Dark Souls 2 Beginner Dexterity Weapon Guide

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#1 Edited by Jamin724 (444 posts) -

Okay so I have been watching Rorie comment on Dark Souls II stream complain about DEX builds and weapons. I felt the same way until I was done with the game because it seems like the DEX weapons are "hidden". I am only using weapons that I have tested and that can be found relatively early in the game. You can look up where to find these weapons online.

Weapon TypeNotable WeaponsNotesProsCons
Thrusting Swords
  • Rapier
  • Ricards' Rapier

Can get rapier from blacksmith @start of the game. Can get Ricards' after defeating one boss and has S scaling with awesome moveset.

  • Requires little stamina
  • Good in narrow passages
  • Light
  • Thrusting can miss enemies
  • Ricards' Rapier breaks easily and requires high DEX to wield
Curved Swords
  • Falchion
  • Scimitar
If you pick swordsman you start off w/ Scimitar+1 and Falchion is bought @start of game. Similar movesets Falchion has higher damage
  • Bleed effect on Falchion
  • Fast requires little stamina
  • Light
  • Close range weapon
  • Okay moveset good for starting better options out there
  • Dagger
  • Parry Dagger
Dagger is the first weapon found in game. Though the damage is low back stabs are insane. Parry Dagger is good for two handers who like to parry. Mages who want to focus on magic stats decent choice as well with thrust swords. Not for DEX heavy melee builds.
  • Can stagger enemies with ease
  • Lots of back stab damage
  • Light/fast
  • Little to no melee damage outside of back stabs
  • Little range
Strike Weapon
  • Casteus
While it is a weapon geared more for quality builds at +10 has A scale with dex and is the only strike weapon for the most part for dex builds. Found at merchant in the forest of the giants.
  • In power stance can stun lock very good
  • Strike Damage good for armored foes
  • Light/fast little stamina used
  • Short Range
  • Does Scale high with STR to reach full potential
  • Back stab damage is low compared to most DEX weapons
  • Blacksteel
  • Uchigatana
  • Chaos Blade
These weapons are not found until later in game. You could get your first one in under 4 bosses. Blacksteel has the best damage while IMO Uchi's moveset has a thrust attack which is nice for tight spots. Chaos blade is decent for people who want to do sorcery because it scales which fire which is affected by INT however it does drain HP per hit and most mages have little HP.
  • Long range and best movesets
  • High Damage and good scaling
  • Uses more stamina/swing compared to other DEX weapons
  • Breaks easy
  • Heavy compared to most DEX weapons
  • Not found until 4 bosses in
  • Blacksteel has highest damage but IMO worse moveset out of the katanas
  • Short Bow
  • Long Bow
  • Hunter's Bow
With the upgrades made from DSI to DSII with ranged attacks bows are a DEX players best friend. Short bow is bought from blacksmith @start *EDIT* Can Farm longbow in Forrest of Fallen Giants The Hollow Soldiers with bows drop them. (got one myself) One is behind the gate where Pate traps you, one is on the roof towards Cale and one is right outside the Soldiers Rest Bonfire. This weapon you can get at the start will last you to Drangleic Castle which is awesome!
  • High damage
  • Can attack from afar
  • Fast weapon
  • Great Scaling for DEX
  • High durability
  • Do not need to worry about moveset
  • Best bow is not found until late game
  • Decent arrows cannot be bought until 4 bosses defeated same with first decent bow
  • Ammo requires souls
  • Armored foes require elemental arrows which are found late game
  • Twinblades
  • Dragonslayer's Twinblades
  • Curved Twinblades
These weapons have very cool moveset it does come at a cost and that is durability. First one is found after third boss if you went straight for it. Like katanas does cause high damage for dex weapon but uses more durability.

