The Dark Souls series is known for being quite the enigma, so finding the best starting class and burial gift in Dark Souls 2 is no minor task. With a difficult path ahead of you grabbing the good starting class and burial gift for your playstyle can make the journey that much easier.
New players will find a more straightforward introduction to the game by grabbing the Warrior class with the Healing Wares burial gift. In contrast, more experienced players will likely prefer to start as a Sorcerer carrying the Petrified Something.
There are multiple reasons for either choice, along with valid reasons for choosing almost every action. We will break down all of the starting classes and burial gifts in Dark Souls 2 so you can easily select the best option for how you want to slay.
Before We Get Started
If you get anxious about making a choice that you can’t take it back, you don’t have to worry about Dark Souls 2. The game is made so that your starting class mainly decides your starting stats and a few pieces of equipment that can all be found in the game. Every starting gift is available at some location throughout your journey, and many gifts will be seen many times.
Still, there is a benefit to choosing a starting class and burial gift to match your play style, as they can help make your progression a lot smoother. However, like many things in Dark Souls 2, you will find the descriptions lacking, so we will make sure that you are headed in the right direction.
After the opening cutscene and a bit of wandering, you will eventually find your way to a shack full of older women who will bring you towards your class selection. You can choose one of the eight starting classes that include the Warrior, Knight, Swordsman, Bandit, Cleric, Sorcerer, Explorer, and Deprived. You can also choose your gender, but that doesn’t affect your class.
Each class starts with a different starting armor set weapon and assorted items except for the Deprived class, which begins at level 1, with no items and a 6 for every stat. The Deprived is perfect for a player who wants to build their character from the ground up, but much too complicated for most players, so this is one of the last times mentioned.
Beginners Best: The Warrior
While it is debatable which class is the best for the complete beginner, the Warrior has one advantage: no other class shares. What lies in the Warrior being the only class that starts with a shield will allow you to start learning the mechanics of blocking and parrying quicker than any other class. The Warrior also benefits from solid starting stats enabling you to wear many types of gear.
This combination will allow you to get used to the game quicker while investing your spare points into Vigor for more health. Hack and slash gameplay is a critical component in Dark Souls 2, so while spellcasting and long-ranged bow builds are possible, figuring out how to effectively melee should be the first task for any beginner.
Despite starting with a shield and solid stats, the most considerable downside of the Warrior is its starting weapon, a Broken Straight Sword. Since you find plenty of other options quickly, this isn’t too big of a deal.
Why Veterans Choose the Sorcerer
Even though every class can eventually reach similar stats and equip the same gear, your class does determine starting items. The Sorcerer isn’t chosen for its stats but because it starts with 30 charges of the spell Soul Arrow, opening up a long-ranged play style.
The main benefit of this comes in a few early encounters that will be much easier if you can fight the enemies from range. However, the main enemies might be needed for a solitary ogre and a boss you will meet later both drop items can be found later in the game.
Starting as a Sorcerer will help you fight these hard battles sooner, but neither is necessary. Veteran players might enjoy the challenge and won’t mind progressing into a melee playstyle whenever they are ready to if they wish.
Other Viable Choices
As discussed earlier, you can obtain any aspect of any class you choose at some point in the game except for the Deprived, as all the other classes start leveling far beyond it. Choosing the Knight is reliable for its gear and stats, but you don’t start with a shield like the Warrior despite a better weapon.
The Swordsman is great for attack-oriented players, though, and the low starting health can be hard to deal with. You might choose the Bandit if you like starting with a bow, but nothing else about this class stands out.
The Cleric is excellent because of the healing miracle you will have with this class, but it requires tinkering to get the stats to a comfortable place. Finally, the Explorer doesn’t offer many perks other than starting with a Pharros’ Lockstone, which can help you reach certain treasures in the game.
Choosing Your Burial Gift
Choosing your burial gift is a bit more important than choosing your class because even though you can find every item at some point in the game, there are certainly ones that are more useful than others. We will start with the least valuable burial gifts before moving into the decent options and finally finishing with our favorite choice.
The three worst options for your burial gifts are Nothing, Human Effigy, and Homeward Bone. Nothing is self-explanatory as there is no penalty for choosing a burial gift. Grabbing nothing will make sense to the players trying to make the game as hard as possible.
Human Effigy isn’t very useful because you can find this item at many different locations throughout your journey. Its effect removes any penalties to your health due to the deaths you collected along the way. For PvP, it will also make you more likely to be invaded, while burning one at a bonfire will disable any direct multiplayer interactions like summoning and invading.
The Homeward Bone is another item you will find many times throughout your journey. It will warp you to your last lit bonfire saving you from risky situations. Useful without a doubt, but it won’t be long before you have many of these in your inventory.
The Beginners Options
These two items will be useful for anyone just beginning their Dark Souls journey. However, more experienced players will find more benefits with other gifts as these items are largely catered towards players who will need extra help as they learn the game’s mechanics.
The life ring is quite simplistic in its application and serves as a small buffer to damage until you find something better to replace it. It will increase your HP by 5%, noticeable but not very significant as you will find upgrades in time.
Healing Wares are the recommended choice for beginners because they will make the learning curve of Dark Souls 2 a bit more bearable. Choosing this gift will load you with numerous healing items that will heal you over time, helping you sustain yourself on your journey.
A special note is you will receive 10 Lifegems if you are Deprived, while every other class except the Explorer will receive 20 while the Explorer starts with 30.
The next couple of options add a bit of extra utility to your playstyle as they each offer a unique chance to the game. Neither of the gifts will make your game easier, but they do open up possibilities for the creative player to put to use.
The Seed of a Tree of Giants is perhaps a unique option for all the gifts available, focusing on PvP. Using a seed will make all mobs hostile towards PvP invaders. This adds a fun gameplay twist to PvP encounters as regular invaders won’t be bothered by monsters like you will be.
The Bonfire Ascetic adds another wrinkle to the PvE aspect of the game as it can be used to increase the power level of the monsters you face. You can use this to face more significant challenges while acquiring new weapons and secrets only available at the greater difficulty New Game Plus offers. It can also be burnt at a specific bonfire for armor that reduces falling damage and slows falling speed.
The Petrified Something?
The most puzzling choice can be useful, or sometimes it won’t be of much use at all, depending on your luck. Choosing this burial gift will allow you to trade it for a random high-tier item a short distance into one of the starting areas. Once you figure out how to use this item, most players choose it because of the possibilities that can often far stripe any other gifts benefits.