Best Dark Souls 3 Mage Builds [In-Depth Guide 2023]
Mag builds are builds that utilize the Faith stat and cast powerful miracles. These are the best dark souls 3 mage builds, in our opinion.
Much like pyromancer and sorcerer builds, Dark Souls 3 mage builds are builds that emphasize the use of spells (called miracles) to cause damage and/or buff themselves. Dark Souls 3 Mage builds emphasize the faith stat and can be use in conjunction with different builds and playstyles. For example, you can have a pyro mage hybrid or a strength mage hybrid.
Owing to their versatility, mage builds can be extremely affective in both PvE and PvP. While there are a large number of faith builds in Dark Souls, these are what we consider to be the best Dark Souls 3 Mage Builds.
Pure Mage build emphasizes faith only and deals more damage than most Dark Souls 3 builds, using Lightning miracles for combat and damages. Such a build will be extremely viable in both PvE and PvP
The Melee Mage is the most popular mage build in Dark Souls 3, using faith and miracles to maximize damage, get out of situations, and clear up annoying enemies. Best for both PvP and PvE.
Pyromancer Build is a rare but fun Dark Souls 3 mage build with an equal focus on both magic and pyromancy. Best for both PvE and PvP.
As mentioned earlier, Dark Souls 3 mage builds primarily scale with the faith stat. Faith miracles can be used for a number of reasons, from direct damage causing miracles like the lightning sear and arrows to healing spells that buff your health and the health of your co op team mates.
If used correctly, mage builds can be extremely damaging. Most boss speedruns on Youtube often utilise a miracle or two to maximise damage, this goes to show how effective mage builds can be.
Faith stat is crucial for mage builds.
Miracles serve various purposes, including damage and healing.
Recommended faith level is at least 40.
High attunement level is advised due to FP consumption and attunement slots.
A Pure Mage build in Dark Souls 3 focuses solely on faith for damage. It uses miracles, especially lightning ones, for combat and healing miracles for sustainability. The melee weapon is infused to scale with Faith.
High damage output with flashy miracles.
Suitable for both PvE and PvP.
Quick and versatile for various encounters.
Effective once you adapt to relying less on melee attacks.
A build like this will have a small learning curve but once you get used to it and get us3ed to not relying on a melee weapon for most of your attacks, you will end up with a build that will shred through almost all enocunters within seconds.
For this build, you will require a faith level of 45-6o. We also recommend a high attunement and vigour level. While no armour set is required, a robe will look good with such a build.
Despite this being a pure caster type build, you will still be using a melee weapon quite a bit. For your weapon, we recommend the longsword for its ease of use and ability to be infused. We recommend infusing it with the Lightning Gem or a Blessed gem for this will add faith scaling to your weapon. This, along with your highfaith level means you will be dealing high amounts of damage. Other great options are the Broadsword and the Zweihander.
For your miracles in this Pure Mage build, consider the following choices:
Tears of Denial: Essential for survivability, offering a second chance at life, which is crucial due to casting times and low armor.
Lightning Arrow and Lightning Spear: Your primary damage-dealing miracles, effective against various enemies, from regular foes to tougher ones.
Healing Spell: Helps conserve Estus and maintains your health, ensuring you can endure encounters effectively.
These miracles will be the core of your confrontations, allowing you to handle a wide range of challenges, including PvP situations.
When it comes to caster builds, rings are essential. We recommend the sage’s ring, lightning clutch ring, ring of the sun’s firstborn and saint’s ring. Sage’s ring will mean you can cast faster which is absolutely essential for a build that relies so heavily on casting. Saint’s ring will give you access to more attunement slots, ring of the suns firstborn will boost your miracle damage by 20%, making your already powerful lightning spears almost op.
Lightning clutch ring boosts lightning damage, since your primary attack spells are all lightning based, this will have you getting through bosses faster than 99% of other builds.
Here’s where you can find some of the items and rings mentioned in your Pure Mage build guide:
Longsword: Starting weapon for the Knight class. Can be purchased from Greirat or looted from Hollow Soldiers at the High Wall of Lothric.
Lightning Spear: Near the Old Wolf of Farron Bonfire. Take the elevator, go up the staircase, turn right, reach the closed gate, drop down from the right, and follow the path to find it.
Heal: Available for purchase from the Shrine Handmaiden for 1000 souls.
Tears of Denial: Give the Braille Divine Tome of Carim to Irina, and Tears of Denial will be available for sale.
