The 7 best Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree items to grab early on

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree backhand blade pose
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring's expansion is hard, but the best Shadow of the Erdtree items, brand new to this DLC, can help you survive its surprisingly tough encounters. If you ignored most of the items and crafting recipes you picked up in the base game, now's a good time to build some new habits. Unlike in the original campaign there aren't any core features of Shadow of the Erdtree hiding in an NPC shop (looking at you, crafting kit), but there are plenty of very powerful items near the starting region, Gravesite Plain.

Before you rush toward Belarut, the DLC's first major dungeon, you should take some time to explore Gravesite Plain for Scadutree Fragments and Spirit Ashes to strengthen your character with the two new leveling items. Rune leveling isn't as effective here, especially if you're already over level 100. Then it's time to give yourself an advantage with every item you can get your hands on.

In the list below I've broken the most useful items out into categories so you can pinpoint exactly what you need to overcome a particular obstacle or shore up a weakness in your build. There are plenty more items to find in the DLC, some of which can be found early on, just outside of Gravesite Plain. But everything here is limited to that very first region, so there won't be any spoiled surprises as you start to venture further into the complex map of the Land of Shadow.

The best early crafting items: Hefty Pots 

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Shadow of the Erdtree introduces a new type of throwable pot item: Hefty Pots. You need to collect Cracked Hefty Pots throughout the game to increase the number of them you can make—and trust me, you'll want more than a few for an enemy later on. You can find three of these in the Belarut Gaol dungeon located near the lake straight north of the starting grace for the DLC. When you reach the lake, head west past the cages and into the cave.

  • The first Hefty Cracked Pot is on some wooden scaffolding just to the side of the section where you drop down via big hanging pots
  • Two more Hefty Cracked Pots are in the pot maze on top of the large pots

To start crafting pots, like a furnace pot that deals fire damage, you need one of the new Greater Potentate's Cookbooks. One is found in the Scorched Ruins just north of the starting grace in Gravesite Plain, and a second one is on the cliffs south of the Abandoned Ailing Village, which is on the northern end of the region (east of the lake). With both of these picked up, you can make Hefty Fire Pots and Hefty Furnace Pots.

The best early weapon: Backhand Blade 

(Image credit: From Software)

The Backhand Blade carried me through most of Shadow of the Erdtree. You can find this sword extremely early: Head north of the starting grace in Gravesite Plains until you reach the Scorched Ruins and look for the spiral pillars and the item sitting near a shrine with a sarcophagus.

Two-hand the Backhand Blade to pull a second sword from its scabbard and enter the dual wield power stance. These weapons are extremely powerful when dual-wielded and have a removable Ash of War that essentially gives you a second dodge that swoops around an enemy and hits them. They're fantastic for strength/dexterity builds and almost overpowered in how fast they are.


Erdtree map fragments: Uncover the Land of Shadow
Scadutree fragments: How to level up in Erdtree
Erdtree bosses: A full hit list for the DLC
Leda quest: Track the Erdtree main quest
Sir Ansbach quest: Help the former servant of Mohg
Hornsent quest: Complete the quest for vengeance

The best early talisman: Blessed Blue Dew Talisman

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Everyone loves FP, the blue magic bar that you spend for any special attacks or spells. There are plenty of ways to reduce the amount you use or restore it via the Physick or other items, but you can pick up the Blessed Blue Dew Talisman to gradually restore FP over time. Grab this extremely useful talisman in the Church of Benediction, which is located on the plateau on the western side of the map near the first site of grace. Getting there is a long, circuitous route, though.

Head north until you find the Three-Path Cross site of grace, then continue west through the foreboding arches towards Belurat. From the Main Gate Cross site of grace, instead of continuing up the stairs into Belurat, head southeast until you find a rocky cliffside path that ascends up to the plateau. You'll know it by the ghost dogs and bats waiting along the route. Follow this path south until you emerge onto the plateau and reach the Cliffroad Terminus site of grace.

Now that you're at the right elevation, you need to go southeast along the plateau, past the lightning rams (yes, lightning rams), and then east around the cliffside near the rats. You'll end up very close to the Gravesite plain site of grace, though far above it. A nasty Curseblade enemy will try to ambush you in the cave just before you reach the Church of Benediction, but if you survive that, the church is just past with the talisman inside it. Look around the area for another nice pickup, too.

The best early armor set: Solitude set 

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

If you need poise, look no further. The Solitude armor set turns you into an unflinching tank and is quick to find in the DLC. Head northwest from the Gravesite Plain starting grace until you find the Western Nameless Mausoleum. Inside is a fairly tough boss wearing this set, but if you defeat him, you'll get some solid heavy armor for starting off the DLC.

The best early Ash of War: Savage Lion's Claw 

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

If you brought a favorite weapon into Shadow of the Erdtree, a new Ash of War would be a savvy thing to chase down early. The Savage Lion's Claw is very powerful and can be found far north of the starting grace near the cliffs in a small campsite. The Savage Lion's Claw is basically a super-powered version of the Lion's Claw Ash of War in the base game.

The best early Spirit Ash: Demi-Human Swordsman Yosh

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

One of the best Spirit Ashes in the game is found very early in the DLC. Demi-Human Swordsman Yosh is the reward for beating the boss of the Belarut Gaol, which is located far north of the Gravesite Plain starting grace, near the lake. You have a whole gaol to descend, but at the bottom you'll find the boss who fights very similarly to Yosh: He has a magical blade and is extremely agile. Watch out for those combos—this guy must've trained under Malenia. 

The best early Crystal Tear: Deflecting Hard Tear 

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Shield users will want to pick up this Crystal Tear for your Flash of Wondrous Physick immediately after starting the DLC. You have to defeat the plain's massive furnace golem to get it, which requires hitting its feet until it falls over and reveals a weak spot. The golem drops the Deflecting Hard Tear which enhances the power of the guard counters you can activate by doing a heavy attack after an enemy hits your shield.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.