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Why can't I hold all these Human Effigies - Illusory Ring of a Conqueror Survival Guide
By Caramel Frappe
A simple guide showing off tips & tricks in how to survive the Dark Souls 2 world in order to obtain a ring so OP, it's basically cheating. Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions and / or suggestions, please do message me. I'd be happy to reply! Please note, this is my first attempt making a guide so if I have made any errors / mistakes, do notify me about them. Thank you again!
First Things First ...
Prepare to Die.

.. Oh, wait. You're trying NOT to die for that ring huh? Okay, fair enough.

Before we get started, let me start off by saying this walkthrough is mostly based on luck. No matter how careful you are, or how skilled you might be... anything goes in Dark Souls 2. Regardless of well timed dodges or prepared inventories, the game might get you killed in unexpected ways; ruining your chance in that NG of getting the legendary ring. So with that said, here's my guide in getting the amazing Illusory Ring of a Conqueror.

In case you didn't know, the ring makes all of your left handed weapons invisible. Be prepared for PvPers to call you a hacker with this ring.

NOTE: If you do die in the first NG, do not restart your game with a new character. Instead, beef up the current character and have him/her prepared to survive NG+'s run. You're more likely to get the ring in NG+ anyways, since you've already gotten all your equipment maxed out.
This Isn't Mass Effect, Choose your Class wisely
Although the Knight and Warrior are good tanks, one class out performs them in terms of survival. The Cleric is best suited for a no-death playthrough, along with the fact they have a wicked mace for wrecking enemies (mostly 80% of the enemies wear armor so blunt damage is a thing). Of course, using a mace throughout the NG run may not be a wise decision.

As for the stats, you can place whatever you want in strength, dexterity, faith, intelligence, ect depending on what weapon you go with. But definitely invest in the stats I bring up below.

  • Adaptability - What adaptability does is grant you more invincibility frames during your roll, along with making heal items consumed faster (Yea, so you can clearly see why this is crucial eh?) I cannot stress this enough as being the most important skill. Please get it to at least 30-38.

  • Vigor - At least between 20 and 30. No more. Getting high Adaptability means you do not need so much Vigor.

  • Endurance - At least 20, no more. The points placed after go to waste when again, Adaptability needs the attention most.

  • Vitality - I highly suggest making it to 15-20. Being able to roll quickly is crucial especially against bosses who are faster than you.

What? You think i'm making this stuff up?

.. Don't believe me? Who's the guy that got the ring himself? I did.

*ahem* Let's continue.
"Once there was a Chosen Undead. He used a mighty Greatsword- only to end up dying because that crap is slow." - Dex User
As for weapons, I consider these to be the best in defeating any kind of enemy regardless of size while consuming little stamina.

  • Fire Longsword - Is what helped me complete the game without dying. Nice reach, fast hitting, requires little investment to wield, and certainly benefits from the fire infusion. If you went with cleric and plan on increasing your faith than the Fire Longsword gets scaled with the faith. Do note, it's usefulness comes from two-handing it and doing the R2 attack. The poke is broken meaning the damage goes way over than what it's meant to. I've taken down bosses in 8 hits just poking them with the bloody thing. You get this like at the start of the game also. It's incredible.

  • Large Club - Simple reason really ... you can completely smash enemies into the ground with it's two-handed R2 attack. Even enemies that aren't humanoid will still be stunned by the mighty slams. If you go with this weapon, I advise you do not infuse it with anything but instead buff it either spell wise or resine wise.

  • Blacksteel Katana - Well, any katana would do personally but this has a great moveset and awesome reach. If you invest in dexterity, you'll have a good advantage in PvE. Sadly the drop rate for the weapon is somewhat rare, plus you do NOT want to try farming for anything in a no-death speedrun.

  • Estoc - Incredibly useful in terms of dealing good damage, keeping distance between you & enemies, plus it has the highest poise damage out of the piercing swords.

    But my absolute favorite backup weapon for a no-death run is....

  • Hunter's Blackbow - It's a must for those who're not sorcerer's or carrying ranged spells. By itself and having good dexterity on yah, it can hit 180-240 per shot regardless of what kind of arrows you're using. Personally, using poison arrows are best because they'll inflict poison but due to the fact the bow's got an S scaling, you'll still deliver high amounts of damage too.

