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Best Flail in Elden Ring – Ranking All 5 Flails

In this Elden Ring Best Flail and Ranking Guide, we’ll be taking a look at the 5 Flails of Elden Ring, and discussing why you might use them in combat, as well as Ranking them and telling you which are the Best Flail. We’ll take a look at attack power, damage type, length, Weapon Skills and other factors such as how long it takes you to acquire them, to determine if they are best suited for you. We are doing a guide for all Weapon types in Elden Ring, and these will be updated to reflect those added with Shadow of the Erdtree as well.

The Best Flail in Elden Ring:

  1. Chainlink Flail
  2. Bastard’s Stars
  3. Nightrider Flail
  4. Family Heads
  5. Flail

Best Flail in Elden Ring – Ranked

Flails are one of 31 weapon types in Elden Ring, soon to 39 when Shadow of the Erdtree releases on June 21st, and they are one that is overlooked by many players. There are of course reasons for that, such as they have very slow wind-ups on their Charged Heavy Attacks, which makes these attacks nearly impossible to use in combat. Additionally, they have a poor dual wield moveset, their Ashes of War are typically bad, and lastly there aren’t many of them to choose from.

However, there are some good things about Flails as well. They typically do higher Poise Damage than other weapons, they have relatively fast attack speed, they have very good Block Counter range, and 3 of the 5 Flails have Bleed Build-Up on Hit, and we all know how effective Bleed is in Elden Ring.

FLAIL PROS

  • High Poise Damage
  • Decent attack speed
  • Good Block-Counter range
  • Non-Uniques all have native bleed build up on hit

FLAIL CONS

  • Slow R2 wind up, slower attack speed than most swords and axes.
  • Small selection
  • Dual Wield Moveset is slow and not great
  • Ash of War on non-uniques is not good
  • Small selection of Ashes of War

With those things being said, let’s get into the Flails themselves, including the Unique Flails, or the Flails that can’t be Infused at Sites of Grace. These are the Family Heads and Bastard’s Stars.

Flail – #5 Best Flail in Elden Ring

The Flail shares the default attack of other Flails, and deals Physical Damage. It is the lightest Flail in Elden Ring, weighing 5, and requires some points in Strength and Dexterity in order to wield.

PROS

  • Second Longest Flail
  • Scales almost as well with STR as DEX
  • Native Bleed build up on hit

CONS

  • Found very early in the game
  • Ash of War is not very good

Attack Ratings at level 150 with optimal stat spread for highest Attack Power with each infusion:

  • Sacred/Flame Art – 632
  • Magic – 629
  • Fire/Lightning – 620
  • Keen – 576
  • Heavy – 551
  • Cold – 548
  • Quality – 546
  • Blood/Poison – 450

Conclusion: The Flail has the lowest damage of all Flails of Elden Ring, but it can be acquired extremely early on in the Gatefront Ruins, allowing you a Flail option almost immediately after beginning the game. Additionally, its damage is not so much lower than other Flails that it can’t be competitive later on. It’s the seconds longest Flail, though Flails are nearly all the same length, and much like other non-unique Flails it has native bleed build up which can be deadly in boss fights.

Its weapon skill, Spinning Chain is not easy to use and has an extremely long wind up when using its follow up attack that makes it near impossible to land. I highly recommend that if you’re using this weapon you swap its weapon skill out early on for something else like: Wild Strikes or Flaming Strike.

Infusion-wise, Sacred and Flame Art come in first in total Attack Rating, with Magic just behind, and Lightning and Fire coming in at third. Keen outperforms Heavy here, but not by a whole lot, so you could go either if you want. Cold is another good option if you want a second status effect, and will trigger more often than Hemorrhage, since you’ll have more Frostbite build up.

If you really like the Flail I’d recommend waiting a bit longer to use the Nightrider Flail since it does more damage, looks a lot cooler, and can be found shortly after this one. However, if you insist on using it I’d go Cold with a Shield for Block Counters and nice burst against Bosses.

