Dark Souls 3 Guts Build: The Best Black Swordsman Build

I have invested 800+ hours in Dark Souls 3 and have tried out various builds. The Guts build is one example!

dark souls 3 guts build
Dark Souls 3 Guts Build: The Best Black Swordsman Build
About The Author

Waleed is a Dark Souls fan having spent 800+ hours in the game. You can trust his insights on any Dark Souls related guides!

Berserk was one of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s most significant influences when it came to creating the Dark souls series. Miyazaki was a big fan of Kentaro Miura’s magnum opus, which explains the many Berserk references throughout the Dark Souls series. One of these references happens to be the ability to create builds that looks almost exactly like Guts, the protagonist of Berserk. Here I cover the Dark Souls 3 Guts build. I hope you find this guide useful. For other Dark Souls 3 guides, check out Dark Souls 3 Best Faith Weapons and Dark Souls 3 Fire Keeper Soul.

Key Takeaways

  • A guts build is a type of character build in Dark Souls 3 that is inspired by the protagonist of Berserk, a manga series that influenced the game’s design. 
  • A guts build typically uses a large sword, such as the Greatsword or the Farron Greatsword, and focuses on strength and dexterity stats. It also incorporates some fashion elements to resemble Guts’ appearance.
  • Some pros of a guts build include high damage output, the ability to stagger enemies and break their guard, and the ability to cosplay as a popular manga character.
  • Some cons of a guts build include the requirement for a lot of stamina to swing the sword, slow attack speed and recovery time, and limited range and mobility compared to other weapons.
  • A Guts build can be created in Dark Souls 3 using specific armor and weapon choices.
  • The Golden Age Arc Guts build requires the Nameless Knight Helm, Sellsword armor, Sellsword gauntlets, Sellsword leggings, Astora greatsword, and the light Crossbow, with recommended strength and dexterity levels.
  • The Conviction Arc Guts build requires the Undead Legion armor, Sellsword gauntlets, Alva Leggings, and the Greatsword, with recommended strength and dexterity levels.
  • The Fantasia Arc Guts build requires the Iron Dragonslayer armor, Black Knight gauntlets and leggings, and the Greatsword.

Comparison table for Guts Build;

NoNamesPhysical ResistanceBleed ResistanceStrike DefencePoison ResistanceSlash DefenceFrost ResistanceThrust DefenceCurse ResistanceMagic DefencePoiseFire DefenceLightning DefenceDurabilityDark DefenceWeight
1Nameless Knight Helmet3.8263.1154.2143.6102.
2Sellword Armour Set21.4129228320.88122.45516.118.416.313.1-16.118.9
3Astora Greatsword----------35.035.075-8.0
4Light Crossbow------------45--
5Undead Legion Armour22.110122.313012.816119.310927.110.627.928.328022.518.6
6Alva Leggings7.1365.8217.1226.5125.
8Iron Dragonslayer Set3518825.812536.713838.36422.144.425.830.745029.335.7
9Black Knight Gauntlets/Leggings30.214124.010028.39526.89521.929.927.620.823.7-30.9

Best Dark Souls 3 Guts Build 

The build focuses primarily on Strength with a little Dexterity requirement and can be classified as a Strength build. I will be covering every arc of the manga.

The Golden Age Arc

The golden age of Berserk covered the 3rd to 14th volumes of the manga and gave the classic guts look. In order to look like Guts from Berserk’s golden age arc, you will need the Nameless Knight Helm, Sellsword armor, Sellsword gauntlets, Sellsword leggings, Astora greatsword, and the light Crossbow. I recommend a strength level of 40 and a dexterity level of 20.

dark souls 3 guts build
Guts Golden age build (Credits: Youtube)

Nameless Knight Helmet

Armor TypeHelms
Physical Resistance3.8
Bleed Resistance26
Strike Defence3.1
Poison Resistance15
Slash Defence4.2
Frost Resistance14
Thrust Defence3.6
Curse Resistance10
Magic Defence2.1
Fire Defence3.4
Lightning Defence2.4
Dark Defence2.1

Here’s how you acquire this helmet: go to the old wolf of Farron bonfire in Farron keep, go down the ladder and proceed to follow the campfires in front of you. You should come across a rock; in the left corner, you will find the Nameless knight helmet. It resembles the helmet Guts wore during his early days with griffin.

More From Dark Souls 3 Guides: How To Parry In Dark Souls 3

dark souls 3 guts build
Nameless Knight Helmet

Sellword Armour Set

Physical Resistance21.4
Bleed Resistance129
Strike Defence22
Poison Resistance83
Slash Defence20.8
Frost Resistance81
Thrust Defence22.4
Curse Resistance55
Magic Defence16.1
Fire Defence16.3
Lightning Defence13.1
Dark Defence16.1

Beginning the game as a mercenary is one way you can get this Dark SOuls 3 Guts armor. Alternatively, you can find the set in the crucifixion woods. You can find this set on a corpse lying by the stairs which are defended by a Black Knight. The set resembles the armour Guts wore during his time with Griffin’s band during the earlier chapters of Berserk.

dark souls 3 guts build
Sellsword Armour Set

Astora Greatsword

Icon Weight40.0
Icon StrengthIcon DexterityIcon intelligenceIcon Faith
Weapon TypeUltra Greatsword
Attack TypeStandard/Thrust
Focus Cost13(-/13)

