Elden Ring’s faith stat is pretty flexible to build around, particularly because developer FromSoftware baked so many incantations and spells into the game. Still, it tends to see very little use at high levels, as YouTuber Your Average Gamer put it in an email to Kotaku Dot Com, folks claim it’s not as good as other in-game stats like the health-defining vigor. In an effort to prove the masses wrong, Your Average Gamer took their ardent belief in faith and put it to the test. Not only did they take on the hardest difficulty possible, they also absolutely demolished a variety of bosses, including ones like Radagon and the Elden Beast, in a single attack. It’s nuts!
Matthew “Your Average Gamer” Farnkopf is a YouTuber dedicated to putting together “crazy Elden Ring builds.” They’ve got a video on destroying Malenia in 90 seconds, another breaking down the effectiveness of Godrick the Grafted’s Great Axe, and a different one on the ultimate status effect build. In short, Matt has spent a lot of time with Elden Ring since it dropped on February 25. And yet, it’s still notable they were able to find a one-shot build powerful enough to take out two of the game’s hardest bosses, Radagon of the Golden Order and the Elden Beast, with an assortment of equipment and incantations on New Game Plus Seven, the highest difficulty option Elden Ring currently has to offer. Every round of new game plus retains all your gear and stats while increasing the overall damage output and health pool of the enemies around you, meaning Your Average Gamer’s run is some seriously gnarly shit.
It looks like Matt’s just throwing things to be throwing things during the fight, but there’s actually an order to the madness. As they explained in a short video detailing what they’ve dubbed the “ultimate PvE build,” Matt first casts the Howl of Shabriri and Golden Vow incantations for some initial status effects, like madness buildup for attack power and attack negation, respectively. They then poison themselves to increase their intelligence stat and temporarily boost lightning attack damage, the latter is especially important when paired with the sole attack spell Ancient Dragons’ Lightning Strike, a late-game ability you find in the labyrinthine legacy dungeon Crumbling Farum Azula. After a quick buffing session, Matt turns to their gear for even more buffs—the Gravel Stone Seal to up the damage of Dragon Cult/lightning-related incantations, the Jellyfish Shield for 20% increased damage for 30 seconds, and the Kindred of Rot’s Exultation Talisman to raise attack power by 20% for 20 seconds when there’s poisoning or rot nearby, among others—before entering the battle arena to show the final bosses what’s up.
It was curtains once Matt stepped in front of Radagon. They cast the Ancient Dragons’ Lightning Strike, a multi-hitting attack that sends down several bolts of lightning to strike in a determined area, and watched as the hammer-wielding god’s health bar melted away in seconds. The same thing happened to the colossal Elden Beast, and y’all, I’m gagging RN.
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Matt told Kotaku over email that they wanted to dispel the myth permeating the game’s community that “faith [builds aren’t] nearly as good as magic.” It took them “nearly 20 hours of trial and error” to find the right combination of gear and incantations to do the necessary damage to slay Radagon and the Elden Beast in one shot, and the results were stunning.
“I was primarily inspired to prove that something that many said couldn’t be done could actually be done…even on the hardest difficulty,” Matt said. “When I pulled this off on Journey Three, that gave me hope that it was technically possible. Once again to prove how powerful faith can be!”
Matt, to put it plainly, loves faith. It’s one of their favorite stats to construct characters around, and a central theme to the game overall. Still, getting things just right to accomplish this feat was quite the headache, something that forced them to “quit two separate times” because of how time-consuming it was becoming. Regardless of the frustrations, Matt said they were “glad [to have] stuck it out” in the end.
“So I’m physically disabled,” Matt said. “I have ongoing day-to-day stomach issues that can get/have gotten severe at times. I had just gotten over a flare-up of Colitis that I had to go to the ER for. After failing so many times throughout several hours, I found myself possibly going back into another flare-up. So I relaxed, calmed myself down, and spaced out my time. From then on I set hours I would do it and took the pressure entirely off myself. The moment I said ‘Okay, if someone else does it that’s fine,’ I was able to relax. Shortly after, I was able to achieve it anyways!”
Doing a one-shot kill in Elden Ring is impressive but not entirely new. There was one Redditor back in April who killed the notorious Tree Sentinel in one hit and another speedrunner that created a glass-cannon build to bonk bosses with a single swing of their hammer in May. While it may not be that fresh, slaying FromSoftware’s infamously challenging enemies in one hit is still a cool sight to see. I wish I were patient enough to do this.
While Matt’s beaten Elden Ring several times now, he’s not done with the game. They’re hoping FromSoftware adds new content in the form of “very challenging bosses, much like Dark Souls 3’s DLC” or “another late game spike that would test us yet again.” Until then, Matt is trekking through the Lands Between once more looking for new builds to experiment with.
“I’ve retired the lightning build/character,” Matt said. “He’s kind of a legacy to me now. I’m starting a new build fresh, and I’m going to focus on exploring and the next cool build I can come up with. Elden Ring is a fantastic game, and the community is amazing! And remember ‘Seek Lightning!’”
It’s worth noting that while FromSoftware dropped patch 1.06 for the game, Matt said their ultimate PvE build is still effective against the game’s bosses. If you wanna try out Matt’s full build for yourself, here you go: