Poise is a value that determines a character's resistance to being stunned. All characters, including enemies, have Poise. Being hit drains Poise which regenerates after a moment, much like a hidden stamina bar. When Poise is completely drained, the character becomes stunned. Having one more point of Poise than is being dealt will prevent the character from being stunned by that hit.
Poise break points
At these points, you can poise through a specific attack.
Weapon Poise drain
Different weapons drain varying amounts of Poise, and it is completely independent of damage. Generally, larger weapons drain more Poise per hit and 2-handing weapons drains more Poise.
Here are some values of poise drained per hit by various weapon types:
|All Ultra Greatswords||light||50||75|
|All Great Hammers||light||50||75|
|Black Knight Greataxe||light||40||60|
|Black Knight Halberd||light||30||45|
|All Curved Swords||light||20||30|
|All Straight Swords||light||20||30|
|All Fist Weapons||light||20||-|
|All Thrusting Swords||light||5||7|
- Havel's Set provides the highest Poise of any armor set in the game at 121 Poise, although it weighs 50 units.
- The Wolf Ring also boosts poise by 40 points, with no added weight.
- Poise does not recover for 1 second, and after that, it recovers 20-25% per second. So it could take 4-5 seconds for your poise to be back to full again.
- When building a character for PvP, it is a good idea to equip armor that will put you above one of the following Poise breakpoints:
- 53 lets you survive at least one light attack from any weapon without getting your Poise broken except by 2-handed light attacks from an ultra greatsword, a great hammer, or a greataxe.
- 61 lets you survive two 30 poise hits, or three 20 poise hits, as well as resisting one 2H hit from the Black Knight Greataxe and one Black Flame hit
- 76 lets you survive at least one light attack from any weapon without getting your Poise broken.
- The Wolf Ring and a Giant Helm -or- Catarina Gauntlets/Catarina Leggings -or- Hollow Soldier Waistcloth & Gargoyle Helm will break 52 poise as well as being light, so these items are highly recommended for PvP.
- Running attacks drain more poise than normal R1 attacks. For example, you need 56 poise to resist a greatsword running attack as opposed to 53. All greatswords can combo a running attack into an R1 if it breaks your poise, and some have more damaging combos.
- A phantom hit — an attack that hits you during the invincibility frames from a roll — will still damage your poise, much like poison and bleed will still build up when a phantom hit occurs.
- Toggle Escape — if you toggle your left/right hand weapon during a stun animation, you can replace the stun animation with a weapon toggling animation (which you can move during), effectively cancelling your stun. It can be hard to get the timing right, but with this technique, you can have enough frame advantage to get behind your opponent and backstab them. (Video)