Elden Ring best spells 2024: Tier lists, sorceries, and incantations in 1.10

Elden Ring

More than any FromSoftware game before it, Elden Ring is brimming with build variety.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Whether you plan to wield the devastating power of the stars with sorceries or utilize a wide array of support and combat incantations, you'll have great success using a magic build in FromSoftware's fantasy RPG epic Elden Ring. The game has a colossal arsenal of spells to find and learn, ranging from damage-focused "nuke" spells that shred boss health bars to buffs that give you, friendly co-op partners, and allied Spirit Ashes valuable stat buffs, health regeneration over time, and more. Many of them perform extremely well throughout full playthroughs, and tons of spells will shine brightly in Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, too.

Finding all of these spells is pretty tough, as the Lands Between are both unbelievably vast and mind-bogglingly dense. Additionally, it's also difficult to parse which ones are the best spells overall, and which ones are best left unused or relegated to highly specific situations you won't encounter often. To help you figure out which spells to use in magic-centric playthroughs, I've put together this guide that goes over the best sorceries and incantations to use in Elden Ring, along with where you'll find them in the game's open world. You'll find all of that information below, along with some tier lists that rank every spell from S to F-tier.

The best Elden Ring spells, ranked

A Prophet Tarnished casting the Elden Stars incantation. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

While most spells in Elden Ring are effective in the right situation, there are several spells that are, for the most part, better than others. These spells typically have a more efficient damage per Focus Point (FP) ratio, are easier to land, or are harder to dodge in PvP scenarios. Since there are two different schools of magic in Elden Ring — sorceries and incantations — I've put together individual tier lists of the spells available for each type of magic.

Top Recommendations

Note that just because a spell is ranked lower on the tier lists than others doesn't mean that spell is worthless. It just means that it's more difficult to use or uses more FP than more efficient alternatives. It's entirely possible to make an effective build with many of the lowly ranked spells, and I highly recommend giving them a shot if you're bored of the meta options. Having fun is what matters most, after all, and you may even catch PvP opponents off-guard by using some of these less popular spells.

Something else to keep in mind is that in general, many of the most effective spells also require lots of FP and/or lots of points in the Faith or Intelligence stats. This means that you may not be able to use several of the spells I'm highlighting in this article if you're playing as a melee-centric character that needs investment into other stats like Strength, Dexterity, and Endurance. If you want to use magic, the best Elden Ring builds to do so with are pure Faith or Intelligence caster builds. Hybrid characters can wield sorceries and incantations effectively, too.

Here's my tier list for the best sorceries in Elden Ring:

Every sorcery in Elden Ring, ranked in a comprehensive tier list. (Image credit: TierMaker)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
SGlintstone Pebble, Comet, Night Comet, Carian Slicer, Rock Sling, Comet Azur, Terra Magica, Ranni's Dark Moon
AAncient Death Rancor, Loretta's Mastery, Rykard's Rancor, Adula's Moonblade, Crystal Barrage, Scholar's Armament, Carian Retaliation, Great Glintstone Shard, Glintstone Cometshard, Stars of Ruin, Cannon of Haima
BEternal Darkness, Loretta's Greatbow, Magma Shot, Night Shard, Ambush Shard, Rennala's Full Moon, Meteorite of Astel, Glintstone Stars, Star Shower, Gavel of Haima, Carian Phalanx, Frozen Armament, Carian Piercer, Magic Glintblade
CGelmir's Fury, Roiling Magma, Swift Glintstone Shard, Shard Spiral, Glintstone Arc, Freezing Mist, Explosive Ghostflame, Gravity Well, Collapsing Stars, Glintstone Icecrag, Glintblade Phalanx
DCarian Greatsword, Crystal Torrent, Shattering Crystal, Crystal Release, Scholar's Shield, Oracle Bubbles, Great Oracular Bubble, Meteorite, Rancorcall, Greatblade Phalanx
FFounding Rain of Stars, Magic Downpour, Unseen Blade, Unseen Form, Starlight, Lucidity, Shatter Earth, Rock Blaster, Crystal Burst, Thops' Barrier, Tibia's Summons, Zamor Ice Storm, Briars of Punishment, Briars of Sin, Fia's Mist, Night Maiden's Mist

