SL1 Darkwraith
level_icon.jpg Vigor Attunement Endurance Vitality
    12 11 10
Strength dexterity Intelligence Faith Luck
12 9 10 8 12

This is a player-created Build for Dark Souls. If you want help making your own build, you can consult this useful page on how to make a build by Blaine.

  • Build Name: SL1 Darkwraith
  • Build Level:
  • Build Focus: PvE or PvP
  • Build Main Stats:
  • Link to Dark Souls Calculator: Add link here.


Build Equipment

  • Right Hand: (One Handed choices: Dagger, Hand Axe, Ghost Blade, Battle Axe, Club, Reinforced Club, Mace, Morning Star, Dark Hand, Caestus, Light Crossbow, Sorcerer's Catalyst, Beatrice's Catalyst)
    (Two Handed Choices: Pick Axe, Blacksmith Hammer, Blacksmith Giant Hammer, Hammer of Vamos)
  • Left Hand: Heater Shield
  • Equipment: With a low equip load and a playstyle that favours agility, light armour is probably best most of the time, and there are obviously lots of options. The starting Pyromancer Set is good, and The Hunter Set in Darkroot Basin, and the Crimson Set in Blighttown are easily obtained. Better Light Armour options require considerable progression.

    For situations where you expect to take damage, the Elite Knight Armour and Stone Knight sets in the Darkroot Garden can be mixed together with the Wolf Ring to gain significant poise without exceeding the limit. The Elite Knight Armour is probably best for general defense, though Solaire's and Dornhall's make decent extra medium armour choices. 
  • Magic: Pyromancy is going to be what defines a SL1 Darkwraith's offense, providing powerful spells and a Catalyst that can deal huge amounts of damage when upgraded, despite the low level. It's what will carry the character through bosses and enemies, and when a Darkwraith, be the main mode of offense in PvP that threatens even high-level characters. The player should focus on upgrading their Pyromancy Flame, whilst purchasing key spells like Great Combustion and Great Fireball. Pyromancy also has the added benefit of providing defense and poise in the form of Iron Flesh, making it a great way to compensate for low vitality and defense. This all means that upon starting a new game, rescuing Laurentius from the Depths as soon as possible is recommended.

    Sorcery provides some benefits too. Purchasing Soul Arrow and getting a catalyst (either from him, or in the same chest as the Crimson Set) from Rickert before you set off is a good idea to make use of that second attunement slot, and even when the player has obtained pyromancy, the range and high number of Soul Arrow castings makes it quite useful. Magic Weapon, Magic Shield and Aural Decoy can also be used, purchased from Grigg, who also sells two useful Dragoncrest Rings which will help your Pyromancy immensely.

  • Items: At a low level, items are going to provide a more significant use than usual, more often than being substitutes for a function that magic would usually cover. The standard choices of Firebombs, Poison Throwing Knifes, Lloyd's Talismans, Dung Pies are good. Dragon Body is especially useful, sacrificing already low defense for a useful force attack and a rare attack boost. Resins especially are worth collecting, providing power and enchantments typically unavailable to you. 


Build Strategy

The "test" of being a SL1 Darkwraith is defeating the Four Kings, a boss strong enough to challenge high level players with better equipment, so it won't be easy. It's entirely possible to skip out the Burg-Depths-Blighttown part of Lordran completely, but with Pyromancy being the only way for low level players to wreak significant damage, it's a good way making a dent on the last boss standing between you and the Darkwraith Covenant - so it's a good idea to focus your resources on upgrading it. Although you don't need to defeat most of the bosses in the game through use of the Masterkey, obviously doing so will yield the souls you need for upgrading your equipment.
Other things to regard: The Large Ember in the Depths and Vamos the Blacksmith in the Catacombs for upgrading weapons, Joining the Forest Covenant for its benefits, Collecting 10+ Humanity so you can get the Red Eye Orb from Kaathe as soon as you meet him. Lautrec is better off dead as soon as possible, both for his items and so the Firelink bonfire stays lit.

The general journey through the areas of Undead Burg, Depths, Darkoot, Blighttown and New Londo that it takes to make the task of defeating the Four Kings easier, means you should already have most of the tools for PvP. Defeating players early on should be easy, and you'll be aware of what other Darkwraiths are capable of. Of course, any player that that is equipped to defeat the Four Kings is ready to take on pretty much the rest of their playthrough, so don't be surprised to meet people taking Twinking to the extreme by bringing Havels armour and other powerful equipment in at low levels. Obviously the same applies to you, you don't have to remain with what you obtained before defeating the Four Kings, and you'll have the tools necessary to make any journeys for items you can use in low level PvP.

Against regular low level players, any strategy is viable, but the only real advantage you'll have is an upgraded weapon and pyromancy, so their regular attacks can hit hard. Against higher level players, Pyromancy will probably be your only way to make a significant dent, and you won't be tanking many hits either. Against other Darkwraiths, you'll be applying similar tactics, so weapons will be damaging on both sides, and Pyromancy equally destructive, so the use of limited casts will be important. You can choose the use of high poise and Iron Flesh to tank hits, but staying light and rolling is probably a better way of avoiding heavy damage. A Hornet Ring-boosted Dagger is a possible threat, as well as the Blacksmith Hammers, though regular upgraded weapons will probably hit harder than other melee options.

You can at any point abandon the SL1 bracket and change instead to just a "low level Darkwraith", at which case it is best to invest in Dexterity to greatly expand weapon options, Attunement for more spell slots, or Endurance to slightly widen equipment choice.

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    • Anonymous

      Perhaps it's already said other places but I think it's good to note that the way you really kickstart this build is to immediately go to lower Blighttown, reverse hollowing, and fight the NPC invader, Maneater Mildred. Once you've beaten her, she can be summoned for the Quelaag fight and can solo her if she doesn't just run into the lava forever. You then can get access to Eingyi and immediately start upgrading your pyromancy flame. Cheesing Ceaseless Discharge afterwards is enough to get up to pyromancy flame +10, which spawns Quelana, and leaves you enough souls, with a little extra grinding, to nab Great Combustion and Great Fireball. From there you've got plenty enough power to make a lot of the remaining steps surmountable.

      • Anonymous

        I had something I wanted to add - I've just completed this without dlc and using the crown of dusk and the bellowing dragoncrest ring makes even the four kings begin easy to do with the ascended pyromancy flame, it's taken about six hours to do everything and was a decent challenge

        • Anonymous

          basically being a sl1 darkwraith is the pinnacle of being a jerk. When the game came out, and players were invading doing this, while many newbies are out there, they 12 shot rookie players and even sent psn messages of 'git gud nub' when all they did is simply spam r1 with great combustion. Sl1 darkwraiths arent anything special, however they do get credit for completing the Four Kings at such a low level, its not easy, and their skill is equally good.

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