Family Heads – #4 Best Flail in Elden Ring

The Family Heads shares the default attack of other Flails, and deals Physical and Magic Damage. It is tied for the second lightest Flail in Elden Ring, weighing 5.5, and requires some points in Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence in order to wield.

PROS

  • Very high Attack Rating
  • Weapon Skill deals considerable damage from a safe distance

CONS

  • Tied for Shortest Flail
  • Very high FP Cost for Weapon Skill
  • Weapon Skill deals 100% Magic Damage, while weapon scales with Dexterity much better than Intelligence.

Attack Rating at level 150 with optimal stat spread for highest Attack Power: 661

Conclusion: The Family Heads is one of two unique Flails in Elden Ring, and can be found in the Sage’s Cave in Altus Plateau, so it’s not exactly easy to get early on. It has very high Attack Rating at 661, with about 66% of that being Physical Damage, unless you invest heavily into Intelligence where it gets closer to 50%.

It’s Weapon Skill, Familial Rancor does 100% Magic Damage, that doesn’t increase with Dexterity, though Intelligence does boost the damage of it by about 8 Damage at max upgrade per point of Intelligence. This makes things a bit tricky since you have to either prioritize normal attack damage with DEX, or Familial Rancor damage with INT, or some combination.

Ritual Sword Talisman, Shard of Alexander and Magic Scorpion Charm all increase the damage of this Weapon Skill, and thus should be considered when using Family Heads.

The sweet spot for this weapon is 55 DEX and minimum requirements in STR and INT, and I highly recommend this stat spread, if not a bit more in STR in order to use some decent Medium Shields. The damage difference between high INT and min INT with Familial Rancor is not terrible, being only 400 damage difference when fully buffed.

You could theoretically use this weapon with high Intelligence instead of DEX, in order to be able to cast Sorceries effectively, but you’d lose out on a lot of melee damage in order to do so. For this reason I think it’s best to lean into the unique nature of the weapon, and prioritize DEX, since there are better weapons to pair with high Intelligence Builds, like the Bastard’s Stars.

Remember to use Carian’s Filigreed Crest with this Weapon to reduce Familial Rancor’s cost from 25 to 19 FP. Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger can also help offset FP costs if you use a Shield and Block Counter often.

Nightrider Flail – #3 Best Flail in Elden Ring

The Nightrider Flail shares the default attack of other Flails, and deals Physical Damage. It is the second heaviest Flail in Elden Ring, weighing 6.0, and requires some points in Strength, and a lot of Dexterity in order to wield.

PROS

  • Native Bleed build up on hit
  • Good DEX scaling

CONS

  • Tied for Shortest Flail
  • Ash of War is not very good
  • Found very early in the game

Attack Ratings at level 150 with optimal stat spread for highest Attack Power with each infusion:

  • Fire/Lightning – 661
  • Magic – 648
  • Sacred/Flame Art – 643
  • Keen – 604
  • Cold – 590
  • Heavy – 566
  • Quality – 544
  • Blood/Poison – 520

Conclusion: The Nightrider Flail is an upgraded version of the Flail in nearly every way though it is very slightly shorter, and it can be acquired by defeating the Night’s Cavalry in Weeping Peninsula, which is not that much further than Gatefront Ruins. It does have much higher Dexterity requirements at 24 though, which might make it tougher to use early on before you’ve had a chance to level up enough.

Much like the Flail, Spinning Weapon is a terrible Ash of War since its difficult to pull off, has short range, and the follow up is extremely hard to land. So, like the Flail, I highly recommend that if you’re using this weapon you swap its weapon skill out early on for something else like: Wild Strikes or Flaming Strike.

Infusion-wise Fire/Lightning comes in first in Attack Rating, with Magic in second and Sacred/Flame Art in a close third. The weapon scales much better with DEX (Keen) than STR (Heavy), but Cold is also a great option with only slightly less damage than Keen.

Make sure you have enough STR to use a decent Medium Shield with this weapon for Block Counters, but don’t put any more than necessary since it scales much more optimally with DEX.