Lightning Arrow: Requires the Ringed City DLC. Found behind three hidden walls after encountering the dragon following the Shared Grave Bonfire.
Saint’s Ring: Available for purchase from Irina of Carim for 300 souls.
Lightning Clutch Ring: Found in Archdragon Peak, to the left of the gate that leads to Ancient Wyvern.
Sage’s Ring: Found in the Road of Sacrifices swamp, in a room to the left with an enemy.
Ring of the Sun’s Firstborn: Found in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. From the Pontiff Sulyvahn boss room, run back and out, then drop off a ledge to reach the ring’s location.
Melee Mage Build
The Melee Mage build in Dark Souls 3 combines physical combat with faith and miracles for versatility.
Focus on Strength, Dexterity, and Faith stats.
Emphasizes a melee weapon for damage.
Uses miracles like Heal and Lightning Spear for added damage and utility.
Effective in both PvE and PvP.
Allows you to conserve Estus flasks with melee combat.
High faith enhances overall damage output.
Offers satisfying combos of melee attacks and miracles.
A high faith level will greatly complement your overall damage output for the use of damage causing miracles alongside physical damage means you will output almost unreal amounts of weapons. Finishing off a boss with a miracle right after a well executed weapon combo is one of the most satisfying things in Dark Souls 3
For your skills, we recommend a strength or dexterity level of at least 30-40. We also recommend a Faith level of 40. Other than this, we recommend emphasizing vigour, attunement and endurance in this order. While there are no strict outfit requirements, you may go with whatever set if your favourite (considering seeing best dark souls 3 heavy sets).
Broadsword (for strength)
If you plan on going the strength route for your melee mage, we recommend the broadsword. While you can go with any strength weapon of your choice, we recommend the broadsword for its quick moveset and versatiliy.
It is even better if you infuse it with the heavy gem to make the most out of your high strength level. This weapon is good for all sorts of encounters and will serve as a great weapon alongside your miracles.
Washing Pole (for dexterity)
The washing pole is one of the best katanas in Dark Souls 3. Its dexterity scaling and insane length makes it an exceptional dexterity weapon. While you may run any dexterity weapon for this build, we recommend the washing pole.
For this build, I recommend the same rings as the pure mage build but swapping the Sage’s ring for the ring of favour. The ring of favour grants many attribute boosts that can be beneficial especially because this build puts as much emphasis on melee combat as it does on miracles. The opportunity cost of the casting time will be worth it for this builds does not ask for miraces to be cast during extremely tense situations anyway.
The miracles we recommend for this build are heal, great lightning spear, lightning blade and deep protection.
Heal: This miracle helps you conserve Estus Flasks by providing healing. The healing effectiveness scales with your Faith level, making a high Faith level beneficial.
Great Lightning Spear: Great Lightning Spear is your primary damage-dealing miracle. It hurls a powerful lightning projectile, particularly effective with a high Faith level.
Lightning Blade: Lightning Blade enhances your primary weapon with lightning damage, and this damage scales with your Faith. It boosts your melee attacks with additional lightning damage.
Deep Protection: Deep Protection offers various advantages, including increased stamina recovery, attack boost, and damage resistance. It enhances your survivability, making it useful even with weaker armor sets.
Here’s where you can find some of the items and rings mentioned for the Melee Mage build:
Broadsword: Found near the High Wall of Lothric. From the bonfire, head to the platform with crossbow soldiers, proceed to the room with a patrolling knight, and then enter another room with a soldier and crates. Break the crates to find the Broadsword.
Washing Pole: Purchase from the Shrine Handmaiden after giving her the Easterner’s ashes.
Ring of Favor: Located in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. From the Pontiff bonfire, pass the area with the dead giants. Enter the building with the dead Giant blacksmith, and on the left, find a hidden wall. Head down, fight the Sulyvahn Beasts, and defeating one of them will give you the Ring of Favor.
Deep Protection: Buy from Irina of Carim for 4000 souls after giving her the Deep Braille of Carim tome.
Lightning Blade: Found in Irithyll Dungeon.
Heal: Available for purchase from the Shrine Handmaiden for 1000 souls.
Great Lightning Spear: Join the Warrior of Sunlight covenant and reach level 1 in the covenant to receive it as a gift.
Pyromancer Mage Build
The Pyromancer Build in Dark Souls 3 is an engaging mage build that balances magic and pyromancies. It incorporates both lightning spells and pyromancies for versatile and powerful elemental damage. Key points include:
Focusing on both pyromancies and magic.
