Flails may be the most overlooked weapon class in Elden Ring. Though fans naturally gravitate toward tried-and-true weapon choices like katanas or colossal weapons, they can hardly be blamed for missing out on the flail category, which only boasts a total of five choices. Despite a relatively shallow pool of options, there is enough variety that players can likely find one suited to their style regardless of how they like to play Elden Ring.
While they may not be the most optimal choice in Elden Ring, flails have a unique ability that makes them worth reconsidering. Their range is already difficult to judge in the heat of combat, but flails are also one of the few weapons that cannot be parried by enemies in Elden Ring, making them an excellent surprise choice in PvP, especially against players using a Buckler or a Parrying Dagger - fairly common occurrences in the current state of the game.
- Family Heads: The Family Heads flail is one of the most interesting weapons in the game. While it may not boast the strongest Ash of War in Elden Ring, its unique ability could be up there solely for how visually appealing it is. The Familial Rancor summons homing spirits—in the form of skulls—that track down enemies and deal decent damage. If anything, though, the Family Heads flail ranks in the S-tier because of the versatility that it offers players. It scales well with Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence, meaning that it slots perfectly into builds that see players blending magic and physical combat. It also has a relatively low FP cost, meaning that players can spam enemies relentlessly with the Ash of War.
- Bastard's Stars: Again, if Bastard's Stars were being purely ranked off of its aesthetics, it would undoubtedly be an S-tier choice. Unfortunately, the special weapon skill, Nebula, has a cumbersome animation and bizarre range that makes it very difficult to land on enemies. Since it leaves a trail behind that later explodes, it can be a bit forgiving in terms of placement, but most enemies won't stick around long enough for it to land consistently. For what it's worth, since it scales well with stats similar to the Family Heads, the Bastard's Stars can be an excellent choice for an Intelligence-based build in Elden Ring.
- Chainlink Flail: For a more straightforward approach, it's hard to beat the Chainlink Flail. When compared to the basic Flail, the Chainlink Flail is heavier but scales better with Strength, making it, unsurprisingly, a better choice for Strength builds in Elden Ring. It shares the same weapon skill as the Flail and the Nightrider's Flail, which can be devastating when paired with high Strength. Despite its rather short-range, Spinning Chain can stack together so many hits that it tends to stagger enemies relatively quickly.
- Nightrider Flail: Since it drops off of the Night's Cavalry on the Weeping Peninsula, the Nightrider Flail can be obtained at a relatively early stage of the game. It's comparable to the Chainlink Flail and the basic Flail, but it has a slightly better reach and just looks plain cool. Like all the other flails that can be upgraded with regular Smithing Stones, it has a passive Bleed effect, which players tend to pair with Frost for devastating results.
- Flail: There's nothing wrong with the Flail. It's totally feasible that players could pick it up, level it to the max, and complete the entire game with it. However, there are simply better options in the category. Still, with its passive Bleed effect and the ability to dual wield in Elden Ring, the Flail can become a formidable weapon nonetheless. If players have already invested their Smithing Stones in the Flail, there isn't much reason to switch.
Elden Ring is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.