6 BEST Catalysts In Dark Souls 3 After 400 Hours Experience

I have spent 6+ months playing Dark Souls 3 and I am happy to share the best catalysts I found in the game!

Dark souls 3 Catalysts
Dark souls 3 Catalysts Guide!
About The Author

Farrukh Jafri has invested 400+ hours in Dark Souls 3. He has gone through extensive research playing the game, so you can easily trust the information he shares!

Catalysts are a highly specialized class of weapons in Dark Souls used to cast spells equipped in one’s Attunement Slots (which can be increased by leveling up the Attunement stat or providing specific rings obtained in the game). While their viability only extends as far as spell casting is concerned, there are a few exceptional ‘Melee Combat Catalysts’ that bilaterally behave as both Catalysts and viable Melee weapons.

Now this begs the question: What are the Best Catalysts? The question, as you may have guessed, does not have a straightforward answer, and depends on what kind of build you’re going for Sorcery, Pyromancy, Miracle, or Melee-hybrid (mainly relevant to PvP).

Key Takeaways

  • Catalysts are specialized weapons for casting spells in Attunement Slots.
  • The best catalyst depends on your build: Sorcery, Pyromancy, Miracle, or Melee-hybrid.
  • Acquire catalysts through drops, soul transposition, or purchase from merchants.
  • Notable catalysts include Heysel Pick (melee and sorcery), Demon’s Scar (pyromancy and melee), Rose of Ariandel (melee and miracle), Court Sorcerer Staff (powerful sorcery catalyst), Pyromancer’s Parting Flame (pyromancy), and Yorshka’s Chime (miracle).

Best Catalysts Compared

Here is a comparison table for the Best Catalysts. The table can be sorted for the highest and lowest values:

No.CatylystsBest forPhysical AttackPhysicalGuardMagic GuardStabilityDurabilityWeightFP CostPurchasing ValueSoul Value
1Heysel PickBest Catalyst for Physical Damage.93503035704.59(-/-)-1500
2Demon’s ScarBest Catalyst for Pyromancy Builds.0253530700.57(-/20)100001500
3Rose of AriandelBest Catalyst for Miracle Builds.79251510504.525(-/-)30001000
4Court Sorcerer StaffBest Catalyst for Sorceries.6025251045215(-/-)-800
5Pyromancer’s Parting FlameBest Catalyst for Flame Attacks.000-654.525(-/-)-500
6Yorshka’s ChimeBest Catalyst for Faith Builds.


Catalysts Comparison Table.

Dark Souls 3 Best Catalysts
Different types of magic can be told apart by their color.; sorcery, for example, is signified by the color blue.

1. Heysel Pick (Melee + Sorcery)

Best Catalyst for Physical Damage.

SkillSteady Chat
Weapon CategoryHammer
Wgt. 4.5
Attack typeThrust
FP Cost9(-/-)
Purchasing Value-
Soul Value1500

Heysel Pick Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Heysel Pick?

The Heysel Pick deals the highest amount of damage among all the catalysts, and it has certain capabilities that rival other catalysts. It can also deal with chip damage and allows the player to perform jump attacks in battle.

The Heysel Pick reigns amongst the meta weapons and is considered one of the Best Catalysts in Dark Souls 3. It requires 12 strength, 10 dexterity, and 19 intelligence to use – once usable; it performs feats that no other catalyst can come close to doing.

On the magic side of things, it can be combo’d with potent sorceries such as Farron Flashsword, Great Farron Dart, and Great Soul Arrow (even Soul Greatsword or Old Moonlight if the player has a fast enough cast speed).

On the other hand, as a melee weapon, it deals chip damage (damage through shields), has the flexibility to perform jump attacks, and possesses counter-damage capability, as it is technically a Thrust-type weapon.

While it can not be infused, Heysel Pick, as is the case with most catalysts, has Steady Chant as the weapon art – this increases both the damage of the spells cast by it and the melee damage of the weapon itself.

