Madness Build is one of the most popular builds among Elden Ring players. It primarily scales with Arcane attributes and is perfect for PvP and PvE battles.
Madness is a status effect in Elden Ring that’s never been seen before in any Soulslike game. The Madness effect works like any other status effect in Elden Ring, i.e., it is triggered once its meter bar is filled.
What does madness do to you in Elden Ring? The Madness effect cuts the target’s 100+15% of the maximum HP. It also drains 30+10% of the target’s maximum FP. There’s also a 5-second animation where the target screams and appears to be losing his mind.
Certain enemies, such as Frenzied (yellow-eyed) enemies, Festering Fingerprint Vyke, Great-Jar Warrior, and Fia’s Champion, can inflict the madness effect on you.
However, with the Arcane Madness Build, you can inflict this astounding effect on your enemies, and the 5-second animation gives you ample time to cast more spells or close the gap and finish off the enemy. These benefits make Madness a good build in Elden Ring.
In this Elden Ring Madness Build guide, I will share some of the best Madness Builds you can build by acquiring the right weapons, seals, and talismans.
So, let’s jump into the guide!
Types of Madness Builds & How to Build Them
Players can create a build by combining various weapons, armor, seals, and talismans necessary to make a particular build. You also need to primarily upgrade the Stat that benefits the particular build that you’re targeting.
So, for Madness Build, you need to upgrade your Mind stat. This will increase your Focus and help you in two ways:
- Mitigates the damage of the Madness effect if your enemy inflicts it upon you during melee combat.
- Allows you to cast more spells (and quickly) if you want an incantation-focused Madness build.
Next, you need to upgrade your Arcane stat. This will let you equip and use most weapons needed for a Madness Build. So, Mind and Arcane are your primary stats for Madness Builds.
The secondary stats vary as per your playstyle. If your playstyle is melee combat, add points to Vigor, Endurance, and Strength.
However, suppose you have more of a Magic-focused playstyle (fights from a distance and throws spells and incantations at enemies instead of weapon combat). In that case, you must add points to Faith, Dexterity, and Intelligence.
In Elden Ring, you need certain items to create a Madness Build, such as Vyke’s War Spear, Frenzied Flame Seal, Fingerprint Stone Shield, and Bull Goat Armor.
You do not need them all, but you can combine them and create one of the Madness Builds discussed below.
Frenzy Spam Build
➡️ Weapons: Vyke’s War Spear
➡️ Seals: Frenzied Flame Seal
➡️ Stats: Vigor, Faith, Endurance, and Mind
➡️ Talismans: Radagon Icon Talisman, Shard of Alexander, Flock’s Canvas Talisman, and Erdtree’s Favor +2
This Elden Ring Madness Build is based on the combination of incantations and melee. You need high Faith and Vigor points for the Frenzy Spam Madness Build. This lets you cast more spells quickly and survive the enemy’s attacks until the Madness meter fills up.
Similarly, you must add more points to Mind and Endurance. Higher Mind points will amplify your spells’ impacts and save you from the Madness and Sleep effect if the enemy counters.
On the other hand, higher Endurance will strengthen your heavy attacks with your weapon.
➡️ Vyke’s War Spear
The first thing you need for this Frenzy Spam Madness Build is the War Spear dropped by Festering Fingerprint Vyke.
The Festering Fingerprint Vyke’s War Spear is the best weapon for a Madness Build in Elden Ring. You will find this enemy in the Liurnia of the Lakes region, south of the Church of Inhibition.
Once you’re in the region, find the enemy and kill him.
After killing Vyke, you will get his War Spear. This spear inflicts the Madness effect with each attack.
Players can cause a Frenzy Flame explosion by leaping into the air and thrusting the spear onto the ground. But be careful, as this moveset can also inflict Madness on the user along with the enemy.
➡️ Frenzied Flame Seal
Now, you need the Frenzied Flame Seal. This seal can be acquired during the Hyetta’s questline. It lets you perform Frenzied Flame Incantations, such as Frenzied Burst, Howl of Shabriri, The Flame of Frenzy, and Unendurable Frenzy.
The Frenzied Flame Seal has no inherent skill. Interestingly, this seal can cause slight Madness buildup and does not require any attributes to be used.
