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Given Dark Souls' reputation, even with these Game Breakers you will still die. A LOT.


    Dark Souls 
  • Homing Crystal Soulmass, a spell that surrounds your character with orbs that attack anything that gets too close to you. The breaking comes in that the Soulmasses are incredibly powerful if your magic stat is high enough and all five orbs hit. Only one sorcery is more powerful and it only has 4 castings as opposed to Homing Crystal Soulmass's 10. With an Intelligence stat of 50 and the most powerful catalyst in your possession, the spell can wipe the floor with every end-game boss in just a few castings. It and its downgraded version are also the only offensive sorceries that can be accurate without targeting, helping immensely with invading players who wear the Ring of Fog, although a patch reduced the range at which the Soulmasses trigger against such an opponent.
  • Lightning Weapons do considerable damage of a type that most armor provides little protection against and require no stat investment past whatever is needed to wield the weapon. These characteristics make them the preferred weapon type for low-level invaders, as well as players who prefer investing heavily on other stats.
  • Wrath of the Gods, a shockwave miracle that has next to no start-up, does huge damage and is nearly guaranteed to stunlock opponents who stack poise (players using light armor don't suffer nearly as bad because they get blasted off their feet with invincible recovery frames on the first shockwave).
  • High Poise armor can be this against players using lighter weapons such as daggers.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, using the Wolf Ring and high poise armor often becomes a survival tactic in multiplayer due to the sheer amount of weapons that can stunlock opponents at 52 poise and below in a single hit (greatswords and even basic hammers come to mind...). The Claymore in particular is a heavy offender, since it blends high damage with the right stats, is lighter than most weapons of its category, and swings fairly fast. Unless you know when and how to get out of a stunlock, you're going to have a hard time fighting an opponent who knows just how good those weapons are.
  • Tranquil Walk of Peace, a miracle slowing enemy movement speed to a crawl. Was pretty much universally hated before its nerf — now it's lamented how useless its reduced range makes it. The Stone Greatsword produces the same effect, and it's made even worse since it's a weapon with fairly fast swings and high stunlocking potential.
  • All of the Black Knight weapons have a ridiculously broken aspect in one way or another, with the common one being additional damage against demons (this turns nearly every Lost Izalith enemy into cannon fodder, in addition to several early bosses who become mooks later on) and excellent strength scaling. To wit:
    • The Sword; obtainable early on, high damage for its weight and requirements, and, like other weapons of its category, swiftly kills players that underestimate its power and are not used to breaking out of a stunlock.
    • The Greatsword; also obtainable early on, immense raw power, and some of the most intimidating movesets which incorporate launching opponents in the air. Don't let its slow swing speed fool you: the moment you get hit by it, expect your health to drop really fast.
    • The Greataxe; while it's obtained far later than its brethren, it's extremely powerful, and it swings much faster than other axes, allowing for quick combos that stun enemies before they can break out of it. If that wasn't enough, it swings in wide arcs, effectively dead angling unsuspecting players (see below for an explanation on dead-angling). A patch significantly nerfed its actual damage output, and its swings are fairly telegraphed. However, it's still one of the more dangerous, easy-to-use weapons out there, if just for how versatile the moveset is.
    • The Halberd; undisputably the most broken of the four, it combines early accessibility with damage even higher than the attack rating suggests, fast attacks if they connect, deceptively long reach as with other pole weapons, and ludicrous damage modifiers upon clashing with an attacking opponent at the same time. There's a reason most speedrunners rush to the Darkroot Garden's lower basin to kill the Black Knight wielding it in hopes of obtaining this weapon.
  • The Zaphander/Chaoshander Build. Just enough Strength to use the Zweihander sword two-handed (16), upgrade it to +5 Lightning (for the aforementioned armor piercing) or +5 Chaos (for higher attack ratings), combine with Havel's Armour (highest poise) or Giant Armor (highest physical defense and second-highest poise) and a Grass Crest Shield on your back for stamina regen. You suddenly have a Mighty Glacier that can keep swinging forever, with armor that negates the disadvantages of the sword's slow swing speed. Mix in a couple of rings, you've got a Lightning Bruiser. This can be achieved before level 30. The player can then put the next 50-100 levels purely into Endurance, to boost stamina and equip load, Vitality to boost health; and a dash of Attunement to use Great Combustion. Again, pretty much universally hated for being generic, bland, stupid-easy to play and frustratingly popular. A number of its components were nerfed in v1.06, but it can still be very annoying.
    • The Giantdad, a popularized version of the Lightning Bruiser build above, and by far one of the most used and hated variants: it combines the bare minimum of stats to use Giant's Armor (the highest physical defence in the game), the aforementioned Chaoshander to deal very high damage, the Grass Crest Shield for a huge increase to stamina regeneration, and most importantly, the Father's Mask and rings to make the build light enough to give the player full mobility. It all comes together to create a Lightning Bruiser that's very hard to hit, can tank a surprisingly high amount of damage, stunlocks you easily, and dishes out the pain. Every. Single. Swing. note 
    • Even if you don't pursue for the Giantdad build, so long as you have 40 Endurance and the Ring of Favor and Protection, you can swing your Zweihander for up to 4 times. Simply take on your Havel's Ring, wear Mask of a Child, Havel Set minus the headpiece, and carry the Grass Crest Shield on your back, and you get an uninterruptible Mighty Glacier with a ridiculously high Poise, which means that your attacks are harder to be interrupted than the Giantdad. Oh, and you can still can mid-roll even with that cumbersome armor set made of rocks, all with barely 40 Endurance. And if you push it to 88 Endurance? You get a SL125 note  Lightning Bruiser that can fast roll just like the Giantdad, but with even more Poise and a slightly better stamina regeneration.
    • The Zweihander in general has another neat trick for anyone in PvE combat. It's not only the fastest of the Ultra Greatswords, and does the poise damage of one, (which can stagger enemies very easily), but also has a powerful overhead slam attack. Humanoid enemies are often outright smashed into the ground, while larger foes, up to and including Executioner Smough himself can be staggered with just one two-handed power blow.
