Here's a useful Dark Souls 2 guide to greatswords by HappierShibe. It shows you a comparison of all the greatswords in the game.
Best Swords: (All around best greatswords list)
1. Black Knight Greatsword
It hits just as hard and fast as the drangleic Sword with more reach and added bonus fire damage and scaling. With a fire infusion the Fire bonus scaling can easily put you into the 600+ total AR Range with very little investment. Thats ultra greatsword territory, but you've still got some serious speed advantages, way less stamina consumption, and a far more practical moveset. The scaling is solid, and spread out just enough with an infusion to keep the softcap from limiting you too heavily. It also has that lovely 1 handed heavy forward thrust attack.
2. Mastodon Greatsword
Quite a bit slower, but with gigantic piles of raw physical damage, and some very solid str scaling to let you pile more damage on top of that. Also has a pretty ridiculous reach and lots of big wide sweeping attacks to take advantage of it. It's a solid target for infusion with the right build, but nothing to write home about.
Honorable Mentions: (These are great swords to use for certain conditions)
1. Ruler's Sword
This could be the best Greatsword in the game; If you don't mind carrying around 1 million souls at all times. Can it be done? Absolutely, and later on it isn't even that hard to do, but it's one more thing to deal with, and honestly you aren't getting THAT much improvement for your trouble.
2. Moonlight Greatsword
It hits like a ton of bricks provided you've been stacking int, otherwise it just isn't going to compare favorably with other greatswords, also an attack speed nerf is incoming on this one, so we will have to wait and see what happens.
3. Defender Greatsword
Infused with lightning this thing is hands down the best faith based greatsword ever, it hits hard and has a great moveset, and the 2HL2 applies a buff that further amplifies lightning damage. as if that weren't enough its got a pretty fast, useful moveset with long thrusts and wide sweeps as well.
Early Game Greatswords
The Bastard Sword and Drangleic Sword These are both very solid swords, each capable of carrying you all the way through your first playthrough when fully upgraded. They are also both outclassed by weapons you can get later, but since they are accessible so early in the game, (both of them can be picked up on your first trip to the forest of the fallen giants) they are definitely worthy of special mention.
I'm not saying these are useless, but there are better choices available...
Bluemoon and Black Dragon Greatswords
Lets get these out of the way first. No Scaling, and not nearly enough base damage to make up for it even with a raw infusion.
There are just plain better Greatswords out there, maybe if you could get it REALLY early, like say the bastard sword, which deals only marginally less damage, but is significantly faster....
The bleed damage does not compensate for the lower base damage, its also too slow to make it practical to stack bleeding.
It gets completely outclassed by the defender greatsword. It can shoot lightning bolts, but if you have enough faith for this to be good you already have loads and loads of ways to shoot lightning bolts.
Mirrah / Old Mirrah
Decent dex scaling, but dex scaling is quite a bit weaker this time around, and there are vastly superior dex scaling weapons in other categories. Its moveset seems a little awkward as well.
Too many weapons are just plain better. Pretty much NOTHING stands out about the royal greatsword. No glaring weaknesses either I guess...
Old Knight Greatsword
It's not terrible, but it isn't very good either. It's basically just an inferior version of the mastodon Greatsword that has low durability and a 5% chance to explode when it breaks.
The Moonlight is just plain better in every way at the moment, this could replace the moonlight if it gets nerfed hard enough though.
Key to the Embedded
No, just no. I am only including this because someone will complain if I don't.
If you have any other hints, tips or tricks for greatswords in Dark Souls 2, please post them in the comments below. Thanks for your contributions and for visiting the site.
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