Ultra Great Sword require a lot of STR, Twinblades requires a lot of DEX.

I've heard that DEX scaling is not as good as STR scaling, and am hesitating between leveling up to equip one or the other first.

My play style is to keep myself out of reach with a long reach weapon (currently a spear), wait for the enemy to attack, dodge, get one or two hits depending on the monster recovery time, and get out of reach again.

While trying (without required stats) the different weapon types, it feels like both the Ultra Great Sword (tested with Pursuer GreatSword) and Twinblades (tested with twinblades) have a long enought reach for me, and the attack time doesn't feel that different.

I have trouble finding out what to keep, since I want to do the most damage in my hit. UGS have a longer reach and raw damage, but on the other hands, the twinblades does multiples hits in one attack, and weigh much less, allowing for a faster recovery.

What would help me is a damage comparison between UGS and twinblades in the context of wait-dodge-hit tactics.

  • 1
    Its going to depend greatly on your playstyle and reflexes.
    – Frank
    Feb 10, 2017 at 17:52
  • @Frank: Sure, which is why I spoke about my playstyle (wait-dodge-one hit), restricted the choice to two weapon styles, and ask about damage. Is there some mportant details I forgot?
    – DrakaSAN
    Feb 10, 2017 at 17:56
  • DPS is the damage-per-second. So if your play style consists of waiting, dodging, and then a single hit, DPS isn't all that important to your playstyle and all you would really care about is how much damage does each weapon do in a single blow... Great swords: darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com/Ultra+Greatswords Twinblades: darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com/Twinblades
    – n_plum
    Feb 10, 2017 at 18:00
  • 1
    You spoke of your play style with the spear; I had thought it would change if you picked a different weapon, thereby negating that information. If that's still how you prefer to play, no matter the weapon, I'd recommend rewording the last paragraph to make that clear.
    – Frank
    Feb 10, 2017 at 18:08
  • 1
    @n_palum: While general advice is enough, if someone have advanced enought in the game to do the math, yes that would be real nice. I don t have the souls to try both options and decide from my savefile
    – DrakaSAN
    Feb 10, 2017 at 20:18

2 Answers 2


To be honest, as you mentioned, it's a choice between Tank or Rogue - two very different builds.

Firstly, as we all know, one thing to account for is damage received. Wielding a Ultra Greatsword is slow, allowing for enemies to get their hits in between strikes - so allowing for extra armour and health is important. This can also be done for the Twinblade, however, it's far more likely that this type of character will be more nimble, dodging in and out of the fight, so endurance, and a light load is more important.

Now, for the numbers -

Ultra Great Sword:

Let's use the Greatsword as an example. When Scaled to +10 you can get an AR of 400; but with the soft cap of 50 STR, and the minimum DEX requirement, you can get a total AR of 579. 629 with Ring of Blades +2.

In terms of DPS however, with a speed (measured by "BPM" or "Beats Per Minute") of 48-53 BPM, it is fairly slow.


In all honesty, there are only two choices that benefit more from a DEX build - the Dragonrider Twinblade, and the Curved Twinblade; and to get these require a trade of a Dragonrider Soul to Straid to get the Dragonrider Twinblade, or to rank up in the Covenant of Blood, or purchase it from Wellagher in NG++ to get the Curved Twinblade, both of which are a little challenging.

The rest of the Twinblades are based primarily on STR, however, they have a higher STR/DEX balance than most other weapons*.

That being said, however - let's compare anyway.

The Dragonrider Twinblade has an AR of 185 at +5 (don't have the details for total with 50 DEX right now), whereas the Curved Twinblade has an AR of 170 at +5.

As for the speed, Twinblades technically have a much higher "speed", as they have multiple attacks in a single swing. For argument's sake, let's say 4 in an attack, but have a much slower BPS (only as much as 30 - but I am yet to accurately test this).


So, let's compare.

Base AR*APS(BPM/60) = DPS

  • Greatsword = 400*(53/60) = 353
  • Dragonrider Twinblade = 185*(4*30/60) = 370
  • Curved Twinblade = 170*(4*30/60) = 340

All in all, they can be considered to be roughly the same. The numbers might look like they're enough to go off, but there is also Poise damage (The Greatsword can literally knock an enemy off their feet), or other effects, such as Bleed buildup (the Curved Twinblade has this feature, and can even be buffed for a quicker buildup).