  • Abyss spells, specifically Dark Bead (a fast-casting, multi-projectile spell that easily lands multiple hits up close and spreads over akin to a shotgun), Black Flame (Great Combustion dealing even greater stamina drain), and Pursuers (a Homing Soulmass variant that's significantly more persistent, and isn't stopped by the Silver Pendant, which is made to counter Abyss spells). Since you can only obtain them through Artorias of the Abyss, they can also be considered as Bribing Your Way to Victory.
  • The Greatshield of Artorias for defense. Even with its average elemental defense, this shield boasts the highest stability in the game, blocks nearly every status effect (save for Curse), and doesn't require as much strength or equip load to use as Havel's Greatshield. When equipped, a mook's attack can barely chip one-tenth of the player's stamina bar, and most boss-level physical attacks (minus elemental attacks and some very few particular special moves) — Artorias' triple backflips, Smough's hammering, Ornstein's spearing, you name it — which can normally break through a defense in two hits become scratches on its surface without costing much endurance. When equipped with Havel's Ring for equipment load increase and Cloranthy Ring for stamina regeneration, the player can take on literally every hit in a boss fight while slowly chipping off the boss' health bar, making the fight a battle of attrition needing little efforts and skills to win. The fandom has a good reason to believe that had Artorias been with his greatshield in his encounter with the player, we would have been toasted.
    • While its stability is not as high as the Greatshield of Artorias, the Silver Knight Shield comes very close. In exchange, however, it is only a medium shield, thus it has lower weight and is still able to parry. It also has a better lightning damage reduction than the Greatshield of Artorias, which will mitigate other pesky gamebreakers.
  • In terms of damage per second, there is nothing quite as overkill as using fast-hitting weapons like the Falchion, which has some of the fastest swings in the entire game, buffing it with a powerful miracle like Sunlight Blade, then applying Power Within on yourself. The result is a frighteningly powerful Glass Cannon that can keep spamming the attack button and even decimate bosses within the buffs' durations, if not seconds, and will usually down a full-health player in no more than four unblocked swings.
  • Some of the more aggravating PVP techniques are also laughably easy to perform with devastating results. To wit:
    • Dead-angling, where you circumvent an opponent who has their shield up with an attack which is likely to hit their unprotected sides without even trying. Of the better weapons to abuse this somewhat questionable strategy, none are more dangerous than the Great Scythe, which also causes bleed damage to keep the pressure on your unfortunate victim, the Murakumo, whose moveset is almost entirely based on this strategy, and the Black Knight Greataxe, which was already explained above.
    • Turtling, in which you use a spear or rapier and hide behind your own shield (heavens forbid you if you're using Artorias' Greatshield) to poke your opponent to death. This strategy got slightly nerfed in a patch which increased the stamina drain when doing thrusting attacks with your shield up, but it's still annoying to face one since you have to risk trying to break their guard while taking damage from their pokes.
    • Backstab fishing, where the player does nothing but circle around their opponent in order to backstab them, allowing for instant massive damage from a Critical Hit, made even worse if they use the Hornet Ring for a solid 33% (50% pre-patch) increase in critical hit damage.
    • All the above are not so bad compared to stacking Poise and using any weapon (usually a Game-Breaker like the Claymore) that can easily stunlock low-poise opponents, a strategy otherwise known as poise race, where the fight usually degenerates into which player can break the other's poise first and stunlock them into oblivion.
  • Before a patch that reduced its overall usefulness, the Iron Flesh Pyromancy was known to turn boss battles into a cakewalk due to the massive increase in physical defence and poise, with the added effect of making light and medium attacks bounce off the user. And since it's a simple passive effect without any stat adjustment, you don't need a high Intelligence stat or a maxed-out pyromancy flame to enjoy it.
  • Because pyromancy doesn't scale with any stats other than Attunement slots, it's very common for low-level griefers to bring in a fully upgraded pyromancy flame and a powerful spell like Black Flame or Fire Tempest, allowing them to wreak havoc against equally low-level players. Most beginners have a hard time countering this sudden leap in power, let alone have the reflexes to dodge them if it's their first time.
  • The Great Scythe is easily the best Dexterity weapon in the entire game. It combines utterly ludicrous damage scaling with excellent reach, insane base damage, a very versatile moveset, and some of the best dead-angling capability of all the weapons. Oh, and just to round out the package, it's fully buff-able and also has a Bleed effect. Combine it with Power Within and some buffs, and nothing can stand against you.
    • Its boss soul equivalent, the Lifehunt Scythe (forged from the soul of Crossbreed Priscilla - You Bastard!) requires more forethought to use, but is potentially even more terrifying. It has the same powerful reach and move set, and trades slightly lower stat scaling and the loss of buff capability for slightly higher base damage and the deadliest Bleed effect in the game. Most Bleed weapons inflict 30-35 points of Bleed buildup per hit and once the opponent's Bleed bar is full, they take about 30% of their max HP as damage. Priscilla's power of Lifehunt causes the Scythe to inflict 50 points of Bleed buildup per hit and once the opponent's bar is full they take 50% of their max HP as damage! The drawback is that each hit also inflicts 40 points of Bleed buildup on the wielder, with the same danger of slashing their life in half, but a Bleed-resistant set of armour and the Bloodbite Ring can give you so much Bleed resistance that this isn't likely to be a problem, and even if it is, a simple Bloodred Moss Clump can negate it again. Your opponent is certain to die of blood loss before you do.
  • The Gold Tracer, a dex-based long dagger that has a huge variety of attacks (which also makes it difficult to parry) and, more importantly, builds bleed damage at an astounding 40 points per hit. Thanks to its light weight, it's a great choice for a side weapon.
  • A rather localized example is the Golem Axe, a boss weapon that has the ability to launch a wind blast with decent damage and heavy knockback. While this is usually really nice to have but not amazing (granting heavily melee-geared characters a ranged option that scales with Strength), its greatest strength is the ability to turn the Tomb of Giants into a complete non-threat, by using said ranged knockback to throw all of the area's Demonic Spider enemies off of cliffs without them even getting to move from their spawn point... incidentally turning the entire zone into a pretty damn good soul farming spot.
