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Bloodborne Builds Guide For PvE – Class, Stats, Attire, Weapons, Caryll Runes

As most of you may have found out in a rather painful way, Bloodborne is an extremely tough game that demands skills and patience from players. However, that’s far from the only factor that will dictate how easy your journey is in Yharnam.

How you develop your character is extremely important as well, and Bloodborne is unforgiving to those who fail to structure their builds properly.

For more help on Bloodborne, read our Understanding Stats, Attire Locations, Weapons Locations and Caryll Runes Locations Guide.

Bloodborne Builds

In-game your character has a range of stats varying from Arcane to Strength. And as you progress in the game, beating all adversaries and complete the campaigns and mission, you level up which allows you to level up the stats.

You only have a few points that you can add up to any of the stats or divided among a few. This essentially creates a variety of combinations in which these stats can be developed creating a wide a large number of option in which you can build your character.

These combinations of stats, their development and the proper investment into any given set of stats is the process of making a Build.

At times, it can get very complicated and confusing as to which stat you should invest in. one way of making the choice is to first decide which weapon suits you the most and which weapon you want to wield as weapons have their own requirement of stats in order to be able to wield them. This is the base requirement.

There also is a bonus attribute to the use of the weapon. The efficiency of the weapon scales on the stats required. There is a total of 6 stats two of which are defensive and 4 offensive ones. These stats are listed below,

Vitality (Vit)
This stat determines your character’s health HP and their physical defense. Level 30 of this stat translates to 1100 HP and the highest level allowing 1900 HP.

It is advisable to have the Vit of your character at level 50 no matter what build you are aiming for. A fair lot of HP will always be helpful.

Endurance (End)
This stat translates to Stamina and Persistence in your build. The ability of your build to dodge and evade attacks and resist slow and fast poisons depends on this stat. It is advisable to keep this at a fair 40.

Strength (Str)
The physical strength of your character depends on this stat. Having a fair lot of this stat allows you to equip heavy weaponry. However, the result for this stat is not quite observable before 40. It is advised to keep it at 50 minimums if you want to specialize in heavy weaponry. But it is useless to take it above 30 if you do not want to be into all the heavy weaponry.

Bloodtinge (Blt)
This stat relates to the weapon and increases the damage of the firearm. It is advisable to keep this stat above 50 as firearms are used invariantly in the game.

Skill (Skl)
This stat relates primarily to the light weapons. It also substantiates your visceral damage. If you are an enthusiast of the quickness of the light weapons, then this stat is one for you to invest in.

Fear not though, fellow Hunters, as we’re here to lend you a helping hand by suggesting a few highly detailed, grand-quality builds that will make life in Yharnam a slightly manageable.

Note that all the builds in this guide are at level 100. While you are progressing in the game, look to develop your character in such a way that by the time you approach level 100, you have all the stats, items, and weapons that are suggested in the builds.

Quality Build

Starting Class: Military Veteran

Main Build

  • Vitality – 40
  • Endurance – 40
  • Strength – 30
  • Skill – 30
  • Bloodtinge — 19
  • Arcane – 6

Attire
Preferably attire that grants the highest amount of Arcane and elemental defense, while also giving good defense versus standard melee attacks.

Weapons
Trick Weapon: Ludwig’s Holy Blade, Kirkhammer (Strength-focused Quality Build)
Firearm: Hunter Pistol (below 20 Bloodtinge), Evelyn (after 22 Bloodtinge)

Caryll Runes
Great Lake, Hunter, Clockwise Metamorphosis

How This Build Works
The concept of the quality build will be well known to most veterans (and sufferers) of the Dark Souls series. Its purpose is to primarily build a character that is versatile and can use most weapons with ease, benefitting from the scaling towards the later stages of the game.

You want to start off as a Military Veteran because the innate points in Strength and Skill are going to help. From then onwards, you should invest in Vitality and Endurance 1.5 times more than Strength and Skill.

Keep the two pairs equal for the best balance between defense and offense.

We won’t be needing Arcane for this build, so ignore that completely. Instead, you’re going to be using a lot of physically damaging weapons and utilizing your Bloodtinge to get some good impact from your guns.

For weapons, Ludwig’s Holy Blade is probably the best weapon for the quality build due to its immense Strength and Skill scaling when fully upgraded. This will make it exceed all the stats any other weapon could offer at full-upgrade for this build.

The Kirkhammer is another good alternative and will be available earlier than Ludwig’s Blade. However, Kirkhammer doesn’t tend to scale too well with Skill, which is why it should always be second-fiddle to the Holy Blade.

Below or near level 100, you’ll want to keep your Bloodtinge till 19 or 20. It’s only when you start to parry and riposte regularly should you boost your Bloodtinge. For this reason, the Hunter Pistol will be your ideal choice below level 100.

