How to Use Ashes of War in Elden Ring

There are numerous ways to even the playing field against enemies in Elden Ring, and Ashes of War is one of them. Found in numerous areas of the map, these special skills allow players to perform powerful attacks on enemies while managing to look majestic and mythical. However, the player needs to follow a few steps before they can equip and use them. So, in this article, let’s learn how to use Ashes of War in Elden Ring and all the necessary information about it.

What Are Ashes of War in Elden Ring

In Elden Ring, Ashes of War are powerful special moves bound to players’ equipment. It is the Weapon Art mechanic introduced in Dark Souls 3, where each weapon has a special action that players can perform. In the case of Elden Ring, Ashes of War are swappable, which allows players to equip their desired ones with their choice of weapon or shield. There are some caveats to them.

Some weapons come pre-equipped with Ashes of War and restrict switching. But for most weapons, players can swap and put them with their desired equipment. Furthermore, Ashes of War are not randomized, and players will discover a set number of them throughout the game if they explore.

Pre-Requisites to Use Ashes of War

Before applying Ashes of War on a desired weapon, players need a few items in their possession. Without these items, they won’t be able to put these unique skills into their desired armament.

  • Procure the Whetstone Knife
Whetstone-Knife Ashes of War Elden Ring

Whetstone Knife is an item that is required to put Ashes of War onto a weapon. This item allows players to sit on a site of grace and apply their desired skill to a weapon or shield. To get the Whetstone Knife, players need to head to the Gatefront Ruin in Limgrave. This is the ruin that falls on the path of Stormveil Castle, and to reach it, players need to head north from the Church of Elleh. Once at the ruins, find the stairs leading underground towards a metal door. Open it up to receive the item and Ash of War: Storm Stomp.

  • Have Sufficient FP

Much like Sorceries and Incantations, most Ashes of War use the Focus Point (FP). Without sufficient Focus Points, players won’t be able to cast most of Ashes of War. Hence, it is recommended to increase the mind attribute (go through this Elden Ring Classes guide to learn more about attributes).

How to Use Ashes of War in Elden Ring (2 Methods)

To use Ash of War, players need to apply them to a weapon that allows it. To do so, there are two ways.

Method 1: Using Whetstone Knife at a Site of Grace

  • First, acquire the Whetstone Knife from the Gatefront Ruin at Limgrave. The location is north of the Church of Elleh.
  • Once the Whetstone Knife is acquired, head to any site of grace and sit. The menu will open up.
  • From the menu, select the Ashes of War option. This will take players to the page where they can add or remove them on a weapon.
Some of the Ashes of War options
  • Once done, get up from the site of grace. From this point onward, players should be able to use the Ashes of War that they put on a weapon.

Method 2: Through Smithing Master Hewg

The other way to apply an Ashes of War, in case players did not acquire the Whetstone Knife, is at the Roundtable Hold. There, head towards the room where Fia sits. Right outside the room is an NPC called Hewg, working on a weapon. Not only does Hewg helps in upgrading players’ weapons, but he also helps in putting Ashes of War on them. To do that, follow the steps below:

  • Talk with Hewg at the Roundtable Hold. He stands outside Fia’s room
How to Use Ashes of War in Elden Ring
  • Select the Ashes of War option. This opens the screen allowing users to apply or remove them from a weapon.
  • Decide what you want to do, and apply them to a weapon. Exit the menu.

Where to Find Ashes of War in Elden Ring

In numerous places across the map of Elden Ring, players can find Ashes of War and put them in their inventory for future usage. Just like Incantations, there are three ways in which players can come across ashes of war.

1. Item Pickups

Throughout the map of the game, players come across numerous instances where they can pick Ashes of War as item pickups. Sometimes, these are rewards for completing a dungeon. Other times, these are simple item pickups found during the usual exploration. For example, players can pick up Reaping Thrust as an item from the Gatefront Ruins. Similarly, players can procure Gravitas by entering the Cave of Knowledge in Limgrave.

2. Enemy & Boss Drops

Nearly every major enemy in Elden Ring drops rewards upon defeat. While in most instances, these drops are in the form of weapon or armor sets, players receive Ashes of War from certain side bosses in the game. For example, in Forlon Hound Evergoal, players can get Barricade Shield upon defeating Bloodhound Knight Darriwil.

3. From NPCs

The third way to procure Ashes of War is from NPCs throughout the game. Like vendors, players can exchange runes in their possession with them for their desired Ashes of War. Two of the most prominent NPCs players can purchase Ashes of War from are Knight Bernahl, situated inside the Warmaster’s Shack in Stormhill, and Sorcerer Rogier.

How to Duplicate Ashes of War in Elden Ring

Suppose there is a particular Ashes of War that players prefer and want to use with multiple weapons. Fortunately, the game allows duplication of Ashes of War at the numerous blacksmiths. Duplication will copy a particular Ashes of War, which the players can apply to another weapon.

To do this, players first need to acquire Lost Ashes of War. This is the currency that blacksmiths use to duplicate, and they are found either with particular merchants in the game or from areas on the map. Check out this article on where to find Lost Ashes of War. Once a player has Lost Ashes of War in their inventory, head to any of the blacksmiths in the game.

To make it simpler, head back to Smithing Master Hewg at the Roundtable Hold and talk with him. Select the “Ashes of War Duplication” option from the menu and duplicate the desired Ashes of War.


Ashes of War Affinities Explained

The one major problem of Elden Ring is that numerous systems and features exist for players to figure out. Unfortunately, the developers expect players to understand it by themselves. Affinities are one of those features in the game.

Suppose a player gets a weapon with default affinities, scaling to appropriate attributes. So if it is a weapon that leans towards strength scaling, it will benefit players if they have points in strength. Interestingly, Ashes of War allows options for damage scaling to weapons with affinity helping to change weapon scaling.

So suppose if you apply Ashes of War: Stamp, which deals with a physical attack, the damage from that weapon will stay physical. However, putting affinity to the Ashes of War will scale the armament to a particular attribute, dealing more damage to it. In the case of Stamp, if we put a “Heavy” affinity to it, the weapon will scale exceptionally well with strength, dealing more damage. Similarly, if we apply an attribute that the Ashes of War does not benefit from, the scaling will drop, resulting in the weapon underperforming.

Players apply affinities using Whetblades found throughout the game. Each Whetblade allows players to apply a particular affinity, resulting in changes to that weapon’s base damage.

Best Ashes of War in Elden Ring

Elden Ring features numerous Ashes of War, but some outperform the others by a lot. While choosing the best Ashes of War in Elden Ring can become a tough task, as each person has a different preference, here are our top picks for Ashes of War in the game.

  • Flames of Redmane
  • Hoarfrost Stomp
  • Carian Greatsword
  • Bloodhound’s Step
  • Bloody Slash
Can We Apply Our Desired Ashes of War to Any Weapons?

While Elden Ring does allow Ashes of War application on any weapons, there are some restrictions to it. Some special weapons, such as boss weapons, do not allow players to replace the Ashes of War applied to them. As such, while many weapons in the game allow it, some of them do not. Additionally, some Ashes of War apply to a particular type of weapon. A perfect example of this is Ashes of War: Parry. Parry only applies to shields, allowing players to Parry oncoming attacks using their small or medium shields.

Can We Apply Multiple Ashes of War to a Weapon?

No. A weapon only allows one single Ashes of War application at a time. So, if a player equips two weapons on their hand with separate Ashes of War on each, the game will only allow the usage of Ashes of War from the armament held on the right hand.

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