Digging the Tree Spear

Some weapons in Elden Ring have special R2 attacks. The sort of R2 attack that makes a weapon fun to use all by its lonesome. The sort of R2 attack that justifies playing the game all over again. The sort of R2 attack that inspires a post about it. The Tree Spear possesses such an R2 attack. Well, an R2 attack chain.

The Tree Spear, a Great Spear, on the face of it isn’t much. It can be found (relatively) early game – not far from Raya Lucaria (consult a wiki for the exact location) and when first messing around with it, seems pretty vanilla. The R1’s are standard thrusts, the R2 is a bigger thrust. Pretty straight forward. Then you hold down R2. It’s a double thrust, the second one coming out a lot quicker. You hold down R2 again, and then again. The second R2 is a swipe. Interesting. What if you charge both of them?

A charged four hit R2 combo. Not many weapons from From’s games have been granted this honour. It’s a beautiful sequence of attacks, that also does a truck load of damage. It can be a little tricky to get the full thing off but if one can find the space – let her rip. Not only is the damage worth it, but the stagger potential is right up there. Charge attacks are one of the best ways to stagger an enemy, so when four in a row make contact there is a good chance of stagger. At the very least the stagger threshold will be in reach. All of this is wonderfully animated – all the attacks slide into each other. It’s just an incredibly satisfying attack chain to pull off.

The running R2 is pretty neat also. It’s a charge that hits multiple times before culminating in one giant thrust. It’s good at both stun locking an enemy and inducing stance breaks. Heck, we might as well call the Tree Spear the stance breaker. It has numerous attacks that excel at that.

The other thing worth talking about with the Tree Spear is the Ash of War. It is an inbuilt buff – giving the weapon holy damage, along with more AR and makes killing skeletons incredibly simple. Pretty nice (worth noting – fully upgraded scaling is Dexterity C, Faith D, Strength D – I’m running Dexterity and a smidgen of faith). Nothing outlandish, but pretty nice. Where this gets weird is that the Tree Spear can be buffed with spells, incantations and items. Most of the time in From games when a weapon has an inbuilt damage type they cannot be buffed for… reasons. I don’t know. The same mostly applies in Elden Ring – except for the Tree Spear. I don’t know whether this is an oversight or some obscure lore reason (or both). The Tree Spear is free to revel in its holy damage while also taking on any buff it sees fit to – Lighting, Black Flame – any buff you want. It’s truly a wonderful weapon that from the outset appears pretty standard. I took along two weapons for this 10th play through – the other being the Guardian Sword Spear – I wanted to do all tree-based weapons. Unfortunately for the Sword Spear – a spectacular weapon in its own right I’ve not paid it too much attention – Tree Spear is that much fun to use.

The weapon is a lot of fun to use on horseback too. All the Great Spears are. Massive R1 arcs that cleave through foes and the R2 is a charged thrust that multi-hits and then finally launches smaller enemies in the air. It’s been a lot of fun coming back for this weapon. Everything about it is so satisfying. While donning the Samurai armour it makes for a fun Gyoubu Masataka Oniwa impersonation. Honestly, the weapon doesn’t really mesh with Samurai armour but whenever I’m at loose end for armour I always go back to the Samurai armour. It’s comfy, it’s familiar – I feel good wearing it. The combination has grown on me though, so I think I’m going to run with it. 

Finally, a note on the summon I have chosen for this run. After a certain point I stopped being picky about summons and just started picking them on whims and wants. I think I started doing this when I wanted to pick a weeby summon for a Samurai character, and there aren’t any, so I ran with Pumpkin Head (still love him to this day). This time I’m rolling with the Marionette’s. Partly because I’ve never had a multiple summon before and partly because I remember Prod using them and they worked pretty well for him.

They have been doing well. Mostly. Some bosses have got after them (the Twin Gargoyles) but for the most part, they have held up well. End of them game is still to come though. Give them a clear line of sight and keep the pressure off them – carrying two bows means no melee defence – they will do damage and be a persistent distraction. Four bows means a lot of arrows being loosed. There are a lot of pin cushion impersonations going around.

Something else the Marionette’s are good at doing is making enemy NPC’s (mimics, invaders etc) roll for their lives. So much so that they can’t really attack the player. It’s a little comical.

Good stuff Marionette’s. Good stuff.

Notes and Asides

My big inspiration for using the weapon was Oroboro – he made a Tree Spear invader. He also has a stat spread at the end of the video. I’m simply running enough faith to get buffs set up and slamming everything else into dexterity. Oro has a much more comprehensive build than I do – PVP does demand a lot more optimisation than PVE.

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