  • For player-versus-player, a few rings stand out.
    • The Dark Wood Grain Ring, which changes a player's fast roll into a ninja flip which has incredible speed, invincibility frames, and mobility. Good timing with a fast roll can allow a skilled player to cheese through almost any attack; a ninja flip makes it borderline effortless.
    • The Ring of Favor and Protection, which gives a 20% boost to HP, endurance, and equipment load. It may not look like a significant increase, but what truly boosts it to game-breaking levels is that these effects stack with other stat-boosting equipment such as Havel's Ring and Mask of the Mother, which can make a normally Mighty Glacier build into a seemingly invincible Lightning Bruiser with a metric crapton of HP. These boosts are so practical that most players would recommend to always consider reserving a ring slot. Additionally, because it's available in a early level area, it's the go-to ring for low-level griefers.
    • The Wolf Ring, which simply adds 40 extra poise to the player. More poise means the chances of falling under the dreaded Stun Lock drop greatly, which opens up the opponent up for a counterattack or backstab.
    • The Hornet Ring, which boosts critical damage by 30% (50% before a patch), when combined with weapons that already multiply critical damage such as rapiers and daggers, can almost one-shot near any build with a backstab or riposte. Even without a critical hit multiplier, the boost is enough to make that already powerful Claymore or Great Scythe hit that much harder.
    • The Bellowing Dragoncrest Ring, which boosts all magic damage by 20%. Doesn't seem like much, but combined with a spell that can hit multiple times such as Homing Crystal Soulmass or Dark Bead, it becomes essential on most mages. Even warriors who only dabble in magic or pryromancy can abuse it — especially pyromancy, thanks to pyromancy spells requiring almost no stat requirements.
    • The Red Tearstone Ring, which gives the player an absolutely massive 50% attack boost with any and all forms of weaponry, spells, and critical hits, with the only catch that the player be under 20% health to activate. When it does, however, the duel quickly becomes a sudden death match, as one mistake will either kill the player who's already half dead or the player who thought they had the match already in the bag.
  • The Black Bow of Pharis, coupled with the Hawk Ring, gives you a sniping weapon that allows you to chip away at the game's Demonic Spiders from far outside their aggro range.
  • A non-combat-related example (at least not directly related to combat) is the Fog Ring, the new version of Demon's Souls own Game-Breaker, the Thief's Ring. It makes you translucent and hard to see, basically drastically reducing the aggro ranges of most enemies. This makes picking them off at range even more of a cakewalk, and breaks the challenge of some levels right across your knee, as dangerous combat encounters with multiple opponents are reduced to a series of simple duels to be handled at your leisure. It's particularly useful for avoiding attracting the attention of ranged attackers when you're engaged with something else, such as the lightning-throwing snakemen in Sen's Fortress while you're trying to navigate the swinging blade traps, or the bow-equipped Undead Crystal Soldiers in the Duke's Archives.
  • The Balder Side Sword earned the Fan Nickname "Baller Swag Sword" for its high Dexterity scaling, longer reach than other straight swords, and moveset; particularly the strong attack combo which consists of multiple consecutive thrusts (making it a good candidate for Leo Ring wearers), as opposed to the Longsword or Sunlight Straight Sword which alternates thrusts with upward slashes, and other straight swords which lack a thrust attack altogether.
  • For those who take advantage on low level invasions, Guardian Tail buffed with Rotten Pine Resin can almost inflict poison instantly, it ignores parrying, can hit people hiding behind a shield, and buffed Guardian Tail has no visual effect on it, which can often catch new players or even veterans off guard. By doing this in Undead Burg, where new players have no access to Purple Moss Clumps and are likely to have low health, it effectively turns every single low level invasion into a Curb-Stomp Battle in the form of watching your victims being succumbed to your poison, haplessly awaiting for their inevitable deaths.
  • The Dragon Form can become this for low level invasions, it has a fixed damage unarmed punch that doesn't require any upgrade, a firebreathing attack that can stunlock your foes, and a roar that can both push someone away and briefly buff you. Moreover, it ignores the weapon summoning range inplemented in Dark Souls Remastered, allowing those who manage to get the Dragon Stones with a low level character to unleash the horror upon unsuspecting newcomers. Those who picked the Sorcerer class can combine the firebreathing Attack with the Pursuers spell right at SL20, resulting in an unblockable combo that can often instantly kill anyone getting caught by the flame.
  • The Drake Sword turns the early hours of the game into a cakewalk. It can be acquired right after the Taurus Demon, with enough patience and accuracy, and does incredible damage for that stage of the game at decent speed with a simple, easy moveset and little to no stat requirement. Plus, it has an extremely powerful two-handed heavy attack, though this quickly chips away at the weapon. However, it doesn't scale to stats, and is quickly outclassed by most upgraded weapons as the game goes on, and even many base weapons used with the right technique, stats and buffs are more effective in the long run. It becomes something of a crutch for new players, and if you haven't replaced it by the time you reach Sen's Fortress you're in for a rude awakening.

    Dark Souls II 
  • Santier's Spear. Normally, it's an overly heavy spear with underwhelming damage and average moveset, with its durability of 500 making it a good candidate for no-bonfire runs. However, once you bring its durability down to zero, instead of becoming next-to-useless in combat, it turns into a very powerful unbreakable weapon that combines the movesets of a spear, halberd, curved sword, and twinblade, making for an impossibly diverse Confusion Fu that quickly drains away an enemy's health. As of the 1.06 calibration, its damage output has been nerfed, but its moveset and infinite durability are still there.
  • The Black Knight Halberd makes a return, and this time it gains a devastating running attack that covers a lot of ground, dealing a lot of damage in the process and punishing players who are susceptible to getting blindsided by the weapon's swings (i.e. dead-angling).
  • Sunlight Spear. Few things will destroy bosses like a couple of Sunbros chucking Sunlight Spears at it. Praise the Sun indeed! If your target is immobile, or is standing in water, expect this formerly easy to dodge projectile to outright annihilate a human opponent as well. Like many game breakers, its damage output was considerably nerfed in subsequent patches.
