Clever players known that magic has always been a fun build path in FromSoftware games, but in Elden Ring, the best Intelligence builds have more options than ever, with over 70, sometimes incredibly overpowered, spells to play around with.
With the right magic build, you can now tackle tricky bosses with magic alone without feeling too weak.
Well, without feeling completely squishy, because let’s be real, it’s hard to not feel weak at the best of times in Elden Ring unless you're considerably over levelled. For a Sorcerer build, you’re going to need to plunge runes into Intelligence stats from the outset and throughout your game. Sooner or later, you’re going to have enough brains to quite literally turn yourself into the moon.
You’ll still be maidenless, though, but at least you can hurl your moon-self at enemies or blast them with various Glintstone spells from a distance. In my experience, the Intelligence build made timely dodges and tactics less crucial as I chipped away at bosses at range.
However, you’re still going to want to keep an eye on your use of FP and which spells are best for the boss at hand, especially as late-game enemies, like Malenia, spin and slash around you relentlessly.
For our full list, these are the best Elden Ring builds.
What are the best stat points for Intelligence builds in Elden Ring?
If you want a serious Sorcerer on your hands, you’ll need to prioritise some stats; Intelligence, Mind, and Vigor, plus a little Dexterity.
Intelligence is highly important to this type of mage build, as your equipment and spellcasting relies on it. Much of what you use with an Intelligence build will also, hopefully, scale with Intelligence. So, ploughing points into this is how to get the most out of your spells and staffs, or other weapons.
Mind is vital, as it is with any type of magic build. As you’ll be focused on casting spells and barraging enemies with your sorceries, you’ll want to have plenty of Mind for them. With a lot of FP on tap, too, you’ll be able to keep attacking for longer before needing to fall back and use a Flask.
Vigor is important to most builds, as the last thing you want is for a boss to be able to one hit you with ease. Additionally, you won’t be able to offset damage with heavy armour considering Endurance is not a priority. So, you’re going to need a high HP bar instead.
As for your starting class, I recommend picking Astrologer to give you the best headstart with this build. The class starts with higher Mind and Intelligence stats than others, so all you need to do is continue popping points into those and Vigor.
As you approach late game, or even progress past it, the stats you should be aiming for are (assuming Astrologer start):
- Vigor: 35
- Mind: 35
- Endurance: 9
- Strength: 12
- Dexterity: 18
- Intelligence: 60
- Faith: 7
- Arcane: 9
You don’t have to commit to these stats, of course. However, for most of the high-end staffs and heavy-hitting sorceries, such as lunar spells, Comet Azur, and the Carian Regal Scepter, you need Intelligence at 60. There are viable builds with weaker spells, though, so feel free to tinker with Larval Tears and find the build that suits you best.
You also might not want to rune farm your way to level 180 either, with endgame being doable for those at level 120-150; either way, we recommend prioritising Intelligence, Mind, and Vigor above all else.
Finally, don't bother going past 60 for Intelligence. The returns you get from weapon and spell scaling drop of significantly after this point, so it's just not worth it.
You also by no means need to put any additional points into Strength or Dexterity; I have some extra points in each of these, so I can wield one of Elden Ring's best weapons, the Moonveil Katana. The katana isn’t primary to this build, but I found it to be a great weapon for when I got bored with slinging spells constantly. I dive into this a little more below, where I recommend what weapons to equip.
Flask of Wondrous Physick for magic build
For your Flask of Wondrous Physick, you have three options to choose from. The first and most important, being the Magic-Shrouding Crystal Tear. This will temporarily boost your magic attacks.
Then, it’s worth seeking the Intelligence-Knot Crystal Tear out, especially as you move through mid-game. The Tear will boost your Intelligence temporarily, increasing the damage to your attacks. However, bear in mind that Intelligence is soft capped at around level 80, so the Intelligence-Knot Crystal Tear isn’t so useful as your Intelligence approaches level 65 and beyond.
For late-game, you’ll want to swap the Intelligence-Knot Crystal Tear for the Cerulean Hidden Tear. This Tear will then temporarily negate all FP consumption. So, when trying to use a high-FP spell such as Comet Azur, this will come in clutch.
Offensive gear for Intelligence builds
For this build, you’ll want one of Elden Ring’s many great staffs for casting spells. Some staffs are dramatically better than others, and you want to make sure you’ve got the best of the best. I recommend grabbing the Meteorite Staff for most of your journey across The Lands Between. This staff is accessible from the start of the game and boosts gravity spells, making physical spells like Rock Sling all the more powerful.
Later into the game, though, I recommend switching to Lusat’s Glintstone Staff or Carian Regal Scepter (or alternating between the two). Azur’s Glintstone Staff is also a viable option if you run into it sooner, but Lusat’s staff deals around 10% more damage than this. This does come with the cost of consuming more FP, but with enough Mind and the right spells for each encounter, Lusat’s can arguably do a better job.
As for Carian’s Regal Scepter, there is arguably no trade off when using this, and it will buff full-moon spells. For that bit of extra damage, opt for Lusat’s, but in any other instance, I suggest using the Carian Regal Scepter. We explain how to get your hands on all four of these staffs, and more, in our guide here.
Alternative weapons for Intelligence builds
When I felt like mixing up my spell casting with a little melee action - which was most of the time - I swapped my Ash of War infused short sword with the Moonveil Katana. This katana can deal both physical and magic damage, causes Bleed buildup, has a weapon skill that deals poise damage, and scales with Intelligence, so your stats will be going to good use.