You can find the Astora greatsword in the cathedral of the deep. You can find it in a corpse lying in the graveyard close to the cleansing chapel in the cathedral of the deep. It looks identical to the sword Guts wields during his early days with the band of the falcons.

dark souls 3 guts build
Astora Greatsword

Light Crossbow

Weapon TypeCrossbow
Attack typeNone
Focus Cost7(-/-)

You can buy the light Crossbow from Greirat or pick it up from the Crossbow wielding enemy types in the game’s earlier levels. Guts always had a crossbow on him during the Golden age.

dark souls 3 guts build
light Crossbow

Conviction Arc

The conviction arc is the third arc of Berserk and follows the golden age arc. It covers volumes 14 through 21 of the manga. For the conviction arc Guts, you will require the Undead Legion armor, the Sellsword gauntlets, Alva Leggings, and the Greatsword. I recommend a strength level of 50 and a dexterity level of 12 for this build.

dark souls 3 guts build
Conviction arc guts build (Credits: Reddit)

Undead Legion Armour

Physical Resistance22.1
Bleed Resistance101
Strike Defence22.3
Poison Resistance130
Slash Defence12.8
Frost Resistance161
Thrust Defence19.3
Curse Resistance109
Magic Defence27.1
Fire Defense27.9
Lightning Defence28.3
Dark Defence22.5
Icon Weight18.6

The undead legion armor set can be acquired once you have defeated the abyss watchers. It can be bought from the handmaiden sitting at the firelink shrine for 31000 souls. This armour looks identical to the one Guts wore during the Aonviction Arc.

dark souls 3 guts build
Undead Legion Set

Alva Leggings

Physical Resistance7.1
Bleed Resistance36
Strike Defence5.8
Poison Resistance21
Slash Defence7.1
Frost Resistance22
Thrust Defence6.5
Curse Resistance12
Magic Defence5.4
Fire Defence6.5
Lightning Defence5.4
Dark Defence6.2
Icon Weight5.5

Alva leggings can only be obtained after you have been invaded by and defeated the dark spirit Alva (she invades you on the staircase that takes you to the Irithyll dungeon bonfire). You should not have defeated Yhorm, if you do, Alva does not invade. The Alva leggings can be found by a corpse in the Irithyll dungeon. These leggings, coupled with the Undead Legion armour give us a set that looks near identical to what Guts wore during the conviction era Arc. You might also want to check out the Best Talisman of Dark Souls 3 as well.

dark souls 3 guts build
Alva leggings


Weapon TypeUltra Greatsword
Attack typeStandard
Focus Cost10

The Greatsword can be found in Farron Keep. In Farron Keep, not far from the first bonfire, there is a broken bridge, on that bridge is a corpse that carries the Greatsword. It is identical to the sword that Guts Build carries in Berserk and also happens to be one of the greatest greatswords in the game. This sword is also probably a reference to the Dark Fantasy series due to its striking resemblance with guts’ own sword.

dark souls 3 guts build
The Greatsword

Fantasia Arc

The Fantasia arc is the fifth and current arc of Berserk. It begins from chapter 4, but Miura’s unfortunate passing has cast uncertainty over its conclusion. For the Fantasia Arc Guts look, you will require Iron Dragonslayer armour along with the black knight gauntlets and leggings and the Greatsword.

dark souls 3 guts build
Fantasia Arc Berserk (Credits: Reddit)

Iron Dragonslayer Set

Physical Resistance35
Bleed Resistance188
Strike Defence25.8
Poison Resistance125
Slash Defence36.7
Frost Resistance138
Thrust Defence38.3
Curse Resistance64
Magic Defence22.1
Fire Defence25.8
Lightning Defence30.7
Dark Defence29.3
Icon Weight35.7

You can acquire the Ieon Dragonslayer set by defeating the Dragonslayer armour in the ringed city (you need the ringed city DLC for this). Alternatively, you can use the dragonslayer set acquired after defeating the nameless king and walking straight from his bonfire, though the iron dragonslayer set resembles the Fantasia Arc Guts’ armor a lot more.

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dark souls 3 guts build
Iron Dragonslayer set

Black Knight Gauntlets/Leggings

Physical Resistance30.2
Bleed Resistance141
Strike Defence24.0
Poison Resistance100
Slash Defence28.3
Frost Resistance95
Thrust Defence26.8
Curse Resistance95
Magic Defence21.9
Fire Defence27.6
Lightning Defence20.8
Dark Defence23.7
Icon Durability-
Icon Weight30.9

You can pick up the Black Knight Leggings or Gauntlets by beating the Black Knights found in the game. A good farming area would be the area after the Champion Gundyr bonfire for a lot of Black Knights can be found there. These gauntlets and leggings complement the Iron Dragonslayer armor, looking like dark souls 3 guts build armour from the Fantasia era arc.

dark souls 3 guts build
Black Knight set, displaying the gauntlet and the leggings

On top of all this, I would recommend using the havel’s ring, and the ring of favor for they help with carrying capacity and guts builds are a little towards the heavier side. While you are here, also check out Dark Souls 3 Katana Build, and Luck Build.

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