  • Cool moveset
  • High DEX scaling
  • Good for PVP
  • Uses more stamina/swing then most DEX weapons
  • Breaks fast
  • Heavy compared to most DEX weapons
  • Not good in tight spots
  • Not found until 3 bosses in at minimum

I do know there are curved great swords, whips, and spears I either did not try those out or thought you will not find one until deep into the game. You may notice I list short range as a con and I debated over this. The reason why I listed it as a con is because most Defense high armor requires STR and this is for a DEX build therefore will not have as high DEF. That on top of the rolls being affected with ADP for beginners it will be tougher until you raise the ADP.

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#2 Posted by mosespippy (4751 posts) -

I put a lot of points into dex because the Black Knight Halberd had B scaling. It also has C scaling for strength and fire so it was pretty great all round. It's also not very early in the game, but it's not late either. It's in the area before the scorpion boss.

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#3 Posted by gaftra (419 posts) -

First off, awesome guide!

I went with a DEX heavy build in DS1 and went the same road here. I've found there to be little point to focusing solely on DEX however, since the break points for scaling are much lower than in previous games. It seems like this game was designed to encourage raising multiple stats.

With a relatively minimal investment in STR you can get into some of the better scaling spears or even things like the ancient knight halberd. I do totally agree about bows being great in this game having used them exhaustingly in DS1.

One of the best changes to the stat systems in DS2 is that they got away from the need to pick a very limited build and gave access to faster leveling.

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#4 Edited by Jamin724 (444 posts) -

@gaftra: Thanks I was also dex build in previous games and when I did my first play through my character was all over the place. Str does help a lot and even a lot of DEX weapons require at least 15 str. I did not play with spears at all though have heard good things about them.

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#5 Posted by Karkarov (3385 posts) -

Don't forget the shrine of amana has the Manslayer, which in my opinion, is the best Katana in the game. Has scaling from strength and dex, scales for full physical damage from them, and also has poison damage plus the moveset of the uchigatana except higher actual damage.

There is also a Dark Scythe in the Shaded Woods with the Knight Halberd, and the Espada Ropera you can get pretty deep in the game. Truthfully if you really want to play a dex character your best bet is to go Wanderer and stick to his scimitar for the start until you can find a better option.

@gaftra is also 100% right. Do not ignore strength. Especially 0-20 adding strength will likely have a solid impact on your damage for your dex weapons as long as they also have strength scaling. Also bear in mind a character with say 20 strength and 30 dex will likely get better scaling using an uchi than a person with those same stats using a blacksteel because despite the awesome scaling level of dex on blacksteel it pulls nothing at all from strength. Scaling letters are NOT the be all end all this time, any weapon that scales from C up can get a very nice bonus from the applicable stats.

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#6 Edited by Jamin724 (444 posts) -

@karkarov: I agree was just trying to focus on earlier weapons is all

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#7 Posted by benspyda (2129 posts) -

I'm tempted to try dual wielding spears because the powerstance double "poke" from a far away distance would be crazy.

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#8 Edited by Zeik (4416 posts) -

You can get a few whips pretty early. The Notched Whip can be gotten in Huntsman's Copse pretty easily, which you can get to pretty early in the game if you know how, and the Old Whip can be gotten at the very beginning of the game from the crows, if you're lucky, and it's one of the best whips I've seen. (Although the durability is kind of sucks.)

I actually really like the whip moveset in this game. It's so much better than DkS1.

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#9 Posted by pause422 (6325 posts) -

Early on this games Falchion is pretty damn good, and can continue to be for a while. I have yet to do much other than just equip and try out the moveset of an Curved Greatsword, but they seem like they could be pretty neat. I know alot of people do favor whips, but moreso for pvp and not so much pve.

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#10 Posted by Zevvion (5217 posts) -

Twinblades high damage? ... no? They have really low damage output even if all hits connect. Lower to many other DEX weapons anyway.

I personally really like the moveset of the Blacksteel Katana. It is a great weapon. By far the best katana in terms of damage, simply because it has the highest damage and also scales S with DEX. It is also the only katana that scales S with DEX even when infused with lightning or fire.

