The PROBLEM With Elden Ring Tier Lists


Let me pose a question to you, my delectable caramel macchiato.

What do you believe constitutes the finest weapon in Elden Ring?

Think about it for a second, I will wait.

Okay, you got your answer, good.

Now, permit me to pose a follow-up inquiry. Best for what purpose, precisely?

Is your chosen weapon ideal for PvE endeavors?

Perhaps for dueling?

Invasions, perchance?

I believe you can see where I'm going with this.

Why am I asking this?

Well, it appears we've yet to encounter a single tier list for Elden Ring that employs the appropriate criteria for its rankings.

We've been recently let known about Rusty's weapon ranking video where he ranks every weapon in Elden Ring, leaving out only the shields.

Which, despite also being considered weapons, he ranked them in another video.

Which is funny because he also included torches in the weapon ranking.

But I digress.

The video has over 2 million views and people just seem to agree with it.

We've compiled all the weapons Rusty ranked into an Excel file[] to streamline our analysis for this video.

And you'll find a link to the file here if you want to see where he placed your favorite weapon:

Rusty's Tier List

Madness Is Useless In PvE

The reason why his list caught our eye was because when giving the slightest amount of scrutiny...

Well, uh...

It makes no sense at all.

His supposed "criteria" for ranking the weapons are all over the place.

He claims to consider factors like:

how fun the moveset animations are,

how effective they are,




and artistry.

Yet he also mentions that his video shouldn't be your only source on the topic, implying it should be one of many.Which means you absolutely should not use this video as your only source for this topicBut then he claims to strive for objectivity. As always, I try as hard as I can to be objective,

Quite the jumble of statements there.

So what's the deal with his list, you ask?

Let's start with the most extreme example.

The very best weapon in the game, according to Rusty, is Vyke's War spear.

Vyke's War Spear

Weapon type — Great spear

Requirement:16 Strength20 Dexterity18 Faith

And he kind of foreshadowed it when he talked about flails.

Originally posted by Rusty:And barely any benefit in PvP if I'm being honest, if only because people seem more interested in power-stancing Vykes.

This was his reasoning:

Originally posted by Rusty:In addition to being the only madness-themed weapon you are ever offered, this spear has the unique benefit of trapping players in a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ animation for two [3 sec technically] seconds upon being afflicted.

And light rollers and bleed queens in PvP can now face the most literal interpretation of dying mad about it.

It's a great spear.

It has fire damage.

It has madness buildup.

It's extremely light for no damn reason.

It has great scaling at +10.

The skill's damage is determined by weapon level.

It has a horizontal swipe as a heavy, which gives it utility against crowds.

It's an early game obtainable.

Pretty much every positive bullet point you've heard me list off for all other weapons in the video, this spear has in its pocket.

Right from the get-go, he states something untrue.

The Fingerprint shield is also a madness weapon, which can even be infused to be given an arcane scaling and increase its madness buildup.

DMG negationPhysical100Magic77Fire81Lightning79Holy75


SkillShield bashWeight29,0Passive:Increases madness buildup (70)

If you infuse it with bleed, you'll have a weapon that inflicts both bleed and madness at the same time at insane rates.

But it's also not the only thing that can inflict crowd control on other players.

For example, when talking about PvP as he is now, the Ripple Crescent Halberd is borderline cheating because when you have 60 arcane and use sleep grease on it, you can sleep people through rolls in two to three hits.

Ripple Crescent Halberd

Weapon type — Halberd

Requirement:12 Strength12 Dexterity20 Arcane

And guess what?

It has better range,

a better moveset,

and a better ash of war than Vyke's War spear.

It's not even the longest great spear.

Fire damage is reduced by increasing vigor, so it's not the most damaging either.

And its madness buildup is quite low and hard to pull off.

So it's safe to say that Vyke's War spear is far from being the best weapon in PvP.

And if we talk about PvE, I don't think I even have to mention to you why it would suck, do I?

Well, in case I do, let me spell it out for you.

because only Tarnished can be inflicted with madness.

Every other mob and boss in the game is immune to it.

We sincerely cannot understand how he came to the conclusion that this is the best weapon in Elden Ring because even judging by his weird criteria, it's not even close.

But that's not the only boo-boo he made with the list, my little raviolis.

There are many inconsistencies, and we are not even talking from a very technical point of view, but rather his own «criteria».