  • Flame Swathe, one of the earliest possible pyromancies, is able to scatter crowds with an impossibly large radius of explosion, doesn't require much to get it to full power (and it hits hard), takes only one attunement slot, and is infinitely farmable, provided you have a lot of Bonfire Ascetics and some time to kill in Belfry Sol. Its explossive radius and damage got reduced after a few patches, though.
  • Great Resonant Soul, a Soul Spear-like hex with relatively low requirements that can potentially rival spells that need heavy investment in either Intelligence / Faith, all with a decent attunement allocation and great number of uses per copy. With a fully upgraded, dark-infused chime, this spell can wreak havoc on anyone and everyone at the cost of a measly 500 souls per casting. It's frequently defended by its proponents by how easy it is to strafe or roll to dodge, as it doesn't have any appreciable homing capability, which is certainly true... but both its cast time and projectile travel time are exactly long enough for an attentive opponent to notice and dodge. Were they doing anything else in the meantime, or something that took longer than .75 seconds, such as attacking with a greatsword, or casting a spell with a slower cast speed (which is almost all of them)? They're either dead or almost dead. It was later nerfed alongside most magic spells.
  • Don't want to get close and personal in PVP? Simple. Just get two Avelyn crossbows upgraded and enter power stance mode, where you can fire 6 bolts at once. Due to how nearly useless poise is in this game and how the Hitbox Dissonance often prevents you from dodging effectively, it's easy to get clipped with a single projectile, let alone receiving several at the same time. And since it's a weapon, the attack power of every shot can be considerably heightened by static boosts like Mundane infusion, Ring of Blades+2, and the Sacred Oath miracle. It can be blocked reliably with a greatshield, but heaven help you if you don't have the stamina for it. These got latter nerfed, making it impossible to reach that high of a stacked damage and reload as quickly.
  • Thanks to a bug, the Dark Fog hex is far more deadly than it should be. A fairly obscure, gimmicky catalyst called the Bat Staff is supposed to cause minor poison buildup when you bludgeon an enemy with it. It also accidentally uses this poison stat as a multiplier for a poison spell channeled through it. Basically, cast Dark Fog through a Bat Staff and your target is almost-instantly poisoned by a huge cloud of effectively undodgeable toxins. The only counter to a slow but effectively guaranteed death in a little less than a minute by this method is to stop and eat some poison moss. That's right, stop. And likely be shot dead instantly by Great Resonant Soul, Sunlight Spear, or a pair of Avelyns that you probably thought you'd learned how to dodge or block perfectly by now. It was fixed in the 1.06 calibrations.
  • Before patch 1.03, the Moonlight Greatsword could be buffed by spells. Unlike the first game, the Magic Weapon sorceries add a fixed amount of magic damage and a percentage of the magic damage the weapon did otherwise (as high as 30% with Crystal Magic Weapon). The Moonlight Greatsword does entirely magic damage and a very high amount, so using Crystal Magic Weapon boosted its power to utterly ridiculous levels.
  • Before being nerfed (or perhaps, fixed), the Monastery Scimitar was infamous for its parrying ability. Weapons can only parry during certain frames of their animation. Normally there's some delay between the animation starting and these frames, but the Monastery Scimitar was unique in that its parry frames started immediately and lasted longer than they do even for shields meant entirely for parrying, so it would parry just about any incoming attack at the press of a button with no effort required.
  • Normally, the attack time on all weapons are at the very least slow enough to only guarantee two or three hits before an enemy can dodge away. The same goes for all weapon combinations that can be Power Stanced. On the other hand, there are some weapon combinations that aren't capable of being powerstanced nor were they intended to be used together, but when used one after another can hopelessly stunlock enemies into oblivion. The only real way to escape from this is to wait until the person doing it has run out of stamina and hope you're still alive by then.
  • The Sanctum Crossbow has a ludicrously powerful special attack, which even un-upgraded or un-infused does some incredible damage to just about anything (it deals out around 350 to Nashandra, a boss that's nominally resistant to Dark damage, and over 700 to the Giant Lord). Infused and upgraded, it's capable of damage on par with some backstabs. All the while it's got good tracking and consumes no ammo. It's almost as powerful as Great Resonant Soul pre-patch.
  • The Ivory Straight Sword is an absolute beast in PvE (less so in PvP). Despite its drawback of using 10 durability on each attack (less with the Bracing Knuckle Ring), the sheer damage it does to some bosses is astounding. The two-handed heavy attack can hit upwards of 700 damage without any upgrades (against the Ancient Dragon anyway), allowing you to cut a swathe through the end-game content or through NG+ and beyond.
  • The Ice Rapier has become prominent in PvP due to its reach (it is the longest Thrusting Sword in the game; having the same reach as some Greatsword class weapons) and the special attack's damage output. Coupled with the counter-hit damage, the weapon is quickly becoming hated by the competitive community.
  • Out of all of the weapons in the game, few will come close to the sheer popularity of the Red Iron Twinblade. This weapon has become many a speedrunner's go-to weapon, capable of tearing bosses and players apart in mere seconds. While fairly tame on the PvP side due to its slower attack speed (and easy parrying), it still can hold its own in moderately skilled hands (or with a buff, due to an issue with the netcoding giving buffed weapons a significant case of Hitbox Dissonance). The issue arises from just how fast it can obliterate the AI, who have no proper response to its flurry of attacks. There's a good reason it's often called the Red Iron Winblade.
  • Ha ha, look at the puny little Caestus with its pathetically low base damage. Even fully upgraded it doesn't even hit a hundred! Except that it has A scaling in both Strength and Dexterity. With both stats levelled to the soft cap and power-stancing two of them, there's no health bar in Drangleic that won't utterly evaporate from spamming LB like a madman. Crown of the Ivory King adds a new variant in the Bone Fist, which has weaker base damage but even higher scaling and a completely different moveset that tends to destroy enemy poise.