And here's our tier list for all of the best incantations in Elden Ring:

Every incantation in Elden Ring, ranked in a comprehensive tier list. (Image credit: TierMaker)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
SGolden Vow, Flame, Grant me Strength, Giantsflame Take Thee, Black Flame, Black Blade, Smarag's Glintstone Breath, Ekzyke's Decay, Erdtree Heal
AFlame, Cleanse Me, Ancient Dragon Lightning Strike, Fortissax's Lightning Spear, Agheel's Flame, Dragonclaw, Bestial Vitality, Borealis' Mist, Greyoll's Roar, Lansseax's Glaive, Catch Flame, The Flame of Frenzy, Honed Bolt, Theodorix's Magma, Placidusax's Ruin, Swarm of Flies, Lord's Heal, Frenzied Burst, Lightning Spear, Blessing's Boon
BGlintstone Breath, Dragonfire, Rotten Breath, Dragonice, Dragonmaw, Gurranq's Beast Claw, Beast Claw, Bestial Sling, Aspect of the Crucible: Tail, Bloodflame Blade, O Flame, Aspect of the Crucible: Horn, Black Flame's Protection, Triple Rings of Light, Vyke's Dragonbolt, Stone of Gurranq, Pest Threads, Magma Breath, Blessing of the Erdtree
CDragonbolt's Blessing, Electrify Armament, Black Flame Blade, Poison Armament, Order's Blade, Wrath of Gold, Barrier of Gold, Golden Lightning Fortification, Protection of the Erdtree, Bloodflame Talons, Burn, O Flame, Howl of Shabriri, Litany of Proper Death, Lightning Stake, Black Flame Ritual, Noble Presence, Scouring Black Flame, Frozen Lightning Spear, Ancient Dragon Lightning Spear, Inescapable Frenzy, Unendurable Frenzy
DScarlet Aeonia, Flame, Protect Me, Flame, Fall Upon Them, Fire's Deadly Sin, Flame of the Fell God, Flame Sling, Bloodboon, Discus of Light, Radagon's Ring of Light, Aspect of the Crucible: Breath, Law of Causality, Law of Regression, Lord's Aid, Shadow Bait
FDeath Lightning, Assassin's Approach, Whirl, O Flame, Urgent Heal, Heal, Great Heal, Immutable Shield, Darkness, Magic Fortification, Lightning Fortification, Divine Fortification, Flame Fortification, Lord's Divine Fortification, Cure Poison, Bestial Constitution, Rejection, Order Healing, Poison Mist, Surge, O Flame, Elden Stars

In the following sections, I've provided a detailed breakdown of each sorcery and incantation that I've ranked in the top S-tier. This includes information on how each spell works, where they're located, how much FP they cost to cast, and what their stat requirements are.

If you're trying to find one or more of the spells that I ranked lower on these tier lists, I recommend using Fextralife's interactive map of Elden Ring's Lands Between. With a few easy searches, you'll be able to see exactly where specific spells are in the game's open world.

Elden Ring: Best spells for early game

A mage Tarnished in Elden Ring preparing to cast. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Elden Ring's best spells won't be found until at least the midway point of your playthrough, but there are some pretty great spells available in its early game, too. If you're playing as an Intelligence-wielding sorcerer, Glintstone Pebble, Carian Slicer, and Rock Sling are all excellent options that will carry you through the early and mid-game, and often come in handy in the late game as well. All three are covered in more detail below; make sure to pair them with the Meteorite Staff, which is the best early game staff in Elden Ring (you'll need to ride Torrent through Caelid to get it, but it's a relatively easy pickup).

For Faith-focused incantation users, go with Black Flame, Flame Sling, and The Flame of Frenzy, which you'll find in Stormveil Castle (from a spellbook you can give to Brother Corhyn), for sale at Brother Corhyn in Roundtable Hold, and in the Weeping Peninsula's Callu Baptismal Church, respectively. The location of the spellbook that contains Black Flame is explained in more detail below, while an interactive map can be used to hunt down The Flame of Frenzy's precise location.

