April 18, 2021

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Demon’s Souls Builds: Arcane Archer Guide (PvE Bow)

In this Demon’s Souls Remake Build Guide, I’m going to be covering my Arcane Archer Build, which is a Build that focuses on very high damage from far away using a Bow, with even higher damage while being summoned as a Blue Phantom. If you’ve been looking for a Bow Build to carry you through the game, or you like to Co Op a lot (or both), then this is the Build for you. This is a more advanced Build and is not intended for new players, due to the glass cannon-like nature of it.

Demon’s Souls Builds: Arcane Archer (PvE Bow)

The Arcane Archer Build uses the Lava Bow to great effect since it does exceptional damage with minimal stat investment. And what’s really great about this Bow is that it adds Fire Damage to all of your Arrows, whether you are using Fire Arrows or not. Many enemies in the game are weak to this damage type, which can really boost your damage.

What really makes this Build work though are two very important items: Clever Rat’s Ring and Morion Blade. Both of these items increase the damage you deal significantly when your HP is 30% or less. This makes this a very squishy Build though, which is why it is designed to be ranged, where you can ideally keep away from enemies that might kill you in one hit. However, you’re damage will be so high with these items equipped that you’ll one shot just about any enemy that is not a Boss.

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Arcane Archer Starting Class

The starting Class you choose for this Build isn’t terribly important because all you need to meet are the requirements for the Lava Bow, and ideally have some points into Intelligence in order to cast Protection and Warding. The choice here really comes down to what starting equipment you want, and if you want to play through the Boletarian Palace with a Bow or not. If you do, then choose the Hunter Class. If not then choose either Knight or Soldier.

Arcane Archer Starting Tips

Bows usually have a decent Strength requirement, but keep in mind that you must two-hand a Bow in order to fire it. Two-handing gives you 1.5x your Strength, so you don’t have to have the exact amount listed on the Bow. This means the Compound Long Bow needs 15 Strength, and the Lava Bow 14.

Arrows & Where to Get Them

All Arrows are NOT created equal, and some Arrows do more damage than others in Demon’s Souls and other Souls games. You always want to use the best Arrows you can in order to deal the most damage per shot, and the Arrows you want to use with this Build are Fire Arrows and Holy Arrows. These are sold by Graverobber Blige in The Ritual Path if you rescued him from his cell in The Shrine of Storms. In order to get to The Ritual Path you will need to defeat Phalanx and Adjudicator.

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demons-souls-builds-arcane-archer-advanced-bow-guide-arrows

Just past Graverobber Blige is a Reaper that you can snipe with a few Arrows that will give you around 4500 Souls per kill. This Build takes very good advantage of this, since its ranged and doesn’t need to drop down to kill him. Just pick him off, run back, reload into the same Archstone, run down and snipe him again, then stock up on Arrows from Graverobber Blige who is right there. The whole cycle takes about 45 seconds tops!

Pay attention to how much damage your Arrows are dealing to enemies, because you want to one shot them when using a Bow if you can. If Fire Arrows are not cutting it then I suggest using Holy Arrows instead, though they are more expensive. Holy Arrows are particularly good in the Stonefang Tunnel Archstone, so definitely use these here if you can.

How to Obtain Pure White Character Tendency & Ally’s Ring

Once Phalanx is defeated, you’ll need to speak with the Monumental in the Nexus in order to level up and gain the Blue Eye Stone from the Maiden in Black. Make sure that you answer YES to the Monumental’s question or you will not be able to gain the Ally’s Ring later on! You can use the Ally’s Ring when co oping for even more damage if you wish, but it is not required.

The next thing you can do if you want, is increase your Character Tendency to White. The reason to do this is that it will increase your damage by 20% while in Soul Form and when summoned as a Blue Phantom. You need all the help you can get damage wise early on in the game, before you’ve acquired the Morion Blade, and this is an easy way to do it.

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demons-souls-builds-arcane-archer-advanced-bow-guide-character-tendency

The easiest way to increase your Character Tendency to White is by grabbing a friend or someone from the community (like in Discord), setting a password and having them invade you over and over again. Kill them about 2 or 3 times, since killing Black Phantoms is the fastest way to gain White Character Tendency, and you should be set. Note that you don’t have to be Pure White Tendency to gain this bonus.