For instance, there is absolutely no reason for Katar to be so low [№ 226] on the list and Cipher Pata to be so high [№ 69] on the list when by default, they are both the same weapon.

Both have a similar Ash of War and both have the same moveset, but according to his own criteria, Katar would be better

because it's longer [which is not true, they same],

can be infused with different Ashes of War,

and has the potential to deal more damage.

Not to mention that Cipher Pata deals only holy damage, which can be easily mitigated in PvP, and enemies in the late game are highly resistant to it.

There are other strange inconsistencies, such as Blasphemous Blade [№ 37] being worse than the Iron Cleaver [№ 26]

Originally posted by Rusty:Fire damage is nice, yes, we all know this, but that's not taking into account this greatsword's mortal enemy, rain.

Fire damage loses 20% of its punching power when the enemy is either in water or being pissed on by the greater will in the form of precipitation.

Crystal Knife being better than the Great Club, a weapon that also has split elemental damage but can be buffed with grease.

Originally posted by Rusty:Holy damage gives it a bit more nuance, but the split damage is just gonna make it harder to pierce enemy defenses.

№ 185 — St. Trina's TorchSaint Trina's Torch being better than all the weapons below it, or any torch for that matter,№ 20 — Pickaxethe f***ing pickaxe being number 20 for some godforsaken reason, № 101 — Antspur Rapier№ 73 — Estoc№ 9 — Cleanrot Knight's Swordany thrusting sword being outside of S tier,

and many, many more things that are just not worth going into right now, but as you can probably see, even by his own far-fetched criteria, the list makes no sense.

Although we could easily guess that he really just scrambled stuff up, and only made the effort for F and S tier.

I mean, just look at what he says about the Knight's Greatsword, the best PvP greatsword in the game, and a solid choice for PvE.

Originally posted by Rusty:Number 138, the Knight's Greatsword.

It's like a- a sword, but- but greater.

Wonder what they call those.

Bs on quality affinity.

Pretty nice.

Doesn't mention the true combo moveset, and a shorter greatsword [Banished Knight's Greatsword] with a worse moveset is above it [№ 137], yup.

«It's Only His Opinion»

And before you flood my comments section with the classic


First off, he made it clear that he aimed to be as objective as possible, so this goes beyond mere opinion.

And secondly, sure, he's entitled to his opinion, but that doesn't make it immune to being flat out wrong.

Take, for example, the notion that a silverback gorilla could take on a lion.

That's a debatable match, sure, but suggesting that a silverback gorilla could square up against a damn elephant?

That's just downright absurd.

It's a similar situation here.

Some weapons are objectively superior to others, no matter how you slice it.

The best flail still can't hold a candle to the worst thrusting sword [Rapier > Nightrider Flail].

So while there's room for debate in certain areas, some aspects are just plain objective, regardless of opinion or personal experience.

Schrödinger's Joke

And don't give me that Schrodinger's joke argument either, where the presented product is either legitimate or a work of irony, depending on the viewer's reaction.

Originally posted by Rusty fans when people call out his tier list:Oh no no no, it was just a goof.

It was just for laughs, you know?

Just, why aren't you laughing?

I believe the internet is past that point, where you could just state

It's just a prank, bro.

And get away with any stupid sh** you do or say.

Oh, you took the tier list that attempts to be objective, and tried to argue why it's wrong? Well, joke's on you, it wasn't serious.

I bet you must feel very silly right now, huh?

That being said, we're just left to wonder now.

How do you actually rank weapons in Elden Ring?

Is it even possible?

Well, of course it is.

You just need to apply the right criteria.

My Tier Lists

A weapon or a setup may be very good for PvP, but mediocre at best for PvE and vice versa.

That's why not specifying the criteria well can tear apart any list easily.

So now, after a long time of being asked to do this, I will do small rankings of the best five weapons or setups in Elden Ring for PvP duels and PvE, with the help of Gino Machino for the latter.

Melina, care to do the honors?

Alrighty, let's start with the PvE first.

Keep in mind that these were selected by Gino Machino himself, an amazing Elden Ring speedrunner.

№ 5 — Wing of Astel.

Magic damage is pretty good for PvE, and this little blue paddle offers tons of it, with a small ranged attack.

A solid moveset, both one-handed and power stanced, and an incredibly good Ash of War, which melts groups of mobs and big bosses.