  • The Crown of the Old Iron King is an item from the titular DLC. Not just a trophy for beating the Fume Knight, it grants a unique ability, spell use regeneration, Some spells are potentially game-breakers themselves but balanced by having finite uses. The Crown means you can just use the most powerful spells and regenerate them a couple minutes later. A plain but good way is just to attune Repair and healing spells like Great Heal or Warmth and have a self-reliant character able to no-bonfire runs.
  • The Greatsword, which you can obtain relatively early on in the game, can potentially become powerful enough to cleave through bosses in just a few hits. With its excellent range, great base damage, and extremely varied moveset that's sure to be a help in most situations (especially enemy ganks), it can carry you through the game with half the issue you'd have with using normal weapons. Combined with the Tower Shield or any other shield that blocks 100% physical damage, you have pretty much all you'll need to storm through the rest of the game. That being said, it's a little troublesome to use in tight corridors, mainly because its sheer size means it can end up clanging into walls during a windup.
  • The Heide Knight Sword can be acquired quite early in the game , though you'll have to farm for it on the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Sot FS. Thanks to it's inherent extra lightning damage, you can boost it's damage by investing in Faith (even further if infused with a Boltstone), it's easy to upgrade (normal titanites) and can even be buffed with Lightning Blade. One of these can easily carry you through most of your first playthrough.
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    Dark Souls III 
  • The famous Uchigatana has become this, if for nothing else than how quickly it can be picked up. Its a Katana with very fast and accurate strikes, which can be upgraded to get really good Dexterity scaling, uses less stamina than most Katanas in the game, and since it counts as a generic weapon as well, it can also be buffed and infused. The best part about it? It can be obtained in the very first area of the game from an NPC you can fight and kill. Said NPC is also very prone to accidentally falling off a nearby cliff, netting you easy access to the weapon. In the late game, a Hollow Uchigatana becomes a powerful weapon for a DEX/LCK build, as its Bleed effects are boosted by the Luck stat - plus, Hollow-infused weapons get a damage boost from Luck without removing the ability to use spell buffs and resins on them. This makes it moderately more damaging than with a pure DEX build and grants sudden death by Blood Loss much faster than normal. Although the recent patches to the game have changed how the Bleed mechanic works, nevertheless the Uchigatana is still a viable choice for Bleed builds.
  • The Refined Longsword. Yes, really. On a STR/DEX build, it becomes an absolute monster in PVE capable of devouring enemies with devastating speed, given that it has a base Attack Rating of 198, plus the adjusted bonus of 230 at 40/40, for a total AR of 428. There are Ultra Greatswords that don't become that strong. Even in PVP, it can be a weapon to be feared, given that its high attack speed makes it incredibly difficult to parry. And that's not all; as a generic weapon, the Refined Longsword can still be buffed with a variety of spells and resins. Furthermore, its also very light, freeing up equip-load weight points for other things like heavier armour for better protection or more health via the Life Ring. This allows you to be fashionably attired while still being able to cut foes into teeny tiny pieces with your buff-/resin-/infusion-enhanced shiv.
    • The Longsword in general is most likely going to be one of the strongest weapons you can use, no matter what your build is. All you need to do is give it the right infusion. For instance, a Dark Longsword is considered the go-to pyromancer weapon. If you want to, you can put in the extra few levels and go for a Dark Lothric Knight Sword or the Onyx Blade instead, but those levels are probably better spent elsewhere.
  • The Dark Sword, while somewhat difficult to get, is a beast for Strength builds. Not only does it have extremely high scaling with Strength (especially with a Heavy infusion), it also has fantastic base damage on its own. Just to make it even stronger, it can also be buffed/infused, and it has a very fast attack speed for a Strength-based weapon, allowing you to easily Stun Lock opponents or effectively trade hits. While it can be parried rather easily by experienced players in PVP, its terrifyingly effective in PVE and can still catch newer invaders off-guard. It was nerfed in Patch 1.09, however it remains quite an effective Disc-One Nuke for Strength builds until better weapons start becoming available to them.
  • The Estoc is even simpler and even awesomer. A Refined Estoc is almost the same as a Refined Longsword in all its broken glory, but with the added bonus of being a Thrust-type damage dealing weapon able to deal even more damage on counter hits, allowing the Leo Ring to amp its already massive damage even higher. Combined with its truly insane attack speed and long reach that often causes Hitbox Dissonance, it is a nightmare to face in PVP. As an added bonus, the Assassin class starts with one in its inventory for the ultimate in Magikarp Power.
  • The Fume Ultra Greatsword briefly reached this hallowed territory as well, due to having an A scaling in Strength on a weapon that already does freakish amounts of damage before stats come into play, allowing this monster to One-Hit Kill even very tough enemies with a properly charged attack. As a final insult, it can also have spell buffs or resins applied, but unfortunately not infusions as it is classified as a unique weapon. This got to the point where the very first patch nerfed its base damage considerably. While its become far less popular due to the nerf, it can still easily hit over a thousand damage and yet continues to easily destroy players in PVP with critical hits. But on the other hand, these benefits are no longer nearly as impressive as they once were, when you consider the absurd amount of stat points that needs to be spent just to even wield it.
  • The Astora Greatsword gains its Game Breaker chops by being the most light-weighted Ultra Greatsword, and its scaling with Crystal, Chaos, Lightning and Dark can reach an absurd S. Even when you infuse it with Refined, it gets a B scaling for both Strength and Dexterity, which is pretty impressive for an Ultra Greatsword as light as the Bastard Sword. Additionally, it also makes for an unexpectedly good Poison weapon, an infusion uncommon enough to send enemy players panicking when the poison procs. There was also a bug associated with its rolling attack that prevented it from being parried prior to the first DLC update, but it has since been patched, and now the Astora Greatsword has thankfully become less dreadful to deal with.
  • The Lothric Knight Sword is effectively the Baller Swag Sword v2.0, having the same moveset and can be infused with Sharp to have an even better DEX scaling than its predecessor. Or, you could infuse it with Refined to give it the same B/B scaling as the Longsword mentioned above. But if you're more of a spellcaster type; a Crystal/Simple infusion will give it an S scaling in Intelligence, Lightning/Blessed will give it an S scaling in Faith, and Chaos/Dark will give it an A scaling in both. Last but not least, there's also its critical damage modifier of 110, meaning that in the right hands or with the right setup, this weapon can easily end most opponents with a single backstab or riposte.