Also, don't forget the Great Scythe is still in the game. I haven't used it myself in this game, but I would assume it would still be great? It was arguably one of the better DEX weapons in the original game.

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#11 Posted by Yummylee (24646 posts) -

The Syan Halberd is a fantastic dex weapon, as it mixes together the best attacks of a spear and halberd. Though it's a rather rare drop and the Syan knights of course are pretty late in the game. Also, there's Curved Dragon Greatsword with has an S dex scaling, though it's of course a boss weapon, and one that can only be acquired with the soul of the dragon you collect from the ancient memory at the Dear Freja boss zone. As such, that too makes for a very late-game weapon.

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#12 Edited by Fredchuckdave (10205 posts) -

Step 1: Kill Lucatiel

Step 2: Buy Mirrah Greatsword from Melentia.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit.

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#13 Edited by ChronosBane (5 posts) -

Interestingly, I found that power stancing two spears felt pretty similar, if not worse than power stancing two rapiers. For some reason, the double thrust just doesn't have as much range as you think it would. I found it better to stick with the lighter rapiers and annoy enemies that way. Dual spears aren't very good for shielded enemies either, but the speed and range of the rapiers makes shield bashes and lunges much more reliable.

I tried out dual falchions for a while, but they just felt clumsy and slow compared to the rapiers, even though they're arguably better for encounters with multiple enemies.

caesteus: I thought those were pretty damn silly when I saw them, but I gave them a try, and now I'm excited to upgrade them and use them in place of my rapiers. For my high stamina, high poise build, the moment the enemy drops their guard, or allows me to break it, they never get another chance to move again, and I've always got enough stamina to bugger off the moment I get pressed by other enemies. So far they're the fastest weapon in the game for me, and they keep up with the well upgraded combo that I've been using for a while.

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#14 Posted by Gatehouse (933 posts) -

Step 1: Kill Lucatiel

Step 2: Buy Mirrah Greatsword from Melentia.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit.

The real question is if you get her sweet hat though murdering her?

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#15 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

Katanas do not cause bleeding, thats dark souls 1. (well unless you add a bleed effect to them).

The falchion has bleed on it, so that should be noted.

Also wheres the whips and spears? Most of the spears are kinda crap, but pates pike is actually pretty good with good dex scaling, and whips are kinda badass. I fought a guy who was duelwielding poison whips and he managed to out range even my halberd.

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#16 Posted by Jamin724 (444 posts) -

Edited some things and also update location of long bow.

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#17 Edited by jynxdaddy (54 posts) -


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#18 Edited by Turambar (7996 posts) -
@fredchuckdave said:

Step 1: Kill Lucatiel

Step 2: Buy Mirrah Greatsword from Melentia.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit.

The real question is if you get her sweet hat though murdering her?

You can buy it from Melentia. but it comes with the ugly mask.

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#19 Edited by ALavaPenguin (773 posts) -

I recently rerolled as dex and am actually quite loving it. It is odd and different though, it takes getting used to.

It can be really fun, I got Ricards Rapier that I use for bosses that I infused with poison, really fun with that plus Ricards Rapier secondary flurry of attacks can get that poison on a boss REALLY fast. I don't use that for trash mobs though.

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#20 Posted by Jamin724 (444 posts) -

@alavapenguin: glad to hear it. DEX is fun its just not how it was in DS1.

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#21 Posted by Zevvion (5217 posts) -

There are a lot of great DEX weapons.

Blacksteel Katana, dual Claws, Mirrah's Greatsword, Curved Dragonsword, Marakumo, Great Scythe and many more.

Also, DEX increases bleed and poison build up. Underestimating DEX builds is a poor thing to do. Depending on the weapon, they do equal damage to strength users. Most weapons are slightly faster and they deal increased bleed/poison build up. DEX is still my preferred stat over STR.

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