Elden Ring: Best spells for PvP

Several Tarnished warriors facing off in Elden Ring's PvP Colosseum. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Most spells are pretty easy for other players to dodge in PvP scenarios, but there are a few that stand out for being tricky to avoid and exceptionally deadly. For sorcerers, you can't go wrong with Swift Glintstone Shard, Carian Slicer, and Comet, with the former two dishing out good damage despite their insanely fast cast speed and the latter best reserved for when your opponent is distracted and won't see your high-damage magic missile coming. Swift Glintstone Shard can be learned from the NPC you give the Academy Scroll from the graveyard west of the Lake-Facing Cliffs in southern Liurnia of the Lakes to, Carian Slicer's location is covered below, and Comet is found behind an illusory wall in Raya Lucaria Academy; to find it, hit the bookshelf without books on it just before the Debate Parlor Site of Grace.

Incantation users, meanwhile, will find great success with both the fast-to-cast Bestial Sling and the "nuke fireball" Giantsflame Take Thee, and in team-based PvP, supportive buff and healing spells like Golden Vow and Erdtree Heal. You'll get Bestial Sling by giving Gurranq in Dragonbarrow two Deathroot; I go over where to get the other three spells below.

All of the Dragon Communion spells can be extremely powerful in PvP, too, though experienced opponents will be able to easily dodge their elemental breath attacks unless you "free aim" them by not locking onto them and aiming ahead of where they're sprinting instead. My favorites to use against other players are Rotten Breath and Ekzykes's Decay, as they do great damage while simultaneously inflicting Scarlet Rot. The only downside of these spells is that they drain FP very quickly, so you'll have to cast them sparingly.

Elden Ring best sorceries: Locations and requirements

A sorceress prepares to cast Adula's Moonblade. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Below you'll find a list of what I think are the top sorcery spells in Elden Ring, as well as where you can find them and what their requirements are.

Glintstone Pebble: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: INT 10
  • FP cost: 7

Believe it or not, the spell that the sorcery-focused Astrologer class begins with is also one of the best sorceries in the entire game. Glintstone Pebble isn't as flashy as most other spells in the game, but its ridiculously low FP cost coupled with its surprisingly high damage makes it a fantastic spell throughout the entirety of a playthrough. The tracking isn't as good as other spells and its easy for players to dodge in PvP, but since you can spam it constantly without even using up a ton of your FP, these drawbacks are worth dealing with.

If you didn't start as an Astrologer, you can buy Glintstone Pebble from Sorceress Sellen at the Waypoint Ruins in central Limgrave, east of Agheel Lake. The spell costs 1,000 runes.

Comet: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: INT 52
  • FP cost: 24

Throughout Elden Ring, you'll find spells that are essentially upgraded versions of Glintstone Pebble that deal more damage but cost more FP. In general, most of these spells are less efficient than Glintstone Pebble is, but one that's absolutely worth equipping is Comet. While its high requirements and FP cost make it unappealing for players that have low FP, it's capable of dealing insane damage per hit, to the point where you can sometimes even one-shot players in PvP if you fully charge the spell. It can also melt bosses if you have the space and time to use it repeatedly, making it an amazing choice for co-op.

Comet can be found behind an illusory wall in the Raya Lucaria Academy in central Liurnia of the Lakes, to the left of the door that leads to the Debate Parlor Site of Grace. The wall can be identified by looking for a bookshelf with no books on it.

Night Comet: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: INT 38
  • FP cost: 21

Night Comet is an incredibly useful variant of the Comet spell that trades some damage for guaranteed hits. As one of the game's Night Sorceries, Night Comet is completely undetectable by PvE enemies. As a result, they won't attempt to block or dodge it, which makes it ideal for fights against foes like Tree Sentinels as well as bosses that frequently avoid traditional spells, such as Malenia, Blade of Miquella. We don't recommend using it in PvP, though, as players can still see the incoming magic and dodge to avoid it.