  • The Chaos Zweihander returns as a killing machine for sorcerers; with a relatively low Strength requirement, a build with high Intelligence and Faith can still land an uppercut via its Weapon Art which can chop away half of your human opponent's health in one hit (e.g. 802 damage for 50 INT + 30 FTH + 24 STR when +1). It seems the Legend, indeed, never dies.
  • For the Faith-Strength builds out there, one weapon is the last word in face-wrecking power: the Dragonslayer Greataxe. This boss weapon does downright abusive amounts of both Physical and Lightning Damage, allowing it to cut through most players with ease, but its true power lies in its Weapon Art, "Falling Bolt". Not only does it do similarly abusive amounts of damage in a short 360 degree radius, it also makes you Immune to Flinching, preventing you from being stunned out of unleashing the massive lighting bolt blast. Its one weakness is that said Weapon Art starts very slow... except it looks like an obvious opening to attack, serving to draw bloodthirsty players into its "Instant Death" Radius. Its ability to throw players over convenient cliffs as well is just a bonus at this point.
  • Weapons with the "Spin Slash" Weapon Art and its variants are very dangerous in PVP. While the Weapon Art on its own is highly telegraphed, you can lead with a single attack to briefly stun your opponent, before following up with a spinning barrage of cuts that stuns your unfortunate victim while you take off a good 80% of their HP or more with one combo. In particular, the Dancer's Enchanted Swords are dangerous because you can keep spinning until you run out of stamina, while the Exile Greatsword is particularly dangerous due to being a goddamn curved greatsword that somehow has Spin Slash as its Weapon Art!
  • Greatshields are normally just a means of excellent defense, but as a weapon, they're much more dangerous! While they do minimal damage with the exception of their running attack, a sufficiently large Greatshield has too much Stability to be kicked away or otherwise be Guard Broken, while offering excellent defence against basically everything. More threateningly, any attacks with a Greatshield don't lower your guard, preventing you from being staggered or damaged while attacking. In a game where the Cycle of Hurting is so important to evade, being effectively immune to the entire mechanic makes you very dangerous indeed. But wait, there's even more balance-shattering goodness! Kick attacks with the Greatshield in the right hand have the normal Hyper Armor, but with the added bonus of staggering your opponent - allowing you to follow up with a cheeky swipe with your left hand weapon, for additional and almost unpreventable damage.
  • The humble Caestus, while a sub-par weapon, has one of the fastest parry frames around. Its so fast, it can actually interrupt the combo of very fast attacking weapons like Straight or Thrusting Swords once the mercy recovery kicks in (after the second consecutive hit). This works... Every. Single. Time. If one also packs a Hornet Ring, this can make for an easy win against opponents who heavily depend on R1 attacks over other less predictable moves.
    • In addition, a Simple infusion has become a common choice for this weapon, as it allows for continuous but slow FP regeneration. While a patch has removed the ability to use Weapon Arts with only 1 point left in the FP bar, this just means you have to wait a few seconds in between Weapon Art uses, and wearing the Farron Ring can reduce that waiting time significantly, since it reduces Weapon Art FP costs by a small percentage. Being able to spam Weapon Arts can be a Game Breaker all on it's own, given that many of them are powerful, difficult to predict or dodge, and/or impossible to parry.
  • The Grave Warden Twinblades and Spiked Mace inflicts Bleed naturally, and also have Weapon Arts that throws out many attacks in a row. With a Hollow infusion, 40 LCK (including the 5 point boost from Hollow infusions when you have over 15 Hollowing) and 40 DEX or STR respectively, either weapon has good damage, high base Bleed and yet still retains the ability to apply the Carthus Rouge resin on them, allowing for a further increase of their overall deadliness. Both have been known to inflict fatal Bleed damage before the end of a combo.
  • The Gotthard Twinswords can become fearsome with a Heavy infusion, when combined with high Faith or Intelligence for spell buffs plus a Simple-infused item in your off-hand weapon slot. The combination creates a fast-hitting weapon that can devour enemies in PVE and PVP without mercy, as the individual hits are incredibly punishing, and if the opponent can't escape quickly, they'll often be dead by the end of the combo. The Weapon Art - beginning as a Spin Slash - cannot be parried and can be difficult to predict, so if a player relies on the Caestus or other parry tools, they can find themselves trying to parry that which cannot be parried, and end up taking a fatal hit that they would have been wiser to dodge instead.
  • Due to an exploitable Good Bad Bug, the Sacred Flame pyromancy can be made to be drastically stronger than it was intended to be, giving it the ability to devastate humanoid enemies in a single shot, and due to another bug, it tends to be far more accurate than it should be thanks to severe Hitbox Dissonance. This has since been patched though. However, Sacred Flame is still compatible with Aldrich's Ruby (HP Regen on a critical attack) and Sapphire (FP Regen also on a critical attack), so it can be effectively turned into the pyromancy version of Dark Hand, albeit with less HP regeneration.
  • The Great Magic Shield sorcery is considerably better than it was in the previous two games, giving the caster near-total immunity from any sort of non-Physical Damage on their shield. It has its limits in PVP due to its short duration (30 seconds) and the fact that its useless against Duel Charms, but in PVE it is incredibly strong and can make even the hardest bosses trivial. Try using it on a Greatshield, and it'll provide Nigh-Invulnerability when you're fighting against opponents who rarely kick you or attack without shield piercing weapons.
  • The now-patched Tears of Denial glitch. Tears of Denial, by itself, is an expensive miracle that allows you to survive a hit that would otherwise kill you, leaving you with 1 HP remaining instead. Due to some wonky collision boxes detection, however, having the buff active while jumping into very specific parts of bottomless pits made it so that your Y-coordinates would never go down unless you quit the game or die, effectively granting flight, allowing you to skip every single level and boss short of Iudex Gundyr, Vordt, the Lords of Cinder and the Final Boss. It could even be used to kill some of the bosses by going underneath their arenas and slaughtering them while their AI was disabled. In online play, it was frequently exploited to grief unfortunate invaders, and in regular play it allowed for so much Sequence Breaking that the game could be beaten in under 40 minutes.