One downside to using this seal is that it only inflicts Madness buildup if you physically attack an enemy with it. (Nobody does that!)
So, this seal is mostly for casting Frenzied Flame incantations because of its passive boosts. To cast the incantations, you will need the Finger Seal, though.
Talismans are special items in the Elden Ring that give you special abilities and enhance the attack power of your build. You need Talisman Pouch to equip up to four Talismans. To know more about these, check out our guide on how to use Talisman Pouch in Elden Ring!
You can add these Talismans to your Frenzy Spam Madness Build.
- Radagon Icon Talisman – Helps you cast spells quickly.
- Shard of Alexander – Boosts attack power of skills.
- Flock’s Canvas Talisman – Boosts the potency of your incantations by 8.
- Erdtree’s Favor +2 – Boosts HP by 4%, stamina by 9.6%, and equip load by 8 points.
This is where your Frenzy Spam Madness Build is complete.
Tank Madness Build
Now, let’s look at the advanced version of the Frenzy Spam Madness Build – the Tank Madness Build.
➡️ Weapon: Vyke’s War Spear
➡️ Shield: Fingerprint Shield
➡️ Armor: Bull’s Goat Armor (or any armor with high damage negation)
➡️ Stats: Vigor, Endurance, Strength, and Dexterity
➡️ Talismans: Radagon Icon Talisman, Shard of Alexander, Flock’s Canvas Talisman, and Erdtree’s Favor +2
Tank Madness Build is just like it sounds – like a tank. It turns you into a war machine that doesn’t just inflict the Madness effect but performs powerful attacks.
Since we are focusing on Madness builds in this article, the weapon we will use for this build is the same – Vyke’s War Spear. Also, we will use the same Talismans too. However, if you want to try some other Talismans, do so.
➡️ Fingerprint Stone Shield
This cool-looking great stone shield is named after its intricate carved fingerprint design. Fingerprint Stone Shield is one of the heaviest of all the Greatshields and can be found in the tomb of an ancient God.
The Fingerprint Stone Shield comes with an inherent skill called Shield Bash. It lets you brace behind the shield in a guarding stance and ram your foes using your body weight.
An added advantage of using the Fingerprint Stone Shield is that it inflicts the Madness effect on your enemies when you block their attacks. Use it with the Vyke’s War Spear and cause the Madness effect with your attacks and defense.
Note: You require 48 strength to wield it, and it also weighs a whopping 29. So, you need high strength and equip load to use this Greatshield.
On a side note, if you are going to fight Malenia, the Blade of Miquella, then the Fingerprint Stone Shield can help you a LOT!
Trust me, you need a LOT of powerful items if you need to defeat one of the toughest bosses in Elden Ring.
➡️ Bull-Goat Armor Set
The Bull-Goat armor set is one of the most powerful armor sets in the game. It has an average damage negation of 35 – that’s OP!
You can find this armor set in the northern part of the Liurnia of the Lakes region, to the west of the Magma Wyrm site of grace. It is dropped by Great Horned Tregoth.
For the Tank Madness Build, add more points to Vigor and Endurance to get health bonuses with higher stamina. Also, add some points to Dexterity and Strength to boost attacking powers and wield powerful weapons such as the Fingerprint Stone Shield.
Frenzied Acolyte Build (Pure-Incantation Build)
➡️ Weapon: Any melee weapon that can be upgraded with Ash of War.
➡️ Seals: Dragon Communion Seal and any of these Seals: Frenzied Flame Seal, Gravel Stone Seal, or Godslayer’s Seal. Of course, this is an incantation-based build!
➡️ Shield: Not required
➡️ Armor: Combine various armor items with high Focus points.
➡️ Stats: Arcane, Faith, Vigor, and Mind
➡️ Talismans: Faithful’s Canvas Talisman, Godfrey Icon, Ritual Sword Talisman, and Fire Scorpion Charm.
Frenzied Acolyte Madness Build is perfect for players who want the power of the Madness effect and incantations in the same build. This is a level 100 build, so you must level up a lot before making this Madness Build.
Since this is a pure incantation-focused build, most of the items used in this Madness Build scale with Arcane, and are chosen based on their Focus points.
Also, remember that we will use a lot of Seals with this build. These Seals are mostly to inflict damage with spells rather than Madness to the enemy.