Any weapon that is a greatsword, ultra greatsword, daggers, rapier, axe, whip, fist weapon, halbred, ect. are not the best choices for this kind of playthrough. If their swing is slow, you will likely die at some point especially against invaders. Daggers won't deal enough damage and poise to large enemies. A weapon that doesn't have good crowd control will get you cornered eventually, and halbreds are tricky to use along with scythes.

If you even consider doing this run in Dark Souls 2 with fist weapons such as the Caestus...

Get out.

Kicking @$$ and Drinking Estus ... and i'm all out of Estus
I may not be a huge fan of this concept, but you'll need to stock up on life gems. If you exhaust Merchant Hag Melentia's dialogue and defeat both The Last Giant & Pursuer in Forest of the Giants, she will move to Majula where she'll sell infinite life gems.

Also, if you're a Cleric or someone who is willing to carry some spells with 10 Attunement or more, these will serve you very well in the end.

  • Heal -

    Okay seriously, did I need to spell that out?

  • Replenishment - This baby will get you far, trust me. Before a boss fight or a difficult area, use this spell even if you're at full HP. When you take hits, it'll slowly get your HP going and stack with any Estus / life gems you shove into your mouth. It even saved me 2x from certain near-death experiences. Probably best to have over any other miracle.

  • Great Magic Barrier - OP, please nerf.

  • Yearn - Used on the right enemies, it can make tight situations into a breeze when you're running past the enemies who apparently have ADD when this spell is in affect. After patch 1.10, this now works on normal enemies too.

  • Fall Control - Believe it or not, this spell outperforms the Silvercat ring. You will receive no damage whatsoever with this spell in effect, as to wearing the Silvercat ring still has you hurting after every drop. Understand that any drops which would normally kill you, will still get you killed whether or not you're using this spell.

Any other spell or miracle, including pyromances + hexes are open but aren't worth mentioning. For example, despite Iron Flesh makes you one heck of a tank... you're way to slow plus high damaging spells will ignore Iron Flesh completely. Great Magical Shield is only for shields, and most people rely on dodges anyway so not really that special (but go ahead and do whatever, since you're attempting the run.)
Man's True Best Friend ...
Oh, you thought it was a dog in real life or the Emerald Herald you waifu lover?
Nope, it was the cat~ Sweet Shalquoir.

Almost everybody overlooks her to be this simple merchant that has nothing worth buying from. If only they knew this cat is the sole reason I had a much easier time than what was imaginable. For starters, let's actually look at what she sells, shall we...?

Homeword Bone
Alluring Skulls
Silvercat Ring
Name-engraved Ring
Ring of Whispers

I didn't list everything onto the table chart, but for the items that I did list... look. See that? You've been screwing yourself the entire time by passing her up. First of all, she sells Alluring Skulls which is extremely useful in tight situations. For example, when you're fighting against the skeleton armies in Skeleton Lord's arena, these little skulls distract all the enemies including the Bonewheel types. This also affects the Rupturing Hollows .. you know, the exploding guys that ruin your day. Having these early on will make most areas a cake walk.

Homeword bones are very useful for coming back to the bonfire. I usually used these whenever I cleared an area, and wrap back to avoid completed area to finish the location off (Example: Clearing out the enemies in Forest of the Giants when trying to earn the White Soapstone. When that's done, use the homeword bone and avoid the area when you continue scouting the rest of Forest of the Giants.)

The Name-engraved ring will allow you to connect better with a buddy. If they're as cool as Solaire, they'll do the entire playthrough to ensure you survive to earn the ring. This ring in particular makes that much easier for both of yah. If your friend dies, I suggest just walking back and having them place down the sign again instead of you resetting the enemies since he'll be at full HP + restored weapons again.

Most deaths occur from falling, rather than enemies. What's a better way of having insurance protection than wearing the Silvercat ring? Since you have 4 ring slots anyways, might as well have this baby as backup. You'd be surprised how many times I could of died from a simple fall, but this ring saved my hide multiple times especially in the early stages with vigor 10 or so.

Ring of Whispers isn't a must have, but it does make the fight against Najka easier when you've got Scorpio-Bro having your back. Plus he gives you a sick taunt afterwards so.... why not?

TL;DR - Shalquoir is one heck of a friend. Wouldn't you place your trust in her?

A whole new world, a place where I~ NO, you do NOT Jasmine!!
Avoid ALL optional areas & bosses if possible, for better chances of surviving the NG run. These are locations that aren't required to progress, meaning you can avoid them entirely. Here are the optional areas I speak of.