Putting these two aspects of the weapon together, we get its True Combo in PvP: First, attack from the weapon in your main hand, then perform a light attack from Heysel Pick in your off-hand, and then cap it off with a Soul Greatsword (which will roll-catch even if the enemy tries to roll away).

Location: Drops from Yellowfinger Heysel, an invading dark spirit encountered in the Road of Sacrifices.

Dark Souls 3 Best Catalysts
Encountering Yellowfinger Heysel in the Road of Sacrifices.

  • Perfect for PvP.
  • Can be paired with several potent sorceries.
  • Possesses counter-damage capabilities.

  • Cannot be infused.

2. Demon’s Scar (Melee + Pyromancy)

Best Catalyst for Pyromancy Builds.

SkillSpin Slash
Weapon CategoryHammer
Wgt. 0.5
Attack typeSlash
FP Cost7(-/20)
Ppurchasing Value10000

Demon’s Scar Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Demon’s Scar?

The Demon’s Scar is the finest choice that I recommend for Pyromancy Builds, as it can be used to cast several powerful pyromancies, along with a stellar melee attack.

The Demon’s Scar is one of the most common weapons used in Pyromancy Builds (see our guide on Pyromancy Builds to learn more), making it to the list of Best Catalysts. It requires 16 dexterity, 17 intelligence, and 17 faith to use – it is the lightest Curved Sword.

As a pyromancy catalyst, it can cast powerful pyromancies such as Chaos Bed Vestiges, Great Combustion, Black Flame, etc. It can also combo with Black Flame and Great Combustion, provided that one has a high enough casting speed (commonly achieved by equipping Sage Ring +2).

As a melee weapon, it is fast, capable of performing jump attacks, and arguably outperforms every other Curved Sword in terms of critical damage.

Unlike the Heysel Pick, it has the ‘Spin Slash’ skill as its weapon art, whose description goes as follows: “Spin to stoke a fierce chaos flame and use momentum to transition into a strong spinning attack, creating a short-lived lava pool.” 

The proper combo for Demon’s Scar is unanimously agreed to be a light attack (R1) into Black Flame – my bonus tip with this combo is that it usually compels opponents to panic roll, which, if you’re good at roll-catching, can send them down into a hellish sequence of relentless being roll-caught.

Location: Acquired by Soul Transposition of the Soul of the Demon Prince at Ludleth of Courtland in Firelink Shrine.

Dark Souls 3 Best Catalysts
The Demon’s Scar in all its glory!

  • Can cast powerful pyromancies.
  • Higher critical damage than other Curved Swords.
  • Has the Spin Slash skill as its weapon art.

  • Cannot be infused or buffed.

3. Rose of Ariandel (Melee + Miracle)

Best Catalyst for Miracle Builds.

Weapon CategoryWhip
Wgt. 4.5
Attack typeStandard
FP Cost25(-/-)
Purchasing Value3000
Soul Value1000

Rose of Ariandel Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Rose of Ariandel?

The Rose of Ariandel makes my list of best catalysts because of its Faith attributes. It can be used as a miracle catalyst by pairing with the Lightning Arrow.

The Rose of Ariandel is an underrated weapon, often recognized as one of the best catalysts. It requires 10 strength, 12 dexterity, and 17 faith to use effectively. Understanding its unique characteristics is crucial for optimal use:

  1. Miracle Catalyst: As a miracle catalyst, it pairs exceptionally well with the Lightning Arrow miracle. Lightning Arrow is versatile with fast casting and homing arrows, making it effective for punishing opponents attempting to heal with Estus Flasks. Its weapon art, ‘Awakening,’ boosts miracle damage by an impressive 25% for the next 2 minutes.
  2. Weapon Characteristics: The Rose of Ariandel is both a whip and a club, combining a club-like moveset with whip mechanics. It cannot be parried but also cannot be used for backstabs or ripostes.
  3. True Combo: The weapon’s true combo involves pairing it with the Force miracle. Force doesn’t deal damage but knocks enemies down, creating opportunities for follow-up attacks. Be creative with how you use this combination in various situations.

