Where to find the best Great Katana in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree gameplay showing off the stats and location of Rakshasa's Great Katana, the best Great Katana in the DLC
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Katana and Great Katana gang, Shadow of the Erdtree has our backs. There's a new best Great Katana in Elden Ring, and you're going to find it in the Land of Shadow.

On account of spoilers, that's not the best Great Katana in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree pictured up above. The actual number one blade has a distinctive look that will be instantly familiar to fans of the base game's regular katanas, and you can see it in its full glory down below the jump.

In addition to this stylistic appeal, my favorite Great Katana in the DLC also has a fast, versatile ash of war that's proven great in PvE, and I think could be really dominant (or at least incredibly annoying) in PvP. Spoilers below for this weapon, as well as mid-game area details in Shadow of the Erdtree.

Shadows of the Erdtree: Best Great Katana stats and moveset

Oh yeah baby, it's giant Rivers of Blood. Rakshasa's Great Katana is as simple as it is utterly brutal, demanding a straight Dex/Str "quality" build with B and D scaling in each stat respectively.

The Weed Cutter ash of war feels stupid, with a quick delivery, high damage potential, and interesting risk-reward element. You basically get hyper poise during the attack animation—a two hit combo which is spammable until either your endurance or focus run out—with the trade-off being that you take more damage during this attack.

In my own testing, the damage penalty was far more forgiving than I predicted, while that high poise lets you really spam Weed Cutter. I found it can also poise break otherwise resistant enemies very well. For example, it consistently interruped those dual round blade masked hornsent, something I couldn't manage with Moonveil's Transient Moonlight.

Where to find the best Great Katana in Shadow of the Erdtree

Buckle in, this is gonna take awhile. To get your hands on Shadow of the Erdtree's best Great Katana you'll need to have reached the third legacy dungeon, The Shadow Keep, and beaten the boss at its entrance, The Golden Hippopotamus. 

Progress through the dungeon until you reach the flaming longboats, Vulgar Militiamen, and the stairway up to the main keep and Specimen Storage area. Instead of going up the stairs, proceed east until the promenade with the longboats dead-ends. You'll notice a gap in the crenelated railing to the north, with a ladder below.

Climb down and follow the path around the corner to a painting location and two dear old friends: an illusory wall to your right when facing the painting, and a transport coffin in the passage behind. 

Climb in to be taken to the Castle Watering Hole site of grace. After resting, ride south past the Ruins of Unte and an ornery Wicker Man. There's a path to the east of the waterfall where you'll find the Recluse's River Upstream site of grace.

Keep following the path south, past a disgusting number of disgusting bugmen, until you finally reach the Recluse's River Downstream site of grace. Take the gravestone ladder halfway down with Torrent, hopping off where the waterfall begins instead of following it all the way down to the lake below. Follow the stream north, curving east toward another waterfall and the Eastern Nameless Mausoleum.

This is where Rakshasa herself lives, and she is an intensely aggravating boss, spamming the high-damage, hyper poise Weed Cutter ash of war in a way the PvP jerks of tomorrow will almost assuredly be replicating. The best advice I can give is that when she winds up to go a Weed Cutting, back off until she tuckers herself out—you don't want to challenge that. 

She also has stupid high poise otherwise, and there's an aggravating inconsistency to what will stagger her, and what she'll just tank through before wiping out half your health in a single swing. She also seems to be immune to Bleed, and I've never been able to stagger her for a critical hit.

Victory will net you not only her edgelord sword, but also her edgelord armor that increases both your damage taken and received.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.