Armors in Dark Souls Remastered complement different builds, and some do not. What might work for you and your Izalith Catalyst might not work for my Dragon Greatsword and me.
I will give you what I believe to be the best armors in the game for each “standard” build, and then you can decide which one you believe to be the best.
There are 4 different ways you can build your character in DS Remastered; Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Faith. We will go over the best armors for each category in this guide.
1. Best Strength Build Armors
A strength build is geared towards having heavy weapons that hit hard but slow and armor that limits quick movement but can take more hits. For obvious reasons, this build has also been referred to as a “tank” build.
The following armor sets are ones that I believe complement a strength build well:
You can find Havel’s Set in Anor Londo after successfully passing the most infamous enemies of the game, the Silver Knight Archers. Proceed to find the basement entrance behind an illusory wall on the main floor in a fireplace.
Each piece of Havel’s Set provides the best Poise of that particular armor piece type. Poise is a player’s ability to continue with their attack, even if they are hit in the middle of their swing. This aspect is crucial for any strength build since those large weapons take their sweet time to attack.
The obvious downside to Havel’s Set is its weight. To wear it all without “fat-rolling” requires forty Endurance, and even then, there are only certain weapons you can carry. You can always equip a few pieces of this armor before you level up your necessary stats.
You can find Smough’s Set after the boss fight with Ornstein and Smough by first defeating Ornstein and then defeating Mega-Smough in the second round. You can return to Firelink Shrine and purchase this armor from Domhnall of Zena under the bridge.
Technically the fully upgraded Giant Set is better in most regards, but Smough’s Set starts with beastly numbers in both physical and elemental defense. It also provides a decent amount of curse resistance. This set cannot be upgraded after purchase, so what you get is what you get.
Black Iron Set
The Black Iron set has very high physical damage defense and the best armor in the game against fire damage. It is also not quite as heavy as Havel’s Set or the Giant Set, making it ideal for use as a temporary buffer defense against tougher bosses and enemies.
After you pass through the rafters section of Anor Londo and turn the bridge back into place, use the staircase to go down to the main floor of the room you were just above and go all the way down the hall, killing Painting Guardians as you go.
After you reach the painting, follow the wall to the left, and you should see the Black Iron Set of Tarkus left in the corner just for you.
This set can be upgraded with Twinkling Titanite and truthfully should be experimented with by all types of builds.
2. Dexterity Build Armors
A dexterity build features light to medium-sized weapons that strike quickly but do smaller amounts of damage while also wearing armor of the same nature.
The following armor sets are ones that I believe complement a dexterity build well:
Elite Knight Set
There is a reason why this armor was chosen to be on the box art for Dark Souls Remastered since it is one of the best all-around armor in the entire game. A “jack of all trades” set defends you a decent amount in almost every category.
First seen being worn by Oscar of Astora in the Undead Asylum, this set can be found in Darkroot Garden, guarded by Stone Knights and Ents.
It is a tremendous early to mid-game set with a great weight-to-defense ratio, making quick movements possible without sacrificing protection.
The Ornstein’s set can be seen as a lite version of Smough’s Set in many regards: both are focused on physical and lightning damage while carrying a small amount of curse damage. This is the set for you if you want to look awesome without sacrificing your defenses.
You can find Ornstein’s Set by defeating Smough first and then killing Ornstein second in the fight against them. The set can then be purchased from Domhnall of Zena, under the bridge near Firelink Shrine.
Set of Favor
This set is here cause it is hella unique, and the way you get it makes it even more worthwhile. You have to take it from Lautrec.
Lautrec can be found first in the Undead Parish on your way to the first bell. Explore every nook of the building the bell is on, and you should find him locked up alone in a prison cell. Release him and let him wander back to Firelink Shrine.
Proceed with the game and after you have rung both bells, return to Firelink to discover that he has killed Anastacia, the keeper of the bonfire, and left a Black Eye Orb. Pick it up and take it to Anor Londo.
After defeating Ornstein and Smough, go to the bonfire outside Gwenevere’s room and crush the Black Eye Orb to enter Lautrec’s realm and defeat him. He will give you five Humanity and the Ring of Favor and Protection (just trust me, you want that). You can then find his armor on his corpse near the bonfire.
It is one of the best secret armor sets in the Souls series and one of its coolest moments.
Silver Knight Set
This set is comparable to the Elite Knight Set in terms of overall weight and protection, but it looks way better. I love cosplaying as these early game terrors, and the armor are fun to mix and match to see what balance you can strike.
You can find this set in a room in the Anor Londo Cathedral being guarded by a Silver Knight of the same name with a spear.
3. Intelligence Build Armors
An intelligence build is one rooted in magic and/ or pyromancy attacks while being limited to mostly light armor due to low endurance levels.
The following armor sets are ones that I believe complement an intelligence build well:
Gold-Hemmed Black Set
This set can be found on the corpse of one of the Witches of Izalith in the Demon Ruins, but beware, removing this set will cause the Ceaseless Discharge boss fight to begin, so be prepared.
This set offers great fire and poison defense and decent physical defense for its weight. It makes for an excellent find for all builds because it can be swapped in and out when faster movement is needed, such as for the Bed of Chaos boss arena.
The only set on my list that you can start the game with. The Pyromancy Set offers high fire and poison defense for the early game and decent physical defense that can be upgraded as you go into the mid-game and beyond.
It is well worth choosing the pyromancer class to start a new build, regardless of your plans, just to have this great set from the start.
I mostly have this set on the list because it is terrifying and awesome for its high poise per weight unit. This stat alone makes it worth using as a magic caster so that you can follow through with your spells without being interrupted by enemy hits.
The major downside is that you must join the Darkwraith Covenant and reach level two status before you can have it.
4. Faith Build Armors
A faith build is quite similar to an intelligence build because they both require high Attunement and can be very limiting in what kinds of melee weapons and armor you can have equipped.
The following armor sets are ones that I believe complement a faith build well:
This set is perfect for those wanting a good defense against other invading players who are magic users. It offers high defenses for most elemental types and a decent amount of physical defense for its weight but has zero poise. You are one dead hollow if you get stun-locked while wearing the full set.
You can get this set by traveling down from Firelink Shrine through the Valley of Drakes and into the entrance of Blightown. There will be a branch sticking out near the water wheel that you must carefully walk out onto to retrieve this armor.
This is the weirdest set in Dark Souls Remastered. This set is nearly identical to the Crimson Set but trades the Crimson Set’s low lightning resistance with low fire resistance instead.
To get this set, enter the Painted World of Ariamis and go into human form. Now make your way around until you are invaded by the NPC called Xanthous King, Jeremiah, and defeat him, then proceed to the end of the area and look to the left on the bridge before jumping back to reality; there, you will find this incredibly odd-looking set.
These are all the best armors with their respective builds in Dark Souls Remastered. Of course, you can always go the fashion route and ignore our recommendations and put on anything that tingles your fancy. There is a reason fashion-souls exist.