Overall, the Rose of Ariandel’s versatility and unique characteristics make it a formidable choice for players who understand its capabilities.

Location: Acquired by Soul Transposition of the Soul of Sister Friede at Ludleth of Courtland in Firelink Shrine.

Dark Souls 3 Best Catalysts
“A flail used by the bulbous Father of the Painted World to shred his own skin, producing blood to appease the flame. Both a weapon and a miracle catalyst.”

  • Combines club-like moveset with whip mechanics.
  • Pairs wonderfully with the Lightning Arrow miracle.
  • Awakening weapon art boosts miracle damage by 25% for 2 minutes.

  • Its true combo doesn’t deal damage but knocks down enemies.

4. Court Sorcerer’s Staff (Sorcery)

Best Catalyst for Sorceries.

SkillSteady Chant
Weapon CategoryStaff
Wgt. 2.0
Attack typeStrike
FP Cost15(-/-)
Purchasing Value-
Soul Value800

Court Sorcerer’s Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Court Sorcerer’s Staff?

The Court Sorcerer’s Staff provides you with the perfect attributes for an Intelligence Build, and it is perfect for players who don’t work with dark spells. And it can do away with endgame bosses, so what more do you want?

The Court Sorcerer’s Staff is community-ranked as the most powerful catalyst for sorcerers who do not use dark spells. It falls under the category of a Stave, catalysts that are used to cast sorceries (see our Top 4 Staves guide to learn more about Staves).

Remember when I talked about builds that eviscerate even endgame bosses? Well, the Court Sorcerer Staff is often centered around those builds. Hence, it easily counts as one of the Best Catalysts.

The Court Sorcerer’s Staff requires 6 strength and 14 intelligence to use. It has an A scaling with intelligence, meaning it gets stronger the more you invest into your intelligence stat – at 60 intelligence with +10 reinforcement, it has a frightening spellbuff of 238, which is where the real ‘magic’ begins (pun intended).

That is, however, the spellbuff calculated without taking Steady Chant into account! Although, bear in mind that the cost of Steady Chant is double in the case of this catalyst, so use it with the mentality of “high risk, high reward”.

Location: Drops from a mimic encountered in the toxic swamp area in the Profaned Capital.

Dark Souls 3 Best Catalysts
“Catalyst used by the court sorcerers of the Profaned Capital. Very powerful when wielded by an exceptionally intelligent sorcerer.”

  • Best for sorcerers who don’t use dark spells.
  • Can be used to beat endgame bosses.
  • Has an A scaling with Intelligence.

  • Requires a double cost of Steady Chant.

5. Pyromancer’s Parting Flame (Pyromancy)

Best Catalyst for Flame Attacks.

SkillParting Flame
Weapon CategoryPyromancy Flame
Wgt. 4.5
Attack typeStrike
FP Cost25(-/-)
Ppurchasing Value-
Soul Value500

Parting Flame Stats

Why Did I Choose Pyromancer’s Parting Flame?

The Pyromancer’s Parting Flame is your catalyst of choice if you are more well-versed in fire-based attacks. Not only does it have a higher fire damage, but it also enables you to wipe out more enemies while the weapon art is activated.

The Pyromancer’s Parting Flame has a slightly lower scaling as compared to the Pyromancy Flame, and it deals a fire damage of 110. Moreover, it requires 15 strength, 13 intelligence, and 13 faith, and has a D scaling in both faith and intelligence.

This catalyst, when cast, leaves a small trail of fire that takes care of the nearest enemies. Moreover, it consumes a higher amount of stamina as compared to the Pyromancy Flame. 