It has fantastic scaling when upgraded, and will out-damage the Evelyn. However, after exceeding level 100, the Evelyn will begin to outshine the Hunter Pistol at higher levels. This is because the Evelyn has an S scaling in Bloodtinge, which you should be investing in every 4th or 5th level.

You don’t need to look for the bigger guns, as they have a much larger animation, which can be detrimental against some of the faster enemies. The perk of this build is that you can use two weapons that have profoundly different functions in their two modes.

Both go from conventional sword to heavy-hitting, long-reaching weapons. This gives you a lot of advantage in terms of reach, allowing you to play more safely and carefully.

Assassin Build

Starting Class: Professional

Main Build

  • Vitality – 35
  • Endurance – 40
  • Strength – 15
  • Skill – 45
  • Bloodtinge – 17
  • Arcane – 6

Attire
The Tomb Prospector Set and the Bone Ash Set seem to have the stats that would best suit the needs of this build.

Weapons of Choice
Trick Weapon: Threaded Cane (early game), Blade of Mercy (main choice)
Firearm: Hunter Pistol (below 20 Bloodtinge), Evelyn (after 22 Bloodtinge)

Caryll Runes
Great Deep Sea, Hunter, Anti-Clockwise Metamorphosis

How This Build Works
This Bloodborne build will mainly focus on the Skill stat, and will almost entirely ignore the Strength stat.

The Skill stat is closely tied to all the ‘faster’ weapons in the game, though most of these weapons will have less range. This is probably the way From Soft would encourage players to play Bloodborne anyway: aggressive, fast-paced, and relentless.

All three styles can be incorporated with this build, as you level your Skills stat. The great thing about this is that you can acquire a nice Skill-based weapon fairly early on in the game: the Threaded Cane. This interesting trick weapon is not only fast, it also scales off Skill very well.

Upgrading it once will transform the C scaling into B, which means that the more you increase your Skill, the greater the damage output from the Threaded Cane. Another perk with this weapon is that it transforms into a whip.

Now whips had a very good range in Dark Souls, but that’s not so much the case in Bloodborne. Still, the whip transformation will give you additional options in extending your melee range, something not entirely common with most of the Skill-based weapons.

The main weapon choice though should be the Blade of Mercy. This weapon is a short-sword that quickly transforms into two daggers (meaning you’ll be able to use your firearm). These daggers have extremely fast attack animations that fit the pace of Bloodborne perfectly.

Also, if the application wasn’t good enough, Blade(s) of Mercy has an S scaling with Skill when fully upgraded. Now that is really something.

For firearms, we’re going with the same philosophy we used in the Quality Build: Hunter Pistol for as long as your Bloodtinge is below 20, and switching to Evelyn when it goes above 22.

Blood Katana Build

Starting Class: Noble Scion

Main Build

  • Vitality – 35
  • Endurance – 37
  • Strength – 14
  • Skill – 30
  • Bloodtinge – 35
  • Arcane – 6

Attire
Cainhurst Set looks totally relevant, as does it function in a very relevant manner.

Weapons of Choice
Trick Weapon: Chikage (main), Reiterpallasch (secondary)
Firearm: Hunter Blunderbuss, Evelyn

Caryll Runes
Blood Rapture, Radiance, Clockwise Metamorphosis

How This Build Works
This Bloodborne build would not have been possible without the Chikage.

The Chikage is the only katana in the game and the only trick weapon that is heavily dependent on the Bloodtinge. With the right build (this one), the Chikage becomes the most powerful weapon in the game.

Like most trick weapons, the Chikage has two modes: the standard mode is a katana that in itself is pretty amazing and scales off Skill. When transformed though, the katana becomes an even larger, two-handed ‘blood katana’.

When in this mode, the Chikage’s damage will scale off of Bloodtinge. It will also chip away your health with every attack.

However, this health-drain effect is static – it is not based on a percentage of your health, and will not increase when your health increases through additional Vitality or Caryll Runes. This means that after the initial struggle, the amount of health drained by the Chikage in its second mode becomes negligible once you have enough health.

This falls perfectly with the S scaling with Bloodtinge when the Chikage is leveled up to its maximum. At around level 80-90, you should have the most powerful weapon possible in this game, provided you are following this build closely.

The Chikage is available when you join the Cainhurst Vileblood Covenant, which is quite easy to do.

It will, however, take you some time before you can use it to its full potential, which is why you should consider the Reiterpallasch as a good alternative. The spear-like weapon transforms into a bayonet-featuring gun and scales off Bloodtinge very well.

When it comes to weapons, you have lots of choices. Either you can go for pure damage and opt for the Evelyn or Hunter Pistol, or you can go more for utility (the way Firearms are meant to be used in Bloodborne) and opt for the Blunderbuss.

The latter will give you lots of opportunities to stagger enemies and attempt a Visceral attack with your awesome Chikage, which hurts a hell lot. This is especially useful against slow bosses that have a large staggering window.

