Ashes of War and Weapon Arts in FromSoftware's newer games have really spoiled us—it used to be you got your R1, R2, and some movement-dependent attacks, and that was it. Now when I go into a Soulsborne, I want some spice. I want the Rakuyo double-bladed katana's mixups, the Farron Greatsword's straight-up Samurai Champloo breakdancing, or the Marais Executioner Sword's Jedi telekinesis nonsense.
I've been a little worried that FromSoft just won't be able to top the excellent and varied armory already in Elden Ring, but modder clevereraptor6 over on NexusMods has been quietly toiling away on custom weapon movesets that prove just how much juice is left in the animations and effects FromSoft has already created.
Take my favorite work of Clever's: the Icefrayed Blade. I make it no secret that I'm a katana guy in Soulsborne games, and my all-timer is Dark Souls 3's Frayed blade. This reward for beating secret megaboss Darkeater Midir has a badass samurai "unsheathe into a thousand cuts" attack that feels incredible and is also well-worth using over your basic strikes. The Icefrayed Blade mod transposes it into Elden Ring while also adding the frost buildup status effect—perhaps a bit OP, but I saw it and immediately thought "oh, I would trade my beloved Moonveil for this."
Clever's latest is the Deathwalker - Berserking Ghostflame Moveset, which replaces the standard Ultra Greatsword two-hand attacks with the kind of acrobatic Guts moves used by Artorias or Slave Knight Gael, with some added flare from the Deathbirds' ghostflame magic.
They also nail one of the most important features of a good Soulsborne unique weapon: usability. Why would you take a special weapon into a difficult PvE boss encounter if its special attack just isn't workable? I had that issue with Elden Ring's Royal Greatsword—its special move is way too drawn out (even if it is visually impressive), and it just can't beat an honest, lunch pail, frost-infused standard Ultra Greatsword.
Clever has some awesome weapon concepts worth checking out in a separate, offline-only save file (it's a shame Elden Ring's EasyAnticheat doesn't offer a simpler way to mod your game outside of multiplayer and stay legal with your vanilla saves), but I'd really like to see a similar creativity from Shadow of the Erdtree's armaments. Fromsoft DLC weapons are often just as good as their standout bosses and levels, some of the best in each respective game, and this long-awaited expansion will be the perfect opportunity to top the series-best movesets already included in Elden Ring.
I want to see acrobatics, gap closers, particle effects, status buildup, and I want these moves to be real competitors to your basic attacks, spammable stuff. I want it to be nasty, and I want YouTubers to demand they be nerfed! In the meantime, I can recommend some other choice mods from Clever like their even more telekinetic Marias blade moveset, Deathborne Odachi, or even this ludicrous Earthbending that replicates Avatar: The Last Airbender's magical martial art with the help of Elden Ring's gravity sorceries.