DS1: The Best Axes & Greataxes (All Ranked)

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It seems that every kind of build in Dark Souls has a weapon type that’s a perfect fit for it.

Spears and Daggers are great for dex, shortswords are great for intelligence, and axes/great axes are perfect for strength.

These two types of weapons require a lot of the buff stuff, but in return can deliver lots of damage and fun.

So let’s take a look at the whole list of axes in Dark Souls Remastered, both types, and suss out which are the best of the best.

 

11. Hand Axe

DS1 Hand Axe gameplay screenshot

The humble Hand Axe is the perfect tool for both chopping wood to stay warm with through winter months, as well as chopping your way through the creeping demonic masses.

This simple little axe is the perfect representation of Dark Souls’ dark, brooding world, and the desperation that all creatures in it exhibit.

It’s an okay weapon, too. A good starter weapon.

But after a few hours of adventuring you’ll find something better, no doubt.

Just never forget your time with the low attack power and poor scaling of the Hand Axe. This little fella loves you.

How to Obtain: Starting weapon for Pyromancers, and can be purchased from the Undead Merchant.

 

10. Battle Axe

DS1 Battle Axe gameplay screenshot

A step up from the aforementioned farming implement, the Battle Axe is a legit weapon made for a single purpose: cracking open skulls.

The Battle Axe has a higher attack power then you’d think, considering it’s one of the starting weapons.

And while this can last you the entire game, there are certainly better options in terms of raw attack power and stat scaling.

The Battle Axe also leaves you wide open if you whiff an attack. And with how clunky the Battle Axe swings, that’s bound to happen.

This is a reliable weapon, but reliable only in how middle of the road it is.

You could do worse, of course. But you could also do plenty better.

How to Obtain: Starting weapon for Bandits, and can drop from Hollow Warriors.

 

9. Great Axe

DS1 Great Axe gameplay screenshot

The Great Axe is a greataxe that’s not really a great axe.

It is an axe, and going by size it is great. But the damage it deals isn’t too great, and it has a much shorter range than other axes that claim the “great” title.

It has the lowest weight of all available axes too. And as such, it can be used in one hand much easier.

But that doesn’t help it make up for the low attack power and scaling.

All that said, if you’re looking for some weaky little thing to make into an elemental or divine weapon for niche purposes, here you go! It’s great.

How to Obtain: Found in The Depths in an area surrounded by rats.

 

8. Golem Axe

DS1 Golem Axe gameplay screenshot

This bad boy is made from the same stuff the Iron Golem boss is. So you can be assured that it’s super heavy and slow.

It sure is both those things, but because of those traits, it can deal significant damage and it has the special ability to shoot a ranged shockwave attack–much like the boss creature from which the weapon is derived.

Using the shockwave costs a lot of durability.

You’ll only get 10 or so out of it before it’s repair time.

The big swing it takes to shoot the shot leaves you wide open too. And aside from the shockwave, the Golem Axe doesn’t really offer too much.

Still, if you’re looking for a cool little novelty or a way to feel cool swinging an axe hard enough to hit distant foes, this is for you.

How to Obtain: Give the Soul of an Iron Giant to any +10 Axe.

 

7. Crescent Axe

DS1 Crescent Axe gameplay screenshot

Divinity, thy name is Crescent Axe.

This axe possesses a crescent-shaped head and a strangely long body, making it look more like a spear than an axe.

Don’t get confused! It’s still an axe, and it swings as such.

In fact, this reach makes it a little handier to use. But what really makes the Crescent Axe stand out among its contemporaries isn’t its design or material, it’s what it has going on inside.

The Crescent Axe has the best natural divinity stat in the game.

This means it’s perfect for clearing out the bone boys in the Catacombs, and an excellent weapon for people building a character around Faith.

This also means that even if somebody blocks, you can still sneak some damage through to them. Good job, Crescent Axe.

How to Obtain: Sold by Patches and he also drops it if he ‘accidentally’ dies.

 

6. Dragon King Greataxe

DS1 Dragon King Greataxe gameplay screenshot

Yes, it has an impressive name. And yes, it looks really cool.

But aside from those two things, this greataxe doesn’t offer much that isn’t super situational.

Firstly, and most important, this weapon does not scale with any stat. Nothing.