As far as Caryll Runes are concerned, you want to use runes that will grant you HP in one form or the other. This is obviously directly related to the Chikage’s health-drain effect, which is thankfully counter-able with decent amounts of Vitality and some relevant Caryll Runes.

Arcane Build

Starting Class: Cruel Fate

Main Build

  • Vitality – 36
  • Endurance – 35
  • Strength – 16
  • Skill – 20
  • Bloodtinge – 5
  • Arcane – 40

Attire
Any set that gives good resistances and high physical defense.

Weapons of Choice
Trick Weapon: Ludwig’s Holy Blade, Tonitrus
Firearm: Flamesprayer, Rosmarinus

Caryll Runes
Great Lake, Hunter, Clockwise Metamorphosis

How This Build Works
This Bloodborne build is pretty fun to play, but you could term it as a ‘late game build’ because it relies heavily on weapons that you get towards the later stages of the game.

For this reason, you’ll want to start off by investing more in Skill and leveling Strength only till 16. The reason we’re only going to limit Strength to 16 is that that’s the minimum requirement for the primary weapon of this build.

You’ll have to rush your way to get the Tonitrus as quickly as possible. It’s a strange Arcane weapon that doesn’t really scale well with Arcane, but its indirect Bolt attacks are directly triggered by your Arcane stat.

Soon enough though you’ll begin to feel its limitations, and that’s when you need to search for arguably the most balanced weapon in the game: Ludwig’s Holy Blade.

The powerful sword/greatsword hybrid scales brilliantly off Strength, Skill, and Arcane, but what’s most important is that its practicality and application allow it to greatly benefit from the Arcane scaling, especially when combined with the Fire and Bolt papers through which you can imbue your weapons with elemental damage.

For the firearms, there are two of them that are purely dedicated to the Arcane stat. The Flamesprayer has decent damage, but uses up ammo like crazy and doesn’t scale as well as the Rosmarinus, which should become your main Firearm when you’re using the longsword version of Ludwig’s Blade.

Tanking Build

Starting Class: Violent Past

Main Build

  • Vitality – 50
  • Endurance – 40
  • Strength – 42
  • Skill – 15
  • Bloodtinge – 6
  • Arcane – 7

Attire
Cainhurst Set or Yahar’gul Set. Both offer great defenses that would suit

Weapons of Choice
Trick Weapon: Kirkhammer
Firearm: Cannon

Caryll Runes
Clawmark, Formless Oedon, Clockwise Metamorphosis

How This Build Works
Though not exactly versatile, this Bloodborne build is what you’ll use if you want a non-bullshit, heavy-hitting experience in Bloodborne.

There aren’t too many weapons in the game that scale very highly off Strength, but the one weapon that is available is excellent in what it does. The Kirkhammer is available relatively early on in the game, and it has excellent versatility.

The emphasized playstyle of this build fits perfectly with the weapon’s function: you’ll be hitting a lot less, but you’ll be doing much higher damage when you actually choose to hit. Combine that with the Cannon, and you have a deadly combination of spike damage.

This isn’t really the way to play Bloodborne because of the game’s emphasis on aggression, but anyone who faced the notorious heavy-armored Turtle NPC in the NG+ of Dark Souls 2 (in Iron Keep) will know that a guy with a big blunt weapon can be just as aggressive as one with small speedy knives.

A lot of dodging around and picking the perfect time to attack will get you accustomed to staggering opponents as well, which can work tremendously well to launch Visceral attacks.

One thing you will need to worry about though is the Cannon. It’s probably the only Firearm that is meant to damage instead of stagger, and since you’ll be mostly using the heavy Kirkhammer, you’ll find yourself using it only in the most unlikely scenarios.

The best way to use the cannon is to stack up as many Blood Bullets as possible; the Cannon uses a massive 10 BBs per shot, so avoid using it on enemies. Through a certain area just accumulate the bullets, and use the Cannon’s power on bosses or some of the harder enemies in the game.

As mentioned earlier, this build isn’t versatile, but who needs versatility when you have so much power and resilience, right?

The following are some other builds that area accessible above level 100 as well

Evelyn’s Knight Build

The build has a starting origin of Lone Survivor and has the weapon preference of the Holy Moonlight Sword.

This build is more attack oriented and is best suited for a co-op game style. It focuses mainly on bloodtinge, arcane and strength utilizing primarily an offensive pattern of attack. This build is also suitable to fend off invaders and help others all over the game.

Arcane Knight Build

This build has a starting origin of Professional and can only be attained at levels 100+. The weapon preference of this build is the Saw Cleaver and Hunter’s Axe.

Being more strength oriented, this build allows you to use the Hunter’s Axe more efficiently dealing immense damage. The Saw Cleaver is held as a secondary item and allows swift slashes of attack against faster enemies.

You can also utilize firearms with this build. The Phantasm Shell and Ludwig’s Rifle are the most preferable. Along with that, Vitality is a key feature of this build also focusing on an Arcane as well.