Hollow Knight is full of customization options with the best charms for fighting bosses heavily dependent on your play style. However, plenty of great charms will make fighting bosses that much easier, so you won’t get caught up as you explore the vast artistic landscape.
You could always grab the Speed Runner build that consists of Grubsong, Unbreakable Heart, Mark of Pride, Long Nail, and Quick Slash to quickly and efficiently make your way through the game.
With 45 total charms and the possibility of holding 40 charms at once, the sheer number can be overwhelming. There are many ways to excel in Hollow Knight, though, and we’ve got the XX best charms in Hollow Knight for slaying bosses to help you mix and match options to suit how you want to play.
The Strength of Speed Runner
Often the most common build for those who want to beat the game as fast as possible, there are many reasons why this collection of charms synergizes well together. As many of these charms will be useful in other builds, it is an excellent place to start.
Grubsong – Beginning with utility, this charm allows you to gain Soul when you take damage. The Soul is a valuable resource, and in this build, it is often used for regaining health in between boss fights. In conjunction with the next charm, it will undoubtedly help your survivability over long periods.
Unbreakable Heart – This charm is a mainstay in many different builds due to its overall usefulness. Here you have a charm that increases the health of the wearer, making you significantly more durable. This version of the charm is also unbreakable for a bonus.
Mark of Pride – Our first combat charm also offers plenty of utility due to its consistently beneficial effect. With this charm, the range of the user’s nail will increase significantly. This will make hitting the boss easier while also allowing you to maintain a safe distance.
Long Nail – Much like Mark of Pride, this charm also increases the user’s nail length. When combined, you will notice the difference as this is often the preferred style for players who primarily use their nails for combat.
Quick Slash – The last piece of the speedrunner build is perhaps the most useful as it will significantly increase your nail attacks’ speed. Faster attacks allow you to put out more damage in less time, which makes this charm amazing for nail fighters.
Despite the questionable name, this build is a ton of fun and introduces a few more effective charms along with a unique play style. This build is excellent for bosses because it gives you a wide area of sustained damage, making it great for many bosses that don’t move around much.
This build focuses on the combination of Flukenest and Defender’s Crest while relying on Unbreakable Heart and Soul Eater for support. Since you are already familiar with Unbreakable Heart, we will touch on the other support before focusing on the damage combo.
Soul Eater – This charm has an effect that will significantly increase the amount of Soul gained when you strike an enemy with your nail. This will allow you the easy access to Soul you will need to sustain your attack combo continuously.
Flukenest – With this charm, your Vengeful Spirit attack spell will be transformed into a large collection of dangerous baby flukes. This can then be flung at enemies to cause damage.
Defender’s Crest – Here, your character will continuously emit what the game has affectionately titled a heroic odor. The emitted odor will cause continuous damage to enemies within range.
When Flukenest and Defender’s Crest are combined, your volatile flukes will emit the odor as well. Upon explosion, your flukes and cloud can take up nearly a third of the screen, providing tremendous continuous damage.
This combination works well on slow-moving enemies and teleporters as they will often teleport right into your lingering cloud.
This build introduces plenty of new charms while keeping the ever-useful Mark of Pride. The other charms commonly included in this build are Spore Shroom, Grimmchild, Dreamshield, and Shape of Unn.
Players who use this building benefit from not fighting up close because it opens up a defensive playstyle. Mark of Pride will help you keep your Soul up with nail damage while the other charms go to work.
Grimmchild – The primary offensive damage from this build comes from this rugged charm. When equipped, your character will be followed by a stationary untargetable turret in the form of a Grimmchild. This will provide you with a considerable amount of sustained damage.
Spore Shroom – This charm will give you the ability to create a spore cloud whenever you are focusing Soul. The result is a continuous source of damage created whenever you start healing—an excellent ability for adding in a bit of extra damage while you are staying alive.
The shape of Unn – Another charm for added benefits while focusing Soul. Whenever this charm is activated, you will shrink in size, allowing you to dodge attacks and quickly recover health in between taking damage.
Dreamshield – One of the best defensive charms in the game. With Dreamshield, your character will be given a shield that consistently rotates around your character, sting both your defense and offense. Any enemy hit by the shield will take damage while the shield works to limit projectile damage effectively.
Thanks to its dynamic mix of offensive and defensive capabilities, you can easily progress through the game with this build. This build is best for bosses who shoot many projectiles or are small and usually difficult to hit.
This build focuses on boosting your healing abilities and defense so you can fight through long and challenging battles without much worry. Here we have a few new charms mixed with some we’ve already mentioned. The typical combo is Quick Focus, Deep Focus, Baldur Shell, Spore Shroom, and Defender’s Crest.
Quick Focus – A perfect charm that allows you to heal a hit point mask at a faster pace. You can use this to cut down on healing time so you don’t get caught with an attack while trying to heal from the previous one. It works exceptionally well when combined with the next charm.
Deep Focus – When equipped, this charm will allow you to heal two hit point masks instead of a single one at a time. If you use this charm by itself, it will increase the time required to focus on your healing. You can combine this with a sharp focus to heal two masks in slightly less time than it would typically take to recover one.
Baldur Shell – The use of this charm will increase your defensive abilities as you move throughout the game. Its effect causes you to take less damage whenever you are focusing Soul.
When you combine all of the charms of this build, you will find yourself to be extremely resilient while putting out decent damage just as you move around and heal. It is hard to go wrong with this build as the high survivability should help you tackle even the most challenging bosses in the game.
Other Great Charms for Beating Bosses
While these builds are entirely sufficient to get you through the game, there are many more options you should explore to make out the right set up for your play style. Try experimenting with these charms as well to slay any boss in your way.
Shaman Stone – The quintessential charm for any spell-casting build is a great option, especially if your character is primarily a spell-caster. Unlike many hack and slash style games, Hollow Knight’s spell-casting play style is excellent compared to the nail-based sword arts. Equipping Shaman Stone will give you a significant power boost to the spells you cast.
Spell Twister – While it isn’t quite as useful for a spell-caster as Shaman Stone, this charm is very useful for anyone using a caster playstyle as it will decrease the Soul cost for casting a spell. There aren’t many better choices for the price when it comes to spell-casters.
Nailmaster’s Glory – As one of the best single cost charms in the game, this charm is often taken along with any melee build. It will effectively reduce the charge time of any nail arts you learn from Nailmasters you meet during your playthrough. This is amazing for fighting effectively as most skills take significant time to charge.
Unbreakable Strength – The charm that takes melee builds to the next level because it gives a 50% bonus to your Nail damage even in its fragile state. You don’t even have to worry about the fragile form breaking in dream fights. It doesn’t increase your nail arts damage, however.
With these 19 charms in your arsenal, you should have no problem beating the most challenging bosses in the game in style after a bit of practice. There are many more charms to try, though, so try experimenting, and you will find many entertaining ways to play Hollow Knight.