[best dark souls game]Dark Souls 2： The 5 Best Armor Sets In The Game (& 5 Worst)
Overcoming FromSoftware’s Dark Souls 2 requires the right equipment. Here are the game’s best and worst armor sets.
By Hodey Johns
Published Jun 10, 2021
During The Phantom of the Opera, co-owner Firmin experiences a series of disasters and bad decisions that result in his leading lady temporarily quitting, his chorus girls all terrified, a madman?blackmailing?his cast, and the murderous history of the theatre echoing up again. Because of these issues, the public becomes curious and sells out his next show. Firmin remarks to himself, “Have a scandal and you’re sure to have a hit!”
Dark Souls 2?was the absolute king of scandals as far as this franchise goes. Like a stick of licorice, players either loved or hated it.
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The armor became a focal point of this love and hate. The sets were better off taken apart and used individually, which made all of the min-max players look like they got dressed after a romp through the dumpster of a Spirit store after Halloween. Other gamers sacrificed?the best stats for using a whole armor set to look cohesive. This article compiles the results of?the discovery?process in the field of which sets worked and did not work, both visually and functionally.
Updated on?June 9th, 2021 by Hodey Johns: Fans of this franchise are still glossing over this list years later and the feedback has been largely positive. Experts have affirmed the gear on this list and newcomers have expressed their gratitude. The one caveat is that many weren’t sure how to acquire the best sets, so, in an effort to better guide these players, a subsection has been added in each of the best set headings to guide players in acquiring the armor.
No, the set does not have any pants. Or shoes. Or gloves. There are only two pieces to this “set.” Maybe set isn’t an appropriate term. Accessories, perhaps? Putting terminology aside, it’s understandable that the player might not want to engage in a conversation with one of the game’s memorable NPCs with their undergarments exposed.
So why is this on the best list? Well, aside from the pieces looking great with those dueling dragons, they are actually quite transferrable. The stats are fantastic, so players can use their favorite equipment in other slots and still look phenomenal in the torso and head.
Fully upgraded at +10, together, this chest armor and helmet have notably high damage reduction against physical threats (400+ points of defense for each), including all three types: slash, thurst, and strike. Just be sure not to use this against elemental foes as its magic, fire, lighting, and dark damage reductions are rather poor. Other notable traits are that these armor pieces grant decent poise (50) and high bleed resistance (100), despite only being 2 pieces.
Players will first have to defeat none other than Sir Alonne himself. After besting him, Magerold of Lanafir in Iron Keep sells the complete set for 74,000 souls. Some players have managed to get a piece to drop from Sir Alonne himself as a phantom, but this is widely considered a glitch.
”I love the way it looks when my character fights these ridiculously powerful bosses, I just wish I had a piece of gear that makes my elbows look fluffy and massive,” said no?Dark Souls 2?player ever. Yet some designers saw fit to grant that unwished wish.
On top of the ridiculous-looking joints, the statistics on this gear are unforgivable. The elemental?defense is poor and, for being medium armor, the physical?defense is on par with some of the lighter armors in the game.
Out of all the damage reduction stats, the only one that breaks 300 at the max upgrade level (barely) is its strike defense, meaning that the Brigand Set won’t ever be great at protecting the player from the majority of threats in the game. It has decent status resistances against poison (116) and bleed (118), though that is all these pieces of leather and fur have going for them. However, other sets outclass them in this regard as well.
This heavy-looking armor set is surprisingly mobile.?The Aurous Set is?well-rounded on defense and when paired with a couple of of the game’s best rings, it’s a tempting choice for all players that come across it. Plus, the spikes add height!
This is a controversial selection for one reason only; this armor set has a transparent alternative that some players love to walk around in. But isn’t there a warning story about a prideful man and invisible clothing? The furry underwear in this game is not nearly flattering enough to justify the resulting embarrassment.
When fully upgraded, the Aurous set (opaque version) is a decent choice for those seeking heavier armor that won’t weigh them down too much (just under 23 weight). All damage reductions for physical damage types are a bit over 400 for sufficient protection, though, like with most heavy armors, it lacks elemental defenses, but at least not enough to make this a crippling weakness. 115 status resistance against poison and 148 against bleed are further boons of this set in addition to the 40 poise that is granted.