Combining pyromancies and lightning spells for potent elemental damage.
Access to various buffs and resistances for added versatility.
Effective in both PvE and PvP, but recommended more for PvE.
Versatility for handling different encounters, including hordes of enemies and tough bosses.
While this build is great for both PvE and PvP, we recommend it for PvE playthroughs because the pure caster build and the melee mage are better PvP options.
The amount of damage this build will be outputting by combining pyromancies with sorceries will be valuable for all sorts of PvE encounters. From hordes of ads to bosses with massive health pools, this build has you covered. The variety of spells also means you will have something for almost every encounter.
For this build, we recommend both Intelligence and Faith levels of anywhere between 40-50. Attunement, vigour and endurance should then be prioritized. As usual, there are no specific set requirements but Karla’s set will go really well with this build. You will also require a flam for your Pyromancies and a Talisman for your miracles, we recommend using both in one hand and getting used to quickly switching between them.
For your melee weapon, you may go with any weapon that is infusible. Our favourite options are Zweihander, Broadsword, Longsword and Claymore. You should infuse that weapon with the chaos gem for it adds fire gem and adds in Intelligence and Faith scaling, perfect for a build of this sort.
For your rings, we recommend the saint’s ring, sage’s ring, fire clutch ring and lightning clutch ring. Saints ring is absolutely essential here for this build relies heavily on spells and the more slots the better.
Fire and Lightning clutch rings will help boost your damage spells for they will be lightning and fire based. Sage’s ring will let you cast faster, this will come in handy for this build not only relies on two different types of spells but also has you switching between a talisman and a flame.
For this build, we recommend going with Chaos bed vestiges, great lightning spear, fire orb and and iron flesh (or any buff/resistance spell). Chaos bed vestiges and great lightning spear will be your primary damage spells, contributing to the bulk of the damage this build does. Fire orb will be your lesser damage causing spell, helping clear act and cause minimal damage.
A buff like iron flesh will let you be tanky when need be and go all in with your melee weapon. You can, however, pick a simpler buff like deep protection too.
Here’s where you can find some additional items and rings for your Melee Mage build:
Zweihander: Available for purchase from Greirat for 6000 souls.
Fire Clutch Ring: Found in the Undead Settlement near the Cliff Underside bonfire. Pass the three undead hurling explosives, and you’ll come across the Fire Clutch Ring.
Lightning Clutch Ring: Located in Archdragon Peak, to the left of the door leading to the Ancient Wyvern.
Great Lightning Spear: Obtained as a gift for reaching level 1 of the Warriors of Sunlight covenant.
Chaos Bed Vestiges: Can be obtained by transposing the Soul of the Old Demon King.
Fire Orb: Buy from Cornyx of the Great Swamp after giving him the Great Swamp Pyromancy tome.
Iron Flesh: Received as a gift after saving Laurentius in the Depths.
What is a Powermage build?
Powermage builds are builds that aim for Strength and Faith. These builds look tanky and often have insane damage outputs. For a powermage build, go with our melee mage build, pick a high strength weapon and pick an armour from our best heavy set list. This will get you a decent enough powermage build.
Are mage builds the most powerful builds?
No build, in particular, is the strongest, it all comes down to weapon mastery and stats. But mage builds are extremely powerful in Dark Souls 3. A good mage build, with very high Faith and lightning spears will output damage high enough to get through almost all encounters in mere seconds.
How do mage builds differ from pyromancy and sorcery?
While all three are caster type builds that utilize spells, Mage builds are builds that emphasize the Faith stat and cast miracles using talismans. Pyromancers are players that emphasize fire damage and require both high Faith and Intelligence. They cast using a flame. Sorcerers scale primarily with Intelligence, they use staves to cast sorceries. All three can be used in conjunction, with a player using s, sorceries, miracles and pyromancies together. Hybrid builds consisting of two types of these spells can also be devastating, for example the pyro mage hybrid in this guide.
Farrukh has been covering Souls like games for years now. Having an extensive experience in Dark Soul 3 and Elden Ring he critically judges these games and writes his unbiased thoughts on them after spending hundreds of hours grinding. Farrukh has also worked with Game Rant, MP1st and The Nerd Stash on a variety of gaming guides making him an expert to share his opinions. When not writing he probably be clearing another dungeon. You can also join Farrukh on his Steam.