№ 4 — Star Fist

The DPS on these big black pointy balls HD can be quite insane, as well as the poised damage and the bleed.

It's very good with Ashes of War, like Endure, Cragblade, or Royal Knight's Resolve.

The lack of range, though, can be troublesome for some players.

№ 3 — Blasphemous BladeOur all-time favorite tampon of Doom.

Taker's Flame is definitely the best thing about the weapon, as it deals tons of damage, and it will heal you on hit and enemy death.

The moveset is solid too, and fire damage can be amped with Flame, Grant me strength.

№ 2 — Bloodhound's Fang

It's all about the Ash of War.

Sucks for PvP, but it's amazing in PvE.

The hyper armor, damage, and poised damage of this thing is absolutely bonkers, and the iframes of the second part means that you won't get punished as much for spamming it like a monkey.

Plus, you can buff it with Grease and regular buffs for more bleed or damage.

And the best PvE weapon totally not being held at gunpoint to say this?

№ 1 — Dark Moon Greatsword your blue smurf's gift for simping for her till the end.

Originally posted by Rusty:Nice glow stick, bro.

Absolutely insane magic damage and frost proc from afar just by pressing L2 once and then mashing R2 as if your life depended on it.

It also deals amazing poise damage, so you'll break enemy stance quite easily.


№ 5 — Off Stock.

Cleanrot Knight's Sword Guardian's Swordspear

The chase potential and range of Halberds combined with the obnoxious glitchy poke of the offhand rapiers.

A deck build with the Guardian Sword Spear and Cleanrot Knight's sword makes this setup incredibly tough to fight.

However, it's hard-counted by having 109 poise, as this will prevent the rapier from stunning on first hit.

Nevertheless, still amazing.

№ 4 — Power Stanced Great Spears.

Lance Lance

Great range, great piercing damage, big stun lock when hitting the insane crouch attack, which allows you to place your enemy into a 50-50.

Either they roll or don't.

If you don't roll, you could eat another crouch L1 right away.

But if you do roll and your enemy just keeps chasing, you could get brutally roll-catched.

The start that covers the most angles would be to roll once and jump attack, since this will make the roll-catch attempt whiff and leave them open for a jump attack.

Despite being overall great, they do require quite a bit of practice to master though.

№ 3 — Power Stanced Straight Swords.

Noble's Slender Sword Noble's Slender Sword

A faster version of Power Stanced Great Spears, they're mostly a defensive setup, where they shine best at punishing whiff attempts and panic rolls.

However, they are so fast and deal so much damage that they outperform Great Spears by a margin.

They're also simpler to use, consume much less stamina, and have good chase potential with the jumping L1.

They only lack a good running attack, which is the reason why they are not the best setup in the game.

№ 2 — Cleanrot Knight's Sword.

The undisputed best weapon in the game by itself, and even better than some S-tier setups.

This thing is a f***ing menace.

Insanely fast,

very good reach,

very good piercing damage,

solid chasing,

works really well with different Ashes of War and builds.

This thing literally has no weaknesses, but it is only outshined by the best setup in Elden Ring for PvP, which is...

№ 1 — Power Stanced Spears.

Cross-Naginata Cross-Naginata

Give two Naginatas to your senile grandpa with Dementia, and he will most likely beat 90% of the Elden Ring player base, and forget how he did it afterwards.

These things are nuts.

So much so that they got their own video and short.

But to summarize,

brutal piercing damage,

lightning fast,

insane chasing,

insane tracking,

longest range in the game if used with Pikes,

can apply bleed if used with Naginatas,

and extremely easy to use, since you only need to press L1 and stuff dies.

Certainly the best setup for PvP in Elden Ring.



I'd like to wrap up by emphasizing that either Rusty or anyone else can create whatever tier list they fancy.

Ultimately, it's just a light-hearted video about a game, meant for entertainment, so it's not exactly causing any harm.

However, that doesn't mean it's impervious to criticism from those genuinely looking to engage in discussion and rectify any inaccuracies.

Shutting down conversation with the usual silly memes doesn't contribute positively in any capacity.

It only fosters a frivolous atmosphere of unnecessary censorship, all in the name of defending the honor of the individual dishing out Yapperonian cheese to their audience.

But that's going to be it for today.

If you want full-fledged tier lists that include all the weapon types and such, let us know in the comments down below

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