Equip the Dragon Communion Seal in your right hand to cast spells.
Keep the other Seals – Frenzied Flame Seal, Gravel Stone Seal, or Godslayer’s Seal – in your left hand and shuffle between them to do a variety of attacks.
For example, you can cast Black Flame with Godslayer’s Seal on your left and then switch to Frenzied Flame Seal to cast Frenzied Burst or Flame of Frenzy Incantations.
Frenzied Burst is perfect for killing enemies at long range before they even react. With Godfrey’s Icon, the charged attack will even pierce through the enemy’ shields. Similarly, use Flame of Frenzy incantation on a group of enemies or slow enemies.
Buff with Flame, Grant Me Strength, and Golden Vow when necessary. To kill enemies in one shot, rely on the Golden Vow. Reserve Flame, Grant Me Strength for bosses.
Since Frenzied Acolyte Build is built around incantations, choosing a weapon doesn’t matter. However, I recommend you keep a melee weapon handy, one that scales with Arcane.
I suggest you choose Rivers of Blood – one of the best katanas in the Elden Ring. You can also add an Ash of War, such as Bloodhound Step, that helps you in combat.
➡️ Shield and Armor
You can use a complete armor set, such as the General Radahn or a Beast Champion set. But I recommend you combine various armor pieces with considerable Focus points.
Higher Focus mitigates the Madness Effect cast on you. Focus points scale with Mind. You can even add a Rift Shield or a Clarifying Horn Charm Talisman to your armor for more Focus points and slow madness build-up in Elden Ring.
For armor set, you can create a custom armor set with:
- For Chest: Commoner’s Garb (FP – 76)
- For Hands: Noble’s Gloves (FP – 25)
- For Legs: Noble’s Trousers (FP – 47)
- For Head: Silver Tear Mask (FP – 44)
This armor set will help you resist the Madness Effect cast on yourself during combat.
For Talismans, you can use a combination of these Talismans.
- Godfrey Icon: Adds more power to your charged spells and skills.
- Faithful’s Canvas: Helps you perform more potent incantations.
- Ritual Sword: Raises attack power when HP is at maximum.
- Fire Scorpion Charm: Throw firebolts at your enemies.
To get this Godfrey’s Icon, go to the Grand Lift of Dectus location in the northern part of the Liurnia of the Lakes region.
Defeat the Evergaol boss, Godefroy the Grafted, and you will be rewarded with Godfrey’s Icon talisman.
You can swap the Fire Scorpion Charm with the Lightning Scorpion Charm for boss fights. With this incantation-focused build, you can throw powerful lighting bolts against bosses who are weak to Lightning and resistant to Fire.
The Godfrey’s Icon talisman adds more power to your charged spell attacks. Most of the incantations you perform with the Seals in this madness build can be charged with Godfrey’s Icon – Frenzied Flame, Frenzied Burst, Black Flame, Lightning Spear, and more.
Equip Ritual Sword and Faithful’s Canvas talismans to increase your attack power.
When it comes to attributes, you need high Vigor points. Since you have very light armor in this Madness Build, you need to ensure that you don’t die in just one hit from the enemy. I recommend 40+ Vigor.
Higher Mind points will increase Focus (and mitigate the Madness effect on you) and give you more FP to cast more spells before depleting your Focus pool. Add more points in Faith and Arcane as well.
Higher Faith points allow you to use spells more effectively, and you need 27+ Faith to cast Black Flame with Godslayer’s Seal. So, it’s kind of mandatory. Arcane is your primary stat to inflict maximum damage with spells, so again, it’s mandatory.
Mad King Build (Advanced Version of Frenzied Acolyte Build)
➡️ Weapon: Morgott’s Cursed Sword
➡️ Seals: Dragon Communion Seal and Frenzied Flame Seal
➡️ Shield: Not required
➡️ Armor: Heavy armor with medium roll.
➡️ Stats: Arcane, Dexterity, Vigor, and Faith.
➡️ Talismans: Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman, Shard of Alexander, Fire Scorpion Charm, and Ritual Sword Talisman.
This is a Madness-focused build that combines the power of the Bleed Effect and the Madness Effect. Both effects – Bleed and Madness – scale with Arcane, so this Madness build unleashes more power than the build we discussed above.
