Defenders of the Faith–Part 1: Harnessing the Power of the Sun

My first Dark Souls character was a magic-based one. The second was primarily a melee character, with some Pyromancy spells thrown in. For my third Dark Souls character, I decided to go with the Cleric class and make a pure Faith build, which meant I had my toughest playthrough ahead of me. That’s because from a spellcasting (or Miracle) standpoint, Faith magic is mostly defensive and supportive in nature. Healing spells, buffs, shield spells and utility spells make up most of the list. In fact, the only real offensive miracles for Faith builds come from joining particular covenants. Because I wanted to focus on my Faith stat and use spells as much as possible, I knew I had to join covenants.

As soon as I was able, I joined the Warriors of Sunlight covenant, for a couple of reasons. First off, Warriors of Sunlight are focused on helping other players through co-op, and the rewards of that covenant come from helping others successfully defeat bosses. I like that, as I prefer co-op as opposed to PvP in Dark Souls. Secondly, joining the Warriors of Sunlight gives you access to two offensive Miracles fairly early in the game: Lightning Spear and Great Lightning Spear. These are decent ranged attack spells and are very helpful early on.

In order to get Great Lightning Spear, you need to have successfully helped ten players in co-op. So, many of my early hours with this character were spent in co-op, which was really fun.

Two offensive spells wasn’t going to cut it, though, so I needed to get myself a decent weapon. Once again, Faith builds kind of get the short end of the stick, as there aren’t a lot of great weapons that scale well with the Faith stat. I settled on the claymore, as it has a good move set and is fun to wield. As soon as I could, I began upgrading my claymore through the Divine path. While faith weapons don’t scale as well as many other types in the game, it’s enough to give me a fighting chance in most boss encounters.

So, a good portion of my first 20+ hours with this character spent in co-op, and all of the souls I earned went to increasing my Faith stat and upgrading my claymore.

Next time around I’ll talk about how the Catacombs went from one of my least favorite areas in the game to one I love playing through with my Faith build.