The Herald is a Jack of All Trades amongst the wildly specific min/max classes Dark Souls 3 offers.
As one of the ten starting classes, the Herald forgoes the typical focus on pure combat to offer players a healthy balance of melee prowess and a dip into Faith to give players access to healing.
This makes it an accessible option for SoulsBorne beginners. The access to early healing allows for more mistakes, making the initial portions of Dark Souls 3 much more forgiving.
Both veterans and noobs alike can use the class’s unique properties, though, which is why we’re bringing you the ultimate beginner’s Guide to the Herald in Dark Souls 3.
Effective Herald Combat
The Herald is far more forgiving than almost every other starting class in the game. This is thanks in no small part to your starting equipment, which dictates your play style by extension.
The Herald starts with a Spear and Kite Shield in his on/off hands. Both of these choices are clear indicators of how FromSoft wants you to play the Herald. It’s designed to keep you from as much danger as possible without becoming a ranged class.
The Spear is a melee weapon with the range needed to make one-on-one combat more forgiving. Combined with the Kite Shield, taking Damage with this class becomes an unlikely affair compared to the Knight.
On top of your Shield and Spear, the Herald starts with Heal Aid. So when you take the occasional bit of Damage, you’ll be able to heal it without much trouble. Thanks to starting with the Talismen, you won’t be interrupted by enemy attacks while healing up.
With all that being said, your playstyle with the Herald should be obvious – take advantage of your increased survivability while also dealing Damage with long-reach weapons.
As you develop your Herald into the late game, you can specialize that general playstyle a bit more, focusing more on Faith for access to more healing or opting to go for a tank/damage-dealing hybrid.
Regardless of which route you want to take, your general combat strategy should remain the same – keep your distance when you have to, use your shield and healing to soak up Damage, and generally be a sticky player that is difficult to get rid of.
Of course, that’s not to say you should be trying to take Damage. Make full use of your dodge and roll when needed. You have more options for surviving compared to some of the squishier builds out there.
If you want to get the most out of your Herald Build, there are a few things you have to do. This is more or less the same regardless of what type of Herald you want to run:
- Decide Whether or not you want to keep using a Spear. This will determine what weapons you chase later on in the game.
- Then replace your Spear. The starting Spear scales poorly and deals low Damage. Either switch to a Claymore or a Lothric Spear during the early game.
- Decide what weapon build you want – Strength, Dexterity, or Quality.
- Get your hands on Force or Caressing Tears to add some versatility to your spells.
- Healing Aid only heals ⅓ of your starting HP. Get a more potent heal as soon as possible.
- The Herald can immediately use the Astora Straight Sword, so consider getting that from the High Wall of Lothric as soon as possible.
Given the “Jack of All Trades” nature of the Herald, there aren’t as many specific essential steps as there are with other, more specialized classes.
Instead, the focus is on general improvements that will let you scale your Damage and utility into the late game. Specifically around swapping out your weapons because of the Spear’s low Damage.
The Lightning Paladin build isn’t a Herald-exclusive build by any means. However, it does allow you to take advantage of the Herald’s starting Faith bonuses to transition into a buff-centric damage dealer.
With this build, you’re sacrificing survivability to deal more raw Damage. If that isn’t the playstyle you’re going for, then the Lightning Paladin might not be for you.
- DEX – 35. We’re focusing on DEX-scaling weapons for this build, so high Dexterity is a must for Damage.
- FTH – 35. A lot of this build’s Damage can be attributed to Faith-scaling buffs. So high FTH is necessary.
With a soft cap of 40, we don’t want to waste levels pushing either Faith or Dexterity above it. This build utilizes two rings that give us a +5 to DEX and +5 to FTH, so we level it naturally to 35 rather than going up to 40.
For the rest of your points, you should consider putting them into Vigor to give you more health to work with. Given that we’re sacrificing the natural survivability of the Herald for this build, having a large health pool can help make up for that loss.
It also doesn’t hurt to spec into Endurance for some bonus stamina. Ideally, it would be best to split your investment between Vigor and Endurance up to 30, but your choice is ultimately your call.
Equipment and Armor
- Chloranthy Ring.
- Hunter’s Ring.
- Priestess Ring.
As mentioned above, two of our three rings give us ten more points to work with when leveling.
Specifically, Hunter’s Ring and the Priestess Ring. These rings grant us stat buffs, +5 to Dex and +5 to Faith, respectively.
The Cholranthy Ring, however, is not a part of the stat-buffing ring family. Instead, we’re running this ring to increase our stamina recovery.
The Cholranthy ring synergizes incredibly well with our shield of choice – the Grass Crest Shield. The Grass Crest Shield also adds to our stamina recovery and is a good upgrade for the starting Kite Shield.
As with every Dark Souls build, your armor doesn’t matter whatsoever. Go with whatever armor you think looks cool, so long as you keep your load below 70%, so it doesn’t impact your movement.
We’re running the Sunlight Straight Sword and the Sharp Chartus Sword for our weapons. Both of these are powerful DEX-scaling weapons that will carry you right through the end game. You can swap them out for other Dexterity weapons if you want to, but it isn’t recommended, especially as the Sunlight Straight Sword comes with a built-in L2 Buff.
Lastly, our last left-handed weapon is the Saint’s Talismen for casting our Faith-related buffs.
Miracles and Spells
- Deep Protection.
- Lightning Blade.
We’re keeping our Attunement low on this build, meaning we only have two slots to play around with. You could push it up to three if you’re building for SL120; otherwise, these two buffs are more than enough.