You can call it an advanced version of the Frenzied Acolyte Build. This is a level 150+ build, so you can achieve it in the End Game or NG+.
You need to defeat Morgott, the Omen King – one of the Shardbearers in Lands Between. Defeating him will grant you with his Remembrance. Then head to the Roundtable Hold and exchange the Remembrance for Morgott’s Cursed Sword.
See that sword in Morgott’s hands? You need that sword for the Mad King Build. The sword comes with a native Bleed effect and unleashes powerful charged attacks.
The Mad King Madness Build focuses on dealing Bleed and Madness damage with attacks and spells. You can use Swarm of Flies incantation to stun the enemy and then deal a Cursed-Blood Slice quickly with the sword. This will also inflict the Bleed Effect on your enemies.
For the Madness Effect, use Frenzied Flame Seal to cast Frenzied Burst incantation to fight enemies from a long range. You can also use Unendurable Frenzy incantation to target multiple enemies at once.
Golden Vow and Flame, Grant Me Strength buffs your damage further when needed. In this madness build, the Madness Effect is more beneficial in PvP situations.
➡️ Shield and Armor
You can use any heavy armor, such as the Veteran’s armor set or even General Radahn’s set (below). However, ensure that you can still roll at a medium pace.
We’re going with heavy armor for this build because we are going to engage in attacks rather than solely relying on incantations, unlike the Frenzied Acolyte build.
For Talismans, we’re using two talismans from the previous build, i.e., Fire Scorpion Charm and Ritual Sword. Along with them, we’re using two new talismans, i.e., Dragoncrest Greatshield and Shard of Alexander.
The Shard of Alexander talisman boosts the attack power of your skills, just like Godfrey’s Icon. So you can use them interchangeably. It also boosts the Cursed-Blood Slice damage by 15%.
Dragoncrest Greatshield talisman gives you more protection. The Fire Scorpion talisman reduces the protection, so Dragoncrest Greatshield counters that effect.
Higher points in Vigor will offer you a lot of protection. To cast Golden Vow, Frenzied Flame, and Flame, Grant Me Strength, you will need higher Mind points. So, ensure that you have that.
With this madness build, you will be using a lot of FP, so having a lot of Mind points is always beneficial. Endurance points will depend on the type of armor you are using. Also, higher Dexterity points will help you get more damage with Morgott’s Cursed Blood Sword.
To use Unendurable Frenzy, you will need high Faith points, but if you use Flame of Frenzy instead, you don’t need a high Faith. Arcane increases the effects of the Dragon Communion seal and the Cursed Sword.
How to Mitigate or Cure the Madness Effect?
As I said, one of the drawbacks of using a Madness Build is that the player also gets affected by the Madness effect while casting it on the enemies. And if not mitigated or cured in time, the player will lose a large chunk of their HP and FP.
So, let’s understand how to mitigate or cure the Madness effect.
➡️ Mitigating the Madness Effect
The best way to mitigate the Madness effect is to increase your Focus points. Focus scales with Mind. So, if you want to have a Madness Build, make sure you add a lot of points to Mind.
You can even don armor with high Focus points to mitigate the Madness effect. You should equip either the Speckled Hardtear or the Opaline Hardtear for madness resistance.
Another way to mitigate the Madness effect is with Consumables. You can consume Clarifying Cured Meat or Clarifying Horn Charm. These consumables temporarily boost Focus and make you resistant to Sleep and Madness effects.
➡️ Curing the Madness Effect
To cure the Madness effect on your character, you must consume Clarifying Boluses (consumable) before the status bar fills up. The Clarifying Boluses alleviate the Madness buildup.
If you are a Magic player, the Lucidity spell can help cure the Madness effect. Since it’s a spell, you need a staff to cast it. However, you’d require Intelligence (17) to use it.
The Madness effect is one of the coolest things in the open world of Elden Ring. With this Elden Ring Madness Build guide, I shared how you can cast this effect on your enemies and make them go MAD!
One more thing I’d like to add is that you do not need a specific class to make a Madness Build. The builds that we discussed above are achievable with any class.
What to read next? Read this guide to learn how to earn 50,000 Runes by killing the sleeping dragon early in the game.