This should take like 5 minutes tops, assuming you know anyone with a PS5. Note this is easiest to do right after you’ve finished Phalanx since you’ll be in Body Form. There are limited Stone of Ephemeral Eyes this early in the game, however, if you died, there is a Stone of Ephemeral Eyes in the Nexus you can grab to regain Body Form thankfully.

Once you’ve done this then you can speak to the Monumental in the Nexus to gain the Ally’s Ring. If he doesn’t give you the ring then you are not at Pure White Character Tendency or you answered “NO” to his question.

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From this point forward you need to avoid Black Character Tendency, which means that you cannot invade other players or kill NPCs. If you do this you will lose your bonus damage in Soul Form. If for some reason you forgot, or made a mistake and did either or both of these things, then you can use the password/invasion technique to regain White Character Tendency.

Arcane Archer Stats

The Stats you’ll need to play this Build are Strength and Dexterity to use the Lava Bow, and a bit of Intelligence for a couple of Spells. Vitality can help keep you alive, since you’ll be reducing your HP to 30%, and it increases your Item Capacity allowing you to carry more Arrows. If you plan to play this Build at low levels or you plan to carry your character over to NG+, however, I would recommend not investing too many points here though. In NG+ you’ll likely be one shot anyway, so Vitality isn’t going to help you much beyond carrying more Arrows.

You’re Stats should look something like this:

  • Strength: 15
  • Dexterity: 16
  • Intelligence: 14
  • Vitality: 50 (single playthrough) or 20 (low level version or NG+)

Cranking your Vitality up high can help keep you alive when below 30% HP, but it won’t help you much in NG+ where you’ll likely die in one hit anyway. Still if you plan to play late game PvE, or only just a single playthrough with this character then I suggest pumping Vitality to 50 in order to improve your surviveability. You’ll have a lot of Souls to spend and you’ll find that neither Strength, Dexterity or Magic improves your damage with your Lava Bow very much. In addition, the use of Protection or Warding often allows you to be hit twice before you die with that much Vitality.

Arcane Archer Equipment

In this section we’ll take a look at what equipment you’ll need in order to play the Arcane Archer Build effectively. Keep in mind that you will likely change this up some depending on what section of the game you are on, but this should serve to give you some idea of what setups you’re looking for. First let’s take a look at early game.

Early Game Equipment

At the beginning of the game you’ll want to pick up and equip the Cling Ring as soon as you can to further increase your Health in Soul Form. You’ll likely be in Soul Form a good amount of the time, especially since you’ll gain extra damage when doing so, and you’ll be at reduced HP in order to gain the increased damage from Morion Blade and the Clever Rat’s Ring, so this extra bit will help keep you alive.

If you’re a female character the Old Ragged Set is very good for this Build as it gives decent protection and still allows you to roll normally. In order to get it you’ll need to cut the chain holding the body just above the Cling Ring.

Make sure that you stock up on Arrows from Blacksmith Boldwin. They cost 20 Souls each, which isn’t too expensive, and you will only need them to get you through a couple areas of the game before you switch to Fire and Holy Arrows.

Tower of Latria

The first place to go once you’ve gotten the above items, is the Tower of Latria. Here you’ll want to pick up the Wooden Catalyst so that you can cast Protection and later Warding. It’s located very early on in this area, so you should have no problems finding it. Cast Protection before tough enemies to help keep you alive because it only lasts 40 seconds.

The next thing you’ll want to pick up here is the Silver Coronet. It will increase your maximum Mana, which isn’t super important, but can allow you to cast Protection more before needing to use Spice. If you’re using the Old Ragged Set you’ll have the helm slot free anyway, so you might as well use it.

And lastly, you’ll want to pick up the Clever Rat’s Ring that’s located just in front of the machine that fires arrows over and over. Once you’ve turned it off loot the corpses to find it. From this point forward you’ll want to reduce your HP to 30% in order to get the benefit of this Ring. You’ll have to have enemies hit you to make this happen, since you won’t have the Makoto just yet.

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The Shrine of Storms Part 1

After you’ve acquired the Clever Rat’s Ring then you’ll want to head to The Shrine of Storms and pick up the Compound Long Bow. You’ll want to upgrade this to at least +3 if you can at this point, because it will perform poorly in this area, and you’ll need all the damage you can get. This will be the hardest part of your journey, because once you defeat Adjudicator then you can buy much better Arrows. If you need Hardstone Shards you can buy some from the Filthy Merchant in Stonefang Tunnel, or consider buying and using Flame Toss for this area.

