First of all I'd like to say that I didn't realize there was a duping bug until I was in NG+ with my main character. He has two Music Boxes so it's impossible for me to dupe with him anyway. I figured out there was a bug when my vials and bullets kept disappearing, going from 99 to zero. So, once I found out about the bug, I set out to try everything and see what build and weapon I was most inclined toward.
The following is my subjective opinions on the weapons and different builds. I am not able to get online at the moment so I, personally, was looking for something that was ease the pain of a level 5 chalice solo.
Skill - I really wanted this build to be my go to. I created a character and beat the game with her as a 50 skill/50 bloodtinge build. Now, I started really struggling in level 4 chalices with her. This build is a heavy dodger, I would def recommend maxing stamina at 40 to play a skill build (Because of the 50/50 in Skill and Blood, my stamina is at 20, which is bad for this build). You could probably drop some points in Vit if you needed to, since you shouldn't be getting hit at all. Unlike the raging stunlock strength build, this build is more of a poke and dodge. I would recommend this build for vets of the souls series as proper timing is crucial with this build.
Bloodtinge - This build was fun. Seriously. With a maxed Evelyn and bone dust I am consistently hitting bosses in chalice 3's for 700 damage. However, if you decide to go this route you will probably end up with the chikage and Evelyn as your primaries. If you are a katana fan, then this build may be for you. Again, this is a stick and move build, although the Chikage does have better poise breaks than most of the skill weapons.
Arcane - I was able to pump out some good damage with this build as well. I usually try and avoid magic build but I wanted to try it. The Ludwicks does a ton of damage with arcane gems. I'd recommend getting two of them and doing one fire and one lighting. The Burial Blade and Blades of Mercy also have scaling with arcane and inherent arcane built in, but it's negligible. The Ludwicks is just too strong (As I'll go over in a minute) to not use as primary. The spells are ok, alot of utility in them. Personally, they don't do enough damage to justify the amount of bullets they consume (I may be biased in this because of a high Bloodtinge level. In the event you are running a straight arcane and low Bloodtinge, I would probably change my stance.) Thanks to collegenoob for pointing that out
Beast Claws ( Strength) - What can I say? Fun. These guys attack stupid fast and can stunlock smaller mobs. Damage isn't very high, maybe proper gems? Take off all your clothes and eat some pellets. However, you have to be super aggressive with these, never letting up. Meaning, you will take a ton of damage if you screw up. Recommend for vets.
Blades of Mercy ( Skill) - They are extremely fast and deal a ton of damage. These, as a skill build, are my preference. This is the only weapon in the game that allows you to dual wield. Standard form is a dagger, trick form is dual daggers. The downside to them is you have to stay up close and personal with the enemy to get in attacks. They seem to have low poise damage so this began posing problems for me in the higher tier dungeons when the larger mobs start poise tanking you and smack you for half your health.
Burial Blade ( Skill) - I really, really wanted this to be my weapon of choice. It scales with Skill and does the highest damage of the skill weapons. I pushed through to level 4 with this weapon but this is when it started showing it's weaknesses. To be as slow and big as it is, it doesn't stun bosses often at all. For this reason, you are stuck playing a stick and move style, with a slow scythe. If you are going to play this way, I think it's just better to use faster weapons so you aren't caught mid-swing.
Chikage ( Bloodtinge) - This guy scales with Skill and Bloodtinge, but has an S scaling with Blood. It isn't very spectacular when used as a Skill weapon. It isn't bad at all, but the true colors of this weapon show when going into trick mode with L1. Your damage shifts to blood and goes through the roof. There is a downside to this, however, it has a persistent draining effect on health and your charge swing in this mode eats more health dependent on the charge time. If you pair this with an Evelyn and max out Bloodtinge, you are definitely a force to be reckoned with. I am not a fan of Katanas at all but I found myself reverting back to this weapon when I reached bosses that I was having trouble with.
Hunter Axe ( Strength) - The weapon I've ended up going with. The damage isn't quite as high as the wheel or Ludwicks, but it will stunlock almost anything. I've managed to clear a couple level 4's with this weapon so far. Highly recommended for new players to the series, the stuns will allow you a chance to heal more often.
Kirkhammer ( Strength) - Sheesh, this thing makes you feel like you are causing earthquakes somewhere. Although I am not much of a fan of it, there is no disputing the damage output of this thing. Also able to stun larger enemies. The sword version is nice as well. My biggest issue with this has been the lack of range. Very good weapon though, and I know there are a lot of fans of it.