  • The Ashes of Ariandel-exclusive weapon Follower Sabre has gained infamy for being the Carthus Curved Sword with a different model, but far more worse. With a Refined infusion and 40 points in both STR and DEX, as well as an equally similar moveset, it is basically the aforementioned weapon in terms of stats and damage output, but with the annoying addendum of having an extremely fast Weapon Art which can Guard Break shields. While it fortunately doesn't inflict Bleed, its absurdly high damage is more than enough to kill someone by successfully landing all 3 of its Weapon Art's slashes. Since Patch 1.22 however, the damage done by both the Carthus Curved Sword and its sibling the Follower Sabre has mercifully been nerfed.
  • Another Ashes of Ariandel-exclusive weapon, Valorheart, while it does deal rather mediocre damage (386 at 40 in STR/DEX, and cannot be infused or buffed), has three things going for it: Its quick attack speed, ability to block attacks and avoid getting staggered as result while two-handing at the beginning of each attack (which is perfect for giving R1 spammers and abusers of the Katanas' running attacks the middle finger) and its Weapon Art (which allows you to Guard Break turtlers and also set them up for a critical hit). When used correctly, this weapon can become quite lethal to encounter.
  • Yhorm's Great Machete is generally viewed as one of the only pure Strength weapons that is PVP viable, due to a combination of massive reach, lots of poise frames and some of the highest hit for hit damage in the game. This thing can nearly out-space a spear and still hits like a freight train, even capable of staggering those who aren't close enough to be hit. Two-handing it at 66 STR cranks its damage up to a horrifying 707 which makes it one of the most powerful pure Physical Damage weapons in the game. Even at high levels, a few hits from this beast is all it takes to kill most players. The sheer power of its attacks also smashes most shields in two hits and the resulting critical (or any critical, really) is essentially game over for the opponent.
  • The Millwood Battle Axe is becoming infamous in PVP due to its Weapon Art, which causes the player to charge forward at a run, and then do a shout that can briefly stun an enemy. Why? Because even in Havel's armor set and with the Iron Flesh pyromancy applied, players using both can still charge at full speed, allowing them to close the distance and attack, basically ignoring attacks all the way.
  • The Painting Guardian's Curved Sword comes back with a vengeance, as its strong attack takes little stamina to execute and can chain constantly on unsuspecting enemies. Its usually applied with buffs to make its attacks even more frustrating for the victims, and it too can be infused with Hollow and can be buffed with the Carthus Rouge resin to enhance its innate Bleed capability.
  • The Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords. What sets them apart from the other Ultra Greatswords is that a full combo from their Dual Wielding stance can easily kill players even at near-maximum health, and the swings have fairly good tracking, not to mention that they're almost guaranteed to stagger players with just a single hit. However, they are easily countered by other Ultra Greatswords which have the uppercut version of "Stomp" as their Weapon Art, since their attack animations are fairly long and usually leave their users unable to avoid being launched to the sky.
  • Gael's Greatsword, if just for how its unique Weapon Art transforms you into Artorias but on steroids. Unpredictable leaps, swings, feints and chained combos usually spell doom for your opponents as they attempt to avoid getting hit from all of their sides.
  • Looking at its considerable 16.5 points of weight, slow swinging speed, high stamina cost and having split damage thanks to its innate Lightning infusion, the Lothric Knight Greatsword is perhaps a weapon one may not usually think of seeing here. What puts it on this page, however, are the following; its amazing scaling and resultant high damage with a Blessed infusion, the Hyper Armor frames that are present in every Ultra Greatsword's two-handed swing, its surprisingly long reach and its ability to perform thrust attacks. Equip the Leo Ring for added thrust counter damage or the Lightning Clutch Ring for an increase of 15% more Lightning Damage, and you can see for yourself how much of a monster this weapon truly is, both in PVE and PVP - the accompanying HP Regen and the fact it can effectively counter other Game Breakers with its Weapon Art alone are just footnotes at this point.
  • Gundyr's Halberd - while its Weapon Art "Champion's Charge" can be easily parried with a little courage and timing - is often the bane of many players due to the fact that the Weapon Art can be used again almost as soon as it ends. What's more annoying, should one get hit by its spinning attack, they will be sent flying to the ground, where their rising animation is often long enough to allow its user to do another charge - leading to a vicious cycle that only ends until either the user has run out of stamina or missed, or once the victim has died or luckily managed to roll far out of the way. The biggest downside to using this is that in order to get the halberd, you'll have to give up getting the Prisoner's Chain, a ring regarded as a borderline mandatory must-have for any PvP-viable build, at least until New Game+.
  • Due to their high attack speed and dual wielded nature, the Sellsword Twinblades with a Sharp infusion can become a fearsome DPS machine by stacking the "as long as attacking persists" buffs: The Pontiff's Eyes rings, the Carthus Beacon pyromancy and the Old Wolf Curved Sword glued to your back as a Stat Stick. Once the buffs kick in, you'll not only do huge amounts of damage, you'll also heal yourself for huge amounts of HP!
  • HP Regen-based equipment in general. When used individually, they don't regenerate that much HP per second, but when used together in conjunction with the Sun Princess Ring and the Bountiful Sunlight miracle (or any other equipment that regenerates HP like the Ethereal Oak Shield and the Sacred Chime of Filianore's "Pray for Favor" Weapon Art), expect to see yourself rapidly regain all your lost HP within a matter of moments while you proceed to do other things in the meanwhile. Although this passive combination may not sound like a Game Breaker at all, it still can and will help you outlast your opponents easier, and more importantly help you curb and conserve your healing items usage, particularly while you're going through a dangerous area and especially while you're fighting against a difficult boss.
    • To a lesser extent, FP Regen-based equipment also count, especially if you frequently use spells or Weapon Arts. Using the Executioner's Greatsword, Handmaiden's Dagger, Aldrich's Sapphire and Simple-infused weapons or shields in order to quickly regain FP can be worth all the hassle, more so if you happen to be running a spellcaster build.