So, I hope this has been enough information to answer your question, however, this really only scratches the surface, since there are multiple Ultra Greatswords, and multiple Twinblades, all with their own properties to compare.

POST NOTE: I'd like to say that a lot of this is based off bad maths and assumed values - timings using a metronome is always prone to human error, however, at this current point in time, this is the best maths I can provide

*Most weapons have one primary stat. STR, DEX, FAI, or INT. For Twinblades however, the idea is that they require STR to deal damage, just like a regular sword, and DEX to wield with such finesse.


(It's been a whole year, but if anyone else ever wonders about this question...)

The applicability of DPS calculations

Consider the "zero-shot" problem:

  • I have a gun that deals 1000 damage but takes 10 seconds to cool down, with a 1s wait before the first shot.
  • My enemy has a gun that deals 75 damage and takes 0.5s to cool down, with a 0.5s wait before the first shot.

Who has higher DPS in a minute's worth of attacks? Who will win in a fight given that we both have 1800 health and never miss any shots? In addition, who spends a greater percentage of their time shooting instead of e.g. dodging?

Consider an analogous situation in Souls, using an approximation of Ben's math against a theoretical enemy with no physical defense:

  • The Greatsword deals ~400 damage a hit, with 1.1s before landing the first hit and 1.1 s for each subsequent hit.
  • The Dragonrider Twinblade deals ~185 damage a hit, with 1s before landing the first hit and 0.5s for each subsequent hit.

If you have 60s to attack (ignoring stamina), you attack 53 times with the UGS for 21200 damage (~= 353 DPS), and 118 times with the twinblade for 21830 damage (~= 363 DPS).

If you have only 3.3s to attack, you attack three times with the UGS for ~1200 damage, and five times with the twinblade for ~925 damage.

Given that many enemies won't even give you a 3.3s opening, which would you prefer? In particular, for cases where you only have time to get in 1-2 hits with any given weapon due to startup, the discrepancy is even greater, and with a weapon that does more single-hit damage but less overall DPS, you will likely spend less of that time attacking, leaving you more time to maneuver.

Of course, there are many factors at play - the enemy you're fighting, your own skills, and different kinds of damage boosters - but I think you'll find a heavy weapon more effective for a wait-dodge-hit playstyle.

The value of more AR

Note that physical defense is a flat reduction, which means that higher AR has increasing returns: less of your damage percentage-wise is lost when using attacks with higher single-hit AR. Practically speaking, other factors have a much bigger influence on your effectiveness, but if you're using a twinblade, this will be particularly noticeable in certain areas against enemies resistant to slash, like Ironclad Knights (the ones wearing turtle-shell armor).

Hyperarmor and movesets

This is mostly relevant for PvP, but has some applicability in PvE as well.

Frankly speaking, the two-handed twinblade moveset is pretty trash. Hitboxes are small, several attacks have extremely long startup for a "light" weapon, and the only advantage is the high-damage two-handed light combo. The one-handed moveset is actually very excellent due to several unusual timings - for example, the running and light attacks are more delayed than comparable weapons, but the rolling attack has very short startup. Otherwise, it's not too different hitbox and damage-wise from using a one-handed sword.

Ultra greatswords, meanwhile, have very long reach, some attacks with huge hitboxes, enough poise damage to stun almost anything, and the ability to knock down smaller enemies on heavy attacks. You also benefit from hyperarmor, which can get you many hits that otherwise would have been interrupted.

Your playstyle

There are some other interesting and fun strategies for a reactive playstyle. For example, did you know that the Great Scythe's hitbox is longer than the Dragonslayer Spear, which is considered one of the longest weapons in the game? With practice, you can duel spear-wielding players by maintaining proper spacing, and attacking when they start attacking; your longer weapon will hit, and their attack will whiff. It's even easier to apply this in PvE: bait an attack, walk backwards, then start your attack during their attack.

As another example, whips have the curious property of being able to attack almost directly backwards with a roll attack if you steer the attack while unlocked. There are lots of fun variations within wait-dodge-hit strategies if you can think beyond rolling backwards or to the side then approaching forward for a hit (backsteps have invulnerability frames in 2!).

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