In order to cast spells in Dark Souls 3, players need to attune them at a bonfire as well as equip a catalyst. Which kinds of spells the Ashen One can unleash is determined by the type of catalyst; Staves for sorceries, Pyromancy Flames for fire spells, as well as Talismans and Sacred Chimes for miracles. The last two mostly differentiate from one another by (usually) possessing weapon skills unique to their class. Unfaltering Prayer, which grants hyper armor while casting, is the feature of Talismans, while Gentle Prayer, which grants slow HP recovery over time, is the equivalent for Sacred Chimes.
However, the other key difference is that Sacred Chimes generally have a higher Speff Buff stat, a hidden mechanic that dictates the power of miracles cast. For this reason, quite a few miracle builds choose Sacred Chimes, though they should be careful not to invest precious resources in the lackluster ones. There are seven such catalysts in the game, and each specializes in different playstyles, whether it is zapping foes with lightning, rapid casting, or even blaspheming and embodying the power of dark miracles. However, some occupy significantly more viable niches than others.
7 Crystal Chime
This odd chime can be found in a small room at the end of a hallway in the Grand Archives on the second floor. However, one will need to get past a red-eyed Lothric knight wielding a spear to acquire it. Despite this not being a very tough foe, the Crystal Chime may not be worth the time to collect.
It can cast both sorceries and miracles, yet has such poor scaling that neither will ever be very powerful. Unlike other chimes that have a split Spell Buff growth between Faith and Intelligence, dark spells do not get a boost. Most of the time, if a caster build is leveling both Int and Faith, they intend to specialize in dark (or fire) spells, however, the Crystal Chime’s inability to lend itself properly to this playstyle makes it only suitable for sorceries and miracles. Though, since it needs investment into both stats anyways, the souls invested will never be worth its lack of efficiency.
6 Sacred Chime Of Fillianore
Attained from Shira, Knight of Fillianore, players will need to either accept her request to slay Darkeater Midir or slay the knight herself to acquire this Sacred Chime. This gift from Fillianore, one of the last gods players will ever see in the Dark Souls universe, is very interesting in regards to its lore, though not for too much else.
Its skill, Pray for Favor, acts much like the Gentle Prayer skill found on most chimes, though has effects that extend to nearby allies and remains active even if the Sacred Chime of Fillianore is unequipped. This makes it handy if one is engaged in co-op gameplay but that’s about it. The laughable scaling dooms it like its namesake to a destiny of disuse.
5 Saint-Tree Bellvine
Found in the Cathedral of the Deep area, outside the cathedral proper, it is located in a shallow riverbed guarded by three of the disgusting corpse grub enemies. By itself, the Saint-Tree Bellvine cannot unleash much Faith-based damage, though it has other qualities that make it useful for a caster.
When wielded, it grants the user maximum casting speed; equal to having 50 Dexterity. This lets players launch lighting spears and arrows at remarkable speeds, albeit with middling impacts. Interestingly, this effect is applied to all spells cast, not just miracles, and even affects other held catalysts. If one holds this chime in one hand, they can hold any other kind of catalyst in the other to deploy swifter spells than normally possible, making the Saint-Tree Bellvine an excellent offhand tool for any caster build who needs some more speed.
4 Caitha’s Chime
As the only Sacred Chime that grants a Speff Buff bonus to dark miracles, Caitha’s Chime is the ideal catalyst for those running a more blasphemous build. Being able to unleash wicked spells like the sinister Dorhys’ Gnawing and ever-terrifying Lifehunt Scythe make it an excellent tool for an offense playstyle.
Since it requires both Intelligence and Faith investment, however, players will need to dump a lot of souls into two stats for Caitha’s Chime to reach optimal effectiveness.
3 Priest’s Chime
The Priest’s Chime can be bought from everyone’s favorite unhollowed thrall, Greirat, though only after he returns from his expedition to the Undead Settlement. Trading 4000 souls with the stooping man in a holed hood will grant it to the Ashen One, and it is very much worth the price.
This chime offers the best scaling and Spell Buff stat out of all Sacre Chimes while the player is under 45 Faith, making it ideal for the early and mid-game. It is also very easy to acquire and has one of the lowest stat requirements out of all Sacred Chimes, which further strengthens its position as the ideal beginner miracle catalyst.
2 Cleric’s Sacred Chime
Even easier to obtain than the Priest’s Chime is the Cleric’s Sacred Chime, as it is given to the Cleric class as a starting item. While it may be optimal to swap it out for the Priest’s Chime when that becomes available, players should not forget about this starting catalyst.
At the same point that the Priest’s Chime’s scaling becomes less optimal, the Cleric’s Sacred Chime comes into its true power. Due to its Speff Buff scaling, this chime is best used between 45 and 50 Faith for ideal damage numbers.
1 Yorshka’s Chime
With great power comes great responsibility. To acquire the best Sacred Chime in the game, one must kill the NPC for which it is named: Company Captain Yorshka. Since she is the covenant leader of the Blades of the Darkmoon, killing her will make it impossible to get the Darkmoon Blade miracle and the Darkmoon Ring covenant rewards, so it is recommended to obtain these before betraying this minor deity.
As the chime with the highest Faith requirement of 30, it is understandably an end-game item. One that possesses the best scaling and Spell Buff stat out of all Faith-oriented catalysts, including all Talismans. It is ideal to use after one’s character passes 50 Faith, which is when the Cleric’s Sacred Chime stops being optimal. With Yorshka’s Chime in hand, no adversary is safe from the Ashen One’s miracles.