To activate the weapon art, you need to strike and kill your enemies while the flame is active. Once you kill 12 enemies, the fire starts glowing brighter and the WA is activated, causing the player to regain an Estus flask. This can ensure long-term survival for the player within the game.

Location: Found on a corpse in the area where the Livid Pyromancer Dunnel, a dark invading spirit is encountered in the Ashes of Ariandel DLC.

Dark Souls 3 Best Catalysts
Full details behind Pyromancer’s Parting Flame. It’s not as complicated as it looks!

  • Allows for jump attacks.
  • Possesses counter-damage capabilities.
  • Steady Chant increases spell and melee damage.

  • Consumes more stamina than the regular Pyromancer’s Flame.

6. Yorshka’s Chime (Miracle)

Best Catalyst for Faith Builds.

SkillGentle Prayer
Weapon CategorySacred Chime
Wgt. 0.5
Attack typeStrike
FP Cost13(-/-)
Ppurchasing Value-
Soul Value100

Yorshka’s Chime Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Yorshka’s Chime?

The Yorksha’s Chime is one of the best catalysts when it comes to achieving the highest possible Spell Buff for a miracle catalyst. It is perfect for players who wish to achieve a Faith build. 

Yorshka’s Chime marks the last entry in our list of Best Catalysts. A bonus that this catalyst comes with is the skill ‘Gentle Prayer’ that is found with most Sacred Chimes. This casts a shade of healing over the player, slowly recovering HP for a duration of time – it must be noted that the ‘Gentle Prayer’ only stays in effect for as long as Yorshka’s Chime is equipped; unequipping it will nullify the effect.

It requires 3 strength and 30 faith to use and has an A scaling with faith. One of the main reasons Yorshka’s Chime is considered to be one of the best catalysts in the game, and arguably the best in its category of Sacred Chimes is its spellbuff, which caps at 60 Faith at 247.

Achieving the highest Spell Buff possible for any miracle catalyst, it is objectively the most effective in its league and any player should consider centering their pure faith build around it.

Location: Drops from Company Captain Yorshka, Covenant Leader of the Blades of the Darkmoon when killed. She is located in Anor Londo across the invisible bridge (can be found using prism stones).

Dark Souls 3 Best Catalysts
The beautiful Covenant Leader of the Blades of the Darkmoon, Company Captain Yorshka

  • Comes with the Gentle Prayer skill.
  • Has an A scaling with Faith.
  • Possesses the highest Spell Buff for any miracle catalyst. 

  • Needs to be equipped for the Gentle Prayer to keep working.

Why Others Were Not Chosen?

For this guide, I handpicked the best catalysts you can find in Dark Souls 3, but here are some that I chose to leave out:

  • Tin Banishment Catalyst: Performs poorly and has high Dexterity requirements.
  • Demon’s Catalyst: Has the lowest potential magic adjust in the game.
  • Sorcerer’s Catalyst: Has quite high Intelligence and Faith requirements.
  • Manus Catalyst: Has high Strength requirements.
  • Beatrice’s Catalyst: Has pretty difficult requirements.

What Would I Recommend?

In conclusion, if you are more of a PvP-oriented Dark Souls 3 player, then you should consider going for ‘Melee-combat catalysts’ as using pure pyromancy/miracle/sorcery builds can backfire and be heavily punished in situations where you can not use your spells (such as FP running out or low stamina) – opponents will be quick to close the gap if you slip up.

Amongst the ‘Melee-combat catalysts’, I rank Heysel Pick, Demon’s Scar, and Rose of Ariandel as one of the best – each caters to a category of magic so you can surely find one that fits your build! On the other hand, as far as PvE is concerned, pure magic catalysts stand out due to the variety of situational spells available whose damage output can be maximized with the right catalysts.

Amongst these, I rank Court Sorcerer’s Staff, Pyromancer’s Parting Flame, and Yorshka’s Chime to be one of the best catalysts available.

Now that you are here, why not read on:

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