Make sure to free Graverobber Blige while you are here, since you’ll need him after the Adjudicator fight to sell you good Arrows. You’ll need the Copper Key to do this, which can be found at the bottom of one of the towers in this area.

After Adjudicator buy a bunch of Fire Arrows from him and farm the nearby Reaper and buy a bunch of Holy Arrows as well. If you need to spend Souls to level, this is a good place to do so. Spend the time here to farm and set yourself up for success later on.

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demons-souls-builds-arcane-archer-advanced-bow-guide-graverobber-blige

Stonefang Tunnel

Your first objective in Stonefang Tunnel is to open the shortcut to Blacksmith Ed, which will allow you to craft Boss Soul Weapons later on, which the Morion Blade is. He will also be able to craft the Lava Bow for you as well, once your Compound Long Bow is +7 and you’ve defeated the Armor Spider.

Your next objective is to collect as much Hardstone as you can while making your way to the Armor Spider. This means killing every enemy, and especially the enemies with bags in their hands as they hold a bunch of these. Loot every item, and kill any Cristal Lizards you see.

Once the Armor Spider is defeated you’ll want to farm the Crystal Lizards located ahead that will drop you tons of materials needed to upgrade your bow to +7. Upgrade it exactly to +7 and just as soon as you’ve defeated Flamelurker then take the Hard Demon’s Soul that you got from defeating the Armor Spider to Blacksmith Ed and make the Lava Bow. Farm more than you need here, because you’ll need to make a sword of some type +8 as well in order to make the Morion Blade a bit later on.

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demons-souls-builds-arcane-archer-advanced-bow-guide-lava-bow

Now progress forward and defeat the Flamelurker in order to gain the Seering Demon Soul, which you can give to Ed in order for him to craft you Boss Soul Weapons. Holy Arrows are particularly good in the areas leading up to him, and during his fight as well, so stock up on those before doing this section if you haven’t already.

Shrine of Storms Part 2

Now that you have the Lava Bow and Seering Demon Soul, you’ll need to defeat Old Hero and the Storm King in order to get the Storm Demon’s Soul needed to craft Morion Blade.  You’ll need a +8 Sword of some kind in order to make this, so see the Wiki for just what Weapons work in order to craft it. If you need to farm more Hardstone, use the Crystal Lizards in Stonefang Tunnel.

The last item you’ll get here is the Makoto, which can only be found at Pure White World Tendency for this area. Head to the item that was stuck on the rock below the Reaper you’ve been farming in The Ritual Path, and it will not be on the ground. This weapon allows you to damage yourself over time, so you can reduce your HP perfectly to trigger your damage buffs from the Morion Blade and Clever Rat’s Ring. This is a much better method then letting enemies hit you.

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demons-souls-builds-arcane-archer-advanced-bow-guide-magic-sword-makoto

Final Tips

I find the Crescent Moon Grass, which is the least powerful heal you can get in the game, to be very effective for this Build. In a lot of cases it allows you to heal and still say under the 30% threshold so that you can still keep your damage buff. This is especially true if you’ve invested any points at all into Vitality.

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demons-souls-builds-arcane-archer-advanced-bow-guide-crescent-moon-grass

The way you want to setup for this Build, once you have all the items, is Lava Bow and Makoto in your right hand, and Catalyst and Morion Blade in your left hand. Use Makoto to reduce your HP to trigger the damage buffs, and then swap back to Lava Bow. Make sure Morion Blade is on your back in order to gain the damage bonus from it, and swap to Catalyst when you need to cast Protection or Warding, then swap back.

You have much more HP in Body Form, so you may want to consider using a Stone of Ephemeral Eyes before Bosses. However, you will be healed to full if you do this, so you’ll have to reduce your HP in order to gain your damage buffs once again. Additionally, you will lose out on a 20% boost to damage if you have White Character Tendency, since you won’t be in Soul Form. Keep these things in mind before deciding which is best for you.

Lastly, this Build is a ton of fun in co-operative play, as you can drop the Cling Ring for the Ally’s Ring which will give you extra damage as a Blue Phantom. Just remember to reduce your HP before you get summoned, and to always let your host grab aggro so that you can range things down safely. It’s high risk, high reward to be sure, but some of us love to play that way!


Stay tuned for more Demon’s Souls Build Guides, as we explore just what kind of Builds you can make. And be sure to check out the Demon’s Souls Wiki if you have specific questions about the game! As always, you can read our Demon’s Souls Review and Getting Started Guide to get going with the game.

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