The Night Comet spell can be acquired from a chest in the center of Selia, Town of Sorcery in central Caelid. Note that you'll have to open the barriers in the town by lighting the fires in each of the towers there.

Carian Slicer: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: INT 14
  • FP cost: 4

There are many different melee sorceries in Elden Ring, but the best of them is Carian Slicer. With a crazy low FP cost, good damage, and a fast casting speed, the Carian Slicer is a balanced, powerful spell that you can use to shred enemies to pieces. It doesn't have the greatest range compared to spells like Carian Greatsword or Carian Slicer, but it makes up for that with high DPS.

To get Carian Slicer, you'll need to get the Royal House Scroll from a corpse near one of the large structures in southern Limgrave. You can then take the scroll to Sorceress Sellen in the Waypoint Ruins and buy Carian Slicer from her for 1,500 runes.

Rock Sling: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: INT 18
  • FP cost: 18

Rock Sling is one of the few sorceries in Elden Ring that deals physical damage. It allows you to use gravity magic to send three large boulders flying at opponents, doing solid damage to health and a ton of damage to enemy and boss stances. This often results in frequent "staggers" and stance breaks, allowing you or an ally to land a devastating critical riposte with a melee weapon. The boulders can be tough to dodge, too, making this spell a good choice in PvP.

To get Rock Sling, head to the northern part of the Street of Sages Ruins in central Caelid. You'll find the spell in a chest within an underground cellar there, surrounded by poison mages. Make sure you also get the Meteorite Staff nearby, as it's Elden Ring's best early and mid-game staff for sorcerers.

Comet Azur: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: INT 60
  • FP cost: 40

One of the best sorceries to use in the late game is Comet Azur, which you can use to assail enemies with a massive magic energy beam that does super high health and stance damage. This spell can stagger and outright kill most enemies and bosses with relative ease, especially when you pair it with the next sorcery on our list and a Flask of Wondrous Physick concoction that includes the Cerulean Hidden Tear.

To get Comet Azur, you'll need to go to the Hermit Village in eastern Mt. Gelmir and then head north, past the Demi-Human Queen miniboss. There, you'll find the Primeval Sorcerer Azur Site of Grace with Azur's corpse, and the spell, nearby.

Terra Magica: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: INT 20
  • FP cost: 20

Terra Magica is one of Elden Ring's most unique spells, as it allows you to create a zone on the ground that boosts the power of all allied sorceries by 35% for 30 seconds. The zone is static, so it's difficult to use when fighting enemies or players that force you to stay mobile. However, in boss fights or in PvP situations where you're able to attack opponents from afar with your magic, the buff provided by Terra Magica can make your already powerful spells even more lethal.

To get Terra Magica, you'll need to enter and complete the Academy Crystal Cave dungeon, which is found just west of the Raya Lucaria Academy. At the end of the cave there will be an elevator that takes you to a tower in the Raya Lucaria Academy, and you'll find the Terra Magica spell at the top of that tower.

  • Stat requirements: INT 25
  • FP cost: 45

Ranni's Dark Moon: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: INT 68
  • FP cost: 57

The process of completing Ranni's questline is a long one, but players are well rewarded with the Dark Moon Greatsword, which is one of the best Elden Ring weapons. However, finishing Ranni's quest also gives you access to the Moonlight Altar area, which is where one of the most powerful sorceries in the game is located: Ranni's Dark Moon. This spell requires a massive amount of Intelligence and FP to use, but it can easily deal upwards of 1,500 damage per cast with the right magic damage-boosting setup (the Carian Regal Scepter staff, Magic Scorpion Charm, Graven-Mass Talisman, and the Terra Magica spell are your best options). Ranni's Dark Moon also builds up the Frostbite status very quickly and lowers your opponent's resistance to magic damage, making further casts of the spell even more devastating. Overall, like Comet Azur, this is a phenomenal spell for your boss melting repertoire.