  • No-Man's Warf - Probably the location with the 'most' enemies in one line up. If you feel you're able to dodge multiple undead vikings, archers, mini-versions of Cloverfield monsters, and places to fall into... I suggest you avoid it. Only treasure there is one Estus shard and an old fart who sells good-but-meh quality spells.

  • Belfry Luna - .. Seriously, don't. This is a death trap, and 90% certain to get you killed. What's really worth it to you here? A single key that will help you put up lights against the Lost Sinner when she's quite easy? We're talking about facing against several angry black dwarves, 6-8 gargoyles as the boss fight, 10 mutant dogs waiting at the bottom, a NPC red phantom invading your sorry butt. Let's not forget that's not even including the Bell Keeper invaders, aka real players from invading you in the bell tower.

    For god's sake, avoid it like the plague.

  • Belfry Sol - ......................

    .... WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!!

  • Undead Purgatory - This area is not only optional ... but unless you've got a ton of Alluring Skulls on yah to hand out like candy; this area is to risky. You'll be facing against Undead Executioners whom have a thing for torture-porn while wearing black latex ... than you have a Red Phantom guarding the Boss's door whom wields a Greatsword. Once you get past all that bullcrap, than you must fight off dozens of immortal skeletons, killing two hidden necromancers to stop the skeletons.. ALL while the Executioner's Chairot plays 'Chew Chew i'ma ROLL OVER YOU' all day until you pull that lever by the end. Afterwards, you gotta fight the horse with two heads in order to complete the zone. All that's worth the trip is a Sublime Bone Dust ... on a very small platform ... which is a risky jump across the bridge before the Red Phantom. Yea, don't go there. Not worth it.

  • Grave of Saints - Unless you want to waste your time fighting rats, rats, and... more rats... try avoiding this area. It's possible to continue jumping down from the well until you land on a platform leading to the Gutter. Did I mention you're mostly fighting rats, including the fact the boss fight is just throwing rats at you? Oh and have fun if you're suddenly pulled into someone else's world as a Rat invader, and you get killed in the cheapest way possible. Dying as a phantom, invader, or Sunbro still counts against you in NG.

  • Doors to Pharros - A worse version of the Grave of Saints. You will most definitely want to avoid it, because there's no real reason going there. Don't tell me you want to risk being summoned, getting toxic inflicted by rats, and smashed in by grumpy dwarves because you just wanted a Petrified Dragon Bone or wanted to farm some Titanite Chunks. No farming, remember?

  • Memory of Giants - Apart from Memory of Jeigh holding the key that lets you beat the game elsewhere, the other memories are completely optional to explore. Memory of Orro and Memory of Vammar are not gateways of completing the games so yeah, skip out on those.

There are also multiple optional areas within important locations. For example, in Dragon Shrine, there's a path leading to the Petrified Egg (the item you need in order to become a Dragon Bro) so avoid those areas at all costs. Black Gulch also has an optional area below which has two Giant Warriors waiting there. I advise you go about your way past it.
Hide your kids, Hide your wife... they're coming to FIND YOU

Sadly, invaders are the #1 reason people (apart from gravity) do not achieve the ring in a no-death playthrough. You can 'disconnect' from the internet, but that's shameful to do. Also not only is it shameful, but doing so adds 'sin' to your character allowing Arbiters to invade you as well. So please don't for everyone's sake.

Instead, stand your ground and always make sure to have phantoms with yah. FYI, stay in the Way of Blue so Blue Sentinels can be sent in to save your sorry hide. Just pray the invader is not a hacker or you are screwed. If you're near the boss's fog gate, do not get prideful. Just go into the boss gate and continue your journey.

As a starting gift, you can always choose the Seed of a Tree of Giants[darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com]. It causes enemies to become hostile towards invaders which can turn the tides between life or death.

I mean seriously, what's to lose? Pride? You're saving yourself the hassle of doing another NG run by avoiding the PvP fight entirely. Let the phantoms you've summoned do the dirty work fighting, as you focus on your goals. Speaking of summons and phantoms ...
Don't be a Hero
You heard right. Do not place your sign down in helping others throughout your NG no-death challenge.

Reason being as stated earlier .... is that if you die as a phantom, invader, or Sunbro ... it counts against you. Meaning your attempts at getting the ring will fly right out of your hands until you go into NG+. Sorry Solaire, we can't risk having jolly co-op with others in their worlds.