It has a very large base attack power to kind of make up for it, but when you compare that to the attack power of a weapon that does scale, there’s really no comparison.

The Dragon King Greataxe does have a special move that makes it stand out a little, too.

It’s a two-handed strong attack smashes the axe into the earth to create a quake that can stagger and damage enemies all around you.

It’s not much, and costs 50 durability each use… but it can be cool to use, and occasionally really helpful.

How to Obtain: Cut off the tail of the Depth’s Gaping Dragon.

 

5. Gargoyle Tail Axe

DS1 Gargoyle Tail Axe gameplay screenshot

If you’re fighting a Gargoyle, always pay special attention to its tail.

This bit of life advice actually extends to most Dark Souls monsters with pronounced tails, but Gargoyles especially.

Chop one off and you’ll get a Tail Axe, which by all accounts is a pretty good weapon.

It has decent attack and okay scaling, and is fairly easy to obtain.

The best thing about it is that it doubles your resistance to bleed, toxic, and poison, three of the worst status ailments in the game.

This is one of those weapons that’s great to get as early as you can, because its strength and resistances will help you in the early portions of your Lordran adventure.

How to Obtain: Chop off the tail of one of the Bell Gargoyles.

 

4. Black Knight Greataxe

DS1 Black Knight Greataxe gameplay screenshot

If you’re looking for a weapon that can shatter enemy defenses, deal lots of damage, and do it while looking cool, then the Black Knight Greataxe is for you!

Dropped by the enemy of the same name, this very large greataxe is just about tailor-made for strength-based characters that like to smash and bash their way through everything.

The Black Knight Greataxe can’t be upgraded in any special way, though, just through Twinkling Titanite.

But it can be used as a very effective means for crowd control.

And as a final bonus, this axe does 20% extra damage to demons! Go get them! Hunt them.

How to Obtain: Drops from Black Knight enemies.

 

3. Demon’s Greataxe

DS1 Demon’s Greataxe gameplay screenshot

It seems like there’s a Demon version of every weapon type.

I mean, it makes sense, given the world in which they all exist.

And the Demon’s Greataxe is similar to all the other demonic weapons. It looks very much the same, using the same stone-and-blood motif. It’s also huge.

This greataxe is wrought from the Taurus Demons and cribs their look and strength.

What a weapon! This big boy can do the most physical damage out of all weapons, though getting there requires putting a lot of points into strength.

If you do go all-in on strength, however, the Demon’s Greataxe scales with it amazingly well – and is one of the best choices for pure strength builds in the game.

Plus, it’s a ton of fun to swing around.

The size alone makes you feel like a demon!

How to Obtain: Dropped by Taurus Demons and sold from Shiva of the East.

 

2. Stone Greataxe

DS1 Stone Greataxe gameplay screenshot

If you want big and powerful, then the Stone Greataxe is worth looking into.

It’s also perfect if you have more strength then you know what to do with, and like crushing enemies in a single earth-shattering blow.

This is less an actual weapon, and more a giant chunk of rock that kind of resembles an axe.

Granted it does require a silly amount of strength to properly wield. But if you can swing it, then you can really swing it.

And it doesn’t have much outside of its stupidly powerful swings (and cool area-of-effect attacks), but with this much power behind your swing, that’s all you need.

If you’re into the slow-but-strong archetype, or are in your fifth new game plus, then this is worth a try.

How to Obtain: Drops from Stone Guardians in the DLC areas.

 

1. Butcher Knife

DS1 Butcher Knife gameplay screenshot

Healing is tricky in Dark Souls.

The only options you usually have to restore HP are either bonfires, or the Estus Flask, and access to both of those can be unreliable depending on your situation.

Enter the Butcher Knife.

Yes, it is called a knife when it’s classified as an axe. But that’s how things work.

You handle it like an axe, anyway, so it is what it is.

With every successful attack, the Butcher Knife restores five hit points.

That may not sound like a lot. But if you’re good at not getting hit then you can bring your HP back up with only a few enemies.

You’d be surprised how effective even getting five HP back can be.

The Knife also has a great range and excellent strength scaling.

This bad boy is perfect for the muscleheads who rely on their buffness to get them through.

How to Obtain: Defeat the phantom Maneater Mildred, who appears near the bottom bonfire in Blighttown.

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