The Hammers, in Dark Souls 2, are usually one-handed or power stanced, and appear as small to medium-sized bludgeoning tools that offer greater than average poise damage while being a fair bit quicker than other weapon types that can boast this trait, such as the greatweapons.
For smashing foes in the face and stun-locking many adversaries, Hammers are the way to go, at least before acquiring the stats required for Great Hammers. The best of the bunch are mostly great for Strength builds, however, some Dexterity builds and Quality builds can make use of the right Hammer.
10 Aldia Hammer
This pickaxe-like hammer can be acquired as a drop from the dragon acolyte enemies from Aldia’s Keep. Their poise damage is rather average at 20, though they are pretty quick and can unleash a flurry of strikes when power stanced.
At the +10 Regular upgrade, the Aldia Hammer gets 240 physical attack, B-tier Strength scaling, and C-tier Dexterity scaling. This makes it not a bad choice for a Quality build, though is a bit lacking in damage when compared to many of its brethren.
9 Reinforced Club
Despite its name, the Reinforced Club is objectively a less effective weapon than the regular Club, however, can still be used in battle for a short while, as its stats are quite good with the exception of its incredibly low durability.
If fully upgraded, this Hammer attains 260 physical attack and an excellent A-tier scaling in Strength, though, with only 20 durability, it won’t last too long in any protracted fights.
This simple piece of a branch with a handle is much better than it looks, for it comes with immediate A-tier scaling with Strength and decent damage.
When fully upgraded to +10 on the Regular route, the Club gets a modest yet usable 210 physical attack, however, the scaling is what this weapon would be most used for, as it ascends to get S-tier Strength scaling, higher than the majority of other hammers.
7 Morning Star
This pointy bludgeon is the first from its weapon class to be able to apply bleed build-up, as Hammers in Dark Souls 2 cannot be infused with Bleed. In addition, it gets solid Strength scaling, meaning that it should be upgraded on the Regular path and not infused in order to maintain its nice stat-related damage boost.
After reaching +10, the Morning Star gets 220 physical attack, does 30 poise damage, gets pure A-tier scaling in Strength, and applies 100 points of bleed build-up for every successful attack.
Those who start as the Cleric class will get this one right away, though it is a weapon much better geared to be a Strength build weapon as opposed to this Faith-oriented starting class. In addition to great Strength scaling, the Mace deals a satisfying 30 points of poise damage per strike.
At the max upgrade level of +10 on the Regular route, the Mace attains 240 physical attack and an awesome A-tier in Strength scaling.
5 Barbed Club
Players can trade the Flexile Sentry Soul to Straid of Olaphis for this spiky Hammer. It is the second from its weapon class that is capable of inflicting bleed build-up, for the Barbed Club comes with an innate ability to do so with each attack.
In this regard, the Barbed Club holds a unique niche as the best bleeding Hammer, however, since it cannot be infused with Bleed, the best upgrade route for those desiring more status infliction is the Poison infusion. At the max +5 level, it receives 243 physical attack, C-tier scaling in Strength, and D-tier in Dexterity, as well as 120 points of poison and 90 points of bleed build-up respectively.
4 Craftsman’s Hammer
According to the item description, this Hammer may very well have belonged to Andre of Astora, from the other Dark Souls games. With great poise damage at 30 for every bludgeoning blow, the Craftsman’s Hammer can be a solid ally in battle as well as any forge.
Upon reaching the max upgrade level of +5 on the Regular path, it gets 250 physical attack and pure B-tier scaling in Strength.
3 Homunculus Mace
This lumpy hammer may look like trash, however, it can be pretty good once upgraded. It is not remarkable in any regard, possessing slightly above average stats in poise damage (25), counterattack (120), and decent overall damage output.
At the +10 Regular upgrade, the Homunculus Mace reaches a respectable 290 physical attack, B-tier scaling in Strength, and E-tier scaling in Dexterity.
2 Blacksmith’s Hammer
Gained from Blacksmith Lenigrast by either spending 8,000 souls on weapon upgrades or by killing him, the Blacksmith’s Hammer is a powerful tool for both forging and stun-locking foes with its massive 40 poise damage per smash; the most out of any Hammer.
When upgraded to +10 on the Regular path, it gets 290 physical attack alongside pure B-tier Strength scaling, making this a suitable weapon for any Strength build.
1 Black Dragon Warpick
This mighty dragon weapon, like all other draconic armaments, possesses excellent destructive potential due to its monstrous base attack, however, the trade-off is that it gets no scaling. For those seeking high physical damage and nothing else, this is a top-tier choice.
When upgraded to the max +5 Raw infusion, the Black Dragon Warpick achieves a colossal 379 physical attack; a stat worthy of its namesake, the fearsome Black Dragon Kalameet.