Solaire: "B.. but, can you at least ... praise the sun?"

Me: "Yes, we can still praise the sun together."

Solaire: ".. :')"

In all seriousness, don't fret. You can still summon phantoms into your world to aid you. It's best to anyways, against enemies / bosses / possible invaders at any given time. If they die on yah, it doesn't count because YOU must be the one to die.

Beware .. there are times your so called friends may try killing you. For example, in the Pursuer boss area with the ballistas. Some will accidentally (or purposely) hit you with one, instantly killing you. Another area is Iron Keep where the trap plates will cause the padio to fall into lava. Some will again accidentally (or purposely) step on one leaving you to fall into the lava. So watch out for both the enemies and who're following you into battle.
The End is Neigh I guess?
When you finally reach the end of the game, DO NOT SKIP THE CREDITS!!

Skipping the credits doesn't give you the ring. Might of been patched in 1.10 but I advise you remain patient as the credits roll. Once you have possession of the ring, you can die at any point after without fearing death again.

It's also possible to try earning both the Illusory Ring of a Conqueror and Illusory Ring of the Exalted in one NG run. However, it's insanely difficult and best done in different NGs. The Exalted ring (which makes your right hand weapon invisible) is best done in NG, since you can allow yourself to die often without worry since it's a no-bonfire run. NG+ is best for the Conqueror ring since you'll be at your best in a speedrun to beat the game, clearly having fully upgraded armor & weapons at hand.

With that said...

The point of this Guide was to help you survive against the odds so you'll end up with a unique ring. This ring is best for PvP only, since PvE is in no way affected by the weapon being invisible.

Extra Tips

  • Rosabeth of Melfia[darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com] sells Small Burrs which are quite useful in resisting elemental damage. Consume these while wearing rings such as Spell Quartz Ring, Dispelling Ring, Ring of Resisance and so on will make any spells thrown your way look like they tickle.

  • Don't have a shield. If you rely on one most of the time, strong enemies can knock your stamina off leaving you in a fragile position especially if their combo isn't done. Using a shield against smart invaders will have your shield knocked out of the way, and they'll deal a ripost shot which is brutal. Best to master dodging instead of hiding behind a shield.

  • Avoid doing the DLCs. Yes, I am aware of how awesome they are... but they're optional areas. If you are wise, you'll wait until you complete the game with the ring granted to you before attempting those locations.

  • Wear light armor. Even if you use a massive weapon or strength-based one... light armor means you have less weight on your character. This also enables you to carry more tools such as bows, chimes, backup weapons and more. If you want extra defense, just get spells / miracles to stack with your physical armor.

  • Avoid going for items off cliffs. Most of the time, people try rolling into the items to collect them faster without realizing they got to 'close' to the edge and fall to their deaths. This also includes enemies sneaking up and knocking you off the edge. If you see an item that's in a dangerous spot, best to leave it. Even if that item is the Chunk you need to max your weapon out, save yourself a life instead of earning an unpleasant death.

  • Stack up every time you visit Majula. Spend your souls wisely and not so heavily on leveling up. It's nice and all to have your character at level 100 before you reach Drangleic Castle, but remember this is about survival. Buy all the life gems, throwing knives, arrows, alluring skills, and useful items before venturing out again. A single mistake can cost yah your life yah know?

  • Skip the Tutorial Area. Even though it's at the very start of the game, the ogres are a major threat to players regardless of who's new and who's a pro. Their grab hitbox is still broken, so being a tad to close can get you instantly grabbed from afar. Besides all you get out of it is 3,500 souls which isn't much... so just try to at least knock the latter down to the bird's nest and go about your way into the dangerous world.

  • Do not stay to long in one spot. Even after defeating a boss, if you're just idly sitting by in Iron Keep bridge, you can get invaded. Any places you revisit or stick around leaves you at risk of being invaded so best to continuously power through the game.

  • NEVER VISIT BELFRY LUNA. You hear me? You're just begging for death if you go there. I don't even care if you manage to survive all of that mess, because it was really careless. This is about getting the special ring, NOT trying to prove how big your manhood is dude.