Another weapon to consider for a more melee-focused build is the Wing of Astel, found in Uhl Palace Ruins in Ainsel River. Use the teleporter at Renna's Rise, then go south until you find a large statue. The chest with the sword is nearby. Wing of Astel is less powerful than the Moonveil Katana, but it has the added advantage of firing off magic attacks when you charge heavy attacks - without costing FP. Its Ash of War (which does cost FP) creates a cloud of stars that explode after a few seconds, dealing heavy damage that scales even higher if you're wearing the Spellblade set.
Accessories for Intelligence builds
As for talismans, the choice is yours outside of the Radagon Icon and depends on the fight up ahead, but here’s a few that are worth grabbing for any Intelligence build.
Shard of Alexander - If you’re planning on using the Moonveil Katana at any point, it has a handy weapon skill known as Transient Moonlight, that deals significant poise damage. The Shard of Alexander talisman will greatly boost the attack power of your skills! Alternatively, there’s the Carian Filgreed Crest, which lowers the amount of FP used by your skills.
Graven Mass Talisman - This talisman will boost all sorceries by 8%. This might feel like a small amount, but for that extra bit of damage as you reach the Intelligence softcap, this can make spells all the more powerful.
Dragoncrest Greatshield - If, like me, you hate getting hit or taking damage as you sling spells from afar, the Dragoncrest Greatshield is good against the most hard-hitting of enemies. The talisman grants 20% resistance to physical damage - so, it won’t be useful against magic-using enemies.
Radagon Icon - This talisman will come in clutch most of the time, as it reduces the time it takes to cast sorceries. Spells like Comet Azur, full-moon spells, or even Loretta’s Greatbow can take a hot minute, so Radagon Icon helps considerably.
Moon of Nokstella - Some spells, like Comet Azur, require multiple memory slots to be equipped. As a Sorcerer, you want as many of these as possible. Moon of Nokstella will raise your memory slots by two - so, if you need two more slots to fit that final spell in, this is the talisman for it.
Stargazer Heirloom - If you’re looking to use staffs or spells with exceptionally high requirements, the Stargazer Heirloom is ideal to use as you level your character up. The talisman provides +5 Intelligence, so you can start using the likes of Azur’s Glintstone Staff at level 47, or Comet Azur at level 55.
There are so many viable spells in Elden Ring that it’s best to simply to equip whichever ones are suited better to the area you’re in or the boss you’re coming up against, rather than having a set roster.
Here are a handful of the best choices for a Sorcerer/Mage Intelligence build, both for adventuring across The Lands Between and for boss fights.
Rock Sling - A nifty spell that can be grabbed early-game and used until late game. This one is particularly useful for damaging enemies who are resistant to magic, due to the fact that it deals physical damage.
Glintstone Pebble - This spell is ideal for taking out enemies as you travel around The Land Between. It’s got a good range, so you can often take out weaker enemies without the alerting them first. The Glintstone Pebble isn’t the best spell for boss fights, as I found it simply didn’t deal enough damage, but this is where the other spells come in use.
Loretta’s Longbow - If you’re able to get a moment to spare against an enemy, Loretta’s Longbow is ideal for dealing a significant amount of damage at a long range. For a similar spell that takes a little longer to charge, Loretta’s Greatbow is another good option that was recently buffed.
Stars of Ruin - Stars of Ruin fires multiple comets at an enemy with incredibly good tracking, making it especially useful for late-game enemies who move a lot. See: Malenia.
Rennala’s Full Moon, and Ranni’s Dark Moon - These spells quite literally turn you into the moon temporarily before firing that moon at your target. They’ve got great AoE, debuff enemies, and Ranni’s Dark Moon even deals frost damage simultaneously. The only downfall is that these spells obviously use a lot of FP.
Comet Azur - I’ll be honest, I don’t like this spell all that much, and it was nerfed pretty hard. However, it still can deal a huge amount of damage to an enemy in the form of a laser beam, and it feels wrong to have any sort of 60+ Intelligence build without having used this spell to cheese one of the slower bosses i.e. Rennala.
Meteorite of Azelf - If you fought with Astel, Naturalborn of the Void already, I’m sorry to inform you that you basically have to do it again in the Consecrated Snowfield to get this spell. The meteorites that Astel threw down at you during their fight can now be yours to throw down on other enemies; again, they deal high damage, have a large AoE, and are great against larger enemies. Team this spell with your Meteorite Staff for the gravity spell boost, and you can deal huge damage to an enemy.
Founding Rain of Stars - It takes a bit of practice to get the timing of this legendary spell right, but it's an incredibly potent force once you do. Founding Rain of Stars creates a large cloud that rains down starry death in a broad area. The projectiles don't always hit, but when they do, they deal heavy damage and keep non-boss enemies from moving.
Essentially, you should pick whatever armour allows you to at least medium roll. Preferably, you want the heaviest and most protective armour, but this isn’t the be all and end all in Elden Ring. I personally went for Alberich’s Set, which is a cool looking sorcerer set that you can loot in Leyndell, Royal Capital.
Other viable options for armour, that aren’t the heaviest but fit the wizardly vibe we’re going for with this build, are as follows:
Queen of the Full Moon Set - Get as a reward for defeating Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon at Raya Lucaria Academy.
Spellblade Set - Loot for Sorcerer Rogier’s corpse in Roundtable Hold when he passes away. This happened at the end of Ranni’s questline for us.
Alternatively, take a gander at our Blackflame build and our strength build, to see what else there is to try out. We’ve also got a comprehensive guide to The Lands Between in our Elden Ring walkthrough!