck as well. We don’t need Faith or Arcane for this build. Again, this class started as a Confessor first, so these are a bit higher than you’d like. If you picked a different class, you won’t have 5th-14th Faith, and you can distribute these points, or you should have more points distributed other places, which will give you a better stat spread.

For the Flask of Wondrous Physick, I like the Magic-Shrouding Cracked Tear to increase your magic damage further. Obviously, we do a lot of magic damage. That makes perfect sense. And the Greenburst Crystal Tear will increase your stamina recovery. The charged shard too attacks with this weapon, the Dark Moon Greatsword, consume tons of stamina, and even if you boosted your stamina via Endurance, if you did two of them in a row, it would still drain your entire stamina bar completely, so which is one of the reasons we don’t really worry too much about it. And you need that stamina to come back again so you can keep getting R2 attacks off to keep staggering bosses and keep putting shots into it. Stay tuned for more Elden Ring build guides. I have a 150 fist build coming, and I think people keep asking me for a Dragon Incantations build.

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 the spells, items, or equipment in this build, and securing some personal objectives, make sure to check the Elden Ring Map.

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