Logarius Wheel ( Strength) - Wow is all I can say. This weapon has the second highest damage in the game and scales S with strength. Now, I say second highest but I had Skill and Strength at 50 and Ludwicks beat it. However, it may be the highest if you are going straight Strength. The trick mode will eat your health, so be wary of that, however the damage potential of this thing is undeniable. It simply wrecks. Note, it is another weapon you have to get semi-personal with, although not as much as Kirk.
Reiterpallasch ( Bloodtinge, Skill) - Never been a fan of Rapiers. However, this weapon is suprisingly strong. Its trick mode converts to another pistol, so if you want to dual wield pistols, this is where you want to go. Also the poking of the normal mode converts to a slashing motion in the trick mode, albeit, not as strong. They did a great job with this weapon damage wise. If you are a fan of rapiers, then you will love this one. Struggles for me are miss timing pokes and whiffing. I have a lot of issues with this weapon and enemies that dodge a lot, or enemies like dogs and rats.
Rifle Spear ( Bloodtinge, Skill) - Alot of people love this weapon, I tried, but the low damage didn't do it for me. It has great range though and the charge attack will run you across the room. If you enjoy spears then this won't disappoint. I don't think I will be able to clear higher tier dungeons with it though due to the lacking damage. It's trick mode converts it to a two handed slashing weapon that shoots. You can parry with this weapon in two handed mode.
Saw Cleaver ( Strength) - Second weapon of choice. I use this weapon to clear small enemies and the Axe for bosses. This weapon seems to work best for me when it is closed. It has great damage and is very fast. The biggest benefit is that it will stunlock most small enemies.
Saw Spear ( Skill) - Basically the same as the cleaver except you get a thrust with the extended mode. It's the cleaver for Skill builds. Solid damage as well.
Stake Driver ( Strenght, Skill) - Lol, this thing is great. If you can ever get used to using it, it wrecks. Decent poise break as well. I just suck with this one, but I can't say anything bad about it.
Threaded Cane ( Skill) - Do it pimp style. Great damage and scaling on this weapon (Skill). It has a solid can form and a whip form. The whip form can put out a lot of damage. The drawback for me is that it has little poise break. Remember though, I'm looking for floor 4/5 solo clears, so I need poise breaks. For the rest of the game though and co-op, this weapon is awesome.
Tonitrus ( Arcane) - This weapon is great for an arcane build. Especially early on. The Ludwicks will eventually take it over.
Ludwicks Great-sword ( Strength, Skill, Arcane) - Nerf it. I love this weapon, in fact it carried me through my first blind playthrough. However, it really is too strong. It just outclasses every other weapon in the game in so many ways. It's poise break is tremedous, it scales B with Strength, Skill and Arcane, and it has a perfect combination of moves. You can cover thrust and blunt damage with this one weapon. One top of it all, it's even buffable. If you are rolling a quality build, no matter how much you try and avoid this weapon, when things get tough, you will always bring it out. It really is that good. Again, I love it, but it needs a nerf. (Also, remember that I am testing these with 50 across all stats. It may not be optimal in a dedicated str or skill build. My issue with it is that in a quality and arcane build, you are gimping yourself by not using it. This is a personal preference I guess, but I would like to be able to play with other weapons in a quality build that can perform as well.)
Evelyn - With a Bloodtinge build this thing is a beast. S scaling in Blood. Out damages the pistol at +10 50 Bloodtinge.
Cannon - Lol, it's a freakin' cannon. It eats 10 bullets per shot, but just obliterates.
Flamethrower - Some people have enjoyed this. It works well with an arcane build.
(There are other firearms that people also enjoy, I just have limited experience with the others so I can't really comment on them.)
Remember, these are all my opinions of weapons as I go into the tier 4 and 5 chalices. They are all good for NG and NG+. We all have different playstyles and favorite weapons. I've always been a greatsword user so I was naturally inclined toward Ludwicks. The weapon is just so OP though that I want to move away from it and do something different. My final build that will become my main will be 50 strength, 50 vitality and 40 Stamina. I'll be using the Axe for bosses and Cleaver for floor clears. As far as a gun, most likely the pistol due to it's quickness. Hope this helps some newer players that can't decide what to build and people that don't want to have to start over because they screwed something up.
!!!NOTHING HERE IS ORIGINAL WRITTEN BY ME, THIS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY A REDDIT USER - FULL LINK HERE!!!