The first and most common way to get the armor is the get it to drop off of Rhoy the Explorer in Grave of Saints. However, there is a secret way to acquire the armor. Spent 15,000 in souls from Maughlin the Armorer in Majula, then come back completely broke. He’ll gift the player the armor to his best customer.
”Trashion” is a relatively recent fashion crave where the wearer buys new clothing that already has rips, stains, and missing threads at the time of purchase. It’s a legitimate art in the world of modeling and it’s only growing in popularity.
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The problem here is that this armor set does not commit to the look. The top and the bottom look shredded enough, but the pristine gold bracelets add an element of class to a look that is?lacking in classiness entirely. Imagine using one of the beautifully crafted and equally effective weapons from this game looking like this!
With no physical damage reduction stat going over 200, even at +10, this mage armor is as lackluster as other light armor sets for defending against melee threats. Though, what cannot be excused is its poor damage reductions against all elemental types as well, which, on average, are even less than its physical damage reductions. The only thing that seems halfway-decent about the Lion Mage set is its 204 curse resistance, however,?if curse resistance is needed players should just equip the Cursebite ring instead, which grants close to double the build-up defense (400) against this ailment.
This is perhaps the most iconic armor in Dark Souls 2 and rightfully so. The imagery is that of a white knight, shot by arrows, and pressing on despite the pain. If that’s not a metaphor for the gameplay of this franchise, then nothing is.
Armor this cool, but it can be uncovered. And when it is located, the player will notice a huge boost in defensive capabilities immediately. Two different helmets have the “Heide” label, so be ready to customize!
The Heide Knight set with the canonical white greathelm (as opposed to the Heide Knight Iron Mask, which clashes immensely with the set’s aesthetic) offers some of the best defensive stats (when fully upgraded) in the whole game and is rightfully sought after by many players. Its physical damage reductions all surpass 500, with exceptionally high defense against slash (606). The low magic, fire, and lightning damage reductions can be forgiven since it has a decent 171 defense?against dark damage. This set also has nice status ailment resistances as well with 185 poison defense, 139 bleed defense, and 149 curse defense. The 49 points of poise are also an excellent trait that secures the Heide Knight set as one of the top-tier armors in the game.
Unsurprisingly, the pieces of this gear are dropped from the knights of the same name. There are three locations where the knights appear, the Forest of Fallen Giants, the Lost Bastille, and the Shrine of Winter. To farm the complete set, use the Bonfire Ascetic to potentially reset the spawns.
The Faraam Set is insanely heavy for how it looks. And while it has the physical defense to justify that problem, the elemental defense is?total trash. When moving in a suit of armor this slow, the elements are pretty much guaranteed to land.?A?fair amount of gamers would like to ask the folks at?FromSoftware what they were thinking with statistics like these.
Everything above the waist has no style complaints, but below the buckle, nothing makes sense. Are those blue jeans? Are those smushed-up cowboy boots? And why no teal and silvery-white when the rest of the outfit is silvery-white?
On average, this set has great damage reductions for all physical types (in the 500s and 600s), though, the sub-150 reductions for all elemental damage types make anyone wearing this set a big target for anything that won’t try to stab, slash, or smash the player (pretty much anything that isn’t a humanoid knight or warrior). At 30 weight, the Bearer of the Curse won’t even be able to evade properly, making this set more of a hindrance than it seems on the surface.
Sometimes players have a build that demands the biggest, heaviest armor in the game. When they finally acquire it, they hold their breath in anticipation. With a whole character build revolving around this armor, will it be any good?
Luckily, there is fantastic news to the tanks out there, Havel’s Set is statistically just fine and its look really reflects the style of play. With extra chains dangling from all over the place and a sleek?polish, no gamer will be disappointed with this walking cannonball. The character will be looking as good as the beautiful landscapes they come across.
With absolutely monstrous stats at the final upgrade level, Havel’s set makes one all but impervious to physical damage as its damage reductions in these areas surpass most others in the game by a huge margin. The strike defense is 880, which is ridiculously high but still pales in comparison to the slash and thrust defense which are over 1000! Even the elemental defenses aren’t that bad, despite not being great as all are between 120 and 150.?The petrify and curse?resistances are also middling at 100 each, with low poison defense at 39, though has insane bleed resistance coming in at 239. To top it all off, the set grants a colossal 132 poise, letting players be unphased by all but the heaviest attacks by the biggest bosses. Be prepared to do some soul-farming to even wear this set, however, as it weighs a ton at 50 units.
