Best Hades Sword Build: How to Get the Most from the Stygian Blade

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The best sword build in Hades can transform Zagreus' starter weapon into one of the best in the game. While the blade's best Aspect is one you'll have to work for, you can make good with the first one if you run across the right Boons.

Hades Best Sword Build - Aspect of Arthur

The absolute best sword build is one you won’t get for a while. It’s built on the Aspect of Arthur, the sword’s hidden fourth aspect. The Aspect of Arthur turns the Stygian Blade into Excalibur, which is a fancy way of saying it grants the sword a new moveset. Most of it is the same as the original blade, though your combo attacks take longer to pull off.

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What’s important is the special attack, which changes from an AoE sword bash. Now, it generates an aura for eight seconds that slows enemy projectiles and reduces the damage Zagreus takes. During that eight seconds, you can press the special button again to unleash an energy attack.

Read more: Death's Door review - Don't fear the reaper

Aspect of Arthur Boons

This is a flexible build that works with several boons, though we like pairing it with Poseidon’s Tempest Flourish or Demeter’s Frost Flourish to keep foes at bay and deal additional damage. Try starting a run with their respective trinkets equipped to make finding these easier.

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Aspect of Arthur Daedalus Hammer Upgrades

If you’re lucky enough to encounter a Daedalus Hammer, the Arthur-exclusive Greater Consecration is a must, as it enhances the Nova’s power. Other good choices include Super Nova for greater special damage and Shadow Slash so you’re not relying on Nova the entire time.

How to Unlock Aspect of Arthur

You’ll need to:

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  • Reveal the Aspect of Guan Yu on Varatha (the spear)
  • Have spent 5 Titan’s Blood on the sword
  • Speak with Nyx, who tells you the waking phrase “I see your kingly pardon from a prison of stone”

After that, equip the sword, then examine its pedestal as if you were going to change an Aspect.

The weapons hall in Hades, showing Zagreus standing in front of the Stygian Blade

Hades Best Sword Build Alternative - Aspect of Zagreus

Some prefer the Aspect of Poseidon for a very specific Artemis build, but the Aspect of Zagreus is easier to mold around most Boons you find. It’s your starting Aspect and increases Zagreus’ base attack speed by up to 15% depending on how much you upgrade it. The upgrade cost is also less expensive than other Aspects.

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Aspect of Zagreus Boons

Since the Aspect buffs your normal attack, you’ll want to focus on boons that complement that. Hermes’ boons increase attack speed further, so those are solid choices. However, we prefer Boons that enhance attack power as well, such as Demeter’s Frost Strike or Ares’ Urge to Kill. Add Divine Strike from Athena if you want a defensive edge to your arsenal as well.

Aspect of Zagreus Daedalus Hammer Upgrade

Breaching Slash is a must-have upgrade for this build, since it shreds enemy armor, and if you find Hoarding Slash, slap that on there too. More gold is always a good thing.

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Read more: Hades review - A divine roguelike with charm to spare