Minecraft Dungeons Souls Guide: How Souls Work And The Best Soul Builds

Here's what Souls do and how they can be used in some of the most powerful builds in the game.

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Minecraft Dungeons is the new dungeon-crawling spin-off of the illustrious Minecraft series. Aside from the blocky aesthetic and inclusion of some well-known Minecraft monsters, it’s pretty different from the crafting game people have grown to know and love.

For one, although Minecraft features a combat system, it’s nowhere near as complex as that of this action-adventure spin-off. In the latter, you’ve got melee weapons, armor, and bows, all of which can be enchanted to create a diverse range of character builds specializing in specific combat strategies. On top of this, you’ve got Artifacts, which are like magical spells from standard RPGs.

Although many of the builds are pretty simple, there’s a specific kind of combat in Minecraft Dungeons that requires harvesting Souls to deal with extraordinary damage or heal you up right before you fade away. For the uninitiated, Souls is a type of ammo that you get from defeating enemies, and it’s only used for certain types of Artifacts--you can tell which ones use it based on whether or not they have a Souls icon.

These Soul-focused builds are incredibly powerful, but the trade-off is far more complex than ordinary melee builds. Luckily, we’ve put together a handy Soul build guide to make it a bit easier to understand, and will allow you to wreak havoc on higher difficulties in no time at all.

Before you dig into Soul builds, you should familiarize yourself with every Artifact in Minecraft Dungeons and how the enchanting system works. We’ve also put together a beginner’s guide on everything you need to know before playing Minecraft Dungeons, as well as an essential tips and tricks guide. You can also read our Minecraft Dungeons review.

How Souls Work And How To Create A Soul Build

In a lot of RPGs, it’s pretty okay to blend magic with melee, leading to an abundance of battlemage classes that are perfectly viable. In Minecraft Dungeons, however, you need to seriously commit to Soul-harvesting if you want a solid Soul build.

Soul builds seem complicated, but they’re pretty simple. When you defeat mobs, you harvest Souls. These Souls are used to power certain Artifacts--some of which are the most useful items in the game. For example, if you have the Harvester equipped, you can melee a few enemies to gather Souls, before opening the Harvester to unleash devastating area-of-effect damage. Meanwhile, items like the Soul Healer operate in the same way but heal as opposed to dealing damage. Because you can equip up to three Artifacts at any given time, you can equip both the Harvester and the Soul Healer, as well as another Soul artifact such as the Corrupted Beacon, which deals astonishingly high damage when used correctly.

There’s far more to Soul builds than Artifacts alone, though. To maximize your damage-dealing potential, you need to equip corresponding items. For example, you can get certain swords and daggers that are specifically designed to increase Soul-harvesting from random drops, as well as Soul bows, Soul crossbows, and even Soul robes. Fortunately, there’s not a substantial defensive disparity between Reinforced Mail and Soul Robes, meaning you don’t have to compromise HP buffs from armor to commit to a Soul build.

Soul builds go pretty well with enchantments designed for area-of-effect use. When you’re using a Harvester/Soul Healer combination, you’ll need a lot of Souls to keep yourself sturdy--as a result, you’ll likely find yourself in the middle of a mob, as opposed to just firing arrows into the fray from a distance. Because you need to use melee weapons or bows to harvest Souls, enchanting them with area-of-effect elemental damage like lightning or fire will further accentuate the massive bursts of damage you can unleash once your Harvester is full--what’s more, the Harvester only has a one-second cooldown. In contrast, particular Soul objects like the Lightning Rod, which summons a bolt of lightning from above, have no cooldown at all and are powered by Souls.

If you’re aggressive enough, you can deal devastating damage across a massive radius simply by fighting as normal. It’s pretty powerful and makes higher difficulties a lot easier to parse. Soul builds seem very complicated, but it just boils down to committing to the build and finding the right weapons and armor to complement your Artifacts. Once you put it all together, you’ll be almost unstoppable with your Soul Knife, Harvester, Lightning Rod, and so on.

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