The Forgotten Key in the Black Gultch opens several doors that are critical to the mission, but one of the most important doors is in the Gutter. Make way through a room of vases toward a clay door. The armor is inside.
The Dukes of Hazzard was an American comedy and action television series that?delighted audiences?from 1979 until 1985. One?personality?from the show was the infamous Daisy Duke, who sported some short jeans that were additionally trimmed until they were a little too short for grandma’s comfort.
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Enter Dark Souls 2?in 2014 with the Gyrm Set, a suit of heavy armor, a solid Viking-style helmet, and…Daisy Duke’s signature cutoff jean shorts. Combine this with the choice to also give the set some biker gloves and the result is the most confusing?combination of armor in the entire game.
The physical damage reductions of the Gyrm Set are satisfyingly high when fully upgraded with each stat being in the high 500s or low 600s, though the below-100 elemental damage reductions mean that this is another set of heavy armor that won’t be able to tank spells from even the weakest mages. With no resistance to petrification or curse, the only saving graces of this set are its okay bleed resistance (134), good poison resistance (176), and its great poise (67). However, if poise is what one is after, just use the Havel set (or a piece of it) instead.
When slogging through some of the ugly areas that the Dark Souls series has to offer, it helps to have a roguish look; someone who isn’t afraid to get dirty and slimy. It’s even better when these smudges and smears can enhance the effect of grime.
The Vengarl’s Set looks like a fantasy hunter’s dream come true. The character looks stylish wearing a bear pelt, complete with the animal’s head over the face. The layer of chainmail under this makes the armor stand out even more. The cherry on top is a physical defense that is better than most heavy armors in the game.
Great damage reduction numbers for physical types (all between the high 600s and high 700s) make this a viable set for melee enthusiasts of all kinds. Just be careful when approaching threats that deal magic, lighting, and dark damage as Vengarl’s set is rather weak against these elements. The same goes for status ailments, as it has no petrify or curse resistance at all and relatively low resistances against poison (84) and bleed (112). It is also quite heavy at just over 35 weight, though, this is worth the cost, as the full set grants a massive 80 poise.
Famously, Vengarl has been split into two pieces. Naturally, getting this set means visiting both places as well. Talk to Vengarl’s Head in the Shaded Woods until it has no dialogue options left, it will then yield the helm. The rest are dropped off of Vengarl’s Body, located?by the bonfire in The Dear Duke’s Freja.
Any fan of the game knew it was only a matter of time before this entry came up. And here it is, the infamous Smelter Demon Set. The statistics are horrible for a clunky piece of armor and the exposed midriff is a?baffling choice. But forgive all of that and it is still the worst armor in the game.
The helmet is a pair of horns with a puckered orifice in the center for the face. There’s no getting around this not-so-thinly-veiled?similarity to a posterior portion of the human anatomy.?This armor will be the…*ahem*…butt of jokes for years to come.
This set was clearly never meant to fit the human body, nor be seen by human eyes. Instead of looking good, it just looks unbalanced, and its stats undeniably echo this. For its immense weight of just over 47, its defensive stats pale in comparison to that of Havel’s set in all regards, making it just as cumbersome yet not nearly as useful. The physical reductions are all in the 800s and 900s, with the exception of the slash defense which breaches 1000. The elemental stats are lower than Havel’s set as well besides the fire damage reduction, which achieves a huge 242 and is the only real boon of this set. The status ailment resistances are all average, ranging between 100 and 200, though, for some reason, have pretty low poison resistance (69). Even the poise isn’t worth the weight as 112; much lower than Havel’s set.
NEXT:?The Best Starting Classes In Every Dark Souls Game
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Dark Souls 2
About The Author
(221 Articles Published)
Hodey Johns is a writer for Game Rant based out of the Rocky Mountains in North Ogden, Utah. He’s had a passion for video games and literature since he was a child growing up along the beach in San Diego, California. As a graduate of Theology from Liberty University, he puts his experience with religion, philosophy, and debate into his work. His other interests include sports, bike riding, and good old-fashioned barbecue.
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