  • Anri's Straight Sword is unusual in that it scales with Luck of all things, which is enough to turn off most players from the weapon entirely, since by the time they get the sword (assuming they didn't just kill Anri the moment they met them), they'll have already gotten the gear they're most comfortable with. But if you decide to take the risk anyway, you'll see that it basically defines the Magikarp Power trope. It can reach Ultra Greatsword levels of damage, and due to its small size, it can be swung multiple times without putting much of your stamina at risk. Since longswords have a nasty habit of stunning enemies, it can be quite a monster in both PVP and PVE. Even better is that it gradually heals you, and it too can be stacked with the Sun Princess Ring and other HP Regen-based equipment!
  • The Dragon Crest Shield is pretty much the go-to shield for a great many players throughout the game. It blocks 100% of Physical Damage and 89% of Fire Damage — not only do most enemies in the game rely on Physical attacks, making sword-and-boarding with this shield extremely convenient, the majority of bosses throughout the game use both Physical attacks imbued with Fire. Even better, its relatively light weight (especially when compared to the Black Iron Greatshield) means you don't have to worry about fat-rolling too much. This makes the Lords of Cinder and the Soul of Cinder significantly more manageable to fight, especially when you pair the shield with other game-breaking equipment like the ones listed on this page.
  • The Lothric Knight Shield is regarded as one of the best medium shields in the game, due to it blocking 100% of Physical Damage and as well as having a huge amount of Stability, which is second only to the Black Knight Shield in its category. It also can block 87% of Lightning Damage, which when combined with the aforementioned huge Stability, allows you to tank the Nameless King's attacks with ease.
  • Pestilent Mist seems like a terrible sorcery on paper; it requires a hefty 30 Intelligence stat investment and creates a stationary noxious cloud that can damage you if you get too close. Its damage is also fixed and does not scale with your stats or gear/rings. However, this damage scales with enemy health. Including boss enemy health. And nothing in the game is immune to its (very rapid) damage. This turns it into one of the most powerful boss-killers in the game, devouring even the DLC bosses without mercy, provided you can lure them into the cloud. Its only real weakness is the slow cast time - which can be mostly mitigated by the Sage Ring and the Witchtree Branch.
    • This gets even more broken if you exploit the game's stealth mechanics. Using the Hidden Body and Spook sorceries and equipping the Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring will make you nearly undetectable by enemies so as long as you keep refreshing Hidden Body. Combine them with the Storyteller's Staff equipped in the left hand for its Weapon Art "Poison Spores" (which happens to stack with Pestilent Mist) and you now have the so-called "Sneaky Mage" build, letting you waltz unnoticed into entire enemy packs and then laugh as they slowly die from the resulting DOT damage with them being none the wiser.
  • The Hollowslayer Greatsword can be obtained relatively early and has a few good things going for it. On its own, its a fairly decent Quality build weapon that leans more towards Dexterity. However, it is extremely useful for PVE since it has the unique ability to deal 20% more damage to Hollow enemies, one of the most common enemy types in the game. It really shines in the DLC expansions, since most of the enemies in them including the final bosses are Hollows. On top of that, its unique two handed moveset has ridiculous poise frames; it basically starts at the very beginning of its attack animation and it has further poise frames during the entire of the follow-up combo, so it's much easier to time trading hits with foes, either in PVE or PVP.
  • The Prisoner's Chain is a ring that offers +5 Vigor, Endurance, and Vitality when equipped. That's fifteen free levels worth of stats. Granted, it comes with the downside of taking an additional 4% damage from all sources, but it's a small price to pay given that you're getting more health, more stamina and the ability to equip more gear (meaning you'll be able to wear heavier armor to help mitigate the damage anyway).
  • In the same token as the Refined Longsword, the Refined Mace is also deceptively powerful. With a Quality Build of 40 Strength and 40 Dexterity, the Refined Mace has an AR of 454, which puts it higher than the Refined Longsword. The Mace also does Strike damage, making it more effective against armored foes than the Longsword. The Mace isn't quite as fast or as light as the Longsword however, but it makes up for that by inflicting more Poise damage (meaning it can better trade with other players who rely on heavy weapons). The Mace also has a powerful Weapon Art, "Perseverance", which temporarily increases your Poise and reduces damage taken by half. A Mace wielder can two-hand it, activate the WA, then go to town on their foe while shrugging off all but the most powerful attacks from Ultra Greatswords and Great Hammers. The Mace can also be buffed with resins just like the Longsword. Bottom line: the Refined Mace is an amazing weapon for Quality Builds, whether in PVP or PVE.
  • The Winged Knight Twinaxes can be obtained as a late-game weapon from Winged Knights (provided you didn't partake in Sequence Breaking by killing the Dancer of the Boreal Valley early) and has good Strength scaling that gradually leans towards Quality. Given the weapon class they're in, they sound a bit mediocre, right? HA HA HA— No. They have great range for a pair of axes, and when used properly, a properly optimised Winged Knight Twinaxes can decimate enough health in PVP to the point that they can outdamage the HP healed from a +10 Estus Flask. And if you use their Weapon Art "Chain Spin" after performing a riposte or backstab against someone, you'll be pleased to find out that they'll lock them into a Cycle of Hurting until you run out of stamina. Behold, one of the results of properly using the Twinaxes! And if you use them in PVE, combined with the "as long attacking persists" buffs as mentioned above, they can also outdamage the Sellsword Twinblades! Long story short: Like the Refined Mace, the Winged Knight Twinaxes are great for both PVP and PVE in spite of their weapon class.
  • The Morion Blade, on its own, is a fairly decent longsword with a respectable amount of damage dealt per swing, but where it truly shines lies in its innate ability to allow you to deal more damage so as long as you have critically low HP. If you pair it with the Red Tearstone Ring, however, its massively increased damage output at low HP gets boosted up even more up to a shocking 144%' of its original AR - and that's not taking into consideration whether or not if you have another Morion Blade on you. Sadly, while it cannot be buffed or infused, its gimmicky ability (especially when you have two of them equipped) is often enough to deal with anything standing in your way.
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