Bastard’s Stars – #2 Best Flail in Elden Ring

The Bastard’s Stars shares the default attack of other Flails, and deals Physical and Magic Damage. It is tied for the second lightest Flail in Elden Ring, weighing 5.5, and requires some points in Strength, and a lot in Dexterity and Intelligence in order to wield.

PROS

  • Longest Flail
  • Very High Attack Rating
  • Nebula hits like a truck

CONS

  • Highest Stat requirement of all Flails
  • Not found until very late game
  • Very high FP Cost for Weapon Skill

Attack Rating at level 150 with optimal stat spread for highest Attack Power: 657

Conclusion: The Bastard’s Stars is one of two unique Flails in Elden Ring, and can be found after defeating the Astel, Naturalborn of the Void Boss fight, which is pretty far into the game. It has very high Attack Rating at 657, with about 66% of that being Magic Damage, which is kind of the opposite of Family Heads.

Nebula, its Weapon Skill does almost exclusively Magic Damage, just like Familial Rancor, except for the melee portion of the attack where you actually connect with the weapon itself, which deals a mix of Physical and Magic Damage, with most still being Magic. This means that DEX will increase the melee portion, but not the rest of the Skill, while INT will increase both.

The sweet spot for this Weapon is about 50 INT and minimum requirements in STR and DEX, though it still scales relatively well up to 80 INT, and outperforms DEX most of the way, making it ideal for INT focused Builds, and also good for NG+ where you can increase DEX to get more damage out of it. This makes is a much better weapon if you plan to cast Sorceries when using it compared to Family Heads.

Remember to use Carian’s Filigreed Crest with this Weapon to reduce Nebula’s cost from 25 to 19 FP, and Magic Scorpion Charm to boost its normal attacks as well as Nebula damage. Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger can also help offset FP costs if you use a Shield and Block Counter often.

The Chainlink Flail shares the default attack of other Flails, and deals Physical Damage. It is the heaviest Flail in Elden Ring, weighing 8, and requires some points in Strength and Dexterity in order to wield.

PROS

  • Highest Attack Rating of all non-unique Flails
  • Native Bleed build up on hit
  • Can be found relatively early on in the game

CONS

  • Ash of War is not very good
  • Tied for Shortest Flail

Attack Ratings at level 150 with optimal stat spread for highest Attack Power with each infusion:

  • Fire/Lightning – 669
  • Magic – 659
  • Sacred/Flame Art – 658
  • Heavy – 607
  • Cold – 602
  • Keen – 588
  • Quality – 557
  • Blood/Poison – 536

Conclusion: The Chainlink Flail has the highest Attack Rating of all non-unique Flails, and leans a bit more to the Strength side than the Nightrider Flail. It is found from the lesser Pumpkin Head enemies that roam the landscape, which are not too much further than the Nightrider Flail, if you don’t mind the look of it, and can spend some time farming.

Much like the Flail and Nightrdider Flail, Spinning Weapon is a terrible Ash of War since its difficult to pull off, has short range, and the follow up is extremely hard to land. So, I highly recommend that if you’re using this weapon you swap its weapon skill out early on for something else like: Wild Strikes or Flaming Strike. Just remember you can’t go Cold if you use Flaming Strike.

Infusion-wise Fire/Lightning comes in first in total Attack Rating, with Magic in second, and Sacred/Flame Art just behind in third. Heavy outperforms Keen by a modest amount, and Cold is just behind heavy if you wish to go that route. It’s also worth noting that Poison is much more viable on this Flail as it has an Attack Rating of 536, compared to the 520 and 450 of the Nightrider and Flail.

The Chainlink Flail makes the best use of a Shield and Flail setup due to its high Attack Rating and STR scaling, making it a solid choice to pair with a Greatshield for turtling and Block Counters.


If you enjoyed this Guide, be sure to check out our other Weapon Guides, and also our article on how to Prepare for Shadow of the Erdtree!

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