Our primary weapon for attacking is going to be the Sharp Chartus Sword.
It does more damage than the Sunlight Straight Sword, which we only run for the damage absorption buff. That buff stacks with Deep Protection, giving us a lot of survivability, while Lightning Blade offers us all the Damage we need.
As a buff-centric build, you want to keep all those extra effects active at all times. Don’t risk going into a fight without them.
Herald PvP Build
While the Lightning Paladin can be used for PvE and PvP, this Herald Great Sword build is entirely PvP focused.
For those of you out there not interested in player versus player, this isn’t the build for you. You can try to run it in PvE, but you won’t see the same results as with another, more focused build.
- STR – 40+. Our primary weapon will scale with Strength, so we want to pump as many points into STR as possible.
- DEX – 18. This is the minimum we need to use the Heavy-infused Greatsword. Don’t go above 18.
Strength is our main focus on stats, so feel free to increase it past the 40 soft caps.
Aside from that, a 30/30 split into Vigor and Endurance is recommended, as is a little bit of investment in vitality to round out our stat distribution.
Equipment and Armor
- Life Ring.
- Ring of Favor.
- Chloranthy Ring.
Our ring choices are far from fancy. Instead, the focus is on increasing our overall health and stamina to allow us to last in some of those more complex, lengthy PvP fights.
The Life Ring is going to increase our maximum HP. The more health you have, the more hits you can take, so staking up HP is essential.
The Ring of Favor will increase both our HP and Stamina and give us a slight boost to our Equip Load.
Lastly, we’ve already talked about the Chloranthy Ring and the buff it gives to stamina recovery.
As usual, your armor choice doesn’t matter too much. Although min/maxing is far more critical in PvP than PvE, it might be worth considering what you want to use.
Our weapon of choice for this build is the Heavy Harald Curved Greatsword. Our entire build is focused on this weapon, so this is non-negotiable.
Combined with a Charcoal Pine Resin, This thing can three-shot many popular PvP builds.
While it might take some time to get used to the Greatsword’s move set and Weapon Art, mastering it will turn you into a PvP powerhouse.
Best Herald Miracles – 300
That’s more or less all there is to dive into for the Herald. It’s a class that offers newer players a range of early-game benefits while not forcing them into one specific style of play.
We will run through some of the best general Miracles and weapons for the class so that you have the tools needed to build your own Herald different from the two builds we’ve provided.
Deep Protection is a versatile Miracle with various survivability buffs to help players stay alive longer regardless of your build.
Deep Protection offers the following benefits:
- Gives Players 5 Absorption.
- Increases your Resistances by 20.
- Increases Stamina Regen by 3 per second.
- Increases Damage on all weapons by 5%.
The increased weapon damage is a nice bonus, so we run it on our Lightning Paladin build. Overall, though, you want to be using it for its plethora of defensive benefits.
Lightning Blade is a 60-second buff that gives lightning Damage equal to Spellbuff*0.95. The Lightning Clutch Ring increases the buff’s damage by 15%, making that an excellent alternative to run with the Lightning Paladin build.
Lightning Blade is such a good option for the Herald because of the class’s initial lack of Damage. While offering a lot of survivability, the Spear struggles to put up numbers as you progress later into the game.
Switching from the Spear while running Miracles that buff damage can help with any late-game scaling issues you encounter.
Force might be a starting Miracle for the Cleric, but don’t let that fool you. This potent survival tool can save your life if you use it correctly.
Rather than providing you with a buff or dealing Damage, Force is a utility, Miracle. It knocks away enemies close to you and staggers those at longer ranges.
While it’s not powerful enough to base your build around, it makes for an excellent third-slot option if you can’t decide.
Caressing Tears is a utility Miracle that should be considered in any Faith building regardless of class.
Its effect is simple; it cures the player of Bleed, Poison, Toxic, and Frostbite. It’s a cure-all that comes in handy regardless of where or what you’re fighting.
The reason we haven’t included it in our builds is that very reason – it’s too general. Like Force, it’s a great option if you want a third Miracle slot, but otherwise, better options deliver more powerful effects.
Regardless, it’s a miracle that should be in your mind any time you build for Faith, whether with a Herald, Cleric, or otherwise.
Best Herald Weapons
The Herald doesn’t favor Dexterity or Strength. This makes it easy to spec into either stat without worrying about losing out on min/max potential.
Astoria Straight Sword
The Herald allows players to use the Astora Straight Sword immediately without increasing its stats. This makes it a great early-game weapon capable of outputting Damage in both PvP and PvE.
While you will be swapping it out later on for some harder-hitting weapons, it can carry through some of Dark Souls 3’s more difficult early encounters.
Sunlight Straight Sword
You’re not going to be hitting anything with the Sunlight Straight Sword. Instead, it’s a great additional buff to stack onto your primary weapon of choice. That’s why we included it in our Lightning Paladin build. We use this weapon more like a Miracle than a sword.
Harald Curved Greatsword
The Harald Curved Greatsword is a phenomenal weapon for every class, not just the Herald. Its unique move set and Weapon Art make it a PvP powerhouse if you can adjust to it.
It’s also the only STR-scaling weapon that we’re using in either of our builds. That’s because while it outputs a lot of damage, it is a slow weapon.
Slower weapons are far less accessible than faster Dexterity alternatives, making them less beginner-friendly.
If you’re feeling brave or already have the hang of DS3, it makes for an excellent powerhouse weapon that offers a different playstyle to popular DEX builds.