The Ranni's Dark Moon spell can be found at the top of the Chelona's Rise tower in southern Liurnia of the Lakes, atop the Moonlight Altar plateau. Note that you'll need to hunt down three ghastly turtles in this region to unlock the magical seal on the tower (this video shows where they're located).

Elden Ring best incantations: Locations and requirements

An incantation caster prepares to throw a massive Giantsflame Take Thee fireball. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Below are what I believe are the top incantation spells in Elden Ring, including where and how you can obtain them and the stats you need to cast them.

Golden Vow: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: FAI 25
  • FP cost: 47

Buff spells have traditionally been underwhelming in FromSoftware's games, but they're better than they've ever been in Elden Ring. The best buff spell in the game is arguably the Golden Vow incantation, which buffs both the caster and nearby allies (including Spirit Ashes!) with 80 seconds of 15% more damage from all sources as well as 10% resistance to all incoming damage. This is a fantastic spell to use before difficult encounters like boss fights, and it can often make a big difference in PvP fights as well.

You can get the Golden Vow incantation within the Corpse-Stench Shack in northeastern Mt. Gelmir. You'll come across the shack by sticking to the path in northern Altus Plateau that leads into Mt. Gelmir. 

Flame, Grant Me Strength: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: FAI 15
  • FP cost: 28

Another excellent buff spell is Flame, Grant Me Strength. It buffs the caster with a 20% increase to both physical and fire damage, making it particularly effective when used with fire incantations and weapons that deal both physical and fire damage. Note that this buff applies to Black Flame spells and Ashes of War as well, and the spell also stacks multiplicatively with Golden Vow. Thus, by using both Golden Vow and Flame, Grant Me Strength, incantation users can skyrocket their damage output.

Flame, Grant Me Strength can be found behind Fort Gael in western Caelid, on a corpse between two Flame Chariot enemies. These foes are very difficult to take down, so we recommend using Torrent to nab the spell and then make a quick getaway. 

Giantsflame Take Thee: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: FAI 30
  • FP cost: 32

Giantsflame Take Thee allows you to hurl a gigantic fireball at your enemies, which will then explode and deal huge area-of-effect fire damage once it impacts a surface. It's excellent for taking down large groups of foes, and it can be extremely effective in PvP whenever multiple enemy players are clumped up together. Note that you can throw it farther than usual by manually aiming up before casting, though it will be more difficult to line up targets this way.

To get the Giantsflame Take Thee spell, you have to travel to the Guardians' Garrison fort in the center of the Mountaintops of the Giants region and make your way to the top of it. There, you'll find a chest that contains the Giant's Prayerbook. Take this book to Miriel, Pastor of Vows in the Church of Vows in northeastern Liurnia of the Lakes, who will then sell Giantsflame Take Thee to you for 13,000 runes.

Black Flame: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: FAI 20
  • FP cost: 18

Black Flame is one of Elden Ring's best offensive incantations, and unlike many of the other top spells in the game, it can be acquired very early. Aside from doing strong fire damage when it impacts foes, it also deals additional damage equivalent to five percent of your target's HP over the course of two seconds afterwards. This, along with the fireball's long range and the reasonable FP cost per cast, make it an exceptional spell.

To get Black Flame, you'll first need to get the Godskin Prayerbook. You can find it in Stormveil Castle, down the set of stairs alongside the southwestern edge of the courtyard directly next to the Liftside Chamber Site of Grace. Kill the rats there and get past the Imp Statue with a Swordstone Key. The book will be found in a nearby chest. You can then take it to Miriel, Pastor of Vows in the Church of Vows in northeastern Liurnia of the Lakes or Brother Corhyn in Roundtable Hold, who will sell Black Flame to you for 6,000 runes.

Black Blade: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: FAI 46
  • FP cost: 26

Black Blade is an amazing incantation that allows you to launch a health-draining projectile at a target from afar, dealing effective Holy damage while also instantly ripping off 10% of their max HP for the next 15 seconds. Notably, this effect stacks with the health drain of the Blade of Death weapon, so keep that in mind if a co-op partner is using it. A post-launch patch also made the sword conjured during each cast of this spell have a hitbox, making it effective in close range as well.