Major Update to Guide:

  • Being Cursed is OKAY: I succeeded in yet getting another Illusory Ring of the Conqueror with a different character (his name is Caramel Frappe lol). But at first, I felt he failed at the very end because the very last boss Nashandra cursed him (3x in fact) before he managed to defeat her. Yet, I was STILL AWARDED the ring, so in other words- being cursed DOES NOT ruin your chance of getting the special ring. It's only if you die, as in... die and respawn at the bonfire. Here is proof in case you don't believe me:

    This is incredible to me, because I thought my chances were stopped when I was first cursed. Luckily, that is not the case. Felt like updating this Guide in case people were still checking my stuff out!
Let me show you the POWER of Talos!!
Here's a neat little technique I came up with when using the Illusory Ring of the Conqueror... just to show off to show you what it's capable of.

Step 1: Wear the ring.

Step 2: Equip Target Shield in your left hand.

Step 3: IT BEGINS.

Parrying with an invisible Target Shield leaves the opponent in shock, allowing you to use that massive Scythe of Want, Curved Dragon Greatsword, King's Ultra Greatsword, ect. to finish the helpless undead off.

Since the shield is invisible, pepople WILL NOT be suspecting you to parry their attacks. So when you pull it off, they'll be regretting it ... sincerely. Gotta say, the ring can be used in so many ways but that's for you to decide. At the end of the day, it is YOU who earned the honor of exploiting using this ring.

Thank you for taking the time to read this Guide!!

This guide was brought to you by Caramel Frappe. If you have any questions about surviving NG or want to offer suggestions / feedback about the guide itself, please do so! Again thank you for reading my guide everybody!!

< >
The Dark Pursuer Aug 4, 2017 @ 8:16am 
sadly had to figure out controls by myself since all the tutorials were for xbox or ps3
which i hate
Caramel Frappe  [author] Jun 4, 2016 @ 10:17am 
=[TB]= How to smonk? (alexia): In all honesty, I am inclined to agree with you. While the ring does grant an advantage one way or another, a veteran would still be able to easily turn the tables if they recognize the weapon you're using, even if you switch to a different one. As for going offline mode- ehhh Dark Souls II was never meant for you to go offline. Dark Souls III offers an offline mode, but the devs wanted you to always remain online hence why you have to take extra steps going offline on Steam to be able to go offline on the game. Still, thank you for the compliment sir!
Sexy Tony Abbott Jun 4, 2016 @ 3:57am 
Instead of going on about all the invasion rubbish you could just start the game in offline mode, It's not shameful in any way and helps you get a somewhat useless item easier, aka the ring you get from not dying. I mean besides from pvp and fashion souls its a waste of time to get and at the same time a waste of ring spaces. On the pvp topic you might be able to suprise them but by now since only hardened veterans are playing this game the ring is pointless, also if your not blind you can spot their stance making it easier to see what they are using. Never the less good guide my friend.
Stephen Tusking May 31, 2016 @ 9:36am 
Whoops, I did not realize, I am sorry; I will now remove my comment in shame.
Caramel Frappe  [author] May 31, 2016 @ 12:47am 
@Straustrrin: There's a spell in Dark Souls II that allows you to make your weapon invisible. It was known as Hidden Weapon [darksouls2.wiki.fextralife.com] . However it only lasted 90 seconds and was a sorcery ... taking away the element of surprise once the spell wore off. However the ring lasts forever and keeps people guessing as to what weapon you're using unless they're very familiar with the weapon's moveset.
Caramel Frappe  [author] Mar 25, 2015 @ 10:51pm 
:wrench: Extra Tips Section has been UPDATED!!

If you're still (or for the first time) trying to get the Illusory Ring of the Conqueror, you may want to look into the edited part!! Thanks for reading my Guide once again!! :)
Hank Hill Mar 13, 2015 @ 2:34am 
Good guide dude. wish i realized how helpful the cat was on my xbox no death run. would have saved me ALOT of rage quits. definitely put her to use on my pc ND run. Thanks. 12/12 chugs.
Wiz Feb 26, 2015 @ 2:26am 
Glad to help, man :)
Caramel Frappe  [author] Feb 25, 2015 @ 7:19pm 
@Feline Wizard: Edited the Undead Purgatory to my Optional Chapter. Thank you truly for the helpful feedback my friend! :numberone:
Caramel Frappe  [author] Feb 25, 2015 @ 7:08pm 
@Feline Wizard: You're absolutely right- it IS a challenging zone. That was my fault in forgetting about the area. Only reason why it's super easy for me because of all the Alluring Skulls I bought. Even the Torture-Undead get distracted by that. Only real challenge is the Red Phantom with the Greatsword. I might have to edit my Guide and update it. Thank you very much for reminding me!