To get the Black Blade spell, you'll first have to defeat Maliketh, the Black Blade in Crumbling Farum Azula. Once you do, you can show the Remembrance of the Black Blade to Enia at Roundtable Hold and then choose the Black Blade spell as a reward. Note that you can still get the other available item, Maliketh's Black Blade, by duplicating Maliketh's Remembrance.

Erdtree Heal: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: FAI 42
  • FP cost: 65

The best overall healing incantation in Elden Ring is Erdtree Heal, which is a massive area-of-effect heal that restores a huge amount of HP for both you and your allies for a sizable chunk of your FP. It's not the cheapest healing spell available, but since it can be difficult to get healing spells like this off in the middle of combat, you'll want to get the best healing possible when you do.

You can find Erdtree Heal near the Queen's Bedchamber Site of Grace in the southeastern part of Leyndell, Royal Capital once you've progressed the story past the Mountaintops of the Giants area.

Ekzykes's Decay: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: FAI 23, ARC 15
  • FP cost: 48

The best dragon incantation in Elden Ring is Ekzykes's Decay, which allows you to blanket a huge portion of the area in front of you with deadly Scarlet Rot clouds. Not only do these clouds deal heavy direct damage to enemies or players that stay in them, but they also rapidly inflict the Scarlet Rot status effect that deals severe damage to enemies over time. It's very powerful against regular enemies and bosses alike, and it's also very strong in PvP since the Scarlet Rot gas is almost impossible to avoid.

You can get the Ekzykes's Decay incantation by purchasing it at the dragon altar in the Cathedral of Dragon Communion, which is found in southwestern Caelid. You'll need two Dragon Hearts to get the spell, which you can get by killing one of the many dragon bosses found in the Lands Between. This includes Ekzykes himself, who you'll also need to kill to unlock the option to purchase the spell. He can be found just northwest of the Cathedral of Dragon Communion.

Smarag's Glintstone Breath: Location and how to get

  • Stat requirements: FAI 23, ARC 15
  • FP cost: 36

Another fantastic dragon incantation is Smarag's Glintstone Breath. It's like Ekzykes's Decay, but instead of spraying clouds of Scarlet Rot gas, the spell allows you to blast foes with vicious magical energy that absolutely nukes their health bar. Note that the Agheel's Flame is effectively the same spell but with fire damage, but since most enemies in Elden Ring resist fire more than magic, Smarag's Glintstone Breath is ultimately the better choice.

Like Ekzykes's Decay, you can get Smarag's Glintstone Breath by purchasing it at the dragon altar in the Cathedral of Dragon Communion in southwestern Caelid. You'll need two Dragon Hearts to buy the spell, and you'll also need to kill Smarag in Liurnia of the Lakes.

Smite all of Elden Ring with your magic might

Now that you have the knowledge needed to locate Elden Ring's most powerful spells, you should have no problem putting together an incredible mage build. The sheer variety of spells on offer and the rewarding satisfaction you'll experience when using them is one of the many reasons Elden Ring is one of the best Xbox games and best PC games on the market.

Elden Ring is one of the best games of all time, and I strongly recommend picking it up and beginning a playthrough now if you haven't done one already. That way, you'll have plenty of time to experience all of what 2022's Game of the Year has to offer before the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC launches on June 21. Notably, the expansion is available to preorder on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Windows PC now, and there's even a Collector's Edition with several awesome collectibles included.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $36.79 at CDKeys (Steam)

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $36.79 at CDKeys (Steam)

Elden Ring's upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree DLC will take players to the dark and mysterious realm of the Land of Shadow, tasking them to follow in Miquella's footsteps and discover what he's doing there. Get ready for a new map, new bosses, new dungeons, and more.

Also at: Steam ($39.99, PC, Digital) | Xbox ($39.99, Digital)

Collector's Edition: Bandai Namco Store (€249.99)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

With contributions from